Saturday, April 30, 2016

Ricky Johnson

Though not as well known as his brother Rocky or his nephew The Rock, Ricky Johnson was a pretty good wrestler here in the early 1980's. He had one appearance at MLG in 1980 and some turns on Maple Leaf TV and Cannon's Superstars before joining McKigney's Big Bear circuit through the mid '80's.

Vic Tanny's ad is from'79 , photos vs Eddy Mansfield from Cornwall 1982

Tuesday, April 26, 2016

Jack Corcoran

Jack Corcoran was well respected in his day and ran the Wrestling and Boxing scene in Toronto much as Frank Tunney would in the years after Corcoran stepped aside. While Corcoran passed the office to Frank and brother John in 1939 he would stay on in the office for a time promoting the boxing side and later in a non-official role.

Frank later said that Jack had been a father figure to him and from all reports Corcoran had the same demeanor Frank would be known for, a sharp contrast to most of the Wrestling-Boxing promoters of the day. There is more on Corcoran on the Frank Tunney page at the MLW site.

Boxing Clip 1941 ..... Templeton caricature 1933....Pink sketch 1939

Monday, April 25, 2016

Thesz debut in Toronto 1939

Apr 24 2016 marked what would have been the 100th birthday of Lou Thesz. Generally regarded as the best of the best of all the Professional Wrestlers that have ever entered the squared circle, Thesz had a long and storied history here in Toronto beginning in 1939 and going to 1969 - for Tunney and assoc.

He showed back up in 1976 on George Cannon's ill fated attempt to run against Tunney at the CNE Coliseum but his best days here were the many world title defenses (30), the long feud with Whipper Watson and big bouts vs Gorgeous George, Yukon Eric, Gene Kiniski, Dick Hutton, Buddy Rogers, and many more.

He lost the belt at MLG to Whipper in 1956, Hutton in '57, and won it from Rogers in '63, good times indeed for the Toronto fans who were lucky to be around in that era.

Clips from Thesz first appearance Nov 16 1939, pretty good card !

Tuesday, April 19, 2016

Terrible Ted & Honest Ed 1963

One of the more unusual places I have seen an appearance of Dubois/McKigney and his Wrestling Bear. Honest Ed's was a huge discount store in Toronto for over 60 years and is scheduled to close in Dec 2016. If you grew up in Toronto you would remember Ed's and Honest Ed himself who was a much loved and well known local personality. As was McKigney. This is from 1963, I left in the sidebar ads, there were always outrageous door crashers as you can see

Saturday, April 16, 2016

1951 Waldo debut?

This is the earliest mention of Baron (Wally/Waldo) Von Sieber I have found yet. He started with Red Garner so may have appeared on other shows of Red's somewhere else in the area - before this one.

He went under various names in the early days and was billed from Bradford or Holland Marsh. When he debuted at MLG later in 1957 he was Waldo Von Sieber then sometimes just Wally or even Walter.

Over the course of his career he used somewhere around 10 different monikers before making it big as Waldo Von Erich. His early career is mostly unknown or forgotten but he was a 'big star' for Garner through the 1950's alongside later Garner regulars who went on to bigger things including Jacques Dubois (McKigney), Mike Scicluna (Baron), Ron Doner, and Bull Johnson. Sieber would hold the local Canadian Heavyweight Title for a bit and was known as 'The German Oak'

that's Red on the AD 

Tuesday, April 12, 2016

1958 World Middleweight Title

Roger Vallee brings his World Middleweight Title into Red Garner's Central Canadian Wrestling Alliance to defend at the Thornhill Market. Vallee would come in a couple of times to face the local favorite, in this case Stoney Brooks who is pictured..
We had our own local Middleweight Title also and we have been tracing the lineage which you can see on the MLW site at Canadian Middleweight Title History 

Saturday, April 9, 2016

Jacques Dubois first main event 1954

have been compiling results for Red Garner's 1950s cards and able to add some early Dave McKigney results to the MLW - Wildman Career Record with more to come soon too

this Ad is for what appears to be his first main event Aug 19 1954 , he lost but was on his way

Sunday, April 3, 2016

George Richards 1957

We have looked at George Richards before, a part time wrestler turned clothier to the athletes.
He was a opener type guy here in the late 1930's -1940's and when done he started George Richards Big and Tall shops and supplied guys like Whipper and Flanagan with their sharp looking suits and footwear. His store ads were frequently beside the wrestling ads in the sports section.

Richards also donated the George Richards Trophy which was used for the Tag champs in the 1950's

This clip from 1957