Monday, November 28, 2016

Gene Kiniski 4 decades on top

Other than Whipper Watson I can't think of another wrestler besides Gene Kiniski who appeared in main events in Toronto in 4 different decades.

Thesz came close with 40's 50s 60s  but the last main he appeared in was Sept 1969 just missing the cut for the 70s

Whipper managed 40s 50s 60s 70s , and Kiniski managed 50s 60s 70s and 80s. In addition to the main events in 4 decades Kiniski would make the top 20 for most Toronto appearances of all-time.

Amazingly even when we saw him in the late 70's and into the early 80s he could still go with the best of them. By that time his son Kelly was wrestling alongside. Gene was even a big part of the scene late in his career.

He lost to Dino Bravo to kick off the new Canadian Heavyweight Title in 1978. That night was billed as Whipper Watson Appreciation and they brought out Whipper to present the new belt to Bravo. He and Kiniski would get into a scuffle reliving their long feud that had begun back in  1957.

His 1982 run against Angelo Mosca was one of the better matchups of the era and Kiniski would earn mains around the circuit as well.

Below is '59, '67, '70. '82





Thursday, November 17, 2016

85th Anniversary of first card at MLG

Nov 19 2016 marks the 85th Anniversary of the first wrestling card held at MLG. Here are some clippings from the paper. There had been lots of wrestling in Toronto prior but this was the start of  'the mecca of Professional Wrestling' talk.

There are articles on the MLW site about Jack Corcoran, Frank Tunney, and others involved in the early days of Maple Leaf Wrestling.

An earlier blog looked at 85 great moments of MLW at
http://mapleleafwrestling.blogspot.ca/2016/02/wrestling-at-mlg-85-years.html

Greg Oliver wrote a nice recap of that first card on Slam Wrestling a while back, well worth a read at
http://slam.canoe.com/Slam/Wrestling/2013/01/21/20514511.html

Enjoy, as with other images on this blog you have to click on it , or right click and choose 'view image' to see it in full size















Wednesday, November 2, 2016

Cornwall Photos 1950s

The Water St Arena in Cornwall, ON was one of those great old spots that was perfect for Pro Wrestling. Chris Rohde of Cogeco produced a cool video a few years back on the history of the arena and featured a look at wrestling.
Video is on Youtube at  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=50_QOqu7hyI

He is currently working on a series that will include Wrestling memories at the Arena and sent me over a few great photos that were passed to him by David Murphy.

These are circa mid to late 1950's.
Cornwall has seen several different promotions over the years, Tunney, Eddie Quinn, and of course Dave McKigney all put on shows at the Arena. There is some Cornwall info on the main site and lots of photos and such from this era

Below is Yvon Robert and Ed Carpentier
Whipper Watson receiving attention
Ed Carpentier
Billy Red Lyons
Little Beaver posing with group
Little Panther
The Beast Johnny Yachetti enjoying a pose with the ladies, amazing that the ladies are also enjoying it !

thanks to Chris and David for sharing these great old photos !









Thursday, October 27, 2016

A week in the life 1981

Tunney went back to a small circuit in 1980 running the towns around Toronto before or after the big Sunday MLG show. It had been some years since Tunney had actively put on shows around the region.

The 1950's and 1960's were busy times for the Toronto office. Barrie, Stoufville, Oshawa, Hamilton, St Catherines, Niagara Falls, Kingston, Galt (Cambridge), Kitchener, Milton, Ottawa, and others saw regular weekly-or-so cards. Most of the towns had 'Promoters' who used Tunney stars but ran their own shows. That ended in the late 1960's for the most part with Dave McKigney, Whipper Jr, The Loves etc putting their own shows out, often with Tunney's guys and/or blessing to do it.

In 1980 with the success of the Mid-Atlantic partnership they went back to running the circuit. And stopped co-operating so much with others, especially with McKigney.

Some of the M-A stars would stay on for these shows, some of the bigger stars would head back to the South. It gave popular guys like Jay Youngblood a chance to star around the circuit while often at mid-card on the MLG shows. They would fit a TV taping in also either in Kitchener, Brantford, or Guelph for the most part.

As the MLG shows reduced to about 2 per month in this era the circuit towns may see 2 shows per month also in the week around the big card.

Here's a snapshot in Feb 1981 , if you have the Ad for the Buffalo show please send me and I'll add it




81/02/22 MLG
CANADIAN TITLE: Angelo Mosca WP Great Hossein
Masked Superstar WDQ Ray Stevens
Jimmy Snuka WP Mad Dog Vachon
Bob Duncum/Swede Hanson W Sweet Ebony Diamond/Dewey Robertson
Tony Parisi D Kurt Von Hess (subs for Jim Dillon)
Frankie Laine WP Ron Ritchie 

81/02/23 Buffalo, NY
Masked Superstar/Paul Jones W Jimmy Snuka/Ray Stevens
Blackjack Mulligan W Bobby Duncum
Iron Sheik W Mad Dog Vachon
Sweet Ebony Diamond W Frankie Laine
Dewey Robertson W/DQ Swede Hansen
Tony Parisi W Ron Ritchie


81/02/24 Kitchener, ON TV Tapings
Iron Sheik/Bobby Duncum W Earl Pinnock/Ricky Johnson
Angelo Mosca W John Orlick
Mad Dog Vachon/Dewey Robertson W/DQ Iron Sheik/Bobby Duncum
Angelo Mosca W Chris Jones/Tim Gerrard in a handicap match
Swede Hanson W John Bonello
Frankie Laine D Ron Ritchie
Sweet Ebony Diamond/Tony Parisi W Kurt Von Hess/Brian Mackney
Swede Hanson W Ron Ritchie
Iron Sheik W Dewey Robertson
Angelo Mosca W Bobby Duncum


81/02/25 London, ON
Angelo Mosca W Hossein Arab
Mad Dog Vachon/Dewey Robertson W Bobby Duncum/Swede Hanson
Sweet Ebony Diamond W Kurt Von Hess
Frankie Laine WP Ron Ritchie
Tony Paris D Billy Red Lyons


81/02/26 - Kingston, ON
Angelo Mosca W Great Hossein
Mad Dog Vachon/Dewey Robertson W Bobby Duncum/Kurt Von Hess
Sweet Ebony Diamond W/COR Swede Hanson
Frankie Laine D Billy Red Lyons
Tony Parisi W Ron Ritchie