Friday, November 17, 2017

Make Believe Gardens !

The fine folks over at the Mid Atlantic Gateway  have been featuring a great diorama with figures representing the best of Mid Atlantic action circa late 70's early 80's.

Well we now have our own featuring a capture of the action at Maple Leaf Gardens circa 1982 !

Thanks to highly underrated -and slightly unknown- star Barry Hatchet ("Kicking ass is my business...and business is good!") for these pics of a bout featuring Barry and Ninja and Ivan Koloff with Sir Oliver Humperdink in a handicap facing Blackjack Mulligan and 'Bad Bad' Leroy Brown
(Barry Hatchet pinned everyone and won btw)

Wouldn't be complete without everyone else from MLW ....we have
Norm Kimber making introductions
Billy Red Lyons waiting to interview Barry,
Frank Tunney directing traffic at the curtain to the ramp
refs Fred Atkins and Terry Yorkston (he of the pompadour)
and me and my buddies leaning on the ramp while the ushers do their best to keep us away - or ignore us completely (most would be entranced by the bouts, great gig for a wrestling fan ! )

Thanks again to Barry for sharing ! click on photos to see larger















Tuesday, November 7, 2017

Chris Colt vs Wildman 1982

Chris Colt was a wild wrestler in his day, both in the big city arenas and the small town rinks. He had debuted at MLG back in 1972 as Christopher Colt and as part of the Hells Angels tag alongside Ron Dupree. He returned for a stretch in 1976 and worked both at the Gardens and on the small town circuit run by Dave 'Wildman' McKigney.

He would return to 'Big Time Wrestling' in the summer of 1982 and appear each year on parts of Dave's seasonal Ontario tours right through 1987.

These pics are from a street-fight in Cornwall in August 1982 and as with most of Colt's bouts for Dave there was lots of blood spilled in a crazy bout.

Was a good season that year, also on the card and serving as 'Lumberjacks' you can see Kurt Von Hess, George 'Animal' Steele, Dom Denucci, Bobo Brazil, and Bruno Sammartino Jr. (David.). The ref is Mark Greer, Wolfman Farkus' son.






Thursday, October 5, 2017

Wayne Bock 1960


There were quite a few ex-Football players that hit it big in Pro Wrestling. Here in Toronto we had regulars Gene Kiniski, Fritz Von Erich, and Angelo Mosca, as well as others like George Wells and Ernie Ladd, and some others that didn't hang around as much.

Gil Mains and Wayne Bock were two that would wrestle while under contract to the Toronto Argonauts of the CFL. Mains in 1955 and Bock in 1960.

This time we will have a look at Wayne Bock, the then 25 year old who stood 6'4 and weighed in at a wrestling ready 257lbs. He came into the city highly touted and with a reputation that preceded him. 

Lou Agase, the Argo's coach who had previously recruited Bock for both Illinois University, the Chicago Cardinals, and now the Argos was a big fan.
'He's an animal' said Agase.'


Toronto Promoter Frank Tunney, as usual,  was quick to see the potential in another gridiron star.
'I recruited Wayne as a wrestler' said Tunney, 'because Gene Kiniski tipped me off. Kiniski said 'he's just about as tough a (deleted) as I am' and this coming from Kiniski is high praise indeed.'

Tunney offered that Bock would wrestle on the Ontario circuit until football practices start and then would give up the bumps and grinds of the ring for the bumps and grinds of the grid.

Bock had previously been under contract to the Ti-Cats back in 1955 but had suddenly left camp and joined the Marines. The then coach of the Ti-Cats had phoned his counterpart in Toronto asking if he had seen his highly touted player who 'had a great camp'.

He played football for the Marines and later signed with the Cardinals and played there briefly  before coming to Toronto.

He already had some experience in the ring having wrestled around the North/Northeast US in 1959 and  early 1960 before arriving in Toronto.

In a Jim Hunt column Bock was asked if he was a villain in the ring. 'I'm not a very nice fellow in the ring or on the football field' he replied.

Coach Agase claimed he had no problem with Bock working the grunt and groan as it would keep him in shape and he was better off wrestling than sitting around gaining weight. Bock was due to report for training on the field as of July 1.

Another pre-bout write up referred to Bock calling himself  'The Beast'
John Yachetti aka 'The Beast' who wrestled here for many years was still 2 years away from his MLG debut at that time.




His first bout was against 'Babyface' Don Jardine (the future 'The Spoiler') and made an instant impression. The recap said the Argo's fans would be happy as was fast for a guy his size and will welcome 'his ugly temper' that he demonstrated in beating Jardine after 11:46 of action.
'The fans don't usually like me very much' added Bock.

His second bout was against Tony Marino with the same result, winning with a top spread after 11 minutes. That would mark the end of his ring tenure.

The Argo's would finish the 1960 season in first place, losing in the Eastern final to the Ottawa Roughriders but Bock was absent, having never played a game in Toronto. For such a highly touted star he only shows to have stats for 4 games for the Cardinals in 1957 (though said to have played over 3 seasons with them), the extent of his pro career.

He was gone by the end of training camp but am unsure if he left or got cut.


There is quite a bit online about him having ties to the criminal underworld around Chicago, an enforcer type and worse.

Wayne Bock passed on in 2016 at the age of 82

Tuesday, September 26, 2017

Barry Penhale Column WAYLI

We will feature several of these over the next few months, Barry Lloyd Penhale's fabulous columns covering Toronto, Ontario, and the Canadian scene in the early 1950's.

We have covered Mr Penhale before, there is a page on the Oshawa site at Barry Penhale Talk
as I had the good fortune to speak with him a few years back about his days as a Broadcast Pioneer and Wrestling commentator.

For several years in the WAYLI -Wrestling As You Liked It magazine- Penhale had a Canadian Column where he would share his experiences both as a commentator for the live wrestling broadcasts from the Gondola at MLG alongside Bill Hewitt, as well as his time spent in Northland working with Larry Kasaboski,

He had free access at MLG and Hamilton Forum and other arenas around the area and was frequently behind the scenes with Frank Tunney so has a unique take on the scene at the time. As you can see at the end of this column he also receives regular updates from insiders and promoters across the country.

This one is from mid 1954 capturing early 1954 and a card in Hamilton , thanks to Roger Baker
If you click on the image and 'right click' then select 'view image' you can increase the size 





































another column on Toar Morgan on this blog at
 https://mapleleafwrestling.blogspot.ca/2016/12/toar-morgan.html