Friday, November 1, 2019

PHOTOS: Dory Funk Jr. defends NWA title: 1973; Gary Will's TWH

PHOTOS: Dory Funk Jr. defends NWA title: 1973

On February 11, 1973, Dory Funk Jr. successfully defended the NWA world heavyweight title at Maple Leaf Gardens against challenger Johnny Valentine.

A good portion of the match consisted of Valentine holding Funk in a front face-lock, but February 11 would turn out not to be Valentine's day, as Funk would come back to win the match in 28:12. Reported attendance was 14,000. The referee is Tiger Tasker.

You can see in the photos how the crowd lights would go out during the matches, leaving only the lights above the ring. You can also see the famous Gardens ramp in the background.

-by Gary Will

Mid-Atlantic Gateway: New Book on the Canadian Heavyweight Title Parallels the "Mid-Atlantic Era" in Toronto

Mid-Atlantic Gateway: New Book on the Canadian Heavyweight Title Parallels the "Mid-Atlantic Era" in Toronto:

by Dick Bourne-  Mid-Atlantic Gateway

In late 1978 or early 1979, I started noticing in some of the newsstand wrestling magazines that the top stars in the Mid-Atlantic wrestling area were regularly headlining in Toronto. At the same time, the Canadian Heavyweight champion, with his Canadian Heavyweight title belt, started showing up on our weekly Mid-Atlantic television programs and on our local cards..........continued at the Gateway

Toronto fans will love all the books in Dick Bourne's own series . The U.S. and Mid-Atlantic Title books in particular are great companions to the Toronto scene at the time and are so well done as are the Big Gold and Ten Pounds of Gold books! 

The Canadian Heavyweight Title: The Complete History 1978-1984 is available in the Mid Atlantic Gatweay Bookstore and at Amazon 

Masked Men in Toronto

Masked wrestlers have been around since the beginning of pro wrestling and Toronto had it's fair share of them (plus a couple of masked managers) over the years.

Sometimes the fans knew or had a good idea who was under the mask. In Toronto more often than not the fans would find out after they had lost their masks in the ring at Maple Leaf Gardens.

We will take a general look at some of the masked wrestlers who were unmasked - and some that weren't - and the men who unmasked them over the 50 years.

Not a definitive listing as there were many different masked persona's around the region.

See also Gary Will's TWH: Unmasked! -- Wrestlers who lost their masks in Toronto

One of the first of note to be unmasked was 'The Unknown' in 1936. Billed as a 'masked mystery man of the sport' he would lose his mask to reveal Jim McMillen. Hal Rumberg unmasked McMillen who was a noted ex footballer who had played for the Bears before a successful wrestling career.

The 'Masked Marvel' is probably one of the earliest and plentiful masked gimmicks. We had a few at different times both at Maple Leaf Gardens and the many towns on the circuits around Ontario.

Whipper trying to unmask Marvel 1949
Jack Dempsey looks on 
First on the scene in 1932 a Masked Marvel was said to be a different person than the one who had been unmasked in New York as Mike Romano. Promoter Jack Corcoran claimed ours was a 24 year old youngster who did not want to reveal his identity until 'he makes good.'

He never did (reveal his identity) but it was said to be Al Getzewich/Al Getz who was unmasked later that year in Ottawa by Ed 'Strangler' Lewis. Getzewich was born in 1907 making him around 24 years old in 1932 and wrestled around the area under his own name in the early 1940's.

A later article claims Jerry Monahan was the Marvel at that time. Monahan was part of the group when Frank and John Tunney took over in 1939.
Another Marvel in 1938 was our World Champion (Toronto version) for a time. He lost the title and was unmasked to uncover Ted Cox. Also known as 'King Kong' Cox he would wrestle as the Masked Marvel in other areas and lose the mask several times in other cities.

Cox was unmasked here by Mayes McClain. Mayes was another ex footballer who turned to wrestling and had a long and successful career across North America. He had held our World title for a couple of months before losing it back to Cox, who may be the only man to hold a World Title both masked and unmasked.

At the time of Marvel/Cox in 1938 promoter Jack Corcoran entered a dog in the Toronto Star's 'Dog Derby. 'The Masked Marvel II' with a photo in the paper of a masked dog and his 'Masked Manager' presumed to be Corcoran with his ever present pipe in his mouth. The dog had his own pipe.

Cox had his own 'Masked Manager' as well. In a rematch with McClain after losing the title the manager was to unmask if Cox had lost to McClain. The Masked Manager routine would resurface later.

In 1949 our British Empire champion Whipper Watson would meet another Marvel in a series and eventually unmask him to reveal Lew Reynheer. The bout had a clause that Whipper would retire if he lost. Former World champ Strangler Lewis was the special referee for the unmasking bout. Jack Dempsey had refereed an earlier bout which is pictured here.

When Whipper unmasked Lew, he was said to be the 'original' Masked Marvel, obviously not the first Marvel to appear here and he would not be the last.

By 1951 another Marvel was on the scene (sometimes billed as 'The Mask/Mask') and he also had a 'Masked Manager.'

They would have an all masked series with 'The Zebra.'

The Masked Manager would lose his mask to Watson who beat him in Feb 1951 to reveal non other than -Mayes McClain. It went full circle since the 1930's with McClain now being the unmasked. McClain would hang around for a bit as the 'Unmasked Manager.'

Thesz stares down Hefner after unmasking him
Ref 'Bunny' Dunlop looks on  
Soon it was Marvel's turn and it would be the masked Zebra that would claim the mask revealing 'Shoulders' Lou Newman. 'Shoulders' also worked as a masked Mr X elsewhere in his career.

The Zebra, sometimes billed as 'Zebra Kid'  would get his due when he faced Whipper in a feud that would see Whipper collect another mask. Boxing champ Jack Dempsey served as a special referee and would help Watson forcibly remove the mask after a double count-out at MLG.

Under that one was George Bollas who would hang around a bit as 'George Bollas' or sometimes 'the unmasked Zebra.'

Bollas was famous all over the wrestling world both here and overseas as the Zebra/Zebra Kid. In late 1951 after being unmasked he attempted to re-don the mask for a bout in Niagara Falls but was ordered by promoter Sam Sobel to remove it before wrestling.

In those years there were a bunch of other masked wrestlers, some who got unmasked, among them Red Shadow (Leo Numa), Masked Wolf (John Grandovich), The Czar (Dick Lever), The Mummy (Pedro Martinez), and the simple Mr X (none other than Earl McCready). Both the Mummy and Mr X were actually unmasked by the masked Marvel/Lew Reynheer.

Yet another Masked Marvel came along in 1952 and was unmasked to reveal Frank Valois. The man who unmasked him? Another masked wrestler named Red Mask.                 

By 1953 there were several Red Mask's active both on the major MLG circuit and on the smaller independent shows in and around Toronto.

The MLG one got a shot at NWA champ Lou Thesz who unmasked him to reveal Dutch Hefner. There was even a Red Mask on the small auto racing circuit here taking advantage of the Red Mask angles on the various shows at the time.

Others active on the circuit from the 1930's to the 1950's included Purple Mask (said to be 'Wild' Bill Longson), The Red Demon (unmasked in Oshawa in 1947 as 'Red' O'Malley), another Unknown (unmasked in Oshawa in 1950 as Hamiltonian Abe Zvonkin), Red Devil, The Hooded Mask, more Masked Marvels, and several Mr X's .

In 1955 a Mr X was wrestling in Red Garner's Richmond Hill/Thornhill (just North of Toronto) based CCWA.

One bout offered the fans a chance to predict who was under the mask (if he lost) to win $10 and a season pass to the wrestling events held at the Thornhill Market that year. He kept it but lost it in a later bout to reveal Harry Szaley.

The Great Bolo was another that saw action in many areas. We had one in 1959 unmasked by Whipper Watson to reveal Al Lovelock.

The most well known of the 'Bolo's' Lovelock would work the  gimmick all over the territories during his career. There were other Bolo's around the region too in that era.

Pat Flanagan vs The Zebra
in Oshawa 1951
Whipper Watson closed out the 1950's by unmasking the Great Bolo in 1959 to reveal Al Lovelock under the mask. In 1961 he would add to his collection unmasking the Black Terror with Laverne Baxter underneath.

Baxter had wrestled here briefly in the early 1950's as Vern Baxter and had arrived on the scene as Black Terror in March 1961.

In 1962 there was The Great Kudo with veteran Red Garner under the mask. He ran his own promotion (CCWA) for many years in the smaller towns mostly North of Toronto.

As Kudo he had a feud with Bruno Sammartino. When Bruno returned with the WWWF Title Kudo was his first title defense here in 1964. Kudo was handled by Sam Sullivan and Garner would run the gimmick on his circuit shows around the area.

In June 1966 a new masked man appeared on the scene, the first of the Destroyers. In Jan 1964 he was finally unmasked by Johnny Valentine to reveal Joe Christie. Christie had worked around the territories both as the Destroyer and as a Masked Marvel. He appeared in Toronto prior as Christie and again after he was unmasked.

Valentine would collect another mask in May 1964 from the Mighty Hercules. The bout with special ref Bobby Bruns ended when Valentine had Hercules caught up in the ropes and ripped his mask off before a brainbuster and pin.

Hercules said that because he wasn't pinned first as per the terms of the contract he was under no obligation to identify himself. Fans were calling him Bobby Graham while Bruns said he would have guessed it was Hans Schnabel but then remarked 'But no, Schnabel would be about my (Bruns) age,'

Of the many unmaskings at MLG this was the only one not officially named but was likely Graham who plied his trade all over the wrestling world under several different names including Mighty Hercules.

Kudo 1962
Whipper was back at it in 1966, this time with his former rival, now tag partner Bulldog Brower. They were feuding with a masked team the Masked Yankees and the bout was a Survivor match with no countouts or dq's and falls count anywhere. Added stipulation was that if Whip and Brower lost Whipper would retire. If the Yankees lost they would unmask.

The good guys prevailed and unmasked after Whip had pinned one of the Yankees and he didn't get back up after the one minute count afforded between falls. The card was held at the outdoor Maple Leaf Stadium with the ring over home plate where they said 'the baseball catchers regularly unmask.'

Bob Stanlee and Moose Evans were under the masks. Stanlee had been here as Big Bob Stanlee and was a wrestling brother to Mr America Steve Stanlee who was a popular star here in the 1950's and early 1960's.

Moose Evans had never wrestled here before coming in as a Yankee. The two teams would have a re-match and the team now dubbed 'Unmasked Yankees' was to leave the area if they lost. They did and disappeared from the scene.

1966 saw the Caped Crusader hit the area sometimes accompanied by Wonder Boy. This was the Batman gimmick taking advantage of the success of the TV show. They dressed as Batman and Robin but were billed as Caped Crusader and Wonder Boy to get around the legalities.

Tony Marino was the Crusader and used the same gimmick in the US as Battman, two t's. Assume he was also the 'Masked Crusader' just after the pair departed. John Foti was the Wonder Boy. He had wrestled here as far back as 1956 while Marino debuted here in 1960.

The Assassin appeared on the scene in 1967. He was later joined by another for a short time, billed as  'Assassins' I and II or the Masked Assassins.

Masked Yankees
The Assassin was a mainstay on the scene for the next several years. In 1971 he met The Sheik in the middle of Sheik's five year unbeaten streak and was unmasked.

Under the mask was Guy Mitchell, a graduate of the Hamilton scene and Spittles and Wentworth's gyms. Mitchell was an 'Assassin' prior in the WWA and would later be known as 'Gentleman' Jerry Valiant.

The feud he had with Sheik was a heel-heel and after the unmasking Mitchell would stay on as 'The Stomper' or Guy 'The Stomper' Mitchell. After a prolonged absence he came back as Valiant in the WWF days.

The Assassin gimmick returned in the early 1980's on Dave McKigney's circuit with various wrestlers under the mask. Tunney regulars Brian 'Silent' Macnee and Tim Gerrard were two of them.

The Executioner was a regular in the early 1970's. He was never unmasked but was likely mostly Ernie Moore under the mask. Another Hamilton area star, he saw success in the Buffalo/Cleveland based NWF in the early 1970's. As 'Ernie Moore' he wrestled mostly on the smaller circuit cards around Southern Ontario.

Later on during the Sheik streak 'The Crusader' showed up for his try and after losing was unmasked as Dewey Robertson.

Dewey was another homegrown star who at one time was primed by Whipper to be the next big star. He had wrestled here regularly since 1967 before becoming The Crusader in 1974. Once unmasked he would sometimes go by 'Crusader' Robertson and soon teamed with Billy Red Lyons as 'The Crusaders.'

The Crusaders would dominate the tag scene for a time with a long feud with the Love Brothers. The fans knew who they were and they were often billed with their regular names and wrestled unmasked as well.

Another frequent tag rival the Kelly Twins, Pat and Mike would later don masks on McKigney's circuit in 82-83 as 'The Destroyers.'

Around the same time we saw the masked El Santos I and El Santos II on Geroge Cannon's Superstars as well as at MLG.. They wore checkerboard white and black masks and outfits and were mostly played by Terry Yorkston and Duncan McTavish.

They occasionally used the El Santos gimmick on McKigney's circuit in the early 80's as well.

When Tunney was using the AWA stars in 1977-78 we had the Super Destroyers I and II both as a team and solo.

Under the masks were Don Jardine and a pre-Sgt Bob Slaughter. Jardine had wrestled here early in his career as Don 'Babyface' Jardine, another of Whipper Watson's prospects. He had later become The Spoiler but never used that masked persona here.

Slaughter was Super Destroyer II and they were accompanied by manager Lord Alfred Hayes. They had a good creepy look going, kind of like the villain in the Scream movies.
Assassin vs Brower 1968

One of the best wrestlers of the Mid Atlantic era was the Masked Superstar. He was a regular here from 1980 - 1983 as Superstar and had appeared here previously as part of the Mongol's team (not masked). He returned in the WWF days as part of Demolition (makeup no masks) and appeared in the Frank Tunney Tag Tournament they held in 1987.

For a time in 1980 he was joined by Masked Superstar II. He would lose his mask to Blackjack Mulligan revealing John Studd. Studd had wrestled as the masked Executioner in the WWWF but not here. He would stay on to feud with Blackjack over the next several years and would hold our Canadian Title in 1981

When Dick Beyer returned in 1979 after a long absence (last wrestled here in 1961) as The Destroyer, he added 'Original, Sensational, Intelligent..' to the name. Not to be confused with the previous versions. He was here regularly through the M-A era.

Crusader Robertson
Near the end of the NWA days we had the Assassins. They had been huge stars in the U.S. with original members Jody Hamilton and Tom Renesto. By this time Hamilton had been teaming with various others after Renesto had retired.

In a hair vs mask bout Jimmy Valiant won over an Assassin and he was unmasked as Ray 'Hercules' Hernandez. Around the same time there was the 'Grapplers' Len Denton and Tony Anthony. They would be the last in the NWA days

Thanks to Roger Baker and Gary Will
See also Gary Will's TWH: Unmasked! -- Wrestlers who lost their masks in Toronto

Thursday, October 31, 2019

Unmasked! -- Wrestlers who lost their masks in Toronto : Gary Will's TWH

Masked wrestlers in Toronto date back to the first appearance of the area's first Masked Marvel in 1932. More than 20 wrestlers lost their masks in the ring in Toronto:

36/06/18   The UnknownHal RumbergJim McMillen
38/09/29Masked MarvelTed CoxMayes McLain
41/11/27Masked WolfJohn GrandovichThe Angel
43/08/12Red ShadowLeo NumaWild Bill Longson
44/01/05The CzarDick LeverBobby Managoff
48/01/08The MummyPedro MartinezMasked Marvel
49/01/27Mr. XEarl McCreadyMasked Marvel & tag partners
49/02/17Masked MarvelLew ReynheerWhipper Billy Watson
51/02/22Masked ManagerMayes McLainWhipper Billy Watson
51/08/30Masked MarvelLou NewmanThe Zebra
51/11/29The ZebraGeorge BollasWhipper Billy Watson
52/12/26Masked MarvelFrank ValoisRed Mask
53/06/11Red MaskDutch HefnerLou Thesz
59/06/04Great BoloAl LovelockWhipper Billy Watson
61/05/25Black TerrorLaverne BaxterWhipper Billy Watson
64/01/16The DestroyerJoe ChristieJohnny Valentine
64/05/06Mighty Herculesnot identifiedJohnny Valentine
66/07/10Masked Yankee DandyBob StanleeWhipper Watson/Bulldog Brower
66/07/10Masked Yankee Doodle   Moose EvansWhipper Watson/Bulldog Brower
71/07/11Masked AssassinGuy MitchellThe Sheik
74/04/07The CrusaderDewey Robertson   The Sheik
80/05/25Masked Superstar #2John StuddBlackjack Mulligan
84/04/15AssassinRay HernandezJimmy Valiant

Four Masked Marvels were unmasked in Toronto, but the first one -- the one from 1932 -- never was. It was said to be Al Getzewich, who was unmasked later that year in Ottawa by Strangler Lewis.

The later versions of the Masked Marvel were sometimes called The Mask, as in the ad at right. That's for the August 30, 1951 show where Zebra unmasked The Mask and revealed him to be Vancouver's Lou Newman.

The Mighty Hercules from 1964 was said to be Bobby Graham in the papers, but he was the only one who was not formally identified after having his mask removed.

-by Gary Will 

Canadian Ratings WAYLI 1953

Interesting combined Canadian rankings by Barry Lloyd Penhale from a Jan 1954 issue of Wrestling As You Like It mag. Much of it is centered around the Toronto scene and Kasaboski's Northland Wrestling for the Junior heavyweights.

Bob Gregory and The Princess come to Toronto 1938

Originally posted June 2017

In Jan 1938 wrestler Bob Gregory arrived at New York with his new bride Valerie Brooke the former Princess Baba, said to be heading for their 'Hollywood honeymoon' with a plan to launch a film career for Gregory.

The whole story has similarities to the 'wrestling world' even if Gregory had not been a wrestler.

Gregory, an English light-heavyweight had married the daughter of Sir Charles Vyner Brooke, the white Rajah of Sarawak- of Borneo. The trip also marked the introduction of Gregory to his brides mother the Rani of Sarawak who claimed to be pleased of the nuptials although Gregory's manager said that it took 2 hours to persuade her to meet her new son-in-law.

Although her mother had previously expressed displeasure she now denied any problem on her part by proclaiming 'There was no opposition on my part, or my husbands to this marriage. Bob is so good looking he looks more like a boxer than one of these gorilla wrestlers. He should have taken up boxing.' 

The year previous when they had been married the Star covered it and quoted the princess's father as saying they wouldn't like him 'even if he was a good wrestler.'

Upon departure in New York, when the bride was asked about the then 26 year old Gregorys' wrestling career continuing, she replied with a quick 'No.'

On Feb 14 they arrived in Montreal via Boston and Gregory would wrestle Les Ryan in the semi-final of a card which had a main of Danno O'Mahoney vs Yvon Robert. Mrs Gregory was to present the championship belt to the winner (Robert) of the big bout.

Their next stop was Toronto for the Feb 17 MLG card with the main to be champ Robert vs Vic Christie with Gregory as special referee for the bout. Robert, who was the World Champ (Montreal) would win the bout and be awarded (again) a new championship belt by the young Mrs Gregory. This title became a Toronto World Title for a short time.

The day after the Toronto bout in the Star, Gregory wrote up his own take of the bout calling it the 'fastest bout I've ever seen.' The bout which had no time limit actually went 1 hr 15 min before Robert used a rolling short-arm scissor to force Christie to submit. 

Joe Perlove wrote the long form results recap and said Robert was presented with a $7,500 belt by the beautiful Princess. Perlove, in his usual manner said he was rather disappointed with Gregory. Not for his refereeing, but with all the stories of his athletic prowess he fully expected Gregory to separate the wrestlers by 'flinging them into the blue seats using only the thumb and index finger of each hand.'

Apart from all of this Gregory had another tie to the Toronto mat scene. He had appeared in a few movies in the UK and one of those the 1937 film 'The Rat' also had one of Gregory's wrestling traveling partners. Our own Whipper Watson, who was doubling for star Anton Walbrook. Watson, of course was wrestling in the UK at the time where he would meet and marry his wife Eileen and bring her back to Canada with him. Our own 'Prince and Princess.'

Gregory would continue to wrestle a bit around the U.S at least up to about 1946 but would never set foot again in a Canadian ring as far as I can see. His pal Whipper would continue to ply his trade in the UK set to return to Toronto rings in 1940.Gregory had also teamed in England with Northland Wrestling stalwart Herb Parks.

They would continue to appear in the local press with one photo of the two lounging at at a California pool said to be planning to buy an island for Gregory to become Rajah. 'What with?' asked the mother of the princess. 

In July 1938 an item had the brides father formally declaring his three daughters were no longer Princesses. Another daughter married a Jazz musician. No wrestler but still...

If you google Gregory and his princess there are some very informative (and entertaining) articles on the two and her family.

Wednesday, October 30, 2019

Dino Bravo in Mid-Atlantic - from the Gateway

I really enjoyed this 3 part series on the M-A Gateway looking at Dino Bravo's Memorable Mid-Atlantic TV Debut.

Dino would later become the first modern Canadian heavyweight champion in Toronto in 1978.
The link is to Part 3 make sure to read Parts 1 and 2 first- linked in there. Enjoy !

Dino Bravo's Memorable Mid-Atlantic TV Debut- Mid-Atlantic Gateway

Thursday, October 24, 2019

The East-West Connection

  It was Jan 1982 and Maple Leaf Gardens was abuzz with anticipation for the first area appearance of the East-West Connection. Adrian Adonis had previously appeared here as' Keith Franks' back in 1975-76 while tag partner Jesse Ventura would be making his first appearance.

  Though it was to be my first time seeing them in person they were already one of my favorite tag teams. Their bouts with Gagne & Brunzell in the AWA over the tag titles was a constant on the Winnipeg TV we got here.

  They would take on the 'Italian Connection',  local favorites Dom Denucci and Tony Parisi. A very entertaining bout with the good guys frustrating the heels with a barrage of ring tricks. Adonis would eventually pull the tights for the pin and ref Terry Yorkston would award the victory to the former tag champs.

 We didn't know it yet but both Adonis & Ventura had just moved to the WWF  under the managerial tutelage of Freddie Blassie. They were mostly wrestling solo and Adonis in particular would give Backlund some tough matches. The following night after their MLG debut Adonis was in Madison Square Garden beating the stuffing out of Backlund when the ref stopped the bout due to excessive blood loss of the champ.

  Toronto promoter Frank Tunney would also make the trip to MSG the next day appearing in the ring alongside Vince Sr., WWF President Hisashi Shima, and then NWA President Jim Crockett Jr. as they made an announcement about an upcoming  tournament to take place in Japan.

  Adonis & Ventura were both scheduled for the Cadillac Tournament to be held two weeks later but it was snowed out. They eventually had it in March and both would return for the tourny. Adonis lost his first round matchup to Ricky Steamboat while Ventura fared better beating Mike Rotundo, then Johnny Weaver, before losing to Jimmy Valiant in the finals.

  It was unfortunate for the fans that we didn't get to see more of them at the time especially as a team. Both would return post 1984 in the WWF days and appear fairly regularly. Still, Adonis will be forever connected locally as the tragic crash that took his life also claimed our own Dave McKigney and Pat Kelly.

Sunday, October 20, 2019

Top Drawing Matches 1978-1984

In continuation of Gary Will's Top-drawing-matches-year-by-year-1929-1977

We get a lot of inquiries about attendance. In Toronto there were eras when attendance looked to be honestly reported by the office or MLG* In others it appears the reporter doing the write-up either estimated or went by what he was told by the office, and other times when there were no figures reported at all.
*Maple Leaf Gardens as a whole was covered in different eras breaking down attendance for different sports and events.

Those times when it was reported we could assume they were mostly correct or close, especially if we were there. Still there were a lot of 10,000 and 12,000 and 15,000 even type numbers not reflective of an actual attendance figure.

From what was reported- and what I have available -the following were the best drawing cards of each year 1978-1984. Some were reported in the paper, others in the bulletins. If you can add or correct please do. MLG unless noted.

02/05 1978 Att: 11,000
AWA TITLE: Nick Bockwinkel W Chief Jay Strongbow
Angelo Mosca WDQ Chief Peter Maivia
Ken Patera DCOR Dusty Rhodes
The Crusaders W Chris Tolos/Dan Johnston
Mil Mascaras WP Terry Yorkston
Stan Stasiak D Waldo Von Erich
Sweet Daddy Siki D The Wildman
Butcher Vachon D Duncan MacTavish
Lord Alfred Hayes WP Steve Bolus

12/30 1979 Att: 14,000+
WWWF TITLE: Bob Backlund WP Pat Patterson
Jimmy Snuka/Ray Stevens W Ric Flair/Dewey Robertson
Andre the Giant W Destroyer/Brute Bernard
Johnny Weaver WSleep Frank Monte
Billy Red Lyons WP John Bonello
Sweet Daddy Siki WP John Forsythe

02/10 1980 Att: 16,973
CANADIAN TITLE: Dewey Robertson W Destroyer
US TITLE: Jimmy Snuka LDQ Ric Flair
TEXAS STREET FIGHT: Blackjack Mulligan W Big John Studd
Pedro Morales W Brute Bernard
Blue Demons W Klondike Bill/Nick DeCarlo
Chris Tolos W Ricky Johnson

11/15/1981 Att: 16,000 [50th Anniversary Show]
NWA TITLE: Ric Flair W Harley Race
Andre the Giant DDQ Killer Kahn
CANADIAN TITLE: John Studd LCOR Angelo Mosca
TV TITLE: Outlaw Ron Bass W Mike Miller
Johnny Weaver W Charlie Fulton
Tony Parisi/Mike Davis W Doug Vines/Izzy Slapowitz

08/22 1982 Att: 15,119 
WWF TITLE, STEEL CAGE: Bobby Backlund W Jimmy Snuka
Andre the Giant WP Big John Studd
MID-ATLANTIC TAG TEAM TITLE, 2/3 FALLS: Ricky Steamboat/Jay Youngblood W Pvt. Kernodle/Pvt. Nelson to win title
Paul Jones W Mysterious Ninja
Johnny Weaver W Alec Girard
Tony Parisi WP Ken Timbs

07/10 1983 Att: 20,000 + [Night of Champions @ Exhibition Stadium}
NWA TITLE: Harley Race WDQ Ric Flair
CANADIAN TITLE: Angelo Mosca W One Man Gang
US TITLE: Greg Valentine DCOR Wahoo McDaniel
TV TITLE: Great Kabuki W Jimmy Valiant
NWA TAG TEAM TITLE: Ricky Steamboat/Jay Youngblood W Dory Funk Jr/Jake Roberts
WOMEN'S TITLE: Fabulous Moolah W Princess Victoria
Johnny Weaver/Mike Rotundo W Alec Girard/Tim Gerrard
Sgt. Jacques Goulet/Kelly Kiniski W Bob Marcus/Joe Marcus
Nick DeCarlo/Billy Ryan W The Executioner/Mike Armstrong
* few different attendances reported 14,000-20,000

02/12 1984 Att: 17,700 
NWA TITLE:STEEL CAGE; Ric Flair W Harley Race
Jimmy Valiant/Dusty Rhodes WCOR Assassins
Terry Kay/Rudy Kay W Johnny Weaver/Billy Red Lyons
NORTH AMERICAN TITLE: Leo Burke W Vinny Valentino
Buddy Hart W J.J. Dillon
Swede Hanson W John Bonello
Kurt Von Hess D Joe Marcus

July 1984 marks the end of the NWA days in Toronto. The Feb 12 1984 card still held the top spot through the year.

In July 1985 they hit 18,000 at MLG for the first time in 22 years with a Hulk Hogan vs John Studd main, pretty much full to the rafters. We may look at the WWF years in a future post. 

Tuesday, October 15, 2019

MLG Footage - January 17, 1957

Thanks to Jon Boucher  Twitter @jon_boucher who scored a kinescope print reel on e-bay and converted it for all fans to share !

Billy Red Lyons vs Baron Gattoni
Bill & Ed Miller vs Pat Flanagan & Ken Kenneth
Edouard Carpentier vs Steve Stanlee
The tag bout in the middle and the main are not included.

Note from Roger Baker
      Thanks for the wonderful wrestling memorabilia that took place at M.L.G. so long ago, I remember all of the participants. Phil Lisner, refs Bert Maxwell, Cliff Worthy, Bunny Dunlop,and old friend Joe Gollub. How I remember sitting at times with announcer Jerry Hiff at the ring side table, however always keeping my eyes on what was going on.

As for the wrestlers on this card, Carpentier, Billy Red Lyons, Baron Gattoni who I saw previously on TV from Buffalo, Ed and Bill Miller, Steve Stanlee, our own mule kicking Pat Flanagan.

I may very well have been in attendance for this show ,not sure. Was probably a ticket holding fan, possibly a year away from becoming a roaming wrestling reporter.