Tuesday, October 11, 2016

1952 Camp Borden

Camp Borden, a Canadian Armed Forces base just outside Barrie, ON has seen occasional wrestling shows dating back to the 1930's. In 1952 Tunney's office presumably with Tommy Nelson at the forefront added Barrie to its circuit after observing success in the area from both Larry Kasaboski and Red Garner's promotions.

Former Boxing champ Jack Dempsey would appear on the first Barrie show in May as special ref for a card  featuring a main of Whipper Watson vs Tarzan Zorro.  'Featuring the stars of Maple Leaf Gardens' would figure prominently on the ads to help bring in the fans.

Prior to the start of the season in Barrie, the 'stars of MLG' would appear on some shows held at Camp Borden. Under the auspices of the RCAC Athletic Club, the wrestlers would appear alongside amateurs. They would also run shows later in nearby Collingwood.

Tunney's stars though did not get the welcome they expected. The small time fans seemed to enjoy the Northland stars and Garner's faster action and before long both groups were back around the area promoting cards. Garner appeared to have an 'understanding' with Tunney but Kasaboski ran direct opposition throughout the decade earning a spot on Tunney's seldom seen 'bad side'.

I'll have more on the Barrie battle and other spots where Kasaboski and Tunney faced off - in a future post
Enjoy the Camp Borden clips and Barrie below.