Thursday, March 23, 2017

Canadian Wrestling Newspaper 1972-1973

I have two editions of this professional well put together newspaper type pub,

It was published out of Thornhill and had photos and reports from both Tunney and Wildman shows and one report from the CHIN picnic show summer 1973. They had a bit of advertising including the high profile Molson Breweries so had some connections.

I don't recognize any of the names, one of the stories is by 'Eddie Haskell' so  thought maybe Rudy of the CWR had something to do with it as the photos and content are similar to what they were covering but he said he didn't so ...

Unsure how many issues they put out but the Fall 73 issue has an ad for the first issue. That's the other one I have Fall 72 so may just be the two. If you you have any others or any info please drop me a line.

Wednesday, March 22, 2017

Verne Gagne in Ontario

Verne Gagne didn't wrestle much in Toronto but holds a place in our wrestling history both locally and across Ontario.

In his prime he was one of the most respected of the 'real' wrestlers, held in high regard alongside peer Lou Thesz. While Thesz came to Toronto regularly Verne made considerably less appearances at MLG.

Verne had appeared up in Fort William Ontario (later Thunder Bay) as well as in Ottawa  through 1958 but first came to MLG in October 1958 to face Karl Kulaski and returned 2 cards later to face Al Alberto.

In a write up a week prior to his first appearance it had him set to meet Gene Kiniski which would have been a big bout had it happened.

In the results recap for the second bout vs Alberto Verne was described as 'Balding Verne Gagne.' Ouch. It also said he had the whole hearted approval of the multitude (of fans) before making Alberto submit to his claw hold (arm scissors type finisher).

His next appearance in Toronto would be almost 20 years later in November 1977.

In the meantime he had started the AWA and stayed mostly around Minnesota although they (AWA) did make a few stops in Kenora and Thunder Bay in Northern Ontario due to the proximity to AWA territory.

Frank Tunney stopped using The Sheik in summer 1977 and switched to using the top tier guys of the AWA to fill out the cards here. Verne returned to Toronto on the second card to feature the AWA stars to face El Santos (local masked heel, likely MacTavish or Yorkston).

He would appear four more times through 1978 when Tunney switched to the Mid-Atlantic stars.

For a time Verne tried promoting in Ottawa in 1980 using Dino Bravo on top not long after Dino had been Tunney's top man here. They didn't draw very well but must have made enough of an impression that Tunney returned to Ottawa not long after.

pic below clip has Verne on the MLG ramp after being attacked by Super Destroyer  in Aug 1978 with son Greg and Jim Brunzell coming to his rescue.

Thursday, March 16, 2017

Wrestling Schools

A few ads of the local wrestling 'schools' from the 70's.

Whipper Jr was the most active , he also ran shows around Ontario, if you search the blog there are some items. He had a few trainees that were active, Mario Ferriera from our era and later Bloody Bill Skullion 2 of the more notable. Pic below the ad is Jr' in the ring demonstrating some moves.

Dewey Robertson also had a 'school' in Burlington. Tim Gerrard described wrestling on a mat on the ground, no ring, and learning 'how to sell.' Tim trained along with Rick Bolton, Big John Orlick, and others.

Back in the early days of MLW in the 1950's they kept the ring in the MLG basement and Whipper Sr, Fred Atkins , Pat Flanagan, and others would teach the new guys the ropes.  Atkins of course was a notable teacher and fitness trainer back in the day.

If you have an ad for Dewey's 'school' please send it over !

this one isn't local but was Johnny Powers

this one is from 1956, just up the street from MLG , not sure who 'Mr Ontario' was

Friday, March 3, 2017

Titles in Toronto 1922 - 1984

Pro Wrestling is a game of titles, most every wrestler in the classic era held a title of some sort somewhere sometime. Below is a list of Title's that were defended in Toronto

Many wrestlers used old or fictitious title claims for billing purposes. Fred Atkins in his early days here was Australian champ, Carlos Rocha was the Portuguese champ, Emile Dupree billed as Maritimes champ and many, many more. For the purpose of this list I just listed those titles that were defended and officially recognized.

First batch is Toronto's own under Corcoran-Tunney

If I missed any let me know

Canadian Title : 1922-1941
World Title (Toronto) : 1938-1939
British Empire Title (Toronto) : 1941-1967
Canadian Open Tag Team Titles (Toronto) : 1952-1961
International Tag Titles (Toronto) : 1961-1977
U.S. Title (Toronto) : 1962-1973
North American Title (Toronto) 1973
U.S. Title (Toronto) : 1974-1977
Canadian Heavyweight Title (Toronto) : 1978-1984
Canadian TV Title (Toronto) : 1982-1984
North American Title (Toronto) : 1982-1984

World Title : 1929- 1947
NWA (Alliance) World Title : 1949-1984
WWWF/WWF Title : 1964-1982
Womens World Title :1971-1983
NWA Junior Heavyweight Ttitle : 1972
North American Title (Big Bear) : 1974-1983
AWA World Title : 1977-1982
AWA Tag Titles : 1977-1979
AWA British Empire Heavyweight Title : 1978
U.S. Title (Mid Atlantic) : 1978-1983
NWA Tag Titles : 1979-1983
NWA/MID ATLANTIC TV Title : 1979-1983
International Tag Titles (Japan Stars Tour) : 1980
Mid Atlantic Heavyweight Title : 1981-1983
Mid Atlantic Tag Titles :1981-1982
North American Tag Titles (Big Bear) 1983
Intercontinental Title (WWF) : 1983