Sunday, November 26, 2017

Travels with the Canadian Title

From 1978 to 1984 we had the Toronto based 'Canadian Heavyweight Title' to be defended at MLG and around the area. The title was introduced after the departure of The Sheik and his 'U.S. Title' that had been the main championship here since 1974. Prior to that we had the other U.S. Title held by Johnny Valentine, Tiger Jeet Singh and others. That one ran from 1962 to 1972.

Yes a 'US Title was the number one spot in Toronto CANADA for all those years, that's pro wrestling.

To be fair we also had a British Empire championship (Canada was once part of the British Empire) that
was the big one in the 1940's and 1950's. Whipper Watson mostly held that one and continued to be billed as champ until about 1967 although it kind of fizzled out long before that.

Enter the Canadian Title in Oct 1978. Technically pro wrestling wise it traced its lineage back to 1922 and the days of George Walker and later Jack Taylor. We will look at Walker and Taylor in a future blog entry. Earl McCready also held it in the 1930's and again in 1941, if anyone was a 'real Canadian champ' it was him.

Our eras Canadian title would go back and forth between the faces (longer runs) and the heels (shorter runs) and would even travel a bit when in the hands of Dewey Robertson, Dino Bravo, and Angelo Mosca.

The first champ Dino Bravo would appear down in the Carolinas and Virginia where the Mid-Atlantic stars plied their trade and would end up appearing more there - than here.

MLG was only run about twice a month at that time and the local circuit had yet to come back to a fuller schedule so Bravo appeared in the South about 60 times compared to about 10 times here.

He wasn't always defending the title down South but did appear with the belt both on TV and in the arenas as well as a handful of title defences against the likes of Toronto enemy's Greg Valentine and Ric Flair. Bravo would remain a good guy in both areas while holding the title.

Dewey Robertson would also take the belt to the Carolinas where he would wrestle as a 'kinda bad guy', same style but more agressive and at times affiliated with Buddy Rogers who was back in the game first as a wrestler then as a manager.

Dewey would appear with the belt and also defend it in the South all the while staying the epitome of a good guy Canadian up here. He would appear in the South over 40 times while champ compared to 11 times here.

Angelo Mosca would put the most mileage on the Canadian Title during his reigns. While champ he would travel throughout the WWF territory from Hamburg TV Tapings through Philadelphia, Boston,  New York City, and the other stops on the Northeast circuit.

Mosca was still a vicious heel in WWF (he had turned here in the late 70's) challenging champ Bob Backlund, attacking Pat Patterson with a water pitcher (great angle!), and steamrolling over every other good guy in the area, all while being cheered here.

Tunney had also gone back to a fairly busy circuit around Toronto and Mosca was working the arenas around MLG on a regular schedule as well.

He didn't defend the title in WWF but did show up with it occasionally, By the time of his last reign he was now frequenting Florida, again as a heel and he would defend the belt in the Sunshine State.

He also would team in Florida with his Toronto arch-enemy John Studd to the surprise of many fans here (once the photos hit the Apter mags). All in all Mosca would appear well over 100 times elsewhere with about 35 appearances here while champ