Tuesday, April 3, 2018

Jay Youngblood 1982

Covered in Ninja's green mist but still the victor in an Indian strap match

Jay Youngblood earned his spot in Toronto wrestling history teaming with Ricky Steamboat in some big bouts here but he would also prove himself in solo bouts at MLG and around the region. 

He appeared on that first card in Oct 1978 that featured the M-A stars and with his exciting style would forge a connection with the fans here over the next few years. He first teamed with Tony Atlas and later with Johnny Weaver in a good teacher/student type team.

He and Weaver would actually face off in a rare partner vs partner bout in our Cadillac Tournament in Mar 1982. They were matched up as a result of the 'tourny seeding' with Weaver getting the decision in a good bout.

When taking on the big stars at MLG Youngblood would seldom win but would put up a good fight. Tough bouts vs Sgt Slaughter and Greg Valentine stand out. He would shine a bit on the outside circuit in St Catherines, Kitchener, Hamilton etc where he would get a better bout and some main events, and create some excitement in the smaller arenas.

His feud in 1982 vs Ninja and manager Gene Anderson was memorable, culminating in an Indian Strap Match where he touched all 4 corners for a big win.

In Ottawa he got a shot at AWA champ Nick Bockwinkel and shortly thereafter won the Canadian Title beating the Destroyer (Beyer) in the final of a mini-tourny in June 1982.

They shelved that run when he came back with Steamboat to battle the Privates and Sgt Slaughter. That feud which ended with Youngblood and Steamboat winning the NWA tag titles in a cage remains one of the most remembered angles of the era here.

His last bout here was again in a Canadian title tourney in Apr 1984 which also featured his brother Mark. Jay bowed out to the Grappler #1 while Mark beat Grappler #2 in the tourney which Ivan Koloff won. 

In 1982 he was peeking out of the curtain and fans called to him and he came out and stood for a moment while a bunch of us took a photo, seemed a bit embarrassed by all the attention.