Saturday, September 29, 2018

Whip vs Togo in Oshawa 1953

"Used to be a time when people were happy to see three good fights. I remember three shows at the old Oshawa Arena where Whipper Billy Watson and The Great Togo brought brought in 10,000 people and boy was it hot in couldn't breathe" -Pat Milosh 1985 reflecting on Oshawa wrestling history 

During his feud with The Great Togo in Oshawa in 1953 Whipper let his emotions get the better of him and attacks Togo with a chair 'that cut him for 11 stitches.'  The feud helps revitalize Oshawa Wrestling setting attendance records with a high of 3500+ to see the third bout in the series on July.

The match-up was so popular they came back in August for a 2 card series

Two of the five bouts didn't have attendance listed but would guess they all had close to the same attendance possibly with the exception of the first bout that set it on fire. The feud not the Arena. The Oshawa Arena did in fact burn down on the day of the final wrestling card a few months later. More on that in another post.

The entire year would prove to be successful for the young promoter. Even with ticket prices increasing 25c the fans would come out in droves to make Wrestling the most popular sport in Oshawa.

Average attendance in previous years was 500-1,500 with occasional spikes. The 1953 season of 21 cards may have drawn 40-50,000. Ten shows were reported totaling 25,000 while the other 11 didn't list but had 'Good crowd', 'Legions of fans' etc. Lots of good cards and lots of Whipper. Gorgeous George was in too in June drawing 2,750 fans.

Main photo is from June 23 1953

Below are Oshawa promoter Pat Milosh interacting with Togo in front of-and behind- the scenes
and two recaps from the paper, one using the Main Photo above.

Milosh getting into the action

Milosh and Togo

53/06/23 Oshawa, ON Oshawa Arena
B-E Title: Whipper Watson D The Great Togo
*Ref calls a draw, Watson goes berserk and hits Togo with a chair

53/07/07 Oshawa, ON Oshawa Arena (Att: 3000 * Largest crowd to date in Oshawa)
The Great Togo W/DQ Whipper Watson

53/07/14 Oshawa, ON Oshawa Arena (Att: 3527 * Largest crowd to date in Oshawa)
Whipper Watson W The Great Togo

53/08/18 Oshawa, ON Oshawa Arena
Whipper Watson W The Great Togo

53/08/25 Oshawa, ON Oshawa Arena (Att; 3000)
Whipper Watson W/COR The Great Togo

Pic from Jul 7 bout 

Main picture as used in the paper