Saturday, January 12, 2019

Misc. Roger Baker Photos II: Classic Photos

More fabulous Roger Baker photos from MLG. 

Giant Baba towers over Johnny Valentine in 1964. Baba debuted at MLG in '63 under the tutelage of Fred Atkins. 

Bulldog Brower tend to fallen tag partner Sweet Daddy Siki in 1962 while Whipper and ref Tiger Tasker stand by. Brower and Siki had a good run as a team winning the International Tag Titles.

Roger catches the acrobatic Edouard Carpentier in flight against Stan Stasiak in 1966. Years later when I saw him Carpentier was still a very mobile and exciting wrestler. 

Gene Kiniski faces off with Lord Athol Layton in 1961. All business.

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Saturday, January 5, 2019

Misc. Roger Baker Photos: Classic Photos

Some favorite Roger Baker photos from Maple Leaf Gardens

Chris and John Tolos 1962. Ref Billy Stack at right. As a team the Tolos' MLG career spanned 1957-1970.

Carlos Rocha on the ramp in 1972. Maple Leaf Gardens filled wall to wall and to the top of the Greys.  The floor too almost completely covered with chairs goal line to goal line. 18,000 fans. They did that 3 times within a month. Announcer Jerry Hiff awaits. 

Waldo Von Erich lets loose on Bruno Sammartino in 1965. Waldo challenged Bruno here 4 times and many more times in the U.S.

Al 'Bunny' Dunlop raises Bobo Brazil's arm. Dunlop was another of Frank's long time inner circle with a career spanning 5 decades in the Toronto scene

Whipper Watson vs Duke Keomuka 1961 with another long time wrestler/ref Al 'Krusher' Korman. 
Keomuka is the father of the AWA's Pat Tanaka. 

Wednesday, January 2, 2019

PHOTOS: Dory Funk Jr. defends NWA title: 1973; Gary Will's TWH

PHOTOS: Dory Funk Jr. defends NWA title: 1973

On February 11, 1973, Dory Funk Jr. successfully defended the NWA world heavyweight title at Maple Leaf Gardens against challenger Johnny Valentine.

A good portion of the match consisted of Valentine holding Funk in a front face-lock, but February 11 would turn out not to be Valentine's day, as Funk would come back to win the match in 28:12. Reported attendance was 14,000. The referee is Tiger Tasker.

You can see in the photos how the crowd lights would go out during the matches, leaving only the lights above the ring. You can also see the famous Gardens ramp in the background.

-by Gary Will