Monday, September 30, 2019

New Book 'The Canadian Heavyweight Title: The Complete History 1978-1984'

Maple Leaf presents with design and layout by Dick Bourne of the Mid-Atlantic Gateway
Available now at the Mid Atlantic Gateway - Bookstore  and on Amazon 
14.95 U.S. & Canada. 126 pages black & white. Color cover

The Canadian Heavyweight Title - The Complete History 1978-1984
In 1978 as the Toronto territory was taking off with the young stars of Mid-Atlantic wrestling, promoter Frank Tunney introduced a local championship. That title, the first true local title in many years, was called the Canadian Heavyweight Title to be defended by the top star in Maple Leaf Wrestling.

The title drew from the earlier days of wrestling when the top Canadian wrestler would defend his laurels across the country and occasionally -the world.  From 1978 to 1984 the Canadian title would be defended in Toronto and the circuit towns– and around North America on occasion.

During those years locally known as ‘the Mid-Atlantic era’, the area was one of the most exciting and important territories in the wrestling world.  Frank was a long-time member of the NWA and was close to many of the major promoters including Vince McMahon Sr. (WWWF/WWF), Verne Gagne (AWA) and Jim Crockett Jr. (JCP)

Those relationships would ensure a steady diet of World champions and champions of different territories defending their titles in Toronto. Our Canadian championship would share the stage with those titles, our champions displaying their skills against the best in the world.

In this book we will take a look back at the emergence of the Canadian Title in Toronto. We will feature the champions and challengers. Dino Bravo, Greg Valentine, Dewey Robertson, Hossein the Arab, Angelo Mosca Sr. & Jr. Big John Studd, and more.

Join us as we go down memory lane and revisit the big cards, the tournaments, the beautiful title belt, and many other memorable slices of Maple Leaf Wrestling from 1978-1984.

Proud to be in the lineup! Check out all of Dick Bourne's fabulous books at

Friday, September 20, 2019

Memories of Toronto with Roger Baker: Sam Steamboat

Roger Baker sends along a great photo he took of Sam Steamboat being helped out at Maple Leaf Gardens in 1962. We were lucky to see his namesake Ricky Steamboat here during the Mid-Atlantic era and as Roger relates Sam was quite a wrestler too.

'Back in the late 50's early '60's a very popular Hawaiian wrestler made regular appearances at MLG. The fans recognized the exciting wrestling skills that were possessed by this newcomer to the Toronto scene.

Samual K. Mokuahi better known as Sam Steamboat was an American Professional wrestler whose career extended from the 1950's through to the 1970's

Steamboat wrestled mid card in Toronto in the early sixties and the fans who enjoyed his wrestling style had good reason, Steamboat was discovered and trained by the great Lou Thesz 

Steamboat patterned his wrestling style closely to that of Thesz, and to see him launch the Lou Thesz press was a visual treat.'


Steamboat is being helped by tag partner Jim Hady and long time Ref Cliff Worthy. Bert Maxwell looks on.

Thanks Roger!