Tuesday, July 28, 2020

Q&A Tim Gerrard Part II

Back in 2006 we did a feature on Tim that ran on Slam Wrestling. We spoke about his career in Toronto as a local fan turned wrestler at the height of the exciting Mid-Atlantic era. 

He later answered questions on the KM message board on a wide variety of subjects which have been compiled here. I usually found that the best wrestlers to interact with were the mid-stars, the enhancement talent, etc. They were more fan friendly and open. As you will read, Tim is very honest about his time in the business. The questions were posed by fans (names redacted) and in a few cases paraphrased. Note the answers are from a few years ago when discussing 'current' wrestling.

Tim went from wrestling animal types to working with them.
Tim Girouard Behaviour Therapist/Master Trainer  
Thanks to Tim for his participation


Part II

Q- Tim, you made a comment about the Shiek threatening to stab you in a dressing room....you can't leave us hanging on that one, whats the story ? And another question, when working the Sheik was the pay better considering the inevitable outcome ?

 Sheik vs Bobo , Cornwall, ON 1983 

So, Sheik threatens to stab me story.  Early in my career, I went to work for the Sheik in his territory for a short time.  Money was poor, trips long, stayed with the *Davidson Brothers in their apt in Toledo.   After a time of making no money, $25 a night, we finished in West Virginia on a Thursday night, and we drove back to Toledo.  We were off until Sunday, a show at Cobo.  I left Toledo on Thursday, drove back to Toronto and no showed Cobo and never returned.  I was told this happened to the Sheik regularly because of the pay.  Fast forward a couple of years, and I got inthe angle w Chris Colt and Phil Watson.  I worked some towns around S. Ontario for Bearman and it was in Belleville that the incident happened.   I was under the hood, the Assassin, and was getting ready to leave the dressing room to work w Phil and Chris noticed I wasn't wearing the belt.  He said that the last time they were in Belleville he won the belt, I'm not sure what the belt was now, so I better wear it as I was representing him in the match.  So as I'm being given the belt and putting in on, Sheik, who was getting ready fior his match which i guess was after ours, had his tape out and some scissors and was taping up, he piles in with is sarcastic nature, (he  had quite a ribbing nature about him, a real fun guy),  "Hey, take the belt.  We don't pay you but we give you belts !"  I unbuckled the belt and began to hand it to him saying,  "No thanks, I'll take the money !"  Well, I guess that touched a raw nerve with Sheik as he then began to curse me out.   He then stopped taping and with the scissors he pointed at me and said , 'You M -- Fer, smart ass son of a bitch.  I oughta stab you in the eye with these scissors you smart ass punk!"  I back tracked quickly telling him I was kidding, "Hey Sheik, I was just kidding man' and he went back to getting dressed.  I was a bit taken aback, not scared but wouldn't want to go up against him.  I worked a couple more shows and all was well.  All in all though, he was a nice guy, but a tough SOB !
*Rick and John Davidson were a big brother (twins) tag team on the Detroit/Cannon circuit

Q- What was Greg Valentine like? Any stories?

Greg was and probably still is, the most unemotional person I have ever seen.  I never saw him too high nor too low.  He didn’t get super excited nor super disappointed.   It would take a lot for him to finally belly laugh.  He had a very reserved  nature.  I remember hearing him, during a TV taping in Dundas, to say , ‘I’m a dumbass, to be in Dundas tonight” and he’d mutter this every now and then.  I know from talking with guys as Greg and I were both heels so we never worked together, that he was a bit stiff.  His forearms were and he worked ‘snug’ as we called it.  At times, from what I hear, not much ‘selling’ needed from one of his forearms.

Q-  You mentioned Ole Anderson...Always heard he was a very tough worker and an even tougher booker to work with. What were your thoughts on Ole and any memories and stories? 

Ole, I recall, only came up here once or twice.  He was the head booker at the time and he’d send  Gene or Johnny weaver to handle these shows.  *I had to pick him, Piper and Greg Valentine at a private hanger near Pearson as they came up on the private jet to work that night.  I remember the show started at 730 ant that’s about the time I picked them up. They were in the main events so there was time.  I remember the guys would say how cheap Ole was. He’d wear the same boots and clothes until they were rags.  In the car I remembered he would curse and swear a lot when talking.  It seemed a bit excessive.  He was very nice to me though.
*81/09/20 Maple Leaf Gardens 
Ric Flair/Wahoo McDaniel WDQ Ole Anderson/Roddy Piper  
Greg Valentine WP Jay Youngblood  

Q- Any stories on Dewey Robertson? 

Dewey owned actually 2 gyms in Burlington.  One I never saw, was large and he had a ring in the back  corner and would put on shows once a week.  He moved to Plains Rd and QEW, a much smaller gym , the one I learned in.  When I got in I heard stories or innuendo how Dewey wasn’t Mr. Clean as his gimmick was.  When I got involved, summer ’79,  he was already starting to make plans to go to the States and work the Charlotte territory.  His plan was to let others run the gym and he would come by when he was booked up here.  He worked in Charlotte and eventually closed the gym.  I know he worked mid card down there, never main event and my opinion is that he needed a fresh start when he moved territory.  From his biography, he then went to St. Louis who I heard was long trips low pay, that’s why guys never stuck around there too long.  Dewey changed it up when he went to Texas, The Missing Link was born.  Dewey was always a great technical wrestler, very light so I know working w him as the Link as he was called would have been easy.

Q- How well did you know Wahoo? Also any stories? 

I met Wahoo a few times, nice guy. I remember a story that Angelo told about when Wahoo was first getting into the business.  He was on a flight, fresh from the NFL team he played for, and there was a fellow making a bit of a ruckus.  Wahoo got up, went over and quashed the disturbance and the flight went on comfortably.  The pilot came out of the cabin soon after,  went over to Wahoo, thanked him for what he did and inquired as to Wahoo’s name.. Apparently without missing a beat, Wahoo extended his hand and said, ‘Ed  MacDaniel,, greatest Indian wrestler alive’ and went about his business.

Q- Any Bobo Brazil or Luis Martinez stories? 

Never met Bobo but heard stories of how he ‘protected’ his spot and actually wasn’t helpful to younger guys coming up. Don’t know if it was true but I heard it from more than one person.  Met Luis briefly at Bearmans shows.

Q- Were there any guys who didn’t get a push in their career that you felt would have been good mid card or even top guys. 

I thought Bobby Bass would have been great with a push.  He could talk and work and could make himself annoying as hell, even in real life (lol).  John Bonello would have been a great baby face as he had the persona down pat.  Bob Marcus, while a good worker, didn’t have the charisma as Bob Marcus that would make him a top guy.  Danny Johnston, if he worked more mainstream and not so much Dave would have been a fantastic heel.  He could play the part of a heel perfectly and had the look as well.  Nick DeCarlo was a good worker as well. Oh yes, and there’s me !   (ha, ha)

Q- Tim do you have a photo/program/memorabilia collection from your time in wrestling?

All I have is my wrestling gear, which I’ll probably be buried in.  Boots, tights from K&S in Ohio, and a long  black velvet robe with red satin interior I had custom made when I broke in.  I never kept anything I ever taped, because I was dumb and cheap.  When I was in the business, I also had a regular job.  I worked every other Saturday so I would set my VCR to tape Maple Leaf Wrestling, and after I watched it I taped over it.  All my taping was on 1 tape as I think I was *too cheap to buy more blank VCR tapes and too dumb to think any of this would matter years later.  It was only through the internet that I was able to get 2 tapes w me on them so my wife, whom I married after I left the business, would believe me rather than think I was some kind of freak with this gear.

Q- When you were working the Bearman/Sheik shows,  did either promotion have a policeman ? or would it even have been needed. Did any guys actually want to try each other or were most of the guys content to work and get paid.

At Dave or Zibs shows, there was no need for a 'policeman' if I understand what you're talking about.  These shows were the livelihood for Dave or Zib, so they were their own policemen. I really want to get across how the business worked. Because back then there were territories, the promoters ruled the roost.  If you were a s--thead or a s--t disturber, you didn't work, and therefore, made no money.  The territories were run by small business owners, if you think of it, and any opportunity to mess it up would cause all, the territories and the wrestler to lose money, and that's not the goal.  Money, making money ruled the business.

Q- You said the Iron Sheik was not truly a tough guy, but a lot of articles refer to him a s a legit wrestler with shooting credentials. I'm wondering what you meant.

Iron Sheik, or Kosrow as we knew him. sure was a real wrestler, but he was intimidated by the 'heat' he got.  The heat was, in the old days,  a real concern as the fans actually 'believed' that these guys were who their gimmicks were.   Fans could actually hurt and at times some may want to , the wrestlers and this could be scary.   Being tough in the ring, a great 'wrestler' had nothing to do with being afraid or intimidated by the heat.  Heat meant money, but heat also could be intimidating. 

Here's another story, at a show where the Iron Sheik was in the main event, probably with Mosca. During the evening, Greg Valentine asked if I was going to the 'hotel' after the show.  I said I was, and he asked if I could give him, Studd and Sheiky a ride.  No problem I had a big car.  So, at the end of the night, it was decided that it would be best, since the fans would be outside the Wood St entrance where the wrestlers usually left from, we should go out the east doors at the front of the Gardens.  The fans should be all gone out front with the lingerers out the back.  I went and got my car, pulled around the front and waited for them.  I see them come down the hall and as they get to the front door, I get out and open my trunk. within seconds the car was surrounded by fans yelling, screaming, calling them names. I got in the car and as they were getting in, I heard many thumps as the fans were pounding on the cars and the car started to rock sideways, the fans were rocking it.   I saw the fear in Kosrows eyes as he hated the heat he got, he was not a truly tough guy.   I think Studdy yelled 'get going' and I sped off, like in the movies.  Off we went to the hotel at Richmond and University for ham sandwiches and cold Canadian.   The things that happen....

Q- Tim do you have any Don Jardine or David Schultz stories from when they came up to Brantford for the WWF TV tapings?

Was only at the first TV, which for me was in Brantford.  I remember Jardine but there were a lot of new guys so it was overwhelming.   I never met David Schultz, I think he came in after I let.

Q- Did Angelo Mosca ask you to work MoscaMania 1 and 2 for him?

I wasn't asked for Moscamania, I was basically out of it by then.
*Moscamania was in 1986, Tim left the business in early 1985 

Q- Any Danny Bullwhip Johnson stories?

The only Danny Johnson story was our tour of Trinidad,  I may have told this before and If I did, I apologize, but down there they drive old cars like a maniac.  Not slowing down, swerving out of the way each other.  We were on the way to a show, Danny Johnson, Kurt Von Hess and I.  Danny sat behind the driver.  We were going so fast that it was freaking us out.  As the driver was speeding to the town, Danny had enough.  He was sitting behind the driver, he reached up and tapped the shoulder of the driver.   Here's what I remember.  Danny said," He pal, what's your name?"  The fellow gave his name, say it was Pedro.Danny said, "Pedro, I just want to say thanks for driving us to the town, we really appreciate it..........BUT IF YOU DON'T SLOW THIS SUM BITCH DOWN, I'M GOING TO HIT YOU RIGHT NOW !!!!"   The car slowed down almost immediately, I was sitting in the front seat, looked back at Kurt and we both were cracking up.  Danny had this serious look on his face.

Q- Always wondered what George Cannon was like - so any info/stories would be awesome.  Also stories/info for anyone that worked for George around the late 70's-early 80's"

George was a nice guy.  He was the promoter, the owner so he ran things.  He was very soft spoken and nice.  I recall a taping they did once at City TV, afterwards, George was drying off after showering and I wanted to talk to him, he was sitting drying himself off and I recall he was lifting up the flaps of flabby skin he had around his belly to dry off. Being in my mid 20's, it was a bit freaky.
                                       
Milt Avruskin - Classy, respectful guy.  Always wanted to put the boys over, even the underneath guys.

Sailor White (he was a really great heel - scared me as a kid)   Never met him

Haystacks Calhoun  -  I worked with him, for The Sheik in Detroit on TV.   It was in a tag and his partner was a big guy named 'Big Red.'  He had reddish hair.  I remember he didn't give anything, A typical squash and Red was going over, which was not a common thing for him, so he was 'working strong' also. I can't recall who my partner was.

Pete Caparella (they used to call him Pete Parker) -  Peter Caparella, Peter Parker, had the rep as George's boy.  He only worked for George, and George would have him go over.  He lived in TO but worked Montreal for George.  Later on he was one of the El Santos as well.  He would work as both himself and El Santos

The Destroyer (Dick Beyer)  -  Class act.

El Santos 1 & 2 (I think one of them was Terry Yorkston)  El Santos originally was Terry Yorkston and Duncan MacTavish.  After Terry retired, went to referring, and Duncan worked mostly for Dave,  George would rotate in various people as El Santos.  As previously spoken, Peter Parker was one as well.

I actually got George's autograph in the early '70's at a Gas Station in Detroit when he was travelling with Kurt Von Hess.  I was a teenager and scared sh- -less.   He again was nice.  He was sitting in the passenger seat of the car, Kurt was in the station paying and he signed the inside of my dad's cigarette package by using the top of his belly as a table.

Q- Were you on any of Dave's shows when George Steele came in to do some shots? 

Steele, Bobo, Dave 1982
I was on some shows, especially the 'hair vs mask' match I had with Phil Watson.  I was on shows for The Sheik in Detroit and George was on them also. He was a very nice, cerebral man. At the time George would work for Dave, in the late '70's early '80's when George was still teaching.  He would work away from Detroit for Dave up here.  George would in many summers go to New York and work for McMahon Sr., do a short program for the summer so he could get back to his teaching for the winter.  *I guess when he wasn't booked for the summer in New York, he'd work for Dave. And from Dave's perspective, it didn't hurt to have George work for him since George had some notoriety in New York.  Dave had to book 'names' to get the fans.  Danny Johnston, Ricky Johnston, Luis Martinez, The Sheik would draw as Dave would go back to towns more than once over the summer.
*Steele appeared on sections of the McKigney summer tours 1981,1982,1984.

Q- How did you guys find out that Jack Tunney was going to have WWF come in starting in July, 1984?  Did he have a big meeting with the local guys?

To truly understand how things transpired, you must understand how the business functioned.  The business was set up so the promoters owned things and the boys were 'self employed' independent contractors.  The promoters had no obligation to tell the boys what they were doing.  And there's no way , with where everyone was located, to 'call a meeting' to let the information out.  Jack supplied to WWF when required the talent they needed, the local guys, usually for jobs on TV and the occasional house shot, that's why guys like Destroyer, Tony Parisi, Nick DeCarlo weren't used.  They don't do jobs on TV.  The information didn't 'flow', and they boys just wanted the money.  Realistically, they didn't care who paid.  And when WWF got bigger, they stopped using local guys and brought all of their own talent into TO for house shows, hello Jose Luis Rivera, Jose Estrada, etc.

Q- Do you know how Crockett reacted and when he may have found out about the switch? 

No, but I assume it's business.  Toronto was not drawing well, small houses, the Charlotte boys didn't want to come up anymore as they were super busy there, 8 shots/ week, 2000 miles, I think Toronto was just 'another town' to the Crocketts.  Even Jimmy Crockett stopped coming up.  For the first while, he was up on every trip, towards the end, it was Johnny Weaver and whatever 'mid card' guys they sent.  That's why Tarzan Tyler , Gene Kiniski were brought in for 'angles' with Angelo because the big Charlotte guys weren't coming.

Q- How were the bookers in Toronto to work with?  I know that George Scott, Ole Anderson, Johnny Weaver and Dory Funk Jr were all bookers for Toronto at one time or another. 

George Scott fills in on MLW TV 1980
Okay, here goes.  When Charlotte started coming up, late 79 or early 80's, George Scott was the main booker in Charlotte.  He had others who 'worked in the office', like Weaver etc, who were in charge of various towns, but George was the main booker and therefore had the final say.  George came up to MLG some early on but that stopped and that's when Johnny Weaver started to 'have the pencil'; as we called it.  George left and that's when Ole came in from Georgia.  He lasted a while but frankly I can't remember him coming up very often.  When Ole left, Dory took over the 'book'.  After Dory that's when Dusty took over.  When I worked in Charlotte, in 83, Dory was the main booker. 

The main booker, would set the 'programs' for the various guys.  Since Charlotte TV started coming up here, the shows tended to follow the angles that were run in Charlotte.  The only difference was Mosca.  They used the Mosca name to draw up here eventually.  He did work Charlotte but not as often in the early 80's. Angelo was sort of slowing down. 

The booker, whomever, would tell the Toronto office, either Frank at first and then Jack, what they needed in the way of local boys.  I don't know if they asked by name for house shows, but heels would be called, or babyfaces depending upon who was working from their.  Guys like Destroyer, Parisi were just on the way down locals so they always went 'over'.  It was incumbent upon the office to keep the faces rotating as no one wanted to see the same local guys over and over.  TV was different, since most matches were to get the top guys over, almost anyone was used who was available.

When you were booked and got to the gardens, the booker, would either come to you with who you were working with or take you to who you were working with,   tell you who was going over, (for me it was 'so and so is going over' ) and tell you how long you were going. .  With the locals, it wasn't a big deal and we could work out whatever finish you wanted .  if you were working with a Charlotte guy, they had their finish anyway and all you had to do was work out the moves that lead up to it when you were going home.  For me, the conversation usually consisted of, like with Snuka, Jimmy or whomever the babyface was would say, 'When it's time to 'go home', get some heat, I'll stop you and perhaps something like, I'll give you a 2 slams, stomp on your chest so you can sit up a bit and sell then come off the top (that's typically what Snuka would do)..  With my infamous 58 second Jimmy Valiant match at MLG, our conversation consisted of  him saying, "Get some heat, I'll stop you , elbow off the ropes and elbow drop'.,  In the ring I remember he said to me, after his comedic s - -t was done, 'rack my eyes' I did he did it back to me immediately, I sold, he grabbed my arm and said 'Le's go home!'  And voila, we did.  What was interesting is that many times, and a fan wouldn't realize this was happening, the babyface going over, Snuka was great for this, when they were pinning you would quietly say, 'Thank you brudda'.  Many did this ans again they would say thanks in the dressing room as well.  The office would call me late in the week, ask if I could make MLG on Sunday and tell me what other dates they needed, like TV the next night, and any house shows like Buffalo or Kitchener, Kingston, Ottawa they needed that week.  Sometimes the shows didn't go as planned as if someone didn't show, they'd have to scramble and if someone like me was there ( I always had my gear with me), they'd book me right there.  I think I told the story of how I got to MLG, the first match was going in the ring, Destroyer didn't show, I had to run to my car to get my  gear, dress quickly and work with Parisi second match.,   The finishes in TO for the Charlotte guys matched the angles they had in Charlotte.

One thing to know, is that the international guys, many times, were booked to make money as they were passing through.  I remember the time I met Abdullah, he and Dory were coming back from Japan so they got booked on MLG show, made some money and flew out in the morning.   This gave them some $$$'s and also made the Tunney's shows look international, not like a local territory.

Early 80's booking, as I said was George Scott so he probably booked Brody and Irwin.  My educated guess is that they too were coming back from Japan and picked up some extra $$$'s.   I think more than you know, guys were used as they were passing through, like a one shot Adonis and Ventura.  For the champs, they had to go through the respective offices for bookings.  If you wanted to have something that looked international, they would use guys from other territories.   The promoters back then were all businessmen that supported each other and the respect they had about not competing with each other added to that respect.

I think George Scott was a very good booker.  He made 'The Nature Boy' Gimmick for Flair.  He spoke once of hiring girls in every town to be with Flair to get the  'Nature Boy' gimmick over.  He had a great mind for making money.  That's why Vince took him before the first Wrestlemania.  Most don't know that he was the booker for that and a few years after.  This was before 'Sports Entertainment' and it was still 'rasslin'.   As for Ole, I only met him a couple of times, but he was a tough taskmaster.   He was as tough outside the ring as inside.   But he knew how to book though.   I made one mistake though, Dory Funk took over after George, that's where I met him in Charlotte, he was booking TV in 83.  I do remember one thing and that is as a booker for me, he was class.  Most times in a 'squash' match, they didn't tell you it was a squash.  The top guy would just overpower and squash to get over.  Dory when he brought Kevin Sullivan to  me, said' We're trying to get Kevin over strong so he's going to be very strong', in other words, just be there, Kevin would do everything.  I thought that was very considerate of him.    When Dory took over for George Scott, I think that's the beginning of Johnny Weaver taking over MLG and Canadian shows.  This is where he began to bring in the guys he liked, the Cormier brothers etc.  I know he liked to work with Leo so that's why they had so many matches.  He was a nice guy though.  I think he was a bit 'hamstrung' as they weren't always sending the top Charlotte guys up here as Charlotte was taking off and real busy.  They would lose the top guys for 3 days up her, and the shows, TV wouldn't be as lucrative as down there.

Also Ole must have been pretty good.  Even though he booked himself, he and Gene were really great.  Also Ole's match and feud with Leroy Brown was good.  They had 1 singles from MLG which was on TV, then they had a tag in an afternoon show - Parisi & Brown vs Ole & Koloff.

Q- Being in Toronto, I'm assuming you were exposed to All Star Wrestling from BC. Was there ever any talk or interest in you trying your hand out there, either from them or you? Did you ever have any dealings with Gene Kiniski?

The only dealings I had was, like you, what I saw on TV.   I watched it as a kid, when Sandor Kovacs and Gene Kiniski were partners and running the territory.  Moose Morowski, Ed "Moondog' Moretti, etc were watchable. Hell, even Chris Colt and Roddy Piper worked there on loan for shows from Don Owens in Portland.  By the time I was in the business,  I never considered going there because the word was there was no money when Tomko had it.  There was one fellow, I wish I could remember his name, Blonde hair, that when I met him working one of Bearman's shows, he said the payoffs were $20 for house shows.  He said he stayed as long as he did because he couldn't afford the gas to leave.  I heard Al Tomko killed the territory, using the Sheik booking thought that you push yourself, despite what the people were or were not buying.   Zib did that in TO and in his own territory and you can only see people so much, and on top, before it becomes unbelievable.  That is one of the reasons the Tunney's I feel, brought in outside guys from other territories, for the fans interest.  And since Verne, and even Vince Sr. TV came into TO, the fans knew the guys.

I only met Gene when he worked the 3 shots with Mosca.  Gene outside the ring was the same as Gene inside the ring and on the microphone.   He talked, and talked, and talked......     I remember the first time he worked with Mosca at the gardens, because after in the hotel over ham sandwiches and cold Molson Canadian, he showed his chest, which the left side was crimson red, and I mean crimson red, from Mosca's slaps to the chest.  He wasn't complaining, he was of the generation that it was 'part of the business'.

I worked with his son Kelly a couple of times, Kitchener and Kingston. The reason it sticks in my mind is that the first night in Kitchener, since we were both heels, the fans didn't cheer either of us, and were sort of confused.  The next night, I don't remember who, but someone said that after the ref's instructions, I turn to go back to my corner and Kelly was to 'jump me from behind' so he could get some heat first.


Q- Did you ever get to wrestle in Madison Square Garden?  If so, what was the experience like?  If not, did you ever get there to watch a show, or even go for one of their tours? 

NO,  Closest I got was working for WWF in Rochester and Buffalo

Q- I know you mentioned you worked some towns in the US (i.e. Charlotte), as well you told us about your time in Trinidad with Brody.  What other counties/cities outside of Canada did you work?  What are some of your favorites, and some of the worst places you've been to?

I enjoyed everywhere I was, except in the Sheik's territory because of the money and therefore the quality of places to stay.  Charlotte was good, stayed at the Days Inn near the airport where the boys stayed, got a good rate there.

Q- Were you always "Tim Gerrard" outside of Canada, or did you go by any other names/gimmicks, again outside of Canada? 

Unless I went under a hood, 'The Great Bolo', 'The Assasin' I worked under my own name

Q- Outside of Tunney, Wildman, & Cannon, where there any other Canadian/Ontario promoters that you worked for? 

I worked for some small promoters, around Ontario, never worked for Bob Clarke in Hamilton, went to the shows w Big Mac but never got asked to work.  I think he thought that I wouldn't work a small show as I was working for the Tunney's and Bearman regularly.  I worked a small show in Penetang, for a guy named Al Marchildon, who I met when he was trained by Phil Watson.  We worked at a racetrack, I worked with Bernie Livingston and it was outdoors, a Sunday and it rained up to showtime so the mat was wet, soggy, matburn country.  Got a matburn .  I also went to Quebec with Mac and Willie Farkas to work for Gino Brito, Pat Patterson, Dino Bravo who owned the territory.  I worked TV in Sherbrooke, a House show in Drummondville and the Colisee in Quebec City.

Q- Tim do you have any photos from your wrestling career that you would like to share with the readers?

If I have one regret in my career, is the fact that I was so stupid when I was in it.   When I broke in I was about 23 and got out around 28ish.  I had no foresight of planning.  I was enjoying the moment,  the time, but never thought this would progress into anything.  So I never kept anything other than my gear, never kept any tapes, I recorded my matches over and over on the same tape (maybe I was too cheap as well) so I never kept any photos, etc from my career.  That's why I depend upon fans, like Terry Dart in London, who took pictures of me.   If anyone has anything , please pm me or just post them.

Q- Any stories on Terry Funk,Blackjack Mulligan, John Studd or Jay Youngblood? 

I never met Terry Funk, I worked with Blackjack on TV, soft as a dream. Claw was sweeeet. Easy finish. I remember my first MLG shot, I was still 'GREEN', not fully understanding how it worked and the main event was a 'Texas Street Fight' with Mulligan and Studd.  So I"m in the dressing room, lacing up my boots, Mulligan is in the room, Studd walks in, and as was the respect ritual in the business, walked to each guy, shook each hand, saying "Hi' to those he knew and introducing himself to those he didn't, and when he got to Mulligan, Studd said,' Hey Jack (what Mulligan was called in the dressing room) hows things, how ya feeling? Where were you last night? small talk, and I remember lacing my boots, looking up with my mouth open, wondering  WHATTTTTT ??  It was part of my 'education'.


I only remember working once with Jay Youngblood, on TV  in a tag, it was easy, but he and Steamboat worked smooth.  I remember it because my partner was Frankie Laine and he called a spot in the ring, he backed Youngblood into the corner with me on the outside.  He said to Youngblood, "Move" and to me Frankie said "Catch me and take a bump in" What is did was hit the opposite rope and jump like a flying head scissors, I was to catch him and take the bump into the ring.  Unfortunately, I didn't hold  him (hey, I was new) and take the  bump into the ring and we both tumbled to the floor below (safely).

Q-When you were booked for house shows and the Brantford TV tapings, was it Norm Kimber who called you for the booking? 

For me , Jack always called, except early on when Frank Called me to book me for my first MLG shot. I remember the place, when I got called to the phone, (he called my mothers phone number and she gave him my work #) .  Jack would call to book me for whatever he needed, be it MLG, TV, house shows, picking up guys at the airport (like I did with Piper, Ole and Valentine once) Gene Anderson for an Oshawa show or taking guys (like Harley) who were booked somewhere else in the evening

Q- How about some stories/memories of the refs from your day - Fred Atkins, Terry Yorkston, John Lange. 

They also used to bring refs in from Charlotte - Tommy Young, Stu Schwartz, Sonny Fargo just to name a few.  I heard Tiger Jeet Singh say that Fred trained him, and that Fred was pretty tough. Fred was used because he was the Tunney's courier (NOT IN THAT WAY) .  Charlotte would send up their TV tapes, big huge things, about 16"x16", about 2" thick, bring them to the MLG show, work the first or second match then head home.  He would show up the next night for TV.  Fred was probably home before you were.   I always remember Fred for this, the first or second match would always get the proverbial 'BORING' chant.  I remember being in a headlock on the mat with someone ( don't remember who) and the BORING chant comes.   Fred is down on his knees, "checking" for a choke and very discretely says, 'Boring, I'll give them boring, f---ing bawstawds (that's Fred's accent) and he said it a  few time, he was getting mad at the crowd.  I had to hold my self from laughing.  Fred was the conditioning coach for the Buffalo Sabres at the time, and had the reputation as 'being tough'.  Guys knew it and respected it, calling him Mr. Atkins.  I don't remember ever seeing him smile.  I remember a few times guys would try to get 'heat' by getting a bit physical w him, but he would stand up to them.

Tommy Young, Stu Schwarz, were very workmanlike.  They stayed out of the way, knew their place.  Tommy though, loved the Molson Canadian in the room after the matches and at times got drunk (the higher % of alcohol always got the Americans) .  By his 3rd beer he was usually on his way

John Laing was a nice guy as well. I went to the CNE with him and Billy Red Lyons, at Jack's request, for Sports day.  Got paid, tickets to get in, parking passes to park up close. We did 2 exhibitions of holds, a few hours apart, for the fans, near the Sports Hall of Fame in a Sully's gym ring (a hard boxing ring so there was no chance of any bumps)   Billy was in the ring and would call a hold and he would put in on me and vice versa.  It was Billy's idea to get a bit of heat, ie, when John put a hold on me, and when told to break, I was to sort of push him away, selling, it a bit like he did it too stiff and getting a bit of heat.  Hey, we're wrestlers.   It's boring to just put on holds.  Billy called for  a 'bodyslam' and when I picked John up, I feigned like I was going to slam him and Billy 'sold'  him pleading with me not to slam John.  Billy jumped in a few other times to 'cool things down'.  As for Terry Yorkston, he was great.  The thing I most remember is watching him ref the Hulk Hogan / Andre match in the early 80's when Hogan was still a heel.  When Hogan picked up Andre ( yes Andre was slammed before Wrestlemania 3) and slammed him, Terry bounced and jumped a bit 'selling' how much of a slam it was by it lifting him offf the mat.  Little stuff like that helped

Q- Tim, here are a few more names that would come into Toronto every now and then, and any stories about them would be great

Bob Backlund - Nice guy.  Met when he defended his title up here.  Quiet unassuming Was exactly in real life the way he appeared on TV.

Dusty Rhodes -  I was quite taken aback as how quiet he was in the suite the Tunney's rented. 

Abdullah  - Only show was when he and Dory worked coming back from Japan.  I was so shocked at the time at how high and quiet his voice was.
I saw him he had a big, Panama Hat, Hawaiian shirt when he came to the gardens.  Get him out in the ring, or the floor, or the ramp was a real 'gimmick'.  I know he worked stiff  Next time I bumped into was when he was booking and I worked there.

Tiger Jeet Singh - Only met Tiger in Trinidad.   Nice guy, got worked up, worked a bit stiff.

Q- I always heard that Lou Albano was banned from the Gardens for some reason but could never really confirm the story behind why, so I figure he must have made an appearance at least once.  Do you have any insight on this? 

No, only met him when New York came to Toronto to take over from Charlotte.
*Had never heard that Albano was banned. He finally made it to Toronto in 1986 but not at MLG. He appeared at the Etobicoke Olympium TV tapings and then at the Big Event at the CNE.

Q- Tim do you keep in touch with Willie Farkus, I mentioned to him the other day you are now online answering all kinds of wrestling related questions and he was very happy to hear about you

Willie is a real character.  I was a kid, going to wrestling in Orangeville with my dad, a Bearman show, Dave worked as Gene DuBois, Willie worked as Willie Farkas (no wolfman yet) and John L. Sullivan (later Johnny Valiant) worked as well.  Here's a quick Willie story.  Willie, Big Mac and I went to Montreal to work TV for them and some house shows. We worked TV in Sherbrooke, where after a local took Mac and I to a local adult entertainment establishment for some adult beverages, Willie who didn't drink, went back to the car and slept in the back seat for a few hours.  Next day we were in in Drummondville to work a house show and during the day, to kill time, we decided to go into an Adult Bookstore to look around. There were none in Ontario at the  time.  Willie was like a kid, picking up different sizes and shaped penis like devices and each time  he'd say, in his Hungarian accent, "Mac, Mac,....and mention a wrestlers name"  He did it over and over maybe a dozen times, each time mentioning the same guys name.   He thought it was hilarious.  Mac and I did also.   I won't say the guys name, it was a long time ago, and I don't want to assassinate anyone's character.  I never met the man but I had heard the rumors.  We ended working the Colisee in Quebec City for Gino Brito, Pat Patterson and whomever else owned it.  I never met Willie's son, I think named *Mark.
*Mark Greer reffed and occasionally wrestled the bear on Dave's shows


Wolfman Cornwall 1982


Q- Some more names for Tim to elaborate on any stories he may have, and if he had met them/wrestled them

Ron Bass – legit tough guy.  Nice, but not a charisma machine.

The Masked Superstar [he said he hated the ramp as that made him too close to the fans without the protection of a barracad]- I thought he was/is a great worker.  He was a great worker.  His running clothesline was sooooo phenomenal looking, like he was taking your head off because he ran towards his opponent, he jumped w arm out and took a bump at the same time, so it looked like the guy took a gooood one.  Don’t know about the ramp comment.  For me, the ramp was more secure as the width and height stopped people from getting too close.  The ramp was about 5 feet high, and about 8’ wide so if someone tried, they’d be on their bellies, reaching toward your ankles.  I know Bill liked being under the hood as he could go out to eat and none on the marks were any wiser.  Do you remember when John Studd was Masked Superstar #2 for a while.  This was done to set up an angle w Mulligan unmasking him.

Ray Stevens - lots of good comments from many of the boys .  Real great worker, took hellacious bumps and I know you’ve heard the phrase, ‘…could have a match with a broom and make it good’,  Ray could.  I worked with him in Buffalo when he was a babyface for Charlotte and he was soooooo light, you could barely tell he was touching you.  His punches looked great and were so light.  His ‘bombs away’ again, looked great and was literally nothing.  The main thing I heard about Ray, and Flair told this, that if Ray wanted to do something, like when he wanted to take up skiing, he went out an bought the thin, narrow racing skiis that the pros used. Flair could not believe it and thought he would break his neck.  Ray was basically a 40 yr old kid.  He also had a pitbull named ‘Willie Nelson’ that he adored.

George Wells - Always seemed like a good worker though when in Toronto. George was a good worker, but not a charisma machine.  Was used up here because of his past CFL heritage, he played for Saskatchewan for one.   He was in great shape.  In Charlotte he was a mid carder, not always doing jobs, but never rising.

Frankie Lane -  Frankie lived near London and was always a big thinker.  He had some success in his travels, but never made it BIG.  It was his idea though, that for the Sheik in Detroit, I get a hood and work with him, as ‘The Great Bolo’, an older gimmick that had disappeared.  He even engineered a finish that we could come back again a couple of times.  The old foreign object in the mask angle.  He taught me to slow down when I was to put the gimmick (a large 1 ½” washer in white tape).  He said to go for it SLOWLY, making big motions so people could see me going for it.  Then when I took it out, look at it for a split second and when I slipped it in under the mask through the eye hole towards the forehead, he said take a moment and adjust it.  All the time giving fans time to see and get incensed.  He knew the psychology.

Pvt Nelson - Jim was  a nice guy. Sometimes too nice.  He was very, very quiet.  Had the nickname ‘Buffalo head’ because of his large cranium.     Was a jobber for the longest time until he and Kernodle were hooked up as the Privates.  Jim’s big break, Boris Zukhov, was to me like Dewey’s switch to the Missing Link.  It popped Jim’s career but he had to go to another territory, to get over.  He couldn’t do it in Charlotte.   One could do that as in those days, one territory didn’t see the product of the other territory so they didn’t know what angle was run where and a guy could go in w a new gimmick and get over.  I remember watching on TV Jay Youngblood having his ‘ankle broken’ by someone so he would be injured for a while and he turns up on All Star Wrestling from Vancouver a week or two later.  I think he was working in Portland as in those days, guys in Portland worked Vancouver for Sandor Szabo and Kiniski as well (before Al Tomko)

Don Kernodle – Funny guy.  Great worked, bump taker and at times underused.  Charisma factor 3, talking factor 3, so he didn’t get over as Don Kernodle.  Once again the Privates got him somewhat over but  unlike Jimmy Nelson, he did ignite.  I don’t know if he ever left Charlotte…. Some other stories are posted here somewhere.

Sgt Slaughter -  Folks called him ‘Bob Slaughter’, even though his real name is Remus.  He was made for the gimmick, with that large chin.  Looked like a drill sergeant.  Could not have had a better look for the gimmick.   Got over big but he was a good worker as well.  Gimmicks alone don’t make money.  If one can’t work, then the best gimmick in the world wont’ help

Q- RE Jimmy Korderas Book

Just finished Jimmy's book.  Great read, it brought back a lot of memories.  He was spot on with his assessment of Jack Tunney.  He looked gruff, stern but was a real kidder.  He liked to put people on and he was quick.   I remember the last time I worked, it was a tag w Jerry Valiant against the Samoans.  I hurt my shoulder and had to see an orthopedic surgeon a day or so later.  I had trouble lifting my left arm, I guess I landed on it when I got the Samoan drop.  Jack called a  month or so later and I told him I think I was packing it in, it wasn't as fun anymore.  I told him about the injury and when I said, "I couldn't even put my hand in my pocket", he immediately shot back, "Hell, you never put your hand in your pocket !" and laughed. Jimmy really illustrated how one got in the business in those days.  It was a closed kayfabe business so someone either had to speak for you, tell them you were 'OK" or you had to prove yourself.  Kayfabe was followed so closely that in arenas like Brantford, the heels would come out of one dressing room,  the babyfaces out of the other.  Looked legit, right?  But the dressing rooms were right next to each other, and if you knew how they designed the dressing rooms in those days, there was one shower / toilet area to be shared by two teams.  When there was hockey going on, the arena would assign the dressing room so that when one team was out on the ice playing, the other could get dressed for their game and vice versa.  So, in these dressing rooms, it was the shower / toilet area where the finishes were gone over and I recall a few times that when the guy bringing the ring jackets / robes etc back, he would knock, come in the room and place them on the nearest bench and the guys would scramble to get the door closed before he saw anything.   Jimmy broke in by proving himself. Didn't know they were the ring crew also.  In MLG, they had a ring that was stored there, never knew who put it up but I doubt it was Terry Yorkston, John Laing and I knew it wasn't Fred Atkins.  For the TV and house shows around, Tony Parisi's ring was used. He would have it brought by a couple of his boys, on Sunday, he'd work the Gardens and then take it to whatever town TV was taping in the next day. Jimmy captured the spirit of the business perfectly. Well done, Jimmy !!!

Q- More name game

Enforcer Luciano - I think I met him.  Had a 'mafia' gimmick.  Nice guy

Mad Dog Vachon - Don't recall ever meeting him

Austin Idol  - was only up here a few times, no memories of him

Blackjack Mulligan Jr. -I remember a story somebody told about Mulligan Sr and Flair buying a small territory. The story was that was where the Mulligan Jr gimmick came from.  The problem was, Sr and Jr, both wearing black, black mustaches, same gimmick, the word was they had a boring colorless territory.  Mulligan Jr gimmick didn't last long.

Buddy Rose - Extremely nice guy.

Bob Orton - great guy, funny in the locker room.

Magnificent Muraco - Was a real character in the dressing room, just like on TV.  The thing I remember about Muraco was a line from a story he told about 'entertaining one of the rats' if you know what I  mean.  He said that they were going at it, it was real hot, he was sweating and the girl was so fat, 'she was sweating pure grease !!!"  Loved that line

Q- I was just looking at some Toronto results and saw that you worked the Night of Champions show at the CNE stadium

I do remember this show, it was a big show... Exhibition Stadium, ring over home plate, no chairs close but stands full (not grandstand, too far away).  I remember this match, for a couple of reasons. One, from where the ring was situated, if you stood on the apron facing the grandstand, with your back to the fans, you couldn't see what was happening in the ring with holding your hand over your eyes to shield the sun.  The sun would set even for Jays games,  around 730 and as it was going down, the gap between the new stands and the grandstand down the 3rd base line would allow it , on  a sunny day of course, to shine right in your eyes.  I had to realize to always stay on the other side of the corner post.  As well, I remember Weaver, had me in a head scissors on the mat and would reach in and tug slightly but hard enough to be annoying, on my chest hair, make a comment and laugh meanwhile I"m trying to swat his hand away and not laugh/ be annoyed.  It was just annoying but for him was probably funny.  Also, Weaver wore a loose neck brace, some angle was run in Charlotte that hurt his neck so he wore it up here and Alex and I have him in our corner, Alex is punching, Weaver making a comeback, he says "Grab the collar' and I do as he's trying to get out and it pulls him back, getting heat on us for 'cheating'.  Mike Rotundo was a bit new but worked real well, nice and light.

I remember as I was entering the building, One Man Gang was coming down the hallway the other way and I got to realize how BIG he was.  He was HUGE !   I had met many of the others on the card at MLG, never met Moolah but the girls dressed in a different dressing room (of course). I remember it was the first time I was on artificial turf and I couldn't believe how hard it was,  it was like concrete as folks said.  The last thing I can think of at this time was something dumb. We dressed in the visitors locker room and  I remember the showers  had a temperature control, you could put the handle on 78 degrees and it was.  Never saw that before, or since.  Dumb, I know..



Q- Did the boys enjoy working at the Stadium vs at the Gardens or some other indoor arena, or was it not really discussed or important in your mind and to them it was just another show. 

A show is a show is a show to boys in the business.  In Charlotte, they would do outdoor shows from time to time so whether you're performing in front of 500, 5000, or 50000, its still a show.  Now...larger crowds would mean more adrenaline, energy and this was fun.   For some local guys, I would think Alec Girard, who didn't work many house shows for Tunney, lots of TV and small independent shows around Southern Ontario, or would work down east, this was probably a big show to be on. My first Gardens shot was when the house was 12-13000 for the Mulligan Studd 'street fight', so I got to work in front of big houses early I would have thought it was a bit special and different for them to work a fairly large crowd, and outdoors, which I dont think they did too often in NC as far as I know, but could be totally wrong. All the size of the crowd meant was a larger payoff, more asses means more $$$$$$

Q- Also since the CNE was on during the time they were in, do you recall if any of the guys brought their families and they hung out at the Ex during the weekend they were there.

The Boys from Charlotte just came in, did their thing and probably did TV the next night and went home.  To the boys, it was another work day.  The CNE wasn't on yet, it was July this show and the CNE goes mid August to labour day. World champion went on to his next booking..

Q- I had heard a bit about Klondike Bill back when WCW was getting big with Nitro in mid 90's.  Was he your first opponent in Toronto & what was he like?

Klondike Bill was my first match. First time I met him.  When we got together before the match, Claude Dion, a local guy who was the guy at Dewey's gym who actually did most of the work with us, told Bill that I was 'green' but could 'work', sort of vouched for me.  Bill then said, don't worry.  Just listen to me...and it'll go fine.  I did and it did. Bill had been in the business for years, settled in Charlotte and as he got too old to work alot took over  the ring crew, setting up the rings for WCW etc.

Q- Also it seems Pedro was used in Toronto as undercard but he was huge in WWWF at the time - what are your thoughts as to why? 

Toronto was always multi cultured so I wouldn't think that would be the reason.  My opinion, Pedro got pushes where his Puerto Rican heritage could make and draw money, the North East.  In Charlotte, who was booking this town, not a lot of Hispanics so Pedro didn't get over as much and I think didn't get the 'push' he did in New York.  If you think about it, New York at that time used mostly ethnic wrestlers, Italians (Domenic Denucci, Bruno, Tony Parisi etc), Polish (Mighty Igor, Putski), Spiros Arion.... lots of ethnic people in northeast

Q-I recall those Studd/Mulligan matches as a kid - did they go out there and literally beat the crap out of one another and worked stiff?  Any good stories about their feud


Their 'feud' was just a work.  They were best friends.  I remember being so green, sitting in the dressing room, Mulligan was already there, I met him, a while later Studd came in, dressed in street clothes, came into our dressing room, say Mulligan, I remember his first words, 'Hi Jack, how you doing man? Feeling good?  Where were you last night (what town did you work)  Then, I saw them work, in street clothes, juice, I realized that wrestling was a 'work' and how much of one. You cannot imagine the feeling that happens when all of your thoughts and beliefs got out the window.

Q- And of course your first match at the Gardens would be nice.

This is the card, my first at MLG.  WOW !!!  I had done many TV's before this.  I got the call the friday afternoon before at work, he called my home and my mom gave him my work phone number.  I can still remember standing behind the curtain, waiting to be told to 'go' , by George Scott the booker at the time.  IT WAS SURREAL.... to be going up the ramp that I used to pay to see others go up.

The Blue Demon on the card was likely Bill White doing double duty. Spoiler alert, The original Blue Demon, would be George Scott the booker, and at times the 'Blue Demons' were George Scott and Gene Anderson.  Blue Demon wasn't used a lot, and later I guess Bill White started subbing when George left.
*Billy Red also worked as a Blue Demon 

Q- What was your favorite year in the business and why?  e.g. 1979, 1980, 1981, etc. 

I don't have 'one' favorite year.  All the years I worked were great....going from paying to watch, to having folks pay to watch, walking the ramp, getting police escorts to the ring in the States, being asked for autographs, was at times 'surreal', it happens to others, not a guy like me.

Q- Also who was your favorite promoter (Tunney, Cannon, Wildman) to work for and why? 

I always enjoyed working for the Tunney shows, no matter where they were.  Main reason, the payoffs were bigger as well as they ran MLG, the center of the Canadian Wrestling world.  Dave's payoff were okay, but not great and some towns were far and low $$'s.  Cannon basically, IMHO, just was a TV show, with some and few, spot shows.  Not really a territory.  His TV in Montreal would take a whole day to tape, you'd leave at 2am, drive to Montreal, taping would start, 4 or 5 60 minute shows, with a 60 minute break in the middle for the union crews lunch, and then arrive back home midnight.  I did it once to say I did it but that's it.  I only worked when he taped at CityTV.   Many guys who didn't get much work around would endure the drive.

Q- Lastly did you have a favorite Maple Leaf Gardens show you liked in terms of the quality of the show itself?   

I would always say my first, with Klondike Bill.  It was the night of the Mulligan / Studd 'Street Fight' and there were around 12000 in the house.  One always remembers the first time, walking through the curtain and up the ramp.

The Cadillac Tournament show was great because the talent that was brought in to legitimize it, from other territories, was great.

Q- How would Tunney communicate the no show to the boys and if you know, how would it be decided on who the replacement would be?

This is not anything sinister.   The main matches were booked by the Charlotte office.   This allowed them to schedule the show in with their shows down there.  If you recall, Buffalo Ch 4 would show Mid Atlantic wrestling around 3 in the afternoon so  folks up here knew of the angles that were shot down there.  A proper booker, was always thinking at least a month in advance for the big angles.  Things were planned that far.  Now, having said that, there was always much time for injuries, or 'injuries' to occur that prevented guys from coming up.  After a while, as discussed before, Toronto became a place that some of the bigger guys, like the Briscos, may not have wanted to come, so the ybacked out early enough and other opponents can be sorted.  Gene Anderson was getting older by then and he might have really been injured, but he might have been 'injured'.    I do know for a fact, because I had to pick him up at Pearson on a Tuesday after TV taping and take him to Oshawa to fill in for someone who wasn't there, or got hurt.   He flew up for the one show.  Some other times, the guys literally couldn't fly up because they didn't have proper ID to fly.  I know this happened in two cases, Buzz Sawyer and Ray "Hercules' Hernandez.   Both tried to fly with no ID on them.  Hey, these guys weren't splitting atoms in their spare time.  There were a couple of incidents where I wasn't booked, someone didn't show, and I got to work.  When I broke in, I was told that I should never go to a show without my gear, and I never did, because you never knew if someone didn't show and you could get some work and some $$$'s.   As for who decided who would work,i if they knew early enough in advance,  the booker, be in Ole, Dory etc. would be responsible for the replacement..  There was a time, you might recall, where Kurt Von Hess worked with Piper in a dog collar match.  This was a night of the show substitution as Valentine missed his flight up here.   There were times, and I can recall one when I was a fan, where, on the night of the show, when a guy couldn't get there, someone would have to work twice.  *One night, the main event couldn't get there so Ken Patera and someone else, I forget who, went out for the main event and 'flipped a coin' to see who would wrestle for the title.  The guy was already picked but the booker wanted to give it the appearance of it being random.I don't know of any case where guys were knowingly  advertised and not booked to be there.  The business called the fans 'marks' back then, but they knew that without the 'marks' buying tickets, no one made money.   IMHO, that's the problem with the 'indies' now, there are no more 'marks' and very few fans to buy tickets.
*Jan 14 1979. Race was stuck in Chicago because of weather. Patera and John Studd flipped to see who would face U.S champ Ricky Steamboat. Studd won the toss but lost the bout. Thiis card would have been the first time the AWA & NWA Titles were on the same card. They finally did that in Apr 1982.

Q- I don't recall if you had worked for WWF in 1984/85.  Did you do any matches for them?  If so, where/when, and which WWF guys did you like or dislike

I worked for them in Buffalo and New York regularly.  I was on shows where they were leading to switching the title to Hogan, from Iron Sheik.  I only worked TV for them once, in Brantford.  I hurt my shoulder, the Samoan drop, and just never went back.   Was getting a bit bored with it anyway.  In Brantford, which I think was on of their first TV's in Canada, all the WWWF guys were there plus some new.  Vince McMahon was there, Arnold Skaaland, Blassie, Albano, George Steele, Samoans, to name a few.  I never actually worked MLG for them.  BUT, I did work or knew many of the guys they used.  George Wells, Mosca, Valentine, Iron Sheik, Volkoff, Slaughter, George Steele,  Fulji, Muraco,the Marcus Brothers, etc....They all went through Charlotte at one point in their lives, and worked up here before.   The talent was great, because they were still a wrestling promotion back  then, before the blow up to the Cartoonish ways they went.  I'm a 'rasslin' fan, not a wrestling fan.  BIG DIFFERENCE.

Q-I heard the Sheik used to park inside MLG to escape the fans on Wood St? 

Now, when I worked MLG, most of the boys parked at the Westbury or the lot beside the Westbury.  The boys from Charlotte would stay at the Westbury so all they had to do was walk over.  We entered through the Wood St entrance mostly.  90 minutes or more before the show, there usually were only maybe 20-30 'hardcore' fans waiting for the boys.  I don't know anyone who parked under the gardens.  Even the Sheik, in his day, parked above ground and that's why, if you remember, his matches were always 4th, right before intermission so once people were back in their seats after intermission, and the show was continuing, he could sneak out through the Wood St entrance with minimal grief.  The fans would call you names if you were a heel, like myself....it was a laugh actually.

Harley Race leaving the Westbury 1981

Q- Do you attend local Indy shows, ROH or WWE when they come into town?

None of those.  I live in Guelph so I've been to a couple of PWA shows out o of Kitchener.  The less I have to do with TO the better.... too crowded for me.   Let's speak about ROH........in my opinion, it suffers from the same malady that most indy promotions suffer from.....everything is the same.  HOw many times can you watch someone fly over the top rope, onto others, through the top rope onto others......to me its basically gymnastics......running and jumping.....NO SELLING..... I've watched the VPW wrestling from TO out of the El Mocambo and again.....BORING......guys with no size, no body, don't know how to work.......everything is the same......no variety.

Im not knocking the local guys, they don't know better.  They were trained by  guys who never did much or anything in the business.... so the trainers never were taught by more experience guys, the best way to learn......They were never taught how to work the match, how to pick it up, slow it down.....how to get heat.....how to be a heel or a baby face.  Most local guys I see think heat is yelling back at fans from the 2nd turnbuckle at the start of the match.  The same 2nd turnbuckle that the babyfaces were on a few minites before.  Ive seen guys nearly decapitate each other.....drop each other on their heads....very dangerous....no regard for the safety of the other guy......and what I find increduluous, is that all these guys have to go to work the next day.....and all for maybe $25 or $50.  That's what I got paid for TV per match 30-35 years ago, when gas was maybe $.75 a GALLON, not litre, GALLON.... What is $25 or $50 worth today, perhaps a case of beer.  We could get hammered on $25....back then.

Sorry for ranting.....I kind of feel sad for these guys.....the art is lost on them.....

Q- I found this show in some results & was wondering if you could share some memories of it.  Who was the promoter?  Did you do other shows with this group?
May 5, 1984 - Canadian All-Star Wrestling; Arena Gardens; Scarborough, ON Scrap Iron Scranton b. Luis Martinez ... Dark Angel b. Tim Gerrard ... Malcolm Monroe b. Ron Taggart ... Darsa Singh b. Buzz Harley ... midgets

Hi, this was probably with George Cannon.....I don't actually recall it.... but Ross (Dark Angel) was a mid level guy for George, he would go over on George's TV (Superstars of Wrestling)....Luis worked for George as well, Scrap Iron Scranton... worked for George as well....Malcolm Munroe I knew from Detroit, he worked for The Sheik alot......I don't think I did other shows.....some local guys would try to run shows.....I worked for guys who were trained and run their own shows because no one else booked them....I worked for a guy Phil Watson trained...at a car racing track in Penetanguishene....again because no one else booked him....I worked a Roller Rink in Stoney Creek for someone who again, booked themselves because they couldn't get work....unfortunately, Phil Watson trained a lot of guys but they didn't get a lot of work....the Tunney's didn't use them, Dave didn't.....Danny Marsh got work for the Tunney's as a referee.

If anyone remembers the Tunney's MLG show....at bell time, Norm Kimber would walk the ramp to the ring....the fans would pop, and he would say, I can remember it like yesterday, he'd say, "Welcome to Maple Leaf Gardens, and and evening of Professional HEAVYWEIGHT (my capitals) Wrestling".....  I always think the Tunney's took this quite literally.....if you think of it, they used a lot of guys on TV that never got on or more than one, MLG show....I was big, looked like a heavyweight (6'3", 250lbs) could take bumps and make others looks good, had a good attitude, and when the top guys beat me, they beat someone.....the size mattered !!!!

Pics and images mapleleafwrestling.com collection
Fred Atkins - Chris Swisher collection 

And thanks again to Tim Gerrard aka Killer Tim aka...