|Siki facing Al Costello Maple Leaf Gardens 1967|
I remember so well the first time that I had a chance to interact with Siki, was with a friend at the time, we were on the QEW. driving to Hamilton to take in a wrestling show at the Hamilton Forum. We were halfway along the highway to our destination, when suddenly we spot S.D. driving right along side of us, we waved and shouted at him, and he waved back. We drove along side each other for perhaps a half mile, and we told him that our main purpose for our trip to the Forum was to see him in action, he had a big grin on his face and waved goodbye as the traffic was building behind us.
|Jet Star & Siki check out Roger's photos|
Recently, about 8 yrs ago (2008) wrestler Jet Star and myself visited Siki at the Duke of York tavern. He has performed at this venue for years, performing karaoke Saturdays for his legion of fans who enjoy to listen as well as participate with Siki. The purpose of our visit was to see S.D.S. perform, as well I had assembled a very extensive collection of photos of Siki that I had taken so many years earlier. It was a great pleasure for me to be able to leave those photos with Siki.
Can remember an opportunity that just presented itself one Saturday afternoon back around 1964-65, I was going to cover an upcoming heavyweight fight at MLG that featured George Chuvalo in a ten round fight with then ranked Ernie 'The Octopus' Terrell. It occurred in a tavern in downtown Toronto, Terrell was doing some sparing upstairs above the tavern, there was a heavy bag, mats, and skipping ropes along with other boxing gear, when I saw this as an opportunity to get two well known boxing and wrestling greats together. I phoned Siki at home and explained who was training at this gym and can you make it over so that we could have an introduction between the two take place. Regi Siki was on the scene in about twenty minutes, and it proved to be a very enjoyable experience for all of us. We both had many pleasant interactions during the sixties.
|Siki holds court|
SDS was a very unique wrestler in that even though he was at the prime of his mat career, he stood out as an original ring performer with his blond hair, magnificent capes, mic skills, and a very powerfully built body. His shoulder muscles resembled two over sized grapefruits.
During his heyday he wrestled all of the top wrestlers that were appearing in Toronto's MLG. He faced some very tough wrestlers, to mention a few; Yukon Eric, Whipper Watson, Bulldog Brower, Lou Thesz, and Bruno Sammartino. Siki told me during our get together at the Duke Of York, that he once wrestled the mighty Lou Thesz to a ninety minute draw in Texas some time during the late fifties. Siki had it all, personality, great mat skills, outstanding physique, and the ability to mix it with the best of them during his era.
Any bouts that stand out for you , at MLG or in one of the smaller arenas around the area
The one bout that I saw Siki in that still remains in clear detail in my mind took place in the town of Sutton On. during the summer months. Sutton is very close to Lake Simcoe and cottage country so the scheduled wrestling card was sure to draw a large crowd, being that there were so many people in the area at this time. The main event that promoter Tommy Nelson had on was a tag team match, it pitted Ilio DiPaolo and John Paul Henning vs Dick Bulldog Brower and Sweet Daddy Siki.
|Roger & Star visiting with Siki 2008|
Meanwhile Brower was so crazed at this point that he tried to pull down one of the arena's supporting beams to use as a weapon to use against his own partner Siki, when he could not accomplish this, he ran out to the back of the arena, he reappeared a moment later brandishing a large steel wheel barrow over head, his intent was obvious, he wanted to badly hurt and injure his own partner Siki.
Siki was able to back peddle out of the enraged Brower's range, and Brower who was so intent on maiming Siki started to slow down, no doubt he was tiring, this was triggered by a personal beef between the two. When visiting with Siki at the tavern where he has appeared for years, I mentioned that match to him, wanting to know what was the trigger to set that type of violence up, Siki's only memory of the incident was the wheel barrow.
Thanks so much Roger
There is lots of great footage of Siki at Toronto Classic Wrestling on YouTube