Frank Ayerst: Matt Wise




   Frank Ayerst is an interesting name from Toronto's wrestling history. He was the epitome of the writer types that Tunney kept close to the office and eventually went to work for Tunney as his publicist.

Ayerst had been the secretary for MLG's Marlboro's Athletic Organization when it was formed in 1937 and worked closely with Maple Leafs owner Conn Smythe. For a couple of years at the onset of the 1940's he had also worked at MLG tracking goals and assists during Leafs games.

He had written writeups in the programs of the wrestlers of the day as early as 1935. In the 1940's in his role as a sports writer for the Star, he would report the occasional wrestling results before joining the office in 1947. At the turn of the 1950's he would variously be referred to as Tunney's 'poll-taker', and the 'voice of Wrestling HQ' and would stay with Frank T for 17 years.

After long time ring announcer Bill Smith passed on in 1950 Ayerst would take over from 1950-1955. Later in the decade his weekly columns with bits about the  upcoming cards (mostly for the purpose of advertising the card) including snippets from the wrestlers and other info were a regular entry on the sports pages.

He would contribute to the wrestling programs into the mid 1960's. One of the pages was 'Grappling Gossip' written by Frank but sometimes credited to 'Matt Wise'. It would include real type info about the wrestlers and tidbits such as their hobbies or interests, family life, or recent trips and bouts elsewhere. Fritz Von Erich flying his own plane to bouts, stuff like that. 

I asked MLG Photog and writer Roger Baker for his recollections of Frank

'Yes I do remember Frank Ayerst from a period in the early 1960's, saw him in the back of Tunney's office occasionally when I would be picking up my own working pass.

About all that I can remember of him was his immaculate personal grooming, always wore a dark, well made, suit of clothes. He looked very sharp in the ring when he was announcing the matches, and the columns that he wrote for the Toronto news papers were well done, and often left readers with interesting pieces of information on the wrestlers.'


He looks to have left the office around 1964 and later worked for the Provincial Department of Tourism. He passed on in 1984. If you can add info on Frank please contact me

Gary has Ayerst in his Announcer piece here Toronto ring announcers, 1929-1986; Gary Will's TWH

-AC