'Gentleman' Jim Hady 1961: Classic Photo

Another Classic Photo with a great Roger Baker pic from MLG 1961.

'Gentleman' Jim Hady spent a lot of time in Toronto and area between 1961-1964 wrestling on nearly every weekly show at Maple Leaf Gardens. While mostly mid-card on the big shows he would main event at the many towns on the circuit. He would battle and also team with Johnny Valentine and the two would hold the International Tag Titles.

Jim is talking to one of the regular 'second's' for the wrestlers. Not sure of his name. Phil Lisner (not pictured) was another of Frank's long time employees who was a second. You can see announcer Jerry Hiff and ref Pat Flanagan in the background.

Thanks to Roger Baker

1981 TV Wrestling Day

We were lucky to get a lot of TV wrestling in those days. In Toronto you could spend most of a Saturday pinned to the couch.  A lot of clicking on that old converter box that had the 3 levels and brown buttons, all wired to your TV. On this day there's 4 straight hours of different stuff and one more later in the day.

They moved them around all the time, the only constant mostly was the Maple Leaf show on CHCH 11 usually at 1pm but this is a good snap of what was on at the time.

Toronto March 21 1981
  • 12pm Global 6 + 22 - AWA Wrestling from Winnipeg
  • 1pm   CHCH 11 Maple Leaf Wrestling (NWA) from Brantford mostly but also Guelph, Hamilton, etc.
  • 2pm   CITY 79 George Cannon's Superstars (Independant) from Windsor, Toronto
  •           CKVR 3 Al Tomko's All Star Wrestling (NWA) from Vancouver
  •           13 was a CTV affiliate outside of Toronto, not sure what they were showing, didn't get it
  • 4pm   WIVB 4 Mid Atlantic Championship Wrestling (NWA) - best of the day ! !
Not shown is
  • 12am WUTV 29 (Buffalo station) on Saturday night with WWF Wrestling. 
The show hosted by Vince. Had to stay up for that one but it was good too and many of the regulars of that time were appearing in Toronto. Mosca (as a heel), Andre, Valentine, Hulk Hogan with Freddie Blassie, of course Backlund etc. etc. Rabbit ears on the bedroom tv for that one.

The 2pm double lineup on this day would end up with Cannon but Tomko's All-Star was fun in it's own way. Lots of fans around here still talk about All Star TV and much of the time you could watch the whole hour (if you desired) when in it's own time slot.

Cannon had also been on Global for some years, we will look at Cannon and Superstars in another post. CITY 79 later showed International from Montreal. All Star from Vancouver also moved around a bit. Some other stations that were available in other parts of Ontario also had shows.

The next card at MLG was Sunday March 29

Canadian Title: Angelo Mosca W/COR Jimmy Snuka
Andre the Giant W Hulk Hogan
Texas Death Match: Sweet Ebony Diamond W Bobby Duncum
Swede Hanson/Hossein Arab W George Wells/Johnny Weaver
Tony Parisi W Mr. Fuji
Frankie Laine Draw The Destroyer

Will feature other years in future posts, we had the NWF, Detroit, Grand Prix, Stampede, and others at various times. Even when the WWF came in there was still many hours of TV wrestling on every weekend.


Wahoo and Kiniski MLG 1982

   I'm not sure of the photographer but love this pic of Wahoo McDaniel and Gene Kiniski in front of the 'wall' at MLG in June 1982.These two went way back together to Wahoo's early days as a football player turned wrestler. Gene had turned to wrestling after his football career ended in the early 1950s, and was a big hit here since his debut in 1956. 

At this time Gene was back to being a bad guy* while Wahoo was a fan favorite. Wahoo took on Sgt Slaughter (U.S. champ, Slaughter's title not on line) while big Gene took on Angelo Mosca in a Texas Death Match for Mosca's Canadian Title. Wahoo won, Kiniski didn't. This was one of the best cards I attended at MLG. The top three bouts could have been main events anywhere plus Youngblood vs The Destroyer in the finals of a mini tournament to decide the Canadian TV Title.

More info and a few photos from this card at Slaughter and that US title July 1982

*there was a short time in the early 70s vs Sheik when Kiniski was cheered, and occasionally at other times in the 50s when facing a more hated foe. In those days the fans cheered for whomever they hated less.