Gori Ed Mangotich


    He was called the Toronto Terror at times in the U.K. but around home he was known as the rugged boy from Ryding, his neighborhood to the NW side of Toronto. Best known as Gori/Ed Mangotich, his formative years came on the Southern Ontario CCWA circuit run by Red Garner. For a time, Ed from Ryding was the top heel on the middleweight cards run by Garner in the smaller towns around Toronto. 

Main pic: 1965 Richmond Hill. Mangotich left with Rockey Bowley

Edwin Reid debuted around 1947 as Ed Mangotich. If the dates are right he was 15 or so. The circuit was just getting started. Garner had parlayed a successful amateur career into a fledgling promotion. It was made up of lighter (and younger) wrestlers, some from the amateur scene and others trained by Red near his home in Richvale (Richmond Hill). 

1951 close to home
With a lot of local presence they adopted their locales into their names. The Brampton Bully's, the Hamilton Hood, the Stratford Streak, and the simple Newmarket Boys. Ed became the Ryding Roughneck and was occasionally joined by a brother Doni as the Roughnecks. Soon it was Gori Ed and he added Slavic Sensation to the growing list of nicknames. 

The Garner circuit was known for its fast and high flying action with Mangotich spending years challenging the up and comers. A lot of scientific wrestling, though they imitated the main circuit at times. Masks, blindfold bouts, and other stuff they did back then. Here and in Ottawa notably there had been various times that promoters played it as a New Deal or English Style. Wrestling straight up. Garner tried that too and his guys could keep up. 

The fans were mostly against Gori Ed but he built up a following, known as a tough, down to the gears type. There were a lot of those types in the smaller towns they ran. An undefeated streak was a recurring theme throughout his career and he would help the others climb the ranks. 

Success Overseas

In 1951 another local from Bradford known variously as Wally Sieber, the Pride of Holland Landing,  and Baron Von Sieber, met up with Mangotich and began years of teaming and feuding. Over time Sieber and others from the circuit (McKigney, Scicluna, etc) went on to bigger and better things. Mangotich and the other lighter wrestlers often went out of the country to find work in the off months. Garner had earlier in his career gone to Mexico, and in 1954 Mangotich went to the U.K. 

When Mangitoch returned for the 1955 season they mentioned his return from England and his claims of not losing a bout in over 100 matches. He played it up well with a strong season all around for Garner. In one bout Gori Ed faces Carl Banniman said to be the British Empire Middleweight champion.  

1952

The Great Mangotich

1959
For the 1956 season he becomes The Great Mangotich: 'Ed ‘Gori’ will give a demonstration of modern hypnotic methods as a special added attraction, at no extra charge...' People loved it. He held the Canadian Middleweight Title, the prize of the promotion. A year later he was fined 25$ and banned from the Thornhill Farmers Market for a month for causing a riot. Not as the Hypnotist, but the wrestler. When he came back to Thornhill he and Doni started a fight with Campbellford's Stoney Brooks at the back of the hall prior to their own bout. The other wrestlers had to break it up and they were lucky to not cause another riot. 

In between he returned to the U.K. where he carved out a considerable career alongside many of the star of the 50s and 60s. Following in Whipper's shoes and many others of the era, he appeared in the 1962 promotional documentary The Wrestling Game where he faced Judo Al Hayes, then a top ranked British star. 

In a 1963 British magazine Wrestling Review, it discusses the Toronto Terror and his controversial Claw hold which had already been banned for his frequent partner Dr Death. In the mid 60s they were in the middle of the battles on the fighting British scene. Other nicknames were used, both here and there, including Lumberjack the Rugged Yugoslav, Killer, and Mangler. 

With his success overseas we saw limited action from Mangotich with sporadic appearances into the late 60s. His last in England was in 1970. His death is listed as 1995. 

If you can add to Gori Ed's story here in Canada please do. For his British exploits lots of great stuff at the Heritage site listed below. 

-AC