Clad in a yellow full judo style outfit with mask and wrestling barefoot, Red Garner- as Great Kudo- tore up the outer circuits before making it to MLG for a few big bouts against Bruno. By 1960 Red was winding down his own CCWA and went in with Gus Marmon & his Olympic Wrestling Club while he went under the mask as Kudo. They ran un-masking bouts around the circuit including one in Kingston in 1961 that caught my attention.
Initially notable because Whipper is appearing on what was then an Indy fed. Through the history of Red Garner's CCWA there was no crossover that way. Many wrestlers ended up on the Tunney circuit but not the other way around. A few including George Scott and Bull Johnson crossed back to the Indy’s early in their careers but not after they were established.
Kudo was feuding with Scissors Joe Greenfield, Red's real life son-in-law. They had some heated battles before Kudo then faced Whipper in Napanee that ended in a no decision. Scissors Joe taking over the referee spot for the big bout. And again for the rematch in Kingston later in the season.
This time Whipper beat Kudo winning 2/3 falls. The recap in the Kingston paper written by Paul Rimstead no less tells of Greenfield & Watson having to forcibly remove the mask to reveal ....'a fat faced fellow with a square-cut-goatee.' It goes on to name the un-masked Kudo as 'Kudo Tokida background and personal statistics unknown.'
Later that year Yukon Eric came to Kingston (along with fellow Tunney homesteaders Pat Flanagan & Bunny Dunlop) to face Kudo. This time they had more info. Kudo was Cam Takeda (an actual wrestler) from Vancouver. His father Japanese, mother Irish, and wrestling for 18 years. It claimed he had put on the mask a year before and that most fans think the story is a falsehood. 'Is the old devil trying to pull a fast one? No one knows except the promoter.'.... Wink!
Interesting that Garner's previous gimmick as Mr Moto is as confusingly entangled; there was the U.S. based Hito & Moto that were here during that time (mid 50s). Was Red also Kudo - yes he was. Was he always Kudo - who knows!
More with Garner at Red Garner: The Pride Of Langstaff and around the site