Quick Bits: Firpo, Sheik, & Tunney 1972


   More classic Roger Baker photos as The Sheik takes on Pampero Firpo in a Jungle Strap match MLG May 1972. Sheik didn't lose much but he did earn his share of beatings over the years, many in these type of bouts. During his reign they were endless. Mexican Death matches, Indian Death matches, Texas Death matches (all pretty much the same) and some new ones; Arkansas Death match (Haystack Calhoun), Portuguese Death match (Rocha), and South American Death match (Firpo).

This one was called a Jungle Strap but they were tied together with a chain and collar similar to the Dog Collar bouts we saw later. In his various feuds Sheik had a bad habit of leaving the bout early, hence the chain to keep him in the battle. 
Firpo using the chain to his advantage
11,000 in the seats see Firpo take immediate control and try to 'disengage the Syrian's head from it's moorings.' Sheik gets a foreign object from manager Farouk which soon ends up in the hands of Firpo and both are soon entangled in the chain. They go down to the mat and Sheik gets the pin! He takes off down the ramp while Firpo, not to be underestimated on the madman scale, attacks ref Tiger Tasker. Sheik comes back to rescue Tasker (not really) and they all brawl to the back. 

The bout lasts a bit over six minutes bell to bell which includes the pre-requisite wind up before the start with others trying to force Sheik to participate. Dewey Robertson, Tex McKenzie, and Layton had 'persuaded' Sheik to finish attaching the collar and get to work. 

The last pic facing down the ramp captures Firpo & Sheik at the stairs. You can note Frank Tunney in his usual spot at the head of the hallway and Sheik's bodyguard Mike Loren is awaiting the boss's return. Loren may have been the Masked Marvel on this night as he wasn't listed. 
Thanks to Roger! His contributions can be found all around the site and in Roger Baker's Corner