"Best not to think about it. I know that's a problem for you... not thinking. " -Steve Yohe
Joined: 01 Aug 2006
Location: Wonderful Montebello CA
|Posted: Thu Jul 23, 2015 3:55 am Post subject:
|The Thesz Forum Southern California Hall Of Fame Report
Voting Period #2 (July 2015)
Los Angeles Hall of Fame Wtrestler's Group Admits
Los Angeles Hall of Fame Non-Worker Group Admits
Los Angeles Hall of Fame Tag Team Group Admits
Black Gordman & Great Goliath
The Torres Brothers (Ramon, Alberto & Enrique)
The Voting & Points for the Wrestler's HOF. Top three vote getters admitted into the hall. The list goes—Name---point total—number of ballots the wrestler was on---and the # of first place votes. In case of a tie both persons (or more that two) are admitted or moved. The number of voters for this section was 27.
Wrestler Group Voting:
1-Sandor Szabo = 133 --- 21 --- 6
2-Enrique Torres = 123--- 21
3-Gorgeous George = 116---17 --- 2
4-Baron Michele Leone = 113 --- 17 --- 1
5-John Tolos = 111 ---18 --- 3
6-Mil Mascaras= 85 --- 16
7-Ed “Strangler” Lewis = 80 --- 11 --- 4
8-Hulk Hogan = 66 ---10 --- 2
9-Vincent Lopez = 54 --- 11 --- 1
Edouard Carpentier = 54 ---11
11-Lou Thesz = 50 --- 9
Gus Sonnenberg = 50 --- 7 --- 2
13-Bobo Brazil = 49 --- 9 --- 2
14-Joe Stecher = 46 --- 6
15-Bearcat Wright = 30 --- 6
16-Pedro Morales = 28 --- 5 ---1
17-Buddy Austin = 26 --- 4
18-Man Mountain Dean = 23 --- 5
19-Nick Lutze = 20 --- 3 --- 1
20-Ray Stevens = 18 --- 2 --- 1
Rikidozan = 18 --- 4
22-Count Billy Varga = 17 --- 6
Mr Moto = 17 --- 6
24- Leo Garibaldi = 15 --- 3 --- 1
25-Gene LeBell (The Hangman) = 13 --- 2
26- Joe Pazandek = 11 --- 3
Mark Lewin = 11 --- 2
28-Ricki Starr = 10 --- 1 --- 1
Red Berry = 10--- 4
30-Masa Saito = 9 --- 1
Kijni Shibuya = 9 --- 3
32-Randy Savage = 8 --- 1
33-Roddy Piper = 7 --- 2
Terry Funk = 7 --- 1
The Sheik = 7 --- 2
36-Shohei Baba = 6 --- 2
Danny McShain = 6 ---3
Don Manoukian = 6 --- 2
39-Victor Rivera = 5 --- 1
40-Buddy Rogers = 4 --- 2
El Hijo del Santo = 4 --- 1
Wilbur Snyder = 4 --- 1
43-Andre The Giant = 3 --- 1
Chavo Guerrero = 3 --- 1
Don Leo Jonathan = 3 --- 1
46-Ray Mendoza = 2 --- 1
Cowboy Bob Ellis = 2 --- 1
48-Nick Bockwinkel = 1 --- 1
Vic Christy = 1 --- 1
-----Candidates with no votes or points—All of them are #50-----
45-Dick The Bruiser
98-Rey Misterio Jr
49-Lord James Blears
50-Johnny “Cowboy Rocky” Valentine
65-Dory Funk Jr
99-El Generico (Sami Zayn)
100-Cladio Castagnoli (Antonio Cesaro)
The non-wrestler or non-worker group. Only one person is admitted to the HOF.
NON-WORKER LIST (Voters 27)
1-Jules Strongbow = 45 --- 20 --- 10
----------Runner up group---------------------------------------------
2-Jimmy Lennon Sr = 30 --- 15 --- 5
3-Johnny Doyle = 23 --- 10 --- 4
4-Dick Lane = 14-- 7 --- 2
5-Vince McMahon Jr (Vincent Kennedy McMahon) = 12 --- 6 --- 2
6-Johnny “Red Shoes” Duggan = 11 --- 7
7- Jeff Walton = 10 --- 5 --- 2
8-Cal Eaton = 9 --- 4 --- 2
9- Hugh Nichols = 5 --- 4
10-Art Williams = 1 --- 1
11-Toots Mondt = 1 --- 1
12-Antonio Pena = 1 --- 1
-----------Non-workers with out votes—All are #13
17-Dr. Bernard Schwartz
15-John “Jack” Daro
The new Tag Team group, in which we pick two teams on each ballot.
TAG TEAM GROUP (Voters 22)
1- Black Gordman & Great Goliath = 83 --- 20 – 11
2- Enrique, Ramon & Alberto Torres = 56 --- 16 --- 3
-------------The runner ups--------------------------------
3- The Fabulous Kangaroos = 46 --- 16 --- 2
(Al Costello, Roy Hefferman & Red Berry)
4- Ernie & Emil Dusek = 37 --- 11 --- 4
5- The Destroyer & Don Manoukian = 28 --- 9-- 3
6- Lord James Blears & Lord Athol Layton = 22 --- 8
7- Gino & Leo Garibaldi = 17 ---5--- 2
8- The Assassins = 11 --- 3
9- Kinji Shibuya & Masa Saito = 10 --- 5
10-George & Bobby Becker = 9 --- 4
11- The Hollywood Blondes = 7 --- 3
Freddie Blassie & Don Leo Jonathan = 7 --- 3
Pedro Morales & Luis Hernandez = 7 --- 3
14-Freddie Blassie & Mr Moto = 5 --- 2
Bobo Brazil & Wilbur Snyder = 5 --- 2
16-Freddie Blassie & Buddy Austin = 2 – 1
17- The Destroyer & Hard Boiled Haggerty = 1 --- 1
Gene Kiniski & John Tolos = 1 --- 1
-------Teams with no votes or points------------------------
17- Arn Anderson & Tully Blanchard
19-The British Bulldogs
20-The Hart Foundation
21-Shawn Michaels & Marty Jannetty
22-Eddie Guerrero & Love Machine (Art Barr)
23-El Hijo del Santo & Octagon
This is the section to add candidates in voting period #3 (Feb. 2016). We have 3 wrestlers being admited & we remove 3 names, so we need to add six new candidates. These “add on” and “Take off” sections did not get a lot of voters. To make it work I'm going to have the change rules to make it work, but this section worked out well & I didn't have to change anything.
Names to be added to Candidated list (10 voters)
1- Jim Browning = 21 --- 5 --- 1
2- John Pesek = 14 --- 3 --- 2
3- Ed Don George = 12 --- 3 --- 2
4- Mike Mazurki = 10 --- 4
5- Dave Levin = 10 --- 4
6- Art Michalik = 8 --- 2
7- Bloody Buddy O'Brien = 5 ---1 --- 1
La Pantera Negra = 5 --- 1 --- 1
Hans Herman = 5 --- 1 --- 1
Hardy Kruskamp --- 5 ---1 --- 1
Rito Momero = 5 ---1 ---1
12- Bobby Managoff = 4 --- 1
Raul Mata = 4 --- 1
Dick Hutton = 4 --- 3
15-Hard Boiled Haggerty (Pat McClary) = 3 ---1
Stan Holek = 3 --- 1
Al Baffert (Andre Adoree) = 3 --- 1
Ted Christy = 3 ---1
Tiny Roebuck = 3 --- 1
Toyonobori = 3 --- 1
Jules Strongbow = 3 --- 2
22-Dick Daviscourt = 2 --- 1
Wee Willie Davis = 2 --- 1
Hard Boiled Haggerty (Don Stansauk) =2 --- 1
Ray “Thunder” Stern = 2 --- 1
Pat Fraley = 2 --- 1
Johnny “Broadway” Venus = 2 --- 1
28- LeRoy McGuirk = 1 --- 1
Karl Davis =1 --- 1
Salvador Lothario = 1 --- 1
Woody Strode = 1 --- 1
This is the add on to the Non-Worker group. We remove two names & one leaves the list to go into the hall, so we need to add three people.
Names to be added to non-performer list (10 voters)
1 - Hardy Kruskamp = 8 --- 3 --- 2
Aileen Eaton = 8 --- 3 --- 2
Mr Moto = 8 --- 3 --- 2
4 - Hank Metheny = 4 --- 2 --- 1
5 - Count Pietro Rossi = 3 ---1 --- 1
Ernestine the Chicken Lady = 3 --- 1 --- 1
Tiger Nelson = 3 --- 1--- 1
8 - Billy Sandow = 2 --- 1
Don McDonald = 2--- 1
Pete Mehringer = 2 --- 1
Tony Stecher = 2 --- 2
Ripper Leone = 2 --- 1
Morrie Cohan = 2 --- 1
Bobby Coleman = 2 --- 1
15- Cecil Payne = 1 --- 1
Earl Mc Donald = 1 --- 1
Luigi (Bull) Montana = 1 ---1
Luis Maganya = 1 --- 1
Pat O'Brain = 1 --- 1
In the Tag Team “Add on” section we need 5 team. Two teams went into the hall & 3 came off, so 5. I ended up needing 6 added on, because of a tie in the take off section. This section only had 7 voters and that told me that the voters were not up to it or just didn't want to spent time on it. Some voters told me they thought the candidate list was good as it was. So I'm in charge & I'm going to bend the rules to make it work. There was a 6 way tie for third, so under the old rules about ties, I would be putting 16 teams in. Almost the complete list. So I went with the top two and 4 others I thought was the best choices to get 6.
Names to be added to Tag Team List (Voters- 7)
1- Tom Rice & The Great Bolo = 10 --- 4--2
2- The Destroyer & Billy “Red” Lyons = 4 --- 2
3 -Bearcat Wright & Mr Moto = 3 --- 1 --- 1
The Medics = 3 --- 1
Bobo Brazil & Mark Lewin = 3 --- 1---1
Matt & Nick Jackson = 3 --- 1 --- 1
-------Runner up group-----------------------------------------
Babe & Chris Zaharias = 3 --- 1 --- 1
Great Togo & Tosh Togo = 3 --- 1 --- 1
9=Killer Karl Davis & Wee Willie Davis = 2 --- 1
La Pantera Negra & Salvador Lothario =2 --- 1
Sky Hi Lee & Shag (King Toby) Thomas = 2 --- 1
John & Al Smith = 2 --- 2
Fritz Von Goering & Mike Paidousis = 2 --- 1
14-Mr. Moto & Kintaro Oki = 1 --- 1
Hector & Mondo Guerrero = 1 --- 1
Red Devils = 2 --- 2
17-Ted & Vic Christy = 1 --- 1
We needed to pick three names to take off the single wrestler list.
Names for removal from candidate list (Voters – 13)
1- Frank Gotch = 16--- 4 --- 3
2- John Studd = 13 --- 4 ---1
3- Bret Hart = 13 --- 5 --- 1
--------Lucky runner up group--------------------------------------
4- Luke Graham = 12 --- 3 --- 1
Chris Hero = 12 --- 4 --- 1
6- Don Muraco = 11 --- 4 --- 1
Randy Savage = 11 --- 3 --- 1
8- Hulk Hogan = 10 --- 2 --- 2
Primo Carnera = 10 --- 3
Mono Guerrero = 10 --- 3
Jake Roberts = 10 --- 4
El Generico = 10 --- 2--- 2
13-Tom Rice = 7 --- 3
Claudio Castagnoli (Cesaro) = 7 --- 2
15-Walter Miller = 5 --- 2
16- El Hijo del Santo = 4 --- 1
Frank Sexton = 4 ---1
Sgt Slaughter = 4 --- 1
19-Psicosis = 3 --- 1
Antonio Inoki = 3 --- 1
Konnan = 3 --- 1
22-Negro Casas = 2 --- 1
Antonino Rocca = 2 --- 1
Johnny Valentine = 2 --- 1
25-Haystack Calhoun = 1 --- 1
Leo Garibaldi = 1 --- 1
Kintaro Oki = 1 --- 1
In the Non-Worker group we had to remove two.
Names to be removed from non-performer list (Voters- 10)
1- Dr Bernard Schwartz = 9 --- 6 --- 3
2- Art Williams = 7 --- 5 --- 2
------Lucky runner up group-------------------------------------
3- Vincent McMahon Jr = 6---3--3
4- Antonio Pena = 2 --- 2
5- Toots Mondt = 2 ---1---1
6- Billy Anderson = 2 --- 1--- 1
Jesse Hernandez = 1 --- 1
The Tag Team removal list was supossed to be 3 teams, but the three way tie for two meant I was going to remove 4. I could have adjusted the rules to take 3, but all the WWE teams are going to get voted off first anyway so … Only 9 people voted, so I was going to do what was best.
Names to be removed from the Tag Team list (Voters--9)
1-Shawn Michaels & Marty Jannetty = 12 --- 6 --- 2
2-Arn Anderson & Tully Blanchard = 11 ---4 --- 3
The Hart Foundation = 11 --- 7
The British Bulldogs = 11 --- 5 --- 1
----------Lucky runner up group---------------------
5-Pedro Morales & Luis Hernandez = 6 --- 2 --- 2
6-The Destroyer & Hard Boiled Haggerty = 3 --- 3 --- 1
Lord Blears & Lord Layton = 3 --- 1---1
8-Freddie Blassie & Don Leo Jonathan = 2 --- 1
Gino & Leo Garibaldi = 1 --- 1
Thanks to everyone.---Steve Yohe
Joined: 01 Aug 2006
Location: Wonderful Montebello CA
|Posted: Thu Jul 23, 2015 4:07 am Post subject:
|Southern California (Los Angeles) Hall Of Fame Members
Freddie Blassie (Ballot # 1 Feb. 28, 2015)
Jim Londos (Ballot # 1 Feb. 28, 2015)
The Intelligent Sensational Destroyer (Dick Beyer) (Ballot # 1 Feb. 28, 2015)
Sandor Szabo (Ballot #2, July 22, 2015)
Enrique Torres (Ballot #2, July 22, 2015)
Gorgeous George (Ballot #2, July 22, 2015)
Lou Daro (Ballot # 1 Feb. 28, 2015)
Jules Strongbow (Ballot #2, July 22, 2015)
Tag Team section
Black Gordman & Great Goliath (Ballot #2, July 22, 2015)
The Torres Brothers (Ramon, Alberto, & Enrique)(Ballot #2, July 22, 2015)
Joined: 01 Sep 2005
|Posted: Fri Jul 24, 2015 10:08 am Post subject:
|Well that sucks.
Joined: 01 Aug 2006
Location: Wonderful Montebello CA
|Posted: Sun Jan 24, 2016 4:58 pm Post subject:
|With the voting period starting next Sunday at 24:00, I've worked on the Bio list. Mostly just rambling on about the new admits to the list. Have sections for candidates, HOF members, and the holding area. Didn't retouch any of the old bios.
Los Angeles HOF Candidate Bio's
By Steve Yohe
1-Nick Lutze Started in 1926, the first complete year with the Olympic and lasts as a major wrestler in LA until 1940. He might have been in more main events than Londos. Never a champion or top guy, he was always a main eventer, and put over all the champions and contender getting ready to work with the top guy. Good looking face, who could work and had the style of a pure wrestler. He seemed to have been respected by fans & wrestlers. He also was a national star who was major in Boston & S.F. And a major everywhere. I put him in a class with Szabo & Detton. Lutze's debut at the Olympic was on May 19, 1926, when he defeated Prince Goho Gobar. In 1926he wrestled Londos twice ( the 2nd one was a draw), had a major title match with Joe Stecher (Att: 8,000), John Pesek (a job that set Pesek up for the famous double-cross on Stecher), and Paul Jones. IN 1927 he beat Charles Leppanan twice, lost another title match with Stecher, and split two main events with Paul Jones In 1928 he drew with Jim Browning, beat Milo Steinborn, Howart Cantonwine,, had a hude match with Ed Lewis that drew over 10,000 and turned away 1,000s, drew with Joe Malcewicz & then lost to Malcewicz in a tournament final. In 1929 he had a rematch and beat Malcewicz, defeated Dick Daviscourt, Stanley Stasiak, and lost to Malcewicz and then beat Malcewicz in main events. Another Stecher match follow & he lost, and then he lost to Lewis. In 1930 he lost to new star Everett Marshall drewing 10,500 & $19,500. A rematch with Marshall drew 9,000. He beat Dan Koloff, Gene LaDoux & Karl Sappolis before lossing to another new star, Ed Don George & ended the year losing to Henri DeGlane. In 1931, Lutze lost to exchamp Gus Sonnenberg and drew 8,000 drawing with Bonnie Muir in a match that lasted 2:10:00. Late in the year he drew with Sonnenberg. In 1932 he drew with George Zaharias. 1933 saw him beat Hal Rumberg and lose a NY World Title match with Jim Browning. Then he lost two matches with Sonnenberg and drew with Sammy Stein. A rematch had him lose via decision to Stein. He then beat Fred Meyers. In 1934, Lutze beat Sammy Stein and Meyers, before losing to Ray Steele. He beat Paul Boesch, Cantonwine (twice), before losing to Joe Savoldi. He wrestled a draw with Malcewicz, beat Rudy Skarda, Al Baffert before losing to Man Mountain Dean in front of a sold out 11,000. He then beat George Zaharias, drew with Ira Dern. In 1935, he then won a handicap match vs Man Mountain Dean, in which Dean was supposed to pin Lutze and Hans Steinke in 30:00. He couldn't pin Lutze at all and Steinke didn't get in the ring. It drew 10,000. A losing rematch with Dean drew 8,000. He entered the big international double elimination tournament of 1935 and lost to Sergei Kalmikoff, beat Brither Jonathan, and then lost to Jim Browning. He then defeated Tony Felice, Pat Fraley, and Babe Zaharias, before doing a job to George Calza in a main event. In 1936, he drew with Sandor Szabo and beat Bill Longson. On a semi-final he defeated Szabo via COR. Later he lost to Ray Steele by DQ. In big tournament he lost to Szabo via a decision, but Sandor injured his arm & couldn't continue. Defeated Oki Shikima, Buddy O'Brien and drew Jules Strongbow. On Aug. 11, 1937, on the under card of Nagurski vs Lopez, Lutze fought in a boxer vs wrestler mix match. Lutze defeated boxer Pio Pico (195 pounds) at 2:21 or the 2nd round. In 1937 he also put over Vincent Lopez, Dean Detton and lost a world title match with Bronko Nagurski in 1938 drawing 7,000. During 1939 and 1940 he had many matches with Dean Detton. In Sept. 1940 a wrestlers revolt forced the Calif. Commission to drive Toots Mondt and the Daro brothers out of Los Angeles wrestling. The booking office taken over by Nick Lutze and he was in change of booking talent to all the arenas in Southern Calif. He ended this role in Jan, 1923 when he sold out to Ray Fabiani. Died Dec. 23, 1955.
2-Ed “Strangler” Lewis
Ed Lewis first match in Los Angeles was one Dec. 22, 1916 when he beat Nick (Dick) Daviscourt at Los Angeles Athletic Club. He made friends fast playing a part in a Douglas Fairbanks movie called Reaching The Moon, probably after making buddies out of Fairbanks or the star’s trainer/wrestler Bull Montana. Lewis stayed in town for little over a month for four matches at the LAAC. In Aug. & Sept.1924, LA’s new promoter, Lou Daro, brought in the Sandow company which included Lewis, Toots Mondt, & Stan Zbyszko. Lewis, the undisputed world champion, had 4 matches at the famous LA Philharmonic Auditorium. That arena was the home of classical music in the arena & the largest cement building west of the Mississippi River. It held 5,500, a large number for 1924, but it up set Lou Daro that he had to turn crowds of 2,000 away. So for the last Lewis match in LA with Mondt, he staged it at the outdoor Washington Baseball Park. It drew 10,000 and a gate of $31,000…an LA record and most likely a West Coast record. The 10,000 number became the theory of promoters over the years… that LA only had 10,000 wrestling fans & it probably influenced the size of The Olympic Auditorium which started construction in Dec. 1924. Lewis lost the title in 1926 and it ended up in the hands of Joe Stecher. In Aug. 1926, Lewis returned to LA and beat Mike Romano (Aug. 31) and then Wayne Munn (Sept. 14) in the Vernon Coliseum, a small arena located between East LA and the main city. The world champion Joe Stecher was wrestling at the new Olympic Auditorium. Lewis was still claiming the title he had lost to Wayne Munn, started making noise. Saying Stecher wouldn’t wrestle him and even placed a bond with the commission. He expected Stecher to back away, as champion were most likely to do through history, because he knew he couldn’t beat Stecher in a “shoot”. But the champion didn’t back down, forcing the commission to order Lewis to wrestle him or forfeit the bond. Lewis first accepted, then canceled due to an injury, and ran from town forfeiting the money to Stecher. Lewis later re-won the title in Boston and return to LA selling out 3 times defending the title vs Nick Lutze & Marvin Plestina. After he lost the belt to Gus Sonnenberg in Boston, Lewis return to The Olympic in Oct. 1928 and main evented thru the next few years. In 1929 & 1930, he sold out the Olympic Auditorium 5 times in super matches with Stecher, Everett Marshall & Gus Sonnenberg. On April 13, 1931, Lewis defeated Ed Don George in Wrigley Field for the AWA World Title, drawing 12,000 & $27,951. After losing the title, Ed returned to LA and went into semi-retirement buying a house in Glendale, getting married and owning a chain of restaurants. He had trachoma and he thought he was going blind. In 1932, Lewis felt better, left long time manager Billy Sandow, and made a comeback winning another world title in NYC. After dropping that title, he challenged Jim Browning many times. One was at The Olympic drawing 9,000 in a loss. In 1935, Lewis put over Vincent Lopez and the managed him. He officially retired at the end of 1938 & moved to the Hollywood Hills. Another comeback started 1n 1941, when the lack of talent during WWII made him a star in the Mid-West. In 1947, he wrestled & refereed around Los Angeles. On June 25, 1947, he challenged the new Calif. world champ Enrique Torres at the Olympic. He lost but the card drew 9,200. In Nov. 1947, he became a trainer and PR man for the LAAC. Old & Fat, his wrestling license was revoked by the commission in March 1948. In the years that followed he was supported by the NWA and working as a manager for NWA Champ Lou Thesz. Died Aug. 6, 1966.
Joe Stecher was the first great champion following Frank Gotch. He is on every list of greatest shooters in wrestling history & he may have been the best. On March 16, 1916, Joe & Tony Stecher met with Frank Gotch at the LAAC. Talks were going on about a super match between the two, but Gotch was sick & could no longer do the training required. On March 11. 1917, Stecher took a train from San Francisco down to Vernon, where he defeated Henry Ordeman. The Stechers trained & lived at the Los Angeles Athletic Club for a few days and then defended the undisputed World Title beating Constantin Romanoff (Jack Meyers) at the Shrine Auditorium on March 23, 1917 in front of 3,500 fans. In 1925, after Stecher became the first wrestler to win the world title three times, he defended his title in Los Angeles at the Exposition Park Armory beating Dan Koloff in two straight falls. The promoter Lou Daro talked to the Stecher about moving to Los Angeles and the building of the Olympic Auditorium. Which was going to be the biggest and best arena in the world when completed. Joe & Tony Stecher must have like the idea because they arrived in Los Angeles on July 20, 1925 and bought a house in Long Beach. On Aug. 10, 1925, Joe Stecher main evented the first wrestling card at the new Olympic Auditorium, defending the world title in defeating Renato Gardini, drawing 8,800. After defeating Goho Gobar on Sept. 24,Stecher defended the title against the ex-champ Stanislaus Zbyszko. Defeating him 2 out of 3 falls. On Dec. 14, 1925 at the Olympic, Joe Stecher defeated Jim Londos. After Joe won the first fall in 20 seconds, they wrestled the full 2 hours without another fall recorded. On Dec. 14, Stecher and Londos wrestled a two hour draw. On May 5, 1926, Stecher sold out the Olympic (10,000) in beating George Kotsonaros. On June 16, 1926, Stecher defeated Ivan Poddubny at the Olympic. On Aug. 25, 1926, Joe Stecher wrestled a 2 hour draw with John Pesek. Ed Lewis was still claiming the title, and in Aug. 1931 he started wrestling in Vernon (small town just east of LA). As he always did, he challenged Stecher and posted a bond with the commission, thinking that Stecher, like most champions, would refuse. Joe didn’t and accepted the match. Lewis wanted no part of a shoot with Stecher but took the match…then claimed an injury…and then left the city. With the bond going to Stecher. In the middle of all of this, Stecher wrestled sub John Pesek at the Olympic on Oct. 6, 1926 at the Olympic. This was the famous double-cross match which ended up with Pesek being DQ’ed for choking Stecher. On Dec. 1, 1926, Londos wrestled another 2 hour draw with Jim Londos. On March 30, 1927, Stecher defeated Nick Lutze. And on June 8, 1927, he beat Paul Jones at the Olympic. A rematch vs Paul Jones on Aug. 17, 1927 was another win for the champion. He then drew with Dick Daviscourt on Sept. 14, 1927. Joe then beat Wladek Zbyszko at the Olympic on Nov. 9. Stecher wanted to retire by the end of 1927 after being on top since 1915, and most of the new promoters also wanted new blood, so deals were made. Stecher moved back to Dodge, to work his farms and watch over his grain business. On Feb. 20, 1928, Stecher losed his world title to Strangler Lewis in St Louis. By 1929, the great depression had started and the first thing hit was America’s farms, so Stecher was hit hard and decided to make a comeback. He knew his days as the top wrestler in the world were over and his main interest was making money, so he signed with Paul Bowser’s promotion who had moved in with Lou Daro in LA & had wrestling’s biggest stars in Gus Sonnenberg & Ed Lewis. In Los Angeles in 1929, Joe Stecher beat Paul Jones, Joe Malcewick, Nick Lutze, Marin Plestina, plus had four matches with Ed Lewis and the AWA champ Gus Sonnenberg, All four were losses that sold out the Olympic Auditorium with high ticket prices. Nation wide, these were the biggest matches of the year and Los Angeles made more money than anyone that year. In 1930, Stecher lost to Sandow’s new star Everett Marshall at the Olympic. Stecher’s last match in LA was on Sept. 14, 1932 at the Olympic, losing to Ray Steele in a match for the California State Title.
Nick was the son of respected wrestler Warren Bockwinkel and drew up around the sport. As a baby he pee'ed on the leg of Lou Thesz and hung around arenas most of his life. In June 1954, he stared a wrestling career of his own in Los Angeles to pay his collage tuition at UCLA. I believe he was trained by Sandor Szabo & his father and was around Wilbur Snyder. Intentionally or otherwise, he copied the style & gimmick of Snyder. He was a all American babyface that wore a crew cut. Bockwinkel, in my eyes was never a major star in Los Angeles. He was protected, seldom did jobs, appeared on TV, but was never pushed to the top and had very few main events at The Olympic and no Friday night main events ever. Still he was part of the LA family and the local wrestling culture and known & liked by everyone. Wilbur Snyder was a big star in magazines & on Chicago TV, but if looked at his career carefully, he wasn't a super draw. As a baby face, Bockwinkel wasn't at Snyder's level as a star or draw, and I think it's because the crew cut babyface didn't draw as a gimmick & it got worse as they aged. What made Nick Bockwinkel a major HOF'er was his work as a heel in the AWA. Nick's first match probably was on Sept. 3, 1954 at the Valley Garden Arena against Jerry Christy (a drew). He wrestled in the area until June 1956, when he left for Chicago. In LA he was shown on TV, but was mid-card & his value was as a father/son team with Warren. He didn't stay long in the mid-west & returned in Sept. The only thing I can see as a Olympic main event was a job to Lord Carlton on Nov. 7, 1956. On March 13, 1957, Nick lost to Billy Varga drawing a crowd of 800, and on March 22, 1957 he had a NWA World Title match with Lou Thesz and lost two straight falls in front of 1,000. Both these main events may have been on TV. In July 1957, he left for Texas & returned in Oct. 1957. He was drafted in 1958 and being stationed at Fort Ord, he worked around San Francusco as Dick Warren. He return to LA in Dec. 1960. On Jan. 4, 1961, he won his only title at The Olympic teaming with Ed Carpentier to defeat Stan Holek (Nielson) & The Preacher to win the International TV Tag Title. The tag title didn't really help him get main events because Carpentier was tied up in single matches every night. He lost to Freddie Blassie at The Olympic on Feb. 22 in what may have been a pushed match....or just a TV match. He & Carpentier dropped the Tag Title to the Zebra Kid & Mike Sharpe on May 12 in Long Beach. On May 3, he did a job for Blassie at The Olympic & by the end of the month he was in Texas. During the following years he grew bigger as a star teaming with Wilbur Snyder in SF and getting some wins over The Destroyer in Portland. After a long tour in Hawaii, he returned to LA in Sept. 1965. By then he was well known as a minor national star, but he got just a minor push at the Olympic. He wasn't abused booking wise, but he wasn't involved in any major storyline that came to anything. It made me think he was just in town to visit relatives. On Sept. 15, 1965, he wrestled a draw with Pedro Morales but I think it was on TV. I think he left at the end of the year for Honolulu and then Australia for Jim Barnett. He showed up in April 1967, with the same minor push, wrestling draws and working in tag matches. The only thing remembered is his Aug. 12, 1967 job to Freddie Blassie in San Bernardino that was Fred's first match back from retirement. I always thought Nick was doing Fred a favor to make sure he didn't get hurt working on one kidney. During this stay, Bockwinkel was working opening matches on major cards. By the end of Oct. 1967, Nick was back in Hawaii. I think his heel turn was in Atlanta at the end of 1969 & in 1971 he moved on to the AWA as a heel & became a national sensation. The star returned to The Olympic on May 19, 1972 to wrestle a draw a 20 minute draw with Killer Kowalski. Bockwinkel wrestle as a heel and the match was very stiff and I thought great. There was a AWA card booked into The Olympic around 1986 & Bockwinkel may have been on the card. It didn't draw flies & I can't remember. Nick was a major member of the CAC and became president. It was mainly Nick that moved the club out of Los Angeles to Las Vegas around 2000.
AWA champion defende title in LA in 1929 vs Ed Lewis & Joe Stecher drawing mostly sellouts. Drew 17,580 ($69,745) in beating Everett Marshall in Wrigley Field on May 5, 1930. Loss the world title to Ed Don George in the Olympic on Dec. 10, 1930. For two years he was the greatest draw in the history of the city. As a non-champion continued to be major box office whenever he appeared in LA, until his death around the time of WWII.
Born on July 19, 1929, Leo Garibaldi grew up around his famous father Gino Garibaldi and the Olympic Auditorium. During Gino's matches he'ed used Leo as a gimmick. Playing the proud father, he'd bring him into the ring & the infant would do push ups and wrestling moves to entertain the fans. Leo had his first match in 1947 and made it to Southern California in Oct. 1949 wrestling in Wilmington as Frank Garza. In Oct. 1949, Leo formed one of wrestling's first father/son tag teams with Gino. By that time Leo was a great worker and the team became a sensation on LA TV nation wide. On Jan. 4, 1950, he defeated Kolo Kwariani at the Olympic. Leo Garibaldi was small but a good looking kid and a member of the LA family. Like Nick Bockwinkel, Billy Varga, and a few others, Leo was kept strong, rarely doing jobs in singles matches by the use of draws and keeping him mid-card at The Olympic & big arenas. He also worked tags with his dad & other faces. There were some exceptions. On Jan. 11, 1950 Gorggeous George & Baron Michele Leone defeated Gino & Leo Garibaldi at The Olympic in front of 6,500. On Feb. 21, 1951, Leo wrestled Baron Leone for the Calif. World Title but lost...drawing 9,200. In tags, Leo was considered the master of the “hot tag”. They left at times for San Francisco, and at some point in 1951, became the first Pacific Coast Tag Champion. It's not know if it was won or awarded. Leo left LA in March 1952 and wrestled in the South feuding with Fred Blassie & others. Return to the city in Sept. 1953 and did some jobs for The Great Bolo. Then went to El Paso in 1954. Wrestled a little in Southern Calif. in late 1854, and return to Texas in June 1955. Returned in Dec. and did a job to Sandor Szabo on Dec.21, 1955, before going to Florada in 1956. Leo injured his shoulder in 1960 and retired to become a respected promoter in the South & other places. In the mid-1970's he booked at the Olympic and his famous move was to turn babyface Roddy Piper heel. He died May 12, 2008.
Tolos first wrestled in Los Angeles in 1954. Teaming with Gene Kiniski they won the Int TV Tag Title from Bobo Brazil & Wilbur Snyder in Oct 1954….losing the title to Joe Pazandak & Lord Blears on Nov 22, 1954. During that period he feuded with Brazil, Snyder, Sandor Szabo & a babyface Fred Blassie. He left in 1955 and became a nation star teaming with his brother Chris, as The Tolos Brothers. They won area titles all over North America until 1966, when they broke up. John then became a singles star in Vancouver. In Nov 1967, Tolos returned to LA. It seems Tolos was not brought in by Strongbow to be pushed to the top, but because they got him as part of a JWA tour agreement.. His first major win in town was beating Pepper Gomez at the Olympic on March 8, 1968. Remaining unbeaten he got some type of a win over Bobo Brazil on May1, 1968. Tolos’ first major Friday night match was a loss to WWA WC Bobo Brazil on May 10, 1968. Tolos then toured Japan doing jobs to Antonio Inoki & Kintaro Oki. I was laying around in a Toyko hospital and watched him lose on JWA Tv to Michiaki Yoshimura. He then returned to Vancouver until late May 1970, when again he showed up in LA. Tolos then push as the lead heel. Tolos what was called a “cool” heel. The fans could hate him but also enjoy his act. He was a good brawler in the ring, but many of his spots looked soft and comical. Very good looking he had interviews that got heat and laughs at the same time. In LA, he was over like crazy, with the feel of a major wrestler. After working a short spell as American TC with the Great Kojika, Tolos had his first match (of the period) and sellout with Freddie Blassie on Aug. 7, 1970. The Tolos/Blassie feud had started & the storyline would follow both thru the rest of their careers. On Aug. 21, 1870 they soldout again as Tolos beat Fred via DQ. On Sept. 4, 1970, Tolos lost to Blassie in a great stretcher match. Blassie then beat Tolos on Oct. 9, 1970 in an Americas title defense. That seemed like a blow-off match, but with great matches & sellout, why stop. On Oct. 23, 1970, Tolos played a part in getting Blassie counted out in a NWA World Title match with Dory Funk Jr. On Nov. 20, 1970, Tolos won the JWA U. N. Title from La Pantera Negra. Tolos then lost the UN title to Ray Mendoza on Dec. 4, 1970. The heat continued between Blassie & John, so on another sellout card the two had a “loser leave town” Americas title match on Dec. 18, 1970. Blassie won and Tolos left LA for Vancouver and X-mass with brother Chris. This also looked like a blow-off match, but wasn’t. In March, Tolos return to LA because the result of the Mendoza/Tolos change had been over ruled and the UN title returned to Tolos. So it was the Olympics excuse to bring Tolos from his X-mass vacation, for a UN title match with Antonio Inoki at the Olympic on March 26, 1971. John lost the title, but by this time losses didn’t hurt Tolos. On May 7, 1971, John Tolos beat Freddie Blassie and won the Americas Title on another sellout Olympic card. The next night on KCOP TV, Blassie won a Wrestler Of The Year Award voided on by the fans. Tolos who had been braging about his title, went nuts & threw monsel power into Blassie’s eyes. It was feared that Fred was blinded by the attack and sure enough, he could hardly see on his Japanese tour that followed. The heat on Tolos in LA was incredible & every match he had for the rest of the year sold out as every face in LA wanted to revenge the loved Blassie. Two matches with Mil Mascaras followed, Earl Maynard, Peter Maivia, & two death matches with Don Carson. Blassie then fell better and beat Tolos on Aug. 27, 1971 at the Los Angeles Coliseum in front of a reported 25,847, setting an all time gate record. Two week later, Tolos defeated Blassie back at the Olympic defending his Americas title. Over the rest of the year Tolos won lose, win, & lose the Americas Tile vs Mil Mascaras. Late in the year, they turned Tolos face & started a fued with Kinji Shibuya. 1971 was one on the Olympic Auditorium’s biggest years & it was mainly due to the Tolos/Blassie feud. In 1972, Tolos had major sellouts vs Killer Kowalski & The Sheik. He remain on top in LA wrestling until mid-1975 having major matches vs Billy Graham, Black Gordman, Goliath, Ernie Ladd, Victor Rivera, Gorilla Monsoon, Pak Song, Raul Rayes, Pampero Firpo, Ed Carpentier, Greg Valentine & a few more with Blassie. Bad booking, loss of TV, & a owner who wouldn’t spend money…dropped LA wrestling to all times lows in 1975 and Tolos moved on the Texas. He spent most of 1977 living in Hawaii. He returned to LA in 1980 & wrestled until 1983, working some of the early WWF cards. Total Tolos won the Americas Title 10 times and the Americas TC 5
The greatest Mexican heavyweight in history and the biggest drawing face in Los Angeles since Jim Londos. Started in 1969 and his success in Los Angeles led him to be an International draw in America, Japan and even Europe. Wrestled sellout at the Olympic against Blassie, The Destroyer, Dory Funk Jr, Black Gordman and John Tolos. Won the Americas title three times. When the WWF moved into the Sports Arena in 1983, Mil was booked on the cards to boost attendance. On May 21, 1963, he beat Ray Stevens. Still wrestles today in his 70’s.
Hogan WWF title reign cemented the companys position in Los Angeles. Very popular in Los Angles, his WWF cards would drew 3,000 to 4,0000 more that ones without him. A Sept. 18, 1985 match against John Studd drew 16,000 & $145,000 at the Sports Arena breaking the Blassie/Tolos Coliseum record of $142,000 and setting a California record. He broke that record two months later on Nov. 16, 1985 doing 16,600 & $180,000. He wrestled in two Wrestle Mania Main Events in LA. Beat King Kong Bundy at WMII (4-7-86-ATT: 14,500) and won the WWF WC at WM beating Sgt Slaughter at the Sports Arena (3-24-91-ATT: 16,158). One of the first Hogan/Flair matchs took place at the Sports Arena drawing 13,800 in a time when the WWF was going into a depression. Hogan never drew much in LA with WCW even against HOF’ers like Ric Flair & Bret Hart. You can’t find such a result on Londos’ record in LA or anywhere else.
Brazil was wrestling’s first & most successful black star and the last WWA world champion. Much of his recognition came from appearing on LA TV from 1954 to 1955, a stay that resulted in three International TV Tag Title reigns with Wilbur Snyder & then Sandor Szabo. His stay ended with a NWA title match at the Olympic with Lou Thesz that drew 8,800. In 1961, Brazil headlined two of Johhny Doyles cards that were going against the Eatons in LA. On Oct. 7,1961 he beat Don Leo Jonathan and on Oct. 28, 1961 he lost to Ray Stevens at the Sports Arena. After becoming even more famous working in the WWWF, he returned to the Olympic in the mid-60’s feuding with Gorilla Moonsoon, Mark Lewin, Buddy Austin, Fred Blassie, Skull Murphy, The Destroyer, Gordman/Goliath, The Sheik, and many others. I believe that in his career he did only two clean jobs at the Olympic Auditorium. Thesz in 1955 and Blassie in 1969. He won the WWA world title twice and never lost it in the ring. After holding the WWA world title all year, Bobo gave it up, to get a shot at Gene Kiniski’s NWA world title. With the two titles unified, Brazil wrestled a draw with Kiniski on Dec. 18, 1969. The largest crowds I ever saw at The Olympic had Brazil/Austin main events. Won the Americas Title 3 times, the last one in 1981. Not thought of as a great worker, but some of the best matches I saw in LA had Brazil in them.
Gordman & Goliath may be most underated team in wrestling history. They were the backbone in LA storylines thru out the 70’s and were still major until the WWF arrived in 1983. They were involved in everything in 1971. They were the semi-main on the big Aug. 27, 1971 Coliseum card that drew 25,847 (well 17,900) and it was Gordman & Goliath that threw brass knuckles to Blassie. Both were great workers who had quick feet, great ring position, and good work both American & Lucha style. Masters at drawing heat, from both Mexican & white crowds. The perfect team. They were equals in talent, but Gordman seemed to have more color. Promoters were more willing to put singles titles on Gordman. Gordman did become Mil Mascaras’ greatest opponent. The two feuded in LA and all over America, having great matches. Gordman & Goliath won 16 Americas Tag Title. Total America TC won by Gordman with both Goliath and other heels was 26. He won the Americas single title 4 times.
Black Gordman started in LA in 1969 as a babyface. He lfeft & returned as a heel team mate of Rocky Montana in 1970. The Great Goliath show up in Sept. 1970 and the two were teamed up by the end of the month. Goliath won the Americas Tag title 17 times, the last in 1982. He never won the Americas Title but was a major feud with every face in town. Including Blassie & Mil Mascaras. The best book fued I saw at the Olympic was a beak up of the Goliath/Gordman team from March 1972 to May 1972. The heel Goliath won the blow off over the face Gordman in a Blassie cage….forcing Black to rejoin the team.
13-Andre The Giant
Andre, the biggest national draw of the 1970’s, made his rounds into LA and was popular. Used most years in the yearly 22 man Battle Royals….and he won in 1975 & 1980. Headlined on most of the early 1983 WWF cards at the Sports Arena, but the early cards were not getting over with the LA fans. At one point Vince Jr was thinking about leaving LA, but a Jan. 28, 1984 Battle Royal with Andre winning soldout a head of time drawing 11,104. So the WWF stayed. One of Andre’s pin fall losses to The Ultimate Warrior took place in Long Beach.
Major black star of his time. His only rival in that group was Bobo Brazil and Wright was a better worker. His style was a cross between a Harlem Globetrotter and Johnny “Ruberman” Walker. He could slide in & out of holds to steal any match. Funny & very entertaining against jobbers, he was serious & intelligent outside the ring. After being a huge success in Boston, Chicago & NY, he made a huge impression on the May 10, 1963 Destroyer/Blassir card. He was rushed into main events, and on Aug. 23, 1963 he surprised everyone by defeating Fred Blassie (via COR) for the WWA world title in a huge sellout (10,400). A draw in a rematch on Sept. 13, 1963 was also sold out. Wright was really over but the plan had always been for him to drop the crown back to Blassie, the city’s major long time star. But Wright was so over the title change was pushed back to December. In the planed date Strongbow replaced Blassie with old time favorite Count Billy Varga, and that was also a huge sellout at the Olympic. In the small local towns Bearcat was defending against stars like The Destroyer, Blassie, Don Leo Jonathan, & Hercules Cortez and drawing fans everywhere. He also was pulling in Black fans & he was a black champion right in the middle of the greatest civil rights movement in our history. He also won the International TV Tag Title with a rejuvenated Mr Moto, beating The Destroyer & Don Manoukian. On Nov. 22, 1963, John Kennedy screwed the gate of a Wright/Ed Carpentier main event by getting himself shot. The total was just 6,500 and the match a draw. (Some reporters today are saying that Wright was supposed to drop the title to Carpentier, but it wasn’t possible. Ed had but over Blassie and wasn’t big at the time. The theory isn’t believeable). The title change with Blassie was set for Dec. 13, 1963. This turned into the most famous double cross in LA history. After a good match in front of another sellout, Wright hit Blassie with a headbutt and held him down for a 3 count. Over that weekend, the story of the Olympic doublecross was reported on LA TV. On Wednesday TV, it was announced that Wright had been striped of the WWA title for running out of a match in Indio (if true…the only Indio card in the history of LA) with Carpentier. So the Frenchman became the new champion. The true reason was, of course, was to have a star for Blassie to beat, which is what happened. So Wright left the territory, and business dropped. It was so bad that The Olympic had to stop booking major cards on Friday night. The promotion went from having one of their best years to a slump that lasted well into 1966. Stories of Bearcat Wright being blackballed aren’t true. He remained a star, winning the US title in San Francisco and working everywhere, but his name remained dirt in LA. He did return to LA later and was given a push in 1971, but even today he remains the most controversial wrestler in Los Angeles History.
16-Gene LeBell (The Hangman)
Step-Son of LA promoter Cal Eaton & brother of Mike LeBell. A judo champion and well respected in the MMA world. Not much as a pro wrestler & not a star. His work as the masked Hangman never went anywhere. Considered the house shooter at the Olympic and the WWA promotion and there are stories of his involvement in driving Bearcat Wright out of town. Fun announcer during the 70’s on LA TV. Major stuntman in Hollywood & can be found in many films. Pretty much loved by everyone connected with LA wrestling. Even some women.
Thesz first appeared in LA in May 1936. He claimed he was mistreated & hated working in the territory, so he left for San Francisco in mid-June. It was during that period that he develops his life long hatred for Toots Mondt & Jack Daro. Lou didn’t remember but Lou Daro was on a trip to Japan at the time. He returned to LA in Sept. 1948 as the NWAssociation world champion for TV exposure. On Oct. 20, 1948, he wrestled a title unification match with the AWA WC Frank Sexton at the Olympic on TV. The result was a 60 minute draw that drew 8,600. He also wrestled a few draws with Enrique Torres during this period. He then stayed away until July 1951, when plans were made for a build up leading to a title unification match with Calif. world champion Baron Leone. He started defending his title regularly in LA & beating Mr Moto, Tom Rice, Enrique Torres, Lord Blears, Gino Garibaldi, and Joe Pazandek. On May 21, 1952 he wrestled Baron Leone at Gilmore Field breaking records with attendance of 25,256 & a gate of $103,277.75. Lou won & added the California championship to his list of titles. He continued to defend in the area, beating Gorgeous George, Sandor Szabo, & Hombre Montana. In 1952, Thesz had two huge matches with Antonino Rocca at the Olympic, drawing on Sept. 10, 1952 & selling out with 10,400 & $33,400, then beating Rocca on Nov. 12. Rocca lost the 2nd fall via COR & was pinned in the 3rd. It drew 10,000 and made $51,670. In 1953, he beat Baron Leone again in Hollywood and unmasked the Great Bolo at the Olympic. In 1954, he beat Gene Kiniski and started a long national match up with Wilbur Snyder with a draw on TV. In 1955, he beat Snyder, the Great Scott, Johnny Valentine, & beat Bobo Brazil (ATT 8,800-$23,450). In 1956, the LA promoters Doyle and Eaton were at war. The complains resulted in a federal investigation of the NWA. This worried Thesz,so bad that he dropped the title to Billy Watson and sold his St Louis promotion and moved to Van Nuys, Calif. (LA). In 1956 he beat Johnny Valentine & Don Leo Jonathan. On Aug. 8, 1956 he wrestled Whipper Watson in a rematch for the NWA Title at the Olympic. It was a 90 minute draw (Att: 7,308 $10,435). After the win over Leone, Thesz didn’t have a lot of sellouts, other than Rocca’s. There are people who claim the Gilmore Field killed LA attendance for years, but wrestling attendance had been in a slump since 1955. The FBI ended their investigation on Oct. 15, 1956 and Thesz then rewon the NWA world title on Nov. 9. After the reformation of a new NWA, the Los Angeles promotion, under new boss Jules Strongbow, never rejoined the group. The NWA Title wasn’t defended again in LA until 1968. After Thesz lost the NWA title to Dick Hutton (11-14-57), he moved to Phoenix and took Jules Strongbow as his booking agent. Thesz and his new Internation title then became the main champion in Los Angeles for the next two years. During 1958, Buddy Rogers was also in LA and they had a series of matches. On June 11, 1958, Rogers hurt Thesz in a draw on TV (ATT: 2,500). This lead to another draw with Rogers on July 23 (Att: 4,200). Thesz would beat Rogers in Phoenix but it, thought of as the biggest drawing matchup in pro wrestling, was kind of a dud in LA. Buddy left soon after. On Aug 27, Thesz lost by DQ in a famous match to Rikidozan on Olympic TV. Thesz then spends most of his time out of town. He seems to have moved back with Sam Muchnick working NWA title matches with Pat O’Connor. Edward Carpentier, with his world title claim, then came to LA as the top babyface and Strongbow invents the NAWA/WWA title to make Carpentier champion in Los Angeles. Carpentier’s first defense of the new title is on Jan. 13, 1960 vs Hans Herman at the Olympic. The Olympic then build to a match between the old champ Lou Thesz and his rival from 1957 and new WWA/NAWA champion Ed Carpentier. It took place on May 27, 1960. It drew 10,023. Thesz lost in kind of a strange count out. As a result, Thesz lent the promotion one of his old NWA/International belts for Carpentier to use. Thesz wrestled Carpentier a few time in SF and would work cards in LA. For a number of years he seems to be the guy they used to test new champions. On July 21, 1961, Thesz challenged new WWA world champion Freddie Blassie at the LA Sports Arena. He did a clean job for old friend Blassie and drew 13,400. After The Destroyer won the WWA title in 1962, his first challenger was Thesz on Sept. 12. The draw drew 7,000. After Thesz rewon his NWA title beating Buddy Rogers on Jan. 24, 1963, he couldn’t wrestle in LA. After he lost the NWA Title to Gene Kiniski on Jan. 7, 1966, he showed up in LA and wrestled a draw with The Destroyer on July 8, 1966. On Oct. 14, 1966, he wrestled another new WWA champion Buddy Austin, but this time he won the title. Thesz dropped the WWA title 2 weeks later (Oct. 28) to Mark Lewin. Lou Thesz’s last match in Los Angeles took place on June 2, 1967, a 20 minute draw with Mike DiBiase.
Browning was brought to Los Angeles in 1925 by his friend and trainer Joe Stecher. He wrestled in the semi-final of the very first wrestling card at The Olympic Auditorium, losing to Jim Londos in front of 10,000. He stayed in town wrestling undercards at The Olympic, meeting Milo Steinborn (draw sept. 28), Fonsa Kozak (win Oct. 19) and Reginald Siki (lost Nov. 9). Browning was legetamet wrestler and a underrated worker, who was know as a leg wrestler, using the scissors hold like his idol Stecher, but at this point in his career he was a mid-card wrestler. He left LA after the Nov. 9 card. On Feb. 9, 1927, he returned for one match, losing to Paul Jones at The Olympic. On Feb. 8, 1928, he returned as a main eventer, wrestling a 2 hour match with Jim Londos. It was a 2/3 fall match, with Londos winning because he won the only fall before the timelimit ran out. He then wrestled three straight main events at The Olympic beating Tommy Draak twice and drawing over 2 hours with Nick Lutze (March 21, 1928). On April 18, 1928, Browning got a rematch with Jim Londos and held him to a 2 hour draw. He then defeated Jack Washburn and the lost to Nick Lutze at The Olympic on May 28, 1928 in what may have been the only Monday night card in Olympic history. He then wrestled draws with George Kotsonaros & Pat McGill. On Aug. 8, 1928 he lost 2 straight falls to Marin Plestina, and left the territory. In 1929 Browning toured Australia with John Pesek and Al Half, which got him a big push in Columbus & that led to a even biger role in Boston with Paul Bowser. In 1933, Jack Curley & Bowser picked Browning to replace Strangler Lewis as N.Y. World Champion and Jim beat Lewis in MSG on Feb. 20,1933. Over the next year Browning wrestled as World Champion in Los Angeles recognised by the Calif. Commission, driving Jim Londos out of town during the NY/Londos War of 1933. He wrestled Nick Lutze (May 17, 1933-win), Tiny Roebuck (May 30, SD, win), Ed “Strangler” Lewis (June 7--win drawing 9,000), Gus Sonnenberg (July 12-- win), and George Hagan (Aug. 22—SD—win). On Aug. 28, 1933, Browning defended his title defeating Sammy Stein on a big outdoor card at LA's Wrigley Field, drawing 14,000. The next night (Aug. 29) in San Diego, Browning beat Strangler Lewis drawing 4,000. He then had wins over Lutze (Nov. 7—SD), Stein (Nov. 9), Joe Savoldi (Jan. 24, 1934 drawing 8,500), Savoldi again (Jan. 24 draw another 8,500), Paul Jones (Feb. 28 drawing 7,000), Leo Numa (April 11 drawing 7,500), and Dick Daviscourt twice (April 18 and April 25 drawing 5,000 & 6,500). On June 25, 1934 Browning lost his NY/CA World Title to Jim Londos in NYC in a title unification match. Without the title, he continued to work in LA. On July 25, 1934, he lost to George Zaharias via a reverse decision due to the crowd rioting. It drew 9,500. A rematch at The Olympic the next week drew 11,000 with 5,000 turned away, and Browning beat Zaharias. On Aug. 8, 1934, Browning defeated Ray Steele drawing 8,000. This set up the rematch with Jim Londos for the World Title and Browning lost. It drew 9,500 to The Olympic. Jim the left but return in 1935. After beating Dr Fred Meyers, Browning wrestled a no contest against Man Mountain Dean at The Olympic drawing 7,500. He then entered the huge Internation Double Elimination Tournament of 1935 at the Olympic. He defeated Vic Christy (May 1), Lefty Bloomfield (May 1) and lost to Chief Little Wolf (May 15 drawing 10,400) and Dean Detton (June 5). On July 3 Browning again defeated Nick Lutze on a undercard, and never returned to Los Angeles. He went back East & spent much of the year putting over Dano O'Mahoney. Browning then surprised everyone by retiring in Feb. 1936. On May 9, 1936 he was admitted to a hospital due to an “ulcerated stimack” and a “liver ailment”. He died on June 19, 1936 due to a pulmonary embolism.
19-Baron Michele Leone
One of the most underrated and overlooked star in Los Angeles history was Baron Michele Leone. The Baron was brought to Los Angeles in late 1949 and turned into a major star by Johnny Doyle. On Nov. 22, 1950, Leone defeated Enrique Torres for the Calif. World Title. Some think that Leone was just made champion to drop it to Lou Thesz. That may be true, but Baron Leone drew a ton at the Olympic in 1950 & 1951. In some ways his numbers are more impressive than Gorgeous George’s. He defended the title against Torres (10,400), Gino Garibaldi (7,500), Leo Garibaldi (9,200), Black Guzman (10,400), Gorgeous George (10,400), Billy Varga (10,400), Danny Mc Shain (10,400), Billy Varga (9,200), Ernie Dusek (10,400), & Roger Mackay. He lost the Calif Title to Lou Thesz on May 21, 1952 in a famous title unification match at Gilmore Field that drew 25,256 and the largest gate in wrestling history $103,277.75. Today this record is listed as a accomplishment of Thesz’s, but in LA at the time, the true draw was Baron Michele Leone. His gimmick & performance had a lot to do with that gate. After that match, Leone started touring in July & Aug. 1952. On Aug. 27, 1952 he drew 8,400 against Hombre Montana at the Olympic. He then started a feud with Danny McShain over the NWA Jr HC. Some insiders claim that attendance dropped in LA in late 52 & 53, claiming the Thesz/Leone blow off hurt the area & others say it was too much TV that killed it. It’s possible that Baron Leone leaving town to tour the South & Texas also had something to do with it. On Sept. 17, 1952, Leone beat Gorgeous George at the Olympic & drew just 7,400. He left to tour again in Oct to Dec 1952. A rematch with Thesz took place on Dec 9, 1952 in Indianapolis. Leone lost, but the match drew 12,000 fans. In LA, on Jan. 21,1953, Baron Leone wrestled a 60 minute draw with Verne Gagne at the Olympic. Leone then won the NWA Jr Heavyweight World Title from Danny McShain on Aug. 16, 1953 in Memphis. He was brought back to Hollywood on Sept. 22, 1953 to lose to the NWA WC Lou Thesz. It drew only 5,000, but with high prices it made $33,000. Good for LA by then. Baron Leone then toured the nation defending the Jr title. He lost it on April 11, 1955 to Ed Francis in Texas.
Pesek, considered on of the greatest pound for pound wrestlers in history, worked at The Olympic twice in Jan. 1926 in main events. He beat Joe Zigmond (Jan. 4) and Jack Sampson (Jan. 18). 1926 was the year of the big world title matches between John Pesek & Joe Stecher, and two of three took place at The Olympic. The first took place in St Louis on April 29, 1926 and Stecher won by COR after 4:14:46. Lou Daro bought the rights to the rematch and Pesek came to LA to set the match up. With a Stecher/Lewis match out of question, Stecher/Pesek was the biggest match possible in wrestling. On May 5, 1926, Pesek defeated George Kotsonaros at The Olympic. Pesek then defeated Jack Taylor on July 28, 1926 and on Aug. 11, 1926 defeated Nick Lutze, both at The Olympic. The 2nd Pesek/Stecher match took place on Aug. 25, 1926 and resulted in a draw after 2 hours. While that match was being builted up, Strangler Lewis came to LA and working for another promotion, began challenging Stecher. Stecher didn't back down & the commission forced a match between the two at The Olympic on Oct. 6, 1926. Lewis worried about meeting Stecher in a shoot & backed out claiming a injury. The only bout that could replace that super match was a third Stecher/Pesek match and Daro made the match. On Oct. 6, Pesek shot on Stecher in the 3rd fall and the champion was only thing that saved Joe from losing his title was a referee who DQ'ed Pesek for using a choke. This is one of the most famous matches in the history of the Olympic. It also was a sellout. Pesek returned to LA on July 20, 1927, wrestling a two hour draw with Jim Londos at the Olympic. On Aug. 3, 1927, Pesek wrestled Paul Jones with the winner getting a title shot with champ Joe Stecher. Everyone thought Pesek would win to set up another match with Joe, but Jones took two out of three falls from Pesek. That was John Pesek's last match at The Olympic. In July 1937, Pesek return to LA, working for a rival promotion working out of Hollywood Legion Stadium, I believe run by Billy Sandow. In July & Aug, Pesek defeated Barney Ostopowich, Dutch Hefner, and Charley Santen. On Aug. 25, 1937, Pesek defeated Everett Marshall two falls to one in a match billed for a World Title. He returned on Feb. 16, 1933 to defeat Glenn Wade in Hollywood. He never wrestled in Los Angeles again.
Shohei Baba first showed up in Los Angeles in July 1961. He had been sent to American for training & seasoning by Rikidozan. After about 90 uneventful days, he left for the East Coast where he was trained by Fred Atkins. Billed as 7 foot and 300 lbs, he was pushed as the giant of pro wrestling. Unlike most of the giants in wrestling past, he was a good athlete who could move and was smart enough to learn. He got over in NYC & even had a win over Bruno Sammartino in MSG, and wrestled NWA champ Buddy Rogers, Ed Carpentier, Antonino Rocca, Bearcat Wright & other major stars. New York had no use for a babyface Japanese guy, so he was always used as an evil giant Japanese. Like a tall Mr Moto or Kinji Shibuya. When Baba returned to LA in late Dec 1962, Jules Strongbow had a different way of booking Baba. He turned him face & kept him that way forever in the territory. He attempted to set Baba up for big matches by having the giant beat everyone in less than a minute, some in seconds. On Feb. 4, 1963 (Friday night), Baba wrestled against The Destroyer for the WWA WC at the Olympic. Dick Beyer looked out of the dressing room & saw a full house & told Strongbow he was going to “put the kid over like he was Frank Gotch”. Up till that time The Destroyer had been undefeated at the Olympic, but on that night he lost via DQ or LOF and sold so well that no one could believe Dick had a chance against the giant. A rematch was set up for Feb. 22, 1963. Two days before on TV interviews, Dick threw Baba one of his masks. Baba then pulled it apart like it was tissue paper. The Destroyer mask stretched & no one had been able to pull it off the heel. So fans freaked thinking Dick would get unmasked. Well the match turn out great, with The Destroyer getting thrown all over the ring, only being saved by the ropes, but the ending had Dick tricking Baba and getting the pin. It was the best match I’ve ever seen. It was taped & shown on Japanese TV. The result was Baba getting over like crazy with JWA fans, but another result was Rikidozan getting jealous because Baba had gotten over better in America than he had. When Baba got back home in Japan, he found himself in with the biggest Americans monsters Rikidozan could find, getting beaten up every night. Shohei Baba began a second tour of America in Dec. 1963. On Dec. 15, his boss Rikidozan died. The bosses of JWA picked Toyonobori as lead wrestler in their company, a mistake they later regretted. On the tour, Baba loss to NWA champ Lou Thesz and to WWF champ Bruno Sammartino. On Feb. 28, 1963 Baba wrestled a draw vs WWA champ Freddie Blassie. A rematch on March 20 had Baba getting counted out. Both match were bad because Blassie couldn’t take bumps & didn’t draw because it was after the Bearcat Wright mess. Any plans for a third LA match was given up & Baba returned to Japan. In Dec 1965, Toyonobori was expelled from JWA, with Baba taking the #1 spot in the company. Over the years, Baba would occasionally return to the Olympic. Sometime when he was talking business with Strongbow & LeBell and other time because he needed a match televised back to Japan against a major American heel such as Fritz Von Erich (12-19-69) or The Sheik (9-12-69). On Dec. 19, 1970, Shohei Baba defeated Gene Kiniski 2/3 falls for the JWA International Title in one of the best match I ever saw at the Olympic. On May 19, 1972 Baba & Sakaguchi defeated Dory & Terry Funk for the International Tag Title at the Olympic. It was a great match with Baba pinning the NWA champion Dory Jr in the 3rd fall. Baba’s last appearance in LA was on a Dec. 29, 1986 LA Forum WCW card, when he & Wajima defeated the Mod Squad. I had ringside seats that night, but had to move up stairs because modern fans were making so much fun of my old skinny hero.
A young Antonio Inoki showed up in Los Angeles in late June 1964 using the name Little Tokyo. At the timr, he look green & he work look soft & loose to me. I could see him as a great wrestler shooter in 1964. He teamed with Mr Moto and worked undercards. Worked a lot with The Destroyer (who tried to teach him English) and did a job to Blassie. He left in Oct. for Portland. On March 26, 1971 Inoki defeated John Tolos at the Olympic Auditorium for the United Nation’s Title. I thought it was a bad match. On Aug. 24, 1973, Inoki & Sakaguchi beat Johhny Powers & Don Carson at the Olympic on TV sent back to Japan. On June 1, 1996, Inoki staged the World Peace Festival at the LA Sports Arena using talent fron the WCW, Emll, AAA, & NJW. In the Main Event he teamed with Dan Severn to defeat Yoshiaki Fujiwara & Oleg Taktarov.
When Jack Pfefer took over the Hollywood Legion Stadium promotion in June 1948, he brought along his top gun Buddy Rogers. Pfefer had been planning to turn the blond hair babyface heel for some time, and Hollywood with it’s TV coverage seemed the right place. So Rogers changed his style and became Buddy “Nature Boy” Rogers coupled with a hot woman valet, & robes that made Gorgeous George look like a wimp….well I guess George made himself look like a wimp. Claiming a world title he was a huge hit. He defended his belt against just about everyone in Jack Pfefer’s stabe, but the major foe was his friend & “glove” Billy Darnell. In Oct. 1948, he got offers to wrestle the new NWA champion, Orville Brown, in a number of high paying matches. So on Oct. 26, 1948 he dropped his Pfefer world title to Darnell in San Diego. On Nov. 1, 1948, Rogers lost the only fall with NWA champ Orville Brown in a 60 minute match at the Hollywood Stadium. After losing a number of rematches with Darnell, he wrestled Brown in a bunch of title matches in the mid-west. He returned to Hollywood in late Jan. and started beating Darnell every night. On Feb. 28, 1949, Rogers defeated Sheik Lawrence for his old Pfefer world title in Hollywood. Buddy & his title left town in mid-March 1949 and his time in the city was remember as a great period. After dumping Jack Pfefer & becoming a free agent, Rogers returned to Los Angeles, as the biggest drawing heel in wrestling, in March 1954. On LA TV he deated Sandor Szabo & Billy Varga, before leaving for Ohio after only a month. He returned for a 4 month stay in May 1955. Rogers feud with Ray “Thunder” Stern, Sandor Szabo, Danny McShain, Gene Kiniski, Johnny “Rocky” Valentine, & The Great Bolo. On June 29, 1955, a draw with Bobo Brazil soldout The Olympic Auditorium (10,400). His only clean loss was in 2 straight falls to Johnny Valentine on Aug. 10, 1955 at the Olympic. It also soldout at 10,400. It also was his last match before leaving town. After Lou Thesz left the NWA in 1958, Jules Strongbow became his booking agant & he mover to Phoenix to live. Having Thesz, Strongbow signed Buddy Rogers. The two were known for their feud which had produced some one the best matches in history. The two did wrestle akk over the southland but the two matches at The Olympic Auditorium didn’t amount to much. On a TV match on June 11, 1958, Rogers dumped Thesz on to the apron, and then jumped from the top rope on to Lou’s back. Thesz was hurt & carried from the rind, Since Lou had been counted out but the move by Rogers was illegal the match was ruled a draw (in one program Rogers was credited as the winner,) This TV match drew 2,500. The big rematch at The Olympic drew just 4,200 on July 23, 1958. The result was a draw. So the great match ended up a box office bomb at the Olympic. Thesz returned to the NWA soon after for matches with champion Pat O’Connor. Rogers 1958 stay lasted from April 7 to Aug. wrestling Sky Hi Lee, Lord Blears, Billy Darnell, Fritz Von Goering, Hatstack Calhoun, & Sandor Szabo. He then left for SF, Ohio & was in Montreal at the same time Ed Carpentier left for Los Angeles and the WWA world title.
In 1928 Boston promoter bought into Lou Daro’s LA promotion and most of the talent used in late 1928 to 1931 was from Bowser’s booking office, which included names like Ed Lewis, Gus Sonnenberg, Joe Malewicz etc. Part of the deal was making Billy Sandow booker. (This is theory, but info comes from a Bowser law suit and Sandow & Lewis were moving into the area with plans on retirement.) Everett Marshall became a star in Los Angeles during 1930 and he was managed by Billy Sandow. Marshall started on Lewis’ undercards in Oct 1929 and had his first main event beating Joe Malcewicz on Jan. 8, 1930 (Att: 5,000 & $7,000). Over the next 4 months he defeated Stanley Stasiak (twice), Howard Cantonwine, Nick Lutze (Att: 10,500 $19,500), Gene La Doux (Att: 8,500 $13,000) and Lutze again (Att: 9,000). On April 16, 1930, he defeated Ed “Strangler” Lewis at the Olympic. This was a huge victory because, up to then, Lewis had only done clean jobs to Gus Sonenberg & Wayne Munn over the last 10 years. It made him a national star. On May 5, 1930, he wrestled AWA world champion Gus Sonnenberg in Wrigley Field (LA version). He lost a close match, but drew 17,580 and $69,745. A California record & one of the largest in history. He then had a rematch with Ed Lewis & lost on June 11, 1930. After defeating Lee Wycoff, he was then matched with Joe Stecher, the biggest star in wrestling since 1915, and beat him. On Oct. 1, 1930, he challenged champ Gus Sonnenberg again & lost again, while selling out the Olympic (Att: 10,400). On Nov. 12, 1930, he wrestled a 2 hour & 3 minute draw with Henri Deglane. There were 26 cards at the Olympic in 1930, and Everett Marshall main evented on 15 of them. In 1931, he defeated Henri Deglane & then Ad Santel, before challenging new AWA champion Ed Don George on March 18, 1931 at the Olpmpic. Marshall lost. He then lost again to Lewis on March 18, 1931. During the rest of 1931 he wrestled Abe Coleman (3 times), Karl Sarpolis (win & loss), Nick Velcoff, Tony Felice, and lost twice to new star Joe Savoldi. After a draw with Wladek Zbyszko, he moved on as Lou Daro was moved back to the Jim Londos booking company in 1932. In June 1932, an outlaw group set up at the Hollywood Legion Stadium. I think it was promoted by Billy Sandow, tring to get back at Daro for being fired. The company was pushing Marshall, Savoldi, Wladek Zbyszko, and John Pesek. The biggest show this promotion ran was a world title match in which John Pesek defeated Everett Marshall on Aug. 25, 1932. Everett left town in Sept. 1932. He wrestled on one card in 1933 and didn’t return to LA. Later had a number a big matches with Jim Londos on the East Coast before becoming the MWA & then NWA champion in the mid-west.
First appeared in La on Oct. 14, 1931. Probably just starting out. Worked his way up the card & had his first main event on March 30, 1932 beating Bonnie Muir at the Olympic. His first loss was in the first ever California State Title match losing to Ray Steele. He was a national star who wrestled into the 1960’s. He also worked in the Olympic’s front office and was always popular in Los Angeles. Famous for his ribs (jokes). One of the first CAC members.
Probably the greatest Japanese style heel in wrestling history. Teamed with Masa Saito in 1971 to feud with Gordman/Goliath, Fred Blassie, Mil Mascaras & John Tolos. In one of only two nights Bruno Sammartino wrestled in LA, Shibuya did the job (Jan. 14, 1972). He & Saito wrestled Gordman/Goliath in the semi-final of the big LA Coliseum card (Aug 27, 1971) that broke attendance marks (Att: 25,847). Won the Americas title on March 26, 1971 beating Freddie Blassie. Won the Americas Tag Title 5 times with Saito (3 times), Goliath, and Killer Kowalski. During this period Shibuya was old but you couldn’t tell from his body or his work.
27-El Hijo del Santo
The son of Santo, the legend of Mexican wrestling, El Hijo del Santo was a great worker and perhaps the biggest draw in Lucha from the mid-80’s into the early 2000’s. One of his early break throughs was a feud with Negro Cacas on independent cards at the Olympic Auditorium in 1987. The two had been tag partners for some time, but Cacas turned on Santos on June 13, 1987. The two then had a match on June 27, 1987 in which Negro Casas beat Santo 2 straight falls clean and dragged him around the ring by his bloody mask. A mask vs hair match took place on July 18, 1987 with Casas getting the hair cut. Both were great match & they continued the feud in Mexico & thru out Mexico. El Hijo del Santo was a major part of the AAA move into LA wrestling in 1993, teaming with Octagon. On the Nov. 6, 1994 PPV When World’s Collide, he & Octagon battled Eddie Guerrero & Love Machine (Art Barr) in a 2/3 fall double hair vs mask match. At one point in the 3rd fall, Santo got pinned, and all he could do thru the rest of the match was watch as Octagon wrestled Guerrero & Barr by himself…. Santo’s mask & career was on the line. Octagon won, and I and others consider it the best match I’ve ever seen live. He and Negro Casas wrestled on Antonio Inoki’s Peace Festival on June 1, 1996 and has appeared on many independent card in LA.
Frank Sexton was AWA world champion in the mid-40’s up until 1950. His main area’s were Boston, the East Coast, and San Francisco. But he did wrestle a number of weeks each year in Los Angeles and was very popular. Much like Thesz & Torres he had great looks in a respectable way, was a good pure wrestler, and looked every bit a champion. The local promoters did need a full time champion and someone they could control, so they created a California world champion and gave the title to Enrique Torres. Sexton wrestled two title unification draws at the Olympic Auditorium that sold out (April 2, 1947 & Dec, 7, 1947). Sexton also wrestle NWA champion Lou Thesz to a TV draw on Oct. 20, 1948. After The Olympic made deals with the Thesz promotion in St Louis, the AWA was moved out of LA & Sexton never returned. He never did a job in Los Angeles.
29-Buddy “Killer” Austin
If Baron Leone isn’t the most underrated performer in LA wrestling history, then it is Buddy Austin.
In May 1964, Ed Carpentier was needing a remake in Los Angeles after doing a number of clean jobs to Fred Blassie & The Bruiser. He wanted a big win over someone well know, and someone who could give him a good match. He had worked with Buddy Austin in San Francisco & other places and liked what they had done, so he brought Austin to the Olympic on May 6, 1964. Carpentier beat Austin 2/3 falls clean in a match everyone thought was great. So Jules Strongbow made a deal with Austin to return at some time in the future. Austin did returned in March 1966. Pedro Morales was champion and he was good, but he had no one to work with. The Destroyer had left, and the lead heel for much of 1965 was Luke Graham, who was terrible. More like double terrible. The first time I watched Killer Austin on TV, he beat a jobber and looked very good. Then as he was leaving the ring, he was attacked by a fan. Austin picked the little guy up and slammed him into the Olympic medal floor. It make a big noise & the guy just laid there. I think it was real, because Buddy got sued. Buddy Austin looked thin and he a pot belly. He was tall but not very powerful looking. He had thining blond hair, that would turn red whenever he bladed. He had a voice that sounded like a frog, but he could talk. He was creeping looking, but he was a great worker who could wrestle. I was so happy to see him after the crappy wrestling we had been fed after the Wright/Blassie mess. On April 18, 1966, he & El Mongol won the WWA WTC from Thunderbolt Patterson & Alberto Torres. They lost the tag title to Pedro Morales & Luis Hernandez on June 24, 1966. On Aug. 5, 1966, Buddy Austin defeated Pedro Morales 2/3 falls for the WWA world title. It was one of the best title changes I had ever seen & he beat Morales clean & I remember a near sellout. On Aug. 19, 1966, He drew with Bobo Brazil defending the title. Austin was better working with Brazil than anyone I ever saw. On Sept. 2, 1966, Austin lost the WWA WC to Bobo Brazil after being hit by at least 50 koko butts. He never went down, but kept coming back at Brazil. He had blood everywhere. It was running down his chest. He was great. The referee stopped the match & gave the belt to Bobo. It sold out 10,400 with 1,000’s turned away. I think there was over 11,000 in the building. People were sitting everywhere & you could walk to the snack bar without stepping on someone. A week later the WWA stripped Brazil of the title because he never pinned Austin. The rematch was on Sept. 16 and it was a draw. Austin then beat The Destroyer on Sept. 31. On Oct. 14, 1966, Buddy Austin dropped the WWA WC to Lou Thesz at The Olympic. He then feuded with Haystack Calhoun, Morales, The Destroyer, Mr Moto, & new WWA champ Mark Lewin. He lost to Mark Lewin at the Olympic on Nov. 25, 1966. On Aug. 25, 1967, Killer Austin defeated Mike DiBiase to win the WWA WC for the third time. On Sept. 9, 1967, Austin defeated Karl Gotch at the Olympic. In Sept. 1967, he stared to team with Freddie Blassie & at some point won the WWA WTC. Austin lost the WWA WC to Brazil on Jan. 12, 1968. On Feb. 1, 1968, Austin & Blassie lost the WWA WTC to The Medics on Feb. 1, 1968. On June 7, 1968, Austin lost to Mil Mascaras in the final of a Americas title tournament at the Olympic. On June 19, 1968, Buddy Austin’s 15 month old twin daughters drowned in the family swimming. The PR was so much that the Olympic didn’t know how to use him unless Buddy turned good guy. When he returned he turned on Blassie and they two feuded for the rest of the year. On Nov. 15, 1968 Blassie defeated Austin in stretcher match. It drew 10,400 with 5,000 turned away. Mike Tenay was in the parking lot counting all the upset fans. On Sept. 5, 1969, Austin returned to the Olympic to wrestle Dory Funk Jr for the NWA world title. He lost via cuts, but the card has been called the greatest ever at the Olympic drawing 10,974 with 6,500 turned away. This was the day before a AWA card at the new LA Forum. He returned to Honolulu where he had wrestled most of the year & then to Japan. He never returned to Los Angeles.
Joined: 01 Aug 2006
Location: Wonderful Montebello CA
|Posted: Sun Jan 24, 2016 5:07 pm Post subject:
A top star of the 50’s & 60’s, was a nationally know star and great athlete who combined acrobatic skills with a solid wrestling style. In 1957, Carpentier had claimed the NWA WC after defeating Lou Thesz in Chicago. Problems between his Montreal promoter Eddie Quinn and the NWA, got the title stripped from Carpentier by the organization. Carpentier was also know as the Montreal world champion at times, so he had a strong title claim by many in pro wrestling. It should also be said that Ed had lost major title matches to Killer Kowalski, Verne Gagne, & Dick Hutton in 1958 but they weren’t well know nationally. After the investigations of the NWA in 1956, the organization was disbanded and then reformed under new rules. The Olympic, under Jules Strongbow, never rejoined. In 1958, Strongbow had planned his year around a feud between stars Buddy Rogers and international champ Lou Thesz. But the match up bombed at the box office. Strongbow then develop a idea of creating a organization that would rival the NWA. The company would be an alliance combining the promotion in LA, SF, The Northwest, Hawaii, Nevada, New Mexico, and maybe Japan, called the NAWA (this is just theory, based on results etc. No insider left alive knows anything about the idea, but no one can dispute it either. Strongbow is dead.) For champion he wanted Ed Carpentier, who had a build in title claim. Carpentier was a top star, but he didn’t have an American territory to himself, like O’Connor (St Louis & NWA), Rocca (NYC), Blassie (The South) & Gagne (Chicago). He was huge in Montreal but he had problems with Eddie Quinn the promoter. Quinn had messed up the NWA deal, cheated him with payoffs in NYC and booking wise was bouncing Ed around the country doing major jobs. Carpentier wanted a major territory of his own. I believe Strongbow came up with a deal where he would send Buddy Rogers to Montreal & LA would get Carpentier for the new promotion. (Once again a theory) On Sept.30, 1959 , Carpentier did a job, in a Montreal world title match, to Buddy Rogers. This was a well know match…having been a cover story on one of the first issues of “Wrestling Illustrated”. Carpentier also did another job to Rogers in Ottawa on Oct. 15, 1959. Edouard Carpentier then showed up in Los Angeles for the first time on Oct. 21, 1959. Carpentier’s title claim may have been mentioned, but NAWA didn’t officially recognize him as champion until Jan. 1960. The promotion said (in a program) that it was recognizing Carpentier because, of all the title claimants, Ed had wrestled the most contenders. (it didn’t say that Carpentier also had lost most of those matches.) Carpentier’s first defense of the NAWA title was at the Olympic on Jan. 27, 1969 against Hans Herman. (Att: 7,221). On March 2, 1960 he beat Don Leo Jonathan at the Olympic. A huge match took place on May 27, 1960 at the Olympic when Carpentier defeated Lou Thesz via COR in a NAWA title match in front of 10,023 & a gate of $31,703. As a result Thesz gave one of his old NWA/INT belts to Carpentier & it was used as the company belt until 1964. It was at this time that the name “WWA” started to be used. The NAWA name remained but was only used outside of the Olmypic & sometimes in newspapers. Beating Thesz was a very symbolic victory, considering the NWA controversy in St Louis & the fact that Thesz was the champion used in LA during 1958 & 1959. Strongbow continued to push his idea of a huge promotion covering the west coast. While WWA champion, Carpentier defended the title in Vancouver, Phoenix, Honolulu, Las Vegas, and San Francisco. On July 16, 1960, he defeated Killer Kowalski in Chicago on National TV. On July 21, 1960, Carpentier returned to Montreal as “Calif.” Champion” and defeat Buddy Roders & later won the Montreal WC with a victory over Killer Kowalski on Sept. 21, 1960. He then would fly back & forth to Montreal & LA defending titles. In 1960, Strongbow had bought into the promotion in San Francisco or was helping old Joe Malcewicz run the territory. Carpentier wrestled in SF a lot, beating Lou Thesz (twice), Lord Blears, Dich Hutton, Gorgeous George, & Ed Miller. None of these matches drew well. I think Strongbow’s idea of a huge promotion ended when Roy Shire moved into San Francisco with strong TV. A war broke out between the Shire/Johnny Doyle and Eaton/Strongbow, which ended with both agreeing to stay out of each other’s territory. Without SF, Strongbow’s ideas fell apart. In LA Carpentier defended the WWA against Billy Varga, Hombre Montana, Lord Blears, Dick Hutton, Stan Holek (Stan Neilson), Mr Moto, Mike Sharpe, Tom Rice, Zebra Kid, & Gorgeous George. By the middle of 1961, I think Carpentier had major offers from the East Coast for major matches with NWA champion Buddy Rogers & I think it was too much money for Ed to turn down. On June 12, 1961, Ed Carpentier dropped the WWA WC to Freddie Blassie at the new Los Angeles Sports Arena. Ed missed a flip & landed on the ropes injuring his knee in the 2nd fall. Unable to continue, Blassie became new champ without winning a fall. It drew a crowd of 13,200 & a gate of $40,169 and was covered nationally. On July 20, 1961, Carpentier dropped his Montreal WC to Hans Herman via UTC (Att: 20,618) and Ed was off to France & then challenge Rogers in a number of big matches. In Nov, 1962, he returned to Los Angeles. On Nov. 23, 1962, Carpentier challenged The Destroyer for his old WWA WC. The was a draw as Carpentier appeared to reverse The Destroyers figure four leg lock, but they rolled out of the ring and both were counted out. It drew a sellout 10,400 with fans turned away. A rematch took place on April 12, 1963 against The Destroyer and it also was a sellout at 10,400. It was a 60 minute draw with the champ Destroyer looking like the better man. After The Destroyer was defeated by Freddie Blassie, a rematch between Blassie & Carpentier took place July 19, 1963 for the title. Carpentier lost 2 falls out of 3 clean to Blassie. Later Blassie dropped the title to Bearcat Wright, so Carpentier challenged Wright on Nov. 22, 1963, the night of President Kenney’s death. It was a 60 minute draw & drew only 6,500. In the middle of the famous Beacat Wright mess at the Olympic, a storyline was created in which Wright forfeited the WWA title to Carpentier. So Ed became a two time champion. He then lost the title clean to Blassie on Jan. 31, 1964 at the Olympic. In the years that followed Carpentier would return to challenge just about every new heel champion in LA. On Feb. 28, 1964, Carpentier lost a one fall match to Dick The Bruiser clean at The Olympic. After The Bruiser won the WWA Title a rematch took place on July 1, 1964 in which Ed won via DQ but didn’t get the title. On May 6, 1964 he defeated Buddy “Killer” Austin at the Olympic in a 2/3 fall match that was so good Strongbow brought Austin back & made him Champion. On Dec. 16, 1964 Carpentier pinned The Destroyer clean in a one fall match at the Olympic. On Feb. 10, 1967 he lost to Mark Lewin in a WWA Title match at the Olympic. I believe he wrestled Hard Boiled Haggerty on one of the AWA last cards at the LA Forum on Oct. 13, 1969. He returned to the Olympic in Oct. 1974. I thought he looked very good, better than in 1964. Could do all his old spots & even added a few. He defeated John Tolos for the Americas Title in San Diego on Dec. 24 (25?), 1974. During this period he defeated Tolos, Bobby Shane, Ivan Koloff, The Wolfman, Pat Patterson, Angelo Mosca, & wrestled a draw with Victor Rivera. At some point he broke his wrist & wrestled with it. The injury probably set up him leaving. He lost the Americas title to Greg Valentine at the Olympic on Feb. 14, 1975. Carpentier was WWA World champion twice. Americas Title holder once, The International TV Tag Title holder twice with Sandor Szabo & Nick Bockwinkel. WWA World Tag Title holder twice with Ernie Ladd & Bob Ellis.
31-Cowboy Bob Ellis
Bob Ellis was a big star by the time he got to Los Angeles in June 1964. He was a famous bleeder who was well know for his matches with Dick The Bruiser in the mid-west. His appearance wasn’t much of a surprise since The Bruiser was WWA world champion after defeating Blassie. Ellis’s first match was on June 15, 1964. He hung around beating jobber types for a month until July 22, when he beat Rip Hawk on TV. Ellis bleed during the match & that was a rare thing at the time. There had been no blading in LA sinse Rikidozan had dropped the title. For Ellis, it wasn’t really blading, he had so much scare tissue that he’d break open in a jobber match. On that night, The Destroyer beat The Bruiser via COR, after Dick got into a fight, out side the ring, with Ellis. No seemed sure if it was a title change or not. Around this time, Bruiser walked into Jules Strongbow’s office & told him he had too much work in his Indiana promotion & was going to leave the WWA. On Aug. 5, Ellis wrestled The Destroyer on Wednesday night TV. The match ended with Ellie tearing up the Destroyer’s mask. Not wanting his face shown, the Destroyer ran to the locker room and was counted out. Then on Aug. 26, 1964, Ellis wrestled Dick The Bruiser and won via dq. This was the famous match up I had always read about in magazines, but I was very disappointed. So at this point no one knew who was champion, Bruiser had lost to Destroyer & Ellis, but not clean. The Destroyer had beaten him first by COR, but had lost to Ellis via COR. Ellis had beaten both but not clean & no one knew if they were title matches. The commission ruled in favor of The Destroyer & he became WWA world champion for a third time. On Sept. 10, 1964 (a Thursday night), The Destroyer defended the WWA title vs Ellis. The Destroyer lost the first fall via DQ….and in the 2nd fall there was a double pin. So Ellis won 2 falls to 1, and became new WWA world champion. Newspaper & other reports claim there was 10,405, but that wasn’t possible. The balcony wasn’t open and I bought a ringside seat 10 minutes before the card started. On a Thursday night, I don’t think anyone was there. The match wasn’t good. I didn’t think much of Ellis as a worker. His center of gravity was better suited for a basketball player than a wrestler & it just seemed like he was going thru the motions. On Sept. 23, 1964, a Wednesday night before TV, Ellis defeated Dick The Bruiser clean in a 2/3 fall match. So Bruiser lost his WWA claim, but it didn’t stop him from claiming it in Indianapolis. On Oct. 9, 1964, Bob Ellis defeated Freddie Blassie via COR with Archie Moore as referee. Blassie got upset & on Oct. 23, 1964, he wrestled a handicap match vs Ellis & Moore. Fred won via COR. In the blowoff on Nov. 6, 1964, Bob Ellis beat Blassie in a cage match with the title on the line. On Nov. 13, 1964. Bob Ellis lost the WWA title to The Destroyer via cuts in San Diego (att: 1,900). Ok, Ellis got cut? Like in every match. There were rematch in San Diego, but Ellis never got the title back. On Dec. 9, 1964, Ellis & Ed Carpentier defeated The Destroyer & Hard Boiled Haggerty for the Int. Tag Title. No one know how they lost it, because Ellis left town at the end of Dec. He never returned.
Kiniski wrestled in Los Angeles in the mid-1950’s. Won the Internation TV Tag Title with John Tolos over Bobo Brazil & Sandor Szabo on Oct 13, 1954. Feuded with Szabo, Snyder, Thesz, & Brazil in 1954. Wrestled Buddy Rogers in 1958. He was NWA World Champion in 1968 when Mike LeBell gave up the WWA world title to join the NWA. On Dec. 18, 1968 at the Olympic Auditorium, Kiniski wrestled a 60 minute draw with former WWA champion Bobo Brazil. On Dec 16, 1970, Gene Kiniski lost the JWA International Title to Shohei Baba at the Olympic Auditorium. One of the best matches I’ve ever seen live.
Pedro Morales was an WWF mid-card worker in 1964. He was very talented so Vince McMahon Sr made a deal with Jules Strongbow to bring him to Los Angeles and develop him into something. For two to there weeks before Morales showed up, there had been a masked man sitting ringside at TV tapings. The Announcer did say much at first, but by third week he was talking about it a lot wondering who the masked man was. (well the fact is it was a jobber sitting there. Don Savage or Matt Murphy) Then onenight The Destroyer or maybe H.B. Haggerty was picking on a jobber in a TV match & the masked man jumped into the ring & beat on the heel. He pulled off the mask & it was Pedro Morales. That’s how I remember it, but I can’t figure it in with the results of the period. So Morales worked the gimmick & went right into a match with Hard Boiled Haggerty on Jan. 20, 1965 & won. The Destroyer in LA, at the time was claiming the WWA WC or at least not talking about it, but the fact was he had lost the title to Toyonobori in Tokyo, Japan on Dec. 4, 1964. But in LA, at the time, the WWA & The Olympic acted like nothing happened. Morales was brought in because the were always trying to create babyfaces for the Mexican Audience. So the white guys at the Olympic thought any Puerto Rican would do just as well as a Mexican because both spoke Spanish. They didn’t know that in sports, Mexican’s hate Puerto Rico. But it worked out because Morales came off as a nice guy that everyone liked. On March 12, 1965, Pedro Morales beat The Destroyer for the WWA world title. The first fall was a DCOR and Pedro pinned Dick in the third fall, so the mask stayed on. I was upset at the time, because I read all the magazines & had seen Morales doing jobs on the WWWF TV show. I thought it cheapen the WWA title & I didn’t like The Destroyer losing to a nobody. Now I think Morales was the only good thing going on in 1965. He was a good work, who could do flying spot & was few to watch. As champion he beat Kurt Von Stroheim, Billy Lyons, The Butcher (Don Jardine), Assassin #2, & Luke Graham. He & The Destroyer wrestled everywhere & Pedro always managed to keep the title. Morales also formed a very good tag team with Luis Hernandez. On July 23, 1965, Morales lost the WWA title (LA version) to Crazy Luke Graham via COR. Graham was another WWF jobber being past off as a LA Star. As champion he was terrible losing every match by DQ. I think he had the title only because they needed a heel to meet Toyonobori. So the real WWA world champion came to town and on Sept. 7, 1965 beat Luke Graham via dq, so the two title were not unified. I didn’t go, but it must have been terrible sinse they were two of the wrorst workers of their time (well Ox Baker was worst.). On Sept. 20, 1965 (Monday night), the two champs met again at the Olympic and Luke Graham won, unifing the two titles. On Oct. 17, 1965, Pedro Morales defeated Luke Graham for the WWA title. Morale then defended the title against Moondog Mayne, Graham again, El Mongol & Gorilla Monsoon. To tell the truth the area was dead. In Feb. 1966, Morales spent the month in Dallas Texas wrestling Mark Lewin, not bring the title with him. From March to May, he tour JWA, without defending the title. Entering the World League Tournament, he lost to Shohei Baba on May 6, 1966 via COR. He return to the Olympic on May 27, 1966 to defend the title beating Frank Shields in a good match. While gone, Buddy Austin had taken over the territory & Bobo Brazil had returned & things stared to pick up. On Aug. 5, 1966, Buddy Austin defeated Pedro Morales clean for the WWA world title. It was a great match & one of the best title changes I’ve ever seen. No longer the top guy, Morales stayed in the area wrestling tag matches & undercards. He remain strong & only did important jobs. He stayed in the area until April 1969 having major matches with Austin, Blassie, Mark Lewin & Ted DiBiase. After working a year in Honolulu, he returned in April 1970. He only stay a week & returned to Honolulu until Oct. 1970 when he was back in LA. He feuded with Gordman & Goliath, Tolos, & Billy Graham before returning to the WWWF & NYC in Jan. 1971. On Jan. 8, 1971 in MSG, Pedro Morales defeated Ivan Koloff for the WWWF world title. Around Oct. 1972 he wrestled Ernie Ladd at the Olympic for the Americas title. In 1985 & 1986, he wrestled on WWF cards at the Sports Arena. His last match in Los Angeles was a loss to Jake Roberts on June 20, 1986.
34-Count Billy Varga
Son of old time wrestler Joe Varga, Billy Varga grew up in the Hollywood area very much a member of the LA wrestling culture. He turned pro in 1941 and defeated Wild Red Berry for the world light heavyweight title in Hollywood on Dec. 1, 1941. He lost it back to Berry on Dec. 22, 1941, also in Hollywood. He won the world light heavyweight title again in Hollywood on March 22, 1943 over Billy Rayburn. Lost it to Gorilla Ramos on April 26, 1943. Varga was respected as a true wrestler & he looked the part to me. Very classly guy and a good talker. He didn’t seem to like jobbing much & did very few in LA. He did lose a few times to Baron Leone in 1952, but it’s hard to find major jobs. Did seemed to avoid being pushed into corner, where he had to lose a title or whatever. So that means he wrestled a lot of jobbers and tag matches. He wrestled a draw with Red Berry on the undercard of the big title unification between Lou Thesz and Baron Leone on May 21, 1953 that broke all records with 25,256 & $103,277. On his record are draws with Thesz and Buddy Rogers. He claimed he won The American Title in Texas in 1957 over Ray Gunkel. I’ve never found the match, but he defended the title the rest of his life. He seems to have been push hard in LA from 1958 to 1960 (He took the Count gimmick from his father, who wrestled as Count Joe Varga, in Aug. 1958), and may have been the main heel in town & the American Title may have meant something before Carpentier became the NAWA/WWA champion. Carpentier never beat him. Their matches ended in draws. Varga seemed to lost his position to the new heel in town, Freddie Blassie, when Blassie beat him via DQ at the Olympic on April 21, 1961 (Att: 10,204). Mostly it seems to me that Varga lived in a big house in the Hollywood Hills and came down to fill in for the major heels in town whenever they had to leave territory for short periods of time. He could just jump in and be accepted by fans as a major guy & gates would stay up. But he didn’t do clean jobs for the champions or to major wrestlers to set up matches. One of his last matches was a DQ loss against WWA champion Bearcat Wright on Oct. 18, 1963 that sold out (10,400). He was one on the founding members of the CAC & a major member of the wrestling culture of Los Angeles until his death.
Major heel from 1936 to 1955. The Gorgeous George idea of wearing robes came from McShain, who was good friends with George Wagner. He was a fixture in the LA territory and the holder of the light weights title most of the time. Mainly a Jr Heavyweight but move from Hollywood to the Olympic and heeled against everyone. Won the Hollywood LHC at least 10 times. Won the national NWA world Jr heavyweight title from Verne Gagne in Memphis on Nov. 19, 1951 and lost it to Baron Michele Leone on Aug. 16, 1953. The claim is he popularized bloody matches & blading.
Lewin came to LA in Oct. 1966, first as tag partner with Bobo Brazil & then as a scientific wrestler type. He was handsome and seemed to be a good worker. He also was the Olympic booker during the period. On Oct. 14, 1966, Lewin defeated Lou Thesz at the Olympic for the WWA world title. He then defended the title against The Destroyer, Buddy Austin, El Shereff, H. B. Haggerty, Killer Karl Kox, Edward Carpentier, & Skull Murphy over the next 6 months. On May 9, 1967, Lewin lost the WWA world title to Kintaro Oki at Seoul, Korea. A rematch took place at the Olympic on May 19, 1967. Oki once again beat Lewin clean. Lewin then did one of his famous heel turns. The headbutt that beat him, also hurt something in the back of his head. Lewin went nuts and stomped Oki’s head into a bloody mess. No one could stop him until friend Bobo Brazil came onto the scene and calmed him down. At first Lewin seemed Ok but during matches, after getting hit or hurt in the back of his head, he would flip out & start stomping head. With time he became a straight out heel as Mad Mark Lewin & even stomped his friend, well ex-friend, Brazil. This led to two matches with Brazil, than didn’t add up to much. By this time, Strongbow had brought Mike DiBiase into the territory & made him booker. Thus DiBiase won all three major titles, including the world & the new Americas title. On July 28,1967, Lewin defeated DiBiase for the Americas Title. This set up a rematch with Dibiase’s WWA WC vs Lewin’s Americas Title on Aug. 11, 1967, with Fred Blassie as referee. Blassie was coming off a forced retirement due to losing a kidney. Fan were very happy to have Fred back but no one thought he’d be wrestling again, but things happen. Fred ends uo Dq’ing Lewin and a fight starts, so Blassie is done with retirement and a match takes place with Lewin on Aug. 25 for the Americas Title. Mad Mark still had head problem and late in the match Blassie used his Southern Neck Breaker on him. Lewin went nuts & ran out of the ring..into the parking lot….and disappeared from Los Angeles wrestling history. Blassie stood in the ring holding the Americas belt swearing for the mad man to return. Fred would dominate that title for 5 years. I thought the turn & Lewin was great…both as a face & heel. He drew good but not great, but LA was still recovering from the Bearcat Wright mess. It brought me back to the matches & I think of it as a good period.
One of the greatest wrestler in Mexico, he was the lead face in the AAA/IWC during 1993 & 1994. He gave off the feeling he was a Mexican Freddie Blassie, who could take a beating but still comeback to win one for his fans. Beat Konnan in a cage match on the first Lucha Libra PPV “When World’s Collide” on Nov. 6, 1994. (Att: 13,000 & $202,465)
Konnan El Barbarian, a huge steroid masked babyface, started in Los Angeles on independent cares in the early 1990’s. With time he became a sensation in AAA, as one of the Lucha world’s few good heavyweights. By the time he returned to LA he had lost his mask to Perro Aguayo (3-22-91-Mexico City.). He was in the first AAA/IWC main event at the LA Sports Arena, drawing 16,742 & $243,000, beating Jake Roberts & Cien Caras in a 3 way match on Aug 28, 1993. He also was part of a 6 man tag match that drew 12,500 &$195,000 to the Sports Arena on Nov. 12, 1993. On March 12, 1994, he beat Jake Roberts in a cage match that drew 13,823 & 238,225 at the Sports Arena. He also was the main evert, losing to Perro Aguayo in another cage match, on the first Luche Libra PPV “, When Worlds Collide” on Nov. 6, 1994 (Att: 13,000 & $202,465). Konnan was also the booker & sometime promoter of these cards. Later wrestled in ECW, WCW, & TNA, before returning to Mexico.
39-Psicosis (Dionicio Castellanos Torres)
Major high flying rudo who feud with Rey Misterio while working for the AAA/IWC in LA during 1993 & 1994. His matches with Rey Misterio were so famous, that they performed in Mexico, LA, Japan, ECW, WCW, & WWE. Had one of the greatest Lucha style masks in history, before being force to unmask in WCW.
One of the greatest wrestler of Mexico. In 1967, Negro Casas was a face at the Lucha Libra promotion at the Olympic Auditorium teaming with the idol of Mexico El Hijo del Santo. On June 13, 1987 Casas turned on Santos in a 6 man tag. This resulted in two matches that are believed to rank with the best in the history of the building. On June 27, Negro Cacas defeated Santo in two straight falls and dragged the bloody hero around the ring by his mask. Santo demanded a Mask vs Hair match and got it on July 18,1987. Santo won in a great match, with Cacas getting his head shaved. The match drew over 6,500 and outdrew what the WWF & WCW was doing in LA at the time. After the match, the shook hands but the two remain major rivals in Mexico to this day. Casas had other major match in La, one was against Ultimo Dragon at the Olympic. On June 1, 1996, Nergo Casas defeated El Hijo del Santo at Antonio Inoki’s Peace Festival at the LA Sports Arena.
Last great babyface star to be created by the Olympic office in the late 70’s. Not as colorful as Mil Mascaras, but probably near they same level as a worker. So good he worked for both AJW & NJW in Japan, winning all the major lightweight title. During the post-1975 period, he was the only LA wrestler I was interested in. Had major feuds with both Funks, & Roddy Piper during the 70’s. Won the Americas Title 16 times from 1975 to 1980. Later worked on national TV for Bill Watt’s UWF promotion. On one of the UWF’s last cards, Chavo won a battle royal at the Olympic (March 27, 1987).
I remember watching Ernie Ladd play football with the LA Chargers on TV as a kid. He was 6’9” 300lbs & could move. Seem like they push him as the Wilt Chamberlaid of the AFL. He began wrestling in 1963 and stay in the area during the football off season (Jan to June) until 1975. He was big, but the early version could also wrestle. I believe during this year, he’d also work a little in Texas. During these years he was never used in a main event at the Olympic. In San Diego & some of the small arenas he did work high on the card, mostly in tag matches. In 1963, he did get some title matches with Freddie Blassie (June 28 in San Diego) & in 1964 he worked with The Destroyer a lot. He was bigger in San Diego than at the Olympic, but he never had problems being bid in real life. I remember Ladd’s early interviews. They weren’t good. My thought were that he didn’t like kissing up to the fans & he would be better if he was a heel. I was right. The heel Ernie Ladd showed up on June 2, 1972 on a Friday night card, when he beat a babyface Don Carson. This Ladd wore a crown into the ring & called himself the king of wrestling. And he talked a lot. He claimed he didn’t stay in one spot much because he would cherry pick the best cards with the best money. The funny part of the gimmick was that the 300 lb. 6’9” monster always had to cheat to win. His big trick was put a medal object into the dress on his right thumb. The guy got a react from the fans. On June 16, 1972 he wrestled Bearcat Wright to a no contest draw. Then he beat little Dory Dixon on July 14. On July 28, 1972 he put John Tolos into the hospital and won the Americas Title. On Aug. 11, 1972, he beat Bobo Brazil via dq after Bobo went nuts beating on him. On Sept. 8, he beat Mil Mascaras via DQ. He also had 3 match with Ruben Juarez. I didn’t like the series because it looked weak seeing the giant Ladd selling for a little Mexican. On Nov. 3 Pedro Morales return to the Olympic as the WWF champion & beat Ladd via DQ in a good match. A rematch took place on Nov. 17 between Ladd & Morales and Ernie got DQ’ed again. (I kind of remember one of these matches being a draw.) On Dec.1, 1972, the good times ended as Victor Rivera defeated Ernie Ladd for the Americas title in two straight falls. Then John Tolos return on Dec. 15, 1972 and beat Ladd using the same taped thumb trick. And Ladd left town. I thought it was a well booked title run. In Oct. 1975, Ernie Ladd return and won the Americas Title from Louie Tillet (We think---maybe). On Oct. 10, 1975, Ladd wrestled Andre The Giant for the title at the Olympic with Antonino Rocca refereeing. It was a cool night with the cast of the Million Dollar Man all over the arena. Andre won because Rocca mess up. So on Oct. 17, Ladd wrestled Rocca and he beat the old guy. On Nov. 5, 1975, Ladd wrestled Chavo Guerrero in a non-title match. Chavo beat him two straight falls. Two days later on Nov. 7, Chavo took the Americas Title away from Ladd in two straight falls. I think that was Ernie Ladd’s last match in Los Angeles.
Won Americas Title 5 times & Americas Tag Title 12 times. Major face that wrestled in LA from 1972 into the mid-1980’s.
Mike DiBiase showed up at the Olympic in May 1967. On June 16, 1967 he defeated Pampero Firpo for the new Americas title. Mike LeBell was in the process of joining the NWA and one of the prerequisites was getting rid of the WWA world title. (The Forum was being build in LA & was planning on running AWA cards and sister promotion JWA wanted to join the NWA, so the Olympic really had no choice.) So Strongbow created the storyline that Firpo had defeat Colosso Colosetti in South America (Brazil?) for the Americas Title. On July 1, 1967, DiBiase defeated Kintaro Oki for the WWA world title on July 14, 1967. DiBiase was also the WWA world tag champion with Killer Karl Koxs, so he held all three of the major LA titles. On July 28, 1967, he lossed the Americas Title to Mad Mark Lewin at the Olympic. A WWA WC vs Americas Title unification match took place on Aug. 11, 1967 with DibIase beating Mad Lewin via DQ. On Aug. 25, 1967, Mike lost the WWA title to Buddy Austin and DiBiase left town. I didn’t think much of DiBiase. He was supposed to be a major wrestler but he had short arms, didn’t move well, wasn’t big and didn’t impress as a worker. He wasn’t bad, but didn’t get much of a reaction in a city used to great bad guys like Blassie, Destroyer, Bruiser, Varga, Austin and Lewin. Business wasn’t great but was picking up & I consider it a good period.
45-Dick The Bruiser
A national star, Dick The Bruiser first appeared in LA in Feb. 1964, right after the Wright/Blassie doublecross and the mess that followed. On Feb. 28, 1964 in the semi-final of a Friday night card, he beat Ed Carpentier clean in a one fall match. Bruiser was such a crazy performer that the Olympic stopped putting fans in the front two row of seats (before then the fans could sit right at ringside with their arms almost in the ring.) and Bruiser had to be led to the ring by a large number of police officers. Not to protect Dick, but to protect the fans. It also marked the beginning of allowing wrestlers to fight on the floor in LA, ending a long time commission rule. In April/May of 1964, he and Blassie feuded over three matches at the Olympic and he ended up the WWA world champion. Title defenses followed against Nikita Mulkovich, Alberto Torres, Mr Moto, Mike Sharpe, Ernie Ladd & Carpentier. On July 22, 1964, The Bruiser lost to The Destroyer via COR. This would lead to confusing storyline in which it was later decided that The Destroyer was world champion. All of it had to do with the fact that Dick had given notice to Strongbow that he was leaving because he busy with his own promotion in Indiana. The Bruiser then lost via DQ to Cowboy Bob Ellis on Aug. 26, 1964. Ellis had won a match vs The Destroyer after tearing the heels mask & followed by a run to the locker room. Still the WWA commission ruled that The Destroyer was the title holder. Ellis then defeated The Destroyer for the title on a rare Thursday night card Sept. 10, 1964. The Bruiser then lost clean to Ellis on Sept. 23, 1964 with the WWA title on the line. The Bruiser then returned to Indianapolis taking with him the WWA promotional name and a claim to the WWA world title. The real WWA promotion in Los Angeles never cared about it or complained. Because business was weak because of the Bearcat Wright mess, Bruiser wasn’t a huge draw in LA. Most of his matches were held on Wednesday before or after the TV matches, and not on special Friday night cards. But he was in his prime and was something to remember. When the AWA started a LA promotion at the new LA Forum on Sept. 6, 1969, Bruiser was in the main event losing via DQ to AWA champion Verne Gagne.
46-Ray Steele (Pete Sauer)
Pete Sauer, known nationally as Ray Steele, is considered by many to have been the best shooter in pro wrestling in the late 20’s into the 1940’s. He is known as the “glove” for Jim Londos, and the two wrestled main events in just about every territory in America. He was a national star who moved back & forth to city to city, but his have a long history in Los Angeles. He grew up in Lincoln Nebraska but by 1919 he was spending a lot of time in Phoenix wrestling. As a light weight wrestler he made his reputation in a series of match with Clarence Eklund, the great many time Light Heavyweight champion from Sheridan, Wyoming. Sauer beat Clarence at Santa Paula, Ca on Oct. 9, 1922 in a over weight match. Sauer was on some of Lou Daro’s first cards in the area. working out of Long Beach in June/July 1923. It probably was at this time that he met Jim Londos and made friend. Londos was already a major star working the main events. On Sept. 25, 1924, he lost to Dick Daviscourt on the undercard of a big Ed Lewis/Toots Mondt match in Los Angeles. Around that time, Sauer got injuried and was out of action until Nov. 1925, working as a milkman in Phoenix. In Nov. & Dec. he worked some minor match in LA. There he made friends with Joe Stecher & joined hi promotion. He then worked under a mask billed as The Masked Marvel in Atlanta, Memphis & St Louis. He was unmasked in Atlanta by friend Jim Londos. He then was billed as Pete Sauer, and always used that name in the South & in LA. In 1927, he started to be called Ray Steele on the East Coast. To keep things simple, I’ll just use the Steele name from now on. After becoming a major star wrestling Londos & world champ Joe Stecher he returned to LA in Sept. 1927. On Dec. 7, Steele and Londos had their first match at the Olympic. This match lasted 2 hours, with Londos butting Steele in the stomach & getting pin after 1 hour & 30 minutes. They continued until time ran out, without another fall, so the win went to Londos. On Dec. 21, Steele went another 2 hours, only that time Ray won taking the only fall A rematch with Londos took place on Jan. 11, 1928 at the Olympic, Steele won the 1st fall in 1 hour & 8 minutes, Londos took the 2nd after seven rolling headlocks (think DDT), Steele was KO’ed and couldn’t continue. In all of these Londos/Steele matches, Steele is always bigger, stronger, and a better wrestler, but Londos almost always wins because of stamina & brains. At least that was the storyline, but Steele was so good that fans always believed he was going to win. And they were the best matches of their time (think Flair/Steamboat). In Feb.1929, Steele beat Daviscourt & Paul Jones in LA but Paul Bowser had supplying talent for Lou Daro & Steele wasn’t used. In Oct 1930 Ray Steele was working as a instructor at the Los Angeles Athletic Club, a mile north of The Olympic Auditorium. Steele return to wrestle in LA on March 16, 1932, beating Paul Jones. On June 8, 1932, Steele defeated Vic Christy in 2 straight falls to become the first California State Champion. He defended the title beating Abe Coleman on June 22, 1932. On July 14, 1932, meet Jim Londos for the NWA WC at Wrigley Field and drew 12,000 fans. The match ended up a 2 hour & 15 minute draw in which it looked like Steele was about to win…but the match was stopped because Lou Daero license stated he had to stop at mid-night. Joe Stecher had worked on the undercard & he challenged Londos to a title match. Jim told him to beat Ray Steele. On Sept. 14, 1932, Steele defended his Calif. State Title vs the great Joe Stecher and beat him 2/3 falls. Om Sept. 28, Ray beat Hans Steinke drawing 7,000. In Jan. 1933 Steele beats George Zaharias twice at the Olympic.On Feb. 8, 1933 Steele & Londos wrestle again at the Olympic drawing 10,400 & $17,500 with 3,000 turned away. Londos won 2/3 falls. On March 19, 1933, Steele was stripped of Calif. Titlle because he didn’t show for a Jim McMillen match. McMillen then beat Joe Savoldi for the vacant title. Steele return on March 29, 1933 to win the title back from Jim McMillen. The match lasted 2 hours & 15 minute & the referee gave the decision to Steele. On April 12, 1933, Steele and Londos went at it again and Londos won 2/3 falls in front of 9,000. A stipulation of the match was that if Steele lost he could wrestle Londos in LA again, so Ray left LA to wrestle Londos in other cities. On Aug. 8, 1934, he challenged NY world champion Jim Browning at the Olympic & lost 2/3 falls before 8,000. On Oct. 31, 1934 he again wrestled Jim Londos at the Olympic. It drew 8,000 and Londos won two straight falls. On Dec. 4 1934, Steele dropped the Calif Title to Joe Malcewicz in San Francisco. On Jan. 3, 1935, Steele lost to the new star Chief Little Wold in two straight falls. On May 13, 1936, Steele defeated Bill Longson on a Man Mountain Dean undercard. In 1936 he wrestled on a number of Olympic undercards and Won & Lost against Sandor Szabo in San Diego. On March 7, 1940, Ray Steele defeated Bronko Nagurski for the NWA WC in St Louis and defended it until losing it back to Nagurski on March 11, 1941 at Minneapolis. On June 11, 1941 Steele returned to LA & wrestled Jim Londos again…and lost 2/3 fall in front of 9,000. A week later Steele wrestled Londos again at the Olympic and got a draw (6,500). From June to Oct, Steele stayed in LA and was undefeated. And then he left for St. Louis. Return in Sept.1944. Did another job for Jim Londos in LA on Dec. 13, 1944 and had other matches with him in San Diego and other small arenas. He died from a heart attack while hunting on Sept. 11, 1949 at age 49.
47- Ed Don George
George was a major amateur wrestler at The University of Michigan winning the 1928 AAU championshio and being on the Olympic team. He began his pro career in 1929 working for Paul Bowser in Boston. He came to Los Angeles on May 5, 1930 beating Dan Koloff in the semi-final of the big Sonnenberg/Marshal card at Wrigley Field, Victorys followed with wins over Stanley Stasiak (May 14), Nick Lutze (May 28), Lee Wyckoff (June 11), Joe Malcewicz (July 23), Moose Norbeck, Marin Plestina (Aug. 6), Nick Lutze (Aug. 20), Don De Laun (Sept. 17), and Bibber McCoy (Oct. 15—Sellout 10,400). On Oct. 29, 1930, George wrestled Gus Sonnenberg at The Olympic for the AWA World Title and after spliting the first two falls. Both decided to attempt flying tackels. The met head on and were KO'ed. Gus work up first & got the pin. A rematch was set for Dec. 10, 1930 and Ed Don George defeated Gus Sonnenberg using a head scissos and wrist lock to submit Gus and win the AWA World Championship. This was the first time in LA history that the World heavyweight changed hands in the city. Attendance was 10,000. On Jan. 31, 1931, George defended the World title by defeating Henri DeGlane at the Olympic, drawing a sellout 10,400. A match was then booked by Lou Daro between George and Ed “Strangler” Lewis for LA's Wrigley Field on April 13, 1931. In front of 12,000 fans Lewis defeated George in straight falls to win the AWA World Title. There are stories that Lewis stole the title against Paul Bowser's wishes. George left after the title loss & didn't wrestling much in LA after that. In 1932, he returned for a week, beating Pat O'Hara in a Olympic semi on Sept. 28, 1931 and beating Al Baffert in Hollywood on Oct. 6. On March 7, 1934, George defended his rewon AWA world title at the Olympic drawing 8,500 in beating Dr Fred Meyers and on March 14 he defeated Mike Mazurki. In June 1936, he returned to the Olympic without a title beating Joe Malcewicz (June 17), Sandor Szabo (June 24), George Zaharias (July 1), Vic Christy (July 8), Jack MacArthur (July 29) and Jack Washburn (Aug. 5). He then left for Hawaii. George returned in July 1941 appearing all over Southern Calif. On July 23, 1941, George defeated Dano O'Mahoney at the Olympic, and in his last big match in the city George put over Maurice Tillet, The French Angel, on July 30, 1941 two out of three falls. It was only his 2nd loss in Los Angeles. Ed Don George entered the Navy during WWII and never wrestled again. He promoted wrestling in Buffalo until 1955. He died Sept. 18, 1985.
48-Man Mountain Dean
He was big (but there were bigger wrestlers in 1934), fat, a heel (but no one could tell because he was so popular), old (wrestled in NYC in 1915), his matches were shorter than Hulk Hogan’s in 1985, had a history of failure, his finishing hold was just falling on people,no one would put him over clean, and he was always push into doing jobs….but from 1934 to 1937 no one drew better than Man Mountain Dean in Los Angeles. He came to Los Angeles in July 11, 1934 working on undercards on Jim Browning cards, on Aug. 11, 1934 he had his first main event beating George Zaharias in 4 minutes & 36 seconds drawing 11,500 to the Olympic. His next card (after Jim Londos worked twice drawing 9,500 & 8,500) was against Howard Cantonwine (he won the 1st fall by DQ & the 2nd in 1 minute & 43 seconds) on Sept. 12 drew a 11,000 sellout. On Sept. 19 he beat Zaharias again with 11,5000 in house & against Joe Savoldi 11,500 with 10,000 turned away. On Oct. 10, 1934, he lost 2 straight falls to Jim Londos at Wrigley Field drawing 23,565 & a gate of $40,922. The main events that followed were against Cantonwine (9,000), Nock Lutze (11,000-sellout), Hans Steinkle (11,000 he lost), & beat Steinkle in 4 minutes & 52 seconds. On Dec. 27, 1934 he lost another 2 straight falls to Jim Londos drawing 11,500 to the Olympic. A third match with Londos on Jan. 9, 1935 drew 11,000 and lost 2 straight falls again. By that time, Dean was making movies in Hollywood and stars with coming to his matches. On April 17, 1935 he wrestled Vincent Lopez at the Olympic, lost and soldout 10,400. He then joined the great International double elimination tournament of 1935 and had matchs with Jim Browning (7,500), Nick Lutze (3,353), Danno O’Mahoney (a loss 10,000), Kiman Kudo (10,400), Ernie Dusek (10,400), & Sergei Kalmikoff (10,400 with 5,000 turned away). On July 24, 1935 he lost to Vincent Lopez in the final drawing 10,400 with 5,000 turned away. In 1935, the LA Times said that Man Mountain Dean was the biggest draw in the city not just in pro wrestling but in all sports. Kiman Kudo was a serious very small Jujitsu style wrestler, who had a school in town & worked MMA style matches in openers on cards. Some seemed to be shoots. Anyway he was matched against Dean on Aug 21, 1935, & lost via UTC & drew 10,400. It continued this way, with Dean working on & off and doing stuff in Hollywood. Three times in 1936 he sold out the Olympic losing to Vincent Lopez. After one on June 24, 1936, in a locker room interview seemly breaking KF, he claimed he was retiring. On Dec. 16, 1936 he beat 6’ 7” 350 pound Jules Strongbow drawing 9,500. On July 14, 1937, he broke his leg in a match with Sandor Szabo. He didn’t return until June 1938. On July 20, 1938 there was a rematch with Szabo and Dean’s leg was broke again. Somehow friend got him back into the Army during WWII. I don’t know if I believe all of this….but that’s the story.
49-Lord James Blears
Major star during the early years of TV thru the 1950’s, mainly as a tag specialist. Won Int TV TC at least twice. Became part owner in Hawaii. Was one of Gorgeous George’s favorite opponents during the glory years. Close to the LA front office & had major ties to JWA & AJW. President of the PWF thru the 1990’s. Worked everywhere in California.
50-Johnny “Cowboy Rocky” Valentine
Worked in LA during the mid-50’s. Was given a cowboy gimmick as a joke, but he worked so well, he made it work. Part of Buddy Rogers’ inner circle and was one of Rogers’s favorite opponents. Reappeared in LA during the 70’s, but left the company after one match on KCOP TV. Said the promotion was a mess.
Got his first major push in LA. Major in the post-1975 era. Feuded with Chavo Guerrero for 3 years in a highlight of that time period. Won Americas Title 5 times. Won Americas Tag Title 7 times. Was a major WWF star during the 80’s & with WCW in the 90’s. Piper & Hogan drew 12,000 to the Sports Arena on April 12, 1985.
Son of Johnny Valentine, came to LA in late Nov. 1974. Major wrestler during 1975, wrestling Ed Carpentier, Louie Tillet , John Tolos, Victor Rivera, Reno Tufuuli, Chavo Guerrero, & Choi Sun. After losing a losser leave town match, he wrestled under a mask as Hiroshima Joe. Lost a NWA world title match to Jack Brisco on April 25, 1975 at the Olympic. 1975 was a terrible year, but Valentine may have been the MVP . He went off to be come a national star & defended the ICC on early WWF shows in LA defending against Tito Santana & Rocky Johnson. Won Americas Title two times.
One the first football players to make it big in pro wrestling. Huge star in Chicago and New York City with many matches against Jim Londos. He was also part owner of the Chicago Bears, having lent money to George Halas to buy the team in the 1920’s. On March 22, 1933, he defeated Joe Savoldi for the vacant California Title at the Olympic. He lost the title to Ray Steele on March 29, 1933 also at the Olympic.
After getting his start in NYC, Mazurki came to LA in Nov. 1933. He was pushed as a monster heel for the first part on 1934. On March 14, 1934 he lost to Ed Don George in a Olympic main event and on April 11, 1934 he lost to Ed Lewis. Around that time he got into Hollywood movies and over the years became one of the most famous character actors playing mostly huge villains. He appeared in many major films and had staring roles in Murder My Sweet, Night and The City, Dark City, Some Like It Hot. & many others. When not filming he continued wrestling on cards all over Southern Calif. until 1963. Wrestled just about every major wrestling star of his generation. He was very popular in both Hollywood and in LA pro wrestling culture, forming the Cauliflower Alley Club in the 1970's. Died Dec. 9, 1990. His ear in the symbol of the CAC today.
Dean Detton started in Los Angeles in Jan, 1935. After Londos no showed a match with Chief Little Wolf (March 20, 1935), a huge double elimination Tournament was set up to run 4 nights a week until a champion was crowned three months later. Dean Detton enterer and on the first night he had bad luck in drawing the huge Hans Steinke and was beaten. Since he had to lose once more to be out on contention, he beat Hermie Olsen, Hans Stinke (in a rematch), Felix Miquet, Juan Humberto, Matros Kirlienko, Tony Felice, and then ex-champ Jim Browning. Detton was small but he was fast & had good wrestling skills. The exciting performer was leading the tournament in point & was becoming a favorite to win, when it was announced on June 12 that he had injured his knee and had to drop out of the tournament, which ended up with Vincent Lopez beating Man Mountain Dean for the Calif. world title. Detton was out of action untin July 31, 1935. During Aug., he wrestled Sandor Szabo in Long Beach three time…2 draws & a Detton lost. This set off a rivally between the two over who was the top face in California over the years that followed. Detton left LA in Sept. 1935 to wrestle on the East Coast working for Toots Mondt. On Feb. 28, 1936, the 207 pound Dean Detton defeated the 260 pound Ed “Strangler” Lewis in Philadelphia for the right to meet champion Dano O’Mahoney. When Dano refused. Detton was given the Pennsylvania world title. On Sept. 29, 1936, Dean Detton wrestler the Mondt & Calif. (having beaten Vincent Lopez) world champion Dave Levin. Detton won with a toe hold in 2 hours, 5 minutes & 52 seconds.
Wilber Snyder was born on Sept. 15, 1929 in Santa Monica. He letter in 4 sports at Van Nuys High School. Played two years of collage football at The University of Utah. Never stared or lettered. Dropped out after two years. Got a try out with the LA Rams but didn’t make it. In 1953 & 1954, he was a place kicker for the Edmonton Eskimos. Between March 1953 and Feb 1955, the young Snyder became a national name from wrestling on Los Angeles TV. On March 27, 1954 he wrestled a draw with NWA world champion on national TV on CBC coming out of Hollywood. The finish had Thesz almost beaten as the bell sounded. This match more that any other made Snyder a star. Wilber was young, handsome, and had the style of a true wrestler. The blow off of the Snyder/Thesz feud in LA took place on Feb. 2, 1955, when Lou Thesz defeated Snyder in front of a sellout of 10,400 at the Olympic. Thesz liked Snyder and his style of wrestling, and the plan was to book title matches between the two all over American. Snyder then left LA for St Louis & then Chicago, where they worked the same storyline in both cities. Snyder only return a few times to LA after that, most to see family & stuff like that. He was never part of the Olympic storyline again., but while in town in the 50’s he was a major start. Won the Internation TV Tag Title twice with twice with Sandor Szabo & Bobo Brazil. Won the Internation TV title once.
Kintaro Oki was a Korean wrestler that worked for JWA. He started wrestling a little before Baba & Inoki in 1959. He was always given a good push, but not at the top level. By 1967, he had started his own promotion in South Korean and was this country’s version of Rikidozan, Frank Gotch, Henri Deglane, Santo & Billy Watson. He was short but stocky. He moved ok, and looked very stuff using a headbut that rivaled Bobo Brazil’s. I liked him better the Inoki or Toyonoborri in LA. His first tour of Los Angeles started in Sept 1963. This stay just seemed like the standard JWA tour done to get them American training & experience before putting them over as stars in Japan. Oki disappeared & returned in Oct.. He worked low on card, not jobbing or beating anyone important. On Dec. 10, 1963, it claimed that Oki & Mr Moto defeated Bearcat Wright & Red Bastien for the International TV Tag Title in Long Beach. (I didn’t research that, so I don’t know if it’s true…Moto had been Wright’s partner for months.) Moto & Oki do then defend a tag title and then lose the Int Tv Tag Title to Art & Stan Neilson on Jan. 9, 1964. After a couple of jobs to Blassie & Carpentier, Oki left town at the end of Jan. to return to JWA. In Sept. 1964 he was in Texas. On Oct. 16, 1964, someone talked the young Oki to shoot on Lou Thesz in a NWA Title match, He was carried out of the ring. In Dec 1964, he was back in LA working undercards again. After losing to The Destroyer, he returned to Texas in Jan. 1965, being used as a Japanese heel named Tetsuro Sato feuding with Dory Funk Jr & Jose Lothario. In late 1965, he had started his South Korean promotion. On May 9, 1967, Kintaro Oki defeated Mark Lewin for the WWA world title in Seoul, South Korea. The rematch was in Los Angles on May 19, 1967 at the Olympic. Oki beat Lewin again clean in a 2/3 fall match. It was a good well wrestled match. But Oki head butt destroyed Lewin’s brain somehow and he went crazy stomping Oki’s face into a bloody mess. Lewin then stomped the referee & a few minor wrestlers. It took good old Bobo Brazil to claim Mad Mark down. Oki then defended against Jerry Graham & Killer Karl Kox on Friday night cards. On June 30, 1967, Oki lost by decision to Mike DiBiase but kept his title. In a rematch on July 14, 1967, Kintaro Oki lost the WWA world title to Mike DiBiase. Oki left town & never returned.
Father of Japanese wrestling & voted the wrestler of the 20th century by the WON, Rikidozan, a pushed star in San Francisco, trayeled down to the Olympic on Aug. 27, 1958 to win a tainted victory over Lou Thesz. On return to Japan, Rikidozan claimed the International Title. On March 28, 1962, Rikidozan won the WWA WC defeating Fred Blassie in another tainted victory. On July 25, 1962, he lost the WWA Title back to Blassie via cuts. The rematch sold out. During this time, Rikidozan forming strong ties with Jules Strongbow and the Los Angeles promotion became a sister promotion with JWA working as it’s booking agent in America. This relationship meant more that money to Strongbow because it also supplied LA with talent before going to Japan and returning.. Most wrestlers couldn’t get big money tours with JWA without spending some time working in LA.
Defeated Pedro Morales for the LA version of the WWA world title on July 23, 1965. Later unified his version with the Japanese version by beating Toyonobori at the Olympic on Sept. 20, 1965. Was defeated for the title by Pedro Morales on Oct. 17, 1965.
Youngest of the 3 Torres Brothers. Alberto former the perfect face team with Ramon Torres. He stared wrestling in 1957, teaming with Enrique & Ramon in SF. Started in LA as a singles wrestler in Aug. 1959. He was pushed on mid-cards for 3 months. He did team with Enrique a few times. He feuded with The Kangaroos, both in tags & singles and beat Black Zorro (Gino Garibaldi) a few times. He returned in May 1961 teaming with brother Ramon. They main evented for 4 months winning the Int TV Tag Title. (see below). He also a some matches with champion Fred Blassie. In April 1964, Ramon & Alberto return to LA to feud with Fabulous Kangaroos. They defeated the Kangarloos on April 28, 1964 for the WWA world tag title in Long Beach and beat them again at the Olympic on May 6, 1964 in great matches. They also had another great match beating Art & Stan Neilson at the Olympic on April 22, 1964. They then feuded with The Destroyer & Rip Hawk & both wrestled The Destroyer in singles matches. They lost the title to The Destroyer & Hard Boiled Haggerty on July 30, 1964 in Bakersfield. After some rematches, they left town in Aug. 1964.
Brother of Enrique & Alberto Torres. The three brothers formed a team that was know as one of the best face teams on the 50’s & 60’s. In Los Angeles, The Torres Brother’s Team was considered as Ramon & Alberto. Enrique Torres was considered as a major singles wrestler & not avalible for tags as much as his brother. Ramon was the 2nd oldest & the smallest. A high flyer, he might have been the best worker. Ramon stared wrestling in 1953 teaming with Enrique in SF. He was in LA in Dec 1958 & may have worked mid-card before that. Ramon first teamed with Alberto at the Olympic in May 1961. Los Angeles was never what was described as a tag team city. The major matches were usally singles, but The Torres Brother were main eventers from May 1961 to Aug 1961. The team won the International TV Tag Title on June 21, 1961 at the Olmpic from Mike Sharpe & The Zebra Kid and lost it to Fred Blassie & Mr Moto sometime in Aug. 1961 in a local arena. During 1961 Ramon also had a number of WWA title matches with Fred Blassie & single matches with the other major heels. In April 1964, Ramon & Alberto return to LA to feud with Fabulous Kangaroos. They defeated the Kangarloos on April 28, 1964 for the WWA world tag title in Long Beach and beat them again at the Olympic on May 6, 1964 in great matches. They also had another great match beating Art & Stan Neilson at the Olympic on April 22, 1964. They then feuded with The Destroyer & Rip Hawk & both wrestled The Destroyer in singles matches. They lost the title to The Destroyer & Hard Boiled Haggerty on July 30, 1964 in Bakersfield. After some rematches, they left town in Aug. 1964.
Lead member of The Fabulous Kangaroos, although Roy Heffernan was also a fine wrestler/performer. The Kangaroos are on just about every list of the greatest tag teams. Both were good pure wrestlers & they created a number on inventive spots in ever match. Also had one one the greatest managers, Red Berry, who could talk & wrestle better that the best in the sport. Los Angeles was never considered a tag team territory, but in 1959 it was The Kangaroos that dominated storylines and main events in the city. By Sept. they had won the Int TV Tag Title. Everyone on the team also wrestled in singles & Costello had matches with Antonino Rocca, Lou Thesz, Gene LeBell, Ricky Romero, Ed Carpentier, & Sandor Szabo. After working for Strongbow in both LA & SF, they moved on to the WWF in July 1960. The Fabulous Kangaroos returned to LA in Feb. 1964. On Feb. 27, 1964 in Bakersfield, they defeated Ed Carpentier & Ernie Ladd for the WWA World Tag Title. The Torres arrived in the territory in April & the two great team began a feud. On April 28, 1964, Alberto & Raman Torres defeated The Kangaroos in Long Beach for the WWA WTC. On May 6, 1964, The Torres Brothers again defeated The Kangaroos at the Olympic in a great match. Al Costello & Roy Heffernan then left fir Vancouver & never returned.
See above (Al Costello)
Ernie Dusek came to Los Angeles in 1935 with the reputation as a worker who never had a bad match. In April, Ernie was just one of the major wrestlers to join Lou Daro’s great double elimination International Tournament to crown a new California world champion. Dusek defeated Everett Kibbons, Felix Miquet, Joe Savoldi, Vic Christy, & Matros Kirilenko, Hans Kampher & Mike Romano. Then on June 5, 1935, he lost his first match to Man Mountain Dean before 10,400. He then beat Pete Mehringer, Sergei Kalmikoff & then on June 26 beat Ed “Strangler” Lewis. On July 3, 1935, Dusek was eliminated by losing to Vincent Lopez drawing 7,750. In a match for 3rd place, Dusek beat Sandor Szabo on July 10. The winner ended up as Lopez who beat Dean in the final. Later that year on Aug. 28, 1935, Dusek beat George Zaharias at the Olympic selling out at 10,400. On Sept. 28, he lost to Gus Sonnenberg drawing 6,500. Ernie was just part of a large wrestling family. Rudy the oldest, Emil, & Joe. Of the four Ernie was the biggest singles star. Rudy was also a main eventer but more of a shooter type. The Dusek were the Funk brothers of their time. In the late 40’s, when tag matches were becoming popular, the Dusek was the first brothers team and the most famous in America, By that time, Rudy Dusek was a major promoter in NYC & the East Coast, using Ernie as his best wrestler. Ernie & Emil Dusek was very big on TV in Los Angeles in the late 40’s up to about 1952. I think the only person who drew better was Gorgeous George. As a team Ernie & Emil Dusek couldn’t be topped. Ernie also wrestled as a single. On Aug. 8, 1951, Ernie lost to Baron Leone in a Calif. world title match at the Olympic that drew a 10,400 sellout.
65-Dory Funk Jr
After he became NWA champion in 1969, Dory Funk Jr made LA a stop off for title defenses. Kind of like they did for every small town in the South. This was a semi-big deal, because, except for Kiniski vs Brazil in 68, the NWA champ hadn’t been in Los Angeles since Thesz in 1956. Of course, it really would have been a big deal, if the Mexican & old fans read wrestling magazines, but they didn’t. Most of the NWA title matches in LA didn’t do as well as Americas title defenses. In fact, Dory wrestled 4 times in 1969, against Blassie, Austin, The Sheik, & Mil Mascaras…and only once in 1969, Mil Mascaras. In 1970, one in LA (Peter Maivia) & one in Bakersfield (Mil Mascaras). The only match worth taking about took place on Sept. 5, 1965, when Dory Funk Jr defended against Buddy Austin drawing 10,974 with 6,500 turned away. Yes they had a guy standing in the parking lot counting all the people returning to their cars before the matches started. I think it was Mike Tenay. Anyway that sounds like a great night for Funk. But the card took place the night before the AWA moved into the LA Forum with Gagne vs The Bruiser, so it was a loaded up card. The semi-final was Mil Mascaras vs Black Gordman and another match was The Sheik vs Pedro Morales. Also on the card was Bobo Brazil, Ernie Ladd, Pat Patterson, Curtis Iaukea, and YES…The Fabulous Moolah. If that wasn’t enough, they gave away tons of tickets to Disneyland, Universal City, & Knox Berry Farm. (Mil wanted the Disneyland tickets). This card has been called the greatest card in the Olympic’s history. But Dory Jr did great. On May 19, 1972, Dory & Terry Funk lost the International Tag Title to Shohei Baba & Sakaguchi in a 2/3 fall match. It was one of the best matches I had ever seen. In the third fall Baba pined Dory, the NWA Champion, to win. I thought it was great. On Jan. 14, 1977, Dory beat Chavo Guerrero at the Olympic for the Americas title and lost it back to Chavo on Feb. 4, 1977. All of those match were great too. On April 7, 1986, Dory & Terry Funk defeated Junk Yard Dog & Tito Santana at WrestleMania II at the Sports Arena. Dory also appeared on a lot of WWF cards in 1986. In 1987, he wrestled a draw with Mike Rotundo (7-6-67) at the Forum and did a job for Steve Williams in Anaheim on Nov. 8, 1987 with the WCW.
Terry Funk’s first stop at the Olympic was loss to The Destroyer via the Figure-4 leg lock on Aug. 1, 1969. Terry laid in the ring as The Destroyer yelled at the dress room for Champ Dory Funk to come out & met him. I think they were trying to set up a Dory Funk/Destroyer match but nothing happened. Maybe it was done for Japan. On May 19, 1972, Terry teamed with brother Dory Funk to lost the JWA International Tag Title to Shohei Baba & Sakagucki at the Olympic. It was a great match. In Jan. 1973, I believe he wrestled in a tournament at the Olympic. I haven’t found a result but I remember something like that. In one match he beat The Destroyer via DQ and beat Victor Rivera in the final. I’m not sure about that. Anyway Funk wrestled Victor Rivera on Feb. 9, 1973 for the Americas Title at the Olympic & lost. But it drew 10,567 (maybe). On July 3, 1973, Terry Funk took the Americas Title away from Rivera at Odessa, Texas. I’m pretty sure that it was a Phantom Title change. Reason: they had Terry booked for one night and they needed a reason or hook to explain why he was getting a title match (a Theory). Leading up to the match TV show Terry Funk interview tape in Texas. They were awesome. So on July 27, 1973, Terry lost the Americas Title back to Victor Rivera at the Olympic. In 1985 & 1986, Terry wrestled on WWF card at the Sports Arena. On Feb. 14, 1986, Terry lost a WWF title match to Hulk Hogan at the Sports Arena drawing 15,000 for a gate of $160,000. At a Sept. 11, 1994 independent card in La Puente Calif., Terry Funk did a run in during a Sabu vs Al Snow match that stole the show. He tore up the little arena and battled everyone into the parking lot. It was awesome too. A 100 broken fold-up chairs are still laying around the neighborhood.
Backlund defended the WWF title at least once in 1979 & 3 times in 1980. All against minor wrestlers that didn’t add up to much. On some lists it has Bob Backlund winning the 1978 Battle Royal in Los Angeles, but I haven’t see the result anywhere yet. When the WWF took over LA in 1983, Backlund main evented the first 2 cards at the Sports Arena against Buddy Rose (3-6-83) & Ivan Koloff (4-23-83). Both cards didn’t draw but Bob did get a good response from the fans who did show up. Another card also bombed and it seemed like the WWF had plans to forget the burned out territory. Then a Backlund/SGT Slaughter card on July 2, 1983 drew a crowd of 9,100 & $80,000, which would have been good for the old Olympic. (Promoters thur history always claimed there were only 10,000 wrestling fans in LA.) That card made Vince feel better & they continue at the Sports Arena, but the rest of 1983 all the cards bombed including a Dec. 3 match between Backlund & The Masked Superstar (Att: 3,800). The WWF were once again thinking about pulling out of LA, but instead they mover back into the old cheaper Olympic Auditorium & booked a Battle Royal. It had a great advance and ended up drawing 11,104 on Jan. 28, 1984. So the WWF stayed in LA & never left. Bob Backlund didn’t wrestle in LA again until his WWF comeback in 1994.
Sgt Slaughter drew the first good crowd for the WWF at the Sports Arena against champion Bob Backlund on July 2, 1983. It drew 9,100 and a gate of $80,000. The WWF had been losing money in LA, which was considered a dried up town, and this gate may have convinced McMann to continue promoting at the Sports Arena. Slaughter also lost the WWF WC to Hulk Hogan at WrestleMania on March 24, 1991 drawing 16,158.
Joined: 01 Aug 2006
Location: Wonderful Montebello CA
|Posted: Sun Jan 24, 2016 5:12 pm Post subject:
The Sheik was an national attraction by the late 1960’s and had some of his most famous matches in Los Angeles. His feud with Fred Blassie is one of the best known of it’s time. After a number of bloody encounters it ended in the first Blassie cage match which he lost. The Sheik could never get along with anyone & had feuds with Bobo Brazil, John Tolos, Mil Mascaras, Pepper Gomez, Pamperpo Firpo, Shohei Baba & Victor Rivera at the Olympic. Many were sellouts. Held the Americas title twice. Every match was the same but I don’t believe he ever was pinned clean at the Olympic.
Indian heel that was one of Mil Mascaras’ first feuds in Los Angeles in 1969 & 1970. Won the Americas Tag Title with Black Gordman over Mil Mascaras & Alfonso Dantes on May 14, 1969. Lost it to Dantes & Francisco Flores on May 21, 1969. Ramos & Gordman rewon the title from Mil Mascaras & Dantes on July 24, 1969 in Bakersfield. After a number of matches, Ramos defeated Mil Mascaras in a chain match on Oct. 3, 1969. On Oct, 10, 1969, the two had a famous hair vs mask match at the Olympic Auditorium in which Ramos had his long hair cut.
After teaming with Ray Steven in SF, Don Manoulian was brought to Los Angeles to team with the WWA Champ The Destroyer in 1962. Manoukian was a good worker & tag team wrestler that fit in perfectly with Beyer to form one of the best tags in LA history. Manoukian looked like a small version of Dick The Bruiser, was very good in interview and always very witty & funny. The two defeated Haystack Calhoun & Abe Jacobs on Dec. 19, 1962 for the International TV Tag Title and lost the title to Bearcat Wright & Mr Moto on July 19, 1963. In singles he wrestled Dick Hutton, Sampson Berg, Ricki Starr, Enrique Torres, Ed Carpentier, Ernie Ladd, Fred Blassie, Mr Moto & Bearcat Wright.
Major Luchador who was famous in Mexico with 5 sons following him into the ring (The Vallanos). Push in 1970 & 1971. Won the United Nation Title from John Tolos (Dec 4, 1970), but was stripped of thr title when JWA notified the Olympic that they want Antonio Inoki to win title from a heel (Tolos). Won Americas TC 3 times. Injured in early 1972 and stayed in Mexico after that, helping to form the UWA in 1974. Was first Mexican to win the NWA LHC and won the belt 6 times.
Dave Levin won a claim to the world Title on June 12, 1936 when a stooge referee named Frank Sinborn ruled he have been hit in the groin from a Ali Baba dropkick that landed on his chest. As Levin landed on the mat knocked out, from a groin shot that didn't happen, he was crowned world champion...before being taken to a hospital. It was a double-cross set up by booking agent Toots Mondt. The New Jersey commission ruled against Levin's claim, but the 187 pound Levin had Mondt and The Ring Magazine behind him. Toots brought Dave Levin to LA in July 1956 for a match with Joe Savoldi. The Calif. Commission wouldn't allow Levin to be billed as champion, because the Commission recognized Vincent Lopez. On July 15, 1936 Levin defeat Joe Savoldi in straight falls at The Olympic Auditorium. On Aug. 5, 1936, Lewin returned to the Olympic to defeat Chief Little Wolf also in straight falls, drawing 7,500. On Aug. 19 Dave Levin wrestled and defeated Vincent Lopez at Wrigley Field to unify the Toots Title with the Calif. World title. Levin won the 2nd fall by DQ, and then won the 3rd fall clean. The commission reported the match drew 15,321 and the paid attendance was 13,789. The gate was $20,723. On Sept.2, Levin defeated Gus Sonnenberg at the Olympic to defend the title. On Sept. 28, 1936 in Philadelphia Levin lost the Toots Mondt world title to Dean Detton in a match that lasted 2:05:52. A return match between Levin & Lopez had been sighed in LA, and the promoters, commission & wrestlers were confused over who was champion, because the title change was a one fall match, but the bout took place anyway with the fans thinking it was a title. On Sept. 30, 1936, Vincent Lopez defeated Dave Levin two falls to one in what seemed like a title change. It drew a sold-out 10,400 with 3,000 turned away. A short time later the Calif. commission recognized Dean Detton as World Champion. A match was set up for Detton to meet Lopez, but Vincent hurt his leg and it was called off. A third match took place between Levin & Lopez took place on Oct. 14 with Levin losing when he was injuried. It drew 9,000 to The Olympic. Levin then returned to NYC & Jack Pfefer. In Jan. 21, 1937 injured a leg in a match with Bobby Bruns in NYC and was out of commission for over a year. Levin returned to LA in Sept. 1938 and stayed until Jan. 17, 1939. His only loss was to Bob Gregory. He returned in July 1939 working out of Hollywood as a light-heavyweight. He did a number of jobs in the area to LeRoy McGuirk, Dude Chick, Jimmy El Pulpo, Wee Willie Davis and Mike Mazurki. He took two trips to Oregon, but basicaly worked out of LA until Jan. 16, 1940, after a loss to Chief Little Wolf. Returned in July 1940 until Oct. 1940, putting over Dude Chick & Dean Detton in the area. Returned in Dec. 1940 and stayed until April 1941, working as a light-heavyweight winning & losing. He enlisted in the US Army during WWII. He wrestled in the mid-west starting in 1943 & was back claiming, winning & losing world titles. He also won the Texas Title & lost it to Buddy Rogers. He returned to Southern Calif. in Aug. 1945 & was part of Jack Pfefers' group of wrestlers. Lost to LeRoy McGuirk in Hollywood on Oct. 22. Had feuds with McGuirk, Danny McShain, & Red Barry. Left in Dec. 1945 to work in NYC. Returned to LA in April 1948, put over Gorgeous George & Lord Blears but was somewhat protected working undercards & doing a lot of draws. Stayed thru the busy TV era until going to Ohio in July 1949. Still seemed to be a major Pfefer wrestler. Returned in Jan. 1950, putting over Baron Leone, G, George, Leo Garibaldi, Mr Moto or anyone else who needed a push. I see him as a working class wrestler, but he was in the top level of that group. Smart, good looking and could work. He was a major main eventer in the mid-west, Texas, & maybe NYC...but not really a top star in LA after 1936. Maybe Jack Pfefer had something to do with that. Homesteaded in LA until he retired in 1958. He then was an announcer on LA TV for a few years. Died Feb. 1, 2004.
Pazandak was a major amateur wrestler at The University of Minnesota, who turned pro in 1937 in Mineapolis. As a pro he was pushed as a shooter and actually was a very good defensive wrestler. He came to LA in Sept. 1939, didn't get a major push and left in Nov. He worked off & on in LA during 1940, but mainly stayed in San Francisco. He seems to have joined up during WWII because there is no record between 1941 and 1946. He came to Southern Calif. in March 1951, a veteran performer. Billing himself as the “Beat The Champ” title holder he ran off a long list of victorys. It seems he was even billed just as “The Champ”. Some of the people he defeated were Hans Herman, Bud Curtis, Billy McDaniel, Bomber Kulkovich, Jesse James, Ivan The Terrible, Vic Christy, Gino Garibaldi, Swedish Angel, Bobby Becker, Chick Garibaldi, Dave Levin, Kimon Kudo, & Pat Farley. He also wrestled a lot of draws with major guys like Szabo, Torres, Ernie Dusek, Leo Garibaldi, Leone, Blears, Varga, & Thesz. On Feb. 6, 1952, Pazandak wrestled Lou Thesz for the NWA World Title at The Olympic and lost by DQ. On undercards he was pretty much unbeatable. But on April 18, 1952 he dropped the “Beat The Champ” title to Sandor Szabo in Santa Monica. This minor title line would continue until 1959 in LA. He then lost a rematch to Szabo & return to Mineapolis in June 1952. He came back to LA in Jan. 1953. Feud with Szabo, Varga, Garibaldi and did jobs for Wilbur Snyder and Baron Leone. Had two draws with brown haired Freddie Blassie. Left town in June 1953 for Mineapolis.He returned in April 1954, defeated a young Ray Stevens and put over Wilbur Snyder & Bobo Brazil. Left in June for San Francisco in June 1954. Returned in Sept. for more jobs to Snyder & Brazil. On Nov. 22, 1954, he teamed with Lord Blears in Hollywood to win the International TV Tag Title from John Tolos & Gene Kiniski. He & Blears lost the Tag Title a week later (Nov. 29) in Hollywood to Wilber Snyder & Sandor Szabo. He left LA soon after for a long run in Mineapolis where he retired in Nov. 1960.
75- Gino Garibaldi
Gino Garibaldi was already a major star on the East Coast before arriving at The Olympic Auditorium on Oct. 16, 1935, beating Ivan (Bob) Mannagoff. Over the next four shows he beat Abe Coleman, Nick Lutze, Al Bisignano, and Joe Malcewicz in semi-finals or main events, billing himself as the Italtan Champion. Garibaldi in 1935 seems to be a very good performer and wrestler. He used a lot of diffetrent moves and even what seems like a suplex. On Nov. 20, 1935, he met Sandor Szabo at The Olympic and lost after being counted out of the ring in front of 8,000 fans. This lead to a rematch on Nov. 27 in which Garibaldi defeated Szabo clean with the attendance at 7,000. On the next 4 shows Gino defeated Dick Daviscourt, Mays McLain, Jack McArthur and wrestled a draw with Chief Little Wolf when both men fell out of the ring and down the passage way under the Olympic ring...never to return. Well at least that night. On Jan. 15, 1936, Garibaldi wrestled Vincent Lopez for his Calif. World Title and lost drawing 7,500 to The Olympic. A rematch took place on Jan. 22 and Lopez won again by count out, defending the World Title in front of 10,400 sellout. That match went so well Lou Daro staged a third World Title with Lopez again defeating Garibaldi in front of 10,000. On Feb. 12, 1936, Gino wrestled Man Mountain Dean at the Olympic losting two straight fall in 1:25 & 55 seconds. The short match drew 7,500. Garibaldi then left Los Angeles to continue being a major start in NYC, Boston, Philadelphia, St Louis and Canada. He didn't return to Los Angeles until Jan. 1948. On Jan. 14, 1948, Gino & Gorgeous George lost to Emil & Ernie Dusek drawing 10,00 to The Olympic. On Feb. 18 he and Szabo lost to Enrique Torres & Manuel Garza drawing 8,500. On April 28, 1948 he challenged Enrique Torres for the Calif. World Title & lost but drew 8,000. On May 19 at The Olympic Gino lost to Maurice Tillet drawing 8,500. He then disappeared to return in Nov. 1948,, and he started doing jobs for the likes of Enrique Torre, Szabo, Bobby Managoff and Chief Little Wolf in local arenas. He then left and went up to San Francisco in Jan. 1949. He returned in Oct. 1949 forming a successful team with his son Leo. On Jan. 11, 1950, Gorgeous George & Baron Leone defeated Gino & Leo Garibaldi at The Olympic drawing 6,500. In Sept. 1950, the father/son tean moved up to San Francisco. They both returned in Jan. 1951. On Jan. 17 Baron Leone defended his Calif. World Title defeating Gino, drawing 7,500. In Sept. 1951 Gino left for the East Coast & returned to LA in Jan. 1952. Went back to SF in May and this pretty much broke up the team with Leo. After 4 months in Honiolulu he came back to LA in Feb. 1953. Left in Oct. for El Paso. Returned in April 1954. On June 6, 1954 he lost to Wilbur Snyder at The Olympic & drew 7,600. Oct 1954 he left for the South. He seemed to retire in 1957 on the East Coast, but in Jan 1959 he came back to LA under a mask calling himself Black Zorro. On May 27, 1959, Black Zorro defeated Mr Moto for the “Beat The Champ” Title. The title was then forgotten in LA until 1968. Zorro got a nice push until losing his mask in a match in early Dec. by either Ed Carpentier or Szabo. He might have just taken it off. In 1960 he did respectable jobs to Carpentier, Thesz, and Dick Hutton and retired at the end of Dec. 1960. He came out of retirement for a anniversary card at The Olympic on April 21, 1965, going to a draw with Kurt Von Stroheim. He died Dec. 10, 1984.
76-Art Mahalik (Michalik)
One of the best remembered of the Los Angeles jobbers. Was more of a football player than a wrestler, but was a solid performer and may have had a better career if he had moved on to other territories. Played ball with the San Francisco 49'ers as a linebacker in 1954 and got into wrestling thru his teammate Leo Nomellini. His first match was March 2, 1954. He was protected in SF and stayed there until 1958. Didn't do a lot of jobs, and worked mid-card and tag teams. When Joe Malcewicz promotion started to fade, he came to LA in Feb. 1959. Got a mild push for a short time, as many jobbers did on arriving at The Olympic. Didn't really do much and the closest he got to a main event was a semi-final loss to Sandor Szabo on Aug 12, 1959. He did beat Billy Darnell on Sept 9, 1959 to set up a semi-final loss to Lou Thesz in straight falls on Sept. 16, 1959. Homesteading he got stale and became one of The Olympics top jobbers. He was a good athlete, looked to be in condition, and could work a Ok traditional match. Bookers would put him in with new superstars to the area, like a Carpentier, or Rocca. and he'd get them over. He coached a semi-pro football team in Orange county and then coached football at La Quinta High School for years. If put in with another jobber type, Art would win most of the time. Very respected and liked by everyone at the Olympic. His only rival as top jobber was The Preacher. In 1964, he traveled to Portland and won the local Tag title teaming with friend The Destroyer. He wrestled on LA TV until 1975.
Major WWE star. Broke Blassie/Tolos gate records wrestling Hogan at the Sports Arena in late 80’s. Had famous match vs Ultimate Warrior at WM on March 21, 1991. Met Flair, Dibiase, Andre & many others in both the WWF & WCW in LA. Other than Hogan & Andre, he may have drawn more crowds over 10,000 at the Sports Arena than anyone.
Kudo was a small (170 lb) highly skilled Jiu Jitsu wrestler that most worked mid-card at the Olympic from 1935 into the early 1950's. Came to Los Angeles in April 1935, he a true MMA artist who's gimmick was beating larger American wrestlers in Jiu Jitsu. Was a part of the International Double-Elimination Tournament of 1935, beating 7 men before losing to Sandor Szabo on June 5, 1935 by decision and then losing the Vincent Lopez (who later won the tournament) on June 12. On May 22, 1935 Kimon wrestled the 312 pound Man Mountain Dean in a non-tournament main event at The Olympic. The mis-match drew a 10,400 sellout. Dean hit a running broad jump on the Kudo and won in 9 minutes. The 170 man was carried form the ring, unable to return for the 2nd fall. A rematch took place on Aug. 21, 1935 and it also soldout the Olympic at 10,400. Man Mountain Dean, after getting out wrestled by Kudo, managed to jump on the little guy again and Kimon was once again carried out in 9 minutes. He continued to win on undercards and on Sept.18, 1935 he beat the giant Wee Willy Davis in a Jiu Jitsu semi-final match. On Dec. 25, 1935, Kudo lost a Calif. World Title match against Vincent Lopez in a Olympic main event. He left in April 1936 and returned in Oct. beating Babe Zaharias and Frank Malcewicz in semi-mains. On Oct. 28, 1936 Kudo wrestled Dean Detton for the World Title and lost by UTC. On Nov. 18, 1936 he defeated Sandor Szabo in a main event by DQ. There was a rematch on Aug. 25, I have no result, but a good guess is Sandor won. On Dec 9 he lost to Chief Little Wolf in 47 seconds, but returned a week later to beat Little Wolf in a Jiu Jitsu match. On Dec. 23 he defeated Jules Strongbow by DQ. He then left for territories like NYC & Columbus. In June 1938, Kudo was in Hawaii and stayed for years. It was probably where he came from. From 1941 to 1944 he has no record, probably because of WWII. In 1948 the money generated by TV, brought a lot of the old stars back to Los Angeles and Kudo showed up in April. He wrestled a double count out with Gorgeous George on April 28, 1948 drawing 8,000. On May 5, 1948, Kudo teamed up with Enrique Torres to defeat Gorgeous George & Rebel Russell in front of 9,000 at The Olympic. In Aug., he returned to Hawaii. Kimon Kudo died on Oct. 8, 1993 at age 86.
Born Masaru “Charley” Iwamoto in Hawaii on Aug. 11, 1915. His first match seem to have taken place in Hawaii in 1939 under the name Young Shiranuhi. He wrestled until 1942 and then seems to join the service during WWII. The story in LA was that he was a war hero on the USA side. He restarted his career in Hawaii in 1945 as Charly Shiranuhi. He reached LA for the first time in Nov. 1948 in the first years of TV wrestling. In Jan. 1949, he was Youni Shiranuhi in Chicago teaming with Duke Keomuka. He return home to Hawii in June 1950. It was in Chicago in March 1950 that he took the name Mr Moto, probably playing off the fame of the movie & book character. Was a famous wrestling star of the 50’s in LA and the rest of North America, many time teaming with other Hawiians like Kinji Shibuya. The wrestling rings on America were filled with war criminal during the 1950’s and Mr Moto was one of the best. In 1957 he seems to have won the International Beat the Champ title in LA and lost it 3 months later. The high moment of his career seems to have been his feud with former tag partner Freddie Blassie in 1962, which sold out the Olympic twice in March of that year. His feud would last for as long as Fred remained a heel. Truth is, they were best for friends. By 1963, Moto had turned face. At one point he got wins over Don Leo Jonathan. Moto was a clever worker, who was great at getting heat & a great interview. But by the time I saw him he was almost 50 years old. I always thought he was small, non-athletic and over pushed, but could do comic spots better than most. He was not a real main eventer at the Olympic, but was pushed in the smaller arenas in the territory. In those towns you’ll find him getting wins over people like Blassie & The Destroyer to set up rematchs. In 1964, he began teaming with Bearcat Wright & it rejuvenated his career. Fans would cheer “We want Moto” whenever a heel took command in a match. It was kind of a fan joke. The fact is that Charley Moto was a power in the front office & was booker in Los Angeles during some of it’s best years in the 60’s & 70’s. He also booked talent for the Olympic’s sister promotion JWA. Was the best man at Blassie’s marriage & godfather to The Destroyer’s first son Kurt Beyer.
Brother of Chavo. Got pushed at the Olympic, but never a major star. Near really left LA. Trained with Gene LeBell. Was once Americas champion for about a week.
Major lightweight wrestler & worker & a fixture at the Hollywood Legion Stadium from the late 1930’s up into the 1950’s. One of, if not the best, interviews in history. Won the Hollywood world Light heavyweight title 8 times. In the late 1950’s he became the manager of the great tag team, The Fabulous Kangaroos and dominated the Los Angeles storylines for much of 1959 & 1964. The team would headline thru out America & remains on the list of best tag teams in history. Even as a manager Berry was able to wrestle as well as anyone.
The Giant former Heavyweight Boxing champion, was the biggest box office star of 1947. First big star created after WWII bu Johhny Doyle, who started him in LA & then booked him thru out America & Canada. International star. Andre was a descendant of Carnera.
Workhorse in California during the 50’s. Held the Int Tv Tag Title at least 3 times.
Miller was the first major active championship caliber wrestler to “homestead” in Los Angeles. On Dec. 2, 1916 he defeated Mike Yokel for the world middleweight title at Billings Montana. On March 31, 1918 he took the position of chief wrestling instructor at the Los Angeles Athletic Club (LLAC) replacing Dan McLeod. In LA, he defended the title vs Jack Kennedy, Eddie O’Connell, Wallace Duguid, Benny Reuben, & others. He beat Mike Yokel again at the LAAC on Feb. 20, 1919 and drew 2,700 fans. On June 4, 1919, he lost the title to Ted Thye in Portland. On May 9, 1921, Miller & Thye wrestled a draw in LA that lasted three hours. Miller rewon the title in LA on May 28, 1921, beating Thye in two straight falls. I found Miller name poping up in newspaper for years after that, so he remain an important figure in the pro wrestling culture of Los Angeles.
Vincent Lopes was the first major babyface Mexican star created in Los Angeles, and he was over for year in the area. He had an amateur background, having wrestled at the university of Idaho, but this pro style was all brawling, using elbows & punching. That style getting over on a babyface in 1935, reflected on the fans of the period more than anything else. The show biz stars were new in the mid-30’s & the old guys were moving on. Lopes started in Oklahoma City and then Minneapolis before showing up on Olympic umdercard in Dec. 1934. He won a few and then moved to the semi-finals on Feb. 6, 1935, beating Howard Cantonwine. On the next show (Feb 13) he did a COR job to a major star Sammy Stein, but got the win back the next week (Feb. 20) beating Stein in the semi-main. He then beat Joe Varga & Milo Steinborn and got a draw with star Joe Savoldi. On April 17, 1935, Lopez got a huge upset win over Man Mountain Dean in front of a sellout 10,400. Lopes then entered Lou Daro’s huge double elimination Tournament to crown a new Calif. world champion. The favorites to win the tournament were the new stars in wrestling Man Mountain Dean, Chief Little Wolf, or the Boston star Dano O’Mahoney, but it was Lopez who got turned into the major person in LA. On the first main event (April 24) Lopez beat Joe Savoldi (Att: 7,728). Wrestling 4 times a week, he then beat Jagat Singh, Joe Malcewicz (att: 5,000), Hans Steinke, Chief Little Wolf via COR (Att: 10,400), Mike Romano, Kiman Kudo, Ed “Strangler” Lewis, Chief Little Wolf again (Att: 10,400), Ernie Dusek (Att: 7,750) and in the final he defeated Man Mountain Dean before 10,400 ($17,000) to become the California World Champion. He then defended the title against George Zaharias, Gus Sonnenberg (9,000), Sonnenberg again (10,400), Sandor Szabo (10,400), Szabo again (10,400), Szabo again, Joe Savoldi (10,400), and Kiman Kido. In Oct. 12, 1935, the LA Times reported that Lopez had defeated Man Mountain Dean in a Mexico City bullring drawing close to a $100,000 gate. In 1936 he beat Gino Garibaldi (7,500), Garibaldi again (10,400), Garibaldi again (10,000), George Calza (10,400), King Chiwaki (8,000), Man Mountain Dean, Dean again (10,400), Howard Cantonwine (7,000), Joe Savildi (10,400), Man Mountain Dean again (10,400), Dean again, and Hans Steinke (10,400). By Aug. 5, 1936, there had been all kind of double crosses and events that changed pro wrestling forever. Most had taken place on the East Coast, including Toot Mondt making a world champion out of Dave Levin. Vincent Lopes and Dave Levin wrestled a title unification match on Aug. 19, 1936 at Wrigley field in front of 13,784 and a gate of $20,723. Levin beat Lopes 2/3 falls with Lopez losing the 2nd fall via DQ. So Dave Levin was both the Mondt champion & Calif WC. On Sept. 23, 1936, Lopez beat Sandor Szabo (7,500) to get a rematch with Levin. On Sept. 29, 1936, Dean Detton defeat Dave Levin for the world title in Philadelphia. This was the day before the Sept. 30 card between Levin & Lopez, Lou Daro announced the Olympic match would still be a title match because the Detton win was a one fall match. So the card continued as billed and Vincent Lopez defeated Dave Levin in a 2/3 fall match & was announced as new Calif WC. On Oct. 5, 1936, the Calif Commission ruled that Dean Detton was the true world champion. On Oct. 14, 1936 Lopez beat Levin in a Olympic rematch winning via UTC in front of 9,000. Dean Detton then began defending the title in LA & talk went to a match with Lopez. I believe Lopes was then injuried until late Dec. Then he beat Nick Lutze (10,000), Lutze again (7,000), & Man Mountain Dean (7,00) at the Olympic. The first match between Detton & Lopez took place in San Francisco on Jan. 26, 1937. After 1 hour & 33 minutes it was stopped by the midnight curfew (Att: 8,000) The first LA match with Dean Detton took place on Feb. 24 and Lopez lost via DQ drawing 7,500. On March 3, 1937 , Lopez and Detton wrestled for 2 hours & 15 minutes with Dean given the decision by the referee (Att: 10,000). A rematch took place on June 9, 1937 and it was a draw. Another rematch on June 23 was also a draw. On June 29, 1937, Bronko Nagurski defeated Dean Dettin in Minneapolis for the title. On July 27, 1937, Lopez defeated Gino Garibaldi to win a title match with Nagurski. On Aug. 11, 1937 Bronko Nagurski wrestled Vincent Lopez ay Wrigley Field in front of 13,628 fans with a gate of $23,000. Lopez roughed Nagurski with forearms and punches, but Bronko just got upset and hit Lopez with a series of flying tackles and pined Lopez in 29:50. Lopez was beaten up, so Bronko took the 2nd fall in 1 minute & 10 seconds. Lopez was carried from the ring. Still the #1 contender in LA, Lopez met Nagurski again in a title match on March 23, 1939, but lost after a controversy (Att: 10,400). A rematch on March 30, 1938, saw Lopez lose again. Vincent Lopez never re-won the world title but he remained a major wrestler in LA and was still wrestling in the late 40’s when Enrique Torres replaced him as the top Mexican in Los Angeles.
In the last 3 months of 1969, Don Carson was involved in one of Mil Mascaras’s first feuds in LA. Carson for sure didn’t come out on top, but he did get a few wins over Mil in that period. One was a victory at the Olympic on Nov. 26, 1969. In a no DQ match, Mil Mascaras got revenge by beating Carson on Dec. 5, 1969. Soon after that, Carson became Fred Blassie’s tag team partner, & copied a lot of Fred’s moves. Blassie was beginning his turn to the face side, so the team broke up on March 25, 1970. The two met on April 3, 1970 at the Olympic with Don Carson beating Blassie via cuts. The stated Attendance was said to be 11,786. On April 17, 1970, the rematch resulted in a drew & a attendance of 11,147. (Ok I don’t know who was doing the counting in 1970) The resulting action was the Olympic’s first ever Gladiater Death Match on May 15, 1970 in which Blassie won. It also was a sellout. Carson then disappeared, but I don’t think they were serious about the death thing. He did return in Aug, just hanging around & then left again. On May 8, 1971, the angle with John Tolos blinding Blassie with Monsel power took place. This bothered Carson a great deal & he returned to LA as a face looking for revenge against the guy (Tolos) who had injuried his good friend. So Carson stood in line and got his match with John Tolos on July 16,1971 when he beat Tolos in another Roman Gladiator Death Match for the Americas title in front of a sellout 10,400. Another Roman Gladiator Death Match took place on July 30, 1971 but this time Tolos beat Carson for the Americas Title. The ring had bllod all over it for a week, but it also drew 10,400. Carson disappeared, so maybe he did die that night. Blassie would have to return to get his own revenge.
Wladek Kowalski was probably the greatest monster heel of his generation, but by 1971 the wrinkles were setting in after 20 years in the ring. He had never worked in LA & some wonder why they called his number in 1971. I think it had something to do with a deal Mike LeBell made with the WWWF to bring Bruno Sammartino into Los Angeles in 1972. None of the guys seemed suited for wrestling Bruno Sammartino, & they asked Bruno who he wanted to work with. So Bruno picked his good friend & “glove” Killer Kowalski. So Walter got the job. (That was a theory again!) In very early Jan., it was announced that Killer Kowalski had taken away Frankie Laine’s Americas title in a victory at Tampa, Florida. This is called a phantom title change. So Sammartino won the 1972 22 man Battle Royal on Jan. 14, 1972. On Jan. 28, 1972 Killer Kowalski showed up and defended his Americas Title against old champ Frankie Laine. A Feb. 11 match follows where Killer beat Rocky Johnson. On Feb. 16, in a tag match on TV Kowalski hurt Fred Blassie’s knee. Fred was in town for knee surgery anyway, and the two worked an angle. Walter had been planning on leaving, but Blassie told him to stay, because he had worked injuries before & made money. So Killer said Ok. The big match with Bruno Sammartino took place on Feb. 25, 1972. Killer kept the Americas title but lost by DQ. I thought it was a great match at the time. Others didn’t. The deal falls thru with Bruno and never returns. On March 10, 1972, Killer Kowalski lost the Americas Title to John Tolos. I remember it as a near sellout & a very good match. I liked Kowalski, he was big, but looked old. But he had great stamina & worked at a fast pace. On March 24, the two great heels met in another Roman Galdiator Death Match, it was brutal, but Tolos won again after Chris Tolos messed with Walter. Good match, that I remember as a near sellout. On a undercard of a April 7 Tolos/Sheik match, Killer beat Chris Tolos. Waiting for Blassie to heal, Killer stared teaming with Kinji Shibuya, the only guy around who was as old as Kowalski but without the wrinkles. They win & lose the Americas Tag Title. Kowalski & Nick Bockwinkel wrestle a very stiff draw on a May 19 Friday card. On June 16, 1972, Blassie returned and defeated Kowalski. Walter then toured Japan & never returned.
Won Americas Title in 1975 & defended ICC on early WWF cards in 1983. Left LA without dropping the Americas Title.
Youngest brother to Chavo, Mondo & Hertor Guerrero. Was considered one of the best workers in the world. Made his reputation teaming with Love Machine (Art Barr) on AAA/IWC card in 1993 & 1994. On the first Lucha PPV card “When Worlds Collide” on Nov. 6,1994, Eddie & Love Machine lost to El Hijo del Santo & Octagon in a double hair vs mask match that is considered one of the greatest matches in Los Angeles history. He later joined WCW & the WWE. On April 3, 2005, he wrestled Rey Mysterio Jr at WrestleMania 21.
90-Don Leo Jonathan
Majot star of the 50’s in LA. Had title matches with Ed Carpentier, Fred Blassie, Mr Moto & The Destroyer at the Olympic. Also held the Int TV Tag Title with Freddie Blassie.
Wrestled a lot in LA in the late 50’s & into the 60’s. Never held a title but was protected in main events in all the smaller arenas. On Oct. 6, 1961 drew 12,138 to the LA Sports Arena to see him lose to Freddie Blassie. On Oct. 3, 1962 he put over The Destroyer in a Olympic sellout. This was the last title match in California to have a two hour time limit.
Calhoun made his rounds thru LA. I don’t believe he was ever pined (clear or otherwise) in any fall in all the year he was in town. Still lost title matches vs The Destroyer & Blassie mainly because he was too fat to get back into the ring. Good tag wrestle. Held the Int TV Tag Title with Abe Jacobs once.
King of San Francisco wrestling during the 60’s & early 70’s. In 1962, Johnny Doyle returned to Los Angeles to war with his old enemy Cal Eaton, running Roy Shire shows at the new Sports Arena with Stevens headlining. On Oct 7, 1961 Stevens beat Ray “Thunder” Stern & on Oct. 28 he beat Bobo Brazil. An agreement was then made between LA (Eaton) and SF (Shire/Doyle) agreeing that both sides would stay in their own cities. This truce worked well and there was never again any trouble between the two territories. Starting in 1964, Ray Stevens would work a match or two a year on the big Friday night cards. Stevens was never pushed on TV or put in LA storylines, but would wrestle good works on undercards. In 1967, San Diego moved to Sundays and the promoter would use both WWA & SF talent. Stevens worked from April to Aug. maineventing against such LA wrestlers as The Destroyer, Mark Lewin, Pedro Morales, Victor Rivera, & Ernie Ladd. In 1983, Stevens was on the first three WWF cards in LA, beating Tony Garza, and losing to Jimmy Snuka & Mil Mascaras.
Major independent wrestler, who had many good matches as champion in PWG.
Major WWF star in LA from 1986 to 1992, with matches against Ricky Steamboat, Pedro Morales, Paul Orndorff, Ted DiBiase, Ric Rude, One Man Gang, Bad New Brown, Randy Savage, Rick Martel, & Andre the Giant. At WrestleMania on March 24, 1991, Robets defeated Rick Martel in a blindfold match. Could have been good but wasn’t. Rarely in main events, and when he was, he didn’t draw much. On Aug. 28, 1993, Roberts was in the main event with Konnan & Cien Caras on the first AAA/IWC card in Los Angeles (Sports Arena) that drew 16,742 with a gate of $243,000. One of the biggest gates of the year. On Nov. 12, 1993, he was in a six man tag match at the Sorts Arena that drew 12,500 & $195,000. On March 12, 1994, Roberts lost to Konnan in a cage match that drew 13,823 & $238,225 to the Sports Arena.
Formed a great team with Kinji Shibuya in 1971 & 1972. Left & became a star in other territories and Japan. Three time Americas Tag Champion and won the AWA WC. Is in the WON HOF….for some reason.
The young Antonino came to Los Angeles in Dec 1949 to get exposure from the nationa TV coming out of the city. Like everywhere, he was a sensation. On Dec 28, 1949, he wrestled a draw at the Olympic with the sensation of 1947, Primo Carnera. After a month. He went back on the road & to the East Coast. Rocca was meant to be a road show attraction, never over staying his welcome anywhere. He returned in March 1950 and beat Baron Leone twice at the Olympic & then Sandor Szabo.In June & July he beat Jim Mitchell & Mr Moto. On Aug. 16, 1950 he drew with Michele Leone at the Olympic. In Dec 1950, he beat The Zebra Kid and then Enrique Torres at the Olympic. He continued to come & go thru LA, mainly showing up for the TV, because the real money was made in places like NYC. Chicago & St Louis. On Sept 10, 1952 Rocca wrestled a draw with Lou Thesz at the Olympic that drew a sell out 10,400 & $33,000. A rematch on Nov 12, 1962, drew over 10,000 & a gate of $51,670, as Thesz retained his NWA title winning clean after Rocca hurt himself being counted out in the second fall, Thesz then pinned Rocca in the third fall. By 1953, each territory was beginning to get it’s own TV shows, so there was little reason for Rocca to be in LA and he didn’t return until May 1956, when beat teamed up with Sandor Szabo for tag matches & beat John Tolos & Lord Carlton in singles before leaving. On Aug. 12, 1959, Rocca teamed up at the Olympic with Lou Thesz to defeat the Kangaroos Al Costello & Roy Heffernan in front of 8,321. On Oct. 27, 1961, Rocca challenged the WWA champion Freddie Blassie at the Olympic Auditorium. Rocca was DQ’ed when he refused to let Blassie out of his backbreaker. The card drew 8,860. In Jan. 1962, he teamed with Ricki Starr to beat Blassie & Mr Moto. On Oct. 10, 1975, Antonino Rocca returned once again to the Olympic to referee a match between Ernie Ladd and Andre The Giant. Rocca kind of mess the match up and he came out of retirement to wrestle the 6’ 9” Ernie Ladd on Oct. 17, 1975. He lost.
98-Rey Misterio Jr (Rey Mysterio Jr-Oscar Guitierrez Rubio)
One of the mos respected & successful high flying light weight wrestlers in history. Born in San Diego, he started wrestling at age 14 on local Lucha independent cards under the name Colibri. Taking on the name Rey Misterio he was a major performer on AAA cards when the promotion hit it big in Los Angeles in 1993 to 1994. Later appeared in LA on WCW & WWE cards. His feud with rival Psicosis led to their matches being book internationally in Mexico, Japan, LA, IWC, ECW, WCW & the WWF. Also had famous matches with Dean Malenko, Eddy Guerrero, El Hijo del Santo, Fuerza Guerrera.& others. Spent years with the WWE.
99-El Generico (Sami Zayn)
Long time performer for PWG. Crowd favorite, was with the company from 2004 to 2013. From Canada but pretends to be a masked Luchador. Two time PWG Champion & five time Tag Champ. Won Battle of LA Tournament in 2011. Very good worker. Now in the WWE.
100-Cladio Castagnoli (Antonio Cesaro)
Major wrestler & one of the best champions I’ve seen in years. In PWG from 2005 to 2011. Won PWG world title & held it for 287 days beating Chris Hero, El Generico, Joey Ryan, & Low Ki. Now in the WWE being mistreated. Very powerful for his size.
1-Jimmy Lennon Sr
Ring Announcer at The Olympic Auditorium from the 1950's into the 1980's for both wrestling and boxing. Appeared in movies and announced major boxing shows through out the nation. Major member of the Olympic family. Class act and a great dresser, who could speak English better than most Mexicans. Respected and liked by everyone in Los Angeles.
Major booking agent and promoter from the mid-40’s to late 50’s.
Was booking agent & part owner with Daros in LA from around 1934 to 1940. Driven from the territory by the wrestlers and the Athletic Comminission.
Owner of AAA Lucha wrestling that sold out the Sports Arena in 1993.
Owner of both boxing & wrestling at the Olympic from the early 1950’s until his death.
Major front office worker at the Olympic. TV announcer, booker, and major underpaid assistant to Mike LeBell. Promoter in El Monte for years. Later became a great manager for promotions in the South. He and Gene LeBell are to most major front office workers from the Olympic left. Very good looking and intelligent for a wrestling insider.
Former wrestler & referee at the Olympic. Then turn to promoting & training young wrestlers. Owns the ring used by the PWG & other independent promotions. The backbone of independent wrestling in LA.
Wrestler promoter, trainer & sometimes WWF announcer in Los Angles in the LA area.
10-Johnny “Red Shoes” Duggan
One of the greatest referees in wrestling history. Became so famous & respected in LA, that he was used in Japan by JWA & NJW. A very respected figure at The Olympic Aditorium.
12-Vince McMahon Jr
Famous Philadelphia promoter who took over Los Angeles in 1941.
A good Hollywood supporting player, Lane became the Olympic TV announced from the 50’s into the 1970’s. One of the best who could talk about history and create names for holds that remain today.
15-John “Jack” Daro
Brother of Lou Daro. The true promoter at the Olympic Auditorium, after his brother Lou Daro had a heart attack in 1936. Not liked by many people, so Lou Daro remained the figure head of the promotion untile the group was driven out of power in 1940.
Owner of the Olympic Promotion in both Boxing and Wrestling during the 1960's. Secretary and then wife to Cal Eaton. Mother of Mike & Gene LeBell. Mainly concentrated on boxing and left the promotion of wrestling to Julies Strongbow and then her son Mike LeBell.
Famous Japanese wrestler of the 1950's and 1960's, was the major booker & power at the Olympic Auditorium. Assistant to Julies Strongbow and Gene LeBell. Good friends to Shohei Baba, he was the contact between The Olympic and it's sister organization JWA. At times was the booking agent for Japan. Best man at Freddie Blassie's wedding and godfather to The Destroyer's child Kurt Beyer.
Short Bios on Los Angeles Hall Of Fame Members
Class #1—Feb. 28, 2015
Fred Blassie was born on Feb. 8, 1918 in St. Louis. The claim is he started wrestling in 1936 in small promotions around St. Louis. With WWII starting Blassie was induced into the Navy on June 9, 1942. Assigned for training at Lambert Field, St Louis he continued to wrestle around St Louis & into Kansas become a good pro. In March, 1944, he was assigned to the area around LA and begain wrestling as Bill Blassie. His first Los Angeles match was against Fritz Schnabel on March 22, 1944. He stayed in the area until June 1944, wrestling as a babyface he had matches with such future LA big shots as Jules Strongbow, Hardy Kruskamp, & Vic Christy. He then got married and was shipped to the Philippines. On discharge in Oct. 1945, Blassie worked the St Louis area, Texas, & in Atlanta. He returned to LA in Feb. 1952, as Fred McDaniel, working as a brother team with Billy McDaniel. He got a lot of TV time and worked a number of matches with Gorgeous George, Sandor Szabo, & Mr Moto still as a babyface. He left in May 1952. After stays in Texas, Chicago, & Buffalo, he returned to Los Angeles in March 1953 as Sailor Fred Blassie. He remained in town getting major TV exposure against such stars as Baron Leone, Billy Varga, Red Berry, and had minor fueds with Mr Moto & a John Tolos. Then a big babyface star, the good looking good working star moved to the South where he became one of biggest attractions in the sport. From 1953 to 1959, he won the NWA Southern Title 14 times. In 1955, Blassie turned heel and dyed his hair blond and became even more, although different, type of popular. Jules Strongbow brought him into LA in Jan. 1961 at age 43, where he became a sensation as the Great Freddie Blassie. On June 12, 1961, Blassie defeat Edward Carpentier for the WWA World Title at the new LA Sports Arena in front of 13,200 with agate of $40,169. Over the 14 months, Blassie defeated just about every major babyface in pro wrestling. A list that included Lou Thesz (clean), Carpentier, Sandor Szabo, Enrique Torres, Dick Hutton, Nick Bockwinkel, Sampson Berg, Lord Blears, Reg Parks, Shohei Baba, Primo Carnera, Ricki Starr, Haystack Muldoom, Dick Beyer, Johnny Walker, Art Thomas, Jesus Ortega, and Antonino Rocca. All of this was covered in national magazines and Blassie became famous as the world champion of Los Angeles. On March 28, 1962 Blassie lost the WWA part of his world title to Rikidozan at the Olympic via a weird won only fall (DQ) in a 2/3 fall match. Blassie became the only man to rewin the WWA Tile on July 25, 1962 beat Rikidozan via cuts at the soldout Olympic. Two days later on July 27, 1962, Fred dropped the WWA Title again to The Destroyer (Dick Beyer) in San Diego. Blassie then mover to Atlanta, still claiming the world title. Blassie returned to LA in Feb. 1963, and defeated The Destroyer and took back the WWA title for a third time on May 10, 1963. He lost the title to Bearcat Wright via COR on Aug. 23, 1963 at a soldout Olympic. Leaving out a lot of history, Blassie rewon the WWA World Title on Jan. 31, 1964 from Edward Carpentier for a forth time. After beating Shohei Baba, Ernie Ladd, he had a series of matchs with Dick The Bruiser, losing the WWA Title on April 22, 1964. He then moved on to NYC for a number of matches with WWWF champ Bruno Sammartino and later to Florida for matches with NWA champ Lou Thesz. After a Japanese tour in 1965, Blassie had a kidney removed and retire from wrestling on Nov. 9, 1965. He then lived in Atlanta selling cars. Much to the joy of fans, Blassie came out of retirement in Aug. 1967. On Aug. 25, he beat Mad Mark Lewin for LA’s new Americas Title at the Olympic. Over the following years he won the Americas Title four times in long running fueds with such wrestlers as Bobo Brazil, Pedro Morales, Buddy Austin, Don Carson, Black Gordman, Great Goiath, Mil Mascaras, Kinji Shibuya, Masa Saito, Rocky Johnson, & Billy Graham. In the process Fred turned babyface. At last, it was Ok for everyone in LA to love Blassie. A series of matches with The Sheik ended up with Blassie on top and the creation of the Blassie cage. In Aug. 1970, a feud started between Fred & John Tolos, that would become famous not only in LA but thru out the wrestling world. The two never had a singles match without a resulting sellout. They battled thru the year, until their first blow off match on Dec. 18, 1970. A loser leave town cage match ended with Fred winning, so Tolos spent x-mass with his brother Chris in Vancouver (att: 10,574). Tolos returned and on May 7, 1971 beat Blassie clean for the Americas Title. On the next day on KCOP TV, Blassie won a wrestler of the year contest and got a face full of monsels power in the face from Tolos. Looked like another retirement for the blind Blassie, but Dr. Bernard Schwartz cured him and he returned to defeat the hated (kind of) Tolos at the Los Angeles Coliseum in front of 25,847 that paid $142,158.50 (kind of). Whatever the total, it broke the old Thesz/Leone record. Two weeks later on Sept. 10, 1971, Tolos defended the Americas Tille vs Blassie and won. Blassie & Tolos were always upset with Mike Lebell over the purse from the Coliseum, and Fred left the territory for NYC and the WWF. In Feb. 1973 he returned to LA because he need surgery on a knee. This played into another feud with Killer Kowalski, who he beat on June 16. The Destroyer and Blassie had their last match together on Feb. 9, 1973 with The Destroyer winning. Fred was spending most of his time in the WWF, but returned on Sept. 7, 1973 to beat Tolos in front of 11,237 (kind of) at the Olympic. He lost a Tolos match on Sept. 21, 1973 before touring Japan. He then return to lose again to his friend Tolos and then announced his retirement (kind of) to manage in the WWF. He died, still the king of Men, on June 3, 2003.
Londos first appeared in Los Angeles at the Empress Theater, a few door from the LAAC, on Sept. 12, 1919 beating Ivan Randovich (John Grandovich). By that time in his career, the Greek was already a major star having been in many matches with Strangler Lewis and beaten many other major contenders. When Lou Daro brought major league style wrestling to LA in 1923, the first wrestler he pushed was Jim Londos. Daro first booked him in his Long Beach cards and when that city dried up, they moved to the impressive LA Philharmonic Auditorium. When The Olympic Auditorium opened for wrestling on Aug. 10, 1925, World Champion Joe Stecher was the main event, but the semi-final had Londos defeating Jim Browning in 55:20. Jimmy’s first title match was against Stecher on Nov. 9, 1925. Londos lost the only fall in a match that lasted two hours. One of the best looking, hardest working, and best pure wrestlers to ever live, Londos became the biggest draw, not only in LA, but in the world. He and Ray Steele were the most famous match of their time and they wrestled at The Olympic many times and drew 12,000 at Wrigley Field on July 14, 1932. On Oct. 10, 1934, Londos and Man Mountain Dean drew 23,565 for $40,922 in Wrigley Field. Two rematches drew over 11,000 to The Olympic Auditorium. After he dropped his NWA world title in Boston to Danno O’Mahoney on June 27, 1935 (Att: 25,000), he worked the next couple of years in Europe, Africa, & Greece. After 1937, when wrestling stopped being a national sport and settled into a territorial system, Londos pretty much just worked in Los Angeles and Philladelphia, but Londos remained the #1 draw in the sport until WWII. He then worked a large farm in Escondido, Calif. just above San Diego, where he died in 1975. Once he became the World Champion, Londos never did a job in Los Angeles and it has a rare thing for him to even drop a fall.
3-The Intelligent Sensational Destroyer (Dick Beyer)
Every person, both fan & insider, who knew anything about Los Angeles wrestling seems to agree that The Destroyer (Dick Beyer) was the greatest worker in the history of the territory. Anyone who doubts that statement can watch tons of Destroyer tapes from Japan & get a feel for the idea. And most of those tapes are from the 1970’s with a old Destroyer, wrestling as a babyface. In 1962, Jules Strongbow, after a recondition from Fred Blassie, brought Dick Beyer to Los Angeles & told him he was going to wrestle wearing a mask. Beyer didn’t like idea until the checks started coming in, and then he was all for it. The Destroyer debued on LA TV on May 2, 1962 beating 3 guys in a handicap match. It was the perfect time for a new heel, because the main man Blassie in town was in Japan, The Destroyer gimmick consisted of a lot of cool things,,,a mask that could be stretched all over the ring without falling off….a cool finishing hold called a figure four leg lock that the heel offered money to anyone who could break it…white shoes…and the best performer/wrestler in wrestling who could back up all his insults. He was over by the time Blassie returned and the two hated each other at first look. On June 20, 1962, Blassie defended his NAWA world title at the Olympic in a 60 minute draw that drew 10,247. Victories over Johnny “Ruberman” Walker, Enrique Torres, & Mr Moto followed. On July 25, 1962, Blassie re-won his WWA WC from Rikidozan with The Destroyer sitting ringside. Two days later, The Destroyer defeated Blassie in San Diego for the same title. The Destroyer repeated the victory on Aug. 15, 1962 beating Blassie at the Olympic in front of a sellout 10,400. On Sept. 12, 1962, he defended his title vs Lou Thesz in a draw. Over the next 10 months The Destroyer defended his title in wins over Dick Hutton, Eric Rommel, Dick Garza, Sandor Szabo, Ray “Thunder” Stern, Ricki Starr, John Paul Henning, Gorgeous George, Jesus Ortega, Haystack Calhoun., Shohei Baba & Curtis Iaukea. He also had two draws with Edward Carpentier that sold out (10,400) the Olympic. On May 10, 1963 he had another Olympic sellout losing his WWA title back to Fred Blassie, which resulted in Blassie unmasking The Destroyer, but Dick grabbed a towel & ran to the locker room without his face being seen. The Destroyer also lost a rematch via COR on June 14, 1963 before another Olympic sellout. After an Aug. 7, 1963 match with Hercules Cortez, in which he refused Jules Strongbow’s order to unmask, he left town for Portland. In June 1964, he returned to defeat Dick The Bruiser for the WWA WC on July 22, 1964. He lost it to Bob Ellis on Sept. 10, 1964, but re-won it from Ellis in San Diego on Nov. 13, 1964. He lost the Japanese version of the WWA title to Toyonobori on Dec. 4, 1964 in Tokyo. And a LA version to Pedro Morales on March 12, 1965. All of this losses were never clean, because to lose 2 fall out of three, would mean unmasking…which never happened. He left LA for Japan & Texas in May 1965, but would always return over the year to test new champions & draw sell outs. In July 1966 he returned for big matches with Lou Thesz & Bobo Brazil. On Sept 30 1966, he lost via DQ to WWA champ Buddy Austin. On March 24, he wrestled a draw with WWA champion Mark Lewin. On Dec. 8, 1967, he lost to WWA champion Buddy Austin. Aug. 6, 1969 saw The Destroyer wrestle a 60 minute draw with Mil Mascaras. This match would lead to a Japanese rivalry that created some of the greatest matches in history. On Nov. 5, 1971 he was COR in a match with Bearcat Wright. In 1973, he made a deal with Mike LeBell to book and star at the Olympic. During this time he had matches with Victor Rivera, Terry Funk, Kiniji Shibuya, The Great Goliath, & had his last match in LA with Freddie Blassie. The Destroyer won in front of 10,567 (or so they said). He then was called to Japan by Shohei Baba and stayed 6 years. He retire on July 28, 1993 in Japan. Today, at age 83, he climbs down skyscrapers and runs the best golf course in Buffalo, NY.
First major promoter in Los Angeles & at the Olympic Auditorium from 1923 to 1940. Brought major league pro wrestling to the area. While Daro was in control LA was one of and, at times, the best promotion in the world.
Class #2—July 22, 2015
One of the longest lasting stars in the history of the Olympic Auditorium. Brought into the Jack Curley NYC promotion in Oct 1, 1930 after wrestling in Europe, he was pushed as a star from day one. A very talented wrestler & a entertaining performer with a great look. After a good 4 years, in which he wrestled the best in the sport, he came to Los Angeles in April 1935 for Lou Daro’s Great International Tournament for the world title. A double elimination tournament that lasted 3 months, Szabo used his finshing hold the vertical suplex to defeat Pat Fraley, Howard Cantonwine, Bob “Rebel” Russell, Everett Kibbons & Blue Sun Jennings, & Kimon Kudo. He lost to Chief Little Wolf on June 12, 1935 via decision (Att-10,400) and then lost again to Little Wolf on June 19, 1935 for his second loss and elimination. The tournament was later won by the new Mexican star Vincent Lopez beating Man Mountain Dean (July 24,1935). Szabo didn’t leave town, but continued building a following with his good looks & talent. On Oct. 2, 1935 he beat Joe Malcewicz at the Olympic. Slowly his skills were turning him into a rival to the major stars in the city, Man Mountain Dean, Vincent Lopez, Jim Londos & Gus Sonnenberg. On Oct. 16, 1965 Szabo challenged Vincent Lopez for the Calif world title. The match lasted a hour & 22 mintes before Lopez KO’ed Szabo with a forearm & Sandor couldn’t continue (Att: sellout). The claim was that it was a great match. The rematch on Oct. 23, 1935, lasted 1 hour & 35 minute before Szabo hurt his knee & had to quit before another sell out crowd of 10,400. The fans wanted another title shot with Lopez, so a group of Hungarian fans lead by actor Bela Lugosi put up $7,500 to get Szabo the match. Lopez then won a 2/3 fall title match over Szabo on Nov. 13, 1935, drawing 9,500. When Szabo won the first fall, it was the only fall lost by Lopez since winning the title. In 1936, using LA as his base, he moved north to become a star in SF & the North west. Szabo living in Santa Monica, would work up & down the coast for the rest of his career. At times, the top star in all three. On Sept. 23, 1936, Szabo & Lopez met again with the winner getting a title match with Dave Levin at Wrigley Field. Lopez won 2 straight but the newpaper blamed the loss on the referee. On Dec. 2, 1936, Szabo won a tournament to get a title match by pinning Jules Strongbow in a final. By this time had won a Pacific Coast title in Vancouver. He met Billy Hansen, California State Champion, in a unification match on Dec. 15, 1936. Szabo lost via DQ & Hansen became the first Pacific Coast Title holder. On Dec. 23, 1936, Szabo lost to world champion Dean Detton at the Olympic. Sandor used a choke slam in the match but the referee would allow it. On Jan. 22, 1937, Szabo defeated Billy Hansen for the Pacific Coast Title in Olkland. Szabo remained a top contender for Dean Detton’s title in 1937, wrestling him up & down the West Coast. Szabo lost the Pacific Coast Title to Vincent Lopez on June 29, 1937 in SF. On July 14, 1937, Sandor Szabo defeated Man Mountain Dean at The Olympis Auditorium & in the process breaks Dean’s leg. The Mountain then remains out until June 1938. On July 21, 1937, Szabo defeat Gus Sonenberg at the Olympic. On Feb. 9, 1938, Szabo lost to world champ Jim Londos at the Olmpic drawing 9,500. Londo hurt Szabo in winning the first fall in over an hour. In the 2nd, the injurued Szabo lost in 10 seconds. On April 26, 1938, world champ Bronko Nagurski beat Szabo in a Olympic match drawing 7,500. During this period Szabo was feuding with ex-champ Dean Detton & just holding his own. On July 27, 1938, Bronko Nagurski no showed a title match with Szabo at the Olympic. Szabo wanted to claim the title, but it was settled by booking a rematch. On Aug. 17, 1938, Nagurski and Szabo wrestled a draw that lasted 2 hours & 35 minutes. The match stared at 9:30 and ended at 12:30. The match sold out at 10,400. The rematch took place on Oct. 12, 1938 with Nagurski going over Szabo. (Att: 9,000) Szabo’s second had jumped into the ring as the referee was about the count out the champ, stopping the cound at 18, Bronko then punched Szabo for the pin. The fans still loved Szabo and another rematch took place on Oct. 19. This time, after eating three Szabo suplexs, Nagurski hit Sandor with a tackle for the pin. On Aug. 8, 1939, Szabo wrestled world champion Jim Londos to a 2 hour & 10 minute 2/3 fall draw at the Olympic. On Nov. 8, 1939, Londos defeated Szabo under graeco-roman rules. His feud with Dean Detton continued in 1940, with Sandor on top. On Nov. 20, 1940, Szabo & Londos wrestled a draw. On Nov. 27, 1940, Londos no showed a match with Szabo at the Olympic. Jim is suspended by the commission & Szabo claimed the world title. On Feb. 5, 1941, Londos returns & beat Szabo at the Olympic ending the controversy (Att: 8,000). Szabo also loses to Londos on Feb. 12, 1941, with Ed Lewis as referee (Att: 8,500). By this time it seemed Sandor Szabo would never win a world title, the he left town on a mid-west tour. On June 5, 1941, Szabo defeated Bronko Nagurski in St Louis for the NWA world title. Szabo brought the NWA title back to California in July. In LA he defended it against Vic Holbrook, Abe Kashey, Mike Mazurki, Hans Schnabel (att: 7,500), & Pantaleon Manlapig (twice). In SF he defended against Jim Casey, Bill Longson, & Frank Sexton. On Sept. 24, 1941, Sandor Szabo defeated ex-champ Bronko Nagurski in a 2/3 fall title match at the Olympic. A rematch on Oct. 1, 1941 ended in a draw. Sandor then returned to the mid-west. He lost the NWA WC to Bill Longson in St Louis on Feb. 17, 1942. Returned to LA in May 1942. He lost 5 matches vs Frank Sexton in 1943. He left for the East in 1944. He won the Montreal world title from Yvon Roberts on March 22, 1944. He won the AWA Duration world title from The Golden Terror on March 29, 1944 in Boston. Lost the Montreal WC to Yvon Roberts on June 14, 1944. On Aug. 23, 1944, he won the Pacific Coast Title from Dean Detton in San Jose…and lost it back to Detton on Sept.6. On April 25, he defeated the real AWA WC Steve Casey on April 25, 1945 at Boston. Szabo then lost that AWA title to Frank Sexton on May 2, 1945 in Boston. He returned to Calif. in June, getting a few rare wins over Vincent Lopez. Spent most of his time in SF, but would travel down to LA for weeks at a time. His jobs were rare. He traveled to Minneapolis in Nov. 1946. He lost the NWA title to Len Hall & rewon it on Dec. 17, 1946. In 1947, Szabo wrestled Ebrique Torres for the Calif. WC & lost onn March 19 at the Olympic, and lost again on April 9. Back in Mineapolis he dropped that NWA title to Cliff Gustafson April 22, 1947 & returned to Calif, treding water on undercards. He rewon the Minneapolis WC from Bronko Nagurski on June 1, 1948 & lost it to Cliff Gustafson on June 22, 1948 in Minneapolis. From 1949 to 1952, he mostly worked in SF, but spent time in LA on undercard and a few main events against new stars like Frank Sexton, Enrique Torres, Gorgeous George, Primo Carnera, Antonino Rocca, & Baron Leone. On April 18, 1952, he won the Beat The Champ title in LA from Joe Pazandak on TV. He lost The Beat the Champ Title on Dec 23, 1952 to The Zebra Kid in Wilmington. He help train Wilber Snyder and teamed with him in 1953. On Nov. 30, 1953, he rewon the Beat the Champ Title from Lord Blears in Hollywood, but lost it to Mr Moto on Dec21, 1953. Won with Wilbur Snyder, the INT. TV Tag Title from Bud Curtis & Hans Schnabel on Jan. 18, 1954…and lost it to The Great Bolo & Tom Rice on April 19, 1954. Rewon the Int TV Tag Title with Bobo Brazil over Blears & Pazandak on Dec. 8, 1954 & lost it Jan. 19, 1955 at the Olympic. During this time he put over guys like Lord Carlton, Buddy Rogers, Danny McShain, Tom Rice, & Gene Kiniski in fueds. Put Buddy Rogers over in a number of 1955 matches. By these years he was in the Olympis front office and booking, so he was filling out cards & sometime main eventing & working tag teams with major stars. He was Ed Carpentiers traslator & friend in 59 & 60, and did major jobs for Fred Blassie & The Destroyer in 1962. Retired in 1963. Worked as Jules Strongbow’s assistant until his death on Oct. 13,1966.
Joined: 01 Aug 2006
Location: Wonderful Montebello CA
|Posted: Sun Jan 24, 2016 5:19 pm Post subject:
Older brother of Ramon & Aberto Torres. Before 1946, the champion being used in Los Angeles was AWA champ Frank Sexton. Sexton was very popular but he was a Paul Bowser wrestler, so he spent most of his time in Boston, the East Coast & San Francisco. Southern California promoters decided they needed their own champion better suited to the area that was always looking for a Mexican superstar. Enrique Torres debut on July 19, 1946 at age 23. I’ve seen no sign that he had wrestled anywhere else before that. He was push as a major wrestler from day one. On Aug. 28, 1946 he beat the Swedish Angel at The Olympic Auditorium. On Oct. 30, 1946 he beat Bob Wagner for the California State Title. In Sept. 1946, the promoters had created a storyline where George Becher defeated Babe Sharkey for a world title claim in seattle. Sharkey had been recognized as world champion in Baltimore & Philadelphia, but, unknown by fans in LA, had been defeated by AWA champ Frank Sexton. The Olympic then brought Becher to Southern Calif, & had him recognized by the state commission. So on Dec. 11, 1946, Enrique Torres defeated George Becher for the Calif World Title, just 5 months after his debut. Torres had the look & bearing of a champion while being very good looking, and was a serious style wrestler. To me, he seemed like a Mexican Lou Thesz. So Torres then began defending the title every night of the week & he got over with the fans very fast. On Jan. 22, 1947, KTLA (channel 5), the first commercially licensed TV station in the western United States had it’s first broadcast MC’ed by Bob Hope. At the time, the city had between 350 to 600 TV sets, but the number was growing by the day. Soon after, pro wrestling became the #1 show of the new type media & Los Angeles was sending out program to the western part of the country. On March 19, 1947, Torres defeated the long time main face in LA, Sandor Szabo. On April 2, 1947, there was a title unification match with AWA champ Frank Sexton that ended up a draw. On June 25, 1947, Torres defeated Ed “Strangler” Lewis at the Olympic in front of 9,200. He also defeated Danny McShain (10 times), Abe Kashey, Joe Savoldi, Bobby Bruns, Emil Dusek, George Koverly, Ernie Dusek & many others in title matches. In Oct. & Nov., Torres toured Texas, because Frank Sexton was booked in LA. On the trip he defeated Gorgeous George 5 times. On Dec. 7, 1947, Enrique wrestled another unification draw with Frank Sexton that sold out the Olympic in front of 10,400 & national TV. By this time Gorgeous George was working under cards leading up to main events fast. A lot of claims have been made about George over the years & he did sell out most nights, but when he was drawing 10,400, Torres & the Dusek Brother were drawing 9,000 to the Olympic. George was huge, with cross over ties to other types of TV shows & movies, but he was never so big that he could defeat champion Enrique Torres. Torres record in 1948 vs George was 10 wins & 0 losses. Torres defeated George on April 14, 1948 at the Olympic drawing 9,800. These were the glory years of wrestling on TV, and the fans couldn’t stay away. In June 1948, Lou Thesz & a group of promoters bought the St Louis promotion from Tom Pack. Then on July 20, 1948, Thesz took the NWA world title from Biill Longson. Thesz saw the importance of LA TV and was in Los Angeles by Sept. 1, 1948. I believe there was deal made between the two promotions so that St Louis talent could be developed on LA TV. In early Sept. 1948, Enrique Torres left LA, and began working for Thesz in St Louis. A series of matches between Thesz & Torres started, I don’t believe they were build as title unifications, but I’m sure fans knew about Torres being champion in California. On Sept. 24, Thesz beat Torres in St Louis when Enrique got hurt & couldn’t continue. A rematch took place on Oct. 9, 1947. in which Torres pined Thesz. The referee declared Torres as new NWA champion, but the commission reversed the decision & ruled Thesz the winner via DQ, because Torres manager, Benny Ginsberg, was holding Lou’s foot as the count was being made (think Ultimate Warrior/Sgt Slaughter). On Oct. 20, 1948, Thesz wrested a 60 minute draw with AWA champ Frank Sexton at the Olympic. Torres returned to LA on Nov. 2. On Nov. 24, 1948, Torres lost to Bill Longson in a non-title match at the Olympic on TV. Seems they were setting up a St Louis feud with Longson in St Louis. Torres then return to St Louis territory. On Dec. 3, 1948, Torres defeated Bill Longson in St Louis. A rematch with Thesz took place on Jan. 14, 1949 in St Louis selling out with 10,579 & 2,000 turned away. Thesz won. Over the next 5 months a series of matches took place threw out the country between Thesz & Torres. Result was 10 wins for Thesz & 2 draws. It didn’t hurt Torres much as he was considered the 3rd biggest star in St Louis behind only the owners Thesz & Longson. Torres returned to LA in May 1949, still billed as the Calif world Champ & still defending every night. On Aug 25 in Long Beach & at the Olympic on Aug. 31, Title unification matches with Thesz took place. Both were draws. A rematch with both titles on the line took place on Sept. 7, it also was a draw. In Oct. Torres hit the road, and had 9 more matches with Thesz as far away as Pittsburg & Minneapolis. After LA TV’s build up, this feud with Thesz was national & it drew everywhere without much help.Torres wasn’t just a star in areas with large Mexican populations, he was over to white America. After a stay in SF, Torres returned to LA in Aug. 1950, still being billed as world champion. On Nov. 22, 1950, he dropped the Calif world title to Baron Michele Leone. A rematch with Leone was a draw on Dec. 13, drawing 9,000 at the Olympic. This set up another match that could be pre-sold thru out the country. Leone was over like crazy & a huge star. In early 1951, Torres was in Texas doing more jobs for Thesz. In LA, performers needed to go on the road to make big money, because payoffs were weak in town. LA was a must to get exposure on TV, but the money was made on the road. The big match in LA in 1951 & 1952, was Leone/Torres, with the Baron always keeping the title. Torres also had big match with Antonino Rocca & lost to Thesz at the Olympic on Nov. 21, 1951 in front of 8,000. The LA stroyline was moving on to a huge Leone/Thesz showdown. Torres then settled down in San Francisco where he was Pacific Coast Champion for most of the 1950’s. He moved to the East Coast & Canada in 1958. Had a major feud with Killer Kowalski in Boston and wrestled three times in MSG without ever doing a job. In 1959 he toured Japan and Rikidozan refused to beat him out of respect & friendship. He began wrestling in LA again in 1959. In 1960 he returned to SF and wrestled Fred Blassie 4 times winning three. In 1962 he return to LA putting over new WWA champion Fred Blassie and feuding with Count Billy Varga over the American title. He also put over The Destroyer many times thru 1963. He visited for a short time in 1965 and then left, never to return. Retired in 1968 to take care of his mother. In the line of great Mexican face in LA, Enrique Torres was after Vincent Lopez and before Mil Mascaras. The man given credit for the boom period of pro wrestling in Los Angeles (1947 to 1950) is always Gorgeous George. The forgot man seems to be the champion of the period, Enrique Torres, who’s life time record against this great star Gorgeous George was 25 wins, 4 losses & 7 draws. George is in every HOF…Torres is in none.
Before 1947, George Wagner was just a good hard working lighter weight pro wrestler looking for a gimmick. He had wrestled in Hollywood as early as 1940 and had made at least 5 stays in the city before WWII. After the war, Wagner & his wife really went to work perfecting his gimmick, turning him heel, adding fancy robes, playing around with his hair and changing his name to Gorgeous George. He hit LA TV at the right time on Nov. 26,1947 on the undercard of a Sexton/Moquinn match that drew 10,000. In LA, he started coloring his hair, going from red to blue to whatever…but after a while he settled on blond. He was a sensation from day one. It’s claimed he sold out the Olympic on every appearance, but if that is true, then thr Dusek brothers & Enrique Torres was doing 9,000. It really was all about TV. George was a heel but he was a cool heel. People boo’ed but they also laughed & had fun with the gimmick. I don’t think he was hated for being gay, most people in the late 40’s just thought he was weird. You could tell he liked women & he had a great wife. His interview style wasn’t like an insulting loud mouth…he was more like an arrogant goofy aristocrat looking down his nose at the fans. He drew huge in LA, but LA was always about getting exposure on TV. He made money touring the gimmick all over the country. In LA he was protected, but he was never given wins against the respectable champions like Enrique Torres or Baron Leone…much less Lou Thesz. Promoters saw him as a gimmick performer, that wouldn’t last. In the ring, he was not considered a major heavyweight wrestling star. He never controlled a territory, he was never considered someone to give a title to for any length of time. He was a gimmick, that would draw, & then move on before fans got used to him. Wagner was a good wrestler & a great performer walking to the ring, but he didn’t have want Buddy Rogers had. But Gorgeous George was the greatest cross over star of the 50’s. He wasn’t just on wrestling TV shows, he was on variety shows like Bob Hope & Jack Benny, talk show & game shows. Everyone in America in the 1950’s & early 60’s knew the name Gorgeous George. I don’t know about what effect he had on society & our culture, but he was America’s big joke. The booking of George had a formula throught out the territories. The first time in, you put him against anyone & he’d draw like crazy. The 2nd time in, you put him in with someone important and do a screw finish of some type. Then on the third date you booked a rematch & the hometown star beat him. Anything more that that, good luck. By 1953, he had gone thru most of the major territories & had to move to smaller towns and work more with the lightweight wrestlers that he had grown up with. Once in a while, he’d get used on a big card in a Toronto or Mininapolis, but not much. George also was a drunk & it cost him. By the late 50’s he looked to get work from old friends who owed him. In LA, the promoters got tiered of him, but at times they would use him to feed to a new star. In 1960 the NY promoters took him in, but he missed cards & got firer. Back in LA, he did major jobs for the new WWA WC Ed Carpentier. On Jan. 25, 1962, George lost two straight falls to Carpentier at the Olympic. He also did a bunch of jobs for Fred Blassie. In 1962 he spent time in a hospital with liver damage. Dick Beyer (The Destroyer) used to visit him at his bar, and the two of them came up with an idea. They wrestled at the Olympic on Nov. 7, 1962 in a mask vs hair match. The Destroyer won and George got his hair cut, it was falling out anyway. The attendance was 7,634 and the gate was $20,000. Both wrestlers got $1,600. They also wrestled again on Dec. 26, 1963 in Long Beach. George died on Dec. 30, 1963 at age 48.
Major promoter and TV announcer at the Olympic from 1954 to 1970.
Short bios that was written for wrestlers & non-performers in the holding section.
Major worker wrestling with both WWF & WCW.
Major worker & star with the WWF. Had good undercard matches teaming with Marty Jannetty during the late 80’s & early 90’s. Won the WWF WC defeating Bret Hart at WrestleMania in an Iron Man Match drawing 18,853 to the Anaheim Pond.
3- Ric Flair
Wrestled most of the main events at the Forum when the WCW moved into the LA Forum. Never reaaly drew much. Had one of his first WWF matches vs Hulk Hogan at the Sports Arena. Also wrestled Bret Hart & Randy Savage in LA.
Part owner of the Olympic. Took control of the booking sometimes around 1970 from Jules Strongbow. Lasted until he killed the area & promotion in 1983. Booked local talent on the early WWF cards in 1983.
Independent tatent booker who supplied talent to outlaw group thru out the mid-west, east coast & into LA. Was booker in Hollywood for a year in 1948, turning Buddy Rogers into the Nature Boy.
Record producer and performer, who manages & promotes independent wrestling around Los Angeles. As a boy he grew up bugging Freddie Blassie on the beaches of Santa Monica with Glenn Bray.
Spent his younger day as assitant to Jeff Walton at The Olympic and help write the programs. Later had a wrestling radio show in the early 90’s & got a chance to be the color man on the first Lucha Libra PPF “When Worlds Collide” on Nov. 6, 1994. Soon after got a announcing job with WCW, and when that promotion died, he worked for TNA until present day .
One of sports first major star in America & the world, trained at the Los Amgeles Athletic Club for a comeback and a possible match with Joe Stecher in 1916. On March 10, 1916 he defeated William Demetrral at the LAAC. After running out on a match with ad Santel in San Francisco because he couldn’t get in condition, Gotch returned to Iowa, but his health never returned.
Main Evented againt both Hogan & Andre in the early WWF cards. Early in career work (1972) at the Olympic at The Mighty Minton.
Major WWF & WCW wrestler. Lost his WWF title at the Anaheim Pond at Wrestlemania (March 31, 1996) in an Iron Man Match (Att: 18,853). Drew a 15,000 Sellout vs Yokozuna (Aug 21, 1993) at the Anahiem Pond. Also had matches with Kevin Nash, Owen Hart, Ric Flair & Hulk Hogan in LA.
Referee, front office worker, and promoter in San Bernardino during the late 60’s & 70’s. As a historian, he researched some of the first results of the area.
5-Dr. Bernard Schwartz
Long time official doctor of The Olympic Auditorium. Spent his days taking care of the poor of Los Angeles, and his nights taking BPs and writing prescriptions for wrestlers like Billy Graham and friends like Arnold, future Governor of California. What would the history of pro wrestling without Dr. Bernard Schwartz? Freddie Blassie’s personal Doctor who saved the King’s vision after an attack by a guy named Tolos.
Joined: 01 Aug 2006
Location: Wonderful Montebello CA
Joined: 01 Sep 2005
|Posted: Thu Feb 04, 2016 3:30 pm Post subject:
|I posted a vote over there. One last time...
Joined: 01 Aug 2006
Location: Wonderful Montebello CA
|Posted: Thu Feb 04, 2016 5:23 pm Post subject:
|I thought it was really good....Thanks. I also made posted the argument. See how it goes.
James better be voting. I'm going to kick his butt. Sent him a ballot.--James
Joined: 01 Sep 2005
|Posted: Thu Feb 04, 2016 6:38 pm Post subject:
|You kind of cut the balls off the post. Not intentionally, but...
Joined: 01 Aug 2006
Location: Wonderful Montebello CA
|Posted: Fri Feb 05, 2016 9:06 pm Post subject:
|I was talking about your first post, the 2nd one was the shit. Trying correct me, as always, when I was agreeing with you. A mess.--Yohe
Joined: 01 Aug 2006
Location: Wonderful Montebello CA
|Posted: Mon Feb 22, 2016 2:44 pm Post subject:
|The Thesz Forum Southern California Hall Of Fame Report
Voting Period #3 (February 2016)
Los Angeles Hall of Fame Wrestler's Group Admits
Baron Michele Leone
Los Angeles Hall of Fame Non-Worker Group Admits
Jimmy Lennon Sr
Los Angeles Hall of Fame Tag Team Group Admits
The Fabulous Kangaroos (Al Costello & Roy Hefferman plus Red Berry)
Ernie & Emil Dusek
The Voting & Points for the Wrestler's HOF. Top three vote getters are admitted into the hall. The list goes—Name---point total—number of ballots the wrestler was on---and the # of first place votes. In case of a tie both persons (or more that two) are admitted or moved. The number of voters for this section was 32.
Wrestler Group Voting:
1--John Tolos = 203 --- 28--- 5
2--Mil Mascaras = 159 --- 24 --- 3
3--Baron Michele Leone = 151 --- 24 --- 5
4--Ed “Strangler” Lewis = 116 --- 17 --- 4
5--Joe Stecher = 88 --- 11 --- 2
6--Bobo Brazil = 87 --- 15--- 2
7--Hulk Hogan = 83 ---10 ---2
8--Vincent Lopez = 82 --- 14--- 2
9--Edouard Carpentier = 72 --- 14 --- 1
10--Lou Thesz = 51 --- 10
11--Bearcat Wright = 39 – 8 --- 1
12--Red Berry= 35 --- 7
Gus Sonnenberg = 35 --- 7
Pedro Morales = 35 --- 7
15--Danny McShain = 33 --- 9
16--Count Billy Varga = 31 --- 10
Roddy Piper = 31 --- 8 --- 1
18--Man Mountain Dean = 30 --- 7
19--Buddy Austin = 27 --- 6
20--Nick Lutze = 20 --- 4 --- 1
Mr Moto = 20 --- 4
22--Ray Stevens = 19 --- 2--- 1
Black Gordman = 19 --- 3
24--Nick Bockwinkel = 17 --- 4
Dave Levin = 17 --- 3
26--Rikidozan = 16 --- 3--- 1
27--Leo Garibaldi = 14 --- 3
El Hijo del Santo = 14 --- 3
29--Ray Steele = 13 --- 2
30--Kijni Shibuya = 12 --- 2
31--Gene LeBell (The Hangman) = 11 --- 3
Ed Don George = 11 --- 2
Chavo Guerrero = 11 --- 4
34--Randy Savage = 10 --- 1 --- 1
35--Kintaro Oki = 9 --- 1
Joe Pazandak = 9 --- 1
Victor Rivera = 9 --- 3
38--Shohei Baba = 8 --- 1
Eddie Guerrero = 8 --- 1
Lord James Blears = 8 --- 1
Andre The Giant = 8 --- 2
Mark Lewin = 8 --- 1
43--Buddy Rogers = 7 --- 2
Jake Roberts = 7 --- 1
Cowboy Bob Ellis = 7 --- 1
46--Terry Funk = 5 --- 2
Antonio Inoki = 5 --- 1
48--Dick The Bruiser = 4 --- 2
Negro Casas = 4 --- 1
Greg Valentine = 4 --- 1
Art Michalik = 4 --- 1
52--Don Manoukian = 3 --- 1
Bob Backlund = 3 --- 1
Sgt Slaughter = 3 --- 1
Jim Browning = 3 --- 1
Kimon Kudo = 3 --- 2
Konnan = 3 --- 1
58--The Sheik = 2 --- 2
Perro Aguayo = 2 --- 1
Haystack Calhoun = 2 --- 1
El Generico (Sami Zayn) = 2 --- 1
Vic Christy = 2 --- 1
Wilbur Snyder = 2 --- 1
64-Gene Kiniski = 1 --- 1
Dean Detton = 1 --- 1
Luke Graham = 1 --- 1
-----Candidates with no votes or points—All of them are #67-----
Psicosis (Dionicio Castellanos Torres)
Johnny “Cowboy Rocky” Valentine
Dory Funk Jr
Don Leo Jonathan
Rey Misterio Jr (Rey Mysterio Jr-Oscar Guitierrez Rubio)
Cladio Castagnoli (Antonio Cesaro)
The non-wrestler or non-worker group. Only one person is admitted to the HOF.
1--Jimmy Lennon Sr = 38 --- 19 --- 7
----------Runner up group---------------------------------------------
2--Johnny Doyle = 36 ---17---7
3--Dick Lane = 24 --- 11 ---6
4--Vince McMahon Jr = 21—9 --- 4
5--Johnny “Red Shoes” Duggan= 20 --- 12 --- 1
6--Hugh Nichols = 10 --- 5---1
7--Mr Moto = 9 --- 6 --- 1
Aileen Eaton = 9 --- 4 --- 2
9--Cal Eaton = 7 --- 3 --- 1
10--Toots Mondt = 5 --- 3
11--Antonio Pena = 4 --- 3
12--John “Jack” Daro = 3 --- 1 --- 1
Jeff Walton = 3 --- 1 --- 1
14—Billy Anderson = 1 --- 1
-----------Non-workers with out votes—All are #15
The Tag Team group, in which we pick two teams on each ballot.
TAG TEAM GROUP
1--The Fabulous Kangaroos = 72 --- 18--- 7
(Al Costello & Roy Hefferman plus Red Berry)
2-Ernie & Emil Dusek = 63 --- 19 --- 5
-------------The runner ups--------------------------------
3--Kinji Shibuya & Masa Saito = 51 --- 15 --- 5
4--Lord James Blears & Lord Athol Layton = 36 --- 11
5--The Destroyer & Don Manoukian = 34 --- 11 --- 2
6--The Assassins = 30 --- 10 --- 2
7--Gino & Leo Garibaldi = 26 --- 7 ---4
8--The Hollywood Blonds = 25 --- 8 --- 1
(Buddy Roberts & Jerry Brown with Sir Oliver Humperdink)
9--The Medics = 20 --- 7 --- 2
10--Eddie Guerrero & Love Machine (Art Barr) = 18 ---8 --- 1
11--Pedro Morales & Luis Hernandez = 14 --- 4
12--George & Bobby Becker = 11 --- 5
Bobo Brazil & Wilbur Snyder = 11 --- 3
14--Freddie Blassie & Mr Moto = 8 --- 3 --- 1
15--Freddie Blassie & Buddy Austin = 7 --- 4
16--Tom Rice & The Great Bolo = 6 --- 2
17--Matt & Nick Jackson = 5 --- 3
18--El Hijo del Santo & Octagon = 3 --- 2
Bobo Brazil & Mark Lewin = 3 --- 2
20--The Destroyer & Hard Boiled Haggerty = 2 --- 1
Freddie Blassie & Don Leo Jonathan = 2 --- 1
The Destroyer & Billy “Red” Lyons = 2 --- 1
23--Bearcat Wright & Mr Moto = 1 --- 1
-------Teams with no votes or points------------------------
24-Gene Kiniski & John Tolos
This is the section to add candidates in voting period #4 (July. 2016). We have 3 wrestlers being admitted & we remove 3 names, so we need to add six new candidates. There was a tie between 6 &7 & I could only add 6. I made a decision to put Bastien in over Mata. Ric Flair returned to the ballot after being voted off on ballot #1.
Names to be added to Candidated list (20 voters)
Ray “Thunder” Stern = 21 --- 5 --- 3
Billy Darnell = 20 --- 5 --- 1
Zebra Kid (George Bollas) = 14 --- 4 --- 1
Jules Strongbow = 13 --- 3 --- 2
Ric Flair = 13 --- 4--- 1
Red Bastien = 8 --- 2 --- 1
Raul Mata = 8 --- 2
Pampero Firpo = 6 --- 2
Salvador Lothario = 6 --- 2
Jimmy El Pulpo = 5 --- 1 --- 1
Vic Holbrook = 5 --- 1 --- 1
El Solitario = 5 --- 1
Super Dragon = 5 --- 1 --- 1
Ricky Steamboat = 5 --- 1 --- 1
Eric Froelich = 5 --- 1 --- 1
Gory Guerrero = 5 --- 1 --- 1
Earl Maynard = 5 --- 1 --- 1
Bloody Buddy O'Brien = 5 --- 1 --- 1
King Krow = 5 --- 1 --- 1
Bobby Christy =5 --- 1 --- 1
Hardy Kruskamp = 5 --- 4
La Pantera Negra = 5 --- 1 --- 1
Renato Gardini = 4 --- 1
Shawn Michaels = 4 --- 1
Kevin Steen = 4 --- 1
Bad Bad LeRoy Brown = 4 --- 1
Bill Melby = 4 --- 1
Hans Schnabel = 4 --- 1
Tiny Roebuck = 4 --- 1
Karl Gray = 4 --- 1
Raul Rayes = 4 --- 1
Colosso Colossetti – 4 --- 1
Hard Boiler Haggerty (Pat McClary) = 4 --- 1
Jerry Christy = 4 --- 1
Hard Boiled Haggerty ( Don Stansauk) = 4 --- 2
Joe Malcewicz = 3 --- 1
Hans Hermann = 3 --- 1
Ted Christy = 3 --- 1
Tony Rocco = 3 --- 1
Dick Hutton = 3 --- 2
Dick Trout = 3 --- 1
Wee Willie Davis = 3 --- 1
Joe Blanchard = 3 --- 1
Joey Ryan = 3 --- 1
Ric Drasin = 3 --- 1
George Zaharias = 2 --- 1
Jesse James = 2 --- 1
Kurt Angle = 2 --- 1
Stan Holek (Stan Neilson) = 2 --- 1
Superboy = 2 --- 1
Crybaby George Cannon = 2 --- 1
Earl Maynard = 2 --- 1
Killer Karl Davis = 2 --- 1
Jay York (The Alaskan) = 2 --- 1
Ramon Zalvaza = 2 --- 1
Chief little Wolf = 1 --- 1
Chris Jericho = 1--- 1
Khayam = 1 --- 1
Adam Pearce = 1--- 1
The Preacher = 1 --- 1
This is the add on to the Non-Worker group. We remove two names & one leaves the list to go into the hall, so we need to add three people. There was a tie for third place. There is an odd number of candidates in this group, so I saw no harm in added both. So we are adding four. Mike LeBell returns to the candidate list after being voted off on #1.
Names to be added to non-performer list (18 voters)
Billy Sandow = 17 --- 7 --- 4
Mike LeBell = 11 --- 6 --- 1
Dan Tobey = 8 --- 4 --- 1
Hank Metheny = 8 --- 5 --- 1
Tony Stecher = 6 --- 2 --- 2
Luis Magana = 4 --- 2 --- 1
Jerry Murdock = 4 --- 2
Mike Tenay = 3 --- 1--- 1
Jimmy Lennon Jr = 3 --- 1 --- 1
Excalibur = 3 --- 1 --- 1
Babe McCoy = 3 --- 1 --- 1
Count Pietro Rossi = 3 --- 1 --- 1
Jack Smith = 3 --- 1 --- 1
Dr Mike Lano = 3 --- 1 --- 1
Pete Mehringer = 3 --- 1 --- 1
Theo Ehret = 2 --- 1
Gene LeBell = 2 --- 1
Musty Musgrave = 2 --- 1
Jack Pfefer = 2 --- 1
Bill Welsh = 2 --- 1
Don McDonald = 2 --- 1
Sergio Platano Garcia (Lucha Referee) = 2 --- 1
Luigi “Bull” Montana = 1 --- 1
Rocky Roman = 1 --- 1
Johnny Legend = 1 --- 1
Frank Pasquale = 1 --- 1
In the Tag Team “Add on” section we need 4 team. Two teams went into the hall & 2 came off, so 4. This section is one where I have trouble getting voters (11) & I don't feel there were a lot of long lasting Tag teams in Los Angeles I feel like the teams going arn't as good as the one being taken off. My head is killing me at the moment, but if the old rule was removing three teams, I'm cutting it to two right now. So we are adding four teams.
Names to be added to Tag Team List (Voters- 11)
1--Mike & Ben Sharpe = 18 --- 7 --- 4
2--The Twin Devils = 7 --- 3 --- 1
3--Jerry & Bobby Christy (Vigilanres/Peace Brothers) = 6 --- 2 --- 2
Kurt & Karl Von Stroheim = 6 --- 2 --- 2
-------Runner up group-----------------------------------------
4--Luke Brown & “Grizzly Smith = 5 --- 2 --- 1
5--The Infernos & JC Dykes = 4 --- 2 --- 1
6--Mike DiBiase & Karl Gotch = 3 --- 1 --- 1
Hecter & Mando Guerrero = 3 --- 1 --- 1
Los Chivos (Khayam & Enigma de Oro) = 3 --- 1 --- 1
Haystack Calhoun & Abe Jacobs = 3 --- 2
Demolition = 3 --- 1 --- 1
Great Togo & Tosh Togo = 3 --- 1 --- 1
Killer Davis & Wee Willie Davis = 3 --- 2
Ted & Vic Christy = 3 --- 1 --- 1
14--Bobo Brazil & Bearcat Wright = 2 --- 1
Eric Rommel & Dick Garza = 2 --- 1
Sky Hi Lee & Shag Thomas = 2 --- 1
Big Boss Man & Akeem = 2 --- 1
Rip Hawk & Swede Hansen = 2 ---1
Don Chuy & Joe Carollo = 2 --- 1
SD Jones & Tom Jones = 2 --- 1
21--La Pantera Negra & Salvador Lothario – 1 --- 1
Roddy Piper & Lonnie Mayne = 1 --- 1
John & Al Smith (Coughdrop Brothers) = 1 --- 1
Mr. Moto & Kintaro Oki = 1 --- 1
Bobo Brazil & Shohei Baba = 1 --- 1
Kevin Nash & Scott Hall = 1 --- 1
Mike DiBiase & Karl Gotch = 1 --- 1
Raul & Carlos Mata = 1 --- 1
?The Kentucky answer = 1 --- 1 ????
We needed to pick three names to take off the single wrestler list.
Names for removal from candidate list (Voters – 13)
1--Luke Graham = 23 --- 6 --- 3
2--Don Muraco = 18 --- 5
3--Jake Roberts = 12 --- 3 --- 2
--------Lucky runner up group--------------------------------------
4--Chris Hero = 11 --- 3 --- 1
5--Tom Rice = 8 --- 2
Sgt. Slaughter = 8 --- 2
7--Haystack Calhoun = 7 --- 2 --- 1
8--Antonio Inoki = 6 --- 3
Roy Heffernan = 6 --- 2
Art Michalik = 6--- 3
11--Hulk Hogan = 5 --- 2
Randy Savage = 5 --- 1 --- 1
Bearcat Wright = 5 --- 1 --- 1
Eddie Guerrero = 5 --- 1 ---1
Nick Lutze = 5 --- 1--- 1
Cladio Castagnoli = 5 --- 1 --- 1
Bob Backlund = 5 --- 2
Frank Sexton = 5 --- 1 --- 1
19--Rey Misterio = 4 --- 1
Shohei Baba = 4 --- 1
21--Primo Carnera = 3 --- 1
Cowboy Bob Ellis = 3 --- 1
Johnny Valentine = 3 --- 1
Wladek (Killer) Kowalski = 3 --- 1
El Generico = 3 --- 1
Lou Thesz = 3 --- 1
Al Costello = 3 --- 1
28---Ray Stevens = 2 --- 1
Great Goliath = 2 --- 1
Walter Miller = 2 --- 1
Vic Christy = 2 --- 1
32--Jim McMillen = 1 --- 1
Danny Mc Shane = 1 --- 1
Konnan = 1 --- 1
Black Gordman = 1 ---1
In the Non-Worker group we had to remove two. Only 8 people voted in this group. I thought strongly about throwing the results out. Is it fair to have only 8 voters decide over 32? We need a large sample to over come everyone's bias's. I don't know about the future of this group.
Names to be removed from non-performer list (Voters- 8)
1--Aileen Eaton = 7 --- 4 --- 3
2--Antonio Pena = 6 --- 4 --- 2
------Lucky runner up group-------------------------------------
3--Vince Mc Mahon Jr = 5 --- 3 --- 1
4--Toots Mondt = 3 --- 2 --- 1
5--Johnny Doyal= 2 --- 1 --- 1
Jesse Hernandez = 2 --- 2
7--Cal Eaton = 1 --- 1
Johnny “Red Shoes” Duggan = 1 --- 1
The Tag Team removal list was supposed to be 3 teams, but I'm changing the rule to two. The teams were putting on arn't as good as the one's were removing. So only two a ballot. This section gets very little support with only 10 voters and the teams removed as some of the best in history and some will have to be voted back on, once younger voter find this site.
Names to be removed from the Tag Team list (Voters--10)
1--Matt & Nick Jackson = 8 --- 4 --- 1
2--Eddie Guerrero & Love Machine = 7 --- 3--- 2
----------Lucky runner up group---------------------
3--Tom Rice & The Great Bolo = 6 --- 2 --- 2
The Destroyer & Hard Boiled Haggerty = 6 --- 4
Pedro Morales & Luis Hernandez = 6 --- 2 --- 2
6--Bobo Brazil & Mark Lewin = 5 --- 2 --- 1
7--The Medics = 4 --- 2 --- 1
8--Fred Blassie & Mr Moto = 3 --- 1 --- 1
Gene Kiniski & John Tolos = 3 --- 2
10--The Destroyer & Billy “Red” Lyons = 2 --- 1
El Hijo del Santo & Octagon = 2 --- 1
Fred Blassie & Don Leo Jonathan = 2 --- 1
Thanks to everyone. Just about everyone voted & I got the best.
Joined: 01 Sep 2005
|Posted: Mon Feb 22, 2016 3:08 pm Post subject:
|Nice to see that Vince was one vote away from being off the ballot.
Joined: 01 Aug 2006
Location: Wonderful Montebello CA
|Posted: Mon Jul 11, 2016 1:30 am Post subject:
|Ballot #4 is being voted on now until July 21. Hawk has voted. If you want to vote email me.---Yohe
||All times are GMT - 7 Hours
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