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"AWA Wrestling" Video

posted Sep 19, 2017, 6:06 PM by Wrestling Scout

The death of Bobby Heenan this past weekend marks the end of an era.  Along with Nick Bockwinkel, Ray Stevens, Mad Dog Vachon, The Crusher and Verne Gagne, Heenan was a key drawing card during the glory days of the AWA.

The AWA has been dead for 27 years and while there is still this sad legacy of the company's decline, there is a large amount of footage out there that reveals the aspects of the AWA that are great.  The larger-than-life characters, the entertaining promos and the great matches on the big shows made the AWA into one of the premier promotions of the 1970s.

Dave Meltzer's NWA Championship Point System (1949-1984)

posted Sep 5, 2017, 6:16 PM by Wrestling Scout

In 2011, Dave Meltzer compiled some fascinating data about the NWA Championship between 1949 and 1984.  He created a point system based on number of title shots, number of years in the NWA title mix.  He put together a list of 87 individuals that gives a different perspective.

Here are the top fifty and their point totals.

  1. Lou Thesz 265 
  2. Harley Race  173 
  3. Dory Funk Jr. 139 
  4. Gene Kiniski 116 
  5. Jack Brisco  113 
  6. Pat O'Connor  98 
  7. Dusty Rhodes  89 
  8. Buddy Rogers  69 
  9. Johnny Valentine 67 
  10. Ric Flair 65 
  11. Don Leo Jonathan 54 
  12. Terry Funk  50 
  13. Whipper Watson 48 
  14. Mr. Wrestling II  46 
  15. Dick Hutton 45 
  16. Dick the Bruiser 44 
  17. Pepper Gomez  44 
  18. Killer Kowalski  43 
  19. Wahoo McDaniel 42 
  20. Hans Schmidt 41 
  21. Dick Murdoch 37 
  22. Fritz Von Erich 37 
  23. Ray Gunkel 33 
  24. Enrique Torres 32 
  25. Johnny Weaver 31 
  26. Tommy Rich 31 
  27. Tim Woods 24 
  28. Paul Jones 23 
  29. Argentina Rocca 23 
  30. Pak Song 22 
  31. Ciclon Negro 21 
  32. Rito Romero 21 
  33. Edouard Carpentier 20 
  34. Danny Hodge 20 
  35. Wilbur Snyder 20 
  36. Mark Lewin 19 
  37. Bobo Brazil 19 
  38. Mighty Atlas 19 
  39. Ricky Steamboat 18 
  40. Bill Watts 18 
  41. Ray Eckert** 18 
  42. Sam Steamboat** 18 
  43. Verne Gagne 18 
  44. Bill Miller 18 
  45. Buddy Colt 17 
  46. Thunderbolt Patterson 17 
  47. Bobby Managoff 17 
  48. George Scott 17 
  49. Bill Longson 16 
  50. John Tolos 16

Boxer vs. Wrestler - A Century of Spectacles

posted Aug 26, 2017, 8:21 PM by Wrestling Scout   [ updated Aug 26, 2017, 8:22 PM ]

There has long been a connection between pro-wrestling and boxing. The two combat sports have had both their supporters and their detractors, but the two worlds have cross-bred some amazing spectacles over the years. Many boxers tried their hands at pro-wrestling in some form, the most notable being Primo Carnera and Tony Galento, who were a stars in both.  However, legends like Joe Louis, Max Baer and Jim Jefferies all had a pro-wrestling match or two after their pro boxing careers had ended.
                       Joe Louis and Lou Thesz

The list of boxers who did appearances as guest referees is even more impressive with legendary fighters 
Image result for mike tyson wwelike Jack Dempsey, Muhammad Ali, Mike Tyson and Rocky Marciano picking up that paycheck on several occasions.  While many of these fighters were fans of pro-wrestling and
might have even tried their 
hand at it, the challenges far outweighed the rewards.                       Mike Tyson and "Cold Stone"

The most logical and lucrative option was to promote "boxer vs. wrestler" matches.  Sometimes they were boxing matches with the pro-wrestler putting on the gloves.  Other times they were "mixed 
matches" with the boxer wearing gloves and wrestler 
being able to take him down and pin him.  There are instances of legitimate shoots, however these were largely predetermined.  
Image result for jack dempsey luttrellMark Hewitt's book, Catch Wrestling: A Wild and Wooly Look at the Early Days of Pro Wrestling in America, does an excellent job detailing some of the early mixed matches.

        Jack Dempsey and Cowboy Luttrall

The most famous mixed match was between Muhammad Ali andAntonio Inoki.  While it was going to be a work, it turned into a shoot... and a debacle.  It has been linked to the beginnings of mixed martial arts and there is no question that it influenced pro-wrestling in Japan.  
Image result for inoki ali
In the 1990s, the UWF and FMW both used boxers to establish their top stars.  In the United States, the 
WWF used Mike Tyson to help catapult them into their most successful period.  They have used boxers in angles and done some boxer vs. wrestler matches.
            Muhammad Ali and Antonio Inoki

Wrestlemania XXIV was boosted by a visually amazing mixed match between Floyd Mayweather and the Big Show.  Since that match, Mayweather has won 10 more fights, putting him 
Related image
at 49-0 (he is currently tied with Rocky Marciano, who retired undefeated).  Mayweather is coming out of retirement at 40 to face mixed martial artist Conor McGregor in what is likely to be the big
gest pay-per-view event of all-time.  Although McGregor is not a pro-wrestler, his outlandish persona and gift for ballyhoo are right out of the pro-wrestling world.  He has talked his way into fight despite having no professional boxing background like many pro-wrestlers have for decades.

                                                                    Floyd Mayweather and the Big Show

John L. Sullivan (40-1-2)
vs. William Muldoon - 1889

Andre Anderson (17-19-9)
vs. Wayne Munn** - 1925

Jack Dempsey (54-6-9)
vs. Wild Bill Longson - 1931
vs. Cowboy Luttrall - 1940
vs. Bull Curry - 1940

Charley Retzlaff (64-8-3)
vs. "King Kong" Kashey - 1934

Kingfish Levinsky (75-36-7)
vs. Ray Steele - 1935

Tony Galento** (80-26-5)
vs. Fred Blassie - 1943

Archie Moore (186-23-10)
vs. Roy Shire - 1956
vs. Ray Stevens - 1956
vs. Dizzy Davis - 1959
vs. Mike Dibiase - 1963
vs. Alex Perez - 1965

Jersey Joe Walcott (51-18-2)
vs. Buddy Rogers - 1956
vs. Buddy Rogers - 1959
vs. Lou Thesz - 1963

Muhammad Ali (56-5-0)
vs. Antonio Inoki - 1976

Chuck Wepner (35-14-2)
vs. Andre the Giant - 1976

Joe Frazier (37-4-1)
vs. Carlos Colon - 1984

Scott LeDoux (33-13-4)
vs. Larry Zbyszko - 1986

Leon Spinks (26-17-3)
vs. Tarzan Goto - 1992
vs. Atsushi Onita - 1992

Trevor Berbick (49-11-1)
vs. Nobuhiko Takada - 1991

James Warring (18-4-1)
vs. Billy Scott - 1991

Roberto Duran (103-16)
vs. Masakatsu Funaki
 - 1992

Evander Holyfield (44-10-2)
vs. Matt Hardy - 2007

Floyd Mayweather (49-0)
vs. Big Show - 2008

WWC's Aniversario (1983-1993)

posted Aug 24, 2017, 6:29 PM by Wrestling Scout

Image result for wwc aniversario
In 1983, the World Wrestling Council (WWC) held their first Aniversario show in San Juan.  It was the ten-year anniversary of the Puerto Rican promotion and they put together a supercard and held it in a baseball stadium.  The original show was a September tradition for years before they moved it back to July or August, which has been the case since 1990.

Carlos Colón vs Harley Race 
(WWC Universal vs. NWA World Title)
Mil Máscaras & Dos Caras vs. The Infernos (Tim Tall Tree & Gypsy Joe) Andre the Giant vs. Abdullah the Butcher

Invader #1 vs. Konga the Barbarian (WWC Puerto Rican Championship) 
Carlos Colón vs. Abdullah the Butcher (Universal Title Tournament)
Terry Funk beat Rick Martel (Universal Title Tournament) 
Ric Flair beat Miguel Perez, Jr. (NWA World Title)

Carlos Colón vs. Hercules Ayala (Barbed Wire match)
Invader #1** vs. Chicky Starr** ("Retirement vs. Hair" match)

Buddy Landel vs. 
TNT (WWC Caribbean Heavyweight Champion)
Carlos Colón vs. Hercules Ayala (Fire Match)
Huracán Castillo & Miguel Pérez, Jr. vs. Bobby Jaggers & Dan Kroffat

TNT vs. Chicky Starr (Gimmick vs. Hair Match) 
Invader #1 vs. Ivan Koloff (Russian Chain Match) 
Carlos Colón vs. Steve Strong (Barbed Wire Match)

Invader #1 (w/ Héctor Camacho) vs. Leo Burke (Boxing Match)
Huracán Castillo & Miguel Pérez, Jr. vs. Cuban Assassin & Ron Starr 
Carlos Colón vs. TNT (WWC Universal Heavyweight Title)

Invader #1 vs. Ronnie Garvin (Taped Fist Match)
TNT & Giant Warrior vs. Demolition (Smash & Crush
Carlos Colón vs. Dino Bravo (WWC Universal Title)

Miguel Pérez, Jr. vs. Abdullah the Butcher
Invader #1 vs. Carlos Colón (WWC Universal Heavyweight Title)

Hercules Ayala vs. Abdullah the Butcher
Invader #1 vs. Greg Valentine (WWC Universal Heavyweight Title)
Carlos Colón vs. Terry Funk (Colon's Retirement Match)

August 6th is National Sisters' Day

posted Aug 6, 2017, 7:39 PM by Wrestling Scout

Pro-wrestling has been a family business for numerous promotions.  Many pro-wrestling fathers have broken in their sons, many pro-wrestler's wives balanced the books, many pro-wrestler's daughters Image result for pro-wrestling sistersmarried pro-wrestlers and on and on.  Curiously, the number of women who worked in the same sport as a sibling (sister or brother) is not as large as one might think.  And the number drops even more when you cut out luchadoras who had unremarkable careers (in Mexico, lucha libre is a particularly family-oriented business!)  There is also the linkage of sisters who are known, but never worked in the business and yet had an impact through marriage.  

Image result for bonnie virgil hatfieldThe prolific family in pro-wrestling, the Welch-Fuller-Fields-Golden family has had several daughters who were not involved in the business, but helped expand the family tree significantly.  Bonnie, sister to Roy, Jack, Herb and Lester, married Virgil "Speedy" Hatfield, and gave birth to the Fields Family, which included Lee, Don and Bobby.  Roy Welch's daughter Ruby married promoter Bill Golden whose brother Phil was in the business as was his son Jimmy.

Image result for Elevera Anoa'iAnother notable pro-wrestling bloodline, the Anoa'i family, was expanded by Elevera Anoa'i (sister to Afa and Sika) who married Solafa Fatu and was the mother to the Tonga Kid, Rikishi and Umaga.

Frances Crockett (sister to Jim, David and Jackie) married John Ringley who was positioned to take over Jim Crockett Promotions when Jim Crockett Sr. died.  When Ringley had an affair it cost him and unquestionably altered the future of JCP.

Xocitl Hamada and Ayako Hamada

Mary Apache and Faby Apache

Alda, Esther, Rossy and Cynthia and El Oriental

Rockin Robin and Sam Houston & Jake Roberts

National Father-in-Law Day

posted Jul 31, 2017, 6:52 PM by Wrestling Scout

Image result for john cena john laurinaitis
The connections between fathers-in-law with their daughter's husband or son's wife have varied widely.  Some were promoters and the marriage seemed to lead to a push.  Others you might not even know about!  There are even some step-father-in-law connections!

John Cena beats on his future step-father-in-law 
John Laurinaitis (who wrestled as Johnny Ace)

Johnny Ace and both married into pro-wrestling families.  Ace married Kathy Colace, who is the mother of Nikki and Brie Bella, therefore becoming their step-father and the step father-in-law to Daniel Bryan (Brie's husband) and John Cena (Nikki's fiancee).  While would expect that to a first in pro-wrestling... it is not.  

Image result for gordon nelson laverne
In 1963, Gordon Nelson married Marie Laverne.  She was the daughter of Ann Laverne and step-daughter of Pancho Villa (Bobby Lane).  Her biological father was the controversial promoter Billy Wolfe (Sr.), but she was raised by Lane.  Gord and Marie's first child, Steve Nelson, actually went on to work for the UWFi in Japan and compete in mixed martial arts.  Through a number of relationships there is a fascinating family tree that ties together over a dozen pro-wrestling personalities as diverse as Steve Nelson, Sam Menacker and Nell Stewart.
        Marie and Gord Nelson

Daniel Bryan (married to Brie Bella)
John Cena (engaged to Nikki Bella)

Blue Demon Jr.

Vicky Guerrero (married Eddy Guerrero)

Pentagon Black (married Xochitl Hamada)
Silver King (married Xochitl Hamada)
Tiger Mask IV

Jim Neidhart
Karen Jarrett (married Jeff Jarrett)

India Sioux

Mano Negra

Eddie Marlin

Brian Blair (married Mike McGuirk)

Triple H (married Stephanie McMahon)

Psycho Clown

Jim Neidhart
Tyson Kidd (married Nattie Neidhart)

Naomi (married Jimmy Uso)

Brandi Rhodes (married Cody Rhodes)

Nick Roberts
Sam Houston (married Baby Doll)

Baby Doll (married Sam Houston)
Steve Regal

Gangrel (married Luna Vachon)

Pancho Villa (Bobby Lane)
Gordon Nelson (married Marie LaVerne)

Xochitl Hamada (married Silver King)

Billy Wolfe (Sr.)
June Byers (married Billy Wolfe Jr.)

Thesz/Tragos Hall of Fame - Class of 2017

posted Jul 25, 2017, 7:13 PM by Wrestling Scout

Lou Thesz Heavyweight Championship Award

Frank Gotch Award

Paul Orndorff

Jim Melby Award
Scott Williams

June 24th is National Cousins' Day

posted Jul 24, 2017, 5:07 AM by Wrestling Scout

Pro-wrestling has long been a family affair and there are almost two mainly family relations within the sport to tally up and list.

One specific relationship worth exploring is that of cousins.  There have been so many cousins who have teamed up over the years.  An early example was the the three-man team that was a hit in the Carolinas - Roger Kirby, Dennis Hall and Les Thatcher.  While they were not legitimate cousins, being "The Wrestling Cousins" was their babyface persona.  It has long been an easy way to tie people together and help newcomers get over.  Tony Parisi came into the WWWF as Antonio Pugilese, the cousin of Bruno Sammartino, which allowed heels to get heat on him and build up a match with the champ.  Ric Flair was said to be a cousin to the Andersons and obviously forged a long-time bond with Arn Anderson Lance Von Erich was billed as Waldo Von Erich's son and therefore a cousin to the Von Erich boys, Johnny Smith came in as Davey Boy Smith's brother and turned on him and teamed with his cousin Dynamite Kid (as the "British Bruisers").  Blackjack Mulligan brought in his cousin, Crazy Luke Mulligan (Killer Brooks), from the mental hospital to help fight heels in Mid-Atlantic.  Hardcore Holly brought in his wacky cousins Crash and Molly Holly in a case of family dysfunction.  All of those relationship were not real though.

As for genuine cousins who formed tag teams, here are 10 of the best:

3 Minute Warning (Jamal & Rosey)
Avalancha Alvarado (La Mascara & Maximo)
British Bulldogs (Dynamite Kid & Davey Boy Smith)
The Colons (Primo & Epico)
Harris Twins & Brian Lee
The Riches (Tommy & Johnny)
Royal Kangaroos (Lord Jonathan Boyd & Norman Frederick Charles III)
Samoan Swat Team (Fatu & Samu) 
Stud Stable (Robert Fuller & Jimmy Golden)
Vaqueros (Dandy & Texano)

Pro-wrestlers and aviation disasters

posted Jul 22, 2017, 5:53 PM by Wrestling Scout

Reports of Shane McMahon's helicopter "crash" this week caused quite the media stir.  The incident probably evoked memories of the two plane crashes in 1975 for many pro-wrestling historians and long-time fans.

Related imageOn February 20th, Buddy Colt was piloting an airplane carrying three other pro-wrestlers when bad weather led to its plunging into Tampa Bay.  Colt, the biggest star of three, never wrestled again.  Gary Hart, one of the greatest managers ever, was never able to wrestle and bump as he once had, although he continued to be a player for years.  Dennis McCord, an up-and-coming powerlifter-type, took a long hiatus before coming back as Austin Idol.  The fourth man, Bobby Shane, was only 29 and he did not survive.  Read more about that crash in this fantastic Tampa Bay Observer article.

On October 4th, a flight carrying Johnny Valentine, Tim Woods (better known as "Mr. Wrestling"), David Crockett, Bob Bruggers and Ric Flair rocked the Mid-Atlantic territory.  The pilot eventually died from injuries related to the crash, but the other men on-board survived.  Valentine, a top heel in the area, never wrestled again.  Woods, a babyface on a plane of heels, amazing wrestled soon after in the ultimate display of keeping kayfabe.  Crockett continued to be a player in his big brother's company.  Bruggers suffered back injuries and decided to retire.  Ric Flair was hurt badly, but returned and went on to become one of the greatest of all-time.

While these two crashes in 1975 are well-known, there was one the previous year that is often overlooked.  On March 13th 1974, Gene DuBuque, was on a charter flight with members of a crew that were filming a documentary called "Primal Man."  The plane crashed in the White Mountains and killed all on board.  DuBuque, who is best remembered as the Magnificent Maurice, was frequent partner of Handsome Johnny Barend and part of the Buddy Rogers clique.  This fatal crash means that there were 3 airplane crashes involving pro-wrestlers in an 18-month period.

There are other lesser known airplane crashes that claimed the life of lesser known pro-wrestlers in the 1940s - George Mack (1945), Jack Ross (1945) and Joe Lynam (1948).

Another casualty that is particularly tragic is that of Kazuharu Sonoda, who wrestled as Magic Dragon.  Sonoda often took the place of the Great Kabuki when the popular heel was double-booked.  One such opportunity allowed the newly married Sonoda to fly to South Africa as part of his honeymoon.  A fire on the plane caused it to crash into the Indian Ocean killing everyone onboard.  

        Magic Dragon and Gary Hart 

Pro-Wrestlers and Murder

posted Jul 6, 2017, 7:51 PM by Wrestling Scout   [ updated Jul 6, 2017, 7:52 PM ]

Image result for jim breaksWith the story coming to light to British pro-wrestling legend Jim Breaks being the most likely suspect in the murder of his wife coming just days after the grizzly anniversary of the Chris Benoit murder-suicide and months after the passing of Jimmy Snuka following his own murder trial being tossed out.  Those are two of the most high profile cases, but they are not the only ones.

It should be mentioned that there have been pro-wrestling personalities like Toots MondtJohn Tatum and Joel Deaton getting caught up in instances of vehicular manslaughter.  There have also been cases of pro-wrestlers who killed people when they worked as bounty hunters, something David Schultz, Bam Bam Bigelow and New Jack may have done.  There are circumstances of self-defense like Scott Hall and Jack Reynolds.  There are also people like Ella Waldek, Kensuke Sasaki and the Great Khali who were involved in terrible accidents in the ring which led to someone's death. 

There is also the controversial murder of Bruiser Brody, which has widely been attributed to Invader #1 (Jose Gonzales).  The trial that followed saw him acquitted, but many believe it to be premeditated, cold-blooded murder.

The following are individuals who are widely believed to have murdered their significant others.

Chris Benoit
Evelyn Stevens

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