Monday, August 15, 2011

Tony Martin

Though his name has not cropped up in several years, Tony Martin was an active face in pro wrestling both in Arizona and across the border in Sonora, Mexico, where he lived. Though reportedly only a modest wrestler himself, he proved to be quite a promoter as he migrated from the two homes he had in Phoenix and Nogales, to book cards pitting Anglos vs. Mexican wrestlers.

During the 1990s, Martin ran numerous shows in the Phoenix/Tucson area, with locations ranging between rodeo rings to bars. One Phoenix extravaganza did not pan out as he had hopped, however, when he booked Mil Mascaras to face Sergeant Shultz. The latter came down with a case of diarrhea and the match did not last long. Shultz evidently left the ring and got counted out fast in order to avoid a humiliating situation. "What was a guy like me supposed to do," he was overheard saying in Spanish. "Wrestle with 'caca' in my pants for half an hour."

Other cards he promoted saw Arizona favorites Thrillseeker Terry Zeller, Fly Boy, The Black Mamba and J.T.Law against wrestlers form Sonora such as Indio Seri, Resplandor and Flama Azul.

Martin took over the area once operated by Pedro Gonzalez and later, Bucky Zepeda, to promote in Hermosillo and Nogales. Using his Arizona pull, he brought Law, Mamba, Shultz, Steve Vega, Bonecrusher and even myself down to the old Pedro Gonzalez Arena on the outskirts of Nogales. Mexican wrestlers on the cards included Enigma, Black Widow, Flama Negra, Makriz, Resplandor and others.

Martin likewise ran spot shows in smaller pueblos such as Santa Ana, Benjamin Hill and Trincheras in Sonora, where he usually drew large crowds.

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