Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Tuba City

On the Navajo Indian Reservation, Tuba City was a hot bed for pro wrestling when any of a number of different people ran there. In the earlier days, promoters liked the location because they could avoid hassles from the State Athletic Commission as they had no jurisdiction on Federal land. When the commission stopped covering wrestling, promoters still ran there as it was a guaranteed draw.

Gator Wolf ran shows there. So did Navajo Frank, Tito Montez, Cowboy Bob Yuma, David Rose and others going back to Jim Londos.

During the past efw decades the local Community Center has housed most shows.

Others who wrestled on card in one place or another within Tuba City over the decades include JT Law, Maniac Mike Gordon, Tony Bernardi, Hercules Stevenson, Jody Arnold, Don Arnold,. Cowboy Bob Ellis, Cowboy Claw, Miss Champagne, CC Starr, John Ringer, Papago Inez, Barbara Starr, Phil Sapien, Danny Medina, David Mendez, Tony Hernandez, Tom Ramirez, Flama Roja, Nano Ortega, Kurt Von Steiger, Marilyn Bender, The Comancheros, Mildred Burke, Ali Pasha, Ray Gordon, Bobby Mayne (Jaggers), El Estudiante, Seiji Yamamoto, Yashinomi Fuji, Dr. Jerry Graham, Phil Melby, Rudy Navarro, Josie Navarro, Spike Jones, Buddy Rose, Paul Harvey, Bill Melby, Jimmy Valentine, Eddie Sullivan, Count Billy Varga, Jerry Woods, Kangaroo Karson, The Medics, The Assassins, Danny Snyder, The Colorado Kid, Wally Steele, Gentleman Jerry Miller, Don Vitelli, Road Angel, Bronco Lazar, Eddie Lopez, The Golden Eagle, Bull Montana, Dirty Dick Raines, The Warlock, Ali Bey, George Drake, Ricky Waldo, Ricky Romero, Juan Garcia, Abdul Sabul, Johnny Mann, Bambi Ball, Tona Tomah, Charlie Carr, John Shane. The Monroes, Don Kent, Pancho Pico, Eduardo Lynch, Bobby Pico, Gorgeous George Jr.,Chuck Golden, Fishman, The Gunslingers, The Mask, Gorilla Ramos, Chief Golden Hawk, Crazy Horse, Killer Kane, Ron Pritchard,  Jack Frisco, Bobo Brazil, The Great  Gonzalez, The Strangler, Kenny Mayne, Stan Steinke, Karl Von Brock, Hans Steiner, Dizzy Davis, Johnny Kostas, Flama Negra, The Mortician, Flama Azul, Chuck Karbo, Chuck Hondo, Freddie Gomez, The Masked  Beauties, Lady Angel, Bestia 666, Galgatha, Carlos El Malo, Jimmy Kent, The  Mighty Jumbo, The Gorky Brothers, Tokyo Joe and Gordon Darnell.

Tales From The Rails

What does this book on railroading that i wanted to put out and did on Lulu have to do with wrestling? On the surface, not a Goddamned thing. You can order it though at

The book Si huge and thick, with a ton of railroading material. It covers museums, freight and passenger service, wrecks, rail shows, static displays, amusement park trains and a load of other things.

There is also a section on the train ride at Legend City, a defunct Wild West theme park in Phoenix, on the Tempe border.

The book mentions in this section how one of the train robbers who wad there every Saturday afternoon,  sticking up the train with his gun that shot blanks, was moonlighting wrestler Phil Melby.

Well, Melby always had this greed about him and a motto of doing anything for money.

In knowing what I knwo about him, I am surprised he didn't rob the trains for real.

In any case, if you are a train lover, buy the book. If you are a Melby or wrestling fan, buy it anyway, as like Melby, I do love money. Any sale contributes to my general happiness.

Monday, September 26, 2011

Meet Me In October

Meet me in October.

MCW Wrestling in Alliance, Ohio, October 1 and 15. for data.

Not In Our Write Minds Writing Group, Tuesday at 6:30 pm October 4, basement meeting room of the Dover Library in Diver, Ohio.

Bread Head Bakery, book fest, 12-2 pm.,  113 W. 3rd, Dover, Ohio. October 29.

Sunday, September 25, 2011

Papago Inez

Papago Inez or Princess Inez as she was sometimes known, was married for several years to Cowboy Bob Yuma, though they eventually split up. Yuma and Tito Montez both trained her, which led to her wrestling more like a man than your typical girl grappler.

In fact, she engaged in a number of Texas Death matches with rivals, Tanya Stevens and Barbara Starr, that were as wild as any fights between men.

Unlike some of her male counterparts who played a role, she was as she proclaimed, a full blooded Native  American.

Tanya Stevens, who was one rough customer in her own right, frequently listed Inez as one of her toughest opponents ever.

Aside from singles matches, Inez also appeared with frequency in mixed tag team matches, teaming with then husband Bob Yuma or with Tito Montez. Often, Maniac Mike Gordon and varied female partners by his side served as their challengers. Though she never had a one on one match against a man, most experts felt she would have been very good at it.

Inez died from a lung infection in 2004.

Bill Kirk

He was nicknamed "Mouse Ears" in the locker room because of a prominent set of the same jutting out from his head. This stocky little villain was no laughing matter to the fans, however, who hated him with a passion. Though he had been a fan favorite in his native Canada beforehand, he quickly showed a talent for bending the rules and bodies in the Phoenix area upon his arrival in 1971.

Kirk used a piledriver to win victory after victory over his opponents, including Al Madril, Nano Ortega and Kiko Torres.   He was then launched into a feud with Danny Kroffat, a fellow Canadian who was as popular with the fans as Kirk was hated.

In early 1972, both Kroffat and Kirk headed for greener pastures. Kroffat went to California and Kirk headed for Amarillo, where he became Bill Cody.

As Cody, Kirk didn't do so well in the win department. He was given many televised  matches and undercard contracts on house shows, but seldom won. Going back to a fan favorite's role, he was cheered but lost to a whole vast of Texas area villains such as Moose Morowski, Bobby Duncum, Massio Koma and Ciclon Negro

Oddly enough,. Cody/Kirk returned to Canada after that and continued to wrestle for many years. He even teamed regularly with his former enemy, Danny Kroffat.

Saturday, September 24, 2011

Playboy Buddy Rose

Playboy Buddy Rose died a while ago from a heart attack. Always one to have trouble keeping his weight down, this may or may not have contributed to his death. Upon his passing, his remains were cremated and whether they were kept by the family or scattered is anyone's guess.

Rose was a big draw in Portland's NWA, the AWA and the WWF, but never had things timed to work with these promotions when the AWA or WWF came to Phoenix.

In fact, Playboy's big hurray in Arizona came in the early 1990s, when an Independent promulgation booked him for a series of matches. Though commonly seen elsewhere as a villain, he was placed in the canny role of fan favorite here when he squared off with Colonel DeBeers.

Common sense would have had Rose booked against a local Phoenix fan favorite and DeBeers doing the same, but that was not not transpired. Oh well!

The Rose vs. DeBeers combo did not seem like a match up made in heaven, but it worked well enough.

Rest in peace, Buddy Rose.

Curiously enough,  before this ":Buddy Rose" came to fame there was another Buddy Rose active in Arizona from the late 1980s until 1995 or so. That, however, is another topic for another day.


Laveen on the outskirts of Phoenix looks like something from a Wild West movie. When you got here you halfway expect to have to avoid stepping in cow shit and to hear Charles Bronson playing his harmonica before his climatic gunfight with Henry Fonda in Once Upon A Time In The West.

Yet a small school gym there provided much action in the 1970s through the early 1990s. A number of different offices from both Arizona and Mexico ran spot shows there.

Wrestlers who appeared there included Mr,. Southern Comfort, Convoy Bob Yuma, John Ringer, The  Lumberjacks, Danny Snyder, Hercules Stevenson, Tito Montez, Mike Gordon, Tom Ramirez, Tony Hernandez, Gran Chanoc, The UFO, Pedro El Grande, Flama Roja, Flama Azul, Indio Youngblood,, The Comancheros, Freddie Gomez, John Shane, Kurt Von Steiger, Orcida, Juan Garcia, Orca, Professor Sacorro, The Medics, Benny Mendeblis, Jody Arnold, Crazy Horse, Danny Medina, The Assassins, Chuck Karbo, Eddie Sullivan, Princess Inez, Hiram Dirt, Gran Apollo, Kiko Torres, Pepe Romero, Eddie Lopez and Los Commandos De La Muerte.

For some reason nothign has been held in thsi town or this building in quite a few years. The only question is why. It is hoed the tradition of sporadic, but grate Indy wrestling will not die in Laveen.

Well, maybe one day soon the bell will ring again in Laveen.

Perhaps a few of the numerous promotion now running in Arizona should take note.

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

The Mad Monks vs Fly Boy & Amadeus

 The Mad Monks, Amadeus and Fly Boy all came out of the Nogales area into Arizona in 1990, where they continued to feud with each other for around a year.

The two Mad Monks dressed in brown gear and masks, with hair glued on like Friar Tuck . Their wrestling was anything but holy or wholesome. They broke every rule in the book and then some.

This made for a sharp contrast with the smaller, but much faster and much more charismatic team of Amadeus and Fly Boy. The former wore a mask and the latter did not.

While their feud was not as violent or as long-lasting as The Comancheros vs Ben Justice & Pancho Pico or The Lumberjacks vs David Rose & Pedro El Grande, it had its moments. There was, for example, the time the to Mad Monks took the cap off a beer bottle and passed it between them, using this to turn Fly Boy into the bloody mess to end all bloody messes. Luckily in this Phoenix encounter, Fly Boy and Amadeus won or a riot would have broken out.

The two met in Tucson, Casa Grande, Queen Creek and Laveen as well. The advantage shifted as did the wins from match to match. Often their encoutners ended with both teams counted out after brawling in the stands.

The funny part is this feud was never resolved in a climatic match to a finish, as The Monks bolted  back to Mexico, as did Amadeus, leaving Fly Boy to remain in Phoenix, where he continued as a singles competitor..

In retrospect no one seems willing to reveal the identity of the two Mad Monks, but surely they were friends with fellow wrestlers in the locker room. The secret was and still is guarded as secretly as a confessional.

Shades of Nacho Libre?

No. Not really.

Still, it was fun while it lasted.

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

The You Tube Miracle

Google You Tube and the name of almost any wretsler out there in search and something will probably come up. You Tube is a miracle for researchers and fans looking for stuff one thoguht had vanished from view.

One will find several matches from Real Deal and other modern promotions on the Arizona wrestling scene. Giggles, CC Starr, Landmine, Cody Baker, Hawaiian Lion and other people are there to be found. Especially  check out Erica D' Erico who is one of the best women wrestlers on the scene.

While finding older Arizona matches is hard (many tapes were used over and over again in earlier times to save money and thus erasing the action), seeing the people who appeared there is easy so younger fans can at least get an idea of what they were like.

One can even find clips of Jim Londos.

Excluding WCW, AWA and WWE crew who wrestled everywhere, other older people on You Tube who wretsled in Arizona and may be foudn include Chris Colt, Don Arnold, Lou Thesz, Haystacks Calhoun, Tarzan Tyler, Ali Pasha, Primo Carnera, Don Fargo, Bobby Jaggers, Kurt Von Hess, Sheik, Bobo Brazil, Bill Melby, Tony Hernandez, Tex McKenzie, Nelson Royal, Rip Tyler, The Assassins, Red Berry, The Bolo,  Bob Ellis, Bob Geigel, Killer Brooks, Dick Hutton, Luis Martinez, Jerry Graham, Billy Varga, Mike Mazurki, Bearcat Wright, Don Fargo, Sue Green, Bob Brown,  Mildred Burke, Yukon Eric, Baron Leone,  Argentina Rocca, Tony Marino, Gorgeous George, The Mongolian Stomper, Flama Roja,  Mil Mascaras, Santo, War Eagle, Ray Stevens, Black Gordman and many more may be found.

Paul Harvey

No, this was not the famous radio personality.

This Paul Harvey started as a ring announcer under the promotion of Kurt Von Steiger in the 1970s, using his real name of Harvey Kramer. Somehow, he got the notion he could wrestle and started to train, though he was essentially horrible at it. The early days were rough on the renamed Paul Harvey. Jay Dillon choked him out in a bout and Nano Ortega broke his finger.

Trying to be a fan favorite was also a disaster as he was fat, ugly and out of shape.

It was said Mike Gordon was the one who suggested he become a villain.

Instant change.

The people started chanting "Crybaby Huey": at him as he did look like the cartoon duck of that name. He held his ears, he protested and he yelled. He capitalized on his mouth and ability to insult others rather than athletic talent. He cheated hi way through a string of victories and when he started  promoting on his own he infuriated the fans even more by placing himself in the main events.

He had some bloody feuds with David Rose, Gordon Darnell, John Shane and Al Madril. Other men he faced included Eddie Lopez, Tony Bernardo, Tony Hernandez and Benny Mendeblis.

In 1976 Harvey disappeared from Arizona, He came back in 1978 when Tito Montez was promoting and was propelled into a set of matches main eventing against Mr.Wrestling, who was old nemesis David Rose under a mask.

The feud ended right before an important cage match between the two, when Harvey was arrested in Durango, Colorado where he was evidently charged with some type of confidence scam.

The incident made the Phoenix papers and could nor be covered up.

What happened to Paul Harvey afterward is a mystery to all as he just dropped from sight.

So no one knows...the rest of the story....

Monday, September 5, 2011

Tito Montez Versus Chuck Karbo

One can catch brief scenes of this feud by ordering 50 Years Of Arizona Wrestling 3 dvd.6 hour set at in which Ray Gordon is taking on Henry Pulusso, This 1968 footage then shows Chuck Karbo and John Shane running in to slam on Gordon, before Montez and Cowboy Bob Ellis  come to his aid. This of course would set up a series of six man tags and initiate just a bit more toward the existing Montez/Karbo feud.

Tito and Karbo started feuding in the early 1960s when the two of them, met in a  number of bloody matches in Phoenix and Tucson, as well as spot show towns. These matches likewise extended into tag team and six man tag team affairs with Tito, Frankie Cain and Pancho Pico facing Karbo, Don Kent and Jim Osborn in a  number of different combos.

By 1968, where the old tv tapes on the aforementioned dvd come from, Tito and Karbo were looked upon as natural enemies, like a cobra and a mongoose.They had already met throughout Arizona in a number of cage bouts, chain bouts and other brawls, with the advantage shifting and one or the other always bloody.

In his varied Arizona runs, Karbo had time to feud with others. Mr Kleen, Ricky Thompson, Johnny  Kostas, Tony Hernandez, Big Jim Wright, Phil Melby and Killer Kane would be some of them. Still, it would always come back to him facing Tito.

The last part of their feud came in 1973, when Tito was doing an interview in front of the ring on television prior to a Phoenix match and Karbo came charging out of nowhere. Grabbing Tito by the hair, he drove him headfirst into the ring post and casually walked away.

This of course brought about another series of matches that dragged on forever. Tito finally came out on top. Afterward, Karbo retired to run his bar in Casa Grande.

As of this writing, Tito is still alive in Oregon, though in his 80s Karbo reportedly died long ago, though no one seems to have an official date for his passing.

Under The Bed

Under The Boardwalk, I remember the song and on the same hand I would like to title this blog Under The Bed. I could picture myself rewriting the lyrics, but do not have the time to do so.

Two well-known wrestlers and I will not name them, had an interesting story to tell. One of the two related this to me.

It seems the pair was traveling by car as was done long ago, even with the big time. They stopped late at night at the only flea bag motel they could find and went in with the intention of simply sleeping and moving onward.

The place was an utter dump. The tv did not work, the faucet dripped, the toilet ran and everything was dirty/ Plus the room smelled. Too tired to complain, the wrestlers tried to sleep as best they could and tried to make a night of it.

The next morning before leaving, one of the wrestlers came up with a brainstorm for revenge.

"Hey, let's lift up the bed and shit under it," the one suggested.

The other agreed and so they lifted up the bed with the intention of shitting under it and putting it back down for the maid to have fits over.

As they did this, lifting the bed with the plan for dropping a log, when they realized to their horror...

Someone had done so already.