Sunday, October 30, 2011

The Comancheros

Though they were known as "brothers" Ron & Paul Dupree in the Midwest as The Hell's Angels, they were better known as The Comancheros in Arizona, first as the Duprees and later as Chris Colt & Ron Dupree. In both areas they were phenomenal hits and held versions of the World tag team title. Their real names were Russ Grobes and Charles Harris.

The pair first drifted into Arizona on a whim in the  1960s and ended up loving the area due to the mild winters.  This led to extended stays and long running feuds with area grapplers.

Tito Montez was their main challenger, taking them on with a variety of tag team partners  Others also came and went,. with this ultra-dirty tag team constantly cheating to bloody win after bloody win. Some of the combinations they faced included Tito Montez & Armon Hussein, Tito Montez & Cowboy Bob Ellis, Cowboy Bob Ellis & Luis Martinez, Tito Montez & Jerry Miller, Sako San & Fuji San, Eddie Lopez & Kiko Torres, Bob Lueck & Ron Pritchard and The Hornets.

The wildest feud of all would be that of Ben Justice and Pancho Pico, with Justice coming in from Michigan to seek revenge ont hem for a partner they were said to have brutalized. One contest between them in September of 1970 ended with all four men covered with blood and a riot breaking out, with massive fights among fans.

Even the likes of Don Kent, Don Arnold and Woody Farmer became temporary fan favorites when facing them.

In late 1970, The Comancheros disappeared, with Ron Dupree"s encouragement with heart trouble at at least for the moment, placed him at ringside as a manager rather than a wrestler . It was then, when traveling eastward, they became Chris Colt & Ron Dupree, with "Colt" doing the wrestling. The name was reportedly taken from a 1970s era gay magazine (Yes, they were...)

As a singles attraction, Colt faced Kurt Von Steiger, Logger Larson, Tito Montez, Al Madril, Billy Anderson, Jimmy Valentine and Donny Anderson, but eventually ended up teaming with Ron Dupree to reform The Comancheros again.

Then the unthinkable happened , The two split up and ended up fighting each other. These battles of super villains were epic contests with very little scientific action to be had. The fans went with Ron Dupree.

It was shortly afterward they both headed for Washington and the Dean Silverstone promotion where tragedy woudl strike. Ron Dupree would die from a  heart attack in the ring where already sick, he had been forced to take on the role of announcer.

Devastated as an eye witness to the event, Chris Colt would never be the same. He would wrestle for several more years on his own or with other partners, but physically his addictions to alcohol and substances started to overwhelm him. He died in 1996 due to the effects of AIDS. 

Before his death, he had reportedly become a born again Christian and was wanting to write his life story. A nephew found his notes and draft's years afterward and may eventually get these turned into print. We can onyl hope so. He had also reportedly recanted the lifestyle that led to his health situation. Too little, too late perhaps, but his legend in wrestling still lives on regardless.

Some Hells Angels footage exists on You Tube including a bout with them taking on Arnold Skoaland and a very young James Dillon. There are some matches with Chris Colt wrestling on his own as well, but as of yet no Comancheros  footage has surfaced from Arizona.

Eddie Sullivan

Eddie Sullivan started wrestling in the 1960s, first under his real name of Ruben Huizar, then under the alias for which he would be better known. Trained by Tona Tomah, he would only stay in Arizona for short stints before heading southward for promotional groups such as those run by the Fields family or Nick Gulas

During his early Arizona days, he feuded with Cowboy Bob Ellis and Tony Hernandez, but always seemed to migrate back toward Florida, Alabama or Tennessee. In these areas he had wild feuds with Dick Dunn, Armon Hussein, Tommy Rich and others. He would form a tag team under a hood with Frank Morell as The Mighty Yankees and without a mask with Rip Tyler to again have brutal bouts. He and Tyler also made varied trips to Japan.

In the southern states, Eddie also had some bloody matches with Cowboy Bob Kelly. Years later, however, they would make a low budget short film together titled Gunfight In Tombstone, shot at the defunct Apacheland Movie Ranch where among other things, Charro with Elvis was filmed. 

Sullivan likewise made it to Texas where he faced Dick Murdoch, an aging Bull Curry and more.

He was also a mainstay for the Dean Silverstone promotion operating in Washignton in the 1970s, utilizing Luke Graham, Chris Colt, Tito Montez, David Rose, Logger Larson, Jay Clintstock, Ron Dupree and Rick  Renaldo.

By 1978, Eddie had tired of the road. He moved back to Mesa, Arizona, devoted more time to his tiling business and only wrestled on occasion. He had a number of Phoenix bouts with Jody Arnold, The Lumberjacks, Nano Ortega, Reggie Parks, Ken Lucas, The Detroit Mauler Tito Montez, Chuck Hondo, John Ringer, Billy Anderson and old rival, Tony Hernandez, before calling it quits. He also ran an occasional show as promoter.

In 1996, Eddie was instrumental in organizing the first Arizona Old-Timer Reunion with msyelf and Jody Arnold. We continued to run these until 1998, when I moved from Arizona and Eddie's health started to fail.

From the late 1980s onward, his health had taken some really bad turns. A heart attack, a stroke a bizarre foot injury where he stepped on a sewing needle embedded in his carpet that broke off in his heel and needed to be surgically removed, a case of Valley Fever (a respiratory infection Arizonans are prone to due to the sand and dust from the desert air) and rampant diabetes all took their toll on him. A second stroke finally ended things for good.

Oddly enough, Eddie was buried neither in Arizona nor Florida where he owned property, but in South Dakota where he had a plot. His second wife, Barbara, would join him there some time afterward when her own out of control diabetes overcame her.

Over the years, Eddie was instrumental in training many Indy wretslers including Baron Brubaker, Killer Jack Kessig, Moses Morales and J.J. Bear. I heard he was instrumental in helping Marcel Pringle and Bob Holly, but do not hold me to that.

I learned quite a lot from Eddie, though I had already started before we met for the first time in 1981.

I miss Eddie Sullivan. I really do.

The best of wrestlers and the best of friends.

Saturday, October 29, 2011

The Union Brotherhood

The Union Brotherhood had potential as a tag team, but did not last long.  The problem was they were two big guys who were more into amateur wrestling, being high school coaches on the east side of Phoenix, they didn't find a good deal of time to devote the pro ranks.

Known as Dino and Tank, rather than the more predictable Brother 1 or 2 as one would have thought they would have utilized, seemed a bit odd also.

Another problem was, according to some accounts, a conflict with other older wrestlers due to the attitudes these guys had as amateurs or "real" wrestlers. The older guys more likely than not, would have cleaned their clocks if provoked. The thing the pair didn't realize was in amateur wrestling the goal is to simply pin an opponent, but in pro "shooting" the goal is to truly hurt someone.

While the tag team had potential, they only stuck around for about a year at best, circa 1986.

They then faded into history.

Museo Taurino

Museo Taurino doesn't have a damned thing to do with wrestling, but if anyone wants to see me more or less rehashing my Time Traveler role as a lunatic in this no budget DVD then feel free to do so. Ordering data at the producer's email at

The film is based on one of my short stories from my old horror novel, Bullring, though there are drastic variations in the text.

Rod Steiger I am not.

How I got sucked into acting in this still boggles my mind.

In any case, the story of Museo Taurino involves a man driven and after the death of his bullfighter son in Spain and his wife;s suicide. Left alone and out of his head, he strikes out to kill those he blames who, aside from the bull, are responsible for his son's death.

One can find added info at thought he company has not updated the page as often a sit should.

Museo Taurino, by the way, translates as Bullfighting Museum.

If it is of interest to you check it out.

If not, don't.

Haystacks Calhoun

A massibe man billed at around 600 pounds, Haystacks Calhoun dressed in overalls and gave off the illusion of being a gigantic farmer. In the early days, before he was Haystacks, however, he was Country Boy Calhoun and this was how he toured Arizona.

There were times he carried a horseshoe chain around his neck and when provoked, would clunk the bad guys with it, to the delight of the crowd.

Yuma was an area where he served as a big draw, though he was seen in Phoenix, Tucson, Flagstaff, Globe and other areas in the late 1950s.

It was not in Arizona that he reached his greatest high points. In the 1960s he was big in Japan, Washignton/Oregon and the eastern USA. Bruno Sammartino likewise gained fame by being the first man to lift him off his feet in the ring.

On the 1970s, Calhoun was big in the Michigan/Ohio area feuding with Killer Brooks, Sheik and Bill Miller.

Sadly, the very weight and appetite that made him such a draw contributed greatly to his declining health. Out of control diabetes did him in. He eventually passed away due to complications from the condition.

Friday, October 28, 2011

Ken Lucas

Ken Lucas started out in Arizona in the late 1950s and was known as a rambunctious heel who produced a lot of heat. Either on his own or teaming with fellow rule breakers like Hans Steiner and Fidel Grimo, he was a great drawing card. He and Steiner held the Western States Tag Team title. for a spell, while feuding with Jerry Miller and Tito Montez.

The Mesa native virtually walked into wrestling by befriending a number of pros at a local YMCA workout room and learning from them. He picked things up quickly and this natural talent enabled him to go far.

Lucas eventually drifted into the Tennessee/Alabama/Florida area and stayed for years, feuding with all the top stars. Sometimes cheered and sometimes booed, some of the people he squared off with included Eddie Sullivan, Rip Tyler, The Gibsons, Armon Hussein, The Medics, Sweet Daddy Banks, Johnny Eagles and even Jerry Lawler, with whom he had a bloody feud.

Lucas likewise main-evented in Oklahoma, Texas and other states where again, he was recognized as a top hand.

Though Lucas could be a brawler of incredible capacity, he also knew and used scientific moves. He often finished his matches with a sleeper.

Lucas returned to Arizona in the 1980s and wrestled for varied promotions, facing Reggie Parks and others. He also had a brief stint doing AWA television tapes in Nevada.

By this time, Lucas was more focused on his business as a kiosk operator, going to fairs, festivals and happenings. He contended he made more money  as a hot dog vendor and it was a lot easier than getting slammed..

Lucas eventually moved to Pensacola, Florida and called it quits to wrestling.

Bobby Anderson

Bobby Anderson got into wrestling easier than anyone in the history of the profession if the story is true and not urban legend.

It seems Harvey Kramer/Paul Harvey picked him up hitchhiking on the way to a wrestling show he was promoting and being short on the card, asked if he wanted to wrestle. Thus, he was thrown into the ring and learned as he went along.

Whether true or not, Anderson became a decent wrestler.

Par for the course in either case, Kramer's booking left to be a little to be desired as he never could make up his mind as to whether or not Bobby Anderson was supposed to be a "cousin" or "brother' to Billy Anderson, a regional star being pushed by his office.

Anderson had some good matches with Mikko Mongol and Tony Bernardi. He also faced Kramer a handful of times, as well as The Warlock, The Ripper and the original Buddy Rose. 

Anderson retired in 1977, but made a brief comeback in the 1980s. After that he retired for good..

Monday, October 24, 2011

Don Curtis

Don Curtis wrestled around the world as a single and teaming with Mark Lewin. After retirement he settle din Florida and sold real estate, passing away from a stroke a few years back He died in 2008 at the age of 80..

In 1957-1958, Curtis spent some time in Arizona, seeing action in Tucson, Yuma and Phoenix, as well as other locations.

Some of the notables he faced included Juan Humberto, Dory Funk Sr., Rip Rogers, El Diablo, Larry Henning and Bob Giegel just to name a few of his challengers.

More often than not, he prevailed with a sleeper hold.

Throughout his long career, Curtis was the subject of many magazine articles and write ups. A few of his interviews done after retirement may still be found by searching the net.

It was outside Arizona, however, that Curtis really came into the limelight along with Lewin as they faced Jerry and Eddie Graham in a lengthy, savage feud.

Curtis started pro wrestling in 1952 following an outstanding school career as an amateur wrestler and football player. Aside from the previously mentioned feuds, he had notable matches with the Fabulous Kangaroos, The Zebra Kid, Jim Wright, Tokyo Joe   and more. He wrestled in Japan, Canada and Australia as well as throughout the USA. For a time he also promoted wrestling at the Coliseum in Jacksonville, Florida.

He was born Donald Bestleman,. but legally changes his name to Don Curtis.

Woody Farmer

Woody Farmer was a powerhouse of a man, over big in the 1960s as a frequent tag team partner to Reggie Parks and on his own. He frequently used strong arm tactics to win his matches, such as a bear hug or his stomping headlock which was an offshoot of the famed Strangler Lewis finishing hold.

Farmer first showed up in Phoenix in the late 1960s as a rule breaker, but did a brief turn and teamed with former enemy Cowboy Bob Ellis to face The Comancheros and others. In the end, Farmer turned bad once more and double crossed his partner. This of course made for a whole new set of matches between Ellis and Farmer that were more intense than those before.

In 1976, Farmer was back in Phoenix and still breaking the rules, though in Texas and other parts of the USA he had been a fan favorite. This time he launched into a feud with Tito Montez that woudl span several different forms of match. They met in cage matches, strap matches and lumberjack matches, with Farmer always finding a way to escape and head for the hills when the going got rough. He even got out of the cage bout by climbing over the top and running (in Arizona you always pinned your man to win a cage match). Ar long last, Montez beat Farmer in a match where they were handcuffed together, which did not leave much room for action. In one of the dullest, though bloodiest matches in Phoenix history, Tito gained the win.

A few months later, Farmer ended up being cheered when his partner Jody Arnold turned on him, double crossing him as he had done to Bob Ellis a decade before.

This of course led into a series of matches with Arnold and Farmer facing each other.

The feud lasted until Farmer finally beat Arnold. He then went to California to focus on other business interests. For a time he also tried running wrestling in the Oakland area.

Sunday, October 23, 2011

As Charro

During the 1970s, As Charro was a popular drawing card in his native Mexico. Wearing masks with aces on them (the name translates loosely as Cowboy Ace) to emphasize his point, he was eagerly received by the public and considered a colorful grappler.

As Charro, like many of his countrymen, was used so often and kept so much in the limelight at home he did not consider making long trips to the USA.

When they attempted to bring lucha libre wrestling to Arizona during their short-lived 1979 run, the Coruna family booked him for some shows. The problem was most of the Phoenix audience had no idea who hew as or cared as they would have had he been booked in say Nogales, Tijuana or Guadalajara.  Through he gave great matches, the expenses to fly him in from Mexico City did not match what he pulled at the gate in Arizona.

Super Argo was intents on bringing As Charro back to Phoenix in the early 1980s when he attemtped to do lucha shows as well, but for whatever reason no financial agreement was reached.

As Charro never returned to Arizona after the 1970s.

Super Serial Killer

Ron Sutherland out of Tucson introduced some bizarre contributions to wrestling in the 1990s, such as his Rage In The Cage shows that consisted of nothing but hardcore brawls within a cage (the cage door was never  locked, continually allowing wrestlers to spill out into the aisle and brawl). He also trained a host of wrestlers for his cards.

One of them was his own monster heel, The Super Serial Killer.

As an obvious spoof of the horror movies of the past few decades such as Jason, Freddy and Michael Meyers, this wrestler acted like a total loco in the ring and of course embodied that hardcore brawling style Sutherland developed a taste for.

The Super Serial Killer had some big victories over the undercard people, then went into a feud with his mentor. In a hardcore match with loads of weapons in the ring, Sutherland prevailed, sending this psycho back down in the ranks to destroy the undercard crew again.

He even gained some magazine coverage and several sheet write ups. 

According to gossip, he retired due to injuries sustained during his short career. Too many wild brawls and too much "extreme" wrestling in too fast a time period.

Saturday, October 22, 2011

Don Kent

Don Kent was a villain of international reputation, having wrestled throughout the USA, Australia, Japan and other places. He was mouthy and obnoxious in his interviews. He was vile and underhanded in the ring. He was everything a bad guy could be and then some.

Midwestern states served for his greatest run, where throughout the 1970s he was a major draw. He and Al Costello held the World Tag team title as The Fabulous Kangaroos, while on his won he had bloody feuds with Jay Strongbow, Domenic Denucci and Captain Ed George. 

Glimpses of him may be seen in the documentary, I Like To Hurt People.

Arizona also served as one of Kent's literal stomping grounds in the 1960s, where he usually came to escape the rough Michigan winters.

As was usually the case, Kent feuded with Tito Montez. Everyone feuded with Tito when they came in. Tito was the man to beat. The Montez vs. Kent feud, however, was especially brutal.

"For nine weeks in a row we feuded throughout Arizona and filled the arenas," Montez would later remark. "He always was able to slip by me and  until I finally beat him in a cage match. Up to that, the houses were full every week, but when I beat him the people finally got to go home happy and the next week the house was way down."

Kent also feuded with Luis Martinez, Pancho Pico, Frankie Cain, Cowboy Bob Ellis and Phil Melby.

Though predominately in singles matches, Kent likewise teamed with varied wrestlers. Among the best in the area were Pat Patterson, Jim Osborne, Blas Corona and Gypsy Biviano.

Kent's longstanding feud with Frankie Canon (The Great Maphisto in other places later on) was likewise a major draw. As with Montez, they met in cage matches, stretcher matches and chain matches before packed buildings.

Long after Kent left Arizona for the final time, his name was still talked about. A newcomer using the name of Jimmy Kent and claiming to be a "brother" to Don Kent though apparently no relation, used this last name to launch a feud with Montez himself in the 1970s.

"I beat your brother in a cage match here," Tito shouted into the television cameras as the Jimmy Kent feud was wrapping up.

He continued onward in full fury.

"I ran Don Kent out of Arizona. When I get you n the cage this Friday I plan to do the same to you."

Which he did.

Jimmy Kent headed for Memphis and wrestled for several years, before becoming a manager.

Whether the two "brothers" ever met up is anyone's guess.

Other people Don Kent faced during his varied trips into Arizona included Wally Steele, Eddie Lopez, Dick Cheney (NOT the former Vice President), Juan Garcia, Tony Marino, Ken Lucas and Kiko Torres.

Don Kent died from leukemia in 1991 and was laid to rest in Battlecreek, Michigan under his real name of Leo Smith. An obituary and cemetery info may be found in The Last Bell Call  book and e book dealt with in a past blog.

There is also a Face Book group devoted to him. 

Vern Gagne

Vern Gagne first appeared in Arizona in 1971 when he was brought in to defend his World Jr.Heavyweight title against a variety of opponents including Monte Ladue, who was being pushed heavily in the Phoenix/Tucson area.

Ladue and the other challengers did not win.

In the years to come, Gagne would break with the NWA and start his own AWA promotion centered in Minnesota, but entertaining fans in a number of states.

In the 1970s, Gagne tried to bring the AWA to Tucson using himself, Crusher, Larry Hennig, Lord Alfred Hayes, Herb Gallant, Reggie Parks and others, but did not last ling. The overhead was too great for him

Not being one to learn his lesson, he was back in Arizona in the early 1980s and again bent on crushing the Independents with his big it time show. While he had far bigger names on his cards and a televised program , he again overshot his budget and lasted only a few months.

Gagne himself would be crushed later on by the WWF who invaded his territory and took most of his talent, including Hulk Hogan.

During his final AWA run in Arizona, Vern did not wrestle himself but operated only as a promoter. David Shultz, Steve O.The Blackjacks, Bobby Heenan, Jerry Blackwell, Ken Patera, Baron Von Raschke, Steve Regal, Bobby Heenan, Chris Markoff , Crusher and others were on the cards.

Gagne met a sad end. He is still alive as of now, but his latter years proved tragic.

Apparently out of his head with Alzheimer, he made the news one final time a while ago when he got involved in an altercation with another patient at the rest home where he was confined. Not even realizing what he was doing he killed this patience with a wrestling hold.

Lord Alfred Hayes

Lord Alfred Hayes was a major star in his native England before migrating to the USA.

It was in Texas that he received one of his biggest pushes in the early 1970s, feuding with Apache Gringo. The situation that kicked off their many grudge matches was bizarre. During a televised interview, Gringo,  who wore these bull horns on his head like an Indian medicine man, rushed the Englishman and more or less "gored him" in the abdomen.

Hayes returned to the cameras a few minutes later and proclaimed he had suffered only a flesh wound, but the feud was on.

Surprisingly, Lord Alfred had very few Arizona wrestling matches at the height of his career when he was at his peak. On occasion he was brought to Tucson or other locations by Rod Fenton and a handful of promoters to follow, but was never a regular,. Even more odd was the fact no one capitalized on his established feud with Apache Gringo, thorough tapes of the "goring" were shown on Pheonix and Tucson television,.

Kort Von Steiger brought Apache Gringo in when he was running an Arizona circuit, but did not take Hayes as part of the deal, booking Gringo to feud with Tito Montez instead.

After his retirement, Hayes did make varied Tucson and Phoenix trips with the WWF, but was always behind the scenes. Occasionally, he would do promotional appearances or autograph signings in the area, but again these events were rarities.

Lord Alfred passed away a few years back following a number of ailments. He is nonetheless remembered via WWE (WWF) DVDs in which with past shows, one hears him doing commentary or interviews. He has also been mentioned posthumously in varied wrestling books and there is a fan page on Face Book devoted to his memory.

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

The Lumberjacks

One of my favorite tag teams as I managed them from when I started in Arizona in 1979 until they retried int he 1990s.

Real life brothers Russ and David Walters started tow years before me in 1977 at the Phoenix Madison Square  Garden, after being trained by retried wrestler Boston Paul Vallen.

The Lumberjacks held the Western States Tag Team Title a number of times as they feuded with varied tag teams including Tito Montez & Cowboy Bob Yuma, David Rose & Pedro El Grande, Jody Arnold & Eddie Sullivan, Los Mexicanos, Mike Gordon & John Ringer, Special Forces, Mamba Inc., Danny Snyder and Indio  Youngblood  and several more.

The two wrestlers also appeared as singles with Lumberjack 1, the shorter and heavier of the two (Russ) having the best results. he held the singles version of the Western States title. He had a number of bloody matches with numerous opponents including David Rose, Jody Arnold, Masked Frankenstein, Bull Zambrano, Terry Zeller, Lance Farraro, The Black Mamba, Bonecrusher, .Ron Newstrome, Golden Henderson,. Tito Montez, JT Law, The Beast, Mike Contreras, Mr Murder, Ed Blair, Chuck Hondo  and Nick Salinas.

Both of the Lumberjacks are retired, but make it tot he annual old timer reunions every year in Phoenix.

Ike Williams

Ike Williams was a big African American wrestler who drifted into Arizona in the 1970s. In the tradition of Bobo Brazil, Armon Hussein and Ricky Thompson, he proved to be a charismatic and colorful performer.who always gad the crowd behind him.

Like many of his predecessors, he sued a headbutt to knock his opponents silly, though he also possessed a wicked bearhug.

The Warlock and The Ripper were two men he feuded with on a regular basis. Usually, he would beat one or the other outright or win on a disqualification when either of them interfered on the other's behalf.

Williams also had some pretty wild encounters with David & Buddy Rose, as well as Paul Harvey.

He only faced Jody Arnold on a handful of occasions, with the advantage shifting between these two powerhouses in their match ups.

Though he was never a long term face on the Arizona scene, he left his mark before leaving.

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Killer Brooks

Killer Tim Brooks was known for a lengthy run in the NWA which among other things, saw him hold a version of  the World Tag Team title with Ben Justice. A bulky, bearded man who smoked cigars and used a flying elbow smash to defeat his opponents, complete with a suspicious elbow pad he was forever "adjusting" ( ie loading with an illegal object), he was a magnificent villain the people loved to hate.

During a long career, Brooks feuded with Tex McKenzie, Roddy Piper, the Funks, Tony Marino, Fred Curry, The Mighty Igor, Domenic Denucci, Paul Orndorff, Danny Miller, The Stomper, The Lawman, Bobo Brazil  and others.

Brooks also had a brief Arizona run facing Luis Martinez and others in Phoenix when the Detroit office tried to operate there.

He was as loathed in Arizona in spite of his brief stay, as he was anyplace else.

Of particular note was one very bloody tag team match where Brooks and Sheik teamed up to face Bobo Brazil and Luis Martienz. The bad guys were disqualified in what resembled a slaughterhouse rather than a wrestling arena as the scarlet flowed.

This, however, was a  typicality for Brooks.

The legendary heel eventually retired to Texas to start a wrestling school.

Monday, October 17, 2011


During the late 1950s and early 1960, a good-matured walrus of a man who liked cigars and a good joke was the toast of the western part of the USA. He called himself The Mighty Jumbo and was the subject of many magazine articles, though he held few belts in his heyday. He was also fast for a big man and could do loads of moves one would not have attributed to someone with his girth.

He made various tops in Arizona, where he faced a number of different opponents. At times, when he chose to break the rules, he teamed with the evil Tokyo Joe, while at other times he wrestled against him.

I am not sure of the date and location, but I think it was in one of the southwestern states that a real and very bloody fight took place between Joe and Jumbo, away from the ring. One of them stabbed the other. Neither man died, but there was a big scandal over the whole affair, somewhat like the Sid/Arn incident in England decades later.

Perhaps Jumbo was not as jovial as some people thought.

Jumbo comes up in my The Garden Will Not Die book and photos of him may be found on varied websites dealing with wrestling from decades gone by.

Jumbo's real name was Jim Hesser and he was born in Iowa in 1923. He died at a relatively young age due to a brain tumor in his native Des Moines in 1974.

Adding Photos

I finally figured out how to add photos to blogs so within the next week I will be going back through some of the old ones. Several new blogs will also have photos, which will be a nice touch.

There are sadly not photos available foe everyone, but will do what I can. I also have a load of the people mentioned captured on negatives, but need to make prints of the same.

As of right now if time allows at least some of the blogs I plan to add photos to include Jack Ringer, John Ringer, Buddy Rogers, Maniac Mike Gordon, Tito Montez, Chris Kole, Don Arnold, Jody Arnold and a  load more.

So keep checking. Scan some of the past blogs from the past months and see what comes up

Future blogs in the months ahead, if all goes well, featuring Don Kent, As Charro, Charro Azteca, Baron Von Rashcke, Ken Lucas, Tony Hernandez, Steve Vega, David Rose and more will all have photos added.

Chris Kole

Chris Kole was trained originally by Jim "Mercenary" Wittenburg and spent much of his early career wrestling in Central Ohio for MCW, both as a single and as a tag team, with Shane Sensation.

In the early 2000s, he also made it to Arizona in an effort to expand his horizons and his career. Working for Navajo Warrior's promotion out of Phoenix, he had several classic matches. he also made it into surrounding states, Mexico and as far as Guam on a tour.

In 2004, he returned to Ohio and MCW, resuming his team with Shane Sensation. He also had once again, some bloody singles matches with Shasta, Jebediah and Durty the Clown.

Kole would likewise prove instrumental in bringing some Arizona people to Ohio, most notably The Hawaiian Lion.

In 2010, Kole proclaimed retirement to look after family matters, but more likely than not he will be back some day, both in his native Ohio and in Arizona.

No one stays retired for good in this game.

While Kole has managed to stay out of i for a time now, most people think it will not last. 

Friday, October 14, 2011

Pepe Luis Vazquez

There was a prominent Spanish matador named Pepe Luis Vazquez active in the 1940s.

There was also a prominent Mexican matador in the 1950s and 1960s by the name of Pepe Luis Vazquez, who was an entirely different person.

In the 1980s there was also a popular Mexican wrestler from out of Hermosillo by the name of Pepe Luis Vazquez who was no relation to either of the above men.

Like his matador counterparts, Vazquez was always coming back from injuries, though in a different ring. While the two bullfighters were continually getting gored and making comebacks, the wrestling Vazquez was forever being bloodied or otherwise injured and defeated, only to seek justice. Though he lost many bouts, he was forever gaining rematches and in these he always extracted a heavy toll from his enemies. He wpuld often lose the initial battles, but win the wars.

Vazquez wrestled for several years in Nogales, Agua Prieta, Hermosillo, San Luis Rio Colorado, Mexicali, Juarez, Naco, Torreon, San Felipe and other locations.

He was occasionally seen in Arizona when any of a number of Hispanic promtoers brought Lucha Libre shows to Pheonix, Tucson  and Flagstaff.

One of Vazquez's biggest admirers and supporters was his fellow Mexican wrestler, Super Argo. When he tried to run a set do shows in Phoenix in 1988, Argo wanted to bring Vazquez back across the line for his cards,  but ran into problems with getting him across the border to work and the big plans he had made for Vazquez were scrapped.

Vazquez was a rapid high flier and very acrobatic. He did a devastating moonsault off the top rope and other sensational finishing moves.

The Satin Medic

The Satin Medic arrived in Arizona in the late spring of 1971. Whether he had cousins working as The Velvet Medic, The Polyester Medic or the Wool Medic somewhere is anyone's guess. Dressed in a gray and white outfit, with a matching mask (he had a small goatee beard of fake hair glued to the chin oft he hood to give him a mad scientist look), he also carried a medical bag and wore a stethoscope when he entered the ring. Coming from Puerto Rico, he gave bilingual interviews in English and Spanish, outraging the fans from the start. In the ring, he had a brutal, stomping style that further infuriated the spectators, but he rose rapidly in the ranks to receive a title shot for the Arizona crown held by Tito Montez.

The audience was stunned when The Satin medic won the belt. He cheated to do so and a rematch was set or the following Friday in front of a packed house.

Turnabout was fair play and Montez won the title back on equally controversial terms which resulted in yet another title defense for the third week in a row.

This time the two men pinned each other (remember, older fans, how Pedro Morales beat Ivan Koloff for the WWWF World title). The Medic managed to bridge slightly which drove Tito;s shoulders down and caused him to be counted out.

The crowd roared, thinking Montez has won, but when the referee raised The Satin Medic's hand, handed him the belt and the elated wretsler started jumping up and down on celebration, a near riot erupted.

 Montez never did win the belt back again from The Medic, but the feud continued. One of their most unusual encoutners was a hair vs mask match in which Tito bowed to have his head shaved if he lost and would take The Medic's mask if he won.

Montez won and pulled The Satin Medic's mask off, but no one saw what he looked like for he had the insight to cover his face with surgical tape. They got a look at his receding hairline beneath the hood and little else.

A Loser Leave Town match put an end to things, with Tito being vanquished monetarily.

It was Pancho Pico who would eventually tale the Arizona belt from The Satin Medic and send him packing in a Loser Leave Town match in turn.

During his Arizona run, the people The Satin Medic faced in varied cities  included Al Madril, Firpo Zybysco, Kiko Torres, Nano Ortega, Ben Justice and Danny Kroffat.

He would return several years later under a different hood as The Mask and again spread terror through Arizona rings in the early 1980s.

His real name was Ramon something or another.....

Humorous Errors & Poor Wording

There have been some good ones come up in newspaper ads, on posters and  in gossip, such as The Phoenix Madison Square Garden becoming a warehouse called Arizona Jobber Supply. There have been better ones than that over the years, such as these....

1. Somewhere on the Utah/Arizona border a program mistakenly billed obscure Indy wrestlers Joey and Jimmy Christy as Christ and listed them as The Christ Brothers. I have no idea if it pulled in church people or not.

2. A California promotion coming into the Yuma area with Black Gordman, Raul Mata and the like had an embarrassing moment, when they bought an add for their card which included Don "Ripper" Savage. Though he was supposed to be listed as Savage on the ad, he was listed as "Sausage" by some moron in sales.

3. A card operated by Paavo Katonan at Graham Central Station in Phoenix saw programs distributed listing the weight of Eddie Sullivan as 22 pounds instead of 222.

4. Back to food. A New Times ad for one of the Barry Bernsten cards in Phoenix listed Lumberjack #1 or Lumberjack 1&2 as Flapjack #1 

5. Mysterious derivations of wrestling lingo cropped up now and again with a Kay Faben as a commissioner, a Mark Faban Jr. and a Mark Faibanne as magazine writers and a masked Roman Gladiator, who was named Marcus Kafabius.

6. The best of all, which again requires some familiarity with wrestling jargon, comes from a poster for a show in Casa Grande with Jody Arnold and Bobby Mayne (Jaggers) vs Tito Montez and Al Madril at the onset of winter in the early 1070s. Though this neck of the woods was no North Pole, the building must have been chilly, leading to repairs in the heating system. An ad on the posters proudly claimed WE NOW HAVE HEAT!

El Diablo

Various wrestlers donned masks to become Assassins, medics or El Diablo over the years, but the most famous El Diablo was one in the 1950s. It was actually popular Alex Medina in a role reversal to pick up some added money when there was a momentary short supply of wrestlers on Tucson and Yuma cards.

No one recognized Medina under the mask for the duration of his stint This was surprising. He was able to completely change his wrestling style and even those who might have suspected who really lurked beneath the hood were thrown off by this. The normally scientific Medina slugged, kicked and stomped through his varied opponents, while being careful not to speak for fear of his voice giving the routine away.

Sometimes, however, El Diablo would be cheered. He was like a chameleon who could be bad or good, depending where he was needed on that night's card. He faced both clean wrestling stars and rule breakers.

Some of his opponents were Juan Humberto, Don Curtis, Rip Hawk and Charro Azteca.

Eventually the role of El Diablo was no longer needed and the mask was removed, with the character being passed back into oblivion until someone else would revive it as a space-filler down the road. Medina went back to being himself in the ring, but would never truly achieve the greatness he hoped for.

A fatal heart attack at a relatively young age ended his dreams.

The Mad Russian

The Mad Russian in Arizona was actually a young Stan Pulaski, who became much better known for his work in the Midwest.

As Boris "Mad Russian" Kalmikoff he generated a load of heat from the audience. Like many pseudo-ethnic villains pretending to be Russians or Nazis to capitalize on Post World War 2/Cold War sentiment, he played his Commie routine to the hilt.

The charismatic Shag Thomas was one of the objects of his wrath, which led to a number of matches between the two of them. After a Yuma encounter where the "Nazi" Karl; Von Stroheim interfered in the middle of one of their matches,  an extension of the feud was formed.

The Mad Russian and his Nazi accomplice teamed up and as a partner to combat them, Shag sided with Al  Kasey.

What was once a festering feud between the original two combatants became tag team fury.

The feud was played for what it was worth and all four men headed for other areas to wrestle.

As Stan Pulaski, the former Mad Russian became a major draw in the Omaha area.

All four participants in their bloody bloody tag feud have passed away. The memories live on.

Other people Pulaski faced when doing his Russian thing in Arizona included Phil Melby, Larry O' Shea, Doug Kinslow and Wally Steele.

The Swami

The Swami had only a brief run in Arizona, evidently coming in from his California home base. He wore a colorful ring robe and a turban, but did not possess a great deal of capability in the ring. In modern times, had he been around in the WWE, he would have been referred to as "enhancement talent" and little else.

In 1958 a promoter named Max Spilburg attempted to run wrestling at a roller ring in Flagstaff, with the plans of starting small and growing big. These plans included running cards with unknowns or lesser knowns who would work cheaply until he could really get things going. Afterward they were to be signed on as regulars with the possibility of facing true stars like Lou Thesz, Fred Blassie and Buddy Rogers.

This never happened.

The shows at the rollerskating arena failed to provoke any interest and were so poorly  attended, the promoter didn't have the expenses from the fate to cover the rental contract, let alone pay his crew.

So much for that.

The Swami evidently had no magical powers or he surely would have placed a death curse on the promoter for what he had done. Though he could have found work with other Arizona offices and received a push due to the bizarre nature of his shtick, he choose not to do so. In a few short weeks he seemed to have had enough of Arizona and wrote it off as a disaster. This again was a pity, for though he was not said to have been the most talented of grapplers, weird routines were always popular in Arizona and a rival promoter like Rod Fenton in Tucson could have found ways to hide his shortcomings.

In his brief Flagstaff run, The Swami did have one notable match with Broadway Venus, a reliable  journeyman who never received his full due. Venus won the match, but The Swami held his own.

The Swami's other Flagstaff matches were fairly forgettable.

Weirdo-The DVD

This DVD was played mainly for laughs and designed to enhance my Time Traveler image as an absolute basket case. Intentionally made and marketed at Indy film fests as The Worst Film Ever (Weirdo si even  spelled wrong in the credits). The film consists of two hours of pure shit. Stock footage, strange music, dubbed in distractions and nonsense of every kind may be seen. The general idea was to have people watch and ask "What the hell was this?" afterward.

What no one counted on was rather than longing for bad press or reviews and count on the controversy to enhance sales via mail order or at film fests, nostalgia buffs ended up loving the thing. The stock footage was a hit.

In the opening scene I am doing dishes in the kitchen. I then look into the camera, plop a bowl of water over my head and announce, "Hello, I'm a weirdo. Do you have the courage to come into my head and see what's there?"

The camera then zooms into my eye and presumably into my head or thought process.

One is then treated to two hours of stock footage off old 8mm film, camcorder footage and studio stock.

To piss off the wrestling fans all the more, no wrestling clips are shown.

One gets treated to a drooling St. Bernard, Erie, B&O, Pennsylvania, C&NW and  Great Northern railroads, bullfighting scenes, dams, cemeteries, rivers, airports, the German Alps, Mother Gooseland amusement park, Disneyland, A Pan Am jet leaving Madrid's Barajas airport, garbage cans, a horse taking a crap, junked cars, court houses, water falls, parades, defunct theme parks, carnivals, puddles of water, snow storms and more, as essentially whatever DIDN'T make sense was put in.

Footage includes various sights in Akron, Ohio, Lisbon Portugal, Juarez, Mexico, Nogales, Mexico, Chagrin Falls, Ohio,  Dover, Ohio,. Glendale, Arizona, Canton, Ohio, Los Angeles, California, Berchtesgaden, Germany, Federal Way Washington, Tacoma, Washington, Whitehall, Wisconsin, New Philadelphia, Ohio, Glendale, Arizona, Niagara Falls, New York, North East, Pennsylvania, Omaha, Nebraska and St. Louis, Missouri just to name a handful of settings.

For ordering info drop a note to the director/producer Jeff Stoll at

Eddie Dean

Eddie Dean drifted into Arizona in 1982 from North Carolina, after working varied Indies there. For the most part, he looked like a miniature Ric Flair. He had a lengthy run with the Barry Bernsten promotions in Phoenix and occasionally found bookings in surrounding states.        

While he physically looked like a shrunken down Flair, at least he had the foresight not to do a figure four or imitate his style. In regard to performance, he was recognized as a great technical wrestler, who was a little weak on the microphone at times, but still extremely popular with Arizona fans.

Among the people Dean feuded with were Golden Henderson and his manager Christopher (Bert Prentice), The Lumberjacks,. John Ringer and occasional imports from New Mexico, such as Danny Sanchez and Jack The Ripper.

Dean retired long ago and while he may never have hit the "big time" per se, did leave his mark among many smaller promotions around the USA.

Eventually figuring he was not getting enough bookings in the Phoenix area to sustain himself as he would like, he headed back southward and resumed wrestling for smaller groups there, which at least kept him busy.

Thursday, October 13, 2011

Tex McKenzie

Tex McKenzie was a popular wrestler in his day. Tall and lanky, he looked remarkably like the late lawman Pat Garrett (Google some photos of both of them for comparison) when he did his cowboy routine in the ring.

McKenzie, like other cowboy wrestlers, used a bulldog headlock to beat his opponents.

People he feuded with around the country included Bulldog Brower, The Sheik, Crusher Verdue, Eric The Red and Waldo Von Erich.

Aside from wrestling, McKenzie was also a professional photograph. His work was seen in National Geographic and other famed magazines.

Yet as far as I know, for all of his travels, McKenzie only had one match in Arizona during his entire career.

This took place in the early 1970s when The Sheik tried to run Arizona in cooperation with a local businessman.

McKenzie faced Killer Brooks and lost to him.

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

The Bounty Hunters

 Lance Ferraro and Chad something or another, I forget his last name, teamed up as The Bounty Hunters, Slash & Stab, in the early 1990s. Though everyone knew who they were from past matches and they chose not to wear mask under the new routine, they were received well. Sometimes they were cheered and sometimes they were booed, depending on their opponents in the lineup.

Whenever they faced popular wrestlers such as CC Starr and his varied tag team partners, they were jeered and insulted.

When they faced the likes of the hated Special Forces or Sergeant Schultz 1&2, they were cheered.

Dressed in cowboy hats and with long dusters, the two looked the part alright, like something from right out of For A Few Dollars More.

It wasn't a bad shtick to use.

For Ferraro the routine was something new, but a mere revamping of The Pale Riders that he had done with JT Law and Bull Zambrano beforehand.

CC Starr and momentarily reformed villain John Ringer also had some hectic matches with The Bounty Hunters, but the feud did not last long. Ringer went back to his cheating ways, which left CC looking for others to team with.

Thrillseeker Terry Zeller also had some outstanding singles matches with both Bounty Hunters when they were booked for one on one competition.

For whatever reason, both Chad and Lance continued to wrestle, but packed in the Bounty Hunter routine after a year or so, moving on to presumably bigger and better things.

Mundo Manuel

In 1972 Kurt & Karl Von Steiger with giving Johnny Kostas fits. Finally, after they injured Nano Ortega, Jerry Kozak and Ricky Thompson, a newcomer was brought in. Claiming to be a "cousin" of Johnny Kostas, he wore a mask and was supposedly unable to speak because of a childhood accident that tore out his tongue and left his face scarred like in Phantom Of The Opera. Edmundo "Mundo" Manuel was this introduced to Arizona,.

Uh, anyway...

Who really hid behind the mask has been lost to history, but the story sounded good.

Kostas and his "cousin:" had a number of wild matches with the Von Steigers at house shows, while on televised tapings, Mundo usually appeared in singles matches, beating  lesser villains from the time period such as Mitri, Rudy Navarro and The Vulture.

The feud ended when Karl Von Steiger left the area, leaving Johnny Kostas to feud with his old rival Jody Arnold instead, while Kurt went on to feud with Tito Montez.

Mundo Manuel vanished as suddenly as he arrived.

Who was behind that mask has been lost to history. Maybe someone reading this will know for sure, but as far as I have investigated, no one seems to know or remember. e might well have just been someone brought up from Nogales or a leftover from Ernie Muhammad's promotion, which was why he did not speak and wore the hood.

Brute Bemis

Ernest "Brute" Bemis was a stocky man with extremely powerful arms. In the 1950s, he had a long run in Arizona, facing the likes of Alberto Torres, Juan Garcia, Ray Torres, Rick Waldo, George Drake, Charro Azteca, Gory Guerrero and Bobby Pico. Extremely well-conditioned and strong, he used a number of power moves against his opponents, but also cheated to win when he felt he was losing the upper hand. Thus he lived up to his Brute nickname.

Though used often in singles competition, Bemis also teamed for a lengthy run with Don Arnold. A split up with he hated Arnold and subsequent feud with his ex-partner suddenly saw him being cheered.

By 1960, he moved onward.

Incredibly, he remained active into the early 1970s and did one final stint in Arizona at this time with the alias of Mr Kleen, this time wiping up the floor with the bad guys rather than being one of them as Brute Bemis.

His last big Arizona feud was a series of matches with Chuck Karbo.

Bemis then retired to New Mexico and worked as a fitness adviser. He passed away some time ago.

Meet Me October 29th

Meet me October 29 at the Halloween Book Fest to be held at Bread Head Bakery & Coffee House in downtown Dover, Ohio (3rd street, a block from the fire station) from noon to 3 pm. I will be signing some of my older books and have order forms out for the newer ones.

Also there will be Jon Marshall (Rev Rogue Six/the wrestling net writer) and fellow author Dave Eshelman.

Monday, October 10, 2011

Circulo Rojo

Circulo Rojo, not to be confused with El Circulo who was a different wrestler, was seen both in the USA and in Mexico in the 1980s, though he was predominately a star in the Mexican interior. He was so hated as a heel or loved as a fan favorite depending on the situation or the opponent of the time, that American fans living in Yuma, Tucson or Douglas woudl cross over into places such as Nogales, San Luis Rio Colorado or Agua Prieta for the expressed purpose of watching him in action. Rather than waiting for a promoter to set up green cards, travel expenses and other details to use him in Arizona, the fans came to him instead.

For a time there was even a Circulo Rojo fan club located not in Mexico, but in Yuma, Arizona.

Circulo Rojo was a quick and agile wrestler, who could and would combine high-flying moves with brawling. During hsi rare ventures itno Arizona he was usually one of the bad guys and would infuriate the fans because he demonstrated his knowledge of holds and moves, but would simply resort to cheating when the advantage shifted against him.

Claiming he could not speak English when the referee caught him cheating was another absurdity and the people knew it.

In Mexico, on the other hand, he was almost always a fan favorite, though he had a heel run as well.

Enigmatic, unpredictable and outspoken, yet always entertaining, he was a moneymaker for many promoters along the border.

In the early 1990s he left the arena, took off his mask and retired.

I have no idea what became of him after that.

Bobby Pico

Roberto "Bobby" Pico is sometimes confused with Pancho Pico (Julio Arguello) as they both wrestled extensively on the Mexican border. One can find a bio and obituary notice for the former in my The Last Bell Call at in book and e book form. He is buried in Texas next to his wife who also wrestled for a time. As for Pancho Pico with whom he has been confused,  am fairly sure this man has also died, but just cannot get his death confirmed. 

The confusion grows greater because when Bobby Pico teamed with Cisco Grimaldo and traveled into the Deep South, they were nicknamed Pancho & Cisco.

Bobby Pico was a draw in Arizona in the late 1950s, where he was very popular with the Hispanic members of the audience in particular.  He feuded with Don Arnold, as did most Latino grapplers from the 1950s into he early 1970s,. with the wins being traded between them. Though Pico was recognized for sound technical wrestling, the formula usually had him trying to fight fairly, only to be overwhelmed by the taller and more powerful Arnold, Finally, like Popeye growing fed up with the crap and reaching for his Spinach, Pico would fire back punch for punch. At this point one of three things would happen. 1. Pico would pull off a surprise win 2. Arnold would appear to be losing, but would suddenly manage some sneaky move to win 3. Arnold would simply run from the ring and be counted out, which would set up a subsequent rematch.

In many of his matches, Pico used a mere airplane spin to confuse and pin his opponents. This was, oddly enough, one of the moves Don Arnold also liked to put into play, along with his backbreaker and smashing  bearhug. There were times when each man sued said airplane spin to win a fall apiece when they went at it in 2/3 fall matches, with the final fall ending in one of the 3 situations noted in the above  paragraph.

One night while wrestling a spot show in Globe, Arnold caused a riot by flattening Pico with a roll of coins he hid in his fist and had to literally fight his way back tot he dressing room. Pico had to address the angered mob and beg for them to let him handle this in his own way, which of course meant another encounter with Arnold that would pack the building.

Logger Larson

Born Ray Schilling in New York, thsi wrestler took the role of a jovial lumberjack in the form of Logger Larson. Though he was born in the east, he moved to the Seattle area and wrestled out of this home base for most of his life. Among his finishing holds were a bearhug and an airplane spin.

During the 1970s, Larson made various trips into Arizona. He was a regular for a time at the Phoenix Madison square Garden, as well as other venues in Tucson, Casa Grande, Goodyear, Prescott, Flagstaff and Yuma.

Though usually active in singles competition, Larson occasionally teamed with Tito Montez.

The main enemy Larson squared off with was Chuck Karbo and together they engaged in numerous bloody brawls. More often than not, there would never be a clean victor, as both men would continually be counted out for pounding each other in the stands. At times they fought all the way back to the locker room or into the street, which was food for drawing onlookers or causing an occasional car crash.

Larson also had a wild and bloody feud with Chris Colt and headed back to Washington after losing a  Loser Leave Town match to him.

Larson would eventually retire to a suburb of Olympia, Washington and would die in 2002 from natural causes.

There is a bio of him in the book, The Last Bell Call, ordered at and in The Garden Will Not Die at in book and e book forms.

Louie Spicolli

Born Louis Mucciolo in 1971, this wrestler originally intended to spell his name as  Louie Spicoli, but a misprint on his first batch of ordered press stills had the alias spelled as Spicolli,  so over the years both names were used.

Though he was known better for his stints in ECW, WWF and WCW wrestling, prior to his shocking death in 1998, Spicolli also made many runs to Arizona. He proved to be quite popular as a draw for Indies from 1989 to around 1991. He was a main eventer at shows run at Toolies Nightclub and at Graham Central Station in Phoenix.

Sometimes Spicolli took on the role of heel, but was usually popular with the fans, especially when he feuded with such hated regional villains as Sergeant Shultz, Steve Dezire, Eruption and Krusher Krugnov. Some of these matches still circulate among tape traders around the globe on VHS.

I have particularly unfond memories of being grabbed by Spicolli and Billy Anderson during a match where I was managing Special Forces at a Phoenix show held in a bingo hall, when these two dotted me all over with a bingo marker.

Spicolli also had a wild feud with The Beast from California as well. Though no one lost any blood in these encounters, the pair often spilled out of the ring and into the stands as they slugged it out for superiority.

There is a lengthy biography of Spicolli (or Spicoli , tale your pick) in Theatre In A Squared Circle by Jeff Archer, that covers his life and death from what amounted to an accidental overdose of pain killers. Throughout this telling of his tale there is a tragic sense of forboding and loss that climaxes with the grappler's unfortunate end.

There is also a bio and burial information on him in The Last Bell Call at in book and e book forms.

Who knows what might have been!

Though his scope went far beyond Arizona, Louie Spicolli will always be an integral part of this state's wrestling history.

Even though the bastard covered me with ink dots from a bingo marker during a match!

Rayo De Sonora

Based in Sonora, Mexico as his name suggested, Rayo De Sonora was a masked man out of the small town of Sana Ana or so he claimed, but became a major border town star. He was often seen in Nogales, Hermosillo, San Luis Rio Colorado and Agua Prieta in the main events, fighting a host of locals as well as top draws from the interior.

Several times, Rayo De Sonora formed a tag team with Rayo De Jalisco, another masked man and maximum star from Guadalajara.

A popular high flier, Rayo de Sonora used a number of sensational moves to dazzle his opponents. Dropkicks, leaps off the top rope, arm drags and other fancy moves stunned those he faced..

On rare occasions this grappler made it across the border into Arizona, but never made it a priority,. He was too big of a draw in the Nogales area to worry himself about other areas.

He did drift downward into the Mexican interior on occasion,  but again preferred to stick to his home base. He was especially popular in the late 1970s through the 1980s.

People he faced regularly n his long career, either in the USA, in Sonora or other parts of Mexico included The Twin Devils, Samurai, Carlos El Malo, Circulo Rojo, Centella Negra, Chanoc, Toro Sacorro, Indio Salvaje and Impactos 1&2.

Beauty Queen

Arizona has had its share of women wrestlers who claimed beauty but frankly had nothing of the kind.

There were The Masked Beauties in the 1960s. The question was, if they were so beautiful, why did they need to wear masks?

In the 1970s there was The Beautiful Bambi Ball.

"She didn't just have a face that would stop a clock," The Golden Eagle put it. "Ste had a face that would stop a Swiss watch."

Enter Beauty Queen (real name withheld by request).

Frankly again, in crude terms, she is sloppy, fat and ugly. She is the contradiction of the term beauty Queen and knows it,. Talk about using what the mainstream would see as flaws and turning it around for one's benefit!

After a brief run in Indiana and Ohio among Indies, she plans to head from the Midwest to New Mexico and after that, hopefully find action in Arizona/California.

"Midwestern winters are for shit," she commented recently. "I have had it. Now that I have a means to do so, I am getting the hell out of here. I hate the snow. I hate the ice. I'm done."

Proving she knwos about history, she added this tidbit.

"Decades ago the Detroit wrestlers often headed to Phoenix, Amarillo or Albuquerque for the winters. Me on the other hand...I'm different. I plant to stay. Look for example at the blog I am constantly reading in Az wrestling on here. It is filled with Michigan, Indiana and Ohio people who got sick of the snow and headed west. Guys I remember my father talking about. like  Don Kent, Sheik, Ben Justice, Bobo Brazil. They all headed westward toe scape the snow. So am I. Piss on the snow. Wild West here I come."

We will see how well this works out for her,.

Saturday, October 8, 2011

Johnny Mann

Johnny Emmanuello drifted into Arizona in the early 1970s and started working as a manager when Kurt Von Steiger promoted. Under this office, he became Johnny Mann and appeared as a manager for Bobby Mayne (Jaggers), Chris Colt and Ron Dupree.

When the Colt and Dupree connection split up, Mann became a part-time wrestler himself and teamed with Colt, only to receive Dupree's infamous fireball in the face.

For months after the fact, Mann continued to appear with a face wrapped entirely in bandages like a mummy.

Once more, he was predominately outside the ring, while Colt feuded with Dupree.

At one point things got truly silly, even for these guys, when Dupree vowed he was going to fireball both Mann and Colt in an upcoming match. At the start of the bout, they brought a metal tub of water to ringside  and splattered Dupree with it, supposedly to douse the upcoming flames.

Ironically, when Dupree, Maybe, Colt and Mann all left for Washington, they were reunited. Johnny Mann became Johnny Dupree and for a brief time Jaggers/Mayne became Bobby Dupree for Dean Silverstone's promotion.

Washington was bad luck for this crew. Durpee would be forced to retire and take to announcing,  due to a heart condition. He would drop over dead in the ring from a heart attack in Tacoma. Colt would come completely unglued and never fully recover from witnessing this happen. Bobby Dupree/Maybe would adapt the name of Jaggers and move on to bigger things. Mann would stick around for a while, then move between Los Angeles and  Las Vegas at varied times after retiring from the game. He would still attend varied old-timer reunions and keep in touch with many friends he made in wretsling.

Colon cancer eventually did him in.

Respectfully, Mann was a far better manager than he was a wrestler. During his Phoenix run he was detested  by the fans and more often than not, people were evicted from the Phoenix Madison Square Garden for trying to attack him.

A "heat magnet" in the truest sense of the term.

Sadly, the promotion did not keep most of the televised tapes from his run in Phoenix and sold them for re-use, erasing the footage. Little if anything of him in action may be found, though a number of still shots  and old magazine pieces survive him.

Wednesday, October 5, 2011

Kurt Von Steiger

In the early 1960s a rather mediocre wrestler known as Arnold Pastick came through Arizona. He feuded briefly with Tito Montez. He did his job and collected his paycheck for his labor,  but that was the scope of it.

In the early 1970s, a bald-headed "Nazi" named Kurt Von Steiger came into Arizona, with his "brother" Karl, really caused a stir. He likewise feuded with Tito Montez.

The odd part was no one seemed to realize among those old enough to recall, that the villainous Von Steiger was none other than Arnold Pastick.

Karl did not like the Arizona heat in the summers and eventually left, but Kurt stayed behind to become a promoter in the area, utilizing a load of help from the Amarillo office.

Opening a territory of several big cities, Von Steiger brought in a number of top names. He also had lengthy feuds with Johnny Kostas, Ricky Thompson and the Kozak brothers.  He and Montez were forever going at ti as well, including a number of bloody cage matches where Tito finally gained victory.

Then the incredible happened. The hated "Nazi" became a fan favorite after being double crossed by Jody Arnold and Bobby Mayne in a six man tag team. A hero was born.

 Von Steiger ended up teaming with Montez and later Eddie Lopez, with whom he held a version fot he Western States Tag Team title. Arnold was sent packing, but there were new villains to face.

The Comancheros were next in line, with Ron Dupree using the fireball in Von Steiger's face to sideline him. Once back in action, the blood flowed freely. The "ex-Nazi" not only pounded Dupree mercilessly, but won the Arizona title from partner Chris Colt..

As a promoter Von Steiger brought in several past Arizona favorites and top names, both from Amarillo and other locations. Chief Big Heart, Afa & Sika, Ricky Romero, Pak Song, Henry Pulusso, Ali Bey, Spike Jones, Buck Robley, Chuck Karbo and Flama Roja, the maximum star from Juarez at the time were all contracted under his reign. These were good times.

One might only assume after a lengthy Arizona run, Von Steiger decided to look for greener pastures. He sold his promotion to one of his students, Paul Harvey/Harvey Kramer, and moved onward.

He would not be back in Arizona as an active participant again.

Tuesday, October 4, 2011

Buddy Dixon

There was a Buddy Dixon out of Pennsylvania who was seen on the undercard in the WWF and other places in the early 1980s. If I recall right, he looked a little like Steve "Dr Death" Williams,. He was a stocky guy and more capable than many gave him credit for.

In Arizona  there was a Buddy Dixon too, who was active form 1976-178. He was NOT the same one seen in the WWF.

This  Dixon was not too muscular. He was a mouthy post-teen with long hair. His main quality was the grand ability to cry real tears whenever he lost a match. Being I never recall seeing him win, the tears flowed often.

Dixon's biggest push came in 1977, when he was seen at The Phoenix Madison Square Garden and other venues  feuding with David Rose. Again, he did nor win and the tears fell in Phoenix every Friday.

Dixon also teamed briefly with John Ringer and subsequently lost in these matches too. A series of losses in  varied locations to Rose and Cowboy Bob Yuma had the young villain wailing like a banshee.

There was one unique thing about Dixon I do recall, Instead of a face or neck claw, he used what he termed a "heart claw", applied to the side and supposedly intensifying to cut off blood to the heart unit his oppoennt went unconscious. He even wore this golden glove on his hand to emphasize what he planned to do.

The heart claw never helped him win a match, even if it sounded like a cool move.

Maybe his opponents didn't have hearts?????????????

In any case, it was an unending Crying Game for Dixon.

By 1979, he was done with wrestling.,

Los Companeros

Los Companeros came out of Mexicali, Mexico or sot hey claimed. They were two masked men who worked along the border in the 1970s and were only seen a handful of times in Arizona when the lucha libre promotions came in to run spot shows in Phoenix or Tucson.

The name of Comapenros means Companions or Friends and the two were anything but friendly. They were rudos or heels and as such, broke the rules at every opportunity,. Since they wore matching gear and masks, they would switch off when one or the other was injured, to the anger of the crowd. They were not true brawlers, but mingled a number of fancy lucha libre tactics with dirty tricks.

Both delivered magnificent dropkicks that could have put Fred Curry or Mil Mascaras to shame.

Whatever happened to them? Who knows! This is a mystery like asking whatever became of Judge Crater or Jimmy Hoffa. One day they just disappeared from the rosters.

Most likely they took off their hoods and continued under different names.