Sunday, February 19, 2012

Count Billy Varga

Count Billy Varga is still alive in California as of this writing, but he has been in poor health for years. For a man born way back in 1918, however, one has to hand it to him.

Though not the biggest of men, Varga was a tremendous physical specimen and lightning fast in the ring. He also broke into the movie world where he played many parts. he was often seen as a referee in wrestling or boxing  films and television roles. He also, predictably, received many film roles as a wrestler.

While much if his career was spent operating from a California home base, he naturally made it to Arizona numerous times in the 1950s.

Several period wrestling magazines covered Varga's Arizona exploits and one columnist noted he was second only to one in popularity in the Pheonix/Tucson area.

Oddly enough,  the most popular wrestler there at the time, according to the magazines, was Fred Blassie!

Truth is stranger than fiction,

Though a scientific wrestler of great capability, Varga was capable of wild brawling when provoked. There were times when chairs or even the steps at ringside entered into his battles and were hurled about like paper airplanes. 

The Christy brothers, Warren Bockwinkel, Broadway Venus  and Don Arnold were just some of his opponents in Arizona rings.

Varga also rose in the ranks to win the World Junior Heavyweight Title

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