Monday, August 27, 2012

The Death Of John Ringer

John Ringer, real name John Wall, active in Arizona 1976-1993 then back as a manager briefly in the 2000s, has passed away. He should not be confused with Jack Ringer, real name John Lee, who worked the same area in 1971 and is still alive.

Ringer evidently passed away from cancer and had kept this secret from most of his wrestling associates, on August 22, 2012.

One of the high points of his career came when he teamed with Superstar Billy Graham to face Pedro El Grande & Jody Arnold for indies in Phoenix.

Other notable feuds were with Benny Mendeblis, David Rose, Danny Snyder, Billy Anderson and Section 8.

Sunday, August 19, 2012

El Capitan

He may have been a Latino ring star brought in or merely some wrestler on the lineup donning a mask and doing double duty. With the passing of time, no one seems sure. In the early 1950s, El Capitan or The Captain as it translates, showed up in Arizona, lasted a while and left as silently as he came.

He appeared in Tucson, Phoenix, Casa Grande, Globe, Mesa and across the border in Nogales, Mexico, usually losing or being used as what the modern WWE would call "enhancement talent" to lose and make the other wretslers look stronger.

Bill Williamson, The Blue Terror,  Mike London and Monte Ladue. Since he usually appeared on the undercard this leads to suspicion he may have been someone just donning a mask, passing off as Hispanic and doing the fore-noted double duty.

There seems to be no account of him ever winning a match in Arizona. .

Red Bastein Dies

He started out with the carnival circuits and moved up the ranks to become a celebrated wrestler. Though most often a baby face or fan favorite, he was known to show a brutal and brawling style when needed. He  also incorporated sensational flying moves now commonplace, but unparallelled at the time he was in his prime.

Though effective in singles competition, Bastien was also accomplished in tag team action, holding titles with Hercules Cortez, The Crusher and Billy Red Lyons. The Cortez & Bastein team came to a sad end when Cortez was killed in a car crash.

In his last years of professional activity, Bastein was a trainer of other wrestlers and a road agent for the WWF. 

Bastein died this August,. He was in his 80s.

Thursday, August 9, 2012

Hardcore Before Hardcore

ECW might have coined the phrases Hardcore Wrestling and Extreme Wrestling, but the style was around long before them.

Case in point was the feud between Buddy Rogers and Fritz Von Goring in Arizona in the late 1950s, in which the generally unpopular Rogers actually heard cheers due to his opponent being so hated.

A standout incident would have been one of their Yuma encounters which saw them brawling outside the ring, up the aisle, out the door and into the parking lot before being pulled apart.

This would lead to a large crowd the following week, watching Rogers as he squared off in a rematch with Von Goring ina match with the ring surrounded by a chickenwire cage.

In this bloody match, Rogers won and ended the feud.

In this set of matches, Roegrs likewise proved his ability as a savage, chair-swiniging brawler when the need arose.

Saturday, August 4, 2012

An Arizona Results Book

I am gathering the data for a new book on Lulu that will again not be fancy, but contain a ton of information on Arizona historic grappling  in the form of a results book. Look for this in October if all goes right. I plan to put it out on Lulu.

The concept is for nothing but results from 1880 to 2012.

Special Forces, Gorgeous George, Tito Montez, Bill Anderson, Jody Arnold, Don Arnold, Sergeant Shultz, Cody Baker, CC Starr, Sergio Camacho, Hawaiian Lion, Navajo Warrior, Tony Hernandez, Arizona Red, Maniac Mike Gordon, Eddie Sullivan, John Ringer,  Jim Londos, Cowboy Bob Ellis, Nano Ortega, Chief Attacullaculla,  The Lumberjacks, The Comancheros, Mike Mazurki, the Torres family, the Guerreros, Phil Melby, Sheik, the Funks, Bonecrusher, Section 8, Bubba Storm, Haystacks Calhoun, Nelson Royal, Bladerunner, Lois Martinez, Loy Thesz, Danny Medina, Eruption, Louie Spicolli, Bayou Blossom, Gorgeous George, Monte Ladue, Judo Jack Terry, Killer Brooks, Ben Justice, Pancho Pico, Killer Kane,  Stan Hansen, Cowboy Claw, The Black Mamba, Eddie Sullivan, Charlie The Choker, Crazy Horse, Judy Grable, Jane Sherill, Sting, Randy Savage, Len Rossi,  Steve Vega, Thrillseeker Terry Zeller, Don Kent, Tito Copa, Ciclon Negro, Don Curtis, Eddie Lopez, Bobby Mayne (Jaggers), Jack Brisco, Eli Hernandez, Undertaker, George Cannon, The Mad Russian, Rod Fenton, Joe Turco, Charlie Carr, Chuck Karbo, Bambi Ball, Moose Morowski, Pal Song, Ron Pritchard, The Blackjacks, and so many more..... 

Phoenix, Casa Grande, Mesa, Tempe, Glendale, Yuma, Prescott, Globe, Morenci, Tucson, Florence.....

Info soon.

The Mysterious Bill Graham

Everyone knows of Superstar Billy Graham from Paradise Valley, Arizona. That is pretty much a given. In the mid-1960s, however, there was another Billy Graham going simply ad Bill Graham in the Phoenix area.

More than a few people think this is in fact Superstar early in his career, but not true, Billy Graham started out as a protege of Jerry Graham, as noted in his book, Tangled Ropes, but then headed out to California after only one or two Arizona matches and the rest is history.

So who was this Bill Graham?

Evidently it was Paul Christy out of the Midwest.

Why he took or the office gave him the Graham name has been lost to history. The office, already on the outs with Dr, Jerry Graham, who was nothing but trouble for them, may have ordered Christy to become a "Graham" as a slight to the Dr...

In any case, Christy stuck around for a bit, dropped the Bill Graham thing and headed back to St Louis where he received a good deal more respect.