Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Mike Mazurki

Born in Austria-Hungary in 1907, Mike Mazurki never fully did lose his accent when he learned English, which helped rather than hindered him int he long run.

He excelled perhaps more as an actor than a wrestler, finding parts in a host of television shows as well as films. His movie roles included Bullwhip Griffin, Challenge To be Free, Night & The City (a murky wrestling film set in London) , Cheyenne Autumn, Donavan's Reef, Damnation Alley and Some Like It Hot. .

In the wrestling world, Mazurki excelled as well, though he was over with the people due to his height more than a super-muscular  frame.

As a wrestler Mazurki traveled the USA, but California remained a home base for him and a focal point for grappling for most of his career.

Mazurki did make varied trips into Arizona and had some main events at the Phoenix Madison Square Garden.

Mazurki died in 1990, but was indirectly involved with wrestling in the last years of his life as he and a group of retirees formed The Cauliflower Alley Club that exists to this date. The group went from a small weekly luncheon to an international organization of boxers and wrestlers, with a multitude of activities.

He rests at the Forest Lawn Cemetery in Glendale, California.

Monday, January 23, 2012

Jon Marshall

Jon Marshall never was out west as far as I know, but knew of Arizona wrestling via my video tapes and from talking with me.

He never wrestled or managed, but worked as a popular internet writer. Some of his interviews are on you tube and his past reviews may be seen for the Ohio based MCW at

In any case he passed away last week after a lengthy illness.

He will be missed.

Monday, January 2, 2012

Book Review: Bond Villains

Bond Villains by Alistair Dougall has little to do with Arizona wrestling on the surface, thoguh it covers the bulk of the heels who have appeared in James Bond movies over the decades.

There is a big profile on Harold Sakata as Odd Job in Goldfinger.

In this movie he is a dangerous Japanese hit man with a derby with a razor sharp brim.

In truth,  Sakata was a Hawaiian.

Aside from this film, Sakata played Moto, a villain in the wrestling ring, who made varied appearances in California and Arizona.

For not just a fan of Bond films, but wrestling fans as well who might have otherwise missed it, this book might be worth checking into.

A load of other Bond villains are also dealt with aside form Odd Job. Renard, May Day. Dr. No, Blofeld, Baron Samedi and the others are all to be found.

Sunday, January 1, 2012

Ron Newstrome

His real name was Ron Newsom, but he went as Ron Newstrome from the start of his Arizona career until he end, due to a spelling error in the programs billing him as such when he made his Phoenix debut.

No one seems sure where he worked before Arizona, but he did have hear and know the ropes when he started in Pheonix in 1981. A heavyset,   middle aged man with a bald head, he had seen better days, to be sure, but he tried his best.

Sometimes he went as heel and soemtimes a fan favorite, depending on where he was needed and who he was matched with. Usually on the openers, he did not have many extended feuds when in the Phoenix/Tucson area, though he did have a set of main events with Jody Arnold where he. like everyone else, failed to take his US Title from him.

Others he wrestled included Golden Henderson, The Lumberjacks, Tony Hernandez, Ed Blair, The New York Assassin, Tony Hernandez, Farmer Jones, Danny Snyder,  Pedro El Grande, Cowboy Bob Yuma, Billy Anderson, John Ringer, Sneaky Red Smith, Mr Murder, Eddie Sullivan, Super Argo, The Viking, The Golden Eagle, Colorado Kid and Mike Gordon.

Newstrome took a major knee injury while wrestling The Detroit Mauler in Phoenix, which sidelined him for months,. A comeback was not successful and by 1986 he was out of the game.