Thursday, December 31, 2015

Death Of Buddy Wayne

Buddy Wayne, the one from Tennessee, not Washington, has passed away after a lengthy illness.

Wayne had a brief Arizona stint in the early 1960s when the Fullers tried to run the area.

Happy 2016

Have a great and slamming new year everyone!

Death Of Lizmark

Major Mexican star, Lizmark, has passed away from a heart attack.

A talented masked wrestler who was seen in the USA,  but was always much more recognized on his native soil, Lizmark was a major draw and main-eventer along the Az/Mexico border.

He will be missed.

Tuesday, November 17, 2015

Badd Blood Sidelined

BJ Darden, otherwise known as Badd Blood, is sidelined indefinitely with a  concussion and a ruptured eardrum following a recent match.

More detailed if and when we get them.

Wishing him a fast recovery.

Monday, November 16, 2015

Death Of Nick Bockwinkel

One of wrestling's most beloved figures and former AWA champion, Nick Bockwinkel, has passed away.

Long before him, Nick's father, Warren, was also a major draw in Arizona, appearing regularly at the Phoenix Madison Square Garden.

Nick also appeared as a hated heel during his limited Arizona appearances.

Bockwinkel was especially  known for his arrogance in interviews and speaking skills before the camera.

Few fans or wrestlers recall ever seeing him in a bad match. Over the years, he had some classic battles with Verne Gagne, Crusher, Bruiser, Curt Hennig and others.

A formidable wrestler with an abundance of character strengths, he was one of the key figures of the 1970s and 1980s.

He will be missed.

Monday, November 9, 2015

Don Fargo Dies

Veteran wrestler, Don Fargo, real name Don Kult, has passed away.

Over the years, Fargo made varied trips to Arizona, but never stayed long. He engaged in a brief feud with Ricky Romero there, spilling over from Texas.

Fargo mentioned his Arizona runs in his book, Hard Way, released last year.

Sunday, November 8, 2015

Victor Price Breaks Leg

Victor Price, an indy wrestler  who has made the rounds in the past year in the west, took a  very real and very serious injury up in Washington state on November 7 in Poulsbo, in a match with Killer Cobb.

Price reportedly fell badly after being dropkicked, with his one leg behind the other and that is what caused the injury.

There is no indication how long he will be out of action.

It"s About Time

If you get Antenna Tv on cable, check out It's About Time. Though one of the worst tv sitcoms ever, coming from the 1960s, the plot involved two astronauts set back in time, to a prehistoric era. Suspicious enough, the cavemen speak English.

The show is/was about as funny as a prostate exam.

The series, brief that is was, might be interesting to wrestling fans because it featured former wrestler Mike Mazurki, once a mainstay in Arizona, as a thug, enforcing rules for Boss, the head caveman.

This was not Mazurki's finest moment in the acting realm.


Saturday, October 10, 2015

Ron Sutherland Returns To Arizona

Ron Sutherland, aka Section 8, aka Ron Von Hess, returns to his native Arizona in late October again, for shows in Tucson and Phoenix.

Monday, October 5, 2015

DVD Review: The Randy Savage Story

A  bit of Phoenix trivia for you. When Randy Savage made his Phoenix debut he faced regional guy Billy Anderson and beat him. He remained a main draw in Arizona when touring for years.

The WWE dvd, The Randy Savage Story: Macho Man, offers a fitting, but depressing look at one of wrestling's most enigmatic figures.

Mainly narrated by Randy's brother, Lanny Poffo, but with input from others, some of the mystery behind this legend. From his early days in wrestling to starring in the WWF and WCW, his career is covered. It is not the usual WWE fluff piece.

There are many great matches shown as well, with feedback from Ricky Steamboat, Pat  Patterson and others.

The dvd is worth it for the Savage vs. Steamboat footage alone.

Will worth a purchase or at least a look.

Saturday, October 3, 2015

Lucha Libre Volcanico

Among the many rising lucha libre promotions running in the west, Volcanico is pone that is picking up steam.

Run by Jose Luis Gomez, who also handles the training of the new wrestlers , the promotion offers an assortment of high flyers, masked men and more.

Hero, Sonico, Viento, Peligro, Chicano Poder,  X Man,  Rey Jaguar, Baby Rock and Angel Eyes remain just some of the stars on the cards.

Monday, September 28, 2015

George O' Brien

•George O'Brien, the co-author of the book "Wrestling to Rasslin: Ancient Sport to American Spectacle," passed away earlier today. O'Brien went every year to the Cauliflower Alley Club banquets and would also help young Arizona based talent. He had personally paid for promising Arizona talent to fly to the U.K. and learn the European style of wrestling. John La Rocca noted it's a sad day for the Arizona wrestling community as well as for Premier Wrestling community. O'Brien was the person who opened the door for Joe Graves to come to Premier and have his bouts with Timothy Thatcher.

Friday, September 25, 2015

Death Of Percival A. Friend

Al Friend, otherwise known as a manager as Percival A. Friend, never physically appeared in Arizona. He was, however, seen on television in Phoenix when the local UHF station ran tapes form Amarillo where he was managing the Masked Patriot. Thus, we note his passing here.

Upon retirement, Friend spent several years living in a suburb of Toledo, Ohio. He wa involved in the local masonic lodge and in many charitable organizations.

He had suffered from varied heart problems for years. This week, they took their toll.

The high point in Friend's career might have been in the Kansas/Missouri area, where he received a major push as a manager and generated a lot of heat.

Nate Champion

The original Nate Champion was a gunfighter mixed up in a bloody Wyoming range war in the Wild West.  He was eventually killed in a shoot out and that was that, though his life and death became a focal point of the film, Heaven's Gate.

Now we have a new Nate Champion coming into Arizona from Wyoming. It is doubtful it is the ghost of the previously noted cowboy. Little, however, is being made known about him except the name, so we will just have to wait until he gets going to draw a bead on him.

He is evidently new and is being flaunted as a baby face or good guy.

We will just have to keep our eyes open and wait to welcome this mysterious newcomer to the southwest.

Sunday, September 20, 2015

Randy Zellers

The west has long been a hot bed for African American wrestlers. Sweet Daddy Watts, Bearcat Wright, Zulu, Bobo Brazil, Black Mamba, Badd Blood, Shag Thomas, Butch Reed, The Rock and many more come to mind.

Randy Zellers is a relative newcomer to the west and to wrestling, but provoking some attention as a colorful, mouthy villain. The short, chunky grappler might remind some older fans of the late Sweet Daddy Watts in both style and appearance, though Watts had many, many pounds on him.

Keep an eye out for this guy on the Indy scene. He is entertaining, enthusiastic, hate-provoking and  a man who always gives his all, no matter how large or small he audience might be.

Zellers is someone to keep an eye on.

Tuesday, September 15, 2015

Arizona Wrestling Office

The Arizona Wrestling office or AWO is set to start operations in Yuma in December. details as they come.

The lineup is strictly independent with a roster consisting as of now of Death Clock 1&2, Big Bubba Johnson, Awesome Andy, Venus, Amor,  Red Star, Pinchi Cambroon, Black Ace, Big Hammer, Chief Crow and others Most look to be relatively new names.  

There is talk they will use wrestlers from across the border in Mexico and from California.

Thee is also talk of possibly bringing in wrestler Alexander Crowley from Ohio, who ahs expressed an interest in a western tour, longtime Arizona veteran The Time Traveler who was an Arizona icon in the past and if they can come up with the money, some former WWF people.

Washington & Arizona Wrestling Trade

SCW out of the Seattle area, which utilizes Kevin Sullivan, Michael Jones, Henry Miller, Sonico and others, will be working on an exchange program with varied Arizona wrestling promotions in the months ahead.

Returning to Arizona as part of the deal will be Ron Von Hess (Section 8 in Az. in the 1980s and 1990s) and The Time Traveler.

Look for wrestlers from Alaska to be hitting both Washington and Arizona soon. More on this in a bit.

Wednesday, September 9, 2015

Rolando Vera

The late Rolando Vera was a far bigger star in Mexico than in Arizona, though border town residents would be familiar with his matches in San Luis Rio Colorado, Nogales and Agua Prietà.  Though he made it to Arizona on occasion, his performances there, like in California and Texas, were rarities.

Vera personified the lucha libre style in all its fast paced glory, long before fancy dropkicks and flips were commonplace in America. While acting as a rudo (bad guy) or limpio (good guy), he was equally effective.

Sadly, his name is mentioned less and less in the history books with the passing of time.  Like many of his compatriots, he seems sadly destined to be one of the many greats never truly given his due in the USA. In Mexico, however, he was a major attraction in his prime.  He also appeared throughout Latin America and Europe.

Vera was born in Monterrey, Mexico in 1915 and died in 2001.

Vera also trained many greats, including Sangre Chicana, Blue demon and Karloff Legarde.

Sunday, September 6, 2015

Tito Montez Versus Sweet Daddy Watts

Like Jerry Lawler in Tennessee, Tito Montez was the man to beat in Arizona, feuding with every star to come into the area. Sheik, Woody Farmer, Chris Colt, Chuck Karbo, Duke Keomuka, Kurt Von Steiger, Don Arnold, Bearcat Wright, Don Kent and Bobby Mayne (Jaggers) were some of them.

Sweet Daddy Watts was a rotund black grappler with a stutter he utilized to his advantage in interviews.  At 400 pounds , he was much heavier than the 215 pound Tito. Yet, in spite of the size difference, the two were destined to meet.

The feud kicked off at a tv taping when Watts was manhandling some jobber and Tito did the predictable run in to make the save. From there, the feud was on.

Watts won most of the early encounters between the two of them, usually by cheating and usually bloodying Tito badly. A couple of times in varied towns, they spilled out of the ring and fought in the aisle to wild double disqualifications.

The feud ended when Tito finally beat the heavy-set grappler in a series of cage matches.

A short time after this feud, Watts turned baby after a rift with partner Bearcat Wright.

Friday, August 28, 2015

Meet Dale Pierce In Olympia, Wa. October 30

Meet Dale Pierce, signing his varied books at Orca Books in Olympia on October 30.

Details soon at

Tuesday, August 25, 2015

Chris Markoff

A big, brawling man, Chris Markoff spent over two decades in pro wrestling. He was pushed big in Texas and California, but in these runs, oddly, never made it to Arizona.

Strangely, the only set of appearances Markoff ever had in Arizona wa sin the early 1980s, when  Gagne made his ill-fated attempt to take Phoenix away from the indies. The independents outlasted him.

These Phoenix showings were not reflective of Markoff''s long career, as he was nearing retirement at the time and simply appeared to be going through the motions on the undercard. He admittedly generated a good deal of heat as an evil Russian on the AWA cards,  but did not receive the push he saw in years gone by elsewhere.

Markoff also had a long Midwestern run, where he was utilized by The Sheik. Either as a single or  as a tag team partner with Killer Brooks, he was main eventing throughout Michigan and Ohio.  In this run, he feuded at length with Tony Marino and Fred Curry.

Thursday, August 20, 2015

When Maivia Turned Black

Those offended by Hulk Hogan's recent racist rant may not be aware of pro wrestling's long history of not being politically correct. Case in point is the late Peter Maivia.

Early in his career, Bobo Brazil toured the west as Negro World Champion. A problem came when he was brought to Arizona at old  Phoenix Madison Square Garden and something happened to his intended opponent.

The then unknown Polynesian wrestler, Peter Maivia, was thrown in at the last minute and told to "pass" as black.

This was not the only time such happened.

When Maivia made his debut for Ray Shire, Shire came back to the  locker room with a stunned look on his face. "There's rows of new black people I never saw before," he announced. (Black was not the word he used).

"Those aren't blacks," Maivia announced (Again, black was not the term he used either).  "Those are islanders. Those are my people."

Maivia, who was going to be jobbed out at first, was suddenly given a win and elevated with the promotion.

Tuesday, August 18, 2015

Ogre Versus Ogre

In recent years, a wrestler calling himself Ogre has become a regular on Arizona cards. He has been dealt with in a blog from a few months back.

In Washington, there is an unrelated Ogre, who looks much like the character from Revenge Of The Nerds. He has been a regular on cards in the Pacific Northwest.

We need to get these two together.

There needs to be an Ogre vs. Ogre match.

Ohio Blog

Several people who worked or work Arizona also worked in Ohio. A worthy blog may be found at

Brother Love

Red faced, fat and looking like he was about to have a stroke at any minute, Brother Love became an iconic manager and commentator in the WWF in the 1980s, using the routine of a corrupt evangelist one might have expected to see on TBN rather than in the ring.

Perhaps as a spoof on Hulk Hogan, with the constant overuse of the phrase, "Brother" and perhaps as a jab at evangelists who forever "brothered" their flock, Brother Love took the term to ridiculous lengths intentionally. He called Bobby Heenan "Brother Brain" and "Brother Billion" was his nickname for Ted Dibiase.

While he may not have been the greatest worker in the world, he was entertaining to some and offensive to others, but either way, vibrated a good deal of controversy.

He was, while the WWF would have wanted you to think otherwise, not all that original.

Some years prior, Memphis tried a run with a manager calling himself Rev. Ernest Angel as a spinoff on Ohio-based faith healer, Ernest Angely. The routine made too much heat, including tv studios switchboards being swarmed with angry calls form offended Tennessee Christians. The routine did not last long.

There were two Reverend Mr. Black characters before Brother Love, most likely derived from the Johnny Cash song. One was part of Kevin Sullivan's parade of freaks in Florida. the other was an Arizona based band director by the name of Billy King. The former was around in the 80s and the latter in the 1970s.

Brother Love would be the best known wicked evangelist of all, due mainly to his being presented by the WWF.

Being part of the WWF circuit, he of course traveled around and did make some Arizona appearances, which vibrated sufficient heat.

There was talk Billy King had considered a lawsuit against the promotion or supposedly stealing his routine, but such never went anyplace. After all, he took the character himself off the previously noted Johnny Cash ballad. 

Saturday, August 15, 2015

Bull Curry

Though he had several runs in Texas, rather than the Midwest and Canada where he seems to be best remembered, Wild Bull Curry had only a handful of spot shows in Arizona. He did not work at either the Phoenix Madison Square Garden or  Tucson garden, but only spot shows on rare occasions. This is odd, for his violent style would have been perfect for the Arizona crowd.

Oddly enough, in one of his final Texas showings, three decades after his early years, he faced Arizona icon Eddie Sullivan in one of his farewell matches.

Curry is best known for his years with the Sheik in Detroit, where he had classic and bloody feuds with many people. He was known as a singles wrestler, both as heel and fan favorite, depending on his opponent/. His finish was usually done with a pair of brass knuckles.  He also teamed often in the baby face role, alongside his real-life son, Fred.

Midwestern feuds included programs with The Hell's Angels (aka The Comancheros in Az.), Rocky Johnson, The Sheik, Aztec Joe (Gypsy Joe), Tony Marino and Bobo Brazil.  

Curry died many years ago, but his son survived him and wrestled for many years afterward. Flying Fred Curry was the antithesis of his legendary father, appearing only as a good guy and never bad. He was known for dropkicks and a sleeper hold.

Fred likewise only had one Arizona appearance in his life, in Phoenix in the early 1970s when he and Terry Funk faced Kurt Von Hess and Karl Von Shotz.



Thursday, August 13, 2015


Before he became a "vampire" in the WWF, Gangrel was wrestling under a mask as one of the two blackhearts and over big as a heel. Even so, it was as Gangrel this wrestler rose to new heights with a majestic, but creepy entrance, great theme music and a brand new routine in "The Fed."

It was during this run with the WWE/WWF that Gangrel made his routine stops in Arizona as part of the circuit. He was seen in Phoenix and Tucson, where he was jeered as a heel, but sadly seemed dot just be going through the motions rather than really putting out.  Even so, he had one of the most amazing entrances, once again, that was so inspiring to the fans, he could have done nothing at all in the ring and still been "over" with the people.

After leaving the WWE, Gangrel still saw action among a number of Independent promotions. though he ahs cut back considerably, his fanged face still shows up on some Indy cards.

He has reportedly found a new profession under his real name, diving into the adult film world, not as an actor, but a director.

Cowboy Bill Watts

Cowboys have always been big in Arizona. Cowboy Bob Ellis, Cowboy Carlson, Cowboy Bob Yuma, Cowboy Claw,  Crazy Cowboy and Cowboy Frankie Lane were some of them.  Though a major star in other parts of the country, Cowboy Bill Watts had only a handful of appearances in Arizona.

Watts only had a couple of Arizona shots when Roy Shire made his ill-fated attempt to run Phoenix in the 1960s.

Watts came back as the booker for WCW behind the scenes, when this office ran in Phoenix and Tucson, where his expertise showed, but he was seldom in front of the public.

Now retired from wrestling, ways still attends old timer reunions and has become a born again Christian, even writing a book, The Cowboy & The Cross.

Sunday, August 9, 2015


Gillberg became famous as a spoof.

Originally a jobber under the name of Duane Gill, someone in the booking office decided if he shaved his head he would look like WCW phenomenon, Goldberg. Thus, a new character was born .

Gillberg made the same entrance as Goldberg, made the same faces as Goldberg and promptly, unlike Goldberg, got beat by everyone he faced. He even lost to women.

Yet, Gillberg got over with the fans. The satire was a hit and people actually did get into the character. It si safe to say it was so silly it was good.

Arizona fans and fans everywhere might still recall just how silly the routine was.

The angle lived beyond the WWF/WWE, as Gillberg did the routine for some time after his leaving the WWF  and working in Indy groups.

In these encounters, he was even given some wins.

Gillberg is depicted in this photo with Arizona Indy icons The Time Traveler & Rainbow.

Saturday, August 8, 2015

Expanded Edition Of The Last Bell Call By Dale Pierce

Dale Pierce has released an updated and sadly expanded version of his The Last Bell Call at http://www.lulu.comcontent/8183756  that  is a virtual bible of death notice bios, burial sites or ash scattering information on deceased wrestlers. Recent additions to the book include life and death histories of a number of famous and obscure wrestlers who have passed, plus burial or cremation data.

Recent additions include Los Toros Bravos, Golden Boy Dave Hastings, Cora Combs, Buddy Rose, Adrian Adonis, John Tolos, Red Bastien, Jimmy Garcia, Freddie Gomez, John Ringer, The Lumberjack, Benny Mendeblis,  Woody Farmer, Tor Johnson, Chris Colt, Don Arnold,  Len Montana, Mike Zim, Ripper Collins, Hans Schnabel, Jackie Fargo, Guy Coffey, Bad Bill Coleman, Dick Daviscourt, David Rose, Tito Montez, Red Bastien  and more.

Other wrestlers already listed in the book include Gorgeous George, Buddy Rogers, the Von Erichs, Frank Gotch, Lou Thesz, the Grahams, Bob Brown, Mike Awesome, Public Enemy, Mildred Burke, Haystacks Calhoun, Burton Barf, Monty Ladue, Johnny Kostas, Angelo Poffo, Randy Savage, Gorilla Monsoon, Alfred Hayes, Pat O' Conner, Wahoo McDaniel, Nelson Royal, Sheik,  JC Dykes, Bootnaka,  Sandy Barr, Eddie Guerrero, Roberto Pico, Eddie Sullivan, Dick Dunn, Firpo  Zybysco, Barry Bernsten, Bob Sallee, Fred Beele, Curt Henning, Bossman, Jimmy Banks, Brian Pillman, Miss Elizabeth, Sherri Martel, Dino Bravo,  Cowboy Bob Yuma, Dory Funk Sr., Moondog Spot, Frank Hester, Bobo Brazil, Al Costello, Don Kent,  Eddie Gilbert, Louie Spicolli, Stephen Deleon, Andre, Luna and many, many more.

The Oriiginal Beautiful Bobby

While Beautiful Bobby Eaton has become accepted as the most well-known Beautiful Bobby, there was another Beautiful Bobby before him. This Bobby was a tall guy who was flamboyant in the ring, with a droll and dry voice in interviews as opposed to shouting and screaming, who could really work up a crowd.

Bobby reached his peak in the WWE/WWF, which called the WWWF back then, in the early 1970s, while managed by Abdullah Farouk/The Grand Wizard. While he was far better as a singles wrestler, he was also paired as a tag team with Blackjack Mulligan and the contrast in styles was not a true example of booking genius. They did not survive as long as expected as partners.

Bobby had exceptional matches with Pedro Morales, Jay Strongbow, Dom Denucci and others in the WWWF.

The last I heard, he was still alive and living in Ohio.

Earlier in his career, before the Beautiful Bobby creation came into being, this wrestler did make a trip to the west and had a handful of Arizona matches. At the time, he was relatively colorless and it did not stand out, losing most of his encounters in the late 1960s.

More likely than not, nobody watching back then would have expected him to rocket to main events by simply adding sunglasses, long, girlish  hair and a fancy selection of ring garb.

Critics probably thought the same decades before too, with a little known grappler known as George Wagner...who of course became Gorgeous George.

Tuesday, August 4, 2015

Attakullakulla Going Strong

Rod Blair, otherwise known as Chief Attakullakulla, taking his name form an obscure, but real life warrior who sided with the French in the French/Indian Wars against the colonies, is still going strong around the USA at the age of 50. He has also become a big draw in Puerto Rico, where he makes frequent trips. The characteristic pink Mohawk, the war paint and the brawling style have become quite popular with many fans.

Attakullakulla had a run in Arizona early in his career, where he appeared on the weekly Phoenix card sin the late 1980s, facing the likes of Thrillseeker Terry Zeller, Caballero Rojo, David Rose Eddie Lopez and The Special Forces.

How long he will continue on this trail is anyone's guess, though he has indicated he eventually wants to retire to Puerto Rico to open a tourist inn.

In the meantime, he continues to go strong, AS a recent Washington show in Tacoma saw him reunited with former manager, The Time Traveler, facing former Arizona opponent Ron Von Hess, who was known as Vic "Illustrated Man"Capone back then and later as Section 8.

Clearly an ageless wonder and true veteran of the profession, he is not slowing down at all.

Sunday, August 2, 2015

Death Of Cindy Hicks

Cindy Hicks, the wife of wrestling writer Tim Hicks, who also did considerable referee work in Arizona and some managing as Dr. Thom Parks, passed away August 1 after a lengthy battle with a number of health issues.

Give Bobby Jaggers A Visit

If you are ever in Dunlap, Kansas, stop by the Dunlap Cemetery and give Bobby Jaggers a visit.

Bobby originally wrestled in Arizona in the early 1970s as Bobby Mayne, feuding with Chief Big Heart, Flama Roja, Rob Dupree, Kurt Von Steiger , Tito Montez and others. Using the Mayne name evidently got him in a lot of trouble when he ran into Lonnie Mayne, who did not take kindly to him claiming to be a "brother." Thus, Bobby Jaggers was born.


Meet Dale Pierce October 30

Meet Dale Pierce at Orca Books in downtown Olympia, Washington, October 30, signing copies of his varied wrestling books.

Friday, July 31, 2015

Krazy G

Krazy G first appeared in Arizona in the late 2000s, coming in from California where he likewise saw activity. Well, he's still around and is supposed to be making his way back to Arizona this year.

On the Indy scene he has feuded with another relative unknown, but nonetheless colorful performer by the name of Death Clock.

There have been better "gangster wrestlers" in the past to come through the west, including the ultra controversial New Jack and in Tucson, the lanky Gangsta Man. Krazy G may be a new face and name, but the role is not all that unique. Still, it will be interesting to see what he can do with the routine and if he gets a push this go around.

Good luck, Krazy G.

Death Of Roddy Piper

Roddy Piper passed away  on July 31. Need anything more be said?

In life he made us laugh, boo, jeer and cheer.

In death...he makes the strongest of men fight to keep from crying.

Thursday, July 30, 2015

Kellen Raeth

In  a throwback to arrogant strutting heels from the past like Buddy Rogers, Don Arnold and the Grahams, Kellen Raeth is a standout in modern wrestling. Trained by Dash Venture Sullivan and Buddy Wayne in the Seattle area,  he has been making a name for himself throughout the west. He is a throwback to days long gone.

All he has to do is step through the curtains from the locker room and spread his arms in an expression of "here I am" to get the crowd going. Belittling pins, finishing off his opponent with a finger or foot on their prostrate bodies,  smirking poses in the middle of a match as he has the upper hand and a firm knowledge of ring psychology so lacking in many you see today says it all. The minute he enters the ring, the people in the stands know he is bad, just by the way he carries himself. Even people unfamiliar with him, know they are supposed to boo him.

A recent feud with Randy "The Pimp" Taylor has offered fans a series of "old school" matches at their best.

Kellen's wife is also a capable lady wrestler.

Thursday, July 23, 2015

Meet Dale Pierce July 29

Meet author Dale Perce selling copies of his wrestling books and  Western history books at the Thurston Co. fair in Lacey, Washington for an exclusive engagement on July 29.

For those interested in these books, but unable to attend, Wrestling In Akron is readily available on Amazon.

The History Of Az. Wrestling may be ordered at

 His book on Wild West gravesites may be found at

And The Crowd Goes Wild about Az. favorite Ron Sutherland, who now runs shows in Washington, is orderable at

Pops Ballard Relocates

Pops Ballard, a popular referee in Az. int he 1990s and 2000s has relocated up to Washington state, where he has been active for a number of promotions.

If Az. fans were wondering where he went, there's the answer.

Monday, July 20, 2015


A smaller one of the luchadores in size, but big on ambition is Sonico, making the rounds in the west. Frankly, he is fairly new in the game, but has already created a massive fan following that just keeps growing bigger and bigger.

The dynamic luchador is involved in a major feud with black wrestler, Randy Zellers, who would be apt to remind older western fans of the long retired Black Mamba. The feud could spill throughout several independent promotions in the west.

Longtime western manager, the Time Traveler, being nicknamed The Dean Of Mean as the manager for Zellers and his partner, Ogre, as part of an "evil college fraternity" did not endear himself to Sonico in a recent encounter. from ringside, the cunning manager pulled out a sea shell of  all things and raked it across Sonico's eyes whenever he was brought to the manager's corner. As of yet, Sonico has been unable to get his hands on the troublesome veteran manager, but vows the day will come.

Look for this grudge to really get violent.   

In the meantime, Sonico continues to draw the interest of the fans and has proven to be a colorful, charismatic, high flying performer.

Wednesday, July 8, 2015


Long before Tito Santana became The Matador in the WWF, there was another Matador plying his trade around the USA. Usually on the undercard, he was seen mainly as a carpenter or someone who built up the wrestlers he faced. he seldom won, though hew as capable and charismatic in the ring.

This Matador made the rounds in the southwest and southeast. The Gulf Coast was an area where he received a moderate push for a change and was able to show his stuff. In the southwest, he was again, usually seen putting other people over.

In his arsenal, he did include a flying dropkick which he used on occasion, when he did win, to put his opponent down for the count.


Ike Eakins

Ike Eakins was born in Evansville, Indiana and traveled the entire USA. Though he had a number of southwestern matches, he received his biggest boost in the southeast, where he often teamed with Eddie Graham.

Style and appearance wise, he would have been apt to remind more modern fans of the late Dick Murdoch.

Eakins died in 1968 from one of the most horrendous deaths in all of wrestling. After wrestling a match, he complained of major pain in his side, but chose to return to his hotel room rather than go to the hospital. He had broken ribs and did not know it. One of these punctured a lung and caused violent, fatal hemorrhage, where he choked and coughed up blood all over his hotel room before dying.  He was found dead the next day in a room that looked like something form a horror movie, as defined by one of those who saw it.

Friday, July 3, 2015

Ron Sutherland Book Finding Northwest Circulation

As he is running now in the Washington area, the book put  out on Lulu on Ron Sutherland will be seeing distribution at several SCW shows, be stocked in certain libraries, and be available at varied book fests in Washington and Oregon. The book will also be sold at some Arizona shows when Sutherland makes his return to Arizona for fall bookings 

The book may also be ordered at

The book is not fancy, but full of data, covering the start of Sutherland's career in 1987, to his move to Washington.

Sutherland presently runs SCW. Info at

Give Eddie Lopez A Visit

Arizona mainstay, Eddie Lopez, is buried under his real name of Al Romero at the Resthaven cemetery in Glendale. His grave is a simple,  flat headstone.

Lopez wrestled from the 1960s into the 1990s regularly in Arizona. He held the Western States Tag Team title with Kurt Von Steiger and also held the Arizona title many years.

Curiously, he never wrestled as a rule breaker, but always a fan favorite.

Among his many opponents in Arizona  were Don Arnold, The Comancheros, Jody Arnold, Paul Harvey, Buddy Rose, Maniac Mike Gordon, Bobby Mayne (Jaggers), Apache Gringo, The Mercenary, Attacullaculla, John Ringer, the Lumberjacks, Tony Hernandez, the Von Steigers, Chuck Karbo, Don Kent, Jimmy Kent, Paco Nunez, The Warlock, Ali Bey, The Grim Reaper, Kangaroo Karson, Freddie Gomez, Sweet Daddy Watts, Bearcat Wright, Sweet Daddy Slime, Henry Pulusso, Killer Kane,  Dirty Dick Rains, The Mongol, John Shane, Zulu, Duke Keomuka, Karl Von Brock, Fidel Grimo, Nano Ortega, Eddie Sullivan, Ken Lucas, Woody Farmer, Cowboy Claw, Sergeant Shultz, Paddy Ryan, Chuck Hondo, Masked Frankenstein, Zodiac, Gallo Castro, El Mustang, Tony Bernardi, David Mendez, Buddy Dixon, Tom Ramirez, JT Law, Bull Zambrano, Black Mamba, Illustrated Man, Bonecrusher, Steve Dezire, Ron Newstrom and The Beast


Wednesday, July 1, 2015

Big Dogg

While he has worked throughout the Midwest, southwest and parts of Mexico, Big Dogg from out of Texas has yet to make it to Arizona, but maybe someone will take note.

Trained at the wrestling school operated by Shawn Michaels in san Antonio and hen given added pointers by Manny Fernandez, it shows on this guy and if you find that hard to believe, search for some of his matches on You Tube.

Big Dogg started late. he was around 30 when he got into wrestling and has since put 15 years into this trade since. he is still going strong, barring a brief time out due to legitimate injury recently.  Matches with a luchador known as Extremo are well worth viewing.

Vocal on the mike, always making it a point to do promos or arrive at an interview in a suit, with a cowboy hat (picture how well the crowd likes a "black cowboy" in Texas). capable in the ring and as underhand as a rulebreaker as they come, he is a throwback to the 1980s rather than someone from the current crop of unoriginal Indy wrestlers out there.

Everything is right about this guy, really. He is even apt to remind really old fans of Sweet Daddy Siki.

If you have a chance to see him on a card, check this guy out.

Wednesday, June 24, 2015

Rick Renaldo & Real Heroics

Rick Renaldo was mainly known for his work in California, Washington, Canada and the deep south. He also made some brief appearances in Arizona in the late 1970s and early 1980s, mainly feuding with Eddie Sullivan.

Renaldo was responsible for two real life heroics outside the ring that fans are not always aware of.

Renaldo and Ray Stevens happened to foil a bank robbery on the spur of the moment when they happened to be walking down the street and crossed paths with a robber fleeing a bank he had just held up. Renaldo and/or Stevens decked the guy and knocked him flat.

Later, Renaldo was responsible for aiding law enforcement by infiltrating a Neo Nazi group operating in the Washington/Idaho area. By going undercover, he gained the confidence of some truly deadly individuals, some of whom had carried out bombings. This led to several arrests. In spite of the dangers of being a branded informant after the fact, Renaldo never denied his actions and was   justifiably proud of them, as if taunting these dangerous people to retaliate. They never did.

Wrestling In Akron Deals On Amazon

For those looking for better deals on Arcadia's Wrestling In Akron by Dale Pierce, go to and log in the title and author as there are several places offering the book at discounts.

Many of the wrestlers in the book would wrestle in Ohio in the spring through fall and come to Arizona in the wine months to escape the snow.

There are many previously never published pictures in this book, which is a specialty of Arcadia's. they are know for editions with rare photos.

Among the wrestler sin the book who also appeared in Arizona are Bennie Mendeblis,  Billy Anderson, Don Kent, Killer Brooks, Sheik, Luis Martinez, Don Fargo, Ron Dupree, Chris Colt, brain Pillman, Chris Kole, The Time Traveler, Rainbow, Ben Justice,  Chris Markoff, Tony Marino, Jerry Graham, Andre The Giant, Kerry Von Erich, Dory Funk, Lou Thesz, Mildred Burke,  Dave Levin, Jim Londos, Wally Walberg, Tex Riley, May Weston, Fred Curry, Rip Tyler, Mr. Cock A Doodle Doo, Navajo Warrior,  Cowboy Bob Ellis, The Swedish Angel and more.

Mac McFarland

Mac McFarland was sometimes billed as being from Los Angeles and sometimes from Ogden, Utah, so take your pick, though for much of his latter career he did live in the California area.  Earlier, hew as seen in Midwestern states where he wa usually on the undercard, in spite of a magnificent build and undeniable talent.

McFarland's Arizona runs came in the 1970s where he worked under a masked routine  as The Spoiler. Though he did not use a claw hold as a finisher, as the original Spoiler, Dan Jardine, he did have a devastating finisher of his own in the form of a neckbreaker much like the one later revamped by Honkytonk Man.

McFarland also trained a number of California wrestlers in the late 1970s and early 1980s.

McFarland last did his Spoiler routine in Phoenix in 1978 when brought in as US Champ, he was set to lose to Tito Montez so Montez could ride the top in his promotion with the belt.  The belt later went form Montez to Jody Arnold, who held the title for a decade until retiring.

Three Big & Sad Deaths

The wrestling world has been stunned by three major deaths in a row.

First, there was Dusty Rhodes passing away at 69.  An international star of great charisma as everyone knows, Rhodes was seen in Arizona with the WWF and WCW promotions, invariably as an Everyman baby face known for his great interviews and finishing elbow smash. There is no point in repeated the many obituary articles that have already come.

Next came Cora Combs, the veteran woman wrestler and mother of Debbie Combs. Though mainly remembered for her work in the south, Combs did have varied matches in Arizona in the 1950s and early 1960s. After retirement, she ran a flower shop in Nashville.

Third and more shocking would be Natureboy Buddy Landel, another wrestler of amazing color and charisma. Details of is death remain sketchy as of now.

This page offers a fond farewell to these great wrestlers. You will live on in legend.

Thursday, June 11, 2015

Pedro El Bello Still Goes Strong;

Pedro El Bello of Nogales, Mexico is still looking good and going strong, actively wrestling though in his 50s. He is not taking as many bookings as he once did, but is still as flashy and as tough as ever. Acting as sort of a Mexican Gorgeous George, he has been a long-lasting heel popular on the Mexican bore in particular.

Pedro had a run in Arizona in the 1990s, working in the Phoenix area, where he feuded with fellow Nogales wrestler, Indio Seri. He also faced Thrillseeker Terry Zeller, Fly Boy, Amadeus, Andar, Mike Contreras, Resplandor, The Black Mamba and Flama Negra, among others.

Saturday, May 30, 2015

Time Traveler Washington Debut

Arizona's iconic manager, The Time Traveler, debuts in Washington at the Snohomish Tribal Center in Snohomish,  June 13.

Also on the card will be Ron Von Hess, Ogre,  Mendoza and more.

See The Memoralbilia Display In Tenino, Washington

Go to the Tenino, Washington library November 1-December 1 to see the displays from the Dale Pierce collection of olden day wrestling memorabilia, including books, signed trading cards, photos, old programs and more.

Tucson, Arizona Show

TUCSON, Arizona-May 29th, 2015-On June 13th High Impact Wrestling (HIW) holds it’s fifth SUPERCARD event at VFW Catalina Post 4903, 1150 N. Beverly Ave., Tucson, AZ 85712. The show will be packed with professional wrestling stars and will feature three championship matches!

Tuesday, May 26, 2015

Rudy Lopez

Rudy Lopez was one of the many obscure wrestlers who made a name for himself in Arizona, but was not well known elsewhere in the game. He was essentially a carpenter or journeyman specializing in making opponents look strong.

Lopez was neither good nor bad, but in between, being cheered when he fought hated villains and booed when he wrestled fan favorites. he was seen in Phoenix, Tucson, Prescott, Yuma, Nogales, Douglas and Benson, among other places.

People he faced included Don Arnold. Cowboy Bob Ellis, Tito Montez, Luis Martinez, Don Kent and Blas Corona.

On most cards, he was billed as being form San Diego, California which may have been real and may have been a fabrication.

Whatever became of him is a mystery.

Thursday, May 7, 2015

Time Traveler Heads West

The Time Traveler, popular veteran manager, recently lost a big "If my man does not win in the battle royal, I leave Ohio" match in MEWL, making it possible for him to head west for a six month stint.

Look for Traveler to be seen in Washington, Oregon, Arizona, California and the Mexican border shortly.

He is seen in this photo being "evicted" after his man lost on the previously noted card.  

Saturday, May 2, 2015

Meet Dale Pierce May 2

Book signing at the Knights of Columbus Hall in Massillon, Ohio, prior to the Undaground Wrestling show. Doors open at 6 pm.

Copies of Wrestling in Akron,  And The Crowd Goes Wild and The History of AZ Wrestling will be available.

Death of Verne Gagne

Former World champion and outstanding wrestler in both pro and amateur ranks, Verne Gagne, passed away after a lengthy battle with Alzheimer.

Known worldwide, Gagne first appeared in Arizona briefly in the 1950s, facing Monty Ladue and others in Tucson, but was never a regular on the cards.

As a promoter, Arizona was bad luck for him. He tried to establish himself in Tucson in the 1970s briefly and the same with Phoenix in the 1980s. Independents always outlasted him and his budget priced too great for him.

Over the years, Gagne 's greatest feuds were with Nick Bockwinkel, Dick The Bruiser, The Crusher and the Vachon brothers.

In the early1970s, he played a pro wrestler in the movie, The Wrestler, not to be confused with the film from the 2000's of the same title.

Gagne was known for the use of the sleeper hold to win most of his pro matches.

Sunday, April 19, 2015

New Tucson Promotion Web

TUCSON, Arizona-April 17th, 2015-High Impact Wrestling (HIW) launched it’s new official website today located at Featuring all the latest news in the world of Southern Arizona’s longest running professional wrestling promotion, will also keep fans up-to-date with all the current information on the events that HIW runs weekly across Tucson and Southern Arizona. It will also provide a home for all of the video distributed by the promotion.

Wednesday, April 15, 2015

Ron Sutherland In Japan

Ron Sutherland, known as Section 8 in Arizona and Ron Von Hess in Washington, is booked for Japan .

Never too late to say never and never too late to silence the critics.

Go for it!