Sunday, January 25, 2015

Big Jim Wright

Big Jim Wright was a mainstay in Arizona for many years, feuding with the likes of Don Arnold, Phil Melby, Tito Montez, the Torres brothers and more. He was known for a spectacular airplane spin to end his matches and was always in the main events.  

In 1963, Wright died from a heart attack in the midst of a tag team match at the Phoenix Madison Square Garden. After being double teamed by Don Arnold and Chuck Karbo, he took several elbows to the throat before staggering into his corner to tag out. While leaning on the ropes, he suddenly grabbed his chest and fell from the ring apron, hitting his head on the hard arena floor as he fell.

Monty Ladue, who was refereeing the match, maintained for years Wright had died via an elbow to the throat and not the fatal heart attack that really took him, in order to put some spin with doubters about wrestling being "fake" into play.

The problem was Wright stayed way past his prime and was in nod condition to still be wrestling at the pace he tried.

He should have known when to get out.

Wednesday, January 21, 2015

The Mystery Of Bob Sallee

Bob Sallee was a popular referee and sometimes wrestler in the Phoenix area, who has been mentioned already fr4om time to time  here. With the anniversary of his passing coming soon, once again, his death remains a mystery. Why did he do it? No one knew then and no one knows now.

Over thirty years have passed since the night in Phoenix where Sallee was attending a party and seemed fairly happy, though not drunk. For whatever reason, he excused himself and went back to his own apartment rather than the apartment in his complex where he had been whooping it up.

All of a sudden, a shot rang out and people found him dead with a gun inn his hand. There was no indication of foul play whatsoever and no indication he had been depressed, let alone suicidal. Yet for whatever reason, he chose to end it all with a bullet to the head.  

Surprisingly few wrestlers attended his funeral. He was buried in his referee shirt.

Sallee got his start in wrestling in the late 1970s as a student of David Rose.

Wednesday, January 14, 2015

Remembering Firpo

The anniversary of the murder of Firpo Zbysco passed without much fanfare,  as it always does. A big, walrus-like man who spent more time in Arizona as a referee rather than a wrestler, he had his peculiarities, but was beloved by those  who knew him. He liked to drink his beer hot and could drink anyone under the table. He also knew his stuff in the ring.

As a wrestler Firpo traveled the USA for decades, sometimes in a main event and sometimes on the undercard. he had feuds with Wild Man Zim, The Comancheros and The Satin Medic, with his last hurrah as a wrestler being against these last three in Phoenix. he was, for the sake of trivia, the first opponent a very green and later legendary Rocky Johnson faced in the ring.

Firpo was knifed in a Phoenix bar when he stepped between tow drunks and tried to break up a fight. One of the drunks fatally stabbed him and he died on the operating table.

He was buried in his wrestling gear.

La Fiera

Arturo Cacso "La Fiera" was a fiery villain on the Mexican lucha scene and a major draw throughout the 1980s. Southwestern fans will remember him from almost weekly appearances on the wrestling shows done by Galavision, shown internationally on cable, as well as his infrequent appearances in the USA, on rare occasions where he did not have prior bookings.

Though a hot item as an individual wrestler, Fiera frequently teamed with fellow rule breakers MX1,  Pirata Morgan and Mocho Cotta on a number of occasions, usually in main events. He helped draw massive crowds to arenas in Juarez, Tijuana, Mexico City, Guadalajara and other huge Mexican venues. He made a fortune out of being hated by the fans, who came time and time hoping to see someone beat him, but a bohemian lifestyle took its toll. He lost most of the money he made, spent some time in jail, had numerous brushes with the law and was reputedly heavily involved in the drug trade with Mexican mob ties.

After retirement due to said lifestyle and a multitude of earlier ring injuries, Fiera sadly slid further and further down the drain. Then, the final bill came in.

Fiera was "offed" in a way that clearly indicated mob ties, when he was both shot and stabbed repeated times. The killing was done in an extremely graphic way in order to supposedly "send a message" to other  would-be "problem children" in the drug trade.

As one of the net writers, Bob Crumby, put it on his Facebook page, "They (the mob?) "Julius Ceasered" his ass.  They stabbed that guy til he looked like Swiss cheese and shot him too. They were making sure he was not only dead, but REALLY dead. They killed him so everyone would take note. He got involved in a  world even more dangerous than pro wrestling, where you just don't fuck around."

Wednesday, January 7, 2015

Help Ron Sutherland

Ron Sutherland has had to suck up the funeral expenses for his daughter who like most young people carried no life insurance. Help him with funds at under the Help Bring Cassie Home heading.

Monday, January 5, 2015

Our Heart Goes Out To Ron Sutherland

Our heart goes out to Ron Sutherland, Section 8 in Az in the 1990s and  presently Ron Von Hess in Seattle, upon the loss of his daughter this weekend past. She was only in her 20s. No details available at this time.

Saturday, January 3, 2015

Drako Lord

Arizona has seen its share of Mexican and Hispanic American wrestlers over the decades for sure. Tito Montez, Luis Martinez, the Guerrero family,  Sergeant Shultz, Mil  Mascaras, Siete Vidas, Lizmark, Atlantis, the Torres brothers, Bucky Zepeda, Carlos El Malo, Tamba, Gordman & Goliath, Impacto 1&2, Bad Boys, Tito Santana, Salvador Dominguez, Nano Ortega, Blue Demon, Konnan, Halloween, Rey Misterio  and more.

Likewise, Juarez,  across the border from El Paso has produced many outstanding wrestlers. The Guerreros, Gorilla Ramos, Flama Roja, El Mustang, Bronco Lazar, Super Argo and more.

Drako Lord fits into both categories. Coming from out of Juarez, this wrestler trained by Mocho Cota, has made his mark on both sides of the border.

Drako is also becoming an Arizona mainstay. The past year saw him active in phoenix, Glendale, Peoria and many other Arizona towns where the lucha libre promotions have been running.

Keep an eye on this guy, as he is going places fast.

Thursday, January 1, 2015

A Bright 2015 For Arizona Wrestling

The new year should bring a lot of interesting action to Arizona, so in wishing everyone a happy 2015, there is a lot to look forward to. Goodbye and in some cases good riddance to 2014.

Arizona saw some great action in 2014, but also sadly witnessed the deaths of many past stars who graced the rings there long ago. Ken Lucas, Freddie Gomez and Jimmy Garcia, among others, passed away. All were once major draws at the defunct Phoenix Madison Square Garden.

There is always the WWE, though they do not come to Arizona as much as they used to.  Plus, there are several independent groups with considerable talent to the "Fed" that are running regularly in both the Tucson and Phoenix areas.

Crossing the border to Mexico is not as easy or as fats as before, but with a passport, one can still do so to see action in Agua Prieta, Nogales and San Luis Rio Colorado on the border.

A lucha group ahs been running regularly in Peoria and Glendale as well, just outside Phoenix.

Rumors of new promotions springing up in the small towns are also spreading.

Drako Lord, The Hawaiian Lion, Sergio Camacho, Cody Baker and others continue to thrive on the indy scene.

This should be a great year.