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.