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.