Friday, April 29, 2016

Burt Ringo Still Thrives

There have been a couple wrestlers to take the name of Ringo in wrestling, usually doing a cowboy routine after the alleged gunman, John Ringo from 1880 Arizona.  More recently, enter Burt Ringo of California, who now makes his way to Alaska and wrestles regularly up there.

Alaska ha had a tradition for wrestling, though sporadically run, dating back to the 1900s when Frank Gotch went up that way with a carnival under the name of Frank Kennedy, bilking gullible miners for bets in the old Stay Ten Minutes With the Champ angle.

There is a new group up there holding shows now.  Burt Ringo remains one of their top draws as a high-flying grappler under a mask.

More and more people are finding out about him, as he and some of the others wit the promotion have been drifting down through Canada, into the lower half of the USA. They have made it as far as the southwestern states, where they have received favored reaction from the fans, but have not become regulars as of yet. They have, however, all caught on and Ringo should be back soon.

 Keep an eye out for Burt Ringo as hopefully you will not have to go all the way to Alaska to see him in action. With travels into the southwest  as noted, you all may get your chance.

Ringo has also recently seen matches in the Washington/Oregon area.

We have spoken of him before, but he is worth mentioning again.

The Spartan

In the  1970s, The Spartan worked the southwestern USA, sometimes as baby and sometimes as heel, but usually hearing cheers from the crowd. he received a modest push in Amarillo, both on house shows and television, which helped him gain bookings in other areas as well.

Dressed in black, with a black mask, he claimed he took the name of The Spartan because of the intense training he put himself through maybe so, as he was in shape.

His identity remains a blank to this blogger, though an expert on the Amarillo office might be able to pinpoint who was under the hood.

The Spartan's biggest feuds were with Moose Murkowski and Butcher Brower, where he was cheered for giving the villains a dose of their own medicine.

He used a routine body slam as  finishing move, but keep in mind this was in an era where moves now used for spots were ending endeavors.

Though Texas remained his home base, he was seen occasionally in Arizona and New Mexico as well. Already recognized form the Amarillo tapes that were being aired in these places on tv as well, he was able to draw a reasonable amount of interest with the fans.

The Spartan wa usually a mid card attraction, but always put out his best effort.

Sunday, April 24, 2016

The Freak Show

Western states have always had oddball wrestlers, but manager Sam Simms has a real pair here in the form of Sideshow and Otis The Redneck.

Sideshow is a huge, psychotic clown, not so much a derivation of Doink, but the murdering character in American Horror Story.

Otis looks like kin to the Deliverance rapists.

Thus far, the trio have been gaining a lot of heat and seem to have just the right manager & wrestler relationship.  They could develop into top draws on the Indy scene.

If they are not the greatest in the game, they have to be the strangest.

Thursday, April 21, 2016

Wrestling In Akron Still Sells

With the author having just beaten prostate cancer, look for a new marketing push for Wrestling in Akron form Arcadia Publishing. the book may be ordered in any boos store and found on Amazon.

Many of the people depicted in the book, which is primarily photographic, with many previously unpublished stills, also worked the west, especially to avoid the Ohio winters.

Never before seen photos of Dory Funk, Ben Justice, Killer Brooks, Bill Anderson, Jerry Graham, Luis Martinez, Gold Dust, Brian Pillman, Bobo Brazil, Don Kent, Lou Thesz, Dave Levin, The Smoking Guns, Chris Colt and others who worked both parts of the USA appear.

The book also has loads of trivia and interesting bios.

Death Of Chyna

Details are very sparse, but the death of former WWF star, Chyna, has been conformed. She was evidently found dead in her apartment. No other info is available.

Chyna had a major run for several years in the WWF, but upon her release, was never truly able to recapture her fame elsewhere. She had gone from a wrestling superstar to making adult films and working the convention circuit selling autographed photos to fans.

Keep an eye open as this story unfolds.  .

Death Of Even Colder

Mike Rice, who worked around the country claiming to be Steve Austin's brother as Mike "Even Colder" Austin has died. Death details are not known.

Rive evidently and incredibly received permission from Austin to use the routine after winning Steve Austin Lookalike contest.

Even Colder was a replica of Stone Cold, flipping the crowd off, swilling beer and even using the same finisher.

How good he was at the routine would be debatable.  In some places, he was wildly cheered by the people, but in others he was scoffed at as a poor man's rip-off of a popular shtick.

Monday, April 18, 2016

Mascaras In Arizona

While he was a regular in California, Texas and the Mexican border, Mil Mascaras had relatively few showings in Arizona.

Those he did have were later in his career in the 1990s.

A local Indy promoter brought him in to face Sgt. Shultz in 1992 or so, which resulted in a fairly fast victory as Shultz was sick but  went through with the bout.

Shultz has the runs."Whay was I expected to do? Wrestle with shit in my pants?"

Mascaras also appeared on AAA cards at the fairgrounds for a special event during the Az. State Fair,  where he faced KGB out of California.

On the other hand, his appearances across the border in Nogales and San Luis Rio Colorado were many. In Nogales, he frequently teamed with the local hero, Resplandor .

In neighboring California, mascaras was likewise a regular, feuding with The Sheik, Billy Graham, John Tolos and others.

Mascaras was better known to Arizona fans thanks to appearances on Galavision's cable wrestling show in the 1980s.


Indian routines have always been big in Arizona. Chief Big Heart, White eagle, Crazy Horse, Indio Seri,  Indio Salvaje, Golden Hawk, Navajo Warrior, Tatanka, Jay Strongbow, Attakullakulla, Apache Gringo....the list goes on and on.

Look for the coming of a medicine man type of  rainmaker form out of California in the summer of 2016.

He is aptly named Rainmaker, but little else is known right now.

The propaganda has begun on the net and with varied independent groups already, though no photos have circulated as of yet and he is being kept as somewhat of a mystery.  He is also supposed to see some bookings in Washington and Oregon in late spring.

It will be curious what happens with this mystery worker as time moves on. He is evidently a fan favorite who will face some local bad guys, but nothing else has been revealed.  In Washington, however, he is expected to be heel and thrown in with veteran manager, The Time Traveler, who knows as well as anyone how to use the hype machine.

Thursday, April 14, 2016

Mean Ole Sween

In the 1980s and 1990s Arizona had its share of "Mean" people.

There was Mean Joe Madrigal, circa 1982 or so.

There was Mean marc Ash who drifted to California for the AOWA from his North Carolina home base, but never did make Arizona as hoped.

There was Mean Ole Sween.

Sween was one of the wrestler hastily trained by despised promoter Barry Bernsten, when the bulk of his wrestlers could take no more form him and left, leaving him with a crew of himself, his son, his wife and some hastily started karate school students.

Mean Ole Sween became an instant Swede, due to his blond hair.

Swede Hanson, he was not..

One would have thought him better, being trained by Arizona mainstays John Ringer and Bronco lazar, but such was not the case. Like many of the Bernsten trainees, he also was fired or quit, depending on which person was to be believed and shortly after, Bernsten threw  in the towel.

Sween spoke with the worst imitation Swedish accent ever as well, sounding like a cross between the Nazis in Hogan's Heroes and the Chef in The Muppets.

He has since left Arizona as well and makes his home in Boise, Idaho.

Opponents included Curly Joe, Skeleton Man, The Bunty Hunter and others from the  last days of the Bernsten promotion.

Wednesday, April 13, 2016

Jeff Cannon Retires

Indy journeyman, wrestler and trainer Jeff Cannon, has retired from the ring after nearly a 20 year career.

Death Of Balls Mahoney

Indy mainstay Balls Mahoney passed away on April 12. No details yet.

Sunday, April 10, 2016

Dibiase Heads West

 Dibiase is back with preaching again, going on a  Christian tour where he does speaking engagements at several churches. There are numerous bookings set up in spring and summer for the western states.

Graham's Art Work

Superstar Billy Graham has been making money lately via Art work, rather than wrestling, selling paintings with a variety of themes.

Graham is not the only man to go from wrestler to artist. Lord Carlton, Argentina Apollo and several others were accomplished painters, while Robbie Ellis, not to be confused with  Bob Ellis, is a rare art dealer. while Jerry Lawler and Bret Hart are accomplished cartoonists, as was the late Don Fargo.

Thursday, April 7, 2016

Book Review: Wrestlers Are Like Seagulls

Wrestlers Are Like Seagulls has been in print for several years and may still be ordered from Crowbar Press out of Tennessee. In this, well-known manager and wrestler J.J. Dillon tells his story for anyone who will listen, in his customary way, full of opinions which make the book captivating.

Older fans would know this, but younger fans would not. Dillon was a decent wrestler and not just a manager, with many matches to his credit. He also worked briefly at the start of his career as a referee.

The book offers a complete and informative look at Dillon's career, as well as a focus upon the politics behind the scenes fans seldom see, but only hear gossiped about in the wrestling world.

Dillon is as wisecracking in print as he was on the mike during his prime. His opinions are of course going to be a bit one sided, but that is part of the charm that shows though in this piece. Fans of Dillon would expect no less from him.  

The book is recommended.

Death Of Blackjack Mulligan

Rumors of the death of Blackjack Mulligan proved false a month ago, but this time it is a sad reality and the famed cowboy wrestler, Blackjack Mulligan, has passed away. the cause of death has not yet been released, but he was sick for some time with a number of health issues. He had been a smoker for several years, earlier in his life.

During a long career, Mulligan was respected as both a heel and a baby, using a claw hold to win his matches. His children also entered the wrestling ring.

Some of his greatest opponents included Pedro Morales, Dick the Bruiser and The Crusher.

Mulligan's Arizona run came when Gagne tried an unsuccessful bid to open up Phoenix with his AWA promotion in the early 1980s. He was teamed at this time  with his most continual partner,   Blackjack Lanza, as The Blackjacks.

The end of the trail for a great cowboy wrestler, but the memories will live on.

Don't Drop The Ball, ROH

Hopefully, with Christopher Daniels now in ROH promotions, they will not drop the ball as every other promotion has done and fail to use this wrestler to his true potential.

Daniels first drifted into the California/Arizona area in 1996 from his Chicago home base. He found several bookings in the AIWA headed by Ed Ahrens.

In the early days, he was a popular baby face. "He wasn't bald back then," commented area manager, The Time Traveler, who shared AIWA cards with him. "He had real long hair like Jesus."

When he started branching out from the southwest, Daniels became The fallen Angel and was fairly often seen in the role of heel. It was in this  function that he was seen in TNA, but never, as many critics agree, fully used to his top potential.

The general opinion is in the "big time" Daniels has never been capitalized upon or booked properly, where he could live up to his capability as a baby or his potential as a serious heel.

With luck, ROH will get it right.

Tuesday, April 5, 2016

Godfather's Nightclub ;

If in Las Vegas, you can see what the Godfather from the WWF is doing now, by paying him a visit at his nightclub.

Time Traveler Beats Prostate Cancer

The Time Traveler (Dale Pierce) has announced a victory over prostate cancer and a tentative return to action as a manager in May. The seemingly ageless wonder is still going strong at 57, after beating the most difficult opponent of his life.

"I have two more chemo session to go, essentially making sure they have killed all the cancer and Lupron follow ups (injections) down the road to insure it doe snot come back, but for all general purposes the fight is over. It's all over, but the shouting and being able to say I am a cancer survivor sounds great to my ears."

A Go Fund Me page was started to help him when he was too sick to work at all, before treatments proved successful raising over $3,000 dollars He and his wife have announced they plan to keep the site up and in an effort to "pay things forward" are going to revise things to post a ;link where contributions may be made to the American cancer Society, as personal funding is no longer needed.


Starman, a bulky masked wrestler who could go heel or baby, depending on how the promoter wanted him to be used,  appeared in Utah, Japan, Arizona, California and Mexico in the early 1990s.

In his Arizona matches, some of Starman's opponents included Stephen de Leon, Steve Gator Wolf, Louie Spicolli, JT Law and Zodiac. His finisher was a tremendous flying elbow smash that could have made Randy Savage or Dusty Rhodes envious.

Starman was pushed big by Gator Wolf when he ran the Indian Reservations in the far north of Arizona and south of Utah, but there was no love lost between the two in the end, as Starman evidently was shafted on his pay. With Gator Wolf now in prison for sex crimes, Starman has indicated he has not forgotten the issues of old and has been blatantly running down the promoter both for his arrest and for past shortchanging on the cards where he worked. Evidently, Gator Wolf was not well-liked by his crew and the wrestlers made fun of him behind his back even then. Wrestlers never have been a forgiving lot.

The cartoon on the board in this picture, though hard to see, offers an unflattering picture of Gator Wolf drawn by the late Louie Spicolli, with quotes Gator Wolf was always spouting off. Starman points contemptuously at the photo here.

The irony is, Gator Wolf and Starman did have some very good matches.

On the other hand, Starman offers great respect for Louie Spicolli and Stephen de Leon, both of whom are deceased.

Now unmasked and retired, both from the ring and a day time job, Starman lives quietly in 
Phoenix, except when you get him going on Gator Wolf. Then, the old vocal style returns in full form.

CAC In Vegas

The annual CAC meeting in  Vegas, a massive convention of past and present wrestling personalities, takes place next week.

Interested in CAC? Drop an email for information to

Saturday, April 2, 2016

Last Bell Call Signings

Dale Pierce is just about cancer free and already booking several signings for The Last Bell Call, his grave site and obituary bible for pro wrestlers.

The book may also be ordered at

Bell Call will also be carried at shows for varied wrestling promotions in Washington, Oregon, Arizona and California by spring. Pierce is also planning an Ohio tour and signing session in the fall.

The book includes bios and/or cremation information on many top and not so famous stars. Among those listed are Buddy Rogers, Chris Colt, Mike Dibiase, Kurt Von Hess, Dory Funk Sr., Ricky Romero, Gorgeous George, Mike Gordon, Cowboy Bob Yuma, Wahoo McDaniel, Jack Brisco, Moolah, Mildred Burke, Jerry Graham, Randy Savage, Angelo Poffo, the Von Erichs, Gorilla Monsoon, Al Costello, Don Kent,  Dino Bravo, Elizabeth, Ripper Collins, Ron Dupree, Logger Larson, Toro Bravo, Bob Sallee, Berry Bernsten, El Santo, Frank Hickey, Eddie Graham,  Eddie Lopez, Don Arnold, Sputnik Monroe, Lou Thesz, Sheik, Bobo Brazil, Louie Spicolli, Stephen de Leon and many others.

The Many Kangaroos

The original Kangaroos consisted of Ray Hefferman and Al Costello, but ended when the former died. They were, however, one of the top tag team of their time, while managed by former Arizona mainstay, Wild Red Berry.

Then in the early 1970s, Al Costello revamped the routine, selecting another Arizona mainstay, Bulldog Don Kent as his partner and making him an instant Australian. This was an interesting thing in itself, as Costello was actually an Italian-American named Costa.

The pair had many wild feuds, mainly centered in the Midwest, where they faced Ben Justice & The Stomper on a continual basis.

The Kangaroos played their routine to the hilt, even tossing out paper boomerangs with the pictures of themselves and manager, George Cannon, on the front. Sometimes, fans kept them and sometimes fans tore them up in front of the hated trio.

Both Kent and Costello passed away in the early 1990s and the routine seemed doomed, but for a time, Al Costello & Denny Cass became The New Kangaroos, even using the same paper boomerang souvenirs to be tossed to fans.

The team lasted for a time, until Cass and Snow went their separate ways as singles wrestlers. Both are still active, but only on a limited basis.

In the 1970s and 1980s there was another Kangaroos tag team calling themselves The Royal Kangaroos, who were active in the west. The team consisted of bigger men with long hair and beards, like something fresh from the outback. They were Norman Charles and Jonathan Boyd.

Though they called themselves Sheepherders and later Bushwhackers, another tag team out of nearby New Zealand also went on to international fame, with an extended western stay early on. It would have been silly to call themselves the New Zealand Kangaroos as their country doe snot have them.

Arizona was also the location for appearances by one Kangaroo Bob Karson in the 1950s and 1960s, who worked for years as a popular fan favorite before turning into a rule breaker. He had a ;lengthy feud with Don Arnold in the Arizona/New Mexico area.

When Thesz Demolished Graham

It is no secret Dr. Jerry Graham suffered from love of booze and mental illness, yet managed to put out a long career in spite of his flaws.

If anyone might doubt his insanity, this incident proves it.

Graham was a tough enough guy, due to his size, but when he got into it with Lou Thesz before a match at the over something or another to be done in the match when the two met secretly in the back area behind the building that fans never saw, there was clearly trouble brewing.

What was supposed to be a fairly long match did not end that way.

Graham, in a moment of pure madness, reported he was going to 'shoot" on Thesz in the ring.

As the main event came to be, Thesz casually signed autographs, removed his traditional robe and towel and told Graham to go for his best  shot during instructions from the ref.

Thesz then defeated Graham in under a minute.

Jimmy Taylor

Jimmy Taylor was popular in Arizona in the 1980s, but was not active as long or as often as he could have been, due to his "real job" in law enforcement, which he preferred.

Taylor appeared in numerous singles matches, but also teamed with equally popular Billy Anderson on many evenings, facing The Lumberjacks.  This was the biggest and bloodiest feud of Taylor's career.

In the ring, he showed a rapid-moving and scientific style,  seldom resorting to brawls like his counterparts and exemplifying sportsmanship.

He could have gone much further, had he been willing to take bookings outside the Phoenix area, which he was not .

He is depicted in this photo at the far left, alongside Billy Anderson and Spike Jones.

Bill Anderson Web Page