Saturday, September 16, 2017

Sept 27 1980 Photo Spotlight

A Photo Spotlight in Ring Magazine. There were a few in Ring late 70's early 80's era but by this time we were hard pressed to find major coverage in the magazines of the era.

In the 'Apter' mags there were lots of photos taken at MLG and used in the generalized stories but you have to look very close in some of them as they would crop out the identifying features.

Obvious signs that would prove it was MLG such as refs Terry Yorkston, Fred Atkins, or John Laing, the huge scoreboard hanging from the roof, or the signage along the end blues with upcoming concerts, or Ice Capades - give it away.

There were quite a few stories or Spotlights on Toronto from the 60's up with some of the big bouts here getting features of their own. Dewey vs Bockwinkel in 1980, Billy Red vs Brisco 1974, the 50th Anniversary in 1981 stand out.

Our own Roger Baker contributed many during the 60's and early 70's. Definitely track those down as they feature a lot of real info as Roger would travel and cover the wrestlers and get to know them, as well as a lot of candid photos (Bulldog Brower enjoying some classical music in his apartment!)  

This one from Ring is of the Sept 27 1980 card

9/27/80 MLG
Greg Valentine W Ric Flair
Tiger Jeet Singh W/DQ Hossein Arab
Angelo Mosca N/C Bobby Duncum
Paul Jones/George Wells W Swede Hanson/Gene Lewis
The Destroyer W Don Kernodle
Frankie Laine W Ron Ritchie





Friday, September 1, 2017

'Wild Bill' Potts ! 1936 and the Amateur scene

So last entry was on Wild Bill Zim the colorful wrestler who worked around Ontario in the 1940's and '50s, this time we find none other than Wild Bill Potts. This is the only time I have seen that nickname for our future 'Whipper Watson.'

Young Bill had been wrestling around the area, starting on trainer Phil Lawson's frequent amateur meets and tournaments in Toronto and across Southern Ontario.  By 1935 Bill would start to move into the pro side of the sport. At that time there appears to be some grey area between the amateur and pro ranks. In addition to the strictly amateur contests some of the pro cards had the amateurs who would 'wrestle' but add some of the 'entertainment' aspects to the show.

We have featured Edwin 'Red' Garner on the site and here on the blog and his long running promotion around the north of Toronto. He was a standout amateur and would feature many of the amateur stars of that era on his shows, usually promoted as lightweights.

Many of the amateurs of the 1920's and 30s would go on to long careers both as wrestlers and referees. Jack Forbes, Cliff Worthy, Bert 'The Little Flower of Uxbridge' Maxwell, Al 'Krusher' Korman, Sam Gotter, Winnett (Pat Flanagan) Watson,  and Ken 'Tiger' Tasker were all notable amateurs on the Toronto scene first.

Some others that would go pro but were too light for the most part to work on the MLG cards would work on the many cards in around Toronto that featured the lightweights or pegged as middleweights. Jim Allen, Ernie Hughson, Harvey Stanfield, and Ted McKinley were some of those that were very successful in the amateur circles. McKinley is the reason I dug up this ad as i am working on a look at his career.

Which takes us back to "Wild Bill' Potts. The Wild Bill moniker went back many years and quite a few pro wrestlers used it, most notably Bill Longson, whom in 1947 (the then) Whipper Watson would beat for the NWA (Association) World Title. The fellow on the ad I assume is Ted McKinley. His grandson contacted me and we are awaiting to see if a photo of Ted can be found. Bert Maxwell, pre horticulturist days, is at that time 'Mighty' Maxwell and 'Krusher' is still just 'Al.'

The clip from Richmond Hiill is May 25 1936 and below that just a regular Bill Potts in Bowmanville Oct 18 1935. The Bowmanville is a strictly amateur show. .