Saturday, December 2, 2017
Siki Doc thoughts
A while back we spoke with MLG photographer Roger Baker about the then upcoming documentary on Sweet Daddy Siki. The doc was shown in Canada on the Doc Channel some months back.
MLW Blog - Roger talks Siki
I enjoyed it, It was well done overall. There were relatively few factual errors and was better researched than most anything else I have ever seen on Pro Wrestling, which usually gets the gloss over approach.
It was interesting to hear Siki tell his own story, of his life beyond pro wrestling and the battles he faced. In that context it made for a very enlightening piece, quite emotional coming from his own voice.
At one point Siki tells of being underpaid by Frank Tunney in relation to other stars.
That's that first time I ever heard or read that about Tunney who has long had a reputation of being one of the more honest and well paying promoters.
From numbers I have seen he paid his main event stars huge money for the day, at least back in the 50's and 60's.
Siki was a star in the 60's but also worked a lot here in the 1970's. In the 60's while he had a short time on top he was more like a level B star, occasional mains but mostly in the top 3-4 bouts of the 6-7 bout cards. In the 1970's he was lower on the cards as he got older and worked back to enhancement type level.
It wasn't clear what era he was referring to, or who he was comparing to, guys like Brower, Whip, Tiger Jeet, Sheik etc would have all been above him on pay scale while others like Jim Hady, Ilio DiPaulo, Billy Red etc would have been closer in stature.
I'm not sure if Tunney paid as to the level of the bout on the card as other promoters did, from what I have seen he split a portion of the gate with the main eventers and then semi was just below. The others on the card may have been graded as they often did in other promotions.
At any rate an interesting comment, would be good to have that expanded to further our knowledge of the inner workings of the promotion.
Another cool moment for me was when they showed a photo of Oshawa promoter Pat Milosh presenting Siki with a tournament trophy after Siki had won Oshawa's 2nd annual Wrestling Tournament in August 1966
Photo is at right, excuse quality I took a photo of the tv , if anyone has this photo please send me !
Whats interesting is that after Siki had won his 3rd bout of the evening -first Mr X(?) then The Beast (Yachetti)- against Hans Schmidt to claim the tourny win, the evil Schmidt promptly smashed the trophy in the middle of the ring as Siki was being presented by Milosh.
They did that a lot in those days, both the Calvert and George Richards trophys were destroyed at MLG, and it happened all over the wrestling world. Good for the trophy shops, not so good for the sponsors or winners.
The photo though looks like it was taken backstage, How did they know Siki was going to win (lol)
If you get the chance to see the doc you won't be disappointed. In the showing I saw the background music was mixed too loud, hopefully they fix that for future airings, still a very good look at a decent guy who overcame a lot to become one of the most recognised names and faces in the history of pro wrestling, here and elsewhere.