Tuesday, August 15, 2017

And In This Corner #2

Thanks to the deluge of old school footage recently uploaded on the WWE Network over the past few weeks, I've been binge watching a lot of it, from early 80s World Class to WWF house shows from the mid-1980s, there's been a lot to take in. Watching all that old footage though made me realize that it's been a while since I've dug through the old clippings I scanned in last fall. So I dove in and found a few more interesting scans that I think would be pretty fun to explore.

This particular card I believe was from 1960 as most of these clippings were in chronological order in the scrapbook. Previously, I talked about Magnificent Maurice but the person he's facing on this card, Oyama Kato, is someone I'm definitely not too familiar with. I was able to find some basic information on him but unfortunately my normal places where I dig info up from were little to no help. Kato was a former MWA Junior Heavyweight champion beating Frankie Talaber in January of 1954 and holding the title for only 27 days until Talaber beat him to reclaim the title. He also teamed with Danny McShain, winning the Ohio version of the American Tag Team titles and also won the San Francisco version of the NWA World Tag Team titles with Karl von Schober. Just under a year after this card occurred, Kato passed away at the age of 42.

Don Eagle was the son of wrestler Chief War Eagle and won a Golden Gloves title in the Cleveland area before getting into wrestling. Debuting in 1945 in the Indianapolis territory, by the time he wound up in Cincinnati, his career was nearing its end. During his career he fought the likes of Buddy Rogers, Antonino Rocca, Gorgeous George, and Hans Schmidt. During a match with Schmidt in 1953, he severely injured his back and went into semi-retirement and popped up in various territories until 1963 when he officially retired. During the course of his career, he held the Boston version of the AWA Heavyweight Title twice, was the last person to hold the MWA Heavyweight Title, and trained the likes of Billy Two Rivers and Chief Jay Strongbow. On March 17, 1963 it was reported that Eagle had committed suicide because of recent business failures and still dealing with the pain of the back injury ten years prior.

The Brunetti Brothers were a team I've never heard of but it turns out they were one of the top teams of the 1950s, holding the regional versions of the NWA World Tag Team titles in the Upper Midwest. Over the border, they also held titles in the Toronto and Vancouver areas and the Stampede International Tag Team titles. The caption of this clipping reads that on this particular card, they'll be facing the Shire Brothers, Roy and Ray. Roy Shire would later go on to open up the San Francisco territory and run cards at the legendary Cow Palace while Ray Shire would become Ray "The Crippler" Stevens and have a long run as a tag team wrestler with Pat Patterson and Nick Bockwinkle.

Judging by the caption, Gene Kiniski was facing Yukon Eric, most notable for having his ear ripped off in a match against Killer Kowalski, in a return match as their previous encounter ended in a draw. Kiniski was known as "Canada's Greatest Athlete" and after leaving the Cincinnati area, went on to capture titles in every major territory he competed in, including winning the AWA and NWA World Heavyweight titles.

This scan isn't the best but it's a picture of Dick the Bruiser, who at this time was involved in a feud in the Detroit region with Cowboy Bob Ellis. Before wrestling, Bruiser played 48 games over three seasons in the NFL as a guard for the Green Bay Packers. Bruiser would buy the Indianapolis region from Jim Barnett in 1964 and ran until 1989. His territory spawned many stars but most notably gave Bobby Heenan his start in pro wrestling. Newer fans may recognize Bruiser as the guest referee from the Starrcade 1990 main event between Sting and the Black Scorpion, in what would prove to be his final televised appearance.

Hope everyone enjoyed this dive through wrestling history, back to cards soon (I promise!) as things at work are finally starting to settle down.


  1. I watched about an hour of hidden gems today including R&R express vs the British Bulldogs from the dying days of the awa

  2. Love old wrestling videos. Can never watch just one

  3. I should look into WWE Network... I'd love to watch some old school Ricky Steamboat matches.