This was from Eddie Graham's Championship Wrestling from Florida. The Hawaiian born Tosh Togo was a silver medalist in weightlifting at the 1948 Olympic Games. He found fame in the James Bond film Goldfinger as the villain Oddjob. A 24 year old Stan Hansen is seen in his rookie year. An interesting look back.
This was a studio match from the Crockett’s Carolina based promotion. Buddy Rogers is seen at age 40, a relatively 'young' viewing given what footage has survived. Joe Garcia plays the role of an enhancement talent. Watch as guest commentator/wrestler Billy Darnell eventually ‘sees enough’ of Rogers blatant heeling and does a run in at the end…conveniently setting up his planned program with Buddy at upcoming house shows.
It’s a shame that preserved footage of Buddy Rogers is so few and far between. Even by today's standards, the surviving evidence indicates that he was a solid worker with standout mic skills.
This was from All Japan, part of the annual Real World Tag League. The nightmare team of The Sheik & Abdullah The Butcher mark the perfect contrast to the matwork intensive approach of Robinson & Hoffman. With such divergent working styles colliding can these four pull off a passable match? Watch for the prominent role of comedy spots in trying to bridge the gap. A fun viewing.
This was from Antonio Pena’s AAA promotion based out of Mexico. It was the best 2 out of 3 for the Welterweight Championship. At age 34, beloved champion El Hijo del Santo shows glimpses of why he became a national legend and mega-draw. A 24 year old Psicosis had about six years under his belt and was one of the best rudos of the time frame. Watch as both men mix eye catching acrobatics with quality matwork at a pace that tells an entertaining story beyond language barriers. A great example of high quality lucha libre and a lesson in how to elevate a rising young star in the eyes of the paying audience.
This was from Jim Crockett Promotions from a house show at the Greensboro Coliseum in North Carolina. NWA World Tag Team Champions Sgt. Slaughter & Don Kernodle defend their titles one final time against Steamer and Youngblood inside a steel cage. High stakes involved, if Ricky and Jay lose they must disband forever as a team. This was the blow off to one of the best drawing tag programs of the territory era. Once thought to be lost to time, a vaunted match in hardcore fan circles!
This was from New Japan. Antonio Inoki captains a green Riki Choshu in a typical Japanese natives/evil masked gaijins tag match. Riki is seen with less than 3 years experience. His vanilla face in peril routine bares very little resemblance to the stiff strong style bad ass he would become in later years. A great before he was a star type of viewing.
The masked unit of Black Gordman and the Great Goliath were staples on the west coast US Territory scene. Here they work a more technical style than they often performed in the WWA. Watch for Gordman's nifty use of the DDT years before Jake Roberts 'invented' it!
This was from Jerry Jarrett's Memphis based promotion. Classic mic work at the open involving NWA World Champion Ric Flair and local hero Jerry Lawler. The backdrop was Flair traveling into town in order to work a televised enhancement match. Lawler slowly works his way into a match with the champion, all designed to tease a conclusive finish at an upcoming house show. Look for appearances by promoter Eddie Marlin and Lance Russell on commentary.
This was from All Japan, 2 out of 3 falls for the International Tag Titles. Giant Baba captains a team with a very green rookie year Jumbo Tsuruta. The Funks are seen at their peak as a unit. Lengthy match with a good accounting of all from the period.
Dory and Terry were pivotal in helping to break in Baba's hand picked golden boy at their Amarillo promotion. It proved to be a worthwhile investment!
This was from All Japan. At this stage The Destroyer was a fixture in Baba's organization, working as the perennial gaijin headliner. Hoffman primarily performed on the European circuit, which was a real shame because sparse footage of his work has been preserved. Two high end stars working a methodical style in a supportive setting. Look for Beyer's hallmark of layering in strategically timed comedy spots!
This was from New Japan. Dynamite Kid, age 26, is seen with 9 years of seasoning. Davey Boy Smith, age 22, had 6 years of experience already behind him. A battle of the British Bulldogs shortly before their entrance into the WWF. This is a reminder of what an absolute phenom Billington was at his peak. His speed, technique, aggression and psychology were off the chart, serving as a template many future wrestlers would aspire to emulate. A young DBS was no slouch either. An outstanding match with a standard finish from the era.
Tom and Davey were cousins who got their start on the UK circuit as teenagers. Bucking the odds, they both achieved international stardom but their success came with a heavy price!