Don't remember the name but remember the face. RIP.
My thought as well. Definitely remember the face but none of the mentioned names. RIP
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Don Leo Delaun Heaton, better known to the pro wrestling world as "The Mormon Giant" Don Leo Jonathan, has died. He was 87 years old.
At the end of August, Heaton was admitted to a hospital in British Columbia, and never left.
Throughout his lengthy career, Don Leo Jonathan was one of the top wrestlers in the world, period. At 6-foot-6, at usually 280-320 pounds, he was both hulking, but also fast and agile, able to do a nip-up.
Contrasting his size was his voice, which was squeaky and high-pitched, yet measured and thoughtful, menacing when it needed to be, motivating when he wanted to rally the fans to his size.
He was born on April 29, 1931 and always billed from Hurricane, Utah, but he grew up in nearby Harmony and Kanab. His father, Jonathon Delaun Heaton, entered pro wrestling in 1927, and worked as Brother Jonathan, Don Delaun and Sparrow Condelmedis. "Hurricane was a small place, and everybody who was there during my time, they would remember me, but they wouldn't remember me as Don Leo Jonathan or Don Heaton. All they would remember would be my nickname 'Mutsy,'" laughed Jonathan. His father gave him the nickname. "He was good at nicknaming everybody."
At Cedar City High School and Hurricane High, Heaton excelled in track (shot put), wrestling and football, where he was a tackle, and as a part-time job, worked as a butcher. His success in wrestling wasn't a surprise to his father, who had the family on the road often, and young Don Leo learned the amateur moves at age five at his dad's heathatorium in Phoenix. As a child, Don Leo also appeared in a few episodes of Our Gang but not any sort of featured role; as an adult, he would appear in numerous films as well, and a 1963 TV commercial for Wheaties, Breakfast of Champions, which aired during the World Series.
After he graduated in 1949, he had scholarship offers for college, but elected to enter the Navy Special Services, training in San Diego in deep sea diving. It would be a passion that he would keep throughout his life. In 1963, he went back to school to learn how to drive a submarine, and followed that with lessons in bell diving and deep gas diving. The result? A Vancouver-based business, Can Dive Ltd., which built and operated diving equipment, and DLJ Enterprises Ltd., a parent company to oversea many ventures.
His partner in the company, Dr. Phil Nuyten, said that some old truisms describe Jonathan best. "The thing that comes to mind is a whole string of clichés. Those clichés are strong as a bull; straight as an arrow; smart as hell; you get your money's worth; one face for your face and the same face for your back, most unusual; and one of nature's gentlemen; his word is his bond; and all that sort of thing. Those old clichés epitomize Leo because they are fundamental, old-time values."
Recognizable years after he retired from pro wrestling, both because of his bulk and his then-grey muttonchops, Jonathan said that he was happy to be stopped for the memories. "Guys 50, 60 years old that I talk to, 'Oh, I used to come and see you with my grandpa. My grandpa would take me every week to go see you. ... makes you feel kind of good, especially those that say, 'You signed my autograph when other guys wouldn't.' To some of the kids, that little thing that you do, you stop and give them an autograph -- it's nothing to me, but they, some of those kids remember that and they tell me about it. One of the kids told me he got my autograph 10 times and sold each one for a dollar," he laughed. "That's how he kept going to the wrestling matches! He'd always manage to get several autographs from me."
Of course, for many years, young Don was one of those kids going to the matches. After getting out of the Navy, and giving up on his aspirations to compete in judo, Don's wrestling career overlapped his father's for a couple of years, beginning in California before moving worldwide. On a handful of occasions, he strayed from the name inherited from his dad, including El Loco in Baltimore and El Diablo in Columbus.
While he was World champion in Montreal in 1955, and held numerous other titles, Jonathan avowed that titles never meant much to him. "I always seemed to be more interested in learning as much as I could," he told Scott Teal. "There were times I wrestled and it didn't even occur to me that it was a title match." To prove his longevity, Jonathan would reign again in Montreal, under the Vachon's Grand Prix banner, in 1974. He really made an impression earlier in the territory with his "Battle of the Giants" against the newcomer to North American shores, Jean Ferré, later Andre the Giant.
R.I.P Don Leo Jonathan never seen him wrestle sadly . But he impressed me with his legends card and results
CWFH - Colt Cabana v (CWFH Ch) Adam Pearce (w/ Stu Stone) /// Social Media (Legends)(SMW Ch) Pepper Gomez v Hugh Murros \\\ CZW - Jnr Heavyweight Match Chris Cash v (CZW Jnr Ch) Drake Younger /// Shimmer Kiera Hogan v (Shimmer Ch) Madison Rayne \\\ Anarchy UK (Legends) (HC Ch) A.J Styles v Ravishing Rick Rude (w/ Angel Orsini) /// Twitter @basnettdavid1
Dirty Dick Slater & Cowboy Bob Orton managed by Playboy Gary Hart were one of the best tag teams of the territorial era. He also brought in Dark Journey to be his valet which was both groundbreaking and controversial. But what else would you expect from someone called The Rebel. RIP to both Dirty Dickie Slater(as Gary Hart liked to call him) and the Mormon Giant Don Leo Jonathan--one of the best big men of all time. I think the picture posted above would make a great color card for LOW.