WrestlingClassics.com Message Board Post New Topic  Post A Reply
my profile | directory login | register | search | faq | forum home

  next oldest topic   next newest topic
» WrestlingClassics.com Message Board » Professional Wrestling Posts - July 07 thru 2010 » Bruno & MSG Sellouts (Page 1)

 - UBBFriend: Email this page to someone!   This topic comprises 2 pages: 1  2   
Author Topic: Bruno & MSG Sellouts
oxman88
Member
Member # 8123

Icon 1 posted      Profile for oxman88     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
Please educate the naive.

In the thread about the Bruno docu, this jumped out at me and I'll leave it up to one of the historians here:

"Bruno sold out Madison Square Garden more than anyone else -187 times out of 211 appearances," said Frassetti. "He was part athlete and part actor."

Is these even close to correct and is it verifiable?

The reason I ask, is that when we talk about "selling out" a building, we usually mean you were the main event. Did they run MSG soooo much that he could've headlined that many times? it's basically sayyyy, and average of 10 headlines per year from 1960-1981. And honestly, I just don't see that.

I mean he wasn't "THE" main event until 63. Yes, he was in a handful, but he wasn't "THE" guy until he had the belt. Right??

And then after he lost to Koloff he was gone for a while. And even when back, Morales was the champ. So certainly Bruno didn't get EVERRRRY main event during that stretch.

Then there was 73-77. And then after that Billy and Bob had to have stolen a number of the Main Events from him. And then he's basically done after 80-81. On top of all this is the fact that a lot of "big" shows were at Shea over the years. Did they seriously run MSG that much is basically my question?? I mean I gotta figure that for him to average 10 a yr from 60-81, then they had to have run MSG at least 15+times a yr. And from what I understand about other "towns" in the territories, that was a no-no.

Hey, this is a legit question. It may be dumb. Who knows, maybe they ran MSG twice a week. What do I know. Easier to ask those here who would know.

--------------------
"Now yous can't leave"....Sonny LoSpecchio

IP: Logged
Flaco from CA
Member
Member # 9810

Icon 1 posted      Profile for Flaco from CA   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
It is a legit question.

The 1st title reign would perhaps have Bruno appear at the Garden, if I had to estimate, perhaps 90-100 times. Granted that those are all sell-outs, that only accounts for half of the numbers stated.

How could he make up for that in the next reign? Did the number of MSG appearances in the 1st reign exceed 100? What accounts for the 24 non-sellouts? Just how many MSG main events was he in prior to being champion?

I'm not a historian. Just equally intrigued.

--------------------
"spider and heights"

IP: Logged
Mark Tomol
Member
Member # 9223

Icon 1 posted      Profile for Mark Tomol     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
Business was not good at all in the late 1960's in NYC. The WWWF had lost their TV and had no product on the tube for months and months. When they did get TV back it was on the Spanish language UHF Canal 47. On top of that they started recycling old heels like Monsoon, Kowalski and Mortier and bringing in new guys that no one cared about like Fitzpatrick and Ramos. The Garden show of 6/30/69 only drew a little under 6000 with Bruno and Steele on top. Business picked up again in 1970 when Crusher Verdu and Bruno did 2 legit sellouts. Things kept up from there with legit sellouts on almost every card headlined by Morales.
IP: Logged
Greg Ganja
Member
Member # 1677

Icon 1 posted      Profile for Greg Ganja     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
Very good question. And one I don't think many have looked into its legitamacy. Maybe the MSG website could confirm it.

--------------------
Your old lady's old lady has got skinnier legs!!!
---
And BABY DOLL...shame on you mama...cause I know you better than anyone!


IP: Logged
oxman88
Member
Member # 8123

Icon 1 posted      Profile for oxman88     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
quote:
Originally posted by Mark Tomol:
Business was not good at all in the late 1960's in NYC. The WWWF had lost their TV and had no product on the tube for months and months. When they did get TV back it was on the Spanish language UHF Canal 47. On top of that they started recycling old heels like Monsoon, Kowalski and Mortier and bringing in new guys that no one cared about like Fitzpatrick and Ramos. The Garden show of 6/30/69 only drew a little under 6000 with Bruno and Steele on top. Business picked up again in 1970 when Crusher Verdu and Bruno did 2 legit sellouts. Things kept up from there with legit sellouts on almost every card headlined by Morales.

Great info ALL. Thx. Especially Tomol for this piece.

I suspected I wasn't crazy. I know soooo much wrestling history is Kayfabed. But a lot of the numbers stuff like this has been looked at and verified. I found it surprising that I found 3 sources on the web all claiming the same thing===Bruno had over 200 sellouts at MSG.

I'd love to know from a serious historian here: HOW OFTEN DID THEY RUN MSG IN THE 1960-1981 STRETCH??

Unless someone tells me it was at least about 15 times a year, then I gotta believe the reality of this number would be closer to what? 120-ish sellouts?

--------------------
"Now yous can't leave"....Sonny LoSpecchio

IP: Logged
tombaker
Member
Member # 12975

Icon 1 posted      Profile for tombaker     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
According to the Observer, Bruno sold out around 45 of 127 MSG main events.
IP: Logged
Mark Tomol
Member
Member # 9223

Icon 1 posted      Profile for Mark Tomol     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
Didn't break down how many were main events but found 159 MSG appearances by the Brunster. Going back to only his third MSG appearance on 2/22/60, the newspaper advert had a bigger picture of Bruno than the main eventer Rocca.
IP: Logged
Mister Hollywood
Member
Member # 8547

Icon 1 posted      Profile for Mister Hollywood     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
quote:
Originally posted by tombaker:
According to the Observer, Bruno sold out around 45 of 127 MSG main events.

I believe that The Observer is incorrect.
IP: Logged
Graham Cawthon
Member
Member # 3438

Icon 1 posted      Profile for Graham Cawthon   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
I don't have all the attendances but enough to give a rough idea of how business was.

http://www.angelfire.com/wrestling/cawthon777/60smsg.htm

http://www.angelfire.com/wrestling/cawthon777/70smsg.htm

http://www.angelfire.com/wrestling/cawthon777/80smsg.htm

--------------------
TheHistoryofWWE.com

IP: Logged
Greg Ganja
Member
Member # 1677

Icon 1 posted      Profile for Greg Ganja     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
Unless they are counting the Felt Forum (which is like double counting) still doesn't add up though since the Forum is only in the current Garden which was opened in 1968.

--------------------
Your old lady's old lady has got skinnier legs!!!
---
And BABY DOLL...shame on you mama...cause I know you better than anyone!


IP: Logged
Mark Tomol
Member
Member # 9223

Icon 1 posted      Profile for Mark Tomol     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
quote:
Originally posted by Graham Cawthon:
I don't have all the attendances but enough to give a rough idea of how business was.

http://www.angelfire.com/wrestling/cawthon777/60smsg.htm

http://www.angelfire.com/wrestling/cawthon777/70smsg.htm

http://www.angelfire.com/wrestling/cawthon777/80smsg.htm

Bruno did great business for the first couple of years but by no means was there a consecutive sellout streak. Go arounds with Jerry Graham, Waldo, Kiniski and Monsoon fell a couple of thousand seats short of a sellout. The first two MSG matches with Watts were legit sellouts but the 3rd match blowoff fell 5000 short!! No sellouts at all through the rest of 1965 and all of 1966. The first Monsoon match in '67 came real close but the rematch tanked. The first show at the "new" Garden in 1968 against Bull Ramos fell far short. As I said in an earlier post, Bruno didn't sell out the place until 1970 with a pair against Crusher Verdu. After that business took off and they had near sellouts with weak main events with Bruno going against Bepo and Geto Mongol on successive shows.
IP: Logged
oxman88
Member
Member # 8123

Icon 1 posted      Profile for oxman88     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
Thx Graham.

That kinda definitively answers my question about how often they "ran" MSG.

And since it appears that they ran it about maybe 10 times a yr...then NO WAY can he be anywhere's near the sellout mark being quoted.

thx guys.

--------------------
"Now yous can't leave"....Sonny LoSpecchio

IP: Logged
heinoushorseman1986
Member
Member # 12747

Icon 1 posted      Profile for heinoushorseman1986         Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
I am looking for Bruno vs Hansen 1986 MSG where Brunos Neck Was Broke...
Bruno vs Superstar Graham MSG..

He Sold Out MSG many times........

--------------------
Billy the Kid..
Saint Augustine,Florida 1513,1565,1672,1702,1740..

IP: Logged
White Fang from WA
Member
Member # 1458

Icon 1 posted      Profile for White Fang from WA     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
quote:
Originally posted by Mark Tomol:
As I said in an earlier post, Bruno didn't sell out the place until 1970 with a pair against Crusher Verdu.

Which just goes to show you. Um. It's proof that...

I'll get back to you on that.

--------------------
The reason raindances work is because they don't stop dancing until it rains.

IP: Logged
Mark Tomol
Member
Member # 9223

Icon 1 posted      Profile for Mark Tomol     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
quote:
Originally posted by White Fang from WA:
quote:
Originally posted by Mark Tomol:
As I said in an earlier post, Bruno didn't sell out the place until 1970 with a pair against Crusher Verdu.

Which just goes to show you. Um. It's proof that...

I'll get back to you on that.

For one, it shows that New Yorkers have a penchant for barrel chested Spaniards.
IP: Logged
King-of-the-Ring from MA.
Member
Member # 1886

Icon 1 posted      Profile for King-of-the-Ring from MA.   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
I just got this from Georgianne Makropolous!
Hopefully this will shed some light for this discussion!!!


http://wrestlingclassics.com/.ubb/ultimatebb.php?ubb=get_topic;f=1;t=092855



First let me list an email I received from my friend Chris Cruise about Bruno's record.



Bruno and I figured he was in the main event at MSG about 220 times from 1960-1980, an average of 11 times a year. Some years he wrestled 6 times a year, other times 15 times a year.

He figures 85-95% of the time the Garden sold out. At 85% that is 187.

Those are the numbers we came up with.

Christopher Cruise



* * * * * * * * *

Secondly, Bruno was featured in the 1985 Greatest Sport Legends (Award Winning Series) interviewed by Tom Seaver in a 30 minute video. The only wrestler to be honored. They researched his background and came up with 187 sell outs of 211 appearances.

Greatest Sport Legends: Bruno Sammartino
Bruno Sammartino reigned as World Champion of Wrestling for an astounding 10 years. His agility, quickness, and resourcefulness in the ring made him universally known as professional wrestling's "Living Legend". Bruno's physical strength was legendary. So impressive in fact, that early in his career, the NFL's Pittsburgh Steelers tried to lure him away from wrestling. Taking all comers in a sport filled with both good and evil, Bruno was always the man of consummate class.
No wonder Bruno Sammartino is the most popular wrestler in history.

Also the WWE stated that Bruno Sammartino's first championship reign from 1963 to 1971 lasted for 2,804 days. And his second championship reign lasted from 1973 to 1977, a total of 1,238 days. Making it a total of 4,042 days. No other wrestler in the history of this business has come anywhere near this record. Nor will they, IMO. No promoter would leave the belt on one wrestler that long unless he was selling out arenas, many them money.

* * * * * * * * *

As many of you know, I put together the Bruno Sammartino Record Book over the years, adding to it each year. When I was younger, I didn’t record which shows were sell outs, but so many were but not noted by me. But I will give you a good idea of Bruno’s schedule at Madison Square Garden, with the results and figures that I did make note of because I was at the show, or the newspaper reported it the next day.

I have also asked my dear friend and historian Fred Hornby to check his records for me, he said he will get back to me in a day or two. We both consider that 18,000 or better would be considered a sell out. He will be able to give me a better picture. (Fred just called me and said he will send me his list, but he said Bruno had about 127 sell outs out of about 170 appearances)

Here is just a very small list of the results of Bruno Sammartino, just so you can see the schedule of the Garden years ago. Now we are lucky if there are two shows a year at MSG.

1/2/1960 Bruno debuted at Madison Square Garden defeated Bull Curry in 5:09 with a backbreaker. Bull Curry substituted for Killer Kowalski

1/25/60 Bruno defeated Skull Murphy

2/22/60 Bruno had a Draw with Killer Kowalski

3/7/60 Bruno defeated Argentina Zuma

3/19/60 Bruno defeated Karl von Hess

5/21/60 Bruno over Haystacks Calhoun (Bruno was the first wrestler to lift 601 lb. wrestler, small photo below)

6/4/60 Bruno & Tony Rocca defeated Pampero Firpo & Great Antonio

7/16/60 Bruno & Ilio DiPaulo beat the Tolos Brothers (John & Chris)

8/6/60 Bruno & Tony Rocca defeated Pampero Firpo & Jerry Graham

8/27/60 Bruno & tony Rocca defeated the Tolos Brothers

10/1/60 Bruno & Ilio DiPaulo defeated Jackie Fargo & Larry Hamilton

10/24/60 Bruno lost to Tony Rocca via DQ.

11/14/60 Bruno DRAW tony Rocca

2/27/61 Bruno over Haystacks Calhoun Attendance 20,400

3/25/61 Bruno over Haystacks Calhoun

5/17/63 Bruno defeated Buddy Rogers before a sell out of 19,649 paying back then $58,966.00

6/21/63 Bruno defeated Great Mortier in 20:36 Attendance 18,552

8/23/63 Bruno defeated Killer Kowalski 20:58 SOLD OUT

9/16/63 Bruno & Bobo Brazil DRAW over Gorilla Monsoon & Hans Mortier Attendance 17,576

2/12/64 Bruno won over The Giant Baba SOLD OUT (according to MSG flyer below)

3/16/64 Bruno defeated Dr. Jerry Graham in 8:33 SOLD OUT

6/6/64 Bruno defeated Gorilla Monsoon in 26:12 SOLD OUT

7/11/64 Bruno lost to Freddie Blassie via DQ. in 23:36 Attendance 18,981

10/19/64 Bruno defeated Waldo von Erich in 14:57 before a SRO sell out according to newspaper. 18,722 paying $59,440.29

11/16/64 Bruno defeated Gene Kiniski in 17:21 SOLD OUT

8/2/65 Bruno lost to Bill Miller via DQ.

8/23/65 Bruno defeated Dr. Bill Miller SOLD OUT

10/20/65 Bruno defeated Cowboy Bill Watts SOLD OUT

9/27/65 Bruno over Tarzan Tyler SOLD OUT

1/29/68 Bruno defeated toru Tanaka in 16:31 Last match held at old MSG 50th Street & 8th Avenue 14,130 paying $42,875.10

2/19/68 Bruno won with the backbreaker before 13,059 fans in the first match at the new MSG.

3/11/68 Bruno defeated Kentucky Butcher in 14:53 Attendance 13,148

8/23/68 Bruno defeated Bill Miller in 48 seconds.

10/21/68 Bruno lost via DQ to Original Sheik

11/18/68 Bruno defeated Original Sheik via DQ.

12/9/68 Bruno defeated the Sheik in a Texas Death Match

6/15/70 Bruno lost to Crusher Verdue when referee stopped the match due to Bruno’s eye bleeding. In 22:43. Attendance was 20,819.

1/18/71 Bruno lost the belt to Ivan Koloff in 14:55 Attendance 21,166 $85,554-

2/8/71 Bruno won with backbreaker on Geto Mongol in semi main event. Koloff lost the title to Pedro Morales. Attendance was 21,812

7/24/71 Bruno over Blackjack Mulligan before 21,912 fans paying $103, 485-

1/15/73 Bruno defeated Toru Tanaka in 20:17 new attendance record 22,096 according to newspaper.

12/10/73 Bruno defeated Stan Stasiak in 12:14 to regain the WWF title, Newspaper said 15:24 as time. There was over 22,000, but I don’t have exact figure.

2/17/75 Bruno lost via DQ. To Spiros Arion

3/17/75 Bruno won Spiros Arion in 14:51

4/14/75 Bruno defeated Spiros Arion in Greek Death Match

12/15/75 Bruno defeated Ivan Koloff in 15 foot steel cage SELL OUT of 26,350 PLUS 4,253 in Felt Forum

2/2/76 Bruno defeated Superstar Billy Graham in 17:55 SELL OUT of 25,600 PLUS 3,100 closed circuit in Felt Forum

3/29/76 Bruno & Antonio Pugliese defeated Superstar Billy Graham & Ivan Koloff before 21,004 fans

4/26/76 Bruno lost via DQ to Stan Hansen with the Lariat before 17,493 (Bruno’s neck broken)

11/22/76 Bruno beat Stan Stasiak before 18,112

12/20/76 Bruno beat Stan Stasiak before 22,090 fans

1/17/77 Bruno lost via COR to Ken Patera in 11:10

2/7/77 Bruno DRAW with Ken Patera

3/7/77 Bruno defeated Ken Patera before 26,492 PLUS 4,400 in Felt Forum

3/28/77 Bruno won via DQ Baron von Raschke

6/27/77 Bruno both DQ’d Superstar Billy Graham in 18:31, before 22,090 PLUS 4,000 in Felt Forum

I wish I had more time to give you even more, but you get the idea.

Georgie GMakpoulos@aol.com

Link to original article: http://www.wrestlingfigs.com/inner2.php?id=9761&page_id=1

--------------------
Thank you.....a Proud Student of WCMB!
http://jayswrestlingcollection.weebly.com/

IP: Logged
Mark Tomol
Member
Member # 9223

Icon 1 posted      Profile for Mark Tomol     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
Because I'm a wrestling fan and have no healthy adult relationships I went and counted the MSG shots through Georgies record book. It came out to 163 appearances. Hornby's meticulously researched MSG book came out to 159 when I counted it the other day.

I'm surprised this urban legend of the 211 appearances has gone on so long because MSG is one of the easiest venues to research and document.

As far as the sellouts are concerned bear in mind Bruno did not main event at MSG until the 5/17/63 Rogers title change. Any sellout up to that point couldn't really be accredited to him because he wasn't in the main event. Business was awful in the late 60's and McMahon stopped running every month when he lost the TV for NYC. The vast majority of shows for Bruno II were sellouts but if we put it all together I don't think it would come near the 80% mentioned.

[ 10-08-2008, 07:01 PM: Message edited by: Mark Tomol ]

IP: Logged
Ken Viewer
Member
Member # 5528

Icon 1 posted      Profile for Ken Viewer     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
Mark Tomol posted:

...As far as the sellouts are concerned bear in mind Bruno did not main event at MSG until the 5/17/63 Rogers title change...

Actually Sammartino did get a run of main events at MSG, circa-1960, and he couldn't sell-out the joint, despite being first paired with, then wrestling singles-bouts against, Antonino Rocca. Rocca just months earlier had broken the house record (a wrestling record which will stand forever at the 50th-Street Garden) against a forgotten guy using the name Zuma. (These two broke the house record, then two months later, set the new, all-time paid-attendance record for a wrestling match at the old MSG.)

I only got in for one of those bouts (of which there were three).

Ken

IP: Logged
Ken Viewer
Member
Member # 5528

Icon 1 posted      Profile for Ken Viewer     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
King of the Ring posted:

...2/27/61 Bruno over Haystacks Calhoun Attendance 20,400...

Terribly misleading. This was a circus-sideshow semi-final to a sellout headlined by Johnny Valentine and the debuting sensation of that year, "Vittorio Argentina Apollo," (replacing a departed Antonino Rocca) vs. The Fabulous Kangaroos for the territorial version of the U.S. tag-team title, belts and all.

I was there. Belts didn't change hands as only one fall went down to the victorious team of Apollo and Valentine.

IP: Logged
Mark Tomol
Member
Member # 9223

Icon 1 posted      Profile for Mark Tomol     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
quote:
Originally posted by Ken Viewer:
Mark Tomol posted:

...As far as the sellouts are concerned bear in mind Bruno did not main event at MSG until the 5/17/63 Rogers title change...

Actually Sammartino did get a run of main events at MSG, circa-1960, and he couldn't sell-out the joint, despite being first paired with, then wrestling singles-bouts against, Antonino Rocca. Rocca just months earlier had broken the house record (a wrestling record which will stand forever at the 50th-Street Garden) against a forgotten guy using the name Zuma. (These two broke the house record, then two months later, set the new, all-time paid-attendance record for a wrestling match at the old MSG.)

I only got in for one of those bouts (of which there were three).

Ken

Ken of course you're right here. I didn't include them because IMO, Bruno wasn't really the draw as much as Rocca.
IP: Logged
oxman88
Member
Member # 8123

Icon 1 posted      Profile for oxman88     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
quote:
Originally posted by Mark Tomol:
As far as the sellouts are concerned bear in mind Bruno did not main event at MSG until the 5/17/63 Rogers title change. Any sellout up to that point couldn't really be accredited to him because he wasn't in the main event.

I pointed this out in my original post:

quote:
Originally posted by oxman88:
I mean he wasn't "THE" main event until 63. Yes, he was in a handful, but he wasn't "THE" guy until he had the belt. Right??

And then after he lost to Koloff he was gone for a while. And even when back, Morales was the champ. So certainly Bruno didn't get EVERRRRY main event during that stretch.

Then there was 73-77. And then after that Billy and Bob had to have stolen a number of the Main Events from him. And then he's basically done after 80-81. On top of all this is the fact that a lot of "big" shows were at Shea over the years. Did they seriously run MSG that much is basically my question??

Glad I started this. Verrrrry informative. Appears as if the Kayfabe machine has been in full effect all along. Thx sooooooo much all. Keep it going.

--------------------
"Now yous can't leave"....Sonny LoSpecchio

IP: Logged
tombaker
Member
Member # 12975

Icon 1 posted      Profile for tombaker     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
Scott Teal's book "The History of Professional Wrestling Madison Square Garden: January 19, 1880 to December 4, 1999" tells us the top singles draws at MSG were Sammartino and Backlund tied at 41 sellouts. That number might be off a bit, but not by that much.
IP: Logged
Ken Viewer
Member
Member # 5528

Icon 1 posted      Profile for Ken Viewer     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
quote:
Originally posted by tombaker:
Scott Teal's book "The History of Professional Wrestling Madison Square Garden: January 19, 1880 to December 4, 1999" tells us the top singles draws at MSG were Sammartino and Backlund tied at 41 sellouts. That number might be off a bit, but not by that much.

I don't have the MSG record book so I need to ask: how many times does the volume have Antonino Rocca, either solo or as a member of a tag team, selling out the place?

Give him, for example, only nine years of main-event matches (he had one streak where he co-headlined on every card for seven straight years' of shows), and plug in five sellouts per year. That'd put him right up there on the list.

Also, how many paid admissions per show does Scott Teal define as a "sellout?" I've seen some Sammartino fans claim 18,000 is their sellout. Buddy Rogers fans have been known to assert the same figure. At the 49th Street -- 50th Street old Garden, management, for wrestling, could put up over 19,500 chairs, between fixed seats and portable ones. I call a sellout either a politician or a situation where, if ya walked up to the box office at 7:59 PM the night of a card, the guys in there didn't have a single seat to sell ya.

I've read newspaper claims that thousands of people were turned away from a match on nights I arrived right at bell time and there were maybe 50 people standing around with The Racing Form waiting for a bookie. There were tickets to be had on a few of those nights when I wanted one --got mine right at the box office windows.

No way there's an "honorary sellout," even if the MSG publicity director, and crazed fans of old playing make-believe with their own sheets, kayfabed the truth. A sellout at the old Garden was 20,000-or-more fans in the joint, and during the pre-WWWF days, a gate of $60,000-or-more. (Prices didn't change, except for a section of the top-tier, from circa-1951 right up until 1963, when I stopped attending and lost track.

Ken

[ 10-19-2008, 07:27 PM: Message edited by: Ken Viewer ]

IP: Logged
tombaker
Member
Member # 12975

Icon 1 posted      Profile for tombaker     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
quote:
Originally posted by Ken Viewer:
quote:
Originally posted by tombaker:
Scott Teal's book "The History of Professional Wrestling Madison Square Garden: January 19, 1880 to December 4, 1999" tells us the top singles draws at MSG were Sammartino and Backlund tied at 41 sellouts. That number might be off a bit, but not by that much.

I don't have the MSG record book so I need to ask: how many times does the volume have Antonino Rocca, either solo or as a member of a tag team, selling out the place?

Give him, for example, only nine years of main-event matches (he had one streak where he co-headlined on every card for seven straight years' of shows), and plug in five sellouts per year. That'd put him right up there on the list.

Also, how many paid admissions per show does Scott Teal define as a "sellout?" I've seen some Sammartino fans claim 18,000 is their sellout. Buddy Rogers fans have been known to assert the same figure. At the 49th Street -- 50th Street old Garden, management, for wrestling, could put up over 19,500 chairs, between fixed seats and portable ones. I call a sellout either a politician or a situation where, if ya walked up to the box office at 7:59 PM the night of a card, the guys in there didn't have a single seat to sell ya.

I've read newspaper claims that thousands of people were turned away from a match on nights I arrived right at bell time and there were maybe 50 people standing around with The Racing Form waiting for a bookie. There were tickets to be had on a few of those nights when I wanted one --got mine right at the box office windows.

No way there's an "honorary sellout," even if the MSG publicity director, and crazed fans of old playing make-believe with their own sheets, kayfabed the truth. A sellout at the old Garden was 20,000-or-more fans in the joint, and during the pre-WWWF days, a gate of $60,000-or-more. (Prices didn't change, except for a section of the top-tier, from circa-1951 right up until 1963, when I stopped attending and lost track.

Ken


IP: Logged
tombaker
Member
Member # 12975

Icon 1 posted      Profile for tombaker     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
Listed MSG sellout was 20,225. Rocca had 24 sellouts out of 69 main events.
IP: Logged
Ken Viewer
Member
Member # 5528

Icon 1 posted      Profile for Ken Viewer     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
quote:
Originally posted by tombaker:
Listed MSG sellout was 20,225. Rocca had 24 sellouts out of 69 main events.

Thanks for digging out and posting the information. That 20,225 figure for a sell-out at the old Garden rings true as legitimate, at least for me.

Ken

IP: Logged
Timekeeper
Member
Member # 9068

Icon 1 posted      Profile for Timekeeper   Author's Homepage         Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
Thanks to Ken Viewer and Mark Tomol for separating facts from fiction on this.

[ 10-21-2008, 01:56 AM: Message edited by: Timekeeper ]

IP: Logged
Timekeeper
Member
Member # 9068

Icon 1 posted      Profile for Timekeeper   Author's Homepage         Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
quote:
Originally posted by King-of-the-Ring from MA.:
I just got this from Georgianne Makropolous!
Hopefully this will shed some light for this discussion!!!
No promoter would leave the belt on one wrestler that long unless he was selling out arenas, many them money.

Bruno very rarely sold out his home town of Pittsburgh.
IP: Logged
ltp711
Member
Member # 8527

Icon 1 posted      Profile for ltp711     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
quote:
Originally posted by Timekeeper:
quote:
Originally posted by King-of-the-Ring from MA.:
I just got this from Georgianne Makropolous!
Hopefully this will shed some light for this discussion!!!
No promoter would leave the belt on one wrestler that long unless he was selling out arenas, many them money.

Bruno very rarely sold out his home town of Pittsburgh.
The Civic Arena held about 12,000 people back then and crowds of around 9,000 for wrestling was considered a good house.

Bruno's sell-out streaks are exaggerated but he was pretty consistent in the numbers he drew and that is what promoters like Vince Sr. wanted.

IP: Logged
oldschoolfan52
Member
Member # 12147

Icon 1 posted      Profile for oldschoolfan52     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
It doesn't matter how many times a wrestler sold out the MSG, unless you include who said wrestler was working with.
The early days, a percentage of the house was paid out, and now you get a guaranteed Contract no matter if MSG is half full.
Remember, it takes two to sell out MSG.
One wrestler standing in the ring all by himself is not going to sell out any Venue.

IP: Logged
Timekeeper
Member
Member # 9068

Icon 1 posted      Profile for Timekeeper   Author's Homepage         Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
quote:
Originally posted by oldschoolfan52:
It doesn't matter how many times a wrestler sold out the MSG, unless you include who said wrestler was working with.
The early days, a percentage of the house was paid out, and now you get a guaranteed Contract no matter if MSG is half full.
Remember, it takes two to sell out MSG.
One wrestler standing in the ring all by himself is not going to sell out any Venue.

Obviously. But Bruno was the constant and the others were not.
IP: Logged
Timekeeper
Member
Member # 9068

Icon 1 posted      Profile for Timekeeper   Author's Homepage         Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
quote:
Originally posted by ltp711:
quote:
Originally posted by Timekeeper:
quote:
Originally posted by King-of-the-Ring from MA.:
I just got this from Georgianne Makropolous!
Hopefully this will shed some light for this discussion!!!
No promoter would leave the belt on one wrestler that long unless he was selling out arenas, many them money.

Bruno very rarely sold out his home town of Pittsburgh.
The Civic Arena held about 12,000 people back then and crowds of around 9,000 for wrestling was considered a good house.

Bruno's sell-out streaks are exaggerated but he was pretty consistent in the numbers he drew and that is what promoters like Vince Sr. wanted.

The cards usually drew about 7,000.
IP: Logged
Timekeeper
Member
Member # 9068

Icon 1 posted      Profile for Timekeeper   Author's Homepage         Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
quote:
Originally posted by ltp711:
quote:
Originally posted by Timekeeper:
quote:
Originally posted by King-of-the-Ring from MA.:
I just got this from Georgianne Makropolous!
Hopefully this will shed some light for this discussion!!!
No promoter would leave the belt on one wrestler that long unless he was selling out arenas, many them money.

Bruno very rarely sold out his home town of Pittsburgh.
The Civic Arena held about 12,000 people back then and crowds of around 9,000 for wrestling was considered a good house.

Bruno's sell-out streaks are exaggerated but he was pretty consistent in the numbers he drew and that is what promoters like Vince Sr. wanted.

The cards usually drew about 7,000.
IP: Logged
BestThere'llNeverBe
Member
Member # 127797

Icon 1 posted      Profile for BestThere'llNeverBe     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
ok, i wanted to add a few things here..

from what I can tell, they are adding in the Felt Forum during the new Garden era, it's the only way to get to that number. but that number is easily disproven by counting backwards, as I've already found way more than 25 MSG cards featuring Bruno that did not sell out.. many many of Bruno's matches in the 60's drew poorly, with attendance less than half capacity. the attendance was so bad when WWWF lost NY TV that they didn't even book MSG cards for six months.. the total number of appearances also includes matches where Bruno was not headlining or even in the main event, although a few cards it could be argued that he is co-headlining or in the semi-main event, but there are easily a half dozen to a dozen where he clearly is in the midcard.

The 1960 cards with Bruno either teaming with or facing Rocca would be considered main events, but the matches vs Rocca bombed at the box office and obviously did not sell out, and Bruno didn't headline again until Rogers '63, although a few of his MSG matches prior were left off that list earlier in the thread:

02/25/1963 WWWF - New York, NY - Madison Square Garden [III]
Bruno Sammartino & Bobo Brazil (2-0) Johnny Barend & Magnificent Maurice

03/25/1963 WWWF - New York, NY - Madison Square Garden [III]
Bruno Sammartino & Bobo Brazil def Skull Murphy & Brute Bernard
Buddy Rogers (17:10) Johnny Barend

[ 11-28-2016, 12:53 PM: Message edited by: BestThere'llNeverBe ]

IP: Logged
BestThere'llNeverBe
Member
Member # 127797

Icon 1 posted      Profile for BestThere'llNeverBe     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
quote:
Originally posted by King-of-the-Ring from MA.:

He figures 85-95% of the time the Garden sold out. At 85% that is 187.


* * * * * * * * *

Also the WWE stated that Bruno Sammartino's first championship reign from 1963 to 1971 lasted for 2,804 days. And his second championship reign lasted from 1973 to 1977, a total of 1,238 days. Making it a total of 4,042 days. No other wrestler in the history of this business has come anywhere near this record. Nor will they, IMO. No promoter would leave the belt on one wrestler that long unless he was selling out arenas, many them money.

* * * * * * * * *

2/19/68 Bruno won with the backbreaker before 13,059 fans in the first match at the new MSG.

2/8/71 Bruno won with backbreaker on Geto Mongol in semi main event. Koloff lost the title to Pedro Morales. Attendance was 21,812

1/15/73 Bruno defeated Toru Tanaka in 20:17 new attendance record 22,096 according to newspaper.

Except Bruno didn't sell out the Garden 85-95% of the time... not even close. Regardless of varying figures of appearances or sellouts, the sheer number of low attended shows disproves this claim outright. The only way I can figure is that shows with no attendance reported are being assumed by researchers as sell-outs unless a low attendance figure was reported. But booking logic can tell you that when there were legit sellouts, the match was brought back two or three times, and done all around the loop, while many of these unreported attendance matches are one and done or a two and done with a low attendance reported for one or the other shows.

Other claims cloud the issue. Newspapers for one. In many instances, news went to print long before the card hit curfew, other times figures were inflated (just the same as they are today) for promotional purposes. For example, newspaper claimed in '73 that Bruno vs Tanaka set all time attendance record of 22,096, and claimed a new attendance record at nearly every MSG card for the next couple years..

[ 11-28-2016, 02:00 PM: Message edited by: BestThere'llNeverBe ]

IP: Logged
BestThere'llNeverBe
Member
Member # 127797

Icon 1 posted      Profile for BestThere'llNeverBe     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
Also, the claim that Bruno's 4,042 days as champ was a feat that no other wrestler ever came close to is a bit of an exaggeration... even if you don't want to count multiple titles (even if they are all world titles), Verne Gagne was AWA World champ for 4,677 days. Hell, Bobo Brazil was WWWF US Champ for 30 days longer than Bruno was WWWF Champ. Also these contenders:

Ed 'Strangler' Lewis: 3,670 Days as World Champ
-3,073 days (Original World Heavyweight Championship); 331 days (AWA-Boston World Champ); 80 days (MWA World Champ/NWA precursor/Orville Brown's belt); 130 days (NYSAC World Champ); 56 days (World Champ-Ohio version); plus unconfirmed number of days still recognized as champ in Los Angeles and Illinois.

Jim Londos: 4,887 Days Overall/ 7,952 if you consider various claims as distinct titles.
-1847 days (NWAssociation World Champ); 848 days (NYSAC World Champ) 1st reign; 367 days (NYSAC World Champ) 2nd reign; 411 days (World Champ-Maryland prior to winning Undisputed World belt); 2629 days (Original World Heavyweight Championship)

Bobo Brazil: 5,398 Days as Champ
-4,072 days as WWWF US Champ; 35 days as NWA International Heavyweight Champ; 355 days as WWA Universal Champ; 185+ days as WWA (Indianapolis) World Champ; 29 days as NWA US Champ (San Fran); 139 days as NWA Americas Heavyweight Champ; 315 days as NWA US Champ (Detroit); 22 days as NWA US Champ (Mid-Atlantic); 21 days as NWA US Champ (Toronto); 225 days as ESA North American Heavyweight Champ; not including reigns as a World or International Tag Team champ, or his reign as Pacific Coast Heavyweight Champ, or reigns as Los Angeles TV Champ and Ohio Heavyweight Champ. Also not counting his unrecognized 73 days as NWA World Heavyweight Champion.

Hulk Hogan [3,739 Days] IWGP/WWF/WCW/WWE champ; not counting World Tag Title reigns

Mildred Burke: 15-19 Years as Champ; days & reigns differ depending on source.

Fabulous Moolah: 9727 Days as Women's NWA/WWF Champ

Danny Hodge who held the NWA JR heavyweight title for a combined 4134 days in his 8 reigns; not counting other titles won

Giant Baba - 7431 Days as Champ
PWF World Heavyweight Championship (4 times, 3817 days), All-Asia Heavyweight Champ 1,262 days, NWA World Heavyweight Champ (3 times, 19 days), NWA International Heavyweight Champ (3 times, 2,333 days)

Carlos Colón - WWC Universal Heavyweight Championship (26 times, 3997 days); not counting other titles won

Otto Wanz - CWA World Heavyweight Championship (4 times, 4208 days); not counting other titles won, including AWA World Heavyweight Title

El Canek - UWA World Heavyweight Championship (15 times, 7086 days); not counting other World title reigns and World tag title reigns

Rikidozan: 6,619 Days as Champ
119 days as WWA World Champ; 2945 days as All-Asia Heavyweight Champion; 2210 days as NWA International Heavyweight Champ; 1345 days as Japanese Heavyweight Champ (title given up upon winning NWA title; kept both NWA and All-Asia titles until his death)

Antonio Inoki: 7327 Days as Champ
4000 days as WWWF World Martial Arts Champ; 2545 days as NWF World Heavyweight Champ; 325 days as IWGP Champ; 194 days as UWA World Heavyweight Champ; 263 days as NWA United National Champ; not including World, International, All-Asia or North American Tag Team title reigns or his Real World Martial Arts Championships or his two World League Tournament Championships, his four MSG League Tournament Championships, or his four IWGP Grand Prix Tournament Championships

Ric Flair : 5,535 Days as Champ
3591 days as NWA World Heavyweight Champ; 785 days as NWA US Champ; 506 days as WCW Champ; 253 days NWA World TV Champ; 155 days as WWE IC Champ; 118 days as WWF Champ; 64 days WCW International Heavyweight Champ; 63 days NWA Missouri Champ; not including World or Mid-Atlantic Tag Team title reigns or his four Mid-Atlantic Heavyweight title reigns.

Verne Gagne :
-4,677 days as AWA champ; 1,166 days as NWA US Heavyweight Champ (Chicago); 641 days as AWA US Champ/NWA US Champ (Minneapolis); 598 days as World Champion (Omaha version); 371 days as NWA World Junior Heavyweight Champ; 3 days as IWA World Heavyweight champ; not counting World Tag Team title reigns or his two reigns as NWA Texas Heavyweight Champ

Dr. Wagner Jr - UWA World Heavyweight Championship (1 time, 4546+ days and counting); not counting 8 other World title reigns, and multiple World Tag title reigns

Mil Máscaras - IWA World Heavyweight Championship (Mexico) (1 time, 1975 to present, and counting), not including countless other titles

Rayo de Jalisco Jr. - WWA World Heavyweight Championship (Mexico) (1 time, 5001+ days and counting); not including 3 other World title reigns and multiple World Tag title reigns

Even Evan "Strangler" Lewis' 2,932 day reign as World champ, is longer than the 2,803 days of Bruno's first reign

Then there's boxing, Joe Louis - 11 years, 8 months, 8 days

I know the argument is going to be that some of the earlier reigns were simultaneous, while some of the latter ones were US or regional titles. Keep in mind that the WWWF title was not labeled a WORLD title during Bruno's 2nd reign, it was a regional title. Secondly, given the weak claim to lineage that his first reign had, and the fact that it wasn't defended outside the Northeast, aside from a trip to Japan to face Baba years into his reign, an argument could be made that a NWA US champ, for example, was at least on an equal level. Even adding in Bruno's other single title, the NWA US Heavyweight Title (Toronto version), only adds 22 days to his total.

IP: Logged
BestThere'llNeverBe
Member
Member # 127797

Icon 1 posted      Profile for BestThere'llNeverBe     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
Also, by my calculations Lou Thesz was World Champion for 6,097 days.. people only count his NWA reigns and seem to forget that he was World champ for years before the National Wrestling Alliance was even formed, or that he held numerous World Titles after losing the NWA belt..

And that's not even taking into consideration that he held multiple world titles simultaneously, and although unified, if they were considered separate reigns, the figure would rise drastically.

6/18/37-12/29/37 St Louis Wrestling Club World Heavyweight title

12/29/37-2/11/38 AWA World title (boston)

2/23/39-6/23/39 NWAssoc World title - 120 days

6/12/40-10/23/40 MAC World title (montreal) - 133 days
7/6/41-9/17/41 MAC World title (montreal) - 63 days
9/11/46-2/20/47 MAC World title (montreal) - 162 days
4/16/47-11/26/47 MAC World title (montreal) - 224 days

4/25/47-11/21/47 NWAssoc World title - 210 days
7/10/48-11/27/49 NWAssoc World title - 505 days

11/27/49-3/15/56 NWA World title - 2,300 days

5/21/52- LA Olympic Grand Auditorium World title

11/9/56-6/14/57 NWA World title - 270 days
7/24/57-11/14/57 NWA World title - 113 days

11/1/57-8/27/58 NWA International title - 289 days

1/24/63-1/7/66 NWA World title - 1,079 days

9/7/64- AWA World title (CO, OH, IN)

10/14/66-10/28/66 WWA World title (L.A.) - 14 days

8/15/77-8/27/78 UWA World title - 377 days

[ 11-29-2016, 01:01 PM: Message edited by: BestThere'llNeverBe ]

IP: Logged
BestThere'llNeverBe
Member
Member # 127797

Icon 1 posted      Profile for BestThere'llNeverBe     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
Also, Antonino Rocca.

Won the International Heavyweight Title by defeating Buddy Rogers in NY in 1959. And never lost it.

It is improperly noted as a Capitol or WWWF title, but it wasn't. It was won when McMahon did not even have control of NY, and was never defended on any WWWF card (until the title was brought back decades later; after Rocca's death). He continued defending the title after leaving Capitol, and it was the primary title of his joint promotion with Crockett that ran the Sunnyside Gardens in opposition to WWWF in '63/64.

If you calculate the win date of July 1959 and run it til Rocca's death in '77, it far exceeds the reigns of either Thesz or Sammartino.

It has been noted by researchers that the title win may be fictional, which could explain why a few years later, Rogers beat Rocca in a fictional match to win a title..

I haven't been able to find any NY match for Rogers between November of 1955 until March of 1960, but the Buddy Rogers Record Book that is online is not complete, particularly for 1959.

[ 11-29-2016, 03:59 PM: Message edited by: BestThere'llNeverBe ]

IP: Logged
BestThere'llNeverBe
Member
Member # 127797

Icon 1 posted      Profile for BestThere'llNeverBe     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
William Muldoon was the undefeated Greco-Roman Pro Wrestling Champion for ten years, 1880-1890..
IP: Logged
Matt Farmer from WA
Member
Member # 1177

Icon 1 posted      Profile for Matt Farmer from WA     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
quote:
Originally posted by BestThere'llNeverBe:
William Muldoon was the undefeated Greco-Roman Pro Wrestling Champion for ten years, 1880-1890..

Well except for the handful of times he lost, of course.

--------------------
email me at: inferno4l@hotmail.com
follow me on twitter at: @mattfarmer93
http://mlwradio.com/

IP: Logged
  This topic comprises 2 pages: 1  2   

Quick Reply
Message:

HTML is not enabled.
UBB Code is enabled.

Instant Graemlins
   


Post New Topic  Post A Reply Close Topic   Feature Topic   Move Topic   Delete Topic next oldest topic   next newest topic
 - Printer-friendly view of this topic
Hop To:


Contact Us | WrestlingClassics.com Home Page

Click here to see the WCMB Rules and Regulations

Powered by UBB.classic™ 6.7.3