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

  next oldest topic   next newest topic
» WrestlingClassics.com Message Board » Professional Wrestling & General Discussion '99-June '07 » Rocca & Crockett: Imperfect Together (Page 1)

 - UBBFriend: Email this page to someone!   This topic comprises 2 pages: 1  2   
Author Topic: Rocca & Crockett: Imperfect Together
Will Morrisey
Member
Member # 1542

Icon 1 posted      Profile for Will Morrisey     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
On another thread I promised to list results from the short-lived 1960s promotion that centered on Antonino Rocca, who wanted to offer an alternative to the WWWF in New York City. A number of his wrestlers were supplied by the successful southeast promoter, Jim Crockett.

The matches were aired on WOR (Channel 9) in New York. I don't think the promotion lasted much more than a year. There were some good wrestlers featured, but the matches themselves were pretty boring, and the fans at Sunnyside Gardens in Queens didn't get any more excited than I did, watching from NJ.

9/3/63:

Gino Lanza def. Gene Anderson
George Becker def. Joseph Tomasso
[Might this have been the same Joe Tomasso who wrestled as one of the Assassins in the WWA a couple of years later?]
Rip Hawk and Swede Hansen def. Angelo Martinelli and Jesse James (straight falls)
[Was Martinelli the same guy who wrestled as the NWA Southern champ in 1952?]
Antonino Rocca def. Jose Romano (straight falls)

10/14/63:

Gino Lanza def. Frank Blake
Man Mountain (a.k.a. George "Crybaby") Cannon def. Ellis Parker

Mike and Doc Gallagher def. Tony Cosenzo and Gregory Jarque (2 straight)
[There was an old-time wrestler named Tony Consenzo, who would have been in his late fifties in 1963. I suppose it's a remote possibility....]
Antonino Rocca def. Pancho Villa (straight falls)

10/21/63:

Karl Von Hess def. Pepe Figueroa
Man Mountain Cannon def. Miguel Camacho
The Gallaghers def. Joe Lopez and Tom Townsend (straight falls)
Gino Lanza def. Oscar Fusaro
Cowboy Bob Ellis def. Francois Valois
Antonino Rocca def. Bull Montana

[I remember the Ellis match, which didn't last long, and was the only time I saw Ellis on a Rocca card. He had been one of Buddy Rogers's top opponents at Madison Square Garden a couple of years earlier.]

11/4/63:

Gino Lanza def. Johnny Heideman
Antonino Rocca def. Paul Rinehart
Johnny Barend def. Tony Cosenza
The Gallaghers def. Bill Osborne and Gregory Jarque

12/2/63:

Ray Rosa def. Alfred Cosmo
Johnny Barend def. Tony Cosenza
Kit Fox drew with Count Gagliano
Antonino Rocca and Tony Marino def. Bull Johnson and Miguel Torres (straight falls)

12/9/63:

Isaac Rosario def. Carlos Cruz
Man Mountain Cannon def. Gregory Jarque
Johnny Walker def. Tony Cosenza
Karl Von Hess and Johnny Barend drew with Antonino Rocca and Tony Marino

12/23/63:

Ray Rosa def. Joe Lopez
Kit Fox def. Tom Townsend
Karl Von Hess def. Miguel Torres
Johnny Walker and Antonino Rocca def. Paul Rinehart and Lenny Montana (two straight)
[I don't recall if Lenny was the same as "Bull Montana," from the previous show. There were any number of "Bull Montanas" back in the day.)

12/30/63:

Freddy Ortiz def. Isaac Rosario
Gregory Jarque def. Miguel Torres (DQ)
Lenny Montana def. Jolly Cholly
Karl and Adolf Von Hess drew with Johnny Walker and Antonino Rocca (time ran out: first fall went to W & R on DQ)

1/13/64:

Pepe Figueroa def. Isaac Rosario
Kit Fox def. Frank Perez
Lenny Montana def. Gregory Jarque
Johnny Walker and Antonino Rocca def. Miguel Torres and Tony Altimore (2 straight)

The above shows were aired on Monday nights. They were then switched to Tuesday nights. It didn't help.

2/4/64:

Ray Rosa def. Pepe Figueroa
Von Hess Brothers def. Rocky Storm and Jules Zanzibar
Antonino Rocca def. Tony Altimore
Lenny Montana drew with Johnny Walker

2/11/64:

Johnny Walker drew with Karl Von Hess
Lenny Montana def. Miguel Torres
Rocky Storm and Jules Zanzibar def. Tony Altimore and Tony Consenza
Antonino Rocca def. Ray Rosa

2/18/64:

Tony Altimore drew with Dino Apollo
Lenny Montana def. Gregory Jarque
Von Hess Brothers drew with Rocky Storm and Jules Zanzibar (double DQ)

3/17/64:

Tony Altimore def. The Texan (2 of 3 falls)

Johnny Walker and Antonino Roccca drew with the Firpo Brothers (2 of 3 falls)

3/23/64:

Tony Altimore def. The Kentuckian #1
Lenny Montana def. Alexander the Great (a.k.a. Chris Jelevorouf)
Rocky Storm and Jules Zanzibar def. El Toro and Ivan Melnikoff (2 of 3 falls)
Antonino Rocca def. Adolf Von Hess

3/31/64:

Rocky Ornato def. Augustine Musa (2 of 3 falls
The Kentuckian #2 and Alexander the Great drew with The Texans
Rocky Storm def. Tom Townsend
Ray Rosa and Antonino Rocca def. El Toro and Ivan Melnikoff (2 out of 3 falls)

And there you have it. At least, there you have the cards I saw. I don't think the promotion lasted much longer than this. Nor did it deserve to. I still remember a few images, aside from the ones I mentioned above. I remember Man Mountain Cannon's crying bit: his opponent would whip him into the turnbuckles, and he would sit down and blubber. I remember that the announcer, Lonnie Starr, kept telling us that Dick the Bruiser, Lou Thesz, and other major stars would be appearing "on future programs." I guess I can stop waiting. I also remember one of Rocca's interviews, in which he challenged "that bleached blonde" Buddy Rogers to wrestle him. Rogers never appeared, either. In the Rocca promotion, they tended to confuse name-dropping with future attractions.

The only other thing I remember (aside from the bad reception of the WOR signal we had in central NJ) was the opening line of a Ring Magazine report -- something like, "the pathetic one-man show rolls on." Too bad. Rocca made big money for Toots and Vince the Elder in Madison Square Garden for a lot of years. He was more circus acrobat than wrestler, but nobody was more `over' in his time and place, and he really could work a room. He went out with a whimper.


IP: Logged
doctagraym
Member
Member # 2863

Icon 1 posted      Profile for doctagraym     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
quote:
Originally posted by Will Morrisey:

3/17/64:

Johnny Walker and Antonino Roccca drew with the Firpo Brothers (2 of 3 falls)

"The Firpo Brothers"? Did Pampero have a short-lived run with a "brother" of his?

The only other thing I remember (aside from the bad reception of the WOR signal we had in central NJ) was the opening line of a Ring Magazine report -- something like, "the pathetic one-man show rolls on."

Gee, I know duh Rocca promotion wasn't very creative or innovative or successful, or nuttin', but duh y'tink duh fellas over dere at dat Ring Magazine was bein' a buncha loyal tushy-bussers t'Misstur Joseph Mondt and Misstur Vince McMahon, Senior?

Too bad. Rocca made big money for Toots and Vince the Elder in Madison Square Garden for a lot of years.

Have you read 'Death Of A Salesman'? It's about Rocca.

He was more circus acrobat than wrestler, but nobody was more `over' in his time and place, and he really could work a room.

You ain't jest a'shi**in', Mr. Morrisey.

He went out with a whimper.

And then, a mere thirteen years later, he went out with uremic poisoning, which reminds me of a quote from a waitress in California who recently told me--without asking first--about everything that had disappointed her in her life and then said--and this wasn't her original quote, and I hope she didn't think I thought it was--"Life sucks and then y'die, I guess, huh, Hon?"


[This message has been edited by doctagraym (edited 07-08-2001).]


IP: Logged
Crimson Mask I
unregistered


Icon 1 posted            Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
Rocca did receive a title match with Thesz in Buffalo somewhere around here---major excerpts from it are on the NWA Title Tape from the Video Store. In spite of all Lou's dislike of Rocca, he made it look as if Rocca could wrestle.

So long from the Sunshine State!


IP: Logged
Crimson Mask I
unregistered


Icon 1 posted            Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
Also, I'm sure that HAD to be the same Joe Tomasso (also aka the masked 'Bat'), and Bull Montana probably was Lenny.
IP: Logged
Will Morrisey
Member
Member # 1542

Icon 1 posted      Profile for Will Morrisey     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
To the Good Docta:

I agree that the boys over at Ring Magazine knew where their bread was buttered. But even a shill can tell the truth, on those select occasions when truth is in the interests of his client.

"The Firpo Brothers" caught my eye, too. My record doesn't have their first names, which makes me think that for some reason they were not announced. (I was a diligent young mark, so I would have written it all down).
I have no idea who they were.

Are Rocca's early years still obscure? Looking at the old tapes today, I see that his style is so acrobat-derived that I wonder if he might actually have grown up around circus people. Edouard Carpentier, another `flying' wrestler of the period -- and reportedly every bit as popular in Montreal as Rocca was in NYC -- seemed instead to derive his style from gymnastics exercises.


IP: Logged
Crimson Mask I
unregistered


Icon 1 posted            Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
Rocca was a soccer player.
IP: Logged
doctagraym
Member
Member # 2863

Icon 1 posted      Profile for doctagraym     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
I wonder if the fantasy I've always harbored about Rocca's promotion was true--that the workers who signed on to work for him--people like Von Hess, Jarque, The Gallaghers, Barend, Montana, Townsend and Ellis--were loyal to Antonino and couldn't have cared less how Messrs. Mondt and McMahon felt about it....or, were they just going where their boss, Crockett, told them to go, or was it a combination of the two? The other thing I've always wondered about was why Rocca seemed to have just been "going through the motions" with the promotion, when such an opportunity seems to have been worth an all-out attempt to make meaningless the evils perpetrated on him by the slavemasters of his past. Or was booze already his true master, at that point?

[This message has been edited by doctagraym (edited 07-09-2001).]


IP: Logged
Will Morrisey
Member
Member # 1542

Icon 1 posted      Profile for Will Morrisey     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
Until further info surfaces, I guess I'll have to think of him as a former soccer player who must have LIKED the circus!

On Docta's point: another possibility is that Rocca was a successful performer who was just plain in over his head when he tried to run a wrestling promotion. Especially against Mondt/McMahon, veterans of the most `real' wrestling competition, namely, the one that takes place back in the offices. Sure might be interesting to talk to one of the guys who was involved as a performer. But I have no connection to the game beyond markdom, so it's a safe bet that none of the survivors would talk to the likes of me.


IP: Logged
doctagraym
Member
Member # 2863

Icon 1 posted      Profile for doctagraym     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
Sure they would, if they read your posts.
IP: Logged
doctagraym
Member
Member # 2863

Icon 1 posted      Profile for doctagraym     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
quote:
Originally posted by Will Morrisey:
On Docta's point: another possibility is that Rocca was a successful performer who was just plain in over his head when he tried to run a wrestling promotion.

He was, but even so, he didn't seem to give it a real good try.

But I have no connection to the game beyond markdom, so it's a safe bet that none of the survivors would talk to the likes of me.


Your connection to the game goes beyond markdom because, for whatever reason, it's an obvious part of your soul. The "survivors" would recognize that, and treat you with the respect you deserve.


IP: Logged
doctagraym
Member
Member # 2863

Icon 1 posted      Profile for doctagraym     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
Morrisey--I own an old poster from a card on Monday, 12/19/1960, at The Fordham Skating Palace in The Bronx. The main event was Rocca-Karl Von Hess. The other three matches were Haystacks Calhoun and Abe Jacobs vs The Sharpe Bros.; Tito Carreon vs Tony Altimore; Dick Steinborn vs Jack Vansky; and Arnie Skaaland vs Judo Jack Terry. The promoter is listed as 'Frank Singleton'; the matchmaker is "Ace" Freeman; and the announcer is 'Jack E. Lee'. If Rocca's promotion hadn't yet surfaced, at this point, whose promotion was this? Was he still attached to Mondt-McMahon? I dont recall a 'Frank Singleton' as ever having been one of Mondt and McMahon's associates, the way Willie Gilzenberg was.
Any ideas?

IP: Logged
Will Morrisey
Member
Member # 1542

Icon 1 posted      Profile for Will Morrisey     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
Thanks for the kind words. Any man who raises a glass in memory of Dr. Jerry, Valentine, and the original Zebra Kid can drink with me. As for recognition by a wrestler, well, come to think of it.... The only thing I ever published about wrestling was a piece I did for the Kenyon College newspaper in 1972. I interviewed Lou Klein, who was touring central Ohio with a little troupe. He gave me a very funny spiel, and concluded with the line, "If you can make a story out of that, you're a born wrestler." As a matter of fact, I did make a story out of it.

On the matter of `Frank Singleton': he's several years before Rocca's promotion, and this is the first I've heard of him. I'll check my records to see when Rocca disappeared from the Mondt/McMahon radar screen. But there may be others out there who can come up with the answer more quickly. I've watched a lot of wrestling, recorded it as a kid, and I've read some wrestling history, but I'm not a wrestling historian along the lines of Steve Yohe, Scott Teal, J. Michael Kenyon, and those guys, who know a Carl Saganian `billions and billions' more about the game than I ever will.


IP: Logged
doctagraym
Member
Member # 2863

Icon 1 posted      Profile for doctagraym     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
quote:
Originally posted by Will Morrisey:
I interviewed Lou Klein, who was touring central Ohio with a little troupe.

This sounds like a joke, but it isn't. Was the "little troupe" a troupe of dwarf wrestlers? Because Klein--scout's honor--used to be in charge of a group of them on the road. Among them was Leon (Fuzzy Cupid) Stap, may he rest in peace.


IP: Logged
Will Morrisey
Member
Member # 1542

Icon 1 posted      Profile for Will Morrisey     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
I know it's not a joke, because I've read some of the great stories Klein told about his chauffeur days with those guys. No, this was a little (as in small in number) troupe of wrestlers, some of whom were quite large individuals, including Tex MacKenzie, Mighty Igor, and, on the distaff side, Heather Feather and Tanya West. (The latter looked a bit like a tougher version of Ric Flair). If you want to read the article I did, it's been republished in Internet land in the new group of WAWLI Papers. (Am I allowed to refer to another website? If I'm breaking the rules, someone will edit me.)
IP: Logged
Crimson Mask I
unregistered


Icon 1 posted            Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
You can refer or link to any content sites, and WAWLI is a great one. Just ixnay on other tape vendors.
IP: Logged
doctagraym
Member
Member # 2863

Icon 1 posted      Profile for doctagraym     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
I wish I'd known Lou Klein. From everything I ever heard about him, he had a wonderful sense of humor, unlike--uhh--others he sometimes worked with.
IP: Logged
patc70s
Member
Member # 1201

Icon 1 posted      Profile for patc70s     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
Is Gino Lanza any relation to Blackjack Lanza?
IP: Logged
Will Morrisey
Member
Member # 1542

Icon 1 posted      Profile for Will Morrisey     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
Okay -- appearing in Madison Square Garden four days after the card Doctagraym has brought to light: seven of the wrestlers who appear on the poster he has: Rocca, Calhoun, the Sharpe Brothers, Carreon, Altimore, and Steinborn. Rocca was going against none other than Johnny Valentine, and they went to a draw.

According to Scott Teal's "Classic Clips" Issue #17, Rocca was appearing in Garden shows through January 1963, that is, a few months before Bruno beat Rogers for the WWWF title. Coincidence or cause-and-effect?

At any rate, it appears that the card Docta is talking about must have been sanctioned by the powers that were. That doesn't get us any closer to identifying local promoter Frank Singleton, but he wouldn't have been an interloper.

Gino Lanza/Blackjack Lanza? Those more learned than I may know right off, but I'll have to try to look it up.


IP: Logged
doctagraym
Member
Member # 2863

Icon 1 posted      Profile for doctagraym     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
quote:
Originally posted by Will Morrisey:
Okay -- appearing in Madison Square Garden four days after the card Doctagraym has brought to light: seven of the wrestlers who appear on the poster he has: Rocca, Calhoun, the Sharpe Brothers, Carreon, Altimore, and Steinborn. Rocca was going against none other than Johnny Valentine, and they went to a draw.

According to Scott Teal's "Classic Clips" Issue #17, Rocca was appearing in Garden shows through January 1963, that is, a few months before Bruno beat Rogers for the WWWF title. Coincidence or cause-and-effect?

At any rate, it appears that the card Docta is talking about must have been sanctioned by the powers that were. That doesn't get us any closer to identifying local promoter Frank Singleton, but he wouldn't have been an interloper.

Gino Lanza/Blackjack Lanza? Those more learned than I may know right off, but I'll have to try to look it up.



Morrisey--you make Colombo look like Nancy Drew.


IP: Logged
Ken Viewer
Member
Member # 5528

Icon 1 posted      Profile for Ken Viewer     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
Can't speak to who Frank Singleton was, but the Bronx venue was on the Capitol promotion's tour and the Bronx matches were hyped either by McMahon's TV show out of D.C. or on the Sunnyside, NY TV show).

Buddy Rogers, Rocca, the Kangaroos and the whole Capitol crowd performed there. The venue was a rink with a balcony section. Ringside seating was loose chairs. The site was one block from the IRT #4 and four blocks from the IND D subway-elevated lines. Easy access by mass transit was important in NYC.

Ken

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 
I was Googling Tony Cosenza from the Ira Gallen thread and it took me here.

This is the monument by which I kneel and murmur recitations.

So I bump.

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

IP: Logged
ehrjr from L.I.,N.Y.
Member
Member # 4773

Icon 1 posted      Profile for ehrjr from L.I.,N.Y.     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
quote:
Originally posted by doctagraym:
Morrisey--I own an old poster from a card on Monday, 12/19/1960, at The Fordham Skating Palace in The Bronx. The main event was Rocca-Karl Von Hess. The other three matches were Haystacks Calhoun and Abe Jacobs vs The Sharpe Bros.; Tito Carreon vs Tony Altimore; Dick Steinborn vs Jack Vansky; and Arnie Skaaland vs Judo Jack Terry. The promoter is listed as 'Frank Singleton'; the matchmaker is "Ace" Freeman; and the announcer is 'Jack E. Lee'. If Rocca's promotion hadn't yet surfaced, at this point, whose promotion was this? Was he still attached to Mondt-McMahon? I dont recall a 'Frank Singleton' as ever having been one of Mondt and McMahon's associates, the way Willie Gilzenberg was.
Any ideas?

The presence of The Golden Boy Arnold Skaaland seems like a good tip-off to me that it was a McMahon supported card. Didn't he have a piece of Capitol by then?

P.S.-I believe Jack E. Lee was a sportswriter for the Long Island press back then. (IIRC-horse racing).

[ 02-26-2008, 01:03 AM: Message edited by: ehrjr from L.I.,N.Y. ]

--------------------
Ernie

"A Kayfabe Memory is a Terrible Thing to Waste."

Thanks for the memories, 'Naitch.

Forget it,Bret. Lou, Don & Nick are the best-you were never even close.

IP: Logged
AgentRalph44
Member
Member # 21214

Icon 1 posted      Profile for AgentRalph44     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
Jack E. Lee was the race track announcer at a harness track in New Jersey, Freehold Raceway. He probably also worked at long defunct Roosevelt Raceway on Long Island and current racino Yonkers Raceway, just north of The Bronx.

Jack E. Lee was the son of Mike Lee, who was the sports editor and writer for the Long Island Press. Mike Lee helped launch the career of many famous sportwriters of NYC fame -- Dave Anderson, John Piesen and Phil Pepe to name just a few. Mike Lee also did publicity work at Roosevelt Raceway well into the middle 1980s when the gentlemen himself was over 80 years of age.

Going back to the Rocca promotion.

I believe he was fronted by Rheingold Brewery an original sponsor of the New York Mets, and direct competitor of Ballantine Beer, a Yankees sponsor. Both brews sought the lower end beer drinker market.

Incidentally, the ring announcer at the Sunnyside TV tapings was Bob Murphy, Hall of Fame baseball announcer of the Mets. Lonnie Starr did the TV grunt-by-grunt.

IP: Logged
Ken Viewer
Member
Member # 5528

Icon 1 posted      Profile for Ken Viewer     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
Agent Ralph,

Do you remember when Skull Murphy came on so strong in the interview segment of one Sunnyside telecast Murphy frightened Lonnie Starr? Starr showed real fear and pleaded, 'I'm not a wrestler, leave me alone...' I recall the "I'm not a wrestler" part verbatim after Murphy challenged his opponents-to-come, then scared the announcer with a threat of a beating in the ring for him, too. Starr said his children were watching and he wanted no fight.

I'd have assumed the incident was a work if not for the following Tuesday, when, during the interview segment, Murphy came out, said little, and then Starr got to tell off Murphy -- at the promoter's insistence, I assume -- for his conduct the previous week. Starr got to deliver a monologue laying Murphy out as a cowardly bully who was all bluff, and Murphy just stood there, sorta smirking, silently.

Ken

[ 06-27-2009, 04:27 PM: Message edited by: Ken Viewer ]

IP: Logged
Ken Viewer
Member
Member # 5528

Icon 1 posted      Profile for Ken Viewer     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
Circa 1961-1962 (can't locate my Yohe Press' Buddy Rogers Record Book at the moment), that skating rink held a Manhattan Booking Office-affiliated show. The main event was a return match for Vittorio Apollo vs Buddy Rogers for the NWA U. S. Heavyweight Championship, shortly after the two wrestled each other at Madison Square Garden. Rogers put on a different show, though it ran roughly the same amount of time, with a similar double-count finish, though they stayed inside the ring for this one.

The windup match was the time I saw the greatest single move at any wrestling match ever: Don Curtis and Mark Lewin were again against The Fabulous Kangaroos (same windup as was at MSG with the main event), when Curtis did a head-first dive through the top-and-second-rope, after one of the Kangaroos fell down, and spun over, catching his neck in those ropes.

He then started strangling, running-in-place on the canvas trying to gain traction, and the crowd went nuts. The referee finally got the ropes untied. I've learned, on this board, that Buddy Rogers originated that stunt, and I tell ya, almost 50 years later, for me sitting second-row ringside in that rink, it was totally believable.

Curtis was a great athlete, actor and wrestler. Never got the acclaim in New York, as a singles wrestler, or even with Lewin in tag matches, that he deserved. He was among the best half-dozen I've been lucky enough to see so far.

Ken

[ 06-27-2009, 04:47 PM: Message edited by: Ken Viewer ]

IP: Logged
diamondmd
Member
Member # 1292

Icon 1 posted      Profile for diamondmd   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
Haven't seen Will on here in a long time, but the answer to his question about the Firpo Brothers. They toured Georgia and the Gulf Coast around they same time and were billed as Luis & Zanzibar Firpo. No idea who they were. Possibly the "Jules Zanzibar" listed on earlier cards morphed into "Zanzibar Firpo". Don't know if Pampero Firpo was either of these, but in the Gulf Coast they were billed as short, stocky and having wild hair, so it's possible.

--------------------
http://www.gccwhistory.com/

IP: Logged
ehrjr from L.I.,N.Y.
Member
Member # 4773

Icon 1 posted      Profile for ehrjr from L.I.,N.Y.     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
IIRC, Jewel Zanzibar was black.

--------------------
Ernie

"A Kayfabe Memory is a Terrible Thing to Waste."

Thanks for the memories, 'Naitch.

Forget it,Bret. Lou, Don & Nick are the best-you were never even close.

IP: Logged
AgentRalph44
Member
Member # 21214

Icon 1 posted      Profile for AgentRalph44     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
quote:
Originally posted by Ken Viewer:
Agent Ralph,

Do you remember when Skull Murphy came on so strong in the interview segment of one Sunnyside telecast Murphy frightened Lonnie Starr? Starr showed real fear and pleaded, 'I'm not a wrestler, leave me alone...' I recall the "I'm not a wrestler" part verbatim after Murphy challenged his opponents-to-come, then scared the announcer with a threat of a beating in the ring for him, too. Starr said his children were watching and he wanted no fight.

I'd have assumed the incident was a work if not for the following Tuesday, when, during the interview segment, Murphy came out, said little, and then Starr got to tell off Murphy -- at the promoter's insistence, I assume -- for his conduct the previous week. Starr got to deliver a monologue laying Murphy out as a cowardly bully who was all bluff, and Murphy just stood there, sorta smirking, silently.

Ken

hello Ken:

I do remember the broader aspect of this, Ken, but the very specifics escape me since I was quite young when all this went down.

What I do recall about the Rocca promotion TV was how dark the arena was. Also, while not knowing the definition at the time, Rocca TV had a third- and fourth- rate element to it.

Of course, being a kid, I didn't know the whys, the hows or the whats, but I did realize even then that there was a difference between the Bridgeport TV -- fast paced, well lit, very exciting show -- and the dull, dark Rocca show from Sunnyside.

Skull Murphy was truly one of the great, underrated wrestlers in mat history.

My all-time, very all-time favorite TV match (did I say of all-time) was the title switch between Murphy and Brute Bernard against champs The Great Scott and Buddy (Killer) Austin. Both blondes had feuded with one another earlier, separately turned, then made fans go gaga by teaming up together and eventually winning the tag title.

I'll cut to the chase on this match: one fall each... somehow The Great Scott gets pummeled and is out of the ring unconscious or just plain sore and Killer Austin winds up fighting most of the 3rd fall alone.

He eventully makes a comeback against Skull and gets him in his famed Figure-Four leg lock. Austin's leg lock was different than Buddy Rogers in that Austin was able to lock the legs, and then stand up and make a back-drop type of move, causing screaming and howls from the victim before concession.

Being tall and with a full head of blonde hair Austin's leg-lock was visually more impressive than Rogers' grape vine, which was applied by being off his feet while on the mat.

Well Killer gets this leg-lock on Skull, and stands up to apply the pressure. He does it once or twice, but when he tries this one more time, Murphy grabs hold of Austin's long locks, holds the head steady, and gives Austin a crushing head butt, knocking him out, or close to it.

Needless to say, Austin is done, and Murphy rolls on top for the deciding pin and the belts.

By now, albeit a wee bit too late of course, The Great Scott comes back into the ring, revives Austin and gestures that he was hurt himself and out of the ring. Of course, Austin becomes upset and begins stomping and hitting The Great Scott, and they are all over the arena slugging each other. This leads to a huge feud between those two.

The Rocca promotion had nothing like that on their TV.

IP: Logged
Ken Viewer
Member
Member # 5528

Icon 1 posted      Profile for Ken Viewer     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
I'd stopped watching the wrestling telecasts before Rocca TV, but I like your name for it. Hope some Far East manufacturer of LCD sets sells one of its lines as "Rocca TV."

Lot of water out of the Hudson and into the Atlantic Ocean in the decades since all of this, and to this day, I proudly call myself a wrestling fan of the 'old days,' end of the Golden Age, whatever it ought to be called.

By the way, my recollection of Buddy Rogers' Figure Four is that he made the "figure 4" out of his opponent's legs while he was standing, then went to the mat to "lock in" his right leg over the other guy's ankle.

Re the shows out of CT when I watched the Saturday night two-hour bore-a-rama (the marquee names didn't show up on that program very often), IIRC, it was the worst-lit show on TV, though it didn't matter because I could always tell then-jobbers Tony Altimore from Lou Albano anyway. They must have wrestled every Saturday -- perhaps one or both lived up in that area.

Ken

IP: Logged
ehrjr from L.I.,N.Y.
Member
Member # 4773

Icon 1 posted      Profile for ehrjr from L.I.,N.Y.     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
Tony Altimore lived in Conn.. Stamford, I believe.

--------------------
Ernie

"A Kayfabe Memory is a Terrible Thing to Waste."

Thanks for the memories, 'Naitch.

Forget it,Bret. Lou, Don & Nick are the best-you were never even close.

IP: Logged
reckless
Member
Member # 4360

Icon 1 posted      Profile for reckless     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
hi Ernie:

Stamford, CT was indeed the hometown of Tony Altimore, who still lived there until he died a few years back.

Stamford has an extremely large Italian population and most of the citizens worked for either Stanley Works, General Electric or United Technology, the three large industrial companies in Connecticut.

I believe his real, regular job was not teaming with Lou Albano, hard to believe , but with the City of Stamford's Sports and Recreation Department.

Altimore was reportedly a great swimmer who taught just about all the kids through adult age lessons on how to swim.

IP: Logged
ehrjr from L.I.,N.Y.
Member
Member # 4773

Icon 1 posted      Profile for ehrjr from L.I.,N.Y.     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
As long as he wasn't the guy who taught Albano to blade. Lou was the absolute drizzles with a blade. [Big Grin]

--------------------
Ernie

"A Kayfabe Memory is a Terrible Thing to Waste."

Thanks for the memories, 'Naitch.

Forget it,Bret. Lou, Don & Nick are the best-you were never even close.

IP: Logged
Skullbutt
Member
Member # 21433

Icon 1 posted      Profile for Skullbutt         Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
Before I knew that Lonny Starr was a wrestling announcer, I had read in a record magazine about his being a disc jockey on WNEW, NY.
IP: Logged
diamondmd
Member
Member # 1292

Icon 1 posted      Profile for diamondmd   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
quote:
Originally posted by diamondmd:
Haven't seen Will on here in a long time, but the answer to his question about the Firpo Brothers. They toured Georgia and the Gulf Coast around they same time and were billed as Luis & Zanzibar Firpo. No idea who they were. Possibly the "Jules Zanzibar" listed on earlier cards morphed into "Zanzibar Firpo". Don't know if Pampero Firpo was either of these, but in the Gulf Coast they were billed as short, stocky and having wild hair, so it's possible.

I recently discovered who the Firpo Brothers were and thought I'd bump this in case anyone else was interested. Luis Firpo was Gino Sanizzaro (Gene Dundee/Flash Monroe) and Zanzibar was Isaac Rosario (Gypsy Joe Rosario/Pancho Valdez). They were a product of Sanizzaro's dad's (Tony Santos) promotion. They also worked for Pfefer as "The Fabulous Zangaroos".

--------------------
http://www.gccwhistory.com/

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 Skullbutt:
Before I knew that Lonny Starr was a wrestling announcer, I had read in a record magazine about his being a disc jockey on WNEW, NY.

There had to be a reason I didn't listen to that station, beyond William B. Williams, his odd babbling, and staying up for Long John Nebel's all-night talk show on WOR.

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 
quote:
Originally posted by diamondmd:
quote:
Originally posted by diamondmd:
Haven't seen Will on here in a long time, but the answer to his question about the Firpo Brothers. They toured Georgia and the Gulf Coast around they same time and were billed as Luis & Zanzibar Firpo. No idea who they were. Possibly the "Jules Zanzibar" listed on earlier cards morphed into "Zanzibar Firpo". Don't know if Pampero Firpo was either of these, but in the Gulf Coast they were billed as short, stocky and having wild hair, so it's possible.

I recently discovered who the Firpo Brothers were and thought I'd bump this in case anyone else was interested. Luis Firpo was Gino Sanizzaro (Gene Dundee/Flash Monroe) and Zanzibar was Isaac Rosario (Gypsy Joe Rosario/Pancho Valdez). They were a product of Sanizzaro's dad's (Tony Santos) promotion. They also worked for Pfefer as "The Fabulous Zangaroos".
I've never understood the longevity of Pfefer's imitations roadshow. Was the idea to get over on the arena crowd all the time, or some level of wrestling performance-art that was funny to the crowds, or a genuinely-talented bunch of wrestlers who drew well once the audiences got to know them? There had to be some method to the apparent Pfefer madness -- the guy lasted in the business longer than most of his competition.

Anyone here get to see the Pfefer troupe(s) on a continuing basis? If so, what sold them, or didn't sell them?

Thanks.

Ken

IP: Logged
ehrjr from L.I.,N.Y.
Member
Member # 4773

Icon 1 posted      Profile for ehrjr from L.I.,N.Y.     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
Bump.

--------------------
Ernie

"A Kayfabe Memory is a Terrible Thing to Waste."

Thanks for the memories, 'Naitch.

Forget it,Bret. Lou, Don & Nick are the best-you were never even close.

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 Will Morrisey:
And there you have it. At least, there you have the cards I saw. I don't think the promotion lasted much longer than this. Nor did it deserve to. I still remember a few images, aside from the ones I mentioned above. I remember Man Mountain Cannon's crying bit: his opponent would whip him into the turnbuckles, and he would sit down and blubber. I remember that the announcer, Lonnie Starr, kept telling us that Dick the Bruiser, Lou Thesz, and other major stars would be appearing "on future programs." I guess I can stop waiting. I also remember one of Rocca's interviews, in which he challenged "that bleached blonde" Buddy Rogers to wrestle him. Rogers never appeared, either. In the Rocca promotion, they tended to confuse name-dropping with future attractions.

Rocca stayed with Capitol until January '63, but his last MSG card was a couple months prior and did not draw. His guarantee was too high for what they were drawing at that time (the area was experiencing a slump). Bruno could be had for far less.

I think the likelihood of Rogers coming in to Rocca's promotion was very possible. Johnny Barend shows up on Rocca TV the next taping after Rogers no-shows his MSG appearance.

In all likelihood, he did plan on appearing, but on December 3rd he was injured in a fall at Carlsbad Spa in Fort Lauderdale, FL and didn't return to the ring for nearly two years, by which time Rocca's promotion was long gone.

IP: Logged
BestThere'llNeverBe
Member
Member # 127797

Icon 1 posted      Profile for BestThere'llNeverBe     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
The Rocca show didn't start until Sept of '63, but that mystery show from '60 was during the period of time that McMahon and Toots had been tossed out of MSG and Pfeifer and Kwarani and Martinez got their last run at it
IP: Logged
merc
Member
Member # 125456

Icon 1 posted      Profile for merc     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
quote:
Originally posted by patc70s:
Is Gino Lanza any relation to Blackjack Lanza?

I had the same question 16 years later Pat.

Looks like Gino was one of Jack's aliases. I wonder if he wrestled here as Gino and then changed names and wrestled as jack (or Joe) in the WWWF at the same time.

IP: Logged
  This topic comprises 2 pages: 1  2   

Quick Reply
Message:

HTML is enabled.
UBB Code™ is enabled.

Instant Graemlins
   


Post New Topic  New Poll  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