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Big Jim L September 17th, 2012 04:01 GMT Print this post

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Post: #725190
PT: #1/28

      Since I finished up 1967, I figured to move on to 1968. Again, any questions, just ask.

      As before, live TV matches would be held each Friday from 530 to 630pm, just hours away from the house show. This allowed matches to be programmed on their own and not tied into the direction of Detroit.

      The booking patterns grew more steady. The tag team champions seemed to be the same all over the territory and more house shows were run. For a period, it was every Friday night.

      In 1968, the top heels would be Bull Curry, Baron Von Raschke, the Hell's Angels and later in the year, Thunderbolt Patterson. One thing that may have been done in Dayton compared to the rest of the territory was that Patterson was brought in as a babyface partner for Mark Lewin, but my goodness things got out of hand.

      Dick Murdoch arrives hailing from Alabama as The Rebel. Got a few main events shots in Dayton and was a great worker even then. A jobber by the name of Dusty Runnells also works the territory for a while.

   Most cards were held at Hara Arena (5,000 for hockey another 800 for wrestling). At times, they would run at the Montgomery County Fairgrounds Coliseum.
   As I mentioned in a previous post, the word "Coliseum" should not conjure up thoughts of any garnd palace for wrestling. It was built possibly in the 1920s or 30s, as a livestock show barn during the county fair. Would hold about 1,000 max for wrestling.
PM: Big Jim L
Big Jim L September 17th, 2012 04:14 GMT Print this post

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Post: #725192
PT: #2/28


    The first show of year was at the fairgrounds headlined by Don Leo Jonathan on his short tour of the territory for Farhat. Little did we know that The Butcher (aka John Quinn) was a native of his home territory and had worked together many times.
     In a strange, one-time deal, they ran two different ads for the show. This tells me a newspaper person dropped the ball. I didn't attend this show, but had to guess The Butcher was the heel.

Friday, Jan. 5, 1968 - Fairgrounds
Don Leo Jonathan vs The Butcher
Dan Miller vs Jess Ortega
Oklahoma Kid vs The Spoiler (Bob Harmon)
Chief White Owl vs Mike Loren
4 midget tag

    The Sheik returned to the Jan. 12 Hara card to face The Oklahoma Kid (aka Elmer Gearlds). The Kid would work several months for Farhat then travel to Australia where he died of a heart attack his second night in the territory.
    This card would also mark the debut of Bull Curry in Dayton. Yes, I know Curry had been working about a hundred years by then and had been in Dayton several times, I'm sure. It was the first time I had seen him and the first wrestler to actually scare me.
    They got him over by having all the TV jobbers get blood for him. They would also had juice in the house matches and this really got him over. I recall Curry saying in the dressing room one night that Farhat made a mistake not putting the U.S. belt on him because he was hotter than Sheik at this time.

    This was also the first card for Pierre "Mad Dog" LaBelle, one of Cormier brothers from Nova Scotia. Later, his brother, Rudy Kay, would arrive as his manager, Maurice LaBelle.

Friday, Jan. 12, 1968
The Sheik vs Oklahoma Kid for U.S. title
Mark Lewin vs Big Bad John
Fred Curry vs Al Costello
Bull Ortega vs The Butcher
Pierre LaBelle vs Joe Smith
Bull Curry vs Dan Miller
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Big Jim L September 17th, 2012 05:06 GMT Print this post

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Post: #725199
PT: #3/28

1968 B Dayton clips

   In quick fashion, Bull Curry had reached main event status. They really pushed him hard. An old man that couldn't take any bumps was incensing the fans each new week. Go figure.
   This first card was the big blow off between Big Bad John and his cousin, Virgil the Butcher. Both guys soon left the territory after this with Butcher headed to the WWWF to challenge Bruno.
  The Big O (Bugsy McGraw) gets his first in ring appearance in Dayton. For a couple of weeks they had this big masked guy sitting ringside on TV and at the house show. They finally interviewed him on TV and said he was after all wrestlers and Mark Lewin topped his list.

Friday, Jan. 19, 1968
Bull Curry vs Oklahoma Kid
Mark Lewin vs The Big O (Bugsy McGraw)
Big Bad John vs The Butcher
Pierre LaBelle vs Al Costello
Victor the Bear vs 2 men
Bull Ortega vs Chief White Owl (ad read as Curry)

  The Jan. 26 card started one of the top drawing feuds with Bull Curry against Mark Lewin. They shot an angle that as I look back on it makes me wonder if they caught any heat from the TV people.
     Ernie Roth was still doing the TV announcing and assistant Farhat booker Jack Cain arrives wearing a white shirt. Claimed to be a TV announcer from Boston who had a long flight layover at the airport and stopped by to say hello to Roth and Lewin.
     The show ended with Bull Curry bloodying up a TV jobber. He refused to stop after the match and Cain tried to pull Curry off. Curry pulls out brass knucks and zaps Cain in the forehead.
     Curry picks him up to hit him again and Cain is pouring buckets. Bam, down he goes again. Lewin hits the ringside area chasing Curry into and out of the ring while the small crowd went ballistic.
     Lewin, who just happened to be wearing a yellow shirt, falls to his knees and begins to cradle the head of a KOed Cain in his lap. Lewin's best friend in the whole world was injured. Said Curry would pay for his actions. CUT. End of show.

   Alex Perez from Amarillo debuted on this card. They pushed him as a babyface former marine who was a boxer. Used KO punch for his finish.

Friday, Jan. 26, 1968 - Fairgrounds
1st - Alex Perez & Bull Ortega drew
2nd - Oklahoma Kid over Pierre LaBelle by DQ
3rd - Baron Von Raschke over Dan Miller with Prussian Sleeper
4th - Bull Curry over Mark Lewin (1st fall Curry by pin, 2nd Lewin sleeper, 3rd Curry KO Lewin with brass knucks & pin)

    The Feb. 2 show was more hijinks with Curry & Lewin in a return match with no stips. Back at Hara Arena, where they were selling pictures of Lewin holding a bloodied Cain.

Friday, Feb. 2, 1968
1st - Bull Ortega over Mike Loren with Bear Hug
2nd - Pierre LaBelle & Alex Perez drew
3rd - Baron Von Raschke over Prince Pullins with Prussian Sleeper
4th - Bull Curry over Mark Lewin (1st fall Curry by pin, 2nd fall, Lewin by pin, 3rd fall, Lewin DQed for fighting with Von Raschke on the floor)
PM: Big Jim L
Tojo Mojo September 17th, 2012 17:05 GMT Print this post

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Post: #725222
PT: #4/28

Joe Smith is Don Kent's  real name. Thanks Jim for all of this great nostalgia.
PM: Tojo Mojo
Big Jim L September 17th, 2012 22:02 GMT Print this post

Topics: 139
Replies: 707

Post: #725245
PT: #5/28

1968 C Dayton clips

    Due to the finish of the last Bull Curry-Lewin match in that Baron Von Raschke caused the count out, a tag match ensued. Didn't attend this card as the other matches looked unique.

Friday, Feb. 9, 1968
Bull Curry & Baron Von Raschke vs Mark Lewin & Oklahoma Kid
The Butcher vs Oscar (Crusher) Verdu
The Big O vs Man Mountain Cannon
other matches not listed

   Lewin and Raschke were matched from the tag match. Curry goes over Ladd who got his legs between the top and bottom ropes (while standing), fell backwards and covered by Curry without ref seeing it. This finish was used several times throughout the years in Dayton.

Friday, Feb. 23, 1968
1st - Chief White Owl & Alex Perez drew
2nd - Oklahoma Kid pinned Al Roberts with a bulldog
3rd - Bull Curry pinned Ernie Ladd (legs in ropes)
4th - Mark Lewin over Baron Von Raschke (1st fall Lewin by pin, 2nd fall Raschke by Prussian sleeper, 3rd fall Lewin by sleeper)
Bull Curry ran in to pummel Lewin after the match. All wrestlers on card came out to pull them apart

   The Feb. 23 card marked the debut of the Hell's Angels. There had been no mention of the tag champs being Fred Curry & Dan Miller until this time. The Angels get involved in Lumberjack Match and causes Lewin to be DQed

Friday, Feb. 23, 1968
1st - Chief White Owl & Big O drew
2nd - Hell's Angels over Dan Miller & Alex Perez (Paul Dupree pin Perez after KO with motorcycle boot)
3rd - Oklahoma Kid over Pierre LaBelle by DQ
4th - Bull Curry over Mark Lewin by DQ in Lumberjack Match
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Big Jim L September 17th, 2012 22:36 GMT Print this post

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Post: #725247
PT: #6/28

1968 DD Dayton clips

  Bull Curry continues to main event Dayton with Sheik rarely mentioned. In 1968, Sheik was working a lot in other territories and Curry was a good second banana heel.
     This card marks the debut of Dusty Runnels at the beginning of his career. He did jobs on TV, but was usually given decent matches on the house shows. Farhat wouldn't do anything with him until he returned with Dick Murdoch as The Outlaws in 1970.
     The name Rudy Kay is listed in the ad. I did not attend this show, but Kay soon surfaced as Maurice LaBelle, brother and manager of Pierre LaBelle about this same time. I highly doubt he worked this show as Rudy Kay.

Friday, March 1, 1968
Bull Curry vs Oklahoma Kid
Alex Perez vs Pierre LaBelle
Hell's Angels vs Dusty Runnels & Rudy Kay
one other match

  The March 8 show moved to the fairgrounds. With live TV, the idea of booking on the fly seems to be part of the programming here again. But the Curry-Lewin match up seemed to be the driving force.

Friday, March 8, 1968 - Fairgrounds
1st - Big Bad John & Dusty Runnels drew
2nd - Baron Von Raschke & Alex Perez drew
3rd - Oklahoma Kid over Pierre LaBelle by DQ
4th - Bull Curry & Baron Von Raschke over Mark Lewin & Alex Perez
(1st fall Raschke over Lewin with sleeper, 2nd fall Lewin pin Raschke, 3rd fall Curry pin Perez after KOed by Raschke)

    Still at the fairgrounds on March 15, Ladd would challenge Curry, but the bottom rope was to be removed as a special stip from (count em wrestling fans) four shows ago. Too bad Ladd's schedule didn't allow him to return any sooner. We almost forgot the bottom rope pin.
    The best match of the night was Raschke vs Perez.

Friday, March 15, 1968 - Fairgrounds
1st - Oklahoma Kid & Bull Ortega drew
2nd - Bull Curry over Ernie Ladd by DQ
3rd - Mark Lewin over Pierre LaBelle by DQ
4th - Baron Von Raschke over Alex Perez (1st fall Perez over with KO punch and pin, 2nd fall, Raschke over by pin, 3rd fall Raschke over with sleeper that was applied while ref KOed then woke up)
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Big Jim L September 18th, 2012 02:45 GMT Print this post

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Post: #725262
PT: #7/28

OK Kid

    I need your help. Who is or was The Oklahoma Kid?

    He came into the territory and got main events working with Sheik at Cobo Hall. Later in 1968, he traveled to Australia and dies on his second night there of a heart attack at age 29.
    His real name is Elmer Gearlds and he is buried in Tennessee. I understand that was where he was living at the time of his death.
    His picture appears in Jim Melby's book about Minnesota wrestling history under the name of Ray Gordon, but many have said this guy was not Ray Gordon.
    I've heard hints that maybe he worked in North Carolina for a while, but nothing confirmed. Does anyone recognize him under a different name?
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Big Jim L September 18th, 2012 03:03 GMT Print this post

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Post: #725264
PT: #8/28

1968 E Dayton clips

    Back to Hara for the March 22 show, which I didn't attend. Al Costello and Don Kent (aka Joe Smith) appear as The Kangaroos from here on out. The tag match seemed to be the only interesting match.

Friday, March 22, 1968
Fred Curry vs Baron Von Raschke
Hell's Angels vs The Kangaroos
Pierre LaBelle vs Dan Miller
one other match

     The March 29 show had the announcement that the Hell's Angels were the new world tag team champions. No mention of who they beat, where or when.
     Interesting because the Hell's Angels aren't listed a champs in the Cobo Hall line up cards until June 22. The opportunities of live TV in Dayton allowed them to make whomever they wanted as champs and when.

Friday, March 29, 1968
1st - Hell's Angels over Chief White Owl & Al Costello (Paul Dupree pin Owl after Angel Drop, which was a double Atomic Drop)
2nd - Fred Curry over Baron Von Raschke by DQ
3rd - Bull Curry & Pierre LaBelle over Mark Lewin & Oklahoma Kid
(1st fall Lewin over LaBelle with sleeper, 2nd fall Curry pin Kid, 3rd fall, LaBelle pin Lewin after KOed by Curry)

   Two weeks later on April 12, Chief White Owl is promoted from doing a job in the opening match to main event status.
   Why didn't Lewin work with Bull Curry or LaBelle? Seems logical to me, but they didn't ask.

Friday, April 12, 1968
1st - Pierre LaBelle over Matt Gilmore with hangman
2nd - Oklahoma Kid & Baron Von Raschke drew
3rd - Mark Lewin & Alex Perez over Hell's Angels by DQ in title match
4th - Bull Curry pinned a bloody Chief White Owl
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Big Jim L September 18th, 2012 03:17 GMT Print this post

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Post: #725267
PT: #9/28

1968 F Dayton clips

   Alex Perez was a good solid mid-card worker, but never really main event material by the way Sheik pushed him. Both guys bled rather heavily, but no return was worked.
   For those of you who are reading the ad closely, no we didn't get a new Indian wrestler. It may be a public comment on Owl's in-ring ability, but I'm not sure.
   In fact, that match didn't take place. On TV, Ladd showed up as a heel now and wanted to prove his greatness by beating his own tag team partner. In other words, they had the Hell's Angels booked in another town.
   The ad reads a girls match, but none was held. The name Don Kent shows up in the ad, but Joe Smith showed up in the ring.

Friday, April 19, 1968
1st - Joe Smith pinned Frankie Laine
2nd - Pierre LaBelle over Dan Miller by DQ
3rd - Ernie Ladd over Chief White Owl with stomach claw submission
4th - The Sheik over Alex Perez in U.S. title match (1st fall Perez over with KO punch, 2nd fall Sheik with camel clutch, 3rd fall, Sheik over by pin)

    Ernie Ladd continues his reign of terror by challenging Mark Lewin. Rather lacking card, but it was interesting seeing Ladd as a new heel.

Friday, April 26, 1968
1st - Dusty Runnels over The Spoiler (Bob Harmon) with body tackles
2nd - Big O over Frankie Laine with full nelson
3rd - Oklahoma Kid & Baron Von Raschke drew
4th - Mark Lewin over Ernie Ladd (1st fall Ladd over with claw hold, 2nd fall, Lewin over with sleeper, 3rd fall, Ladd DQed for hitting ref)
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Big Jim L September 18th, 2012 03:51 GMT Print this post

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Post: #725275
PT: #10/28

1968 G Dayton clips

    NOTE: The first clip on the left was mistakenly scanned onto this page. It is the same card covered in my previous scan.

     The May 3 show was interesting to say the least. With no build up until the day of the show, Sheik worked with Von Raschke for the U.S. title. He didn't switch Raschke babyface, but the fans cheered him anyway.
     This could be the only time Farhat and Raschke worked against each other. After he left Detroit, Raschke was in other territories where Sheik didn't work and eventually topped Bruiser's opposition shows in Detroit.
     I believe this was a test run, to see if they could shoot an angle at Cobo Hall of Sheik and Raschke turning on each other in a tag match, a move Farhat did time and time again over the years.
     Pay close attention to the ad and how closely it followed the actual matches.

Friday, May 3, 1968
1st- Al Costello pinned Bob Boyer with a neck bridge
2nd - Chief White Owl & Big O drew
3rd - Pierre LaBelle over Tony Marellos 2 straight falls with Hangman & KO punch
4th - The Sheik over Baron Von Raschke in title match (1st fall Sheik over with camel clutch, 2nd fall Raschke over with sleeper, 3rd fall Raschke DQed for not breaking choke hold)

    How about the May 10 card as a follow up from the weeks before. From two cut throat bloody thirsty bad boys to clean living and rasslin' Lou Thesz.
    I'm sure Thesz still had a name somewhere in the wrestling business, but not in Dayton. This match received no reaction due mostly because we were raised on blood, biting and the like. One of the smaller crowds for that time period.

Friday, May 10, 1968
1st - Big O & Dusty Runnels drew
2nd - Hell's Angels over Alex Perez & Chief White Owl in title match ((Ron Dupree pin Perez with Angel Drop)
3rd - Bull Curry pinned Dan Miller
4th - Lou Thesz over Pierre LaBelle in 2 straight falls with small package & DQ
PM: Big Jim L
maddog September 18th, 2012 06:39 GMT Print this post

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Post: #725277
PT: #11/28

Great history lesson. Thank you so much for your continued efforts..  

WWW: maddog
jim mandl September 18th, 2012 11:52 GMT Print this post

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Replies: 481

Post: #725284
PT: #12/28

Big Jim:

On 68/02/23 you typed the Oklahoma Kid defeated Pierre LaBelle by DQ, but the clipping below the advertisement says he defeated Crybaby Cannon.

Is the results clip for the 23rd?

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Big Jim L September 18th, 2012 20:20 GMT Print this post

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Post: #725329
PT: #13/28

    Thanks for bringing that to my attention, Jim. I should have mentioned it on that post.

    I was at that card and Al Roberts worked with the OK Kid instead of Cannon. Whoever phoned in the results must have mixed it up.

    I would like to make a correction on another result. On March 29, the Hell's Angels went over Chief White Owl & Dan Miller. Al Costello was not involved in that match.
PM: Big Jim L
Big Jim L September 19th, 2012 00:25 GMT Print this post

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Post: #725355
PT: #14/28

1968 H Dayton clips

  These three clips featured a series of matches between The Sheik and Bull Curry. The attendance grew significantly at both venues. Although they never really turned Curry babyface it marked the end of his reign as top heel.
   They didn't shoot any angles for this match. Just the newspaper ad and the live TV just before the house show. Each of these cards were two weeks apart straying from the every Friday night sequence they had been on.
    The fans cheered for Curry simply because The Sheik had been around so long as top heel. Farhat always turned top heels babyface to work with him. Usually they would turn on each other in tag matches. In the dressing room, it was discussed the move was meant to take the heat off of hot heels and back onto Farhat to remain top heel.

    The first card on May 17 also marks the end of Pierre LaBelle and his manager. Not sure, but I think they went to Dallas where Pierre became The Beast. Couldn't understand why Farhat didn't pull the manager into special tag matches with his brother.

Friday, May 17, 1968 - Fairgrounds
1st - Hell's Angels over Chief White Owl & Tom Jones in a non-title match (Paul Dupree pin Jones with Angel Drop)
2nd - Oklahoma Kid & Baron Von Raschke drew (3rd time in Dayton this year)
3rd - Mark Lewin over Pierre LaBelle by DQ. (Had LaBelle in sleeper when his manager ran in. Lewin back dropped Maurice LaBelle then put him to sleep)
4th - Bull Curry over The Sheik in U.S. title match (1st fall Sheik by pin, 2nd fall Curry by pin, 3rd fall Sheik DQed for hitting ref)

Friday, May 31, 1968
1st - Vicki Adams & Lucille Dupre over Mary Jane Mull & Toni Rose (Adams pins Rose)
2nd - Fred Curry & Mark Lewin over Hell's Angels by DQ in title match
3rd - Ernie Ladd & Oklahoma Kid drew
4th - The Sheik vs Bull Curry for title (2 refs)
(1st fall, Sheik over with Camel Clutch, 2nd fall Curry by pin, 3rd fall both counted out) U.S. title belt held up by wrestling commission
    The final card was the first time I saw Mr. Kleen and Man Mountain Mike. Kleen was the Ernie Bemis(sp?) guy from Indianapolis, I think. I thought they would try to push Mike like Haystacks, but he was just passing through.

Friday, June 14, 1968
1st - Mr. Kleen over Tom Jones with a full nelson
2nd - Big O pinned Man Mountain Mike after giving him a back drop that to this day was one of the greatest things I've seen
3rd - Fred Curry & Oklahoma Kid over The Kangaroos (Costello & Smith) Curry pin Smith with small package
4th - Mark Lewin pinned Ernie Ladd (Used the same finish as in the Morales-Koloff title change match in MSG. Lewin was obviously on top)
5th - The Sheik over Bull Curry in a Cage Match to regain U.S. title (Curry was making comeback and knocked him through the door)
PM: Big Jim L
Big Jim L September 19th, 2012 00:38 GMT Print this post

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Post: #725356
PT: #15/28

1968 I Dayton clips

   Once again questionable booking logic. Just one week ago, Al Costello was a heel as a Kangaroo. Now he's a babyface against the tag champs.
    The second show marked the first of two appearances of Stan Frazier with his Convict gimmick. Huge and impressive looking, but once the bell rang, well we've all heard it before.

Friday, June 21, 1968
1st - Hell's Angels over Chief White Owl & Al Costello in title match (Paul Dupree pin Costello after Angel Drop)
2nd - Fred Curry pinned Mike Loren with flying body press
3rd - Lou Thesz pinned Dan Miller
4th - Baron Von Raschke pinned Oklahoma Kid when he got his legs tangled in the bottom and middle rope and ref didn't see. (This sounds familiar)
5th - The Sheik over Mark Lewin in title match (1st fall Sheik over with Camel Clutch, 2nd fall Lewin over with sleeper, 3rd fall Lewin DQed after Raschke interfered)

    This card was the first that Bull Curry was really considered a babyface in a title match with Hell's Angels. Farhat would program the Angels and Currys over the next four shows that drew decent crowds.

Friday, June 28, 1968
1st - The Convict (Stan Frazier) over Tom Jones with a bear hug
2nd - Ernie Ladd & Oklahoma Kid drew 15 minutes
3rd - Hell's Angels over Fred & Bull Curry by DQ in a title match
4th - Mark Lewin vs Baron Von Raschke was a no contest
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