Wednesday, July 20, 2016

Race Bannon!!!

From the Southside of Chicago, no not bad - bad
Leroy brown, its Chicago's very Own Race Bannon!!
Race got his start when his neighborhood friend, and one of my All Time favorites, Tom Demarco agreed to contact Bob Sabre.
Bob gave Race a introduction into the World of pain and Race found himself on mats, not between ropes!
He got in the business the hard way, showing that he wasn't going to quit or turn back.
From Indian Star Frankie Hill, to World Class Wrestling Stars like Gino Hernandez, and the Von Erich's, Race has met and taken on some of the best in the squared circle!
From Gene Kininski, to Killer Tim Brooks, and Jake "The Snake" Roberts.
In September 2016, Race will be on Hartbeat Radio with myself and Stampede Wrestling Hall of Famer, and WWF Star Bruce Hart. Bruce of course the brother of Brett "The Hitman Hart" and son of the Dungeon Legend Stu Hart.
We'll take a look back into the 70;s and get it first hand from Race on his career and what he's doing not.
Don't miss it!
I will post it on here and Facebook so this should bring back great memories and certainly be very interesting.
I am looking forward to this one!
At Classic Professional Wrestling we remember!

Friday, May 27, 2016

Blackjack Mulligan!!

We have lost the man from Sweetwater Texas. My longtime friend and 1/2 of the Infamous Blackjacks Mulligan and Lanza, Managed by Pretty Boy Bobby Heenan!
I cannot believe he has passed on, but I know he is resting from a long illness which really wore him down.
So many comments and articles have mentioned him from WCW and WWF, but I will highlight his WWA and AWA well as Professional Football.
A big man, BJM was seen as a young man as a prospective football player by his coaches in High School.
He excelled on the football field, and eventually served his country by joining the USMC.
He went from a street fighter to a competent fighting machine skilled and able.
Professional Football was calling and BJM played professionally with the new York jets until a severe leg injury took him off the field.
The squared circle was going to be the new game plan.
Under the AWA BJM developed into a Professional Wrestler feared by many.
Blackjack Lanza befriended Mulligan and a Tag Team that was as rough as they come was formed. Managed by Pretty Boy Bobby Heenan, they team took off in Chicago.
September 1, 1972 was the top of the ladder!
The Steel Cage Match where the Blackjacks and bobby Heenan were locked in a Steel Cage with not only The Wrestler Who made Milwaukee Famous The Crusher, and The Worlds Most Dangerous Wrestler Dick The Bruiser, but Professional Boxing Champion Jersey Joe Walcott for the referee!!
The cold wind blew in off Lake Michigan at Soldiers Field as construction left part of the wall open.
The Blood was everywhere as the toughest guys in town went at it, and the bloodbath was the talk of the Professional Wrestling World. Not much thanks to Bill Aptor or any of the magazines of the day, but it still was on top!

Promoter Bob Luce had his dreams come true on this! Mulligan to me many times that the cold Chicago wind was colder than any he ever felt.
This was a card he would never forget.
And at Classic Professional Wrestling, we will never you Blackjack Mulligan!

Wednesday, March 16, 2016

Sad news as we have lost The Polynisian Wildman!

The news came to me early this morning from one of the Stars of my TSW Promotions The Mysterious Sheik, that our longtime friend The Polynesian Wildman passed away in Hawaii !
As a Promoter I could depend on him to be dependable and give his all.
Always a pleasure to work with, it is with heavy heart to report this sad news to all of the fans.
I would make one call to bring him in, along with Shotgun Willie and TSW Womans Champion Misty Dawn.
He wrestled Dick The Bruiser and many AWA and WWA greats.
They brought smiles to my face when they would appear at the arena.
Always grateful to be on my cards, we had mutual respect and it showed.
They all gave great interviews and made Promoter Bob Brooks and TSW a Chicagoland fan favorite.
Thank you my friend for sharing your talents and being a part of TSW.
The Polynesian Wildman will always be remembered by Classic Professional Wrestling!

Saturday, March 12, 2016

Giants of The Mat! Happy Humphrey!!!

While the scales tipped at the meat packing plants of 900 lbs., they weren't weighing beef, but a Professional Wrestler from Georgia named Happy Humphrey!
In the ring, the big man started his career in 1953 wrestling a Bear. Most mat stars don't start off that way but....
I realize Wiki this and that focus on him being so heavy, but fans, this man was kind and always took time to sign as many autographs as he could.
Maybe not unusual, but considering his treatment outside of the ring by non fans who would stare at him, and made him feel like a circus side show, he remained a nice man.
"Handsome " Harley Race was tasked during his early career in driving Humphrey to his matches.
Yes, Race had been a caretaker to him, showering him with a garden hose, washing him with brushes and mops, Race looked at him as a mentor who taught him a lot in the ring. Race wrestled HH on occaision.
Now here's what you wanted, and that is who could give HH a run for his money in the ring you say?
At 601lbs Haystacks Calhoun and 900 lb HH had sold out Madison Square Garden for Promoter Vince McMahon Sr.
Humphrey lost most of his weight in later years, and volunteered for obesity studies.
His heart gave out eventually, but he left us with great memories of a big man who really cared about the fans and Professional Wrestling.
And we at CPW cared about Happy Humphrey and he is remembered!

Saturday, March 5, 2016

The One, The Only, The Clawmaster!

From Stuttgart Germany at 288 lbs, he is The Clawmaster Baron Von Raschke!And so much more you probably didn't know!
A little closer to home, in Omaha, Baron worked hard on getting his Amateur Wrestling background together.
While playing basketball and football, he won the Nebraska State Heavyweight Championship.

He worked hard at a BS Degree in Biology as well.
Uncle Sam provided room and board and Baron served his country. He found time to be in the World Games winning a Bronze Medal in Greco-Roman Wrestling.
Promoter Joe Dusek,a name you heard in The Wrestler, introduced Baron to AWA Heavyweight Champion and Promoter Verne Gagne.The Goosestepper was born!
Teaming up with Mad Dog Vachon, he was underway into Professional Wrestling, where The Clawmaster had Legendary Matches at Cominsky Park in a Title Match with Gagne.
His opponents were the toughest around, Cowboy Bob Ellis, Wilbur Snyder, Dick The Bruiser and The Crusher!
Managed by Pretty Boy Bobby Heenan, The Clawmaster was on top!
In the 1980,s Baron saw the light, became a good guy, and also a crowd favorite!
The Clawmaster wrestled for me in those late 80;s and what a fan favorite he was.
I saw him throw The Clawhold on The Kelly Brothers Tim Kelly, and the crowd went crazy! They hadn't seen Baron for a few years in Chicago as he worked the WCW out of Atlanta.
I brought The Clawmaster to my home to meet my father. He was such a cordial man, very respectful of my father and kind.
I always appreciated his coming to the house.
In the ring, he was tough, he could wrestle, and he would give the best interviews with Sam Menacher.
Bob Luce printed bloody beaten pictures of Baron and the crowds filed in.
Baron had a Antique shop in Prior Lake. He made some interviews and behind the scenes stories.
I will always remember his matches and The Claw.
At CPW we remember The Clawmaster Baron Von Raschke!!

Saturday, February 27, 2016

Bobo Brazil!

Yes, King of The Coco Butt!
 Bobo wrestled all the top names. Early on, he wrestled Dick The bruiser, but later became partners with him.
Most fans remember Bobos matches against The Sheik in Detroit. They would be on the floor, in the seats, and in the street!
I met Bobo in Hammond at The Hammond Civic Center. He actually needed a funnel for oil to put in his van. A nice man, who chomped cigars and traveled everywhere!
I saw him in Chicago at Cominsky Park when Dick The Bruiser and Bobo took on The Sheik and Pretty Boy Bobby Heenan in 1974.
Bobo was in the movie I Like To Hurt People highlighting Big Time Wrestling in Detroit.
Bobo held many Championships throughout his career, but most fans were really waiting on him to unload with his Coco Butt!
Bobo was inducted into The WWF Hall of Fame by Ernie "Big Cat" Ladd!
Brazil passed away in 1998 but his ring memories will always be retained at Classic Professional Wrestling!

Saturday, February 20, 2016

Here he is! Sailor Art Thomas!!

One of my favorites was this gentleman, and yes, he really was just that.
Art served his country and really was in the US Navy. In his early days he would work Madison Square Garden and being paired with Bobo Brazil and Burrhead Jones, as well as Dory Dixon.
Wrestling in Texas and The Carolinas, he made his way to the Midwest and AWA-WWA Arenas where he was a fan favorite.
Usually Arts opponents would attempt overhand wristlocks or go toe to toe with him in "Test of strength" and finding out he was no joke. Art worked out and stayed in top condition. He would get up early when on the road and search for a gym.
A story was told years ago that Cowboy Bill Watts made remarks to Art in the locker room and Art obliged Watts and was ready to chop him apart but Watts took off and wanted no part of Thomas.
Art did not drive a car, and usually to a bus, or his wife would drive him.
He was always good with fans and they loved him. Especially using a bearhug on opponents like Baron Von Rashcke or The Sheik!
Art was a family man who remembered when he was in a orphanage, he wanted to belong to and have a family.
He was blessed with a family who watch this 6'4" 250 lb  man get on his knees and pray everynight, giving thanks for what he had.
Sailor Art Thomas, a real kind man who will always be remembered at Classic Professional Wrestling!