Saturday, May 9, 2015

Great Referees of the AWA and WWA!

The third man in the ring!
It's so easy to remember great ring stars and matches that we'll never forget.
At CPW we want to remember some of the great referees who Officiated those matches.
Connie Marker, "The Dean of Wrestling Referees"
Connie was always in motion and keeping his attention on the action as well as anticipating a Manager sneaking in with foreign objects or double teaming opponents, cheap shots.
Stan Sarbernack was the Chief of Police in Bridgeview Illinois, and an Instructor for Police Departments throughout the area. Stan would get the main events with Dick The Bruiser and The Crusher where it was a brawl with their opponents.
Percy Franklin was on of the few Black referees in business. Although he was straight and narrow and didn't take any guff, I was amazed when in the ring I saw him shake hands with "Pretty Boy" Bobby Heenan prior to the match.
Johnny Shorn was seen weekly for the WWA. He was a mainstay.
Henry Van Loon was booed I think in every match and announcement for not having eyes behind his head! Poor Henry would break up a hold but miss the Managers underhandedness going on next to him.
Bob Wingo was another ref booed!
Ralph Hamilton was one of my favorites in Indiana.
Ok, here he is Mike Figeroa!!!
The most popular/unpopular referee in the business!
Mike was very slow moving and methodical! Don't let that fool you, because what many fans did not know was Mike actually was a Professional Wrestler in his day!
The "Golden Boy" Paul Christy found out the hard way that you didn't mess with Mike!
Christy, in a early heated match, picked up Figeroa and place on the top turnbuckle so he could go after his opponent, but when Christys match was over and he made it back to the dressing ring, he had some splaing to to do! Mike walked up to Christy and pointed his finger almost touching Christy's nose, and said "If you ever put your hands on me again you'll never Wrestle in Illinois again!"
Christy apologized and was shocked that this man of little height, was a man with no fear and had plenty of Authority! They actually grew to be good friends over the years but Christy always respected Mike.

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