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Billy Goelz and other 50s finds

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I dig this Billy Goelz guy from the 50s. Quick on the mat and a terrier once he gets a hold cinched, especially his spinning toe hold. Moreover, he makes everyone he works with look good so suddenly you want to see more from workers you've never heard of like Bill Melby, Jackie Nichols and Juan Hernandez. He was even good at more spectacle driven stuff like a rock solid tag against quality stooges Art Nielson and Reggie Lisowski. There's only 5 Goelz matches on YouTube but each of them is a gem.

 

This will be a catch all thread for any 50s stuff I uncover. With no more old school WoS to watch this 50s stuff is filling my needs nicely. I kind of see a parallel between the two and it's nice to have a new avenue to explore.

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First up is Frank Stojack vs. Dutch Heffner, which was recommended to me by PWO poster Conker8. This was a nice bout. Heffner had the size advantage but Stojack was a slippery customer and able to escape Heffner's strength holds. There were times when Heffner was like an early incarnation of Dick Murdoch with the way he bumped and sold for the smaller Stojack's punches and there was a classic Three Stooges element to the way he sold getting stuck in the ropes and so forth. There were a couple of holds that didn't really go anyway (restholds, possibly) but aside from that it was an entertaining night out at the wrestling.

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Jim Dobie vs. Lou Britton -- Nice bout. Britton was the superior wrestler but Dobie was able to evade him and eventually grind him down. Britton had a quality moustache.

 

Don Beitelman vs Dick Hatcher -- solid heavyweight contest. Pretty even contest on the mat but a bit too much lying around. Good skills for a pair of big men. Beitelman went on to become Don Curtis, longtime tag partner of Mark Lewin.

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Benito Gardini vs. Al Warshawksi -- Gardini is worth watching if you like fat boy wrestling and I know many of you do. He's almost like Super Porky without the comedy. They work a few decent holds and Gardini is fun.

 

Billy Darnell vs. Hans Hermann -- Hermann was a big strong "German" in the Fritz Von Erich mold. Some decent grappling in this and some nice strength holds. Darnell worked Hermann over with some nice punch combos and looked like a decent worker. Not much to see here.

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I want to recommend Pat McGill vs. Enrique Torres. I think the match may have been from LA. I haven't seen a ton of pre-70s wrestling but it had just the kind of tough as hell grappling you'd like. Parts of it reminded me of amateur style UWF, including a leg lock sequence unlike anything I've seen in other old matches. It's a short match but worth watching.

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That McGill/Torres match was indeed awesome. I've love to see more Torres. He was pretty damn slick. I also saw a match between Larry Chene and Gordon Hessell where they teased some open palm strike exchanges and one of them every rolled up into a George Kidd ball albeit less compact.

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There's another McGill match against Mad Monty LeDux that's pretty cool. A real scrap with McGill showing plenty of aggression.

Baron Michele Leone vs. Rito Romero is well worth watching. Leone had an amazing look. I don't think there's ever been a wrestler who looked quite like him. Maybe a jobber somewhere. Romero is, of course, a famous luchador. The dropkick attack he used to win a fall here is something I would ape if I were a professional wrestler. Very cool.

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That McGill/Torres match was indeed awesome. I've love to see more Torres. He was pretty damn slick. I also saw a match between Larry Chene and Gordon Hessell where they teased some open palm strike exchanges and one of them every rolled up into a George Kidd ball albeit less compact.

When ESPN Classic aired Chicago wrestling, Chene was a favorite. Terrific comedy wrestler.

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There's an edited version of the Pat O'Connor-Killer Kowalski 1954 Montreal World Title change up on Youtube. Only about 8 minutes total shown but pretty fun

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That McGill/Torres match was indeed awesome. I've love to see more Torres. He was pretty damn slick. I also saw a match between Larry Chene and Gordon Hessell where they teased some open palm strike exchanges and one of them every rolled up into a George Kidd ball albeit less compact.

When ESPN Classic aired Chicago wrestling, Chene was a favorite. Terrific comedy wrestler.

 

I remember a Chene match where he was backed into a corner, so he leapfrogged the ref and dropkicked the opponent in the same jump. I don't recall seeing anything like it.

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That jarrett421 channel is a treasure trove of stuff most of it from the old Hollywood Legion. Some of the matches have been online for seven years, which just goes to show there's always stuff out there to discover. Whoever the uploader is, he has impeccable taste.

 

Don Sugai Matsura vs. Dave Reynolds is a short bit of film from the 1940s and is sped up a bit, but check out the state of the art shit they were doing in 1940. That was a revelation.

 

Baron Michelle Leone vs. Billy Varga is probably a better look at Leone than the Romero match as it's more of a Leone showcase bout than the equal billing of the Romeo fight. Really interesting worker. I'm trying to think of a comparison but all I can really think of is Ron Jeremy if Ron Jeremy were a wrestler star who could do a little bit of everything.

 

Sandor Szabo vs. Roger Mackay is a much better look at Szabo than the Snyder tag match I saw him in and gives you an idea of why he was given the World Heavyweight title back in the day.

 

So many new names for me from this era. Argentina Apollo is a really fun barefoot wrestler from Buenos Aires who has an entertaining bout with Bob Royer in some 60s footage. Danny McShane is perhaps my new favourite wrestler. A stiff brawler who allegedly killed two men with his pile driver, he has a sensational scrap with a guy named Gino Garibaldi. Garibaldi goes right after him and almost knocks his block off. Best brawl I've seen in a while. Ace Freeman is another new name. Sound technical wrestler who has a fine match with Frenchman Andre Drapp.

 

Most recently I watched a another fine contest between Don Arnold and Tarzan Tourville, later known as Tarzan Tyler. The impressive thing about this 50s footage thus far is that the skill level of just about everyone has been really high. Particularly the journeymen types. Maybe the old timers like Buddy Rogers were right about the older generation having more holds. Of course I haven't really gotten in to looking at the gimmick workers yet, but McShane and Leone have strong personalities and have still impressed with their fundamentals.

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More sped up wrestling from the 1940s -- a young Ace Freeman vs. Billy Venable, Billy Raburn vs. Jack Hagen and Wild Red Berry vs. Yukon Jake. Seems the 50s style I'm enjoying was already well established by the early 40s. I need to follow fxnj's lead and dip back further in time.

 

Roy McClarty vs. Tony Marino was a nice 10 minute TV bout w/ an established technical wrestling going up against a promising up and comer. Marino got a big kick out toward the end.

 

Danny McShane vs. Pepper Gomez was a long and incomplete title match. Not as exciting as the Garibaldi fight but McShane again looked like a guy you wouldn't want to pick a fight with.

 

Next up is an international heavyweight bout between Australia's Pat Meehan and Turkey's Ali Pasha. I like the international flavour to 50s wrestling. It reminds me of WoS where you'd have guys from all over the UK and Europe competing along with wrestlers from Africa, India, Pakistan, the West Indies, and other parts of the Commonwealth. Oddly, the impression it creates is that wrestling had more of a global reach in the 1950s than it does today. Perhaps that's changing though with the Cruiserweight tournament. Meehan is one of the more awkward looking guys I've seen so far but it's kind of endearing. He reminds me a bit of Ray Steele. Ali Pasha is a technical wrestler-cum-brawler with a bunch of inside moves. Think Sid Cooper, Zoltan Boscik or Tally Ho Kaye. That sort of worker. The mix of Meehan's awkward looking holds and Pasha's dirty tricks makes this an entertaining bout.

 

Hot on the heels of that is a run of Baron Michele Leone matches. His opponents aren't the greatest in terms of skill. First up there's a guy called The Great Scott (with a jacket Pierroth Jr would be in awe of) and a tough brawler from Milwaukee by the name of Hans Schnabel. It's clear these aren't going to be mat classics, but the blend of Leone's oddball charisma and his direct brawling and grappling style makes them perfectly satisfying Leone showcases. I still don't know how good he actually was but watching him work I keep thinking what if a Jimmy Garvin worked this way or even a WWF era Jake Roberts. It would completely revolutionise what we think of those guys and seems like something they were capable of as the degree of difficulty isn't that high. Leone sticks to his man and never lets up. Maybe he's forsaking selling, but I like the contrast between his flamboyant (albeit slightly weird) entrances and his no nonsense grappling style.

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A couple of short Edouard Carpentier matches are on the jarrett421 channel. One of them is against a bigger man named Art Mahalik and the other is against a guy named Mike Gallagher. Pre-match Gallagher was doing a Gorgeous George exotico gimmick. Then he proceeded to wrestle like a tough guy. I can't understand when wrestlers do that. I still haven't decided whether I like Carpentier or not. His offense is either going to be something I grow to love or a perpetual turn-off.

 

Baron Michele Leone vs. Fred Blassie is a great watch. Young Blassie is awesome and reminds me a bit of Terry Funk. Leone plays the not-so-subtle heel and the result is a memorable fight. I don't know how much Blassie there is on tape, but he seems like a wrestler worth taking a look at. The jarrett channel has one more Leone match against Jack "Sockeye" McDonald. Leone's approach is pretty much the same in every bout -- attack the leg, work the head over with knee drop, apply the neck breaker. In that regard, there's a fair amount of repetition. What I haven't figured out yet is whether that's because he was a limited worker or if it was just a relentless commitment to a singular attack mode.

Elsewhere this is comedy heel wrestler The Great John L (great ring name) vs. Al Torres (the younger brother of Enrique Torres) and Nick Bockwinkel. Al Torres steamrolls John L as much as a young wrestler can be confident in steamrolling a more experienced wrestler and Bockwinkel looks like a stud. Y'know know Bockwinkel but imagine him when he in tip top shape and conditioned. A superb athlete.

 

Mike Sharpe (of The Sharpe Brothers fame) took on Negro Guzman of NWA On Demand fame and boy didn't Guzman give the bigger Sharpe all he could handle. Hell of a fight from the smaller Mexican. Guzman shone here.

 

The last bit of footage I watched was a 1941 scrap between Dean Detton and Dick Raines and a nice contest between Al Massey and Larry Hamilton. Almost done with this channel but it was a blast.

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Don Arnold vs. Ali Pasha is full of all sorts of interesting on screen facts about Don Arnold. Did you know that Don Arnold is currently residing in a nudist camp? Or that he wrote a book called "Basic Nudism"? Not as sordid as the YouTube comments. Arnold has a haircut that Kirk Douglas would have admired. Pasha is so good at playing a foreign heel. Miles better than any of the Japanese heels and arguably better than the Germans. He has a way of stooping about the ring that looks totally oriental and the way he works a hold seems exotic and strange.

 

Primo Carnera vs. Jim Londos is notable for how much history there is in the ring. Carnera was a former boxing champ turned wrestler, and the ref was Max Baer, who had beaten Carnera for the World Heavyweight Boxing Championship in 1934 and an interesting character in his own right (lover of Greta Garbo, father of Jethro from the Beverly Hillbillies.) I had no idea Londos was so small. I mean Carnera was a giant, but Londos was as short as Carnera was tall. Londos came out of retirement for this bout, which was a pretty ordinary affair. More noteworthy for the history intersecting in the ring than the bout itself.

 

Lord James Blears vs. Leo Garibaldi was interesting. Blears was a complete prototype for Lord Stephen Regal. He even had a manager, Captain Leslie Holmes, who bore a striking resemblance to Sir William. Hell, the Blears and Lord Layton team could have easily been the Blue Bloods if Bobby Eaton had been 8 feet tall. Seriously, Layton was massive. Pretty entertaining match against Joe Pasandak & Mr. Moto, though, which is saying something because those guys weren't great workers by any means. There's a clip of Blears vs. Leone that I would have liked to have seen more from, but he definitely looked like a guy who made rough and tumble look good.

 

Leone vs. Pasha is everything you'd expect it to be. I could pretty much book that match in my head in this point, but it was still fun to see. I'd love to know if Leone worked the same way against Thesz.

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I've spent the past few weeks watching as many Gorgeous George matches as I could find. There's nothing that original about the stuff George does since it's been copied so many times over the years. Though I did like some of his more elaborate shtick like having his servant provide pure "Florida air" for him to breathe between rounds. Not a great mechanic, but he could work. His matches followed the same formula regardless of whom he was wrestling. They'd take the toughest bloke they could find and stick him in the ring with the Orchid. George would stall and refuse to engage. They'd scrap and George would have his hair ruffled. He'd cheat and beg off, but show just enough toughness to prove he belonged in the fight game. His offensive repertoire was limited but he was a pretty good seller. If you watch the lengthy Frankie Talabar match it's not that dissimilar from a Ric Flair match. The Talabar bout is probably the best example of George's work, though Russ Davis got on my nerves after a while. I much prefer Los Angeles commentator Dick Lane when it comes to that type of commentary. Another match worth watching is the Don Eagle one where the crowd gets quite violent and someone strikes George on his way out of the arena.

 

Fun worker but he reminded me more of a Jackie Pallo than a Mick McManus in terms of ability. Incredible cultural figure considering he influenced guys like Ali and Bob Dylan. The missing piece from this fan's perspective is a bout against a really top shelf wrestler like Thesz. I'd be fascinated in seeing how George changed up his shtick in a big time title fight.

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First up is Frank Stojack vs. Dutch Heffner, which was recommended to me by PWO poster Conker8. This was a nice bout. Heffner had the size advantage but Stojack was a slippery customer and able to escape Heffner's strength holds. There were times when Heffner was like an early incarnation of Dick Murdoch with the way he bumped and sold for the smaller Stojack's punches and there was a classic Three Stooges element to the way he sold getting stuck in the ropes and so forth. There were a couple of holds that didn't really go anyway (restholds, possibly) but aside from that it was an entertaining night out at the wrestling.

I was excited to see Stojack in action as he's something of a local wrestling legend. Stojack was a local guy who went on to be NWA World Light heavyweight champion and multiple time Junior Heavyweight Champion. He also spent time playing football for the old Brooklyn Dodgers NFL team. He wrestled often locally while also being Pierce County Sheriff.

 

Inside the 20,000 seat Tacoma Dome there is a large mural of Frank Stojack outside a small sports Hall of Fame as he's a member of the Pierce County Hall of Fame.

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I've gotta say I much prefer 50s babyface Blassie to 60s heel Blassie. Blassie was never a great worker in terms of his wrestling ability, but as a babyface he'd work a few holds, do that backwards shuffle on the mat whenever he got in trouble, and had a Terry Funk wild man quality to him. As a heel, he was about as boring a kick/punch/bite/scratch worker as you can imagine and only a good promo if you can excuse the frequent stammering.

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Wild Red Berry is a fun wrestler to watch. He's a comedy heel worker who has enough wrestling ability to remain credible in the ring. He's quite the character really, and wouldn't look out of place in a 50s television sitcom or a Frank Tashlin film.

 

Wild Bull Curry, on the other hand, didn't impress much. He seemed like the living embodiment of a stereotypical kick-punch wrestler. He was pretty much a caricature of every guy who's ever gotten into the ring with limited ability and kick-punched their way to fame. Some might argue that makes him a success, and no doubt he was, but he's not exactly Perro Aguayo in the ring. The match he has with Johnny Valentine is reasonably compelling but far from great. Perhaps the fault lies with my expectations as I was expecting something much edgier.

 

There's a new Enrique Torres match online, which pleases me greatly. Unfortunately, it's against a rule breaking heel instead of a technical marvel, but it takes all types to put on a wrestling show and we'll see how Torres deals with a rule breaker.

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As predicted, Enrique Torres vs. Ted Christy was more shtick than mat wizardry. One thing I've noticed so far about 50s wrestling is that champion caliber wrestlers like Torres are booked to look exceptionally strong. They hardly ever sell for the heels and rarely go off their feet. Instead, they spent most their time making the heels look like buffoons. Christy was a fun buffoon, though. He reminded me of Mick McManus' tag partner, Steve Logan. He even did the same wet hair trick his slicked back sides. Torres didn't really break a sweat here, but it was entertaining enough.

 

Also fun was getting to see Joe Blanchard in a swift 15 minute time limit draw with Pierre LaSalle of Rougeau family fame. The only thing I'd seen from Blanchard previously as snippets of his awesome feud with Fritz Von Erich. He looked solid against LaSalle even if they didn't really hit the mat as hard as I'd like. It was more dancing about playing heel vs. face, but they made a go of it.

 

I'm still trying to crack Edouard Carpentier. In theory, he's a wrestler I should like since he wrestles like a masked tecnico, but there's something that's not quite clicking. I still can't put my finger on it. I did like the match I watched against a thick set Mike Gallagher, but again it was a heavy offensive showcase with Carpentier barely putting over Gallagher's stuff. Carpentier was definitely one of the more dynamic and striking workers of his time but just how good he was remains elusive.

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Well, I saw Carpentier sell for Killer Kowalski, so I guess that shows you how big a deal Kowalski was in this era. But Kowalski... I just don't know... I've never seen him look any better than wooden.

 

Alberto & Ramon Torres vs. Art Mahalick & Mike Sharpe is from the mid-60s but a hot bout with some great action. The Torres brothers are perhaps a little bit too dominant down the stretch, but if you like the Guerrero brothers then the entire Torres family are worth checking out.

 

I'm not a fan of Dick the Bruiser, but I can take him in small doses. Five minutes of him vs. The Beast was some rowdy old fun.

 

I think the next thing I'm going to do is go through the wrestlingfilms channel in chronological order. That will include a lot of 30s and 40s wrestling, but I think I'll keep everything together in this thread.

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I hope you enjoy going through the matches, it's my channel. Let me know if you have any questions on the matches or films. Just a note, the Enrique Torres match was against Ted Christy, Vic's brother.

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Thanks for the correction. It's a wonderful channel and I hope you continue updating it.

 

Vic Hill vs. Jack Gacek was awesome. I've always loved 30s cinema and judging by this I'll love 30s graps too.

 

The Miller Brothers vs. Fabulous Kangaroos featured two legendary tag teams but was a bit generic for my liking. Stuff like cutting off the man and face in peril segments. Others might see that as vintage tag wrestling, tho.

 

Jose Sevilla vs K.O. Koverley was a bit looser than Hill/Gacek but they did some really cool mat spots. Jules Strongbow vs. Hardy Kruskamp was especially intriguing after watching Strongbow do the ring-announcing at the Hollywood Legion Stadium, as well as commentating and the backstage interviews. He was a big guy and a power wrestler cum slugger, but I was impressed by his intensity. He really stuck to his man and gave him no leeway.

 

Vincent Lopez vs. Man Mountain Dean was pretty much classic pro-wrestling in that it was basically a slug fest. The footage may have been slightly speed up in the transfer but there's no denying the intensity of the performers.

 

The first thing that stood out to me about Ali Baba vs Red Brannigan was how Brannigan really did look like an Irishman and Baba, even if he wasn't really Turkish, fit the bill. It never ceases to amaze me how much more global wrestling was in the early days when people really did seem like they were coming from all over the world to compete in overseas territories. It makes professional wrestling seem like a sport with a global reach. Baba seems like an interesting story. Watching him bodyslam a guy into "submission" is a finish that probably wouldn't work these days but is an awesome way to get over one of wrestling's most basic moves.

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Ilio DiPaolo vs. "Big" Bill Miller was a really good heavyweight match. They pretty much did everything you'd want from two big men. A little bit of technical wrestling, a bit of strength stuff, some roughhousing, you name it. A really good match.

 

Chief Don Eagle vs. Walter Palmer surprised me. I'd only seen Don Eagle against Gorgeous George and that clearly wasn't an indicator of his in-ring ability. He had a slightly idiosyncratic grappling style but I love little quirks like that. Palmer I had seen against Thesz and was stoked to see him again. A fine wrestler indeed. This was another quality match w/ Don Eagle really catching my eye.

 

Next up was Jim Londos vs. Bronko Nagurski. This is a really famous match that most people would have at least heard of. It's a match I've known about since I first discovered people talking about wrestling on the internet but it's taken me this long to watch it. That's not a bad thing as I'm sure that I appreciate it more now than I ever would have in the past. Anyway, it's truly sublime. From the opening moments where they'd fighting to get into a referee's hold up until the decisive moments, it's an epic wrestling match. They just keep fighting and fighting and wrestling each other. There was a thread about the perfect wrestling style elsewhere and for me this may be it.

Following up that is hard to do but Doc and Mike Gallagher vs. Dick Beyer and Bobby Brown is a fun match. The Gallagher brothers are your typical goon squad types but clever with it, and it's always fun to see Dick Beyer flying about pre-mask. It's not a match where you get to see him wrestle much but he had his babyface act down pat.

 

Last up was Donn Lewin vs. Leo Garibaldi from the Los Angeles territory. This was a complete surprise. I knew that Garibaldi was good but this was a phenomenal bout. Lewin was a New York boy that they'd brought in for television and they gave him a two fall showcase against one of their local stars, Garibaldi. Super competitive, fast paced wrestling match with exciting holds and nonstop action. When you consider the premise of the New York boy being brought in to showcase some new, out of state talent, it was sensational. This was just the bee's knees. A top 10 contender from the 50s stuff I've watched.

So there you go, five great matches in a row. This channel is on a roll.

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