Where Wrestling's Regional History Lives!
- Greg Oliver
There has been an influx of
books about the wrestling world in the last few years, mostly
autobiographical incursions into the literary world by the stars of
today and a few from yesteryear.
Greg Oliver’s “The Pro
Wrestling Hall Of Fame – The Canadians” could be called a historical
reference type of book that is not only fun to read but enlightening as
The book takes the route of bios
of each of the major Canadian stars and is supplemented by some rare
photos from the collections of Terry Dart, Tony Lanza and the Li’l Al
collection, among others.
How many of you knew that
Abdullah The Butcher used to play in his backyard in Windsor, or that
evil Russian Ivan Koloff called Ontario home? Even the seasoned fan may
be surprised to find that Canada produced a lot of great stars over the
first section is a Top 20 list topped by the pride of East York,
“Whipper” Billy Watson and includes Gene Kiniski, Mad Dog Vachon,
Stu Hart, and the Tolos Brothers as part of this exclusive list.
With the help of the wrestlers
(or their families) Oliver presents updated bios including “where are
they now?” for all the great wrestlers that called Canada home.
For those of you that are
unfamiliar with Canadian wrestling history, you will get a rare glimpse
into the workings of Canada’s wrestling promotions and training
All your favorites are here but
the most fun is reading about the stars of the early years. You will
learn about Victor Delamarre, Sammy Berg, Harry Madison and The
Kasaboski family. Names like Kenny Ackles, Emile Dupre, Bob “Legs”
Langevin and Jack Laskin establish their place in history. Some of the
other stars that you may not have known were Canadian include Klondike
Bill, George and Sandy Scott, Stan Stasiak, and Hans Schmidt.
Television Wrestling wouldn’t
be the same without the Announcers, who get their own section entitled
aptly enough – The Announcers – An essential element, and includes
longtime Calgary mainstay Ed Whalen as well as Ron Morrier, Milt
Avruskin, and Michel Normandin.
One of the great features in the
book is a section devoted to the great Canadian Families. Here you will
find extended looks at the most famous Canadian wrestling relatives.
From the Vachons to the Brito’s,
the Harts, the Baillargeons, and the Cormiers of New Brunswick, Oliver
provides insight to the dynasties of our country.
Hamilton, Ontario is spotlighted
as a major training ground for providing a lot of the stars of the
50’s and 60’s. It was the home of Jack Wentworth’s gym The
Factory, which is well known for producing stars Billy Red Lyons, Johnny
Powers, The Sharpes and many more.
The Managers section checks in
with the legendary Eddie Creatchman, manager for The Sheik, Abdullah and
many others, as well as Calgary based J.R. Foley and longtime wrestler
turned manager Tarzan Tyler.
In the section on “adopted
Canadians”, you will find stars that were born elsewhere but made
their homes and careers in Canada. Fred Atkins, Edouard Carpentier, Don
Leo Jonathon, and Lord Athol Layton are among the adopted sons, as well
as CFL legend Angelo Mosca who was actually born in Massachusetts but
has made Canada his home since his gridiron days..
Throughout the book there are
several Stories including a look at Camp Maupus, the famous Quebec
Training ground run by Emile Maupus, the CFL influence (with a great
picture of Mosca with a young Wayne Coleman -Superstar Billy Graham),
and an interesting look at the Canadian wrestler’s home away from home
The section on today’s stars looks at the great old-school type wrestlers including Steve Corino, Chris Benoit, Phil Lafon and Rick Patterson. For the younger fans, Patterson who was a regular on Tomkos’ All Star Wrestling would be better known as cult hero Leatherface. More...