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- Rob Elder

Tomkoís Takeover

The All Star Wrestling promotion in the early 80ís was a gold mine territory for promoter Al Tomko. Tomko had a vast background in promoting wrestling which dates back to Winnipeg in the mid 60ís to 70ís. At the time, the Winnipeg office was affiliated with Verne Gagneís AWA. Al Tomko was quite successful booking shows that drew great crowds into the Winnipeg arena. According to Gary Willís Canadian Hall of Fame site, Tomko bought Sandor Kovacís share of the Vancouver office in the late 70ís after a falling out with Gagne and eventually left Winnipeg for the coast in the early 1980ís. By 1980 Tomko had inherited a top Canadian territory from Kovac and Gene Kiniski. The wrestlers in the area were top notch and would go on to become some of the top stars of the sport. There was Roddy Piper, Rick Martel, Ed Wiskowski, the Sheepherders, Buddy Rose and several other Northwest stars all plying their trade in Vancouver. In addition to the talent the promotion also had another invaluable element, a regular television broadcast. The matches from BCTV studios in Burnaby were seen practically coast to coast as well as on satellite during the 1980ís.

Al Tomko would make his mark on Vancouver wrestling several years after buying into the territory. As the wrestlers who ran the main events in the 70ís faded, new faces were brought in from Don Owens Portland group. The territory continued to promote excellent cards all over British Columbia. Mulling over the old match results and T.V. tapes makes me long for the days of territorial wrestling. The television production of yesteryear may not have been as colorful as the Monday night wars of today but was just as entertaining. The B.C. T.V. tapings didnít have pyroís or jumbotrons and there were no large arena crowds or piped in crowd noise. However the televised cardís of the 80ís were every bit as exciting and dramatic as Vinceís productions are today. The shows were based on wrestling, and in my opinion, the wrestlers told more of a story and kept the viewer tuning in week after week. The feuds in the 80ís were fueled by the wrestlers ability to captivate the audience in the ring and on the microphone. Ringside interviews lasted a few minutes not half the show, as is the standard in most TV wrestling now a days. The interviews were used to help tell the stories and get the fans into the angles that were unfolding. They also helped to introduce the wrestlers to the fans. There were always wrestlers coming in to the territory or leaving. Some of the wrestlers were mysterious; some were famous wrestlers you had only read about while others were yet to leave their mark in the sport.  More...

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KM DVD/VHS Store 4
Click here to purchase DVD or VHS products direct from the official distributors.
KM Replica Masks 4
Click here to purchase pro quality replica wrestling masks of all your favorite old school masked wrestlers.   
KM Store 4
The KM Store now features products featuring the GCW logo as well as some other very cool images.  To see what's new and to purchase T-Shirts, ball caps, mouse pads and more, click here
KM Message Board 4

Want to chat with other fans of regional wrestling? This message board has forums for over two dozen promotions. Click here.

KM Belt Gallery 4

This section contains an extensive title belt gallery... images of heavyweight, tag, U.S. and various regional title belts.  To view it, click here.

Old School Tape Review 4

Reviews of various PPV's, commercial tapes and regional wrestling TV shows are available in this section. To read more, click here.

 

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