You are here: Home>Regional Territories>Pittsburgh/Buffalo/Cleveland>#10

Search Kayfabe Memories

Regional Territories 4

This section contains monthly articles on over two dozen territories. To relive those wonderful days of old, click here.

Wrestlers 4

Enter this section for bios/profiles of various wrestlers from the regional days. To find more out about your favorite pro wrestler, click here.

Stories 4

This section contains stories from the pros themselves told exclusively to Kayfabe Memories. Want to know more as told from the wrestlers themselves? Click here.

Old School Book Reviews4

Click here to find various book reviews from old school wrestlers. 

KM Links 4
For tons of links to old school related sites, click here.
KM Micro Wrestlers4
What are Micro Wrestlers?  Click here  
to find out.
KM Interviews... 4
Click here to read exclusive interviews with stars from the regional territories.

View Old Guestbook is © 2004 AtomDesigns. All promotional art, characters, logos and other depictions are © their respective owners. All Rights Reserved.

All contents save Wrestler Stories are © Kayfabe Memories.

Website designed and maintained by  AtomDesigns © 2004 . If you experience any problems with this site or have any questions, please contact the Webmaster.


 - Greg Mosorjak

This month I am taking a look at the TV enhancement talent that appeared on Pittsburgh’s Studio Wrestling.  These jobbers put over the stars each week and rarely if ever did we see an upset from their ranks.  They traveled from Canada, Detroit, and Indianapolis or even from the surrounding towns of Pittsburgh.  Some would never be heard from again, some would have long careers in the independents, or minor roles in the territories of the day.  However, some of these jobbers would go on to become Ivan Koloff, Kurt Von Hess, and J.J. Dillon.  I would like to thank in particular one of these wrestlers, Jim Lancaster, for taking the time to share his stories and experiences with me for this month’s article.  Thanks Big Jim!!

Many of Pittsburgh’s TV jobbers would stretch across the life of this promotion.  Guys like Frank Holtz, Jim Grabmire, Frank Durso, Bobby “Hurricane” Hunt, Joe Abbey, Ron Romano and Chuck Martino would spend 10+ years on Studio wrestling putting over Bruno Sammartino, Baron Scicluna, George Steele and Dominic DeNucci.  This core group would be the upper echelon core group and would get a push from time to time.  Grabmire would even get an occasional main event on a house show, and was a trooper in working several matches if needed or stretching out time if wrestlers were running late. 

In the 1960’s the jobbers included many that would work for Capitol Wrestling (WWWF) on the Washington, DC tapings with Ray Morgan as commentator.  Pittsburgh guys like Frank Holtz, Frank Durso and Ron Romano would work both. Guys like Frank Hickey (pre Spaceman days), Bob Nandor, Johnny Carr (who would job for years in Pittsburgh), Jim Montenaro, Arnold Skaaland, Orwell Parris (who would go on to become Ivan Koloff), John Quinn, Wes Hutchins, Dewey Robertson and Bill Terry (who would go onto be Kurt Von Hess) were all frequent jobbers on TV.

 In the late 1960’s and into the 1970’s a traveling group of guys would travel from Canada and Detroit.  Guys like Doc Beach, Rujeck Woods, Cowboy Boy Hondo and Jerry Novak (who would go on to become the Bounty Hunters and were stars in places like Tennessee or the WWA), Rick O’Toole and one Big Jim Lancaster.  Jim was gracious enough to give me a trip down memory lane of some of his more memorable experiences at Pittsburgh’s Studio Wrestling. Jim remembered usually traveling with Tom Reesman, Cowboy Hondo, Jerry Novak, Rick O’Toole, Greg Lake, Emanuel Beach, Walter “Rujeck” Woods, Bob Ritchie (Richards) and others.  He also remembered guys named Al Johnson, Rick Luka and Bruce Roberts also came in from Klein’s Gym in Detroit. 

They would usually leave by car around 4 a.m. to make the TV tapings. Most times they were able to get back in time to get to the Cobo show in case they needed extra guys. It would be an extremely long day.  The dressing room at the Pittsburgh TV Station (Channel 11), when leaving the ring they went through a small door near the ring steps. An immediate right turn took you down a long hallway.  But, usually they kept walking straight through the door and turned left into a warehouse-like storage area.  There used to be TV props in there such as fake backgrounds and phone booths and the like. It was a large room and they just set out folding chairs in there. No shower facilities. Jim found it interesting to go around the station. The main reception area had a large window overlooking the city. 

”It was really a neat sight.”  When I asked Jim about what the feeling was in the dressing room, he told me “The atmosphere of the dressing room seemed to one of controlled chaos. People running around putting their ideas in play. We guys from Detroit really knew nothing of what programs were being planned. Who was turning baby face or heel, new guys coming in, etc? We were there to put the stars over and we were never invited to the Civic Arena show.”  When I asked him about some of the wrestlers that were the regulars he told me “I remember DeFazio and worked with him once. Holtz I seem to recall.   I recall Donn Lewin being the nicest guy of the bunch only because he was sincere. He was doing The Executioner gimmick and was easy to work with. I’m sure these guys were the cornerstones to the territory. Looking over the old Civic Arena clips, you can see a pattern of how these guys were worked in.”  

Jim’s first pro match was against Hangman Jim Grabmire, another Pittsburgh cornerstone and an enhancement guy to a certain extent himself.  Grabmire went over in 19 seconds.  More...

If you'd like to discuss the Pittsburgh/Buffalo/Cleveland region with other fans, please visit the 
KM Message Board 

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.


Website designed & maintained by



Thanks for visiting!