Where Wrestling's Regional History Lives!
- Greg Mosorjak
This month I will look at the top
ten feuds of not only the Buffalo/Cleveland NWF but also Pittsburgh feuds
that crossed over into these promotions.
There was much sharing of the talent between these groups and once
Pedro Martinez purchased the territory from Geeto Mongol, the lines
remained forever blurred.
10. Baron Scicluna vs Dominic DeNucci
This one transcends the time lines of the promotions. By the early 1970’s Dominic DeNucci emerged at Pittsburgh’s number two baby face behind Bruno Sammartino. Baron Scicluna about this time was one of the few mainstays in Pittsburgh and emerged as usually the number two heel behind George Steele, Waldo von Erich, Killer Kowalski or Stan Stasiak. These guys would be a set match in Pittsburgh, Buffalo, Cleveland or any number of spot towns. When the promotions folded they ended up in the WWWF and continued their feud there. Going from main event of semi main events to the opening match in the Pittsburgh area house shows. A long running feud with no clear winner, however Scicluna often found himself disqualified which may have given DeNucci an upper hand in the win – loss column. Never the less, these were always good solid matches. Except for Denucci’s run as North American Champion, in which Scicluna received many title shots, never able to win the belt, no titles were usually at stake, thus this feud ranks lower in importance.
9. Waldo von Erich vs Ernie Ladd
This was a short but hot feud in 1972. Ernie Ladd took the NWF title off Waldo Von Erich in
June 1969 in Cleveland, Ohio. Ladd
and Von Erich had great brawls, most matches would end up as
disqualifications or count outs.
Ladd getting the rare pin fall win when he took the NWF title. Not a very long feud but an important one that Ernie
Ladd held the upper hand in.
8. Stan Stasiak vs Dominic DeNucci
This feud similar to Denucci’s feud with Scicluna would transcend time and promotional lines, going into the WWWF after the demise of the territory. These two had some great matches in Pittsburgh, Buffalo, Rochester, and ECT. The centerpiece of this feud was the North American Title that DeNucci had won in April 1974 and lost to Stasiak in July 1974. The two met in singles as well as tag and six man tags during the feud. DeNucci often was left a bloody mess. With Stasiak winning the Title and the blood that was spilt, I have to give Stan Stasiak the upper hand in this feud.
7. Johnny Power’s vs Ernie Ladd
important feud as it pitted the most popular wrestler ever in the
territory (Johnny Powers) against the new most popular wrestler in Ernie
Ladd. This came about during
a tag match between Ladd & Powers vs The Sheik and Pampero Firpo.
The feud seemed to be out of a matter of convenience.
They had run out of heels for Johnny Powers to wrestle and Ladd had
recently been turned face and was super over with the Cleveland fans.
The angle was that Powers was jealous over Ladd’s popularity.
Ladd took the NWF North American Title off Powers before he lost it
himself to Ox Baker. Ladd
appears to have the upper hand in this feud. The feud ended when the Ox
Baker incident shifted Ladd in that direction.
6. Tony Marino vs Killer Brooks
was a great mid card-semi main event feud that was played out primarily in
Cleveland and Buffalo, but also extended into Detroit and Canada as well.
But 1972-1973 these two met in almost every type of match, Texas
Death Matches, Stretcher Matches and numerous bloody chain matches. One chain match involved both wrestlers not only chained at
the wrist but having both ankles chained together.
Eddie Creatchman managed Killer Tim Brooks at this time and was
often a factor in the matches (getting Brooks Disqualified many times).
Tony Marino had JB Psycho as his second and would have Creatchman
handcuffed to him during many of the matches.
Tony Marino came out on top most of the time in this feud that was
one of the bloodiest in the territory
5. Johnny Powers vs Eric the Animal/ Red
This feud played out in early 1973 in the NWF.
Eric the Red managed by Tony Angelo made his move to become a top
heel in the territory. Johnny
Powers the North American champ and top baby went at it tooth and nail.
Eric was not opposed to bringing his bone into the ring to bust
open Powers on more than one occasion.
Tony Angelo would get involved as well.
I remember a TV match that a very bloody Johnny Powers shoved the
cigar in Angelo’s mouth down his throat (it appeared).
If February and March 1973 Powers would lose the belt to Eric and
regain it back a short time later. Powers
would eventually come out on top in this feud.