Where Wrestling's Regional History Lives!
- Charles Laffere
The Man... the Legend... the Hippy
“We don't smoke marijuana in Muskogee,
“We don't burn our draft cards down on Main
“We don't make a party out of lovin',
“We don't let our hair grow long and shaggy,
Damn straight, Mr. Haggard!
My name is Charles Laffere, and welcome back to my spot here at Kayfabe Memories. Last time we met, we attempted to tackle the theme of job guys, jobbers, and enhancement talent. Whatever you care to call them, these workers were an integral part of all the territories during the fiefdom days of pro wrestling in the United States. One of the many notable things about the Universal Wrestling Federation was that it had some of the best job guys around. Unlike most televised wrestling programs of the time, where the jobbers were easy to spot because they had little charisma nor physique, the UWF had capable wrestlers such as KM’s Art Crews, Jeff Raitz, Ken Massey, and Skip Young. These fellows were good workers and had builds that suggested that they at least spent some time in the gym. Thus, the results of the television matches had some element of uncertainty in regards to the outcomes. This might not sound like much, but this simple thing set the UWF apart from the heavy diet of TV squash fed to us by the World Wrestling Federation, Jim Crockett Promotions, and the American Wrestling Alliance around the same time. In fact, UWF TV would sometimes open with a job guy vs. job guy match-up…
As a matter of fact, one of the UWF’s job guys, the illustrious Gary Young, began to get a push with his comical “Rookie of the Year” claims, and even a successful feud with Chavo Guerrero, albeit while Chavo was leaving the promotion. But one person truly transcended the term jobber, enhancement talent, etc. That man has a legacy which exists to this day on KM’s UWF Message Board as well as much different remembrances on the Gulf Coast Championship Wrestling board, where he has been written about by the professor emeritus of the area, diamondmd-- http://www.kayfabememories.com/Regions/gccw/gccw5.htm --as well as being cited by none other than Percival Pringle III as the trainer of one Michael P.S. Hayes. At the beginning of his career, Mick Foley was told that he “reminded” people of this grappler. So, whom are we talking about?…
“Hey, leather boots are still in style for manly
To truly understand the phenom (no,
not the Undertaker) known as the Hippy, a little background information is
necessary. Mike Boyette hailed from San Diego and served in the Navy on
the west coast in the ‘60s. Boyette was also a judo champion and earned
a spot on the 1968 U.S. Olympic judo squad until he broke his leg in a
practice session. No word if Gary Young was his opponent in that match…
“I'm a loser
Mike Bowyer (his pre-Hippy, real name) made his wrestling debut in his home state around 1969 or 1970, wrestling for Gene LeBell’s Los Angeles promotion and Roy Shires’ San Francisco-based “Big Time Wrestling” company. Somewhere during his travels up and down the California coastline, a transformation was taking place with Mike Bowyer. The clean cut Navy judo champ, the man who suffered a broken leg while attempting to valiantly represent his country in what was then the most noble of sporting ventures, was going through a metamorphosis that many other young Americans were experiencing at that pivotal time in our cultural history. Mike Bowyer, Navy vet, was becoming Mike Boyette, California Hippy. More...