Where Wrestling's Regional History Lives!
- Mike DuPree
Hello gang, I’m back to
finish my 1977 report from… how long ago was it? I left off with Ivan
Koloff taking the WWA belt from Bruiser on June 18th.
In July, Dick and Co. ran
many smaller towns on the circuit, the 1st in Elwood saw Ivan
Volkoff draw with Spike Huber, and Cholak and Snyder beat Jimmy Valiant
and the Strangler, Warren the 2nd had Huber and Christy beating
Ivan Volkoff and the Bounty Hunter Jack Cougar, in one of his many
gimmicks in the area, and Snyder beating Jimmy Valiant on DQ. Cayuga on
the 15th had Christy and Huber beating John Valiant and Cougar
and Bruiser beating the Strangler. One of Bruiser’s booking deficiencies
becomes very evident, he would beat or not push certain talent on his TV
show, book few angles, then put said workers in the main events and semi
main events on the road, and expect to draw with them. Huber and Christy
as a tag team is a good example, as they are seen here semi- main eventing
they should have been given a push on TV, but as we’ll look at
Indianapolis results, they weren’t teamed at all. Same with guys like
Cougar and Volkoff, who were sound alike gimmicks anyway, but they were
there, why not do something with them?
The 16th in
Indianapolis saw Johnny Valiant triumph over Steve Regal by DQ, Art Thomas
beat Jack Cougar, Huber won over Jerry Jaffee (Jerry Graham Jr.), Jose
Martinez drew with Paul Christy, Snyder beating Ivan Koloff by DQ in a WWA
title match (this being Ivan’s first WWA title defense), and the Valiant
Brother beating Moose and Bruiser in a WWA title defense, when the
Valiants dropped Moose throat first across the top rope (behind the refs
back). Dick having both Valiants in town, booked them in Loogootee on the
19th, winning over Cholak and Snyder.
Huber and Regal started getting some action as a tag team, in Elnora on the 22nd beating Ivan Volkoff and Jon Valiant on the under card of another Koloff/Snyder battle, which ended in DDQ, in Paris, Illinois, Huber and Regal whipped Chi Chi Rodriquez and Jose Pantera. On this card Pedro Morales made the first of a handful of whistlestops before mysteriously leaving as quickly, beating Jon Valiant, and Bruiser once again beating Jimmy Valiant on DQ. The 25th in Champaign, Illinois, Morales beat the Starngler and the Valaiants defeated Bruiser and Christy. Nobelsville, Indiana had Morales once again beating Jon Valiant, and Bruiser and Christy beating Volkoff and Jimmy Valiant.
August 5th in Terre Haute saw Huber and Christy teamed again, stopping Volkoff and Cougar, Moose and Jon Valiant both DQ’d, and Snyder whipping Jimmy Valiant in a chain match on a count out of the ring(?).The 6th was back in Indianapolis, with Ivan Koloff winning a no DQ WWA title bout over Wilbur Snyder, and the Bruiser/Little Atlas team stopping the Valiants. After the match, the Valiants attacked and injured the midget star (didn’t this ALWAYS happen), dropping him throat first across the top rope.
Indianapolis show on the 27th had Huber and Regal teaming to defeat Dutch
Savage (Steve Howe) and Jack Cougar, Moose beating Ivan Koloff in a non
title Lumberjack match, and the Valiants going to a double count out with
Bruiser and Snyder. Snyder and Bruiser vowed they were going to win the
belts for a “third time”, apparently not knowing that in their own
mythology, they had already been tag champs three times. Whoops.
Moving ahead as we are to September, on the 17th in Indianapolis, Huber and Regal once again teamed to beat that always dangerous and dastardly duo of Jose Pantera and Blackie Guzman, Art Thomas stopped Jon Valiant on a DQ, Jimmy Valiant beat Snyder in a Texas Death match. This bout was most notable for the ref, Johnny Shorn, passing a blade to Wilbur as he raises his hand, and it was caught on camera. As a matter of fact, it was so obvious the whole arena caught it. As soon as it was handed to him, right in the middle of the ring, Wilbur looks down and starts peeling the cover tape from it. Not a speck of a hint of trying to cover for it. Both Valiants attacked him between falls and hit him with one of the “Convention Center specials”, plastic chairs so light and flimsy a small child could pick one up, and about as likely to bust someone open as a the uncooked contents of an egg. More...