WWA-Indianapolis #7 Page #2

Next up was Dick Beyer, The Destroyer against Prince Pullins. The Destroyer took him apart, really putting on a clinic and threw some dirty moves in just to work up the fans. Through the years, Beyer was great in Chicago as either the Destroyer or later, Dr.X.

The 3rd match was Big Cat Ernie Ladd against another big man, Jay York, The Alaskan. Ladd, a face at the time used some power moves to beat York. The oddity here is that in those days, York used the taped thumb gimmick to beat opponents. A few years later, Ladd borrowed that same move and with the taped thumb, Ladd became a villain that we loved to hate.

Next, Chris Markoff beat Doug Gilbert in a pretty good match. Markoff was beginning to get a push as he would be teaming with Angelo Poffo shortly to wrestle as The Devils Duo. Bobby Heenan would get to manage this team.

After a short intermission, it was Mad Dog Vachon defending the AWA title against Wilbur Snyder. At this point in time, Snyder, along with Gagne, Bruiser and Crusher was considered among the top in the Midwest area. I knew nothing of the WWA/AWA back room politics that  would make it almost impossible for Snyder to win that night. I thought the wrestlers all wrestled under one promotion and never knew that several of them actually owned the promotion. Snyder took the first fall with his abdominal stretch, while Vachon came back to win the second fall with his piledriver. It went the full 60-minute limit with a lot of near pinfalls and when the bell rang declaring that time had run out, Snyder has Vachon in the stretch. A draw between two legends.

The main event was next and The Assassins, led by a very young Bobby Heenan were the first to make their way to the ring.

Then what was a ritual before every Bruiser and Crusher tag match happened. They would make their opponents wait in the ring for a good 5 minutes before they would come out. The place would go berserk the minute they stepped out of the dressing room with the cameras flashing and the crowd yelling. This was the first time I had ever heard the famous "We Want Blood" chant in the Amphitheatre. When 10,000 plus are chanting that, there is electricity in the air.

The teams traded the first 2 falls and you could see blood coming out of The Assassins' masks. The 3rd fall was extra brutal and when Bruiser got his hands on Heenan, the place went nuts. The referee had to disqualify both teams and as the masked men and Heenan went back to the locker room, C & B went through their post match ritual, where they would slug each other several times to the delight of the crowd.

I just knew that night that I would be back there again and again to see this spectacle called pro wrestling!


A Look at Fort Wayne, Indiana, Winter of 1966.

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