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Author Topic: Rocky Johnson dies 75 yrs old.  (Read 1002 times)

arimaBOATER

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Rocky Johnson dies 75 yrs old.
« on: January 16, 2020, 12:23:41 AM »

Wrestler Rocky Johnson passes Jan 15 2020. Age 75.
Seen him wrestle locally in Vancouver "Gardens" PNE grounds on All Star Wrestling ch 8 filmed in a Burnaby studios.... presently Global BC. And did see him wrestle at the Arenex Queens Park New Westminster.
He went on to wrestle all over Canada/USA & even in the WWF presently WWE.
He is the father of The Rock.
Dwayne Johnson ex wrestler /actor.
RIP & God's comfort to Rocky's love ones.
Wrestling is fake yes....but you have to be one tough guy to be one because it is very physical & there is pain / bruises / injuries involved...
Plus wrestlers do go off the deep end via stresses & do have real fights sometimes in the dressing rm or bar or hotel room.
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Novabonker

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Re: Rocky Johnson dies 75 yrs old.
« Reply #1 on: January 16, 2020, 08:05:08 PM »

So.e relations of mine ran a circuit in the Maritimes. I spent part of my 14th summer setting up the ringside seats and hawking programs Whatever needed doing I was in awe of the difference between the character and the person. Rocky Johnson did a 4 week run and I gotta say he was nicest guy of the bunch.. very soft spoken and easy going. All the guys were great but Rocky was the best. It was hard not to talk about all the insider stuff. Nearly all those guys are gone to the battle royal in the sky and the veil has been lifted.
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arimaBOATER

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Re: Rocky Johnson dies 75 yrs old.
« Reply #2 on: January 17, 2020, 11:55:32 AM »

That's cool story Nova.
Rocky actually trained in boxing & even sparred with Ali on an occasion ( read on web) but he got an interest in wrestling so it's history from there.
I remember he teamed up with Don Leo Jonathan & they won the NWA Vancouver version of the tag team belts.
I was at a wrestling event in the 1960s & with the Swinger camera ( self develop film a big invention in those days ) took a picture of a Rocky Johnson as he walked to the ring. Also took photos of Jonathan, Abdulla the Butcher ( when he still was slender side ..as later he put on the lbs ) & a photo the world famous tag team The Assassins ( original members ).
When Vince McMahon (sp?) started to take over wrestling territories he had a great wrestler talent pool as they joined the WWF.
That's why the WWF had great characters in the 80s & 90s....but as these wrestlers retired so WWE had to train their own wrestlers & now in house talent & wrestling has evolved not for the better.
Today it's all go go go & high risk moves ...& each match falls into a 1-5 range.
Wrestling in the past was like reading a good book. Drama or story to the match. Mix of slow to a build up....wrestling holds / then the kicks punch choke pull rope pull hair etc...Wrestling story was like 1-100 range in story lines !!!!!!!!! ( not 1-5 range like today )

Attended college for 2 yrs ( temporary campus next to Canada Games pool in New Westminster ) & on a break between classes walked over to Queens Park. Who drives up & parks his nice fancy big car ...Rocky Johnson.
On some Fridays the Arenex building held wrestling matches.
This would of been between 1976-78.

Vancouver wrestling in the 60s & part of 70s had great talent....Tolos bros. The Fabulous Kangaroos Andre the Giant Haystack Calhoun Bearcat Wright Kinji Shabuya ,Dr Jerry Graham,Bulldog Brown,Mark Lewin,John Quinn ( br or relative of Pat Quinn hockey player/coach ) Hard a Boiled Haggerty, Zgene Kiniski, Sean Reagan, gentleman Jim Hady, Roy & Don McCarty, Angelo Mosca football/wrestler,Dutch Savage Harley Race, Dory Funk Jr. Lou Thesz Steven Little Bear Dean Higuchi,Steve Bolus Timothy Gohagan on & on...

These guys knew how to dramatize a wrestling match. Also Piper He had a long career ...even into the WWF & WWE ..Roddy Piper. He wore a kilt.
He died a yr or 2 ago. Think he was into drugs as many wrestlers got into...
Speed /cocaine. Uppers downers painkillers...

Fortunately we have YT vids to bring back memories of these guys.
One wrestler also black guy who wrestler in Calgary ...Sweet Daddy Siki.
He was a heel & the fans wanted him to lose Ha! Rocky Johnson knew him.

« Last Edit: January 17, 2020, 12:00:18 PM by A-BOATER »
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Novabonker

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Re: Rocky Johnson dies 75 yrs old.
« Reply #3 on: January 19, 2020, 10:34:10 AM »

A few  years ago  I  almost put some money into a reincarnation of All Star Wrestling but it would have turned into a money  pit. The old Stampede wrestling ring was hooped, the turnout was dismal and another promotion was drawing all the "marks " I hate that expression. The workers were lucky to get 25 bucks a show, by tye time the venue and insurance was paid it cost money, not made money. The " exhibition of strength and skill" went into the toilet financially. There's  still a bit of talented youngsters doing  a yeomans job but very few doing more than one or two shows a month. I met and befriended a gent named Rick Patterson who did really well in Japan with a Leatherface gimmick,  but he had to do the death match stuff with the light tubes ,sheet glass , beds of nails etc. He was good friends with Mick Foley. One of the funniest things I ever saw was Ricky in his full gimmick after  running his spark shooting chainsaw at Main and Hasting after a show at the Rickshaw. Someone was driving down the  alley, saw this and burned rubber in reverse to get the heck outta there.i nearly peed my pants looking at the reaction. It's  mostly corporate now and just an action soap opera. If you're thinking about training Abs, I can get you hooked up. ;)
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arimaBOATER

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Re: Rocky Johnson dies 75 yrs old.
« Reply #4 on: January 19, 2020, 01:30:47 PM »

You have more of a passing interest in wrestling I see.
Remember many many matches here in Vancouver that could of been main events in any major city in the USA. New York City included.
Kiniski defending the NWA World belt against Abdulla the Butcher.
That match was in the Forum Building ( next to the Gardens PNE ) think that was the name of building.
Total sellout!!! Abdulla cut wide open from the steel post so doctor stopped the match.
Bloodbath.
Blood flowed = $$$
One time was 2nd row Gardens Monday night matches & it was the Brute vs Shawn Reagan think his name was. Irish guy with lots of wrestling holds but he could go toe to toe when going got tough.
At one point Reagan was on the mat & from behind the Brute grabbed the guys head in a vise grip & then literally drove his front teeth into his forehead.
The cut openned up & blood spurt  out like a water pistol !!!
I thought WOW !!!
Ok wrestling is fake but ........this is a real cut & real blood done by front teeth. No fake there.
Kiniski matches were fun to watch. Mean as a bulldog but he'd flee when the other guy got his chance to fight back....fans went crazy ...ya get him. Ha!!! Kiniski said he gave everyone their $$$ worth & he was right. He knew how to get the fans all worked up !
He & Hard Boiled Haggerty were a bad news mean team.
Funny story about the guy in car going reverse.... ;D ya imagine you laughing hard on that one.

Seen on youtube some wrestlers in the Vancouver area in present times & have to take my hat off to them as they try very hard.

One pastor who knew the Word & wonderful pastor had a church not too far from the PNE Rev Bob Birch.
He really liked wrestling Ha!
He's been dead for yrs.
On YT there are good vids on past wrestling promoters. Jeff Jared or Jerett dad was a promotor. (Sp?)
Verne Gagne ( wrestler promotor ) ...there was a promotors in Vancouver past.....Ron Fenton Sandor Kovacs ( wrestler/promotor ) Kiniski even had his hand on promoting in Vancouver.
« Last Edit: January 19, 2020, 01:34:55 PM by A-BOATER »
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Novabonker

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Re: Rocky Johnson dies 75 yrs old.
« Reply #5 on: February 23, 2020, 02:48:15 PM »

Yes indeed I  still enjoy pro wrestling.  It's the show the feuds and the athleticism of the spectacle. The days of kayfabe are long over though. Manitoba had a boxing and wrestling commission  that decreed that the pros had to call the shows exhibition of strength and skill, not wrestling.The WWE is now more a soap opera than a  wrestling  show. The "extreme" or "death match" promotions are just sick. There's still some that put on  a decent show but they're not drawing the crowds. Abs I can almost say with 100% certainty tha Abdulla (Larry Shreve) had a  small blade tucked into his wrist tape. He was notorious  for "adding colour" to his matches. The fork was an amazing  prop that drove the fans nuts. He ended up with a lawsuit for infectiing  another performer with hep c. The scars arecso deep on his forehead that he puts poker chips in them. U
If you get a chance look up the Cormier family from New Brunswick.  They are family to me. Yvon or The Beast was the nicest  most gentle guy you could meet. Also amazingly  strong, bench pressing over 500 pounds.. Good times.
« Last Edit: February 23, 2020, 02:55:49 PM by Novabonker »
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arimaBOATER

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Re: Rocky Johnson dies 75 yrs old.
« Reply #6 on: February 24, 2020, 01:58:29 AM »

Yes indeed I  still enjoy pro wrestling.  It's the show the feuds and the athleticism of the spectacle. The days of kayfabe are long over though. Manitoba had a boxing and wrestling commission  that decreed that the pros had to call the shows exhibition of strength and skill, not wrestling.The WWE is now more a soap opera than a  wrestling  show. The "extreme" or "death match" promotions are just sick. There's still some that put on  a decent show but they're not drawing the crowds. Abs I can almost say with 100% certainty tha Abdulla (Larry Shreve) had a  small blade tucked into his wrist tape. He was notorious  for "adding colour" to his matches. The fork was an amazing  prop that drove the fans nuts. He ended up with a lawsuit for infectiing  another performer with hep c. The scars arecso deep on his forehead that he puts poker chips in them. U
If you get a chance look up the Cormier family from New Brunswick.  They are family to me. Yvon or The Beast was the nicest  most gentle guy you could meet. Also amazingly  strong, bench pressing over 500 pounds.. Good times.
Yes totally agree with your pts.
Extreme matches is just that too extreme.
Yes I heard about that lawsuit against Abdulla.
I remember the Beast. He wrestled in Toronto & eastern USA cities.
He'd put it in overdrive & attack ...wore Tarzan trunks & big fuzzy black hair.
Check out the vid : Don Leo Jonathan vs Abdulla the Butcher ( Japan match )
Wrestling as I know it does not exist today. It was good in the 60s 70s ...80s quite good ...90s went down hill ...too gross...2000s as ya say it's all Hollywood. Hype & high risk moves ...
No build up. No wrestling holds...
The Assassins & the Tolos Bros. & The Fabulous Kagaroos were good tag teams ...
John Tolos would win by putting his middle knuckle into the guys temple area ( side of head) & grin away.
The guys legs & arms would go all over because of the pain...then he's pass out.
Of course Tolos kept the knuckle grinning & the fans yelled STOP & ref telling Tolos  "let him go"...
Of course it was all fake but it looked believable.
The quality of wrestlers & the matches were top notch.
Thank The Lord for youtube as I can watch lots of classic past matches. 

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