Wrestling - The 1960's
May of 1963 Bruno Sammartino defeated Buddy Rogers to
win the Wwwf Title.
meant Bruno had to travel more and would not be able
to appear on Studio Wrestling as often as he
being a part of the Wwwf the Pittsburgh booking office
had many additional wrestlers to promote on the
Saturday night Studio Wrestling.
big name heels came to town including Gorilla Monsoon,
Hans Mortier, Dr. Bill Miller, Killer Kowalski and
they all had a number of title defenses against Bruno
order to get the title shot a challenger now had to
work his way up the ladder and defeat a number of
Bill Watts was Bruno's main sidekick during the first
two years of his title. Chief White Owl, Bobo
Brazil, Argentina Apollo & Edouard Carpentier were
wrestlers you had to beat to get to Bruno.
Tv you never saw any of these top names lose, as a
matter of fact it was rare if their opponent got in
any offense at all.
Monsoon continued to be a real problem for Bruno,
Monsoon was big, pretty fast and in great shape during
the mid 60's, nobody got out of the big splash if
Monsoon came crashing down on you.
Mortier had an incredible stomach and he could make it
roll, his finishing move was the full nelson, only
Bruno could get out of it, no one else.
Kowalski was a real tough wrestler and he came off as
being a little crazy, if the Killer put the claw on
you it was lights out.
Bill Miller had a great amateur background and was in
his prime in the mid 60's, Dr. Bill Miller used the
backbreaker as his finisher, very few were able to
1965 Cowboy Bill Watts turned on Bruno during a tag
match, Bruno and Watts feuded for more than a year
without Watts taking the title, Watts left the area in
1966 and never returned.
Watts turning heel the Wwwf needed a new sidekick for
Bruno, they came up with Don Mc Larity, he was an ok
wrestler and went on to co-hold the tag title but he
was no Bill Watts.
teams were really making a name for themselves in the
mid 1960's. The toughest team was Killer
Kowalski & Gorilla Monsoon. At the Civic
Arena in about 1964 Kowalski & Monsoon went up
against Bobo Brazil & Haystacks Calhoun.
In the first minute of the match Bobo & Gorilla
run the ropes, the ring falls down and the match is
called "no contest". The ring
announcer says we'll bring back Monsoon &
Kowalski, they came back alright taking on Frank Holtz
& Frank Pickens.
Teams making names for themselves in Pittsburgh
included Duke Hoffman & Ron Romano, Ace Freeman
& Johnny DeFazio, Baron Gattoni & Klondike
Bill, Magnificent Maurice & Handsome Johnny
Barrend, The Sicilians & others.
Studio Wrestling you started to see a little bit
better competition especially in the first or second
match. Someone such as Hurricane Hunt might
wrestle Jim Grabmire and each may win a fall and take
it to the 10 or 15 minute time limit.
1966 Paul Degalles brought the Wwwf Junior title to
the Pittsburgh area, he eventually lost this title to
Johnny DeFazio in 1967 and DeFazio supposedly held
this title until 1972. DeFazio only wore the
Junior belt for a short time.
cousin Antonio Pugliese (right) came to the area and
was Bruno's sidekick after Bill Watts had turned on
him. Pugliese and Spiros Arion became tag team
champs around this time.
Forbes Field card in 1966 was one of the best shows of
the year as the Mortier Brothers wrestled White Owl
& Big Heart. Smasher Sloan took on Argentina
Apollo, Killer Kowalski defeated Bobo Brazil and Bruno
headlined the card.
was the year of change in the world and also on Studio
Wrestling. More wrestlers came & went during
1967 than any other year.
of those leaving the area included Chief White Owl,
Chief Big Heart, Miguel Perez, The Beast, Argentina
Apollo, Smasher Sloan, & Prince Iaukea.
of the heel wrestlers used managers in the 1960's,
Buddy Rogers, The Beast And Prince Iaukea all used
Bobby Davis as their manager, Wild Red Berry managed
Gorilla Monsoon & Bull Ramos and Tony Angelo
managed Ivan Koloff when he first came into the area.
year 1967 brought us George the Animal Steele,
Professor Tanaka, Waldo Von Erich, Baron Scicluna,
Killer Kowalski and Dr Bill Miller all had title
now had two new allies, Dom Denucci & The Battman
(Tony Marino). While in Pittsburgh Denucci &
Marino rarely got beat but in other Wwwf arenas they
were mid card at best.
in 1967 you were seeing more & more heel vs heel
matches. Gorilla Monsoon wrestled Dr. Bill
Miller & Baron Scicluna. The Bill Miller
match was real boring, the Scicluna match was exciting
although Scicluna was a great heel throughout his
career and made every match good.
Bill Miller turned babyface in 1968 and feuded with
Tony Altimore. Miller was getting up in age and
had slowed down considerably, his matches as a
babyface were pretty boring but he did help sell
tickets and that was the reason he was still here.
Battman left in 1968 and went to compete as a tag team
partner of Victor Rivera, they won the championship in
1969 Gorilla Monsoon turned babyface when The Sheik
attacked him after a match, Bruno Sammartino made the
save and Gorilla became a babyface for the rest of his