The 1970's started with Bruno Sammartino still the Wwwf Champion.
Ivan Koloff was the main challenger of Bruno Sammartino in 1970 along with the likes of Crusher Verdu, Waldo Von Erich, Joe LeDuc, George Steele, Eric the Red, Baron Scicluna, & Karl Kovacs.
In tag team wrestling The Mongols were unstoppable, this was probably the best working team of heels since the Wwwf started. Bruno Sammartino used many different partners to take on the Mongols during 1970.
Gorilla Monsoon & Dr. Bill Miller were now full time babyfaces. Monsoon was in his prime while bill Miller was in the final years of his career.
Dom Denucci, Victor Rivera, The Battman, Chief Jay Strongbow, Bobo Brazil & Tony Parisi were all top line babyfaces behind Bruno.
The years of travel and the
hectic schedule was starting to catch up with Bruno Sammartino. In January
of 1971 Bruno & Dom Denucci took on George Steele & Baron Scicluna at
the Civic Arena.
During that match George Steele hit Bruno's shoulder with a steel chair which caused an injury to Bruno. In a match just a few days later in Madison Square Garden Ivan Koloff made a clean center of the ring pin of Bruno Sammartino and became the new Wwwf Champion.
After losing the title Bruno continued to wrestle in Pittsburgh but only appeared once in Madison Square Garden.
Koloff didn't hold the belt long, Pedro Morales beat Koloff just a few weeks after Koloff beat Bruno.
Pedro Morales took on many of the top heels of the day including Blackjack Mulligan, King Curtis, Fred Blassie, Killer Kowalski, George Steele, Don Leo Jonathan, Bulldog Brower, The Wolfman, Beautiful Bobby, Tarzan Tyler, Luke Graham, Jimmy Valiant, & Stan Stasiak.
Stan Stasiak was recognized as the North American champion and nearly lost the title to Billy Red Lyons on Studio Wrestling in 1971.
Pete Sanchez was given a push in the Pittsburgh area as was Johnny Rodz using the Java Ruk gimmick.
Larry Zbyszko debuted in Pittsburgh in 1972 and it was announced that he had been trained by Bruno Sammartino. John L Sullivan is showing signs of turning heel and finally does so at the end of 1972.
A little more than a year later he is in the Wwwf as Johnny Valiant.
By 1972 The Mongols, Bepo & Geeto have split up. Geeto has turned babyface after an altercation with Lou Albano. Geeto teams with Johnny DeFazio and they defeat Tarzan Tyler & Luke Graham on Tv to win what we all thought was the Wwwf tag titles. In reality they won a local title as Rene Goulet & Karl Gotch were the actual Wwwf tag team title holders. It is rumored that Gotch & Bruno didn't get along so Gotch never appeared on the Pittsburgh shows.
In 1972 Studio Wrestling left the air on WIIC Tv. Wpgh Channel 53 picked it up and the shows originated from Erie.
1972 also saw the return of some favorites of the past such as Chief White Owl, Johnny Valentine, Smasher Sloan, Dan Miller, Tony Altimore & Gino Brito.
Bruno Sammartino wrestled Pedro Morales at Shea Stadium to a draw after the two had a misunderstanding during a tag team match.
The Fargo Brothers, The Miller Brothers, The Kangaroos & the team of Denucci & Mosca were all popular in 1972.
Angelo Mosca turned on Dom Denucci during a tag match and those two feuded. Mosca also faced Bruno Sammartino at the Civic Arena. Bruno wrestled quite a bit at many regular Wwwf house shows outside of Pittsburgh.
One of the best tag matches in the early 70's from the Civic Arena had Victor Rivera & Gorilla Monsoon taking on Ivan Koloff & Joe Leduc. Both teams were terrific in this match, Monsoon even did flying head scissors on Ivan Koloff.
Local wrestlers Frank Holtz, Hurricane Hunt, Ron Mattecci & Frank Durso all continued to complete on the local cards. Professor X (George Steele's Brother) and Jim Dillon competed as mid to low card heels in the Pittsburgh area in the early 70's.
In Pittsburgh the Pedro Martinez group were running the promotion.
Bruno Sammartino still particpated in most of the Civic Arena cards with the likes of The Executioner, Dick the Bruiser, Johnny Furr, Baron Scicluna, Lil Abner, Tony Parisi, Louie Cerdan (Gino Brito), Dr. Bill Miller & Ricky Cortez.
In 1973 Pedro Morales continued as Wwwf champion taking on the likes of Fred Blassie, Moondog Mayne, Buddy Wolfe, George Steele, Don Leo Jonathan & Mr. Fuji.
Stan Stasiak defeated Pedro Morales for the Wwwf title in December of 1973.
Bruno Sammartino defeated Stan Stasiak to win the Wwwf title in December of 73. Stasiak only held the belt a few days.
In late 1973 John L Sullivan changes his name to Johnny Valiant and is defeated by Bruno Sammartino in Indianapolis.
Studio Wrestling from Pittsburgh left the air in late 1974. The Wwwf syndicated show replaced it.
Larry Zbyszko goes to the Wwwf and is the 1974 rookie of the year.