By Evan Ginzburg, Columnist
Buckle up as we ride the Wayback machine for another edition of Wrestling-Then & Now.
I need to acknowledge the passing of Killer Brooks who was a main-event heel in the territories. Highlights of his career included being a wild and wooly tag team partner for the original Sheik in Detroit, working Japan, and being a regular in Texas during the glory days. Beloved and respected as a heat magnet in the ring, but a kind-hearted soul outside of it, he may never have gotten that WWE push that put some of his lesser peers on the map, but those in the know realize just how good he truly was. Glad he’s at least getting the ink he deserves. I met him a few years back when I was at Wrestlecon and he was a gracious, friendly, and colorful soul wearing a plethora of pins on his jacket. He was, in fact, kind of a walking parade.
Speaking of Texas, I also want to note the recent death of Valerie Boesch, widow of legendary Houston promoter Paul Boesch who passed in 1989. I know there’s a large contingent of fans who love to read wrestling-related books and Paul Boesch was prolific in putting out not one, but four lesser known tomes. They are:
Road to Huertgen: Forest in Hell (1962), his story as a soldier in World War II.
Much of Me in Each of These (1966), a book of Boesch’s poetry
The Career of Paul Boesch– One Man, One Sport, One Lifetime– 50 years on the mat (1981), an autobiography.
Hey Boy- Where’d You Get Them Ears? (2001), a secondary autobiography including his later memoirs.
And continuing with our Texas theme, the great Terry Funk who resides in Amarillo, celebrated his 76th birthday Tuesday. Considered by many a top 10 all-time great, I can personally attest to the fact that his I Quit match versus Ric Flair and two matches I saw him live in against Sabu were among the greatest bouts I’ve EVER seen in 46 years of attending. I’ve never met a wrestling fan that didn’t revere Terry whose nearly half-century career including being on top as NWA World Champion. Since America is fixated on statues these days, I’d like to see a Terry Funk statue in every major city; he’s certainly entertained us in virtually all of them.
And in the “there’s more heat outside the ring than inside” these days, Vince McMahon got folks talking after becoming reportedly 177 million dollars richer during the pandemic. This, of course, was after “future endeavoring” dozens of loyal wrestlers and staff.
And Low Ki got pummeled after he posted that he was anti-mask just as the numbers nationwide spiked with most major cities seeing increases in Covid cases.
— LOW-KI ????? ?????? (@OneWorldWarrior) June 27, 2020
Wrestlers really would be advised to not play scientist or civil rights scholar. Yes, we all have rights. And in NYC where nearly 800 people a day were dying, and 17 of my friends had the Virus (3 hospitalized, 1 dead), I have the right not to get sick by selfish folk not wearing masks.
29 years ago today: World Championship Wrestling’s Executive Vice President Jim Herd fired “Nature Boy” Ric Flair and stripped him of the WCW World Heavyweight Championship on July 1, 1991.
Titan Championship Wrestling returns to the Willis Jones Memorial First Aid Park in Ocean Gate NJ on Saturday, July 11th. Doors open at 4 pm, bell time is at 4:30 pm. All seats are $15 (bring your own chair).
Yours truly, along with West Coast-based indie heel manager Buddy Sotello, have started a unique show, Wrestling & Everything Coast to Coast, where we have hour-long interviews with unsung heroes of the wrestling industry. This week we interview Eric Adamz, wrestling’s greatest unsigned talent and co-host at Beyond Bushido Podcast, talks about wrestling around the world, being trained by Johnny Rodz, working with Robert Gibson and many legends. Plus wrestling in the year of Covid-19 and recent scandals rocking the business.
— Check out both 350 Days starring Bret Hart, Superstar Graham, and three dozen legends and Wrestling-Then & Now starring Killer Kowalski & Nikolai Volkoff both free on Amazon Prime. 350 Days also free on Tubi and Roku. You can check out the new 350 Days trailer here.
Speaking of Wrestling- Then & Now I am now offering grab bags of my long out of print newsletter packed with legends columns and interviews and exceedingly rare clips. $25 postpaid gets you 10 issues and a free surprise legends signed 8X10. Contact me for details.
That’ll about do it, folks. Catch you next week for Wrestling- Then & Now.
Evan Ginzburg is a contributor for The Gorilla Position. He was an Associate Producer on the movie The Wrestler and 350 Days starring Bret Hart and Superstar Billy Graham. He is a 30-year film, radio and TV veteran. Check out his Evan Ginzburg’s Old School Wrestling Memories page on Facebook. He can be reached on Twitter @evan_ginzburg or by e-mail at [email protected]