WRESTLING THEN & NOW – 07.08.2020

By Evan Ginzburg, Columnist


Welcome to the Ginzburg Time Machine as we go back and forth through the decades for another Wrestling- Then & Now.

In clearly the most pressing story of the week, Mickie James has announced she will be running for President in 2020:


Clearly, the immediate frontrunner as she’s prettier than Trump, Biden, and Kanye, I think it’s time for yet another wrestler in the White House as we have not had one since Abraham Lincoln. Lincoln, as many of you may remember is best known for his flaming tables match with a young Frank Gotch. He also had a brutal steel cage match with George Hackenscmidt which went three hours and eighteen minutes as bouts tended to go long a couple of centuries back. I was the babysitting in row three center in the legendary photo shot of the bout shot by the omnipresent Bill Apter.

Arn Anderson & Tully Blanchard with FTRAEW fans have been titillated (I always liked that word) in recent weeks as Cody Rhodes, Dax Harwood and Cash Wheeler have been “subtly flashing” the Four Horsemen symbol. Rumors abound that AEW may be trying to bring an updated group for the 2020s. Considering Arn Anderson and Tully Blanchard appear on their TV I’m sure they could make this work. During a recent interview, Flair even gave his endorsement for the idea. Hey, mid pandemic this is as close to excitement as we’re going to get, so let’s hope for the best.

By the way, if I ever have kids, I’m going to name them Cash and Money. But if a doctor ever told me I had a “bad case of DAX” I’d be concerned.

Speaking of our rising pandemic, WWE workers have tested positive. You know, because having sweaty wrestlers breathing hard right on top of each other intrinsically makes sense in battling the virus. Among those who have come forward that have tested positive including Renee Young, Kayla Braxton, Adam Pearce, and Jamie Noble.

July 8th would have been the 79th birthday for “Gentleman” Jerry Valiant. Best known for being one-half of the WWWF tag team champions along with the late “Luscious” Johnny Valiant, he also had a lengthy main-event territories run as Guy “The Stomper” Mitchell. I was one of the promoters for the Valiant Brothers Reunion which reunited Jimmy, Johnny & Jerry who was doing the three-man thing well before the Freebirds. Unfortunately, with pro wrestling, much of what transpired before Hulkamania and Rock & Wrestling is often lost to history, so I am grateful that great sites like Gorilla Position and true historians like Jim Phillips keep the memories alive.

As I do not enjoy the antiseptic fan-free TV wrestling of today I’ve been catching up on a lot of post heel Piper era WWF house shows mid-late 80’s/the early 90s on YouTube. I had pretty much stopped attending their shows at that point as I was going to NWA shows in Philly every month. All I can say is it was a real mixed bag. Way too many “characters” catering to kids rather than meaningful feuds. Cards slapped together haphazardly. I zip through the cards picking and choosing the one or two or three matches I’ve never seen live or that look interesting.

Off the top of my head I have enjoyed:

Terry Funk vs. Mr. Wrestling II
Don Muraco vs. Greg Valentine
Piper (Face) vs. Orndorff
Bret Hart vs. Jim Brunzell
Heenan vs. SD Jones (and pretty much any time Heenan wrestled)
Orndorff-Hogan (“Mr. Wonderful” was really going strong around that time).
Little else registered. Most of it I skipped.

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].

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