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On this date...

February 10, 2010 - John Mehno

I know I'm talking to myself with this entry, but blogs are the ultimate in self-indulgence and I'm loopy from being held captive here by the snow.

I know exactly where I was 43 years tonight. On Feb. 10, 1967, I was at the Civic Arena for my first live look at professional wrestling. I had started watching "Studio Wrestling" the previous Fall and was hooked. My friends and I were convinced it was real and had great scorn for the adults who told us otherwise.

We conned one of the dads into driving us downtown for the monthly show. In retrospect, it was a pretty weak card, but it seemed exciting at the time. Here are the results:

1) Bruno Sammartino b. El Toro Ortega, 9:20
2) Bill Miller b. The Battman, 17:18
3) Johnny DeFazio b. Baron Mikel Scicluna, DQ
4) George Steele b. Frank Holtz
5) Bobby "Hurricane" Hunt b. Jim Grabmire
6) Dewey Robertson drew Chuck Martoni
7) Ace Freeman & Gino Brito b. Wes Hutchins & Benny Lima

Where are they now? Ortega, Miller, Grabmire, Robertson, Freeman and Lima have all died. Bruno still lives in Pittsburgh and is in great shape at 73. Battman (Tony Marino) is reported to live near Tampa, but it's been a long time since anyone has actually seen him or heard from him. DeFazio and Martoni are members of Allegheny County Council.

Scicluna is in his early 80s and is currently fighting liver cancer. George Steele (Jim Myers) is retired in Cocoa Beach, FL and has a website (link above). Hunt still lives in the Pittsburgh area, his wrestling career cut short by injuries sustained in an automobile accident. Brito (Lou Accocella) is in Canada and Wes Hutchins is, too. Hutchins went on to success as Hartford Love, part of the Love Brothers tag team. Robertson also changed his identity and had a successful run as The Missing Link.

Our general admission tickets cost $2 and we certainly got our money's worth. I've linked to a couple of old Studio Wrestling interviews, one with Bruno Sammartino and the other with manager Red Berry. Virtually no tape exists of Studio Wrestling, so enjoy these rare clips.

 
 
 

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