Wild Angus Campbell

A Tribute To One of the Great 20th Century Professional Wrestlers

Part of the Wrestling Heritage family

Memories

 

Our own memories of Angus go much further back than those of Earl and Percival. Over forty years ago Angus was working in a world far less glamorous than Kansas City or Calgary.

 

Our memories go back to the Lancashire textile town of Preston, and a small hall packed to capacity, which was not very many we have to admit.

 

We  have vivid memories of Tuesday June 1st, 1965. Whilst it was an agreeable, warm Spring evening outdoors the temperature inside the Preston Public Hall was almost unbearable. The heat resulted from a combination of the June air temperature and the excitement generated by the activities inside the wrestling ring.

 

Fans had queued for up to two hours, and packed the hall to capacity, for a  bout  billed as “The Fight of the Century.”  The yellow posters proclaimed in large capital letters that “The Highlander from Inverness, Wild Angus Campbell,” was facing “Britain’s Dirtiest Fighter,  Dirty Dominic Pye.”  Despite the ambitious promises of the publicity department  the contest did live up to expectations from the start.  

 

The action of the opening rounds infuriated the fans. Dirty Dominic Pye lived up to his reputation, and for once Angus was the unlikely looking hero of the night.    Suddenly, and without warning, Pye  grabbed the bucket from his second and hurled it across the ring.  Angus was already standing mid ring in preparation for the following round. The bucket struck the fearsome looking Scot, already badly cut, directly in the face. The jeers and cheers of the crowd reached fever pitch. Wild Angus Campbell staggered around as blood poured from his gashed forehead. There was chaos in the ring and, unusually, Angus was on the receiving end of a ferocious beating. The roaring crowd knew, though, that the unpredictable Highlander would have a plan. It might well be outrageous, and almost certainly controversial, but Wild Angus Campbell always had a plan whenever he was in trouble. Tonight was to prove no exception.

 

We never saw wrestling like this on television..

 

As Angus staggered around the ring with blood covering his face the crowd urged him to dig deep and find the strength to fight on. Unsurprisingly, he did.  Remarkably Angus discovered unknown reserves of energy and went on to the offensive. From the brink of defeat it now seemed that Angus was edging his way towards almost certain victory.  The fans, though, had underestimated the conniving of Dominic Pye.  Suddenly, the villain's brother climbed on to the ring apron, darted through the ropes, shoved the referee out of the way, and joined Dominic in another ferocious attack on Angus.

 

How much more punishment could the Scot withstand? The fans knew the underhand tactics of Pye.  How could Angus have underestimated his opponent in this way?  Surely, he must have a plan. The enraged fans surrounded the ring, slapping their hands on the apron, and demanding justice. The referee slowly, very slowly it seemed, climbed to his feet and took decisive action.  It was an immediate disqualification for the villain, a win for Wild Angus Campbell, but by no means  the end of the confrontation.

 

This fight was far from over. 

Such was the commotion that few fans noticed a movement from the back of the hall.  A heavily set figure emerged and hurried towards the ring.  Despite the heat inside the hall the man was wearing a thick overcoat.  He pushed his way through the crowd. It took a moment or two, but slowly a few, and then many, recognised the man and encouraged him to climb into the ring.  Here was someone who could bring justice to the night. This was Angus' wrestling brother, Jock Campbell, arriving to save Angus from further punishment.

 

 

 

So there was a plan.

 

The crowd cheered ecstatically as Jock climbed into the ring to distribute his own brand of justice. It took less than a minute for the Pye brothers to get the message and make a dash back to the safety of the dressing rooms. Jock and Angus stood centre ring to receive the acknowledgment of the fans. Angus was bloodied, the fans were jubilant and the promoter was satisfied with the prospect of a ready-made top of the bill tag match to begin the autumn season.

 

Sometimes cheered, and sometimes booed, Wild Angus Campbell was a chameleon who could inspire conflicting emotions of loathing and loving.

 

He was a villain and a hero wrapped inside one explosive package.

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