Wild Angus Campbell

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

Part of the Wrestling Heritage family

World Success

 

In 1971 another opportunity came the way of Wild Angus. Geoff Portz and Les Thornton had already established a reputation for British wrestlers in North America. The promoter who had invited the British stars over to Canada, Stu Hart, was impressed with the tales he heard of the wild highlander.

 

As a result a new chapter was opened in the career of Wild Angus. He became Black Angus and was invited to join his fellow Brits in Alberta, Canada on the Stampede Wrestling circuit.   Abdullah the Butcher,  Bob Lueck, Bob Brown  and John Quinn were amongst the big names that opposed Angus. 

It was at this time that he was introduced to Earl Black, and the start of a friendship that was to last many years.

 

The North American fans hated Black Angus (who by then had restored the Campbell name) and were more than willing to pay good money to see him beaten. They were often disappointed, though, as Angus found considerable success, twice holding the North American Heavyweight Title. He beat Les Thornton for the belt in 1971, before losing and regaining it from John Quinn and finally losing it to Bob Lueck.

 

 

The years 1972 to 1975 were spent mainly in the central states of the USA, usually accompanied by his manager, Percival A. Friend. Percival would enrage fans through his interference in bouts to ensure any Campbell victory that was still in doubt. Indeed this would happen on the night of Angus’ biggest success to date, the night he took a major North American title.  A win over Danny Little Bear at St Joseph in February, 1972 gave Angus the NWA Central States Heavyweight championship. Percival A. Friend and Angus enraged the fans and following victory they required protection to make it safely back to the dressing room and later to their car.  When he returned to the hall of his championship success just two weeks later it seemed Angus and his manager had learned nothing. They both again needed  protection from the crowd following interference by Percival to save Angus from punishment by Bob Geigel.  Black Angus Campbell held the title for four months before losing it to The Stomper in a violent bout at the Memorial Hall, Kansas City in June, 1972.

 

One famous tag partner of Angus was the legendary Harley Race. It was another partnership, though, that brought Angus his greatest success. In 1972 Angus and Roger Kirby, aided and abetted by manager Percival,  won the North American Tag Team Title.

 

Angus wrestled the best that the USA could offer. Wrestlers of the calibre of Pat O’Conner, Bobo Brazil, Bob Orton and the Sheikh were amongst his many opponents. In 1973 he wrestled his countryman, Lord Alfred Hayes in both singles and tag matches. Probably the highlight of Angus Campbell's career was challenging the  NWA Heavyweight Champion, Dory Funk Jr, for his title.

 

Following a particularly gruelling match in Kansas the  World champion said:

 

"Black Angus Campbell - He was a big strong man. I once took his "Tombstone" Pile Driver in Kansas City. He dropped me on my head and I felt an electric shock shoot down my spine. Fortunately I was okay and finished the match."

 

When manager Percival mis-timed a manoeuvre with his briefcase Angus’ partnership with his manager was brought abruptly and violently to an end.

 

Angus became renowned for the piledriver,  and was reputed to be able to excecute the manoeuvre from any position. A "battle of the piledrivers" feud with American Bob Sweetan was a regular feature on television. Other matches were won by use of the Glasgow Deathgrip, known more mundanely to European fans as a Bearhug.

 

 

 

 

 

Although Angus returned to Europe in 1975  he continued to gain worldwide success with further visits to Canada, USA  and Australia. In Kansas during 1977 he clashed with Mighty John Quinn, an outstanding wrestler known on both sides of the Atlantic. On returning to Britain in 1978 Angus found a very different wrestling landscape. The dominant promotional force in wrestling for the previous twenty-five years, Joint Promotions, was under serious threat from a young promoter by the name of Brian Dixon. Dixon was attracting many Joint Promotion stalwarts to his colourful tournaments. Hans Streiger, Danny Lynch, Steve Veidor, Les Kellett and others had already left Joint Promotions. Angus was lured by Dixon and after a ten year interlude again established himself as a star of the independent circuit.

 

Despite his advancing years he was still a force to be reckoned with. Angus was still wrestling regularly and at the highest level.  Many of his most memorable contests in the late 1970s were at the famous Liverpool Stadium, where Brian Dixon was now promoting. Despite his reputation it still surprised many when Angus won the European heavyweight championship with a win over Pat Curry at Liverpool Stadium in June, 1978. Maybe this was the crowning glory of an illustrious career. By November of 1978 the travel bug had bitten Wild Angus once again, and he embarked on another visit to Japan. In Japan Angus formed a tag team partnership with Billy Robinson, arguably Britain's greatest post war heavyweight. In 1978 they were fifth in the Japanese tag league.

 

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