Bob Leonard: Our Man at Ringside Canada
Fifty years ago Bob Leonard's news of the colourful and larger than life characters of the North American scene were followed enthusiastically by British readers of The Wrestler in his Ringside Canada column. These days Bob is still involved in professional wrestling, telling us that's not just as a Heritage member but "I've been 57 years in the business now. My current connection is as an executive member of the board of directors of Cauliflower Alley Club, which celebrates its 50th anniversary this coming April in Las Vegas." Bob is one of the few non-wrestlers to have been honoured by the Cauliflower Alley Club, having served the business as a promoter, publicist, journalist, photographer, Master of Ceremonies, referee and television commentator Bob has fond memories of The Wrestler magazine, "It was a good solid publication, and one thing I particularly liked was the respect it showed to 'the boys.' I'm an old school kind of guy, and the matter of respect for the workers (particularly of older times) is especially important to me." He is now looking forward to sharing his memories of the British invasion of North America with a new generation of readers, through the pages of Wrestling Heritage. _____________________________________________________________________________________________________
Bob has fond memories of The Wrestler magazine, "It was a good solid publication, and one thing I particularly liked was the respect it showed to 'the boys.' I'm an old school kind of guy, and the matter of respect for the workers (particularly of older times) is especially important to me."
He is now looking forward to sharing his memories of the British invasion of North America with a new generation of readers, through the pages of Wrestling Heritage.
DORY FUNK, Jr. v. BLACK ANGUS
WORLD HEAVYWEIGHT CHAMPION CHALLENGER
Scotland's wildest son lost no time in making his bloody mark on wrestling here. Campbell tore apart every foe thrown at him in convincing fashion; crushing them with solid wrestling combinations combined with devastating punches and elbow smashes, and delivering the death stroke with a head-first slam into the mat, that left no doubt in anyone's mind of the huge Scot's wild ways.
Black Angus gained the nod to face Dory Funk Jr and was to almost rocket into a first fall lead when he spent five full minutes crushing the global king in a headlock.
Veteran observers almost expected Funk to submit to the grinding power that jolted through Campbell's massive arms, rippling his muscles and distending his veins … almost until Dory used his waning energy to counter with a wrist lock that tore Campbell's arms free of his skull with just pure strength and tied him up tight on the mat.
Raging at his inability to tear free Black Angus roughed the champion up with heavy forearm blows, backed him into the turn-buckle, rammed a knee into his midsection. Funk blazed back with elbow uppercuts that staggered the huge challenger, fired him into the corner, followed him in with a gut -ripping tackle..... Black Angus snaked his massive arms around Funk's middle, heaved him upside-down into the air, and crashed him to the mat with a half-suplex, half-slam that shot him into the lead!
Funk came out cautiously in the second frame … escaping those waving arms time and again he leg- dived Campbell to the mat, tied him tight with toeholds, switched to facelocks, arm locks, body scissors. Tearing free again Angus added speed to power to crush the champion with blocks, jolt him with elbow smashes, then fire him into the ropes for a sizzling body slam on the return trip.
It was the slam that backfired on Campbell … setting to crotch Dory aloft a fourth time, Angus wasn't ready for his last-second dive that crashed crossways into his chest, carrying him backward with its force! One … two … three! That was it, an even match!
Champion and challenger seemed to have a new respect for one another now, both warily locking up in the third fall, both breaking fat at the first sign of trouble … until Campbell swung back into form, driving a huge boot into Funk's stomach, slicing an elbow down over his neck, knee-dropping him in the throat.
Funk exploded in retaliation, ignoring the pain. Whipping the Scot across the mat, Funk blazed him into the opposite turn-buckle … then capped an express-train rush with a leap right at Campbell's head! Flying head scissors … but wait! Campbell drops to the mat, leaving Dory to sail uncontrollably into the top chain holding the rope …. his foot catches. Referee Pat Moran rushes to untie the champion, but Campbell tears him out of the corner, slashing his big boots into the helpless Funk.
Angus refuses to stop, elbow-smashing Moran to the mat. Moran signals a disqualification, as Campbell himself hauls Funk's leg free, drags him erect, whips him upside-down for that head-first slam into the mat that he's beaten so many men with!
Wait now! Here comes Les Thornton, charging through the ropes, wrapping his arms around Funk's waist to break the head first drive into the canvas. Campbell wavers when Funk does not drop …. his manager Rene Trudeau fights his way into the ring, pounds Thornton from behind, but can't budge him … snarling in fury Campbell released the grip on Funk, storms to his corner, screams his rage at fans.
Dory Funk Jr still the World Heavyweight Champion …. and without a possible broken neck, thanks to the heroic efforts of Les Thornton.