BCHF News Rassling in the Royal City: Professional wrestling at the Queen’s Park Arenex

Rassling in the Royal City: Professional wrestling at the Queen’s Park Arenex

Gerald Thomson collection

By Gerald Thomson

In late May 2019, the mayor of New Westminster, Jonathan Coté, donned wrestling tights and got
“ready to rumble” as “Johnny X.” The event capped off “rumble month” and was meant to revive interest
in professional wrestling in the Royal City where it had once been popular. [1]

The Queen’s Park Arenex was a vital part of the local live wrestling scene, which included the Garden
Auditorium and later the Agrodome at the Pacific National Exhibition, the Coquitlam Sports Centre,
as well as the Chilliwack Agricultural Hall. Saturday afternoon All Star Wrestling hosted by Ron Morrier
of Burnaby’s CHAN television began broadcasting in 1962. [2]

Friday Night Wrestling

The Queen’s Park Arenex was opened in 1938 as a hard-surface sports facility because the Queen’s Park
Arena, built in 1930 after the exhibition fire of 1929, had a winter-ice surface installed for public skating
and hockey games. When the ice surface was removed in spring, the Arena was used by lacrosse teams such as the Adanacs and Salmonbellies. [3]

Designed like the Arena in an Art Deco style, the Arenex looked like it would last forever—but it collapsed under the weight of heavy snow in 2016. [4] How professional wrestling came to the Arenex is a complex story. Documenting professional wrestling at the Arenex involved laboriously combing through the sports pages of the Columbian newspapers on microfilm in the New Westminster Public Library.

A 1914 photograph of the New Westminster YMCA wrestling team wearing singlets contained three sons
from the Thomas John Trapp family (Donovan Joseph Trapp, Gregory Leonard Trapp, and Stanley Valentine Trapp). Columbia Street’s T.J. Trapp hardware store was a prominent local business; all three sons became pilots and would die in the First World War. [5]

High school wrestling was also well represented in New Westminster in the inter-war period, particularly at Trapp Technical High School. [6] Bill Matthew staged wrestling matches in the 1930s at New Westminster’s Royal Canadian Legion Hall using wrestlers from Portland, Oregon’s Hamlin-Thye circuit, such as New Zealander Tom Alley who “attracted considerable attention from the fans.” [7]

The Arenex was initially used from 1938 to the mid-1940s to stage boxing matches. [8] Through careful
detective work, I determined the first Arenex wrestling matches took place in November 1944 between
Billy Khonke and Cliff Parker, later a local wrestling promoter for Big Time Wrestling. The event began
with a curtain raiser bout between Frankie Rea and Art Rea followed by Rocky Rae versus Roy Atlee. Jack Whelan organized the event for the social committee of the International Woodworkers of America, New Westminster local. The large crowd was disappointed when Parker won the decision after “Khonke’s trick knee” gave out. [9]

After this, Arenex wrestling ended and fans were enticed to Vancouver matches with novelties like a fight
between a bear and a human wrestler. [10] In April 1950 professional wrestling returned to New Westminster, but not to the Arenex, when Army and Navy Veterans presented “two featured bouts” with Jack Sherry versus Andre Adoree and Gorgeous George Pavich versus Johnny Maars at the YMCA. It would “be in the nature of a test” to see if the event attracted “any kind of crowd.”

Apparently successful, the YMCA had a second match on May 6 with Jack Sherry versus Andree Adoree and Gorgeous George versus Marion Hathaway along with “lady” wrestlers Beverley Blaine and Dakota
Lily. About “500 blood-thirsty spectators screamed and yelled themselves hoarse” at the event, but Gorgeous George’s match turned into a hair-pulling event as he had “more hair than he [had] holds.” [11]

On Friday, December 15, 1950, wrestling officially moved back to the Arenex (incorrectly identified in the
paper as the Queen’s Park Arena). [12] Local promoter Jack McLean said it would be the “best show yet” with “Prospector” Pete Peterson, a blond, bearded Swede, versus Tony Verdi, “the notorious marauder.” The opener featured Doran O’Hara versus Jack Pappenheim and Clair Robinson versus The Great Yamato.

Special buses would take fans from the Interurban tram depot on Columbia Street to the Arenex. The press called it a “sport for the hardy,” and when villain Tony Verdi defeated Cliff Parker he brought “the entire house down on him after displaying his strong arm methods of rassling.” One gentleman in the audience stripped to the waist and rushed up to the ring; the press called it a “free-swinging donnybrook.” Robinson won handily over Yamato, and O’Hara was awarded a decision over Pappenhiem due to his “dirty work,” while the “Prospector” never appeared. [13] New Westminster seemed to be enamoured with Friday night wrestling at the Arenex.

Gerald Thomson collection

In December 1951 wrestling went back to the YMCA under ex-wrestler, now promoter Cliff “Painless” Parker. Parker balked at the $60 fee [equivalent to more than $600 today] for the use of the YMCA facilities: “I am not complaining,” said the grunt-and-groan promoter, “but it’s out of the question for me to have to pay that much.” Parker wanted to start a wrestling circuit as he had “enough talent here” and could “bring in American wrestlers to help.” In 1952 “all-in wrestling” came back to New Westminster, and Parker lined up “gents with fancy monikers” like “The Masked Marvel,” “Ivan the Terrible,” “The Angel,” and “The Crusher” for four shows at the YMCA. Parker expected to move all the wrestling matches “to the more convenient Arenex” in the near future. [14]

A cartoon appeared in the sports section of the Columbian showing Frank Stojack, one of the “name fighters” coming to wrestle. Stojak was lauded for his sturdy legs, Junior Pacific Coast Heavyweight title, inter-collegiate heavyweight championship, college football experience, and the fact he “ruled the ring with his rugged tactics.” [15]

Wrestling returned to the Arenex in February 1952 with an epic battle between “The Masked Marvel” versus Jack “Bull” O’Reilly of Australia with a special opening event of Frank Stojak versus Gene Blakely. Ringside seat tickets cost $1.50; reserved seats $1; rush seats 75 cents; and children’s tickets cost 50 cents, so it was definitely an affordable Friday night out [today, those tickets would cost approximately $5 to $15]. The Masked Marvel “earned the hatred of both the crowd and opponent” but won; The Great Yamato was “hissed” during his 30-minute “scrape” with Bud Rattal. During the Stojak/Blakely match, fans tried to storm the ring and coffee cups were hurled. Parker was happy with the 700 fans that turned out. [16]

The next match was to be on February 29 with Herb Parks versus Eric Pederson (main event) and George Hessell versus Luigi Macera (special event). Fans were warned: “To avoid the rush get your tickets early.” [17] An advertisement in the Columbian on March 3, 1952 read “Wrestling Every Friday Arenex: Tickets on sale at Swanson’s Sport Shop: Phone 19.” The announcement on March 11 for the main event between Australia’s Jack O’Reilly and Gene Blakely of Texas was followed by a picture of O’Reilly calling him the “bull-necked Australian grappler.” [18]

Despite wrestling’s success, its popularity faded in the mid-1950s. The Arenex was even considered for conversion into an indoor curling rink, as many people now watched wrestling at home on their new televisions. [19]

A Family Event

A total of 331 wrestling shows would take place at the Arenex from November 3, 1960, to December 4, 1970. [20] In the fall of 1961, wrestling returned to the Arenex under promoter Rod Fenton in partnership with Cliff Parker. The local press reported “response to the grunt and groaners has been good so far with near capacity” crowds. New bleachers were installed in the Arenex, indicating that the “rasslers are here to stay for a while.” Tickets were sold at Gregory Price Men’s Wear on Columbia Street for $1.50 general, $2 reserved, and 75 cents for children under 12 years [about $7 to $18 today].

A nine-man “every man for himself” match was to be held in November 1961 with champion Mr. Kleen (bald, dressed in white with one large gold earring) challenging Tiny Mills, Jackie Nichols, Bob “The Viking” Morse, Karol Kalmikoff, Danne McDonald, John Forte, “Cowboy” Jim Wright, and Rosco “Sputnik” Monroe. Mr. Kleen was impressive: his neck and arms were 23 inches [58 cm] and his chest was 56 inches [142 cm]. Female wrestlers were the openers, with Barefoot Beauty (Judy Grable) versus Battling Brunette (Margie Ramsey). A record crowd of 1,000 attended the Arenex on December 22, 1961. [21]

The next main event was to be a six-man battle royale with a $700 prize along with Judy “The Tangler” Grable returning to take on Fran Gravette. Rob Fenton said “last night’s six man tag team went over as such a success that he will possibly run the same encounter next week.” The dreaded Stomach Claw maneuver of Killer Kowalski failed to defeat Roy McClarty, and “Mr. Kleen applied the detergent to Hurricane Smith.” [22]

Mr. Kleen fought Gene Kiniski with “1,500 fans shouting their approval,” and Kiniski lost the match after he “mistook the referee for his opponent.” A “Texas Death Match” and the return of “Girls, Girls, Girls” (female wrestlers) created more hype; tickets were now sold at Fred Asher’s clothing store on Columbia Street. Kiniski was paired with Hard Boiled Haggerty (Dan Stansauk) in the Pacific Coast Tag Team Championship, a match they won “two falls to one” over English champions Oliver Winrush and Sir Alan Garfield. The audience liked to see the “villains” (Gene Kiniski, Hard Boiled Haggerty, and Vince Montana) lose to good “brothers” Roy and Don McClarty and Whipper Billy Watson. New wrestlers such as Hercules Cortez, “a large gentleman,” (300 lb. [136 kg]) were given “a warm hand from ring side aficionados,” while villain Kiniski “tip toed around the ring to clobber” his distracted competitor. A fan leapt up to grab Kiniski’s leg, which he deflected like an “exacting choreographer.” [23]

The arrival of younger wrestlers like Mr. X, Sandor Kovacs, Dandy Dan Miller, Mike Valenti (Mikel Scicluna from Malta), and 601 lb. [273 kg] “Haystack” Calhoun (the Arkansas farm boy) kept audiences interested. When Japanese wrestler Kinji Shibuya (who was born in Utah) employed “nasty tricks,” one fan in the sell-out crowd of 1,200 “clubbed Shibuya with a folding chair” while others “tried to get at Kinji,” who
fled to his dressing room. [24]

Female “midget” (considered today as a pejorative term for someone with short stature) wrestlers drew a “capacity crowd of 1,100 spectators” who turned out to see Dolly Darcel (“the world’s smallest athlete”) battle Darling Dagmar (“the blonde bombshell”). [25]

Midget tag-team wrestling continued at the Arenex with Pee Wee Lopez and Chico Santana (43 inches, 96 lb. [108 cm, 44 kg]) battling Marcel Frenchy Semard (the “French Canadian squirt”) and Tiny Bell (“midget fireball”). Big men were still popular; Haystack Calhoun and Dandy Dan Miller “squash[ed] bad boys” Gene Kiniski and Mike Valenti. The Great Mephisto and his hypnotic powers took on Gene Kiniski “before a good crowd at Queen’s Park Arenex.” [26]

Kinji Shibuya roughs up Dandy Dan Miller, January 19, 1963. Gerald Thomson collection

During a ten-man endurance test, “tough Joe Brunetti outlasted the gang” to win $1,000. “Close to 600 fans” saw Whipper Billy Watson defeat Kinji Shibuya while Big Tex Mckenzie, an ex-rodeo performer who stood six feet nine inches [206 cm], “put his brand on desperado” Ripper Leone. In late 1963 the wrestler Don Leo Jonathan, the 300 lb [136 kg] “Mormon Giant” battled Waldo Von Erich, the 260 lb [118 kg] “villainous Prussian.” [27]

Female wrestlers still “attracted a full wrestling house” when Princess Little Cloud (an “Apache Maiden”) and Judy Grable took on Dorothy Dot Carter and Bette Boucher (the “Fiery French Ma’mselle”). A battle to the finish or “Texas Death Match” was won by Don Leo Johnathan who “pleased 700 wrestling fans at the Arenex.” The Kangaroos (Al Costello and Roy Heffernan, both Australians) fought a rough match with Roy McClarty and Edward “Bearcat” Wright, one of the first Black American wrestlers. The Kangaroos flung their boomerangs, wore bush hats, and sang “Waltzing Matilda.” [28]

The Friday night Arenex wrestling matches were seen as safe, colourful family entertainment. A “Lumberjack Match” was staged between “Klondike Bill” (actually William Soloweyko from Calgary) and Don Leo Jonathan. The match developed into a “free for all” when all the wrestlers took sides in the battle; referee Sandor Kovacs “was dumbfounded” but “the fans loved it.” Reality did occasionally intrude as in November 1965 when a Cold War-themed match between Soldat Gorky (“the Russian Wolfman,” who was actually Manitoba-born Walter Allen) challenged Art Nelson (an “American Bruiser” from Georgia); the match ended in a stalemate. [29]

“Torrid Action” ended in a draw when competitors Don LeoJonathan and Big Bill Dromo “wrestled out the one hour limit before 600 enthusiastic fans.” A real fight between Dutch Savage and Paul Jones impressed fans as the “crowd saw Savage use Jones’s head for a skateboard.” Fighting brothers John and Chris Tolos from Hamilton, drew large crowds battling colourful competitors such as George “Cry Baby” Cannon.

In October 1966, Black Canadian wrestler Rocky Johnson (born Wayde Bowles in Amherst, Nova Scotia) squared off against Latino wrestler Jose Quintero or “The Cuban” (he was actually born in Texas). Also on the bill was “Abdullah the Butcher” another Black Canadian wrestler, born Lawrence Shreve in Windsor, Ontario. To this point, most wrestlers at the Arenex were white, except for Japanese and Mexican competitors.

Wayde Bowles took his ring name from boxing greats Rocky Marciano and Jack Johnson. As “Rocky Johnson,” he became part of The Soul Patrol with partner Tony Atlas in the World Wrestling Federation; they won the 1983 World Tag Team Championship. Rocky Johnson trained his son Dwayne “The Rock,” who wrestled from 1996 to 2019 while also pursuing a successful acting career. [30] Rocky Johnson became a regular at the Arenex in the mid-1960s. In one match, he was eliminated early by Abdullah the Butcher in an eleven-man battle to the finish.

In March 1968 the first South-Asian-Canadian wrestler, “Tiger” Jeet Singh, made an appearance at the Arenex. Born Jagjeet Singh Hans in Punjab, he came to Canada in the early 1960s and trained as a wrestler in Toronto. Appearing in October 1968 at the Arenex was Arman Hussain, a Sudanese Muslim wrestler (actually from Texas or Alabama) who dressed as an Arab sheik, performed a “camel walk,” and claimed to have an Oxford education.

High drama was the norm when Johnny Kostas tried to drop-kick Gene Kiniski but ended up flat on his back, and John Tolos, the “Golden Greek,” continued to give Bobby Shane the “what for” even after being stopped by the referee. Younger wrestlers such as Dean Higuchi, Bulldog Brown, Steve Bolus, Jerry London, Crusher Moose Morowski, and Haru Sasaki impressed the crowds of fans that crammed the Arenex every Friday night. [31]

The Final Days

January 1970 began with a six-man tag-team elimination match. By April, Arenex wrestling matches were being reported in the Columbian sports pages, but advertisements simultaneously appeared for Monday wrestling at Vancouver’s Pacific National Exhibition (PNE). Ticket prices were higher in Vancouver, and there were no seat prices for children, suggesting that these were adult-only events.32 Matches at the Arenex began to decline in number—from 41 events in 1966 and 1967 to 34 in 1968, with only 21 held in 1970. Yet the 1970 matches were memorable; Bulldog Brown had an “annoying habit of leaping out of the ring every time he got into trouble,” which delighted the audience but caused the referee to disqualify him. [33]

On September 25, the most successful wrestling match ever held at the Arenex took place when the World’s Biggest Tangle occurred between 600 lb [272 kg] “Man-Mountain” Mike and Don Leo Jonathan. The Columbian photograph of the Man-Mountain face-down on the mat read: “If you weighed 600 pounds you’d want a rest too. Man-Mountain Mike was the defeated villain in a four-man main event Friday at Queen’s Park Arenex with one of his opponents, Yokouchi, looking on. Mike teamed with Don Jonathan who is only 300 pounds before a packed house.” [34]

In the same month, a Double Main Event featured Jonathan versus Quinn, Kiniski versus Fuji, Torres versus Yokouchi, and Marino versus Cody. The last wrestling events held at the Arenex were two tag-team matches; the first between Quinn and Brown versus Little Bear and McTavish and the second between Yokouchi and Fuji versus Cody and Froelich on December 4, 1970. Larger Monday night matches in the PNE’s Agrodome (which had up to 5,000 seats) and the Garden Auditorium (up to 2,600 seats) made more economic sense. [35]

Wrestling did briefly reappear in New Westminster in the early 1990s at the Eagles Hall on Columbia Street, the former Columbian Theatre, through Extreme Canadian Championship Wrestling (ECCW), headquartered in Surrey. The ECCW wrestlers had much in common with their colourful Arenex predecessors with names like Cheechuk, Wrathchild, and Killswitch. However, it was not family entertainment but rather an “adult-oriented hardcore” production with “violence, blood, superb athleticism, rampant homophobia, racial slurs, and lots of laughs.” [36]

New Westminster’s Queen’s Park Arenex had served from the 1940s until 1970 as a local venue for spectators seeking the thrills of spectacular wrestling in what French semiotician Roland Barthes called “grandiloquence” in “second-rate halls.” [37] The New Westminster Arenex served as such a hall; those legendary matches are now just memories.

Dr. Gerald Thomson is a retired special education teacher/summer sessional lecturer who grew up in New Westminster and still lives there. He previously published articles on the history of New Westminster’s May Day and Hilda Glynn-Ward (BC History) as well as Columbian College and the Provincial Child Guidance Clinic (Historical Studies in Education). He recently published an article in Studies in Travel Writing Vol. 24, No. 1 (February 2020). All of his New Westminster topics are about past things that are no more such as Columbian College, the now-cancelled May Day Festival, and, with this article, professional wrestling in the now gone Queen’s Park Arenex.

1. “New West ready to rumble,” New Westminster Record, April 4, 2019, 1, 11; Jennifer Saltman, “A mayor ready to rumble,” The Province, December 30, 2019, 13.

2. “NWA All-Star Wrestling,” Wikipedia.org.

3. Parks & Recreation History of Park Sites and Facilities: “Queens Park,” www.newwestcity.ca/database/files/library/Queens_Park_History.pdf.

4. Scott Brown, “New Westminster community centre’s roof collapses under weight of snow,” The Vancouver Sun, December 21, 2016, 9.

5. “New Westminster Y.M.C.A. wrestling class 1914-15,” New Westminster City Archives (NWCA), item: IHP0397, record ID: 17622; Alan Livingstone MacLeod, “Brothers Trapp,” www.flickr.com/photos/bigadore/34791377786. Thomas John Trapp II, born in 1913, was the lone surviving son.

6. “Trapp Technical High School wrestling team 1924,” New Westminster Public Library Heritage Collection (NWPLHC), item: 3350, record ID: 99256.

7. “Wrestlers to show at YMCA,” Columbian, April 14, 1950, 9; Tom Alley was New Zealand Heavy Weight Champion in 1929 after which he became a wrestler. Alley’s photograph (1930) is in the National Library of New Zealand (Ref: 1/1-033123-F); Robert Murillo, ProWrestling: The Fabulous, The Famous, The Feared and The Forgotten: Tom Alley (Turnover Scissors Press, 2015).

8. “10 fast bouts arranged by Royal City fighters for Elks fund at Arenex Wednesday,” Columbian, December 17, 1940, 8; “Ron Whalley wins verdict in main bout,” Columbian, October 25, 1941, 7.

9. “Wrestling – Arenex – Queen’s Park,” Columbian, November 22, 1944, 2; “Fights Tonight: Billy Khonke,” Columbian, November 29, 1944, 7; “Parker given nod over Bill Khonke,” November 30, 1944, 7.

10. “Big Time Wrestling,” Columbian, January 11, 1949, 2; “Wrestling bear decisions champ,” Columbian, October 6, 1949, 8.

Gerald Thomson collection

11. “Wrestlers to show at YMCA,” Columbian, April 14, 1950, 9; “Wrestling Saturday, May 6th, 8 p.m. At the YMCA Royal Ave. at Sixth St.,” Columbian, May 1, 1950, 9; Rollie Rose, “Grapplers revel in hair-pulling event,” Columbian, May 8, 1950, 9.

12. Advertisement: “Tonight 8:30 p.m. Wrestling! In the Queens Park Arena with six men in the ring at once,” Columbian, December 8, 1950, 11.

13. “Bearded Swede to top Friday’s grapple card” and “Wrestling: Friday December 15 at 8:30 p.m. Queens Park Arenex,” Columbian, December 15, 1950, 11; “Verdi plays dirty to chagrin of Parker,” Columbian, December 16, 1950, 7.

14. “No pro wrestling for Royal City unless $60 nightly fee reduced,” Columbian, December 8, 1951, 13; “Royal City wrestling, Pro Boxing cards soon,” Columbian, January 11, 1952, 13.

15. Cartoon: “Frank Stojak: Tacoma’s crowd pleasing wrestler,” Columbian, February 20, 1952, 13.

16. “Wrestling Friday, February 22 – 8:30 p.m. ARENEX,” Columbian, February 21, 1950, 14; “The Masked Marvel takes Aussie,” Columbian, February 23, 1950, 12.

17. “Wrestling Friday, February 29 – 8:30 p.m. ARENEX,” Columbian, February 25, 1952, 12.

18. “Wrestling Queen’s Park ARENEX Every Friday 8:30 p.m.,” Columbian, March 11, 1952, 7; “Bull-necked Jack O’Reilly,” Columbian, March 13, 1952, 17; “Arenex wrestling card tonight,” March 14, 1952, 12; “Wrestling, Queens Park ARENEX, Every Friday 8:30 p.m.,” Columbian, March 17, 1952, 12.

19. “Ten bouts at Arenex tonight,” Columbian, November 28, 1952, 16; “Roe and Jorgenson battle to draw in Arenex,” Columbian, November 14, 1953, 13; “Television boots wrestling,” Columbian, February 28, 1953, 8; “City Curling Club to get underway: Arenex to be altered,” Columbian, March 20, 1953, 12.

20. “Wrestling returns to NW in big way,” Columbian, November 21, 1961, 17; New Westminster Arenex wrestling database at www.wrestlingdata.com/index.php?befehl=shows&sort=ort&land=5&stadt=2795&region=127& arena=21065&showart=&ansicht=0&seite=3

21. “Nine man over the top rope battle royal,” Columbian, November 19, 1961, 9; “Girls, Girls, Girls,” Columbian, December 22, 1961, 9; Glyn Lewis, “A warning: Watch those flying mares,” Columbian, December 23, 1961, 11; “Wrestling returns to NW in big way,” Columbian, November 21, 1961,

22. “Girls return here Friday,” Columbian, January 3, 1962, 10; “Tag match ends in disqualification,” Columbian January 20, 1962, 10; “Dreaded claw-hold expert here–Killer Kowalski,” Columbian, February 23, 1962, 9; “McClarty wins over killer,” Columbian, February 24, 1962, 9.

23. “Mr. Kleen takes event from Kiniski,” Columbian, March 10, 1962, 10; “Texas Death Match: Battle to Finish,” Columbian, March 30, 1962, 9; “Girls, Girls, Girls: Princess Tona Tomah, Chippewa Princess vs. Kathy Starn, Battling Brunette,” Columbian, May 11, 1962, 9; “Unpopular champions keep title,” Columbian, June 16, 1962, 12; “Bad guys lose out in six-man tag match,” Columbian, July 14, 1962, 10; “For those who cheered it was all even in feature,” Columbian, September 22, 1962, 9; “Kiniski stops Cortez in wrestling feature,” Columbian, December 15, 1962, 9.

24. “Miller, Kovacs keep coast championship,” Columbian, January 12, 1963, 9; “Kinji gets clubbed: Occupational hazards,” Columbian, January 19, 1963, 10.

25. “Girl Midgets, Girl Midgets,” Columbian, November 23, 1962, 9; “Roy, Cortez win feature,” Columbian, November 24, 1962, 10.

26. “Hay Stack, Dan mat winners,” Columbian, January 26, 1963, 9; “Midgets – Tag Team – Midgets,” Columbian, May 3, 1963, 9; “Semard, Bell team wins,” Columbian, May 4, 1963, 9.

27. “Brunetti wins Battle Royal,” Columbian, June 1, 1963, 10; “Whipper whips Shibuya,” Columbian, October 19, 1963, 10;

28. “Whipper whips Gene Kiniski,” Columbian, December 21, 1963, 9; “Little Cloud team wins,” Columbian, January 18, 1964, 9; “Johnathan wins mat feature,” Columbian, May 2, 1964, 9; “By public demand return battle,” Columbian, June 26, 1969, 9.

29. “Lumberjack Match,” Columbian, March 19, 1965, 9; “Bad guy loses as rasslin script runs true to form,” Columbian, March 20, 1965, 9; “Clash of the bad men,” Columbian, November 5, 1965, 11; “Wolfman battles to draw,” Columbian, November 6, 1965, 11.

30. “Torrid Action,” Columbian, January 14, 1966, 9; “Rassle match ends in draw,” Columbian, January 15, 1966, 9; “Only Ref was saviour: Dutch squashes Jonsey,” Columbian, August 29, 1966, 9; “Tolos boys in tag win,” Columbian, January 28, 1967, 10; “10-Man Top Rope Battle Royal,” Columbian, October 6, 1967, 17; “9 Grapplers,” Columbian, October 7, 1967, 26; “Four Man Tag-Team,” Columbian, October 27, 1967, 9; Dawn Calleja, “‘I broke down a lot of barriers’: Late wrestler Rocky Johnson, father of The Rock, reflects on his career,” The Globe and Mail, January 16, 2020; “Jose Quintero,” Wikipedia.org; “Abdullah the Butcher,” Wikipedia.org; “Dwayne Johnson,” Wikipedia.org.

31. “Assassins keep Canadian title,” Columbian, December 30, 1967, 10; “Battle royal to Assassins,” Columbian, December 2, 1967, 11; “Good guys win bout,” Columbian, March 16, 1968, 11; Antoine Tedesco, “Unleashing a Tiger: Documenting the struggles and sacrifices of a wrestling icon,” SceneandHeard.ca, Vol. 7, Issue 3, May 5, 2009; “Stack, Paddy take feature,” Columbian, May 18, 1968, 9; “4 Man Tag Team,” Columbian, October 4, 1968, 9; Greg Oliver, “The Mystery of Arman Hussain,” www.slamwrestling.net/index.php/2008/01/10/the-mystery-of-arman-hussain/; “Tolos stars again,” Columbian, December 14, 1968, 9; “Dutchman is Savage,” Columbian, January 25, 1969, 10; “On the local scene: Ex-champ makes right moves,” Columbian, March 15, 1969, 12; “9 Man over the top rope battle royal,” Columbian, November 7, 1969, 9.

32. “Wrestling New West Arenex – 6 Man Tag Team Elimination,” Columbian, January 16, 1970, 9; “Bulldog, Crusher take their lumps,” Columbian, April 4, 1970, 23; “Wrestling Exhibition Agrodome – By Public Demand,” Columbian, April 4, 1970, 23.

33. Arenex Wrestling Data Base match totals for 1966, 1967, 1968, 1970; “Ref, Bolus too much for Brown” and “Wrestling Exhibition Gardens,” Columbian, May 2, 1970, 25.

34. “Man Mountain Mike falls hard,” Columbian, September 26, 1970, 15.

35. “Wrestling New West Arenex – Fri., Dec. 4, 8:00 p.m. – Two Tag-Team Matches,” Columbian, December 3, 1970, 11; “Mat Show goes on,” Exhibition Gardens, Columbian, January 12, 1971, 13; “Kiniski out finks Funk,” Agrodome, Columbian, January 19, 1971, 11; “Bad guys lose match,” Exhibition Gardens, Columbian, December 22, 1971, 13; “Defeats Don Leo: Kiniski is champion,” Exhibition Gardens, Columbian, December 29, 1970, 11.

36. Stephen Osborne and Brian Howell, One Ring Circus: Extreme Wrestling in the Minor Leagues, (Vancouver: Arsenal Pulp Press, 2002), 6–7, 14–15, 26, 34–35, 94–95.

37. Roland Barthes, “The World of Wrestling,” Mythologies (New York: Farrar, Strauss & Giroux Press [1952], 1991), 13–23.