Time for my first post on wrestling. Most likely I will stick to old time wresting and perhaps wrestling when it was done without any scripts and everything was 100% real. A lot of people are unaware that individual wrestlers would travel the world taking on all comers in matches that would kill the average man. Farmer Burns and the Great Gama are a couple names you should Google if you want to find out the roots of professional wrestling. I may even cover catch as can catch wrestling, which William Regal of WWE fame came out of, starting at the age of 15.
For now, let's start with a Canadian wrestling family that didn't get the praise they should have. We all know about Stu Hart and his kids, Bret, Owen and the rest. They were the west coast kings of wrestling. In Quebec you had some brothers, the Vachons and the LeDuc's for starters.
Well on the East Coast you had four brothers who wrestled and one who was a referee. The family name Cormier was never used by them. Instead they went by the Beast, Leo Burke, Rudy and Bobby Kay. If you were a kid in the 70's, living in the Maritimes, which includes N.B., Nova Scotia and P.E.I, then chances are you spent your Saturday afternoons watching Grand Prix wrestling and the fishing show called Scuttlebutt Lodge starring an American expat by the name of Red Fisher.
The Beast as they say down east was build like a brick shit house. That is a compliment by the way....as in the Maritime provinces, it was common to have an outhouse to take a crap in, instead of indoor toilets. Outhouses were short and squat made of wood. A brick shit house if one was ever built would stand up to anything and be hard to knock down. Well the Beast stood around five foot ten and weighed 250 lbs. He had at some points shaggy hair or close cropped but always a thick black beard. Reports are that this farmer boy from around Dorchester N.B. was ungodly strong. He was reported to be able to bench press 450 lbs and once did 527 lbs. Parts of his promo;s showed him doing strong man antics.
In the ring, The Beast was well noted for his fists and boots, not a techy wrestler at all. His most famous matches were done with chains. Rather than the leather strap matches which we used to see in the old WWF, in chain matches, the wrestlers would be attached by the wrist with a ten foot or so length of chain. Of course they beat the crap out of each other and the blood flowed.
In his career, The Beast did some traveling to the States and Japan. While in the States, he did some tag teams and fought the likes of Terry and Dory Funk Jr. In Canada, he started out West and fought Stu Hart. The Beast while in Grand Prix had some very interesting matches with The Stomper, Archie Goudie, who gimmick was black cowboy boots that he would stomp you into the ground with.
The Beast frequently tag teamed with his brothers, usually Leo Burke. So let's run down the rest of the brothers now.
Leo Burke was the techy wrestler of the family and was noted for his two submission moves, the sleeper and the abdominial stretch. You don't see the stretch very often these days but the ladies use it over in the WWE. As for the sleeper, can't remember the last time I saw that one.
Leo had a great career and fought some nice singles matches down in the States for world title, battling the Funks. He fought Brett Hart early in their careers and they became great friends. As Leo started to wind down his career, Brett got him a job training up and coming WWE stars. Leo is noted for training Ken Shamrock, Mark Henry, Edge and Christian.
Brother Rudy Kay was noted for his boxing skills, although of course punching isn't legal in wrestling...right. :)
His other big move was awesome and he was doing it long before Doink The Clown over in WWE. The stump puller is a no getting out of hold. In Rudy's version he would stand in front of his opponent and reach back, grabbing the man around the back of the neck before flipping him over his shoulder into a splayed sitting position. With his opponent sitting on the floor with his legs in a V, Rudy would step over, sitting on his shoulders and placing his feet inside of his opponents legs before reaching down and grabbing both the man's ankles. Then it was time to pull the legs up hard while sitting with all his weight on the man's shoulder. /Ring the bell.
Lastly we have Bobby Kay. Sadly all I remember of Bobby was his guitar playing. What a great way to get a feud going. Bobby would be asked to come out an play a nice country song for the crowd. He would just get going before a wrestler, say the Stomper would come out and take his guitar away so he could smash Bobby over the head, shattering the guitar. Out from the back, The Beast or may Leo would come running and the feud was on.
So like I said, these guys were the real deal in wrestling and should get more pops from the wrestling fans.