Silvano Sousa: One of the most popular WWF jobbers, at least according to my blog stats

It’s incredible how many people end up on my blog searching for a long-lost prelim wrestler by the name of Silvano Sousa.

Sousa was quite active around the WWWF horn in the 1970s, but also kept busy in the early 1980s. For example, he wrestled for the WWF 52 times in 1980, according to The History of WWE website, and many of those matches occurred in Massachusetts — in cities like Fall River, New Bedford, and even North Adams.

Most of the time, at least in the ’80s, it appears Sousa was in the jobber vs. jobber match that was the mainstay of many WWF house show cards. It was not unusual to have three or four of these matches to round out the bigger match-ups on the show. It’s hard to believe in 2013 that fans paid money to see these matches live, but we did.

Anyway, one result of Sousa’s that cracked me up just imagining it was when Hulk Hogan, then a heel just before his big run in the AWA, fought Sousa and Pete “Duke of Dorchester” Doherty in a two-on-one encounter at the Worcester Auditorium. The Auditorium hosted wrestling in Worcester before the city built the Centrum (now DCU Center), and, in fact, when wrestling hit its dark days in the early 1990s, I remember seeing TV tapings at the Worcester Auditorium.

Back to the Hogan match: I’m sure Sousa joining forces with Doherty would be some long-time fan’s perverse dream team of unforgettable jobbers. Both of them had the great 80s hair-dos, and I can only imagine the selling they did to put over Hogan as he was preparing to fight Bob Backlund and Andre the Giant.

Sousa also had a short run in 1980 against Tor Kamata. I didn’t even realize Kamata still wrestled at that point.

Sousa, whom I believe is still alive, is a new inductee into the New England Pro Wrestling Hall of Fame. “Silvano has been a huge part of New England in and out of the ring, whether it be wrestling or training, and he finally gets his place in the New England Pro Wrestling Hall of Fame,” according to his Hall of Fame bio.

Here’s an interesting final tidbit, with thanks again to The History of WWE site:  On December 8, 1980, the Unpredictable Johnny Rodz defeated Silva in the opening match of a house show at Madison Square Garden. It was the same night Pedro Morales defeated Ken Patera to become Intercontinental Champion. It was also the same night John Lennon was shot and killed in New York.

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14 comments

  1. Spartacus 3

    What about Fred Marzino, who was actually a jobber to both Sousa and Doherty? (He repeatedly lost matches to both wrestlers). He was also a Boston area native.

    • bostongardenbalcony

      I remember Marzino well from the Boston Garden house shows in the 1980s, although I had forgotten he was from the area. I have the program from my first live card I attended at the Garden in December 1981, and Marzino is billed from Stoneham, MA. And sure enough, he lost to Manuel Soto that night.

      • bostongardenbalcony

        I don’t about Marzino being the best bump taker. If you considered Rick McGraw and a very young Curt Hennig as jobbers at the time, they made the heels look great and got some offense. Granted, you might argue McGraw and Hennig were not jobbers at all.

      • Anonymous

        Apparantly, you do not remember the crazy bump Marzino took over the corner of the turnbuckle that no wrestler would even attempt. Ric Flair did something very similar but no where as good as Marzino.

  2. J.Cee

    As with many of the jobbers listed previously, many fans recognized the faces that they saw loose weekly against the latest villain (or good-guy) brought into the territory. So to see them live in an undercard was a novelty to the fans, even if their match sucked, so those in attendance can voice their frustrations–almost cathartic. Unlike Pete Doherty, many of the prelims weren’t as expressive as the mainstay talent. Silvano Sousa was a prime example, but he had a special ethnic appeal in the same was Johnny Rodz and Jose (Luis) Rivera had in NYC. Though the Azorean Portuguese community proliferates throughout Massachusetts, RI, California and central New Jersey, the epicenter of many Azoreans was in the southeastern New England area–for which the presence of ANY Portuguese person on stage had a certain niche appeal from within their community regardless of their range of talent. Unreported in print media, Silvano Sousa had his own personal issues over time that made him unreliable as being present on-time for the first bout of house shows, and that proved to be his undoing.

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