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.
Atlee Greene, the author behind the Midnight Logic wrestling and MMA blog, recently ran two excellent posts about his first wrestling card at the old Boston Garden and attending WrestleMania XIV in 1998, which was at the TD Garden, the arena that replaced the original Garden.
Reading about Greene’s remembrances brought back a bunch of memories I had about going to the monthly WWF house shows at the old Garden in the 1980s and 1990s: Continue reading
The death of Chief Jay Strongbow on April 3 will no doubt set off some memories of long-lost wrestling fans who watched him in the WWF in the 1980s (and the WWWF in ‘70s).
Strongbow — who was actually Italian — became synonymous with the WWF due to his tenure there. Many of us who grew up in the ‘80s best remember him for his tag team with “brother” Jules Strongbow, and the duo won Continue reading
It struck me after watching Monday Night Raw this week just how enduring Bret “Hitman” Hart is as a WWE star.
Hart and, ironically, Shawn Michaels, are probably the only wrestlers who grew out the tag team ranks of the 1980s to become huge singles stars (granted, the WWF tag team division Continue reading
Between the classic pro wrestling video clips I’ve watched recently and some of the great comments from visitors of this blog, I’m reminded about the many, many WWF jobbers that I grew up with each Saturday morning on TV and also saw in person at the monthly shows at the old Boston Garden.
Here are some of the guys I remember well:
The Unpredictable Johnny Rodz – Rodz was one of those prelim wrestlers who was a step above the normal jobber, in that Continue reading
I don’t often stray beyond my 1980s WWF memories in this blog, but a video clip involving Captain Lou Albano and the masked Golden Terror from circa 1978 must be mentioned here because:
- I know some of my readers are fans of the WWWF from the 1970s
- The Golden Terror was actually the “Duke of Dorchester” Pete Doherty, a perennial Boston Garden jobber in the’80s
The clip, which is a house show promo, is hilarious mostly due to Continue reading
Kudos to the Falmouth (MA) Enterprise, which published a story on October 26 detailing the whereabouts of our favorite WWF jobber, Pete “Duke of Dorchester” Doherty.
The article, “Duke of Dorchester Now Living the Quiet Life in Falmouth,” mentions that the 67-year-old Doherty also wore a hood as the Golden Terror in the WWWF for a short time, which I did not know.
No discussion of pro wrestling from the 1980s in Boston would be complete without tipping our hat to Doherty’s near-constant losing streak in prelim matches at the old Boston Garden (although he did occasionally get a win). He was a huge part of the Garden’s wrestling history.
Ric Flair’s initial run in the WWF/WWE started in 1991, which thankfully spared us from having to see him fight some pro wrestlers from the 1980s who just weren’t up to the task.
For example, can you imagine Captain Lou Albano wrestling his annual Boston Garden “special attraction” match against the “Nature Boy”? Flair would have sold for Albano (maybe Naitch even would have allowed Captain Lou to bodyslam him off the top rope), and the race would have been on to see who could bleed first.
I have more thoughts about the crazy foes Flair missed out on in the 1980s–such as the Red Rooster and Pete “Duke of Dorchester” Doherty–in my article at Camel Clutch Blog, “Eight comical opponents Ric Flair never fought in the 80s’ WWF.”
I just read that Baron Mikel Scicluna died. He was a fixture among the prelim wrestlers on the WWF’s Saturday syndicated TV shows and the early 1980s Boston Garden cards.
I saw Scicluna on my very first Garden show in Continue reading
I might judge any longtime Boston wrestling fan’s worth by gauging his or her reaction to the phrase “Duke of Dorchester.”
That was the nickname of longtime WWF jobber Pete Doherty, who had a cult following at the Boston Garden because he lived in the Dorchester section of the city. That residence was confirmed to me by Continue reading