Maple Leaf Blog
Oshawa Wrestling History

MLW History
NWA Title in Toronto
WWWF Title in Toronto
Promoters in Ontario
Ontario Venues
Early TV Wrestling in Ontario
Referees of MLW
Jack Corcoran - The Queensbury King
Frank Tunney - The Early Years
Tiger Tom Nelson
Red Garner - The Pride Of Langstaff
Nanjo vs Whipper - A Feud For The Ages
Pat Flanagan - The Irish Tornado
Fred Atkins - Ferocious Fred
Canadian Open Tag Titles
Yukon Eric - The Sampson Of The North
Lou Thesz vs Red Mask 1953
Doug Hepburn - Worlds Strongest Man
Fritz Von Erich in Toronto
Gene Kiniski: Have no fear Kiniski is here
Whipper vs Kiniski - Genesis of a Feud
Bulldog Brower in Toronto
Thesz vs Rocca 1962
The Tolos Brothers
John Paul Henning 1963
Carpentier vs Stasiak 1966
Singh vs Valentine 1967
Carlos Rocha In Toronto
Johnny & Greg - The Valentines
Roger Baker talks Sweet Daddy Siki
◾ Mid Atlantic Era
Ric Flair in Toronto
Almanac 1980
Almanac 1981
Almanac 1982

Title History/Results
Toronto Results
North American Title History
Canadian Middleweight Title History
History of the CCWA
Dave McKigney Career Record
History of Oshawa

Site Map


Related Links


(Gary's site temporarily off-line
hopefully back soon)

See Also
Mid-Atlantic Gateway
Legacy of Wrestling
Slam Wrestling
MLW Archives on Youtube

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Wrestling News! Sept 16... New entry on the
Maple Leaf Blog has a Ring Spotlight from 1980, a look at 'Wild Bill' Potts and the amateur scene from 1936... also a look at 'Wild Bill Zim! a colorful wrestler who worked quite a bit on Kasaboski's Northland circuit... also a Jack Corcoran portrait from the Toronto Archives, and a look at Whipper Watson collecting Masks ...Also added the Q&A with Roger Baker to the Blog so others may see it...Working on some new stuff, a look at Ted McKinley, and some new Classic Photos on the way...
Classic Photo French Angel 1952
Another classic photo feature with one of the more memorable wrestlers to ever appear in Toronto, the French Angel Maurice Tillet. He appeared here several times in the 1940's and again in 1952 when he took on the Masked Marvel.

In a 1942 bout at MLG he took on the Swedish Angel Olaf Swenson who had the same affliction - acromegaly - as did later era wrestler Andre The Giant.

He wrestled his last match just a year after this 1952 bout and passed away in 1954 the same day of the death of his manager and friend Karl Pojello.

Click to see Classic Photo-French Angel 1952


Alamanac 1980
We look at the year 1980 in Maple Leaf Wrestling and across Ontario. The territory heats up with the Mid-Atlantic stars, the circuit towns with the Wildman with a return to London, ON, and wrestling is back in Ottawa too after a long absence.

We see the MLG debuts of Roddy Piper, Bobby Duncum, George Wells, and the only area appearance of Bruiser Brody in a busy year for the local fans.

Local favorite Ric Flair continues his winning ways and starts the path to the NWA Title and we see a few changes with the Canadian Heavyweight Title.

Angelo Mosca, after a long time as a villain becomes the local favorite while Hossein The Arab/The Iron Sheik makes a case for the most hated heel not only here but south of the border.

Click to read Almanac 1980


'Tiger' Tom Nelson
The name may not be too familiar for us younger fans but Tommy Nelson, or 'Tiger Tom' as he was known in his wrestling days was a big part of the Toronto history both as a wrestler and as a promoter in the area.

He was one of the group that sailed to the U.K. in 1936 that set off the chain of events that would shape the city's wrestling landscape for many years to come (see Watson, Whipper!).

When he returned to Canada and was done with grappling Tommy would work alongside Frank Tunney in promoting cards all over the region right through the 1960's.

We take a look at his story in our newest feature on the names that shaped the history of the Toronto scene.

Click to read 'Tiger' Tom Nelson


Classic Photo: Whipper vs Masked Marvel 1947
With special ref Jack Dempsey looking on, Whipper tries to start on his collection of Masks. Whipper would collect many of them in the years to come but not on this night.

Former boxing champ Dempsey would referee many big bouts here in the classic era as would many other former boxers including Jack Sharkey, Max Baer, Rocky Marciano, and 'Jersey' Joe Walcott.

This Marvel was the third version, a previous one had been unmasked in 1938 as Ted Cox

Whipper meanwhile would finally collect this Masked Marvel's mask in February 1949 revealing Lew Reynheer under the hood.

Click to see Whipper vs Masked Marvel 1947


Pages From The Scrapbook - Raphael Halpern
Into the classic scrapbooks again , this time 1961-1962 and the Wrestling Rabbi Raphael Halpern.

Halpern came into Toronto in late 1961 and was a popular wrestler and a real Rabbi who left a long legacy both in wrestling and in his many other pursuits. We look at his time here and his battles with our #1 heel at the time -Bulldog Brower.

Hope you enjoy these looks inside these fantastic scrapbooks covering the Toronto scene in the 1950's and 1960's ! If you want the full size images drop me a line

Click to see The Wrestling Rabbi Raphael Halpern


Roger Baker talks Sweet Daddy Siki
We get to ask Roger Baker about Sweet Daddy Siki who is the feature of a new Documentary on his life and career. Siki was a regular here for many years while Roger was taking photos from ringside at MLG and around the area, and writing stories for the major magazines of the day.

Roger's 8mm film is a big part of the doc (great footage of Bruno/Whipper vs Siki/Brower) and he is featured himself in segments shot at his world famous 'wrestling room' in Ontario. With a unique perspective and vast wrestling knowledge, we are very pleased to spend a few minutes picking his wrestling mind on 'Mr Irresistible' Sweet Daddy Siki.

Click to read Roger Baker talks Sweet Daddy Siki


THANKS TO ROGER BAKER for contributions to the MLWP. Many of the Classic photos come from Roger's collections from his many years as a fan and then Professional Photog shooting Wrestling & Boxing bouts at MLG and around Ontario. We are fortunate to have his contributions to the articles as he shares his memories from the classic days of Ontario Pro Wrestling. Roger wrote many great stories for the Wrestling mags of the day that featured his photos and time spent with many of the biggest stars ever to appear at Maple Leaf Gardens. Thank you Roger!


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Classic Photos
Whipper vs Masked Marvel 1947
French Angel 1952
Kowalski vs Schmidt 1953
Whipper vs The Mills Bros. 1955
Whipper vs Schmidt 1955
Layton vs Kalmikoff 1955
Whipper vs Haggerty 1956
Whipper vs Buddy 1956
Kiniski vs Eric 1957
Whipper vs Kiniski 1957
Dick Hutton 1958
The Lisowski's 1958
Fritz & Hans 1958
Whipper vs Don Leo 1959
DiPaolo vs Don Leo 1959
Joe Greenfield 1950's
Fred Atkins 1950's
Fritz vs Whipper 1960
Gallagher Brothers 1960
Jim Hady 1961
Muchnick & Watson 1965
Assassin vs Chief White Owl 1967
Garvin Brothers 1967
Adonis & Ventura 1982
Weaver vs Hayes 1982
The Mulligans 1982
Ivan Koloff 1982
Ric Flair vs Harley Race 1982
Destroyer vs Billy Red Lyons 1983

Misc. Pictorial
The Canadian Title Belt
The N.A Title Belt
MLG 2012

Pages from the Scrapbook
1953 Whipper & Robert team
1957 The Fabulous Kangaroos
1959 O'Connor vs Thesz
1961 Raphael Halpern

Contributions on Slam!
Dave McKigney: 25 years later
Billy Stack
Pat Milosh HOF
Tim Gerrard HOF


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Number 1 Feud... ... There are a few feuds that stand out in the M-A era 78-84...The Mulligan-Studd bouts in 1980 under Texas Death Match rules were some of the most violent bouts of the era, two big guys going at each other, giving it all for the fans where they may not have in other bouts, Studd especially. They would continue in 1982 with Blackjack Jr. just starting his career and getting involved and showing why he would go on to be one of the best in the ring - as Barry Windham. Studd wasn't the best wrestler but was good when matched against the big men. Bouts vs Andre and Mosca in Toronto were always entertaining, slowed down but with the power of the big slams in the ring and on the ramp...The Valiant-Koloff was good too, Valiant doesn't get a lot of respect now and that crazy style doesn't hold up well through video but MLG was LOUD when he was on the card. Koloff always gave a good bout and made the match-ups more fun beating down Valiant until he made his inevitable comeback. Koloff had some good bouts vs Flair as well as Steamboat when the Mid Atlantic TV was the best show on the air, we could see the TV angles then they would have the bouts here...Not the best but close would be the Wahoo-Piper-Abdullah angle that lit up M-A TV and we got the bout soon after with Dusty and Wahoo vs Abdullah and Piper. Wahoo didn't get up here much he was one of the most colorful of the M-A stars and bigger than life type so that bout stands out. Piper always great and a rare appearance by Abdullah. I missed him in the earlier days and that 1980 bout with Dory Funk Jr, and Dusty too was a rare MLG appearance...The best feud hands down for me was Flair-Valentine (+Andersons). That one played out over a couple of years and had many highlights both on TV and here at MLG. Flair and Valentine tag partners then hated rivals, the reunion and then the Andersons, the toughest, realest tag there ever was (in this era anyways) getting involved (them and Flair went back before the Toronto connection, when Flair was a 'cousin'). The baseball bat , the broken nose(s), the figure fours, the blood, the title's, and the emotion throughout those angles make it my #1 feud of the M-A era...