April 24, 1968: Jim Hady wins the United States Championship
Photos courtesy of George Beppu.
On April 24, 1968 Promoter Ed Francis presented two title matches, plus three other matches.
In the opening match, Pepper Gomez took a one fall match from Jerry London. In other matches Ray Stevens and Bearcat Wright each won a fall but neither wrestler could win the third fall and the match was declared a draw.
Pepper Gomez vs Jerry London
Pepper Gomez is introduced to the crowd.
Pepper Gomez about to add to Jerry London's cauliflower ear collection.
Ray Stevens vs Bearcat Wright
Bearcat Wright threatens another blow to a wilting Ray Stevens.
Bearcat Wright applies the Bear Hug on Ray Stevens.
Link & Maiava vs Collins & Shibuya
In the tag team match between the team of The Missing Link and Neff Maiava vs. Ripper Collins and Kenji Shibuya also ended in a draw. After each team won one fall each, the match was halted by a television time limit.
Kenji Shibuya grimaces in pain after being worked over by both Neff Maiava and The Missing Link.
A masked Ripper Collins works over The Missing Link from outside the ring.
Ripper Collins has the fingers of both of his hands hopelessly tangled in Peter Maivia's and Neff Maiava's hair.
Neff Maiava delivers a Coconut Head Butt onto Kenji Shibuya's noggin.
Curtis Iaukea vs Peter Maivia
In the first championship match Peter Maivia defeated Curtis Iaukea on a disqualification. However, Iaukea retained his Hawaiian Ring Magazine belt, since the title cannot change hands on a disqualification.
Peter Maivia relaxes on the ropes in his corner as he awaits Curtis Iaukea's entry into the ring.
Maivia holds on to a Bear Hug on Iaukea.
Peter Maivia attempts to cover a surprised Curtis Iaukea.
Johnny Barend vs Jim Hady
The main event was for the United States Championship with Johnny Barend putting his title on the line against Jim Hady. The match had special rules set down by the World Wide Wrestling Association. the rules were that the match would be two out of three falls with a 2 hour time limit.
The match had action from the start. Finally, Hady managed to apply a sleeper hold on Barend to gain the first fall. As Barend lay asleep in the middle of the ring, the referee told Hady to wake him up before the start of the second fall. Hady refused and as the second fall started, Barend lay asleep in the ring. The referee started the count for Barend to wake up. When Barend did not answer the bell at the count of 20 seconds, Hady was awarded the second fall and declared the winner of the match and became the new United States Champion.
The referee checks Jim Hady as he bleeds on the ring's apron.