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Classic Matches

June 18, 1969: North American Championship Match

June 18, 1969

Photos courtesy of Brian Roache and George Beppu.

On Wednesday June 18, 1969, we were treated to seven outstanding matches, all of which were main events.

In the first match, Karl Gotch won on a disqualification over Rocky Montero.

Karl Gotch traps Rocky Montero in the corner
Karl Gotch traps Rocky Montero in the corner.

Rocky Montero delivers a right uppercut to the jaw of Karl Gotch.
Karl Gotch squares off against Rocky Montero
Karl Gotch squares off against Rocky Montero outside the ring.

The next match saw Dory Dixon win over substitute wrestler, Kongozan.

Dory Dixon flies into the arms of a surprised Kongozan
Dory Dixon flies into the arms of a surprised Kongozan.
Then out again
...then out again.

In a tag team match, Killer Buddy Austin and Ripper Collins defeated the team of Bobby Shane and Tex McKenzie.

Killer Buddy Austin
Killer Buddy Austin.
Ripper Collins
Ripper Collins.
Killer Austin does the Two-Step in the middle of the ring with Bobby Shane
Killer Austin does the Two-Step in the middle of the ring with Bobby Shane.
Austin cranks up the pressure on his leg hold on Bobby Shane
Austin cranks up the pressure on his leg hold on Bobby Shane.
Killer Austin goes for his finishing hold, the lethal Pile Driver
Killer Austin applies his finishing hold, the lethal Pile Driver, on Bobby Shane.
Buddy Austin ties a rope necktie on Tex McKenzie
Buddy Austin ties a rope necktie on Tex McKenzie.
Killer Buddy Austin does the Bombs Away on Bobby Shane
Killer Buddy Austin does the Bombs Away on Bobby Shane. Ripper Collins is on the right.
Bombs Away!
Bombs Away!

In a grudge match, Ray Stevens defeated ex-tag team partner Pat Patterson.

Ray Stevens (behind referee) and Patt Patterson confront each other before the match
Ray Stevens (behind referee) and Patt Patterson confront each other before the match. Ripper Collins (right) and Buddy Austin (left) in street clothes accompany both men to keep the peace.
Ray Stevens feeds Patt Patterson a few knuckles for his troubles
Ray Stevens feeds Patt Patterson a few knuckles for his troubles.
Stevens twists Patterson's arm like a pretzel
Stevens twists Patterson's arm like a pretzel.
Patt Patterson returns the favor with a Back Drop on a surprised looking Ray Stevens
Patt Patterson returns the favor with a Back Drop on a surprised looking Ray Stevens.
Patt Patterson does his Fred Blassie impression on Ray Stevens' face with his teeth
Patt Patterson does his Fred Blassie impression on Ray Stevens' face with his teeth.
Referee Wally Tsutsumi counts Pat Patterson
Referee Wally Tsutsumi counts Pat Patterson (left) and Ray Stevens out on the mat.

Gorilla Monsoon took the only fall to defeat Nick Bockwinkel.

Nick Bockwinkel Drop Kicks Gorilla Monsoon in the back
ick Bockwinkel Drop Kicks Gorilla Monsoon in the back.
Monsoon applies a painful Nerve hold onto Nick Bockwinkel's neck and shoulders
Monsoon applies a painful Nerve hold onto Nick Bockwinkel's neck and shoulders.
Bockwinkel Drop Kicks Gorilla Monsoon on the jaw this time around
Bockwinkel Drop Kicks Gorilla Monsoon on the jaw this time around.
Bockwinkel applies the abdominal stretch
Nick Bockwinkel applies the abdominal stretch on Gorilla Monsoon.
Gorilla Monsoon manages to escape from the grips of the Abdominal Stretch
Gorilla Monsoon manages to escape from Bockwinkel's Abdominal Stretch.

One of the main events was a Pier-9 Brawl with 10, 2 minute rounds. Don Leo Jonathan met Curtis Iaukea. The rules were that both wrestlers wore boxing gloves and could both box and wrestle during the match. Monsoon and Montero acted as Iaukea's seconds and Bockwinkel was in Jonathan's corner acting as manager and second.

Monsoon advises Curtis
Gorilla Monsoon (in sunglasses) giving advice to Curtis Iaukea prior to the start of Pier-9 Brawl against Don Leo Jonathan.
A lei draped Don Leo Jonathan chats with Nick Bockwinkel as announcer Jim Lathrop leaves the ring before the start of the match
A lei draped Don Leo Jonathan chats with Nick Bockwinkel as announcer Jim Lathrop leaves the ring before the start of the match.
Don Leo stuns Curtis Iaukea with a short left
Don Leo stuns Curtis Iaukea with a short left.
Seconds Gorilla Monsoon and Rocky Montero offer advice to Curtis Iaukea between rounds
Seconds Gorilla Monsoon and Rocky Montero offer advice to Curtis Iaukea between rounds.

In the first round, both men seemed fairly matched and neither had an advantage. The 2nd round went the same. The 3rd round had Monsoon, Montero, and Bockwinkel entering the ring as Iaukea and Jonathan were outside the ring for most of the round. The fourth round didn't look good for Iaukea as Jonathan had him down 4 times in the round. In the fifth round, Iaukea gave Jonathan a left and sent him flying out of the ring where he stayed for the count of 20 seconds. Iaukea won the match on a knockout as Jonathan was unable to return to the ring in time.

Don Leo Jonathan rocks Iaukea with one blow after another
Don Leo Jonathan rocks Iaukea with one blow after another.
Referee Pete Peterson counts Curtis Iaukea on the mat
Referee Pete Peterson counts Curtis Iaukea on the mat. Don Leo Jonathan awaits the count.

The main event had Gene Kiniski defending his North American title against Pedro Morales. The match was scheduled to go the regular championship rules of 2 out of three falls with a 1 hour, 1 minute time limit.

Gene Kiniski stands over Pedro Morales
Gene Kiniski stands over Pedro Morales.

Kiniski won the first fall in 20:17 by pinning Morales. The second fall went to Morales in 1:42.

Pedro Morales about to Body Slam a much taller Gene Kiniski
Pedro Morales about to slam a much taller Gene Kiniski.
Morales about to go for a ride with his Head Scissors on Kiniski
Morales about to go for a ride with his Head Scissors on Kiniski.
and there they go
...and there they go.
A Body Slam once more
One good slam deserves another.
And another
...and another.
Morales about to deliver a Butt Drop Kiniski's chest
Morales about to deliver a Butt Drop on Kiniski's chest.
Gene Kiniski deals Pedro Morales a crushing blow with his reverse suplex
Gene Kiniski deals Pedro Morales a crushing blow with his reverse suplex.

The third fall was even shorter than the second. Kiniski got Morales in the corner and flipped him over trying for a small package to end the match. However, Morales just rolled Kiniski over into an inescapable, Double Leg Nelson, and the referee counted to three and Morales was the new North American Champion.

Pedro Morales applies arm bar on Gene Kiniski
Pedro Morales applies arm bar on Gene Kiniski.

After the match, Ed Francis came into the ring to congratulate Morales and Kiniski took the championship belt away from him and hit Francis, who fell to the mat. Then Kiniski went stomping out of the ring to the locker room. Morales went to Francis' aid and the two left the ring together.

Kiniski attacks promoter Ed Francis after the match
Kiniski attacks promoter Ed Francis after the match.
Morales comes to Ed Francis' aid after Kiniski's vicious attack
Morales comes to Ed Francis' aid after Kiniski's vicious attack.
Ed Francis reaffirms Pedro Morales as the winner and new North American Champion
Ed Francis reaffirms Pedro Morales as the winner.
Pedro Morales becomes the new North American Champion
Pedro Morales becomes the new North American Champion. Ed Francis and second Nolan Rodrigues are to his left.
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