June 24, 1970: Battle of the Century
Photos by George Beppu. Courtesy of Dan Westbrook.
Promoter Ed Francis presented a wrestling card at the Honolulu International Center on June 24, 1970, featuring 6 matches topped by "The Battle of the Century," a grudge match between Handsome Johnny Barend and The Sheik.
Tank Morgan vs Mac McFarland
The opening match featured Tank Morgan going up against Mac McFarland.
Result: Tank Morgan downed Mac Macfarland.
Mac McFarland tightens his Arm Bar on Tank Morgan.
Tank Morgan with a submission hold on Mac McFarland.
Hahn Lee vs Hard Boiled Haggerty
The second match of the night featured local favorite Hahn Lee against Hard Boiled Haggerty.
Result: Hahn Lee defeated Hard Boiled Haggerty.
Hahn Lee sends HB Haggerty flying after back drop.
Hahn Lee sends HB Haggerty for a loop after a power forearm smash.
HB Haggerty secures Hahn Lee in a chin lock as Referee Wally Tsutsumi comes in closer to check.
Wally Tatsumi tries to block HB Haggerty from choking Hahn Lee who is hanging from the turnbuckle.
Billy Robinson vs The Russian Wolfman
The next match was a one fall match between Billy Robinson and The Russian Wolfman.
Result: Billy Robinson defeated The Russian Wolfman.
The Russian Wolfman stomps on Bill Robinson in ring corner.
Bill Robinson applies his sleeper to The Russian Wolfman.
Pedro Morales vs Tony Borne
The last preliminary match featured Pedro Morales against Tough Tony Borne.
Result: Pedro Morales prevailed over Tough Tony Borne.
Pedro Morales thows a left hook into Tough Tony Borne's head.
Tony Borne slams Pedro Morasles to the mat.
Sam Steamboat vs "King" Ripper Collins
The first main event of the evening featured a Hawaiian Championship match between challenger "King" Ripper Collins and champion Sam Steamboat.
Result: Ripper Collins defeated Sam Steamboat to reclaim the Hawaiian Championship.
Ripper Collins stands in ring corner wearing his fancy robe.
Sammy Steamboat sizes up a stunned Ripper Collins.
Battle of the Century
The main event was a bloody battle between North American Champion Handsome Johnny Barend and The Sheik. The match was billed as "The Battle of the Century."
This was a crude match before a sellout crowd. Two months earlier BAREND teamed with THE SHEIK as tag team partners against world tag team champions PETER MAIVIA and RAY STEVENS. During the match, BAREND hit THE SHEIK’s manager, The WEASEL, with his cane and upset the SHEIK. The two started fighting each other in the ring.
Result: This bout between Johnny Barend and The Sheik got out of control and ended in a no-contest.
Promoter Ed Francis tries to take the chair away from The Sheik as Abdullah Farouk, aka The Weasel, watches on ring apron.
The Sheik goes after Johnny Barend with cane.
The Sheik pulls Johnny Barend by the hair on the ropes.
Johnny Barend goes wild on The Sheik in ring corner.
Johnny Barend tries to choke the living daylights out of The Sheik in the ring corner.
The Sheik tastes his own blood in wild bout against Johnny Barend.
Action is fierce as Ed Francis steps in to control The Sheik and Johnny Barend.
Ed Francis tries to break up The Sheik and Johnny Barend.