FRIDAY ALLMAN first arrived in Hawaii in late 1967 and wrestled under the name of FRANKIE ALLMAN. In July of 1968, Handsome JOHNNY BAREND approached ALLMAN and changed his name to FRIDAY; like the servant in "Robinson Crusoe."
FRIDAY would escort BAREND to the ring wearing clothes with flair; expensive tuxedos, and dinner jackets. FRIDAY served as protection in the way of a body guard for BAREND.
On 12/25/1968 when BAREND failed to defend his Hawaiian Title at the HIC, he (BAREND) was suspended from wrestling in Hawaii for 9 months and FRIDAY found himself without a job. FRIDAY was then hired by RIPPER COLLINS and started to wrestle again in addition to being COLLINS' bodyguard. In FRIDAY's first match, he was defeated by NICK BOCKWINKEL in two straight falls. FRIDAY continued to wrestle in single matches and often teamed with COLLINS in tag team matches.
The relationship between COLLINS and FRIDAY lasted until August 1970. During a Hawaiian Championship match between COLLINS and SAMMY STEAMBOAT, FRIDAY went to spray STEAMBOAT in the face with a can of disinfectant and missed. He ended up spraying COLLINS in the face instead, causing COLLINS to lose his Hawaiian Championship to STEAMBOAT.
The following Saturday on KGMB's 50th State Wrestling TV show, COLLINS fired FRIDAY and the two had a series of grudge matches in the fall of 1970. Shortly thereafter, FRIDAY retired from wrestling.
|KILLER BUDDY AUSTIN|
"Killer" Buddy Austin (real name Austin Wesley Rapes) Wrestled in Hawaii in the 1960s. His finishing move was the pile driver. In 1969, he teamed with Ripper Collins to capture the Hawaiian Tag Team Championship.
Austin died of a heart attack at age 52 on Aug 13, 1981 in San Joaquin, California.
Giant Baba stood seven feet, two inches tall (7'2"). Prior to his wrestling career, Baba was a professional baseball pitcher with the Tokyo Giants. He made his first wrestling appearance in Hawaii in 1963 at the Civic Auditorium, winning the main event: a Texas Battle Royal. He also headlined the first wrestling card presented at the Honolulu International Center (HIC) on March 19, 1965 in a match against Curtis Iaukea.
Mainly wrestled in Hawaii on one to two week tours. Wrestled such top wrestlers as JOHNNY BAREND, DON LEO JONATHAN, GENE KINISKI, THE SHEIK, and host of other wrestling greats.
Baba passed away from colon cancer on Jan 31, 1999 in Tokyo. He was 61 years old.
Dan Westbrook writes:
"If you were a die-hard wrestling fan in the 1960s and 1970s, you cannot have missed a regular feature article in Wrestling Revue magazine, Action in Honolulu, with photos and report by George Beppu. George became a fixture at Honolulu Wrestling, at Block Arena (in Pearl Harbor), the Civic Center then Honolulu International Center (HIC) which later was renamed to the Neal S. Blaisdell Arena, which holds close to 8,800 seats for wrestling. George became fast friends with many of the local and visiting wrestlers in Hawaii."
"A major noted wrestling photographer and correspondent in Hawaii, George regularly submitted reports of Hawaii wrestling for the national wrestling magazines since the mid 1960s. In 1972, he wrote and printed the Hawaii Wrestling programs for Ed Francis, then promoter of Hawaiian Pro-Wrestling."
"...When Ed Francis wrote his wonderful graphic wrestling story in 2012, 50th State Big Time Wrestling, George again contributed many of his colorful photos of Hawaiian Wrestling."
"...George passed away on October 20, 2021, in Brighton, Colorado, due to COVID-related complications. He was 79."
[George contributed many of his pictures to this website, 50thStateBigTimeWrestling.com, run by Bill Atkinson, who had been in contact with George for many years.]
Bobo Brazil (Houston Harris) wrestled in Hawaii in the 1950s under then promoter Al Karasick. He also wrestled under new promoter Ed Francis in the 1960s- early 1970s.
Standing 6ft 6in and weighing close to 300 lbs., Bobo Brazil was one of the first successful African American wrestlers in the business. He visited Hawaii many times on his way to Australia or Japan.
Brazil passed away on Jan 20, 1998 in Benton Harbor, Michigan. He was 74 years old.
|HANDSOME JOHNNY BAREND|
Johnny Barend first appeared in Hawaii in September of 1955. During that time, he wrestled under promoter Al Karasick. Barend teamed with Sandor Kovacs and together they captured the Hawaiian Tag Team titles. After losing the titles to Lord Blears and Gene Kiniski, Barend left Hawaii.
Starting in September of 1964, Barend returns to Hawaii and wrestles under new promoter Ed Francis, who took over after Karasick retired. On October 6, 1964, Barend wins the Hawaiian Heavyweight Championship title over Neff Maiava in an elimination match. The Hawaiian title was vacated when then champion Gene Kiniski left Hawaii and did not return. Barend remained in Hawaii until December 1964. During that time, he had memorable battles with Nick Bockwinkel and Curtis Iaukea. After going to a "no contest" with Iaukea on December 4, 1964, Barend leaves Hawaii again. As a result of this, Barend is stripped of his Hawaiian Championship belt by promoter Ed Francis.
Barend returned to Hawaii in January of 1966 and continued wrestling until December 1968. Highlights of this time period include:
Barend appeared on the last Civic Auditorium wrestling card in March 1972. He teamed with Sam Steamboat and defeated Maddog Mayne and Sweet Daddy Siki to capture the Hawaiian Tag Team title. A short time later, a vacant Civic Auditorium was demolished.
Johnny Barend passed away on September 20, 2011 from natural causes. He was 82 years old. Hawaii residents will always remember Johnny for his quirky interviews, his children's fairy tales, his wild and wacky attire, his "bombs away" knee drop finishing move, and most of all his gravel voice. His marriage in the ring to a local girl before a sold-out crowd at the Honolulu International Center arena forever cemented his bond with Hawaii. Every Hawaii resident who was alive in the mid-1960s, whether a wrestling fan or not, remembers Johnny Barend. He was that popular. A true wrestling legend has passed.
Made his 1st appearance in Hawaii in 1965 and was brought in by RIPPER COLLINS to be his right hand man Friday.
IN 1971 BEAUREGUARD wrestled in Hawaii for a brief period of time, and left Hawaii for good.Photo: Seen here protecting RIPPER COLLINS.
First appeared in Hawaii in 1961 as the World Wide Wrestling Association Heavyweight Champion and defended his title against Neff MAIAVA. Mainly wrestled on the West Coast and Japan and would wrestle in Hawaii on one to two week stays.
On June 4, 1965 Blassie wrestled in a Texas Battle Royal at the civic auditorium featuring Victor The Wrestling Bear in which the ring was enclosed in chicken wire. During the match Blassie was injured in the match and rushed to the hospital and under went surgery for injured kidneys. One of Blassie's kidneys was removed and he was sidelined from professional wrestling for nearly two years.
Blassie returned to action in Hawaii in December 1967 and continued to wrestled at two week stays till he retired from wrestling in the early 1970's and became a manager. He went to the old WWWF until he retired from professional wrestling.
Stayed with 50th State Wrestling from the start in 1961 through the end in 1979.
Wrestled full time from 1961 till late 1965, then went in semi-retirement to focus on TV, announcing wrestling matches on TV and doing locker room interviews.
Was the voice of 50th STATE WRESTLING as well as promoter ED FRANCIS' partner and matchmaker. Blears had many contacts in the world of professional wrestling and was instrumental in bringing many of the top wrestling talents of the day to Hawaii. He later helped Giant Baba set up his pro wrestling promotion in Japan.
Blears was responsible for starting and jump-starting the careers of many future pro wrestling stars, including Curtis Iaukea and The Destroyer.
Due to his announcing experience and British accent & idioms, Blears became a popular local celebrity doing television commercials and announcing surfing events.
As a wrestler won the Hawaiian Tag Team Championships with NEFF MAIAVA in 1961 held the title for over a year before losing their titles to CURTIS IAUKEA & TOSH TOGO in September 1962.
Prior to coming to Hawaii held the WORLD TAG TEAM CHAMPIONSHIP with GENE KINISKI.
During WW2, Blears survived a harrowing experience at sea after the Dutch merchant ship Tjisalak, that he was working on, was sunk by a Japanese submarine. Many of his shipmates were executed on board the Japanese submarine and thrown into the ocean. Not wanting the same fate as his fellow crewmates, Blears managed to fight off his captors and jump into the now bloody waters of the Pacific. After eluding machine gun bullets, he eventually swam back to the site of his ship's sinking where he found several other survivors in a life raft. They were eventually rescued by the S.S. James Wilder.
Lord Blears passed away on March 3, 2016 in Honolulu. He was 92 years old. Blears made a name for himself in the local community as a wrestler, a wrestling announcer & promoter, a surfing announcer and commentator, and an actor. Everyone knew him as Lord "Tallyho" Blears.
First arrived in Hawaii in 1962 as the United States Heavyweight Champion. Lost title to CURTIS IAUKEA in 1962. He held Hawaiian Heavyweight title and Hawaiian Tag Team Championship with BOBBY SHANE in 1969.
He was known to the Hawaii fans as "The Man of a 1,000 Holds."
After leaving Hawaii in 1970, he went on to wrestle in the AWA on the mainland. Held AWA World Tag Team Championship with RAY STEVENS. Nick defended his Tag Team title in Hawaii from 1972 till 1973.
Nick Bockwinkel died on November 14, 2015.
Titles held in Hawaii:
UNITED STATES TITLE: arrived from mainland as U.S. Champion lost title to CURTIS IAUKEA.
Born William Dee Calhoun in Texas, "Haystacks" weighed over 600 lbs and visited Hawaii several times in the 1960s-70s. He was a fan favorite and always put on a great show with his immense bulk. He was often pitted against two or more wrestlers at the same time.
Adnan Al-Kaissie aka Chief Billy White Wolf in his book, "The Sheik of Baghdad: Tales of Celebrity and Terror from Pro Wrestling's General Adnan," recounts a funny incident about Haystack on a plane to Japan. After a meal and a few drinks, Haystack needed to use the bathroom. Unfortunately, he could not fit in the plane's tiny bathrooms. Mayhem ensued.
Haystack died in 1989 at the age of 55.
First arrived in Hawaii in April 1965 stayed till August 1971 and left Hawaii after losing a "Loser Leave Town" match with MADDOG MAYNE.
Ripper Collins remained in Hawaii till his death in 1993.
1966: HAWAIIAN TAG TITLE with HANDSOME JOHNNY BAREND HAWAIIAN title from NEFF MAIAVA
Hawaii figures highly in the career of The Destroyer. He wrestled in Hawaii as Dick Beyer (real name) in the early 1960s without the mask. While in Honolulu, he was taught the Figure Four Leg Lock by Lord "Tallyho" Blears. This famous submission hold was what Beyer needed to move to the next level in the world of pro wrestling. That and the mystique of wearing a mask. His career as a top wrestler took off after moving to Los Angeles and started wearing the mask. The Destroyer started beating all of the top wrestlers of the day and offered a reward of $1000 to anyone who could break the Figure Four Leg Lock; none could do it.
Dick Beyer returned to Hawaii as The Destroyer in September 1970 and defeated Pedro Morales to win the North American title. He stayed until December 1970, left Hawaii after losing to Billy Robinson. He returned and wrestled a few weeks in 1971.
The Destroyer became a living legend in Japan where his TV match with the late Rikidozan was seen by an estimated 70 million people. To this day, that match is rated as one of the most seen television programs in Japanese history.
He passed away on March 07, 2019 in Akron, NY at the age of 88.
Popular Jamaican wrestler mainly wrestled as a fan favorite in 1969. After travelling the world, grappling with wrestling's best, Dory settled in Mexico and eventually became a Mexican citizen.
|PAMPERO "THE MISSING LINK" FIRPO|
First arrived in Hawaii in April 1966, brought in by JOHNNY BAREND & RIPPER COLLINS. Wrestled as a "Bad Guy" and after coming to the rescue of NEFF MAIAVA split with BAREND & COLLINS.
He passed away in January of 2020 at the age of 89.
Billy Francis was the son of promotor Ed Francis. He got his pro wrestling started in 1969 at the age of 18. While demonstrating high school wrestling moves on KGMB's 50th state wrestling TV show, Ripper Collins and Friday Allman entered the ring and attacked young Francis. In his first match Billy teamed with his father Ed and defeated the team of Collins and Friday before a sellout crowd at the HIC on Christmas day 1969. Throughout the year 197O, Billy wrestled in single and tag team matches with his father.At the end of 1970 Billy left Hawaii to seek his wrestling fortune on the mainland. In 1977 when Ed Francis re-started his professional wrestling promotion in Hawaii, Billy played a big part in the new startup. He captured the Hawaiian tag team championship with his Brother Russ Francis and John Tolos.
When Ed Francis finally closed up his promotions in 1979, Billy retired from professional wrestling.
FRANCIS purchased the territorial rights to promote wrestling in Hawaii from AL KARASICK in May 1961.
Ed Francis passed away in 2016 at the age of 90.
|HARRY "MR FUJI" FUJIWARA|
HARRY FUJIWARA got his professional start in Hawaii in 1962. He mainly wrestled in the undercard. He became friends with CURTIS IAUKEA in Hawaii and often teamed up with IAUKEA.
He wrestled off and on through 1971 and left for the mainland and became a headliner on the East Coast, changed his name to MR. FUJI.
Harry returned to Hawaii in 1978 and captured the Hawaiian Tag Team title with KARL VON STEIGER. He returned to the East Coast in 1970 and became a top headliner wrestler/manager and was elected into the WWE Hall Of Fame.
Harry Fujiwara died on August 28, 2016, in Clarksville, Tennessee. He was 82 years old.
AWA world champion who defended his title in Hawaii from 1971 through 1974. Gagne created the AWA Wrestling promotion with him as the champion where he held the title for over 7 years. Verne Gagne is one of only six men to be inducted into each of the WWE Hall of Fame, the WCW Hall of Fame, the Professional Wrestling Hall of Fame and the Wrestling Observer Newsletter Hall of Fame.
He died in April of 2015 at the age of 89.
Gorilla Monsoon (real name Robert James Marella) made his first appearance in Hawaii on June 29, 1966 against Nick Bockwinkel at the Honolulu International Center. starting in June 1969 Monsoon became a regular in Hawaii for a few months teaming then feuding with Curtis Iaukea.
Monsoon mainly wrestled on the East Coast for the WWF and was later inducted in the WWf (WWE) hall of fame.
He died in October of 1999 at the age of 62.
Born in Belgium as Charles Istaz, Gotch wrestled in Hawaii during the 1960s. Karl was the European Heavyweight Champion and was highly skilled in scientific wrestling moves. On KGMB's "50th State Wrestling" demonstration time Gotch would show the TV audience wrestling moves.
He died in July of 2007 at the age of 82.
Luke wrestled in Hawaii from 1968-69. Won the Hawaiian Tag Team Championship with his partner Ripper Collins. His real name was James Grady Johnson. Although technically not related, he belonged to the "mythical" Graham wrestling family, which included "Doctor" Jerry Graham and "Superstar" Billy Graham.
He died in June of 2006 at the age of 66.
Made his first appearance in Hawaii in June 1966: battled to a draw with the MASKED EXECUTIONER.
ON Jan. 12, 1969 died at age 38. HADY was tag team partners with LORD BLEARS and TEX MCKENZIE against RIPPER COLLINS, FREDDY ALLMAN, and LUKE GRAHAM in a six man tag-team match at Schofield Barracks; the match ended in a draw. HADY complained of stomach trouble after the match. He showered and drove to his home in Pearl City where he collapsed. He was taken to Leeward Hospital were he was pronounced dead. Cause of Death was a heart attack.
During his stay in Hawaii, he held the following titles:
(1) HAWAIIAN HEAVYWEIGHT title: won title from RIPPER COLLINS in March 1967, lost title briefly to DUTCH SCHULTZ before reclaiming title. Lost title to CURTIS IAUKEA on Feb. 29, 1968.
|HARD BOILED HAGGERTY|
Wrestled in Hawaii from 1950's through early 1970's. Haggerty, whose real name was Don Stansauk, held both Hawaiian and United States titles (not at the same time) during his stay in the islands. Haggerty was also an actor playing minor roles in a whole host of motion pictures such as "Paint Your Wagon" with Clint Eastwood and "The Muppet Movie." He also was in countless television shows including "Columbo," "Starsky and Hutch," "The Fall Guy," and many others.
Titles held: Hawaiian Championship, US Championship.
Feuded with everybody.
Finishing move: The Claw Hold.
He passed away on Jan 27, 2004 in California.
Dean Higuchi started wrestling in Hawaii in 1963. Dean was famous for his 21" arms and his Full Nelson finishing hold. He was a former Mr. Hawaii body builder and was the owner of Dean's Gym in Waikiki, where wrestlers worked out and trained. On the mainland USA, he wrestled under the name of Dean Ho.
He passed away on February 20, 2021 in Kelowna, Canada. He was 80 years old.
Was a main event wrestler from the start of BIG TIME WRESTLING IN HAWAII, starting in 1961 through 1971.
Held every title while in Hawaii: HAWAIIAN TITLE, HAWAIIAN TAG TITLE, UNITED STATES TITLE, and NORTH AMERICAN TITLE.
1962 won title from NICK BOCKWINKEL: Held title to Nov. 1965: would lose and regain title from BOCKWINKEL and BILLY WHITE WOLF.HAWAIIAN TITLE HISTORY: (single)
In 1965: held title Lost title to:HAWAIIAN TAG TEAM CHAMPIONSHIP:
1967: MAY 3, 1967: won titles with RIPPER COLLINS from JOHNNY BAREND & HANS MORITER
Curtis Iaukea passed away on December 4, 2010 after a long illness. He was 73 years old.
|DON LEO JONATHAN|
Known as "The Mormon Giant," stood 6 feet 7 inches tall and weighed 325 lbs. He made his first appearance in Hawaii in 1963. During his stays in Hawaii, he often battled Curtis Iaukea for either the U.S. title or the Hawaiian title. Photo: seen here in 1969.
He passed away on Oct 13, 2018 in Langley, Canada. He was 87 years old.
Also known as Tor Kamata, he started wrestling in Hawaii in the mid-60's as McRONALD KAMAKA (his real name).
He passed away on July 23, 2007 in Saskatoon, Canada.
Made first appearance in Hawaii in July 1964, defeated NEFF MAIAVA for Hawaiian title, lost title back to MAIAVA.
In February 1969 lost World title to DORY FUNK JR. Returned to Hawaii and defeated PROFESSOR TANAKA for North American title in 1969.
Lost title to PEDRO MORALES in July 1969, continued to wrestle in Hawaii on mostly H.I.C. cards.
In April 1971 defeated SAMMY STEAMBOAT to regain NORTH AMERICAN CHAMPIONSHIP, lost title back to STEAMBOAT in September 1971.
Kongozan made his first appearance in Hawaii in 1966. His back ground information stated he was a former sumo wrestler. Often teamed with Odd Job Tosh Togo in tag team matches.
Also known as Felipe Ham Lee. In Hawaii, he was known as Hahn Lee and became a regular starting in November 1969 and teamed up with PEDRO MORALES.
He died in March of 2011 at the age of 79.
Popular wrestler who worked in Hawaii from 1963 through 1966. Titles held: Hawaiian Championship. Feuded with Curtis Iaukea, Ripper Collins, and Hard Boiled Haggerty.
Finishing move: Drop Kick opponents in the face as they came off the ropes.
He died in the ring in February of 1972 after pinning his opponent in Charlotte, NC. He was just 47.
Popular Samoan wrestler wrestled in Hawaii from the 1950's till the early 1970's. He was very popular nationwide in the 1950s-early 1960s and toured the country headlining as Prince Maiava, the raw fish eating South Sea Islander. He preceded his cousin Peter Maivia but the duo later wrestled as a tag team many times.
1961: Won and lost title to CURTIS IAUKEA
He died in April of 2018 at the age of 93.
MAIVIA made his wrestling start in Hawaii on March 6, 1968, defeating ANGELO POFFO in two straight falls. Peter was the cousin of NEFF MAIAVA (AKA Prince Maiava, see above); the two often wrestled as a team.
He was a main event fan favorite in 1968: feuded with RIPPER COLLINS, JOHNNY BAREND and CURTIS IAUKEA. He held the HAWAIIAN TAG TEAM Titles with BILLY WHITE WOLF in 1968.
Maivia left Hawaii in October of 1968 and then returned on one to two week stays in Hawaii.
He promoted wrestling in Hawaii till his death from cancer in July 1982.
Made his Honolulu debut on June 12, 1968 defeating THE MISSING LINK in a one fall match.
When JOHNNY BAREND returned to Hawaii on July 17, 1968, MAURICE & BAREND defeated BILLY WHITE WOLF and PETER MAIVIA for the Hawaii Tag Team Championship.
On Oct 16, 1968 lost Hawaii tag team titles to JIM HADY and BILLY WHITE WOLF in a steel cage match at the Civic.
In the early 1960's MAURICE and BAREND were East Coast versions of World Tag Team Champions, they split and teamed up for the first time since in Hawaii.
MAURICE left Hawaii in October 1968 and continued to wrestle on the mainland. He died in a plane crash in the early 1970's.
Originally brought in by RIPPER COLLINS as his tag team partner. MAYNE and COLLINS held the Hawaiian Tag Team titles from Jan. 1971 till July 1971 after losing their title to BEARCAT WRIGHT and SAM STEAMBOAT the two started feuding with each other.
On August 28, 1971 defeated RIPPER COLLINS in "Loser Leave Town" match. In September 1971 teams with SWEET DADDY SIKI and defeated STEAMBOAT and BEARCAT to become Hawaiian tag team champions.
Lost titles to JOHNNY BAREND and SAM STEAMBOAT on last wrestling card held at the Civic Auditorium in March 1972. Also held the Hawaiian championship by defeating COWBOY FRANKIE LANE in 1971. Lost title to ED FRANCIS in late 1971.
Fans enjoyed seeing him eat glass and Hawaiian flowers during his interviews.
Left Hawaii for the West Coast after FRANCIS's weekly cards closed up in 1972.
Died in a car accident in the late 70's.
Edward "Wahoo" McDaniel, from Oklahoma, was an ex-NFL football player who wrestled in Hawaii in 1969 and later from 1972-1973 under promotor ED FRANCIS.
Wrestled in Hawaii from the late 1960s till 1980. Finishing move was the full nelson version of the abdominal stretch.
Made his 1st appearance in Hawaii in 1967.
Held World tag team championship with PEPPER GOMEZ: defended title in Hawaii.
Became a regular in Hawaii wrestling starting in April 1969 till Sept. 1970. After leaving Hawaii went on to capture the World Heavyweight Title (WWWF)TITLES HELD IN HAWAII:
NORTH AMERICAN HEAVYWEIGHT TITLE: (twice)
He died on February 12, 2019 at the age of 76.
Tank Morgan first appeared in Hawaii in 1967 as a villain. He returned to Hawaii in 1969 and in 1970 grew a beard and became a fan favorite.
He died on August 15, 1991 in a drive-by shooting while walking his dog. He was 58 years old.
French speaking wrestler from the island of Martinique. Eddie wrestled in Hawaii in 1967 and 1971. Morrow held the North American title in 1971 for a short time; won it from Gene Kiniski before losing it in a rematch.
Was trained by LORD BLEARS. Wrestled his 1st match on Jan. 2, 1971 (lost to CURTIS IAUKEA).
Left Hawaii in June 1971 to go wrestle for the AWA Would return off-and-on to wrestle in Hawaii in the early 70's. In June 1978, returned to Hawaii; captured the Hawaiian Title from BUDDY ROSE.
Remained with WRESTLING HAWAII till ED FRANCIS closed up promotions.
Went to the East Coast and became a WWE superstar in the 1980's.
Inducted into the WWE Hall of Fame.
|PAT PATTERSON and RAY STEVENS|
PATTERSON (pictured, on the right) and STEVENS (left) were one of the top tag teams in the country from 1965 till 1967. Held the West Coast version of the WORLD TAG TEAM TITLE.
Defended their titles almost monthly starting in JULY 1965 till they lost their title in early 1967 before sellout crowds at the Honolulu International Center.
Nicknamed "The Blonde Bombers" their finishing moves were knee drops jumping off the top ropes onto their opponents to finish the match.
In 1966 battled RIPPER COLLINS and JOHNNY BAREND in a series of bloody battles before sellout crowds at the Honolulu International Center.
After losing their tag team titles they went their separate ways, and in 1969 the two had a series of grudge matches in Hawaii and the West coast.
Got back together in the late 1970's as AWA World Tag team champions, injury forced the team to split.
RAY STEVENS captured the United States Heavyweight title from JIM HADY on May 15, 1968 by knocking out HADY with a pair of brass knuckles. HADY would regain the title back a month later.
STEVENS also held the World Tag Team Championship with PETER MAIVIA in 1970. Also held the AWA world title with NICK BOCKWINKEL in 1972.
|PETE PETERSON (referee)|
PETERSON was the other main referee. He mainly refereed championship matches at the Honolulu International Center (H.I.C.)PHOTO: Seen here ordering RIPPER COLLINS to exit the ring.
Made his first appearance in Hawaii in 1969 for two months and was stated to be the European Heavyweight Champion. He was a hit with the fans who loved his "European Style" of wrestling.
Returned to Hawaii in June 1970 and in July 1970 teamed with JOHNNY BAREND to win the Hawaiian Tag Team Championship. The two held the title till October 1970 when the two split up and chose partners to declare tag team champions.
ROBINSON picked ED FRANCIS and BAREND picked RIPPER COLLINS. The two teams battled in out in the ring with ROBINSON & FRANCIS winning the match and titles. ROBINSON & FRANCIS lost the titles to RIPPER COLLINS & MADDOG MAYNE in early 1971.
ROBINSON also won the NORTH AMERICAN CHAMPIONSHIP from the MASKED DESTROYER in December 1970 and lost the title to CURTIS IAUKEA in early 1971. ROBINSON left Hawaii and went to the mainland and started wrestling for the AWA.
In late 1972 when ED FRANCIS started using AWA wrestlers on his monthly wrestling shows at the Honolulu International Center, ROBINSON appeared in Hawaii regularly.
He died in 2014 at the age of 75.
Doc Rodrtigues was the offical time keeper of 50th state wrestling and kept a detailed record of all matches held at the Civic Auditorium and Honolulu International Center Arena.
Nolan was one of 4 referees that promoter Ed Francis used in his matches. Along with Wally Tsutsumi, Pete Peterson, & Frank Merrill, Nolan played an integral part of 50th State Big Time Wrestling Promotion.
SAKAGUCHI was the 1965 Japan Judo Champion. He wrestled in Hawaii as the tag team partner of GIANT BABA. SAKAGUCHI stood six feet seven inches tall (6'7").
|HAROLD ''ODD JOB'' SAKATA|
Won a Silver Medal in the Olympics.
Turned to Professional Wrestling: used the name TOSH TOGO. Wrestled in Hawaii in 1950's and early 60's.
While on tour in Europe, he was spotted by JAMES BOND producers and cast as "ODD JOB" in the James Bond movie GOLDFINGER. The movie made him famous and he still wrestled as "ODD JOB". Fans everywhere came to see him wrestle: he wore his famous James Bond Hat as he entered the ring.
He received acting roles as a result of GOLDFINGER.
Retired from wrestling in the late 1970's.
Died of Cancer in 1982.
Made first appearance in Hawaii in September 1964 under the Dallas Western promotions; mainly wrestled on West Coast and appeared on monthly H.I.C. cards.
In October 1964 defeated RAY STEVENS to become West Coast United States Champion. When Dallas Western promotions folded in 1965, continued to wrestle on monthly H.I.C cards promoted by ED FRANCIS.
In 1967 and 1970 wrestled on weekly wrestling shows in Hawaii.
He died in 2010 at the age of 89.
The SHEIK first appeared in Hawaii in September of 1969 against THE MISSING LINK. THE SHEIK was disqualified before the match started for attacking the referee and THE MISSING LINK.
In a rematch one month later, THE SHEIK was involved in an incident which was the talk of the town in Honolulu. After winning the rematch with THE MISSING LINK, wrestler PEDRO MORALES came to THE MISSING LINK's aid and THE SHEIK threw "fire" at MORALES. THE SHEIK then walked over to LORD BLEARS, who was announcing the match for KGMB's "Wrestling From the HIC" TV show, and also threw "fire" at BLEARS. The incident was televised.
THE SHEIK continued to wrestle on monthly HIC cards until 1980. Through the years, he battled JOHNNY BAREND in a stretcher match, GIANT BABA, BEARCAT WRIGHT, BILLY WHITE WOLF, PEDRO MORALES, and others. He was managed by Ernie Roth, aka Abdullah Farouk, aka "The Weasel."
He died on January 18, 2003 at the age of 76.
|DUTCH SHULTZ (DUTCH SAVAGE)|
Made first appearance in Hawaii in July 1967. During his stay in Hawaii, defeated JIM HADY for the Hawaiian Championship.
Won Tag Team Championship with CURTIS IAUKEA in September 1967 over JOHNNY BAREND and JIM HADY.
Left Hawaii in Jan. 1968, went to mainland and wrestled in Pacific Northwest area and later promoted wrestling in that area.
For more information on his stay in Hawaii, go to www.dutchsavage.com.Photo: SHULTZ in middle with CURTIS IAUKEA (left) and COLLINS (right). They teamed in a 6 man tag team, calling themselves the "Rat Pack."
Started wrestling professionally in November 1971 by defeating Masa Fujiwara (a young Mr. Fuji), continued to wrestle in Hawaii till 1973 and then left for the mainland where he became known as Superfly Jimmy Snuka.
Snuka would later become famous for his finishing move: He would dive from the top turn buckle halfway across the ring onto his opponent's chest as they lay motionless on their backs in the middle of the ring. Wrestled in various promotions.
|SWEET DADDY SIKI|
Brought in by Maddog Mayne as his tag team partner. Together they captured the Hawaiian Tag Team Championship from Bearcat Wright and Sam Steamboat on October 9, 1971.
Defeated Sam Steamboat on October 27, 1971 to win the North American Championship. Held the title until March 22, 1972 when he lost it to Handsome Johnny Barend in a loser leaves town match.
Hawaii wrestler trained by LOU THESZ. Wrestled briefly in 1966 while returning to Hawaii.
In April 1970, STEAMBOAT returned to Hawaii and started battling RIPPER COLLINS for the Hawaiian title. The two exchanged titles back and forth through most of 1970. In 1971, STEAMBOAT won the NORTH AMERICAN title from CURTIS IAUKEA. He would lose the title to GENE KINISKI in the same year.
Also in 1971 he captured the Hawaiian tag team title with BEARCAT WRIGHT from MADDOG MAYNE and RIPPER COLLINS, and later lost their titles to MADDOG MAYNE and SWEET DADDY SIKI.
In 1972, regained the Hawaiian tag team title on March 11th with JOHNNY BAREND over MAYNE and SIKI in the final wrestling card present at the Civic auditorium. The belts were put in retirement after the closing of the Civic.
STEAMBOAT finished out his wrestling career in Hawaii for the remainder of the ED FRANCIS promotions. He retired in 1978.
STEAMBOAT died in Hawaii in 2006.
Harry Suga was the artist responsible for painting the weekly oversized wrestling cards. These cards were shown on TV during the locker room interviews to promote the upcoming weekly matches at the Civic Auditorium and the Honolulu International Center (HIC). Each card was constructed out of 3 sheets of mat board. The lettering was hand painted by Suga. Harry would then attach the wrestler's photographs onto the appropriate spot on the card.
|WALLY TSUTSUMI (referee)|
WALLY TSUTSUMI was a Hawaii State Judo champion in the early 1950's and went on to wrestle professionally in Hawaii and the Mainland. When ED FRANCIS started his promotions in 1961, TSUTSUMI was offered a permanent referee position.
TSUTSUMI remained with 50th State Wrestling until its close in 1979.
|VICTOR THE WRESTLING BEAR|
VICTOR the wrestling bear was a real 450 lbs bear who wrestled anyone willing to get into the ring with him. He (over the years there may have been more than one bear) wrestled more than 1000 matches, which usually lasted only few minutes each; Victor won, of course. Victor, who appeared in the Clint Eastwood movie "Paint Your Wagon," wrestled in Hawaii a few times and always drew a big crowd.
|KURT AND KARL VON STEIGER|
Both German wrestlers made their first appearance in Hawaii in July 1969. They continued to wrestle as a team and captured the Hawaiian Tag Team titles from Ed Francis and Pedro Morales in September 1969.
They lost their titles to Curtis Iaukea and Ripper Collins in November 1969 and left Hawaii.
Karl Von Steiger returned to Hawaii in 1978 and continued to wrestle in Hawaii and teamed with Mr. Fuji and captured the Hawaiian Tag Team Championship. He continued to wrestle in Hawaii until Ed Francis closed up promotions in 1979.
|BILLY WHITE WOLF|
Real name is Adnan Al-Kaissie. Born and grew up in Iraq where he was a childhood friend of Saddam Hussein.
Started wrestling in Hawaii in 1961. Was trained by ED FRANCIS.
Feuded with CURTIS IAUKEA in the 1960's in HAWAII Briefly defeated IAUKEA to win the UNITED STATES CHAMPIONSHIP. Lost the title to IAUKEA in 1962.
Wrestled in The INDIAN DEATH MATCH in Hawaii: in which both wrestlers were chained together in the ring by the wrist. WHITE WOLF remained undefeated in the Indian Death Match.
In 1968 held the Hawaiian tag team titles twice: (won titles from RIPPER COLLINS & CURTIS IAUKEA.)
(1) With PETER MAIVIA ( June 26, 1968 till July 17, 1968) lost titles to JOHNNY BAREND & MAGNIFICENT MAURICE.
(2)Won Hawaiian tag titles with JIM HADY from BAREND & MAURICE on OCT. 16, 1968 lost titles to RIPPER COLLINS & LUKE GRAHAM of Nov. 6, 1968.
In later years wrestled under his real name, Adnan Al-Kaissie. In 2005, he wrote a book about his life entitled, "The Sheik of Baghdad: Tales of Celebrity and Terror from Pro Wrestling's General Adnan."
1st appeared in Hawaii in 1964 under DALLAS WESTERN promotions; mainly wrestled on the West Coast and mainly wrestled on monthly Honolulu International Center cards.
Continued to wrestle under ED FRANCIS promotions till 1971, and became a regular starting in 1971.
During his stay in Hawaii he feuded with GENE KINISKI, THE SHEIK, RIPPER COLLINS & MADDOG MAYNE. In July 1971 teamed with SAM STEAMBOAT to defeat RIPPER COLLINS & MADDOG MAYNE for Hawaiian tag team titles. They lost titles to MAYNE & SWEET DADDY SIKI.
BEARCAT left Hawaii in late 1971.
He died on August 28, 1982 at the age of 50.