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
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.
GIANT BABAGiant 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.
Was one of Japan's top wrestlers in the 1960's through the late 70's.
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.
HANDSOME JOHNNY BARENDJohnny 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 leaves 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.
Handsome Johnny Barend.
BEAUREGUARDMade his 1st appearance in Hawaii in 1965 and was brought in by RIPPER COLLINS to be his right hand man Friday.
Beauregard would walk out to the ring with COLLINS spraying the ring free of germs and protecting COLLINS with a cane during his matches.
This partnership lasted till December 1966 when on a Saturday TV match COLLINS was wrestling in the ring and BEAUREGUARD attempted to strike COLLINS' opponent with a cane and missed, striking COLLINS instead causing him to lose the match. COLLINS became upset and started slapping Beaureguard in the face and then fired him.
Through the early part of 1967 the two had a series of grudge matches and BEAREGUARD left Hawaii and went on tour.
For a brief period of time from November 1967 till the end of the year, COLLINS rehired BEAUREGUARD. By the end of the year BEAUREGUARD departed Hawaii again.
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.
Nicknames: Classie FREDDIE BLASSIE
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.
RIPPER COLLINSFirst arrived in Hawaii in April 1965 stayed till August 1971 and left Hawaii after losing a "Loser Leave Town" match with MADDOG MAYNE.
Was one of the "most hated Wrestlers" in Hawaii during his stay in Hawaii. Mispronounced Hawaiian names, which drove fans crazy.
Was married to Lady Wrestler BARBARA BAKER COLLINS, with whom he often teamed in mixed tag team matches.
From 1965 till 1966 brought in BEAUREGUARD his valet and right hand man at ring side.
COLLINS fired BEAUREGUARD in December 1966 after being hit by BEAUREGUARD. The two feuded with each other in early 1967.
In 1969 through 1970, COLLINS used FRIDAY ALLMAN as his right hand man. FRIDAY was fired and feuded with COLLINS after spraying COLLINS with spray can causing COLLINS to lose his HAWAIIAN title to SAM STEAMBOAT.
IN 1966: defeated NEFF MAIAVA for the Hawaiian Heavyweight title.
Also in 1966 COLLINS teams with HANDSOME JOHNNY BAREND and are crowned HAWAIIAN TAG TEAM CHAMPIONS. IN 1966 BAREND & COLLINS wrestle WORLD TAG TEAM CHAMPIONS: RAY STEVENS & PAT PATTERSON 3 times at the Honolulu International Center before sellout crowds. After losing their title to NEFF MAIAVA & PAMPERO FIRPO known in Hawaii as the MISSING LINK. BAREND & COLLINS split and feud through the year 1967.
IN 1967: COLLINS loses his HAWAIIAN title to JIM HADY and teams with CURTIS IAUKEA to win the Hawaiian tag titles. During his run with IAUKEA, they become blood brothers : mixes blood on KGMB TV. In 1967 COLLINS & IAUKEA would lose their titles to JOHNNY BAREND & JIM HADY.
IN 1968 COLLINS & IAUKEA win the tag titles back and after losing their title to BILLY WHITE WOLF & PETER MAIVIA they feud with each other. COLLINS regains the HAWAIIAN tag titles in November 1968 with CARY LUKE GRAHAM. IN 1969: On New Year's Day COLLINS wrestles ED FRANCIS who comes out of retirement COLLINS insults him on tv by throwing him to the ground. Throughout the year the two battle each other before sellout crowds. Also in 1969 COLLINS holds the HAWAIIAN tag title with three different partners: GRAHAM, KILLER BUDDY AUSTIN and teams with CURTIS IAUKEA again. At the end of the year on December 25th 1969 at the Honolulu International CENTER COLLINS teams with FRIDAY ALLMAN to do battle with FRANCIS and his son BILLY FRANCIS whom he attacked on KGMB 50th State Wrestling show.
IN 1970: COLLINS regains the Hawaiian Heavyweight title by defeating the MISSING LINK.
Also teams with JOHNNY BAREND whom they regain the HAWAIIAN tag title. The two will break up after losing the tag title and battle in a series of grudge matches at the end of the year. Also COLLINS loses and regains his HAWAIIAN title to SAM STEAMBOAT.
1971: COLLINS loses his HAWAIIAN TITLE to COWBOY LANE and regains the HAWAIIAN TAG TITLE with MAD DOG MAYNE, the two split up after losing their tag title to SAM STEAMBOAT and BEARCAT WRIGHT. COLLINS feuds with MAYNE and loses a "LOSER LEAVE TOWN MATCH" to MAYNE.
1978: RIPPER COLLINS returns to Hawaii and teams with his cousin WHIPPER WATSON to gain the HAWAIIAN TAG TITLES. COLLINS also feuds with ED FRANCIS again in 1979 and TOR KAMAKA as well. ED FRANCIS folds up his promotions in 1979.
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.
Popular Jamaican wrestler mainly wrestled as a fan favorite in 1969.
"THE MISSING LINK"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.
On June 29, 1966 during a United States Championship match with JOHNNY BAREND suffered a major injury at the hands of BAREND, which THE MISSING LINK stayed 33 days at the Queen's Hospital and was out of action till Oct. 1966. As a result of the injury he wore his famous black caveman type wrestling outfit.
After returning from his injury feuded with BAREND and RIPPER COLLINS. Teamed with NEFF MAIAVA to capture the Hawaiian Tag Team Titles from BAREND & COLLINS in November 1966.
Lost titles to BAREND & HANS MORTIER in 1967 left Hawaii.
Returned to Hawaii in Jan. 1968 as partner of JIM HADY captured Hawaiian Tag Title with JIM HADY on 12/22/1968 lost titles to RIPPER COLLINS & CURTIS IAUKEA. Left Hawaii in June 1968.
Returned in August 1969 won Hawaiian Heavyweight title in Oct. 1969 after winning a Texas Battle Royal to decide Hawaiian Champion. Lost Hawaiian Title to RIPPER COLLINS in late Oct. 1969. Stayed in Hawaii till Feb. 1970 and left for mainland.
Returned to Hawaii in 1977 and wrestled off and on till 1978.
Was known to speak seven languages. Was originally from South America.
His most famous saying was "OH YEAA"
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.
ED FRANCISFRANCIS (pictured here interviewing Ripper Collins) purchased the territorial rights to promote wrestling in Hawaii from AL KARASICK in May 1961.
Was the former WORLD JR. HEAVYWEIGHT CHAMPION.
During the first year of his promotions, wrestled, then retired and focused on being a promoter.
By 1966, wrestling was so big in Hawaii, FRANCIS had to place ads in the local newspapers that the upcoming card was "SOLD OUT".
In 1969 came out of retirement to do battle with RIPPER COLLINS: On KGMB TV in Nov. 1968 after COLLINS kept poking his finger in FRANCIS' chest, FRANCIS pushed COLLINS into the lockers. For months COLLINS called out FRANCIS and the two battled each other throughout 1969.
In 1969 teamed with PEDRO MORALES to defeat RIPPER COLLINS and KILLER BUDDY AUSTIN for the Hawaiian Tag Team titles.
On December 25, 1969 teamed with his son BILLY FRANCIS (making his pro wrestling debut) and defeated RIPPER COLLINS and FRIDAY ALLMAN before a sellout crowd at the Honolulu International Center.
In 1971 captured the Hawaiian Heavyweight title.
In 1977 teamed with sons BILLY FRANCIS and RUSS FRANCIS.
Sold his territorial rights in 1979 and retired from promoting wrestling in Hawaii.
Ed Francis passed away in 2016 at the age of 90.
HARRY FUJIWARA (MR. FUJI)
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.
JIM HADYMade his first appearance in Hawaii in June 1966: battled to a draw with the MASKED EXECUTIONER.
Returned to Hawaii in Oct. 1966, where he remained as one of the most popular wrestlers in Hawaii till his death on Jan. 12, 1969.
On 50th STATE WRESTLING SHOW on KGMB: he opened the show with demonstrations: showing wrestling fans and tv audiences wrestling moves and holds.
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 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.
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.
CURTIS IAUKEAWas 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.
In 1965 held both the HAWAIIAN and UNITED STATES TITLE.
IN 1969: held all three titles in Hawaii: NORTH AMERICAN titles HAWAIIAN TITLE and TAG TEAM TITLE with RIPPER COLLINS.
Feuded with BILLY WHITE WOLF, NEFF MAIAVA, NICK BOCKWINKEL, PETER MAIVIA, SAM STEAMBOAT, JOHNNY BAREND, GIANT BABA.
Headlined the 1st Honolulu International Center Card promoted by ED FRANCIS in March 1965 battling GIANT BABA. Wrestled DORY FUNK JR. for the WORLD TITLE (NWA) in August 1969: went to a 1 hr draw.
Although mainly wrestled as a "bad guy" in 1968 turned good for a short time.
IN 1962 won the UNITED states TITLE from NICK BOCKWINKEL and held the title till November 1965; held title for over 3 1/2 years” note: would lose title for short periods of time during that time period. Lost title to KILLER KOWALSKI.
Famous wrestling finishing move was "The Slash"
UNITED STATES TITLE History:
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. Curtis Iaukea was a legend in professional wrestling. Many have praised his antics inside the ring but to listen to a Curtis Iaukea interview, especially during the 1960s and 1970s was a special treat. His locker room interviews were classic pieces of wrestling lore that had no equal, even today. His natural ability for story telling coupled with his pinpoint voice control kept people riveted in their seats, unable to turn away from the television. He didn't need to make faces or mug for the camera. He did his interviews while facing his big broad back to the camera. In this way, people were forced to listen to his words; and boy what words. Curtis Iaukea was one of the true superstars of wrestling who was exceptional both inside the ring and out.
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.
TOR KAMAKAStarted wrestling in Hawaii in the mid-60's as McRONALD KAMAKA.
Went to the Mainland to wrestle: Returned to Hawaii in 1977 as TOR KAMAKA: Captured the North American Title from SAM STEAMBOAT on Nov. 9, 1977
Won Hawaiian Title from DON MURACO on July 12, 1978.
GENE KINISKIMade first appearance in Hawaii in July 1964, defeated NEFF MAIAVA for Hawaiian title, lost title back to MAIAVA.
In February 1966 defeated LOU THESZ to become NWA World Champion. Defended title twice in Hawaii against JIM HADY in 1968.
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.
HAHN LEEBecame a regular wrestler in Hawaii starting in November 1969 and teamed up with PEDRO MORALES.
In March 1970 LEE & MORALES defeated RIPPER COLLINS & JOHNNY BAREND to win the Hawaiian Tag Team Titles. IN July 1970, they lost their titles to JOHNNY BAREND & BILLY ROBINSON.
Left Hawaii in October 1970 and returned to Hawaii in 1971 wearing a mask calling himself THE AVENGER. He was unmasked by RIPPER COLLINS & MADDOG MAYNE and continued to wrestle in Hawaii in 1971.
One of the few Korean Professional Wrestlers. During his matches he used karate and kung fu moves on his opponents.
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.
MAGNIFICENT MAURICEMade 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.
MADDOG MAYNEOriginally 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.
PEDRO MORALESMade 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)
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.
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.
DON MURACOWas 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 STEVENSPATTERSON (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 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 were 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.
BILLY ROBINSONMade 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.
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.
SAKAGUCHISAKAGUCHI 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'' SAKATAWon 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.
KENJI SHIBUYAMade 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.
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."
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."
JIMMY SNUKAStarted 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 SIKIBrought 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.
SAM STEAMBOATHawaii 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.
PHOTO: Ordering Johnny Barend back to the locker room.
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 WOLFReal name is Adnan Al-Kaissie. Born and grew up in Iraq. 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.
BEARCAT WRIGHT1st 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.
NOTE: Photo on right walking to ring with SAILOR ART THOMAS.