Portland Wrestling: 1977-1979 (VOLUME 1)


Portland Wrestling

The current Portland wrestling champions are as follows:
NWA World Champion: Harley Race (2/6/1977)
PNW Heavyweight Champion: Dutch Savage (8/1/1977)
PNW Tag Team Champions: Sam Oliver Bass & John Anson (8/7/1977)

SIDEBAR: I’m not going to pretend I am an expert on Portland wrestling. Yada yada yada. Blah blah blah. I will be posting the matches I watch and recap from the YouTubes, so if you are like me and you want to get into Portland, then this just might be the way you will want to start.

Your host is Frank Bonnema.

  • Buddy Rose vs. Cocoa Samoa – (Portland Wrestling, 8/13/77)

Now who else would I start a Portland project with besides Playboy Buddy Rose? Cocoa Samoa is a Jimmy Snuka type that you see quite a bit throughout this era. He’s doesn’t have the muscles Snuka was known for, but he’s a Pacific Islander and he wrestles barefoot. So, yeah. Anyways, Rose does what he can to make you hate him right off the bat taking forever to fold his precious Buddy Rose t-shirt. Just a small thing to make you go HURRY UP BUDDY. Frank talks about how hot it is in Portland and could be the reason for the small crowd tonight. You would NEVER hear a wrestling show talk about the size of a crowd being anything other than huge these days. Rose tries pounding Cocoa up against the ropes and gets that turned around on him. He tries to get a quick pin by basically pulling the tights WAY passed the crack, but can’t get the three-count. He now works the mid-section with double stomps and a big elbow drop. Cocoa fights back and lands a jumping headbutt for two. He then works the arm of Buddy. Bonnema talks about how Rose put Jay Youngblood out of action for a while after hurting his arm. He even beat Jesse Ventura in a loser leaves the area match with the same tactic. Frank says winner leaves the territory match, but I don’t know what the incentive would be to *win* that match. Anyways, Rose manages an escape and runs his shoulder into Cocoa a few times as he whips Cocoa from corner to corner. He makes the mistake of punching a Samoan in the head to start up another comeback. Rose jabs his thumb in Cocoa’s eye and starts choking him in the ropes. That’s all the weakening required for Cocoa as Rose hits the BILLY ROBINSON BACKBREAKER for the win. (7:29) After the bell, Rose drops a knee on Cocoa to rile up ref Sandy Barr. Those two get into a shoving match until Barr reverses the decision and awards the match to Cocoa via DQ. Bonnema says Rose will be fined $250 for that. Rose still wants to belt the referee one good time, but thinks better of it and exits to the floor with his hand raised. HA! Rose is really showing me something here. There doesn’t seem to be much special about Cocoa Samoa though. *½

From 9/3/77, Buddy Rose and Ed Wiskowski (AWA fans know him as Colonel DeBeers) are PISSED that they weren’t considered for an upcoming NWA world title match with Harley Race on 9/13. Jimmy Snuka is supposed to get the title shot, but he isn’t even in Portland at that moment. They want the tag belts as well and are willing to go through Sam Oliver Bass (or Cowboy Ron Bass) and John Anson (Canadian fans may know him best as Karl Von Shotz) any time to do it. Wiskowski says when he came to Portland, he was promised big time opportunities and so far he hasn’t been given what he was promised. People are going to start getting hurt around here unless his future changes. Rose started crippling people in Portland to get noticed – he just might start crippling people again. AWESOME promo.

  • 2/3 Falls: Buddy Rose vs. Jay Youngblood – (Portland Wrestling, 9/10/77)

FIRST FALL: Lord Jonathan Boyd has been appointed as the special referee for this encounter. Clearly Buddy Rose did not know about this and pitches a fit. It is electric in the Portland Sports Arena. Bonnema essentially calls this a main event anywhere in the country. They play around with a Youngblood headlock to start. When Youngblood has the shoulders pinned, Boyd quickly drops down and tries to fast count Rose. When Rose turns Youngblood over onto his shoulders and grabs the tights, Boyd counts super slow. Boyd stops the pulling of the tights by twisting on Rose’s thumb. He pushes Boyd back only for Boyd to threaten to DQ him. This crowd is great reacting to everything perfectly. Rose decides to take a powder and Boyd tries to fast count him there as well. Rose shoots back in the ring at the count of eighteen or so. Back to the headlock. Rose tries to send Youngblood off into the ropes several times to escape the hold, but Youngblood grabs the hair. No response from Boyd. When Rose gets away from Youngblood, Boyd tells Youngblood not to pull the hair LIKE THIS and walks over to yank a handful of hair off Buddy’s head. Just great stuff here. Buddy tries the hair pulling routine off a headlock, but Boyd jerks him by the hair to get him to stop. Once again, Rose heads to the floor and gets fast counted to keep his break nice and short. Back to the headlock again. Rose shoves Youngblood off into the ropes. They criss-cross and leapfrog each other. It’s a beautiful sight. Youngblood manages a sunset flip and Boyd fast counts Rose to give Youngblood the first fall at 7:14.

SECOND FALL: Boyd gives Youngblood crap about reaching into the ropes to get a break from a hammerlock. Back to the center of the ring, Youngblood really cranks on a headlock. Rose will escape and hits a nice backdrop. He follows up with a big slam and an atomic drop. More of the same setup leads to the BILLY ROBINSON BACKBREAKER. While Boyd definitely takes his time counting the pinfall, Youngblood is done. Rose wins the second fall in 4:00.

THIRD FALL: Looks like the third fall is joined in progress after a commercial break. Rose is trying to get the pinfall, but he’s growing pretty tired of Boyd and his slow counts. He hits the BILLY ROBINSON BACKBREAKER again, but Boyd is still counting slow. Rose gets up off the pin to argue. Rose lands a jumping back elbow and covers Youngblood. Boyd is still counting slow, so Rose pops up off the pin and stomps Boyd on the head to end this match after about 1:00 shown. (12:14 shown) Boyd fights back against Rose and punches him into oblivion busting him open until the end of the video. That first fall was like a master’s course in crowd psychology. These three had the people in the palm of their hands the entire time. While the last two falls were lacking in time, the action was still excellent work all-around. ***¼

From 9/10/77, Dutch Savage and Moondog Lonnie Mayne come out and talk about the great week of Portland wrestling that will be happening with Frank Bonnema. Frank reads a letter sent in from a 91 year old woman who says she will be glad to hop in her wheelchair to come help Savage and Mayne beat up all the heels in Portland. Jimmy Snuka will get his big shot at the NWA world champ Harley Race. There’s excitement in the air! Plus, we get some real 1977 local Portland ads for psychedelic bars and fireplace stereos from Tom Peterson. Dale Lewis also wants to sell you a trailer. Perfect ad for wrestling fans!

From 9/10/77, Don Owen goes into promoter mode as he does the voiceovers hyping the return of Jimmy Snuka to the Portland area. We watch Jimmy Snuka deliver his Superfly Splash over and over again on guys down in Texas where he’s been competing for the past several months. Easily the most notable opponent there is Bruiser Brody.

More from 9/10/77. The PNW tag champs Sam Oliver Bass and John Anson look SUPER confident. Anson has some new trunks and he’s more focused than ever. They have a death match coming up with Dutch Savage and Moondog Lonnie Mayne.

Another video from 9/10/77. Dale Lewis is a wrestler-turned-trailer-salesman according to the description. COME GET YOUR TRAILER NOW, FOLKS. It’s better than being homeless.

  • Buddy Rose (w/Ed Wiskowski) vs. Jay Youngblood – (Portland Wrestling, 9/24/77)

Just an angle match here. Rose is complaining of a knee injury. He and his partner in crime Wiskowski make sure ref Sandy Barr is aware of it. When Wiskowski finally hits the floor so this match can begin, Rose suckers Youngblood into a corner and spins Youngblood around. While he’s got Sandy Barr’s attention, Wiskowski jerks on Youngblood’s leg to take him down to the mat. Now that Youngblood is down, Rose creates a fulcrum effect using the turnbuckle connector and tries to snap Youngblood’s arm! Meanwhile, Wiskowski climbs in the ring and gets physical with the ref. Ring the bell, guy. This one is over. Moondog Mayne runs out for the save and takes his boot off to beat on Buddy’s arm. Wiskowski tries to stop Mayne, but Rick Youngblood (who?) takes out Wiskowski. Jay continues to writhe in pain as the heels clear out. His arm is even bleeding at this point. The damage is done. Rose is limping though on his way out, so maybe – JUST MAYBE – the knee injury was legit. There doesn’t seem to be any medics or doctors in the house. People are just clearing out of the way while Mayne and Rick help Jay to the back.

Now go buy a brand new 1977 Chevrolet Impala at Friendly Chevrolet for only $4695! How about a Camaro for only $4895? The Monte Carlo doesn’t look too bad either. Drive it off the lot today for just $5195! Don’t forget the Motor Trend car of the year: the Chevrolet Caprice for $5895! Your friends and loved ones will enjoy riding around in any one of these cars! They’re open until 10PM every night! Friendly Chevrolet.

Obviously from 9/24/77. There’s a cake for Moondog Mayne’s birthday, but I doubt he feels too much like celebrating tonight. Moondog Mayne is PISSED OFF and really wants to break Buddy Rose’s arm just so he knows how it feels. If Mayne says something will happen, it’s a guarantee. He’s so mad, he stops making sense half way through talking about Buddy. I like this Mayne character.

Final Thoughts: Definitely check out the Rose and Wiskowski promo and the Rose/Youngblood match. Very cool stuff. I definitely plan to do a volume two very soon where you’ll see Buddy Rose and Moondog Mayne hook it up.


Posted on October 21, 2015, in Portland and tagged , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 1 Comment.

  1. You mention Jesse Ventura in your first right up. I think Frank was talking about Joe Ventura (Joe Lightfoot).

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