Portland Wrestling: 1977-1979 (VOLUME 5)
The current Portland wrestling champions are as follows as of 11/19/77:
NWA World Champion: Harley Race (2/6/1977)
PNW Heavyweight Champion: Ed Wiskowski (11/12/1977)
PNW Tag Team Champions: Sam Oliver Bass & John Anson (8/7/1977)
Your host is Frank Bonnema.
From 11/19/77, Dutch points out that John Anson’s knee injury should put him on the shelf for a while. As I understand Savage is the promoter of Washington state, this gives him some time to talk about some new guys coming into his towns: the returning Jimmy Snuka and Johnny Eagles are mentioned, in particular. He also mentions the other top stars here and says you can put their guys up against Ray Stevens and Pat Patterson down in San Francisco and the Portland guys will come out on top anytime. Dutch changes the subject and congratulates a local high school football team for their recent efforts. Even though I have no idea what he’s talking about, that’s the small promotion feel that’s totally lost due to worldwide corporate wrestling.
- Gino Hernandez vs. Skip Young – (Portland Wrestling, 11/19/77)
Whoa, two babyfaces going at it here. Skip and Snuka are joining forces very soon to face Buddy Rose and Ed Wiskowski. Lately, Gino has been Skip’s corner, so it seems he’s being pushed to the side for Snuka. Could there be a heel turn in the future? Some feeling out stuff to start with headlocks and headscissors. They wind up headscissoring each other in the 69 position at one point and roll into the ropes. Just a smidgen gay. Skip controls a headlock on Hernandez here. In order to escape, Gino lands a shinbreaker at the six minute point and goes to work on the knee. At one point while he’s dropping his weight on Skip’s knee, Young catches him and applies a body scissors on the man. Pretty cool little counter. Gino tries to headbutt his way out and sees that’s a dumb idea. You can’t headbutt a black guy until *at least* the 1990s. They continue at this slow pace until they realize that time is running out. They trade quick nearfalls for the last couple minutes. Skip and Gino are trading shots until the bell rings as the TV time limit has expired to rule this a draw. (12:12) Nothing too special. They did show some signs of chemistry that I think would work better if Gino could work heel. *½
From 11/19/77, Lonnie Mayne stops by to tell Buddy Rose that his time is soon coming. Sam Oliver Bass comes over and does what he never thought he would do: ask Lonnie Mayne to be his partner against Rose and Wiskowski. Moondog puts on the SOB’s hat and they do the high five bit. Looks like the fight is on for Tuesday night in Portland. Rose and Wiskowski come by to complain to Bonnema as they close the show.
From 12/3/77, the British shooter Johnny Eagles – the Man of 1000 Moves – is welcomed back into Portland. Eagles feels this is the place to be and Portland has the best talent anywhere. Oh, I bet you say that to all the territories. Bonnema has Johnny talk about Andre the Giant who will be coming to Portland soon. He’s a GIANT! A MOUNTAIN OF A MAN! Come see him! And now let’s talk about Tom Peterson’s Electronics. He’s running a CB sale! It doesn’t get much more ’70s than that.
- 2/3 Falls: Sam Oliver Bass & Moondog Mayne vs. Buddy Rose & Ed Wiskowski – (Portland Wrestling, 12/3/77)
This is just the third fall here. Dutch Savage is the ref inside the ring while Sandy Barr is the special enforcer outside the ring. According to the story, Rose and Wiskowski have been working the back of Sam Oliver Bass in the second fall. Bass makes a comeback on Rose and staggers into a hot tag to Mayne! He owns both guys, but gets whipped over the corner out to the floor. Wiskowski runs Mayne into the post a few times to bust him open. Back in, Wiskowski delivers Harley Race headbutts to the cut while Rose tags in and gives him a bunch of knee drops. Rose still can’t get the pinfall. As they double-team Mayne, Savage gets in the middle of the mess and thrown to the floor by Rose and Wiskowski! Well that’s going to be a DQ. (4:05 shown) Barr is no help at all either. It turns into a crazy four-man brawl with Savage and Barr trying to separate everybody. Even Bass and Mayne are throwing the refs away. Blood is just POURING out of the head of Buddy Rose. This continues on for a bit. You just have to see it and take it all in. Eventually, Rose and Wiskowski bail. Dutch gets on the mic and refuses to give the belts to either team. He decides to just let Don Owen figure out how to handle this madness.
From 12/3/77 over at the crow’s nest, Ed Wiskowski shouts threats to Mayne and Bass while Rose bleeds all over the place. I mean, it’s just NASTY. Don Owen comes over and adds the “Loser Leaves Town” stipulation for this Tuesday night – because this town ain’t big enough for the four of them. After they whine about it and leave, Bonnema wishes somebody would come over and clean up all this blood. He makes an excellent segue to a Friendly Chevrolet ad that really cracked me up. Just listen for it. I won’t ruin it here.
More from 12/3/77. After a Tom Peterson commercial for a 1 cent speaker sale, LONNIE MAYNE EATS SOME GLASS. Now that’s a Moondog if I ever saw one. He ain’t leaving Portland, brother. Sam Oliver Bass says this is exactly the reason he wants a partner like Mayne. Bass sells the match for the last time while Mayne is on his knees howling. This is just awesome. Wiskowski and Rose stop by to tell their side of things. Despite his head all wrapped up, Rose is still VERY bloody. Don Owen appears and takes Wiskowski’s PNW heavyweight title away. If they win on Tuesday night, Owen will give him back his title. He doesn’t want any funny business happening if Wiskowski was to lose. Great little touch there.
- 2/3 Falls: Buddy Rose & Ed Wiskowski vs. Jimmy Snuka & Skip Young – (Portland Wrestling, 12/10/77)
Well as you can see, Rose and Wiskowski were successful in the Loser Leaves Town match against Lonnie Mayne and Sam Oliver Bass. They now own all the Portland belts. This is non-title, by the way. We pick up with the second fall here. Rose and Wiskowski won the first fall. Skip Young works face in peril here as he’s dominated with nerve holds. It all leads to a dramatic hot tag to Snuka. This culminates in the signature jumping headbutt on Wiskowski. Skip Young wants back in and he is ON THE MOVE around Wiskowski. Rollup gets the pinfall as Young and Snuka secure the second fall at 5:06.
Onto the third fall, it’s really a similar story. Young starts off controlling the match, but Rose jabs him in the throat behind the ref’s back and turns the tide. Young is on the wrong side of town as well. Before he can get in too much trouble, Young manages to leapfrog over Rose and HOT TAG SNUKA. He does the double leapfrog over Rose and applies a full nelson. Young stops Wiskowski with a dropkick to send him to the floor. Snuka gets Rose down on the mat and keeps the hold on until Rose submits! (8:08 total shown) Huh. I guess the ceiling is too low for the splash? Maybe they wanted to save that for a title match? Bonnema considers Snuka and Young top contenders to the tag belts now and understandably so. Young is a believable face in peril and Snuka is a real fun hot tag. **½
From 12/10/77, Buddy Rose and Ed Wiskowski come over to explain what happened to them. Rose says Snuka would have had to kill him in order for him to give up in a tag titles match. Wiskowski makes some other excuse as to why Rose gave up, but then Skip Young and Jimmy Snuka join the crowd. Snuka and Skip are certain they will win the gold if they put the belts up. Rose says he and Ed will put the belts up on the line next week. Skip accepts the match and tells the tag champs that they should give their souls to the Lord, because their *blanks* belong to them. Wiskowski gets on the mic and calls these two guys illiterate jungle savages and second class citizens. Rose tells Young and Snuka that the only SOLES they are giving up are the ones on their shoes for them to shine. Blatant racism in wrestling? WHO KNEW. Rose brings up taking a vacation and spending the money they made running Sam Oliver Bass and Lonnie Mayne out of Portland as another excuse for why they lost tonight. They’re just so relaxed and laid back right now! Wiskowski says Bass and Mayne should have been training in the gym instead of talking to boys clubs and giving speeches at mental hospitals. Who gives speeches at mental hospitals?
Real quick from 2/18/78. You say, how is Ed Wiskowski a licensed referee? Well, he spend half the day in Salem, Oregon completing the written test. He will be the special referee for the upcoming match between Buddy Rose and Jesse Ventura this coming Tuesday night. It turns out that Jesse wanted Rose so bad that he was willing to put up $5000 against Buddy’s $1000 just to get the match signed. Wiskowski says he’ll call the match right down the middle, but I got a strange feeling that won’t happen. Fortunately for you and me as well, we won’t be watching any Jesse Ventura matches from Portland and very little 1978 footage at all.
Final Thoughts: This one is a cool edition for Snuka fans. It includes one of two matches we’ll be watching from his last big run in Portland before he heads to the southeast. Plus, if you love seeing fights and I assume you do as a wrestling fan, you’ll love anything that set up the Sam Oliver Bass and Lonnie Mayne “loser leaves town” stuff.
Posted on January 20, 2016, in Portland and tagged Buddy Rose, Dutch Savage, Ed Wiskowski, Gino Hernandez, Jimmy Snuka, Johnny Eagles, Moondog Mayne, Ron Bass, Skip Young. Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.