NWA: Big Time Wrestling (January 1969)


NWA: Big Time Wrestling
January 1969
Detroit, MI

Your host is Bob Finnegan subbing for Lord Layton this week.

  • The Hell’s Angels vs. Arnold Skaaland & Jim Dillon

The Hell’s Angels tag team are obviously impersonating the controversial biker gang. At this point, the Hell’s Angels do not have names and go by #1 and #2. They are Ron and Paul Dupree and currently hold Detroit’s world tag team titles. Their opponents should be well known to anybody reading this site. Jim Dillon is a young JJ Dillon – manager of champions – doing a light cowboy gimmick. If Stan Hansen is a heavy cowboy gimmick by comparison, Jim Dillon would be doing a light cowboy gimmick. He just wears a sheepskin jacket and a cowboy hat. No chew or spurs or lariat or anything. The Hell’s Angels are a very mouthy, disrespectful tag team who care nothing for authority. Ya know, a BIKER GANG. I can see them getting easy heat in the 1960s. They cheat with hair pulling and tights yanking to take control of Dillon. Arnold Skaaland gets a blind tag and the Hell’s Angels stomp on Dillon together. The more things change, the more they stay the same. When Skaaland gets the tag, he’s all forearm smashes as the Hell’s Angels bump big for him. They regroup out on the floor and hug each other to cool down Skaaland. Back in, #1 complains about hair pulling when Skaaland applies an overhead wristlock. #2 runs in and decks Skaaland to take advantage. This Hell’s Angel #1 guy resembles Dean Ambrose quite a bit. He chokes Skaaland on the mat. Lots of cheap double-teaming action from the Hell’s Angels and it’s pretty awesome. Dillon gets a tag and tries to be that hot tag guy, but he takes a kitchen sink. #2 slams him down for #1 to land the Bombs Away finish for the win. (6:31) Okay, this Hell’s Angels tag team is awesome. No doubt, I want to see more.

  • Thunderbolt Patterson vs. Jim Paderewski

Finnegan calls Thunderbolt one of the most vicious men in pro wrestling. He strikes Paderewski in the throat a bunch and tries to camouflage a choke which is a GREAT way to describe trying to hide a choke from the ref. Jim takes more of a beating from Thunderbolt, but makes a short comeback as he backs Patterson into the corner. When he takes his eyes off Thunderbolt, Paderewski gets kicked in the thigh and Patterson goes back to jabbing at the throat. Patterson has his knuckles taped on his right hand. A right hook to Paderewski and Patterson pins the man with a knee on his chest. (2:57) Not a lot of different moves, but you could see Thunderbolt’s attitude coming out here which was something to behold.

  • Spiros Arion vs. The Spoiler

Don’t get too excited – it’s just a jobber under a mask with black tights. As you may know, Spiros Arion is best known for his feud with Bruno Sammartino in Madison Square Garden in 1975. In the 1960s though, he became a star in Jim Barnett’s WCW in Australia where he was a fan favorite, which has carried over here in Detroit. Arion pounds on the Spoiler with forearms and knees before grabbing a hold. He gives Spoiler a backdrop and delivers his shinbreaker finish to Spoiler for the win at 3:02.

  • Jess Ortega vs. Blackjack Gordon

Ortega works over Gordon with headlocks and bearhugs to start using his size to overpower him. Gordon turns this into a fight and Ortega is more than pleased to fight back with forearms. Ortega roughs up Gordon while he has him on the mat in a body scissors. Gordon breaks free and twists on the ankle a bit. Ortega is much more of a wrestler than I thought he would be. He escapes a full nelson and can’t be bothered with Gordon’s wristlocks. Ortega punches back on Gordon and biels him across the ring. Gordon grabs the hair though and chops Ortega across the chest. Ortega pounds Gordon back across the ring and slams him down for a GIANT SPLASH for the win. (6:21) This was much better than I thought it would be. Ortega is a TANK, folks.

  • Mark Lewin vs. Ox Baker

This is before Ox Baker had the signature look. Here he just looks like your uncle if you lived in the 1960s. He’s got hair on his head, no facial hair, normal looking eyebrows, and no shirt that says he likes to hurt people. Nevertheless, he still shows some of the presence and personality he’s known for as the Ox. I can’t say for certain that this is 100% true, but I believe Mark Lewin was always a babyface in Detroit. Lewin started at the age of sixteen making him already a fifteen year veteran at this point and he works for another twenty years. The man is just amazing. Lewin just wants to trade holds on the mat and Ox wants to choke him – taking advantage of the five count as much as possible. When Lewin gets free, he punches Ox back and works a headlock. He slams Ox down and double stomps him. SLEEPERHOLD! Good night, Ox. (4:50) Lewin has to smack Ox around to wake him up because he went night-night. That should do more to tell kids not to try this at home than any PSA will.

  • Killer Karl Kox vs. Jim Paderewski

This is announced by Finnegan as the final bout of the day. Is there any chance this guy was in the KKK? He gets Paderewski down on the mat and pulls something out of his tights to jab Paderewski in the throat. Crowd calls out “CHEAT” to the ref. The man has his right fist taped much like Patterson. He lifts Paderewski off the mat a couple times and the crowd is just incensed that he keeps going into his tights. Kox takes a moment to argue with the ringside fans.. He goes in his tights again and jabs Paderewski in the throat. What’s hilarious is you can see he never has anything in his hand. He’s just screwing with the people. A back elbow as Paderewski comes off the ropes and an elbow drop gets KKK the win in 3:11. The man could easily start a riot in this TV studio.

After the commercial break, Bob Finnegan speaks with Killer Karl Kox. He feels sorry for the people who have to live here in Detroit. He’s here to stay though and he’s here for the Sheik and his NWA U.S. championship. He hasn’t forgotten taking a fire ball to the face that nearly cost him his sight. If the Sheik has the guts, Kox challenges him anywhere anytime. Abdullah Farouk (better known as the Grand Wizard in the WWWF) comes out to speak to Killer Karl Kox as the manager of the Sheik. He advises KKK to run for the door if he had any brains. Kox tells Farouk to let Sheik know that he isn’t leaving Detroit until he gets a match. If he doesn’t get a match, Kox says he’ll get his revenge on Farouk. When Kox gets the match with the Sheik, Farouk says Kox will be out on the street corner as a blind beggar thanks to the fire ball. Well, there ya go.

  • Jim Dillon vs. Arnestis Resnick

Here is our curfew match. Dillon’s opponent’s name sounds made up. It doesn’t sound real to me. Anywho, he’s Russian and it’s 1969, so who cares about that godless commie. Resnick camouflages a chokehold early on in the match. From there, not a whole lot interesting happens as they trade holds with each other on the mat. Resnick seems to be controlling much of the match though making Dillon look further like a jabroni. Those who can’t be successful at wrestling oftentimes manage and have great careers. Bobby Heenan is another example. The match continues on past the curfew in the studio as the show comes to a close at 7:32 shown.

Final Thoughts: Some interesting characters we see coming through Detroit at this time. Check out the Hell’s Angels! Very interesting duo there. Plus, Thunderbolt Patterson, Ox Baker, and Killer Karl Kox are three guys you have probably never seen on this site before. Arnold Skaaland and James J. Dillon wrestling? That’s something to see. This is the oldest TV show I have recapped on PDRwrestling so there’s something to be said for checking this one out. History has been made!


Posted on July 13, 2016, in Detroit and tagged , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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