Australia 1966 - Part 3
In the third quarter of 1966, the top wrestlers in Australia's World Championship Wrestling included Mark Lewin, Bearcat Wright, Vittorio Apollo, Brute Bernard, Skull Murphy and Professor Tanaka.
The below chart lists the wrestlers who were regulars in WCW at some point between July 1st and September 30th, 1966. They are ranked by their SPOT (Statistical Position Over Time; a number between .000 and 1.000 representing their average spot on the cards they were booked on; a 1.000 would mean they were always in the main event)
Babyfaces are highlighted in blue, heels in orange. The spacing between wrestlers is meant to approximate the differences in their SPOT.
While Bob the Bruiser was mostly on the heel side of things, he did have at least two singles matches against other heels in July. I did find one online reference to him having a brief run as a babyface during this time.
Comings and Goings
Newcomers (or returnees) to the territory in this time period:
Bearcat Wright - Bearcat came to Australia for the first time in July after wrestling in the Pacific Northwest and Phoenix. He was a second generation boxer who got into wrestling after retiring from boxing in the 50s. He was the first African-American wrestler to win a "World" heavyweight wrestling title, winning a version of the title in Boston (for Eddie Quinn) from Killer Kowalski in 1961 and also winning the Los Angeles version two years later from Freddie Blassie. He left Australia in mid September and went to East Texas. He would return to Australia in 1967 for one more tour.
Brute Bernard - Bernard came here in July from Mid-Atlantic at the same time as frequent tag team partner Skull Murphy. The two first started teaming together five years earlier for Capitol Wrestling. This was Brute's first trip to Australia.
Dan Miller - This was Dan's first and only trip to Australia, coming in late July from Amarillo. He stayed until mid October, and after a brief stopover in Hawaii went back to Amarillo. Along with brother Bill Miller, feuded in Stampede with George & Sandy Scott in the late 50s.
The Destroyer - This Destroyer was better known in the time period as Guy Mitchell, who wrestled under several other names over the course of his career including the Stomper, the Assassin, the Strangler and Jerry Valiant. Here we was billed as the Destroyer or, on occasion, Dr. A the Destroyer. He came in late August after wrestling sporadically for the AWA for a few months.
Jim Hady - Hady came to Australia for the first and only time in July from Northern California. He left in mid October and went to Hawaii, where he spent the next few years as a top babyface until he passed away in 1969.
Skull Murphy - As mentioned above, Skull & Brute Bernard came to Australia together in July after a long stint together in Mid-Atlantic. While it was Brute's first trip here, Skull had toured here in 1965. Skull was not just bald, but completely hairless, which was reportedly due to a childhood disease.
Vittorio Apollo - Better known as Argentina Apollo, though he used both names (depending on where he was) for his entire career. This was his first and only stint in Australia, taking a couple of months during a long run in the WWWF to come here from mid August to mid October.
Wrestlers who left the territory in this time period:
Bob the Bruiser - Bruiser left in late July and wrestled in St. Louis for a couple of months.
Mark Lewin - Lewin left at the end of August and went to Southern California, though he worked shots in East Texas and Detroit as well during that time. He would return to Australia a few more times up through 1971.
Professor Tanaka - Tanaka left Australia in late August and, after a stopover in Hawaii, went to Amarillo. He would return here in 1968.
Some of the local wrestlers with periodic bookings here during the time period were Al Woods, Arthur Openshaw, Braka Cortez, Eddie Swan, Hans Schroeder (see below), Ken Medlin, Manuel Savernas, Noel Davis, Paul Fuhrer, Reinhardt Molitor, Ron Fury, Spike Robson, Ted Sinkowski and Tony (Young) Zorro.
Hans Schroeder spent the first few years of his career wrestling in Australia before traveling to the states and wrestling in various territories in the 70s and early 80s.
On July 15th in Sydney, Brute Bernard & Skull Murphy wrestled Dominic DeNucci & Mark Lewin. The semi-main event saw Bearcat Wright take on Professor Tanaka. While not listed in the ad below, Roy Heffernan wrestled (and defeated) Mitsu Arakawa on the card.