Australia 1966 - Part 4
In the fourth quarter of 1966, the top wrestlers in Australia's World Championship Wrestling included Spiros Arion, George & Sandy Scott, Ray Stevens, Skull Murphy & Brute Bernard.
The below chart lists the wrestlers who were regulars in WCW at some point between October 1st and December 21st, 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.
Comings and Goings
Newcomers (or returnees) to the territory in this time period:
Art Nelson - Nelson returned to Australia for his second tour of 1966 in early October after spending four months in Amarillo. When the promotion shut down for the year in December, he went back to Amarillo. He would return here in 1967 and again in 1968.
George & Sandy Scott - Collectively known in many territories as the Flying Scotts, the real-life brothers had been teaming up since younger brother Sandy debuted in 1954. This was their first trip to Australia, coming in mid September from Mid-Atlantic. They would return there after their three month stint here, and would return to Australia in 1968.
John DeSilva - New Zealand born DeSilva (which is how his last name was spelled in newspaper ads here, though it was actually "da Silva") came here for his first and only stint in WCW in November. He represented New Zealand in wrestling at the 1956 Olympics and trained for pro wrestling in Great Britain two years later.
Kangaroo Kennedy - Kennedy started with WCW in November. Prior to that he was wrestling for Gardiner Promotions, which had been promoting Big Time Wrestling in Australia for many years and at this point in time was the #2 promotion in Australia.
Ray Stevens - Stevens came here for a month starting in November. It was his second stint in WCW, having been here previously in 1965. He would return to Northern California after this stint, but would return to Australia once more in 1967. In 1995, the cities of San Francisco and Oakland jointly proclaimed April 5th to be "Ray Stevens Day".
Spiros Arion - Spiros was the reigning IWA Heavyweight champion here when the promotion shut down for the holidays at the end of 1965. He had been advertised to defend the title against Killer Kowalski when the 1966 season opened in January, but was not at the show. It was announced that Kowalski had won the title from him in Hawaii, but this was a phantom title change as Arion had apparently reached an agreement to work for Gardiner Promotions. He wrestled for Gardiner at least once in February, and was announced for that card as "IWA Heavyweight champion". He returned to WCW in October. After spending the first few years of his career in Europe, WCW brought him here in 1965 to tap into the large Greek community in Melbourne. Arion left in early December to wrestle in the U.S. for the first time, going to the WWWF.
Steve Bolus - This was Bolus' only stint in WCW, starting in mid September. Prior to that he had been in Mid-Atlantic, and his next stint in any territory was in March of 1967 in Central States.
Wrestlers who left the territory in this time period:
As was the norm at this time, all the foreign-based talent left Australia when the promotion shut down for a month or so in mid December. In addition to those listed above, Brute Bernard went to Amarillo, Skull Murphy went to Northern California after a brief stop in Hawaii, and the Destroyer (as Guy Mitchell) worked a few shots for the AWA and St. Louis in early 1967.
Some of the local wrestlers with periodic bookings here during the time period were Alan Pinfold, Arthur Openshaw, Ken Medlin, Mark Anthony, Reinhardt Molitor and Ron Fury.
Also wrestling at least once for the promotion in this quarter was Murphy the Surfie, who later became well-known in the U.S. as Norman Frederick Charles III, one half of the Royal Kangaroos with Jonathan Boyd. Charles had been wrestling for smaller promotions in Australia since 1960, and the "Murphy the Surfie" name was likely derived from a popular song in Australia of the same name by the Joy Boys.
On December 2nd, the Sydney card featured a Russian Roulette battle royal. In many territories the term "Russian Roulette battle royal" meant that the battle royal took place at the beginning of the card, with the remainder of the matches on the card being determined by the order of elimination (the first person eliminated would face the second, the third would face the fourth, etc.). Given that there is a full card of matches advertised here, this seems like it was just a plain ol' battle royal. The main event was Spiros Arion vs Ray Stevens. Stevens won the match, and this is widely believed to have been a title change for the IWA Heavyweight title.