Fans Feel Iaukea Got What He Deserved

Asbury Park Evening Press – July 2, 1966
By Wes Moon

Prince Iaukea, that big 385-pound brute from Hawaii, deserved just what that nice Bruno Sammartino gave him last night in the feature wrestling match at Convention Hall, most of the fans agreed.

Sammartino, the world heavyweight champion, used a back flip on Iaukea and flipped him up on the ropes, then took a running jump and kicked him out of the ring with both feet at 18:14 of their fight to the finish. And Sammartino, a nice Italian fellow, only weighs 265.

The champion had taken a lot from Iaukea throughout the match. The Hawaiian choked him, banged him around and then took some stuff he had hidden in his trunks to rub Sammartino’s eyes – and the referee was too dumb to catch up with him.

But just when he thought he had Sammartino and was getting ready to jump on him with his whole 385 pounds, the champion jumped up and flipped him over hard enough to hurt old Iaukea’s back. Then Bruno really went to work on him while the crowd roared for blood.

One old fellow with a cane was trying to help the champ and another guy came all the way out of the top balcony row to try to show the referee where Iaukea was hiding the stuff he rubbed Bruno’s eyes with, but the referee couldn’t find it.

A little woman in a wheelchair became thoroughly disgusted with the way Iaukea didn’t wrestle nice and called him a “big animal” and said the referee should put him out of the ring. That was before Sammartino kicked him out. The cops had to sit the old guy with the cane down a half dozen times and chase the other guy back up into the bleachers.

Another fellow the crowd didn’t like almost as much as it didn’t like Prince Iaukea was Angelo Savoldi who was in with the nice Miguel Perez, always a favorite. This Savoldi just wouldn’t act right and he had Perez almost out a couple of times but Miguel revived himself just enough to pin the big bully.

The real villain, though, besides Iaukea, was that Baron Mikel Scicluna who came into the ring wearing a long black robe like he was a count or something and he had one of those real sneers on his face. Argentine Apollo, who was wrestling him, was too nice for Scicluna. He is a well-built, good looker who most of the women felt sorry for and the men liked because he wrestled barefoot and is cleancut.

Scicluna wouldn’t have pinned him in 11 minutes if he hadn’t been using something secret that he jabbed Apollo with and made him go into convulsions.

The worst pair of all was that team of Smasher Sloan and Waldo Von Erich who looked like they were trying to kill Johnny Valentine and Antonio Pugliese. But the good guys got a draw out of it although the crowd figured Smasher and Von Erich should have been disqualified and barred from the ring until they learned some sportsmanship.

They did everything from trying to strangle Pugliese with the cord they were supposed to hold on to until they were tagged, to getting him over in the corner and hiding him from the referee while they worked him over.

And that referee Ray Wilding, according to the sentiments of the crowd, needs to get some glasses. It’s hard to tell how he was ever a heavyweight prizefighter the way he believed everything Smasher and Von Erich told him.

You could tell you couldn’t trust that Von Erich. He even had the nerve to make a Nazi salute when he came in the ring and he was awful nasty to the kids trying to get some autographs. No wonder some of the people threw stuff in the ring at him.

But they didn’t bully Johnny Valentine too much. When he charged in they found out what was what. Each team had a fall and then the bout turned into a brawl and the referee declared a draw.

Now, the first match was nice. Arnold (Golden Boy) Skaaland and Ronnie Etchison put on a fine, clean match. Etchison is kind of new, the announcer said, and he tried a few dirty tricks but Arnold straightened him out and pinned him.

Boy, two weeks from now is going to be something to see. They’re going to turn Sammartino loose on that Baron Sicluna and see how much he gets away with then.

And they’re going to have a six-man match with Apollo, Perez and Pugliese on one team and Smasher, Von Erich and Iaukea on the other.

That Apollo, the way he can cartwheel around and kick like a mule, will take care of that big brute Iaukea and Smasher Sloan will find out that business of his of pulling off a guy’s trunks and butting him in the groin isn’t going to go over too big with Perez.

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