Category Archives: 1978

Rhodes Headlines Wrestling Card

Rome News-Tribune – April 19, 1978

Things are apt to get a little “Dusty” Thursday night at Rome’s Memorial gymnasium, much to the delight of professional wrestling fans in the area.

Dusty Rhodes is returning to Rome that night to headline a four-match card that begins at 8:30 p.m.  The weekly programs are sponsored jointly by the Rome-Floyd Recreation Authority and Georgia Championship Wrestling, Inc. Continue reading

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Baker’s Souffle Attempt Flops

St. Petersburg Independent – March 29, 1978
Gene Taylor

TAMPA – The team of Killer Karl Kox and 311-pound Ox Baker came close, but they couldn’t keep the dynamic duo of Dusty Rhodes and Rocky Johnson down for the three-count last night. Continue reading

Savage, Boyd Collect Tag-Team Mat Victory

Eugene Register-Guard – December 16, 1978

Dutch Savage and Kangaroo Boyd defeated Bad News Brooks and Roddy Piper in two of three falls in a tag team match in pro wrestling action at the Lane County Fairgrounds Friday night.

In other matches, Johnny Eagle beat Race Bannon, the Doctor downed Don Diamond and Lanny Holiday outmanned Kurt Von Steiger.

Andre a Giant Among Men

The Age – June 22, 1978
By Stephen Phillips

Andre the giant, the biggest man in the grunt and groan business of professional wrestling, bills himself as the eighth wonder of the world.

And standing in the monstrous shadow cast by his vast 231.3 kg (36 stone), 2.26 m (7 ft. 5 in.) frame, you are quick to agree.

He is 32, big, mean, rich and your typical food-loving Frenchman.

He can speak English but prefers to communicate through his manager Frank Valois or else fend off unwanted queries with one flick of his outsized hands.

What does a giant eat?  Does he have much trouble buying clothes?  How does he squeeze himself into those tight seats in jets to keep up with his equally tight international schedule?

“Uh!” he groaned in reply to the first question and the hand indicated that Mr. Valois would be taking command.

“Oh, Andre eats all the food he can get, after all he is the biggest athlete in the world,” Mr. Valois said.

World Championship Wrestling compere and former VFL great Ted Whitten elaborated.

I had breakfast with him at Sydney airport one morning.  Like a fool I offered to shout.  He ordered eight eggs, 12 sausages, lambs fry and bacon, fruit, two large pots of coffee and a dozen slices of toast,” Whitten said.

On Saturday night he makes his farewell Australian appearance at Festival Hall against Brute Bernard and another international baddie, J. J. Dillon.

On Sunday he will tuck himself into two first class seats on a Jumbo bound for New York.

Andre is the biggest attraction in world wrestling in more ways than one.  He makes $300,000 a year, owns restaurants in Montreal and his native France and sports a $10,000 watch surrounded by 59 diamonds.

How long will you continue wrestling, I asked.  “Uh!”  Another wave of the hand and Mr. Valois chipped in: “Oh, maybe 10 more years.”

The Wrestling McGuire Twins Weigh 747 and 727 but It’s Their Opponents Who Go Boing, Boing

People – January 9, 1978
By Dennis Breo

Billy and Benny McGuire are touring Japan this month, which makes them quite happy. Says Billy, “The Japanese think big men are descended from the gods and they treat us with the utmost respect.” Billy-san and Benny-san do, after all, weigh about 700 pounds. Each.

Listed as the “world’s heaviest twins” in the Guinness Book of World Records, the McGuires, 31, have marketed their staggering bulk as pro wrestlers for the last 10 years. “Let’s face it,” explains Billy, “we’re making the best of a bad situation.”

Touring the Southern circuit, the twins draw crowds of 20,000 in larger towns. They are popular in part because they are undefeated—by pro wrestling’s gentle standards anyway. But a lot of spectators come out just to see how “big” the twins really are. (The prudent do not say “fat” when the 5’11” McGuires are close enough to use their favorite wrestling moves, such as the “splash,” which involves jumping on a prostrate opponent, or the “steamroller,” a splash followed by a maneuver best likened to a rolling pin flattening dough.)

At birth, the twins were a classic of deceptive packaging, arriving prematurely at five pounds each. Their mother, who weighed 300 then, is a svelte 120 now. Their dad, a trucker, is six feet and weighs 220. At age 10 German measles upset the twins’ pituitary glands, they say, and they ballooned to 200 pounds. By high school they were up to 450, and while they insist that in recent years they have eaten only normal-size meals, their weights stabilized only recently at, for publicity purposes, 747 (Billy) and 727.

Though the twins’ health is “as good as can be expected,” doctors tell them that in five years or so their bodies will no longer be able to carry such weight. As a result, they have begun to talk about either a gastric or intestinal bypass. Every step of such an operation, however, would be difficult and hazardous, from anesthesia to suturing. “An appendectomy would kill us,” Billy says. “There’s no way to get at it.”

Meanwhile, because they can only stand for 10 minutes without losing their breath, they work fast in the ring. “I might start out for a minute or two,” explains Billy. “When I get tired, Benny takes my place.” Although “small guys”—i.e., 300-pounders—give the twins trouble because they are quicker, the greatest threat comes from unruly crowds. In one match in Louisville, an opponent was shot and died in Billy’s arms. In Horse Ranch, Ky., fans tossed a sackful of rattlesnakes into the twins’ dressing room. Benny escaped through the door; not the doorway, the door.

Out of the ring, their lives are complicated but almost normal. Both McGuires are married. Billy’s wife of eight years, Danielle, weighs 98 pounds, while Benny’s second wife, Tammy, a wrestler, is 135. (Benny’s first marriage, to Danielle’s sister, ended in divorce.) “We’ve always had a way with the ladies,” boasts Benny. “We’ve scored. Lots of girls are curious about us.” These days, however, they say they’re no longer interested in groupies, or “ring rats” to the trade.

The twins drive custom-built Chevies with no back seats and extended brake and gas pedals since their feet can’t touch the floor. Their sofas and beds are reinforced with cinder blocks, which they carry with them on road trips. In restaurants they take two chairs apiece and buy two first-class seats on airplanes (where they eat carefully because they cannot fit into the small toilets). Clothes are specially tailored for their 84-inch waists and 90-inch chests, of course. Identical otherwise in looks and dress, they can be distinguished by their size 14EE footwear: cowboy boots for Billy (“I like John Wayne and Gene Autry”), loafers for Benny (Police Woman and CHiPs). Their natural buoyancy makes swimming a particularly relaxing sport. “We can’t drown,” asserts Benny. “We pop right up like a cork.”

While they seem to have adjusted to their mammoth proportions, Billy says, with feeling, “I’d trade it all in a second if I could be 150 pounds.” But in answering mail from fat men who envy the twins’ lives, they waste no pity. “Some of these guys,” Billy says, “can’t even go to the bathroom themselves. They never had a job or a date. We tell them to quit feeling sorry for themselves—to get off their cans and start moving.”

‘Tiger Jawn’ Pesek Dies At Age 84

United Press International – March 13, 1978

RAVENNA, Neb. – John “Tiger Jawn” Pesek, a former world heavyweight wrestling champion, died Sunday at his home of an apparent heart attack. He was 84.

Pesek, who had gone undefeated for 25 years in international competition and who could not be pinned even when he was in his 60s, was eating breakfast in his Ravenna home when he collapsed.

A daughter, Elizabeth, a retired registered nurse, administered emergency procedures but was unable to revive Pesek.

Funeral arrangements were pending at Love & Rohde Mortuary in Ravenna.

Pesek, whose wife, Myrl, died in 1966, is survived by three sons, Jack, a former University of Nebraska football player, Kevin and Stephen, and four daughters, Elizabeth, Mary Lee, Virginia and Catherine.

Born on a farm near Ravenna, Pesek flourished in an era when Nebraska was a hotbed of wrestling and devoted more than 50 years to professional wrestling.

The 1920s were the golden years for Pesek. He began a winning streak in those years and went 20 years without losing a match. He was named the world champion by the National Wrestling Association in 1932.

Pesek was still wrestling in exhibition matches in the mid-1950s. His matches with Joe Stecher of Dodge, Neb., have become ring classics. He also met and defeated Ed (Strangler) Lewis, Wladek Zbyszko, Charlie Hansen, George Zaharias, Ray Steele, Jim Browning, Jim Londos and Everette Marshall.

Pesek, who was inducted into the Lincoln Journal’s Nebraska Sports Hall of Fame in 1957, also was one of America’s leading greyhound dog owners. Trained by his brother, Charlie, Pesek dogs won dozens of national coursing events.

“Just Andrew” and “Gangster,” both Australian greyhounds of Pesek, were honored in the Greyhound Hall of Fame in Abilene, Kan.

The racing magazine, the Greyhound Review, said that bloodlines of Pesek imports from Australia are present in more than 70 percent of all greyhounds.

Pro Wrestlers Battle Monday

The Press-Courier – September 9, 1978

Once again, pro wrestlers will surround the ring at the Ventura County Fairgrounds arena in Ventura Monday night.

Great Goliath and Black Gordman tangle in the main event.  In other action starting at 8, Roddy Piper meets Gama Singh, Java Ruuk faces Hector Guerrero and Tonga takes on Ed Mansfield.

The main event, with Great Goliath and Black Gordman, is a lumberjack match.  If the wrestler leaves the ring, the other wrestlers stationed outside will toss him back.

Piper, Guerrero Wrestle Tonight

The Press-Courier – September 18, 1978

Roddy Piper meets Hector Guerrero and the loser must leave town in the main event tonight at the Ventura County Fairgrounds starting at 8.

In other matches, Java Ruuk goes against Black Gordman, Ed Mansfield faces Gama Singh, and Pak Choo takes on Don Diamond.