Thursday, October 15, 2009

World Of Sport - Mick Mcmanus Vs. Catweazle (1975)

Mick McManus made my Grandfather more angry than anything else. Wrestling was on every Saturday afternoon What a showman and what theatre.

From The Guardian

It is not British wrestling per se that is undergoing a resurgence, but the fuzzy memory of it. No one these days wants to pay to watch a bunch of oddballs attempt a folding press or Boston crab, but the recollection of Saturday afternoons in the front room waiting for Final Score is distantly appealing to many people above the age of 30 (and probably hideously perverted to people below 30).
Watching Catweazle, Vic Faulkner, Pat 'Bomber' Roach and Rollerball Rocco now, three thoughts come to mind. First, what a strange world we must have lived in to have become worked up by the antics of these men. Second, it wasn't only grannies in the front row at Westcliff-on-Sea who got worked up, but grandfathers, too, many with unusually shiny foreheads. And third, I had forgotten how significant the role of the referee was: apart from Max Ward, who looked like Arthur Mullard, they tended to be tiny squits who were invariably hit 'by accident' when a wrestler ducked, and riled the crowd by missing some skulduggery inflicted while looking the wrong way.
And as for Catweazle

Millions loved him and a minority of purists were infuriated by Doncaster’s Gary Cooper, who adopted the name of a fictional television character. With long straggly hair and unruly beard it wasn’t his looks that made Catweazle so popular. Arriving at the ring in sackcloth the wrestler would remove his robe to reveal a lanky body wrapped in a gaudy wrestling outfit. Having placed his lucky-charm toad on the corner post the match would commence with Catweazle literally running rings round, and generally humiliating his hapless opponent. For the most part the fans loved his antics and Catweazle was one of the most popular of wrestlers throughout the 1970s and 1980s. It was a tribute to the man that he was selected by Dale Martin Promotions to oppose Mick McManus in the Londoner’s final televised bout. The wrestler’s untimely death and subsequent cremation led to the inauguration of the annual British Wrestlers Reunion.

He died in 1993 


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