Monday, 27 May 2013

The Boston Strangle Hold


mick Mc Manus, who died last week at the age of 91
The appeal of this blog entry, will, I am sure be limited to those Uk bloggers of a certain age. As a child growing up in the drab brown- ness off the 1970s,  I think I will always remember 4pm on a Saturday afternoon.....for that was the time that itv's World Of Sport televised three bouts of " professional" wrestling.
Never staged but always rigged, the wrestling delighted a whole generation of working class grannies across the nation. Politeness flew out of the window, as knitting was put down, denture fixative was strengthened and the air turned blue as favourite blue eyed, slightly overweight boys were bounced, kicked and flattened into apparent unconsciousness by ugly middle aged men who looked like your dad.
Mick Mc Manus, Jackie Pallo, Kendo Nagasaki and Pat Roach, these were names that tripped off the tongue back then.....men that were as good at acting as they were at wrestling...... It was staple of British life forty years ago... Before the nanny tv bosses decided that the whole thing was too common for the ever growing sophistication of the general public....
Things were somehow simpler back then. 
Yesterday was another country.....was it not?

73 comments:

  1. You are right about a certain generation.... Saturday afternoon wrestling and Friday evening westerns bring back fond memories of time spent with my dad who is long gone... Two more names for your list: Giant Haystacks and Big Daddy.

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    1. I never liked big daddy...... He could not wrestle.......

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    2. ...... but he came from Halifax which gave him street cred in our house.

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  2. And Giant Haystacks and Big Daddy... Dickie Davies presenting it and little old ladies with umbrellas for hitting the 'baddies'. Great television nostalgia, John.

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    1. Dickie Davies..... With the badger stripe in his hair,!

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  3. Ah yes, the tv hell that was Saturday afternoon. It was the only tv my Dad watched.

    The other 1970s hell was 'Sing Something Simple' straight after the No 1 pop song on Sunday night radio - once a week bathtime (whether you needed it or not!).

    We are the same age, my friend.

    Susan x (in her own particular hell this week, sigh)

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    1. Oh susan
      Sing something simple still makes me clinically depressed
      X
      Chin up

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    2. Oh Susan, I must be the same age too...you're describing my life !LOL...damn it...now I have the sing something simple theme tune in my head !

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    3. The first few bars of 'Sing Something Simple' *still* invoke hair washed over the kitchen sink, and polishing school shoes ready for Monday :-(

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  4. I'm not too good at describing feelings but this post made me feel the same way as watching an episode of The Waltons used to. Good night John boy.

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    1. Funny what a few words spark off Maisie x

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    2. I was a wee bit disappointed as I thought you were going to put up a picture of the Vicar and the Turkey t-day, so when I saw the title of your post, I couldn't wait to scroll down. x

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  5. We had a wrestler called Killer Kowalski and the show was hosted by Jack Davey, who had a voice like a cross cut saw. My step father liked to watch wrestling and we really used to take the piss out of him for liking it. Mind you, I have seem some rather good wrestling matches on the net since.

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    1. Perhaps we all eventually turn into our fathers at one stage or another

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  6. Thanks John for your kind comment and the poem, I have not read the whole thing before.
    Yes I remember Mick, we used to be looked after on Saturdays by my Grand parents and my Grandad loved his wrestling. I used to love it when the old ladies in the audience would jump up and start hitting the baddie with their hand bags!

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    1. The spirit that won the war

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  7. Ah, dear Jackie Pallo, I remember him well (and all the others).

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    1. Do you remember the promoter Gorgeous George?

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  8. As soon as I read the headline I thought - Mick Mcmanus and there he was. Brought back memories of tea with nanan, sandwiches with stork matgerine and ham, followed by home made cakes and tea in a tea cup with a saucer
    Sue

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    1. Gawd they lived on fat did they not in the 60s?

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    2. It was lard built the Empire. No good ever came from sunflower margarine....

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  9. The same about yesterday being another country can be said about every country. Getting one aspect of your reasons for that felt good. Me and my brother used to enjoy WWE wrestling. There even came an Indian wrestler: the great Khali :-)

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    1. I will go and google him KK

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  10. Gosh this post brings back memories!

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  11. I loved the showy TV wrestling when I was a kid. It also gave me a useful insight into the true nature of little old grannies.

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  12. I'd pushed that to the back of my mind...now I can hear the audience and the thud of fat on mat.
    Jane x

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  13. You can't beat three laps of the ceiling, a good shout at the telly and a bottle of brown ale to get the ole blood coursing through your veins. That's probably why blood pressure wasn't the killer it is today.. the excitement then, un-furred the arteries clogged up with pork pies and scotch eggs consumed at regular intervals.

    LLX

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  14. we had bruno sammartino, andre the giant, hulk hogan.

    we had a different country back then too; now the conservative/religious folks won't STFU because they don't want us to go forward. too damn bad; FORWARD!

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  15. I knew several men who adored TV wrestling, even though they knew full well it was rigged and nobody really got hurt. I never saw the attraction of fat grunting males grappling with each other myself.

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    1. Don't come to our house then
      Tee hee

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    2. LOL :-) I wish you lived next door to me - we could bat stuff like this back and forth all day...

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    3. LOL John, spandex budgie smugglers included?

      Jo in NZ

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  16. Another country indeed....I remember the ticker tape football results and sing something simple too...quietly comforting visiting the past sometimes isn't it?

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    1. My goodness..I had forgotten the ticker tape

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  17. I was born at home at 4 o'clock on a Saturday afternoon in 1965 - my Dad declined to watch my birth, declaring it ' women's business' and telling the midwife he was off to watch the wrestling. The first bout included Mick McManus! Growing up I used to watch it with my Dad, and as a teenager in the 70s I used to go to a local venue to watch all the old favourites from TV wrestle live - great fun and great memories!

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    1. My father's first words to my mother after my birth was
      " oh god you've had TWO!"

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  18. i grew up watching wrestling and boxing with my grandfather. though a very mild mannered man, he sat on the edge of his chair and screamed hysterically at the TV.

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  19. Flashbacks to the 60's - my Gran watching boxing and hiding her eyes behind her knitting when things got intense. In the US in the 70's it was Wide World of Sports on a Saturday afternoon at 4 pm. "The thrill of victory and the agony of defeat "

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  20. Crikey i can remember all of them..my granny and her sister would religiously watch it every saturday..it was quite funny as they were both deaf and would get carried away shouting at the telly..the sherry was on hand and then it was saturday tea time..i loved every minute of it..so much simpler and like a poster said i certainly saw a different side to the lovely old ladies...
    sara

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  21. And then 'Playaway' came along, thank goodness, with dear Brian Cant. An oasis in the desert that was Saturday afternoon TV.....pee ell ay why, playaway away away playaway away away playaway.....

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    1. I hated playa way..........I preferred banana splits x

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    2. Yeah, but that was in the morning....our generation was hardly over-entertained was it? Tsk! Kids today eh?....

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  22. Oh, those wet Saturday afternoons of my childhood, and the horror of 'only the wrestling to watch'.

    That said, there were open-air bouts as part of a Margate extravaganza at the Lido every year when we were on our summer holiday (same hotel, at Cliftonville, every year). Saw Mick, Jackie and all of the above live, late at night, and it was so exciting.

    So definitely Rest in Peace, and what an age to get to. Yay!

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    1. Margate....did you know chris comes from Broadstairs?

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  23. In some ways it was another country...but perhaps we bloggers could resurrect the nation's appetite for Saturday evening wrestling... "In the red corner please give a big hand for the all-England champion, wearing the tiger print shorts - and with bulging biceps - Yorkshire Pudding! (wild cheers) and in the blue corner, representing North Wales, in the woolly bobble hat and wellies, visibly trembling it's Earl Gray! (groans)." Ding! Ding!

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  24. I'd have you down on the mat in seconds pud

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  25. I used to watch them all-'Johny The Saint',' Rollerball Rocco' were really good to watch live as well. I think i have seen every one of the ones mentioned and my hubby's Gran who was a genteel old soul, would love to watch it with me..oh yes, handbags were whirled :D

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  26. Did not know this show but watched very similar ones growing up.

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  27. Tom's mum was a most genteel lady but when the wrestling came on it was like jekyll and hyde she was up out of the chair cussing at the tele. lol
    Thanks for the memory.
    Briony
    xx

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  28. Hmm. I wish wrestling was a different country - here. I get so sick of these men (and women) saying how great they are and acting out, throwing each other around. At least they have to watch their language, but the message they still convey is bullying. DH watches it for 3 hours on Monday night and 2 on Friday night and I wish I was friggin' deaf!

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  29. Yesteryear was another planet altogether.

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  30. My stepfather was a cowboy, not a grannie by any means. He loved watching Red Bastien and Ray Stevens wrestle on TV. His second favorite show was Lawrence Welk. I loved the fellow, he was a great dad, but being a teen in that house was TV hell.

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  31. John and YP, be careful about those wrestling challenges or Hippo will leave Angola just to show he can beat you both up.

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    1. Fat chance Jan! He's a pussy cat when he doesn't have a machine gun in his hands. Even Earl Gray could bring him down with a full nelson or a forearm smash.

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  32. Hey, we had the same thing in Canada in the 70's - which my dad watched - and then it came around again in the 90's, and my son watched. Maybe it was around all the years in between and just not on my radar. Those who like it, like it a lot :)

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  33. Never staged but always rigged, the wrestling delighted a whole generation of working class grannies across the nation

    P0rn for grannies!

    I never got into professional wrestling, but I did spend quite a lot of time in the 90s getting the snot beat out of me by the tall guy wearing the red belt.

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  34. It was the highlight of my Saturday night, all that raw and unbridled testosterone, and that was just the audience..
    I used to like The British Bulldog, don;t ask me why ;)
    ~Jo

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  35. Every Friday night my parents would pack a load of eager OAP's and me (aged around 7) into a minibus and off we'd go to the Civic Hall in Bedworth, Warwickshire to watch an evenings wrestling. We saw all of the household names and on 3 or 4 occasions the venue hosted the TV cameras to be shown on World of Sport the following day. My lasting memory is that there was always 1 or 2 ladies in their 60's or 70's who would leg it down the front to try and bash the baddies with their handbags.

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  36. was there also the brothers tag team, i forget their name, they were fast and brilliant - great post

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    1. I remember them too...it's bugging me cos I can't remember their names

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    2. Were they the Royal brothers - Vic Faulkner and Bert Royal?

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  37. I am of a certain age...brilliant TV!

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    1. Nice to hear that another fan is here...........I thoughtyou were too young

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  38. I remember sitting watching this with my great grandad. It was often filmed at the Barnsley Civic and one week we both spotted the local Methodist Minister (lady) sat ringside giving it some welly! Those were truly the days John xx

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  39. I was gutted when I knew Big Daddy`s name was Shirley! HUH! Who was it that used to do the " sleeper" by sawing his arm across his opponents throat as he held them on the floor?

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  40. Big mommy..... It was all a fix!

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  41. Catweasel? remember him?

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    1. I hated him.......... I was more a thunderbirds gal

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  42. I wish that sort of 'sport' wasn't so popular here. But I'm glad no one in my family ever watched it.

    Many people do enjoy it, though.
    Have a good one, John!

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  43. Saturday afternoons - Big Daddy versus Giant Haystacks followed by Dr Who - absolute magic.

    I've just read about your chooks John; so sorry and what a bloody shame after all your care. xx

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  44. Across the Pond we had similar fare. I wasn't all that interested in it, but Himself was, and when we first met, i was subjected to watching wrestling with him and his father. During the commercials, they'd talk excitedly about the matches. Didn't make a whit of difference that they were rigged. One of the wrestlers that had been an icon for years and was still wrestling at that time was George "The Animal" Steel.

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  45. your memory of yesteryear reminded me that we had similar wrestling in the US back in the 50s and 60s watched it every now and then...remember one wrestler throwing the other out onto a folding chair, a manager (appearing?) to beat the opposition over the head with his cane...the fun never stopped till I grew up and had a kid...then I had my own (more mental) wrestling matches :D

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