Quantcast

Duluth Arena Pro Wrestling Photos from the 1980s — Killer Khan and so on

KillerKhan

KillerKhan

Killer Khan wrestled at the Duluth Arena on Aug. 8, 1987. The infamous Mr. Fuji is in the background of the top photo.

NickBockwinkel

Nick Bockwinkel was special guest referee on a different card.

43 Comments

Paul Lundgren

about 8 years ago

From the same batch of photos, here are some UWS football cheerleaders with their eyes colored in, from the fall of 1991. UWSCheerleaders

the doog

about 8 years ago

I got to shake hands with Andre the Giant when he and Mad Dog Vachon took on Jesse the Body and Randy "Macho Man" Savage. He showed up minutes before his match smoking a huge cigar and and carrying a six pack of beer. His fingers were the size of my wrists. And Mad dog wasn't the grunting, spitting, caveman like he was in his interviews. He was super nice and smiley with us kids. Stupidly I cant remember who won. But I think it was Jesse and Macho Man, who won by cheating. We got to meet the wrestlers because my buddy's dad was friends with Harvey Solon, who at the time was the wrestling promoter up here. Does anyone know how to look up who all was also on the bill that night? I can recall Bobby the Brain Heenan had some kind of grudge match against someone too.

Paul Lundgren

about 8 years ago

Doog, I think you're getting a couple events confused. I know Jesse the Body never teamed with Randy Savage in Duluth, although he did announce a TV match at the Duluth Arena featuring Andre the Giant. I think Andre wrestled a prelim no-name guy. Or maybe it was two or three guys -- Andre did that a lot. Mad Dog Vachon was honored by Mayor Fedo with a proclamation of "Mad Dog Vachon Day" in Duluth, but I don't think he actually wrestled on the same card with Andre. I think he was just making an appearance or standing in some wrestler's corner. But, really? Doogs? You shook the giant's hand? And you still have a hand? Here's a link to a previous archive post about Bobby Heenan's rough night at the Duluth Arena.

Barrett Chase

about 8 years ago

I'd say those shots were taken closer to 1987 than 1990. Maybe 1988. I'm pretty sure I took them with a Kodak Instamatic 110. Mr. Fuji was a pro-wrestling innovator, who brought the artform to a new level. For example, Fuji Vice:

baci

about 8 years ago

Those guys were cool but they all were lame in comparison to my main man Billy Robinson ... the high flyer

the Big E

about 8 years ago

UWS football cheerleaders--that could have been worth something.

Kokigami

about 8 years ago

I was thinking I had a T shirt autographed by Mad Dog, but, on inspection, I was wrong. It was The Baron.. Pretty faded, barely legible in good light.

Tony D.

about 8 years ago

Baci, I've always thought that Greg (son of Verne) Gagne and Jumpin' Jimmy Brunzell were a tag team known as the High Flyers (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jim_Brunzell). (Brunzell also happens to be my second cousin, though I've only met him once, when I was a kid; we do, however, share that pro wrestler physique....)

Terry L

about 8 years ago

Mad Dog's leg had been amputated due to car accident and he was in a wheelchair. He was pushed around the ring by Nick Bockwinkel. Randy Savage wrestled the Honkytonk Man with Miss Elizabeth and Peggy Sue at ringside. February 14, 1988

Barrett Chase

about 8 years ago

I think there are some shots of that Savage/Honky Tonk Man match in Paul's archive box. I remember taking one of the Macho Man stretching in the back hallway before the match. Lundgren, get on that. Tony, I can't believe you're related to a Killer Bee.

Paul Lundgren

about 8 years ago

I think there were two WWF cards at the Duluth Arena in early 1988. The first featured a six-man tag-team match in a steel cage: Randy Savage and Strike Force (Rick Martel and Tito Santana) vs. Honky Tonk Man and the Hart Foundation (Bret Hart and Jim Neidhart). Very shortly after that came the TV taping for "Superstars of Wrestling." That was the card with Andre the Giant and the main event of Honkey Tonk Man defending the Intercontinental Championship against Randy Savage.

Barrett Chase

about 8 years ago

In that case, I want to say that the backstage Savage photo was from the cage match, since we had good tickets for the TV taping (I know this because they gave free WWF ice cream bars to everyone in the first few rows as product placement). We wouldn't have been running around in the back hallways unless our tickets were in the nosebleeds. Unless of course we went to two TV tapings, which is entirely possible.

the doog

about 8 years ago

Do you guys remember Blackwell? He was as big around as he was tall. Maybe he was the dude teamed with Andre? And this would have been in the late 1970s, so its not the 1988 fightbill. And has anyone heard that, Verne Gagne, in a demetia induced rage, killed his roomie in a nursing home? http://blogs.suntimes.com/sportsprose/2009/02/wrestling_legend_verne_gagne_s.html

Paul Lundgren

about 8 years ago

Here are some photos of Andre the Giant from the Duluth Arena card in 1988. AndreGiantDuluth

Paul Lundgren

about 7 years ago

And here are two shots of Randy "Macho Man" Savage, brought to you by St. Luke's Hospital, Minnesota Power and Perkins. By the way, Mayor John Fedo declared Macho Madness Day, or something like that, in the city of Duluth.

zra

about 7 years ago

Snap into a Slim Jim! Ooooooh Yyyyeeeaaahhh!!!

Paul Lundgren

about 7 years ago

And here's Superstar Billy Graham roughing up Hercules Hernandez at the Duluth Arena, also from one of the 1988ish shows.

Paul Lundgren

about 7 years ago

Here's more recently unearthed Duluth wrestling photos from Barrett Chase's $20 camera in the 1980s. The Macho Man warms up behind the scenes, with Duluth Arena security standing by. Macho Man and the lovely Miss Elizabeth. "The Million Dollar Man" Ted DiBiase offers a bribe. Dino Bravo (Adolfo Bresciano) with his manager Johnny Valiant (John Sullivan).

zra

about 7 years ago

Am I mistaken or is Johnny Valiant a dead ringer for Guy Fieri?

Mary

about 7 years ago

Oh, that Ted DiBiase used to make my blood boil. Always trying to bribe everyone. I remember wanting to dress up as Miss Elizabeth one Halloween, but my mom made me dress up like a clown instead. Sigh.

Paul Lundgren

about 7 years ago

Two more Randy Savage shots resurrected from the attic: That's "Honky Tonk Man" Wayne Ferris he's attacking from the ropes.

Paul Lundgren

about 7 years ago

And another Duluth Arena batch: Brutus "The Barber" Beefcake has shears in his hands. I think he has just defeated Jimmy Valiant and is preparing to cut his hair. Jim Brunzell has some guy in a headlock here. Exiting the ring appears to be Tom "Dynamite Kid" Billington, who Brunzell must have been teaming with. Here's another shot of Da Crusher and Bobby Heenan from the bout documented in the aforementioned older PDD post. Intercontinental Champion Wayne "Honkey Tonk Man" Ferris with his manager, "The Mouth of the South" Jimmy Hart. Koko B. Ware and his macaw Frankie.

Joanna OReilly

about 7 years ago

Wow! These pics bring back fond memories. Macho Man and Liz. FYI, for those who don't know, 'Peggy Sue' was played by (SENSATIONAL) Sherri Martell. I found out, fairly recently, that she and Liz were actually friends in 'real life'. Say what you will about whether wrasslin' was 'real' or not, the greats sold it well! The pic of Bobby Heenan with the Crusher was interesting, and somewhat sad. CANCER SUCKS!

Paul Lundgren

about 6 years ago

I found some photos that are dated on the back, allowing the record to finally be set straight: May 14, 1987 - WWF card with Hercules vs. Billy Jack Haynes (Hercules attacks him with a chain), Brutus Beefcake vs. Johnny Valiant, and Brad Rheingans was also on the card. August 8, 1987 - WWF card with Hercules vs. Superstar Graham (Graham, filling in for Ken Petera, wins the match and lashes Bobby Heenan with a belt), Brutus Beefcake vs. Johnny Valiant in a rematch (I think this is the one in which Johnny V gets his hair cut) and Killer Khan was also on this card. Dec. 27, 1987 - WWF card. My photos are terrible, but it looks like Randy Savage fought the Honkey Tonk Man and maybe Dino Bravo and Butch Reed were on the card. February 14, 1988 - WWF card with a six-man cage match featuring Randy Savage, Rick Martel and Tito Santana vs. Bret Hart, Jim Neidhart and the Honkey Tonk Man. May 10, 1988 - WWF TV taping with Andre the Giant, Randy Savage, Hacksaw Duggan, Demolition and more.

Paul Lundgren

about 6 years ago

Well that link certainly allows for a more in-depth look at what went down (with the exception of 2/14/88 and 12/8/88): May 14, 1987 * Tom Magee defeated Terry Gibbs with a backbreaker * Brad Rheingans defeated Jimmy Jack Funk * WWF Women's Tag Team Champions Judy Martin & Leilani Kai defeated Velvet McIntyre & Candice Perdue * Brutus Beefcake defeated Johnny V via submission with the sleeper * The Islanders defeated Don Muraco & Bob Orton Jr. * Koko B. Ware defeated Danny Davis * Hercules defeated Billy Jack Haynes in a chain match August 8, 1987 Ken Patera did not appear as advertised Sika pinned Brad Rheingans Killer Khan pinned Outback Jack Davey Boy Smith (sub. for B. Brian Blair) & Jim Brunzell defeated Don Muraco & Bob Orton Jr. Don Muraco pinned David Sammartino Brutus Beefcake defeated Dino Bravo via disqualification Superstar Billy Graham pinned Hercules; Bobby Heenan was handcuffed to the Crusher for the duration of the bout October 8, 1987 Sivi Afi & Brady Boone defeated the Shadows Dan Spivey defeated S. D. Jones WWF Women's Champion Sensational Sherri defeated Princess Jasmine Koko B. Ware defeated the One Man Gang via count-out Killer Khan defeated the Junkyard Dog WWF IC Champion the Honkytonk Man defeated Randy Savage via disqualification February 14, 1988 Included Jim Duggan May 10, 1988 WWF Superstars of Wrestling taping Koko B. Ware pinned Bobby Heenan Ken Patera defeated Dino Bravo via disqualification in a tug-o-war contest when Frenchy Martin interfered; after the contest, Patera cleared both men from the ring Jake Roberts pinned Rick Rude Brutus Beefcake defeated WWF IC Champion the Honkytonk Man (w/ Jimmy Hart) via disqualification when Hart interfered WWF World Champion Randy Savage pinned Ted DiBiase (w/ Virgil) with a roll up after DiBiase collided with Virgil on the ring apron Andre the Giant defeated Jim Duggan via count-out after hitting him with his own 2x4 5/21/88 - included an interview with Brutus Beefcake in which Beefcake was hit by the Honkytonk Man's guitar after becoming distracted by Jimmy Hart, causing Beefcake to bleed from the back of the head; later in the show, DeGeorge interviewed Beefcake in his lockerroom, with Beefcake promising to tear Honky limb from limb; featured an 'Update' segment focusing on the Hogan/Zhukov match the previous week: WWF World Champion Randy Savage (w/ Miss Elizabeth) pinned Virgil (w/ Ted DiBiase) at 5:34 with the flying elbow drop after dropping Virgil throat-first over the top rope; after the bout, Savage and DiBiase had to be seperated by officials and other wrestlers (High Flyers, Macho Madness) Greg Valentine (w/ Jimmy Hart) defeated Jim Evans via submission with a shinguard assisted figure-4 at 2:16 Bret Hart pinned Steve Lombardi with a piledriver at 1:48; early in the match, Jimmy Hart appeared ringside but Bret sent him backstage, against Jimmy's wishes; during the match, Jim Neidhart cut an insert promo regarding Bret's feud with Bad News Brown (The Brains Behind the Brawn) Don Muraco (w/ Superstar Billy Graham) pinned Billy Anderson at 1:25 with the tombstone âRick Rude (w/ Bobby Heenan) pinned Scott Casey with the Rude Awakening at 1:37 WWF Tag Team Champions Demolition (w/ Mr. Fuji) defeated Buck Zumhoffe & Warren Bianchi at 1:47 when Ax pinned Bianchi following the Decapitation Koko B. Ware pinned Terry Gibbs at the 2-minute mark with the Ghostbuster 5/28/88 - included an 'Update' segment showing the Ken Patera / Dino Bravo tug of war contest from the previous week's Wrestling Challenge; featured Craig DeGeorge conducting an interview with Ted DiBiase & Virgil discussing Randy Savage; included the Jim Duggan / Hercules match from the 4/30 SNME, shown in full: Jake Roberts pinned Barry Horowitz with the DDT at 1:24 Bad News Brown pinned Mike Richards at 1:19 with the Ghetto Blaster Tito Santana & Rick Martel defeated Rick Renslow & Dave Wagner at 3:29 when Santana pinned Wagner with the flying forearm WWF IC Champion the Honkytonk Man (w/ Jimmy Hart) pinned Brady Boone with the Shake, Rattle, & Roll at 2:25 The Junkyard Dog pinned Tim Patterson at 1:28 with the powerslam 6/4/88 - included Craig DeGeorge conducting an interview with Jacques & Raymond Rougeau where they said they were not like Dino Bravo and, to show their appreciation to the USA, they began waving 2 small American flags: Rick Rude (w/ Bobby Heenan) pinned Tim Yates at 1:32 with the Rude Awakening Nikolai Volkoff & Boris Zhukov (w/ Slick) defeated Billy Bowman & Ricky Ataki at 2:15 when Volkoff pinned Ataki following a knee drop The Ultimate Warrior pinned Steve Lombardi at 1:37 with the press slam/splash combo Ted DiBiase (w/ Virgil) defeated Buck Zumhoff via submission with the Million $ Dream at 1:27 Dino Bravo (w/ Frenchy Martin) pinned Frank DeFalco at 1:24 with the side suplex Brutus Beefcake defeated Tom Stone via submission with the sleeper at 1:36 Greg Valentine (w/ Jimmy Hart) defeated JT Thomas via submission with the shinguard-assisted figure-4 at 2:57 6/11/88 - included Craig DeGeorge conducting an interview with Jake Roberts where he introduced his wife Cheryl, who said Rude was not man enough for her or Jake; featured an 'Update' segment focusing on Greg Valentine and how he has been using his shinguard to cause further injury to opponents with the figure-4: Jim Duggan pinned Billy Anderson at 1:07 with the running clothesline WWF Tag Team Champions Demolition (w/ Mr. Fuji) defeated Jim Powers & Paul Roma via disqualification at 4:47 in a non-title match when Rick Martel & Tito Santana interfered when Ax was about to use Fuji's cane Koko B. Ware pinned Rick Gantner at 2:05 with the Ghostbuster Hercules (w/ Bobby Heenan) defeated Chris Bassett via submission at 1:55 with the backbreaker Ron Bass pinned Louie Spicolli at 1:38 with the Pedigree; after the bout, Bass attacked his opponent with Miss Betsy, and hung him over the top rope Ken Patera defeated Larry Simpson via submission at 1:37 with the full nelson Sam Houston, Jacques & Raymond Rougeau defeated Danny Davis, Chris Curtis, & Pete Sanchez at 3:29 when Raymond pinned Curtis following a double-team move off the top from the Rougeaus; after the bout, Sanchez was given a similar move and Houston seemed confused as to why the Rougeaus attacked Sanchez December 8, 1988 Included Andre the Giant & Brutus Beefcake

Danny G

about 6 years ago

Awesome, Paul. Just found this site listing house show cards: http://www.thehistoryofwwe.com/results.htm I went to one tv taping at the DECC, pretty sure it was that May 1988 show. I haven't had a lot of time lately, but I want to do some more research using the info on that site and YouTube and try and find some footage of what they taped here. One thing I distinctly remember about the event was that it was during the very short reign of Jim Duggan as the "King" of the WWF. He came to the ring with a long cape, a crown, and a little crown on his 2x4. And yes, I am a huge late 80's/early 90's WWF fan.

Danny G

about 6 years ago

I never understood why Koko B. Ware's finisher was called "The Ghostbuster."

Paul Lundgren

about 6 years ago

One thing that is bugging me about the rundown of matches is that the TV taping includes a match with "Tim Yates." I have a pretty strong memory of a "Kim Yates" being announced as "from Superior, Wisconsin." Maybe I heard the first name wrong and it just stuck with me all these years, but I've always been wondering when I would bump into Kim Yates at the Anchor Bar. I guess I should have been looking for Tim.

Danny G

about 6 years ago

No clue. A quickie Google search just shows Tim (and brother John) Yates in a few matches as "generics."

zra

about 6 years ago

This is becoming an obsession with you, isn't it Paul? Just don't go all Howard Hughes on us, okay?

Paul Lundgren

about 6 years ago

Zra, you might not have caught that the above list of match results was copied from thehistoryofwwe.com thanks to a link provided by Danny. So the extent of my obsession is limited to occasionally finding new photos to add to this post and then commenting about them. (And the general obsession I have had over the years with writing dates on the back of my photos.) I do intend to continue this obsession and post some of the newly found photos eventually. I'll probably save them up for a rainy day, though.

Paul Lundgren

about 6 years ago

One more obsessive note: I speculated that the Dynamite Kid teamed with Jim Brunzell in one of the photos above. The match results indicate it was Davey Boy Smith. I would trust the match results on that. However, the match results report Brunzell/Smith defeated Don Muraco and Bob Orton. That can't be correct, because the guy Brunzell has in a headlock in the photo is clearly not Don Muraco or Bob Orton.

Danny G

about 6 years ago

Actually, that might be Muraco. He did have a beard for a while. I don't know. It doesn't really look like him to me either. It actually sort of looks like Boris Zukoff to me...but I'm not sure there either.

Sjixxxy

about 6 years ago

By the way, Mayor John Fedo declared Macho Madness Day, or something like that, in the city of Duluth. Given the new dates, is May 21st the day dubbed Macho Madness day? That day really should become an annual Duluth holiday sensation

Danny G

about 6 years ago

Holy shit! Really?

Paul Lundgren

about 6 years ago

Oooohhh yeah! There was a Macho Madness Day in Duluth. I can't remember which event it was connected to, though. About a year after Mayor Herb Bergson proclaimed April 4-10, 2004, as "Geek Week" in the city of Duluth -- in connection with Geek Prom -- I considered writing a column about all the weird proclamations Duluth mayor's have issued over the years. So I called the city's communications director at the time, Jeff Papas, and asked him for information about past proclamations. He told me the city didn't really keep close track of them all, but he remembered Macho Madness Day. I can't remember the exact context of the following quote all these years later -- I never bothered writing that column -- but I still have in my notes that Papas said, referring to the Macho Man: "I probably would not want to make him upset. His elbow-drop off the top turnbuckle was absolutely devastating." I think maybe he was suggesting/joking Randy Savage bullied the city into issuing the proclamation. I can't really remember, though. I also have in my notes that Papas said Mayor Bergson seemed to issue more proclamations than his predecessor, Gary Doty. "Herb did about 100 proclamations in 2004," he said. "Mayor Doty averaged about 50." He said he was pretty sure there was a file somewhere listing recent proclamations, but probably no list going back more than a few years. So I gave up. (Or, since we're on the subject of wrestling, I should probably say I submitted.)

Danny G

about 6 years ago

I think the dates on the taping (other than the first one, obviously) are the dates that the TV shows from the taping aired. The Macho Madness Day declaration was probably was probably the 10th or the 9th. It would have been weird if it was the 20th, though (Savage died on the 20th of May).

Paul Lundgren

about 6 years ago

Yeah, it would have been either October 8, 1987 or May 10, 1988.

Sjixxxy

about 6 years ago

I say we just pick one and roll with it. I like October 8th, that gives a chance to celebrate yet this year.

Greg

about 6 years ago

I was in the first row on May 14, 1987 and all I remember is a girl with lisp behind me yelling nice boots JJ to Jimmy Jack Funk throughout the match. Also, there wasn't a barricade between the ring and the seating. On February 14, 1988 Sheri Martel was in Honky Tonk Man's corner as Peggy Sue.

Paul Lundgren

about 6 years ago

Here's another shot of Johnny Valiant in Duluth, hugging the ring post on May 14, 1987.

Paul Lundgren

about 4 years ago

Apparently Mick Foley was on one of those 1988 cards, probably wrestling under the name Jack Foley or Nick Foley. Duluth News Tribune: For former wrestler, it's a whole new show

Paul Lundgren

about 10 months ago

randy-savage-nwo This image is from a Randy Savage appearance at a Duluth card in probably the late 1990s. Because it's not from the 1980s, it doesn't totally belong in this thread, but since it doesn't belong on any other thread ...

Leave a Comment

Only registered members can post a comment , Login / Register Here

Read previous post:
Bentleyville Tour of Lights – Bayfront Park Duluth – Christmas City of the North

The Bentleyville Tour of Lights is open every day, 5 p.m. to 10 p.m., until Jan. 2. There are buses...

Close