50 Years Ago - Tag Team Match Brings Down The Ring
Feb. 28, 1969 Tag-team match at CYC brings the ring down Over 2,800 wrestling fans filed the Catholic Youth Center in Scranton for an epic rematch between Bruno Sammartino, Haystacks Calhoun, Gorilla Monsoon and Killer Kowalski. The four men met just weeks before in a match that almost led to a riot by the fans in attendance over the underhanded actions of Monsoon and Kowalski to win the match. The four, with a combined weight of 1,551 pounds, entered the ring to settle their differences in a Texas Death Match. In the first bout, Sammartino was pinned by Monsoon with an assist from Kowalski. In the next match, Sammartino-Calhoun, in quick action, scored a quick double pin of their opponents. By the end of the third match, the ring was literally falling apart. Ropes were sheared and the turnbuckles broken on the side of the ring. Sammartino and Calhoun used the loosened ropes to tie up their opponents to win the match. In addition to the headline tag-team match, there was a midget wrestling tag-team match between Irish Jackie, Little Beaver, Little Brutus and Sky Low Low. Irish Jackie and Little Beaver were the victors. Their match was filled with laughs, thanks to the athletes’ use of tomfoolery and slapstick. Also wrestling were Angelo Savold and Tom Brandon, John L. Sullivan and John Rods and Victor Rivera and Baron Scicluna. Savold defeated Brandon, Rivera Scicluna match ended in a draw and Sullivan defeated Rods. Officials from the CYC said that this was the largest crowd for a pro wrestling event at the venue since pro-wrestling returned after a five-year hiatus. BRIAN FULTON, library manager, oversees The Times-Tribune’s expansive digital and paper archives and is an authority on local history. Contact Brian at firstname.lastname@example.org or 570-348-9140.