|Soon after Pittsburgh's "new" Civic Arena opened in 1961 wrestling became the first sporting event to be featured in the new facility.
The following advertisement is from the first wrestling show at
at the Civic Arena. The date was October 17, 1961.
|The following newspaper articles from the October 17th and 18th, 1961
Pittsburgh Post Gazette are reprinted here for historical preservation
purposes only. They are meant to educate and inform. The articles
spotlights the first wrestling show at Pittsburgh's new Civic Arena.
|Dapper Dan Show Features World's Top Wrestlers
Matmen To Test Arena Walls Tonight
Champ Rogers, Valentine Promise Big 'Fireworks'
This is the night the biggest wrestling show ever staged anywhere
takes place at the new Civic Auditorium.
A program of ten matches - laced with the names of the leading
grapplers from all over the world - will be co-promoted by the Post-
Gazette Dapper Dan Club and Pennsylvania Wrestling, Inc.
Headlining the mammoth card will be Buddy Rogers, the world
heavyweight champion, meeting Johnny Valentine, the husky from
This is a meeting steeped in personal feelings which presages a
terrific embrogio. Rogers openly has discussed his hatred for Valentine
and the latter, normally an easygoing type, has expressed a desire to
throw the champ on the closet waste basket, noggin first.
Valentine Is Sorry
"I'm sorry I had to be so tough on (Bobby) Davis the other night,"
said Valentine. "And I'm glad he improved to the point where he may
be discharged from the hospital today.
Another great match in the show pits the fabulous Kangaroos from
Australia - Roy Heffernan and Al Costello - against the hight-flying tag
team of Argentine Rocca and Vittorio Apollo.
The bounding South Americans are undefeated in ten appearances
in this district and in 25 straight matches throughout the East. The
Kangaroos have been successful on their last 20 matches in the Mid-West.
Then Matchmaker Toots Mondt has that "lovable character" - Crusher
Lisowski, the Polish powerhouse from Milwaukee - in with Haystack
Calhoun, the 601 pounder from the hills of Arkansas on what could easily
be described as a third feature.
A second tag team event will have Donnie and Ronnie Fargo, the
hilarious Blond Bombs, putting their funny stuff up against the serious
mien of Ace Freeman, the clever Hungarian, and Zivko Kovacic, young
Yugoslav title contender.
For international savor Mondt will show Alexandros Kostopoulos, a
protege of Jim Londos, who holds the Greek title for the first time in this
end of the country.
Kostopoulos' opponent will be Skull Murphy, the rough, tough
Irishman from County Cork.
Bruno Sammartino, a local Italian who is generally regarded as one
of the worlds strongest men, will tangle with Moose Cholak of Moose
Bay, Wisconsin, in still another match with main bout class.
In other bouts - which also could top regularly scheduled shows -
Seaman Art Thomas, ex-Merchant Marine, will meet Fred Adkins,
Australian toughie; Gentleman Eddie Faieta, Steubenville (O.) favorite,
will tackle Angelo Savoldi of Hoboken, N.J.; Miguel Torres, Mexico City,
will oppose Mike Paidousis, Steubenville, Ohio; and Bill Fox of Cleveland
will go against Micky Sharp, Houston, Texas.
Tickets for the big show, which will get under way at 8:30 o'clock,
still are on sale at Kaufmann's and Horne's department stores, the
Auditorium and the Dapper Dan Club's office in the lobby of the
Post-Gazette's Building, Gazette Square.
|The above article appeared the day after the first wrestling show.
The date was October 18, 1961.
|Roger Gets Back-Breaking Break
To Defeat Valentine In DD Show
Crusher also Wins as 8,442 Fans
Turn Out for Big Event at Arena
World Champion Buddy Rogers got sort of a break in his headline
match with Johnny Valentine before 8,442 fans at the Civic Auditorium
Rogers of Camden, N. J., 240, was declared the winner over
Valentine of Seattle, 240, when Referee Izzy Moidel disqualified
Valentine before the resumption of the match following the second
fall in an all-star charity wrestling show co-sponsored by the Post-
Gazette's Dapper Dan Club.
Rogers scored the first fall at 3:06, knocking out Valentine with
series of well-planted elbows on the noggin.
Valentine came back and belted Rogers with a few elbows of his own
and then made the champion "holler uncle" with a back breaker at 8:57
for the second fall.
The blond from Seattle applied the same hold and was carrying Rogers around the ring when he was disqualified.
Crusher Lisowski, Milwaukee, 250, who challenged the winner of
the main event and knocked Rogers from the ring at the introduction,
won his match over Haystack Calhoun of Morgan's Corner, Ark., 601,
Haystack was disqualified when he failed to get back into the ring
in time to beat the count.
The results of the Argentine Rocca - Victorio Apollo - Kangaroos tag
team match sent the fans into frenzy. The blowoff came when Referee
Izzy Moidel disqualified Rocca and Apollo in the deciding fall. He claimed
that they put back-crackers on the Kangaroos - Roy Heffernan and Al
Costello - before the bell rang for the third fall.
The Kangaroos won the first one in 8:11 and the South Americans
took the second in 9:12.
The team of ace Freeman and Zivko Kovacic scored two fast falls
over Donnie and Ronnie Fargo, the Blond Bombs, in the second tag
match. The Blonds lost the first one via disqualification at 1:39 and
two minutes and 49 seconds later, Ronnie was pinned for the clincher.
In a quickie, Seaman Art Thomas, Madison, Wisc., 253, forced
Fred Adkins, Perth Australia, 250, with a bearhug at 3:42.
In other matches:
Bruno Sammartino, Oakland, 258, made Tommy O'Toole, Phoenix,
Ariz., 245, yell "enough" with a back crack at 6:37.
Alexandros Kostopoulos of Athens, Greece, 220, won over Skull
Murphy, County Cork, Ireland, 240, with body slam and press at 2:59.
Gentleman Eddie Faieta, Stuebenville, O., 250, applied a reverse
full nelson on Angelo Savoldi, Hoboken, N.J., 227, to win in 8:47.
Mike Paidousis, Steubenville, O., 238, pinned Judo Jack Terry,
Santa Monica, Calif., 220, at 8:07, with a series of flying blocks and
The opener between Micky Sharp, Houston, Tex., 205, and
Billy Fox, Cleveland, 210, wound up in a 15-minute draw.
The gross was $31,220.60.
Ckeck the "Updates" page for more wrestling shows and articles!