Wrestling Champions From Chicago – April 5, 1963: This Was Better Than Most Modern Shows

Wrestling Champions From Chicago
Date: April 5, 1963
Location: Chicago Coliseum, Chicago, Illinois
Attendance: 3,140
Commentator: Bob Elson

This is about ten days after my father turned ten years old. After holding the record for about two weeks, the Washington DC shows I did have lost their spot as the oldest show I’ve ever reviewed. This is presumably a TV show from the local promotion, which means I have no idea what to expect here. Bobo Brazil is in the main event and that’s all I’ve got. Let’s get to it.

The music sounds like something out of a circus which is fitting for a wrestling show.

Apparently this is the International Wrestling Alliance which I’ve never heard of.

Brute Bernard/Skull Murphy vs. Bavarian Boys

The Boys are Rudi Jacobs and Harry Wenzel. This is 2/3 falls and I have no idea who is who here. Brute and Harry start things off. Brute and Skull look almost identical so I’m in trouble with telling who is who. They double team Wenzel and a double kick to the chest gets two. After some more cheating it’s off to Murphy who is quickly taken to the mat. Jacobs comes in and works on the leg which fires up the crowd. The Boys are tiny by comparison so this is likely power vs. speed.

Jacobs gets Bernard tied up in the ropes and hits a cross body before bringing in Harry for some kicks to the face. Back to Jacobs for some dropkicks to a still tied up Bernard. They’re picking the pace up very quickly. Harry comes in again and they head to the mat for a chinlock/bite from Bernard. The heels (Bernard’s team) double teams Wenzel in the corner and we’re told that they only have until four to break rather than five. That’s interesting.

We get a modern classic as the hot tag is made but the referee doesn’t see it. Some things never change I guess. A double slam on Harry is enough for the first fall for Murphy and Bernard. To start the second fall, things break down for a bit until it’s down to Wenzel vs. Murphy. Harry takes him to the mat and tries a surfboard (called that here) but Bernard makes the save. Rudi comes in with a MISSILE DROPKICK (that was a HUGE spot back then) for only two.

Jacobs gets caught in the corner in the same sequence we had earlier on. Murphy gets thrown across the ring in a surprising power display by the much smaller Bavarians. Back to Bernard as everything breaks down again. Some near falls are broken up until it’s Murphy hiding in the corner from Wenzel. Harry scrapes Murphy’s eye with his boot and cranks away on the arm for a bit.

Back to Jacobs for a lot of whipping into the corner before putting on a leg lock that I can’t see the details of. Murphy blocks a snap mare attempt from Wenzel before Harry goes back to the arm. The idea of selling hadn’t quite been perfected at this point. Johnson comes back in for a bunch of dropkicks and gets a very fast submission off an abdominal stretch. Yep, very different time here.

The third fall begins with Murphy claiming a back injury and not wanting to face Wenzel anymore. The ever nice referee makes him come in anyway and things slow down a bit. We keep stalling for a few more minutes so it’s off to Jacobs instead. The big guys take over with some cheap double teaming until it’s down to Murphy vs. Wenzel again. Bernard comes in and finally gets in some offense with knees to the chest and a lot of stomping. This doesn’t last long as it’s quickly back to Jacobs but it was fun while it lasted.

Rudi pounds away in the corner and sends Brute flying before it’s off to Murphy again. Skull hides in the corner and brings Skull back in immediately. These are really fast paced tags. Murphy and Brute tag about three more times in fifteen seconds before we get down to Brute vs. Jacobs again. The abdominal stretch goes on (called the Cobra Twist here) Bernard again but Skull comes in with a headbutt, giving Bernard the winning pin on Jacobs to end the match.

Rating: B-. I don’t know if it’s the expectations for this to be slow because it’s old or what, but this match was REALLY fun. They played up the power vs. speed formula before the formula had been invented and it came off like a really entertaining match. I’m really surprised by that and it’s worth seeing more from these guys. Good stuff.

The Bavarian Boys complain about getting cheated. They have a right to and talks of a rematch are heard. Some German is also heard.

IWA World Title: Bobo Brazil vs. Moose Cholak

This is 2/3 falls as well and I think Bobo is challenging. Moose is a BIG guy, weighing well over 300lbs. His nickname is Golden and he wears headgear ala Rick Steiner. Moose wins a slugout to start and sends Bobo to the mat. Bobo isn’t a small guy at all either so this is going to be a brawl I’d assume. They slug it out again and Bobo takes him down this time before putting on a quick chinlock.

Moose punches him into the corner but Bobo comes back with chops. He goes after Moose’s headgear but can’t quite get it off. Moose headbutts Bobo (Bobo’s finisher) and they slug it out again. Bobo staggers him with a headbutt of his own so they head to the mat. Moose kicks away at the leg and cannonballs down on it like Flair. Bobo shrugs that off and works on the arm a bit. Moose is whipped into the corner and literally the ring moves. Out of nowhere Cholak hits a knee to the chest and a splash for the first fall.

Bobo chokes him into the corner to start the second fall and goes after the gear again. We hit the chinlock again before Moose bails to the apron. Moose misses a charge in the corner and Bobo backdrops him down to tie us up at a fall apiece. Moose takes him to the mat by the arm to start the third fall. There’s a half nelson by the champ into a bodyscissors as we kill some time. After a few two counts in the bodyscissors by Moose, Bobo escapes and puts on a chinlock of his own.

The champ makes it to a rope as we’re told that the curfew is almost up. They go to a test of strength and I think you know what’s going to happen here. Bobo is in trouble but headbutts his way out of trouble. Instead of power, Brazil tries to take it to the mat but winds up in the ropes instead. Cholak goes after the leg again in a hold that looks like a cover.

Bobo hooks a headscissors but Moose hooks one of his own at the same time. Basically they look like they’re…..never mind. Moose headbutts away a bit more to take over but it seems to tick Bobo off. He chops away in the corner and hits the Coco Butt which is acting way more like a signature move than a finisher. They slug it out until the curfew and the draw.

Rating: C. This would have been WAY better if they cut out about five minutes of the time killing. Bobo was always a crowd favorite because he had a ton of charisma. I’m not familiar with Cholak but he did pretty well out there. He makes for a solid heel champion, even though I can’t find much information on this particular title.

Moose insists on being announced as champion. He wants a rematch with more time, despite saying Bobo is a poor sport.

Overall Rating: B-. I enjoyed this a lot more than I expected to. They had some very solid matches on here and promos to set up rematches when one ended with cheating and another in a draw. I’d love to see some more from this territory as the show was really entertaining. Good stuff here and worth checking out.

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