"The Case for the World Wide Wrestling Federation"
Wrestling Monthly, October, 1971
by Brenda Hammer
In the past, some people have claimed that the world wide Wrestling
Federation does not have a solid base for their World's Heavyweight
Championship. Those who deny the WWWF it's rightful place have
misinterpreted some of the facts, and omitted some important matches
that have a bearing on the case.
Since the main dispute concerns three men, Buddy
Sammartino, and Lou
Thesz, let us take a look at their won-loss record at he time
the dispute arose.
First let us consider Bruno Sammartino and Buddy Rogers who in 1962 and
1963 were having a torrid feud. On August 2nd, 1962, in Toronto, Canada,
Bruno Sammartino beat Buddy Rogers under very unusual circumstances. During
the match, buddy Rogers had attempted to vault over the hard-charging
Bruno, but was accidentally butted in the groin by Bruno's head. Rogers couldn't
continue, and the match was awarded to Bruno. Bruno, being a true
gentleman, refused to take the title under these circumstances, saying that he
would rather win it fair and square in the middle of the ring.
On November 5th of the same year, Bruno got another shot at Buddy
Rogers' title in his home town of Pittsburgh. Rogers wrestled a defensive
match all the way through, and was lucky to hold on to his title with the match
ending in a draw. It was quite evident to all that were in attendance that
night, that Bruno not only had youth and strength on his side, but was also
the superior wrestler. Fifteen days later, Bruno got another rematch.
Once again, Rogers continued to run away from him and the match ended in
On January 24, 1963, in Toronto, Lou Thesz defeated buddy
Rogers to win the National Wrestling Alliance title. At this point,
the World Wide Wrestling Federation was formed, for two reasons.
First of all, there was quite a bit of doubt in the minds of many
promoters whether Lou Thesz really deserved the title. The title
bout itself was a one fall affair-which at the time was extremely
unusual. Secondly, on January 16th in Amarillo, Texas, Thesz had
been soundly defeated by Dory Funk Sr.. It was obvious to many promoters
that Thesz by no stretch of the imagination had earned a title bout.
Many promoters felt that the once great Rogers was carefully choosing
his opponents in order to avoid his number one contender, Bruno
On April 18, 1963, Bruno finally cornered Buddy Rogers in Washington,
D.C. In a wild and woolly match which found both men being disqualified,
Rogers once again held onto his title.
On May 17th of the same year, before 19,649 fans in the old Madison
Square Garden, Bruno finally defeated Buddy Rogers for the title. It took
Bruno only 48 seconds to reach the highest plateau in professional wrestling
and most serious students of the game proclaimed him the greatest champion
of all time.
Some have claimed that the World Wide Wrestling Federation and it's
champion apparently are content to stay in the Northeast territory of the United
States, and are not interested in universal recognition. To anybody
who pays any serious attention to results, it is quite evident that this
reasoning is way off. Bruno not only defended his title throughout the United
States and Canada, but also made trips to Japan and Australia, and successfully
defended his laurels there.
It is not too surprising that Bruno did not accept
a match with Verne Gagne in his home town of Minneapolis. The AWA and Verne Gagne do have
a claim to the title, and a showdown match would settle quite a
bit. It would have been stupid for Bruno to wrestle Gagne in his
home town of Minneapolis. He not only would have had to contend
with unfriendly fans, but also most likely a biased referee.
In reality, Bruno has done more than any other champ to clear up the
title picture. At one time Fred Blassie was recognized as world champ around
Los Angeles. Bruno engaged in a series of wild and woolly matches with
Blassie, finally ending the Californian's claim to the title.
Also, for a while Ray Stevens of San Francisco fame laid claim to the
title. Throwing caution to the wind, Bruno ventured to the golden Gate city
and successfully defended his title against the blond bomber.
On January 18, 1971, Bruno's long reign as champion came to an end in
Madison Square Garden when strong man Ivan Koloff pulled an upset and defeated
him. Three weeks later to the day, Puerto Rican sensation Pedro Morales
avenged his friend by defeating the Russian strong man and winning the title.
Morales has already proven to be a very fine champion, turning
back all of his top contenders. Mr. Morales has expressed his willingness to
this author and the press in general to meet any of the other so-called champions
and end the confused title situation. The twenty-eight-year-old drop kick wizard
requests only that the match be held in a neutral city and with an unbiased
"The Championship Puzzle"
The Case for the National Wrestling Alliance
The Case for the American Wrestling Association