Around 1970 the British boys travelled, and Calgary was often their first stop.

Ron Historyo follows the travels of Britain's finest

Kendo Nagasaki's Stampede Days

by Ron Historyo

1 Alberta Map __1540827957_82.27.190

The Calgary Stampede Circuit

2 Superhawk __1540828083_82.27.190.217

Was Super Hawk unmasked? Probably not.

3 Kendo Wins N American Title__154082815

The Portz-Kendo return on 8th September.

4 Ursus__1540828819_82.27.190.217

Grudge match with the Mighty Ursus and masked man Super Hawk again.

5 Bob Kroffat and Sugi Sito__1540828908_

Bob Kroffat and Sugi Sito

6 Haircut match__1540828989_82.27.190

George loses his hair.

7 First North American champ__1540829039

Kendo returned the belt. Extract from Ringsport magazine article by Hack.

8 Portz Regains Title __1540829125_82

Portz defeats Kendo

Kendo Nagasaki in Stampede Wrestling 1972

 

No Sunday wrestling

 

1st August 
Missing Medicine Hat or Red Deer

 

2nd August
Not on Saskatoon Bill

 

3rd August
Allegedly No Wrestling in Regina that night

 

4th August
Victoria Pavilion; Calgary, AB Kendo Nagasaki beat Sonny Rogers

 

5th August
Possibly a missing Edmonton Bill

 

7th August
Lethbridge Nagasaki v Frank Butcher

 

8th August
Not on Red Deer Bill

 

9th August
Arena; Saskatoon, SK  Kendo Nagasaki beat Bob Pringle

 

10th August
Exhibition Auditorium; Regina, SK Kendo Nagasaki beat Bob Pringle …

 

11th August
Calgary, Alberta (Canada) Kendo Nagasaki defeated Bob Pringle

 

12th August
Edmonton, Alberta (Canada) Kendo Nagasaki defeated Bob Pringle

 

14th August
Lethbridge Kendo Nagasaki v Bob Pringle

 

15t August
Medicine Hat Kendo Nagasaki v Bob Pringle

 

16th August Arena
Saskatoon, SK Kendo Nagasaki beat Frank Butcher

 

17th August
Exhibition Auditorium; Regina, SK Kendo Nagasaki beat Frank Butcher

 

18th August
Victoria Pavilion; Calgary, AB Kendo Nagasaki vs Lenny Hurst

 

19th August
Possibly a missing Edmonton Bill

 

21st August
Lethbridge Kendo Nagasaki v Lenny Hurst

 

22nd August
Red Deer, Alberta (Canada) Geoff Portz vs. Kendo Nagasaki - winner unknown

 

23 August Arena
Saskatoon, SK Kendo Nagasaki beat Lennie Hurst

 

24th August
Exhibition Auditorium; Regina, SK Kendo Nagasaki beat Lennie Hurst

 

25th August
Calgary, Alberta (Canada) Kendo Nagasaki vs. Pepe Villa - winner Kendo

 

26th August
Possibly a missing Edmonton Bill

 

28th August
Exhibition Pavilion; Lethbridge, AB Kendo Nagasaki vs Super Hawk

 

29th August
Possibly a missing Bill Medicine Hat or Red Deer

 

30st August
Arena Saskatoon, SK Kendo Nagasaki vs Pepe Villa

 

31st August
Missing Regina Bill (Portz v Kroffatt on Bill)
 
1st September
Victoria Pavilion Calgary Portz v Nagasaki Title match.

 

2nd September
Edmonton not Calgary Kendo Nagasaki defeated Lenny Hurst

 

4th September
Lethbridge Kendo Nagasaki v Portz

 

5th September
Kinex Building; Red Deer, AB Geoff Portz vs Kendo Nagasaki

 

6th September
Arena Saskatoon, SK Geoff Portz vs Kendo Nagasaki

 

7th September
Ex Auditorium; Regina, SK Geoff Portz (North American) vs Kendo Nagasaki

 

8th September
Victoria Pavilion Calgary Nagasaki beat Portz for Title.

 

9th September
Edmonton not Calgary Kendo Nagasaki defeated Pepe Villa

 

11th September
Lethbridge Kendo Nagasaki v Mighty Ursus

 

12th September
Medicine Hat Kendo Nagasaki v SuperHawk

 

13th September
Exhibition Auditorium; Regina, SK Kendo Nagasaki beat Super Hawk

 

14th September
Regina beat SuperHawk

 

15th September
Victoria Pavilion Calgary Alberta Nagasaki v Mighty Ursus

 

16th September
Edmonton not Calgary Geoff Portz vs. Kendo Nagasaki a no contest

 

18th September
Lethbridge Nagasaki in 12 man battle Royal.

 

19th September
Kinex Building; Red Deer, AB Kendo Nagasaki vs Super Hawk

 

20th September
Saskatoon, SK Nagasaki no contest vs Super Hawk

 

21st September
Saskatoon, Saskatchewan Nagasaki vs. Super Hawk a no contest

 

22nd September
Victoria Pavilion Calgary Nagasaki v Super Hawk for title

 

23rd September
Edmonton not Calgary Nagasaki defeated Portz (c) TITLE CHANGE!!! (Doubt it---. Retained)

 

25th September
Lethbridge Nagasaki v SuperHawk

 

26th September
Possible Missing red deer or Medicine Hat

 

27th September
Saskatoon, Saskatchewan (Canada) Kendo Nagasaki defeated Super Hawk

 

28th September
Regina Nagasaki beat Superhawk.

 

29th September
Calgary, Alberta (Canada) Dan Kroffat vs. Kendo Nagasaki - winner unknown

 

30th September
Possible missing Edmonton Bill
 
2nd October
Lethbridge Alberta Nagasaki v Kroffat

 

3rd October
Kinex Building; Red Deer, AB Kendo Nagasaki beat Super Hawk

 

4th October
Arena; Saskatoon, SK Dan Kroffat vs Kendo Nagasak

 

5th October
Ex Auditorium; Regina, SK  Kendo Nagasaki (North American) beat Len Hurst

 

6th October
Calgary, Alberta (Canada) Kendo Nagasaki defeated Sugi Sito

 

7th October
Possible Missing Edmonton Bill

 

9th October
Lethbridge Nagasaki v Hurst

 

10th October
Medicine Hat or Red Deer Possible

 

11th October
Arena; Saskatoon, SK Nagasaki beat Lennie Hurst.

 

12th October
Ex Auditorium; Regina, SK Nagasaki (N American) beat Kroffat by count out

 

13th October
Calgary, Alberta (Canada) Dan Kroffat vs. Kendo Nagasaki (c) - winner unknown [Title]

 

14th October
Possible Missing Edmonton Bill

 

16th October
Lethbridge Nagasaki v Kroffat

 

17th October
Kinex Building; Red Deer, AB Kendo Nagasaki (NA) vs Lennie Hurst

 

18th October
Arena; Saskatoon, SK Dan Kroffat beat Nagasaki by reversed decision

 

19th October
Exhibition Auditorium; Regina, SK Kendo Nagasaki beat Lennie Hurst

 

20th October
Calgary, Alberta Dan Kroffat vs. Kendo Nagasaki had no winner since it was a no contest

 

21st October
Edmonton not Calgary Nagasaki beat Sugi Sito

 

23rd October
Lethbridge Nagasaki v Kroffat (Lord Sloane handcukked to post)

 

24th October
Medicine Hat Nagasaki v Hurst

 

25th October
Arena; Saskatoon, SK Dan Kroffat vs Kendo Nagasaki 

 

26th October
Exhibition Auditorium; Regina, SK Dan Kroffat vs Kendo Nagasaki

 

27th October
Victoria Pavilion Calgary Nagasaki v SuperHawk

 

28th October
Possible Missing Edmonton Bill

 

30th October
Lethbridge, Alberta (Canada) Kendo Nagasaki vs. Lenny Hurst - winner unknown

 

31st October
Kinex Building; Red Deer, AB Dan Kroffat vs Kendo Nagasaki
 
1st November
Arena; Saskatoon, SK  Kendo Nagasaki beat Super Hawk

 

2nd November
Regina, Dan Kroffat vs. Kendo Nagasaki - winner unknown

 

3rd November
Calgary, George Gordienko vs. Kendo Nagasaki - winner unknown

 

4th November
Edmonton, George Gordienko vs. Kendo Nagasaki (Doubt)
(Gordienko v Pesek and Kendo v Kroffat according to one database)

 

6th November
Lethbridge Nagasaki in 12 man Battle Royal

 

7th November
Possible missing Red Deer or Medicine Hat Bill

 

8th November
Saskatoon, Kendo Nagasaki defeated Jack Pesek

 

9th November
Exhibition Auditorium; Regina, Kendo Nagasaki beat Jack Pesek

 

10th November
Calgary, Gino Caruso vs. Kendo Nagasaki - winner unknown

 

11th November
Possible Missing Edmonton Bill

 

13th November
Lethbridge Nagasaki v Gordienko

 

14th November
Possible missing Red Deer or Medicine Hat Bill

 

15th November
Arena; Saskatoon, SK Kendo Nagasaki no contest vs Gino Caruso

 

16th November
Exhibition Auditorium; Regina, SK Nagasaki beat Gino Caruso by DQ

 

17th November
Calgary, Bob Pringle and Frank Butcher vs. Kendo Nagasaki - winner unknown [2 on 1

 

18th November
Edmonton, Alberta (Canada) Bud Osborne vs. Kendo Nagasaki - winner unknown

 

20th November
Not on Lethbridge Bill that night

 

21st November
Medicine Hat Nagasaki v Caruso

 

22nd November
Arena; Saskatoon, SK Bob Pirie beat Kendo Nagasaki by disqualification

 

23rd November
Ex Auditorium; Regina, SK Bob Pirie beat Nagasaki by reversed decision

 

24th November
Calgary, Alberta Dan Kroffat vs. Kendo Nagasaki - winner unknown [Hair vs Hair Match]

 

25th November
Possible Missing Edmonton Bill

 

27th November
Lethbridge Nagasaki v Caruso

 

28th November
Red Deer, Alberta (Canada) Geoff Portz vs. Kendo Nagasaki - winner unknown

 

29th November
Saskatoon, SK Kendo Nagasaki beat Dan Kroffat by count out

 

30th November
Swift Current, Saskatchewan Dan Kroffat vs. Kendo Nagasaki - winner unknown
 
1st December
Victoria Pavilion Calgary Nagasaki and Sloane v Kroffat and Bruce Hart

 

2nd December
Edmonton, Kroffat and Bruce Hart vs. Nagasaki and Sloan winner unknown [Masks vs. Hair

 

4th December
Arena; Taber, AB Mask vs Hair Nagasaki & Lord Sloane vs Kroffat & Bruce Hart

 

5th December
Missing Regina Bill

 

6th December
Arena; Saskatoon, Hair match Nagasaki & Lord Sloan beat Kroffat & Bruce Hart

 

7th December
Exhibition Auditorium; Regina, Nagasaki beat Dan Kroffat by disqualification

 

8th December
Calgary, Alberta (Canada) Geoff Portz vs. Kendo Nagasaki – Portz Wins Back Title 2-1

 

9th December
Missing Edmonton Bill

 

11th December
Lethbridge Nagasaki v Portz

 

12th December
Missing Regina Bill

 

13th December
Arena; Saskatoon, SK Kendo Nagasaki (NA) vs Geoff Portz

 

14th December
Regina, Hair match: Nagasaki & Lord Sloane beat Kroffat & Bruce Hart

 

15th December
Calgary, Geoff Portz vs. Kendo Nagasaki - winner unknown [Judo Jacket Match]

 

16th December
Missing Edmonton Bill

 

18th December
Not on Lethbridge Bill

 

19th December
Missing Regina Bill

 

20th December
Not on Saskatoon Bill

 

21st December
Not on Regina Bill

 

22nd December
Not on Calgary Bill

 

23rd December
Edmonton, Alberta Geoff Portz defeated Kendo Nagasaki (c) - TITLE CHANGE!!! (Assumed!!)
 
END OF TOUR
 

It is ironic that here in 2016 that I decided to try and put together a research on Kendo Nagasaki's tour of Canada. Let me take you back a bit to 1971, I  had left school in 1970 and was in my first year at work. I was 17 in Januuary and in May I passed my driving test and owned a mini van. Now that just so happens to run alongside Nagasaki's TV debut against Wayne Bridges.

I had gone to Belle Vue a few times but it was not my side of town and really I needed the car for my freedom. For the next four or five years that little car took me all over the North West and when I could get the info, I was quite prepared to travel 50 miles or so if Kendo was on the show.

Keen as I was, I was not really an insider to the game and it came as a shock to hear that Kendo and George were going to Canada for the later half of 1972. Wrestling was just not going to be the same.

In the time they were away I leaned towards following Albert Rocky Wall and saw the second coming of Shirley Crabtree as the Guardsman. Also during those months when I missed my hero I managed to buy some magazines that brought to life some info and good pictures of Stampede wrestling. I had no idea then what the tour itinerary was and actually worried how Kendo would fare in North America.

Believe me I was keen. I had never heard of Winsford, let alone been there, but that first night on his return to British Rings I had to be there. I have never come across anyone else who was there that night. It was the great savage skills and mystery of the man that captured my imagination. It always looked real enough for me to easily escape into a fantasy world.

Yes for me Ironic was the word, for a few years we were entwined. 

Oh eventually the infatuation wore off. I think one period of about 10 days or so I saw Kendo fight Crabtree four times, Great at Belle Vue and Liverpool and somewhere else, then I saw what looked an off colour rehearsed look to a match at Blackpool Tower, usual mask off and run affair and no satisfactory result. After that I never went to the Tower again. The unmasking at Wolverhampton was really  another step too far for me and then I completely let go. Unfortunately for wrestling in general, in my eyes two or three bouts out of every four were starting to disappoint too often.

But if you can imagine how keen I was for five years or so, it really seems to be fate that I have made a comeback as Ron Historyo and finally my intrigue with Kendo's tour had to be investigated.

What we know is a bit patchy, a rumor here and there and a pile of statistics. Has Kendo been beaten, unmasked, roughed up, did he take Canada by storm. What about his fights with the other masked man, the fantastic SuperHawk. What really happened. Can we really get a clearer picture. Over here in the U.K. It was very difficult to get any news and even on his return all Gillett ever said when I asked was that he was undefeated. He had swept all before him.

Stampede Wrestling had a rather Anglo/Canadian feel to it. Go back into 1971 and you will find Wild Angus, Les Thornton (also early1972), and in 1969 Bill Robinson, Hans Streiger and Danny Lynch had been. It became a two way thing with the Harts visiting Britain and Dynamite and Davey going to Stampede. The link for Kendo was there, most of all a certain Geoff Portz had turned up in Stampede a few months ahead of Nagasaki.

So if you don't think about it too deeply Kendo had gone to North America. Well lets look closer. As far as I can see, at no time did he have a bout over the border in the USA. And as far as Conquering Canada goes, well it is a massive country and Kendo was not there to do Winnipeg, Vancouver or Montreal or Toronto. Stampede wrestling was essentially across two states, Alberta and Saskachewan. Stu Hart had been born in Saskatoon in 1915 Stu was of Irish and Scottish descent and grew up in Alberta learning to Wrestle in Edmonton. Stampede he started as early as 1948 and by 1972 the circuit as far as the Nagasaki Tour goes is shown above (left).

You have the geography, lets do some maths.

Calgary to Regina 470miles.....Edmonton to Saskatoon 326 miles......Edmonton to Calgary 151 miles........Calgary to Lethbridge 138 Miles.......Lethbridge to Medicine Hat 104 Miles........Saskatoon to Regina 146 Miles.

Then we have the Schedule for the Venues. Not hard and fast but a good guide.

Mondays was  Lethbridge. ( Occasionally  Taber)
Tuesdays was Red Deer or Medicine Hat.
Wednesdays was Saskatoon
Thursdays was Regina (Occasionally Swift Current)
Fridays was Calgary
Saturday was Edmonton
Sunday as far as I know …..No Shows.

For the purpose of the tour George Gillett was to be Lord Sloane of Kensington Gore.

I can't answer the question of how they travelled. Could it have been a traveling show by coach or did all the wrestlers just use theire own or hired cars? I doubt the possibility, but most of these towns had their own Helipads.

I have read claims of Nagasaki's first match being against Bob Pringle, but the earliest that I found was 4th August, A Friday night at the Victoria Pavilion in Calgary. The opponent Sonny Rogers, the newspapers report just stating that Kendo Knocked off Sonny Rogers. Saturday 5th August I believe that no wrestling took place at Edmonton and on Monday 7th Nagasaki for sure made his Lethbridge debut against Frank Butcher. Real name Francisco Garcia, a Mexican and a ring veteran of more than twenty years older than Nagasaki who went on to be a trainer with Stampede, talking wrestling and passing on tips on the long car journeys that wrestlers made. Another persona of Butcher in Stampede was The Shadow. Earlier in 1972 John Quinn had been put through his paces by Frank Butcher. Quinn had moved on from Stampede though and missed Portz and Nagasaki. 

Don't know about Tuesday but just to see how it really worked  from Wednesday 9th to Tuesday 15th with Sunday off Kendo Nagasaki fought a relative newcomer Canadian Bob Pringle for six nights.

That took in Saskatoon, Regina, Calgary, Edmonton, Lethbridge and Medicine Hat.

Pringle was also known as Bobby Bass, or Bobby Kinkaid.

The next two nights back getting experience with Frank Butcher again at Saskatoon and Regina and then two nights with a British guy many of us have forgotten, Lenny Hurst. It seems Hurst may have gone out there a couple of weeks after Nagasaki. On this tour Kendo and Lenny, I found working together eleven  times.

Pringle does  crop up again with Kendo in a 2 on 1 tag and it looks to me that Nagasaki was now ready for his big push. 22nd August a Tuesday night at Red Deer he got a first meeting with Geoff Portz.

Take it from me the outcome was probably not clinical and a title match was set for 1st September at Calgary. In the meantime more matches with Hurst and an introduction to little known Pepe Villa.

On 28th August at the Exhibition Pavilion in Lethbridge perhaps the biggest match yet with masked super star SuperHawk. Real name Manuel Quintana known as Halcon Negro in Mexico, but actually Spanish by birth. If not a complete veteran he did have at least ten years more experience than Nagasaki. I'll stick my neck out and say he was perhaps more mid heavy. I don't have all the results but Kendo fought Superhawk a minimum of fourteen  times on the tour, many no contests and a few wins for Kendo. I would suggest that these matches at each venue led to a return match and were pretty much Stampede Box Office. Did SuperHawk unmask? I doubt it.

That  really completes Nagasaki's induction to Stampede Wrestling, at least eighteen matches and probably a handful more in August, within about a week Nagasaki would become North American Champion.

As I move into September 1972 with my analysis, I must stop and talk about data. As a rule I am not a statistician, I collect bills for the nostalgia and even then I never claim the bills go unchanged. They give a picture. You can collect stats and the people who do do a fantastic job. There is a small flaw because if you get into it big scale then you swap results, and receive results from others and sometimes you get mistakes. Percentage wise not many, but the best way for accuracy is reports.


Without the hard work of at least three websites that provide fans with statistical data this research would have been a lot harder.


These sites are greatly appreciated and are not rivals to Heritage, they stand alongside us and getting hold of data can point a researcher in the right direction in terms of dates and newspapers. My thanks to them, I think they know who they are.

In looking through these I did find a good cross section of the tour and was able to then search papers for bills and reports. Whilst doing this I also had some sources of my own and was able to add 25-30 more shows to get a total of 95  in no more than 122 wrestling days as Sundays was not included.

Let me say that the fly in the ointment in September was that I was finding Calgary on a Friday night with reports next day and yet someone had listed Calgary as a Saturday night show. The cards were different and why would Stu hart advertise his Friday shows in the paper and not his Saturday ones.

I believe the answer is that they were advertised as Stampede Wrestling and someone has drawn the conclusion that the venue must be Calgary. In fact without a shadow of a doubt, the Saturday shows must be Edmonton and an indexing mistake. This has led me presenting a list with four spurious entries for September. For that reason I am listing the Full Itinerary that I have managed to uncover . 

The list is not concrete, there will be a few more shows especially at Edmonton where it is so hard to get hold of the 1972 newspapers. Maybe even an odd show at a small town, who knows.

Now there is a show captured for Saturday night 23rd September at Calgary, and the general claim is that this is when Kendo beat Portz for the title.

To start with, I think the venue was Edmonton as there was Wrestling on Friday night in Calgary.

Secondly I have bills after 8th September where it is a title match and Kendo is reported as the champ.

Thirdly, and this is my find, after fighting Portz on the 1st September at the Victoria Pavilion in Calgary they had a return on the 8th September.

Here I give you the proof (above left).

As well as fighting Portz on the 1st and 8th in Calgary, the two men must have spent the week traveling to fight on the 4th at Lethbridge, 5th at Red Deer,  6th at Saskatoon, and 7th at Regina.

Be in no doubt about the show nature of wrestling, I found Nagasaki v Portz a minimum of 15 times on this tour.  Our man had arrived, he was now the Show Stopper.

I had seen a write up somewhere stating that the Mighty Ursus had refereed the Portz Title match and favored Portz causing a grudge match defense. They fought in Lethbridge on the 11th September and in Calgary on the 15th when for sure Nagasaki saw off this tough opponent.. Real name Jesus Melendez Ortega , better known as Jesse “Bull” Ortega  who was a ring veteran twenty four years older than Nagasaki.

 

Write ups and bills for the 12th at Medicine Hat with SuperHawk on the 15th   with Ursus at Calgary confirmed that they were for the North American Championship and that Portz was no longer the holder.  
                            
September was a busy month mainly with Portz and SuperHawk fights and the listing of that spurious 23rd September title change of hands from Portz to Nagasaki probably assumed because nobody had found the match of the 8th September or the bills of the 12th and 15th of September.

Kendo porbably won the 23rd September fight and it was probably at Edmonton on a Saturday night and not Calgary. In other word he retained the title in a title match.

After a good run in all the towns with each opponent  for Kendo, Stu Hart had to keep things fresh and right at the end of September on the 29th at Calgary Nagasaki finally got to meet Dan Kroffatt.

In July Kroffat had been champion for a short while beating Tor Kamata, and as far as Stampede goes he was a main player. Reputed to be a friend of the Harts and a booker with Stampede this guy was an innovator. It is said that it was he who invented the Ladder match. Kroffat, I believe was one year older than Nagasaki and had started one year earlier in 1963 so maybe both now near their peak as performers.

The first ever Ladder match was allegedly Kroffatt v Tor Kamata in 1972 in Stampede.

They worked together for the remainder of the tour with all sorts of scenario's. Ironically I remember Nagasaki bringing the ladder match to BelleVue and Lumberjack matches. For me the trouble with a ladder match is the totally wooden way nobody can ever seem to judge how far from their reach the Belt or suitcase is. Nobody can ever whip up the steps because they are so tired. I don't think they ever quite get it to look real.

Throughout October Nagasaki mainly fought SuperHawk, Kroffat , the Japanese Sugi Sito and Lennie Hurst. It is apparent that the Kroffat matches turned into a saga, getting more and more diverse. You can imagine every controversial result possible. On the 18th October at Saskatoon Arena Kroffat won by way of a reversed decision. Technically this is just a disqualification. A no contest on the 20th at Calgary and on the 23rd the variation of Lord Sloane being handcuffed to a post, it would seem that he had been interfering in another match.

The saga played out in every town probably more than once. Kroffat and Sigo on the left. 

We go into November with Superhawk beaten yet again at Saskatoon., seemingly the Hawk was destined to never get the title.

Now I am not the only one that this bothers, but on the 3rd and 4th November at Calgary and Edmonton, Kendo was billed with George Gordienko. That's the one we all want to know about, the times Heritage member SaxonWolf and others and myself have debated the outcome.

I can shed no light on a report of these matches, a great shame, but lets not get carried away with “Real Shoot” talk and all that . The result would have been just an indicator of each mans standing in the game. In all probability nobody won if I was to guess. But if anyone can add to my analysis we can always write an Epilogue. I did come across a newspaper article/interview with Gordienko and he had retired for a while and badly missed wrestling so had come back part time. I think this explains him not being heavily on the Stampede Schedule.

The career record of Gordienko suggests that on November 3rd or 4th (conflict because Calgary is the venue) Gordienko fought Jack Pesek and Nagasaki had a no contest with Kroffat. So for me again indexing problems and I could not find the bills advertised in the papers. Maybe they only met just the once on those nights. They did however meet at Lethbridge on the 13th. But again no report.

Also keep in mind this, despite being the great wrestler that he was, Gordienko had no push from Stampede to be their champion. So for me very unlikely that he holds a decision over Nagasaki.

Gordienko v Portz, I could certainly find as a draw if that is any indictation.

For a few weeks it seems Kendo had a break from Kroffat matches and did things like 12 man Battle Royal,  2 on one handicap matches, a few new opponents such as veteran Jack Pesek, Gino Caruso, Bud Osborne another veteran and a no luck with Bob Pirie who he lost to at Saskatoon by DQ and again the next night in Regina by reversed decision, which brings me to, if you reverse a decision then effectively you are disqualified. I am sure there would be no unmaskings for that.

A strange one as well, I did not find Nagasaki fighting Tor Kamata on this tour. There is a man who had been champion and had swapped back and forth with Portz.. Kamata had a reputation of being a great guy to work with. They did share a ring though in 12 man Battle Royal's.

 

Late November and December brought what some people would have called the real nonsense. Hair v Hair matches with Kroffat and Mask v Hair. And then a series of Tag matches with Bruce Hart partnering Kroffat up against Kendo and Sloane. For sure Nagasaki got at least one count out decision over Kroffat as well as DQ wins and tag. But I can illustrate one defeat he took although I don't have the precise details of the circumstances. 
 

Not to be taken too seriously, Nagasaki worked with Kroffat in at least seventeen singles bouts on the tour and at least four tag. Strikes me it was a good working relationship, and at the heart of it great entertainment for the fans. Years ahead of it's time in wrestling. Quite trail blazing of Stampede.


There were that many hair matches I am not sure how they actually did it, maybe a wig !!!!.

Also in  December Geoff Portz is back in contention, at least four matches at Calgary, Lethbridge and Saskatoon, then Judo jackets back at Calgary with the tour seemingly ending with the title going back to Portz at Edmonton on the 23rd December. (As far as statistics show)

There has been much discussion about why we don't know anything about this match, but I do think there is an alternative, Kendo returned the belt.

 

The view of George Gillett is that Kendo came back victorious and undefeated. This is not to be scoffed at as it was always claimed that a loss had to be a pin, submission or genuine count out and not a technicality. A report published years ago by Hack from the magazine Ringsport in June 1973. Did Portz fail or maybe draw and take over the belt as in accordance with Stampede rules?

However, that was not the case and, I have found what happened on the 8th December at Calgary. Yes Kendo Nagasaki was beaten fair and square, no ifs and no buts. No sign of an unmasking either. Looks to me like the reign was 3 months to the day and at the same venue.

No doubt Lord Sloane would have cried “A Fast Count”

 

December is a bit scarce of shows with Nagasaki on, but Stampede shows were still going on, so again I must speculate that by UK traveling standards, it may have been an exhausting schedule, and maybe some time to tour round other parts of Canada were on the agenda. Unfortunately that night of the 23rd December in Edmonton remains a mystery.  I doubt somehow that a title changed hands at Edmondton because it was usually saved for Calgary's Friday night Show. Maybe the tour finished earlier than we think. For sure there was wrestling on the 23rd at Edmonton with Gordienko teaming with SuperHawk in a tag match. However I can't find the full bill.

Wrestling Heritage has many viewers overseas, and many silent observers. If you can clarify this for us it would be a wonderful conclusion to a piece of history. Nagasaki was a fine Ambassador for us and seems to have lit up Stampede wrestling for a time.

Then another part of the analysis is that if you take four men, two of them from the UK, Portz and Hurst,and then Kroffat and Superhawk then with these four you are looking at two thirds of the matches.An incredible insight into the workings of the wrestling industry. Something that perhaps we knew but have chosen not to believe.

As for the venues and crowds, well if I am not mistaken the Victoria Pavilion in Calgary that hosted the main show of the week on a Friday night could house 1800. Many of the shows on the itinerary I believe drew 600-1000 spectators.

And as for the gallery, I will say this, Stampede wrestling bills are very generic in appearance no matter what newspaper they went in, however they are still a nice souvenir of the times. 


 Hope you enjoy them.

Back in Britain, Sloane became George again and the volume was turned up even higher.


“Ladies and Gentlemen, witness tonight, the Undefeated, the Invincible,  The Incomparable, The Greatest Wrestler in the World, King  Kendo Nagasaki.”

And on his return Ron Historyo was waiting in Winsford for him.

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1 Alberta Map __1540827957_82.27.190

The Calgary Stampede Circuit