Ron Miller - Wrestling Legend, Promoter
Miller is a true legend of Australian professional
wrestling, who was very much part of the reason
of the success of World Championship Wrestling.
Sydney Australia 1941
a keen all-round sportsman Ron played rugby league
with Eastern suburbs in Sydney, where he was noticed
by promoter Hal Morgan while training and wrestling
at a Police Boys club.
then trained at the hard school of Hal Morgan
and Jim Deakin in Australia and later in Florida
pro in 1964 and wrestled in clubs throughout Australia
and N.Z. and started on the World Championship
teamed with Larry ODay to tour the USA for
2 years. While based in Florida, becoming Florida
Tag Team Champions, then returning home via Germany,
Japan and the East.
the next few years Ron and Larry ODay held
many Tag Team Titles, and he occasionally teamed
successfully with his good friend Andre.
talent was well known and highly respected. He
was constantly in demand and toured Australia
and the World wrestling the best as Australian
Heavyweight Champion, a title which he held for
a record length of time.
these years Ron and Larry ODay became shareholders
in WCW with Jim Barnett, and later owning World
Championship Wrestling (Australia). They continued
to produce T.V. programmes and promote over 300
shows a year in Australia, Asia and the South
a long and successful career which had many highlights,
including over 20 trips to the USA to wrestle
and attend NWA meetings. His matches for the NWA
World Heavyweight Championship with Harley Race
and Dory Funk were classics to be remembered.
retiring he became involved training young people
in various youth clubs and for the Dept.of Youth
and Community Services.
MEMORIES OF :
MORGAN Gave me the best advice I ever had, he
said that if you want to make it to the top be
respected and last in this business, perfect your
wrestling skills and keep yourself fit. Then you
can look after yourself and make a living anywhere
in the world,
HEFFERNAN Was an inspiration to us all. He was
a pioneer in weight training and wrestling skills.
He reached the top in the USA with his partner
Al Costello as the Fabulous Kangaroos.
BARNES A super talent who had the ability to wrestle
main events anywhere in the world, but chose to
remain mostly in Australia combining wrestling
with a successful business.
LITTLE Started it all in 1964 when he contacted
American promoter Jim Barnett about the possibilities
out here. The weekly TV series was the basis of
the success of World Championship Wrestling.
MEDLIN Australian Light Heavyweight Champion and
a great performer, had a career to be proud of
in which he wrestled the very best and remained
on top for a long time.
A friend with whom I shared many great experiences.
He was the ultimate professional always making
himself available for publicity, special appearances
ODAY My wrestling and business partner.
Larry was involved in pro wrestling from the early
60s worldwide at the highest level till
he passed away in 1997.
gurus of grapple, by Jon Geddes - 7th December
The Daily Telegraph)
were the legends who thrilled and chilled Aussies
with their antics in, and often out, of the wrestling
ring for two decades.
such as Mario Milano, King Curtis, Brute Bernard,
Bulldog Brower, Spiros Arion, Killer Kowalski
and the sinister Professor Tanaka - who threw
salt in opponents' eyes - became household names.
let's not forget our homegrown heroes Ron Miller,
Larry O'Dea and George Barnes, who matched it
with best of them.
the glitz and showbiz associated with today's
WWE. World Championship Wrestling was the real
of all ages religiously tuned into World Championship
Wrestling, an institution on TCN 9 at midday on
did three TV shows a week and 300 live shows a
year - which would average 15,000 a week,"
66-year-old Miller said, who is retired and living
at Tweed Heads.
would have 1000 people at the airport to meet
you. We stayed in first class hotels and would
get upgraded by the airlines."
one trip to Tokyo, Miller and the other wrestlers
were mobbed by 10,000 fans.
said the big years for the WCW program were from
1964 to 1978 and the reasons it was so successful
were the weekly TV show, the different nationalities,
the characters and those fantastic language-crunching
is no bigger character than King Curtis, who made
a huge impact whenever he visited.
the last 26 years the King has had a hire company
with surfboards and everything on Waikiki Beach,
in his native Hawaii," Miller said.
was a really good professional guy and the master
of the interview.
those days he was absolutely incredible. None
of his rants were scripted. I don't know where
he got it from. It just came to him from the top
of his head.
then there was Mario Milano. He came to Australia
in 1966 and never left."
leaving the ring, Milano had a number of businesses
including a pizza shop and travel agency and lives
in retirement in Melbourne.
Karl Kox became a prison warden. One day an inmate
reminisced how he used to watch Kox all the time.
I watch you all time time," Kox replied.
former Australian champion himself, Miller has
revived those halcyon days with a DVD called Ruff
Tuff & Real, which provides an amazing insight
into what really was a phenomenon in Australian
DVD includes rare footage of the dark time Milano
grew a moustache and turned bad guy, with referee
Bob McMaster suggesting he may have been hypnotised
or mesmerised by his manager.
what about those sensational moves - the sleeper
hold (Mark Lewin), the Texan brain buster (Killer
Karl Kox), the coconut butt (Bobo Brazil) and
the Indian death lock (Chief Billy White Wolf).
Jack Little - wrestling's version of Frank Hyde
- would often warn the audience that a competitor
had a "foreign object down his trunks".
were also those mysterious wrestlers, often masked,
who hailed from "parts unknown".
and his long-time tag team and business partner
O'Dea started their wrestling careers at a small
gym in Wentworth Park.
did all the hard yards in the small clubs and
gyms and learnt some hard lessons and how to respect
the business," Miller said.
1973 we owned it."
WCW wasn't to last forever and it took something
with the viewer appeal of World Series Cricket
- which took its regular time-slot - to spell
and O'Dea remained close friends until O'Dea died
days Miller keeps fit by diving into the water
rather than on to the canvas mat.
got new knees and new hips. I'm like a mechanical
man. Most of the guys are like that," he
Miller told a story proving the old wrestlers
really were a special breed.
said Killer Kowalski, 79, got married for the
first time last year to his blushing bride of
Killer was asked: "Why would you get married
now?", he replied: "She told me she
was pregnant so I had to do the right thing."
ARE THEY NOW:
Miller: Retired and living in Tweed Heads
Curtis: Runs a beach hire business on Waikiki
Lewin: Living in the US and is married to a Tahitian
Barnes: Ran successful trucking business
Ario: Retired and living in Greece
Baker: Farmer, New York state
Karl Kox: Prison warden
Tanaka: Ran a fishing boat before passing away
Bernard: Died playing Russian roulette in a bar
Murphy: Committed suicide after a failed romance
Brody: Stabbed to death in a dressing room in
Puerto Rico. Nobody saw a thing.
Bad John: Fatally shot in Tennessee bar
the Butcher: Runs a restaurant in Carolina. "He
doesn't have a menu, he tells you want to eat,"
Ron Miller said
"The Crusher" Rackman: Executive manager
of a gym
Jansen: Former Bondi parking ranger. Now in the
fitness industry on the South Coast
Media Man Australia
Wrestling in Australia
Media Man Australia does not represent Ron Miller,
however has collaborated on a number of occasions