"The Case for the World Wide Wrestling Federation" by Brenda Hammer Wrestling Monthly, October, 1971

Copied without permission.

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 W.W.W.F. 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 Rogers, Bruno 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 another draw.

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 Sammartino. 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 A.W.A. 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 referee.


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