Welcome to This Day In Wrestling – eWrestling News’ look back into the annals of our favorite sports (entertainment) phenomena.
On June 21, 1963, the World Wide Wrestling Federation would host a show in New York City, New York’s world-famous Madison Square Garden arena. Let’s break down what we know about this wrestling card from 58 years ago! (Warning: This card is 58 years ago, and people didn’t seem to keep great records back in the day. So… this should be interesting).
The Fabulous Kangaroos (Al Costello & Roy Heffernan) vs. Brute Bernard & Skull Murphy
This show started off with The Fabulous Kangaroos (Al Costello and Roy Heffernan) taking on Brute Bernard and Skull Murphy. One week earlier, Bernard and Murphy picked up a victory over Arnold Skaaland and Jolly Cholly. Alternatively, two weeks prior to the event, The Fabulous Kangaroos defeated Gene Kelly and Larry Gagner in tag team action. With both teams heading into this contest with momentum, the crowd was reportedly hot for this contest. This match was a two-out-of-three falls match. Bernard and Murphy would pick up the first fall, leading to The Fabulous Kangaroos getting the second. However, the crowd would not get to witness the third fall due to the match ending in a time-limit draw.
Tony Nero vs. Bob Boyer
The next contest on this card would come between Tony Nero and Bob Boyer. Boyer was not exactly the most talented, nor winningest wrestler in the world. Nero, however, had been on a roll of momentum at this time, picking up victories over Ted Lewin, Karl Gotch, and Eugenio Marin in the weeks prior to this event. Predictably, Tony Nero would defeat Bob Boyer in a near-eleven minute contest.
WWWF Madison Square Garden
Ox Anderson vs. Argentina Apollo
In the next match, we had the brutish Ox Anderson facing off against Argentinian superstar Argentina Apollo. Apollo and Anderson had both been on great rolls in June 1963. However, only one man can win a singles competition. Thus, Ox Anderson would take the fall in a ten-and-a-half minute match.
Little Beaver & Tiny Tim vs. Billy The Kid & Sky Low Low
The next match of the night was a mini match – Little Beaver and Tiny Tim face off against Billy The Kid and Sky Low Low. If you recognize any of these names, it’s because you might have seen them on various WWF television shows (such as Little Beaver’s WrestleMania III victory). This match was a two-out-of-three falls tag team match! In this match, Beaver and Tim would defeat Billy and Sky 2-0. Reportedly, there wasn’t much to this match. It would be interesting to know if mini’s matches were respected back in 1963. They seemed to be booked pretty consistently by the WWWF back in the day. Nevertheless, there is no reported time for this match.
Bobo Brazil (c.) vs. Magnificent Maurice
Next, we have a match between the WWWF United States Heavyweight Champion, Bobo Brazil, and the WWE Hall of Famer, Magnificent Maurice. At this point, Brazil had been embroiled in a feud with Johnny Barend over the WWWF United States Heavyweight Championship, and he is looking to pick up momentum in this contest. Of course, he would end up doing so with a pinfall victory over Magnificent Maurice in a near-twelve-minute contest. Brazil would go on to lose the WWWF United States Heavyweight Championship months later to Barend.
WWWF World Heavyweight Championship Match:
Bruno Sammartino (c.) vs. Hans Mortier
Now, we move on to our main event of this event – the WWWF World Heavyweight Championship match between Bruno Sammartino and Hans Mortier. Hans Mortier was one of the most popular competitors in The Golden Age of professional wrestling. This was one of Mortier’s hundreds of championship matches in WWWF. Mortier had won almost every single match in WWWF up to this point – most except his battles with the WWWF World Heavyweight Champion, Bruno Sammartino.
At this point, Sammartino was only one month into his historic championship reign. This match would end up being the longest contest of the night at 20:36. Reportedly, this match was an epic contest with a shocking conclusion. In the finish of the match, Hans Mortier would lift Sammartino for a bodyslam. However, Sammartino would rotate the slam into a splash for the shocking pinfall victory to retain the championship!
While there is no footage of this event available on the internet (or at EWN’s disposal), this show surely served as a treat to this Madison Square Garden crowd. We do not know much about this event from June 21, 1963. Instead, all we know is what happened This Day In Wrestling.
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