Dedicated to Gordon Solie
January 29, 1929 - July 27, 2000
By Don McPhee
Two-Ton Tony Galento . . . and Squire Jack Sharkey . . . combined to make the Jersey Nightstick's New England wrestling debut a successful one before 1,900 frenzied fans at the Expo Monday night. Unfortunate party of the third part was pouting Babe Sharkey of Texas, who succumbed to Galento in straight falls.
Galento admitted earlier that he gets by on his strength, but he neglected to mention he uses most of it flinging fists as he did when contending for heavyweight boxing honors.
The Beer Barrel That Walks Like A Man used a limited number of recognized wrestling holds and a variety of clubbing hooks to body and head to officially win the match after Ref Sharkey had disqualified Rough Sharkey in the opening setto. It took 14 minutes to get the first fall out of the way, four minutes for the second . . . and about 10 minutes to clear the belligerent Babe from the ring.
hFrankly, the 37-year-old Galento didn't show too much from a wrestling standpoint. However, the 265-pound barkeep was wrestling professionally for only the 21st time and many close to the game figure he's a definite comer -- especially with his punching to help out.
"I wrestled a lot of amateur matches for the YMCA when I was a kid," genial Tony grunted. "I know as many holds as most of these wrestlers and just wait'll I get more used to this thing."
It's not a question of condition with him, Tony reminded. "I play handball every day when I'm home . . . and wrestling three or four nights a week is just as good as all the gymnasium work I ever got as a boxer."
Since he'd been both, how did Galento feel about the age-old question about a boxer beating a wrestler?
He had to mull that one over for a moment with both feet propped comfortably on antoher chair. "Well," he finally muttered, "I'm convinced that a good wrestler can beat a good boxer just about anytime -- but that doesn't count if I'm the boxer!! I know how to break most of the wrestling holds, I think I'm stronger in the arms and legs than most of them -- and I could stiffen 'em with the old left hook if things got too tough, remember . . . Yup, count me out, then I think the wrestler would win."
Tony isn't concerned only with Tony, however. The way he kept turning the spotlight to manager Willie Gilzenberg you'd have thought he owed Willie the world . . . and maybe that's true. Galento explained how he'd tried a dozen or more different boxing managers with little or no success until Gilzenberg came along. Now the two are the closest of pals in every venture. Both, incidentally, think they have a coming heavyweight big-timer in Eddie (Red) Cameron, former U of Miami football captain. The big fellow made a brilliant New York boxing debut last week and they are already lining up top shots for him.
Friendly as always . . . except toward the opposition . . . Galento was of the opinion that he had a fine future in wrestling. He pointed out the excellent financial returns he has received already and announced that he and Gilzenberg would leave Sunday for San Francisco and a long list of matches in that area.
Jack Sharkey proved an unexpected (?) friend Monday. The former world heavyweight boxing champion was with Tony and against the other Sharkey all the way. He reminded the argumentative Babe that "I'm on his side, anyway, he used to be a fighter!" And when Babe protested that Jack had pulled his hair, the sparsely-thatched squire grinned, "That was him pulling your hair . . . but I could use some of it!"
Oh, yes, before we forget:
Roughhouser Pat Kelly of Ireland and powerful Jim Casey, same general address, each took a fall before time ran out and their semi-final ended in a draw. Cement O'Neil of Portland and unruly Bibber McCoy of Cambridge grappled to a 30-minute draw in the opener.
SmackDown! was taped Tuesday at the Target Center in Minneapolis, Minnesota where Upchuck and Billy are about to be committed...
But first,Paul Heyman brought his "Disputed" Champion (he was introduced as the "WWE Heavyweight Champion" - no mention of "undisputed") to the ring to take on "Steroid Bob" Holly, who immediately precipitated a fist fest, putting Brock Lesnar off his game for about 6 seconds until he slapped on a suplex to turn the tables. Lesnar then took the former race driver out to the floor and trashed him pretty good. Back in the ring, Holly tried to come back but it was useless.
Eddie and Chavo Guerrero took on John Cena and Edge. This is the kind of match that could take the true measure of a guy like Cena - the Guerreros are a well-oiled machine. They obviously saw Cena as the weak link and isolated him through a good deal of the match. In the end the Guerrero's won the match and then tried to set up their own version of the stink face on Edge (as revenge for Edge setting Eddie up for one last week). But Eddie got waylaid and ended up getting it again.
Backstage, Matt Holly called on the Undertaker to congratulate him on his pending fatherhood. He wanted to congratulate the mother-to-be but a got a little too pushy and ended up on his can.
Kurt Angle came to the ring after the break to run Chris Jericho down and accidently reveal his own pederastic tendencies after referring to Rey Misterio as a "boy". Then they went to another break.
Rey Misterio came down for his rematch from SummerSlam against Angle, who used his superior size and amateur techniques to dominate the opening exchanges. Then Rey-Rey started flying and Angle started to lose it. But only for a bit. Soon Angle was back in charge again and Misterio was grounded. Angle went into a series of German suplexes, but Misterio turned the third on into a face jam on his opponent. For the next several exchanges, Angle was on the receiving end. He tried to go for the ankle lock but Misterio squirmed away from it and continued to swirl around his opponent. As it looked like Rey would go to the top for his coup de gras, Angle followed him right up and tossed him in a superplex to get the pin.
A black limo pulled up out back. The guard talked to the driver then waved them through, saying they were part of the Wedding Party.
Chris Benoit faced Rikishi in an average match that ended in a Kurt Angle assisted Stink Face.
In the middle of Upchuck and Billy's Committment Ceremony, the Godfather showed up with a passle of garden tools...renamed by Rico as "Goodtime Girls" when he ordered them away from the ring. The Godfather complied without a fight and the ceremony continued until the two wrestlers got cold feet and wanted to back out. In fact they implied that the whole thing was just a publicity stunt. At that point the "Justice of the Peace" started freaking out then revealed himself as Eric Bischoff!!! He had mentioned three minutes - and so his Island Guyz attacked the ceremony while Bischoff held Stephanie back. RAW had invaded SmackDown and the "mole" was Rico.
Nidia took on Torrie Wilson in a rare match for either if them. Didn't matter - no one was paying any attention to their contest. Torrie won.
Baxk in his dressing room, the Undertaker headed out to tthe ring, leaving his pregnant wife reading a book. Matt Hardy also set out toward the ring, but he had the WWE Champ and Paul Heyman in his wake.
The main event was Undertaker/Hardy, of course, thus getting the #1 contender and the Champ together in the ring, at least for an instant. Immediately, Heyman started popping up on the apron every few seconds to distract UT. It didn't help Matt much... Eventually, UT was knocked to the floor where Lesnar got his hands on him for a while, then left. Matt was in control for a while longer then was on his way down when the backstage camera caught Paul Heyman walking into the Undertaker's dressing room. UT immediately left the ring (I assume Matt got the duke via countout) and made his way to the dressing room. There he attacked Heyman and was then attacked himself by Lesnar with a chair. Lesnar menaced the poor woman then they split.
Raw will come to us live from the Pepsi Center in Denver, Colorado - but I won't be watching it, because I will be camping near Mendocino...see you next week...
At least that's the way I see it...
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