Fred Kohler's Champions of Wrestling circa 1962

We start the show, as always, with Leonard Sterling announcing the attending physician, time keeper and referee for this evening.

"Big" Moose Cholak vs. Fred Atkins.

Moose removes his moose-head crown and bellows. They lock up for a second, but break. They go to a few lockups, but always wind up punching each other instead. A knucklelock is taken to the ropes and Moose gets Atkins in a moose-hug, but Atkins chokes his way out of it. Moose tries a few sudden charges, but Atkins dodges them all so they lock up. Moose gets the upper hand but Atkins punches to regain control. Both men are playing the heel, so Moose starts playing the face and gets booed soundly as a result. Moose takes this one with a splash.

We go to an interview with Crusher Lisowski. He's in better condition than most of the bums in wrestling. He wants a shot at that bum Rogers and he's upset that those bums in the NWA gave the shot to that bum Art Thomas. You see, he could beat that bum if those bums would let him face that bum instead of some other bum. He also doesn't think he needs a bum manager.

Angelo Poffo vs. Jose Betancourt

During the interview we see Poffo getting ready for the match, including removing his leg garters. Poffo takes Betancourt down with a hammerlock and then stomps on the arm, using hair and tights to retain control of the hold before driving Betancourt into the turnbuckle. They lock up and Poffo lets out some strikes, not giving Betancourt an inch. Betancourt starts to shake it off and Poffo backpedals. It was all a ploy as Poffo continues to work a headlock, setting up his neckbreaker finisher. Betancourt manages to reverse it into a headscissors. The ref denies a rope break, so Poffo has to wriggle free. Betancourt repeatedly tries for a single-leg pin with no success at getting three, but success at making Poffo work and wear out. Poffo manages to reverse it and they roll a bit before Poffo says screw it and starts striking again. Betancourt gets a rally, so Poffo begs off but Betancourt ignores his pleas and works on his arm instead. Poffo replies by punching and running Betancourt into the corners before hitting the neckbreaker for the pin.

The Sicilians are ringside. They'll be bringing those belts back to Sicily.

Mighty Atlas vs. "Seaman" Art Thomas

The crowd loves Thomas as he's signing a number of autographs as he waits for the introductions. Atlas will be trying for his full nelson, while Thomas will be showing off his muscles. In fact, he starts this match by tossing Atlas in a display of strength. Atlas runs from Thomas before taking a headlock and using Thomas's hair to keep it. Thomas breaks it eventually and Atlas runs every time they lock up after that. Atlas gets a hammerlock but Thomas reverses it and Atlas dives for the ropes. Thomas works Atlas's arms for a bit, but Atlas starts gouging away at his eyes. Thomas goes back to tossing Atlas around for a bit and gets a full nelson, but Atlas manages to escape and reverse it. Thomas has an idea and he kicks the turnbuckle sending both men down and pinning Atlas for three. Atlas thinks he's won, but didn't realize the ref was counting his shoulders down.

Poffo, initially misidentified as Bronko Lewis, joins ringside. He's glad to be back in Chicago. He's gonna rack up a string of victories and get recognized as a top challenger to the belt.

Crusher Lisowski vs. Karl Engstrom

Crusher gives Engstrom a few slaps during the pre-match instructions. Crusher grabs a headlock at the bell, but Engstrom hip-tosses him out and hits a few arm-drags. Crusher then wears Engstrom down and we go to break. When we come back, Engstrom is regaining control with a number of knees. Crusher stops this by raking Engstrom's head across the ropes and then stepping on it. Crusher lets out some kicks and an extended eye-gouge. Engstrom punches back as the crowd explodes to punctuate an Engstrom hip-toss. Crusher complains and gets caught with a headlock takedown. Crusher tries to pin Engstrom from this position with a handful of tights, but no luck. Crusher then breaks out and the two exchange strikes. Another hip-toss and Crusher starts to kick Engstrom and throws him out of the ring. Engstrom fights his way back in so Crusher kicks him again and gets DQ'd for his efforts, much to the fan's delight.

Thomas comes to ringside. He's planning to win the championship. He likes to use the bear-hug and the full nelson, and with those arms, they're effective.

Poffo returns to ringside for another interview. Poffo reiterates that he wants the belt. He's never been beaten in Chicago and Rogers was ducking him in New York. Engstrom then interjects himself into the interview; he went to DuPaul with Poffo and he wants to know why Poffo, with all his skill, has taken to shortcutting. Poffo is upset at being interrupted. He also states that he is a technical wrestler, just in a more rough way. Poffo doesn't care about the fans, he only cares about winning regardless of whether he's against Rogers or Engstrom.

As he says "Engstrom", Poffo slaps him. Engstrom retaliates and Poffo, despite his objections, gets escorted to the back. Engstrom expresses disbelief at this turn of events. He thinks he could possibly beat Poffo, he did at DuPaul, but he doesn't want to brag.

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©2001 by the author