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News and Notes from Winnipeg
by Marty Goldstein on 2002-03-05

A recent quick 5 day trip home turned into a true 12 day rodeo, as Dirty Dan Denton and I changed gears, hit the town and produced a short film about the views of Winnipeggers about the relationship between Canada and the USA. We are finishing a rough cut this weekend and hope to enter it at a Sundance-adjacent film festival next month. We will already be there flogging our full length documantary, BC BODYSLAMS, which stars Georgeous Michelle Starr and Moondog Manson along with other left coast notables, scheduled to screen in February.
Check out both flicks at

Meanwhile some wrestling-related tidbits for knowledge-hungry readers.

* Someone forgot to tell Ernie Todd that we have heat. He was very gracious and happy to see myself and Bruiser Bastein. Bar shows are not glamourous but he is trying to give his guys work. No, he did not bury Dave Republic or Michelle Starr or anyone. Well, OK, he has some opinions about some of the Winnipeg guys we know in common but that is par for the course. I thank Ernie for his hospitality.

* It was great visiting with Spyder and EZ Ryder at the CWF show. Both are in our film, and are involved in memorable moments that everyone will remember. Spyder sacrificed his body in Vernon, probably the best piece of footage I lensed from a wrestling perspective. He is so smooth and in control in the ring now, it is hard to believe it is the same guy. As Denton told Greg Oliver in a recent story on SLAM!WRESTLING, Spyder was like a sponge, asking for our feedback and advice during our 1999 ECCW tours.

I think the turning point for him, besides teaming with Denton and learning about psychology, was a match hardly anyone saw in Kamloops, where he faced Rocket Randy Tyler. Tyler, now ASW honcho in absentia, had a wrestling bout rather than a brawl and Spyder showed a lot of moxie that day keeping up with Tyler, who is one of the great all-around talents that never hit the big time. Anyone who says Spyder can't wrestle should ask Tyler, and he will set you straight.

* EZ and I reminiced a bit about the old days of WFWA TV and his work on my Rough House Rasslin' shows in 1994. EZ really encouraged me to head out to BC after filming was done and I trusted his judgement. He is a heel now and it was kind of odd to see him in that role, but he is a leader in and out of the ring, a genuine nice guy and a good hand. He knows a lot of old-style tricks and the young boys of CWF can learn a lot from him. In the film he is involved in the most dramatic moments.

* CWF NWA Canadian Champion Gene Swan and I go back all the way to 1990. I was only acquainted in passing with his late father Bruce. Gene wand I friends through wrestling but never worked together until 1994, as a matter of fact he was the only guy I directly booked onto RHR as Chi Chi Cruz and Swan both bounced at bars and never saw each other. Because our friendship was based outside the business, we never once had a fight. When Cheech was almost killed in a boat crash, Swan ran from the Grant Hotel to the Osborne Village, ran thinking I hadn't heard about the tragedy. He, like all the boys, really stepped up under pressure that summer.

Swan ended up rooming with me when Cheech moved out, and we had a fabulous time (girls, parties and hijinks) for a few years. We spent many long winter days watching 80's wrestling from around the world and he ate it all up, from the very good (UWF) to the very bad (oh where do I start, Montreal, Tomko, any Pro Wrestling Plus episode, he would laugh and try to find the worthwhile parts).

To see him now was a revelation. He has matured into a true athlete and leader and he unloaded a vicious spear that shocked the hell out of me if not his opponent. It was all his hard work to get it together and I am proud to have helped him develop along the way. Swan is now running the CWF training program and there is a ton of respect for him in that room.

* Last January, I saw Moondog Moretti at the ECCW card. We sat in that locker room and all the young boys were astonished to hear Ed speak so highly of the one and only Caveman Broda, all those years later. Moretti shut down their scepticism. To them, he was a tiny old novelty on my Winnipeg tapes. To Ed and Dean Ho and other old vets who came into Winnipeg for the old New Brand Promotion, Broda was a solid dependable worker, who knew how to work and count a house at the same time (it was very hard for a promoter to work the boys on the size of the crowd with Ron on the card.) Broda was on the first TV card I ever did. The stories of his antics in the Maritimes are legendary.

When I booked for the first time in June 1988, days after coming back from doing Bob Geigel's TV in Kansas City, Ron did a perfect job taking a DDT from hometown favorite Chi Chi Cruz. He not only handled the ring for my Can-Am 89' tour, he also broke my nose the first night in the second minute of an 18 minute match. Eddie Watts said I owed my payoff to Broda for carrying me. Scales was right. Broda and I had a lot of laughs telling the CWF boys about how I paid him off with 100-$1 bills after the tour, he never forgot that rib.

In September 89', when I produced a Can-Am pilot, the Commissioner had told promoter Ernie Rheault that Broda was too old to wrestle. Accordingly, Dave Pinsky and I booked him to go over in the Main Event Battle Royal, and the kids in St. Claude hit the ring and did the cavedance with Ron. That moment alone sold the show to another venue.
Screw you, Buck Matiowski.

In 1995, when Wayne Stanton begged me to help out his River City Wrestling, Stan Saxon and I booked Broda into a Pete Rose angle with Bobby Collins and Todd Bullitt. The heels got Broda suspended for allegedly gambling on the matches, and that suspension would prevent Broda from entering the Manitoba Wrestling Hall of Fame. Broda did a crying babyface interview with me playing it to the hilt, about how he was a role model for the kids, never drank, never smoked and never gambled. All true.

Collins and Bullitt came out to ringside halfway through Broda's next match with a card table, set it up and started playing poker. Broda hopped out of the ring to confront them and was counted out. The heels claimed in their interview that Broda proved he was a gambling addict by trying to join the game. It was such a hoot.

Broda and Collins are still around the CWF and Collins has offered his rare picture collection for my future stories. Thank you, Bobby Collins, and God Bless Caveman Broda.

* All the young CWF guys made a point of introducing myself and I especially want to thank Overkill, a giant who remembered meeting me in 99 at a show just before I went back to BC. He walked Bruiser Bastein and I right into the building to the dressing room, which was a nice way to drop in on my friends. The former rugby star gave good advice to the green kids and was a total pro. I wish him well.

* I spoke with Vance Nevada (Vern May), who books Top Rope Championship Wrestling and is another RHR alumnus. Vern followed in my footsteps as a historian and his work this summer to develop the angle with my friend, Sun reporter Doug Lunney, was a classic. I am sorry I could not get to their shows, I just didn't have enough time and to my friends in TRCW, I regret not seeing you in action. Next time for sure. I did get to see Dave Pinsky, who had a great run as The Crimson Shiek this year and was a transitional champion as Karoake Dave Levinsky. He will be the subject of a future column. As will the man who broke both myself and Dan Denton into the business, Mr. New Brand Wrestling, Walter Shefchyk.

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Quotes from the boys: Ed Moretti says "Relax there kid. Who's calling this match...them or us? They bought the tickets to see us, not the other way around".
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