A look through classic Scrapbooks from the history of Maple Leaf Wrestling

 

There was no shortage of great tag teams in Toronto in the 1950's. The Fabulous Kangaroos made up of Al Costello and Roy Heffernan, generally regarded as one of the best of all-time would make it here in the latter part of the decade.

In their debut in August 1957 they took out the team of Hard Boiled Haggerty and Lee Henning, and in their next bout in September beat the team of Fred Atkins and Tiger Tasker. They were due for some stiffer competition and would face it in the team of Ivan and Karol Kalmikoff on the Sept 19th card.

Frank Ayerst in his weekly column proclaimed Australia as the origin of tag-team wrestling and noted that the 'Roo's' had gained the fans support in their short time here, but were due for a tough bout with the hated Kalmikoff brothers. There is also mention that they would also be on the first card to be held in Guelph on Oct 3 for John Katan and Tommy Nelson's new venture. The Roos to face the tough tag of Dick Hutton and Fritz Von Erich.

The bout here vs the Kalmikoffs went back and forth for over 32 minutes before being called at the 11:15pm curfew setting
up a re-match on the next card at MLG one week later.

The re-match saw the Kalmikoffs gain the win when Costello was counted out after brawling on the ramp with Ivan and then drop-kicking the Russian into the ring while he didn't make it for ref Bert Maxwell's 10 count. The win earned the Russian team a title bout with the Canadian Open Tag champs Whipper Watson and Pat O'Connor.

This version of the Kangaroos would stay here regularly into 1958 while Costello with new partner Ray St Clair would return in 1967 and the team would appear in Toronto through the next several years with Ray (aka Don) Kent replacing St Clair.

Don Kent later became 'Bulldog' Kent and was a regular on the Ontario circuit into the early 1980's appearing also on George Cannon's Superstars show as well as Dave McKigney's small town circuit.

Thanks to Roger Baker


Back To Home