Archive for the ‘The Phantom of the Ring’ Category

The Phantom of the Ring returns with a series of reviews of wrestling movies over the years.

 

The Sport Parade (RKO, 1932) – Director: Dudley Murphy. Writers: Corey Ford, Francis M. Cockrell (s/p); Jerry Horwin (story); Robert Benchley, T.H. Wenning (additional dialogue, uncredited). Cast: Joel McCrea, Marian Marsh, William Gargan, Robert Benchley, Walter Catlett, Richard “Skeets” Gallagher, Clarence Wilson, & Ivan Linow. Black and White, 64 minutes.

 

The Sport Parade is a child of its times. Although it may seem especially odd to us today to see pro football treated with the same disdain as professional wrestling, we should keep in mind that, with the exception of baseball, pro sports were seen as disreputable as compared to the “pure” sport that was found in amateur competition. Of course, in reality amateur football was just as crooked, if not more so, than what was claimed for the pro side. Back in those days, the NFL was no more than a blip on the sports map, still struggling for existence. Although it got a boost when the great Red Grange signed on in 1925, not many other college greats followed suit; the prevailing ethos at the time being that taking pay for one’s play was sign of questionable character.

 

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THE PHANTOM OF THE RING
“LIGHTS, CAMERA, ‘RASSLING!
Edited by Karen Belcher

 

This series is dedicated to our good friend, colleague, and kindred cinephile Dr. Mike Lano, who has been a steady and entertaining contributor to these pages. He is both our friend and inspiration, and we can think of no better way to honor him.

 

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BILL CARDILLE: R.I.P.


– The Phantom of the Ring

The true unsung hero of televised wrestling is the announcer sitting at ringside. He is the first person we meet as youth tuning into wrestling for the first time, and the quality of his announcing will often determine the level and passion of our love as fans. One of the true greats of that art form passed away on July 21, 2016 at the age of 87 at his home of pneumonia after a long battle with cancer. He was Bill Cardille, better known to the fans in Pittsburgh as “Chilly Billy” in reference to his longtime status as host of his station’s Chiller Theater. He was a fixture on Pittsburgh’s NBC affiliate, WIIC-TV (now known as WPXI-TV), Channel 11. He did whatever the station needed, serving as a newsman, weatherman, announcer, and television host for various programs, this in an era when local stations originated most of their own programming. (In fact, it was Cardille who signed WIIC onto the air on September 1, 1957. )  He also worked as a radio personality, actor and producer. died early Thursday morning at his McCandless home of pneumonia.

 

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THE AWARDS EVEN A MOTHER COULDN’T LOVE: THE 25TH ANNIVERSARY EDITION OF THE PHANNIES

– The Phantom of the Ring

 

Hello again, fellow masochists. And we know you are masochists because you sit at home and watch the dreck that passes for professional wrestling. It’s time for the awards that need no name, because all the names already given it are obscene.

 

I, the Phantom, have been doing this now for 25 years, alone and with partners. Well, I can tell you this will be the final year of the Phannies. Yeah, I know, I said that before, and look what happened. But this time I’m truly played out. It’s gotten to the point where I can’t even watch the product that’s presented each week. We’re down to three promotions in this country (if we count Ring of Honor as a major), and the way things are going, that number may soon shrink to two.

 

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Many thanks to Dr. Mike Lano and The Phantom, who joined forces for this tribute to the late, great Shirley Temple and her wrestler brother George Temple.

– Dr. Mike Lano & The Phantom of the Ring (The Phantom’s comments in italics)

 

“She was way, way bigger than Honey Boo Boo.  But with talent!”

 

And talent Shirley Temple had in excess, from her soles to beyond the top of her famous curls.

 

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THE 2012 PHANNIES: THE SHAME OF A NATION

– The Phantom of the Ring

 

Well, with the Oscars over, and every other award show also history, it’s clearly time for the Phannies, the awards that go to the worst of the worst. And it’s been somewhat of a busy year, with the usual suspects doing their absolute best to embarrass themselves and some new perps to add to the mix. Der Fuehrer has even come out of his bunker in Argentina to help with the awards. So, without further ado, here’s the Phannies.

 

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The Kansas Jayhawk, Bobby Jaggers, RIP

– The Phantom of the Ring

 

Looking back over my years as a wrestling journalist, I can say easily that the greatest years to be a fan in the New York area were during the early 70s. What looked like a decade of disappointment with the dethroning of Bruno Sammartino by Ivan Koloff soon turned into one of the best parades of talent through the area, both in person and on television.

 

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Phantom – Texas Red

September 12th, 2012 1 Comment

Texas Red

– The Phantom of the Ring

 

In all the years I’ve been covering professional wrestling I’ve spoken with many, many folks, both inside and outside the business. And the one thing I always came away with was the fact that no one was immune to a disparaging remark, whether about a wrestler’s professional life (“X was really the shits in the ring”) to his or her personal life (“X was a real bastard outside the ring). Only a rare few have escaped the cattiness that so punctuated these gatherings.

 

One of those was Red Bastien.

 

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Dara Singh – RIP

The Phantom of the Ring

 

“Khud ko Dara Singh samajhta hai kyta?” – You think you are Dara Singh? (A popular taunt in India to deflate someone boasting of his physical prowess.)

 

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The Phantom Examines the Life and Career of Chief Jay Strongbow

– The Phantom of the Ring

 

Injun Joe

 

He appeared without warning in the WWWF during the summer of 1970 and was the freshest thing to hit our corner of the wrestling world in a quite a while. Using the old tried and true pro wrestling gimmick of the Phony Indian he wowed us with his war dance comeback, his judo chops off the rope, and his application of the sleeper hold when the heat was just about at the boiling point. While being rather a neophyte in my knowledge of the pro game, I still knew, having read every wrestling magazine on the stand since 1964, that a new wrestler, especially one the age of the Chief, just did not appear out of thin air. Back checking a few magazines, let’s just say my jaw dropped when I finally figured out who he really was. And I have since learned that I was not alone; several of his former co-workers shared the same complete surprise, especially since, as Mike Mooneyham recently told me, the Chief was on record in the days before he joined the tribe as saying that he would never use a gimmick to get over.

 

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