THE WAY IT WAS
by Percival A. Friend

(The EPITOME of Wrestling Managers)

2004 Honoree
Cauliflower Alley Club
Las Vegas, Nevada

Wrestling Beat Hotline

Percival's Photo Of The Week

Al Warshawski
Al Warshawski, pictured in the driveway of the late Lou Klein. Al was a great mat technician from the forties to the sixties around the Great Lakes area. He was a super referee later in life at many events in Michigan.

Angus-Littlebear

For a long time, I have been besieged to tell a story of Angus Campbell and his historic defeat of Danny Littlebear to become the Central States Champion again. He did this one evening in front of a sellout audience in Kansas City, Kansas.

Championships were not an uncommon feat for me to realize. My personal goal while in the business of Professional Wrestling was to be the best at what I did. I took many men to heights that they could not have attained without my incredible knowledge and foresight.

Angus had come from far away Scotland, where he had grown up, and became an overnight sensation when he decided that he would choose professional wrestling as a career. He did strongman stunts near the arena he would wrestle in that evening, like grabbing a six-inch tree from curbside with a 15-foot log chain he carried and ripping it from its roots .

He also used that same log chain to pull huge trucks down cobblestone streets in London prior to going to the Royal Albert Hall and winning the Commonwealth Heavyweight Championship. He had visions of coming to North America and winning many more belts.

Arriving in Kansas City in 1971, he had only one friend by the name of Earl Black, who wrestled under the name of Black Jack Black. His heavy accent didn't do anything for the interviews that he would have to do at various television stations in the Midwest. People just didn't understand him.

Angus called me at my home in Michigan and tried to reason with me about going back overseas. He was upset with the crowds not understanding him or his ways in the ring. He was very upset about the matches he was given and equally as upset about the payoffs he got from the promoters.

I had returned from a short vacation from the ring and decided to go to Kansas City and help out Angus and Earl, as they were both guided under my management. On a Thursday, after a 15-hour trip by car, I arrived at the offices of Heart of America Sports in the old Kansas Citian Hotel . I was not able to speak to the promoter, Gust Karras, as he was in St. Joseph, Missouri, some 60 miles to the north. I was assured that he would be in the building at Kansas City, Kansas that night.

Danny Littlebear had been in many ring wars and had defeated men the caliber of Harley Race, The Stomper, The Viking and Bob Orton Sr., just to name a few. He had not met Angus in the ring but had watched from backstage the incredible athlete beat many men in ring battles since his arrival. Little did he know that his destiny was set and that he would lose his title the first time he faced the giant Scotsman.

The bell for the main event rang out like the giant bells of Notre Dame. Angus and I were ready and started from the dressing room area towards the ring. I stopped and glanced toward the top of the seating area as if counting heads and sneered at the people booing me. I was not in the mood to be shouted at or have stuff thrown at me.

Ringsiders began shouting out at Angus … calling him an ingrate and a loser. They spit on him and threw cups of beer and empty containers at him. They just didn't understand us; after all, we were gentlemen of the highest quality.

Danny Littlebear came from the opposite dressing room area, where he was met by at least 200 kids wanting his autograph. He took his time getting to the ring and just kept staring at me. I guess he had never seen a snappy dresser like myself. I had on a beautiful yellow sport coat with a Kelly Green silk shirt, topped off with a floral necktie and bright red slacks. I carried my trademark briefcase at my side with all the important papers inside.

As we approached the center of the ring for the instructions … I reminded referee Richard Moody that I was not happy with the way that Angus had been treated and that he should show him proper respect. I then poked an index finger into Littlebear's chest and told him to pay attention to the instructions that were being given out, as HE needed to follow the rules set forth by the state of Kansas wrestling commission.

Littlebear reached out and grabbed me by the lapel and pulled me into his face and began to tell me that, in no certain way, could I even attempt to get involved in the match. Angus lunged forward and knocked off the headdress that had been given to him by his father, Steven Littlebear, and proceeded to beat his initials on Littlebear's head and chest.

Moody rang the bell, and the match was under way, with Angus taking the first fall by nearly suplexing Littlebear out of those smelly moccasins he wore and pinning him in the middle of the ring. Fans were starting to come into the ring to help Littlebear out and were promptly sent back to their seats by the police.

The bell rang for the start of the second fall, and Littlebear was still not recovered from the beating he had been given in the prior fall. He fought back with a valiant effort but was handed defeat by way of a big Bear Hug. Blood dribbled down both sides of his mouth as Angus let go of him at my command and dropped the helpless Littlebear to the mat. They carried him out on a stretcher to a nearby hospital.

Angus was the new Central States Champion and was given the belt . He placed the belt on my shoulder, raised my hand in victory and declared to the crowd that justice was finally given to us. I grabbed the mike and let out with a phrase that had been made by Buddy Rogers when he beat Pat O'Connor in Chicago … "To a nicer guy, it couldn't happen."

Fans now were in a state of riot, and it took 19 uniformed and four plainclothes cops to get us back to the dressing room. The fans were not happy with us at all. Many started fights with each other as they had mixed emotions about the outcome of the event. It would not change the status of the match.

.....I was the victor that night.

Percival A. Friend, Retired
The Epitome of Wrestling Managers
2004 CAC Honoree

Pampero Firpo and Percival
Pampero Firpo and Percival at the CAC 2000, held at the Riviera in Las Vegas. They have been friends for 40 years.

(MIDI Musical Selection: "Blackberry Jam")

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