British wrestling history 
has a name...

C: Corrigan - Coulolias

Wrestling Heritage A-Z

George Corrigan
We have found only two references to this man who was said to be Heavyweight Champion of South Africa in 1933. On 3rd March he lost to Bert Assirati in Nottingham. Two weeks later he pulled out of the return match due to injury.

Braka Cortez  
Billed as Brazilian, maybe he was born there, Braka Cortez will be forever linked with the Australian wrestling scene of the 1960s, particularly with the WCW. Whilst he did dutifully go down to the visiting international stars Braka Cortez was a versatile, hard working wrestler worthy of respect. A consumate professional we are told that Braka was willing to do whatever was required.   A good guy one week, a villain the next Braka was willing to fill the role required to make a show a success. One man who gained his respect was wrestler Big John Marshall, a man who was often in the oppositie corner. Big John told us that he enjoyed working with Braka more than about enyone else.

Braka lived in Bonnyrigg, a suburb twenty-three miles west of the centre of Sydney, New South Wales. We discovered him wrestling in 1958, his debut year, working in Sydney clubs for promoter George Gardiner.

A muscular, powerful heavyweight he came to Britain the following year, a four week tour November, 1959. Top class opponents included Norman Walsh, Ray Apollon, Johnny DaSilva and Alan Garfield.  At the Royal Albert Hall he had the dubious privilege of being matched with Mike Marino, dutifully going down to the popular Brit.

Heritage member Graeme Cameron has told us Braka inadvertently found himself in a position of power in late 1969 when a group of twelve wrestlers,  including himself, broke away from Hal Morgan to form their own promotion after being refused a pay  rise. He was appointed matchmaker, referee and liaison to WCW promoter Jim Barnett, handling the  arrangements for supplying talent to the larger promotion, mainly because he got along with everyone.

Braka Cortez moved to Brisbane in the early 1970s and turned to refereeing. By the mid 1970' he was a full time referee for WCW. (the independent promotion only lasted two years) . Braka Cortex died in Brisbane in 2014 from Alzheimer's Disease.

Jon Cortez (Also known as Jimmy James)
The elder (by two years)  of the sensational Dulwich brothers who turned professional (initially using the name Jimmy James) for Paul Lincoln Management in 1960. After joining  Joint Promotions the brothers became instant television successes, often as a tag pairing, but Jon particularly was renowned in his own right. The tag pairing was cut short when Peter moved to Australia in 1972. Jon went on to gain equal, if not greater success, as one half of the Jet Set, partnering Al Miquet. Jon Cortez was the first winner of the ITV Golden Gown Award. He was loved for his speed and agility, which may have disguised the fact that he was a very skilful technician to boot.

Pepe Cortez
Standing 6’4” tall and weighing over twenty stones Spanish heavyweight Pepe Cortez visited the UK in the fifties and sixties, before going on to further success in the USA, where he was known as Hercules Romero, Hercules Cortez and a variety of other names.

He was born on 7th July, 1932 named Alfonso Carlos Chicharro.  He arrived in Britain in 1957, staying about a month and losing to Bill Verna at the Royal Albert Hall. He returned for another short visit in November, 1963, this time working mainly in northern England and Scotland. Although now known as Hercules Cortez in the United States he retained the name Pepe in Britain.

Pepe was tragically killed in  a car crash on the return from a wrestling show on 24th  1971, aged 39.

Peter Cortez
Although he was overshadowed by his elder brother of two years just about every descriptor of lightweight favourite Jon could equally be applied to younger brother Peter. Like brother Jon he learned the trade at the United AWC, Brixton, before turning professional for Paul Lincoln Management and becoming a regular worker for the  independent promoters. Not that it was a smooth start. Only a few weeks after making his professional debut in 1959 Peter was called up for national service and his new career was put on hold for two years. When he returned to the ring in 1961 Jon had already established himself as a potential star in the independent halls. In 1961 Peter re-joined brother Jon in the ring and the soon to be famous Cortez brothers  tag team was formed. In singles contests Peter wrestled other 1960s wannabees such as Zoltan Boscik, Johnny Williams and Roger Green. In August, 1964 Peter (and brother Jon) were signed up to work for Joint Promotions. The rest, as they say, is history. The Cortez brothers were outstanding successes throughout the UK, with popularity equalling that of the Royal Brothers. The wrestling world was shocked in 1972 when Peter abruptly disappeared from the scene and we were told he had emigrated to Australia.
Tony Cortez
Fast moving Lightweight of the 1960s and 1970s who independent promoters crowned European lightweight champion.

Tony Costas
Another of the clean cut skilful 1960s welterweights who worked regularly but failed to stand out in a crowd of talented wrestlers.  One of fifteen siblings Tony Costas came to the UK in 1961 as an engineering student, and turned professional wrestler only a year later. By then he had served a three year apprenticeship an amateur in both Cypus and Britain. Merifully for MC's and television commentators Tony dropped his family name of   Hajihannas when he turned professional. Costas would also save a lot of time when signing autographs! A speedy, technical wrestler Tony was renowned for his drop kick and seen at his best in matches against other technicians such as Jon Cortez, Al Miquet and Leon Fortuna.  On one of his return visits to Cyprus he defeated Apostolos Souclekas to win the Cypriot welterweight title.

Chris Cougar
A bundle of dynamite yet a hard wrestler the 1980s, from Douglas in the Isle of Man. Chris was an all action wrestler trained by Ted Bectey, mentor of Dynamite Kid, after Ted moved to the Isle of Man. He made two television showings, losing to Richie Brooks after taking the opening fall, and then unluckily losing to  Alan Kilby in a British light heavyweight championship clash at Keighley in September, 1988. Had wrestling on television continued we are sure Chris Cougar would have become a popular and well known name.

Basil Coulolias

Young Billy Coulolias was one of those who just couldn't decide, boxing or wrestling? So he did them both, with some success. In 1946 he won the New Zealand amateur middleweight championship at wrestling whilst also boxing as an amateur. The following year he opted for boxing and turned professional. Following a professional boxing match in Greece he decided to explore more of Europe and in June 1947 ended up in Britain. He made his British professional boxing debut in August 1947, losing to Bert Sanders when cut in the fourth round. He boxed 36 matches in the United Kingdom (W14 ,L22 , D2), finally retiring in May, 1951.

It was then that he decided to try his hand at professional wrestling and began to use the name Basil. Initially he over-relied on his strength, which was immense for a welterweight, but returned to the gym and developed his professional wrestling skill. He worked regularly for Joint Promotions, often matched against heavier opponents such as Steve Logan and Johnny Czeslaw. In October 1962 Paul Lincoln tempted him across to work for the opposition promoters and Basil was to remain a prominent name on the independent circuit until our last recorded match for him was in February, 1966.

Page revised 22/12/2019: Update of Braka Cortez entry, update of Pepe Cortez entry

24/10/2019: Update of Braka Cortez entry

09/06/2019: Addition of George Corrigan