WRESTLING HERITAGE

C: Chic Cullen


Chic Cullen


Born twenty years earlier Frank “Chic” Cullen would still have been a major player in the highly competitive days of the 1960s, as his combination of personality, aglity and wrestling skill would have surely made him a star of that decade. As it was he was born in January 1960 in the Raploch area of Stirling, Scotland, bringing him into the business as it entered the years of decline. Not that the boy did badly, as he went on to thirty years of success on both sides of the Atlantic


Who could possibly tell his story better than the man himself? We’ll leave it to Frank ….


From early childhood to this day I've been asthmatic and it's through that I got into wrestling really. I recall not being able to run  without collapsing in a heap struggling for breath. In those days asthma treatment meant for me a three month stay in Bannockburn hospital near Stirling.       


I always had an interest in wrestling from watching World Of Sport on Saturday afternoons with my Granny Jenny. Fun for us as 13 -14 year olds was a twice weekly trip to the local Argyll Youth Club in Stirling. It's there that I met Brian McInally who was teaching Amateur Wrestling, and since I couldn't play too much five-a-side footy like my pals I took up Brian’s offer to join in.


Soon we moved to nearby Bridge of Allan amateur wrestling club. I enjoyed it very much and although not too successful it was enough to get me hooked on all things wrestling.


At sixteen I met Orig Williams who was promoting shows at the Albert Halls in Stirling. I approached him a few times and was given 'the short sharp shift' for which he was renowned. However I persevered and finally got an opportunity to get in the ring with the late Brian Mason (Crusher Mason or at that time The Mighty Chang). He, and the also late Steve Peacock provided me with the springboard to becoming a pro-wrestler. Orig asked to meet my parents and told them I may have what it takes and he'd like me to relocate to Rhyl .... I thought where? Never heard of it!!


My parents who seemed delighted at the prospect of getting rid of me consented and off I went.


After a few hours of training and debut matches, we were off to Sunny Spain! Me on tour as a pro-wrestler in Sunny Spain? You can imagine how excited I was at that prospect.... If I told you it was one of the worst experiences of my life I wouldn't be lying.


We travelled all over the country in a twin wheelbase transit complete with ring onboard, performing in Bull Rings, some that hadn't been used in years, some were derelict! In one Bull ring the curator was scything the long grass where the seating area was, as we erected the ring in the middle. Quite often no more than 10 or 12 people would show up..... What a let down to say the least, then we found ourselves not being paid for days on end and getting rather hungry at times.


Crusher however was to be saviour, we all laughed when he packed his primus stove and accessories back in the UK.... we weren't laughing when he proudly produced it in the middle of a car park somewhere in Madrid and proceeded to make us all lunch! Those of you who knew him will remember his array of gadgets, swiss army knives, torches etc etc.... God Bless him..


By the time we returned to the UK I was ringman/driver/wrestler/gophur etc etc..... Pro-Wrestling The Big Time!!  


We will take over the story again to remind readers of just what a career it was to become. Frank travelled around the country working for the independent promoters initially, and usually billed as Kid Cullen. It didn’t take too long, though, for Max Crabtree to take note of the young Scot and begin booking him for Joint Promotions, as Chic Cullen. He was rewarded with a television debut against the much heavier John Elijah in February, 1981, retiring injured following a speedy and spectacular exit over the top rope.


Shortly afterwards Frank made his first trip to Canada and worked for Stampede Wrestling Promotions under the name Robbie Stewart.


In March, 1984, Chic won the British Heavy Middleweight Title on the first of three occasions, frequently crossing to work both sides of the Atlantic. Defeat of Mark Rocco in October, 1985 brought a short reign as World Heavy Middleweight Champion, but it was a very different state of affairs in 1992 when Chic won the World tille for a second time and held it for a record breaking ten years.


Chic Cullen retired from wrestling in 1993 though he remained actively involved in the sport in both Britain and Canada. In 2017 he was honoured as the third entrant to the Professional Wrestling Hall of Fame Scotland..


Page added 03/04/2022