G: Garvin - George
Wrestling Heritage A-Z
Gorgeous Terry Garvin strutted his stuff and enraged British fans with his rule bending antics during his winter 1961-2 tour. An outrageous character who no doubt left an impression not just on the fans but on British wrestlers as they developed their own characters.
In days when effeminate characteristics were rarely displayed with such openness the overly-perfumed, immaculately coiffured blond would bring fans to a frenzy simply with his majestic, over-emphasised bow when he was introduced to the audience. These were the days when the public portrayal of British wrestling was a legitimate sport.
Garvin based his ring character on the original Gorgeous George who he had watched frequently as a child.
Terry came from Montreal, made his debut in 1958, and was a one time holder of the Canadian Junior heavyweight title, which he won from Eddie Jackson in front of 14,000 home town fans.
Heritage member Chris told us of a match between Terry and Dr Death, staged by Paul Lincoln Management, "This was round after round of foul filled mayhem. At one stage both wrestlers refused to go to their corners at the end of the round and stood in the ring exchanging forearm smashes for the entire rest period. Later Garvin was dumped out of the ring and threw a chair at Dr. Death. Eventually both were disqualified. Some time after we saw the pairing again at Burnt Oak Essoldo. The premise here was if defeated, Death would unmask whilst Garvin would leave the country in 60 days if he lost. (I guess his visa was up). It was another roaring contest though I think they wisely toned it down a bit from the first affair.. Dr Death duly triumphed this time."
Following a highly successful North American career Garvin went on to promote in the USA before dying of cancer in August, 1998.
French middleweight who was well known on the Continent, especially in France and Spain, wrestled in Britain during the winter of 1951-2.
The Italian middleweight made regular appearances at Belle Vue, Manchester, in the first half of the 1950s, billed as the Middleweight Champion of the World.
Parisien Robert Gastel was known as “The Bull of Batignolles,” with reference to the district of Paris from which he hailed. Neither the name or his brawling style did him any good at all when he was brought to the United Kingdom in May 1967 to face British champion Billy Robinson in the Cup Final Day television spectacular. Robinson won the match by two falls to nil. Our only other recorded contest of his short visit is a loss to Barry Douglas. Gastel wrestled extensively throughout Europe in the 1960s, and in 1969 worked in Japan for the IWE. Whilst there he and Andre Bollet were recognised as European Tag Team Champions, losing the title to Rusher Kimura and Great Kusatsu in Tokyo on 28th February, 1969. Amongst other tag partners in Japan were Mike Marino and Dazzler Joe Cornelius.
One of the glamour boys of 1960s British wrestling we could never imagine the fans turning against Kalman Gaston. Justice would have required this talented technician with matching looks to be one of the big names of wrestling. Alas, such was the richness of quality in British wrestling during the 1960s that many youngsters who would otherwise have been championship contenders remained in supporting roles. Kalman Gaston is a typical example of a victim of an overcrowded market place. The Budapest born middleweight who came to Britain with a good amateur background in the 1950s and turned professional in 1961, working for Dale Martin Promotions. In that first professional match he lost by a knock out to a very experienced, wily wrestler, Pasquale Salvo. He quickly established himself as a firm favourite in the south of England and nationally thanks to television exposure. During the 1960s Gaston met all the big names amongst the lighter weights, most fondly remembered against the bad boys lije Mick McManus, Jackie Pallo and Bobby Barnes. For a while Kalman formed a popular tag partnership, The Magyars, with Peter Szakacs. He certainly seemed to have all the qualities to reach the very top but never climbed to the dizzy heights of main event star in his own right, disappearing from our rings in the early 1970s.
Alex Gaul (Jack DeGaul)
Scottish heavyweight protege of Ian Campbell wrestled in British rings during 1965 and 1966, making one televised appearance in March, 1966, against John Cox. Was known as Alex Gaul in northern rings and JackDe Gaul in the south.
The Gay One
See the entry for Al Vipond
Timmy Geoghegan (George Flynn)
Good grief, where were the health and safety officers in the 1960s? Having a fit, no doubt, if they had seen Irish American heavyweight Timmy Geoghegan demonstrate his famed sleeper hold on a collection of unwitting fans prior to his contests. Often claimed to be the inventor of the sleeper, which allowed Geoghegan to unceremoniously place opponents into a state of unconsciousness, the wrestler said he learned of the hold from an orthopaedic surgeon in the 1950s. The surgeon, Professor Drohl, had never been in a position to try out his theory you understand, he left that task to Timmy who tested it with regularity in the wrestling rings of the world. Timmy's sleeper was a pressure hold that impacted on the nervous system and did not prevent the opponents from breathing. He was able to reverse the effects of the hold by massaging the neck muscles, which brought the opponent back to consciousness. Geoghegan was born in Ireland and had a background of amateur and fairground boxing and wrestling before turning professional. He moved to the United States when he was nineteen years old, later moving to Canada where he took Canadian citizenship. Most of Timmy's career was spent in North America, where he once held Lou Thesz to a draw, with the occasional visit to Europe. In an earlier identity Charles (his birth name) Geoghegan wrestled under the name George Flynn, quickly changing to Tim Geoghegan .
Remembered by fans:
"The only time I saw it was when he used it to good effect in a contest against Yuri Borienko at the Burton Place Drill Hall, Taunton circa 1964. After the contest a friend of mine volunteered to go into the ring where Timmy applied the hold and put my mate to sleep." Duncan
"Tim Geoghegan demonstrated his sleeper hold at Wembley Town Hall one night on a friend of mine who was being a bit foolhardy. Friend said afterwards he felt very calm and peaceful when he went to sleep. He was quieter afterwards." Matey Dave
"I have done this and had it done to me, so I can assure you it works (you can see it in many UFC matches), as has been explained, the pressure on the side of the neck restricts blood flow to the brain, causing a fainting type of result. Shifting the position means it chokes the adams apple, very painful. In the USA, I read that Verne Gagne (owner of the American Wrestling Association, where Billy Robinson spent a lot of time) taught the sleeper to US troops." SaxonWolf
Dave George (Dave Adonis, General Belgrano, Red Scorpion)
For a decade and a half Dave George developed a real talent of working up the crowd, usually on the independent circuit and under a variety of guises. Apart from the name Dave George he was also introduced by the MC as Dave Adonis, General Belgrano, The Red Scorpion and one of the Assassin Brothers (with Scott Conway). Dave was featured on the DVD Battle Of The Brits - Old Time Pro Wrestling Vol. 2 .He also fathered wrestler Ricky Cortez before passing away at far too early an age, just forty-three.
See the entry for George Burgess