WRESTLING HERITAGE

British wrestling history 

L: Lasar- Law

 

Wrestling Heritage A-Z


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Jack Lasar (Also known as Rene Lasartesse)

Stamping Jack Lasar, the arrogant strutting villain of the 1960s had something of an identity crisis. In Britain Stamping Jack billed as the American villain who would taunt his opponent, mercilessly punishing him to antagonise the crowds. In America he would equally enrage fans but was known as Ludwig Van Krupp. To the Germans he was Frenchman Rene Lasartesse, whilst to the French fans he was a German. He was actually Edouard Probst, born in Basel, Switzerland, in 1928. His career spanned thirty  five years, beginning in 1953 and concluding in 1988 as he neared his sixtieth birthday. International success came in 1958 when he worked in the United States.


Jack Laski

Canadian heavyweight Jack Laski made a six month visit to Britain during the winter of 1956-7 and returned once again the following year. Between times he wrestled in Austria and Germany. Opponents included Jack Pye, Mike Marino, Count Bartelli, Francis St Clair, Ray Apollon on television and Royal Albert Hall bouts against Ray Hunter and  Black Butcher Johnson.


Pierre LaTour
A name associated with promoter Jack Taylor in the 1960s. We have been told two wrestlers used this name, Peter Jordan and Peter Measures, who gained popularity as Pete LaPaque.

Scarface Laval

The French villain who appeared fleetingly in Britain at the start of the seventies.   Originally he came to the ring dressed Mafia-style as Al Capone,  but later assumed a full-length villain's gown. Previously having wrestled as  Philippe Navarro the change of name confirmed his identity as a ring villain. Could it really be coincidence he chose  the name Laval, the French prime minister who collaborated with the Nazis and was shot by a firing squad. In April, 1971 he headed for Britain and made his debut in the Royal Albert Hall Trophy Tournament, A victory over Judo Al Hayes was followed by a semi final loss to Steve Viedor. Only one other UK match seems to have materialised, the following night at Cambridge with Mike Marino.


Kitione Lave 

Born in 1934, Kitione Lave, the Tongan Terror or Tongan Torpedo, was certainly one of the finest boxers to enter the wrestling ranks. Lave outstrips even the important George Nuttall, the original Black Mask, in having defeated British favourite Nosher Powell.  Nuttall had been unable to overcome Powell in their Royal Albert Hall encounter.  Kitione Lave was only outpointed by the great Brian London and had actually put away British Champion Don Cockell in the second round of their encounter (below)  - and Cockell had gone 9 rounds with the undefeated Rocky Marciano.


The famous fifties Queen of Tonga followed Lave’s career closely and also employed him at her palace.


Famous wrestling venue St James’s Hall Newcastle was the 1960 scene of a controversial boxing match where the referee stopped the fight deeming that both Lave and his Ghanaian opponent were “not giving of their best”.


At 72 in the Heritage countdown of the finest wrestling posters, see Kitione Lave billed against Dwight J Ingleburgh in 1965,  just a year after he had retired from boxing as the undefeated Pacific Heavyweight Champion.  (Though he had already been wrestling in Singapore a couple of years before that alongside Prince Kumali for promoter and noted super heavyweight, Emil “King Kong” Czaja.)


Due to Lave’s passion for casinos, during his decade in Britain, Lave didn’t wrestle far from his main business interest in Sheffield, and could easily slip under the radar of less than attentive British wrestling historians.  Kitione served in the RAF, ran a gym at the base, a nightclub in Sheffield and even played a few games for Doncaster’s rugby league team. He returned to New Zealand in 1972 with his English wife, Patricia, who he had married in 1957.


Kitione Lave passed away in 2006.



Shaun Lavery (Also known as Shaun Falcon)

Yorkshire based Shaunn Lavery was from Northern Irish stock. He could be seen on the independent circuit of the 1970s, working mostly for Cyril Knowles. Shaun was later signed up for Joint Promotions using the name Shaun Falcon.


Ian Law 

Tayside's Ian  Law was a late 1970's challenger for Johnny Saint's World  lightweight crown and the man credited for training Drew McDonald. In the mid 1980s Ian was laying claim to the world welterweight championship and took part in blood baths with Rollerball Rocco.