O: outlaw - Owen
Wrestling Heritage A-Z
Way back in the 1960s when life was simpler us wrestling fans knew where we stood as far as masked men were concerned. They were mostly heavyweights, invariably dirty (as we called the villains in those days) and seemingly invincible. The Outlaw followed a path led by Count Bartelli, The Ghoul, and a number of other home grown hooded terrors.
The Outlaw was destined to tread paths that had not yet been opened to the masked Bartelli, Ghoul, or even Kendo Nagasaki. The British television viewing public was permitted to view this masked man in action on their television screens at the end of 1965, and a dozen or so more times over the next two years.
Although one half of the Wrestling Heritage team always considered the Outlaw fairly tame alongside The Ghoul, The Monster and Kendo Nagasaki we have to admit that he was a class act, and his tv opponents were top-notch, including Peter Maivia, Ian Campbell, Bill Howes, Steve Veidor, Pat Barrett, Jim Hussey, Gwyn Davies and Chati Yokouchi. We can think of no other long-term masked heavyweight who did not finally meet his match, but the original Outlaw disappeared from our shores some three years later unbeaten and unmasked.
Whilst the original Outlaw defeated all before him in Joint Promotion rings there were always imitations (Carl Dane a particularly good one) in independent rings. In subsequent years the name re-surfaced time and again in both independent and Joint rings.
Top Masked Wrestlers' identities are revealed only in the Wrestling Heritage countdown of Top 20 Masked Men.
Related article: Top 20 Masked Men on www.wrestlingheritage.com
“The Lancashire Ace” from Leigh, weighed around 12 stones. Our first recorded appearance is in September, 1932, and the last in December, 1939. Our impression is that Jack was a more than capable catch wrestler who never rose above a supporting role yet was acknowledged as one of the country’s best middle and light-heavy weights.. One discovery was a match at Preston on 21st May, 1937, when the Lancashire Daily Post reported “Capital wrestling was seen in the contest between Billy Riley and Jack Owens. Owens revealed mastery of leg holds and was too fast for the older man, who was unable to carry on after being counted out in the fourth round.”