The Reunion Story
The Wrestlers Reunion story goes back many years, growing from a small gathering of wrestlers into annual events around the country that attracts hundreds of fans and those involved in the wrestling business past and present.
In the early 1990's it fell to Tony Scarlo to phone around and pass on the sad news to colleagues that someone else had died. Tony's good friend, Joe D'Orazio, called him "The Angel of Death," because they only seemed to speak at the time of someone's sad passing.
It was at Catweazle's funeral in 1993 that Tony's long held ambition to bring together his old friends without the demise of one of their group became a reality. Mal Mason told the gathered group that Gary would have loved to have met all his friends before his death. This was the incentive needed.
Mal offered the use of his garden and Tony set about organising the first Wrestlers Reunion. It wasn't a glorious start. Only a dozen or so wrestlers turned up, with a second attempt two months later bringing in only sixteen. Tony's long time friend Joe D'Orazio suggested asking Joe Cornelius if his pub, The Turners Arms in Crawford Street, West London, would host the venue. Joe readily agreed and Tony and Joe set about planning the next Reunion.
It was hard going, but did provide some funny moments' Tony recalled:
"We had some funny times trying to contact the wrestlers, like when we phoned MC Harry Roth, his wife answered we said it's Joe D Orazio and Tony Scarlo. We mentioned about forming a reunion and wondered if Harry would like to come, there was excitement in her voice, and she said 'Harry would love to come but he died nine years ago, what a sense of humour.'
Another time no names mentioned, but when this wrestlers wife answered she said "If you find the bastard let me know."
This time the Reunion was a success with over 50 wrestlers in attendance. Short lived success, it seemed, when Joe announced he was moving to Spain. Another venue was needed. Wayne Bridges stepped in and offered the use of his pub, The Prince of Orange in Greenwich. It was the ideal location being next to a British railway station, with some parking facilities, and was the home of the Reunion for many years, until Bill moved to Kent.
The Bridges reunion has continued to grow in numbers, enjoyed by hundreds of fans and wrestlers every year. It's not unknown for wrestlers to travel half way around he world to meet up with ex colleagues. The formation of a Committee spread the workload. For personal reasons Tony left the Committee after a few years, a decision which he has regretted on occasions..
Smaller Reunions around the country gave the opportnities for more colleagues to get together without the need for travelling long distances. Seamus Donlevy held a very successful and enjoyable Reunion in Brimingham, "Seamus was a most gracious host we all came away full of high spirits, thank you Seamus."
Next was Bob & Jean Bell along with Monty Swann. They organized a reunion called the Good Old Boys, in Elsmere Port. It was a good venue and a very good attendance of wrestlers and the food was unbelievable. The Ellesmere Port Reunion lasted many years until illness forced Bob Bell to stop orgnising it.
Then came the Leeds reunion started by Darren Ward, Peter Thompson and Tony Kelly. This Reunion has continued to grow year on year and unlike other Reunions is restricted to those who were involved in the wrestling business and their guests. In recent years two more Reunions have joined the family, Blackpool and Ayr.
Each Reunion is non profit making and raises money for charitable causes. Join us for a great day out.