WRESTLING HERITAGE

British wrestling history 

S: Savage - Serene


Wrestling Heritage A-Z


Dennis Savage
Irish born Dennis Savage wore his trademark  trunks with a shamrock emblem over green tights, and if that wasn't enough to make him stand out  there was always the accordion with which he often entertained fans before bouts. When not wrestling he played in a folk group, The Ramblin' Rapparees, which specialised in Irish rebel folk songs.   Having moved to England  from Ireland in his early twenties Dennis settled in Yorkshire to be near the Leeds base of Relwyskow and Green Promotions; handily placed to make him a regular on their bills in the mid to late 1960s. Sometimes a rule bender, sometimes the good guy Dennis was well known in the north of England and Scotland. Tragedy struck in March, 1970 when Dennis was killed in a car crash on the return to his home in Dewsbury following a contest in Scotland.

John Savage (Also known as The Manxman)
John Savage was one that got away. Just at the time British wrestling needed new talent. Born in Warrington he made his professional debut in 1982 when he was sixteen years old. He was trained by Ted Betley, the man who had brought Dynamite Kid, Steve Wright and Davey Boy Smith into wrestling. He made eight television appearances , three of them partnering Vic Faulkner.  He shared his talent with British fans for only three years before emigrating to Canada where he took the name Johnny Smith and was said to be the brother of Davey Boy Smith.

Jimmy Savile
Disgraced tv personality had around 100 wrestling matches.

Eddie Saxon
For middleweight Eddie Saxon it was a rags to riches story. Well, we're not so sure about the riches, but life in 1930s and 1940s east end of London was certainly one of hardship for Eddie's family. Out of necessity came boxing as a means of fighting his way out of poverty. As the years passed Eddie's interests turned, as was the case with so many, from boxing to wrestling. By the late 1950s, as he neared his thirtieth birthday,  Eddie was whizzing around the wrestling rings of southern Britain against the likes of Mick McManus, Jackie Pallo and Vic Coleman. In the early 1960s Eddie became increasingly disgruntled with the pay and conditions of professional wrestlers and in 1962 became involved in the Wrestlers Alliance, campaigning for fairer rewards. By the mid 1960s Eddie's wrestling appearances were becoming less frequent and he took on the role of a respected referee. Yet another career change  took Eddie into the educational sphere and trained as a Physical Education teacher. Teaching led to a move to Yorkshire, and another sporting interest, running. In 1980 Eddie and the family moved to New Zealand, settling in the south island coastal town of Nelson. By now you will have gathered Eddie was not one to let the moss grow under his feet. In New Zealand he took up cycling, with New Zealand Olympian, Greg Fraine his mentor. At 59 years old Eddie won two national cycling titles. Life never stops for Eddie Saxon. At the time of writing this entry (July 2013) 85 year old Eddie was still busy, working as a sports therapist and running coach in New Zealand.
Max Martin Schultz 
We have only tragic information regarding French heavyweight Martin Schultz , and require further information to add to his tribute.  He came to Britain shortly before the outbreak of the Second World War and wrestled in Britain during 1939 and 1940. He returned following the cessation of hostilities and it was then that tragedy struck.. On 20 April 1946 he rebounded off the ropes into Leo Lightbody at Belle Vue. Lightbody ducked, Schultz went flying and hit his head on the floor, breaking his neck. The coroner declared a verdict of death by misadventure. Newspapers of the time reported he was born in England and was of German parentage.

Rudi Schumacher
A regular worker in Germany and Austria from soon after the end of the Second Worls War the German  heavyweight visited Britain in 1956, 1957 and 1958. Dutifully went down to British heroes Jack Beaumont, Billy Joyce, Norman Walsh and Cyril Knowles and quite a few others. 


Big Boy Charlie Scott (Also known as Great Bula)
Gateshead's Big Boy Charlie Scott took to life as a professional wrestler shortly after discharge from service as an army physical training instructor. He was soon travelling throughout the north, and then further afield after moving to London, and was quickly tagged the Tyneside Terror by ringside fans. 

Charlie's bruising style was a crowd pleaser  and weighing around 20 stones the Big Boy label was very fitting.  Charlie was a firm favourite at both Belle Vue and Blackpool Tower in the late 1940s, wrestling at both venues on an almost weekly basis against big names such as Tony Baer, Bill Garnon, Alf Robinson, Bomber Bates and Jack Atherton. Legend has it that Charlie faced Bert Assiratti more often than any other opponent, and we can confirm the two were frequent foes. We don't know the accuracy of this claim, but its very existence is an indication of the stature of the man. The masked man Count Bartelli was another frequent opponent.  

Also in the opposite corner was the former British heavyweight boxing champion, Jack London, in a boxer versus wrestler contest. With the formation of Joint Promotions in 1952 Charlie was signed up to work for the syndicate, and did so until 1957 when he moved across to the independents. Charlie then became one of the biggest names on the independent circuit, particularly the fledgling Paul Lincoln Promotions, using both his own name and that of the masked man, Great Bula. Charlie's career took him across to the continent, where he wrestled in the big European tournaments. Charlie Scott retired from wrestling in 1962.

John Scott
Bearded John Scott was a London policeman before he emigrated to New Zealand in 1964. Mythology tells us that tackling a rowdy punter at a wrestling tournament in Christchurch brought him to the attention of New Zealand wrestler  John da Silva, and the Londoner soon found himself in the ring. He turned professional later in 1964, just two weeks later, and at one time claimed the New Zealand Junior Heavyweight Championship. One time tag partner of Bob Richardson, another Scot, in the Braw Lads tag team. They lost by straight falls to the Royal brothers in their only televised appearance, which was from Preston's Guild Hall and broadcast in January 1976. He returned to Britain for a short time in 1968 when he spent Christmas with family in Scotland. John was back in  Britain once again in 1974.

Sandy Scott (Edinburgh)
British wrestling has boasted a number of Sandy Scott’s. The first, real name Angus McKay Scott,  was born in Edinburgh but moved to Canada aged five. He turned professional wrestler in 1953  and wrestled mainly in North America before visiting “home” in the 1960s.

Sandy Scott (Glenrothes)
We have two more recent Sandy Scott's for you (neither to be confused with the genuinely famous Canadian Sandy Scott).  In the 1970s the red haired, bearded Sandy Scott from Glenrothes  was Leeds-based,  able to appear nationwide and made the most of his  favour with the Yorkshire-based promoter of the time, débuting on television against Mike Marino and being fast-tracked for immediate inclusion on the final ever Royal presentation in November.   He later moved to Canada where he was both wrestler and referee, for Stampede Wrestling. 

Sandy Scott  (Wishaw)
A third Sandy Scott, from Wishaw in Lanarkshire (also known as Dynamic Dragon) was blonde haired worked mainly for independent promoters and married wrestler Busty Keegan. He moved to Lowestoft.

Wally Seddon
Yes, it's true. There was something in the water in Lancashire.  

Apart from the names we all remember there were hard men that could wrestle and made a vital contribution at a regional level. Such men were the backbone of the business, but never achieved lasting national fame. One of these was the Bolton tough nut, Wally Seddon.  Times were hard during the 1930s recession and Wally turned to wrestling as an escape route from the hardship of life in the industrial north.  

A regular at the big halls in Newcastle, Manchester and Liverpool Wally faced pre war greats such as Herbie Rosenberg, Jack Atherton and Vic Hessle. 

Following the war Wally continued wrestling,  rarely venturing further south than Birmingham, but facing the likes of Count Bartelli  until he was last seen in 1955. The quality of opponent over such a long period is enough to show that here was a man of calibre.

Canelo Segura
The Mexican came over to Britain in 1974.  He was already a seasoned professional of some twenty years, making his debut in 1952,  mainly spent working in his native Mexico. In 1973 he began a tour of Europe, taking in Austria, Germany and Britain.   A tv disqualification against Tug Wilson, but in 1974 when Niggly Mick was arguably at his peak promoter Ted Beresford seemingly allowed a disqualification verdict with Mick going down to Canelo Segura. Tells us something. Or does  it?

Graham Sellars
 Okay, we confess to knowing next to nothing about this stockily built heavyweight from Grimsby. The Who's Who of Wrestling told us he was an ex soldier who  was  trained at Bradford YMCA by Joe Hill

Steve Serene (Also known as Solitaire)
Steve First became interested in wrestling when he met and became a close friend of JJ Pallo at school.He first started his wrestling at the age 15 when he joined Breaks Amateur Wrestling Club in Hatfield Hertfordshire.

He broke into the professional ranks in 1975 after being trained by Jackie Pallo and Jackie Jnr. and was soon to become a regular at all the venues run by Jackie Pallo Enterprises and other independent promoters. He was wrestling 3 to 4 times a week throughout the country from the mid seventies to the mid eighties both as himself and in a mask as Solitaire.

Through his connections with Jackie Pallo he was privileged throughout his career to wrestle with many of the greats of British wrestling and to appear on the same bills with all the top names.He appeared on four TV shows that were screened both here and in America.

Marius Servais
There was a  short visit to southern England in February, 1964 for Belgian heavyweight Marius Servais. Opponents included Johnny Allan, Georges Gordienko, John Lees and Roy Bull Davis.

Wally Severn
Wally Severn worked for independent promoters such as Jack Taylor in the midlands during the 1960s. When he wasn't being Wally Severn the wrestler he worked as an electrician in a Nottinghamshire colliery, or as one of the masked Undertakers. When he retired from wrestling Wally bought a hotel in Great Yarmouth.