Thundercloud - Tommy the demon
Wrestling Heritage A-Z
A breath of fresh air and a much needed dash of colour came to British wrestling in 1973 when genuine overseas visitors were far less in number than during the previous decade. Chief Thundercloud was another he addressed native American, oft seen partnering Whitecloud, another Hispanic. Thundercloud was an American wrestler named Jesus Lopez who until adopting the native American persona for his British tour had wrestled during the 1960s as Pat Valentino. Although he did wrestle in singles matches Thundercloud is best remembered for tag matches in which he and Whitecloud faced the Dennisons, the Hells Angels and the Saints. The Hells Angels were in the opposite corner, and victors, when they met at the Royal Albert Hall in May 1973. During the same month Thundercloud and Whitecloud made their only television appearance, losing to Roy and Tony St Clair. There were Thundercloud and Whitecloud imitators working for the independent promoters.
See the entry for The Angel
Londoner Peter Kinch wrestled as Little Toby and was a good friend and student of Dangerous Danny Lynch, a neighbour of his when he moved to Ashford. Toby learned his wrestling at an amateur club in Woolwich, and it was after he moved to Kent that the two men became friends in 1970 and Danny offered to train Toby in the professional style. Three years later Toby was deemed ready to hit the rings, and turned made his pro debut in 1973. Toby and Danny would often travel to venues together and Toby became a popular wrestler around the south in the 1970s, unsurprisingly naming his local Stour Centre in Ashford as his favourite venue. Toby unfortunately mislaid all his wrestling memorabilia some years ago, and would like to hear from anyone with any photos, programmes or posters featuring him. Now retired from wrestling Toby runs a driving school in Kent, and is a near neighbour of another Wrestling Heritage friend, Romany Riley.
Lightweight Roger Tofield, from Bletchley, wrestled around the south and midlands of England in the 1970s and until the mid 1980s. He worked for a variety of promoters, including All Star Promotions and Jackie Pallo. He also worked regularly for a local promoter, South Midlands Promotions, which wasn’t surprising because he was the boss. The name South Midlands Promotions was revived by Roger’s son, Sean, and when Sean staged wrestling at their local Towcester Leisure Centre the Master of Ceremonies was an old favourite, Roger Tofield.
The Great Togo
Less than two decades following the end of the second world war the Oriental features may well have been enough to make The Great Togo a hate figures amongst wrestling fans in the non politically correct Britain of the 1960s. Mind you, the rule bending tactics no doubt helped to make him a first class villain. Not to forget his salt throwing good fortune ceremony where salt could oh so easily find its way into his opponents eyes. Togo, real nameToshiyuki Sakata , was actually born in Hawaii, though he began to use the Westernised name of Harold Sakata after moving to mainland USA. His sporting career began as a weightlifter and he represented the USA in the 1948 Olympic Games. In North America he wrestled under the name of Tosh Togo where he tagged with his wrestling brother who was confusingly known as Great Togo. If three names, or is that four, wasn't enough Harold added another when he achieved worldwide fame starring as Oddjob, the bodyguard to James Bond villain Goldfinger. The steel-brimmed bowler hat became a familiar trademark for the wrestler and was much parodied by later villains. Following his British wrestling tour Togo, now commonly known as Oddjob, wrestled around the world took part in numerous film and television series. Toshiyuki (Harold) Sakata died on 29th July, 1982 in Honolulu, Hawaii.
Tommy the Demon
A well known name of the 1930s and 1940s there is as much mystery surrounding the identity of Tommy the Demon as any masked man. We come across Tommy the Demon in 1934, “The Hurricane He Man” from Doncaster, he weighed around 10 stones and was said to be a bit of a whirlwind, a friend and training partner of Jack Pye.
The billing seems pretty consistent during the 1930s. Until the promoter at Nelson, in 1935, announces that Tommy Mack was the wrestler known as Tommy Demon. His lead was followed by others and we find Tommy Mack on posters with the tag line of Tommy the Demon. As Tommy Mack was also billed from Doncaster that seems simple enough. Until January 1953 that is when we find Tommy the Demon previously known as the Black Knight until unmasked and revealed as Bob Hooton.
So, one Tommy the Demon or two?
The name Tommy the Demon (that is Tommy Mack and/or Bob Hooton) disappeared in 1953. The name resurfaced again in 1958, an apparently much heavier man working for the independent promoters.
Wrestler Al Tarzo told us "I remember Tommy the Demon very well. Once I travelled to a show in Redruth, we travelled in Red Callaghan's VW caravette. When we arrived in Redruth Red went to collect a brand new caravette. Not getting much sleep due to the fact we left Thursday evening for Friday night and travelled back after the show Red's nerves were a bit ragged. We really aggravated Red by telling him that Tommy was putting his feet on the seats of his new motor. That journey almost ended with a knock out. But Tommy was an all round joker and decent in my book."
So two or three Tommy the Demons? Here’s another. The name was used again by promoter Max Crabtree for wrestler Tommy Stewart in the 1980s.