G: Gable - Garner
Wrestling Heritage A-Z
The big man billed from Australia or Canada, but as British as Liquorice Allsorts.
Frederick Henry Robinson was born on 16th May, 1912, The name Rex Gable was far more glamorous and eventually he changed his name by deed poll. We have found hime wrestling in 1933 and making a big an impact on the British and European scene in the mid 1930s in the opposite corner to big names such as Bert Assirati, The Ghoul, Man Mountain Benny, Bert Mansfield and Dave Armstrong. He was a genuinely national player who could be found on bills the length and breadth of the country. Daughter Mandy told us, “ I was only young when he was wrestling but remember when I was eight seeing him wrestle in Portsmouth.”
Rex was a strong, powerful heavyweight, standing well over six feet tall; six foot six inches according to the posters. His long limbs made him quite a straggly character whilst his fair hair and good looks made him a popular star. He was well travelled throughout his career and as early as 1936 we have found him in Belgium competing in a tournament for the European Heavyweight Championship, with the strapline of British Heavyweight Champion. Rex took part in three matches, losing to Belgian’s Emile Charlier and Constant le Marin, and Poland’s Max Krauser.
Rex was an accomplished wrestler. Whilst reports of rough fighting exist they are outnumbered by stories of a skilful technician. Reporting a contest at Preston in June 1939 the Lancashire Evening Post said that Vic Hessle “Never had a chance against Rex Gable who won as he pleased.” The report went on to state that Rex would not get a real testing until matched against Dave Armstrong or The Masked Marvel.
Serving in the forces during the war brought an abrupt curtailment to Rex’s appearances but following the cessation of hostilities in the European Theatre the hostilities of the ring re-commenced. He was signed up by the Joint Promotion organisation when they were formed in 1952 and went on to make a few of the earliest television appearances before retiring from the ring in 1957. We last found him opposing Masambula at the Queens Hall, Preston, in December 1957.
Rex Gable died on 25th December, 2000.
Born in 1930 the welterweight from Surrey was seen fleetingly around the south of England in 1959 and 1960.
See the entry for Mick McMichael
Yassim Ghulam Gama
Bradford based heavyweight who made numerous appearances in Joint Promotions rings in 1963, almost all of them in the north and Scotland.
Aguirre “Wildcat” Garcia (Also known as Pancho Gonzales)
Billed at times from Lima, Peru, and at others from Mexico city, Wildcat also enjoyed two names. His earliest incarnation in British rings was as Pancho Gonzales the colourful Mexican imported to Britain by independent promoter Paul Lincoln.
Legend had it that he became smitten by wrestling the night he walked many miles from his village to watch the bullfight, only to find that wrestling was on that night instead. Such is the nonsense the fans of the sixties was fed, and we have it on good authority from the source of the story that this is the case.
Shortly after being brought to the UK by Lincoln in 1959 and again in 1962 he was snapped up by Joint Promotions, notably losing to Steve Logan at the Royal Albert Hall in a contest where the fans actually cheered the London iron man on to a knock out win.
We can find only a couple of documented reports for Emmanuel Garcia. We include him in the A-Z but not necessarily for the right reasons. The two reports we have of Emmanuel Garcia tell of him involved in mud wrestling matches, both in June 1938. Neither did anything to enhance the reputation of professional wrestling. In Middlesbrough he lost to Dick the Dormouse in a ton of clay, fifteen gallons of oil and two bags of soot.
The contest at Nottingham against Eric Fisher was described as “A Farce from Start To Finish,” though was announced to those present as a “humorous interlude.”
We have found other contests of Garcia against Bill Garnon and appearances of Don and Charles Garcia in 1938, who may or may not have been the same man.
Big Ed Gardenia
See the entry for Baron Faieta
Our first record of Bob Gardiner is in January, 1936, drawing with Horace Taylor in Bradford. The following bout we uncovered, against College Boy, was reported as an “excellent and clean contest” with Gardiner taking the first fall after 19 minutes and College Boy pinning the Scot in the 30th and 40th minute. Reports suggest Bob was a skilful wrestler who displayed "A surprising facility in escaping from holds."Bob, from Denny in Stirlingshire, was said to be a Junior Highlands Game champion and billed as middleweight champion of Scotland. Bob was the brother of William and George. Brother George Gardiner wrestled in the 1924 Paris Olympics and was placed fourth in the freestyle lightweight class. Bob's opponents included Billy Riley, George DeRelwyskow Jr and French wrestler Alex Poizat. Bob Gardiner does not seem to have continued wrestling following the Second World War. We understand another brother, William, may also have been a professional wrestler.
London based heavyweight born in the Turks and Caicos Islands made his debut in April, 1975 at Hanley, losing to Pat Curry. A succession of appearances followed, throughout the south, usually losing to distinguished and less distinguished opponents ranging from Tug Holton to John Kowalski to Wayne Bridges. He disappeared from the business as quickly as he had appeared later in 1975.
Read our extended tribute: The Turbulent Trailblazer
Gargantua (Kurt Zehe)
See the entry for Kurt Zehe
Gargantua (Also known as Man Mountain Moran, Hombre Montana, Black Mask)
Not the first Gargantua in British rings (for him you will need to look at the entry of Kurt Zehe). The second Gargantua was the less exotic sounding Jim Moran, from Leeds, who also towered over most opponents, but at a more realistic 6’7”. and weighing twenty-one stones.
Moran created quite a buzz around the wrestling world when he first appeared in the ring, it having been a very long time since anyone quite so tall had been seen.
He was one of the many who the knowledgeable Kent Walton told millions of viewer he knew nothing because the man refused to talk to him whilst all readers of The Wrestler knew he was Jim Moran of Leeds.
Whilst Moran had some skill his robotic style did little to create a free-flowing contest. The crowds liked him, though, or at least liked to boo him, and at the end of the sixties and early seventies he was a regular feature on British bills. On occasions used the name Hombre Montana and for a brief period in 1971 was another Black Mask, though it's hard to understand how his identity could have been much of a secret.
Related article: Come-Uppance in Armchair Corner on www.wrestlingheritage.com
Parisien heavyweight visited Britain in 1961 and 1962 for Dale Martin Promotions, wrestling the top mid heavies and heavyweights of the time. Lost to Johnny Czeslaw at the Royal Albert Hall.
We have just two recorded matches for Liverpool's Juan Garmo (known as Mr Coney Island), real name John McIntosh, one in 1947 and one in 1948. Information is being sought by his granddaughter, Kim, and Heritage reader Terry Nelson.
The heavyweight from West Ham turned professional in 1957 and wrestled for Dale Martin Promotions throughout the south for six years before disappearing from the wrestling scene.