Just a quick note regarding the
wrestlers and Peter Costello’s memory of same. I’m 46 and was a regular
veiwer of both the Saturday and Sunday wrestling on Channel 7 in the
1960’s. I have a memory of a wrestler with a name that was something
like “Chief White Wolf.” Maybe this guy is the reason for the mystery?
Bill C writes:
met Chief Little Wolf in Kerang in 1953 (and got his autograph), when
he was with Ashton’s Circus. I was 12 at the time. (The LeGarde Twins
were touring as well.) I remember him as a very kind and patient man,
whom we kids idolised, and who was happy for us to sit with him while
he regaled us with wrestling stories. We were all especially fascinated
by his famous ‘Indian death-lock’. Sadly, he was felled by a stroke. He
certainly didn’t wrestle in the 1960s, as Andrew Lewis (9 Nov)
suggests. Read all about him here.
Peter Barfoot writes:
saw Big Chief Little Wolf wrestle at the West Melbourne Stadium in the
late ’50s. His winning leghold was “The Indian Deathlock”. It was done
by him locking his legs on his opponent’s legs, and could not be broken.
Nerida Haycock writes:
Further to the comments regarding Big Chief Little Wolf: a quick Google of his name reveals details from our very own National Library of Australia.
historian Barry York has written that: “(Big Chief) Little Wolf first
wrestled in Australia in 1937…he returned to wrestle again in 1939,
1940, 1941, 1947 and each year thereafter to 1958.” The Chief suffered
a stroke in 1958 which ended his ring career – Costello was born on
August 14th 1957. A quick perusal of Libnam Ayoub’s ‘100 Years of
Australian Professional Wrestling’ (an essential part of any
well-rounded bookshelf) suggests that the Treasurer could possibly be
confusing BCLW with later matmen like Chief Wahoo McDaniel (early
1970s), Chief Billy White Wolf (late 1960s), or if the young Cossie had
gender-confusion issues, even the divine Princess Little Cloud (mid
1960s; real name Dixie Jordan).
Mary McNamara writes:
to the comments by Andrew Lewis and Ian Haig, I think you’ll find that
the ‘native American’ wrestler in the era of Brute Barnard, Mario
Milano, Tex McKenzie, etc in the 60s and 70s was Chief Billy White
Wolf. He was one of the good guys, and I think was famous for his
Andrew Dettmer writes:
Chief Billy White Wolf (who I have it on good authority was a New York
Jew), or Chief Little Wolf. Billy was only here briefly in the 60s; but
Little settled in Australia and had a fast food van, which he used to
drive around the Bellarine Peninsula and sell his chiko rolls.
Unfortunately it was burnt out one night, and I think Little ended up
in a retirement village. So no, there was no “Big Chief Little Wolf”,
and both Andrew Lewis and the esteemed Treasurer are wrong.
Shane Maloney writes:
Ian Haig and Andrew Lewis could settle their wrestling differences in
the ring. Or they could read Barry York’s authoritative article on the
subject in last month’s edition of National Library of Australia News
– replete with photographs, swap cards, newscuttings and showbills from
the National Library collection. Maybe the NL should send Costello a
copy along with its next budget submission.
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