Portland Wrestling: The PBS Documentary (FULL LENGTH)

By Stevie Adams / in , , /

Live! From the Portland Sports Arena, This
is, Portland Wrestling! Your ringside host, Frank Bonnema. Brought to you in part by Tom
Peterson’s Oregons largest TV stereo and appliance store, Tom Peterson’s Southeast 82nd & Foster
Rd. And by Friendly Chevrolet in Lake Oswego. Whether you’re looking for a new or used car
or truck see the folks at Friendly Chevrolet! And a very good Saturday evening to you all
whatever you might be doing on this great I say, I bake twice a month for them… Bannana bread one week… and, some other time a German Apple Coffee Cake. Sometimes cookies, and the next time one of them needs a German Chocolate Cake… And Johnny from England wants some Scotch Short Bread, because I’m Scotch, he knows that I know how to make it… So, I’ve got to make Scotch Short Bread for Johnny Eagles… But they’re all a bunch of spoiled little boys, to me… Me? Me, I’m Mom to them… They like the goodies! You know, a lot of people say that wrestling is fixed, but… I’ll tell you one thing… All they gotta do is just get banged up against these ropes and these ring posts a little bit, they’ll know it isn’t. When guys go to the hospital with their head laid open, and a broken arms, like that, there’s nothing fake about that! I really, really enjoy It, I really do! It’s a tough life, very tough life. I’m gonna retire within about the next two years… It’s hard to get up, you know, night after night, You know, to get up for a big match, it’s hard to psych yourself up… …and to hold down the schedule that I hold down, and to pump the iron, lift weights like I lift weights… You know, with cauliflower ears, and a scarred up head, and bad knees and broken bones, and, you know… Cause after all that stuff happens, then Arthritis sets in, and I’m not ready for it! Get that fat pig outta there! We’re wrestling champions, and that’s exactly what we’re gonna do, we’re gonna defend these titles anytime, anywhere, and Tuesday night they’re on the line! So whichever team wants to put their name on the line, our names are there already, you just put your names under it, and we’ll step in that Squared Circle with you on Tuesday night, and we’ll get it on, and the best team will win! Frank! I just wanna tell the people something. I’ve been receiving cards and letters, all over the state of Oregon, Washington… They say, “Jesse pose! Jesse pose!” “You got a new image, but you still gotta pose!” So I’m gonna pose, Frank… I don’t think it’s fake, uh, it’s all too rassling I think, you know? Good sports. All good sportsmanship. From what I can see, I’ve been coming to them for the last 30 years, I guess…

30 thoughts on “Portland Wrestling: The PBS Documentary (FULL LENGTH)

  1. This is why Portland Wrestling was so great. Dutch Savage versus The Iron Sheik and Bull Ramos as his bad guy helper. Classic wrestling at the peak of the game!

  2. I had a copy of this about 20yrs ago that a friend had gotten from Dutch. I was told this was made for a film festival and the premise was to capture a night of Portland Wrestling. A really good piece of work.

  3. That documentary was just purely awesome!!! We didn't get the honor of watching Portland Wrestling in the Northeast, but thank God we have YouTube to live those missed opportunities! The wrestling there was so comparable to the WCCW wrestling style of non-stop action!

  4. It Surprises me a little of the BIG NAMERS who started here Like Ventura, Piper, The Iron Sheik, Jimmy superfly Snuka Even The Legendary Andre the Giant, EVEN Ric Flair Came here for a While and they ALL went to work for WWE & WCW Some with Different names too Like the Bushwackers << only in the WWE, They were ORIGINALLY called the Sheephearders, Adrien Adonas, The Dynamite Kid (<Former tag team of the British Bulldogs) Sam Oliver Bass (Ronnie Bass) , Yet Some Did or Didn't Make It Big BUT were VERY popular Like Billy Jack Haynes, Matt Borne, Rip Oliver too!!
    Funny That I can Still remember this But I can't remeber how I passed High school, I went Drug Free!!!

  5. You know it goes to show that the fan can be educated to like what you've got if you know what they want to see . Every territory did things their own way and if you ask Portland area wrestling fans what wrestling looks like and they will insist its what Don Owens promoted . However if you go to Dallas it was what Gary Hart booked and in Louisiana it looks exactly like what Bill Watts showed them . All of these territories were microcasms and good worker learned something new from the last territory they were in and would introduce it to the fans of where they're heading next . This is how wrestling thrived .

  6. This brings back so many memories, my sister and I would catch the number 3 interstate bus to the Portland sports arena on Saturdays, we even got a ride home from Jimmy Snuka once !!

  7. Snuka was my favorite, brudda. He lived in my neighborhood in Vancouver Washington when I was a kid.

  8. I use to go every month at the "House of Action" when I was a kid. Big fan of Al Madrill and the "Fiesta Garden". I still have pictures of me with Mean Mike Miller And Bobby Jaggers

  9. Enjoyed watching this time capsule immensely. Gritty, uncompromising and in your face wrestling. The crowd are right into it and the action is fast and brutal. I believe Vince McMahon had a huge hand in killing the independent circuit/territories and wrestling in general with his obsession of pushing and rewarding juiced up bodybuilders whilst ignoring far more talented wrestlers and his overall greed and ego.

  10. My favorite memory of Portland wrestling was a Loser Leaves Town cage match between Buddy Rose and Piper around 1980 at the fair grounds in Walla Walla.

  11. They should have focused on the wrestlers and not the fans in this documentary. At least the heroes and heels were interesting to watch and listen to. The fans the show attracted at that time had me shaking my head at their ineptitude. Makes you want to say: GET A LIFE!! to them. At least there was one fan that understood that it's not only the fan favourites that make the show entertaining, but the rule breakers as well. He was the trimmed, bearded young man eating popcorn trying to talk some sense to the silly, old, stuttering fool at 9:25 of this video.

  12. This Portland wrestling reminds me of the type of wrestling I used to see in the southern territories. I love how they built up the action until the mere occurrence of someone just touching that glove made the audience go crazy.

  13. I live in the one town (Aberdeen WA) in the PACNW that Portland Wrestling refused to ever book after a near riot occurred. Back in the early to mid 70s, they did a show here, got into a fight with a bunch of loggers and mill workers both inside the building and outside. Before it was over local PD and the Grays Harbor Sheriffs office got involved and many of the wrestlers ended up in jail until Don Owen was able to bail them out at his expense. Because of that they would schedule events in the surrounding towns but would not come to Aberdeen for any reason. In 1985 a few of us tried to get them return as a way of funding our police explorer troop and we were very politely told by Dutch Savage "Nope, not Aberdeen, not now, not ever."

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