When Andre the Giant Crushed San Francisco: California Action Wrestling Magazine
At an estate sale last week, I found the January, 1976, issue of Action Wrestling, California's "Official Wrestling Magazine." It's stuffed with asskick the way a cornucopia's stuffed with gourds. Most notable is its reminder that Andre the Giant was a phenomenon of inky, underground image reproduction back when Shepard Fairey was in Underoos.
It also reminds us that -- WWE Raw notwithstanding -- wrestling could at times truly seem raw:
(All joking aside, we'll mail our copy of this cool keepsake to the first person to identify the blood-smeared wrestler to us. Thanks!)
There's features here on Ray Stevens, a couple cool photos of wrestlers piled atop each other, and a detailed report and some memorable letters to the editor on the subject of a tag-team "girl midget wrestlers" bout at San Francisco's Cow Palace:
"[Referee Williams] had a heck of a time keeping only two girls in the ring at a time, and when all four were fighting and one of the girls kicked Williams in the rear, he couldn't quite figure out who did it, so he shrugged it off. He got tangled up in the girls again and caught [Marie] LeVeau kicking him, so he just grabbed her and spanked her."
There's more of that on the next page. But the highlight here is the press shots of that tragic, vibrant giant, who deserved a tribute much stronger than that saccharine/shitty Billy Crystal movie.
Here he is in a forced perspective shot with Pat Patterson. This is how you make hobbit movies!