Tony Garea

Last updated

Tony Garea
TonyGarea2007Cropped.png
Garea in 2007
Birth nameAnthony Gareljich
Born (1946-09-20) 20 September 1946 (age 74)
Auckland, New Zealand [1]
Residence Hamden, Connecticut, United States
Professional wrestling career
Ring name(s) Tony Garea [1]
Billed height6 ft 1 in (1.85 m) [2]
Billed weight245 lb (111 kg) [2]
Billed fromAuckland, New Zealand
Trained byWild Don Scott [1]
Debut1971 [1]
Retired1987 [2]

Anthony Gareljich (born 20 September 1946) is a New Zealand retired professional wrestler, better known by his ring name, Tony Garea. He is best known for his appearances in the United States with the World Wide Wrestling Federation/World Wrestling Federation from 1972 to 1986.

Contents

Early life

The son of Croatian-born Ivan Gareljich, Anthony Gareljich was born in Auckland, New Zealand to parents of Yugoslavian and Irish descent. [2] He was originally an accomplished sprinter and a rugby player. [1]

Professional wrestling career

Early career

Garea was trained by Wild Don Scott. [1] He made his professional wrestling debut in his native New Zealand. [1] He worked in NWA San Francisco territory where he and Pat Patterson defeated Don Muraco and Invader I for the NWA San Francisco Tag Team Championship in May 1976. [3]

World Wide Wrestling Federation / World Wrestling Federation

Debut and early tag team championship reigns (1972–1979)

Garea left New Zealand in 1972 and went to the United States where he signed a contract with Vince McMahon, Sr.'s World Wide Wrestling Federation (WWWF). He made his WWWF debut at a TV taping in the Philadelphia Arena on 20 September 1972 as a babyface, defeating Davey O'Hannon. [1] On 30 May 1973, he teamed with Haystacks Calhoun and defeated Mr. Fuji and Professor Toru Tanaka to win his first WWWF World Tag Team Championship. [4] [5] Garea and Calhoun feuded with Fuji and Tanaka for the rest of the summer before losing the titles back to Fuji and Tanaka on 11 September. [6]

Garea continued the feud with Fuji and Tanaka with a new partner, Dean Ho. On 14 November, Garea and Ho defeated Fuji and Tanaka for Garea's second and Ho's first WWWF World Tag Team Championship. [5] [7] Garea's second tag team reign was longer and better than his first reign. They held the titles for five and a half-month before losing them to the Valiant Brothers (Jimmy and Johnny) on 8 May 1974 episode of All Star Wrestling . [8] They continued teaming for a while before disbanding their tag team and working on their own. Garea, who had been successful as a tag team wrestler, began a singles career.

Garea continued his singles career for three years before forming a tag team with new partner Larry Zbyzsko in August 1977. They began teaming after entering a tag team tournament for the vacant tag titles, where they were defeated by Mr. Fuji and Toru Tanaka in the finals on 27 September 1977. [9] They continued to challenge for the titles before defeating The Yukon Lumberjacks (Eric and Pierre) for Garea's third and Zbyzsko's first WWWF World Tag Team Championship on edition of 21 November 1978 of Championship Wrestling . [5] [10] They held the titles for four months before losing them to Valiant Brothers (Jerry and Johnny) on edition of 24 March 1979 of Championship Wrestling. [11] Later that same month, Wide was dropped from the promotion's name, renaming the promotion World Wrestling Federation.

Teaming with Rick Martel (1980–1982)

Garea continued to wrestle in the tag team division, with another former WWF Tag Team Champion Rene Goulet. The two participated in a tag team tournament for the titles, where they were defeated by The Wild Samoans (Afa and Sika) in the finals on 27 September 1980. [12] Garea formed a tag team with new partner Rick Martel, which was Garea's most successful and most popular tag team. They defeated Wild Samoans on 8 November for Garea's fourth and Martel's first WWF Tag Team Championship. [5] [13] Garea and Martel continued to feud with the former champions for the rest of the year. After Wild Samoans left WWF, the champions began feuding with The Moondogs (King and Rex). They dropped the titles to Moondogs on edition of 17 March 1981 of Championship Wrestling. [14]

Martel and Garea continued to feud with Moondogs, trying to regain the titles. On 8 June, Garea beat a young rookie named Man Mountain Canyon in Madison Square Garden, who returned to WWF four years later as King Kong Bundy. [15] On edition of 21 July of Championship Wrestling, Martel and Garea defeated Moondogs in a rematch to win their second WWF Tag Team Championship as a team, though, it was Garea's fifth and final individual reign. [5] [16] Garea's final run as a tag team champion ended on edition of 17 October of Championship Wrestling after Garea and Martel were defeated by Mr. Fuji and Mr. Saito for the tag titles. [17] Garea and Martel continued to feud with Fuji and Saito, trying to regain the titles but failed to do so.

Martel left WWF in 1982 while Garea went on his own. [1] Garea teamed with newcomers to the WWF such as Eddie Gilbert and B. Brian Blair in 1983 and 1984, but was unable to recapture the success he previously enjoyed as a tag-team champion. He moved to the jobber to the stars status, jobbing to rising newcomers before retiring in 1986. [1]

Retirement–since 1986

Garea was employed as a road agent by WWF, a position he continues to hold. He appeared with former tag team partner Rick Martel at Vengeance: Night of Champions in June 2007. They came to the aid of the team of Sgt. Slaughter and Jimmy Snuka, who were being attacked following their losing to Deuce 'n Domino. [18]

When WWE came to New Zealand on 11 June 2008 in Auckland, Garea was a guest on the first international V.I.P Lounge along with Bushwacker Butch. The segment's host, Montel Vontavious Porter (MVP) announced him as Bushwhacker Luke but then apologised. Eventually, MVP attacked Butch and Garea with the microphone. Butch and Garea recovered and fought off MVP, then celebrated with the Bushwhacker walk. On 3 March 2009 he was featured on WWE.com exclusive segment Top-rope Theater posing as "Hacksaw" Jim Duggan. On 29 March 2010 episode of Monday Night Raw Garea appeared as a lumberjack in the Christian vs. Ted DiBiase lumberjack match. Towards the end of the match, Garea brawled with other legends that were serving as lumberjacks.

Championships and accomplishments

Related Research Articles

Pedro Morales Puerto Rican professional wrestler

Pedro Antonio Morales was a Puerto Rican professional wrestler. He is best known for his appearances in the United States with Worldwide Wrestling Associates (WWA) and the World Wide Wrestling Federation (WWWF).

World Tag Team Championship (WWE) Former championship created and promoted by the American professional wrestling promotion WWE

The World Tag Team Championship was the original professional wrestling world tag team championship in the World Wrestling Entertainment (WWE) promotion, and the promotion's third tag team championship overall. Originally established by the then-World Wide Wrestling Federation (WWWF) on June 3, 1971, it served as the only title for tag teams in the promotion until the then-World Wrestling Federation (WWF) bought World Championship Wrestling (WCW) in March 2001, which added their tag team championship. Both titles were unified in November 2001, retiring WCW's championship and continuing WWF's.

William Dee Calhoun was an American professional wrestler, who used the professional name "Haystack" or "Haystacks" Calhoun.

Tito Santana American professional wrestler

Merced Solis, better known by the ring name Tito Santana, is an American professional wrestler.

Mr. Fuji American professional wrestler and manager

Harry Masayoshi Fujiwara was an American professional wrestler and manager, known professionally by his ring name Mr. Fuji. He was famous for often throwing salt in the eyes of fan favorite wrestlers. Notable wrestlers and stables managed by him include Don Muraco, Yokozuna and Demolition.

Rick Martel Canadian professional wrestler

Richard Vigneault is a Canadian former professional wrestler, trainer, and television presenter, better known by his ring name, Rick Martel. He is best known for his appearances with the American Wrestling Association, the World Wrestling Federation and World Championship Wrestling. Championships held by Martel over the course of his career include the AWA World Heavyweight Championship, WCW World Television Championship, and WWF World Tag Team Championship.

Leati Sika Amituana'i Anoa'i, better known as Sika Anoa'i or simply Sika, is an American Samoan retired professional wrestler. He is best known as one-half of the tag team The Wild Samoans with his brother Afa. Championships held by Anoa'i over the course of his career include the WWF World Tag Team Championship. He was inducted into the WWE Hall of Fame in 2007 and the Professional Wrestling Hall of Fame in 2012. He is a member of the Anoa'i family and the father of professional wrestlers Rosey and Roman Reigns.

The Wild Samoans was the professional wrestling tag team of Afa and Sika in Mid-South Wrestling, the National Wrestling Alliance (NWA) and the World Wrestling Federation (WWF). The Samoans held 21 tag team championships around the world.

Chief Jay Strongbow American professional wrestler

Luke Joseph Scarpa was an American professional wrestler who was best known by the ring name Chief Jay Strongbow. He portrayed a Native American wrestler, who wore a war bonnet to the ring and would "go on the warpath" when the fans started cheering him against an opponent. In reality, he was a business-minded Italian-American.

Moondog King

Edward John White was a Canadian professional wrestler, best known as Sailor White and as Moondog King of The Moondogs when he joined the World Wrestling Federation in the early 1980s. White won championships in Canada and around the globe. He also wrestled in South Africa as Big John Strongbo.

The Moondogs were a professional wrestling stable in the World Wrestling Federation (WWF) and in two Memphis promotions: the Continental Wrestling Association (CWA) and the United States Wrestling Association (USWA). They were known for wrestling in frayed blue jeans, sporting shaggy blond hair and beards and carrying animal bones around with them.

Moondog Spot American professional wrestler

Larry Booker, better known by his ring names Moondog Spot and Larry Latham, was an American professional wrestler.

Masa Saito Japanese professional wrestler

Masanori Saito was a Japanese professional wrestler better known as Mr. Saito or Masa Saito (マサ斎藤), who wrestled for 33 years across the world. He had success as a singles wrestler, winning the AWA World Heavyweight Championship in 1990, and as a tag team wrestler with multiple partners in various National Wrestling Alliance (NWA) territories.

John L. Sullivan was an American professional wrestler and manager, better known by his ring name, Johnny Valiant. He competed in the World Wide Wrestling Federation (WWWF), which became the World Wrestling Federation during his time with the promotion. He won the World Tag Team Championship two times. The first run was with his first and most famous storyline brother Jimmy Valiant over Tony Garea and Dean Ho on May 8, 1974; his second title run was with his second storyline brother Jerry Valiant over Tony Garea and Larry Zbyszko on March 6, 1979.

The Valiant Brothers were a professional wrestling tag team of storyline brothers "Handsome" Jimmy Valiant, "Luscious" Johnny Valiant, and "Gentleman" Jerry Valiant. The team wrestled for the National Wrestling Alliance (NWA), the World Wide Wrestling Federation / World Wrestling Federation (WWWF/WWF) and the World Wrestling Association (WWA).

Bob Backlund American professional wrestler and actor

Robert Louis Backlund is an American retired professional wrestler best known for his tenures in the WWE, where he won the WWE Championship on two occasions, and a member of the WWE Hall of Fame, inducted in 2013. Backlund's first reign as champion ranks second longest overall, lasting over 5 years.

The Yukon Lumberjacks was the name of a professional wrestling tag team who worked in the World Wide Wrestling Federation (WWWF) in 1978, consisting of Eric and Pierre. The team was managed by "Captain" Lou Albano and worked as heels. The team held the WWWF Tag Team Championship for 148 days in 1978.

Dean Kiyoshi Higuchi was an American bodybuilder and professional wrestler, known by his ring name, Dean Ho. He competed in North American promotions including Pacific Northwest Wrestling, the World Wide Wrestling Federation and Big Time Wrestling during the 1960s, 1970s and early 1980s. A longtime veteran of the Vancouver's NWA All-Star Wrestling, he feuded with Terry Adonis, The Brute and former NWA World Heavyweight Champion Gene Kiniski.

Professor Tanaka American professional wrestler and actor

Charles J. Kalani Jr. was an American professional wrestler, professional boxer, college football player, soldier, actor, and martial artist who, in fighting rings, was also known as Professor Toru Tanaka, or simply Professor Tanaka.

Dominic DeNucci

Dominic Nucciarone, is an Italian-American retired professional wrestler and trainer better known under his ring name of Dominic DeNucci. Former wrestling students include Mick Foley, Shane Douglas, Cody Michaels, Preston Steele and Brian Hildebrand.

References

  1. 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 "Tony Garea's Profile". Online World of Wrestling. Archived from the original on 23 June 2008. Retrieved 1 August 2008.
  2. 1 2 3 4 Solomon, Brian (2006). WWE Legends . Pocket Books. pp.  195–199. ISBN   978-0-7434-9033-7.
  3. 1 2 "N.W.A. World Tag Team Title [San Francisco]". The Great Hisa's Puroresu Dojo. Retrieved 1 August 2008.
  4. "WWWF Show Results 1973". The History of WWE. 30 May 1973. Retrieved 16 May 2015. Tony Garea & Haystacks Calhoun defeated WWWF Tag Team Champions Prof. Toru Tanaka & Mr. Fuji to win the titles
  5. 1 2 3 4 5 6 "World Tag Team Championship official title history". WWE. Retrieved 1 August 2008.
  6. "WWWF Show Results 1973". The History of WWE. 11 September 1973. Retrieved 16 May 2015. Mr. Fuji and Prof. Toru Tanaka defeated WWWF Tag Team Champions Tony Garea & Haystacks Calhoun to win the titles when the referee stopped the match, ruling Calhoun unable to continue after Tanaka threw salt into the champion's eyes and choked him with his own horseshoe
  7. "WWWF Show Results 1973". The History of WWE. 14 November 1973. Retrieved 16 May 2015. Tony Garea & Dean Ho defeated WWWF Tag Team Champions Prof. Toru Tanaka & Mr. Fuji to win the titles
  8. "WWWF Show Results 1974". The History of WWE. 8 May 1974. Retrieved 16 May 2015. Jimmy & Johnny Valiant defeated WWWF Tag Team Champions Dean Ho & Tony Garea to win the titles
  9. "WWWF Show Results 1977". The History of WWE. 27 September 1977. Retrieved 16 May 2015. WWWF Tag Team Championship Tournament Finals: Prof. Toru Tanaka & Mr. Fuji (w/Freddie Blassie) defeated Larry Zbyzsko & Tony Garea to win the titles
  10. "WWWF Show Results 1978". The History of WWE. 21 November 1978. Retrieved 16 May 2015. Tony Garea & Larry Zbyzsko defeated WWWF Tag Team Champions the Yukon Lumberjacks (w/ Capt. Lou Albano) to win the titles at 9:18 when Zbyzsko pinned Eric after the champions collided in the ring; after the match, Albano fired his team for losing the championship
  11. "WWWF Show Results 1979". The History of WWE. 6 March 1978. Retrieved 16 May 2015. Johnny & Jerry Valiant (w/ Capt. Lou Albano & Jimmy Valiant) defeated WWWF Tag Team Champions Larry Zbyzsko & Tony Garea to win the titles at 10:54 when Johnny pinned Zbyzsko after Jerry and Zbyzsko collided and Jimmy pulled Jerry to the floor, allowing Johnny to take his place in the ring
  12. "WWF Show Results 1980". The History of WWE. 9 September 1980. Retrieved 16 May 2015. WWF Tag Team Championship Tournament Finals: The Wild Samoans (w/ Capt. Lou Albano) defeated Tony Garea & Rene Goulet at 10:08 to win the titles when Afa pinned Goulet following a double bodyslam behind the referee's back
  13. "WWF Show Results 1980". The History of WWE. 8 November 1980. Retrieved 16 May 2015. Rick Martel & Tony Garea defeated WWF Tag Team Champions the Wild Samoans to win the titles at 14:29 when Martel scored the pin with a sunset flip as the illegal Samoan covered Garea at the same time, moments after Garea and the legal Samoan collided in the ring
  14. "WWF Show Results 1981". The History of WWE. 17 March 1981. Retrieved 16 May 2015. The Moondogs (w/ Capt. Lou Albano) defeated WWF Tag Team Champions Tony Garea & Rick Martel to win the titles at 6:36 when Moondog Rex pinned Garea after Moondog King hit Garea in the head with his bone as the referee was knocked down
  15. "WWF Show Results 1981". The History of WWE. 8 June 1981. Retrieved 16 May 2015. Tony Garea defeated Man Mountain Cannon at 6:23 (King Kong Bundy)
  16. "WWF Show Results 1981". The History of WWE. 21 July 1981. Retrieved 16 May 2015. Rick Martel & Tony Garea defeated WWF Tag Team Champions the Moondogs (w/ Capt. Lou Albano) to win the titles at 8:14 when Martel pinned Moondog Spot with a sunset flip as Spot attempted to choke Garea with his bone
  17. "WWF Show Results 1981". The History of WWE. 13 October 1981. Retrieved 16 May 2015. Mr. Fuji & Mr. Saito (w/ Capt. Lou Albano) defeated WWF Tag Team Champions Rick Martel & Tony Garea at 9:48 to win the titles when Saito pinned Martel after Fuji threw salt into the champion's eyes as Martel attempted a crossbody off the top, allowing Saito to roll through on the move to get the win
  18. Robinson, Bryan (24 June 2007). "Tag champs win, but taught a legendary lesson". WWE. Archived from the original on 31 March 2008. Retrieved 2 August 2008.
  19. "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 15 February 2002. Retrieved 8 March 2002.CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)
  20. "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 21 September 2011. Retrieved 9 February 2008.CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)