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Nov 5



We All know about CAGE MATCHES in the WWE!-We even have heard of 'HANDICAP MATCHES'- One-Heavier Wrestler-taking on 2 Lighter Wrestlers!........

But here's something REALLY BIZARRE!!............

Two Wrestlers Fighting a Bout-DOG CHAINED Together!!

Even more Surprising-for me anyway-is that one of them is the PEERLESS COUNT

BARTELLI!!-I'm TOTALLY Amazed he ever 'agreed' to do this??

Now on the other hand NO Surprise to me that the Opponent on this Occasion was TALLY-HO KAYE!!

How would they have 'Worked' this MAD Idea?-How would they have 'Ensured' the whole

thing just didn't descend into Utter Farce??

Don't get me wrong I think STUBBY KAYE was a Very Good Submission Wrestler-but REALLY? Which PROMOTER Dreamed up this one?

Well!-it's a WRYTON Promotion-AND Staged of all places at VICTORIA HALL HANLEY!!

And Guess What??-The Fate to Befall the Sorry Loser was....'to be DRAGGED round the

Ring by the Chain'!!-That would have been STUBBY then!

Think DALE MARTIN did loads of these!-ANGLO MUST have seen one??

Who else saw a 'Great' DOG CHAIN MATCH??

Poster to follow!



What a stupid idea. A great wrestler like The Count should have told them to do one.

Absolutely crazy! The Count must have wanted to do it. Maybe there were some side bets on just how much they could get away with. No doubt this was after 1978?

Hi ANGLO!-Yes!-SATURDAY 29TH OCTOBER 1983!-I WASN'T in Attendance -Glad about that!-Also on the Bill-8-Man Battle 'Royale'!

I think myself that the COUNT would have had to be 'persuaded' for this one though!

But BARTELLI did a few 'unusual' 'choices' in the last Years of his Career-including re-donning

a MASK-YELLOW this time-and 'Losing' quite a few more Bouts that he could have easily Won!

Poster coming shortly!



Nov 6

The date on this is interesting, as it predates by a couple of weeks a match notorious in US wrestling history: the “Dog Collar” match between Roddy Piper and Greg Valentine (for the avoidance of doubt, the Seattle one!).

Hi MAD MAC!-Didn't know about this U.S. Match!-Wasn't getting into WWF 'til late '80's+

neither of these 2 were ever Favourites of mine!

Of course a lot of 'copying' goes on in Wrestling doesn't it?-'Borrowing' a Format if it's been

Successful!-Surely this WASN'T!-BARTELLI was a Man of Pride and I'm amazed he would

stoop to this Fiasco! Doubt if STUBBY was that bothered though!





Nov 6

@adrianpollard.shangri-la Piper and Valentine were in a lengthy feud over the NWA US title at the time. Not long after that, they were both in the WWF.....

....Apart from the obvious that Peter Kaye was tiny in comparison with Ct Bartelli. Just in case we wanted a seriously credible Dog Collar match!


The guys were no dount happy to do it for an extra tenner.

Nov 6

Interesting topic.


Earliest chain match in the UK I can see so far is in 1977, and Bartelli is in it! In the US, Ivan Koloff was in a lot, known as Russian Chain matches.

Nov 6

1977! With Bartelli! I can't see any excuse for this. Bartelli chose to get involved. He was a big name even though well past his prime. After so many years of service why get involved in this other than Anglo's suggestion they did it for the money. But I doubt they got an extra tenner.

Fascinating 1977 revelation, Ost. So now we can put 2+2 and considering it was Bartelli ... he probably OWNED the chains and therefore demanded his price for the matches. Who knows, maybe he had special chains made including magicians' trick ring features. Maybe he couldn't hold onto a title belt any more but knew the chains would guarantee him top billing.

Summer of 1980 Sophia Gardens Pavillion, Cardiff. Mark Rocco .v. Marty Jones main event a "Dog Chain Contest." Probably another gimmick drawn from the pages of an American Wrestling magazine around that era to test if there was money to be made. I don't think such a contest appeared again at the Pavillion. Both Jones & Rocco really didn't need gimmicks.

Well ALAN!-Not sure how to react to this!! 2 Great Wrestlers REDUCED to THIS!!

Don't know which takes precedence?-My abject Disappointment or my Judgement of sheer

Pantomime!-This Risks for me a 'Downgrading' of Respect for these 2 Fabulous Wrestlers!!

ROCCO was all about Speed and JONES was no slouch! NEITHER could possibly get up

a head of steam 'Shackled' together!!-Thanx for your Input!!



When Max Crabtree first took over I thought he provided a breath of fresh air. Along with dog chain matches, ladder matches, winner to strip his opponent down to his underwear and crooked referees, it provided a change from the rather stale formula; particularly as presented by many Dale Martin shows. Kaye was a Crabtree mainstay of course and took part in many of the matches which saw both contestants fully clothed then trying to tear the clothes off each other until, in Kaye's case, he lost revealing the fact that he was wearing comical underwear. Catweazle was often his opponent in these matches. When Crabtree first took over he offered quite a bit of work to Joe Critchley who also took part in one of these matches as a comedy villain and, I believe, actually showed his bottom. He had no objection at all to doing these matches but stopped because he preferred working for Dixon who was using him as referee, M.C., male wrestler and female wrestler. The most usual crooked referee at the time was Jack Land refereeing as Karl Kramer; a situation which often eventually led to bad referee (Kramer) wrestling good referee (Bryan Crabtree). All this was good fun and, as I've typed, a breath of fresh air but only as a novelty in a show which was still dominated by good wrestling. Crabtree's problem eventually was that the show was full of this novelty nonsense to the exclusion of good wrestling.


Incidentally, I was approached at the time by John Wilkie who then owned a pub in Congleton and John wanted me to book him and Keith Myatt who did a dog collar chain match but theirs involved cutting each other with the chains, blood flowing etc. This was a side of the game I didn't wish to get into (although I have reminisced before about the occasional blading which took place on my promotions) so i declined. This was a world away from Crabtree's comedy matches involving humorous underwear.

Hi GRAHAM!-Interesting Post as ever!-Well what to say to all this!-Firstly I like to think I have a

good broad sense of humour! And I was O.K. with say KELLETT'S Ring 'Antics'!

However in a 'Serious Sport' you can't go too far with this in my view! You zero in on this when

you say 'novelty nonsense to the exclusion of good Wrestling'!

So for me much of what you describe above is better suited to the Circus-you know Clowns having their trousers pulled down! etc.-rather than a Professional Wrestling Ring!

I never liked Ladder Matches either-just brawling really! Mercifully for me this Stuff all got up

and running after circa 1980 onwards when I had lost a lot of Interest in Wrestling and going to

Live Shows!-This also coincided with the onset of the BIG DADDY Circus which I acknowledge

put Bums on seats but bore no resemblance to Wrestling!-Ironic really as CRABTREE COULD

actually Wrestle a bit-see his Match with JOHN-THE BEAR-ELIJAH!

So while Wrestling was and is a Business-most of what you describe WASN'T Wrestling and

reduced the Sport to a Farcical Level and in my view Damaged its Integrity!

Nobody is more up for a bit of Fun than Yours Truly but if I want Fun and Comedy I go to see


Are you coming to the BLACKPOOL REUNION 2020?-Be Great to have a good chat!!



Christ on a bike! Wrestler ripping each others clothes off?


Yeah, Max was a real pioneer ...

Nov 7Edited: Nov 7

This type of match was typical of the time Max read too many American magazines and did low budget versions.At this time Geoff was so keen to be on bills he would agree to, I usually agree with Graham's comments but I found this far from.a breath of fresh air.It coincided with the man who discovered the Everley Brothers so he claimed giving lower bill, workers American names, and inventing comedy names like Reggie Ramsden any last vestment of legitimacy was going.Then overweight guys who ten years earlier wouldn't pass the Cadmans test populated the halls for very poor pay.

Graham, I always love your anecdotes but this time I have to pick you up on your sacrilege:


" the rather stale formula; particularly as presented by many Dale Martin shows."


A bit of a sweeping generalisation.


Specifically to maintrain a sense of legitimacy, and also to keep the tv contract going, DMs played it for real all the way.


It was easy to let the cat out of the bag - but did this contribute to the long term success of pro wrestling? Do you want to keep watching magicians when you know how the tricks are done?


Novelty matches ... and what happened when the novelty wore off?



I don't think I liked any of the gimmicks. If any at all it would have been fight to a finish , but even these got twisted. (loser to unmask was an exception)

I think circa 1970 , what wrestling needed was one fall/sub/ko only matches to stop the predictability of 2-1 that was very evident.

Ladders , Lumberjacks ,Chains.......All tosh in my opinion

I totally agree RON!-A load of Tosh!-Not to mention Undermining the Sport's Credibility!



I always thought Tally Ho Kaye was a terrific worker - a great wrestler who was tough, had a great gimmick that wound people up as soon as they heard his horn blowing. As we have all said on here before, the unsung heroes were the Tally Hos, Sid Cooper and Black Jacks of the wrestling world - villains who seldom 'won' but always put on a great show with a blue eye. Watch some of Tally Hos solo bouts and you will se an unorthodox strength hold submission based wrestler. Could be very clever I thought. I can't see why eye brows are being raised at such a bout, I can imagine in a straight bout the two would have had a good match up with plenty of needle to get a feud going. I can recall seeing the Count loads of times at the end of his career. Often he would be against men of the calibre of Rocco. It still got the heat and we all felt sorry for the Count - poor ol' boy getting hammered by Rocco, but there must have been a lot of mutual respect and trust going on for these matches to still keep occurring. I personally thought he went on a bit too long and seeing him in a bloody heap in the corner after a Rocco bout, sort of affirmed that, but who were we to say ? It was his profession and he must have still enjoyed it !


As for chain matches it happened a bit prior to me being regular at Norwich - Yasa Fuji, Bill Bromley, Johnny Kincaid and Pat Barrett all had a go. It came to an end when Bobby Barnes and Mike Flash Jordan got into a feud. It aroused the heckles of the local council, Local TV news did a feature and showed some of the bout including Jordan covered in blood and thereafter chain matches were banned from Norwich. I wonder if anyone else recalls the TV footage and if anyone has a copy of it ??

Hi NORFOLK SNAKE!- Yes BARTELLI/ROCCO Featured many times at places like FOCUS


I have the Posters!

He says in his 1985 Documentary-when asked why he kept Wrestling-'You might find it hard to believe,but I love it!!'

I also saw the COUNT get a particularly Brutal Battering from HAYSTAX at the KINGS HALL

BELLE VUE-another Blood Fest with the GIANT using BARTELLI'S own Belt as a Gouging

Weapon! Not good to watch!-And I totally agree the COUNT should have stopped much earlier

than he did!-Wish he hadn't done this Farcical 'Chain' Stuff though!

Good Luck on the BERT ROYAL ?S!



Nov 7

April 23, 1977, Hanley: Great Bula bt Bartelli (chain)

October 29, 1977, Hanley: Bartelli bt P. Kaye (chain)


Hope they washed it in between times.

Nov 7

Have seen Rocco vDanny Collins in a chain match, also Danny v Bearcat Wright in one. I'm sure I also saw a photo of Rocco v Finlay using a chain - would love to have seen that one!

Hi ANDY!- Yes!-the ROCCO/FINLAY Bouts were Explosive!-Sadly to Date we don't seem to have a Match that was Filmed available!

ROCCO'S last EVER Wrestling Contest was against FIT FINLAY!

See my ROCCO TRIBUTE from JULY 26TH 2019 for a Poster for ROCCO vs. FINLAY!




I can only reiterate what a few have already said here, i personaly wasn't a fan of gimmick matches. From interviews i've read/heard & seen both Mark Rocco and Marty Jones hold Max Crabtree in high esteem as a promoter, so probably new what they were getting into with such a contest.


To me, the majority of these novelty bouts were both demeening and cringe inducing. But the promoters were willing to try these antics to draw the punters into the halls, bums on seats is cash in the register. Thanks heavens we never got to the stage of brass knuckle and barbed wire contests where the aim is to purley draw blood. Not meaning to sound like Albert Steptoe having seen close up forehead pictures of some of the "American Bleeders" such as Dusty Rhodes, you would believe wrestling was all about facial disfigurement.

Nov 8

Either the poster writing is slightly off or something was lost in translation when borrowing from the Americans here. In the US, it wasn't a case of whoever loses (eg by pinfall) is dragged around the ring, presumably as as a punishment.


Instead it was whoever drags their opponent around the ring and touches all four corners in succession is the winner. (Or, whoever is dragged around the ring is the loser.) It's basically another variation on a cage match or lumberjack match that you'd normally set up by the villain losing a match by running away and then doing the chain match as a rematch with the selling point that they couldn't escape this time. Not sure what they did here, but in the US they nearly always had the same finish where the villain is dragging his opponent round the ring and touches three corners but is unaware the good guy is also touching the corners behind his back. As the villain goes for the fourth corner, the good guy leapfrogs him to take the win.

Nov 10

This thread is both and illuminating and the most depressing I've read. I appreciate the comments and the knowledge and depression they have brought. Thank God I got out in the mid 1970s. I was pretty depressed by then, but had never imagined the suicidal tendencies these chain or street clothes matches would induce. We celebrate Dempsey, Capelli, McManus, Robinson, Cornelius and all the other greats. What brings Bartelli to this? Maybe bkendo1 could enlighten us was why Geoff was so keen to be on bills after decades of stardom? Max thought this was the future. Was he ignorant or delusional? I'm going to lie down.

Never Rated MAX CRABTREE that much anyway HACK!-His 'Ideas' of Promoting just helped to

'Kill' Wrestling Quicker!-Look what he did to the Titles-Sidelined and locked away in a Storage Cupboard!-No where near as many Championship Matches as pre 1975-Why? He just didn't

give them any Priority....EXCEPT when he tried to get the IRON GREEK-SPIROS ARION-

to drop his WORLD HEAVYWEIGHT TITLE to..............BIG DADDY!!

ARION FLATLY Refused to even get in the Ring with his Title at stake-Enter WAYNE BRIDGES

to make this Match and ARION decided to 'pass on' the Belt on to a VERY Surprised WAYNE!

This says it all about CRABTREE!-DADDY-World Champion-How utterly Ridiculous!



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