I was saddened to just find out that my longtime friend Dale Pierce has passed. Wrestling manager extraordinaire, wrestler, prolific author, historian, and a lovably neurotic character, he simultaneously loved and loathed pro wrestling with a passion that only someone who has devoted their life to it could fully grasp.
Dale Pierce’s in rings names among many included The Time Traveler and Marcial Bovee. He wrote many articles for my old sheet, Wrestling Then and Now, never asking a dime in return and may have been the foremost authority on the planet on the often neglected Arizona and Ohio territories, which is evidenced in one of the articles he penned which we’re sharing below.
Mexican-Arizona Border, Late 1970s – Early 1980s
by Dale Pierce
Active and often ignored wrestling in Nogales, Naco, Agua Prieta, San Luis Rio, Colorado, etc. long before Lucha Libre was an in-thing in America.
COMPANEROS 182 – Wore blue masks and outfits, were seen as heels and as babies on an interchangeable basis. A rumor they were killed in a car wreck in 1981 was created so they could start a new gimmick. Not big men, but good fliers.
MIL MASCARAS – Perhaps the first great Mexican star to make it in America. He appeared on a very spasmodic basis on the border. Always sold out arenas when he appeared.
NINO DE LA PALMA I & II – “The Children of the Palm Tree.” The name loses something in translation. Heels usually wore purple masks and trunks with a palm tree design on front.
EL ESTUDIANTE – A couple of wrestlers worked under a hood as Estudiante (The Student). The most common was named Manuel Rodriguez, I believe. Curiously, George Steele also did a brief stint as The Student under a mask in Detroit. In the 1980s and 1990s, they were still seeing Estudiantes, presumably different, in the border towns.
SEPTIEMBRE NEGRO – Black September. Not in reference to the terrorists who struck at the 1972 Olympics in Munich, but in reference to a day in the Mexican Revolution. An extremely hated dark masked rulebreaker who was always over.
KIKO TORRES – Resided in Phoenix, but crossed over the border often in the 70s. A handsome babyface with jet black hair, horribly misused and put under by the varied Arizona offices. Had some very bloody bouts with Nano Ortega on both sides of the border. He was put over well in Mexico but forced to take a back seat to far less talented bunglers like Chuck Hondo and Henry Piluso in the U.S.A. A super flyer and wasted talent, who was never allowed to reach his true potential. No relation to Tito Torres, Enrique Torres, Alberto Torres, or any other Torres by the way.
TINIEMBLAS – A big star and popular baby, universally. He later started traveling with a midget in a weird costume, whom he called Aluche (sort of like Doink and Dink), but originally a solo act. A big, big drawing card in Mexico, famous for lightning fast drop-kicks and leaps off the top rope like Mil Mascaras used to do. Had a big feud with vociferous Juarez villain Ariel “El Diablo” Romeral in the late 80s, when still active. May have quit by now. Maybe still around.
MATAMATICO – “The Math Man”–with appropriate equations on his mask. He was very much hated. Also, a decent brawler who liked to go out in the stands and make people scatter. Also provoked much heat, as the crowd liked to throw stuff at him. How he kept his cool and kept from murdering these debris-throwing geeks in the audience is a mystery to me.
ERUPTION – A rotund heel who worked interchangeably in Arizona and Mexico. Later gained tremendous heat in Arizona as a tag team partner to Sergeant Shultz and managed by The Time Traveler. Liked using brass knuckles to win his bouts. More popular in Arizona than in Mexico. Sometimes very comical to watch. Heard he and Schultz later had a major blow up and became bitter enemies in ’90 or so.
BESTIA 666 – Said to have been trained in Mexico, but did most of his work in U.S. indies. Retired in 1993, after a long and essentially fruitless career. He gave the wrestling world more than he got back. A “monster” gimmick–paired with Golgatha, another monster. He was a good heel who deserved better. Not a bad flyer either.
SUPER ARGO – Real name Alecias Arturo Amerlo. A good little flyer, but as a promoter, he and Doug Hansen bombed miserably. Argo was better known for his feud with “Maniac” Mike Gordon in Arizona in the late 1970s, than for work in Mexico, though he did well enough on the border. Now living in Juarez, Mexico.
EL VIKINGO – A dark-haired Mexican who looked no more Viking than would Bret Hart. Still, one top draw and “Un Super Rudo”–supervillain.
When Dale Pierce would come into New York from Ohio, I’d meet him and his lovely wife Denise and he was a true renaissance man, a licensed teacher who could talk about anything and everything from western outlaws to Frank Gotch. I am forever in your debt, Dale, for all you ever selflessly did for me. Rest in peace, my friend.
A celebration of the life of Dale Pierce will take place on Sunday, November 18th at 3:00 pm at the United Churches of Olympia, 110 11th Ave SE, Olympia, WA.