June 14, 1972: Sam Steamboat vs. Freddie Blassie
Photos courtesy of George Beppu.
On June 14, 1972 promoter Ed Francis presented his 9th wrestling card of the year at the Honolulu International Center Arena. The card featured three main events and 3 supporting matches.
In the opening match, Jimmy Snuka battled to a draw with The Masked Executioner. In the next match, the team of Ed Francis and Kenji Matsuoka of Japan defeated the team of Mr. Wrestling and King Krow, AKA Dan Knoffat. The next match had Bobo Brazil winning over Buck Robley.
Masked Executioner vs Jimmy Snuka
The Masked Executioner attempts to use his Claw Hold on Jimmy Snuka.
Francis/Matsuoka vs Mr. Wrestling/King Krow
Ed Francis and tag team partner Kenji Matsuoka.
King Krow pounds Matsuoka in the corner.
Mr. Wrestling all tangled in the ropes.
Ed Francis clamps on the Sleeper Hold onto King Krow.
Great Kusatsu vs Gene Kiniski
The first main event was scheduled to be a Hawaiian Championship match featuring champion Gene Kiniski against Giant Baba of Japan. However, Baba was unable to appear and was replaced by The Great Kusatsu, also from Japan. Kiniski retained his title by defeating Kusatsu.
The Great Kusatsu subs for Giant Baba in this championship match.
Gene Kiniski with a Full Nelson on Kusatsu.
Referee counts as both wrestlers try to get up off the mat.
Fred Curry vs The Sheik
The next match featured Flying Fred Curry against The Sheik. This match was wild from start to finish and both wrestlers were disqualified and the match declared a no-contest.
A battle scarred Sheik works over Fred Curry's forehead.
Fred Curry with a headlock on The Sheik.
The Sheik exercises his jaw by biting Fred Curry's head.
The Sheik drags in a table from outside the ring.
And gets stomped for his troubles.
Both wrestlers are a bloody mess.
Sam Steamboat vs Fred Blassie
The main event was advertised as a lights out match with anything goes between Hawaii's own Sam Steamboat vs. Freddie Blassie. This match came about as a result of Blassie calling Steamboat names druing locker room interviews on KGMB's TV wrestling shows. However, Steamboat kept his cool and called out Blassie for a match after Blassie refused to sign a contract to wrestle Steamboat.
Two weeks prior to this match, Steamboat surprised Blassie and knocked him out with a head butt. Blassie didn't stand for this and demanded a match with Steamboat. Tonight's match had both wrestlers going back and forth with each other, but in the end, Blassie got the upper hand and defeated Steamboat.
Blassie uses his "pearly whites" on Steamboat's face.
A bloody and weary Sam Steamboat.
Classy Freddie Blassie after another typical night's work.