June 21, 2011
SLAM! Wrestling Canadian Hall of Fame: The Spoiler (Don Jardine)
REAL NAME: Don Jardine
I remember when "The Super Destroyer"(Don Jardine) wrestled in the N W A based out of North Carolina. One of his highlights was when he feuded with Swede Hanson. I was privileged to be able to see some of their many matches here in Norfolk, Virginia at the Scope.He was truly one of the best pro wrestlers I have ever seen.I think he was instrumental in pioneering the mask and I recall his introduction as being from "parts unknown". If anyone could tell me his whereabouts, I would certainly like to contact him.
The Spoiler was a great wrestler. As mentioned above,he loved wrestling so much he even wrestled as the Spoiler without his mask on. Mr. Wrestling I or II can never say that. The Spoiler gained respect for carving his own niche and should be remembered for that.
As a kid in Houston, Texas, I remember "The Spoiler" very well. He had a tremendous physique and great agility. I remember a particular match when he had placed the "claw" on his opponent's forehead. The hapless guy tried softening up The Spoiler by punches to the midsection. After getting the Spoiler on the ropes (with the claw still on) he tried to throw him over the top rope.
The Spoiler, unfortunately for this guy, very gingerly walked along the top rope (high-wire style) while still putting the claw hold on the guy. Wow!
I also remember that whenever being pressed down for the count, he could kick his legs out and land on his feet. The agility that he demonstrated was amazing, especially for such a towering figure.
The Spoiler was definitely one of the greatest wrestlers that I can remember.
In the early to mid 1980's, to much of the country, cable TV brought us our first glimpses of non-local wrestling shows, and we finally got to see stars on TV that we had only seen pictures of in magazines. For me, living near Boston, MA at the time, WTBS brought me my first glimpse of The spoiler. He was part of the rage of the day - the Legion of Doom, back when they really were a legion. All my friends were freaking out for the Raod Warriors, whose style and physique influenced a generation. To me, however, the LoD meant the Spoiler - he was the veteran rock who Paul Ellering could trust to keep the other monsters in line. He was awesome in gold mask, red tights, black glove - walking the ropes years before the Undertaker made it famous.
In those days, I was so taken by guys like the Spoiler, that in comparison, the face painted barbaric freaks everyone else was into did little for me. 15 years later, my love affair with masked wrestlers inspires me to publish "From Parts Unknown."
The Spoiler introduced the "Hart Claw" in a match against Paul DeMarco. The hold was named after the Spoiler's manager, Playboy Gary Hart. At the time, Jardine was known as Spoiler #1. His tag team partner was of course, Spoiler #2, who was eventually unmasked as Smasher Sloan.
I vividly recall several "claw vs. claw" matches against Fritz Von Erich Both men gave it their all for the fans..
A tremendous athlete, Don Jardine is a Texas legend as far as wrestling is concerned.
I remember the Spoiler back in the early '72, while I was a youngster living in Jackson, MS. The battles that he had with Doctor X, Grizzly Smith, and who would later be known as The Missing Link; Dewey Robertson. I also remember the Spoiler when he was wrestling for the Von Erich promotion in Texas. One my all time greats. His one time partner Bruiser Bob Sweetan was also great.
Karl Clark, New Orleans, LA
I was saddened to read that someone other than my father was credited with having created "The Spoiler". My father was Vince Bagala and was wrestling in San Francisco under that name since the very early 1960's. He was partnered for a time with Hombre Montana and used the name Vince Montana for a while but quickly became The Spoiler. He wrestled all over the United States and Japan with Gorilla Monsoon, Pepper Gomez, Haystack Calhoun, etc. My father died in 1988 in Kona, Hawaii. I hope the record is someday corrected.
Thank you- Lori Bagala-De Marco