March 2, 2009
Waldo von Erich
REAL NAME: Walter Sieber
I'll always remember Von Erich giving Milt Avruskin and George Cannon fits whenever he was around. He was a major star on SUPERSTARS OF WRESTLING and was one of my favs. At the time it wasn't popular to like the bad guys which made him even better in my eyes. If memory serves me correct, one of those famous battles with Bruno Sammartino he brought a old style can opener into the ring and used on Bruno. WILD!
The German, was his nickname given to him by Big Bad John in Sydney in the early to mid 70's. Waldo was a good looking athlete, always competitive and gee he contributed to the steel cage matches and the war against the peoples army in Mark Lewin, King Curtis, the late Spiros Arion and Shiek Wadi Ayoub.
When Waldo was in the Buffalo-Cleveland promotion, their show was on TV in Utica, N.Y., near my hometown of Morrisville. They'd have monthly live events there and we'd go cheer him on, going against the grain of the fans and then some. He even had a fan club at Morrisville-Eaton HS (yours truly, president) and when we taped a news show for our senior-year TV class we worked variations of his name into each of the stories (Eric von Waldo, Van Walters, Eric Vann, etc.).
A great athlete, and great memories!
Not only did Waldo von Erich hold the NWF World title but he held the North American title and the tag-team title twice, once with the Executioner (I don't know who was under the mask but would love to) and with Oscar (the Crusher) Verdue. He was not beaten in a tournament by Rougeau for the vacated title, that was Killer Tim Brooks who was disqualified. Waldo could draw heat like few others. He was more than a cut-out German, as his feud with Hans Schmidt showed. He always found a different angle and then twisted it in a way no one expected. And the man could wrestle.
D Jason Cooper
Dear Waldo, To this day I never will forget the nickname you gave Dominic Denucci on the Old N.W.F. Wrestling TV Programs from the early seventies. Does the name Spagetti Bender ring a bell. Anyway it's good to see one of the greatest stars that made Cleveland wrestling history before there ever was WCW or WWF cards running in Cleveland Area. If you ask true wrestling fans what they remember in the last 25 years of Cleveland Wrestling history they will gladly list Big Time Wrestling at Public Hall it's still there, and The Cleveland Arena which is not still there, but the memories are! How fitting to have an American Red Cross building at the Old Site on Euclid Ave. Any wrestling that you may have on video tape of yourself, or others from the two promotions that appeared during the late sixties and early seventies I would definitely appreciate your time.
My e-mail is: firstname.lastname@example.org
I remember Waldo, coming to the Mid-south, and lashing out at Bill Watts, and the press for those so-called statements that were said and written about him. Waldo was always a rulebreaker, and hated with much passion by the fans. One of his classic battles was against Dick Murdoch, in which he was disqualified for leaping off of the top rope and landing a knee to the side of Dick's head. His most hated rival was Cowboy Bill Watts, and as much as I wanted to see Watts knock his block off, it never happened, due to those unorthodox tactics of Waldo. As the Great Zim, Waldo defeated a young champion known as Ted Dibiase, thus shocking the fans by removing the mask, and revealing himself as Waldo Von Erich. I wasn't fooled because I knew it was him.
I'll always remember the broadcast where you came in the ring and bashed a heavy steel chair over Dominic Denucci's head and then proceed to give him several Blitzkriegs to the neck until Tony Parisi came to Dominic's aid.This then started a feud that lasted several months through 1971.(I believe).One other distant memory I have is a special ceremony in a TV taping where a little girl was presenting a special award to a popular wrestler and you came on the scene, snatched the plaque from the terrified girl, and either broke it or attacked the good guy wrestler!
You are still in my mind the greatest "Nasty/Brutal" Wrestler of all time. I only wish you had come to my home town of Grimsby to wrestle once!
Bruce Metcalfe, Mississauga, Ontario
The wrestler was unbelievable! He could generate fan heat like few wrestlers could. I still remember when he went into the ring with his WW 2 helmet and whipping crop. Where can you find tapes of his matches?
Waldo, thanks for making those wars in Australia fun and making Saturday nights wrestling nights. Thans for the memeories of being able to yell and scream at a true wrestling star.
Greg Kelly, Melbourne, Australia