The Mormon Giant returns to Las Vegas!
We are proud to announce the return of the Mormon Giant, Don Leo Jonathan! Jonathan, nicknamed “The Mormon Giant” was a second generation star (his father was former wrestler Brother Jonathan) who made his professional wrestling debut after World War II. Over the course of his career, he competed around the world, making stops in Europe, South Africa, Australia and Japan; he wrestled more often, however, in the United States and Canada. His first championship wins occurred in Montreal with the International Wrestling Association, where he twice captured their International Heavyweight title.
Elsewhere in Canada, Jonathan found more success competing in Toronto’s National Wrestling Alliance (NWA) affiliate Maple Leaf Wrestling (where he first teamed with Gene Kiniski to win the Canadian Open Tag Team title, in 1959) and in Winnipeg, where he wrestled for NWA member Alex Turk Promotions (twice winning their International Tag Team title) and for the American Wrestling Association. Jonathan also got a taste of World heavyweight gold when he won the AWA-affiliated Omaha territory’s version of the World title three times in 1961.
Canada eventually became home to Jonathan in the early 1960s as he settled in the Vancouver suburb of Langley. Making Vancouver his home base, he competed frequently for NWA All Star Wrestling, winning five Pacific Coast Heavyweight titles between 1970 and 1977, the NWA World Tag Team title (with Dominic Denucci) in 1966, and a record 18 Canadian Tag Team titles between 1964 and 1978, as well as challenging for the NWA World Heavyweight Championship against such titleholders as Kiniski, Dory Funk, Jr. and Jack Brisco; he also engaged in feuds with Kiniski and Dutch Savage in All Star, as well as teaming with them. On May 31, 1972, in what was billed as the “match of the century,” Jonathan defeated Le GÃ©ant Jean FerrÃ© (AndrÃ© the Giant) by disqualification. On September 7, 1972, in a match which was billed as the “Battle of the Giants” Jonathan had a rematch against AndrÃ©, this time losing by disqualification. Late in his career, he appeared as one of the wrestlers in the 1978 Sylvester Stallone movie Paradise Alley.
Jonathan wrestled his final match, teaming with AndrÃ© the Giant and Roddy Piper to defeat The Sheepherders and Buddy Rose in Vancouver on March 10, 1980.
The Cauliflower Alley Club looks forward to seeing Don Leo Jonathan at the 45th Anniversary of the CAC in April.