CAC Learning Series 2018: Legends, Fitness, Family, History and Controversy!

CAC Learning Series 2018: Legends, Fitness, Family, History and Controversy!

Ask any touring wrestler from the territory days and you’ll find that they’ll all agree that the greatest education they received in the business was, most likely, from the endless hours and travel days that they traveled by car or van with each other exchanging stories and information.

Most often upwards of 300 days a year, night after night, mile after mile, the wrestlers of the territory era were guaranteed a learning experience that, unfortunately, just doesn’t exist for today’s young talent.

Gone are the days when wrestlers plied their trade for months and years on end, day after day and territory after territory to put food on the table for their families. Gone are the territories that once existed across North America that enabled such an enriched learning opportunity.

The territories may be gone but many of the territorial wrestlers are still with us. Most are no longer making the full time grind and when they do travel, for the most part, gone are the days when they’d travel with up and coming talent who are able benefit from their years of experience.

Fortunately, we here at the CAC, have been blessed with the opportunity to have so many of these legendary figures in our midst each and every year. They’ve made a living in the business, picked up knowledge from so many of their contemporaries and, thankfully, are willing to share their knowledge gained from a bygone era with today’s up and coming talents.

In 2018, in addition to it’s traditional seminar subjects, the CAC Learning Series will attempt to capitalize on this abundance of riches that we have within our midst like we never have before.

It’s an education that you used to be able to get in the territory era. It’s an education opportunity that has passed. It’s that bygone education that you used to be able to get on the road that the CAC will attempt to recreate this year, not in a car, but in a discussion setting. It’s an opportunity that no young wrestler should miss!!

Please remember that entrance to any of the CAC Learning Series events does require the purchase of a 2018 banquet ticket. The lanyard that you’ll get to confirm your banquet attendance is your ticket to all of the fun goings on of the 2018 Cauliflower Alley Club including any and all of the Learning Series events.

Without further ado here is the lineup for your 2018 Cauliflower Alley Club Learning Series. As usual in the pro-wrestling world; card subject to change without notice.

Tuesday May 1, 2018:

10:00 AM: “Ring Shape: Health, Fitness and Nutrition”

Presenter: Ricky Najjar and guests.

(Pro-wrestler, fitness competitor, personal trainer, event director: Fittest Athlete Contest)

Having experience not only in the ring but also on the bodybuilding and fitness stages Ricky Najjar has an abundance of knowledge, especially as it pertains to health, fitness and nutrition for pro-wrestlers.

Ricky will instruct seminar attendees how to present your best possible self by concentrating on how to get into shape, how to stay in shape and what foods to put into your body to obtain ultimate health benefits. At press time Ricky was planning on bringing in some cool fitness related give-aways for his seminar attendees so grab your seat early on Tuesday morning and get ready to participate, stretch and listen in as this dynamic young dynamo shares his knowledge and give-aways with you!

12:00 PM: “Mad Dogs, Midgets and Screw Jobs! — LIVE”

Presenters: Pat Laprade, Bertrand Hebert

Special Guest: Michel “Justice” Dubois (a.k.a. Alexis Smirnoff)

The Cauliflower Alley Club makes a foray into something a bit different in it’s yearly learning series as it begins to explore and discuss lessons learned from and in the territory era. First up, a look at the rich history of professional wrestling in the Canadian province of Quebec.

Quebec, Canada and specifically Montreal has a rich wrestling history that pre-dates the infamous “Montreal Screw Job” by many, many years! The first ever midget wrestler booking office was located there. It is home to an abundance of legendary wrestling families including the Rougeaus, the Vachons, and the Leducs and, of course it was the very first North American wrestling territory of WWE legend Pat Patterson as well as the man later to be known as Andre The Giant.

Join Bertrand Hebert and Pat Laprade, the co-authors of the book “Mad Dogs, Midgets and Screw Jobs!” as they relate tales of this fascinating wrestling territory. Joining in on this panel discussion will be 2018 Men’s Wrestling Award Honoree Alexis Smirnoff, who started his storied career in his native province of Quebec as Michel “Justice” Dubois!

2:00 PM: “The Fabulous Moolah:  The Facts and The Fiction”

Featured guests:  Joyce Grable, Princess Victoria, Beverly Shade, Malia Hosaka, Despina Montagas, plus more potential panelists TBA.

Host: Dan Murphy (Author “Bodyslams in Buffalo, Co-author “Sisterhood of the Squared Circle”, Pro Wrestling Illustrated magazine Senior Writer)

This will be a panel discussion entitled “The Fabulous Moolah:  The Facts and The Fiction” on the legacy of the Fabulous Moolah Lillian Ellison consisting of women who knew and personally worked with her.  Moolah has become a lightning rod for criticism in recent months, particularly following WWE’s decision to name the WrestleMania women’s battle royal in her honor (and the subsequent decision to remove Moolah’s name from the match).  Moolah has been called many things –selfish, manipulative, dishonest, a con artist…even a pimp.  Her legacy as a wrestler, trainer and flag-bearer of women’s wrestling for decades has been tarnished by accusations, rumors and innuendos.

This panel discussion will feature women wrestlers who knew Moolah on a personal level or did business with her. It will be an honest discussion of Moolah and the way she did business that will attempt to elucidate and educate, and delve past the rumors to reveal the truth about one of wrestling’s most controversial figures.

Hosted by the very knowledgeable and articulate Dan Murphy (who like the Beyers’ is also an upstate New York native) this CAC Learning Series presentation will definitely be one that you won’t want to miss!

Wednesday May 2, 2018

11:00 AM: “The Evolution of the Business. Is Professional Wrestling It’s Own Worst Enemy?”

Host: A.J. Kirsch

(2016 “Rock The Promo” Champion, WWE Tough Enough Contestant, Reality TV star and Hoodslam Wrestling Host, Commentator and Announcer)

The term “fake” has long been regarded as a dirty word in professional wrestling, a business that was once believed to be a pure combat sport, the outcomes of which were determined solely on genuine athletic competition.

It is now common knowledge that professional wrestling is a performance. Yet, to this day, the term “fake” is often met with vehement and venomous defense.

A.J. Kirsch returns to the CAC Learning Series with, not so much a seminar, but a discussion on why referring to professional wrestling as “fake” is, in his opinion, accurate exploring the knee-jerk reaction to defend professional wrestling, why the term and the defense are actually two different arguments, and why assuming they are one in the same is detrimental to both the art and the business.

Join us at 11 AM Wednesday morning for what promises to be the single most controversial seminar the Cauliflower Alley Club has ever offered!

1:00 PM: “The Territory Era – Wrestling in the Pacific Northwest (PNW)”

Panelists: Len “The Grappler” Denton, Dave “Top Gun” Sierra, Ricky Santana, “Bad boy” Bobby Kincaid (a.k.a. Bobby Bass), Dean Silverstone.

Moderated by CAC Radio co-host Jim Valley.

With names like Dutch Savage, “Moondog” Lonnie Mayne, “Playboy” Buddy Rose, Roddy Piper, The Grappler and “Top Gun” Dave Sierra, in many cases getting their starts and/or biggest career breaks in the Pacific Northwest the area has been a hotbed for professional wrestling as far back as 1925 when Don Owen’s father, Herb Owen began promoting professional wrestling in Oregon.

Fortunately, over the past couple of years, we here at the CAC continue to be visited by a contingent of Pacific Northwest wrestling legends and this year some of those legends have agreed to “talk shop” about what it was like wrestling in this territory.

We could hardly do justice to the rich history of the PNW in just ninety minutes so this year the CAC Learning Series will take a look specifically at the states of Oregon and Washington as we leave the PNW Canadian province, British Columbia, for, perhaps, an in-depth discussion of it’s own at a later time.

Joining us for this unique CAC event will be a couple of wrestlers that lived the PNW wrestling lifestyle and a promoter that many considered to be an outlaw promoter when he opened up his office in Seattle, Washington.

Len “The Grappler” Denton, the masked menace that was the scourge of the territory will, no doubt, have a lot to say on his time with Don Owen’s Portland Wrestling office. Did the Grappler really have one leg shorter than the other or was that orthotic boot just an excuse to “load it up” assuring the masked maniac another PNW title victory?

“Top Gun” David Sierra, under three different character names held every title in Portland Wrestling. He’s been both a face and a heel in the PNW and some of the fondest memories of his career can be found here. Mr. Sierra will be on hand to discuss his storied PNW career but security might be needed if things get too heated between old rivals Top Gun and The Grappler!

Scheduled to complete the panel will be Ricky Santana (former NWA Pacific Northwest Heavyweight, Television and six-time tag team champion), “Bad Boy” Bobby Kincaid (also known as Bobby Bass) and Super Star Championship Wrestling promoter ( now longtime CAC Executive Board Member) Dean Silverstone .

Find out why Don Owen insisted that Bass change his name upon his arrival in Portland Wrestling in the late 1970’s. Hear his take on the late Lonnie Mayne and other 70’s stars of the PNW mat game.

Find out why Dean Silverstone was considered to be a PNW “outlaw”, why he was labelled a “devil is disguise” by another PNW promoter, how he “almost” had a private meeting with Cher as well as his working relationship with superstars “Big” John Quinn and “Crazy” Chris Colt.

The characters they met. The lessons they learned. Their favorite and least favorite memories. Was Portland Wrestling really considered to be a “small man” territory at one point in time?

No subject will be off limits as the CAC Learning Series takes a look at the storied history of wrestling in the Pacific Northwest by some of the men who lived it. This is one that no true student and/or wrestling historian should miss!!

— Ron Hutchison

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