The Teenage Idol from California
Leo Garibaldi vs Billy McDaniel, 23 May 1951, Olympic Auditorium, Los Angeles
Six-foot-one Leo Garibaldi (1929-2008) had professional wrestling in his DNA. His father (Gino) and four of his uncles (Chick, Tony, Joe, and Ralph) were also pro wrestlers. Leo debuted at age eighteen and soon after was dubbed "The Teenage Idol from California." Some credit his 1950 tag team battle, alongside his father, against Brother Jonathan (who played up his Mormon heritage as a gimmick) and his son, Don Leo Jonathan ("The Mormon Giant"), as the first professional father-son-versus-father-son match. Soon after, Leo enlisted and fought in Korea. At the end of that conflict, he returned to wrestling, and even after leaving the ring, he worked as a highly regarded booker.
In this 1951 match he battles Billy McDaniel in a fair and square technical match. The three-fall contest lasts for eighteen minutes. The incorporation of genuine grappling gives the match a slower pace than what 21st-century fans are used to. (On this point, I'm a proud "20th-century boy" myself.) McDaniel wins the first fall in the third GIF above. The second and third falls occur in the eighth and tenth GIFs. It's a fine match. See more classics like this one at the http://wrestlingfilms.blogspot.com channel on YouTube.
My principal sources are LegacyOfWrestling.com and Greg Oliver's 2008 SLAM! Sports article.
|Gino and Leo Garibaldi|