Stirling Observer

Cullen wrestles his way to Hall of Fame

Stirling-born Frank is the third Scot to get accolade

- Donald Morton

Stirling-born wrestler Frank Cullen was honoured by The Profession­al Wrestling Hall of Fame for Scotland last week.

Frank (57) becomes the third Scot in the special ranks, following in the footsteps of legendary Dundee wrestler George Kidd and another popular Stirling fighter Andy Robin after receiving the accolade on Friday from Stirling Provost Christine Simpson.

The Profession­al Wrestling Hall of Fame for Scotland was founded in 2014 by wrestling historian and author Bradley Craig to recognise the achievemen­ts of the industry’s finest contributo­rs.

And it was apt that Frank collected the award at the Albert Halls where he fought on many occasions; his final fight there being last November when he came out of retirement to emerge victorious in a match against The Masked Destroyer.

He said: “I’m delighted to receive this award. I had a lot of great times fighting here at the Albert Halls and a lot of memories.”

Provost Simpson added: “I have to say wrestling is not a sport I have much experience of but I’ve been learning about it.

“It’s a big thing for Frank to have this honour bestowed upon him, particular­ly at the Albert Halls.”

Raploch lad Frank started wrestling as a youngster and following a meeting with Orig Williams, a Welsh wrestler who promoted shows at the Albert Halls, he was eventually offered an opportunit­y to perform in the ring. Williams and Brian Mason would serve as his trainers and, within weeks of his 16th birthday, he made his profession­al wrestling debut in a contest against Steve Peacock in January 1976.

He was quickly signed to compete for Joint Promotions, a syndicate of wrestling companies based in the United Kingdom led by Max Crabtree.

Adopting the nickname “Chic” in homage to a legendary Scottish wrestler Charles “Chic” Purvey, Frank made his debut to national television audiences on February 14, 1981 in a valiant effort against the feared heavyweigh­t John ‘The Bear’ Elijah.

By the summer, he had made his first tour of Canada, competing under the banner of Stampede Wrestling for the legendary Stu Hart. Reintroduc­ed to North American audiences as Robbie Stewart, he impressed audiences quickly and in his first year, Cullen and fellow British competitor Davey Boy Smith were recognised with an award as Newcomers of the Year.

Upon his return to the UK he won the British Heavy Middleweig­ht title in March 1984 and 18 months later, landed the belt he dreamed of - dethroning Mark ‘Rollerball’ Rocco to win the world championsh­ip.

Unfortunat­ely for Frank, his reign atop the division was short-lived as the former champion recaptured the championsh­ip in a rematch but after another stint in Canada, he came back to Britain to recapture the British Heavy Middleweig­ht title for a third reign that lasted until September 1987.

Following further tours for various promotions in Europe, and a stint with the World Wrestling Federation in the spring of 1991, Cullen would be given a second chance at the World Heavy Middleweig­ht Championsh­ip. Facing Robby Brookside for the title, he recaptured the gold on June 4, 1992, in Bristol. It was the start of the longest reign that any champion had claimed with the belt.

But in his tenth year as the reigning champion, Frank decided to step down from active competitio­n. He accepted the role of Commission­er of All Star Wrestling before returning to Canada in 2004 to focus on the developmen­t of trainee wrestlers.

 ??  ?? Award Bradley Craig of The Profession­al Wrestling Hall of Fame for Scotland, Provost Christine Simpson and Frank Cullen
Award Bradley Craig of The Profession­al Wrestling Hall of Fame for Scotland, Provost Christine Simpson and Frank Cullen
 ??  ?? Champ Frank in his days as “Chic” Cullen
Champ Frank in his days as “Chic” Cullen

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