BRIAN FULTON’S DAY IN HISTORY: 50 YEARS AGO
Sammartino was about to win his bout with Monsoon when Kowalski climbed into the ring and launched a surprise attack on Sammartino.
Toward the end of the evening match, chaos broke out in the gymnasium. It started when Kowalski kicked referee Dick Woehrle out of the ring and Sammartino went to the aid of Woehrle.
With Sammartino and the referee out of the way, Monsoon struck Calhoun in the head with a horse- shoe, which rendered him unconscious. Then Kowalski jumped in and got on top of Calhoun. Woehrle re-entered the ring and declared Kowalski the victor.
The referee’s decision wasn’t taken lightly by Sammartino and the 2,000plus crowd. The crowd booed and howled for 30 minutes and Sammartino staged a sit-in in the center of the ring. Those close to the ring reported they saw tears streaming down Sammartino’s face and heard him say, “it is terrible, just terrible.”
WWWF President Willie Gilzenberg, hearing the anger of the crowd, announced that the already scheduled fight between the four for March 15 was moved up to Feb. 28.
library manaoer, oversees The Timestribune’s expansive dioital And paper Archives And is An Authority on local history. Contact Brian At bful[email protected] timesshamrock.com or 570348-9140.
Referee Dick Woehrle declares Killer Kowalski the winner in a tag-team match Feb. 11, 1969, at the Catholic Youth Center. At front, Haystacks Calhoun is unconscious after being knocked out by Gorilla Monsoon using a horseshoe.