1944, 1952-1953, 1961-1965, 1967-1971
Of 34 voters, Blassie received 13 first place votes and was on 33 overall ballots for a point total of 273.
Fred Blassie was born on Feb. 8, 1918 in St. Louis. The claim is he started wrestling in 1936 in small promotions around St. Louis. With WWII starting Blassie was induced into the Navy on June 9, 1942. Assigned for training at Lambert Field, St Louis he continued to wrestle around St Louis & into Kansas become a good pro. In March, 1944, he was assigned to the area around LA and begain wrestling as Bill Blassie. His first Los Angeles match was against Fritz Schnabel on March 22, 1944. He stayed in the area until June 1944, wrestling as a babyface he had matches with such future LA big shots as Jules Strongbow, Hardy Kruskamp, & Vic Christy. He then got married and was shipped to the Philippines. On discharge in Oct. 1945, Blassie worked the St Louis area, Texas, & in Atlanta. He returned to LA in Feb. 1952, as Fred McDaniel, working as a brother team with Billy McDaniel. He got a lot of TV time and worked a number of matches with Gorgeous George, Sandor Szabo, & Mr Moto still as a babyface. He left in May 1952. After stays in Texas, Chicago, & Buffalo, he returned to Los Angeles in March 1953 as Sailor Fred Blassie. He remained in town getting major TV exposure against such stars as Baron Leone, Billy Varga, Red Berry, and had minor fueds with Mr Moto & a John Tolos. Then a big babyface star, the good looking good working star moved to the South where he became one of biggest attractions in the sport. From 1953 to 1959, he won the NWA Southern Title 14 times. In 1955, Blassie turned heel and dyed his hair blond and became even more, although different, type of popular. Jules Strongbow brought him into LA in Jan. 1961 at age 43, where he became a sensation as the Great Freddie Blassie. On June 12, 1961, Blassie defeat Edward Carpentier for the WWA World Title at the new LA Sports Arena in front of 13,200 with agate of $40,169. Over the 14 months, Blassie defeated just about every major babyface in pro wrestling. A list that included Lou Thesz (clean), Carpentier, Sandor Szabo, Enrique Torres, Dick Hutton, Nick Bockwinkel, Sampson Berg, Lord Blears, Reg Parks, Shohei Baba, Primo Carnera, Ricki Starr, Haystack Muldoom, Dick Beyer, Johnny Walker, Art Thomas, Jesus Ortega, and Antonino Rocca. All of this was covered in national magazines and Blassie became famous as the world champion of Los Angeles. On March 28, 1962 Blassie lost the WWA part of his world title to Rikidozan at the Olympic via a weird won only fall (DQ) in a 2/3 fall match. Blassie became the only man to rewin the WWA Tile on July 25, 1962 beat Rikidozan via cuts at the soldout Olympic. Two days later on July 27, 1962, Fred dropped the WWA Title again to The Destroyer (Dick Beyer) in San Diego. Blassie then mover to Atlanta, still claiming the world title. Blassie returned to LA in Feb. 1963, and defeated The Destroyer and took back the WWA title for a third time on May 10, 1963. He lost the title to Bearcat Wright via COR on Aug. 23, 1963 at a soldout Olympic. Leaving out a lot of history, Blassie rewon the WWA World Title on Jan. 31, 1964 from Edward Carpentier for a forth time. After beating Shohei Baba, Ernie Ladd, he had a series of matchs with Dick The Bruiser, losing the WWA Title on April 22, 1964. He then moved on to NYC for a number of matches with WWWF champ Bruno Sammartino and later to Florida for matches with NWA champ Lou Thesz. After a Japanese tour in 1965, Blassie had a kidney removed and retire from wrestling on Nov. 9, 1965. He then lived in Atlanta selling cars. Much to the joy of fans, Blassie came out of retirement in Aug. 1967. On Aug. 25, he beat Mad Mark Lewin for LA’s new Americas Title at the Olympic. Over the following years he won the Americas Title four times in long running fueds with such wrestlers as Bobo Brazil, Pedro Morales, Buddy Austin, Don Carson, Black Gordman, Great Goiath, Mil Mascaras, Kinji Shibuya, Masa Saito, Rocky Johnson, & Billy Graham. In the process Fred turned babyface. At last, it was Ok for everyone in LA to love Blassie. A series of matches with The Sheik ended up with Blassie on top and the creation of the Blassie cage. In Aug. 1970, a feud started between Fred & John Tolos, that would become famous not only in LA but thru out the wrestling world. The two never had a singles match without a resulting sellout. They battled thru the year, until their first blow off match on Dec. 18, 1970. A loser leave town cage match ended with Fred winning, so Tolos spent x-mass with his brother Chris in Vancouver (att: 10,574). Tolos returned and on May 7, 1971 beat Blassie clean for the Americas Title. On the next day on KCOP TV, Blassie won a wrestler of the year contest and got a face full of monsels power in the face from Tolos. Looked like another retirement for the blind Blassie, but Dr. Bernard Schwartz cured him and he returned to defeat the hated (kind of) Tolos at the Los Angeles Coliseum in front of 25,847 that paid $142,158.50 (kind of). Whatever the total, it broke the old Thesz/Leone record. Two weeks later on Sept. 10, 1971, Tolos defended the Americas Tille vs Blassie and won. Blassie & Tolos were always upset with Mike Lebell over the purse from the Coliseum, and Fred left the territory for NYC and the WWF. In Feb. 1973 he returned to LA because he need surgery on a knee. This played into another feud with Killer Kowalski, who he beat on June 16. The Destroyer and Blassie had their last match together on Feb. 9, 1973 with The Destroyer winning. Fred was spending most of his time in the WWF, but returned on Sept. 7, 1973 to beat Tolos in front of 11,237 (kind of) at the Olympic. He lost a Tolos match on Sept. 21, 1973 before touring Japan. He then return to lose again to his friend Tolos and then announced his retirement (kind of) to manage in the WWF. He died, still the king of Men, on June 3, 2003.
1919, 1923-1928, 1932, 1934-1935, 1937-1953
Of the 34 voters, Londos received 11 first place votes and was on 25 ballots for a point total of 204.
Londos first appeared in Los Angeles at the Empress Theater, a few door from the LAAC, on Sept. 12, 1919 beating Ivan Randovich (John Grandovich). By that time in his career, the Greek was already a major star having been in many matches with Strangler Lewis and beaten many other major contenders. When Lou Daro brought major league style wrestling to LA in 1923, the first wrestler he pushed was Jim Londos. Daro first booked him in his Long Beach cards and when that city dried up, they moved to the impressive LA Philharmonic Auditorium. When The Olympic Auditorium opened for wrestling on Aug. 10, 1925, World Champion Joe Stecher was the main event, but the semi-final had Londos defeating Jim Browning in 55:20. Jimmy’s first title match was against Stecher on Nov. 9, 1925. Londos lost the only fall in a match that lasted two hours. One of the best looking, hardest working, and best pure wrestlers to ever live, Londos became the biggest draw, not only in LA, but in the world. He and Ray Steele were the most famous match of their time and they wrestled at The Olympic many times and drew 12,000 at Wrigley Field on July 14, 1932. On Oct. 10, 1934, Londos and Man Mountain Dean drew 23,565 for $40,922 in Wrigley Field. Two rematches drew over 11,000 to The Olympic Auditorium. After he dropped his NWA world title in Boston to Danno O’Mahoney on June 27, 1935 (Att: 25,000), he worked the next couple of years in Europe, Africa, & Greece. After 1937, when wrestling stopped being a national sport and settled into a territorial system, Londos pretty much just worked in Los Angeles and Philladelphia, but Londos remained the #1 draw in the sport until WWII. He then worked a large farm in Escondido, Calif. just above San Diego, where he died in 1975. Once he became the World Champion, Londos never did a job in Los Angeles and it has a rare thing for him to even drop a fall.
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