Verne Ganja, Vern, Gene discussed on The Wade Keller Pro Wrestling Podcast
That's PW torch dot com slash KGO VIP but anyway mean gene. Know Gino Cappelletti. You WanNa talk about when we go back to People that left Vernon the Awa you know gene was one of those guys he he he started in the Awa gene got his start from Verne. Gene wouldn't Aben gene without vern if you WANNA really be technical because Verne was the one that put the suit on on Gene Oakland and made him the announcer. When Mario Neil back in the seventies was unable to unable to and wouldn't cross the picket lines for a strike and Vernon at the last minute went to Jean Oakland who was the WTN TV WTN is now care. Eleven for those that don't know but WTC on TV at the old. Calhoun Beach Hotel. Where the TV studios were and he went up to gene and bad rush right before the. All Star wrestling program was to begin and said the gene. You got a sport coat. You GotTa do the show for me and gene. He reflected that he did not know how to do wrestling and Burns said. Don't worry we're going to get through this. Just get out there and take the Mike and gene was very kind and in his Eulogy that he thinks Verne for for that. Start and all of the Celebrity that had brought him in the in the career that he you know got from it he said I wouldn't have had that without vern. Ganja and But Jeans Eulogy was a very nice tribute going through earns history where he talked about. Vernice the athlete in College. He talked a little bit about his serving our country and he talked about Vern be a new star out of college and putting the Olympics in nineteen forty eight You know he was an alternate in the Olympics and then he talked about how he came to pro wrestling and immediately which was unusual in that time period. I should point out to the it was very unusual for a wrestler to start a career and be main eventing right away in that era. It just didn't happen. Verne was the exception. So in nineteen forty nine. He immediately was a success because of his background is college. Background is amateur wrestling background and he was when the Dumont Network and gene was telling this story. You know. And I'm paraphrasing all of it right now but he talked about how the Dumont network out of Chicago was you know. Basically the the one link to the country at that point in this new medium called television and earned Ganja along with killer Kowalski and Liu says and gorgeous George and Buddy Rogers. We're but a handful of guys that every promoter in the country wanted to have on their cards and Verne was one of them. And that's one of the reasons that he became a household name. But you know gene also pointed out that Verne brought when we all know this this stuff all of us have said but gene pointed it out that Verne brought legitimate wrestling to the carnival antics that wrestling could sometimes do even back in that day and he said vern. What's the real deal and fans knew that when Verne came to the arena or his name was on the marquee that this was a wrestling match and I was seeing a real wrestler regardless of who is opponent was and Jean pointed out that that was the stardom for Verne through the fifties and when he started the Awa breaking away from the Nwea in nineteen sixty that Verne Ganja had no problem with getting sponsors for the show and you know he was endorsing products? I don't know how many people know this way. But there's a vern gone yet. Board game that out in the mid fifties. They're they're legitimately is it was vern. Gone Your Board Game. If if folks are familiar with the board games and they have a little spinner where you spend the take your turn and you'll go so many squares all this thing and you know well. The board game on burn. Ganja was one of those products in the fifties now back in that era such a thing was really unheard of. It's not on like today. Where marketing for everything in especially the wwe? How well they market Everything for a wrestler but Verne had that that game folks can go out if you can find a game right now you can pay a couple of hundred two thousand dollars for it. I'm sure it was probably five bucks back in the day if that. Yeah but Gino. Cappelletti went through all of this that he had a lot of anecdotes and and told about you. Know How they tape and he said you know burn would get excited when something didn't go right and and and you know but vern was the boss. He wanted the product to be right and he said Yeah wasn't as glitzy as it is today and his as professional looking but it was for the for the era was the state of the art and and vern started the color era in Tv and one thousand nine hundred seventy to one of the first programs in the twin cities in the in the local media market to go to color if fans don't realize that it is true that all star wrestling was one of the first color shows. Even though color had been around since the mid sixties you know in various measures but all star wrestling Verne was the first local market television show with wrestling. That did that. Here's what I want to share about gene at the very end and this I tell you Wade if you looked around the church and I did and I was one of them. That did this as well when gene delivered the line. I'm going to give you. There was not a dry in that church wrestler family friend. Whatever they were there they all you saw them wiping their eyes and Gino. Oakland finished his eulogy with this. And I and I'm not gonNA pretend that I can do it as Jean. Oakland did 'cause we all know what a great voice the Gene Oakland has. But this is what Jean said he said as I end my eulogy. There is only one way that we can do this. Fittingly Ladies and gentlemen by heavyweight champion of the world vern done. Yeah that's very appropriate. Everybody wiped there is yes. And that's.