By Mr. Charity Christopher Annino
On June 4, 1979 John Callahan aka
Sargent Muldoon was at the Salem, Mass YMCA and met the man who would change his life for the better. That individual was wrestling legend Walter Killer
Kowalski. They trained in a 30 by 30 room with no ventilation. There was nothing fancy about the gym, just five of individuals chasing a dream. Kevin (Butcher) Hughes, Dan Pettiglio (Captain USA), Crazy Frank Emma, and Lynn Holmes (Frank Savage). Many others tried to
follow that same dream and failed it is very difficult to break into pro
wrestling. An individual has to be tough both inside and out and determined
beyond belief. Hurricane Bob Wheeler a local wrestler from Waltham, Ma was the
other person who trained Muldoon. Some
of Muldoons accomplishments in his pro wrestling career are the NEPW
Heavyweight Championship (1 time) and NEPW Tag Team Championship (1 time) and he was inducted into the New England Pro wrestling hall of fame in 2011. Muldoon is still very active in pro wrestling and is the manager of the Convicts. You can see him at Showcase Pro Wrestling’s house shows on Main Street in
Q: What got you interested in pro wrestling?
A: “My cousin and I were watching tv at my grandmother’s house when Capital wrestling came on. I saw George Steele stomping on Manuel Soto's
arm. I was hooked right away, from that point every Saturday at 11am (ch 56), 1
pm (ch 38) and again at 5pm (ch 27) I
was glued to the tv.”
Q: What was your experience like training with Walter Killer Kowalski?
A: “Training was tough but Walter pushed you to get the best out of you. If you didn't do something right, you would do it over and over until you got it right. Walter never beat us up like you see in the Eddie Graham, Bob Roop youtube stuff. The bumps and the holds were enough to kick our butts I was so bruised up the first few months I never thought I'd make it through. About one month into my training I hit my head on the side of the ring and busted it wide open eight
stitches later, I got right back into the ring. Other older wrestlers, and
promoters would stop by to see the students, and occasionally Walter would have
them help us with the training. Lots of guys showed up to train but only lasted
a week or so, Bodybuilders were the worst they didn't like the bruises. Within
my first three months of training I had appeared on channel 4's Evening Magazine,
NBC shows "Games People Play" with Artie Johnson, , The Tomorrow show
with Tom Snyder", and ABC's show "Real People" with Bill
Raferty. I had my first match in only two months in Salem, Ma I teamed with
Kevin Butcher Hughes against Bob Wheeler and Dan Petty. My first paid match was in November of 79 in
Manchester Center vermont for WWF against Domenic Denucci.”
Q: What was it like working for the WWF?
A: “It was scary
at first I was wrestling with the people I idolized. Ivan Putski, Tito Santana,
Tony Atlas, Lou Albano, Fred Blassie I wrestle with Walter and I'm not nervous,
there's no bigger star in wrestling than Killer Kowalski the nerves went away
and I got down to business. The beauty
of breaking in with the WWF was I wrestled the greatest wrestlers in the world,
you learn quickly in that environment.
Unfortunately I was green and I was in the ring with the greatest stars
in the business so I either had to get good fast or die in the process. I'm
still here. I lost a lot of matches in
the WWF, many times people asked me why I stayed so long in the WWF if I was
losing all the time why didn't I pack my bags
and head to Florida, Tenessee, or Calgary the answer is simple, the
money. I made more losing to the stars in the wwf than the champions in
Florida, Calgary, and Tennessee were making on top. When I did finally leave
the WWF in 1984 I went to Montreal, after I got my first payday from Frank
Valouis. I looked at the wad of cash I
thanked Mr Valouis, and thought to myself "Boy did I screw up".
Q: What are some fond
memories you have?
A: “Wrestling Hulk Hogan at the Boston Garden it was my first time at the garden, the place was
sold out, 18,000 people. Wrestling the Iron Sheik when he was wwf Champion,
Being the fall guy to change Sgt Slaughter over to being the GI Joe hero.
(Check out youtube) When Rocky Johnson no showed in Springfield, Ma I took his
place to wrestle WWC Champion Carlos Colon. Out drawing the WWF in the
Springfield Civic Center when I wrestled Tony Ulysses in the main event for the
Northeast title. It only happened once but we drew a bigger crowd. In Northeast wrestling my match with Bryan
Walsh at the Worcester Auditorium was featured on the front page of the Worcester Telegram, the writer called our
match the most believeable, we pulled absolutely no punches. In the ICW I changed Abdullah the butcher
from villain to hero by busting open his head in a matter of 30 seconds, the
crowd wanted him to kill me. Having so
much heat with the audience in Puerto Rico Ron Shaw and I needed a police
escort to get out of the ring.
Q: Favorite moves?
A: “The Step over toe
hold which leads to so many other holds and most importantly my favorite finisher
the Figure four leg lock. I also use a spinning hammerlock submission, and of
course the Iron Claw.
Q: Notable Feuds?
A: The best fueds are the ones people still talk about, Chief Jules Strongbow, Big City Mike, at Salisbury Beach. Tony Atlas, Eric Watts, (son of Cowboy Bill Watts), The O'Reilly Brothers (Sean & Tim), Soulman Tony Ulysses, and The Candyman
Q: Greatest inluence in and outside the ring?
A: “Obviously Walter
Kowalski, he took me by the hand and guided me through the door. Others that
helped along the way were Domenic Denucci, Jerry Valiant, Tarzan Tyler, Bill
(Masked Superstar) Eadie, Afa Anoai,
Pete Doherty, and as much as I hate to admit it Ricky Sexton.”
Q: Best advice ?
A: “best advice I ever got was don't quit your day job,
wrestling is a strange business it's here today gone tomorrow. There are lots of injuries, and you never
know when it will end. The business has changed so much in the last thirty years,
it's so much harder today for the upcoming talents so the best advice I could
give to someone is follow your passion, you're the only one that can live your
dream. If you want it bad enough, and you work hard enough you might just find
yourself walking through the Titantron.”
Q: What do you love most about pro wrestling?
A: “I love the crowd
reaction, I can't sing or dance but I can sure as hell fight and raise a
ruckus. There is no better feeling in the world than having an entire building
either cheering or booing me in unison."
Muldoon will be inducting Jack Savage in this years New
England Wrestling Hall of fame in Fairhaven, Mass on June 22nd. This
years class of 2013 include Mr. Fuji, Kevin Sullivan, The Warlord, The
Barbarian, Bobby Knight, Nelson Frazier, Nikolia Volkoff, Michael Lombardi,
Tammy Sytch, Oscar, Alex Payne, Kurt Adonis, Mike Hollow, Bull Curry, Jack
Savage, Silvano Sousa, Marc Bazzle, Mel Simons, Larry Bonoff and the Warwick
Musical Theatre, Brittany Brown, and Referee Peter B.