These are the men who became heroes of the ring as Midget Wrestlers during the 1960s and 1970s. Out of traveling carnivals, circus acts and sheer ambition, these wrestlers started a sport that was followed by hundreds of thousands across America, Canada and England.
The best wrestlers (Sky Low Low, Little Beaver, Lord Littlebrook, Little Tokyo) mixed great physical prowess with acrobatic skills to give their fans edge-of-the-seat thrills and entertainment, with just a hint of comedy. Wrestlers fell in two categories—the goodies and the baddies, who would either seek the cheers or loud disapprobation of the audience by skill or pantomime cheating.
Sadly, many of the biographies and details of these wrestling heroes (and villains) have either been lost or passively excised due to political correctness—which is a shame, for these men (and and a few women) were athletes and acrobats who excelled at the sport.
Thankfully, during a golden age of wrestling, photographer David Maciejewski documented the legends of the ring from 1966 to 1974—from which some these pictures have been culled. More of Maciejewski’s superb photography can be seen (and purchased) here.
Little Bruiser ready for a bout in Chicago, September 1 1972. Born Murray Downs in Wallaceburg, Ontario, Little Bruiser was the only son among four sisters. His father was an alcoholic and his abusive and violent behavior towards his son led the teenage Murray to run away from home. He joined the carnival and started wrestling. His powerhouse antics made him popular and he quickly became a star. He fought as part of a tag team and was often picked to fight 6ft 10in 350lbs wrestler Blackjack Mulligan who would wallop Bruiser onto the canvas. Little Bruiser was a demon in the ring, but a gentleman outside. He later quit because of back pain and died in a auto accident in 1995.
Tag team: Little Bruiser and Billy the Kid, September 23 1972.
More mini wrestling heroes, after the jump…