CWF #10 Page #2

Gordon Solie had both men at the desk when Leduc commented that any time, whether it's lifting weights, lifting logs or trees, pulling a bus or a train, that he was ready.  Graham began to ramble on about his "Beautiful Body".   "TAKE A LOOK AT THE SUPERSTAR.  LOOK AT THIS BEAUTIFUL BODY.   NO ONE IN THE STATE OF FLORIDA HAS A BEAUTIFUL BODY LIKE MINE..... LOOK AT ME....... 

Leduc interrupts Graham and as serious as can be says to him (in his broken English fashion)

"Superstar Billy Graham, I'm startin' to wonder about you.   When I think of Beautiful Body, I think of Bridget Bardot or Marilyn Monroe.  If this is your idea of a Beautiful Body and that's all you have to talk about, Bon Voyage Man.  (walks of the set).   


Eventually, the two agreed to a bench press contest.  The Bayfront Center in St. Petersburg was where it was to take place.   Graham was scheduled to wrestle Dusty Rhodes in the main event that evening following the contest.   

They started off slowly with each man Bench pressing about 150 lbs., then 175.  Graham was instructing the ref as to how much weight to place on the bar.  Rhodes was spotting for Leduc.  After a couple of rounds, Leduc grabbed the microphone hastily.   "SUPERSTAR, STOP PLAYING AROUND, LOAD THAT BAR AT FIVE HUNDRED!   The crowd went nuts, while Graham stormed around the ring in protest.   

Leduc reaches over and gets some powder on his hands for a nice dry grip on the bar.   He gets in position for the next press, with Rhodes in place to Spot for him.   Before Leduc can finish the press, Graham picks up the box of powder and hurls it into Rhodes' eyes.   Then he grabs him by the hair and bashes his head into the weights loaded on the bar knocking him out cold.  Rhodes is carried out on a stretcher and Superstar Graham is quickly the most hated wrestler in town.  

Leduc grabs the mic again and speaks in a crying, angry tone.  " Superstar, You Just Hurt My Best Friend!  For that, I'm Gonna Beat The Hell Out of You!    

Jos Leduc takes Dusty Rhodes' place in the main event.   The match is a bloodbath right from the start.   I believe Graham lost by disqualification although I'm not 100% sure.  This night set the tone for many, many future battles involving Superstar Billy Graham, Dusty Rhodes and Jos Leduc. 

During his stay in Florida, Superstar Graham and Ox Baker formed an alliance and began wreaking havoc throughout the Sunshine State.   Ox Baker always referred to Florida as "My Lucky State" as he enjoyed a long string of victories here. 

In an unusual appearance on Championship Wrestling From Florida, Gordon Solie invited the Assassin to come on the program and lend his comments about the Florida region.  Fans in Florida hated the Assassin.  After all, he used every dirty trick in the book against Dusty Rhodes on many occasions.  He even knocked Buddy Colt to the concrete floor at a time when Colt was still recovering from injuries from the infamous plane crash the ended his career.  

The Assassin was talking about the caliber of athletes that the State of Florida had to offer and the fierce competition that any wrestler would face if they'd come into the territory.   He explained that regardless of where they'd been in the past, the State of Florida is where the best talent in the wrestling business would eventually come.   Suddenly out of nowhere, Superstar Billy Graham and Ox Baker burst onto the set. 

Baker:  WHATA YOU TALKIN' TO THESE GUYS, WHEN I CAME TO FLORIDA,  THIS IS MY LUCKY STATE!  YOU GOT GUYS ON HERE... (Solie's talking as fast as he can, "Wait a minute, just a minute, just a minute.......) 

Then they unleash an attack on the Assassin.  Graham grabs his arms from behind, forces him to his knees and yells "GET 'EM".  Ox Baker starts bashing his face in with his 'loaded' elbow pad.  "AHH,  AHH, AHH,  AHH".  Finally they drop him.  Ox Baker yells at Solie - "YA BETTER TALK TA US!  Graham adds on their way off the set - "FROM NOW ON YOU TALK TA US SOLIE -- WE'RE MORE IMPORTANT! 

Gordon can't believe what's happened.  He states that "Well, this man has obviously been injured very badly, possibly his nose has been broken (blood is running out under the Assassin's nose as he's struggling to get to his feet).   And as always -  "We'll Be Back". 

Superstar Graham went on to become one of the top draws in the WWWF working for Vince McMahon, Sr.  He became WWWF World Heavyweight Champion defeating the legendary Bruno Sammartino for the belt.   Although he spent the majority of his wrestling career outside of the State of Florida, Superstar Billy Graham certainly left his mark on the region in a big way.  He was always colorful, full of energy, never at a loss for words and was truly one of the greatest workers of his time.    

For more information about Superstar Billy Graham, visit his website. 

Till next time, "So Long From The Sunshine State". 


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