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GEORGE CANNON: KEEPING THE DREAM ALIVE

Pro hockey, like pro wrestling, has always had its share of interesting personalities and one of the most colorful characters had to be a man by the name of Eddie Shore. A star defenseman with the Boston Bruins during the late 1920's and early 1930's, many of Shore's determined - and often times downright bizarre - antics have become the stuff of legend. No more so than the period of the 1960's when he owned and operated the Springfield Indians minor league team. Shore had grown up the hard way and expected no less of an effort from his players than he would expect from himself. Guys who were unable to play would work the concessions stands during games or even wind up painting the arena. In the early days of his ownership, Shore would sell tickets at the box office himself just before game time then remove his hat and coat and jump on the ice to play. A true jack of all trades. Even though he was not as tough on his employees as Mr.Shore, it was this same drive, determination and adaptability that helped George Cannon survive and thrive as a wrestling promoter during a period when not too many Canadians were making a good living in the industry.

Born George Arnold McArthur, Cannon was a native Montrealer who didn't initially achieve major stardom in his native city. After a stint in the Canadian Football League, 1953 rolled around and the 300 pound plus McArthur broke into wrestling in, of all places, Japan. Two years later, George returned to Montreal, but after failing to make an impact following a couple of seasons, he quit altogether. Yet by 1959 he was back and got his first break when legendary Texas promoter Morris Sigel came up with the "Crybaby McArthur" gimmick in which George would feign turning on the waterworks every time something didn't go his way. Now an established name, George spent the next several years wrestling around the world, sometimes alternating  between his crying schtick and the tougher heel persona of "Man Mountain Cannon", which was a big hit in the U.S. mid-west. He also had a good run in Toronto and briefly lived in the town of Windsor, Ontario, just across the river from Detroit, in 1965.  

As an active wrestler, George gained his greatest fame in Los Angeles, California - one of the industry's hot territories back then. He captured the famous "Beat The Champ" TV belt in a 1968 tournament and had some memorable encounters with the likes of Bobo Brazil and Pepper Gomez. More...

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