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 - Arnold Schwartz

Say the name J.R. Foley in a crowd of wrestling fans around the world and chances are you might get a look of uncertainty. At best you might get, "oh you mean good ol J.R. on WWF right?"  However say that name to a small group of wrestling fans who followed Stampede wrestling in the late 70's-80's and you will get a wide eyed look and even maybe a chill down the back as they recall interview lines like, "you ain't invited to the party Ed."  Say the name J.R. Foley to me and you also get a warm smile of a special manager in wrestling's history.

Everyone needs a arch enemy in their life.  Luke needed Darth Vader.  Archie needed Reggie.  The Steelers needed the Cowboys.  William Shatner (like me) needed male pattern baldness, etc.  Wrestling is no different.  To make the show complete wrestling needs villians. In Stampede it was no different. The Hart brothers always wore the white hats. There was no grey area.  Singles/Tags it didn't matter. The head of the Hart brothers was Stu Hart. Promoter and sometimes combatant along side his boys. Stu Harts nemisis was a manager called John Foley. Later called J.R. Foley. If Bruce, Keith, Bret and later Owen were on one side of the ring you can be sure on the opposite side J.R. Foley was directing his troops of Duke Myers, Kerry Brown, Honky Tonk Wayne, The Viet Cong Express, Dynamite Kid, and  The Cobra.

J.R. wore the black hat and he wore it well.  John Foley came to Stampede wrestling from Liverpool, England and brought fans to their feet (and sometimes to the ring in anger), with arrogance a mile wide. He looked down upon the upstart colonists in Canada. He came to set things straight. He didn't drape himself in the standard union jack flag that most English wrestlers do. Instead he came to the ring in the early years sporting khaki pants and jacket and a German WW2-esque helmet. And... a moustache another WW2 German. He named his organization Foley's Army and recruited the best young wrestlers that came to Calgary. Through the years he recruited a variety of styles not limiting himself to one category. J.R. had his eyes on all the belts, not just the North American Heavyweight title. Gama Singh quickly found success under J.R. winning the British Commonwealth Mid-heavyweight title on several occasions. Archie "the stomper" Gouldie,while never needing a manager found gold in the Heavyweight category under J.R.  He looked to the tag titles and and put together two heavyweights in Kerry Brown and Duke Myers. He used his black hat to get Dukes leather wrist support legalized. An old Vietnam injury you know.  More...

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