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Al Tomko



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Al Tomko

The Winnipeg promoter who helped launch Roddy Piper's career. Began promoting shows in the 1950s. Wrestled for Winnipeg's Madison Wrestling Club in the early 1960s. Ran shows affiliated with the AWA in Winnipeg from the mid-1960s through the 1970s. Occasionally wrestled on his shows as "Crazy Legs" Leroy Hirsch. Bought the Madison promotion in 1967 and amalgamated it with his AWA promotion.

Bought into the Vancouver office in the late 1970s when Sandor Kovacs sold his share of the promotion. Left Winnipeg and moved to the west coast in the early 1980s and, despite being old, out of shape, and a poor wrestler, pushed himself as the top star. He gave himself his own Canadian championship five times (and held neary every other belt in the promotion at some point). At least he made himself a heel. His promotion wound down in 1989.

His son Todd Tomko was a junior heavyweight wrestler, usually working as Rick Davis. Another son, Terry Tomko, often wrestled as The Frog in B.C. and Manitoba.

"Al Tomko, wrestling promoter, and Verne Gagne have come to a parting of the ways. After a lengthy association, Tomko has decided to book future matches through the NWA, the largest wrestling association in North America. Tomko, who has built wrestling to a sport regularly drawing up to 11,000 fans in the Winnipeg Arena has felt for some time that the quality of matches he has been receiving from Gagne's Minneapolis booking office are not of the calibre Winnipeg fans have come to expect." (From Winnipeg Tribune, April 7, 1979)


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