Waldo Von Erich
Real name: Walter Sieber
A top heel through the 1960s and 1970s. His first Maple Leaf Gardens match for Frank Tunney was in 1957 as Waldo Von Sieber, a prelim guy, but he had been wrestling for a couple of years by then -- he's included in the 1955-56 Parkhurst wrestling card set.
Reappeared at the beginning of 1959 as Wally Sieber and was being groomed to be the next hometown babyface in the mold of Whipper Billy Watson. Lost to Gorgeous George in a Maple Leaf Gardens semi-final that year. Left the area after the summer of 1959.
In 1962, wrestled in Indianapolis as the masked Mr. M until unmasking after losing to Bill Melby. Went back under a mask in 1963 as The Great Zim in Vancouver. Unmasked after losing to Gene Kiniski.
As Waldo Von Erich, feuded with Verne Gagne for the AWA title in 1963. Went to New York in 1964 and began a long-running feud with WWWF champion Bruno Sammartino. Returned to Toronto later that year and had his first Maple Leaf Gardens main event -- wrestling Sammartino -- in November 1964. Teamed with Kiniski to win the Washington, DC-based U.S. tag title in February 1965. The two wrestled Watson and Johnny Valentine in Maple Leaf Gardens main events in March and April, and again in August.
Wrestled somewhere as the masked Green Hornet in 1966 until being unmasked by Bruno Sammartino and Antonio Pugliese (Tony Parisi).
Teamed with Fritz Von Erich in 1967 to win the American tag title in Dallas. Won the IWA world tag title in Australia in 1969 with The Spoiler.
Returned to New York and again challenged Sammartino for the WWWF title in a Madison Square Garden main event in October 1969. Teamed with Killer Kowalski in January 1970 to challenge for the WWWF International tag title in a Madison Square Garden semi-final.
In November 1971, won the NWF world title in Akron Ohio, defeating Johnny Powers. Regained the belt from Dominic Denucci in Buffalo in early 1972.
Returned to Toronto and New York in 1975. Wrestled with Abdullah the Butcher against Lord Athol Layton and the Mighty Igor in a Maple Leaf Gardens main event in April and, in the next show, teamed with Igor to take on Abdullah and The Sheik in another headline match. Again challenged Sammartino for the WWWF title in a Madison Square Garden main event in May. Lost by DQ to Andre the Giant in Toronto in July. Teamed with The Sheik to take on Stan Stasiak and Mark Lewin in a featured Toronto bout in November. His final Maple Leaf Gardens main event was against Sammartino for the WWWF title in February 1976. Continued to wrestle at Maple Leaf Gardens until he was in his mid-40s, having his last match there in March 1979.
Von Erich was working in Waterloo, Ontario as of a few years ago. He is actually the holder of a U.S. patent for a device that exercises the user's torso.
"Confusion has been the trademark of the bitter feud between Verne Gagne and Waldo Von Erich. In their first meeting, Waldo dislocated the champ's shoulder with a flying knee drop. At the time, Gagne was engaged verbally with Waldo's second, Duke Hoffman. Verne demanded a rematch and certainly had revenge on his mind. The exciting bout went into the third fall and victory for the champ seemed unavoidable. Then Duke Hoffman tripped Gagne, who remained floored for the count of three as Waldo applied a pin. Referee Ernie Dusek awarded the German the title, but after being informed of the truth by ringsiders and officials, Ernie reversed the decision."
(From THE RING WRESTLING, September 1963)
- NWA Texas champion, 1961
- WWWF U.S. tag champion, with Gene Kiniski, 1965
- NWA American tag champion (Texas), with Fritz Von Erich, 1967
- 2-time IWA World tag champion (Australia), 1969
- U.S. tag champion (Oklahoma), with Karl Von Brauner, 1971
- 2-time NWF World champion (Cleveland-Buffalo), 1971-72
- NWF North American champion, 1971
- Australasian tag champion (Australia), 1973
- Australasian champion (Australia), 1974
- North American champion (Mid-South), 1977