Sunday, February 10, 2019

Oregon Wrestling Federation 1988 - Billy Jack Haynes Promotion

     Just watching a great YouTube playlist of OWF.
     It was quite the controversy when Billy Jack Haynes decided to open his own wrestling promotion in Don Owens territory.  At one time, the US was split into wrestling territories and promoters, for the most part, respected someone else's territory.  Billy Jack decided, not just to run shows in the Portland area, but to run them on Saturday nights in Oregon City.  The two arenas were about 20 miles apart and would surely attract the same crowds.  I  always thought that it might have worked out a little better for Billy if he would have run his big show on Friday night instead.  Don Owens ran shows in Eugene on Fridays, which was about 90 miles away and mostly entertained a different crowd of people.  Billy Jack decided he wanted to go head to head with Don Owens and he really only lasted a couple of months before things started to go seriously downhill.
     I heard many stories of Billy not being able to pay the guys what he promised them.  We went to a few dark matches mid-week and there were very small crowds.  One night there were only 15 people.  They guys still put on a show, to their credit.
     He really did bring in some exciting wrestlers, and I remember the shows being a lot of fun.  We went most every Saturday Night that summer.  That first night, May 7, 1988, I had tonsil surgery the day before, but I had to be there.  My mom knew she couldn't argue with me about it.  I was a pretty good kid, but don't mess with my wrestling!

They made and passed these out during autograph sessions!

Some video games left over from when the arena was a skating rink.

JT Southern with my mom.

For the Love of Wrestling

A couple who just married are trying to go the Wrestlemania for their honeymoon.  The wife just found out that she has stage 4 cancer, which would make this a really special trip for them.  They are only trying to get $7,500 for the trip.  If you want to contribute, follow the link below.

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