Two famous pro-wrestlers of the day, Pepper Gomez and Kenji Shibuya, often wrestled each other for championship titles and both worked out at Walt's. One story was that Kenji once asked Pepper about his weekend plans. "I'm staying home," Pepper said. "I'm putting in a Japanese garden?" "I'm staying home, too," said Kenji. "I'm putting in a Mexican garden."
Everyone talks about the great ladder matches that have been held in the WWF, with the most recent one being Edge/Christian vs. The Hardy Boys but most people remember the August 27, 1995 ladder match between the then Intercontinental Champion Shawn Michaels and Razor Ramon (Scott Hall). Now I would hope that everyone realizes that this was not the first time a ladder was ever used in a match. In fact, in 1962 it was Ray Stevens who did his "bombs away" off of a ladder onto his opponent Pepper Gomez in a grudge match that sold out the San Francisco Cow Palace to the tune of 17,000 fans and a paid gate of $65,000. The result of that move was an injury to Gomez's throat. Do I hear a chant of "He's Hardcore"?
1962 - Ray Stevens does the "bombs away" off a ladder onto Pepper Gomez's throat, injuring Gomez. Their grudge match sells out the San Francisco Cow Palace to the tune of 17,000 fans paying a gate of $65,000.
"Luscious" Luke Sintel. My wrestling name is "Luscious" Luke Sintel, 6 ft., 245 lbs. I have been wrestling for 21 years. I was trained by Jerry Monti, Ray Stevens, Pepper Gomez, Kenji Shubuya, & Alexis Smirnoff. Some of my allies in my training were Nito Gomez (Pepper's son), who wrestles as Nito Muraco, and Bolo, the Hawaiian Crusher.
Official Wrestling Ratings for April 1964:Male: 1. Lou Thesz 2. Bruno Sammartino 3. Verne Gagne 4. Fritz Von Erich 5. Eddie Graham 6. Ed Carpentier 7. Gene Kiniski 8. Dan Hodge 9. Wilbur Snyder 10. Bearcat Wright Female: 1. June Byers 2. Fabulous Moolah 3. Judy Grable 4. Penny Banner 5. Kay Noble 6. Jessica Rogers 7. Anne Casey 8. Karen Kellog 9. Fran Gravette 10. Verne Bottoms Tag Teams: 1. Pepper Gomez and Jose Lothario 2. Art and Stan Neilson 3. Killer Kowalski and Gorilla Monsoon 4. Mitsu Arakawa and Kinji Shibuya 5. Bobo Brazil and Dory Dixon 6. The Kangaroos 7. The Von Brauners 8. The Medics 9. The Daltons 10. The Scufflin' Hillbillies
Rocky Johnson NWA World tag champion (San Francisco), with Pepper Gomez, 1971
Roy Shires To this day many workers still say he was one of the greatest promoters in the country with one of the best most sought after territories. But Shire was tough; you had to be good to work for him. Period. He cussed and he was gruff; if he didn't like you for whatever reason (ability, personality, etc) you were out. Some of the boys really liked him. Though he and Pat Patterson had disagreements in the end, Pat, Ray Stevens, Pepper Gomez, Don Muraco, Great Fuji, Ron Starr, Dean Ho, all respected him and did well with him. He worked hard.
Muscle Beach Colorful figures like wrestlers Gorgeous George, Pepper Gomez and Baron Leone mingled with the movie stars.
Analysis/Highlights: Video package for Torrie and Sable's feud. (As we all remember, that lollipop angle was first done during the Ray Stevens/Pepper Gomez program in San Francisco.)
Two years later, in July of 1962, Pepper Gomez defeated Freddie Blassie, also in Windsor, for yet another version of the "NWA" U.S. crown. The Gomez version was the one that became a mainstay for many years in Roy Shires' San Francisco promotion, being dominated by the likes of Ray Stevens, Pat Patterson, and "Moondog" Lonnie Mayne.
04-01-1979: Ric Flair recaptures the NWA U.S. title from Ricky Steamboat in Greensboro, NC... Roger "Rip" Kirby & Igor Volkoff win the WWA tag team titles from Wilbur Snyder & Pepper Gomez in Indianapolis
I wanted to tell everyone that on January 11, 1971, Pat Patterson & I defeated Ray Stevens & Peter Maivia, The Rock's grandfather, for the NWA World Tag Team title. Ironically, on September 18, 1971, we dropped the belts to Pepper Gomez and Rocky Johnson, The Rock's father! So, it really is kind of a small world sometimes, isn't it?