Jackie Pallo

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Jackie Pallo
Jackie Pallo.jpg
Birth nameJack Ernest Gutteridge
BornIslington, London, UK
Professional wrestling career
Billed fromHighbury, North London

Jackie "Mr TV" Pallo (born Jack Ernest Gutteridge; 12 January 1926 – 11 February 2006) was an English professional wrestler, a star of British televised wrestling in its 1960s and 1970s heyday, when the sport had a regular 40-minute slot before the Saturday afternoon football results on ITV.

Wrestling career[edit]

The Islington-born Gutteridge was billed from Highbury, North London and was regarded as one of the first stars of British professional wrestling. During his career, his most famous rivalry was an 11-year-long battle with perhaps the greatest villain in British wrestling history, Mick McManus. In 1973, Pallo made two unsuccessful attempts to beat McManus for the European Middleweight Championship.

Pallo was a risk-taking athlete on the one hand but pushed credibility to the limits at other times owing to his over-the-top cockiness. Fans rejoiced in his sit-on back breaker and arm lever, his aeroplane spin, and his cross-shoulder backbreaker. Pallo's star was further affirmed when a 1964 date in Bishop's Stortford sold out in only 3 hours. His sole major accolade during his career was a short 1969 run as the British Heavy Middleweight Champion, having defeated Bert Royal on 21 April before dropping the title back to Royal the following month. His feud with McManus was featured in the 2012 BBC documentary When Wrestling Was Golden: Grapples, Grunts and Grannies.[1][2]

Autobiography[edit]

Even before the publication of his 1985 autobiography "You Grunt, I'll Groan" (ISBN 0-7088-3228-8), where he revealed the secrets of the wrestling entertainment business (including referees carrying razor blades to nick fighters' earlobes in order to produce the necessary blood to satisfy the bloodlust of the frenzied crowd of mostly elderly women – Pallo preferred to bite his lip to produce the same effect) crowds argued about whether wrestling bouts were staged or not. "Of course it was, it was pure showbiz right from the start", Pallo wrote in his autobiography.

Away from wrestling[edit]

Apart from wrestling, Pallo also had a mainstream show business career – appearing in pantomime with celebrities such as Lionel Blair and Dick Emery. He had a small part in the 1973 film farce 'Not Now Darling' directed by Ray Cooney[3]. He also appeared in episodes of The Avengers and Are You Being Served? Playing a gravedigger in an episode of The Avengers, he was accidentally knocked unconscious during a fight with Honor Blackman's judo champion character, Cathy Gale – striking his head as he fell into the grave. "I want it to be made perfectly clear that this was an accident ... I have never been beaten by a woman and never intend to be", Pallo said afterward.[4]

Personal life and death[edit]

Pallo died from cancer in 2006, aged 80, and was survived by his wife Georgina aka "Trixie" (died 2013) and his son Jackie Jr (born 1954 died 9 October 2018), himself a former wrestler and frequent tag team partner of Pallo under the team name Pallo and Son. The elder Pallo was a first cousin of TV sports commentator Reg Gutteridge. [5]

Championships and accomplishments[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Garfield Simon. Jackie Pallo: Pantomime baddie of wrestling, independent.co.uk; accessed 31 March 2017.
  2. ^ Wrestling star Jackie Pallo dies", BBC Online, 15 February 2006.
  3. ^ IMDb
  4. ^ Lister, John. Jackie Pallo obituary in The Guardian, 18 February 2006. Accessed 31 March 2017
  5. ^ https://www.theguardian.com/news/2006/feb/17/guardianobituaries.mainsection
  6. ^ http://www.wrestling-titles.com/europe/uk/bri-hm.html