Old School Spotlight: The Mongolian Stomper

STOMPER

In the long storied history of professional wrestling, many spandex clad gladiators have grabbed our attention and captured our imaginations. These colorful characters remain in the deepest recesses of our minds years after their glory days in the ring have passed. The most memorable grapplers from our years of wrestling fandom are often those that we encounter early on in our initial discovery of the mat game. This column will take a look at some of the most bizarre, flamboyant, charismatic, and downright terrifying pro wrestlers of all time.

For this week’s edition of the “Old School Spotlight”, we harken back to a much simpler time in professional wrestling; a time when villains were actually hated. These days of yesteryear were a special time when monster heels could intimidate and strike fear into the hearts of fans at arenas all across the country. This was a time when, believe it or not, wrestlers could often draw money without ever uttering a single word. Such was the case of one of the most memorable characters in Canadian and southern US wrestling history, The Mongolian Stomper.

Most longtime fans can vividly remember that one wrestler that scared them, really scared them, in their youth. Perhaps you feared “The Ugandan Giant” Kamala? Maybe you felt a little uneasy when The Missing Link stormed the ring using his head as a battering ram on everything that moved? It could be that you found it hard to sleep at night after watching “The Madman from Sudan” Abdullah the Butcher carve up another of his helpless opponents amidst a sea of bloodshed? For me, growing up in middle Tennessee, it was The Mongolian Stomper. That look. Those eyes. Those cold, piercing, emotionless eyes. The Stomper was a mainstay in the southern pro wrestling scene from the mid-1970s forward. He feuded with all the familiar babyfaces of the era. His run against Jerry “The King” Lawler is still talked about today.

The Mongolian Stomper was born Archibald Edward Gouldie. His origins can be traced back, not to Mongolia, but in fact to Carbon, Alberta, Canada. Gouldie was a professional football player in his native Canada for the Saskatchewan Roughriders of the Canadian Football League. In the early 1960s he was cut from the roster and realized his football days were drawing to a close so Gouldie decided to give pro wrestling a try. He showed up unannounced on the doorstep of legendary Canadian wrestler and promoter, Stu Hart, proclaiming that he could whip any wrestler put in front of him. The legend goes that Stu then proceeded to take the 6’ 3” 260 pound Gouldie into his legendary “Dungeon” and humbled him rather quickly by “stretching” him unmercifully. Gouldie returned a few weeks later and politely asked if Stu would be willing to train him for a career in the ring. This won the respect of the Hart Family patriarch and thus a career was born.

Under the training of Stu Hart, Gouldie became a capable worker and ultimately, one of the most menacing heels in the Stampede Wrestling territory. Gouldie began his career with Stampede Wrestling in the mid 1960s working mostly as an undercard preliminary wrestler. To gain more seasoning, he was sent to Amarillo, Texas to work with Dory Funk. It was there that he came into his own. In 1964 he was given the name, The Mongolian Stomper, and he became a star in the Kansas City based Central States territory winning the Central States Heavyweight Title. He challenged both Lou Thesz and Gene Kiniski for the NWA World Heavyweight Championship during this era as well. In 1968 he returned to Stampede Wrestling as the top heel using the ring name, Archie “The Stomper” Gouldie. “The Stomper” became a huge star upon his return to Calgary. He held the Stampede Wrestling Heavyweight Championship on eight different occasions from 1968-1984. During the mid-1970s, North American promoters again came calling. This era in wrestling was filled with German, Russian, and Japanese heels that drew the ire of the fans. They hadn’t seen anything like “The Stomper” though.

He again claimed gold in the US by winning the Florida version of the Southern Heavyweight Title from Robert Fuller in 1974. However when he moved west and arrived in Memphis in 1975, things truly got interesting. Introduced to the Memphis wrestling faithful as hailing from “Outer Mongolia” by manager Bearcat Wright, The Stomper never spoke a word. He just stood there and looked menacing. His cold icy stare gave everyone nightmares. He looked like he was chiseled out of granite. Announcers put over the damage he could do with his size 16EEE boots. He ran through every opponent that challenged him, often two at a time. He continued his domination of the Fuller family winning the Memphis version of the Southern Heavyweight Title from Ron Fuller. He became a huge draw in the Memphis territory in short order. Rising star, Jerry “The King” Lawler has been suspended by promoter, Jerry Jarrett, for refusing to make a long drive and appear at a small show that Lawler had deemed unworthy of his royal presence. After being away for months, a babyface Lawler was reinstated by Jarrett and immediately staked his claim to the Southern Heavyweight Title. The King had been forced to vacate the title when he was suspended. This set up the perfect confrontation as the hometown hero returned to battle the most destructive force Memphis had seen since The Infernos years earlier.

The initial showdown between the two took place on July 7, 1975 at the Mid-South Coliseum drawing an overflow crowd of 11,500 fans. The Stomper defeated Lawler and retained the title. The two men traded the championship back and forth in the next few weeks before meeting again on July 28 in front of a crowd of 10,991. This match went an hour time limit draw. The Stomper, as a silent and deadly heel, drew two more huge overflow crowds to the coliseum in consecutive weeks in title defenses against The Magnificent Zulu. 11,700 fans packed the arena on August 12 and 11,600 fans returned on August 19 for the rematch. These were huge houses for that era, a testament to the drawing power of The Stomper. In the midst of this hot run, Bearcat Wright abruptly left the territory leaving Gouldie without an on screen manager to do his talking. Jerry Lawler recalled in his autobiography that this almost led to the death of the Mongolian Stomper gimmick. After years of being portrayed as silent and deadly, Stomper was allowed to speak on camera for the first time. This was disastrous. Gouldie had acquired a hint of southern twang during his time spent in Memphis and sounded more like one of the good ‘ole boys from the country than a foreigner. Veteran wrestler Al Greene was quickly paired with the Stomper as his new manager. The Mongolian Stomper never spoke another word on Memphis television again.

The Mongolian Stomper left the territory after losing a loser leaves town match to Lawler on October 27, 1975. The Stomper had become well known to southern fans from his time in Memphis but he also gained much fame in the east Tennessee based, Southeastern Championship Wrestling. He held that territory’s heavyweight title eleven times from 1976 to 1981 feuding with the likes of “Mr. Olympia” Jerry Stubbs, Jos LeDuc, and Ronnie Garvin but he always found his way back to Memphis. He returned to the area in 1978, this time as a babyface, teaming with Lawler. That duo was short lived though as the two former enemies again found themselves at odds and rekindled their feud. Gouldie had a memorable angle in Stampede Wrestling in 1984 as Bad News Allen attacked him viciously and broke his collarbone causing longtime Stampede announcer, Ed Whalen to “quit” in protest. He later defeated Allen, who left for the WWF to become Bad News Brown, for his final reign as Stampede Heavyweight Champion. The Stomper’s last good run in Memphis came in 1985 as he returned; looking as chiseled as ever, to again briefly feud with Lawler. The Mongolian Stomper continued to make sporadic appearances throughout the 1990s including a nice run in Jim Cornette’s Smoky Mountain Wrestling. Stomper, by that time in his early 60s, was a babyface and teamed with former foe, Ronnie Garvin, in his feud with “Mr. Wonderful” Paul Orndorff. He also teamed with Garvin to battle Kevin Sullivan and his stable of evil wrestlers. His final appearance for SMW came in 1995 when he was victorious in a battle royal.

After retiring from the ring, Gouldie took a job as a deputy sheriff for the Knox County Police Department in Knoxville, Tennessee. He still calls east Tennessee home today. The Mongolian Stomper enjoyed an amazing run as a top heel across territories in both the United States and Canada for over three decades. His amazing physical conditioning was often credited to his bike riding. He rode a bicycle almost everywhere he went, sometimes up to 60 miles a day. In the history of pro wrestling, many memorable characters have unleashed mayhem inside the ring. Archie Gouldie proved that this could be done without saying a word. The Mongolian Stomper will be remembered by fans for many decades to come, not for his flamboyant promos, but for that ice cold stare. For the Stomper, silence was golden.

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