Sky Low Low
The Haiti Kid
These were some of the names of wrestlers who showcased their skills in the ring in the early 1970's, my early 1970's. In that era of wrestling these men of skill and muscle were fun to watch and definitely gave us young kids an unprecedented respect for dwarf athletes.
I remember getting up Saturday mornings there in the Northeast and hoping to see a Midget wrestling match amongst the televised WWWF series of matches on our Magnavox IN COLOR. Peppered in amongst the Chief J Strongbows, Bruno San Martinos, Mr. Fuji and Professor Tanaka were wrestling matches which pitted midgets against one another, both solo and tag team.
I suppose we kids related more to the midget wrestlers than the normal sized adult wrestlers just because they resembled us in body; well sort of resembled us anyway. We would choose our midget wrestler and root for him throughout the match, watching in awe as the little combatants would perform athletic feats that seemed almost impossible to perform. We loved watching behemoths like Andre the Giant and Haystacks Calhoun, but the little guys were special to us and a rare treat on TV.
Yes, these little guys were no joke. And many were built like mini-Mr. America's with muscles from their necks down to their ankles. Seeing one climb onto the top corner rope and airplane off to land on top his opponent was almost as much fun as watching him dive off only to miss his opponent and flop hard onto the canvas. The Haiti Kid was infamous for being duped into flopping. Kids just love seeing wrestlers in agony even if its being inflicted illegally like Mr Fuji throwing salt in the eyes of his opponent.
We knew that much of the Vince McMahon Sr. wrestling production was staged, but that didn't stop us from gathering in the living room to cheer and jeer while being entertained by our Saturday morning heroes. I suppose it was our age of innocence where calling your television hero a midget wasn't something wrong or ugly. We meant no harm toward anybody. That was one of the happiest eras of my life and midget wrestling joyously contributed to that happiness.
To all you little strong guys with big hearts who entered the wrestling ring and gave us little kids someone to cheer for, We Salute You!
And though I don't remember ever seeing midget gals in the ring, there were places in the country where they did compete. Hats off to all you wrestling ladies. My sisters would've loved having you to cheer for back in those days.
NWA World Midget's Championship was the National Wrestling Alliance's midget singles title.
So whatever happened to Midget Wrestling?
Entertainment or Brutal Exploitation?
The following information is from the Little People of America web site.
Q: What is a midget?
A: In some circles, a midget is the term used for a proportionate dwarf.
However, the term has fallen into disfavor and is considered offensive by
most people of short stature. The term dates back to 1865, the height of the
"freak show" era, and was generally applied only to short-statured persons
who were displayed for public amusement, which is why it is considered so
Such terms as dwarf, little person, LP, and person of short stature are all
acceptable, but most people would rather be referred to by their name than
by a label.