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28.10.08 11:09 Age: 10 yrs

Tribute to Al Hobman


As a show of respect to mark the recent passing of Kiwi wrestling legend Mr Allan "Al" Hobman, Kiwi Pro Wrestling intends to dedicate the KPW Championship match main event at "HALLOWEEN HOWL 3" on October 31st at Wellington High School between champion H-Fame and challenger Inferno to the memory of two-time New Zealand Heavyweight champion Mr Al Hobman.

Allan Hobman (23rd April 1925 - 21st September 2008) had been a stalwart supporter of Kiwi Pro Wrestling since its inception in May 2006.  The retired veteran regularly attended KPW live events, casting an experienced eye over the New Zealand wrestling superstars of tomorrow.   In 2006, Mr Hobman was inducted into the Kiwi Pro Wrestling Hall Of Fame by fellow New Zealand veteran wrestler, KPW Commissioner Butch.

At an early age, already displaying a keen interest in athletics and rugby, Al Hobman took up weightlifting and bodybuilding to build up his strength and size in order to be a better lock on the rugby field.  The dedication with which he approached his fitness training enabled him to capture the Mr Australasia and Mr New Zealand Body Building Title 1951.

It was while training in Koolman's Gym in Wellington as a sparring partner of boxers and wrestlers from both New Zealand and abroad that Mr Hobman first encountered and became captivated by wrestling, something he described as being claimed by the "call" of wrestling.  Such a turn of phrase belies the passion and professionalism with which Mr Hobman approached professional wrestling.

In his stellar wrestling career, Al Hobman wrestled up and down New Zealand.  The experience and exposure he gained during his journeyman days made him a sought-after wrestler, and he was able to secure engagements in Australia.  Further building on this international experience, Al Hobman went on to wrestle in America (wrestling NWA world heavyweight champion Gene Kininski in Portland, Oregon.) and Canada as well as the South Pacific (namely the Cook Islands, Tahiti, Fiji, Malaysia and Singapore).

During his time as a top drawcard in the 1960s, Al Hobman wrestled such New Zealand luminaries as John Da Silva, ex-NWA world champion Pat O'Conner and  Bruno Becker.  Mr Hobman won the New Zealand Heavyweight championship title twice, defeating John Da Silva for the vacant title in 1960 and beating champion Steve Rickard in 1964.  Mr Hobman's combined reign as champion totaled nearly six years.

Not only a wrestler, Mr Hobman was a promoter for the Central Wrestling Association.  In a piece of wresting history, he also arranged for his daughter (wrestling under the name of Linda Tyson) to wrestle a female Dutch opponent - previously, such a thing had been illegal in New Zealand!  Also continuing the family tradition, Al Hobman's son Kurt also wrestled professionally.   Mr Hobman was renowned not only as a  and exemplary sportsman in the ring, but was also remembered amongst all his peers as a gentleman outside the ring.  Being such a man of real character and bearing, Mr Hobman was a true ambassador for the business of professional wrestling,

With the passing of such a New Zealand professional wrestling luminary, particularly one with such close ties to KPW, other New Zealand professional wrestlers like Kurt Hobman, Juno Huia the Maori Warrior, Steve Rickard, Bruno Becker, Cowboy Billy Wright, Ricky Wallace and Bob Crozier will be taking the opportunity to be present at KPW "HALLOWEEN HOWL 3" on October 31st to honour the memory of a true New Zealander.

Blair Rhodes