GORDON SOLIE THE HISTORY BUFF PART II
Photo courtesy of www.soliesports.com
Referee Bill Alfonso pointed at an illegal double-team on wrestler Charlie Cook while Cook’s
tag-team partner, the Assassin, remained helpless on the near side of the ring.
Gordon Solie the History Buff: Part 2
Gordon Solie’s love of professional wrestling history was not limited to just wrestling styles or
the combatants inside the “squared circle.” Instead, Gordon enjoyed a much broader knowledge
of other contributors as well.
One young man, for example, decided to enter the business in the late 1970s as a referee for the
National Wrestling Alliance. His name is Bill Alfonso and physically, he was about the same
build as Gordon Solie at the time. Alfonso weighed around 150 pounds and carried that on a
slender 5’8” frame.
Alfonso told Tom Ford of The Tampa Tribune that it all started when he accompanied David
Canal (the Cuban Assassin) to Amarillo, Texas. Canal introduced Alfonso as his little brother
and told the powers to be that Alfonso was a referee when in fact; Alfonso had never refereed
a match in his life. The joke became a reality when the scheduled referee was a no-show and
Alfonso was asked to referee a bloody bout between the Sheik and Terry Funk. At the conclusion
of the match, Alfonso was cornered by the Sheik who stuck a pencil in Alfonso’s forehead.
Upon his return to Florida, Alfonso subsequently left his regular job and went to work for
Championship Wrestling from Florida. It wasn’t long before Alfonso was travelling 1500 to
2000 miles a week refereeing matches in the Sunshine State.
Even though Alfonso was constantly in between wrestlers who physically towered over him, he
was fortunate to sustain only a couple of injuries during his first three years as a referee. One
was a neck injury and the second was best described by Alfonso during his interview with Ron
Thompson of the Manatee Magazine:
“This guy jumped on me and bit me on the head. I ended up having to go to the hospital and get
a tetanus shot,” Alfonso said. “The guy obviously didn’t care for my decision.”
Over the years, Alfonso appeared at bigger and bigger venues; he was pictured in the 1984
souvenir program for “Lords of the Ring” in Miami’s Orange Bowl and the accompanying write-
up mentioned that Bill Alfonso was named the NWA referee of the year in both 1982 and 1983.
Eventually, Alfonso ended up on the biggest wrestling stage of all; he was booked as a referee
for Wrestlemania XIX at the Caesar’s Palace venue.
More information about Gordon Solie and the “Golden Years” of wrestling is available at