Peter Miller, who wrestled as Precious Peter Flowers (“brother” to “Diamond” Timothy Flowers (as they knew each other growing up in upstate New York, and were friends with Terry Justice), Khalka Bater, Oscar Strongbo, and the Mongolian Mauler (billed at 303 pounds, from Ulan Bator, Mongolia), died on Monday, January 22, 2024. He debuted in 1980 and wrestled until 1994. “He worked in South Africa so much, he worked in Germany, England. He always worked overseas. He had a tryout with the WWF back in the early ’90s, and didn’t make the cut,” explained veteran wrestling writer Don Laible. Details of his passing are not fully known at this time. One of his best friends, “Dirty” Dan Denton (Dan Turner) penned this piece about his colleague.
Joe Cagle told me that someone had posted that Mr. Peter Raymond Miller — aka The Mongolian Mauler — had passed away. Sadly, I didn’t even question it, because I tried to call Pete four times Saturday as we talked daily. When he didn’t answer I knew it wasn’t good.
There is so much to Pete’s life I don’t even know where to begin. I met him around 1989 when I had just come back from Australia. We all used to live in Stan Miller’s place in Vancouver. I had heard a zillion Pete stories in the past and there he was in living color and we were now roommates. It was the start of a relationship that lasted until this week and there is no way I can even skim the surface on here. I could literally write a book about our adventures. I’ll try to get to a couple but, man, there were so many. . .
Okay here we go. . .
I came back from Australia after going there to try and save a relationship with a nurse. No pay phones, so on a rainy morning in Vancouver Pete and I walk over to the Mac’s convenience store, as I want to call her and he needs tobacco chew. This girl lived in a nursing dorm with one phone at the end of the hallway and the girls would have a habit of getting on the line with their boyfriends, sometimes for hours. No call waiting only busy signals. I called and called but no luck so Pete said, “Hand me the phone.”
I should mention here that she hated the wrestling business and I said I would exit it when I got back. That didn’t happen — as a matter of fact I just amplified it.
Pete took the phone and called the operator. He told her that he was Vince McMahon and had a very important call for my girlfriend, so cuold she please interrupt the line. The operator bit and cut in on the girl and they went and got my girlfriend. He handed me the phone. Our conversation was very short. She obviously knew who Vince was so was already pissed at the situation. She stated that it looked like I was back in the wrestling business and hung up. I was stunned. I came out of the phone booth and Pete asked what happened so I told him. He spat tobacco into his Diet Coke can, shrugged his shoulders and said, “Okay, well, let’s go get some beer.”
And such was the life Pete led. Don’t sweat things you can’t control.
We used to do TV tapings in Vancouver that went right across the country. Everyone in Vancouver knew who we were and every time we went out, there was a wrestling conversation with people. Problem is that some folks really bought into our TV personas. Pete was a heel and so was I and some just couldn’t separate us from our characters.
One night we have no show so me, Pete and Chi Chi Cruz went to a bar. It was on the second floor. This is before Pete stopped drinking, by the way.
Around 1:45 a.m., one of the bouncers came up to us and gave us the head’s up to be careful as there was a group of guys bad mouthing us — so watch our backs.
Well, Pete handed his hand bag to Cheech and walked into the group of them. He looked at the biggest guy, who had a bottle in his hand like he is going to crack Pete … but this was not his night. Pete looked at him and said, “Sir, you are not a very nice person at all. It’s quarter to two and the rent is due.” With that he knocked the guy back three feet and threw him down a flight of stairs. The other guys scattered and I was crying with laughter just over his opening lines.
I brought Pete to Mexico when I was wrestling there. They loved his look and booked him right away. You have to understand that business was on fire in Mexico at this point. All the WWF guys were hitting us up trying to get in because we were making more money than most of them. The promotion EMLL (now CMLL) would only use a few foreigners at a time.
We were sitting in his hotel room at the lovely Hotel Alcazar in Mexico City, having a conversation about suitcases — wrestlers talk about the strangest things on the road — and Pete was going on and on about his Samsonite. He got up and started jumping on it to prove his point. We are on the third floor. The window is open so he just picked up the suitcase and threw it across the room, out the open window, without checking if there is anyone below. We ran to the window and looked out … then he takes off running downstairs to get it. He came back and bragged, “Look, nothing, not even a scratch.” I was crying with laughter. I asked him about what if there was someone on the street and he hit them? He gave me that shrug again. How could you not love the guy? He lived on the edge.
Pete had the most amazing memory of anyone I have ever met. We could be a locker room and he would see a guy and say something like, “We worked together four years ago on November 17 at Cobo Hall and there were 8,462 people in attendance.” People were always amazed at his memory. We called him the “Rain Man” because it was so good.
Pete was a huge fan of Mexican superstar Mil Mascaras. Mil and I had a great relationship so I introduced them on a show I was on and Pete wasn’t. He was so happy but you could feel a little tension between the two as Mil was a little short with him while giving me big hugs. But it was because his flight was late and he barely made it to the arena on time.
Mil would only take his mask off around the top guys — if he trusted them. In Mexico, your mask was everything. He would take it off with me but most never saw his face. He will go to his grave in his mask. So Pete knew that Mil would go maskless around me and wanted to get into that sort of relationship.
Now Pete himself would put contacts in that made his eyes pure black. He would leave the contacts in at this point around most of the guys unless you were at the top of the card.
Pete and Mil were in the shower together after a show. It was a battle of egos. Mil had his mask on and Pete had his eyes in. Mil said, “Amigo., your eyes?” Pete responded with, “Don’t you worry about my eyes, you worry about your mask.” I don’t have to tell you I was bent over laughing. Two huge stars behaving like little kids.
Here is a final one and explains how he lived his life. The promoter in Mexico kept Pete off the road for about two months, only putting him on TV, filming him outside the ring. The two bookers, Juan Herrara and Tony Pena (before he started the fabled AAA), loved Pete’s gimmick. They would sometimes do these things in Mexico. We were Los Animales so they would take us to the zoo and stuff and film. They were building a huge match up between their world champion Rayo de Jalisco and Pete in Arena Mexico, the cathedral of lucha libre on the Friday night show, which drew thousands of people in Mexico City. Payoffs were huge on those shows when you were on them.
I had to fly back to Canada to do some shows for about two weeks. I wished Pete good luck and told him I would see him soon.
The night of the show I got a phone call from him. He was back in Nashville. I was stunned. What happened?
He told me on the day of the show they stopped the lunchtime national news and did an interview with him and Rayo (imagine ABC, NBC or CBS doing this!) and when it was done he went right to the airport and got on a flight to Nashville. I asked why would he do that? He was going to make thousands of dollars that night. He told me, “You didn’t think I was going to put him over did you?” Again, I cried with laughter.
But that was Pete. He marched to the beat of his own drummer and that is why I loved him like a brother.
The last few years Pete ended up in a nursing home. We got back in touch and talked daily. I worked with him to get out of bed and start walking. He was up to 15,000 steps daily (I kept sending him pedometers) and told me he was down 160 pounds at one point. I worked with him on nutrition and intermittent fasting. I was in the process of losing 126 pounds so we were doing it together.
But somewhere along the way Pete took a detour. His brother told me last night that he had gained a lot of weight. Pete never told me that.
Pete was in a wheelchair and had congenital heart issues. He also had gotten pneumonia and an infection in his lung.
He told me the other day that he had swelling in his legs and was struggling to walk. I begged him to throw the wheelchair away and move. Sadly this was not to be. Monday, January 22, he passed.
Of all the wrestlers, I think I was the only one who kept close with Pete. He had been to my mom’s house in Winnipeg and he was also friends with my brother Bob.
I always accepted Pete for Pete. I didn’t need anything more from him. We would talk, laugh and remember a lot of the dumb things we did as pro wrestlers living life on the road.
A couple of months ago while I was driving home from my office I came to the realization that I needed these daily phone calls with Pete as much as he needed them. People would often tell me it was so kind to talk to him daily like I did but digging deeper, I should be thanking Pete for the time.
Well to quote Pete, “It’s two bits, a six-pack and an arena rat … sabada.”
See you down the road Pete. …
TOP PHOTO: The Mongolian Mauler (Peter Miller). Photo courtesy Chris Swisher Collection.