Thursday, March 23, 2017

MOST BABY BOOMERS REMEMBER THE GREAT BOLO


I specifically remember THE GREAT BOLO and BOLO wearing this garb when they returned to the Charlotte Coliseum in the late 1960s to face JACK BRISCO and TIM (MR. WRESTLING) WOODS.

THE GREAT BOLO and BOLO work over one of THE KENTUCKIANS in one of the biggest money-making feuds in pro wrestling history.

THE GREAT BOLO (Renesto) reaches for his 'foreign object' while working on BIG BOY BROWN of THE KENTUCKIANS. (Note the tape under the mask to cover Renesto's mustache.)

Big TEX McKENZIE works over the masked man.

Even bigger HAYSTACK CALHOUN tries to physically rip THE GREAT BOLO's hood off, along with the head the mask covers.

A 1961 posed photo of BOLO and THE GREAT BOLO when the two were working for JIM CROCKETT PROMOTIONS.
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From the time I first started pro wrestling on TV, I was fascinated by a mysterious man who wore a mask and went by the name THE GREAT BOLO. This rulebreaker was the top heel in JIM CROCKETT PROMOTIONS and drew money like nobody's business.

Every week, all across the Carolinas and Virginia, droves of people tuned in and turned out to see the likes of GEORGE BECKER, 'Irish' MIKE CLANCY, CHIEF BIG HEART and GEORGE and SANDY SCOTT rip off the hood of this hoodlum so we could all find out who he was (not taking into account that just because we might see his face, we would automatically know his name), but that was a mute point.

The mask of THE GREAT BOLO was his championship belt. To lose the mask was to destroy his wrestling career. Many years after the fact, we now know that THE GREAT BOLO was a superb grappler named TOM RENESTO. But according to an interview the late Mr. Renesto gave a few years before his passing, at the time, the other wrestlers did not actually know who was under the mask of THE GREAT BOLO. Promoter Jim Crockett demanded that Renesto travel alone and don the hood before entering the wrestling venue.

Very similar scenario as the old-time movie serials in which the villains were named The Scorpion, The Wrecker, The Crimson Ghost , The Lightning, etc. Only in the last chapter would the identity of the evil doer be exposed to the audience.

But, ironically, the identity of THE GREAT BOLO would be revealed by only one person in the wrestling business. That person was...THE GREAT BOLO.

A number of years after leaving JIM CROCKETT PROMOTIONS, THE GREAT BOLO (Renesto) and his partner BOLO were wrestling in Georgia as THE ASSASSINS when Renesto decided it was time to leave the business as an in-ring combatant.

He removed his own mask, and THE GREAT BOLO was no more.

Wednesday, March 22, 2017

CLASH OF THE TITANS

In 1981 and 2010, movie goers could visit their local theatres to see an adventure / fantasy production entitled CLASH OF THE TITANS.

However, some years earlier, fans of JIM CROCKETT PROMOTIONS could witness
their own CLASH when two of the longest-running and most vicious heel tag teams went at it.

It was RIP HAWK and SWEDE HANSON (The Blonde Bombers) versus GENE and OLE ANDERSON (The Minnesota Wrecking Crew).

Here's a 1972 card featuring the BATTLE OF THE BULLIES match as held in RICHMOND, VIRGINIA.

OLE ANDERSON and RIP HAWK throw the rule book out the window.

OLE has the upper hand on RIP.

RIP appears to be on the attack as Manager 'Playboy' GARY HART looks on.
Hey, get down off that ring apron, Gary.

HAWK in trouble again.

Generally, when wrestling another heel team, the crowds pulled for RIP and SWEDE. I remember that to be the case when they wrestled ALDO BOGNI and BRONCO LUBICH, BRUTE BERNARD and SKULL MURPHY and THE INFERNOS.

The only time I ever saw GENE and OLE getting the cheers was when they tangled with RIC FLAIR and GREG VALENTINE.

Monday, March 20, 2017

HOMER O'DELL'S NEW TEAM


April 13, 1963
LEXINGTON, NORTH CAROLINA

54 Years Ago

The immensely popular tag team of GEORGE BECKER and BILLY TWO RIVERS returns to the LEXINGTON YMCA tonight to battle the rugged villainous duo of ALDO BOGNI and BRONCHO LUBICH in the two-out-of-three falls main event that headlines this week's wrestling card.

BECKER and TWO RIVERS are well-known as a team. The LUBICH and BOGNI combo is a fairly new combination but has been very successful since teaming up. Perhaps part of that success is due to manager HOMER O'DELL, who is always in the corner of the bullies.

GEORGE and BILLY will have to keep their eyes on O'DELL, as well as BOGNI and LUBICH, as the tuxedoed manager tends to become involved in his men's matches. And that wooden cane he carries has found its mark on opponents' noggins.

Asheboro's own rising wrestling star, LARRY HULIN, faces a tough test when he meets big SWEDE HANSON in the week's best-of-three fall semifinal encounter.

In the night's prelim matches, JOHNNY 'RUBBERMAN' WALKER meets rough JAN MADRID, and DOUG KINSLOW squares off against MARK STONE in the 8:15 opener.

--

JOHNNY 'RUBBERMAN' WALKER later wrestled under the hood as MR. WRESTLING 2.

Saturday, March 18, 2017

WHO WON AND WHO DIDN'T

KURT VON STROHEIM
---
RICHMOND, VA. - 1966

SANDY SCOTT beat THE GREAT MALENKO in a RUSSIAN DEATH MATCH.

ALEX MEDINA and GORY GUERRERO lost to KURT and HENRY VON STROHEIM.

GEORGE SCOTT topped HANS SCHMIDT on a DQ.

KARL GOTCH demolished 'ROWDY' RED ROBERTS.

STEVE BOLUS whipped SONNY FARGO.


LITTLE BOY BLUE
---
CHARLOTTE, N.C. - 1966

HAYSTACK CALHOUN and ABE JACOBS slipped by JOHN and CHRIS TOLOS.

NELSON ROYAL pinned MIKE PAIDOUSIS.

LITTLE BOY BLUE and JIM DANDY defeated PEE WEE LOPEZ and CHICO SANTANA in a midgets tag battle.

THE VIKING lost to GORY GUERRERO.

SANDY and GEORGE SCOTT
---
CHARLESTON, S.C. - 1966

GEORGE and SANDY SCOTT defeated THE GREAT MALENKO and THE MISSOURI MAULER.

PAUL DEMARCO beat HENRY VON STROHEIM via DQ.

KEN HOLLIS toppled LARS ANDERSON.

SWEET GEORGIA BROWN pinned PRINCESS UBANGI.

ALEX MEDINA won over JOHN GUDISKI.

IKE EAKINS pinned RAY GARDINI.

BOB ORTON
---
GREENVILLE, S.C. - 1966

TEX McKENZIE and JOHNNY WEAVER defeated THE GREAT MALENKO and 'BIG' BOB ORTON.

BILLY TWO RIVERS and SUNI WAR CLOUD wrestled JOHN and CHRIS TOLOS to a draw.

ABE JACOBS topped PEDRO ZAPATA.

STEVE BOLUS whipped CORSICA JEAN.

PAMPERO FIRPO
---
ROANOKE, VA. - 1968

PAMPERO FIRPO and TINY MILLS lost to GEORGE and SANDY SCOTT.

GEORGE BECKER and JOHNNY WEAVER defeated THE MUMMY and 'BULLDOG' LEE HENNING.

BOB NANDOR topped STEVE STANLEE.

STEVE STANLEE beat JERRY LONDON.

Thursday, March 16, 2017

THE SENSATIONAL CROCKETT SIXTIES


THE VIKING
---
CHARLESTON, S.C. - 1965

THE ALASKAN and THE BEAST lost to GEORGE BECKER and JOHNNY WEAVER.

GEORGE and SANDY SCOTT topped THE VIKING and SIR NELSON ROYAL.

MIKE VALENTINO submitted to ED CASTILLO.

GREG PETERSON rolled 'ROWDY' RED ROBERTS.

SWEDE HANSON and RIP HAWK
---
ROANOKE, VA. - 1969

GEORGE and SANDY SCOTT defeated LARS and GENE ANDERSON.

LUTHER LINDSAY and ABE JACOBS topped RIP HAWK and SWEDE HANSON via DQ.

OLE ANDERSON pinned BOB NANDOR.

PAUL DEMARCO won over TINKER TODD.

ANGELO MARTINELLI lost to BOB RAMSTEAD.

GORY GUERRERO
---
RICHMOND, VA. - 1966

TEX McKENZIE and NELSON ROYAL won via a reversed decision over RIP HAWK and SWEDE HANSON.

DON CHUY and JOE CAROLLO beat IKE EAKINS and JOHN GUDISKI.

THE GREAT MALENKO bested ROGER KIRBY.

JOHNNY HEIDEMAN lost to GORY GUERRERO.

BRUTE BERNARD
---
GREENSBORO, N.C. - 1966

GEORGE BECKER and JOHNNY WEAVER topped BRUTE BERNARD and SKULL MURPHY.

TEX McKENZIE and NELSON ROYAL lost to BRONCHO LUBICH and ALDO BOGNI with HOMER O'DELL.

KARL GOTCH bested HENRY VON STROHEIM.

KURT VON STROHEIM pinned ROGER KIRBY.

RUDY KAY beat IKE EAKINS.

ABE JACOBS kee-wee rolled HANS SCHMIDT.

THE MUMMY
---
LYNCHBURG, VA. - 1967

HAYSTACK CALHOUN won a ten man BATTLE ROYAL.

THE AMAZING ZUMA topped IAN MACBIRD.

HAYSTACK CALHOUN squashed HENRY VON STROHEIM.

SANDY SCOTT defeated THE MUMMY.

PEDRO GODOY beat TONY ROMANO.

JESSE JAMES wrestled KURT VON STROHEIM to a draw.

Tuesday, March 14, 2017

ANYTHING COULD HAPPEN...AND USUALLY DID

As 'ROWDY' RODDY PIPER use to say, "Just when you figure out the answers, they change the questions."

Even the self-proclaimed 'fan experts' were often fooled when it came to predicting what was going to happen at a JIM CROCKETT PROMOTIONS' MID-ATLANTIC WRESTLING show...

But it was always fun trying to second-guess them.

THE GREAT BOLO is the recipient of a STEVE BOLUS knee-lift.

HARLEY RACE and RIC FLAIR battle for the NWA WORLD HEAVYWEIGHT CHAMPIONSHIP.

LUTHER LINDSAY goes to work on a bloodied KURT VON STEIGER.

DUSTY RHODES and DICK MURDOCK stomp that proverbial 'mud hole' on an opponent.

In a 'BATTLE OF THE BULLIES' showdown, SWEDE HANSON lays a punch in on HENRY VON STROHEIM as RIP HAWK looks on.

TERRY FUNK
(Insert your own caption.)

Sunday, March 12, 2017

TERRITORY TRAVELING


PAUL JONES and NELSON ROYAL
---
GREENVILLE, S.C. - 1971

NELSON ROYAL and PAUL JONES beat THE MASKED MARVELS.

JOE FURR and JIM DILLON lost to GENE ANDERSON and ART NELSON.

TOMMY SEIGLER topped BILL BOWMAN.

JOE TURNER and BUTCH JACKSON wrestled to a draw.


GORY GUERRERO
---
RICHMOND, VA. - 1966

GEORGE and SANDY SCOTT defeated 'BIG' BOB ORTON and THE GREAT MALENKO.

ALDO BOGNI and BRONCHO LUBICH with HOMER O'DELL smothered GORY GUERRERO and OMAR ATLAS.

RUDY KAY pinned CORSICA JEAN.

DON CHUY polished off JACK DANIELS (haven't we all).

HANS SCHMIDT drew with ABE JACOBS.


BRONCHO LUBICH, GEORGE 'TWO TON' HARRIS, ALDO BOGNI
---
LYNCHBURG, VA. - 1969

NELSON ROYALPAUL JONES and ABE JACOBS defeated ALDO BOGNIBRONCHO LUBICH and GEORGE 'TWO TON' HARRIS in a six man contest.

THE AMAZING ZUMA and BILLY HINES went the time limit.

JIMMY HINES beat BOBBY KAY.

LES WOLFE topped PANCHO VALDEZ.

LES THATCHER
---
CHARLOTTE, N.C. - 1968

TEX McKENZIE and NELSON ROYAL lost to RIP HAWK and SWEDE HANSON.

THE INFERNOS with J.C. DYKES defeated LES THATCHER and RUDY KAYE.

BOB NANDOR pinned TINY MILLS.

'BULLDOG' LEE HENNING topped ALEX MEDINA.

PAMPERO FIRPO
---

CHARLESTON, S.C. - 1968

GEORGE BECKER and JOHNNY WEAVER defeated LARS and GENE ANDERSON.

HAYSTACK CALHOUN and THE AMAZING ZUMA beat THE MISSOURI MAULER and PAMPERO FIRPO.

DENNIS HALL lost to 'BULLDOG' LEE HENNING.

RUDY KAYE whipped JERRY LONDON.

LES THATCHER topped CHUCK CONLEY.

Friday, March 10, 2017

'BROTHERS' BATTLE 'BROTHERS'

January 25, 1969
LEXINGTON, NORTH CAROLINA

48 Years Ago

A rematch between the wrestling teams of GEORGE and SANDY SCOTT and THE MISSOURI MAULER and HIRO MATSUDA headlines tonight's wrestling at the LEXINGTON YMCA.

The popular FLYING SCOTTS lost to the villainous MAULER and MATSUDA last week when they were disqualified. This week it's NO DQ, so anything goes.

HOMER O'DELL will also be on hand managing his bullies. Last week, O'DELL was ordered away from the ring area by the referee before the match began. He plans to be around more tonight.

A super BATTLE OF THE BULLY BROTHERS is also set when two rule-breaking sibbling teams collide. It will be TERRY and RONNIE GARVIN meeting GENE and OLE ANDERSON.

Both tag team matches will be fought under the best two-out-of-three falls rules.

Popular STEVE BOLUS returns after a long absence to face tough TONY NERO.

The card opens at 8:15 with newcomer BOBBY PAUL squaring off against the rough veteran "BULLDOG" LEE HENNING.

Wednesday, March 8, 2017

HOMER IN HOT WATER

October 31, 1964
LEXINGTON, NORTH CAROLINA

THE KENTUCKIANS
TINY ANDERSON and BIG BOY BROWN

GEORGE BECKER

BRONCHO LUBICH and ALDO BOGNI

THE BEAST

GEORGE 'TWO TON' HARRIS

RUDY KAYE

JESSE JAMES
---
The HOMER O'DELL gang may find their Halloween to be a haunting one tonight at the LEXINGTON YMCA when they face THE KENTUCKIANS, TINY ANDERSON and BIG BOY BROWN, and their hero partner GEORGE BECKER.

It's tonight's big main event.

Last Saturday night, O'DELL, after losing one fall to BECKER, tucked tail and ran like a scalded dog, bringing an abrupt ending to their match. Tonight, the 'COLONEL' will have his two rulebreaking men, BRONCHO LUBICH and ALDO BOGNI, to cower behind during their SIX MAN TAG TEAM MATCH. O'DELL will need that protection in the best-of-three falls match, as BECKER wants another piece of HOMER's hide for his taking a powder last time. THE KENTUCKIANS have promised to look after BOGNI and LUBICH.

Another big crowd is expected to witness this big contest, as well as the three fine supporting matches on the card.

DOUG GILBERT will test PEDRO ZAPATA.

RUDY KAYE faces THE BEAST. *

JESSE JAMES squares off against GEORGE 'TWO TON' HARRIS in the 8:15 opener.

Rudy Kaye and The Beast were, in fact, brothers. Rudy's real name was Jean-Louis Cormier. The Beast was Yvon Cormier.

Monday, March 6, 2017

THE INFERNOS AT WORK AND PLAY

If anyone ever 'pinned me down' (pardon the pun) and made me 'cry uncle' as to who was my all-time favorite pro wrestling 'heel' team, I could have the hold released immediately by saying...

THE INFERNOS
with Mgr. J.C. DYKES


The original men behind the blue hoods were Frankie Cain and Roland 'Rocky' Smith. After a few years, Frankie left the team to become known as The Great Mephisto.

Filling the vacancy was Rocky's brother Curtis Smith.

Later, others would wear the masks before the official Infernos were done, and to this day, there are knock-off Infernos.

But none come close to the greatness as J.C. DYKES and his blue tigers, THE INFERNOS.


The original pairing of THE INFERNOS
Rocky Smith and Frankie Cain (standing)
J.C. Dykes (seated)

Then came THE INFERNOS trio of
Rocky Smith, J.C. Dykes, Curtis Smith



Here is a great photo of THE INFERNOS unmasked and away from the wrestling ring.
Rocky Smith, J.C. Dykes, Curtis Smith

The photo, I believe, is from the collection of David Smith, Rocky's son. I borrowed it from THE MASKED INFERNOS Facebook page. Since some of my webpage photos are on THE MASKED INFERNOS Facebook page, I hope they won't mind I took this photo from their's.