Tuesday, September 29, 2015

FIFTY-TWO YEARS AGO

LEXINGTON, NORTH CAROLINA
February 10, 1963

SIX MAN TAG TEAM action tops tonight's big wrestling card at the LEXINGTON YMCA.

The hero trio of GEORGE BECKER, JOHNNY 'RUBBERMAN' WALKER * and Indian great BILLY TWO RIVERS will clash with the rugged threesome of SWEDE HANSON, PANCHO VILLA and 'BIG' IKE EAKINS in the two-out-of-three fall main event.

GEORGE BECKER

BILLY TWO RIVERS

'BIG' IKE EAKINS

JOHNNY 'RUBBERMAN' WALKER

SWEDE HANSON


TONY 'CRUSHER' ANGELO, a big name in the wrestling profession and a big man at three hundred pounds, meets Frenchman FELIX LAMBAN in the night's semi-final attraction.

LOUIS BONE, a popular star, makes his debut when he meets Japan's YASHINO SATO ** in the 8:15 opening match.



* JOHNNY 'RUBBERMAN' WALKER later wrestled as MR. WRESTLING 2.

** YASHINO SATO later wrestled as THE GREAT KABUKI.

Sunday, September 27, 2015

A BATTLE FOR THE AGES

One of the prestigious titles in JIM CROCKETT PROMOTIONS was the EASTERN HEAVYWEIGHT CHAMPIONSHIP.

One of the biggest feuds over the Eastern title was between RIP 'The Profile' HAWK and JERRY BRISCO. On February 14, 1972, RIP defeated JERRY's older brother Jack Brisco, in Charlotte, N.C. to become Eastern Champion. RIP and Jack traded the belt back and forth before JERRY entered the title picture.

Champion RIP HAWK

Challenger JERRY BRISCO

June 13, 1972 was the date on which JERRY BRISCO became the EASTERN HEAVYWEIGHT CHAMPION for the first time. The match took place in Columbia, S.C. HAWK would win it back in Greenville, S.C. some two months later. This title reign for RIP would be a short one as the very next week, again in Greenville, JERRY would capture the championship again.

HAWK finished the year of 1972 on an upswing, beating BRISCO in Greensboro, N.C., on December 28th. The final title switch between the two occurred in early March, 1973 in Winston-Salem, N.C.

It should be noted that RIP HAWK is on record as saying BRISCO never won the title 'fair and square." RIP claims that JERRY would purposely get disqualified to keep from losing the belt. Even the two participant's partners offered opinions. Jack Brisco said "I've wrestled Hawk. He's cagey. He'll do anything to win a match. Jerry had better watch himself." And on the flip side, Rip's partner Swede Hanson had this to add,"Rip is an honorable man. Every fan of wrestling knows that. That's why the fans love Rip Hawk. He never breaks the rules."

HAWK would never get the EASTERN HEAVYWEIGHT CHAMPIONSHIP back from BRISCO after the Winston-Salem match in March.

In September, 1973, the EASTERN HEAVYWEIGHT CHAMPIONSHIP was retired and became the MID-ATLANTIC HEAVYWEIGHT CHAMPIONSHIP.

Research for the EASTERN HEAVYWEIGHT CHAMPIONSHIP by Dick Bourne for the MID-ATLANTIC GATEWAY.


RIP unloads on JERRY...

BRISCO gives 'THE PROFILE' a backdrop.

JERRY almost cries 'uncle' with this hammerlock.

Do I see RIP pulling JERRY's trunks?
And Swede said that Rip never broke the rules!

Friday, September 25, 2015

TAKE YOUR BEST SHOT


THE ASSASSIN (JODY HAMILTON) takes control.



MR. WRESTLING (TIM WOODS) has GENE ANDERSON bloodied, but unbowed.



Two WORLD CHAMPIONS battle...
JACK BRISCO versus DORY FUNK JR.



RIC FLAIR versus DUSTY RHODES
Two more WORLD CHAMPIONS...



PAUL JONES and BARON VON RASCHKE admire their tag team championship belts.



GORDON NELSON whips Indian star BILLY TWO RIVERS.



TINY ANDERSON (aka GRIZZLY SMITH) of THE KENTUCKIANS has matters well under control.



GREG VALENTINE takes down WAHOO MCDANIEL.
But the Chief would get back up...

Wednesday, September 23, 2015

FOUR HEELS GO AT IT


December 9, 1968
CHARLOTTE, NORTH CAROLINA
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47 Years Ago



Promoter JIM CROCKETT has announced the complete wrestling card set for tonight at PARK CENTER starting at 8:15.

The headliner finds two of the nation's toughest tag teams opposing one another. GENE and OLE ANDERSON, known as the "MINNESOTA WRECKING CREW", will go hammer and tong with the brutal combination of THE MISSOURI MAULER and HIRO MATSUDA. As usual, HOMER O'DELL will second the MAULER and his Japanese partner. It's set for two-out-of-three falls.

Since the ANDERSONs and O'DELL's team have both been steady winners at tag team efforts, the outcome will be interesting for the fans. It will also provide a key to future main event shots for the winning combination.

Towering ART THOMAS, the wrestling sailor from Arkansas, and THE AMAZING ZUMA will test the talents of the brother duo TERRY and RONNIE GARVIN. This one is also for the best-of-three falls.

JESSE JAMES grapples with LEON BAXTER in one of the prelims.

The opener offers SILENTO RODRIGUEZ, the Mexican swifty, against EL GAUCHO in a "south of the border" contest.

Monday, September 21, 2015

THATCHER DEBUTS IN LEXINGTON


May 11, 1963
LEXINGTON, NORTH CAROLINA

TONY 'CRUSHER' ANGELO

BOLO and THE GREAT BOLO

SWEDE HANSON

LES THATCHER

GEORGE 'CRYBABY' CANNON

FRANK VALOIS

SONNY FARGO

Two big tag team matches will be co-featured for wrestling fans tonight at the LEXINGTON YMCA, starting at 8:15.

Partners THE GREAT BOLO and BOLO, the masked terror duo, meet a big and rough combination in the guises of TONY 'CRUSHER' ANGELO and big SWEDE HANSON in what must be billed as a 'BATTLE OF THE BULLIES' affair.

Popular brothers GEORGE and SANDY SCOTT go against the rugged duet of FRANK VALOIS and GEORGE 'CRYBABY' CANNON in the other tag battle.

Both of these matches are set for two-out-of-three falls.

Newcomer LES THATCHER will face the rowdy SONNY FARGO in singles competition, with one more match scheduled to open the card.

Saturday, September 19, 2015

CHARLOTTE'S PARK CENTER - 57 YEARS AGO

AUGUST 26, 1958

RED BASTIEN

THE GREAT BOLO
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August 26, 1958
CHARLOTTE, NORTH CAROLINA
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A 'fight to the finish' will highlight tonight's wrestling card at Charlotte's PARK CENTER.
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The NO TIME LIMIT two-out-of-three falls match will give popular RED BASTIEN another shot against THE GREAT BOLO, and if BASTIEN can take two falls from the masked hoodlum, off will come BOLO's prized mask.
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Last week, the two battled to a one-hour draw without a single fall recorded by either participant.
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"There must be a winner this time," says promoter JIM CROCKETT. "I don't care if they wrestle two hours. Someone is going to win."

GEORGE BECKER

CYCLONE ANAYA

FRITZ VON ERICH

WALDO VON ERICH

ERNIE DUSEK
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MIKE PAIDOUSIS
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The semi-final best-of-three falls scrap is a tag team scuffle that pairs GEORGE BECKER with CYCLONE ANAYA to do battle with the rugged German brothers FRITZ and WALDO VON ERICH.
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The Germans were disqualified last week in a match with BILLY TWO RIVERS and his partner, but showed that they are one of the toughest duos in the wrestling business today.
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Two single bouts make up the undercard.
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One match has ERNIE DUSEK taking on NICK ROBERTS, while MIKE PAIDOUSIS faces TINKER TODD in the 8:15 opening match.

Thursday, September 17, 2015

QUEEN CITY LABOR DAY ACTION

September 7, 1959
CHARLOTTE, NORTH CAROLINA

56 Years Ago

Eighteen wrestlers make up one of the biggest wrestling cards in the history of Charlotte grappling tonight in the LABOR DAY mat card at the CHARLOTTE COLISEUM. It promises to be a memorable evening.

The huge holiday card consists of three tag matches, one of which matches six wrestlers, and two single scraps.

Headlining the card is the SIX MAN setto, with the Jap trio of MR. MOTO, DUKE KEOMUKA and SUIGI taking on ruffians LARRY 'CRUSHER' HAMILTON, THE GREAT BOLO and PAT O'HARA. None of these men respects the rule book, so the best-of-three falls encounter is bound to be an explosive skirmish.

The semi-final beings in four colored girls for tag action. One team has BABS WINGO and MARVA SCOTT with the opposition being furnished by CAT WINBLEY and ETHEL JOHNSON.

Then comes a pair of singles tussels, one sending crowd favorite GEORGE BECKER against STEVE BOLUS and the other pairing DICK STEINBORN against DANNY MERCE.
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The third tag battle will open the card at 8:15 and pairs JOHNNY HEIDEMAN and JACK DONOVAN to fight CYCLONE ANAYA and JOHN FOTI.

Tuesday, September 15, 2015

56 YEARS AGO


May 30, 1959
LEXINGTON, NORTH CAROLINA

GEORGE BECKER

BILLY TWO RIVERS
IKE EAKINS

CRIS ZAHARIAS

GEORGE 'TWO TON' HARRIS

TINKER TODD


The SOUTHERN TAG TEAM CHAMPIONSHIP will be on the line once again when current champs GEORGE BECKER and BILLY TWO RIVERS defend against the dastardly duo of 'Big' IKE EAKINS and JIM WRIGHT in tonight's two-out-of-three fall main event at the LEXINGTON YMCA.

The two teams were slated to meet last Saturday night for the title, but BILLY TWO RIVERS was injured, so the battle was postponed until this evening.

A new stipulation has been added calling for two referees, one in the ring and one on the arena floor.

A trio of other bouts will round out the evening's card.

TINKER TODD will face CRIS ZAHARIAS in the semi-final.

PAT O' HARA will face a huge test meeting GEORGE 'TWO TON' HARRIS.

Two Lexington newcomers, MARK STONE and JIMMY SMITH, will square off in the 8:15 opening contest.

Friday, September 11, 2015

HAPPY BIRTHDAY TO ME

Actually, today isn't my birthday. It was a few days ago.

However, while doing some research at our local public library, I came across some clippings going back to 1979. Difficult to believe that it's been over thirty years.

My birthday is September 9th, so when I saw the ad in the SALISBURY POST stating that MID-ATLANTIC CHAMPIONSHIP WRESTLING was returning to SALISBURY, N.C. the night before my natal anniversary, I thought to myself, "What a great birthday present!"

So, two friends and I (along with about another thousand people) headed to the baseball park at CATAWBA COLLEGE for the show.

The ring was set up at home plate, with ringside seats (folded metal chairs) set up all around. Naturally, we were at ringside.

Here's the card.
(Click to enlarge)


SALISBURY POST, September 8, 1979

A professional wrestling card, featuring two main events, will be held tonight at Newman Park. Action will begin at 8:15 o'clock.

The features will send BLACKJACK MULLIGAN against JOHN STUDD and JIM BRUNZELL against KEN PATERA.

MULLIGAN, 285 pounds of Eagle Pass, Texas, holds the UNITED STATES HEAVYWEIGHT CHAMPIONSHIP. STUDD weighs in at 330 pounds.

PATERA is a native of Portland, Oregon, and weighs 300 pounds. He is a former U.S. heavyweight champion and OLYMPIC weightlifting champion. BRUNZELL, a relative newcomer to the MID-ATLANTIC area, is a 230 pounder.

A tag bout will match 'SPECIAL DELIVERY' JONES and BOB MARCUS against BRUTE BERNARD and SGT. JACQUES GOULET.

DON KERNODLE will meet DAVID PATTERSON.

A women's battle will send BARBARA MARTIN against VICKI WILLIAMS.

The program is sponsored by the SOUTHERN ROWAN EMERGENCY RADIO SERVICE, and proceeds will go to the SOUTHERN ROWAN CHRISTMAS PARADE.

THE RESULTS
(Click to enlarge)
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It wasn't my most memorable live wrestling experience by any means. I was never a big fan of either STUDD or BRUNZELL.

But having BLACKJACK and BRUTE BERNARD in town, even for only a few hours, was neat. By 1979, I had loved watching BRUTE work for nearly fifteen years, and I had been in JACK's corner (either 'babyface' or 'heel') since he came to JIM CROCKETT PROMOTIONS.

It was a good birthday.

Wednesday, September 9, 2015

THIS TIME IT'S NO DQ

January 27, 1968
LEXINGTON, NORTH CAROLINA
---
47 Years Ago


A potentially wild rematch, with a NO DISQUALIFICATION stipulation attached, headlines professional wrestling tonight at the LEXINGTON YMCA.

Indian favorites BOBBY RED CLOUD and CHIEF LITTLE EAGLE, winners in a disputed match last Saturday, will again square off against the tough Minnesota duo of LARS and GENE ANDERSON. The ANDERSON brothers are very angry over being disqualified last week, and with the NO DQ rule in effect, won't have to worry about that this time.

"We'll beat those redskins to pieces this time and send them back to their squaws on the reservation," a confident LARS ANDERSON stated. GENE nodded in agreement.

New faces in LEXINGTON will be seen tonight in other contests.

Another brother combo, this one Canadian, in the likes of TERRY and RONNIE GARVIN debuts tonight and will be matched against the very popular team of LES THATCHER and RUDY KAYE.

Both tag matches are for the best two-out-of-three falls.

HIRO MATSUDA, a tough Jap, makes his initial appearance here when he faces BOB NANDOR, a winner last week.

CHIN LEE, a judo expert from China, debuts against big JIM GRABMIRE.

TANK MORGAN returns after a long absence to meet veteran ANGELO MARTINELLI in the 8:15 opening match.

Monday, September 7, 2015

HIGH SCHOOL BAND FUNDRAISER


March 19, 1963
SALISBURY, NORTH CAROLINA
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52 Years Ago

Some of professional wrestling's biggest stars will be featured on an all-star card at the PRICE HIGH SCHOOL * gymnasium in Salisbury, N.C., tonight.

GEORGE BECKER and BILLY TWO RIVERS, perhaps the most popular tag team to ever work together in the Carolinas, will clash with rugged bullies SWEDE HANSON and ALDO BOGNI in the two-out-of-three falls main event.

HANSON, who is sometimes called "Big Foot" for the simple reason that he wears a size fourteen shoe, is one of the most brutal grapplers on the wrestling circuit. He specializes in drop-kicks, and his huge feet come in mighty handy in this maneuver.

TWO RIVERS, a full-blooded Indian, is particularly popular with the younger generation of fans. Many Carolina younsters have copied his "Mohawk" style haircut (probably to the dismay of many parents).

Negro wrestlers are featured in the other matches.

SWEET GEORGIA BROWN, from Columbia, S.C., clashes with EDNA CHARLES of Jackson, Mississippi, in a girls' match.

PAUL HARRISON, from Dallas, Texas, and JIMMY BALLARD, from Memphis, Tennessee, two rugged Negro grapplers, will face one another in the opening contest.

The first match starts at 8:15 p.m. A large crowd is expected, so come early.



And the results...

GEORGE BECKER and BILLY TWO RIVERS were too much for SWEDE HANSON and ALDO BOGNI in the main event wrestling match at PRICE HIGH SCHOOL last night. The good guys took two straight falls over the bad guys. BECKER took BOGNI for the first fall with his "abdominal stretch." TWO RIVERS' war dance followed by tomahawk chops took the toll of HANSON for the second and deciding fall.

In the other matches, EDNA CHARLES won over SWEET GEORGIA BROWN, and PAUL HARRISON pinned JIMMY BALLARD.

A crowd topping 1200 attended with proceeds going to the PRICE HIGH SCHOOL band program. Another wrestling show may be booked in the near future, it was reported.



* PRICE HIGH SCHOOL was the then all-black high school in the Salisbury City School system.