Saturday, October 31, 2015

HOMER HAUNTED AT HALLOWEEN

October 31, 1964
LEXINGTON, NORTH CAROLINA

51 YEARS AGO

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 partner, hero 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.

Thursday, October 29, 2015

WILL THE ANDERSONS BE SCALPED?

JANUARY 13, 1968
LEXINGTON, NORTH CAROLINA
---
47 Years Ago

Winning tag teams on last week's card will go against each other on tonight's LEXINGTON YMCA professional wrestling card.

This means that the Indian team of BOBBY RED CLOUD and CHIEF LITTLE EAGLE, victorious over P.Y. CHUNG and THE MUMMY last Saturday, will be facing LARS and GENE ANDERSON, who defeated HAYSTACK CALHOUN and THE AMAZING ZUMA in their encounter.

Another tag team contest is scheduled with ABE JACOBS and LUTHER LINDSAY meeting the Spanish / Mexican duo of PANCHO VALDEZ and THE MATADOR.

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

Popular BOB NANDOR, the Hungarian freedom fighter, meets "BULLDOG" LEE HENNING, and young ALEX MEDINA squares off against CHUCK CONLEY in the supporting events.

The first bell rings at 8:15.

Tuesday, October 27, 2015

FUNK DEFENDS WORLD BELT AGAINST BULLDOG LEE HENNING...no, I'm not kidding.

February 17, 1969
CHARLOTTE, NORTH CAROLINA

46 Years Ago

Two men who have experienced the thrill of being a world champion are part of tonight's big wrestling card at the CHARLOTTE COLISEUM. Belltime is 8:15 p.m.

One is JOE LOUIS, known world-wide as the "BROWN BOMBER" and great champion of the boxing world. He held the heavyweight title for twelve years. LOUIS will confront wrestlers tonight in the capacity of special referee.

Also on the card is DORY FUNK JR., the newly-crowned WORLD HEAVYWEIGHT CHAMPION of the wrestling universe. The Texan dethroned the long-time champ GENE KINISKI just last week. FUNK will make a title defense against the unpredictable and rugged "BULLDOG" LEE HENNING. The belt is on the line in a two-out-of falls match with a one-hour time limit.

Champ JOE LOUIS has been chosen by the NWA to police the SIX MAN TAG TEAM co-main event.

The battle finds GEORGE BECKER, JOHNNY WEAVER and SAILOR ART THOMAS going against THE MISSOURI MAULER, HIRO MATSUDA and their manager HOMER O'DELL (who will be in ring attire, not his usual tuxedo). This encounter will be of the NO DISQUALIFICATION venue, and the losing team will leave with empty pockets. Promoter JIM CROCKETT says the winning team gets both purses. It's also best-of-three falls. And with NO DQ and JOE LOUIS, anything is likely to happen.

Another tag team battle on tap will send the popular duo of ABE JACOBS and STEVE BOLUS against the rough and tough combo of RIP HAWK and SWEDE HANSON.

The ladies will shine tonight in the ring when PENNY BANNER takes on JEAN DORSEY.

Polynesian favorite KOA TIKI will face the Cuban native PANCHO VALDEZ in the one-fall opener.

An autograph session for the fans to meet their favorite wrestlers will take place before the matches begin.



An observation - - - "BULLDOG" LEE HENNING in a World title match?
By this time in his career, he was already "jobbing". Makes one wonder who else would be contenders for FUNK's belt - - - JESSE JAMES, BILLY SPEARS?

I was eighteen at the time. Maybe I should have had a shot at the championship.

Friday, October 23, 2015

MASKED MEN MADE THEIR MARK


THE SUPER DESTROYER
(DON JARDINE)
Shown here with another JCP veteran 'Lord' ALFRED HAYES, JARDINE wrestled as THE SPOILER in other territories.

THE MASKED SUPERSTAR
(BILL EADIE)
Successful in every territory he worked, primarily a 'heel', but did a 'babyface' turn in JCP against the ANDERSON ARMY. A nicer human being you'll never meet.

THE MASKED RED DEMONS
(JIMMY and BILLY HINES--this is JIMMY).
They terrorized the MID-ATLANTIC territory during the mid 1960s and were managed by GEORGE 'Two Ton' HARRIS.

MR. WRESTLING
(TIM WOODS)
The first masked 'good guy' I ever saw.

THE GRAPPLER
(LEN DENTON)
Having a previous run in the MID-ATLANTIC territory without the hood and using his real name, he became a main eventer in other territories, usually teaming with TONY ANTHONY as THE GRAPPLERS. He did return to JCP without ANTHONY for a short run as THE GRAPPLER (I wish it had been longer.)

Wednesday, October 21, 2015

EARLY ON WITH HAWK AND HANSON

June 22, 1963
LEXINGTON, NORTH CAROLINA


ERIC POMEROY


TINKER TODD

FRANK VALOIS

RIP HAWK and SWEDE HANSON

JESSE JAMES

The current SOUTHERN TAG TEAM CHAMPIONS, RAY ANDREWS and ERIC POMEROY, delayed in making their LEXINGTON YMCA debut two weeks ago, will definitely be on hand tonight in pro wrestling action.

The popular champions have powerful opposition tonight when they defend their tag crowns against tough guys RIP HAWK and SWEDE HANSON in a best-of-three falls title match.

Two other bouts have been signed for tonight's card.

JESSE JAMES, a fan favorite from the Lone Star State, will face Ireland's bad boy TINKER TODD.

To kick off the evening at 8:15, LEXINGTON newcomer DANNY DALE will test the veteran Frenchman FRANK VALOIS.

Monday, October 19, 2015

LONG HAIR VERSUS NO HAIR

November 21, 1964
LEXINGTON, NORTH CAROLINA

Two of the biggest men in professional wrestling will collide with two of the roughest and most unpredictable men of the sport. The impact will be felt tonight at the LEXINGTON YMCA. Action begins at 8:15.

It will be THE KENTUCKIANS, TINY ANDERSON and BIG BOY BROWN, all 750 pounds of them, facing the skin-headed duo of BRUTE BERNARD and SKULL MURPHY in the two-out-of-three falls main event.

The big boys from the hills want to settle some old scores with the ruffians from Canada and Ireland. Encounters between the two teams in the past have been wild and wooly affairs.

While the tag team battle is the evening's bill of fare, there will be three singles matches as well.

BILL PARKS squares off against MARIO MILANO.

JESSE JAMES meets FRANK HICKEY.

The opener sends GEORGE GRANT against PAT O'BRIEN.

Saturday, October 17, 2015

BECKER MEETS A MAMMOTH

January 7, 1961
LEXINGTON, NORTH CAROLINA

Wrestling fans, who have been waiting out a two week holiday period of action at the LEXINGTON YMCA, will be treated to a big four bout card tonight starting at 8:15.

The sensational brother team from Peru, LEE and JOE GARCIA, will meet the unusual combination of the Oriental P.Y. CHUNG and Spain's JAN MADRID in the evening's two-out-of-three falls main event. CHUNG is making his Lexington debut tonight.

In a special attraction, HAPPY HUMPHREY, a 750 lb. behemoth from Georgia, makes his debut here and will face the ever-popular GEORGE BECKER.

In the prelims, WALDO VON ERICH battles JIM QUEEN, and BILLY COX squares off against MARK STONE in the opening match.

GEORGE BECKER

WALDO VON ERICH
LEXINGTON, N.C. YMCA

Thursday, October 15, 2015

CROCKETT FANS HAD IT MADE

If you were a professional wrestling fan during the 1960s and / or 1970s, and happened to reside in the JIM CROCKETT PROMOTIONS territory known as the MID-ATLANTIC WRESTLING area, you were one lucky person!

Wrestling was HUGE almost everywhere in the U.S., and JCP was no exception.

Sooner or later, nearly every giant in the business (and I don't necessarily mean Andre), worked for the CROCKETT family, and MID-ATLANTIC fans were the recipients
of this good fortune.

I used to journey to Charlotte's PARK CENTER on Monday nights as frequently as I could, shell out a mere $2.00-$2.50 for a ringside seat and watch top wrestlers in top matches. Even adjusting for inflation, the $50.00-$75.00 needed for a ticket for the current wrestling product could not produce as much entertainment as those earlier times. The wrestlers knew how to work (and I don't mean just a select few). If a man couldn't work a good match, he made a quick exit from JCP. The booking was better, the matches were hotter and in those days, most of the fans 'believed'.

Perhaps I am a bit nostalgic, but how I wish I could turn back the clock so I could re-attend many of the shows I saw and see some I missed.

But, alas, time stands still for no one. So memories, photographs and what video footage is available will have to suffice.

I want a time machine for Christmas...

RIC FLAIR versus WAHOO McDANIEL
Their feud put FLAIR on the wrestling radar. He later owned the radar.

Tag Team action with DANNY MILLER, ART NELSON, SWEDE HANSON and CHUCK O'CONNOR (later JOHN STUDD).

GEORGE BECKER applies the 'abdominal stretch' to THE MISSOURI MAULER (LARRY HAMILTON).
Remember the days when the 'stretch' was a submission hold?

RIP HAWK versus ART NELSON
Boy, did these two have some brutal 'taped fist' matches.
In this photo, ART tries to rearrange RIP's 'profile'.

NELSON ROYAL sends SWEDE HANSON high in the sky with a backdrop.
These two men were two of the very best JCP fans ever saw.

Tuesday, October 13, 2015

THE RIP HAWK WE NEVER SAW



This is the way JIM CROCKETT PROMOTIONS wrestling fans saw RIP 'The Profile' HAWK...entering the ring to do battle and to win any way he could. Hair pulling, trunk pulling, piledriving...any way.

RIP was a 'heel' mainstay for JCP for nearly fifteen years and was at the top of many fans' "Most Hated" list.

But there was a wrestling side of 'The Profile' the general public never saw, and with the aid of this article which originally appeared in the September, 1975 issue of Sports Review WRESTLER, I'd like to share it with you...

RIP HAWK oversees a group of high school wrestlers. RIP generously gives his time to these youngsters.

Every man is a combination of things. When you think you know someone, he or she will very often do something that is as uncharacteristic as it is unexpected. Rip Hawk was no exception to that rule.

Most of the world knew HAWK as one of the most ruthless rulebreakers in wrestling, a man incapable of mercy or honor. Instead of denying these charges, HAWK would boast of his cruelty with glee.

Yet, when the spotlights were turned away from him, RIP could be found in a local high school gym teaching members of the school's wrestling team. RIP would go over the fundamentals of the sport and correct the youngsters when necessary. And one thing that RIP stressed above all else is that the grapplers must be scrupulously clean !

"Before you break the rules," HAWK said when no students were present, "you've got to master the rules. What I hope to do is give these kids a sound base from which they can grow. And who the hell wants kids bleeding and crippled anyway? For professionals, it's different. We earn a living by winning - - at all costs. Kids wrestle to develop a team spirit, a physical discipline and a sense of fairness. Though the basics may be the same, the goals are completely different."

Wrestler TERRY SAWYER also lends a helping hand.

Yet, why did a man who tortured his opponents with animal abandon want to help youngsters at all? RIP hesitated before he answered the question, and one got the feeling he wasn't quite sure himself.

"Someone was needed," RIP said, "and I was available. Anyway, if a sport gives you a lot, you owe it something in return. This is my way of paying some long outstanding dues.


If one wasn't familiar with RIP HAWK, it would be easy to swear that the wrestling instructor and the wrestler were two different people. HAWK the wrestler strutted arrogantly, whereas HAWK the instructor moved with unassuming grace.

When grappling for money, RIP would explode at any slight provocation. When teaching the kids a complicated hold, he would become the most patient of men, calmly going over and over the maneuver until the youth felt comfortable executing it.

After devoting time at the high school, RIP went straight to the arena to wrestle. He was his vicious self, making his opponent a bloody mess. If you had told the victim about what HAWK had done hours earlier, he'd have called you crazy. And as the doctor stitched up his wounds, who could blame him?

RIP instructs the students in technique.

Amazingly, thirty-five years after this article was originally published, RIP HAWK, at the local YMCA in the Texas town in which he resided, was still instructing kids the art of wrestling.

Sunday, October 11, 2015

MORE WITH CROCKETT'S "ROYAL COUPLE"

JOHNNY WEAVER and PENNY BANNER were the KING and QUEEN of JIM CROCKETT PROMOTIONS as far as the wrestling public was concerned.

Enjoy these photos of them out of the wrestling ring...

Having fun for the camera...

Daughter WENDI letting Mommy in on a secret...

Fun on the links...
("Just pretend you see HOMER O'DELL's face on the ball.")

A little fun at the dinner table...
(I see a pet dish in the photo. WENDI, was it a dog or cat?)

I love this picture of PENNY and WENDI.

PENNY poses...

JOHNNY always took the time to spend with his fans.

PENNY was an avid horsewoman, whose love of the sport was passed down to daughter WENDI.

Friday, October 9, 2015

TITLES UP FOR GRABS

September 14, 1959
CHARLOTTE, NORTH CAROLINA

The SOUTHERN TAG TEAM CHAMPIONSHIP will be up for grabs tonight at PARK CENTER in the co-feature of a big four bout wrestling card promoted by JIM CROCKETT.

Colliding for the coveted title will be the current champions, THE GREAT BOLO and LARRY 'CRUSHER' HAMILTON, and a pair of more than worthy challengers, GEORGE BECKER and CYCLONE ANAYA.

The animosity between these men is staggering, especially that of BECKER and BOLO. These two men have battled all over the southern United States for several years, and the fire is now hotter than ever.

Two recorded falls by pinfall or submission is the requirement for the challengers to become the champions. The title match carries a one-hour time limit.

The co-feature tag match has FARMER MCGREGOR and PANCHO LOPEZ taking on SKY LOW LOW and FUZZY CUPID in a midgets' tag scrap. MCGREGOR is subbing for LITTLE BEAVER, who was injured in a match a few days ago and is out of action for the time being. This one's also for the best-of-three falls.

A pair of single matches opens the card with PAT FRALEY tackling CHICK GARABALDI and STEVE BOLUS faces MARTINO LORENZO.

Each of the single contests is set for one fall, twenty minutes.

Action begins at 8:15 p.m.


GEORGE BECKER

THE GREAT BOLO

CYCLONE ANAYA
LARRY 'CRUSHER' HAMILTON
SKY LOW LOW

Wednesday, October 7, 2015

BACK TO THE 1970s


BLACKJACK MULLIGAN's "claw" does in another opponent.

RIC FLAIR stomps on THUNDERBOLT PATTERSON.

JERRY "CRUSHER" BLACKWELL ties up an adversary.

JERRY and JACK BRISCO clown for the camera.

GENE ANDERSON receives a GREG VALENTINE leg drop.

GREG VALENTINE on the receiving end of a WAHOO MCDANIEL chop.

After a match, nothing like a big cigar and good wrestling magazine for the "NATURE BOY".

Monday, October 5, 2015

A WILD NIGHT IN 1962

December 3, 1962
CHARLOTTE, NORTH CAROLINA
---
53 Years Ago


A pair of tag team matches will headline tonight's big PARK CENTER professional wrestling program starting at 8:15.

The main event is a long-awaited skirmish of THE GREAT BOLO and BOLO meeting RIP HAWK and ROCK HUNTER. The two masked men have yet to taste defeat in Charlotte as a team, and HAWK and HUNTER claim they're the two men who are tough and rugged enough to put down the hooded duo. They'll have one hour and two-of-three falls to do the job.

The other team contest sends THE KENTUCKIANS, TINY ANDERSON and BIG BOY BROWN, against JOHN SCOTT and IVAN KAMEROFF. This one is also for two-out-of-three falls with a one-hour time limit.

THE FLYING SCOTTS, GEORGE and SANDY, are also scheduled, but in individual competition.

SANDY faces big IKE EAKINS, and GEORGE will take on GEORGE "TWO TON" HARRIS.

Saturday, October 3, 2015

GREAT WRESTLERS! GREAT MATCHES!


RIC FLAIR chokes opponent WAHOO McDANIEL in an INDIAN STRAP match.

BLACKJACK MULLIGAN pounds on nemesis PAUL JONES.

GREG VALENTINE attacks a helpless opponent.

RODDY PIPER headlocks SGT. SLAUGHTER.

MR. WRESTLING (TIM WOODS) demonstrates his scientific skill.

THE SUPER DESTROYER (DON JARDINE) begs for mercy.

OLE ANDERSON saves brother GENE from a MR. WRESTLING pinfall.

Thursday, October 1, 2015

TWO WRESTLING LEGENDS COLLIDE

May 9, 1960
CHARLOTTE, NORTH CAROLINA

ARGENTINA ROCCA
(Antonino Biasetton)

GORGEOUS GEORGE
(George Raymond Wagner)

Trademark ROCCA dropkick.

GEORGE prepares to do battle...

HAYSTACK CALHOUN


Two of the best-known professional wrestling stars in the world, ARGENTINA ROCCA and GORGEOUS GEORGE, will tear into each other in the feature match of tonight's PARK CENTER mat card.

ROCCA has never tasted defeat in the Queen City, while the GORGEOUS one has lost but one match here - a disputed decision to THE GREAT BOLO.

The card's semifinal also is slated for action. It features MIKE PAIDOUSIS battling HAYSTACK CALHOUN, wrestling's largest participant.

Both events are scheduled for two-of-three falls under one hour time limits.

PAT O'BRIEN will skirmish with RAY ANDREWS in the main prelim, while BOB BOYER tackles HARRY LEWIS in the opening match.

Action is underway at 8:15.