Wednesday, March 30, 2016

TRULY A WORLD CHAMPION


JACK BRISCO
(1941-2010)

A real gentleman to his wrestling fans.

I must confess --- my wonderful wife was never a big pro wrestling fan. She attended matches with me, on occasion, to be nice. She tolerated wrestling.

But in the late 1960s, when Jack first came to the JIM CROCKETT PROMOTIONS territory from Florida, my wife loved Jack Brisco.

When I announced there was wrestling (mostly in Charlotte or Greensboro) coming up that I wanted to attend, she would ask, "Will Jack Brisco be there?"

If I answered, "Yes, Jack is wrestling so-and-so," she always replied, "Then I'll go with you."

Jack transcended the usual wrestling fan. His college wrestling reputation was good for the pro wrestling business. It added credibility.

A veterinarian opened his practice in my hometown in 1969. On my first visit to his office, I noticed his diploma on the wall. He had graduated from Oklahoma State University. I casually asked him if he had ever heard of their collegiate wrestling champion Jack Brisco.

"Are you kidding? EVERYBODY in the Mid-West knows Jack Brisco. He was in the class a year ahead of me," the vet told me. "I watch wrestling from Florida every week to see him."

JACK BRISCO was a royal ambassador to the professional wrestling business, and I'm sure the people who knew him well would say he was a royal ambassador to life.

Monday, March 28, 2016

I WAS THERE

July 28, 1969
CHARLOTTE, NORTH CAROLINA
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PARK CENTER is a great venue for professional wrestling as proven over the years, but the building may not be able to handle the action tonight when two of the very roughest and brutal tag teams (and constant rulebreakers) in the business collide head-on in the evening's headline attraction.

In what has to be billed as a BATTLE OF THE BULLIES, the skinheaded duo of BRUTE BERNARD and SKULL MURPHY clash with wrestling's 'BLONDE BOMBERS' RIP HAWK and SWEDE HANSON. Sympathies to whichever referee is assigned the job of officiating this two-out-of-three falls contest. One may describe the match as two locomotives colliding at breakneck speed.

BRUTE BERNARD and SKULL MURPHY

RIP HAWK and SWEDE HANSON

EL LOBO

ABE JACOBS

JOHNNY HEIDEMAN

ROCK HUNTER

LES WOLFE

More tag team action is in store for fans attending tonight when the popular duo of New Zealander ABE JACOBS and his youthful partner LES WOLFE face the rugged ROCK HUNTER and his masked partner EL LOBO. No one seems to know the identity of EL LOBO, and if HUNTER actually does, he isn't talking. This is also a best-of-three falls match.

Two singles matches will open the 8:15 card when JESSE JAMES takes on TOM BRADLEY and the youngster MATTI SUZUKI faces veteran tough guy JOHNNY HEIDEMAN.

Saturday, March 26, 2016

A PROFILE OF "THE PROFILE"

Throughout the fifty+ years of JIM CROCKETT PROMOTIONS, few attained the status and recognition of RIP 'The Profile' HAWK.

A long-time 'heel', RIP often made the claim in interviews that the fans, in reality, loved him and supported him. Naturally, this brought out more heat from the fans who denied this was the case. Wrestling fans did love one thing about RIP. They loved to see him get beat in his matches. Many a fan usually left the arenas disappointed in that regard. RIP usually had the final word.

Even when 'babyfaces' like JOHNNY WEAVER or JERRY BRISCO won a side bet with RIP, they ended up getting dropped on their heads when they bent over to pick up their winnings.

"Oh boy...it's payday!"

In the early 1960s, RIP squared off against another JCP icon, JOHNNY VALENTINE.

A bit of bubbly before a match...

Earning his name as HAWK rips the hair of LOUIE TILLET.

Nearing the end of his tenure with JCP, RIP poses wearing the MID-ATLANTIC HEAVYWEIGHT CHAMPIONSHIP belt (which he shared with his 'nephew', an up-and-coming youngster named FLAIR).
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Many of us had the opportunity and privilege of meeting and getting to know RIP from his appearances at the NWA FANFESTs. The respect he has amongst his peers became evident listening to many of the other FANFEST wrestlers from a by-gone era.

Perhaps WORLD HEAVYWEIGHT CHAMPION HARLEY RACE said it best at the 2007 FANFEST..."Pound for pound, RIP HAWK was easily one of the roughest and most knowledgeable men who ever worked in the business."

As it turns out, those interviews RIP used to give were right after all---I did love RIP HAWK...and I still do.

Thursday, March 24, 2016

THE SCOTTS VERSUS THE FARGOS

June 25, 1960
LEXINGTON, NORTH CAROLINA

World Championship Wrestling, literally, comes to the LEXINGTON YMCA this weekend when two famous brother tag teams battle in the feature contest on a four match card this Saturday evening.

GEORGE and SANDY SCOTT, recently crowned as the WORLD TAG TEAM CHAMPIONS, will battle the rowdy blonde-headed JACKIE and SONNY FARGO in the best two-out-of-three falls main event.

The FARGO BROTHERS won the crack at the tag team title with their second straight victory over JERRY MILLER and HENRY PHILLIPS here last Saturday night.

The SCOTT BROTHERS, a popular duo of Canadians, wrestled the title away from BILL LONGSTON and THE MIGHTY ATLAS recently. The new champs are returning to LEXINGTON after a lengthy absence.

Two big stars, PAT O'HARA and MAN MOUNTAIN EVANS meet in this week's semi-final match.

JERRY MILLER will face RAY ANDREWS in one prelim, and the veteran CHUCK GARIBALDI takes on JIMMY SMITH in the 8:15 opening encounter.

Tuesday, March 22, 2016

THE BILLY / BRONCHO BASH

March 25, 1963
CHARLOTTE, NORTH CAROLINA

A renewal of a big feud between Indian great BILLY TWO RIVERS and rugged Yugoslavian BRONCHO LUBICH will headline tonight's PARK CENTER wrestling card presented by promoter JIM CROCKETT.

TWO RIVERS holds a win over LUBICH in their last meeting, a bout that generated hard feelings on both sides, and the rematch should be a honey. It's set for two-of-three falls, one hour time limit.

The semifinal squares off two brother teams for tag team action. Fan favorites GEORGE and SANDY SCOTT go against DOC and MIKE GALLAGHER. This one is set for 45 minutes, two-of-three falls.

Three singles bouts complete the card.

These have GEORGE BECKER facing FRANK VALOIS.

CRUSHER ANGELO goes against DALE LEWIS.

DON WHITTLER battles JIM GRABMIRE.

All are one fall contests, with the first beginning at 8:15 p.m.

Sunday, March 20, 2016

BECKER DEMANDS REMATCH

April 28, 1962
LEXINGTON, NORTH CAROLINA
---
52 Years Ago

A rematch between two top rivals, along with the debut of a world famous Oriental team, features professional wrestling tonight at the LEXINGTON YMCA.

Fan favorite GEORGE BECKER has demanded another crack at the tough Mexican PANCHO VILLA after losing a disputed verdict here last Saturday.

One provision is that referees be changed, and BECKER must approve the new referee. VILLA says referees make no difference to him, and that he will be victorious again tonight. Two-of-three falls will settle it.

The Oriental team debuting tonight is comprised of P. Y. CHUNG of China and TARO MYAKI of Japan, the only Chinese / Japanese team working together in wrestling today. They will face heroes JERRY CHRISTY and ANGELO MARTINELLI in the two-out-of-three falls co-feature.

Action begins at 8:15 with REGGIE PARKS tangling with GYPSY JOE.

Friday, March 18, 2016

MAYBE YOU WERE THERE


CHARLESTON, W.V. - 1969

GEORGE BECKER and JOHNNY WEAVER topped THE MISSOURI MAULER and HIRO MATSUDA

HAYSTACK MULDOON beat NIKITA MULKOVICH

SAILOR ART THOMAS and THE AMAZING ZUMA bested EL GAUCHO and PEDRO GODOY

BOB RAMSTEAD lost to 'BULLDOG' LEE HENNING


CHARLOTTE, N.C. - 1971

THE INFERNOS with J.C. DYKES whipped RONNIE and TERRY GARVIN

JACK BRISCO and SANDY SCOTT topped NIKITA MULKOVICH and JOHNNY HEIDEMAN

ROCK HUNTER bested ALEX MEDINA

JERRY BRISCO beat JOE SOTO


CHARLOTTE, N.C. - 1969

HAYSTACK CALHOUN, SAM STEAMBOAT and THE AMAZING ZUMA beat BRONCHO LUBICHALDO BOGNI and GEORGE 'TWO TON' HARRIS in six man action.

GREG PETERSON beat LEON BAXTER

LES WOLFF topped EL GAUCHO

SILENTO RODRIGUEZ bested BILLY SPEARS


NORFOLK, VA. - 1968

LARS and GENE ANDERSON won from GEORGE BECKER and JOHNNY WEAVER on a disqualification

TONI ROSE defeated DONNA CHRISTENELLO

PAMPERO FIRPO and THE MISSOURI MAULER stopped RUDY KAYE and LES THATCHER

BOB NANDOR topped GEORGE 'TWO TON' HARRIS

THE AMAZING ZUMA over JERRY LONDON


LEXINGTON, N.C. - 1967

GEORGE and SANDY SCOTT topped HARU SASAKI and P.Y. CHUNG

LARS and GENE ANDERSON beat CHIEF LITTLE EAGLE and JERRY LONDON

PEDRO GODOY over SONNY FARGO

ROGER KIRBY and THE MUMMY wrestled to a draw.


CHARLESTON, S.C. - 1969

GENE and OLE ANDERSON defeated GEORGE BECKER and JOHNNY WEAVER

PENNY BANNER beat BELLE STARR

THE MASKED RED DEMONS lost to SAM STEAMBOAT and BOBBY NICHOLS via DQ

BOB RAMSTEAD wrestled 'BULLDOG' LEE HENNING to a draw

Wednesday, March 16, 2016

LEXINGTON, NC - 52 YEARS AGO

July 25, 1964
LEXINGTON, NORTH CAROLINA

SKULL MURPHY

SANDY and GEORGE SCOTT

BRUTE BERNARD

MIKE CLANCY

JOHN HEATH

NICK KOZAK
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Two hero tag teams, victorious in wrestling competition at the LEXINGTON YMCA last Saturday night, will be back for more action tonight at 8:15.

GEORGE and SANDY SCOTT, the dashing brother combo known as THE FLYING SCOTTS, meet the brutal, skin-headed BRUTE BERNARD and SKULL MURPHY in tonight's main event action.

The SCOTTs won over THE GREAT BOLO and BOLO last week via disqualification.

'IRISH' MIKE CLANCY and NICK KOZAK, a splendid new combination and winners last week, tangle with Russian ruffian IVAN KAMEROFF and French-Canadian tough guy FRANK VALOIS in the other tag team match-up.

Both tag team affairs are set for the best two-out-of-three falls.

GEORGE BECKER, an all-time fan favorite, clashes with Mexico's PANCHO GOMEZ in a special one-fall encounter.

The opening bout of the evening will pit BOB BOYER against JOHN HEATH in what should be a great 'scientific' match.

Monday, March 14, 2016

MORE STARS THAN IN THE HEAVENS


OK, OK...I didn't make up that phrase. JIM CROCKETT PROMOTIONS never used the phrase either. It was actually the slogan of the movie studio giant METRO-GOLDWYN-MAYER back in the golden 1930s and 1940s.

The phrase, however, could have been borrowed to describe the incredible roster of talent that worked the arenas throughout the years in the MID-ATLANTIC CHAMPIONSHIP WRESTLING territory.

Here are but a few...

ABDULLAH THE BUTCHER
(LAWRENCE ROBERT SHREVE - born 1936)

ALDO BOGNI
(Mostly wrestled as a tag team partner with BRONCHO LUBICH)

BELLE STARR

CHIEF BIG HEART
(RICHARD G. VEST - 1927-1993)

JOE LE DUC
(MICHEL PIGEON - 1944-1999)

JOHNNY VALENTINE
(JONATHAN WISNISKI - 1928-2001)

RUDY KAYE
(JEAN-LOUIS CORMIER - 1942-2008)

Saturday, March 12, 2016

CHECKING IN WITH THE INFERNOS

The 'loaded boot' does its damage !

INFERNO Frankie Cain after a bad day at the office...

They say it's good to stretch before exercising, but NOT this way...

J.C. Dykes and his men beat up on Homer O'Dell in a 'Battle of the Bullies'...

Mr. Wrestling (Tim Woods) works over his blue-clad opponent.

Thursday, March 10, 2016

WAHOO AND MALENKO CHAINED

Fans who witnessed a RUSSIAN CHAIN MATCH between Chief WAHOO McDANIEL and The GREAT (BORIS) MALENKO knew it wouldn't be a Greco-Roman wrestling contest.

It was KILL OR BE KILLED!

As if a long stretch of steel chain wasn't weapon enough, MALENKO tried to add to his arsenal before the match begin with a walking cane (Homer O'Dell must have been nearby).

The mad Russian gives WAHOO's noggin' a massage with the cold steel.

The Chief is in serious trouble.

It's going to be a long walk to the pay window.

In spite of the photos showing the Chief getting the short end, somehow WAHOO won the battle, beating MALENKO at his own match.

Perhaps all of those Indian Strap Matches WAHOO had paid dividends.

EDWARD 'WAHOO' MCDANIEL, Choctaw-Chickasaw Native American, was a born athlete who achieved World fame in both football and wrestling. WAHOO passed away in 2002. 

THE GREAT MALENKO (Lawrence Simon), like Wahoo, was a huge wrestling star all over the world, in both single and tag team competition. He was responsible for training many young men as they broke into the pro wrestling business. He died in 1994.

Tuesday, March 8, 2016

SO MANY ARE GONE

"Time stands still for no man..."
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It's part of life. And none of us will get out of here alive.
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A large number of the JIM CROCKETT PROMOTIONS cast of characters of the last fifty years are no longer with us, but they left their trail and countless memories for all of us who plopped down our money for a wrestling ticket...


DANNY MILLER puts a boot to the noggin' of a pre-JOHN STUDD - then CHUCK O'CONNOR (deceased).


Has THE GREAT BOLO (TOM RENESTO-deceased) met his match in STEVE KOVACS (deceased)?


A young BOBBY SHANE (deceased) has HIRO MATSUDA (deceased) in a painful hammerlock.

Two wrestling generations - BOB ORTON JR. and 'BIG' BOB ORTON SR. (deceased).

ART NELSON (deceased) pulls at the mask of THE MENACE (could it have really been LARS ANDERSON under the hood?) as referee ANGELO MARTINELLI (deceased) looks on.

Two of my favorites go at it with NELSON ROYAL (deceased) about to lay one on GEORGE 'TWO TON' HARRIS (deceased).