Sunday, July 31, 2016

WHO WON and WHO DIDN'T


GEORGE BECKER and JOHNNY WEAVER
---
RICHMOND, VA. - 1971

GEORGE BECKER and JOHNNY WEAVER defeated ART NELSON and GENE ANDERSON

BRUTE BERNARD and THE MISSOURI MAULER whipped KOA TIKI and LUTHER LINDSAY

ANGELO MARTINELLI lost to JESSE JAMES

BARBARA NICHOLS bested TAMMY JONES

SAILOR ART THOMAS
---
LYNCHBURG, VA. - 1969

RIP HAWK and SWEDE HANSON beat THE MISSOURI MAULER and HIRO MATSUDA

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

LES WOLFF bested JOHNNY HEIDEMAN

JESSE JAMES wrestled BOB RAMSTEAD to a draw

BOBBY RED CLOUD
---
CHARLESTON, S.C. - 1968

LARS and GENE ANDERSON whipped ABE JACOBS and LUTHER LINDSAY

BOBBY RED CLOUD and CHIEF LITTLE EAGLE wrestled TERRY and RONNIE GARVIN to a draw

NIKITA MULKOVICH beat ALEX MEDINA

PEPE GOMEZ won from JIM GRABMIRE

THE MISSOURI MAULER
---
CHARLOTTE, N.C. - 1967

THE INFERNOS with J.C. DYKES topped ALDO BOGNI and BRONCHO LUBICH with HOMER O'DELL

JOHNNY WEAVER defeated THE MISSOURI MAULER

GEORGE BECKER demolished HOMER O'DELL

PENNY BANNER bested TAMMY JONES

Friday, July 29, 2016

DOWN AND DIRTY

December 10, 1962
CHARLOTTE, NORTH CAROLINA
---
54 Years Ago


A rematch of the tag team bout between two rowdy combos, THE GREAT BOLO and BOLO and RIP HAWK and ROCK HUNTER, headlines tonight's wrestling card at PARK CENTER.

The two teams collided last Monday night, with HAWK and HUNTER receiving a disqualification loss for going beyond the rule limitations allowed. RIP and ROCK apparently entered the ring with that intention, and maybe were willing to take the DQ in order to wreck havoc on THE BOLOs, which they did. When the BOLOs exited the ring, one was a bloody mess, and the other's mask was ripped half-way off his head.

HAWK and HUNTER have vowed they will finish the job tonight, and the reign of terror of THE BOLOs will be over. This week's two-out-of-three falls match, however, will be fought under a NO DISQUALIFICATION stipulation, meaning either team can do virtually anything they choose without risk of penalty.

In the evening's other tag battle, GEORGE and SANDY SCOTT, both winners in individual competition last Monday, are reunited as "THE FLYING SCOTTS" when they collide with IKE EAKINS and PANCHO VILLA in a best-of-three falls encounter.

Single actions finds popular JOHNNY WEAVER facing BILL PARKS and RAY VILLMER battling FELIX LAMBAN.

Action begins at 8:15.

Wednesday, July 27, 2016

BOLO BRUTALITY



We don't hear much talk anymore about JIM CROCKETT PROMOTIONS wrestling as far back as the late 1950s.

Many of the adult fans (and wrestlers) of that era have passed away.

But there are a few of us who were just youngsters at that time who remember many of the stars of sixty years ago.

Good guy-wise, there were GEORGE BECKER, 'Irish' MIKE CLANCY, DICK STEINBORN and RED BASTEIN, to name a few.

On the other side of right and wrong were guys like THE SMITH BROTHERS, DUKE KEOMUKA and MR. MOTO.

But many fans of today, even though they don't remember them or weren't around to see them, have heard of THE BOLOS.

JCP wrestling fans still talk about THE BOLOS.

There were probably as many guys at my elementary school who tried to make a BOLO mask out of one of their Mom's discarded pillow cases who wore bath towels as Superman capes.

Making a BOLO mask wasn't easy. I found that out.

First, in the late 1950s, there was THE GREAT BOLO (Tom Renesto). Then, in the early 1960s, the masked man added an identical-looking partner, BOLO (Jody Hamilton). THE GREAT BOLO and/or BOLO were the top heels in JCP for close to six years, before heading further south, eventually changing their names to THE ASSASSINS.

Fans all over the MID-ATLANTIC CHAMPIONSHIP WRESTLING territory bought many a ticket to the matches to see THE BOLOS not only lose, but be unmasked.

Hero grapplers such as THE KENTUCKIANS, BECKER, WEAVER, THE SCOTTS, CHIEF BIG HEART, BILLY TWO RIVERS, HAYSTACK CALHOUN and MIKE CLANCY all tried over and over to expose the identities of the hooded hoodlums, but, alas, it never happened. Occassionally, THE BOLOS lost a match and even a mask here and there, but they always escaped protecting their identities.

Not until years later in Georgia, when Tom Renesto retired from active wrestling and voluntarily removed his mask on television, did the public ever know the identity of either of these men.

Monday, July 25, 2016

THE 1966 STATESVILLE SUMMER OF WRESTLING - PART THREE

September 2, 1966
STATESVILLE, NORTH CAROLINA




CLICK ON IMAGE TO ENLARGE


Time for one more outdoor wrestling card before Jack Frost starts to appear.

The third and final JIM CROCKETT PROMOTIONS wrestling show of the summer, again sponsored by the COMMUNITY BASEBALL CLUB, came to town Labor Day weekend.

And what a treat for the locals...a true legend in all sports...LOU THESZ, multiple-time WORLD'S HEAVYWEIGHT CHAMPION.

On this night, THESZ, then fifty years of age, showed those of us in attendance, that he could still go at full throttle.

And he and partner ABE "Kiwi Roll" JACOBS would have their hands full, as their opponents this night were two devious ruffians in THE MISSOURI MAULER and THE GREAT MALENKO, one of the top heel teams at the time.

Not surprisingly, the two combos split the first and second falls. Jacobs took the loss for his team--no way Thesz is going to lose a fall clean. At the climax of the third fall, just as Thesz took the "hot tag" and was cleaning up the ring with the "M & M" boys, Malenko pulled the referee in front of him, and Thesz dropkicked the referee, causing an immediate disqualification.

MAULER and MALENKO made a fast exit through their dugout to their dressing room, and I assume, spun out of the Statesville Senior High School parking lot heading back for Charlotte on that pre-Interstate 77 highway night.

Earlier in the evening, KLONDIKE BILL, getting a major push by JCP, took the toll of GEORGE "TWO TON" HARRIS in what was billed as a BATTLE OF THE MAT GIANTS by big-splashing "Bunk" before "Bunk" could big splash him. Oh well, "do unto others..."

Veteran IKE EAKINS crushed KEN HOLLIS and a young BOBBY SHANE (just getting started in the wrestling business) pinned a much-larger "BIG BOY" BLONDELL.

Another great crowd...another great night...another great summer of wrestling in my home town.

Saturday, July 23, 2016

LARS AND GENE WANT MORE

May 25, 1968
LEXINGTON, NORTH CAROLINA


LARS and GENE ANDERSON


NELSON ROYAL


BOBBY RED CLOUD


'BULLDOG' LEE HENNING


ABE JACOBS


LUTHER LINDSAY
---
Action should reach an exciting peak tonight at the LEXINGTON YMCA when the popular Texas duo of NELSON ROYAL and PAUL JONES and Minnesota brothers LARS and GENE ANDERSON clash in the wrestling main event.

It will be a best-of-three falls rematch of a thriller won in disputed fashion by the Texans last Saturday night. The ANDERSON brothers demanded another match.

War-dancing Indians CHIEF LITTLE EAGLE and BOBBY RED CLOUD meet another set of villains in 'BULLDOG' LEE HENNING and big JIM GRABMIRE in another team affair.

A scientific match is offered between BOB NANDOR and ABE JACOBS.

The card is completed with a contest between LUTHER LINDSAY and FRANK HICKEY.

Action gets underway at 8:15.

Thursday, July 21, 2016

THE 1966 STATESVILLE SUMMER OF WRESTLING - PART TWO

August 12, 1966
STATESVILLE, NORTH CAROLINA


CLICK ON IMAGES TO ENLARGE


Just three weeks after drawing a crowd of nearly 1400 fans, Statesville, North Carolina, hosted it's second of three JIM CROCKETT PROMOTIONS wrestling cards of the summer.


There was a minimum of two objects which would be at the baseball park behind Statesville Senior High School this night...a wrestling ring at home plate and...me.

Fortunately, I had lots of company. Another large crowd was in attendance this night to add to the coffers of both JIM CROCKETT PROMOTIONS and the COMMUNITY BASEBALL CLUB, which sponsored the event.

The SOUTHERN TAG TEAM CHAMPIONSHIP was up for grabs (we thought) this night. Of course, a key championship was not going to change hands in a hamlet the size of Statesville, but the participants had us all believing that it could happen.

Champions BOGNI and LUBICH and challengers McKENZIE and ROYAL were in the third and deciding fall. TEX and NELLIE were on the verge of capturing the titles when that low-down, unscrupulous manager HOMER O'DELL wacked ROYAL with his cane (in the referee's vision), causing his team to be disqualified, thus enabling BRONCHO and ALDO to leave the "City of Progress" with the belts which had accompanied them to our fair town.

Disappointment? Sure, but we had definitely witnessed a great match which made us all "believe" - something rare in today's "sports entertainment."

The MINNESOTA WRECKING CREW, i.e., the original incarnation of the name, wrestled separately this night. LARS took the toll of ABE JACOBS, and GENE toppled youngster PAUL DEMARCO.

KEN HOLLIS pinned CORSICA JEAN to open the show, but this was not a big deal as my grandmother probably could have pinned CORSICA JEAN.

Regardless, any time "many of the top TV wrestling stars" came to town was worth plopping down the two bucks to sit two hours in a hard-on-the-bottom steel chair in the infield dirt of the ball park.

And in just three more weeks, the stars of JIM CROCKETT PROMOTIONS would return again.

Tuesday, July 19, 2016

CHILLIN' WITH HAWK AND HANSON


Rip and Swede about to enjoy another day off from ring action...

A little time for serious conversation, but probably NOT politics...

Giving THE BEATLES and THE BEACH BOYS a little musical competition.

Back to the links. Always a round of golf on a day off.

On no! Apparently the hotel has overcharged the guys on their bar tab!

Sunday, July 17, 2016

THE 1966 STATESVILLE SUMMER OF WRESTLING - PART ONE

Statesville, North Carolina wrestling fans (and I was one) were treated to THREE nights of JIM CROCKETT PROMOTIONS wrestling shows during the summer of 1966.

A perfect location for wrestling during the summer months...the wooden grandstand ball park similar to that in the movie BULL DURHAM. Sponsored by the COMMUNITY BASEBALL CLUB, who also gave us DOUBLE A BASEBALL at the same site. The ring was set up at home plate, surrounded by metal ringside seat chairs all around. The grandstand served as the General Admission area. The wrestlers entered the ring from the two dugouts.

No rainouts during the summer of 1966. THREE shows in TWO months.

As a fifteen-year old 'rasslin' fan, I found myself at all three shows parked in my $2.00 ringside seat.

This was the first card of the 1966 summer...



CLICK ON IMAGES TO ENLARGE





The match results are shown above.
-
For whatever reasons (maybe analysis would reveal why), two memories come back to me about this night.

(1) My cousin, who attended with me, spilled a cup of Coca-Cola on himself during the matches.

(2) One of The Masked Red Demons (either Billy or Jimmy Hines) came out of the dugout for the main event smoking a cigarette (through the mask), discarding it as he approached the ring. I thought to myself - "Athletes aren't supposed to smoke." Give me a break, I was a naive fifteen year-old who was reading FAMOUS MONSTERS and wrestling magazines, instead of PLAYBOY, at the time. (Don't worry, the PLAYBOYs came later.)

Regardless of my mental stability, I remember the evening fondly.

Friday, July 15, 2016

WRESTLING and the FOURTH OF JULY

Thinking back through all of my MID-ATLANTIC CHAMPIONSHIP WRESTLING memories, I recall that JIM CROCKETT PROMOTIONS was synonymous with our nation's INDEPENDENCE DAY.

The point during the summer season in which JCP held BIG shows all over their territory.

In the final years, it was THE GREAT AMERICAN BASH, a virtual month-long tour throughout the United States.

In the earlier years, the JULY 4th shows were limited to the Carolinas, Virginia and West Virginia. But they were still BIG cards at the big venues.

My territory was limited to Greensboro, Charlotte and Winston-Salem, N.C., so let's go back and revisit some of the great FOURTH OF JULY shows JCP provided...

GOD BLESS AMERICA



GREENSBORO, N.C.
July 4, 1963

GEORGE BECKER and ARGENTINA ROCCA topped BRONCHO LUBICH and ALDO BOGNI with HOMER O'DELL.

GEORGE and SANDY SCOTT bested DOC and MIKE GALLAGHER.

JOHNNY WEAVER and RIP HAWK wrestled to a draw.

LITTLE BOY BLUE stopped CHICO SANTANA.

BRENDA SCOTT pinned OLGA MARTINEZ.



GREENSBORO, N.C.
July 5, 1962

HANS SCHMIDT defeated PAT O'CONNOR to become the NWA U.S. HEAVYWEIGHT CHAMPION.

GEORGE BECKER and ARGENTINA ROCCA whipped P.Y. CHUNG and TARO MYAKI.

RIP HAWK defeated JOHNNY WEAVER via DQ.

PENNY BANNER pinned ANN LAVERNE.

DICK STEINBORN topped ANGELO SAVALDI.

ABE JACOBS and ROCK HUNTER wrestled to a draw.


GREENSBORO, N.C.
July 4, 1964

HAYSTACK CALHOUN and JOHNNY WEAVER won over THE GREAT BOLO and BOLO via countout.

PENNY BANNER and JUDY GLOVER toppled CORA COMBS and KATHY O'BRIEN.

TIM WOODS defeated FRANK VALOIS.

NICK KOZAK and JOHN HEATH wrestled to a draw.

BOB BOYER and LORD LITTLEBROOK got past PEE WEE LOPEZ and PEDRO GODOY.


WINSTON-SALEM, N.C.
July 1, 1967

THE INFERNOS with J.C. DYKES defeated GEORGE BECKER and JOHNNY WEAVER via DQ.

RIP HAWK and SWEDE HANSON lost to THE KENTUCKIANS via DQ.

P.Y. CHUNG and HARU SASAKI topped DON CHUY and JERRY LONDON.

PENNY BANNER pinned DONNA CHRISTIAN.

LUTHER LINDSAY won over BULL RAMOS.



GREENSBORO, N.C.
July 3, 1975

JOHNNY VALENTINE defeated HARLEY RACE to become the NWA U.S. HEAVYWEIGHT CHAMPION.

GENE and OLE ANDERSON topped ANDRE THE GIANT and PAUL JONES.

RUFUS R. JONES was the winner of the 21-MAN BATTLE ROYAL.

Winners of single matches were KEN PATERARUFUS R. JONESBORIS MALENKO, STEVE KEIRNKLONDIKE BILLRON STARR and SANDY SCOTT.


GREENSBORO, N.C.
July 4, 1976

TERRY FUNK retained the NWA WORLD HEAVYWEIGHT CHAMPIONSHIP over WAHOO McDANIEL.

BLACKJACK MULLIGAN lost to RUFUS R. JONES via DQ.

ANDRE THE GIANT and PAUL JONES topped GENE and OLE ANDERSON.

JOHNNY WEAVER won over 'CRUSHER' JERRY BLACKWELL.

STEVE BOLUS and ANGELO POFFO wrestled to a draw.

JOHNNY EAGLE topped DR. FUJIANI.

HANS SCHROEDER pinned KLONDIKE BILL.


GREENSBORO, N.C.
July 3, 1977

GREG VALENTINE retained the MID-ATLANTIC HEAVYWEIGHT CHAMPIONSHIP via DQ over WAHOO McDANIEL.

ANDRE THE GIANT and THE MIGHTY IGOR defeated THE MASKED SUPERSTAR with BORIS MALENKO and BLACKJACK MULLIGAN.

RICKY STEAMBOAT retained the MID-ATLANTIC TV CHAMPIONSHIP over RIC FLAIR.
(Flair won the match but not within the 15-minute TV time limit.)

BOBO BRAZIL and TIGER CONWAY JR. bested THE MISSOURI MAULER and KIM DUK.

BRUTE BERNARD lost to JOHNNY WEAVER.

DANNY MILLER (subbing for FRANKIE LAINE) topped 'CRUSHER' JERRY BLACKWELL.

STEVE KOVAKS wrestled the masked MR. X to a draw.


(Illustrations from CLASSIC CLIPS, compiled by MARK EASTRIDGE)

Wednesday, July 13, 2016

LIKES AND DISLIKES by J.C. DYKES, Manager of the Infernos






A bloodied WEAVER after being kicked with the loaded boot of THE INFERNO.

Happy 'Birthday Suit' to you, J.C. DYKES

WEAVER takes a tumble to the floor.

A battered INFERNO receives medical care.
---
During the JIM CROCKETT PROMOTIONS terror tenure of J.C DYKES and THE INFERNOS, the weekly wrestling souvenir program at JCP arenas often contained articles written by the red-headed manager in which he expressed his personal opinions of the competition as it pertained to his blue-masked duo.

Without any doubt, the two wrestlers he despised the most were GEORGE BECKER and JOHNNY WEAVER, then the top 'babyface' team in MID-ATLANTIC WRESTLING.

THE INFERNOS battled BECKER and WEAVER all over the JCP territory in one of the 'hottest' feuds in 1960's pro wrestling history.

One evening, after a jam-packed house at Charlotte's PARK CENTER, Gene Gordon was able to corner DYKES and ask him a few questions.

J.C. had been shooting off his mouth about what his boys would do to that 'old bum' and his 'half-witted partner'. The match that night was thrown out by the referee for uncontrollable wildness. 'We beat them to a pulp tonight, and only the prejudiced referee saved their skins. They're as yellow as can be and will probably never sign to wrestle us again."

'BECKER is a low life, he eats berries and bugs,' shouted DYKES. 'As far as Weaver, he's on the silly side."

GEORGE and JOHNNY, however, rushed to the promoter, demanding their schedules be changed so that they could get THE INFERNOS back in the ring right away. 'That mouth without a brain and those two cowards who are afraid to let the public see their ugly faces, are in for a real surprise,' countered BECKER.

The following Monday night, the rematch took place, again at PARK CENTER. And again, the house was packed to see THE INFERNOS and DYKES 'get their's'.

WEAVER recorded the first fall, putting one of the masked men in slumberland from his trademark 'sleeper' hold. DYKES yelled and screamed to the official that JOHNNY had choked his man unto he passed out. The referee was not impressed by J.C.'s protest.

The second fall started with a very groggy INFERNO trying to stay on his feet, still reeling from the 'sleeper'. But then DYKES distracted the referee while the other INFERNO kicked WEAVER square in the head with the 'loaded boot' for the pin.

Fans rushed handkerchiefs and tissue to BECKER to help stop the bleeding of his partner. One fan offered his shirt.

The match was even.

The bell rang for the deciding fall. WEAVER barely answered the bell, his face a Gordon Solie 'crimson mask'. But he managed to continue, finally making a tag to BECKER, who came in like a madman. He floored both INFERNOS, knocking one out to the floor. GEORGE followed his rival outside the ring, ran the 'loaded boot' masked man into the ring post. Soon, this INFERNO was as bloody as WEAVER.

JOHNNY had cornered the other INFERNO and had the blue mask about half off when DYKES jumped into the fray. Approaching WEAVER (from behind, of course) with his metal canteen, his path was cut off by BECKER who battered DYKES until he could barely stand.

BECKER and WEAVER weren't able to remove a mask that night, but maybe they did one better. They removed J.C.'s clothes almost down to his 'birthday suit'. At this point, he blew his whistle, and a half-nude manager and his masked men (one a bloody pulp) set sail for the dressing room, forfeiting the match on a countout.

On a tirade in the dressing room, while his bloodied INFERNO received medical attention, DYKES began his ranting again, 'We will get BECKER and WEAVER if it takes a lifetime. That bug-eating BECKER and mule ears WEAVER have disgraced, humiliated and shamed my INFERNOS and me. Can you image two grownup men like these two dolts tearing my clothes off out there in front of thousands of people? If they want to act like children, they should both be placed in reform school with the other dirty-minded brats! When we first came to JCP, BECKER took off and went into hiding in the mountains somewhere until WEAVER sent out a posse to bring him back. WEAVER told BECKER a lie when he came back. He said that one of my INFERNOS burned his face with a fireball or something ridiculous like that. That is not what made the scar on old mule ear's face. Sailor Art Thomas dropped WEAVER on his head carrying him out of the ring after we beat the two of them one night. They're both no-good liars, and we'll send them into retirement before we leave the Carolinas. That's a promise.'

Although the two teams battled many more times, that promise went unfulfilled.

Monday, July 11, 2016

EVEN MORE OF STATESVILLE'S 1967 SUMMER OF WRESTLING


August 24, 1967
STATESVILLE, NORTH CAROLINA









The third and final JIM CROCKETT PROMOTIONS wrestling card for Statesville, N.C. in the summer of 1967.

This says it all.

I was not happy.

Back to City News Stand to retrieve my $2.00 reserved ringside admission.

I probably spent the $2.00 on new comic books before I got out of the place.