Wednesday, February 22, 2017

HOW TO UNMASK A BOLO

April 22, 1963
LEXINGTON, NORTH CAROLINA
---
54 Years Ago

Special terms will be in effect tonight when CHIEF BIG HEART and THE GREAT BOLO are rematched again in a wrestling feature at the LEXINGTON YMCA.

THE GREAT BOLO, wrestling's hooded menace, has agreed, for this match only, to remove his mask in the ring if he loses the match, no matter how it might happen.

Last Saturday, he lost his second match within a month to the big Indian, but again through a disqualification.

BIG HEART was busted open during the melee, and BOLO's yellow mask was stained red, himself cut badly.

In the past, BOLO has agreed to unmask if he lost two falls by pinfall or submission, and that's it. Tonight, it will be different, and the best-of-three falls match has a NO DISQUALIFICATION clause added anyway.
However, if BOLO is counted out of the ring, that would constitute losing a fall, and the mask must come off.

"I know I am a better wrestler than this redskin. He's a tough competitor, I'll give him that, but no one is a better wrestler than I am," shouted THE GREAT BOLO. "I am that confident of a victory that I have baited the CHIEF back into the ring by putting my mask on the line if he can beat me two falls in any manner. He can't and I'll prove it. It's probably the last chance for the wrestling fans to see the Indian wrestler, because I'm going to hurt the man really bad."

ANGELO MARTINELLI and BOB BOYER, a new winning tag team, will meet TERRY GARVIN and MARK STONE in a two-out-of-three falls semifinal.

Other matches send JACK BERNARD against European star BOB NANDOR, and CHARLIE LAYE will face JACK MARSHALL.

Belltime is 8:15.

Monday, February 20, 2017

RIP, SWEDE AND THE LOS ANGELES RAMS

February 12, 1966
LEXINGTON, NORTH CAROLINA
---
51 Years Ago

What were the LOS ANGELES RAMS doing in LEXINGTON last Saturday night?

The truth of the matter is...they were wrestling...and they're going to do it again tonight.

Professional NFL teammates DON CHUY and JOE CAROLLO, who wowed fans at the LEXINGTON YMCA, will return for more ring action tonight in a featured two-out-of-three falls tag team main event.

CHUY and COROLLO, who play side-by-side in the LOS ANGELES RAMS line and who use body blocks and other gridiron tactics in their matches, will meet wrestling's "BLONDE BOMBERS" - RIP HAWK and SWEDE HANSON.

Hawk has stated that these "boys" need to stick to football and leave wrestling - a tough sport - to "men."

The other tag team match of the night pits GEORGE and SANDY, THE FLYING SCOTTS, against the bald-headed bullies SKULL MURPHY and BRUTE BERNARD. This will be a renewal of a grudge rivalry of long-standing. This one's set for the best-of-three falls as well.

Two singles matches are set as STEVE BOLUS, a fan favorite, takes on the rugged JIM GRABMIRE, and young ALEX MEDINA takes on tough guy JOHNNY HEIDEMAN.

Action begins at 8:15.

Saturday, February 18, 2017

HOT RING ACTION EVERY NIGHT



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


A TRIPLE THREAT...
RIP HAWK, "PLAYBOY" GARY HART, SWEDE HANSON

An INDIAN STRAP MATCH featuring RIC FLAIR and WAHOO McDANIEL

A familiar sight for wrestling fans...
DUSTY RHODES out cold.

JERRY BRISCO relaxes...

A battle of masked men...
THE ASSASSIN versus MR. WRESTLING 2

Referee ANGELO MARTINELLI raises the hand of LES THATCHER.

Thursday, February 16, 2017

RALEIGH ROCKED

The capital city of North Carolina was a regular site for JIM CROCKETT PROMOTIONS.

Tarheels (and a lot of Virginia folks) made the almost weekly trek to DORTON ARENA to see great wrestling.

THE MISSOURI MAULER
(LARRY HAMILTON)
---
RALEIGH, N.C. - 1968

THE MISSOURI MAULER and PAMPERO FIRPO lost to GEORGE BECKER and JOHNNY WEAVER.

HAYSTACK CALHOUN and THE AMAZING ZUMA beat RIP HAWK and SWEDE HANSON via DQ.

NELSON ROYAL pinned BULL RAMOS.

CHIEF LITTLE EAGLE bested GENE DUNDEE.

LOU THESZ
---
RALEIGH, N.C. - 1965

LOU THESZ retained the WORLD HEAVYWEIGHT CHAMPIONSHIP defeating GEORGE SCOTT.

ALDO BOGNI and BRONCHO LUBICH with HOMER O'DELL toppled NICK KOZAK and 'IRISH' MIKE CLANCY.

SIR NELSON ROYAL and THE VIKING bested DALE LEWIS and PEPPY GOMEZ.

JOHNNY WEAVER topped THE MATADOR.

PRINCESS LITTLE CLOUD pinned JUDY GRABLE.

SWEDE HANSON and RIP HAWK
---
RALEIGH, N.C. - 1965

RIP HAWK and SWEDE HANSON trounced PEPPY GOMEZ and RUDY KAY.

NICK KOZAK and 'IRISH' MIKE CLANCY toppled SIR NELSON ROYAL and THE VIKING.

CHIEF BIG HEART and LORENZO PARENTE defeated JOHNNY KACE and PRINCE OMAR.

MIKE VALENTINO pinned JACK VANSKY.

JOHNNY WEAVER
---
RALEIGH, N.C. - 1965

LOU THESZ retained the WORLD HEAVYWEIGHT CHAMPIONSHIP over JOHNNY WEAVER.

GEORGE and SANDY SCOTT and ABE JACOBS took a disputed decision over BRONCHO LUBICHALDO BOGNI and HOMER O'DELL in six man action.

RAY VILLMER wrestled THE ALASKAN to a draw.

THE BEAST whipped THE VIKING.

PENNY BANNER pinned JUDY GRABLE.

EDWARDO CASTILLO topped THE MATADOR.

GEORGE BECKER versus THE MASKED RED DEMONS
---
RALEIGH, N.C. - 1967

GEORGE and SANDY SCOTT and GEORGE BECKER won over THE MASKED RED DEMONS and GEORGE 'TWO TON' HARRIS in a six man battle.

FRENCHIE LAMONTE lost to LORD LITTLEBROOK.

THE MUMMY pinned DON KENT.

IKE EAKINS triumphed over PEDRO GODOY.

Tuesday, February 14, 2017

BULLIES BATTLE BULLIES

March 29, 1969
LEXINGTON, NORTH CAROLINA

48 Years Ago

Anything is likely to happen tonight...

RIP HAWK and SWEDE HANSON, "The Blonde Bombers" of the pro wrestling world, tear loose against an equally rough duo of THE MISSOURI MAULER and HIRO MATSUDA in tonight's LEXINGTON YMCA wrestling feature, kicking off at 8:15.

"Colonel" HOMER O'DELL, the diabolical manager of MATSUDA and the MAULER, will be accompanying his men and could get mixed up in the BATTLE OF THE BULLIES main event, scheduled for the best two-out-of-three falls.

"Let O'DELL stick his nose in the ring while I'm wrestling," said HAWK. "I've got a piledriver waiting with his name on it!" HAWK's partner HANSON had no comment.

Popular GEORGE and SANDY SCOTT will be back tonight, fresh off a victory here last week. "Bulldog" LEE HENNING and "Big" JIM GRABMIRE are the foes facing "The Flying Scotts" tonight. Two falls will decide the winning team.

Single matches send young BOBBY PAUL against the rugged ROCK HUNTER, and RANDY CURTIS will test tough EL GAUCHO in the opening match.

Sunday, February 12, 2017

NELSON ROYAL THE HEEL

January 23, 1965
LEXINGTON, NORTH CAROLINA

52 Years Ago


Professional wrestling at the LEXINGTON YMCA was called off last Saturday due to a heavy snowfall but is slated to return tonight with a banner card.

THE FLYING SCOTTS, popular GEORGE and SANDY, will mix it up with a long-time nemesis team in the likes of BRONCHO LUBICH and ALDO BOGNI. The battle will be for the best two-out-of-three falls. And when you have BOGNI and LUBICH in the ring, you also have manager HOMER O'DELL outside the ring, and he can be as dangerous as his wrestlers. So the SCOTT boys will have their hands full.

A rowdy rulebreaking team debuts in LEXINGTON tonight as "SIR" NELSON ROYAL and THE VIKING are matched up against RUDY KAYE and newcomer LORENZO PARENTE in another best-of-three falls tag contest.

Two supporting single matches open the card with PEPPI GOMEZ meeting "TIGER" JACK VANSKY and TONY NERO battles ANGELO MARTINELLI in the 8:15 opener.

Friday, February 10, 2017

FAMILIAR FACES and MASKS

Whether they were the guys we loved or the guys we hated, we bought tickets to see them...and they delivered the goods...

GREG 'THE HAMMER' VALENTINE during some down time.

Little guys COWBOY LANG and THE HAITI KID.

'THE MAGNIFICENT' DON MURACO.

FANFEST's greatest teller of wrestling stories, OLE ANDERSON, has ASSASSIN JODY HAMILTON in a bit of trouble.

Truly...one-of-a-kind...RIP 'THE PROFILE' HAWK.

'MR. NUMBER ONE' PAUL JONES points to his favorite wrestler.

THE SUPER DESTROYER / THE SPOILER DON JARDINE.

Two ORTONS at once...'THE BIG O' BOB ORTON SR. (center), BOB ORTON JR. (right)...young man on left unknown.

Wednesday, February 8, 2017

THOSE BLAZIN' INFERNOS


THE INFERNOS and J.C. DYKES ready to work...
(Under the hoods are ROCKY SMITH and his brother CURTIS. ROCKY was an original INFERNO. CURTIS replaced original INFERNO FRANKIE CAIN.)

DENNIS HALL in command of his INFERNO encounter...for the time being. That's referee Sam 'Lucky' Roberts in the background.

Popular NELSON ROYAL attempts to remove the INFERNO's mask...

J.C. shouts instructions to his men, who seem to be in a bad situation.

One of the 'managerial' skills of J.C. DYKES.



ROCKY SMITH, J.C. DYKES, FRANKIE CAIN



NELSON ROYAL in a pinch.



DON CURTIS about to catch fire.



Right in the kisser.






J.C. DYKES, FRANKIE CAIN, LES THATCHER



Looks like a rough day at the office.



Incredible GENE GORDON photo of J.C. DYKES, GEORGE HARBEN and THE INFERNOS at Charlotte's Park Center.

(from the CARROLL HALL collection)

Monday, February 6, 2017

FOUR TOP TEAMS ON DISPLAY

July 8, 1967
LEXINGTON, NORTH CAROLINA

Nearly 50 Years Ago

Professional wrestling returns to the LEXINGTON YMCA tonight following a one-week layoff, and two gigantic tag team matches headline the program, starting at 8:15 p.m.

The big guys of the sport, TINY ANDERSON and BIG BOY BROWN, known as THE KENTUCKIANS, square off against the crafty and sneaky Oriental duo of HARU SASAKI and P.Y. CHUNG in tonight's top match.

THE KENTUCKIANS have a massive size advantage, but their opponents from the Far East are experts in ju-jitsu and karate, in addition to having many tricks up their sleeves, so anything could happen.

The other tag team affair will pit the crowd-pleasing combo of NELSON ROYAL and THE AMAZING ZUMA against the masked terror team of THE INFERNOS, who will have their manager J.C. DYKES in their corner.

All four wrestlers are gifted with great speed and ring smarts, but DYKES, who some fans believe bears a resemblance to Woody Woodpecker, could get involved and make a difference.

Both tag bouts are set for the best-of-three-falls.

LUTHER LINDSAY returns after an absence and will test tough TONY ROMANO in one of the night's singles matches.

The card opener sends popular GREG PETERSON against veteran PEDRO GODOY.

Saturday, February 4, 2017

CROCKETT GAVE US THE BEST

Wrestling fans who had the opportunity to see JIM CROCKETT PROMOTIONS and MID-ATLANTIC CHAMPIONSHIP WRESTLING were treated, year after year, to the very best in the business...

GENE ANDERSON opens up GREG VALENTINE.

A bloodied DUSTY RHODES battles back against THE ASSASSIN.

HARLEY RACE at a disadvantage at the hands of WAHOO McDANIEL.

PAUL JONES about to drop his former partner, RICKY STEAMBOAT, on his noggin'.

THE FABULOUS MOOLAH takes a short cut by choking PENNY BANNER.

WAHOO McDANIEL clamps a vice-like rear chin lock on GREG 'THE HAMMER' VALENTINE.

Thursday, February 2, 2017

MID-ATLANTIC WRESTLING'S 'FIRST LADY'

Today I salute the 'FIRST LADY' --- as far as I'm concerned, she is, hands down, the 'FIRST LADY' of JIM CROCKETT PROMOTIONS and MID-ATLANTIC WRESTLING.

PEGGY LATHAN

Peggy is my friend, in fact, a very good friend. But, I'll be honest, Peggy is EVERYBODY's friend. If you have attended any of Greg Price's NWA FANFESTS, you've seen her. Folks even buzz after the various FANFESTs, "Who's the woman all of the wrestlers hang around?" That's Peggy.

But, 'FIRST LADY' of MID-ATLANTIC WRESTLING? How did this happen?

Young Peggy began watching JCP wrestling on television around 1965 (I could say she was two years old at the time, but never mind about that part of the story. Let's just say that I am older than Peggy, and we'll let it go at that.)

She ventured out to her first arena JCP show in late 1968 and soon was attending three-to-four shows PER WEEK. (How I envy her for that! She saw some great wrestling.) A weekly itinerary for Peggy, her mother and her grandmother 'Nannie' Smith * included shows in Greenville, S.C.Spartanburg, S.C.Anderson, S.C. and Asheville, N.C. EVERY WEEKPeggy went even when she was sick. Very few weeks went by that found these ladies not in their front row ringside seats. This road schedule lasted from 1968 until 1983. Throughout the 1970s, they would often be joined by Lynn and Debbie Tate (Lynn would later marry wrestler Bill White). In the 1980s, other friends Jean HollandRita Cantrell and Clay Sweet became part of the entourage.

When I asked Peggy how she got to know the wrestlers, she answered that she would go up and talk to the guys, and they would see her on the front row every week, so they knew her face. Bobby Kay was the first wrestler Peggy remembers meeting. Then came the legendary Johnny Weaver, then Ronnie Garvin and Ole AndersonPeggy met Gene Anderson soon after meeting Ole, since The Minnesota Wrecking Crew was always together. It wasn't long before she would babysit Gene's son, Brad, when his dad would bring him to Spartanburg. "Brad was about five, I guess. He'd sit with me and watch the matches," Peggy told me.

The wrestler Peggy gives credit to for introducing her to most of the guys she now knows was a fellow named Flair.

PEGGY and RIC...Then

PEGGY and RIC...more recently

PEGGY and OLE ANDERSON
---
Many fans will remember the night in Greenville, S.C., when Ole was knife-attacked by an idiot fan and cut all the way diagonally down his chest. Lynn and Debbie Tate and Peggy were outside the dressing room. Peggy recalls, "We were in the hallway leading to the outside. The dressing rooms were downstairs. There were a couple of wrestlers there. The only one I remember is Bill Eadie (later The Masked Superstar, but at this time, he was one of The Mongols). Lynn was a nursing student at Clemson University, so she and Debbie held icy towels on Ole's chest, and I was elevating his left arm and putting pressure on his left hand as he had a bad cut across and below his thumb. Then after the paramedics arrived and took Ole, I rode to Greenville General Hospital with Gene, because he didn't know where it was, and I stayed with Gene in the ER until Ole was released about two in the morning."


PEGGY and 'The Dean' JOHNNY WEAVER
---
Peggy's love for JCP wrestling continued until the company was sold to TURNER ENTERTAINMENT in 1988, and there are very few of the wrestlers she didn't know. And they all loved her...and still do.

If you don't believe me, check out this year's NWA FANFEST in Charlotte.

Peggy's Grandmother 'NANNIE' SMITH


Photos courtesy of Peggy and / or THE MID-ATLANTIC GATEWAY