Thursday, January 29, 2015

ANYTHING COULD HAPPEN

As 'ROWDY' RODDY PIPER says, "Just when you figure out the answers, they change the questions."

Even the self-proclaimed 'fan experts' were often fooled when it came to predicting what was going to happen at a JIM CROCKETT PROMOTIONS' MID-ATLANTIC WRESTLING show...

But it was always fun trying to second-guess them.

THE GREAT BOLO is the recepient of a STEVE BOLUS knee-lift.

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

LUTHER LINDSAY goes to work on a bloodied KURT VON STEIGER.

DUSTY RHODES and DICK MURDOCK stomp that proverbial 'mud hole' on an opponent.

In a 'BATTLE OF THE BULLIES' showdown, SWEDE HANSON lays a punch in on HENRY VON STROHEIM as RIP HAWK looks on.

TERRY FUNK
(Insert your own caption.)

Tuesday, January 27, 2015

RALEIGH REALLY 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.

Sunday, January 25, 2015

THE WEAKER SEX? ... NOT HARDLY



PENNY goes for a monkey flip...

TAMMY counters with a Boston crab...

Referee ANGELO MARTINELLI always had his hands full when he worked with the ladies...

PENNY gives TAMMY a free ride back into the ring...
---
I don't recall there ever being a contest in JIM CROCKETT PROMOTIONS in which a JCP Queen was crowned, but if there had been, the title would, without question, have gone to the wonderful PENNY BANNER.

I can't begin to estimate how many times I saw PENNY wrestle, either on TV or in the arenas, but the number wasn't a small one.

By far, PENNY's most frequent opponent, at least in the BANNER bouts I saw, was TAMMY JONES. I had to have seen these two go at it, at least, twenty-five times, so I can only imagine how many other times they worked each other (maybe as many times as Bambi has wrestled Peggy Lee Leathers).

I can recall PENNY and TAMMY colliding in Charlotte and Greensboro, and most likely Winston-Salem as well, and even the old semi-pro baseball park in Statesville, North Carolina, on a hot and muggy summer night in the late 1960s.

Unlike most of the current 'diva' matches on TV (in which every move is choreographed more than a Fred Astaire / Ginger Rogers dance number --- AND LOOKS IT!), the lady grapplers from what I consider the "golden" age of pro wrestling could REALLY work...the Ole Anderson way...wrestle the match in the rings as it flows, not making it up in the dressing room beforehand.

PENNY and TAMMY could really go.

Friday, January 23, 2015

MAULER AND MALENKO ROBBED


July 23, 1966
LEXINGTON, NORTH CAROLINA
---
THE MISSOURI MAULER and THE GREAT MALENKO are crying about losing last Saturday night and will be rematched against JOHNNY WEAVER and ABE JACOBS in tonight's LEXINGTON YMCA featured wrestling main event.

JOHNNY and ABE were awarded a victory on a reversed decision after wild action last week. MALENKO and the MAULER claimed they were robbed, and WEAVER and JACOBS, wanting to prove the win was no fluke, agreed to the best-of-three falls rematch, which should really get exciting.

WEAVER and the MAULER have been battling for the SOUTHERN HEAVYWEIGHT CHAMPIONSHIP as of late in singles competition. The MAULER remains the official champion, although JOHNNY has physical possession of the title belt. The champion wants his belt back.

Another tag battle this week pits the power-packed hero combo of GEORGE 'CATALINA' DRAKE and LUTHER LINDSAY against the very tough Minnesota duo of brothers LARS and GENE ANDERSON. This one is set for the best two-out-of-three falls within a forty-five minute time limit.

Two singles matches featuring top stars will open the card at 8:15.

LUTHER LINDSAY

THE GREAT MALENKO

GEORGE 'CATALINA' DRAKE

LARS and GENE ANDERSON

THE MISSOURI MAULER

ABE JACOBS

JOHNNY WEAVER

Wednesday, January 21, 2015

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.

Monday, January 19, 2015

BULLIES BATTLE BULLIES

March 29, 1969
LEXINGTON, NORTH CAROLINA

46 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.

Saturday, January 17, 2015

HOW TO UNMASK A BOLO...PIN HIM

April 22, 1963
LEXINGTON, NORTH CAROLINA
---
52 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.

Thursday, January 15, 2015

THEY ALL WORKED FOR JCP



KIM DUK

PAUL JONES

JOE LU DUC

JOHN TOLOS

VIRGIL RUNNELS

KILLER KARL KRUPP

GREG VALENTINE

Tuesday, January 13, 2015

UNDER THOSE INFERNO HOODS

To my knowledge, THE INFERNOS were never fully unmasked in the ring, nor were their identities revealed to the fans.

Jim Crockett actually offered J.C. Dykes and THE INFERNOS a huge bonus to be unmasked all around his territory before they headed for other areas, but the trio refused the cash offer.

Actually, there was more than one team of THE INFERNOS, not uncommon for someone who was THAT hot (pardon the pun) in the business to have their ring personas ripped off. (Just try to imagine how many masked ASSASSIN teams there have been. Actually, there are STILL masked ASSASSINS wrestling in local indy outfits all over the country.)

But, back to THE INFERNOS, that is, the original ones.

If you have read some of my previous postings, it should be apparent that THE INFERNOS and J.C. DYKES were (and still are) at the top of my all-time 'heel' team list, and I've have been a pro wrestling fan now for over fifty years.

When THE INFERNOS burst upon the JIM CROCKETT PROMOTIONS wrestling scene back in the mid-1960s, they were an immediate sensation. They quickly joined BOGNI & LUBICH, HAWK & HANSON, MAULER & MALENKO and BERNARD & MURPHY as main event nasties. They immediately were causing in-ring trouble for BECKER & WEAVER, McKENZIE & ROYAL, the SCOTT brothers and all our other favorite babyfaces.

All of a sudden, J.C. DYKES was generating as much heat as a manager as his peer HOMER O'DELL (and that is saying plenty).

J.C. had his metal canteen (which he often used as a weapon) and that blasted whistle, playing it like a trumpet to signal his men during their match.

Add to that the fact that mysterious 'fireballs' appeared from time-to-time scorching the faces of some good guys (see my previous postings involving LES THATCHER) and, of course, that dreaded built-up wrestling boot (which many wrestlers claimed contained items varying from horseshoes to the kitchen sink).

These boys were so 'hot' in the territory that when they faced other heel teams in ring battles, the RIP & SWEDEs and the BRUTE & SKULLs drew the cheers of the crowd (at least for that one night).

THE INFERNOS took their ring gimmick to other territories besides JCP (such as Florida and Texas), and did the same blockbuster business there as well.

Over the course of their long run, some changes occurred within the group. The originals were FRANKIE CAIN and JIMMY 'ROCKY' SMITH. At one point, ROCKY had a heart attack (down in Texas, I believe) and how to bow out for a while, but returned later. FRANKIE eventually left to become wrestling's GREAT MEPHISTO and was replaced by ROCKY's brother CURTIS SMITH. Other INFERNOS included DOUG GILBERT, RON GIBSON, STAN PULASKI and KARL VON BRAUNER.

Then, of course, there were the copycats. When DYKES and his boys left Florida, Eddie Graham put two guys together and tried to pass them off as the originals. And to this day, like THE ASSASSINS, one can find masked men in indy outfits wrestling as THE INFERNOS.

FRANKIE CAIN is still with us. J.C. 'JIMMY' DYKES passed away in 1993. ROCKY SMITH is also gone.

But I still remember THE INFERNOS.

THE original INFERNOS
ROCKY SMITH (left) and FRANKIE CAIN (right)

A bloodied (and nearly unmasked) FRANKIE CAIN is checked out by manager J.C. DYKES.

DYKES consoles one of his men during a wild match.

Why the headgear on INFERNO ROCKY SMITH? It's because boxing champion JOE LOUIS was refereeing the match.

THE INFERNOS fall victim to GEORGE BECKER & JOHNNY WEAVER's "row your boat".

J.C. and the boys celebrate another victory.

During their Florida campaign, J.C. and ROCKY took issue with JOSE LOTHARIO's being on the wrestling program instead of THE INFERNOS.

Another bloody night in the ring.

J.C. DYKES submits to an interview, but refuses to disclose his men's identities.

A young TERRY FUNK gets an INFERNO boot to the face.

INFERNO FRANKIE CAIN unmasked.

INFERNO ROCKY SMITH unmasked.