Thursday, September 3, 2015

AROUND THE RINGS OF JIM CROCKETT PROMOTIONS

RONNIE GARVIN takes time out to sign an autograph for a fan.

THE ROYAL KANGAROOS (LORD JONATHAN BOYD and NORMAN FREDERICK CHARLES III) rarely came out on the short end of a battle. Exception: A 'brass knuckles' war with JOHNNY WEAVER and ART NELSON.

'OUTLAW' RON BASS and JIM (J.J.) DILLON prepare to do battle.

Where's the referee?
MATTI SUZUKI is trying to choke the life out of SANDY SCOTT.

RICKY STEAMBOAT and RIC FLAIR join forces as a tag team.
FLAIR seems to like the idea.

Then fan favorite SWEDE HANSON 'helps' his arch enemy THE SUPER DESTROYER (DON JARDINE) back into the ring.

Tuesday, September 1, 2015

50 YEARS AGO

August 21, 1965
LEXINGTON, NORTH CAROLINA

HAYSTACKS CALHOUN

SKULL MURPHY and BRUTE BERNARD

ABE JACOBS

GEORGE 'CATALINA' DRAKE

GEORGE 'TWO TON' HARRIS

MIKE GALLAGHER

RON REED
(later BUDDY COLT)

GORY GUERRERO

TINKER TODD
---
The Mighty HAYSTACKS CALHOUN and speedy ABE JACOBS join forces as a tag team tonight and will face the rowdy skinhead duo of BRUTE BERNARD and SKULL MURPHY in the evening's main event wrestling bout at the LEXINGTON YMCA.

CALHOUN, the "world's biggest wrestler" and JACOBS, known for his "kee-wee roll" should give their rule-breaking opponents plenty of competition in the best two-out-of-three falls contest.

Another big operator, GEORGE 'TWO TON' HARRIS meets the very popular GEORGE 'CATALINA' DRAKE' in the co-main event, scheduled for the best-of-three falls.

Three top preliminaries are also on tap with big stars involved.

RON REED will face off against rowdy MIKE GALLAGHER.

RAY DURAN will meet young OMAR ATLAS.

Two veterans will compete when GORY GUERRERO challenges TINKER TODD.

Sunday, August 30, 2015

JIM CROCKETT'S "ROYAL COUPLE"

Had JIM CROCKETT PROMOTIONS held an AMERICAN IDOL-type contest voted on by the fans to determine the company's top male and female personality, I (and, I'm sure most other MID-ATLANTIC WRESTLING fans) would have cast my ballot for PENNY BANNER and JOHNNY WEAVER.

And, what many fans at the time did not know, PENNY and JOHNNY were in everyday life, married to one another.

I can't remember exactly when this fact came to light for me, but I was aware of it at a point when each of PENNY and JOHNNY's careers were still active.

I have seen photos in which PENNY and JOHNNY worked together in mixed tag matches, although I can't recall any personal memories of such in JCP, not to say it didn't happen.

PENNY and JOHNNY consented to do a layout for WRESTLING REVUE's August 1963 issue, which is the source for the following photos.

Daughter WENDI supervises the chess game.

A night on the town.
(WENDI still has JOHNNY's fedora.)

Making one of JOHNNY's ring jackets.

Suppertime.
(I like JOHNNY's WARD CLEAVER-type dinner attire.)

A little TV watching after dinner on a rare night off from wrestling.

Saturday, August 29, 2015

LOOK, UP IN THE SKY

The JIM CROCKETT PROMOTIONS heavens were filled with stars...

ROBERTO SOTO

SUSAN GREEN

KOA TIKI

SGT. JACQUES GOULET

RIC FLAIR knows it was a smart move coming to JCP.

BEARCAT WRIGHT

PAUL ORNDORF

Thursday, August 27, 2015

O BROTHERS, WHERE ART THOU?

May 3, 1969
LEXINGTON, NORTH CAROLINA

Two of professional wrestling's highest ranked and rowdiest tag teams will collide head-on in a super BATTLE OF THE BULLIES match tonight at the LEXINGTON YMCA.

Brothers GENE and OLE ANDERSON, the MINNESOTA WRECKING CREW, will meet RIP HAWK and SWEDE HANSON, the BLONDE BOMBERS.

Despite the ANDERSON's combined weight of 492 pounds, HANSON at 285 and HAWK at 231 will have a weight advantage. As for wrestling ability, toughness and rulebreaking, the two teams would be a photo-finish. It's a two-of-three falls explosion with a one-hour time limit.

Two other leading brother teams, swift roughnecks JIMMY and BILLY HINES and the spectacular FLYING SCOTTS, GEORGE and SANDY, meet in another two-out-of-three falls contest.

The SCOTTS will be trying to break a win streak established by the pesky HINES boys, who at one time terrorized this area as THE MASKED RED DEMONS.

The veteran BULLDOG LEE HENNING meets the popular youngster BILLY SPEARS, and tough guy ROCK HUNTER takes on fan favorite GREG PETERSON in two supporting matches.

Action begins at 8:15 p.m.

Tuesday, August 25, 2015

STEINBORN BATTLES ROGERS FOR TITLE

September 15, 1956
LEXINGTON, NORTH CAROLINA

59 Years Ago

Wrestling attendance may have been lagging a bit at the LEXINGTON YMCA in recent weeks, but it gets a major shot in the arm tonight with a double main event attraction that would grab notice in any arena in the nation.

Local sponsors of the grappling business are making plans to pull a big attendance for tonight's slate that includes tag team and singles action.

One of ringdom's most colorful individuals, "NATURE BOY" BUDDY ROGERS, a great (but disliked) WORLD HEAVYWEIGHT CHAMPION from the Northeast, makes his local debut for the main event. The strutting blonde-headed genius will have his hands full because he'll be opposing one of the fastest-rising young stars in the business, DICK STEINBORN.

This is a match that STEINBORN has been requesting since hearing the Champ was headed this way.

ROGERS' championship could seriously be challenged in this two-out-of-three falls title match.

Tonight's tag team match could well be one of the best-ever presented in the 4500 seat YMCA arena.

It's one the fans demanded themselves.

It sends the glamour gentlemen of the sport, GEORGE BECKER and JACK WITZIG against those roughest of mean men, KARL VON HESS and SKULL MURPHY. Fans have wanted to see BECKER and WITZIG get a chance to lamblast these villains, and tonight, it comes to fruition. They'll battle for the best-of-three falls.

The opener tonight should also be a corker, because it matches the explosive young LEN ROSSI against the stubborn Texan roughie, "LARRUPIN" LOU PLUMMER.

Sunday, August 23, 2015

BACK TO THE BALL PARK

DAVID CROCKETT tries his hand at pitching.

'Hands of Stone' RONNIE GARVIN anchors right field.

'Rock 'n' Roll'er RICKY MORTON at shortstop.

'Gorgeous' JIMMY GARVIN pitches as well.

A bit of offense from 'Rock 'n' Roll'er ROBERT GIBSON
---

On a summer afternoon in 1987, in Charlotte, North Carolina, CROCKETT PARK was the scene of one of the most fascinating sports competitions in the Tarheel state's history.

It wasn't Duke playing North Carolina, it wasn't the LA Dodgers against the SF Giants, not even the Boston Red Sox against the NY Yankees.

On this day, before the advent of the CHARLOTTE HORNETS, the CAROLINA PANTHERS or the CHARLOTTE BOBCATS, the professional wrestlers of JIM CROCKETT PROMOTIONS took on a team of employees of the Queen City's WSOC RADIO station for a softball charity fund raiser.

Oh yes, if you're interested, the boys of JCP won the game 4 - 0.

Friday, August 21, 2015

BECKER'S BACK IN LEXINGTON


May 6, 1961
LEXINGTON, NORTH CAROLINA

P.Y. CHUNG *

GEORGE BECKER

BOB NANDOR

FRAN GRAVETTE

TERRY GARVIN


RITA CORTEZ
---
Fan favorite GEORGE BECKER will face the crafty Oriental bully, P.Y. CHUNG, in a special challenge match that headlines tonight's wrestling card at the LEXINGTON YMCA.

BECKER asked for the match himself after he and SANDY SCOTT defeated CHUNG and partner MIKE PAIDOUSIS in tag action last Saturday night.

Following last week's match, CHUNG rammed BECKER into the ring post, splitting his head open. GEORGE declared revenge and asked the promoter for a one-on-one contest with CHUNG.

The match has been signed and will be fought under two-out-of-three falls and one hour time limit stipulations.

A girls tag team match supports the main event with the diabolical duo of SLAVE GIRL MOOLAH and the lovely-but-deadly RITA CORTEZ meeting popular FRAN GRAVETTE and the amazing JUDY GRABLE.

Bullies KEN COOPER and JACK BENARD meet in one preliminary, and European champion BOB NANDOR squares off against tough TERRY GARVIN in the 8:15 opener.
---
P.Y. CHUNG wrestled in other territories as Tojo Yamamoto.

Wednesday, August 19, 2015

I WAS NEVER AN OPTIMIST

...however, I was indebted to the optimists, the SALISBURY, N.C. OPTIMIST CLUB, that is, because in the Spring and Summer of 1976, the club, to raise money for their projects, sponsored JIM CROCKETT PROMOTIONS / MID-ATLANTIC CHAMPIONSHIP WRESTLING in the city of Salisbury, N.C. (where I live).

Not once...not twice...but THREE times within a six month period.


ANGELO MOSCA

March 18, 1976 - SALISBURY POST

WAHOO MCDANIEL

A crowd nearing twelve hundred witnessed 'Chief' WAHOO MCDANIEL pin big ANGELO MOSCA in the main event last night at CATAWBA COLLEGE's GOODMAN GYMNASIUM. The professional wrestling show was sponsored by the SALISBURY OPTIMIST CLUB. Long-time favorite JOHNNY WEAVER and his partner TIGER CONWAY JR. topped JACK EVANS and BILL WHITE in the evening's tag team contest. GEORGE HARRIS, known as 'Two Ton', belly-splashed a much-smaller GREG PETERSON to win his match, and veteran SWEDE HANSON used a neck breaker to subdue BILL HOWARD. OPTIMIST CLUB officials announced they were very pleased with attendance and would be negotiating to bring wrestling back to SALISBURY very soon.


May 8, 1976 - SALISBURY POST

BLACKJACK MULLIGAN


May 9, 1976 - SALISBURY POST

AUGUST 3, 1976 - SALISBURY POST

August 4, 1976 - SALISBURY POST


May 6, 1976 - SALISBURY POST

The wrestler referred to as Red Bastian, was in fact, Red Bastien.

Three great evenings of JCP in my home town, and I had to drive only ten miles round trip for each show. Considering the many, many miles I drove throughout the years to see MID-ATLANTIC CHAMPIONSHIP WRESTLING, this was a welcome change.

And for the record, I was never an OPTIMIST. I was a CIVITAN. We sold fruitcake.