Friday, July 19, 2019

MORE WITH WRESTLING'S "ROYAL COUPLE"

JOHNNY WEAVER and PENNY BANNER were the KING and QUEEN of JIM CROCKETT PROMOTIONS as far as the wrestling public was concerned.

Enjoy these photos of them out of the wrestling ring...

Having fun for the camera...

Daughter WENDI letting Mommy in on a secret...

Fun on the links...
("Just pretend you see HOMER O'DELL's face on the ball.")

A little fun at the dinner table...
(I see a pet dish in the photo. WENDI, was it a dog or cat?)

I love this picture of PENNY and WENDI.

PENNY poses...

JOHNNY always took the time to spend with his fans.

PENNY was an avid horsewoman, whose love of the sport was passed down to daughter WENDI.

Monday, July 15, 2019

SCOTTS BATTLE DEMONS

June 25, 1966
LEXINGTON, NORTH CAROLINA

53 Years Ago

A big tag team battle, matching two swift-moving teams against one another, headlines tonight's four bout card at the LEXINGTON YMCA starting at 8:15.

The FLYING SCOTTS, GEORGE and SANDY, will take a crack at the hooded terror duo of THE MASKED RED DEMONS.

The SCOTT brothers are known for their fantastic aerial maneuvers, while the DEMONS are gaining a local reputation for having no regard for law and order. They conceal their identities behind scarlet masks and have been racking up a huge win streak since arriving in this wrestling area. GEORGE and SANDY will try to derail this runaway freight train in the best two-out-of-three fall contest. They have a one hour time limit to do it.

JAN MADRID, a strutting bully, returns after a long absence to run head-on into the able ABE JACOBS in tonight's semi-final match.

GEORGE 'CATALINA' DRAKE meets ALEX MEDINA in a one-fall encounter.

KEN HOLLIS battles TONY NERO in the evening's first match.

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, July 13, 2019

SCOTTS BATTLE BOLOS

LEXINGTON, NORTH CAROLINA
JANUARY 5, 1963

THE FLYING SCOTT BROTHERS - SANDY and GEORGE

THE GREAT BOLO and BOLO

P.Y. CHUNG

A four match card returns professional wrestling to the LEXINGTON YMCA tonight following a two week holiday layoff.

The Canadian duo of GEORGE and SANDY SCOTT, known in wrestling as THE FLYING SCOTTS, return as a team after a very long abscence. They have a tall order ahead of them as they are paired against the masked terror combo of THE GREAT BOLO and BOLO in the evening's best-of-three falls main event.

Midget stars will also be on hand in a special event when LITTLE BOY BLUE faces PEE WEE LOPEZ.

Two single bouts are also scheduled with the Oriental craftsman P.Y. CHUNG meeting DON WHITTIER, and JOHNNY HEIDEMAN tackles EDUARDO CASTILLIO in the 8:15 opener.

Thursday, July 11, 2019

60 YEARS AGO IN CHARLOTTE

August 11, 1959
CHARLOTTE, NORTH CAROLINA

MR. MOTO


DUKE KEOMUKA


GEORGE BECKER


BILLY TWO RIVERS


THE GREAT BOLO

PAT O'HARA


LARRY 'CRUSHER' HAMILTON


DANNO O'SHOCKER

REGGIE PARKS

CYCLONE ANAYA

MR. MOTO and DUKE KEOMUKA will face another top challenge for their SOUTHERN TAG TEAM CHAMPIONSHIP in the headline bout of tonight's pro wrestling card at the PARK CENTER here in CHARLOTTE.

The Japs, who have protected their crown against all comers for the past month, will defend their belts against the clever and immensely popular tandem of GEORGE BECKER and BILLY TWO RIVERS. The championship match is set for two-out-of-three falls with a one-hour time limit.

The semi-final tonight squares off fan favorite PAT O'HARA against the dreaded masked man, THE GREAT BOLO. Perhaps tonight will be the lucky night for the Irishman in his quest to unmask the hooded ruffian. It's also two-of-three falls.

The top prelim will send the rugged LARRY 'CRUSHER' HAMILTON against young DANNO O'SHOCKER, and the 8:15 opener, set for one fall, twenty minute limit, has the handsome Canadian scrapper from Ontario, REGGIE PARKS, against the very tough CYCLONE ANAYA.

Tuesday, July 9, 2019

NUMBER ONE

PAUL JONES in MID-ATLANTIC CHAMPIONSHIP WRESTLING

He could make us love him when we were supposed to love him...

And he could make us loathe him when we were supposed to loathe him...

These ladies appear to love him.

PAUL, as he looked, when first coming to JIM CROCKETT PROMOTIONS in the late 1960s.

Ready for a night on the town.

Always business in the ring, whether as a babyface or heel.

PAUL battles JERRY BRISCO.

In his managing days with THE ASSASSINS.
---

In his career with JCP, PAUL JONES did it all. He teamed regularly with the likes of NELSON ROYAL, WAHOO MCDANIEL, RICKY STEAMBOAT, BARON VON RASCHKE, THE MASKED SUPERSTAR and GREG VALENTINE, and had heated feuds with all of the same (except ROYAL).

He held virtually every championship belt that MID-ATLANTIC CHAMPIONSHIP WRESTLING had to offer.

He took several NWA World Heavyweight Champions to the limit.

His run as a heel manager was just as productive as far as ticket sales were concerned. PAUL's program involving JIMMY VALIANT lasted for several years.

Most JCP fans probably remember PAUL's turning on RICKY STEAMBOAT (although to this day, PAUL insists it was the other way around), the incredible tag battles when he teamed with WAHOO against GENE and OLE ANDERSON, and battling a much larger BLACKJACK MULLIGAN (and making it totally believable).

And what about pinning medals of bravery (and a toupee) on the BARON?

So many MID-ATLANTIC memories of PAUL JONES.

Thanks, MR. NUMBER ONE.

Sunday, July 7, 2019

THE INFERNOS AT WORK AND PLAY

If anyone ever 'pinned me down' (pardon the pun) and made me 'cry uncle' as to who was my all-time favorite pro wrestling 'heel' team, I could have the hold released immediately by saying...

THE INFERNOS
with Mgr. J.C. DYKES


The original men behind the blue hoods were Frankie Cain and Roland 'Rocky' Smith. After a few years, Frankie left the team to become known as The Great Mephisto.

Filling the vacancy was Rocky's brother Curtis Smith.

Later, others would wear the masks before the official Infernos were done, and to this day, there are knock-off Infernos.

But none come close to the greatness as J.C. DYKES and his blue tigers, THE INFERNOS.


The original pairing of THE INFERNOS
Rocky Smith and Frankie Cain (standing)
J.C. Dykes (seated)

Then came THE INFERNOS trio of
Rocky Smith, J.C. Dykes, Curtis Smith



Here is a great photo of THE INFERNOS unmasked and away from the wrestling ring.
Rocky Smith, J.C. Dykes, Curtis Smith

The photo, I believe, is from the collection of David Smith, Rocky's son. I borrowed it from THE MASKED INFERNOS Facebook page. Since some of my webpage photos are on THE MASKED INFERNOS Facebook page, I hope they won't mind I took this photo from their's.


Friday, July 5, 2019

ANOTHER SIDE OF RIP HAWK


This is the way JIM CROCKETT PROMOTIONS wrestling fans saw RIP 'The Profile' HAWK...entering the ring to do battle and to win any way he could. Hair pulling, trunk pulling, piledriving...any way.

RIP was a 'heel' mainstay for JCP for nearly fifteen years and was at the top of many fans' "Most Hated" list.

But there was a wrestling side of 'The Profile' the general public never saw, and with the aid of this article which originally appeared in the September, 1975 issue of Sports Review WRESTLER, I'd like to share it with you...

RIP HAWK oversees a group of high school wrestlers. RIP generously gives his time to these youngsters.

Every man is a combination of things. When you think you know someone, he or she will very often do something that is as uncharacteristic as it is unexpected. Rip Hawk was no exception to that rule.

Most of the world knew HAWK as one of the most ruthless rulebreakers in wrestling, a man incapable of mercy or honor. Instead of denying these charges, HAWK would boast of his cruelty with glee.

Yet, when the spotlights were turned away from him, RIP could be found in a local high school gym teaching members of the school's wrestling team. RIP would go over the fundamentals of the sport and correct the youngsters when necessary. And one thing that RIP stressed above all else is that the grapplers must be scrupulously clean !

"Before you break the rules," HAWK said when no students were present, "you've got to master the rules. What I hope to do is give these kids a sound base from which they can grow. And who the hell wants kids bleeding and crippled anyway? For professionals, it's different. We earn a living by winning - - at all costs. Kids wrestle to develop a team spirit, a physical discipline and a sense of fairness. Though the basics may be the same, the goals are completely different."

Wrestler TERRY SAWYER also lends a helping hand.

Yet, why did a man who tortured his opponents with animal abandon want to help youngsters at all? RIP hesitated before he answered the question, and one got the feeling he wasn't quite sure himself.

"Someone was needed," RIP said, "and I was available. Anyway, if a sport gives you a lot, you owe it something in return. This is my way of paying some long outstanding dues.


If one wasn't familiar with RIP HAWK, it would be easy to swear that the wrestling instructor and the wrestler were two different people. HAWK the wrestler strutted arrogantly, whereas HAWK the instructor moved with unassuming grace.

When grappling for money, RIP would explode at any slight provocation. When teaching the kids a complicated hold, he would become the most patient of men, calmly going over and over the maneuver until the youth felt comfortable executing it.

After devoting time at the high school, RIP went straight to the arena to wrestle. He was his vicious self, making his opponent a bloody mess. If you had told the victim about what HAWK had done hours earlier, he'd have called you crazy. And as the doctor stitched up his wounds, who could blame him?

RIP instructs the students in technique.

Amazingly, thirty-five years after this article was originally published, RIP HAWK, at the local YMCA in the Texas town in which he resided, was still instructing kids the art of wrestling.

Wednesday, July 3, 2019

WEAVER GOES FOR THE GOLD

From February 1, 1971 thru April 10, 1972, one of the all-time greatest booking programs in JIM CROCKETT PROMOTIONS history unfolded.

JCP's top wrestler at the time JOHNNY WEAVER sought to capture the NWA WORLD HEAVYWEIGHT CHAMPIONSHIP, held by Texan DORY FUNK JR.

The fourteen month series of matches occurred almost exclusively in Charlotte, North Carolina, with Texas and Florida an integral part of the program.

Enjoy the following rare photos from this incredible series of matches...

Clipping from THE MID-ATLANTIC GATEWAY

Challenger JOHNNY WEAVER

NWA WORLD HEAVYWEIGHT CHAMPION
DORY FUNK JR.

A perfectly executed suplex by FUNK.

The Champ had the momentum at this point.

The participants face off.
The referee is Walter Buckner.

A WEAVER arm bar has the Champ in pain.

The Challenger tosses the Champ.

Champion FUNK returns the favor.

JOHNNY in control once again.