Tuesday, September 29, 2020

HIGH FLIERS versus MASKED TERRORS

 August 1, 1964

LEXINGTON, NORTH CAROLINA

'IRISH' MIKE CLANCY

THE BOLOS

GEORGE and SANDY SCOTT

BOB BOYER
---
The mysterious terror duo of professional wrestling, THE GREAT BOLO and BOLO, will try to ground the airborn tactics of THE FLYING SCOTTS, brothers GEORGE and SANDY, in tonight's main event collision at the LEXINGTON YMCA.

Tonight's best-of-three-falls battle is a rematch of a thriller of two weeks ago won by the SCOTT BROTHERS on a reversed decision. The referee had raised the hands of THE BOLOS in victory but then found a 'foreign object' in the mask of the hooded competitor who scored the third fall.

GEORGE and SANDY asked for another shot with the masked men.

'IRISH' MIKE CLANCY will face TOMMY O'TOOLE in the evening's semifinal.

Dashing young DOUG GILBERT makes his LEXINGTON debut against JOHN HEATH.

BOB BOYER and TINKER TODD square off in the 8:15 opener.

Sunday, September 27, 2020

THE 1966 STATESVILLE, NC SUMMER OF WRESTLING

 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, September 25, 2020

A CHARLOTTE CARD I REMEMBER WELL

 October 24, 1966

CHARLOTTE, NORTH CAROLINA

54 Years Ago

The very first Monday night after I received my driver's license in September 1966, found my friend Jimmy and me planted in our ringside seats at Charlotte's Park Center.

Even though that was a school night, I was permitted to flex my independence somewhat and make my first trip to Charlotte as a licensed driver.

Once this venture was over, I was informed that wrestling (at least attending live matches) would have to be sacrificed for the time being. I had just started high school, and I was expected to hit the books, make good grades so I could get into a good college, so I could have a brilliant career in...whatever. You know the drill.

So back to the regular confinement of seeing wrestling only on WBTV and WGHP every Saturday.

With much begging and persuasion, the ban was lifted six or seven weeks later when I was permitted to return to the Queen City for a "wrestling extravaganza." I was permitted to attend ONLY because the show was at the Charlotte Coliseum, a building I had visited only a couple of times since it opened in the late 1950s. Once was for the Ringling Bros. Circus and the other for some ACC basketball game that I was dragged to by a friend.

KLONDIKE BILL was in the midst of his big push by JIM CROCKETT PROMOTIONS at this time. He had been "injured" by THE GREAT MALENKO during the summer, building to the Russian's annihilation by the Alaskan on the Charlotte Labor Day card.

KLONDIKE then set his sights on MALENKO's tag team partner, THE MISSOURI MAULER, who held the SOUTHERN HEAVYWEIGHT CHAMPIONSHIP. BILL would take the belt from the MAULER, eventually losing it back to his nemesis.

The Texas team of TEX McKENZIE and NELSON ROYAL were working a program with BRONCHO LUBICH and ALDO BOGNI during the Fall of 1966. With nothing really settled, the JCP bookers decided to head this Coliseum show by putting TEX and NELLIE in a match with BOGNI and LUBICH and to toss their evil manager HOMER O'DELL into the mix as a wrestler. To even up the sides, the red-hot KLONDIKE BILL was added to the Texas side of the ledger.

NELLIE took fall number one over LUBICH with his atomic drop. A triple-team body slam by the villains (with the far-sighted referee missing it completely) put BILL's shoulders down for the count to square the match. Then KLONDIKE's big splash on O'DELL closed the show.

BOBBY SHANE (one of David Crockett's proverbial young lions) was getting a CROCKETT push at the time. In fact, SHANE would soon be teaming with KLONDIKE in tag team main events. On this night, he faced GEORGE "TWO TON" HARRIS, in his final days as a headliner. Young BOBBY grabbed a DQ victory over TWO TON.

Girls were featured on the show, and probably for the 500th time, the great PENNY BANNER pinned TAMMY JONES.

The rugged German duo of KURT and HENRY VON STROHEIM, a B-plus to A-minus team faced another young lion in PAUL DEMARCO and veteran JESSE JAMES. With JESSE involved, it was no more than a TV match. DEMARCO could hold his own, but JESSE's career was dissolving as fast as did Sammy Sosa's. The Berlin boys won.

The match of the card which interested me the most was the semi-final. The SOUTHERN TAG TEAM CHAMPIONS and favorites of most all area wrestling fans, GEORGE BECKER and JOHNNY WEAVER were battling the rowdy duo of the MASKED RED DEMONS, with red-headed TWO TON HARRIS at ringside as their manager.

BECKER and WEAVER had been feuding with the DEMONS since the summer when the masked men first appeared in the CROCKETT territory. After a short while, the DEMONS added the tutorial skills of TWO TON, who quickly dyed his locks red and obtained a bright red suit, with a belt buckle the size of Rhode Island, which was comparable to HOMER O'DELL's cane, i.e., a weapon.

I had witnessed these two teams go to a double DQ back in a Statesville, N.C. summer card.

JIM CROCKETT, for this match, added a stipulation to the proceedings. One of these masked men had to wear a white mask so the referee and participants could tell the ruffians apart. "Too much switchin' goin' on," said the boss. "It's too confusin." TWO TON protested. Too bad.

Much to my disappointment, when the RED DEMONS entered the ring for war, one wore a white tobogon, pulled all the way down over his face, with eye, nose and mouth holes cut out.

The championship looked to be in jeopardy when one DEMON pinned WEAVER for the first fall. Between falls, with the referee distracted, TWO TON gave JOHNNY a "big splash" with that giant belt buckle strategically placed on WEAVER's sternum. JOHNNY barely made it to his feet for the second fall.

BECKER abdominal stretched one of the DEMONS, and the match was even.

The winner of the third fall would claim the titles. And for a time, it appeared the masked men would take the crown. But our heroes battled back. Soon the DEMONS were getting thrashed. BECKER tossed the white-clad DEMON out of the corner, and the tobagon came off. Of course, his regular red mask was underneath. Then the hooded duo tried their usual switcheroo, but to no avail. JOHNNY had one of them in the corner and was ripping at the mask. At this point, TWO TON gave the "clear out" signal. But before the DEMON got away from WEAVER, the front of his mask was torn to the point that it flapped open and I remember seeing his face as clear as a bell. Of course, at that time, I had no idea who he was, but I remember this as if it happened this morning. I saw his face.

The three sped up the aisle and BECKER and WEAVER were awarded the match on a count-out.

Three months before JOHNNY passed away, I asked him about this particular match. Was he supposed to tear the mask as he did, or was it an accident? He said he didn't remember what I described to him.

"You remember lots of these matches better than I do. George and I wrestled these guys so many times in a six-month period, I can't keep them straight."

That is completely understandable.

I saw George and Johnny work these guys, maybe four times, out of the probable one hundred matches they had with one another.

"What I do remember about these guys is that they were both small as wrestlers go, and you could throw them a mile. They took great bumps. Many times it scared me the way they took bumps. I just knew for sure that they weren't going to get back up, but they did. Oh...and they both loved their liquor."

Another story Johnny told me about the DEMONS...Some of the wrestlers had complained a little about smelling alcohol on the them during some matches. One night, in a small Virginia town, the promoter told IKE EAKINS to watch them like a hawk and make sure they didn't have any booze to drink before their main event. IKE assured the promoter he would take care of it. But when the DEMONS got to the ring, they smelled like a still.

After the show, the promoter got in IKE's face and chewed him out for not doing as he was asked. "I was with them the entire time in the dressing room before they went out. They did NOT take a drink," IKE replied. "Were you with them the ENTIRE time?" the promoter wanted to know. "ABSOLUTELY, except when they used the bathroom before their match."

Hearing that, the promoter and IKE went into the bathroom. The promoter found a bottle of booze hidden in the toilet tank.

Wednesday, September 23, 2020

TWO MAIN EVENTS FOR PRICE OF ONE

 May 24, 1969

LEXINGTON, NORTH CAROLINA

49 Years Ago

Power-packed action is offered wrestling fans in an all-star card at the LEXINGTON YMCA tonight, kicking off at 8:15.

The first of two big tag team matches will send the "BLONDE BOMBERS" RIP HAWK and SWEDE HANSON against the popular Texas twosome of NELSON ROYAL and PAUL JONES. The Texans are fast and high-flying, the "BOMBERS" mean and rugged, so the clash of styles could make for just a plain old battle.

Co-featuring the agenda will be a tag battle between the popular duo of Hawaiian SAM STEAMBOAT and partner MR. WRESTLING when they face the highly dangerous combo of THE INFERNOS. Interesting that STEAMBOAT is the only participant who doesn't hide his true identity behind a mask. Both teams have been on a winning streak lately, so something's gotta give in this one. Add in THE INFERNOS' crafty manager, J.C. DYKES, and anything might happen.

Both tag matches will go the best-of-three falls.

Rough PANCHO VALDEZ meets young RANDY CURTIS and fan favorite GREG PETERSON will contest BOBBY PAUL in the evening's first match.

Monday, September 21, 2020

O'DELL'S MEN MEET THE INFERNOS

 The other day, I realized I have (for no particular reason) slighted one of the top tag teams to ever wrestle for JIM CROCKETT PROMOTIONS. Today, I shall correct my mistake.


The team I refer to is the duo of BRONCO LUBICH and ALDO BOGNI. These guys wrestled on top in MID-ATLANTIC WRESTLING for much of the 1960s.

Now, I should point out that this duo was not adored by JCP fans, by any means. In fact, they were at the top of the territory's 'hate list'. LUBICH and BOGNI were ruffians who had no regard for the rulebook, and to make matters worse, the two were always accompanied to the ring by their manager, MRHOMER O'DELL, without question, the decade's most fan-hated man on the CROCKETT payroll.

WBTV's wrestling commentator, 'Big' BILL WARD, often stated on the air that HOMER O'DELL was 'so low he would have to walk on stilts to look a snake in the eye.'

O'DELL, when managing, always wore a tuxedo and carried his legendary cane, and believe me when I say, this cane was responsible for putting lumps on many an opponent's noggin' in JCP wrestling rings.

Through the years, I witnessed many BOGNI and LUBICH and O'DELL matches, both on television and in Charlotte's Coliseum and Park Center.

But one match I recall was unique in that the fans actually cheered and pulled for these three rulebreakers the night at the Charlotte Coliseum when, in a Six Man Tag Team MatchBOGNILUBICH and O'DELL faced J.C. DYKES and THE INFERNOS. Both managers donned wrestling attire and joined their men as wrestlers.

This match was equivalent to a pair of locomotives hitting head-on. Referee Angelo Martinelli certainly earned his payday on this night.

The first fall went to O'DELL's team when BOGNI put one of the masked men out cold with his patented 'corkscrew' hold. The fans went wild. I was stunned. Cheers for HOMER O'DELL! I thought, 'what's next...a man on the moon?"

DYKES was able to revive his men and rally his troops in the second fall, which ended with LUBICH on the receiving end of a 'loaded boot' kick to the head, putting him into dreamland.

With the match even at this point, the third fall quickly became an all-out brawl. It must have been a NO DISQUALIFICATION match (I can't recall), but had it not been, referee Martinelli would have had to toss it out due to the rule breaking and brutality. Both O'DELL and DYKES were lacerated, and one INFERNO was also dripping blood from a much-torn mask.

Then, out of seemingly nowhere, was a huge flash! BOGNI was screaming and down, rolling around the ring in agony.
LUBICH and O'DELL grabbed their scorched partner, and bolted for the dressing room.

ANGELO MARTINELLI made the twenty-count, and raised the hands of DYKES and THE INFERNOS.

On Charlotte TV the next week, ironically, HOMER O'DELL claimed that 'DYKES and THE INFERNOS were the most brutal forms of humanity and a disgrace to the wrestling business and should be barred from the profession.' Odd that statement coming from him.

DYKES denied that he had thrown fire at anyone. 'Whether it's O'DELLBOGNILUBICH, or any wrestling fans who say so must have been hopped up on LSD or something. The marks on BOGNI's ugly face are mat burns, where me and my men ground his mug into the wrestling mat. If he can't take it, he should find another way to make a living.'

These guys could really make me believe...

BOGNI's 'corkscrew' takes its toll...

A bloodied DYKES cracks O'DELL's coconut with a metal canteen.

An INFERNO gives ALDO BOGNI a free ride to the arena floor...

HOMER comes to the aid of BRONCO LUBICH.

DYKES and THE INFERNOS have their arms raised in victory, at least on this night.

Saturday, September 19, 2020

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.

BECKER GETS O'DELL

 October 24, 1964

LEXINGTON, NORTH CAROLINA

Hero GEORGE BECKER and the arrogant HOMER O'DELL will face off in a wrestling special at the LEXINGTON YMCA tonight, and BECKER is so anxious for the match that he has agreed to beat O'DELL two falls within twenty minutes or he'll work for free.

The match is one of several on another all-star agenda, which also includes a two-out-of-three falls tag team battle between the polished duo of NICK KOZAK and 'IRISH' MIKE CLANCY taking on the 'BLONDE BOMBERS' of the sport, RIP HAWK and SWEDE HANSON.

Another best-of-three falls tag contest features O'DELL's team of ALDO BOGNI and BRONCHO LUBICH facing the popular twosome of JESSE JAMES and DOUG GILBERT.

The 8:15 opening match will feature colored girls BETTY ANN SPENCER meeting SWEET GEORGIA BROWN in a special encounter.

HOMER O'DELL

GEORGE BECKER

RIP HAWK and SWEDE HANSON

NICK KOZAK

ALDO BOGNI and BRONCHO LUBICH

'IRISH' MIKE CLANCY

Thursday, September 17, 2020

INFERNOS and INDIANS

 November 11, 1967

LEXINGTON, NORTH CAROLINA


THE INFERNOS
with Manager J. C. DYKES


CHIEF LITTLE EAGLE


BOBBY RED CLOUD
---
"Failure to continue" will determine the winner when top professional tag teams are matched for the fifth time in recent weeks in tonight's main event mat feature at the LEXINGTON YMCA.

It will be a TEXAS DEATH MATCH tonight when the popular Indian combo of CHIEF LITTLE EAGLE and BOBBY RED CLOUD clash with the dreaded masked duo of THE INFERNOS. In this match, falls will not count. There is NO DISQUALIFICATION and NO TIME LIMIT. The match will proceed until one of the teams is incapable of participating. This is pro wrestling's version of a "fight to the finish".

THE INFERNOS will have their red-headed manager, J. C. DYKES, in their corner. He will, no doubt, have with him his metal canteen and loud whistle. The canteen, DYKES claims, is for "refreshment" purposes for his masked men, but fans have seen J. C. use it as a weapon in the past. The whistle is to give instructions to THE INFERNOS during their match. But lately, fans have been bringing their own whistles to the matches, causing confusion between the managers and his wrestlers.


TEX McKENZIE


NELSON ROYAL


P. Y. CHUNG


HARU SASAKI

The co-feature on tonight's card is for two-out-of-three falls and will send the torrid Texan team of fan favorites TEX McKENZIE and NELSON ROYAL against the sly and crafty Oriental combo of P. Y. CHUNG and HARU SASAKI. A definite clash of cultures is present here.


BOB NANDOR

Popular RUDY KAYE meets TINY MILLS, and spectacular BOB NANDOR takes on newcomer STEVE STANLEY in the evening's single matches.

MILLS, much larger than his nickname implies, returns after a long absence.

The first bell is at 8:15.

Tuesday, September 15, 2020

DYKES' INFERNOS ON THE RISE

June 9, 1969
CHARLOTTE, NORTH CAROLINA

48 Years Ago

Any time THE INFERNOS and manager J. C. DYKES enter an arena, trouble is on the way. DYKES and his masked team approach the art of wrestling as if they're engaging in war, and DYKES can make matters even worse.

The team challenging THE INFERNOS tonight is SILENTO RODRIGUEZ and GREG PETERSON, and they have promised to give the hooded duo a tough outing on the PARK CENTER wrestling card, starting at 8:15. And this is only the semi-final match of the night.

"We will win fair and square, as we always do," smirked the red-haired manager DYKES. "THE INFERNOS are the hottest (pun intended) team in professional wrestling today. I say bring them all into the ring. The team that marches out the victors will be my blue tigers."

In the headliner tonight, two sets of brothers will be feuding again, as a return tag match pits GEORGE and SANDY SCOTT (really brothers) against GENE and OLE ANDERSON (not so).

The "FLYING SCOTTS" were disqualified their last time out with the "MINNESOTA WRECKING CREW" and tonight, that can't happen as the match will be fought with a NO DISQUALIFICATION stipulation, so anything goes.

Both tag matches are set for the best two-out-of-three falls.

In a special event, ladies PENNY BANNER and TONI ROSE will offer their contrasting brands of wrestling in a one-fall encounter. PENNY wrestles according to the rulebook and TONI throws that book out the window.

Tough Cuban PANCHO VALDEZ tangles with SONNY FARGO in the opening one-fall contest.

Fans are encouraged to arrive early as a sellout is expected.

GEORGE and SANDY and RED DEMONS

June 25, 1966
LEXINGTON, NORTH CAROLINA

54 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 crimson 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.