Tuesday, November 21, 2017

WEAVER AND A HAYSTACK

May 23, 1964
LEXINGTON, NORTH CAROLINA
53 Years Ago

Powerful villains of the wrestling world BRUTE BERNARD and SKULL MURPHY will have plenty of opposition in a LEXINGTON YMCA wrestling main event tonight because they are going to meet the mighty HAYSTACK CALHOUN and his speedy partner JOHNNY WEAVER in a two-of-three falls tag team contest.

CALHOUN and WEAVER, slated for Y action tonight, heard about the rowdy disposition of the two "skinheads," MURPHY, an Irishman and the Canadian BERNARD, and asked to meet the bullies in the confines of the ring.

Two other matches are slated.

FRANK VALOIS, trying for another victory, will face JACK ALLEN.

Young ALEX MEDINA squares off against TOMMY O'TOOLE in the 8:15 opening match.

Sunday, November 19, 2017

ALREADY 31 YEARS AGO


Where does the time go?

The BIGGEST night of MID-ATLANTIC CHAMPIONSHIP WRESTLING in my home town of SALISBURY, NORTH CAROLINA, had to have occurred JUNE 10, 1986 when JCP brought their top mat stars to town for a double TV taping at CATAWBA COLLEGE's GOODMAN GYMNASIUM.

The event was sponsored by the SALISBURY JAYCEES.


SALISBURY POST - JUNE 10, 1986


SALISBURY POST - JUNE 10, 1986

The line-up was stellar !

Appearing were RIC FLAIR, ARN ANDERSON, DUSTY RHODES, THE ROCK & ROLL EXPRESS, ABDULLAH THE BUTCHER, IVAN and NIKITA KOLOFF, 'CHIEF' WAHOO McDANIEL, THE MIDNIGHT EXPRESS with JIM CORNETTE, MAGNUM T.A., TULLY BLANCHARD, RONNIE GARVIN, JIMMY 'BOOGIE WOOGIE MAN' VALIANT, GORGEOUS JIMMY GARVIN with PRECIOUS, MANNY 'RAGIN BULL' FERNANDEZ and enough 'jobbers' to fill out the two hours of television matches.

JOHNNY WEAVER was there as commentator, working with BOB CAUDLE.

SANDY SCOTT was there as the road agent.

Through 'connections' with some friends in the JAYCEES, I was able to work 'backstage'. Having a choice, I picked the 'heel' side.

I remember being totally intimidated by NIKITA KOLOFF (nothing he did to me -- he just looked like he wanted to be left alone. I complied.)
---
JIM CORNETTE was the nicest guy. We talked for a while. He was 'on' even when he was 'off'. BOBBY EATON was also very cordial.

As ARN ANDERSON was walking through the door into the gymnasium, he handed me his eyeglasses and said, "Will you hold onto these for me, please?" After his match (which was the TV main event -- he and RIC FLAIR against RICKY MORTON and ROBERT GIBSON), when he arrived back at the door, I was impressed that he thanked the SALISBURY policemen who had escorted him to and from the ring. I handed him back his glasses, and he said "Thanks so much. I appreciate it. I can't see a damn thing without them."

The unadvertised 'dark match' after the taping sessions were over was, incredibly, a TAPED FIST match between DUSTY RHODES and ABDULLAH THE BUTCHER!

I have to say it that on the 'bloodometer', it was the reddest match I had seen in years

The CATAWBA COLLEGE gymnasium was PACKED. The SALISBURY POST estimated the crowd as a minimum of 3000 people.

The four hundred ringside seats were SOLD OUT three weeks before the event.

The terms of the event with JCP were as follows: JCP received 90% of the box office, with the SALISBURY JAYCEES getting the remaining 10% and all concessions.

My JAYCEE friend who was in charge of the event and had gotten me in as 'STAFF', recently told me that he and SANDY SCOTT counted the box office receipts (several times). SANDY then did some paper work, then gave the JAYCEES their 10%.

The SALISBURY JAYCEES made a ton of money that night. Their cut of the ticket sales was substantial, and lots of hot dogs, popcorn, pizza and soft drinks were consumed by the crowd.

The event worked out so well with the local organization that my friend won the JAYCEES PROJECT OF THE YEAR award.

Below is an article written by STEVE PHILLIPS which appeared in the following day's SALISBURY POST:



DUSTY RHODES


ABDULLAH THE BUTCHER


THE ROCK & ROLL EXPRESS
RICKY MORTON and ROBERT GIBSON


IVAN and NIKITA KOLOFF

Friday, November 17, 2017

TRY AGAIN

January 20, 1968
LEXINGTON, NORTH CAROLINA
---
49 Years Ago



A wrestling card slated last Saturday night and called off because of heavy snow is set for tonight (almost intact) at the LEXINGTON YMCA.

The Indian team of BOBBY RED CLOUD and CHIEF LITTLE EAGLE will face the rugged duo of LARS and GENE ANDERSON in the evening's best-of-three falls main event.

The supporting affair also remains the same as ABE JACOBS and LUTHER LINDSAY face the Hispanic team of PANCHO VALDEZ and THE MATADOR. This, too, is for the best two-out-of-three falls.

BOB NANDOR will face "BULLDOG" LEE HENNING as originally scheduled.

The only change from last week will send young CHUCK CONLEY against a newcomer from Texas, PAUL JONES.

Wednesday, November 15, 2017

GEORGE SCOTT, BOOKER

I loved MID-ATLANTIC CHAMPIONSHIP WRESTLING in the mid-to-late 1960s. That is the period in which I became a BIG-TIME fan, although I loved the wrestling TV shows in the early sixties as well. The difference was that I didn't have access to attend live shows until around 1965 (except maybe one show a year when wrestling came to my home town).

My passion for the business continued into the 1970s, and big things were going to occur. The long-time policy of best-of-three fall tag team matches would be phased out as the usual main event. The top of the card would now generally be a one-fall singles match. This was due to new booker GEORGE SCOTT.

Tag team matches certainly didn't disappear, but the top tag teams of the early seventies were, for the most part, now history. JOHNNY WEAVER's partners (GEORGE BECKER, ARGENTINA APOLLO, ART NELSON) moved on, NELSON ROYAL and PAUL JONES, as well as GEORGE and SANDY SCOTT, split up. Even RIP HAWK and SWEDE HANSON, with SWEDE turning 'babyface'.

One of the few teams to remain intact was THE MINNESOTA WRECKING CREW, GENE and OLE ANDERSON, and the new decade was HUGE for them.

So, who to build the territory around?

WEAVER, HANSON, JONES and SANDY would remain and be used as both tag and singles stalwarts.

To add to the roster, booker GEORGE SCOTT brought in a few new names to build his new concept.

JOHNNY VALENTINE, WAHOO McDANIEL and THE SUPER DESTROYER (DON JARDINE) made their marks quickly. They would be joined by a youngster who was working in Minnesota...RIC FLAIR.

Within a year, SCOTT's gamble had paid off handsomely, and the JIM CROCKETT PROMOTIONS territory was RED HOT !

RIC FLAIR
(When he first came to JCP, who of us could imagine what his impact would have on the entire wrestling business?)

THE MIGHTY IGOR
(Coming to JCP from the IWA, IGOR was a hit. His feud with THE MASKED SUPERSTAR BILL EADIE was BIG.)

CHUCK O'CONNOR
(His mid-card status changed when he began wrestling as 'BIG' JOHN STUDD.)

TIM WOODS
(Had been in and out of the JCP territory since the early 1960s, but MR. WRESTLING continued to be a main eventer way into the seventies.)

JACK and JERRY BRISCO
(Beside JACK's being the NWA WORLD CHAMP, both of the brothers were EASTERN HEAVYWEIGHT CHAMPIONs in JCP and extremely popular with the fans.)

JOHNNY VALENTINE
(Brought to JCP as the cornerstone of the new MID-ATLANTIC CHAMPIONSHIP WRESTLING philosophy. Only the October 1975 plane crash cut his run short.)

RICKY STEAMBOAT
(Although it was later in the decade before he arrived in JCP, STEAMBOAT caught fire in a hurry and helped keep the box offices in the territories very healthy.)

Monday, November 13, 2017

CROCKETT FANS HAD IT MADE

If you were a professional wrestling fan during the 1960s and / or 1970s, and happened to reside in the JIM CROCKETT PROMOTIONS territory known as the MID-ATLANTIC WRESTLING area, you were one lucky person!

Wrestling was HUGE almost everywhere in the U.S., and JCP was no exception.

Sooner or later, nearly every giant in the business (and I don't necessarily mean Andre), worked for the CROCKETT family, and MID-ATLANTIC fans were the recipients
of this good fortune.

I used to journey to Charlotte's PARK CENTER on Monday nights as frequently as I could, shell out a mere $2.00-$2.50 for a ringside seat and watch top wrestlers in top matches. Even adjusting for inflation, the $50.00-$75.00 needed for a ticket for the current wrestling product could not produce as much entertainment as those earlier times. The wrestlers knew how to work (and I don't mean just a select few). If a man couldn't work a good match, he made a quick exit from JCP. The booking was better, the matches were hotter and in those days, most of the fans 'believed'.

Perhaps I am a bit nostalgic, but how I wish I could turn back the clock so I could re-attend many of the shows I saw and see some I missed.

But, alas, time stands still for no one. So memories, photographs and what video footage is available will have to suffice.

I want a time machine for Christmas...

RIC FLAIR versus WAHOO McDANIEL
Their feud put FLAIR on the wrestling radar. He later owned the radar.

Tag Team action with DANNY MILLER, ART NELSON, SWEDE HANSON and CHUCK O'CONNOR (later JOHN STUDD).

GEORGE BECKER applies the 'abdominal stretch' to THE MISSOURI MAULER (LARRY HAMILTON).
Remember the days when the 'stretch' was a submission hold?

RIP HAWK versus ART NELSON
Boy, did these two have some brutal 'taped fist' matches.
In this photo, ART tries to rearrange RIP's 'profile'.

NELSON ROYAL sends SWEDE HANSON high in the sky with a backdrop.
These two men were two of the very best JCP fans ever saw.

Saturday, November 11, 2017

DID YOU SEE?



MR. WRESTLING


CHARLESTON, S.C. - 1970

GENE and OLE ANDERSON versus THE INFERNOS with J.C. DYKES ended in a double DQ

BOB GRIFFIN and MR. WRESTLING downed JOHNNY HEIDEMAN and TOM BRADLEY

PEPE GOMEZ and GREG PETERSON wrestled to a draw

JESSE JAMES defeated BOBBY RED CLOUD


PAMPERO FIRPO


RALEIGH, N.C. - 1967

GEORGE and SANDY SCOTT no contested LARS and GENE ANDERSON

PAMPERO FIRPO beat DON CHUY

THE MISSOURI MAULER defeated NELSON ROYAL

THE FABULOUS MOOLAH and TONI ROSE topped DONNA CHRISTENELLO and DORA NICHOLS

THE AMAZING ZUMA over BULL RAMOS

'BULLDOG' LEE HENNING


RALEIGH, N.C. - 1968

THE INFERNOS and J.C. DYKES whipped ABE JACOBSNELSON ROYAL and LUTHER LINDSAY in six man action

TERRY and RONNIE GARVIN defeated PEPE GOMEZ and JACK RICO

'BULLDOG' LEE HENNING bested ALEX MEDINA

PAUL JONES toppled JIM GRABMIRE

NIKITA MULKOVICH


LYNCHBURG, VA. - 1969

THE INFERNOS with J.C. DYKES fell to GEORGE BECKER and JOHNNY WEAVER

NELSON ROYAL and PAUL JONES topped JIM GRABMIRE and 'BULLDOG' LEE HENNING

PEPE GOMEZ bested JOHNNY HEIDEMAN

NIKITA MULKOVICH lost to LUTHER LINDSAY


BRUTE BERNARD and SKULL MURPHY


GREENVILLE, N.C. - 1970

GEORGE and SANDY SCOTT defeated GENE and OLE ANDERSON

BRUTE BERNARD and SKULL MURPHY lost to JOHNNY WEAVER and JOHN L. SULLIVAN *

JOHNNY HEIDEMAN beat JOE FURR (who didn't beat Joe Furr?)

TINKER TODD topped JIM GRABMIRE



* JOHN L. SULLIVAN had me baffled. I have no recollection of this man working for JIM CROCKETT PROMOTIONS, especially working on top with JOHNNY WEAVER.

So I went to the man who would have the info, if anyone would. And he did.

CARROLL HALL provided the following:
"JOHN L. SULLIVAN was not here that long. He went on to become 'LUSCIOUS' JOHNNY VALIANT. It was sort of being in the right place at the right time. I remember seeing him only once or twice on TV.
According to the records kept by JOHNNY WEAVERGEORGE BECKER's mother-in law passed away on March 26,1970. That night in Greensboro, North Carolina, GEORGE and JOHNNY dropped the ATLANTIC COAST TAG TEAM belts to GENE and OLE ANDERSON, most likely because BECKER and WEAVER were booked solid at the time, and BECKER was going to take nearly three weeks off.
GEORGE's name was marked through in JOHNNY's records and replaced with 'SULLY' (SULLIVAN) for a portion of those matches. It looks like SULLIVAN was not working out as JOHNNY then marked through some of the booked tag team opponents' names and changed them to singles matches between himself and one of the other guys."

Thank you CARROLL.

Thursday, November 9, 2017

ROGERS DEFENDS TITLE AGAINST STEINBORN

September 15, 1956
LEXINGTON, NORTH CAROLINA

61 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.

Tuesday, November 7, 2017

54 YEARS AGO IN LEXINGTON, NC

LEXINGTON, NORTH CAROLINA
February 10, 1963

SIX MAN TAG TEAM action tops tonight's big wrestling card at the LEXINGTON YMCA.

The hero trio of GEORGE BECKER, JOHNNY 'RUBBERMAN' WALKER * and Indian great BILLY TWO RIVERS will clash with the rugged threesome of SWEDE HANSON, PANCHO VILLA and 'BIG' IKE EAKINS in the two-out-of-three fall main event.

GEORGE BECKER

BILLY TWO RIVERS

'BIG' IKE EAKINS

JOHNNY 'RUBBERMAN' WALKER

SWEDE HANSON


TONY 'CRUSHER' ANGELO, a big name in the wrestling profession and a big man at three hundred pounds, meets Frenchman FELIX LAMBAN in the night's semi-final attraction.

LOUIS BONE, a popular star, makes his debut when he meets Japan's YASHINO SATO ** in the 8:15 opening match.



* JOHNNY 'RUBBERMAN' WALKER later wrestled as MR. WRESTLING 2.

** YASHINO SATO later wrestled as THE GREAT KABUKI.

Sunday, November 5, 2017

GEORGE AND SANDY

Today I salute one of the top tag teams who ever worked for JIM CROCKETT PROMOTIONS. I refer to the fabulous GEORGE and SANDY SCOTT, known in the business as THE FLYING SCOTTS.

GEORGE slams BRONCHO LUBICH.

SANDY applies the 'abdominal stretch' to LUBICH.
It was a bad night for BRONCHO.

Here SANDY gives THE MISSOURI MAULER a free chiropractic adjustment.

At home, GEORGE poses with his son, GEORGE JR. and family pet Sam.
---
Next to BECKER and WEAVER, the SCOTTS were the top 'babyface' team in the MID-ATLANTIC WRESTLING area during the 1960s. In fact, GEORGE and SANDY were already world reknown before ever coming to JCP in 1957, nearly five years before George and Johnny ever got together.

In 1967, Gene Gordon said that 'the SCOTT brothers have done more for tag team wrestling than the Smith brothers have done for cough drops. Jumpin' GEORGE and Slammin' SANDY have been flattening the best in the business for the past ten years like a pair of Mack trucks driving over balloons.'

It was at Central High School in Hamilton, Ontario, Canada, that the wrestling bug first bit GEORGE. Already an ice hockey and football player, he was asked to work out with the wrestling team one day, and that workout changed his life. He turned professional in 1949.

It wasn't until five years later, in 1954, that younger brother SANDY joined his brother in the wrestling ring. At this point, they began wrestling all over the world, holding tag team championships in numerous countries. Then in 1957, they landed in CROCKETT country for the first time.

GEORGE stated, in a 1967 interview, that LOU THESZ was the best he personally ever met in the ring, with GENE KINISKI a close second. In terms of tag teams, SANDY credits BRUTE BERNARD and SKULL MURPHY as the most rugged team he and GEORGE ever butted heads with, with ALDO BOGNI and BRONCHO LUBICH right behind.

Ironically, the very first live wrestling I ever attended at Charlotte's PARK CENTER (around 1965) was headlined with GEORGE and SANDY challenging BOGNI and LUBICH for the SOUTHERN TAG TEAM CHAMPIONSHIP, then held by the 'heels'.
The champions took the first fall, the challengers evened the match winning the second fall. The match ended in a sixty-minute Broadway.

Disappointed that the good guys did not win the titles that night, we consoled ourselves by making a stop on the way home at the KRISPY KREME on Independence Boulevard.


SANDY has BRONCHO LUBICH wishing he had stayed at home.

GEORGE acknowledges the crowd after an introduction.

One of wrestling's ALL-TIME great tag teams.

SANDY after hanging up his tights.

Friday, November 3, 2017

BOGNI AND LUBICH DEBUT IN LEXINGTON

March 9, 1963
LEXINGTON, NORTH CAROLINA

ALDO BOGNI

FRANK VALOIS

JOHNNY RUBBERMAN WALKER
(later MR. WRESTLING 2)

HOMER O'DELL and BRONCHO LUBICH

LEXINGTON YMCA
---
Professional wrestling returns tonight to the LEXINGTON YMCA following a two week layoff due to basketball tournaments.

JOHNNY 'RUBBERMAN' WALKER will face TONY 'CRUSHER' ANGELO in the main event.

Popular young LARRY HULIN (from nearby Asheboro) will pair up with LOUIS BONE to face the duo of FRANK VALOIS and ALDO BOGNI. BOGNI, a rugged competitor from Argentina, is making his local debut tonight.

Another newcomer to the area, BRONCHO LUBICH, who is accompanied by his manager, HOMER O'DELL, takes on fan favorite EDUARDO CASTILLIO in one of the pre-lims, while Negro stars JIMMY BALLARD and PAUL HARRISON square off in the 8:15 opener.