Friday, December 25, 2015

A CROCKETT CHRISTMAS CARD FOR YOU


December 25, 1969
CHARLOTTE, NORTH CAROLINA
46 Years Ago

Promoter JIM CROCKETT has slated another CHRISTMAS DAY spectacular for the CHARLOTTE COLISEUM, starting at 8:15 p.m.

It is a charity card with a FENCE MATCH set as the headliner.

This type of match takes place inside a seven-foot high steel barrier, which eliminates any escape routes by the combatants.

The two teams confined will be fan favorites GEORGE BECKER and JOHNNY WEAVER and the angry twosome of SKULL MURPHY and BRUTE BERNARD.

In their last meeting, MURPHY enlisted the aid of a steel chair, smashing WEAVER's head into a bloody mess, then bolting to the dressing room. The fence will prevent MURPHY (or anyone else) from doing it this time.

This main event is set for two-out-of-three falls, within a one-hour time limit.

"Two other tag team matches are booked on tonight's card," said CROCKETT.

ABE JACOBS and LES WOLFE will face KURT VON STROHEIM and ART NELSON in one of them.

In the other, SAILOR ART THOMAS and LUTHER LINDSAY will collide with GENE and OLE ANDERSON, the MINNESOTA WRECKING CREW.

"It's a wrestling card with something for everybody," said CROCKETT, pointing to the Christmas spirit of the event. "We'll also have midgets and girls as well."

Wednesday, December 23, 2015

LET'S TAKE TIME FOR THIS COMMERCIAL MESSAGE

ABOUT THE MID-ATLANTIC WRESTLING EVENTS COMING UP IN YOUR AREA...



GREENSBORO, NORTH CAROLINA
(Typo on card: 'Rick' Hunter was actually 'Rock Hunter'.)



RICHMOND, VIRGINIA
(What a booking for DORY FUNK JR.---wrestling 'Bulldog' LEE HENNING in a prelim.)



RICHMOND, VIRGINIA
(from the MID-ATLANTIC GATEWAY)



RICHMOND, VIRGINIA



NORFOLK, VIRGINIA

Saturday, December 19, 2015

THE MAN

On November 3, 2007, in Rocky Mount, Virginia, a tribute was held to celebrate the wrestling career of the man who, more than ANYONE else, was synonymous with the terms MID-ATLANTIC CHAMPIONSHIP WRESTLING and JIM CROCKETT PROMOTIONS...

JOHNNY WEAVER

Johnny getting the better of a long-time ring nemesis...George 'Two Ton' Harris.

Weaver in ring action.

Johnny's pin of Gene Anderson thwarted by 'brother' Lars Anderson.

Johnny shows Ole Anderson the quickest way to the mat.


THE MAN and me


JOHNNY WEAVER...the wrestling world will never have another like him.

Thursday, December 17, 2015

VILLA TIMES TWO

October 27, 1962
LEXINGTON, NORTH CAROLINA
53 YEARS AGO

IKE EAKINS

DON CURTIS

JOE SCARPA

GEORGE 'TWO TON' HARRIS

PENNY BANNER

TINKER TODD

Not one VILLA, but two, will be appearing tonight on Lexington's professional wrestling card at the YMCA.

PANCHO VILLA, the rugged Mexican, will return with his rough partner, big IKE EAKINS, to do battle with the popular combo of DON CURTIS and JOE SCARPA in the evening's two-out-of-three falls feature match.

MRS. PANCHO VILLA, who many say is as brutal as her husband, will also be on hand tonight in a girls match against the very popular PENNY BANNER.

The opening match of the night will match two ruffians, TINKER TODD and GEORGE 'TWO TON' HARRIS, against one another.

Belltime is 8:15 p.m.


Joe Scarpa later wrestled as Chief Jay Strongbow.

Tuesday, December 15, 2015

THE ARGENTINIAN LEGEND

October 19, 1963
LEXINGTON, NORTH CAROLINA

52 Years Ago

The spectacular wrestling team of GEORGE BECKER and ARGENTINA ROCCA will battle evil foes ALDO BOGNI and BRONCHO LUBICH in a LEXINGTON YMCA main event feature tonight.

Both BECKER and ROCCA, extremely popular with fans everywhere, are returning to Lexington after lengthy absences to meet 'COLONEL' HOMER O'DELL's rulebreaking duo. And yes, 'COLONEL' O'DELL will be in the corner of his men. The match is set for the best-of-three falls with a one-hour time limit.

Two big men will slug it out in the night's two-out-of-three falls semifinal match as big and tough IKE EAKINS takes on JACK LANZA. *

The respected Indian wrestling star, BOBBY RED CLOUD, makes his debut here tonight when he faces rugged ANGELO SAVOLDI in one of the evening's prelim matches.

Opening the card at 8:15 will be PRINCE OMAR facing the versatile JOHNNY 'RUBBERMAN' WALKER.


* JACK LANZA later changed his ways and wrestled heel as BLACKJACK LANZA.

Friday, December 11, 2015

THE ONE AND ONLY BRUTE






Dressed to the 'nines'...

Doing his thing...

Wednesday, December 9, 2015

WHERE WILL THIS ONE END?

June 23, 1969
CHARLOTTE, NORTH CAROLINA
46 Years Ago

There may be occasion to pin a wrestler anywhere in the PARK CENTER building tonight.

A SIX MAN TAG TEAM rematch between all three of the ANDERSON BROTHERS (LARS, GENE and OLE) and their foes, PAUL JONES and the SCOTT BROTHERS (GEORGE and SANDY), has been contracted.

Because of wild romps their last time out, it has been decided that the referee can make his count either inside or outside of the ring.

"We'll catch them any way or any where we can," promises SANDY SCOTT, speaking for his team, the winner's last Monday night. "We'll play the ANDERSONs' game---and beat them at it!"

The FALLS COUNT ANYWHERE match is for the best-of-three falls within a one-hour time limit.

Young BOBBY SHANE will tangle with veteran TOM BRADLEY, bushy-haired and rough from the opening bell, in the semi-final event.

JOHNNY HEIDEMAN, a fellow who loves to spend his off hours on a handball court, takes on RON CHARLES, a newcomer, in the 8:15 opening match.

Saturday, December 5, 2015

MOTHER NATURE WINS IN STRAIGHT FALLS

January 16, 1965
LEXINGTON, NORTH CAROLINA
50 Years Ago



ABE JACOBS and DOUG GILBERT will pair up as a new wrestling team tonight at the LEXINGTON YMCA when they meet the rugged duo of RIP HAWK and SWEDE HANSON, known in wrestling circles as the "BLONDE BOMBERS."

JACOBS, the New Zealand flash, is returning here after a long absence, and his dynamic style should fit well with the spectacular moves of young GILBERT. HAWK and HANSON, very rough operators, are a veteran combination, so the best-of-three fall contest should prove interesting.

Another two-out-of-three fall contest is scheduled as THE FLYING SCOTTS, GEORGE and SANDY, face a new brute force combo in THE ALASKAN and THE BEAST.

PEPPER GOMEZ and MIKE VALENTINE will square off in the evening's opening match at 8:15.


MIKE VALENTINE later wrestled as BARON MIKEL SCICLUNA.


This card, as it turned out, never took place on the scheduled night, being cancelled due to a heavy snow.

Thursday, December 3, 2015

CHARLOTTE WELCOMES JOHNNY WEAVER

February 5, 1962
CHARLOTTE, NORTH CAROLINA
53 Years Ago


HANS SCHMIDT, a brutal 240 lb. German, will headline tonight's wrestling card at PARK CENTER.

SCHMIDT, noted as one of the very toughest wrestlers on the American circuit, will face another rugged grappler in that of LENNY MONTANA *.

The bout, which will be a test for both wrestlers, is set for two-out-of-three falls, with a one hour time limit.

The rest of the card is dotted with new faces.

The semi-final brings in newcomer BILL DROMO, a youngster with a big reputation, to meet the rough and tough SWEDE HANSON. DROMO is from Detroit and specializes in the scientific approach to the sport, unlike HANSON.

Another prelim will unveil two newcomers to the Charlotte area when young JOHNNY WEAVER ** takes on EDDIE AUGER.

The 8:15 opener brings in still another new face, SIR ALLAN GARFIELD, who will team with TINKER TODD to face the combo of STEVE BOLUS and KEN COOPER.



* Montana would later appear as Luca Brasi in the 1972 landmark film THE GODFATHER.

** This was JOHNNY WEAVER's debut working for JIM CROCKETT PROMOTIONS.

Tuesday, December 1, 2015

MAN VERSUS BEAR

July 8, 1961
LEXINGTON, NORTH CAROLINA
54 Years Ago


TERRIBLE TED


THE VON BRAUNERS with GENTLEMAN SAUL WEINGROFF


KURT AND KARL VON BRAUNER

A wrestling bear comes to the LEXINGTON YMCA this week to provide addition excitement to an all-star pro wrestling card.

TERRIBLE TED, 500 pounds and standing seven feet tell, will be matched against a tough wrestler in the likes of FIRPO ZYBSKO in a special attraction.

The German team of KURT and KARL VON BRAUNER, who missed their LEXINGTON debut last week because of injuries, are matched against LEE GARCIA and ANGELO MARTINELLI, impressive last week in a victory over substitutes for the Germans, in this week's co-feature.

The SOUTHERN TAG TEAM CHAMPIONSHIP, recently won by the VON BRAUNERs, will be on the line in a best-of-three-falls contest.

The German duo, who are managed by GENTLEMAN SAUL WEINGROFF, are also the WORLD TAG TEAM CHAMPIONS.

COWBOY BILL COLE will face BILLY COX, and GENE DUBOIS squares off against HERB LARSEN in the week's preliminary matches.

Action gets underway at 8:15.

Sunday, November 29, 2015

HAWK - HANSON - BERNARD - MURPHY...WAR!

September 18, 1969
CHARLOTTE, NORTH CAROLINA

SKULL MURPHY and BRUTE BERNARD

RIP HAWK and SWEDE HANSON

Professional wrestling's 'BLONDE BOMBERS' RIP HAWK and SWEDE HANSON plan a 'From Here to Eternity" battle with skinheads BRUTE BERNARD and SKULL MURPHY at PARK CENTER tonight in the most heralded rematch of the year.

HAWK and HANSON were the losers in their last battle with MURPHY and BERNARD, but they have a legitimate beef in the final countdown (which cost them the match). They yelled long and loud and convinced promoter JIM CROCKETT the foursome should do it again.

CROCKETT agreed, but set up unusual terms for tonight's clash. The match has been made with the stipulation that the winning team must record THREE-out-of-FIVE falls, not the usual two-out-of-three.

"It may take all night, but we're going to find out who can go the distance," said 'BIG JIM'. "If you have ever seen a train wreck, you know how devastating that can be. That's about what we're going to have at PARK CENTER."

A star-packed prelim card will support this huge main event.

Belltime is 8:15.

Friday, November 27, 2015

THIS AND THAT

IN 1983, THESE ARE THE TV STATIONS WHERE NORTH CAROLINA FANS COULD FIND MID-ATLANTIC CHAMPIONSHIP WRESTLING / WORLD WIDE WRESTLING


RICHMOND, VA. - OCTOBER 8, 1972

GREENSBORO, N.C. - JULY 4, 1976
(and I was there)

How in the world did I get myself into this?
(Moments after the picture was taken, I broke the 'cobra' and gave MASKED SUPERSTAR the beating of his life. And if you believe that...)

All I did was ask KAMALA if I could borrow some money.

Monday, November 16, 2015

A CARD 53 YEARS AGO

June 16, 1962
LEXINGTON, N.C.


TONY BAILLARGEON


PEE WEE LOPEZ

P.Y. CHUNG

CHICO SANTANA

RAY VILLMER

Two tag team matches, including both heavyweights and midgets, are included on an all-star wrestling card tonight at the LEXINGTON YMCA.

French-Canadian stars TONY BAILLARGEON and MAURICE LAPOINTE will make their initial appearance here as a team when they meet the crafty Oriental villian duo of P.Y. CHUNG and TARO MYAKI in the heavyweight scrap.

The midget contest sends teams of FARMER MCGRUDER and PEE WEE LOPEZ against LITTLE BOY BLUE and CHICO SANTANA. This is SANTANA's Lexington debut.

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

RAY VILLMER meets BIG JIM WRIGHT * in a semi-finals match to open the card at 8:15.
---
BIG JIM WRIGHT would die in the ring the following year (1963).

Friday, November 6, 2015

JACK BRISCO - THE CHAMP



JACK BRISCO
September 21, 1941 – February 1, 2010



Born Freddie Joe Brisco, he grew up in Blackwell, Oklahoma with five siblings. He was followed by his younger brother, Gerald Brisco, into the sport of wrestling and turned down a football scholarship at University of Oklahoma to go to Oklahoma State. In 1965, he became the first Native American to win an NCAA National Championship.

Jack's first documented professional championship reign began on October 16, 1965, when he defeated DON KENT to win the NWA MISSOURI JUNIOR HEAVYWEIGHT title.

He also won his first tag team title in this promotion, teaming with HAYSTACK CALHOUN as co-holder of the NWA U.S. TAG TEAM CHAMPIONSHIP.

BRISCO headed east to Florida in 1968. Here his career skyrocketed. Over the course of the next few years, JACK held virtually title in the Sunshine State.

BRISCO's first NWA WORLD HEAVYWEIGHT CHAMPIONSHIP began in Houston, Texas when he defeated HARLEY RACE on July 10, 1973. He wore the belt until losing to GIANT BABA on December 4, 1974, then regained the title four days later. JACK remained the champion until December 10, 1975 when he was defeated by TERRY FUNK.

I was thrilled when Ted Turner's independent CHARLOTTE TV station began carrying CHAMPIONSHIP WRESTLING FROM FLORIDA in the late 1960s. The first wrestler who jumped out of the screen at me was JACK BRISCO.

This young man was something special. He didn't have the look of many of the 'stereotypical' wrestlers of the day. Here was a nice-looking, clean-cut, college grad young man (there weren't many back then), and he could really go in the ring.

JACK soon began appearing in the MID-ATLANTIC territory on a limited basis. My first occasion to see JACK wrestle in person was August 4, 1969, when he teamed with MR. WRESTLING (TIM WOODS) to face THE GREAT BOLO and BOLO at the original CHARLOTTE COLISEUM.

Later, I was able to attend a CHARLOTTE PARK CENTER card when BRISCO battled THE MISSOURI MAULER (LARRY HAMILTON). There was also a night in the tiny hamlet of NORTH WILKESBORO, N.C. that I witnessed JACK and JERRY BRISCO meet SGT. SLAUGHTER and DON KERNODLE. (This night, I believe, was also the final night of PAUL JONES' career as a full-time wrestler. PAUL was pinned on this card by TOMMY GILBERT--EDDIE's father. The next night in CHARLOTTE, PAUL was a manager.) 

During his tenure with JIM CROCKETT PROMOTIONS, JACK held the NWA EASTERN HEAVYWEIGHT CHAMPIONSHIP twice, the MID-ATLANTIC HEAVYWEIGHT CHAMPIONSHIP four times and with his brother JERRY (or GERRY) the NWA WORLD TAG TEAM titles on three occassions. Fans today still remember the great title match with RICKY STEAMBOAT and JAY YOUNGBLOOD at STARRCADE '83.


A January, 1975 World title defense in GREENSBORO, N.C.

Few athletes have attained the honors and awards that JACK BRISCO has earned. From NCAA champion to NWA champion, BRISCO has worked throughout the world, entertaining fans of wrestling.

He certainly did that for me.

JACK BRISCO will always be at the top of my list, and I thank him for all of the many memories.

Wednesday, November 4, 2015

CAPTAIN LOU ALBANO IN JCP

January 14, 1963
CHARLOTTE, NORTH CAROLINA

Nearly 53 Years Ago


A return tag team match is on tap for tonight at PARK CENTER when THE FLYING SCOTTS, GEORGE and SANDY, are rematched against THE SICILIANS, LOU ALBANO and TONY ALTAMORE, in the two-out-of-three falls main event.

The two teams staged a frantic battle last week, with THE SILCILIANS winning the lone fall before the hostilities were halted by the time limit. Tonight's contest will have NO TIME LIMIT, and both teams are chomping at the bit to get back into the ring to settle it all.

A special event brings in midgets girls, BABY CHERYL and DARLING DAGMAR, for a one fall skirmish. Refereeing this match will be another midget girl, DOLLY DARCELL. All three weigh in at less than 100 pounds each.

In other bouts tonight, fan favorite JOHNNY WEAVER faces tough IKE EAKINS, and PANCHO VILLA takes on LARRY HULIN, an up-and-coming star from Asheboro.

Belltime is 8:15.

Thursday, October 29, 2015

WILL THE ANDERSONS BE SCALPED?

JANUARY 13, 1968
LEXINGTON, NORTH CAROLINA
---
47 Years Ago

Winning tag teams on last week's card will go against each other on tonight's LEXINGTON YMCA professional wrestling card.

This means that the Indian team of BOBBY RED CLOUD and CHIEF LITTLE EAGLE, victorious over P.Y. CHUNG and THE MUMMY last Saturday, will be facing LARS and GENE ANDERSON, who defeated HAYSTACK CALHOUN and THE AMAZING ZUMA in their encounter.

Another tag team contest is scheduled with ABE JACOBS and LUTHER LINDSAY meeting the Spanish / Mexican duo of PANCHO VALDEZ and THE MATADOR.

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

Popular BOB NANDOR, the Hungarian freedom fighter, meets "BULLDOG" LEE HENNING, and young ALEX MEDINA squares off against CHUCK CONLEY in the supporting events.

The first bell rings at 8:15.