Tuesday, December 12, 2017

RED HOT RINGS = RED HOT BUSINESS

A journey around the JIM CROCKETT PROMOTIONS / MID-ATLANTIC CHAMPIONSHIP WRESTLING territory always found great mat action...

PAUL JONES works on the arm of GENE ANDERSON.

Referee TOMMY YOUNG checks to make sure GREG VALENTINE's chin lock on JOHNNY WEAVER isn't a choke hold.

TOMMY SEIGLER has the advantage over THE GREAT MALENKO.

What's this? The boomerang of THE ROYAL KANGAROOS in the possession of THUNDERBOLT PATTERSON.

PAUL JONES takes a body block from RIP HAWK as NELSON ROYAL observes.

THE MISSOURI MAULER makes use of a chair to even the odds in a match with WAHOO McDANIEL.

Sunday, December 10, 2017

THE GREAT BOLO = FRANCHISE

In the late 1950s, JIM CROCKETT PROMOTIONS was virtually built around one guy, a really 'bad guy'...THE GREAT BOLO.

He wore a yellow gold mask with matching attire. No wrestling fan knew his true identity, and according to a lengthy interview by the man under the hood himself (TOM RENESTO), the other wrestlers didn't, at the time, know either. This idea, he said, was designed by JIM CROCKETT himself. BIG JIM felt that keeping the wrestler's identity a real secret made for a more realistic approach to the storyline.

THE GREAT BOLO had his own private dressing room, and he wore the mask into the building upon arrival and out of the building when he left.
(I'm not sure if I really buy into that, but true or not, it makes a great story.)

THE GREAT BOLO was BIG! Fans laid out their money every night in some city hoping to find out who the guy really was. All of the top wrestlers ('babyfaces' and 'heels') in the territory worked the masked man.

I experienced my first LIVE wrestling event fifty-eight years ago at the old semi-pro baseball park one summer night in Statesville, North Carolina. The main event was Indian star BILLY TWO RIVERS VERSUS THE GREAT BOLO. Next to GEORGE BECKER, BILLY was the top 'good guy' in JCP at the time.

Most of us tikes in the neighborhood went. We lived in a black and white world in the late Fifties, and when THE GREAT BOLO stepped out of one of the dugouts and made his way towards the ring, we were stunned by the bright gold colors. Up to that point, we could only guess what colors he wore. On black and white TV, it could have been most any shade.

My group, along with some other local kids, made a dash towards the masked man, whopping it up and trying to taunt him. A threatening move and a loud growl-like sound scattered us all back to our grandstand seats in record-setting speed.

Several years later, with tag team wrestling becoming extremely popular, THE GREAT BOLO brought in a partner BOLO (JODY HAMILTON). From this point on, the duo was billed as THE GREAT BOLO and BOLO, or simply THE BOLOS.

Either way, they were just as hot as RENESTO had been as a single.

In one of the hottest and biggest JCP feuds of all time, a bloodied BOLO (ripped mask and all) battles BIG BOY BROWN of THE KENTUCKIANS.

It's going to be a long way down anytime TINY ANDERSON of THE KENTUCKIANS gives you a body slam.

BOLO makes a bumpy landing in this non-JCP photo.
Had this been in the MID-ATLANTIC area, the bleachers would have been packed with fans.

The BOLO applies a chin lock to ABE JACOBS.

GEORGE BECKER and partner ENRIQUE TORRES put a hurtin' on THE BOLOS.

For the full story of the history of THE BOLOS (later THE ASSASSINS), every wrestling fan should read JODY HAMILTON's fantastic book, ASSASSIN: THE MAN BEHIND THE MASK, co-written by SCOTT TEAL.

Friday, December 8, 2017

GREAT CHRISTMAS GIFTS

TWO GREAT MERCHANDISING OFFERS TOO GOOD TO PASS UP !
BE THE FIRST IN YOUR NEIGHBORHOOD TO TAKE ADVANTAGE !



Wednesday, December 6, 2017

MAYBE YOU WERE THERE


CHARLESTON, W.V. - 1969

GEORGE BECKER and JOHNNY WEAVER topped THE MISSOURI MAULER and HIRO MATSUDA

HAYSTACK MULDOON beat NIKITA MULKOVICH

SAILOR ART THOMAS and THE AMAZING ZUMA bested EL GAUCHO and PEDRO GODOY

BOB RAMSTEAD lost to 'BULLDOG' LEE HENNING



CHARLOTTE, N.C. - 1971

THE INFERNOS with J.C. DYKES whipped RONNIE and TERRY GARVIN

JACK BRISCO and SANDY SCOTT topped NIKITA MULKOVICH and JOHNNY HEIDEMAN

ROCK HUNTER bested ALEX MEDINA

JERRY BRISCO beat JOE SOTO



CHARLOTTE, N.C. - 1969

HAYSTACK CALHOUN, SAM STEAMBOAT and THE AMAZING ZUMA beat BRONCHO LUBICHALDO BOGNI and GEORGE 'TWO TON' HARRIS in six man action.

GREG PETERSON beat LEON BAXTER

LES WOLFF topped EL GAUCHO

SILENTO RODRIGUEZ bested BILLY SPEARS



NORFOLK, VA. - 1968

LARS and GENE ANDERSON won from GEORGE BECKER and JOHNNY WEAVER on a disqualification

TONI ROSE defeated DONNA CHRISTENELLO

PAMPERO FIRPO and THE MISSOURI MAULER stopped RUDY KAYE and LES THATCHER

BOB NANDOR topped GEORGE 'TWO TON' HARRIS

THE AMAZING ZUMA over JERRY LONDON




LEXINGTON, N.C. - 1967

GEORGE and SANDY SCOTT topped HARU SASAKI and P.Y. CHUNG

LARS and GENE ANDERSON beat CHIEF LITTLE EAGLE and JERRY LONDON

PEDRO GODOY over SONNY FARGO

ROGER KIRBY and THE MUMMY wrestled to a draw.



CHARLESTON, S.C. - 1969

GENE and OLE ANDERSON defeated GEORGE BECKER and JOHNNY WEAVER

PENNY BANNER beat BELLE STARR

THE MASKED RED DEMONS lost to SAM STEAMBOAT and BOBBY NICHOLS via DQ

BOB RAMSTEAD wrestled 'BULLDOG' LEE HENNING to a draw

Monday, December 4, 2017

HOMER HAUNTED ON HALLOWEEN

October 31, 1964
LEXINGTON, NORTH CAROLINA

53 YEARS AGO

THE KENTUCKIANS
TINY ANDERSON and BIG BOY BROWN

GEORGE BECKER

BRONCHO LUBICH and ALDO BOGNI

THE BEAST

GEORGE 'TWO TON' HARRIS

RUDY KAYE

JESSE JAMES

The HOMER O'DELL gang may find their Halloween to be a haunting one tonight at the LEXINGTON YMCA when they face THE KENTUCKIANS, TINY ANDERSON and BIG BOY BROWN, and their partner, hero GEORGE BECKER.

It's tonight's big main event.

Last Saturday night, O'DELL, after losing one fall to BECKER, tucked tail and ran like a scalded dog, bringing an abrupt ending to their match. Tonight, the 'COLONEL' will have his two rulebreaking men, BRONCHO LUBICH and ALDO BOGNI, to cower behind during their SIX MAN TAG TEAM MATCH. O'DELL will need that protection in the best-of-three falls match, as BECKER wants another piece of HOMER's hide for his taking a powder last time. THE KENTUCKIANS have promised to look after BOGNI and LUBICH.

Another big crowd is expected to witness this big contest, as well as the three fine supporting matches on the card.

DOUG GILBERT will test PEDRO ZAPATA.

RUDY KAYE faces THE BEAST. *

JESSE JAMES squares off against GEORGE 'TWO TON' HARRIS in the 8:15 opener.


Rudy Kaye and The Beast were, in fact, brothers. Rudy's real name was Jean-Louis Cormier. The Beast was Yvon Cormier.

Saturday, December 2, 2017

THE SCOTTS versus THE FARGOS

June 25, 1960
LEXINGTON, NORTH CAROLINA

World Championship Wrestling, literally, comes to the LEXINGTON YMCA this weekend when two famous brother tag teams battle in the feature contest on a four match card this Saturday evening.

GEORGE and SANDY SCOTT, recently crowned as the WORLD TAG TEAM CHAMPIONS, will battle the rowdy blonde-headed JACKIE and SONNY FARGO in the best two-out-of-three falls main event.

The FARGO BROTHERS won the crack at the tag team title with their second straight victory over JERRY MILLER and HENRY PHILLIPS here last Saturday night.

The SCOTT BROTHERS, a popular duo of Canadians, wrestled the title away from BILL LONGSTON and THE MIGHTY ATLAS recently. The new champs are returning to LEXINGTON after a lengthy absence.

Two big stars, PAT O'HARA and MAN MOUNTAIN EVANS meet in this week's semi-final match.

JERRY MILLER will face RAY ANDREWS in one prelim, and the veteran CHUCK GARIBALDI takes on JIMMY SMITH in the 8:15 opening encounter.

Friday, December 1, 2017

QUEEN CITY LABOR DAY ACTION

September 7, 1959
CHARLOTTE, NORTH CAROLINA

58 Years Ago

Eighteen wrestlers make up one of the biggest wrestling cards in the history of Charlotte grappling tonight in the LABOR DAY mat card at the CHARLOTTE COLISEUM. It promises to be a memorable evening.

The huge holiday card consists of three tag matches, one of which matches six wrestlers, and two single scraps.

Headlining the card is the SIX MAN setto, with the Jap trio of MR. MOTO, DUKE KEOMUKA and SUIGI taking on ruffians LARRY 'CRUSHER' HAMILTON, THE GREAT BOLO and PAT O'HARA. None of these men respects the rule book, so the best-of-three falls encounter is bound to be an explosive skirmish.

The semi-final beings in four colored girls for tag action. One team has BABS WINGO and MARVA SCOTT with the opposition being furnished by CAT WINBLEY and ETHEL JOHNSON.

Then comes a pair of singles tussels, one sending crowd favorite GEORGE BECKER against STEVE BOLUS and the other pairing DICK STEINBORN against DANNY MERCE.

The third tag battle will open the card at 8:15 and pairs JOHNNY HEIDEMAN and JACK DONOVAN to fight CYCLONE ANAYA and JOHN FOTI.

Tuesday, November 28, 2017

TITLES UP FOR GRABS

September 14, 1959
CHARLOTTE, NORTH CAROLINA

The SOUTHERN TAG TEAM CHAMPIONSHIP will be up for grabs tonight at PARK CENTER in the co-feature of a big four bout wrestling card promoted by JIM CROCKETT.

Colliding for the coveted title will be the current champions, THE GREAT BOLO and LARRY 'CRUSHER' HAMILTON, and a pair of more than worthy challengers, GEORGE BECKER and CYCLONE ANAYA.

The animosity between these men is staggering, especially that of BECKER and BOLO. These two men have battled all over the southern United States for several years, and the fire is now hotter than ever.

Two recorded falls by pinfall or submission is the requirement for the challengers to become the champions. The title match carries a one-hour time limit.

The co-feature tag match has FARMER MCGREGOR and PANCHO LOPEZ taking on SKY LOW LOW and FUZZY CUPID in a midgets' tag scrap. MCGREGOR is subbing for LITTLE BEAVER, who was injured in a match a few days ago and is out of action for the time being. This one's also for the best-of-three falls.

A pair of single matches opens the card with PAT FRALEY tackling CHICK GARABALDI and STEVE BOLUS faces MARTINO LORENZO.

Each of the single contests is set for one fall, twenty minutes.

Action begins at 8:15 p.m.


GEORGE BECKER

THE GREAT BOLO

CYCLONE ANAYA

LARRY 'CRUSHER' HAMILTON

SKY LOW LOW

Sunday, November 26, 2017

A LOT OF BEEF

April 21, 1962
LEXINGTON, NORTH CAROLINA

55 Years Ago

Fan favorite GEORGE BECKER will be back at the LEXINGTON YMCA tonight in wrestling action.

The popular BECKER will meet the rough and tough PANCHO VILLA, the Mexican with an impressive winning record in the business, in the evening's headliner. Bad blood already exists between these two, and the two-out-of-three falls battle is expected to be a wild one.

HAYSTACK CALHOUN, the world's largest professional wrestler, returns to town and will meet the rugged SWEDE HANSON in the semi-final best-of-three falls contest.

Negro girl wrestlers, SWEET GEORGIA BROWN and DIANA BEAMON, meet in a special event.

The 8:15 opening match sends REGGIE PARKS against "JUDO" JACK TERRY.

Friday, November 24, 2017

RIP & ROCK MEET THE BOLOS

December 3, 1962
CHARLOTTE, NORTH CAROLINA

55 Years Ago


A pair of tag team matches will headline tonight's big PARK CENTER professional wrestling program starting at 8:15.

The main event is a long-awaited skirmish of THE GREAT BOLO and BOLO meeting RIP HAWK and ROCK HUNTER. The two masked men have yet to taste defeat in Charlotte as a team, and HAWK and HUNTER claim they're the two men who are tough and rugged enough to put down the hooded duo. They'll have one hour and two-of-three falls to do the job.

The other team contest sends THE KENTUCKIANS, TINY ANDERSON and BIG BOY BROWN, against JOHN SCOTT and IVAN KAMEROFF. This one is also for two-out-of-three falls with a one-hour time limit.

THE FLYING SCOTTS, GEORGE and SANDY, are also scheduled, but in individual competition.

SANDY faces big IKE EAKINS, and GEORGE will take on GEORGE "TWO TON" HARRIS.

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.)