Thursday, August 31, 2017

SOME WENT BOTH WAYS

In this case, I am speaking of wrestling 'philosophies' and nothing else...

Lately, I've been spotlighting 'good guys' and 'bad guys', but there was also a group of wrestlers who could work either way.

'Swerving' to the other side was automatic in terms of starting and building big programs in wrestling, and JCP was no exception in this regard.


GREG VALENTINE

This was a surprise to me, as Greg was such an engraved 'heel' in the minds of fans, that I wasn't sure he could really pull it off. And frankly, from my view, he was only moderately successful convincing me he was a 'good guy' in the ring. The fact that he feuded with DICK SLATER helped, but only so far.


JACK BRISCO

In my mind, JACK was the epitome of a wrestling 'babyface', right up there with JOHNNY WEAVER and RICKY STEAMBOAT. I never suspected he would 'turn' (along with his brother) and pull it off convincingly. But when the BRISCO brothers had their big program with STEAMBOAT and JAY YOUNGBLOOD, leading up to STARRCADE '83, I was convinced. Good job, JACK.

PAUL JONES

"Mr. # 1", to me, was a better 'heel' than 'babyface'. While I liked PAUL as a 'good guy' (and we were supposed to), I believe it was due, to a large degree, because of whomever his partner would be - - NELSON ROYAL, WAHOO McDANIEL, etc. But the night at the CHARLOTTE COLISEUM, when PAUL turned on poor innocent STEAMBOAT (excuse me, Paul), when that ungrateful STEAMBOAT turned on poor PAUL, the roof nearly came off the building. PAUL had worked 'heel' before, but never in CROCKETT country. It was a stunner.

DORY FUNK JR.

It was natural for the WORLD CHAMPION to be booed when he made his rounds throughout the NWA territories. Part of his job was to enhance the reputation of the local main eventers (even in defeat). FUNK did it with class, but we still wanted him to lose his belt to our local hero. That never occurred in JCP, however, his program with JOHNNY WEAVER had me believing it was going to happen. Later in the 1980s, DORY worked 'babyface' for the CROCKETTs for a while, teaming with JIMMY VALIANT and RUFUS R. JONES in their quest to destroy PAUL JONES and THE ASSASSINS.

ANGELO MOSCA

The man who "walked and talked the way he wanted" was born to be a wrestling 'bad guy'. He just looked the part (no offense Mr. Mosca). And he was a great one. I wasn't sold when he 'saw the light' and came over to the good side. Bringing in his son didn't help much either. He should have stayed in his element.

WAHOO McDANIEL

This is the turn that knocked my socks off. It was a gradual one, and if you were following the TV shows every week, it was apparent the turn would happen. It was well done, and WAHOO made the transition perfectly. He would be the hero who worked as hard as anyone in the business, didn't get any of the breaks and was growing tired of being the 'red-headed stepchild'. And when the turn was completed, we hated WAHOO as much as we used to love him. Great job, Chief.

Tuesday, August 29, 2017

TAG TEAM COMPETITION IN LEXINGTON

November 4, 1967
LEXINGTON, NORTH CAROLINA

50 Years Ago

Top quality matches should pull in another large crowd for tonight's professional wrestling card at the LEXINGTON YMCA.

The current SOUTHERN TAG TEAM CHAMPIONS, GEORGE BECKER and JOHNNY WEAVER, will clash with the rugged duo PAMPERO FIRPO and THE MISSOURI MAULER in a best-of-three falls explosion, set for a one-hour time limit.

Neither the team title nor WEAVER's recently-acquired SOUTHERN HEAVYWEIGHT CHAMPIONSHIP (which he took from the MAULER) is at stake, but exciting action is expected, and a FIRPO / MAULER win would guarantee them a championship match in the near future. Neither team has any positive feelings for one another, so anything could happen.

Another top tag battle with spectator appeal matches the prize Indian combo of BOBBY RED CLOUD and CHIEF LITTLE EAGLE against super bullies BRONCHO LUBICH and ALDO BOGNI. The Indians are on a current win streak in Lexington, one their opponents would like to stop dead in its tracks. This is two-of-three falls with a forty-five minute time limit.

Two singles matches are also set for tonight.

George 'TWO TON' HARRIS hopes to splash young, good-looking ALEX MEDINA and JERRY LONDON challenges the crafty veteran 'BULLDOG' LEE HENNING in the 8:15 p.m. opener.

Sunday, August 27, 2017

NUMBER ONE versus THE RUSSIAN BEAR

Two long-time JIM CROCKETT PROMOTIONS main eventers who could really set a town on fire were The Russian Bear IVAN KOLOFF and Number One PAUL JONES.

But when the two squared off against one another, the flames were even hotter!

The Russian Bear knee drops Number One from the ring apron...

PAUL gets a bit of revenge...

KOLOFF has JONES in big trouble...
That's referee ANGELO MARTINELLI.

IVAN takes down PAUL for some more punishment.

It could be the beginning of the end for KOLOFF as JONES applies the airplane spin.
The arena looks like Charlotte's PARK CENTER.

Friday, August 25, 2017

BACK TO THE SEVENTIES


BLACKJACK MULLIGAN's "claw" does in another opponent.

RIC FLAIR stomps on THUNDERBOLT PATTERSON.

JERRY "CRUSHER" BLACKWELL ties up an adversary.

JERRY and JACK BRISCO clown for the camera.

GENE ANDERSON receives a GREG VALENTINE leg drop.

GREG VALENTINE on the receiving end of a WAHOO MCDANIEL chop.

After a match, nothing like a big cigar and good wrestling magazine for the "NATURE BOY".

Wednesday, August 23, 2017

FIFTY - TWO YEARS AGO

March 6, 1965
LEXINGTON, NORTH CAROLINA

THE BEAST

PEPPY GOMEZ

MIKE GALLAGHER

'IRISH' MIKE CLANCY

SANDY and GEORGE SCOTT


NICK KOZAK

'BULLDOG' LEE HENNING
---
Professional wrestling returns to the LEXINGTON YMCA tonight following a two week layoff because of basketball tournaments, and two big tag team matches top the big card which begins at 8:15 p.m.

Crowd favorites THE FLYING SCOTT BROTHERS - - GEORGE and SANDY - - will face a new combo to the area in the form of THE ALASKAN and THE BEAST. This team is strong and rugged and totally unpredictable.

The second tag contest will pit the duo of dastardly MIKE GALLAGHER and 'BULLDOG' LEE HENNING facing the popular twosome of 'IRISH' MIKE CLANCY and NICK KOZAK.

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

Singles action finds TONY NERO meeting EDUARDO CASTILLIO, and PEPPY GOMEZ against 'TIGER' JACK VANSKY in the opener.

Monday, August 21, 2017

THE SUPER SIXTIES IN JCP

Forty-eight years have passed since the end of the 1960s, but not the memories...

GEORGE BECKER and JOHNNY WEAVER
---
LEXINGTON, N.C. - 1966

GEORGE BECKER and JOHNNY WEAVER won over RIP HAWK and SWEDE HANSON.

TEX McKENZIE and NELSON ROYAL toppled KURT and HENRY VON STROHEIM.

IKE EAKINS beat ROGER KIRBY.

STEVE BOLUS finished off JACK DANIELS.

GORY GUERRERO bested 'ROWDY' RED ROBERTS.


THE MUMMY
---
NORFOLK, VA. - 1968

RIP HAWK and SWEDE HANSON defeated GEORGE and SANDY SCOTT.

THE MUMMY and 'BULLDOG' LEE HENNING lost to TEX McKENZIE and NELSON ROYAL.

LUTHER LINDSAY topped STEVE STANLEE.

ROCK HUNTER bested THE MATADOR.


BRONCHO LUBICH, HOMER O'DELL and ALDO BOGNI
---
GREENSBORO, N.C. - 1967

RIP HAWK and SWEDE HANSON lost to BRONCHO LUBICH and ALDO BOGNI with HOMER O'DELL.

TEX McKENZIE and NELSON ROYAL edged BRUTE BERNARD and SKULL MURPHY.

GEORGE BECKER and JOHNNY WEAVER whipped LARS and GENE ANDERSON.

RUDY KAY topped EL GAUCHO.

'ROWDY' RED ROBERTS was pinned by LUTHER LINDSAY.


TEX McKENZIE
---
CHARLESTON, S.C. - 1967

TEX McKENZIE and NELSON ROYAL turned back BRONCHO LUBICH and ALDO BOGNI with HOMER O'DELL.

PEGGY ALLEN topped MARGIE RAMSEY.

IKE EAKINS defeated TINKER TODD.

JACK 'THE NECK' VANSKY was pinned by JOHNNY HEIDEMAN.

KLONDIKE BILL
---
ROANOKE, VA. - 1967

THE AMAZING ZUMA and GEORGE and SANDY SCOTT defeated BRONCHO LUBICHALDO BOGNI and HOMER O'DELL in six man action.

PEDRO GODOY wrestled TONY ROMANO to a draw.

KLONDIKE BILL bested FRANK MARCONI.

JOHNNY HEIDEMAN topped IAN MacBIRD.

Saturday, August 19, 2017

HEELS

Today, I swing the spotlight from the 'babyfaces' to a group of the bad guys of MID-ATLANTIC CHAMPIONSHIP WRESTLING.

When I say 'bad', I don't mean poor wrestlers, but rather, the 'heels' of the business.

These are the guys who break the rules.

An integral part of the wrestling equation. For every hero, there had to be a villain. Someone to 'acquire the ire' of the wrestling fan. A catalyst to fuel the 'heat' of a match.

Here are five who fit into that 'heel' category:

HIRO MATSUDA
(Yasuhiro Kojima - 1937-1999)

Known world wide, but in JIM CROCKETT PROMOTIONS, best remembered as tag team partner of THE MISSOURI MAULER (Larry Hamilton) and managed by HOMER O'DELL. This was in the late 1960s. Feuded with JOHNNY WEAVER in a series of JUDO JACKET MATCHES. Returned to JCP in its final days (1987) and assisted LEX LUGAR in his feud with DUSTY RHODES, who ironically, was assisted by JOHNNY WEAVER.


THE GREAT BORIS MALENKO
(Lawrence Simon - 1933-1994)

Also an international wrestling star, in the MID-ATLANTIC territory, he was also a partner of THE MISSOURI MAULER in the mid-60s. Had a huge feud with KLONDIKE BILL. Later returned as manager of THE MONGOLS (one was Bill Eadie) and then immediately as manager of THE MASKED SUPERSTAR (also Bill Eadie). Fans probably recall MALENKO's dentures being destroyed by WAHOO McDANIEL. (BORIS used this gimmick in almost every territory he worked.)

KILLER KARL KOX
(Herb Gerwig - 1931-2011)

Had a brief stint in JCP in 1973. Had a main event feud with JOHNNY WEAVER, often using the 'brain buster' as a finisher. KOX also teamed with RIP HAWK and SWEDE HANSON for some six man matches.

SLAVE GIRL MOOLAH / THE FABULOUS MOOLAH
(Mary Lillian Ellison - 1923-2007)

Arguably, the most famous women's wrestler of all time. Wrestled throughout the world, debuted as SLAVE GIRL MOOLAH in 1949, serving as the valet for the ELEPHANT BOY, then for "Nature Boy" BUDDY ROGERS. She won the NWA Women's Championship for the first time in 1956. MOOLAH made several swings through CROCKETT country each year during the late 50s, the 60s and the 70s, always drawing the ire of the fans.

THE MUMMY
(Benjamin Ramirez - 1932-1995)

From around 1962 to the early 70s, Benji Ramirez put on the outfit of THE MUMMY and wrestled roughshod across North America. Unlike others, who did a mummy gimmick for a few months at the most, Ramirez played the role for almost a full decade. A main event performer in some areas (particularly out West), in JCP, THE MUMMY served mostly in jobbing capacities.

Thursday, August 17, 2017

A LEXINGTON REMATCH

March 19, 1966
LEXINGTON, NORTH CAROLINA
-
51 years ago

TEX McKENZIE

'BIG' IKE EAKINS

'ROWDY RED ROBERTS'

STEVE BOLUS

ABE JACOBS

BRUTE BERNARD and SKULL MURPHY
---
Texas wrestling buddies TEX McKENZIE and NELSON ROYAL have happily agreed to give the skin-headed duo of BRUTE BERNARD and SKULL MURPHY a rematch at the LEXINGTON YMCA tonight.

BERNARD and MURPHY have been howling 'robbery' because of the recent meeting of the two teams a few weeks ago here at the YMCA. These two are demanding satisfaction, so the return best-out-of-three falls rematch will feature tonight's all-star card.

'BIG' IKE EAKINS will face popular New Zealander ABE JACOBS in the evening's semi-final contest.

Girl wrestlers, both making their LEXINGTON debuts, will square off with JESSICA ROGERS meeting PRINCESS CHI CHI.

Good-looking STEVE BOLUS will combat 'ROWDY' RED ROBERTS in the 8:15 opening encounter.

Tuesday, August 15, 2017

SKINHEADS AND A HAYSTACK

June 13, 1964
LEXINGTON, NORTH CAROLINA

53 Years Ago

Wrestling fans will be treated to plenty of tag team action tonight at the LEXINGTON YMCA as matches include both heavyweight and midget stars.

Topping the card tonight is HAYSTACK CALHOUN, the world's biggest wrestler, and his speedy young partner JOHNNY WEAVER.

They will be matched against the brutal team of SKULL MURPHY and BRUTE BERNARD in a best-of-three falls rematch between the two duos.

These four fought it out last Saturday night in a thriller won by CALHOUN and WEAVER. The skin-headed combo of BERNARD and MURPHY, not satisfied with how they lost, asked for another shot. (Actually, MURPHY did the asking as the BRUTE doesn't do much talking.)

Midgets and heavyweights combine on teams in the semi-final. Heavyweight ALEX MEDINA will work with little FRENCHIE SEMARD, and they will oppose little guy CHICO SANTANA and his heavyweight partner PAT O'BRIEN.

Singles action sends TIM WOODS against JOE TOMASSA, with CHRIS AVEROFF tangling with SONNY FARGO in the 8:15 opener.

Sunday, August 13, 2017

BABYFACES

Today, the spotlight shines on a group of the good guys of MID-ATLANTIC CHAMPIONSHIP WRESTLING.

Called 'babyfaces' in the business, these are the wrestlers 'we the people' love to watch carry out the ideals of good, clean living.

Although the line between good guys and bad guys is a bit thinner in the business now than in days gone by, we buy wrestling tickets and pull to see these heroes dish out 'truth, justice and the American Way' to the perpetrators of evil.

Here are five such wrestling personalities:


KOA TIKI

A very good performer, limited in JCP to lower and mid-card matches, both in singles and tag matches.

BILLY TWO RIVERS
(born 1935)

In the late 1950s and early 1960s, a top 'babyface' in JCP, often teaming with GEORGE BECKER, feuded with all the top 'heel' teams. Inspired many a young boy to beg Mom and Dad for a Mohawk haircut. A few were successful in getting one, but not me. Retired from action in 1976.

LES THATCHER
(Leslie Alan Malady - born 1940)

Debuted in 1960, and since has done just about everything in the business. Besides being a great worker, Les has done TV commentary, TV production, bodybuilding and training (which he does today). During his long run with JCP, Les worked the entire wrestling spectrum, from 'curtain jerking' to main events. To know Les is to love him.

JIMMY VALIANT
(James Harold Fanning - born 1942)

After breaking into the business in 1964, Jimmy became known world-wide as one of THE VALIANT BROTHERS while in the WWWF. Later was a big star in the Tennessee territory, feuding with JERRY LAWLER. Came to JCP and was dubbed 'The Boogie Woogie Man'. His popularity was stratospheric. Long-running feud with PAUL JONES and his many 'Army' members.

JOHNNY WEAVER
(1935-2008)

More than anyone except a Crockett family member, JOHNNY was JIM CROCKETT PROMOTIONS to thousands of MID-ATLANTIC fans. The top star of the company for over ten years, he wrestled, he booked, he commentated, he ran the Canadian territory, he hosted his own wrestling program and did them all superbly. Even non-wrestling fans knew the name JOHNNY WEAVER. We miss him so much.

Friday, August 11, 2017

TEXAS ROYAL IN STATESVILLE TOWN

May 20, 1965
STATESVILLE, NORTH CAROLINA
-
52 Years Ago...
and I was there...