Monday, October 30, 2017

A BLOOD BATH IN GREENVILLE

Many MID-ATLANTIC WRESTLING fans always loved to witness a BATTLE OF THE BULLIES match, in which two 'bad guy' teams faced each other instead of the usual 'babyface' versus 'heel' encounter.

I was one of those fans, and I was lucky enough to see quite a few.

One I didn't get to witness took place in 1972 in Greenville, South Carolina. And to make the match even better, it was wrestled under TEXAS DEATH MATCH rules, meaning falls didn't count towards deciding a victor. The two teams battled until one couldn't answer the bell for the next fall. No time limit and no disqualification stipulations were also in place.

On this night, the combatants were the teams of GENE ANDERSON and ART NELSON versus RIP HAWK and SWEDE HANSON.

Referee SAM 'LUCKY' ROBERTS was assigned to be the official. More likely than not, SAM was probably 'UNLUCKY' ROBERTS for this night.

RIP HAWK hammers away on GENE ANDERSON.

No participate left the ring unscathed that night in Greenville.

GENE GORDON witnessed the match and gave the following account..."I believe this TEXAS DEATH MATCH was the roughest, most vicious and bloody match I had seen in many years, and I go all the way back to the likes of COWBOY LUTTRELLDANNY MCSHANE and STRANGLER BOB WAGNER. There was not a lot of wrestling. It was more like something out of the days of the Roman gladiators who battled to the death. No one paid any attention to any of the normal rules. The referee was knocked down several times and thrown to the floor once. He wanted to stop the match but couldn't under the stipulations. All four wrestlers looked like they had been run through a sausage grinder. They were so exhausted they could hardly leave the ring at the end. I saw one woman faint and a few others left in disgust, unable to stand the brutality and gore. I know I'll never forget it."

For the record, the match was won by HAWK and HANSON, although they certainly didn't look like winners at the end.

Saturday, October 28, 2017

TWINKLE, TWINKLE LITTLE STAR

The Stars Came Out Every Night in the MID-ATLANTIC CHAMPIONSHIP WRESTLING territory...

DICK STEINBORN executes one of his legendary drop kicks.

LUTHER LINDSAY has PAMPERO FIRPO on the ropes.

HIRO MATSUDA strikes a nerve of BOBBY NICHOLS.

THE GREAT BOLO scores another victory.

ABE JACOBS submits to ALDO BOGNI's 'corkscrew' finisher.

Strongman KEN PATERA has the upper hand on his opponent.

Thursday, October 26, 2017

AROUND THE CROCKETT TERRITORY

RONNIE GARVIN takes time out to sign an autograph for a fan.

THE ROYAL KANGAROOS (LORD JONATHAN BOYD and NORMAN FREDERICK CHARLES III) rarely came out on the short end of a battle. Exception: A 'brass knuckles' war with JOHNNY WEAVER and ART NELSON.

'OUTLAW' RON BASS and JIM (J.J.) DILLON prepare to do battle.

Where's the referee?
MATTI SUZUKI is trying to choke the life out of SANDY SCOTT.

RICKY STEAMBOAT and RIC FLAIR join forces as a tag team.
FLAIR seems to like the idea.

Then fan favorite SWEDE HANSON 'helps' his arch enemy THE SUPER DESTROYER (DON JARDINE) back into the ring.

Tuesday, October 24, 2017

A BATTLE FOR THE AGES

One of the prestigious titles in JIM CROCKETT PROMOTIONS was the EASTERN HEAVYWEIGHT CHAMPIONSHIP.

One of the biggest feuds over the Eastern title was between RIP 'The Profile' HAWK and JERRY BRISCO. On February 14, 1972, RIP defeated JERRY's older brother Jack Brisco, in Charlotte, N.C. to become Eastern Champion. RIP and Jack traded the belt back and forth before JERRY entered the title picture.

Champion RIP HAWK

Challenger JERRY BRISCO

June 13, 1972 was the date on which JERRY BRISCO became the EASTERN HEAVYWEIGHT CHAMPION for the first time. The match took place in Columbia, S.C. HAWK would win it back in Greenville, S.C. some two months later. This title reign for RIP would be a short one as the very next week, again in Greenville, JERRY would capture the championship again.

HAWK finished the year of 1972 on an upswing, beating BRISCO in Greensboro, N.C., on December 28th. The final title switch between the two occurred in early March, 1973 in Winston-Salem, N.C.

It should be noted that RIP HAWK is on record as saying BRISCO never won the title 'fair and square." RIP claims that JERRY would purposely get disqualified to keep from losing the belt. Even the two participant's partners offered opinions. Jack Brisco said "I've wrestled Hawk. He's cagey. He'll do anything to win a match. Jerry had better watch himself." And on the flip side, Rip's partner Swede Hanson had this to add,"Rip is an honorable man. Every fan of wrestling knows that. That's why the fans love Rip Hawk. He never breaks the rules."

HAWK would never get the EASTERN HEAVYWEIGHT CHAMPIONSHIP back from BRISCO after the Winston-Salem match in March.

In September, 1973, the EASTERN HEAVYWEIGHT CHAMPIONSHIP was retired and became the MID-ATLANTIC HEAVYWEIGHT CHAMPIONSHIP.

Research for the EASTERN HEAVYWEIGHT CHAMPIONSHIP by Dick Bourne for the MID-ATLANTIC GATEWAY.


RIP unloads on JERRY...

BRISCO gives 'THE PROFILE' a backdrop.

JERRY almost cries 'uncle' with this hammerlock.

Do I see RIP pulling JERRY's trunks?
And Swede said that Rip never broke the rules!

Sunday, October 22, 2017

BECKER'S BACK IN LEXINGTON


May 6, 1961
LEXINGTON, NORTH CAROLINA

P.Y. CHUNG *

GEORGE BECKER

BOB NANDOR

FRAN GRAVETTE

TERRY GARVIN


RITA CORTEZ
---
Fan favorite GEORGE BECKER will face the crafty Oriental bully, P.Y. CHUNG, in a special challenge match that headlines tonight's wrestling card at the LEXINGTON YMCA.

BECKER asked for the match himself after he and SANDY SCOTT defeated CHUNG and partner MIKE PAIDOUSIS in tag action last Saturday night.

Following last week's match, CHUNG rammed BECKER into the ring post, splitting his head open. GEORGE declared revenge and asked the promoter for a one-on-one contest with CHUNG.

The match has been signed and will be fought under two-out-of-three falls and one hour time limit stipulations.

A girls tag team match supports the main event with the diabolical duo of SLAVE GIRL MOOLAH and the lovely-but-deadly RITA CORTEZ meeting popular FRAN GRAVETTE and the amazing JUDY GRABLE.

Bullies KEN COOPER and JACK BENARD meet in one preliminary, and European champion BOB NANDOR squares off against tough TERRY GARVIN in the 8:15 opener.
---
P.Y. CHUNG wrestled in other territories as Tojo Yamamoto.

Friday, October 20, 2017

NELSON ROYAL


Ricky Ferrara is at Nelson's mercy as Royal works on his opponent's arm.

A familiar sight in Virginia and the Carolinas...Nelson has his hand raised.

Cowboy Nelson Royal looks over his Mooresville, N.C. ranch.

Fellow wrestlers Tiger Conway Jr. and Ed Wiskowski (later Colonel DeBeers) enjoy one of the many charity rodeo events Nelson sponsored at his ranch.


He lived on a twenty acre tract of land in Mooresville, North Carolina and was one of the town's most outstanding citizens at the time.
He devoted countless hours of his life helping those less fortunate. He organized numerous benefit rodeo shows at his arena for many charitable organizations as well as putting together softball games and the like for community purposes.
Besides being a good citizen and a friend to many, the man in question was by profession a heavyweight wrestler named NELSON ROYAL.

Nelson began his in-ring career around 1961 and came to JIM CROCKETT PROMOTIONS a few years later. 'Nellie' actually wrestled as a heel upon his arrival (using the name SIR NELSON ROYAL) and often teamed with THE VIKING.

He soon 'switched' to babyface and his incredible JCP career took off. The front office teamed Nelson with the tall, lanky TEX McKENZIE, and they quickly became one of the territory's top 'good guy' teams, alongside BECKER & WEAVER and the FLYING SCOTTS.

After several years, TEX left the area, and ROYAL was then paired with JCP newcomer PAUL JONES. Nelson and Paul were as popular as Nelson and Tex, and the 'Royal Run' continued.

Later, Nelson teamed with greats such as Sandy Scott, Les Thatcher and The Amazing Zuma and worked as a single.

Royal 'feuded' with all of the 'heel' teams that made their way through JCP for nearly twenty years and was always a favorite of the fans, in and out of the ring.

Monday, October 16, 2017

52 YEARS AGO

August 21, 1965
LEXINGTON, NORTH CAROLINA

HAYSTACKS CALHOUN

SKULL MURPHY and BRUTE BERNARD

ABE JACOBS

GEORGE 'CATALINA' DRAKE

GEORGE 'TWO TON' HARRIS

MIKE GALLAGHER

RON REED
(later BUDDY COLT)

GORY GUERRERO

TINKER TODD

The Mighty HAYSTACKS CALHOUN and speedy ABE JACOBS join forces as a tag team tonight and will face the rowdy skinhead duo of BRUTE BERNARD and SKULL MURPHY in the evening's main event wrestling bout at the LEXINGTON YMCA.

CALHOUN, the "world's biggest wrestler" and JACOBS, known for his "kee-wee roll" should give their rule-breaking opponents plenty of competition in the best two-out-of-three falls contest.

Another big operator, GEORGE 'TWO TON' HARRIS meets the very popular GEORGE 'CATALINA' DRAKE' in the co-main event, scheduled for the best-of-three falls.

Three top preliminaries are also on tap with big stars involved.

RON REED will face off against rowdy MIKE GALLAGHER.

RAY DURAN will meet young OMAR ATLAS.

Two veterans will compete when GORY GUERRERO challenges TINKER TODD.

Thursday, October 12, 2017

GREAT WHILE IT LASTED

All good things must come to an end, and JIM CROCKETT PROMOTIONS was one of those things, but wasn't it great when we could get in our cars and journey to nearby towns and experience the wrestling matches in person...

GREG VALENTINE and RIC FLAIR

SILENTO RODRIGUEZ and RANDY CURTIS

DARLING DAGMAR and THE KENTUCKIAN TINY ANDERSON

TONI ROSE

JIMMY SNUKA and RICKY STEAMBOAT

FRANK MORRELL and BILLY HINES
(At one time, HINES was one of THE MASKED RED DEMONS.)