Friday, September 21, 2018

INFERNOS and INDIANS

November 11, 1967
LEXINGTON, NORTH CAROLINA


THE INFERNOS
with Manager J. C. DYKES


CHIEF LITTLE EAGLE


BOBBY RED CLOUD
---
"Failure to continue" will determine the winner when top professional tag teams are matched for the fifth time in recent weeks in tonight's main event mat feature at the LEXINGTON YMCA.

It will be a TEXAS DEATH MATCH tonight when the popular Indian combo of CHIEF LITTLE EAGLE and BOBBY RED CLOUD clash with the dreaded masked duo of THE INFERNOS. In this match, falls will not count. There is NO DISQUALIFICATION and NO TIME LIMIT. The match will proceed until one of the teams is incapable of participating. This is pro wrestling's version of a "fight to the finish".

THE INFERNOS will have their red-headed manager, J. C. DYKES, in their corner. He will, no doubt, have with him his metal canteen and loud whistle. The canteen, DYKES claims, is for "refreshment" purposes for his masked men, but fans have seen J. C. use it as a weapon in the past. The whistle is to give instructions to THE INFERNOS during their match. But lately, fans have been bringing their own whistles to the matches, causing confusion between the managers and his wrestlers.


TEX McKENZIE


NELSON ROYAL


P. Y. CHUNG


HARU SASAKI

The co-feature on tonight's card is for two-out-of-three falls and will send the torrid Texan team of fan favorites TEX McKENZIE and NELSON ROYAL against the sly and crafty Oriental combo of P. Y. CHUNG and HARU SASAKI. A definite clash of cultures is present here.


BOB NANDOR

Popular RUDY KAYE meets TINY MILLS, and spectacular BOB NANDOR takes on newcomer STEVE STANLEY in the evening's single matches.

MILLS, much larger than his nickname implies, returns after a long absence.

The first bell is at 8:15.

Wednesday, September 19, 2018

HEEL TEAM DEBUTS IN LEXINGTON

JUNE 4, 1966
LEXINGTON, NORTH CAROLINA

52 Years Ago



A speedy team of popular heroes meets brutal and deliberate opponents in featured tag team wrestling at the LEXINGTON YMCA tonight starting at 8:15.

GEORGE and SANDY SCOTT, the "FLYING SCOTTS" as they are known in the wrestling business, pit their spectacular offense against the skin-headed bullies SKULL MURPHY and BRUTE BERNARD in the main event match. These two teams are long-time rivals.

The other tag battle matches the flashy RUDY KAYE and ABE JACOBS against rugged ruffians THE GREAT MALENKO and THE MISSOURI MAULER, teaming here for the first time.

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

A special attraction tonight matches two top-ranked Negro girl stars, as SWEET GEORGIA BROWN takes on PRINCESS UBANGI.

Popular STEVE BOLUS meets big JOHN GUDISKI in the opening match.

Monday, September 17, 2018

ROGERS versus VALENTINE - Newcomer JOHNNY WEAVER

February 12, 1962
CHARLOTTE, NORTH CAROLINA


Two championships will be at stake tonight at the CHARLOTTE COLISEUM when one of the most ambitious wrestling programs ever staged here gets underway at 8:15.

WORLD HEAVYWEIGHT CHAMPION "Nature Boy" BUDDY ROGERS puts his coveted crown in the spotlight in a defense against the extremely rugged challenger JOHNNY VALENTINE.

The controversy between these two giants of the ring goes back a long while. VALENTINE is responsible for breaking the arm of ROGERS in a match last year, and the champ has not forgotten...nor forgiven.

UNITED STATES HEAVYWEIGHT CHAMPION PAT O'CONNOR faces skilled SWEET DADDY SIKI, and his title is on the open market as well.

"It would be most ironic," grinned SIKI, "if I should emerge the winner." SIKI, who hails from Jamaica, claims he is in his best physical condition ever. The ebony panther claims to be unbeaten in the South.

Both title defenses will have stipulations of two-out-of-three falls with one hour time limits.

For variety, there is a ladies match sending FRAN GRAVETTE against the Mexican "boom boom" girl, RITA CORTEZ.

Tag team action will find the villainous brother duo of AL and DON GREENE against fan favorites BILL DROMO and HENRY PHILLIPS for the best-of-three-falls.

The immensely popular CHIEF BIG HEART will have his hands full with the rugged SWEDE HANSON.

Two men new to Charlotte, EDDIE AUGER and JOHNNY WEAVER, will face off.

Bombastic HANS SCHMIDT, a regular storm trooper in ring tactics, will oppose the incredible BILLY "Tarzan" DARNELL.

LENNY MONTANA and MARQUIS DEPARE slam in another action tiff.

Tickets are on sale at the NATIONAL HAT SHOP in downtown Charlotte and the Charlotte Coliseum box office.

Get there early for an autograph session with your favorite wrestling stars.

Saturday, September 15, 2018

BIG versus BALD

November 28, 1964
LEXINGTON, NORTH CAROLINA



Last week's professional wrestling main event featuring THE KENTUCKIANS versus BRUTE BERNARD and SKULL MURPHY was expected to be a wild contest, and indeed, it did turn out that way. TINY ANDERSON and BIG BOY BROWN were disqualified in the third and deciding fall.

So tonight, the two teams will go at each other again at the LEXINGTON YMCA , but this time, a NO DISQUALIFICATION stipulation has been added. Both teams agreed to the rematch to show their respective supremacy in the ring.

Fans are in for quite a treat when the two-out-of-three falls clash begins.

Fan favorite GEORGE BECKER returns to the YMCA to face rough guy MIKE VALENTINO in the evening's co-feature.

BILLY PARKS will attempt to control and defeat THE BEAST, and NICK KOZAK will face FRANK VALOIS in the 8:15 mat opener.

Thursday, September 13, 2018

FLAIR THROUGH THE YEARS




(Circa 1973)

The FLAIR cockiness beginning to appear...

It's there...

Applying a half-crab on an opponent.

Body slam time...looks like a POFFO to me.

An AWA body block on GREG GAGNE.

A knee-drop to the chest (later the knee moved northward to the forehead).

Tuesday, September 11, 2018

THE MAN IN WHITE

He wrestled barefaced as TIM WOODS. He donned an all-white mask and wrestled as MR. WRESTLING. Either way, he sold a lot of wrestling tickets.

Ole Anderson about to taste a MR. WRESTLING elbow.

GEORGIA HEAVYWEIGHT CHAMPION

Gene Anderson takes a tumble from the masked man.

Ready for ring action.
---
George Burrell Woodin began his wrestling career at the age of 29 using the ring name TIM WOODS. He was given the name 'MR. WRESTLING' by Nebraska promoter Joe Dusek. Woodin would go on to become a main event superstar in the Georgia, Florida, Texas and the MID-ATLANTIC territories.

During his tenures with JIM CROCKETT PROMOTIONS, TIM WOODS had several title runs - - MID-ATLANTIC TV CHAMPION, U.S. HEAVYWEIGHT CHAMPION, MID-ATLANTIC TAG TEAM CHAMPION (with Dino Bravo) and WORLD TAG TEAM CHAMPION (also with Bravo).

Tim (along with Ric Flair, Johnny Valentine, Bob Bruggers, David Crockett and pilot Michael Farkas) was aboard the 1975 Wilmington, N.C. bound aircraft that
came up short in landing and crashed. Pilot Farkas eventually died from injuries and Valentine never wrestled again. Woods and Bruggers were 'babyface' wrestlers, the rest were 'heels'. To protect the business from exposure, when arriving at the Wilmington hospital, Tim gave his real name and said he was a wrestling promoter. And to quash rumors among wrestling fans that Tim Woods had been on the plane with the 'heels', he was back in the ring within two weeks.

Ric Flair later said in his book 'TO BE THE MAN', that Tim Woods was more than just MR. WRESTLING that day---he was the man who saved the wrestling business.

A gentleman in and out of the ring, Tim Woods passed away November 30, 2002. It's difficult to imagine he's been gone that long.

Just imagine what a hit Tim would have been if he had attended wrestling fan gatherings.

Sunday, September 9, 2018

BLOOD(Y) BROTHERS

July 29, 1967
LEXINGTON, NORTH CAROLINA
---
A battle between two brother teams highlights professional wrestling tonight at the LEXINGTON YMCA.

It will be THE FLYING SCOTTS, GEORGE and SANDY, against LARS and GENE ANDERSON, and bad blood exists between the two units. There were brief flurries here last Saturday night when the SCOTT brothers took up for CHIEF LITTLE EAGLE and JERRY LONDON after the ANDERSONs had defeated them. LARS and GENE decided winning the match wasn't enough, so the skullduggery continued until GEORGE and SANDY stepped in to control the violence. Tonight, the ANDERSON / SCOTT collision should get hot and heavy.

The widely-known South American wildman, PAMPERO FIRPO, makes his LEXINGTON debut tonight when he joins forces with THE MISSOURI MAULER to meet big KLONDIKE BILL and partner GREG PETERSON in another tag encounter.

Two-out-of-three falls govern both tag team matches.

Singles matches tonight will see popular Texan NELSON ROYAL meet the mysterious masked man, THE MUMMY, while TONY ROMANO and PEDRO GODOY, both rugged veterans, meet in a bullies opening match at 8:15.

PAMPERO FIRPO

GEORGE and SANDY SCOTT

GENE and LARS ANDERSON

NELSON ROYAL and KLONDIKE BILL

THE MISSOURI MAULER

THE MUMMY

GREG PETERSON

PEDRO GODOY

Friday, September 7, 2018

1962 STATESVILLE, N.C. WRESTLING - PART THREE

June 1, 1962
STATESVILLE, NORTH CAROLINA




CLICK ON IMAGES TO ENLARGE













The results:



Wednesday, September 5, 2018

LOOKING UNDER THE HOOD

To my knowledge, THE INFERNOS were never fully unmasked in the ring, nor were their identities revealed to the fans.

Jim Crockett actually offered J.C. Dykes and THE INFERNOS a huge bonus to be unmasked all around his territory before they headed for other areas, but the trio refused the cash offer.

Actually, there was more than one team of THE INFERNOS, not uncommon for someone who was THAT hot (pardon the pun) in the business to have their ring personas ripped off. (Just try to imagine how many masked ASSASSIN teams there have been. Actually, there are STILL masked ASSASSINS wrestling in local indy outfits all over the country.)

But, back to THE INFERNOS, that is, the original ones.

If you have read some of my previous postings, it should be apparent that THE INFERNOS and J.C. DYKES were (and still are) at the top of my all-time 'heel' team list, and I've have been a pro wrestling fan now for over fifty-five years.

When THE INFERNOS burst upon the JIM CROCKETT PROMOTIONS wrestling scene back in the mid-1960s, they were an immediate sensation. They quickly joined BOGNI & LUBICH, HAWK & HANSON, MAULER & MALENKO and BERNARD & MURPHY as main event nasties. They immediately were causing in-ring trouble for BECKER & WEAVER, McKENZIE & ROYAL, the SCOTT brothers and all our other favorite babyfaces.

All of a sudden, J.C. DYKES was generating as much heat as a manager as his peer HOMER O'DELL (and that is saying plenty).

J.C. had his metal canteen (which he often used as a weapon) and that blasted whistle, playing it like a trumpet to signal his men during their match.

Add to that the fact that mysterious 'fireballs' appeared from time-to-time scorching the faces of some good guys (you can ask LES THATCHER about that) and, of course, that dreaded built-up wrestling boot (which many wrestlers claimed contained items varying from horseshoes to the kitchen sink).

These boys were so 'hot' in the territory that when they faced other heel teams in ring battles, the RIP & SWEDEs and the BRUTE & SKULLs drew the cheers of the crowd (at least for that one night).

THE INFERNOS took their ring gimmick to other territories besides JCP (such as Florida and Texas), and did the same blockbuster business there as well.

Over the course of their long run, some changes occurred within the group. The originals were FRANKIE CAIN and JIMMY 'ROCKY' SMITH. At one point, ROCKY had a heart attack (down in Texas, I believe) and how to bow out for a while, but returned later. FRANKIE eventually left to become wrestling's GREAT MEPHISTO and was replaced by ROCKY's brother CURTIS SMITH. Other INFERNOS included DOUG GILBERT, RON GIBSON, STAN PULASKI and KARL VON BRAUNER.

Then, of course, there were the copycats. When DYKES and his boys left Florida, Eddie Graham put two guys together and tried to pass them off as the originals. And to this day, like THE ASSASSINS, one can find masked men in indy outfits wrestling as THE INFERNOS.

FRANKIE CAIN is still with us. J.C. 'JIMMY' DYKES passed away in 1993. ROCKY SMITH is also gone.

But I still remember THE INFERNOS.

THE original INFERNOS
ROCKY SMITH (left) and FRANKIE CAIN (right)

A bloodied (and nearly unmasked) FRANKIE CAIN is checked out by manager J.C. DYKES.

DYKES consoles one of his men during a wild match.

Why the headgear on INFERNO ROCKY SMITH? It's because boxing champion JOE LOUIS was refereeing the match.

THE INFERNOS fall victim to GEORGE BECKER & JOHNNY WEAVER's "row your boat".

J.C. and the boys celebrate another victory.

During their Florida campaign, J.C. and ROCKY took issue with JOSE LOTHARIO's being on the wrestling program instead of THE INFERNOS.

Another bloody night in the ring.

J.C. DYKES submits to an interview, but refuses to disclose his men's identities.

A young TERRY FUNK gets an INFERNO boot to the face.

INFERNO FRANKIE CAIN unmasked.

INFERNO ROCKY SMITH unmasked.