Saturday, April 21, 2018

BECKER DEMANDS REMATCH

April 28, 1962
LEXINGTON, NORTH CAROLINA

56 Years Ago

A rematch between two top rivals, along with the debut of a world famous Oriental team, features professional wrestling tonight at the LEXINGTON YMCA.

Fan favorite GEORGE BECKER has demanded another crack at the tough Mexican PANCHO VILLA after losing a disputed verdict here last Saturday.

One provision is that referees be changed, and BECKER must approve the new referee. VILLA says referees make no difference to him, and that he will be victorious again tonight. Two-of-three falls will settle it.

The Oriental team debuting tonight is comprised of P. Y. CHUNG of China and TARO MYAKI of Japan, the only Chinese / Japanese team working together in wrestling today. They will face heroes JERRY CHRISTY and ANGELO MARTINELLI in the two-out-of-three falls co-feature.

Action begins at 8:15 with REGGIE PARKS tangling with GYPSY JOE.

Thursday, April 19, 2018

BECKER, WEAVER and DEMONS

June 18, 1966
LEXINGTON, NORTH CAROLINA
52 Years Ago

They wrestled apart here last Saturday, but the fans' favorite duo, GEORGE BECKER and JOHNNY WEAVER, are back together as a unit tonight at the LEXINGTON YMCA in pro wrestling action.

Belltime is 8:15 p.m.

And it looks as if they will have their hands full when they enter the ring to meet a newer team to this wrestling area, THE MASKED RED DEMONS.

Just as their name implies, this tag team hides their identities behind red masks and are very rough in the ring.

BECKER and WEAVER issued the following statement concerning their main event match for tonight, "We don't know who these men are or where they come from, but since coming to the area, they've beaten some good teams. And just like HAWK and HANSON and BOGNI and LUBICH, they win any way they can, with no regard for the rule book. So we'll have our hands full. But we're going to try to put a stop to them before they can get a foothold here."

THE MASKED RED DEMONS had no comment.

Another tag team loved by the fans, TEX McKENZIE and NELSON ROYAL, will be on tonight's card and will face the rugged veteran duo of IKE EAKINS and EL GAUCHO.

Both tag team matches will go the best two-out-of-three falls.

GEORGE "CATALINA" DRAKE will return here after an absence to face LUTHER LINDSAY, North Carolina's own top Negro star. These two have teamed together in the past, so the match should prove interesting.

In tonight's opening match, up-and-coming star, young PAUL DEMARCO squares off against veteran JOHN GUDISKI.

Tuesday, April 17, 2018

THE BILLY / BRONCHO BASH

March 25, 1963
CHARLOTTE, NORTH CAROLINA

A renewal of a big feud between Indian great BILLY TWO RIVERS and rugged Yugoslavian BRONCHO LUBICH will headline tonight's PARK CENTER wrestling card presented by promoter JIM CROCKETT.

TWO RIVERS holds a win over LUBICH in their last meeting, a bout that generated hard feelings on both sides, and the rematch should be a honey. It's set for two-of-three falls, one hour time limit.

The semifinal squares off two brother teams for tag team action. Fan favorites GEORGE and SANDY SCOTT go against DOC and MIKE GALLAGHER. This one is set for 45 minutes, two-of-three falls.

Three singles bouts complete the card.

These have GEORGE BECKER facing FRANK VALOIS.

CRUSHER ANGELO goes against DALE LEWIS.

DON WHITTLER battles JIM GRABMIRE.

All are one fall contests, with the first beginning at 8:15 p.m.

Sunday, April 15, 2018

LARS & GENE WANT MORE

May 25, 1968
LEXINGTON, NORTH CAROLINA


LARS and GENE ANDERSON


NELSON ROYAL


BOBBY RED CLOUD


'BULLDOG' LEE HENNING


ABE JACOBS


LUTHER LINDSAY
---
Action should reach an exciting peak tonight at the LEXINGTON YMCA when the popular Texas duo of NELSON ROYAL and PAUL JONES and Minnesota brothers LARS and GENE ANDERSON clash in the wrestling main event.

It will be a best-of-three falls rematch of a thriller won in disputed fashion by the Texans last Saturday night. The ANDERSON brothers demanded another match.

War-dancing Indians CHIEF LITTLE EAGLE and BOBBY RED CLOUD meet another set of villains in 'BULLDOG' LEE HENNING and big JIM GRABMIRE in another team affair.

A scientific match is offered between BOB NANDOR and ABE JACOBS.

The card is completed with a contest between LUTHER LINDSAY and FRANK HICKEY.

Action gets underway at 8:15.

Friday, April 13, 2018

MORE STARS THAN IN THE HEAVENS


OK, OK...I didn't make up that phrase. JIM CROCKETT PROMOTIONS never used the phrase either. It was actually the slogan of the movie studio giant METRO-GOLDWYN-MAYER back in the golden 1930s and 1940s.

The phrase, however, could have been borrowed to describe the incredible roster of talent that worked the arenas throughout the years in the MID-ATLANTIC CHAMPIONSHIP WRESTLING territory.

Here are but a few...

ABDULLAH THE BUTCHER
(LAWRENCE ROBERT SHREVE - born 1936)

ALDO BOGNI
(Mostly wrestled as a tag team partner with BRONCHO LUBICH)

BELLE STARR

CHIEF BIG HEART
(RICHARD G. VEST - 1927-1993)

JOE LE DUC
(MICHEL PIGEON - 1944-1999)

JOHNNY VALENTINE
(JONATHAN WISNISKI - 1928-2001)

RUDY KAYE
(JEAN-LOUIS CORMIER - 1942-2008)

Wednesday, April 11, 2018

ROWDY RICHMOND

JCP wrestling fans in and around the Richmond, Virginia area didn't have to journey far to see some great cards.

Here are five from the year 1966...

SANDY and GEORGE SCOTT
---
RICHMOND, VA. - 1966

LOU THESZ defeated PAT O'CONNOR to retain the NWA WORLD HEAVYWEIGHT CHAMPIONSHIP.

GEORGE and SANDY SCOTT topped 'BIG' BOB ORTON and THE GREAT MALENKO in three-out-of-five falls.

STEVE BOLUS and JESSE JAMES lost to RIP HAWK and SWEDE HANSON.

GORY GUERRERO and CORSICA JEAN wrestled to a draw.


'ROWDY' RED ROBERTS
(Just another pretty face)
---
RICHMOND, VA. - 1966

DON CHUY and JOE CAROLLO wrestled KURT and HENRY VON STROHEIM to a draw.

IKE EAKINS and JOHN GUDISKI lost to GEORGE and SANDY SCOTT.

PENNY BANNER pinned JUDY GRABLE.

ROGER KIRBY topped 'ROWDY' RED ROBERTS.


'BIG' BOB ORTON
---
RICHMOND, VA. - 1966

GEORGE and SANDY SCOTT versus RIP HAWK and SWEDE HANSON ended in a 'no contest'.

BILLY TWO RIVERS and SUNI WAR CLOUD toppled 'BIG' BOB ORTON and THE GREAT MALENKO via DQ.

GORY GUERRERO pinned TONY NERO.

OMAR ATLAS lost to JOHN GUDISKI.


HAYSTACK CALHOUN
---
RICHMOND, VA. - 1966

GEORGE and SANDY SCOTT bested RIP HAWK and SWEDE HANSON.

HAYSTACK CALHOUN and ABE JACOBS squashed JOHN GUDISKI and TONY NERO.

JESSE JAMES drew with GORY GUERRERO.

STEVE BOLUS pinned JOHNNY HEIDEMAN.


SKULL MURPHY
---
RICHMOND, VA. - 1966

GEORGE and SANDY SCOTT and GEORGE BECKER won over HOMER O'DELLALDO BOGNIBRONCHO LUBICH in a six man match.

RIP HAWK and SWEDE HANSON versus NICK KOZAK and 'IRISH' MIKE CLANCY ended in a no contest.

ABE JACOBS and EMILE DUPRE won over THE ALASKAN and THE BEAST via DQ.

SKULL MURPHY took the measure of ED CASTILLO.

RUDY KAY bested TONY NERO.

Monday, April 9, 2018

SCOTTS MEET SKINHEADS

July 25, 1964
LEXINGTON, NORTH CAROLINA

SKULL MURPHY

SANDY and GEORGE SCOTT

BRUTE BERNARD

MIKE CLANCY

JOHN HEATH

NICK KOZAK
---
Two hero tag teams, victorious in wrestling competition at the LEXINGTON YMCA last Saturday night, will be back for more action tonight at 8:15.

GEORGE and SANDY SCOTT, the dashing brother combo known as THE FLYING SCOTTS, meet the brutal, skin-headed BRUTE BERNARD and SKULL MURPHY in tonight's main event action.

The SCOTTs won over THE GREAT BOLO and BOLO last week via disqualification.

'IRISH' MIKE CLANCY and NICK KOZAK, a splendid new combination and winners last week, tangle with Russian ruffian IVAN KAMEROFF and French-Canadian tough guy FRANK VALOIS in the other tag team match-up.

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

GEORGE BECKER, an all-time fan favorite, clashes with Mexico's PANCHO GOMEZ in a special one-fall encounter.

The opening bout of the evening will pit BOB BOYER against JOHN HEATH in what should be a great 'scientific' match.

Saturday, April 7, 2018

SWEDE HANSON - - ONE OF A KIND


During his long-term teaming with RIP HAWK.
SWEDE's about to feed a VON STROHEIM a knuckle sandwich.

HANSON near the end of his ring career.

SWEDE in his 'rebel' gear while working in the W.W.F.

HANSON even teamed with ANDRE THE GIANT.
---
Big, rugged ROBERT 'SWEDE' HANSON had a remarkable career.

He wrestled in four decades and was as tough at the end of his wrestling tenure as when he began.

There's no question the apex of his career was when he teamed with RIP HAWK for an incredible sixteen years, during which time they captured virtually every tag team award in the business.

"I'll never forget my years together with Rip. He was quite a character, and you can't imagine all the crazy things we got involved in. Most established teams in the business didn't stay together half as long as we did. Personal goals were never an issue. With us, it was what was best for the team." (Swede Hanson, 1984)

But nothing lasts forever, and they eventually went their separate ways, working for different wrestling organizations.

Around 1973, RIP went to the newly-formed I.W.A., and SWEDE stayed in JCP and soon began teaming with THE SUPER DESTROYER (DON JARDINE). But things soon went sideways, and at this point, HANSON turned 'babyface' and began a bloody war with his masked partner.

Following this program, SWEDE dropped to mid-card status, teaming with the likes of JOHNNY WEAVERTIGER CONWAY JR. and PAUL JONES.

After a while, he headed north to work for the then-WWF but returned to the MID-ATLANTIC territory near the end of his career. Upon his arrival, he was back to being a 'bad guy' and worked as a mid / lower card single or teamed with ruffians like BRUTE BERNARDGENE ANDERSON or SGT.JACQUES GOULET.

SWEDE HANSON was like a fine wine. Throughout his career, he became better and better until time caught up with him, as it does with all of us.

I, like many others, had the pleasure of attending the 2007 N.W.A. FANFEST banquet when SWEDE (and RIP) were inducted into the HALL OF HEROES. The two were inducted by their long-time manager, the late 'Playboy' GARY HARTSWEDE's award was accepted by his two children, Bobby and Luana.

When it comes to the history of JIM CROCKETT PROMOTIONS, 'Big' SWEDE HANSON made an impact very few can match.

Thursday, April 5, 2018

BOLO BRUTALITY


We don't hear much talk anymore about JIM CROCKETT PROMOTIONS wrestling as far back as the late 1950s.

Many of the adult fans (and wrestlers) of that era have passed away.

But there are a few of us who were just youngsters at that time who remember many of the stars of sixty years ago.

Good guy-wise, there were GEORGE BECKER, 'Irish' MIKE CLANCY, DICK STEINBORN and RED BASTEIN, to name a few.

On the other side of right and wrong were guys like THE SMITH BROTHERS, DUKE KEOMUKA and MR. MOTO.

But many fans of today, even though they don't remember them or weren't around to see them, have heard of THE BOLOS.

JCP wrestling fans still talk about THE BOLOS.

There were probably as many guys at my elementary school who tried to make a BOLO mask out of one of their Mom's discarded pillow cases who wore bath towels as Superman capes.

Making a BOLO mask wasn't easy. I found that out.

First, in the late 1950s, there was THE GREAT BOLO (Tom Renesto). Then, in the early 1960s, the masked man added an identical-looking partner, BOLO (Jody Hamilton). THE GREAT BOLO and/or BOLO were the top heels in JCP for close to six years, before heading further south, eventually changing their names to THE ASSASSINS.

Fans all over the MID-ATLANTIC CHAMPIONSHIP WRESTLING territory bought many a ticket to the matches to see THE BOLOS not only lose, but be unmasked.

Hero grapplers such as THE KENTUCKIANS, BECKER, WEAVER, THE SCOTTS, CHIEF BIG HEART, BILLY TWO RIVERS, HAYSTACK CALHOUN and MIKE CLANCY all tried over and over to expose the identities of the hooded hoodlums, but, alas, it never happened. Occassionally, THE BOLOS lost a match and even a mask here and there, but they always escaped protecting their identities.

Not until years later in Georgia, when Tom Renesto retired from active wrestling and voluntarily removed his mask on television, did the public ever know the identity of either of these men.

Tuesday, April 3, 2018

VIVA VILLA!

October 27, 1962
LEXINGTON, NORTH CAROLINA
56 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.

Sunday, April 1, 2018

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.)

Friday, March 30, 2018

MAULER: "WEAVER IS A CHICKEN THIEF"

July 16, 1966
LEXINGTON, NORTH CAROLINA

THE MISSOURI MAULER

THE GREAT MALENKO


ABE JACOBS

LUTHER LINDSAY

PENNY BANNER

GEORGE 'CATALINA' DRAKE
---
Popular JOHNNY WEAVER, at least 'temporary' SOUTHERN HEAVYWEIGHT CHAMPION, will take New Zealander ABE JACOBS as a partner tonight and will face THE MISSOURI MAULER and THE GREAT MALENKO in a two-out-of-three falls tag team main event at the LEXINGTON YMCA.

Last Saturday night in the ring, WEAVER had one fall in a championship bout against the title-holding MAULER when all types of excitement broke out. Referee Walter Buckner was injured and could not continue officiating. WEAVER, trying to aid the fallen ref, was attacked by the MAULER, and JACOBS came in to lend a hand. The MAULER took the low road and ran, with WEAVER grabbing the championship belt, saying he plans to keep it until the NWA officials make a ruling. Tonight's grudge match grows out of the turmoil.

"He never beat me for the belt, but he stole it anyway," claims the MAULER. "He's just as low down as the chicken thieves we've got back home in St. Jo. As far as I'm concerned, WEAVER is nothing but a chicken thief, and he's gonna pay."

Another tag match is scheduled with two falls necessary to determine a winner. Popular power hitters GEORGE 'CATALINA' DRAKE and Negro star LUTHER LINDSAY will meet CORSICA JEAN and Lexington newcomer 'BRUISER' BOB MORGAN.

MISS PENNY BANNER and MISS DIXIE JORDAN face off in a special ladies match, and IKE EAKINS battles KEN HOLLIS in the opening match, which gets underway at 8:15.