Tuesday, January 30, 2018

JACK BRISCO - THE CHAMP



JACK BRISCO
September 21, 1941 – February 1, 2010



Born Freddie Joe Brisco, he grew up in Blackwell, Oklahoma with five siblings. He was followed by his younger brother, Gerald Brisco, into the sport of wrestling and turned down a football scholarship at University of Oklahoma to go to Oklahoma State. In 1965, he became the first Native American to win an NCAA National Championship.

Jack's first documented professional championship reign began on October 16, 1965, when he defeated DON KENT to win the NWA MISSOURI JUNIOR HEAVYWEIGHT title.

He also won his first tag team title in this promotion, teaming with HAYSTACK CALHOUN as co-holder of the NWA U.S. TAG TEAM CHAMPIONSHIP.

BRISCO headed east to Florida in 1968. Here his career skyrocketed. Over the course of the next few years, JACK held virtually title in the Sunshine State.

BRISCO's first NWA WORLD HEAVYWEIGHT CHAMPIONSHIP began in Houston, Texas when he defeated HARLEY RACE on July 10, 1973. He wore the belt until losing to GIANT BABA on December 4, 1974, then regained the title four days later. JACK remained the champion until December 10, 1975 when he was defeated by TERRY FUNK.

I was thrilled when Ted Turner's independent CHARLOTTE TV station began carrying CHAMPIONSHIP WRESTLING FROM FLORIDA in the late 1960s. The first wrestler who jumped out of the screen at me was JACK BRISCO.

This young man was something special. He didn't have the look of many of the 'stereotypical' wrestlers of the day. Here was a nice-looking, clean-cut, college grad young man (there weren't many back then), and he could really go in the ring.

JACK soon began appearing in the MID-ATLANTIC territory on a limited basis. My first occasion to see JACK wrestle in person was August 4, 1969, when he teamed with MR. WRESTLING (TIM WOODS) to face THE GREAT BOLO and BOLO at the original CHARLOTTE COLISEUM.

Later, I was able to attend a CHARLOTTE PARK CENTER card when BRISCO battled THE MISSOURI MAULER (LARRY HAMILTON). There was also a night in the tiny hamlet of NORTH WILKESBORO, N.C. that I witnessed JACK and JERRY BRISCO meet SGT. SLAUGHTER and DON KERNODLE. (This night, I believe, was also the final night of PAUL JONES' career as a full-time wrestler. PAUL was pinned on this card by TOMMY GILBERT--EDDIE's father. The next night in CHARLOTTE, PAUL was a manager.) 

During his tenure with JIM CROCKETT PROMOTIONS, JACK held the NWA EASTERN HEAVYWEIGHT CHAMPIONSHIP twice, the MID-ATLANTIC HEAVYWEIGHT CHAMPIONSHIP four times and with his brother JERRY (or GERRY) the NWA WORLD TAG TEAM titles on three occassions. Fans today still remember the great title match with RICKY STEAMBOAT and JAY YOUNGBLOOD at STARRCADE '83.


A January, 1975 World title defense in GREENSBORO, N.C.

Few athletes have attained the honors and awards that JACK BRISCO has earned. From NCAA champion to NWA champion, BRISCO has worked throughout the world, entertaining fans of wrestling.

He certainly did that for me.

JACK BRISCO will always be at the top of my list, and I thank him for all of the many memories.

Sunday, January 28, 2018

CHECKING IN WITH THE INFERNOS

The 'loaded boot' does its damage !

INFERNO Frankie Cain after a bad day at the office...

They say it's good to stretch before exercising, but NOT this way...

J.C. Dykes and his men beat up on Homer O'Dell in a 'Battle of the Bullies'...

Mr. Wrestling (Tim Woods) works over his blue-clad opponent.

Friday, January 26, 2018

RIC FLARES AT THE GARDEN

For nearly half a year now, the world-famous Madison Square Garden wrestling shows have been topped off with a very special cherry - - - some of the greatest wrestlers now in the business who, for various reasons, had never before been seen in the WWWF, were being booked as special guest attractions. The effect was twofold: the New York fans got to see a different style of wrestling, as well as a look at some of the heavy-duty talent that's fascinating fans in other territories of the grappling world.


From the announcement at ring center during the February, 1976 card, as to the name of the wrestler guest-starring the following month, excitement began to build among fans and press alike. It would be none other than RIC FLAIR, the much-heralded, peroxide blond "Nature Boy", with a line of self-developed hype slicker than a greased pencil.

The following month, as he strode down the ramp towards the MSG ring, the majority of New York fans weren't even sure who Flair was. He wore a long, gold-encrusted robe, white trunks, and the most magnificent patent-leather boots ever to grace the royal blue Garden mat. Across the back of his robe was emblazoned the legend: "Nature Boy", and he stalked back and forth within his corner, looking sullen and anxious as he awaited his opponent.

The man Ric was to wrestle would be no pushover. "Pistol" Pete Sanchez was a well-experienced grappler who can go by the book or duke it out, whichever way it lays. Pete drew the appluase of the crowd, and Flair disdainfully disrobed. At the sight of his excellent physique, Flair immediately won over a goodly portion of the female audience.

Ric looked like an excited young kid, howling with delight at his own prowess and at being able to demonstrate it in the biggest arena in the country. But while he looked like a handsome young kid, he wrestled pure pro, taking Sanchez with much greater ease than the ringsiders expected.

Finally, looking like a surfer about to hit the waves, Flair ignited and was all over Sanchez in a matter of seconds. After delivering a series of rights to the jaw, Ric bent Pete's head forward, hooked his arms and lifted him straight up into the air for a perfectly-executed symmetrical suplex. Grinning from ear to ear, the "Nature Boy" pinned his man and leaped up into the glare of the behemoth Klieg lights, basking in the golden glow of victory.

Ric Flair had come a long way, and he's come all that way in a few short years. There aren't many wrestlers who have done that. And as Flair had his hand raised in victory, center-canvas at Madison Square Carden, you were seized with the feeling that you were looking at one of those very special wrestlers.

(WRESTLING TRAINING ILLUSTRATED - September, 1976)

Wednesday, January 24, 2018

THATCHER DEBUTS IN LEXINGTON


May 11, 1963
LEXINGTON, NORTH CAROLINA

TONY 'CRUSHER' ANGELO

BOLO and THE GREAT BOLO

SWEDE HANSON

LES THATCHER

GEORGE 'CRYBABY' CANNON

FRANK VALOIS

SONNY FARGO

Two big tag team matches will be co-featured for wrestling fans tonight at the LEXINGTON YMCA, starting at 8:15.

Partners THE GREAT BOLO and BOLO, the masked terror duo, meet a big and rough combination in the guises of TONY 'CRUSHER' ANGELO and big SWEDE HANSON in what must be billed as a 'BATTLE OF THE BULLIES' affair.

Popular brothers GEORGE and SANDY SCOTT go against the rugged duet of FRANK VALOIS and GEORGE 'CRYBABY' CANNON in the other tag battle.

Both of these matches are set for two-out-of-three falls.

Newcomer LES THATCHER will face the rowdy SONNY FARGO in singles competition, with one more match scheduled to open the card.

Sunday, January 21, 2018

BECKER BACK IN LEXINGTON


LEXINGTON, NORTH CAROLINA
August 15, 1961



GEORGE BECKER and ABE JACOBS, a couple of top heroes with local wrestling fans, will return to the LEXINGTON YMCA for mat action tonight.

The two gladiators, who recently have operated as a tag team, will divide their forces this week to meet rugged opponents in a pair of singles main events.

BECKER will battle the mighty Greek star, CHRIS AVEROFF, while JACOBS will scrap with big SWEDE HANSON.

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

Midget stars take over in a tag team match pitting popular little guys FRENCHY SEMARD and TINY BELL against the not-so-popular duo of FARMER McGRUDER and PEE WEE LOPEZ.

A preliminary match between SID JONES and PRINCE OMAR will open the card at 8:15.

Wednesday, January 17, 2018

MOTHER NATURE WINS STRAIGHT FALLS

January 16, 1965
LEXINGTON, NORTH CAROLINA
53 Years Ago



ABE JACOBS and DOUG GILBERT will pair up as a new wrestling team tonight at the LEXINGTON YMCA when they meet the rugged duo of RIP HAWK and SWEDE HANSON, known in wrestling circles as the "BLONDE BOMBERS."

JACOBS, the New Zealand flash, is returning here after a long absence, and his dynamic style should fit well with the spectacular moves of young GILBERT. HAWK and HANSON, very rough operators, are a veteran combination, so the best-of-three fall contest should prove interesting.

Another two-out-of-three fall contest is scheduled as THE FLYING SCOTTS, GEORGE and SANDY, face a new brute force combo in THE ALASKAN and THE BEAST.

PEPPER GOMEZ and MIKE VALENTINE will square off in the evening's opening match at 8:15.


MIKE VALENTINE later wrestled as BARON MIKEL SCICLUNA.


This card, as it turned out, never took place on the scheduled night, being cancelled due to a heavy snow.

Saturday, January 13, 2018

NO BETTER MAT ACTION ANYWHERE

...Fans of the MID-ATLANTIC CHAMPIONSHIP WRESTLING territory were always in for a great evening when the stars of JIM CROCKETT PROMOTIONS came to their towns...

ARGENTINA APOLLO tosses SWEDE HANSON.

BILLY SPEARS and PANCHO VALDEZ go at it.

FRANK MORRELL puts the boot to the back of MATTI SUZUKI.

KOA TIKI has the advantage over GENE ANDERSON at this moment.

ABE JACOBS is at the mercy of PHIL ROBLEY.

UNMASKED MARVEL BILLY GARRETT clamps a nerve stinger on DANNY MILLER while the other MARVEL JIM STARR looks on.

Thursday, January 11, 2018

JOHNNY WEAVER DEBUTS IN CHARLOTTE

February 5, 1962
CHARLOTTE, NORTH CAROLINA
56 Years Ago



HANS SCHMIDT, a brutal 240 lb. German, will headline tonight's wrestling card at PARK CENTER.

SCHMIDT, noted as one of the very toughest wrestlers on the American circuit, will face another rugged grappler in that of LENNY MONTANA *.

The bout, which will be a test for both wrestlers, is set for two-out-of-three falls, with a one hour time limit.

The rest of the card is dotted with new faces.

The semi-final brings in newcomer BILL DROMO, a youngster with a big reputation, to meet the rough and tough SWEDE HANSON. DROMO is from Detroit and specializes in the scientific approach to the sport, unlike HANSON.

Another prelim will unveil two newcomers to the Charlotte area when young JOHNNY WEAVER ** takes on EDDIE AUGER.

The 8:15 opener brings in still another new face, SIR ALLAN GARFIELD, who will team with TINKER TODD to face the combo of STEVE BOLUS and KEN COOPER.

Tuesday, January 9, 2018

THE ARGENTINE LEGEND

October 19, 1963
LEXINGTON, NORTH CAROLINA

55 Years Ago

The spectacular wrestling team of GEORGE BECKER and ARGENTINA ROCCA will battle evil foes ALDO BOGNI and BRONCHO LUBICH in a LEXINGTON YMCA main event feature tonight.

Both BECKER and ROCCA, extremely popular with fans everywhere, are returning to Lexington after lengthy absences to meet 'COLONEL' HOMER O'DELL's rulebreaking duo. And yes, 'COLONEL' O'DELL will be in the corner of his men. The match is set for the best-of-three falls with a one-hour time limit.

Two big men will slug it out in the night's two-out-of-three falls semifinal match as big and tough IKE EAKINS takes on JACK LANZA. *

The respected Indian wrestling star, BOBBY RED CLOUD, makes his debut here tonight when he faces rugged ANGELO SAVOLDI in one of the evening's prelim matches.

Opening the card at 8:15 will be PRINCE OMAR facing the versatile JOHNNY 'RUBBERMAN' WALKER**.


* JACK LANZA later changed his ways and wrestled heel as BLACKJACK LANZA.

** JOHNNY 'RUBBERMAN' WALKER later became MR. WRESTLING 2.

Sunday, January 7, 2018

CHARLOTTE - 60 YEARS AGO

AUGUST 26, 1958

RED BASTIEN

THE GREAT BOLO
---
August 26, 1958
CHARLOTTE, NORTH CAROLINA
---
A 'fight to the finish' will highlight tonight's wrestling card at Charlotte's PARK CENTER.
---
The NO TIME LIMIT two-out-of-three falls match will give popular RED BASTIEN another shot against THE GREAT BOLO, and if BASTIEN can take two falls from the masked hoodlum, off will come BOLO's prized mask.
---
Last week, the two battled to a one-hour draw without a single fall recorded by either participant.
---
"There must be a winner this time," says promoter JIM CROCKETT. "I don't care if they wrestle two hours. Someone is going to win."

GEORGE BECKER

CYCLONE ANAYA

FRITZ VON ERICH

WALDO VON ERICH

ERNIE DUSEK
-
MIKE PAIDOUSIS
---
The semi-final best-of-three falls scrap is a tag team scuffle that pairs GEORGE BECKER with CYCLONE ANAYA to do battle with the rugged German brothers FRITZ and WALDO VON ERICH.
---
The Germans were disqualified last week in a match with BILLY TWO RIVERS and his partner, but showed that they are one of the toughest duos in the wrestling business today.
---
Two single bouts make up the undercard.
---
One match has ERNIE DUSEK taking on NICK ROBERTS, while MIKE PAIDOUSIS faces TINKER TODD in the 8:15 opening match.

Wednesday, January 3, 2018

A LEXINGTON NIGHT 52 YEARS AGO

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.

Monday, January 1, 2018

'RING' IN THE NEW YEAR


JANUARY 4, 1969
LEXINGTON, NORTH CAROLINA

49 Years Ago

A rematch between tag teams of SAILOR ART THOMAS and ABE JACOBS and THE MINNESOTA WRECKING CREW has been ordered to feature the first wrestling card of the new year tonight at the LEXINGTON YMCA.

Last week, GENE and OLE ANDERSON took a hurried and early leave during an exciting third fall, and THOMAS and JACOBS were declared winners by way of a "count out". A double purse goes to the winning team of tonight's two-out-of-three falls battle.

A BATTLE OF THE BULLIES is set in the evening's best-of-three fall semifinal when ruffians JIMMY and BILLY HINES battle Jap star HIRO MATSUDA and scrapper THE MISSOURI MAULER. The HINES boys wrestled here previously as THE MASKED RED DEMONS.

Two special matches are slated to open tonight's card of action.

COWBOY LANG and LITTLE BRUSIER battle in a one-fall MIDGETS MATCH.

Lovely BARBARA OWENS and DONNA CHRISTIAN square off in a LADIES MATCH, with unlady-like antics predicted.

Belltime is 8:15 for the NEW YEARS card.