Sunday, April 29, 2018

UNDER "THE BIG DOME"

October 28, 1963
CHARLOTTE, NORTH CAROLINA

KURT and KARL VON BRAUNER and SAUL WEINGROFF

BRONCHO LUBICH, HOMER O'DELL, ALDO BOGNI

The match the fans have been begging for will take place tonight as professional wrestling moves to the CHARLOTTE COLISEUM.

Promoter JIM CROCKETT, who is co-sponsoring this card along with the CAROLINAS CAROUSEL, says the main event on this big card has drawn "more requests than any other match since I have been promoting in Charlotte. And that's been more than twenty-five years."

The big match everyone has been asking for is a SIX MAN TAG TEAM battle. On one side are the vicious German brothers, KURT and KARL VON BRAUNER, along with their equally villainous manager, 'GENTLEMAN' SAUL WEINGROFF. Across the ring will be the threesome ruffians of ALDO BOGNI, BRONCHO LUBICH and their manager, cane-welding 'COLONEL' HOMER O'DELL. The war is scheduled for the best two-of-three falls with a one hour time limit. These conditions should give the hated bunch time enough to do away with each other in the proper way.

GEORGE BECKER and JOHNNY WEAVER

RIP HAWK and SWEDE HANSON

Another tag team match is scheduled in the semifinal contest, normally any wrestling card's main event.

Fan favorites GEORGE BECKER and JOHNNY WEAVER will face a long-time nemesis in the guise of wrestling's "BLONDE BOMBERS" RIP HAWK and SWEDE HANSON. To say these two teams have their differences would be a gross understatement. This one is also scheduled for the best two-out-of-three falls with a one hour time limit.

'COWBOY' BOB ELLIS

'BIG' IKE EAKINS

Yet another specialty sees 'COWBOY' BOB ELLIS, who many say is a probable future World's Heavyweight Champion, taking on the tough and burly 'BIG' IKE EAKINS, straight from Harlan, Kentucky.

For the fans of the girl grapplers, PENNY BANNER faces newcomer JESSICA ROGERS, making her Charlotte debut, in a special event.

Two other newcomers also brighten the giant card which kicks off at 8:15.

BOBBY RED CLOUD, a Sioux Indian, takes on the crafty GEORGE 'TWO TON' HARRIS, and rugged DOCTOR MENENDEZ, a 250 pounder from the Caribbean, meets Canada's rugged FRANK VALOIS.

Friday, April 27, 2018

THERE'S ACTION...ADVENTURE...and MYSTERY


Actually, that is the phrase that was used for TV's ADVENTURES OF SUPERMAN.

But, think about it. It could also apply to the great storylines and matches of JIM CROCKETT PROMOTIONS throughout the years.

The greatest wrestling talent in the world worked in the MID-ATLANTIC CHAMPIONSHIP WRESTLING territory.

Here are but a few...

JOHNNY RINGO has the upper hand, at least for the moment, in this battle with MIKE 'THE ALASKAN' YORK.

One of THE INFERNOS comes to the aid of his masked partner in this match featuring a very young TERRY FUNK.

BOB BRUGGERS and DANNY MILLER turn the tables on CHUCK O'CONNOR (later known as JOHN STUDD).

You can't see his face, but that's NELSON ROYAL taking a beating from the German duo of KURT and HENRY VON STROHEIM.

Not one, but two referees attempt to get SWEDE HANSON away from THE SUPER DESTROYER (Don Jardine).

PRINCESS LITTLE CLOUD and BETTE BOUCHER prove the ladies can be just as rough as the guys.

'Camel Clutch' time for GEORGE 'TWO TON' HARRIS. RONNIE GARVIN is in charge.

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.

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.

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.)