Friday, June 29, 2018

BOLO'S BACK

July 7, 1958

60 Years Ago

                      CHARLOTTE, NORTH CAROLINA


The return of the infamous masked man of wrestling, the GREAT BOLO, will headline the wrestling program set for tonight at PARK CENTER.

The GREAT BOLO, the vicious masked man who has withstood all efforts to defeat and / or unmask him, has been matched tonight against GORY GUERRERO.

The handsome GUERRERO was BOLO's first victim in Charlotte some two months ago, and GORY has been aching for a rematch ever since. He'll get one hour and two-out-of-three falls to gain revenge.

Also getting co-feature status is a best-of-three-falls, one-hour tag match with Indian stars BILLY TWO RIVERS and CHIEF DON EAGLE taking on ruffians IKE EAKINS and HANS SCHNABEL.

Promoter JIM CROCKETT figures this one to produce some of the wildest and wooliest tag team action seen here in months.

The prelim card has two singles bouts, with one sending fan favorite 'IRISH' MIKE CLANCY lowering the boom against 'BAD' BOB CORBY.

The opening contests matches GYPSY JOE against TINKER TODD. Neither of these men respect the rules of wrestling, so anything could happen in this one.

The first bout in the AIR-CONDITIONED PARK CENTER gets underway at 8:15 p.m.

Thursday, June 21, 2018

THEY "ENHANCED" THE SHOW

Not every wrestler who worked for JIM CROCKETT PROMOTIONS could headline a wrestling card.
Someone had to work underneath at mid-card or lower level to fill out a show.
But that certainly didn't mean that these guys didn't give their all, night after night, to give the audience their admissions' worth.
And because of their great efforts, I would like to give recognition to some of the many guys who fit into this category, at least, during their tenure with JCP.


RANDY CURTIS
Worked in JCP during his rise in the business, achieved higher success in other territories.

LUTHER LINDSAY
Very popular with the fans. Often teamed with ABE JACOBS or GEORGE 'Catalina' DRAKE in tag team action at mid-card level, or worked as a single lower down the card. Did headline some lesser cards in tag matches in the smaller towns. Sadly, Lindsay died immediately following a match at Charlotte's PARK CENTER.
LES WOLFF
Also was a mid-card tag partner with ABE JACOBS and one of the better "young lions" (as David Crockett would say). A semi-final singles competitor as well.

'Big' JIM GRABMIRE
Never really got any push at all with JCP, worked in single and tag matches. I'm sure I saw Grabmire in person and on TV fifty times, and he never got his hand raised. But he always did a great job of selling and losing to guys much smaller than he.
THE VIKING
Many may not know or remember that this man worked as a tag team partner with 'Sir' NELSON ROYAL when Nellie first came to JCP in the early-mid sixties. Royal did his 'babyface' turn while tagging with THE VIKING. With or without ROYAL, THE VIKING was a good mid-card heel, either in singles or team contests.

'LEAPING' LANNY POFFO wrestled as a single and tag teamed with his brother RANDY POFFO.
(Randy, of course, went on to become a superstar in that northern wrestling company as 'Macho Man' Randy Savage.)

KILLER KARL KRUPP
(a face only a mother could love)

PAUL DEMARCO
went on to become a big-time performer, but paid some undercard dues in JCP in the mid-1960s on his way up, teaming often with Bobby Shane.

GEORGE 'CRY BABY' CANNON
wrestled in JCP in the early 1960s. Had a few smaller town main events teaming with George 'Two Ton' Harris, but mostly was undercard. Later went on to become a very successful manager.

MR. X # 1 & # 2
(Gordon Nelson & Geoff Portz)
Great mid-card team in the late 1970s, great workers who were always entertaining.

Tuesday, June 19, 2018

SUPER STARS / SUPER ACTION

KIM DUK battles WAHOO MCDANIEL

PAUL JONES has the better of BARON VON RASCHKE.

JACK BRISCO ties up GREG VALENTINE with a rear chin lock.

The end is near for his opponent as DINO BRAVO begins his airplane spin.

THE ASSASSIN manhandles an opponent.

DUSTY RHODES deals with both OLE and GENE ANDERSON.

BLACKJACK MULLIGAN arm bars PAUL JONES.

Sunday, June 17, 2018

GEORGE BECKER VS JIM CROCKETT

Today's entry is a bit of a stretch, considering this blog is a tribute to JIM CROCKETT PROMOTIONS. However, the center of the story is GEORGE BECKER, the wrestler who was one of the top performers in JCP for twenty years, so I hope you will indulge my expanding the limits.

Popular GEORGE BECKER left CROCKETT PROMOTIONS in 1971, but as it turned out, he did not leave the wrestling business.

"For many years, GEORGE BECKER has been one of professional wrestling's biggest stars. This fact is attested to by thousands of the sport's fans who have sent in votes for BECKER since his retirement a few months ago requesting GEORGE be inducted into the Wrestling Hall of Fame.

BECKER, though retired from the mat, has not quit the wrestling business. He has become a promoter. He and MIKE GALLAGHER, another retired grappler, recently began their own wrestling company through an association with the SHAKEY'S PIZZA chain. Their small independent shows started up a few weeks ago (in and around Charlotte, North Carolina), and whether the two will be successful or not, is not yet known."

from an article by GENE GORDON in the July1972 issue of WRESTLING REVUE



Even though the promotion did not last very long, I thought you might enjoy these rare glimpses of the BECKER / GALLAGHER promotion and some of the wrestlers on their roster.

Referee BUDDY WAYNE, wrestlers BILLY BLUE CLOUD and CHARLIE COOK.
COOK was a former Pittsburgh Steeler who previously had a successful run in Florida, often teaming with Jack and Jerry Brisco.

Action featuring BILLY BLUE CLOUD and THE BLACK MEDIC.

OX THE RIPPER choking CHARLIE COOK.
This match occurred in Kings Mountain, North Carolina.

THE VALENTINE BROTHERS
JERRY and JIMMY


MIKE GALLAGHER during his in-ring career.

MIKE and brother DOC formed a potent heel team in JCP during the late 1950s and early 1960s and often feuded with BECKER at the time.

Throughout his wrestling career, GEORGE appreciated his fans and was always accessible to them.

BECKER / GALLAGHER PROMOTIONS six man team of DIZZY McSHANE, ROCK RIDDLE and THE CONVICT.

DALE STARR works on the leg of DIZZY McSHANE in a match held in Gastonia, North Carolina.

McSHANE, RIDDLE and THE CONVICT do battle with DALE STARR and the VALENTINE BROTHERS, JIMMY and JERRY.

Going up against JIM CROCKETT PROMOTIONS in their hometown of Charlotte was a mountain too high to climb.

Wednesday, June 13, 2018

DO YOU REMEMBER THESE?

As the Statler Brothers song goes, "Do you remember these?" guys who wrestled for JIM CROCKETT PROMOTIONS?


RUFUS R. JONES
('The Freight Train')
Super popular with the fans.

LORD JONATHAN BOYD
(One half of THE ROYAL KANGAROOS)

JIM DILLON
(before he managed 'The Four Horsemen')

'Bulldog' DON KENT
(Mostly a jobber in JCP but achieved huge success in other territories.)

Remember MR. KLEEN
(I do, especially in a WGHP-HIGH POINT, N.C. TV match in which he was 'destroyed' by LORD JONATHAN BOYD)

BOB GRIFFIN

BOB (Buck) RAMSTEAD

Manager HOMER O'DELL and BRONCHO LUBICH

RICKY FERRARA

THE ALASKANS
MIKE YORK and FRANK MONTE

Friday, June 8, 2018

AROUND THE CROCKETT TERRITORY

Traveling the MID-ATLANTIC CHAMPIONSHIP WRESTLING territory from Norfolk to Columbia...

JOHN and CHRIS TOLOS
---
COLUMBIA, S.C. - 1966

JOHN and CHRIS TOLOS topped GEORGE and SANDY SCOTT.

ANGELO MARTINELLI beat RAY DURAN.

'ROWDY' RED ROBERTS lost to GORY GUERRERO.

EL GAUCHO
---
LEXINGTON, N.C. - 1967

GEORGE BECKER and JOHNNY WEAVER won over KURT and HENRY VON STROHEIM.

THE MISSOURI MAULER defeated TEX McKENZIE.

NELSON ROYAL pinned EL GAUCHO.

PAUL DEMARCO lost to BULL RAMOS.

P.Y. CHUNG
---
LEXINGTON, N.C. - 1968

RIP HAWK and SWEDE HANSON beat TEX McKENZIE and NELSON ROYAL.

TINY MILLS and STEVE STANLEE won from RICK HUNTER and JERRY LONDON.

P.Y. CHUNG pinned BOB NANDOR.

LUTHER LINDSAY topple JIM GRABMIRE.

ABE JACOBS
---
CHARLESTON, S.C. - 1966

GEORGE and SANDY SCOTT bested THE GREAT MALENKO and 'BIG' BOB ORTON.

ALDO BOGNI and BRONCHO LUBICH with HOMER O'DELL wrestled BILLY TWO RIVERS and SUNI WAR CLOUD to a draw.

STEVE BOLUS whipped IKE EAKINS.

CORSICA JEAN won over KEN YATES.

ABE JACOBS topped TONY NERO.

SWEDE HANSON and RIP HAWK
---
NORFOLK, VA. - 1966

RIP HAWK and SWEDE HANSON lost to BRONCHO LUBICH and ALDO BOGNI with HOMER O'DELL.

KARL GOTCH and ALEX MEDINA topped HANS SCHMIDT and IKE EAKINS.

GORY GUERRERO wrestled ROGER KIRBY to a draw.

LUTHER LINDSAY downed JACK DANIELS

Wednesday, June 6, 2018

YOUNG LIONS

Watching the MID-ATLANTIC / WIDE WORLD CHAMPIONSHIP WRESTLING TV shows each week, viewers became accustomed to hearing specific 'catch-phrases' on a regular basis...
---
There was BOB CAUDLE's curtain line..."So long for now."
---
There was JOHNNY WEAVER's singing..."Turn Out the Lights."
---
And there was DAVID CROCKETT's weekly reference to the "Young Lions" of professional wrestling.
---
This was a reference to a number of young wrestlers who primarily jobbed for the main eventers for TV matches, or in plain terms, lost week after week. But that was their purpose.
---
Most of these youngsters, however, worked very well and gave good matches, even though viewers generally knew they wouldn't win.
---
Some of these guys went on to become big stars in the business, either for JIM CROCKETT PROMOTIONS, or other wrestling organizations.
---
Today, these men absorb the spotlight...


ED WISKOSKI
(born 1945)
Became a big star as Colonel DeBeers in the AWA

JAY YOUNGBLOOD
(STEVEN ROMERO 1955-1985)
Teamed with RICKY STEAMBOAT to become one of JCP's all-time popular tag teams.

TERRY SAWYER
(Norfolk, Va. native - was a Virginia high school State Wrestling Champion)

DEWEY ROBERTSON
(BYRON JAMES JOHN ROBERTSON 1939-2007)
Very successful as THE MISSING LINK in MID-SOUTH WRESTLING and WORLD CLASS WRESTLING.
MID-ATLANTIC TAG TEAM CHAMPION twice, once with JOHNNY WEAVER and once with GEORGE WELLS.

DOUG SOMERS
(first wrestled in 1971)
Always a great worker, either in JCP or later as a top AWA star.

BILL HOWARD
(I know little about his career away from JCP, but always enjoyed his work in the MID-ATLANTIC territory.)

Monday, June 4, 2018

A 1965 LEXINGTON, NC SUMMER NIGHT

July 24, 1965
LEXINGTON, NORTH CAROLINA

GEORGE 'CATALINA' DRAKE

RON REED
(later wrestled as BUDDY COLT)

GEORGE BECKER

MIKE GALLAGHER

TONI ROSE

TINKER TODD

JOHN and CHRIS TOLOS

GEORGE 'TWO TON' HARRIS
---
A best two-out-of-three falls rematch between the stellar wrestling teams of GEORGE 'CATALINA' DRAKE and RON REED and brothers JOHN and CHRIS TOLOS, known as THE MICHIGAN WRECKING CREW, headlines a four match card tonight at the LEXINGTON YMCA.

Last Saturday, these two teams battled in an exciting and bloody match that ended in a NO CONTEST ruling by the official. The referee was forced to throw the match out for repeated disregard of the rules by both teams.

GEORGE BECKER will be on tonight's card in singles action against a long-time rival, rough and tough MIKE GALLAGHER, in the evening's semi-final contest. The match is also a best-of-three falls match.

In a special one fall event, girl wrestlers TONI ROSE and PEGGY ALLAN will have at it.

TINKER TODD faces GEORGE 'TWO TON' HARRIS, victorious last week, in the first match.

Belltime is 8:15 p.m.