Tuesday, July 31, 2018

TIM WOODS - MR. WRESTLING


TIM WOODS (MR. WRESTLING) was always accessible to his fans.

Here's MR. WRESTLING working EL GAUCHO at a TV taping at WBTV-CHARLOTTE.
EL GAUCHO's partner on the apron is PANCHO VALDEZ.

The masked hero about to lower the boom on 'Outlaw' RON BASS.

MR. WRESTLING elbow smash time on OLE ANDERSON.

Here's a rare photo of TIM unmasking himself!

Sunday, July 29, 2018

THE GREAT BOLO'S LEGAL TROUBLE

January 27, 1959
CHARLOTTE, NORTH CAROLINA

TOM RENESTO as THE GREAT BOLO
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A west coast professional wrestler calling himself 'THE GREAT BOLO' wants the courts to unmask Charlotte's version of the hooded villain.

AL LOVELOCK, who claims he was licensed to wrestle under the ring name of 'THE GREAT BOLO' in 1953, filed a suit against THOMAS F. RENESTO in Superior Court Monday, asking $20,000 in actual and $100,000 in punitive damages.

LOVELOCK, from Houston, Texas, also seeks a court order preventing RENESTO from using the name and mask of 'THE GREAT BOLO'.

JIM CROCKETT
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The bulky wrestler claims that RENESTO served as his 'second' while he was winning matches in Arizona, California, Texas and other states.

RENESTO made his first 'BOLO' appearance in Charlotte in February, 1958. Since then, he has developed into a major attraction for promoter JIM CROCKETT's wrestling shows all over both Carolinas and Virginia, while managing to avoid being unmasked.

He won a Charlotte match just Monday night, defeating LARRY 'CRUSHER' HAMILTON, but his share of the purse was attached as a result of the court action.

TOM RENESTO
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LOVELOCK's lawsuit also requests that JIM CROCKETT be prevented from presenting RENESTO as 'THE GREAT BOLO'.

Neither CROCKETT nor RENESTO could be reached for immediate comment.

Taken from an ASSOCIATED PRESS story which appeared in the January 27, 1959 issue of THE CHARLOTTE OBSERVER.



Obviously, LOVELOCK was not successful in his lawsuit in blocking 'THE GREAT BOLO' in JIM CROCKETT PROMOTIONS, as TOM RENESTO continued as the masked character in JCP until 1964, along the way adding JODY HAMILTON as his lookalike partner for tag team purposes. The two then left for other wrestling territories and changed their ring name to THE ASSASSINS.

The irony of this story is that although 'THE GREAT BOLO' was never unmasked or his identity exposed in the wrestling ring, his real name was revealed in the court papers when the suit was filed and the story was reported in the press.

I wonder how many wrestling fans were paying attention.

Friday, July 27, 2018

THE 1967 STATESVILLE SUMMER OF WRESTLING - PART THREE


August 24, 1967
STATESVILLE, NORTH CAROLINA









The third and final JIM CROCKETT PROMOTIONS wrestling card for Statesville, N.C. in the summer of 1967.

This says it all.

I was not happy.

Back to City News Stand to retrieve my $2.00 reserved ringside admission.

I probably spent the $2.00 on new comic books before I got out of the place.

Wednesday, July 25, 2018

THE 1967 STATESVILLE SUMMER OF WRESTLING - PART TWO

July 14, 1967
STATESVILLE, NORTH CAROLINA

The Card (and a good one)...














The COMMUNITY BASEBALL CLUB of Statesville (who gave the area citizens AA Baseball) sponsored their second wrestling card of the summer, and it was a great one.

The card's two top matches were both main event matches, with four of JIM CROCKETT PROMOTIONS' top tag teams at the time. And considering GEORGE BECKER & JOHNNY WEAVER were there, it included THE top tag team of the decade.

Specific memories I have of this show:

(1) Prior to the evening matches, Statesville was victim of a horrific summer thunderstorm, which threatened to cancel the show. Fortunately, the storm passed, and the skies cleared. On the down side, the ring had already been set up before Mother Nature struck with a passion, thus soaking the ring mat. As a result, all of the wrestlers had to work a bit slower than usual, to prevent a loss of footing during their matches.

(2) One of the mat stars wasn't entirely successful in keeping his balance. During the ROGER KIRBY / MUMMY bout, Roger gave THE MUMMY a hip toss, and the masked man's momentum (on the slick mat) took him under the bottom rope out onto the normally dirt infield (the ring was set up in the home plate area). This night the dirt was nothing but mud, an aftermath of the storm. The off-white outfit was from that point on, a soaked, slimy brown.

(3) At the point of the "BULLIES" match when THE INFERNOS won the second fall by kicking SWEDE HANSON with the loaded boot, SWEDE juiced. I freaked out because SWEDE would "bleed" for us in our little bitty town.

And to clarify the clipping where it says BECKER took a karate chop to the throat to drop the second fall of the main event - BECKER and SASAKI were the legal men in the ring. SASAKI applied a "stomach claw" hold on GEORGE. WEAVER entered the ring to help his partner, and CHUNG gave JOHNNY a karate thrust to the throat, preventing the save. BECKER submitted to the "stomach claw" hold.

A most memorable evening for me, certainly worth more than the $2.00 I paid for my ringside seat.

GEORGE, JOHNNY, RIP, SWEDE, and J.C. and THE INFERNOS in one night.

Great night.

Monday, July 23, 2018

THE 1967 STATESVILLE SUMMER OF WRESTLING - PART ONE

June 2, 1967
STATESVILLE, NORTH CAROLINA

The Card...










The Results...
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Another summer came to Statesville, and like the previous year, I could be found in my $2.00 ringside seat (on this night, the front row - - you know, Peggy Lathan-type seats).

And what a way to kick off the wrestling summer - - THE INFERNOS were on the card!

I've written many times how J.C. DYKES and THE INFERNOS have always been at the top of my list of all-time favorite tag teams, and here I was, just a few feet away from them.

And something bizarre happened on this night. Refer to the results clipping. It mentions that prior to the main event, a local citizen was arrested for throwing a cup of water on THE INFERNOS. This needs some clarification.

What really happened is as follows: Just as DYKES and his boys came around the ring to climb up the steps into the ring (the steps were on the side of the ring where I was seated), this bafoon, who was sitting at the end of the front row, jumped up from his chair, and threw a large cup of Coca-Cola (not water as the article states) in the face of J.C. DYKES (not THE INFERNOS). DYKES was wearing a blue paisley tuxedo jacket, and it was soaked with the soft drink, as was J.C.'s face.

The idiot then takes off running towards center field of the baseball stadium in which the event was being held. Obviously, he hadn't thought his escape plan through, as there was NO EXIT anywhere in the entire outfield, only a wooden fence, probably eight feet high, of which he had NO CHANCE of scaling.

Both of the masked men immediately took off after the goof, which must have been difficult for THE INFERNO wearing the built-up boot. Nevertheless, they tackled the guy close to dead center field and began punching him mercilessly.

J.C. was close behind, and upon his arrival on the scene, began swinging the metal canteen (which was on a cloth strap) and landed several hard blows on the guy.

A few seconds later, the off-duty Statesville policemen working security made their way to the area, and they cuffed the instigator and walked him all the way back to the infield, straight out of the stadium to the hoosegow, where I'm sure he spent the night as a guest of the city.

I felt badly for J.C. on this hot night because he then had to work the match covered in sticky Coke syrup, but like the pro he was, he did.

It was a great night, and I soon discovered that a few weeks later, THE INFERNOS would return to Statesville to face a team who broke as many rules as they did.

Saturday, July 21, 2018

DOUBLE THE BOLOS...DOUBLE THE TROUBLE

November 17, 1962
LEXINGTON, NORTH CAROLINA


It looks as if things just got worse for professional wrestling's good guys.

THE GREAT BOLO, the masked menace of the sport, has taken a partner, simply known as BOLO. It is reported that BOLO is equally as rugged and tough as the team captain THE GREAT BOLO. Tonight, LEXINGTON fans will get the opportunity to judge for themselves as wrestling returns to the YMCA starting at 8:15 p.m.

THE GREAT BOLO, many believe, has been the toughest rule-breaking grappler in this area for the last four years, and with the addition of a look-alike partner, who is also masked, tag team wrestling should really heat up.

The hooded duo makes its LEXINGTON debut tonight against the combo of SWEDE HANSON and RAY VILLMER, a prize team working together for the first time. The match is set for the best-of-three falls within a one hour time limit.

The card also features an all-star roster that returns the Hawaiian sensation, JOHNNY 'RUBBERMAN' WALKER*, and Canada's JERRY TURRENNE, who made his debut here last week.

WALKER will face RAY DURAN, and TURRENCE battles PEDRO ZAPATA.

In other singles action, DON WHITTLER will meet EDDIE AUGER.


JOHNNY 'RUBBERMAN' WALKER, of course, later donned the MR. WRESTLING 2 hood.

Thursday, July 19, 2018

A TEXAN NAMED MULLIGAN


BJ has the upper hand over Wahoo in an Indian Strap match as referee Sonny Fargo looks on.

Look out Thunderbolt Patterson...Mulligan is coming in for a landing...

Former World Heavyweight Champion TERRY FUNK gets an idea of what size boots BJ wears...

The American Dream feels like anything but in this battle with BJ...

T-Bolt is about to become another BJ 'claw' victim...
---
Wherever he wrestled, as a heel or babyface, he was 'over' big-time.
BLACKJACK MULLIGAN drew fans to the TV screen or the arenas like a flame attracts a moth.

His MID-ATLANTIC feuds with Paul Jones, Wahoo McDaniel, John Studd, Bobby Duncam, Ric Flair and The Masked Superstar sold as many tickets as JIM CROCKETT PROMOTIONS could print.

His interviews are as legendary as Paul Bunyan and Johnny Appleseed. Who will ever forget the stories of Odessa, Sweetwater, 'Spider Grip' and 'Reba Joe'?

There has been a large number of 'cowboy' wrestlers throughout the years, but none were ever as colorful and entertaining as BLACKJACK MULLIGAN (Bob Windham).

Thank you, Sir, for all the entertainment you gave JCP fans.

Tuesday, July 17, 2018

STEAMBOAT SAVES PARTNER'S LIFE




TIME LINE: 1969

One of the top 'babyface' teams in the JIM CROCKETT / MID-ATLANTIC territory was SAM STEAMBOAT and MR. WRESTLING (TIM WOODS).

Being near the top of the rankings put the duo in line for title matches for the ATLANTIC COAST TAG TEAM CHAMPIONSHIP, then held by the blonde duo of RIP HAWK and SWEDE HANSON.

Naturally, RIP and SWEDE claimed STEAMBOAT and MR. WRESTLING were not deserving of a title run, and to prove it, signed to meet their new challengers in a NON-TITLE match in CHARLOTTE, NORTH CAROLINA.

The Hawaiian and the masked man prevailed, thrashing the champs the best two-out-of-three falls.

The champs no longer could duck giving the non-title victors a championship match. It would be held in NORFOLK, VIRGINIA.

It was ALL-OUT WAR!


Early in the title match, RIP softens up challenger STEAMBOAT, but the 'good guys' won the first fall anyway.



Second fall action saw a badly battered MR. WRESTLING try to injure SWEDE HANSON as well.



The second fall went to HAWK and HANSON after MR. WRESTLING had been badly bloodied.



Desperate to save their ATLANTIC COAST TAG TEAM CHAMPIONSHIP, RIP attacked STEAMBOAT and MR. WRESTLING with the ring announcer's metal microphone.



RIP HAWK and SWEDE HANSON double team MR. WRESTLING with that same microphone.



This was the result.



However, both teams took a beating. Here RIP's 'profile' is rearranged.



HANSON and STEAMBOAT battle it out.



SAM STEAMBOAT and MR. WRESTLING after the match.
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When it was all over, RIP HAWK and SWEDE HANSON had escaped with their ATLANTIC COAST TAG TEAM CHAMPIONSHIP.

STEAMBOAT and MR. WRESTLING had escaped with their lives.

Sunday, July 15, 2018

BECKER and ROCCA

October 19, 1963
LEXINGTON, NORTH CAROLINA

GEORGE BECKER

JOHNNY 'RUBBERMAN' WALKER

ALDO BOGNI and BRONCHO LUBICH

HOMER O'DELL

JACK LANZA

ARGENTINA ROCCA

IKE EAKINS
---
The spectacular tag team of GEORGE BECKER and ARGENTINA ROCCA will battle evil foes ALDO BOGNI and BRONCHO LUBICH in tonight's LEXINGTON YMCA wrestling main event.

Both BECKER and ROCCA, extremely popular with mat fans everywhere, are returning to LEXINGTON after long absences to meet HOMER O'DELL's rulebreaking duo. The match is set for the best two-of-three falls with a one hour time limit.

Two huge men will slug it out in tonight's semi-final match when big JACK LANZA * takes on rugged IKE EAKINS.

The Indian star, BOBBY RED CLOUD, makes his LEXINGTON debut tonight and will face ANGELO SAVOLDI in one of the prelimary matches.

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



* JACK LANZA later wrestled as BLACKJACK LANZA.
** JOHNNY 'RUBBERMAN' WALKER later wrestled as MR. WRESTLING 2.