Sunday, October 21, 2018

RALEIGH ROCKED

The capital city of North Carolina was a regular site for JIM CROCKETT PROMOTIONS.

Tarheels (and a lot of Virginia folks) made the almost weekly trek to DORTON ARENA to see great wrestling.

THE MISSOURI MAULER
(LARRY HAMILTON)
---
RALEIGH, N.C. - 1968

THE MISSOURI MAULER and PAMPERO FIRPO lost to GEORGE BECKER and JOHNNY WEAVER.

HAYSTACK CALHOUN and THE AMAZING ZUMA beat RIP HAWK and SWEDE HANSON via DQ.

NELSON ROYAL pinned BULL RAMOS.

CHIEF LITTLE EAGLE bested GENE DUNDEE.


LOU THESZ
---
RALEIGH, N.C. - 1965

LOU THESZ retained the WORLD HEAVYWEIGHT CHAMPIONSHIP defeating GEORGE SCOTT.

ALDO BOGNI and BRONCHO LUBICH with HOMER O'DELL toppled NICK KOZAK and 'IRISH' MIKE CLANCY.

SIR NELSON ROYAL and THE VIKING bested DALE LEWIS and PEPPY GOMEZ.

JOHNNY WEAVER topped THE MATADOR.

PRINCESS LITTLE CLOUD pinned JUDY GRABLE.


SWEDE HANSON and RIP HAWK
---
RALEIGH, N.C. - 1965

RIP HAWK and SWEDE HANSON trounced PEPPY GOMEZ and RUDY KAY.

NICK KOZAK and 'IRISH' MIKE CLANCY toppled SIR NELSON ROYAL and THE VIKING.

CHIEF BIG HEART and LORENZO PARENTE defeated JOHNNY KACE and PRINCE OMAR.

MIKE VALENTINO pinned JACK VANSKY.


JOHNNY WEAVER
---
RALEIGH, N.C. - 1965

LOU THESZ retained the WORLD HEAVYWEIGHT CHAMPIONSHIP over JOHNNY WEAVER.

GEORGE and SANDY SCOTT and ABE JACOBS took a disputed decision over BRONCHO LUBICHALDO BOGNI and HOMER O'DELL in six man action.

RAY VILLMER wrestled THE ALASKAN to a draw.

THE BEAST whipped THE VIKING.

PENNY BANNER pinned JUDY GRABLE.

EDWARDO CASTILLO topped THE MATADOR.


GEORGE BECKER versus THE MASKED RED DEMONS
---
RALEIGH, N.C. - 1967

GEORGE and SANDY SCOTT and GEORGE BECKER won over THE MASKED RED DEMONS and GEORGE 'TWO TON' HARRIS in a six man battle.

FRENCHIE LAMONTE lost to LORD LITTLEBROOK.

THE MUMMY pinned DON KENT.

IKE EAKINS triumphed over PEDRO GODOY.

Friday, October 19, 2018

SEE YOU AT RINGSIDE

November 25, 1967
LEXINGTON, NORTH CAROLINA

51 Years Ago


The wild man from the Pampas, PAMPERO FIRPO, and his rugged tag team partner, THE MISSOURI MAULER, will be out to halt the winning streak of the popular Indian duo of BOBBY RED CLOUD and CHIEF LITTLE EAGLE in tonight's wrestling main event at the LEXINGTON YMCA.

The Indians have been on the warpath lately with victories over highly-touted teams and have built up a loyal following. Their opponents tonight are extremely rough and powerful, and the best-of-three falls contest should be loaded with action.

"Back to the reservation to make moccasins," THE MISSOURI MAULER predicts. "When Mr. FIRPO and I are finished with them, their squaws will have to nurse them both back to health."

Another two-out-of-three falls tag encounter pits two new combinations against one another. Popular LES THATCHER joins RUDY KAYE to face "BULLDOG" LEE HENNING and the mysterious masked wrestler THE MUMMY.

TINY MILLS, a big operator, meets popular Negro star LUTHER LINDSAY, and young ALEX MEDINA takes on newcomer CHUCK STANLEY in the singles matches of the evening.

Bell time is 8:15.

Wednesday, October 17, 2018

THOSE BLAZIN' INFERNOS


THE INFERNOS and J.C. DYKES ready to work...
(Under the hoods are ROCKY SMITH and his brother CURTIS. ROCKY was an original INFERNO. CURTIS replaced original INFERNO FRANKIE CAIN.)

DENNIS HALL in command of his INFERNO encounter...for the time being. That's referee Sam 'Lucky' Roberts in the background.

Popular NELSON ROYAL attempts to remove the INFERNO's mask...

J.C. shouts instructions to his men, who seem to be in a bad situation.

One of the 'managerial' skills of J.C. DYKES.



ROCKY SMITH, J.C. DYKES, FRANKIE CAIN



NELSON ROYAL in a pinch.



DON CURTIS about to catch fire.



Right in the kisser.






J.C. DYKES, FRANKIE CAIN, LES THATCHER



Looks like a rough day at the office.



Incredible GENE GORDON photo of J.C. DYKES, GEORGE HARBEN and THE INFERNOS at Charlotte's Park Center.

(from the CARROLL HALL collection)

Monday, October 15, 2018

A HOT JANUARY NIGHT

January 11, 1969
Lexington, North Carolina

MR. WRESTLING and SAM STEAMBOAT

RIP HAWK and SWEDE HANSON

TERRY and RONNIE GARVIN

JESSE JAMES

Professional wrestling's 'Blonde Bombers' --- RIP HAWK and SWEDE HANSON --- will take on the hero unit of Hawaiian star SAM STEAMBOAT and the masked man MR. WRESTLING in tonight's main event at the Lexington YMCA.

The Canadian brother duo of TERRY and RONNIE GARVIN will meet fan favorites BOB RAMSTEAD and JESSE JAMES in the semi-final tag team match.

Both tag contests will be decided under a best two-of-three falls stipulation.

Preliminary singles bouts will find rugged ROCK HUNTER meeting young BILLY SPEARS and TINKER TODD facing another masked man in the guise of EL LOBO.

The action gets underway at 8:15 p.m.

Saturday, October 13, 2018

A CHARLOTTE SHOW I REMEMBER WELL

October 24, 1966
CHARLOTTE, NORTH CAROLINA
-
52 Years Ago

The very first Monday night after I received my driver's license in September 1966, found my friend Jimmy and me planted in our ringside seats at Charlotte's Park Center.

Even though that was a school night, I was permitted to flex my independence somewhat and make my first trip to Charlotte as a licensed driver.

Once this venture was over, I was informed that wrestling (at least attending live matches) would have to be sacrificed for the time being. I had just started high school, and I was expected to hit the books, make good grades so I could get into a good college, so I could have a brilliant career in...whatever. You know the drill.

So back to the regular confinement of seeing wrestling only on WBTV and WGHP every Saturday.

With much begging and persuasion, the ban was lifted six or seven weeks later when I was permitted to return to the Queen City for a "wrestling extravaganza." I was permitted to attend ONLY because the show was at the Charlotte Coliseum, a building I had visited only a couple of times since it opened in the late 1950s. Once was for the Ringling Bros. Circus and the other for some ACC basketball game that I was dragged to by a friend.

KLONDIKE BILL was in the midst of his big push by JIM CROCKETT PROMOTIONS at this time. He had been "injured" by THE GREAT MALENKO during the summer, building to the Russian's annihilation by the Alaskan on the Charlotte Labor Day card.

KLONDIKE then set his sights on MALENKO's tag team partner, THE MISSOURI MAULER, who held the SOUTHERN HEAVYWEIGHT CHAMPIONSHIP. BILL would take the belt from the MAULER, eventually losing it back to his nemesis.

The Texas team of TEX McKENZIE and NELSON ROYAL were working a program with BRONCHO LUBICH and ALDO BOGNI during the Fall of 1966. With nothing really settled, the JCP bookers decided to head this Coliseum show by putting TEX and NELLIE in a match with BOGNI and LUBICH and to toss their evil manager HOMER O'DELL into the mix as a wrestler. To even up the sides, the red-hot KLONDIKE BILL was added to the Texas side of the ledger.

NELLIE took fall number one over LUBICH with his atomic drop. A triple-team body slam by the villains (with the far-sighted referee missing it completely) put BILL's shoulders down for the count to square the match. Then KLONDIKE's big splash on O'DELL closed the show.

BOBBY SHANE (one of David Crockett's proverbial young lions) was getting a CROCKETT push at the time. In fact, SHANE would soon be teaming with KLONDIKE in tag team main events. On this night, he faced GEORGE "TWO TON" HARRIS, in his final days as a headliner. Young BOBBY grabbed a DQ victory over TWO TON.

Girls were featured on the show, and probably for the 500th time, the great PENNY BANNER pinned TAMMY JONES.

The rugged German duo of KURT and HENRY VON STROHEIM, a B-plus to A-minus team faced another young lion in PAUL DEMARCO and veteran JESSE JAMES. With JESSE involved, it was no more than a TV match. DEMARCO could hold his own, but JESSE's career was dissolving as fast as did Lance Armstrong's. The Berlin boys won.
-
The match of the card which interested me the most was the semi-final. The SOUTHERN TAG TEAM CHAMPIONS and favorites of most all area wrestling fans, GEORGE BECKER and JOHNNY WEAVER were battling the rowdy duo of the MASKED RED DEMONS, with red-headed TWO TON HARRIS at ringside as their manager.

BECKER and WEAVER had been feuding with the DEMONS since the summer when the masked men first appeared in the CROCKETT territory. After a short while, the DEMONS added the tutorial skills of TWO TON, who quickly dyed his locks red and obtained a bright red suit, with a belt buckle the size of Rhode Island, which was comparable to HOMER O'DELL's cane, i.e., a weapon.

I had witnessed these two teams go to a double DQ back in a Statesville, N.C. summer card.

JIM CROCKETT, for this match, added a stipulation to the proceedings. One of these masked men had to wear a white mask so the referee and participants could tell the ruffians apart. "Too much switchin' goin' on," said the boss. "It's too confusin." TWO TON protested. Too bad.

Much to my disappointment, when the RED DEMONS entered the ring for war, one wore a white tobogon, pulled all the way down over his face, with eye, nose and mouth holes cut out.

The championship looked to be in jeopardy when one DEMON pinned WEAVER for the first fall. Between falls, with the referee distracted, TWO TON gave JOHNNY a "big splash" with that giant belt buckle strategically placed on WEAVER's sternum. JOHNNY barely made it to his feet for the second fall.

BECKER abdominal stretched one of the DEMONS, and the match was even.

The winner of the third fall would claim the titles. And for a time, it appeared the masked men would take the crown. But our heroes battled back. Soon the DEMONS were getting thrashed. BECKER tossed the white-clad DEMON out of the corner, and the tobagon came off. Of course, his regular red mask was underneath. Then the hooded duo tried their usual switcheroo, but to no avail. JOHNNY had one of them in the corner and was ripping at the mask. At this point, TWO TON gave the "clear out" signal. But before the DEMON got away from WEAVER, the front of his mask was torn to the point that it flapped open and I remember seeing his face as clear as a bell. Of course, at that time, I had no idea who he was, but I remember this as if it happened this morning. I saw his face.

The three sped up the aisle and BECKER and WEAVER were awarded the match on a count-out.

Three months before JOHNNY passed away, I asked him about this particular match. Was he supposed to tear the mask as he did, or was it an accident? He said he didn't remember what I described to him.

"You remember lots of these matches better than I do. George and I wrestled these guys so many times in a six-month period, I can't keep them straight."

That is completely understandable.

I saw George and Johnny work these guys, maybe four times, out of the probable one hundred matches they had with one another.

"What I do remember about these guys is that they were both small as wrestlers go, and you could throw them a mile. They took great bumps. Many times it scared me the way they took bumps. I just knew for sure that they weren't going to get back up, but they did. Oh...and they both loved their liquor."

Another story Johnny told me about the DEMONS...Some of the wrestlers had complained a little about smelling alcohol on the them during some matches. One night, in a small Virginia town, the promoter told IKE EAKINS to watch them like a hawk and make sure they didn't have any booze to drink before their main event. IKE assured the promoter he would take care of it. But when the DEMONS got to the ring, they smelled like a still.

After the show, the promoter got in IKE's face and chewed him out for not doing as he was asked. "I was with them the entire time in the dressing room before they went out. They did NOT take a drink," IKE replied. "Were you with them the ENTIRE time?" the promoter wanted to know. "ABSOLUTELY, except when they used the bathroom before their match."

Hearing that, the promoter and IKE went into the bathroom. The promoter found a bottle of booze hidden in the toilet tank.

Thursday, October 11, 2018

QUEEN CITY ACTION

I wish I had kept an accounting of how many times I made the trip from Statesville, N.C. or Salisbury, N.C. to Charlotte to see MID-ATLANTIC CHAMPIONSHIP WRESTLING.

The trip from Statesville to Charlotte was during 1960's non-Interstate highway days, meaning slow-downs in the then-hamlets of Troutman and Mooresville, then entering the 'Queen City' through one of its least desirable areas.

But this was for wrestling, so why would personal safety be an issue?

Once in the city, it was on to PARK CENTER or, on occasion, to the original COLISEUM, known as 'The Big Dome'.

No specific memories that I may have witnessed any of the CHARLOTTE cards below, but somebody had a good time at them.

BILLY TWO RIVERS *
---
CHARLOTTE, N.C. - 1966

GEORGE BECKERTEX McKENZIE and BILLY TWO RIVERS toppled ALDO BOGNIBRONCHO LUBICH and HOMER O'DELL in six man competition.

'BIG' BOB ORTON retained the SOUTHERN STATES CHAMPIONSHIP when JOHNNY WEAVER was disqualified.

PAT O'CONNOR bested IKE EAKINS.

STEVE BOLUS and JESSE JAMES lost to JOHN and CHRIS TOLOS.

NELSON ROYAL got past THE GREAT MALENKO via DQ.


BRONCHO LUBICH
---
CHARLOTTE, N.C. - 1966

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

BOB BOYER pinned JOHN GUDISKI.

SLAVE GIRL MOOLAH squashed PRINCESS WHITE DOVE.

SUNI WAR CLOUD topped TONY NERO.


LARS ANDERSON
---
CHARLOTTE, N.C. - 1967

GEORGE and SANDY SCOTT topped GENE and LARS ANDERSON.

RIP HAWK and SWEDE HANSON smashed JESSE JAMES and DON KENT.

BOBBY SHANE pinned EL GAUCHO.

JOHN HIGGINS lost to GEORGE 'TWO TON' HARRIS.


GEORGE 'CATALINA' DRAKE **
---
CHARLOTTE, N.C. - 1965

ALDO BOGNI and BRONCHO LUBICH with HOMER O'DELL won the SOUTHERN TAG TEAM CHAMPIONSHIP from EDDIE GRAHAM and SAM STEAMBOAT.

GEORGE 'CATALINA' DRAKE topped SWEDE HANSON.

RON REED *** pinned THE VIKING.

DALE LEWIS defeated TONY NERO.

CHRIS AVEROFF bested SONNY FARGO.


JOHN and CHRIS TOLOS
---
CHARLOTTE, N.C. - 1966

BRONCHO LUBICH and ALDO BOGNI with HOMER O'DELL versus RIP HAWK and SWEDE HANSON ended in a no contest.

TEX McKENZIE and NELSON ROYAL defeated JOHN and CHRIS TOLOS.

BOB BOYER beat IKE EAKINS.

TONY NERO lost to JESSE JAMES.


A while back, I watched the 2004 movie TAKING LIVES starring Angelina Jolie. BILLY TWO RIVERS has a speaking role in the film within the first ten minutes.

** GEORGE 'CATALINA' DRAKE died at the young age of 39 of a heart attack. He appeared in an episode of the ADVENTURES OF SUPERMAN in 1951 entitled NO HOLDS BARRED.

*** RON REED later became a wrestling superstar under the name BUDDY COLT

Tuesday, October 9, 2018

GERMANS DEMAND REMATCH

December 10, 1966
LEXINGTON, NORTH CAROLINA



Two tag teams plus a battle between two pretty girl grapplers give interest to tonight's LEXINGTON YMCA mat card, kicking off at 8:15.

The popular duo of KLONDIKE BILL and ABE JACOBS are rematched tonight against KURT and HENRY VON STROHEIM. The German brothers made demands for this return match after a disputed loss to BILL and ABE here last Saturday.

PAUL DEMARCO and LUTHER LINDSEY, hero winners last week, return to face top competition in the likes of RIP HAWK and SWEDE HANSON, wrestling's "BLONDE BOMBERS."

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

PENNY BANNER, the most popular girl wrestler around these parts, faces stiff competition when she faces TAMMY JONES, a not-so-nice lady, in a special one fall event.

TINKER TODD clashes with EL GAUCHO in the opening bout of the night. Don't look for many rules to be followed in this one.

Sunday, October 7, 2018

BOY DO WE NEED THEM NOW

GREG PETERSON

KEN PATERA

BULL RAMOS

THE IRON SHEIK

GENE ANDERSON

SKY LOW LOW

THE KENTUCKIANS

JACK BRISCO

PENNY BANNER

Friday, October 5, 2018

HEELS versus HEELS

March 29, 1969
LEXINGTON, NORTH CAROLINA

49 Years Ago



Anything is likely to happen tonight...

RIP HAWK and SWEDE HANSON, "The Blonde Bombers" of the pro wrestling world, tear loose against an equally rough duo of THE MISSOURI MAULER and HIRO MATSUDA in tonight's LEXINGTON YMCA wrestling feature, kicking off at 8:15.

"Colonel" HOMER O'DELL, the diabolical manager of MATSUDA and the MAULER, will be accompanying his men and could get mixed up in the BATTLE OF THE BULLIES main event, scheduled for the best two-out-of-three falls.

"Let O'DELL stick his nose in the ring while I'm wrestling," said HAWK. "I've got a piledriver waiting with his name on it!" HAWK's partner HANSON had no comment.

Popular GEORGE and SANDY SCOTT will be back tonight, fresh off a victory here last week. "Bulldog" LEE HENNING and "Big" JIM GRABMIRE are the foes facing "The Flying Scotts" tonight. Two falls will decide the winning team.

Single matches send young BOBBY PAUL against the rugged ROCK HUNTER, and RANDY CURTIS will test tough EL GAUCHO in the opening match.

Wednesday, October 3, 2018

LONG TIME RIVALS GO TO WAR

March 27, 1965
LEXINGTON, NORTH CAROLINA

The two bitter rival tag teams of the pro wrestling world, GEORGE BECKER and JOHNNY WEAVER and the skin-headed duo of BRUTE BERNARD and SKULL MURPHY, will clash in a best-of-three falls main event headlining tonight's action-packed wrestling card at the LEXINGTON YMCA.

These two teams have a hatred for one another going back several years and have battled all over the country with nothing really settled.

LEXINGTON is the battlefield tonight.

The co-feature is also a tag team affair with popular ABE JACOBS and EMIL DUPREE facing the tough combo of "SIR" NELSON ROYAL and THE VIKING. Two recorded falls is required for a victory in this match as well.

Single competition opens the card when RAY VILMER opposes MIKE VALENTINO * and KEN YATES takes on "TIGER" JACK VANSKY in the 8:15 opener.


Mike Valentino later wrestled as Baron Mikel Scicluna.

Monday, October 1, 2018

1967 RASSLIN' RESULTS


ABE JACOBS
---
CHARLESTON, S.C. - 1967

THE MASKED RED DEMONS bested TEX McKENZIE and NELSON ROYAL.

LARS and GENE ANDERSON defeated JOHN HIGGINS and TINKER TODD.

ABE JACOBS topped BOB MORGAN.

CORSICA JOE beat TONY NERO.


LITTLE BEAVER
---
RALEIGH, N.C. - 1967

KLONDIKE BILL and ABE JACOBS versus KURT and HENRY VON STROHEIM - DOUBLE DQ

THE MASKED RED DEMONS beat JESSE JAMES and ALEX MEDINA.

DON KENT won over TINKER TODD.

LITTLE BEAVER pinned BILLY THE KID.

KLONDIKE BILL
---
GREENSBORO, N.C. - 1967

KURT and HENRY VON STROHEIM topped TEX McKENZIE and NELSON ROYAL.

GEORGE BECKER and JOHNNY WEAVER bested THE MASKED RED DEMONS.

KLONDIKE BILL and ABE JACOBS lost to ALDO BOGNI and BRONCHO LUBICH with HOMER O'DELL.

PENNY BANNER bested MILLIE STAFFORD.


BORIS THE GREAT MALENKO
---
RALEIGH, N.C. - 1967

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

THE GREAT MALENKO and THE MISSOURI MAULER bested PAUL DEMARCO and STEVE BOLUS.

JOHNNY WEAVER and IKE EAKINS wrestled to a draw.

LUTHER LINDSAY defeated LARS ANDERSON - DQ