Friday, August 30, 2019

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.
---
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.

Wednesday, August 28, 2019

FROM GRIDIRON TO GRAPPLING




CROCKETT WRESTLING fans of the late 1960s will remember LES WOLFF.

Often teamed with veteran New Zealander ABE JACOBS, Les worked single and tag team matches at mostly the mid-card level, occasionally some small town main events.

LES worked very well, and the fans really took to him. Ticket buyers always got their money's worth with WOLFF on the show.

Here's LES and a young fan.

Monday, August 26, 2019

ONE 'HOT' TAG TEAM

THE INFERNOS with Manager J.C. DYKES

JIM CROCKETT PROMOTIONS, throughout the 1960s, was known in the professional wrestling world as the top territory for tag team wrestling. Probably more than ninety percent of the time, a JCP card was topped off with a tag match.

The list of main event teams who worked the MID-ATLANTIC area is a 'Who's Who' of the greatest combos ever in the business.

Other than THE BOLOS, the best masked team to ever hit the Carolinas and Virginia was a couple of guys who went by the ring name of THE INFERNOS. Along side them was a red-headed manager J.C. (Jimmy) DYKES.

There were, through the years, several incarnations of the INFERNO team (and countless impersonators), but the original two 'blue tigers' (as Dykes often called them) were FRANKIE CAIN and ROCKY SMITH. Neither men were big in stature by wrestling standards, but could they ever work!

In interviews, DYKES claimed the duo was European and spoke little English. He was the only person who could really communicate with them well, and did much of it by the use of blowing a whistle during their matches to give them strategic commands.

The wrestling fans, to create problems for the evil trio, soon began bringing their own whistles to the matches. The areas would become deafening with several hundred whistles being blown at the same time. A great way for the fans to be involved in the match.

DYKES also carried a metal canteen to the ring, giving his men a needed refreshment between falls of their matches. Naturally, the metal canteen often found its mark on the noggins of many a 'babyface' opponent.

And it was not beneath the dignity of J.C. to throw an occasional fireball at their adversaries. I recall George Becker and Les Thatcher at the receiving end on two different occasions.

But the 'gimmick' of THE INFERNOS that got the most heat (and this team's heat was as hot as the sun) was the loaded boot.


THE INFERNOS and DYKES drew big money in every territory they appeared, be it the Carolinas and Virginia, Florida, Texas, etc. They headlined countless wrestling cards facing each area's top teams (including other 'heel' teams).

J.C. DYKES died in 1993. ROCKY SMITH has also passed away. FRANKIE CAIN was the first to leave the team when he became pro wrestling's THE GREAT MEPHISTO.

Saturday, August 24, 2019

TWINKLE, TWINKLE LITTLE STAR

The Stars Came Out Every Night in the MID-ATLANTIC CHAMPIONSHIP WRESTLING territory...

DICK STEINBORN executes one of his legendary drop kicks.

LUTHER LINDSAY has PAMPERO FIRPO on the ropes.

HIRO MATSUDA strikes a nerve of BOBBY NICHOLS.

THE GREAT BOLO scores another victory.

ABE JACOBS submits to ALDO BOGNI's 'corkscrew' finisher.

Strongman KEN PATERA has the upper hand on his opponent.

Thursday, August 22, 2019

A LONG TIME AGO IN A GALAXY (you know the rest)


THE GREAT MALENKO
---
CHARLESTON, S.C. - 1967

SANDY SCOTT defeated THE GREAT MALENKO in a RUSSIAN DEATH MATCH.

ABE JACOBS and RUDY KAY topped LARS and GENE ANDERSON via DQ.

KARL GOTCH pinned EL GAUCHO.

CORSICA JEAN lost to GEORGE 'CATALINA' DRAKE.


IKE EAKINS
---
ASHEVILLE, N.C. - 1966

TEX McKENZIE and NELSON ROYAL defeated BRONCHO LUBICH and ALDO BOGNI with HOMER O'DELL.

KURT and HENRY VON STROHEIM versus BILLY TWO RIVERS and SUNI WAR CLOUD ended in a no contest.

IKE EAKINS pinned BOB BOYER.

JOHN GUDISKI topped KEN YATES.


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

RIP HAWK and SWEDE HANSON took the measure of ABE JACOBS and DALE LEWIS.

'IRISH' MIKE CLANCY and FRANKIE CAIN * defeated SONNY FARGO and THE MATADOR.

RAY VILLMER spoiled THE VIKING.

EDUARDO CASTILLO turned back JACK VANSKY.

* FRANKIE CAIN would soon don a mask and join ROCKY SMITH as the original INFERNOS, who would be managed by J.C. DYKES.

PEDRO GODOY
---
CHARLESTON, S.C. - 1967

GEORGE BECKER and JOHNNY WEAVER won over THE MISSOURI MAULER and THE GREAT MALENKO.

IKE EAKINS and PEDRO GODOY topped ALEX MEDINA and 'COWBOY' RONNIE HILL.

TAMMY JONES beat PEGGY ALLEN.

JIM OSBORNE wrestled EL GAUCHO to a time limit draw.


GEORGE BECKER and JOHNNY WEAVER
---
NORFOLK, VA. - 1967

GEORGE BECKERRIP HAWK and SWEDE HANSON lost to ALDO BOGNIHOMER O'DELL and BRONCHO LUBICH in six man action.

JOHNNY WEAVER topped RUDY KAY.

LUTHER LINDSAY defeated GENE ANDERSON.

LARS ANDERSON was stopped by ABE JACOBS.

Tuesday, August 20, 2019

AROUND THE CROCKETT TERRITORY

RONNIE GARVIN takes time out to sign an autograph for a fan.

THE ROYAL KANGAROOS (LORD JONATHAN BOYD and NORMAN FREDERICK CHARLES III) rarely came out on the short end of a battle. Exception: A 'brass knuckles' war with JOHNNY WEAVER and ART NELSON.

'OUTLAW' RON BASS and JIM (J.J.) DILLON prepare to do battle.

Where's the referee?
MATTI SUZUKI is trying to choke the life out of SANDY SCOTT.

RICKY STEAMBOAT and RIC FLAIR join forces as a tag team.
FLAIR seems to like the idea.

Then fan favorite SWEDE HANSON 'helps' his arch enemy THE SUPER DESTROYER (DON JARDINE) back into the ring.

Sunday, August 18, 2019

A BATTLE FOR THE AGES

One of the prestigious titles in JIM CROCKETT PROMOTIONS was the EASTERN HEAVYWEIGHT CHAMPIONSHIP.

One of the biggest feuds over the Eastern title was between RIP 'The Profile' HAWK and JERRY BRISCO. On February 14, 1972, RIP defeated JERRY's older brother Jack Brisco, in Charlotte, N.C. to become Eastern Champion. RIP and Jack traded the belt back and forth before JERRY entered the title picture.

Champion RIP HAWK

Challenger JERRY BRISCO

June 13, 1972 was the date on which JERRY BRISCO became the EASTERN HEAVYWEIGHT CHAMPION for the first time. The match took place in Columbia, S.C. HAWK would win it back in Greenville, S.C. some two months later. This title reign for RIP would be a short one as the very next week, again in Greenville, JERRY would capture the championship again.

HAWK finished the year of 1972 on an upswing, beating BRISCO in Greensboro, N.C., on December 28th. The final title switch between the two occurred in early March, 1973 in Winston-Salem, N.C.

It should be noted that RIP HAWK is on record as saying BRISCO never won the title 'fair and square." RIP claims that JERRY would purposely get disqualified to keep from losing the belt. Even the two participant's partners offered opinions. Jack Brisco said "I've wrestled Hawk. He's cagey. He'll do anything to win a match. Jerry had better watch himself." And on the flip side, Rip's partner Swede Hanson had this to add,"Rip is an honorable man. Every fan of wrestling knows that. That's why the fans love Rip Hawk. He never breaks the rules."

HAWK would never get the EASTERN HEAVYWEIGHT CHAMPIONSHIP back from BRISCO after the Winston-Salem match in March.

In September, 1973, the EASTERN HEAVYWEIGHT CHAMPIONSHIP was retired and became the MID-ATLANTIC HEAVYWEIGHT CHAMPIONSHIP.

Research for the EASTERN HEAVYWEIGHT CHAMPIONSHIP by Dick Bourne for the MID-ATLANTIC GATEWAY.


RIP unloads on JERRY...

BRISCO gives 'THE PROFILE' a backdrop.

JERRY almost cries 'uncle' with this hammerlock.

Do I see RIP pulling JERRY's trunks?
And Swede said that Rip never broke the rules!

Friday, August 16, 2019

THE SIZZLING SIXTIES

From West Virginia to South Carolina, JCP fans had no trouble finding great wrestling entertainment...


ABE JACOBS
---
CHARLESTON, W.V. - 1969

ABE JACOBSGEORGE and SANDY SCOTT topped LARSGENE and OLE ANDERSON in six man action.

LITTLE BRUISER pinned COWBOY LANG.

PAUL DEMARCO and BOB RAMSTEAD lost to THE RED DEMONS.

LES WOLFE toppled TINKER TODD.

GEORGE and SANDY SCOTT
---
LYNCHBURG, VA. - 1968

GEORGE and SANDY SCOTT bested HARU SASAKI and P.Y. CHUNG.

BOBBY RED CLOUD and CHIEF LITTLE EAGLE won over THE INFERNOS with J.C. DYKES via DQ.

CHUCK CONLEY topped THE MATADOR.

ROGER KIRBY pinned ALEX MEDINA.

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

JOHNNY WEAVER defeated JOHN and CHRIS TOLOS in a Handicap Match.

GEORGE and SANDY SCOTT bested MIKE GALLAGHER and PEDRO ZAPATA.

'THE BIG O' BOB ORTON stopped RON REED*

LUTHER LINDSAY pinned 'ROWDY' RED ROBERTS.

'THE BIG O' BOB ORTON
---
RICHMOND, VA. - 1966

KURT and HENRY VON STROHEIM beat GEORGE and SANDY SCOTT.

GEORGE BECKER and JOHNNY WEAVER won from 'THE BIG O' BOB ORTON and THE GREAT MALENKO.

IKE EAKINS topped JIM GRABMIRE.

DON CHUY pinned MIKE PAIDOUSIS.

TEX McKENZIE
---
CHARLOTTE, N.C. - 1966

ALDO BOGNI and BRONCHO LUBICH with HOMER O'DELL lost to TEX McKENZIE and NELSON ROYAL.

RIP HAWK and SWEDE HANSON defeated ABE JACOBS and RUDY KAYE.

PAUL DEMARCO topped GENE ANDERSON.

GEORGE 'CATALINA' DRAKE pinned GORY GUERRERO.

JESSE JAMES
---
ROANOKE, VA. - 1969

ALDO BOGNIBRONCHO LUBICH and GEORGE 'TWO TON' HARRIS won over GEORGE and SANDY SCOTT and LES WOLFE in six man action.

GREG PETERSON and JESSE JAMES bested TOM BRADLEY and JOHNNY HEIDEMAN.

RANDY CURTIS defeated GEORGE GRANT.

EL GAUCHO topped RON CHARLES.
---
RON REED later wrestled as BUDDY COLT.

Wednesday, August 14, 2019

BECKER'S BACK IN LEXINGTON


May 6, 1961
LEXINGTON, NORTH CAROLINA

P.Y. CHUNG *

GEORGE BECKER

BOB NANDOR

FRAN GRAVETTE

TERRY GARVIN


RITA CORTEZ
---
Fan favorite GEORGE BECKER will face the crafty Oriental bully, P.Y. CHUNG, in a special challenge match that headlines tonight's wrestling card at the LEXINGTON YMCA.

BECKER asked for the match himself after he and SANDY SCOTT defeated CHUNG and partner MIKE PAIDOUSIS in tag action last Saturday night.

Following last week's match, CHUNG rammed BECKER into the ring post, splitting his head open. GEORGE declared revenge and asked the promoter for a one-on-one contest with CHUNG.

The match has been signed and will be fought under two-out-of-three falls and one hour time limit stipulations.

A girls tag team match supports the main event with the diabolical duo of SLAVE GIRL MOOLAH and the lovely-but-deadly RITA CORTEZ meeting popular FRAN GRAVETTE and the amazing JUDY GRABLE.

Bullies KEN COOPER and JACK BENARD meet in one preliminary, and European champion BOB NANDOR squares off against tough TERRY GARVIN in the 8:15 opener.
---
P.Y. CHUNG wrestled in other territories as Tojo Yamamoto.