Tuesday, November 28, 2023


Monday, November 27, 2023


                                                                        May 4, 1966


57 Years Ago

Three Charlotte newcomers are on the big outdoor wrestling card tonight at MEMORIAL STADIUM, promoter JIM CROCKETT has announced.

The three debuting are all billed in the preliminary matches to the RUSSIAN CHAIN MATCH, which serves as the main event.

Big man KLONDIKE BILL, who is scientific-minded (but can rough it up when necessary), meets the rugged, tough villain IKE EAKINS.

BRUISER MORGAN, another of the first-timers, tangles with "Flying" SANDY SCOTT.

The third to make his debut will be promising young BOBBY SHANE, who tries out the experience of EL GAUCHO.

All are set for one fall.

The main event brings together BORIS "THE GREAT" MALENKO and fan favorite GEORGE SCOTT in a RUSSIAN CHAIN MATCH.

These men, bitter enemies, are shackled at the wrists by a six-foot length of chain and battle each other until one can drag the other around the ring twice. The normal falls do not count in this match. Chain matches are usually extremely brutal and bloody, and both men stand a good chance of spending the night in a hospital emergency room.

The SOUTHERN HEAVYWEIGHT CHAMPIONSHIP goes on the line tonight when THE MISSOURI MAULER climbs into the ring to face KARL GOTCH.

THE MAULER is the defending champion but has met few battlers of GOTCH's caliber. They'll go at it for the best-of-three falls with a one-hour time limit.

LUTHER LINDSEY, the North Carolina tussler, who is regarded as the best of the Negro wrestlers working today, joins forces with GEORGE "CATALINA" DRAKE to test BRONCHO LUBICH and ALDO BOGNI in tag team warfare. Of course, HOMER O'DELL, the slimy manager of LUBICH and BOGNI, will be in his men's corner.

Action begins at 8:15 and will continue under the stars.

Sunday, November 26, 2023

Saturday, November 25, 2023




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.



Friday, November 24, 2023

Thursday, November 23, 2023


                                                                November 21, 1966


57 Years Ago

The Charlotte Observer reported 5460 fans in attendance, and I was one of them, sometimes sitting in my ringside seat.

It was a BIG night of wrestling.

The card started like most of all of them. LUTHER LINDSAY facing PEDRO GODOY in a yawner, the kind of match you want to end so you can get closer to the main events. LUTHER won and most of us didn't care. We wouldn't have cared if PEDRO had won either.

Things started to pick up in the next match when favorite NELSON ROYAL squared off against GEORGE 'TWO TON' HARRIS'. Most everyone loved NELLIE and most everyone hated 'TWO TON' but I loved the big guy because his matches were always entertaining. 'TWO TON' always got the most out of the fans because he was a master at 'working' a crowd. I can't remember what naughty he pulled, but the match went to NELLIE on a DQ. But 'TWO TON' would be back later as he was also manager of the MASKED RED DEMONS.

THE AMAZING ZUMA or ARGENTINA ZUMA, whichever you prefer, took the toll of HENRY VON STROHEIM, one-half of a pseudo-main event German heel team. I believe HENRY (can I call him Hank?) was probably getting ready to leave the area, because his partner KURT was no where to be found that night. Maybe he was back at the hotel packing.

The little people were up next in a tag match. I usually enjoyed the novelty of 'Midget Matches' (we can't say that anymore, ya know) for about five minutes, then it was time to move on. On this night, LITTLE BEAVER and SONNY BOY CASSIDY pinned SKY LOW LOW and BILLY THE KID (not the real one). I'd love to know how many times in their careers that BEAVER and LOW LOW worked one another. I'm sure it was in the thousands.

Now, it was time to get serious.

Two of the all-time heel combos in JIM CROCKETT PROMOTIONS history were to do battle. RIP HAWK and SWEDE HANSON versus ALDO BOGNI and BRONCHO LUBICH with, of course, their snake-like manager, HOMER O'DELL.

On this night, the crowd was behind the BLONDE BOMBERS all the way. I can't recall which team won which fall, but they were even at one apiece. The third fall found BOGNI & LUBICH beating RIP to a pulp. HAWK was thrown over the top rope to the cement floor (and on MY side of the ring). O'DELL, welding that dreaded cane, cracked 'The Profile' on the noggin' and before HAWK could get to his feet, it looked as if he had lost three gallons of the red stuff.

He managed to crawl back into the ring, but it looked like it was R.I.P. for R-I-P. After teasing all of us for a few more minutes with 'not quite a tag,' HAWK found HANSON's hand, made contact, and in came the big SWEDE. The crowd was hysterical!

SWEDE could have taken on the 300 Spartans at this point. He beat ALDO and BRONCHO at will, then grabbed O'DELL on the apron and 'welcomed' him into the ring via the top rope. Just as the SWEDE is about to ruin the creases in HOMER's tuxedo, he was double-attacked by O'DELL's cronies. HANSON got his hands on the cane and broke it over O'DELL's back about the same time as RIP entered the ring with a metal chair. Observing everything, referee ANGELO MARTINELLI must have figured it was time for a cold one, so he called off any further mutilation in this one, and it ended in a double DQ, or a no-contest (what was the difference).

I have witnessed several thousand wrestling matches in my years, and I can easily say, this was one of the best I EVER saw. Boy, did these five wrestlers know how to work a match and a crowd.

The show actually slumped a bit when the WORLD HEAVYWEIGHT CHAMPIONSHIP match came next. First of all, I was never fully into TEX McKENZIE's fan club. He couldn't work any better than my lazy uncle who never worked at all, and I always resented the fact that TEX always made NELSON ROYAL take the beatings when they teamed together.

So, here is McKENZIE, a guy whose legs were longer and clumsier than Olive Oyl's, going up against GENE KINISKI for the WORLD belt. Add in the fact that there was no way (in the 1960s) the NWA was going to let their champion lose the title in Charlotte. KINISKI won the first fall. TEX came back and pinned the champ with a knee lift and judo chop off the ropes, those being the only two moves he knew. And then, KINISKI pinned McKENZIE again to win the final fall.

I suspect the concession stands were plenty busy during the world title match.

Now it was time for BECKER and WEAVER against the MASKED RED DEMONS...one more time.

This time, GEORGE and JOHNNY's SOUTHERN TAG TEAM CHAMPIONSHIP is on the line again, but on this night, under TEXAS DEATH MATCH rules. And in addition, it's the BELTS versus the MASKS. One team would walk out with BOTH.

Falls didn't figure in determining the winner (but was a great means of giving the participants a rest break). The Charlotte Observer reported the match went twelve falls (that I don't remember), but at the bell for unlucky fall number thirteen, the masked men were whipped to the point that they couldn't answer the bell, and even 'TWO TON' couldn't get them to their feet.

Ref MARTINELLI signaled it was over and raised BECKER and WEAVER's hands in victory. They held onto their titles and now would be able to discover exactly who these soon-to-be UNMASKED RED DEMONS were. With both men still prone on the ring from their beating, GEORGE took off one mask and JOHNNY the other and held them high in the air to the crowd's approval.

"Find out who they are Angelo," ring announcer GEORGE HARBEN requested over the microphone. Supposedly, MARTINELLI went over to them and said something ingenious like, "Hey, who are you?"

ANGELO went over to HARBEN, whispered in his ear, and HARBEN announced to all of us, "Ladies and Gentlemen, the RED DEMONS are JIMMY and BILLY HINES."

Everyone yelled, even though it really didn't mean anything. I'd never heard of JIMMY and BILLY HINES anyway. What it did mean, however, was pretty much the end of the main event run of this team who had been in JCP since late spring. I always liked the main event masked teams like THE BOLOS and THE INFERNOS, and now there wouldn't be one.

The HINES boys had a few more main event matches with 'TWO TON' but soon left the territory. When the hoods came off, so did the luster and mystique of the team.


But lurking in the bushes would be BOGNI & LUBICH, HAWK & HANSON or BRUTE BERNARD & SKULL MURPHY waiting for their night when they would win the belts.

And, of course, that night would come.

I related my recollections of this particular match to JOHNNY a few months before he passed away, and he said, "Yes, we did that same match all over the territory."

I was sorry he told me that.

But after I thought about what he said, it made me appreciate the fact that these men, even though they would work each other night after night, still could make each audience feel they were seeing something special.

That's how great they were.

Wednesday, November 22, 2023


                                                                       April 8, 1967


56 Years Ago

The SOUTHERN HEAVYWEIGHT CHAMPIONSHIP is on the line tonight when the current title holder, THE MISSOURI MAULER, defends against the former champ, KLONDIKE BILL, in the headline match at the LEXINGTON YMCA.

KLONDIKE, the popular Alaskan, is out to regain the title from the MAULER, the man he first lifted it from a few months ago.

The MAULER managed to regain the belt from BILL recently under a dark cloud of controversy. KLONDIKE says that justice will prevail tonight in LEXINGTON. The title match is under stipulations of a one-hour time limit with the winner gaining two falls out of three.

The torrid Texan team of cowboys TEX McKENZIE and NELSON ROYAL will have their hands full when they meet big and rugged "Apache" BULL RAMOS and the mysterious masked grappler THE MUMMY. This best-of-three falls co-feature should produce plenty of action.

In single matches, the mammoth HAYSTACK CALHOUN returns to the YMCA to meet rough PEDRO GODOY.

Popular GREG PETERSON squares off against FRANK MARCONI in the 8:15 opening match.

Tuesday, November 21, 2023

Monday, November 20, 2023


                                                                    March 25, 1963


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.




All are one fall contests, with the first beginning at 8:15 p.m.

Sunday, November 19, 2023