Wednesday, August 4, 2021


 

Tuesday, August 3, 2021

Monday, August 2, 2021

THE GREAT BOLO SEES RED

 August 26, 1958

CHARLOTTE, NORTH CAROLINA




A FIGHT TO THE FINISH will headline tonight's PARK CENTER wrestling program

The NO TIME LIMIT bout will give RED BASTIEN a second shot at THE GREAT BOLO, and if BASTIEN can capture two falls-out-of-three, off will come BOLO's mask.

Last Monday night, the pair battled to a one-hour draw without a single fall being recorded during the sixty-minute time limit.

"There must be a decision this week," says promoter JIM CROCKETT. "I don't care if they have to wrestle three hours---this match is going to settle something."

The semi-final scrap is a tag team contest that pairs GEORGE BECKER and CYCLONE ANAYA against the rugged German brother duo of FRITZ and WALDO VON ERIC. The Germans were disqualified in a bout last week with BILLY TWO RIVERS and his partner and quickly showed they are among the roughest duos in the wrestling business today. This match is set for the best two-out-of-three falls.

Two single bouts complete the card.

One has ERNIE DUSEK taking on NICK ROBERTS, and the 8:15 opener sends footballer MIKE PAIDOUSIS against TINKER TODD.

Sunday, August 1, 2021

Saturday, July 31, 2021

1966 STATESVILLE NC SUMMER WRESTLING

  Statesville, North Carolina wrestling fans (and I was one) were treated to THREE nights of JIM CROCKETT PROMOTIONS wrestling shows during the summer of 1966.

A perfect location for wrestling during the summer months...the wooden grandstand ball park similar to that in the movie BULL DURHAM. Sponsored by the COMMUNITY BASEBALL CLUB, who also gave us DOUBLE A BASEBALL at the same site. The ring was set up at home plate, surrounded by metal ringside seat chairs all around. The grandstand served as the General Admission area. The wrestlers entered the ring from the two dugouts.

No rain outs during the summer of 1966. THREE shows in TWO months.

As a fifteen-year old 'rasslin' fan, I found myself at all three shows parked in my $2.00 ringside seat.

This was the first card of the 1966 summer...



CLICK ON IMAGES TO ENLARGE





The match results are shown above.
-
For whatever reasons (maybe analysis would reveal why), two memories come back to me about this night.

(1) My cousin, who attended with me, spilled a cup of Coca-Cola on himself during the matches.

(2) One of The Masked Red Demons (either Billy or Jimmy Hines) came out of the dugout for the main event smoking a cigarette (through the mask), discarding it as he approached the ring. I thought to myself - "Athletes aren't supposed to smoke." Give me a break, I was a naive fifteen year-old who was reading FAMOUS MONSTERS and wrestling magazines, instead of PLAYBOY, at the time. (Don't worry, the PLAYBOYs came later.)

Regardless of my mental stability, I remember the evening fondly.

Friday, July 30, 2021

Thursday, July 29, 2021

THE SUPER SIXTIES IN JCP

 Half a century has passed since the end of the 1960s, but not the memories...


GEORGE BECKER and JOHNNY WEAVER
---
LEXINGTON, N.C. - 1966

GEORGE BECKER and JOHNNY WEAVER won over RIP HAWK and SWEDE HANSON.

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

IKE EAKINS beat ROGER KIRBY.

STEVE BOLUS polished off JACK DANIELS.

GORY GUERRERO bested 'ROWDY' RED ROBERTS.


THE MUMMY
---
NORFOLK, VA. - 1968

RIP HAWK and SWEDE HANSON defeated GEORGE and SANDY SCOTT.

THE MUMMY and 'BULLDOG' LEE HENNING lost to TEX McKENZIE and NELSON ROYAL.

LUTHER LINDSAY topped STEVE STANLEE.

ROCK HUNTER bested THE MATADOR.


BRONCHO LUBICH, HOMER O'DELL and ALDO BOGNI
---
GREENSBORO, N.C. - 1967

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

TEX McKENZIE and NELSON ROYAL edged BRUTE BERNARD and SKULL MURPHY.

GEORGE BECKER and JOHNNY WEAVER whipped LARS and GENE ANDERSON.

RUDY KAY topped EL GAUCHO.

'ROWDY' RED ROBERTS was pinned by LUTHER LINDSAY.


TEX McKENZIE
---
CHARLESTON, S.C. - 1967

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

PEGGY ALLEN topped MARGIE RAMSEY.

IKE EAKINS defeated TINKER TODD.

JACK 'THE NECK' VANSKY was pinned by JOHNNY HEIDEMAN.


KLONDIKE BILL
---
ROANOKE, VA. - 1967

THE AMAZING ZUMA and GEORGE and SANDY SCOTT defeated BRONCHO LUBICHALDO BOGNI and HOMER O'DELL in six man action.

PEDRO GODOY wrestled TONY ROMANO to a draw.

KLONDIKE BILL bested FRANK MARCONI.

JOHNNY HEIDEMAN topped IAN MacBIRD.

Wednesday, July 28, 2021

Tuesday, July 27, 2021

BOLO = FRANCHISE PLAYER

 In the late 1950s, JIM CROCKETT PROMOTIONS was virtually built around one guy, a really 'bad guy'...THE GREAT BOLO.

He wore a yellow gold mask with matching attire. No wrestling fan knew his true identity, and according to a lengthy interview by the man under the hood himself (TOM RENESTO), the other wrestlers didn't, at the time, know either. This idea, he said, was designed by JIM CROCKETT himself. BIG JIM felt that keeping the wrestler's identity a real secret made for a more realistic approach to the storyline.

THE GREAT BOLO had his own private dressing room, and he wore the mask into the building upon arrival and out of the building when he left.
(I'm not sure if I really buy into that, but true or not, it makes a great story.)

THE GREAT BOLO was BIG! Fans laid out their money every night in some city hoping to find out who the guy really was. All of the top wrestlers ('babyfaces' and 'heels') in the territory worked the masked man.

I experienced my first LIVE wrestling event sixty-three years ago at the old semi-pro baseball park one summer night in Statesville, North Carolina. The main event was Indian star BILLY TWO RIVERS VERSUS THE GREAT BOLO. Next to GEORGE BECKER, BILLY was the top 'good guy' in JCP at the time.

Most of us tikes in the neighborhood went. We lived in a black and white world in the late Fifties, and when THE GREAT BOLO stepped out of one of the dugouts and made his way towards the ring, we were stunned by the bright gold colors. Up to that point, we could only guess what colors he wore. On black and white TV, it could have been most any shade.

My group, along with some other local kids, made a dash towards the masked man, whopping it up and trying to taunt him. A threatening move and a loud growl-like sound scattered us all back to our grandstand seats in record-setting speed.

Several years later, with tag team wrestling becoming extremely popular, THE GREAT BOLO brought in a partner BOLO (JODY HAMILTON). From this point on, the duo was billed as THE GREAT BOLO and BOLO, or simply THE BOLOS.

Either way, they were just as hot as RENESTO had been as a single.

In one of the hottest and biggest JCP feuds of all time, a bloodied BOLO (ripped mask and all) battles BIG BOY BROWN of THE KENTUCKIANS.

It's going to be a long way down anytime TINY ANDERSON of THE KENTUCKIANS gives you a body slam.

BOLO makes a bumpy landing in this non-JCP photo.
Had this been in the MID-ATLANTIC area, the bleachers would have been packed with fans.

The BOLO applies a chin lock to ABE JACOBS.

GEORGE BECKER and partner ENRIQUE TORRES put a hurtin' on THE BOLOS.

For the full story of the history of THE BOLOS (later THE ASSASSINS), every wrestling fan should read JODY HAMILTON's fantastic book, ASSASSIN: THE MAN BEHIND THE MASK, co-written by SCOTT TEAL.

Monday, July 26, 2021