Sunday, September 29, 2019

WEAVER and a HAYSTACK

May 23, 1964
LEXINGTON, NORTH CAROLINA
55 Years Ago

Powerful villains of the wrestling world BRUTE BERNARD and SKULL MURPHY will have plenty of opposition in a LEXINGTON YMCA wrestling main event tonight because they are going to meet the mighty HAYSTACK CALHOUN and his speedy partner JOHNNY WEAVER in a two-of-three falls tag team contest.

CALHOUN and WEAVER, slated for Y action tonight, heard about the rowdy disposition of the two "skinheads," MURPHY, an Irishman and the Canadian BERNARD, and asked to meet the bullies in the confines of the ring.

Two other matches are slated.

FRANK VALOIS, trying for another victory, will face JACK ALLEN.

Young ALEX MEDINA squares off against TOMMY O'TOOLE in the 8:15 opening match.

Friday, September 27, 2019

WE WUZ ROBBED!

October 21, 1968
CHARLOTTE, NORTH CAROLINA

HAYSTACK MULDOON

SAM STEAMBOAT

BRONCHO LUBICH, GEORGE 'TWO TON' HARRIS, ALDO BOGNI

THE AMAZING ZUMA

GREG PETERSON
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What has turned into the most devastating grudge match of the Fall climaxes tonight at the CHARLOTTE COLISEUM with a SIX MAN TAG TEAM MATCH as the number one attraction.

HAYSTACK MULDOON and SAM STEAMBOAT took a highly controversial win last Monday night over ALDO BOGNI and BRONCHO LUBICH. At first, referee ANGELO MARTINELLI gave the BOGNI - LUBICH team the nod, then changed his decision.

The chief reason for the referee's switch was an arm-waving testimony from THE AMAZING ZUMA, who was at ringside. ZUMA made it clear that GEORGE 'TWO TON' HARRIS, who manages BOGNI and LUBICH, was in the ring and was involved with the so-called final pinfall.

HARRIS, as usual, has been wringing out the crying towel. The entire purse of the last outing went to MULDOON and STEAMBOAT. HARRIS dug into his vocabulary and pulled out the old boxing saying of Mike Jacobs that, "WE WUZ ROBBED!"

Promoter JIM CROCKETT told HARRIS to put his body where his mouth is, and 'TWO TON' agreed to do just that. So HARRIS will don the tights tonight and will amble into the ring with his two "partners in crime," and ZUMA will be added to the MULDOON - STEAMBOAT combo for the two-out-of-three falls bash. Plenty of action is guaranteed in this one.

GREG PETERSON of Alabama, a favorite here several months past, returns to action against Florida's bad boy LEON BAXTER in one of the five preliminary matches, which get underway at 8:15 p.m. in the BIG DOME.

Wednesday, September 25, 2019

ALREADY 33 YEARS AGO

Where does the time go?

The BIGGEST night of MID-ATLANTIC CHAMPIONSHIP WRESTLING in my home town of SALISBURY, NORTH CAROLINA, had to have occurred JUNE 10, 1986 when JCP brought their top mat stars to town for a double TV taping at CATAWBA COLLEGE's GOODMAN GYMNASIUM.

The event was sponsored by the SALISBURY JAYCEES.


SALISBURY POST - JUNE 10, 1986


SALISBURY POST - JUNE 10, 1986

The line-up was stellar !

Appearing were RIC FLAIR, ARN ANDERSON, DUSTY RHODES, THE ROCK & ROLL EXPRESS, ABDULLAH THE BUTCHER, IVAN and NIKITA KOLOFF, 'CHIEF' WAHOO McDANIEL, THE MIDNIGHT EXPRESS with JIM CORNETTE, MAGNUM T.A., TULLY BLANCHARD, RONNIE GARVIN, JIMMY 'BOOGIE WOOGIE MAN' VALIANT, GORGEOUS JIMMY GARVIN with PRECIOUS, MANNY 'RAGIN BULL' FERNANDEZ and enough 'jobbers' to fill out the two hours of television matches.

JOHNNY WEAVER was there as commentator, working with BOB CAUDLE.

SANDY SCOTT was there as the road agent.

Through 'connections' with some friends in the JAYCEES, I was able to work 'backstage'. Having a choice, I picked the 'heel' side.

I remember being totally intimidated by NIKITA KOLOFF (nothing he did to me -- he just looked like he wanted to be left alone. I complied.)
---
JIM CORNETTE was the nicest guy. We talked for a while. He was 'on' even when he was 'off'. BOBBY EATON was also very cordial.

As ARN ANDERSON was walking through the door into the gymnasium, he handed me his eyeglasses and said, "Will you hold onto these for me, please?" After his match (which was the TV main event -- he and RIC FLAIR against RICKY MORTON and ROBERT GIBSON), when he arrived back at the door, I was impressed that he thanked the SALISBURY policemen who had escorted him to and from the ring. I handed him back his glasses, and he said "Thanks so much. I appreciate it. I can't see a damn thing without them."

The unadvertised 'dark match' after the taping sessions were over was, incredibly, a TAPED FIST match between DUSTY RHODES and ABDULLAH THE BUTCHER!

I have to say it that on the 'bloodometer', it was the reddest match I had seen in years

The CATAWBA COLLEGE gymnasium was PACKED. The SALISBURY POST estimated the crowd as a minimum of 3000 people.

The four hundred ringside seats were SOLD OUT three weeks before the event.

The terms of the event with JCP were as follows: JCP received 90% of the box office, with the SALISBURY JAYCEES getting the remaining 10% and all concessions.

My JAYCEE friend who was in charge of the event and had gotten me in as 'STAFF', recently told me that he and SANDY SCOTT counted the box office receipts (several times). SANDY then did some paper work, then gave the JAYCEES their 10%.

The SALISBURY JAYCEES made a ton of money that night. Their cut of the ticket sales was substantial, and lots of hot dogs, popcorn, pizza and soft drinks were consumed by the crowd.

The event worked out so well with the local organization that my friend won the JAYCEES PROJECT OF THE YEAR award.

Below is an article written by STEVE PHILLIPS which appeared in the following day's SALISBURY POST:



DUSTY RHODES


ABDULLAH THE BUTCHER


THE ROCK & ROLL EXPRESS
RICKY MORTON and ROBERT GIBSON


IVAN and NIKITA KOLOFF

Saturday, September 21, 2019

GEORGE SCOTT, BOOKER

I loved MID-ATLANTIC CHAMPIONSHIP WRESTLING in the mid-to-late 1960s. That is the period in which I became a BIG-TIME fan, although I loved the wrestling TV shows in the early sixties as well. The difference was that I didn't have access to attend live shows until around 1965 (except maybe one show a year when wrestling came to my home town).

My passion for the business continued into the 1970s, and big things were going to occur. The long-time policy of best-of-three fall tag team matches would be phased out as the usual main event. The top of the card would now generally be a one-fall singles match. This was due to new booker GEORGE SCOTT.

Tag team matches certainly didn't disappear, but the top tag teams of the early seventies were, for the most part, now history. JOHNNY WEAVER's partners (GEORGE BECKER, ARGENTINA APOLLO, ART NELSON) moved on, NELSON ROYAL and PAUL JONES, as well as GEORGE and SANDY SCOTT, split up. Even RIP HAWK and SWEDE HANSON, with SWEDE turning 'babyface'.

One of the few teams to remain intact was THE MINNESOTA WRECKING CREW, GENE and OLE ANDERSON, and the new decade was HUGE for them.

So, who to build the territory around?

WEAVER, HANSON, JONES and SANDY would remain and be used as both tag and singles stalwarts.

To add to the roster, booker GEORGE SCOTT brought in a few new names to build his new concept.

JOHNNY VALENTINE, WAHOO McDANIEL and THE SUPER DESTROYER (DON JARDINE) made their marks quickly. They would be joined by a youngster who was working in Minnesota...RIC FLAIR.

Within a year, SCOTT's gamble had paid off handsomely, and the JIM CROCKETT PROMOTIONS territory was RED HOT !

RIC FLAIR
(When he first came to JCP, who of us could imagine what his impact would have on the entire wrestling business?)

THE MIGHTY IGOR
(Coming to JCP from the IWA, IGOR was a hit. His feud with THE MASKED SUPERSTAR BILL EADIE was BIG.)

CHUCK O'CONNOR
(His mid-card status changed when he began wrestling as 'BIG' JOHN STUDD.)

TIM WOODS
(Had been in and out of the JCP territory since the early 1960s, but MR. WRESTLING continued to be a main eventer way into the seventies.)

JACK and JERRY BRISCO
(Beside JACK's being the NWA WORLD CHAMP, both of the brothers were EASTERN HEAVYWEIGHT CHAMPIONs in JCP and extremely popular with the fans.)

JOHNNY VALENTINE
(Brought to JCP as the cornerstone of the new MID-ATLANTIC CHAMPIONSHIP WRESTLING philosophy. Only the October 1975 plane crash cut his run short.)

RICKY STEAMBOAT
(Although it was later in the decade before he arrived in JCP, STEAMBOAT caught fire in a hurry and helped keep the box offices in the territories very healthy.)

Tuesday, September 17, 2019

CROCKETT FANS HAD IT MADE

If you were a professional wrestling fan during the 1960s and / or 1970s, and happened to reside in the JIM CROCKETT PROMOTIONS territory known as the MID-ATLANTIC WRESTLING area, you were one lucky person!

Wrestling was HUGE almost everywhere in the U.S., and JCP was no exception.

Sooner or later, nearly every giant in the business (and I don't necessarily mean Andre), worked for the CROCKETT family, and MID-ATLANTIC fans were the recipients
of this good fortune.

I used to journey to Charlotte's PARK CENTER on Monday nights as frequently as I could, shell out a mere $2.00-$2.50 for a ringside seat and watch top wrestlers in top matches. Even adjusting for inflation, the $50.00-$75.00 needed for a ticket for the current wrestling product could not produce as much entertainment as those earlier times. The wrestlers knew how to work (and I don't mean just a select few). If a man couldn't work a good match, he made a quick exit from JCP. The booking was better, the matches were hotter and in those days, most of the fans 'believed'.

Perhaps I am a bit nostalgic, but how I wish I could turn back the clock so I could re-attend many of the shows I saw and see some I missed.

But, alas, time stands still for no one. So memories, photographs and what video footage is available will have to suffice.

I want a time machine for Christmas...

RIC FLAIR versus WAHOO McDANIEL
Their feud put FLAIR on the wrestling radar. He later owned the radar.

Tag Team action with DANNY MILLER, ART NELSON, SWEDE HANSON and CHUCK O'CONNOR (later JOHN STUDD).

GEORGE BECKER applies the 'abdominal stretch' to THE MISSOURI MAULER (LARRY HAMILTON).
Remember the days when the 'stretch' was a submission hold?

RIP HAWK versus ART NELSON
Boy, did these two have some brutal 'taped fist' matches.
In this photo, ART tries to rearrange RIP's 'profile'.

NELSON ROYAL sends SWEDE HANSON high in the sky with a backdrop.
These two men were two of the very best JCP fans ever saw.

Monday, September 9, 2019

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.