Thursday, December 31, 2020


 

Wednesday, December 30, 2020

Tuesday, December 29, 2020

Monday, December 28, 2020


 

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.

Sunday, December 27, 2020

Saturday, December 26, 2020


 

THANKSGIVING AT CHARLOTTE'S BIG DOME

 November 21, 1966

CHARLOTTE, NORTH CAROLINA

54 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 ingenius 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 we still had GEORGE BECKER and JOHNNY WEAVER as our SOUTHERN TAG TEAM CHAMPIONS.

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.

Friday, December 25, 2020

Thursday, December 24, 2020


 


 

LEXINGTON CHRISTMAS WRESTLING

 DECEMBER 16, 1967

LEXINGTON, NORTH CAROLINA

49 Years Ago


Wrestling will observe a week's hiatus at the LEXINGTON YMCA at the completion of tonight's star-packed holiday card.

The traditional Christmas holiday break will be observed on Saturday, December 23, with action returning December 30.

Two tag team main events feature tonight's festive card. Both are set for the best-of-three falls.

THE FLYING SCOTTS, GEORGE and SANDY, will meet the rough and rowdy duo of THE MISSOURI MAULER and PAMPERO FIRPO. These two teams have battled each other here before, with nothing really being settled. Perhaps that will change in tonight's contest.

Ruffians TINY MILLS and STEVE STANLEE, fresh from a victory here last week, might find the going very tough this time when they meet prize grapplers ABE JACOBS and LUTHER LINDSAY, back together after ABE's recent return to the area.

Two single matches will open the holiday program, the first at 8:15.

ROGER KIRBY will meet THE MATADOR, and DENNIS HALL faces CHUCK CONLEY.

The youthful and popular KIRBY and HALL are cousins.

Tuesday, December 22, 2020


 

THE BIG DOME WILL EXPLODE

 May 20, 1963

CHARLOTTE, NORTH CAROLINA



When four of the roughest and toughest wrestlers EVER to appear in the Carolinas face off against each other, there's bound to be quite a collision. Add to that a tuxedo-wearing, cane-carrying "gentleman" who provides even more dirty work while operating at ringside, and you have a rousing night's work cut out for a wrestling referee.

That will be the scenario at the CHARLOTTE COLISEUM tonight when THE GREAT BOLO and BOLO, the masked roughnecks who have kept their identities secret for so long, go against equally rugged BRONCHO LUBICH and ALDO BOGNI (accompanied by their manager HOMER O'DELL) in a two-out-of-three falls BATTLE OF THE BULLIES clash.

It's the headline bout on a seven match card which gets underway at 8:15 p.m. Tickets for this big show are now available at the COLISEUM box office and the NATIONAL HAT SHOP in downtown Charlotte.

ARGENTINA ROCCA, the man who has filled New York City's Madison Square Garden to capacity no less than fifteen times, is also on the card in a special match against ruffian FRANK VALOIS in a one-fall event.

THE KENTUCKIANS, TINY ANDERSON and BIG BOY BROWN, will also make an appearance. They will put their combined 700 pounds against another huge team in SWEDE HANSON and "CRYBABY" CANNON. This tag match is set for the best-of-three falls.

RIP (don't call me chicken) HAWK, yet another vicious character, returns to Charlotte for the first time since Christmas to meet popular Indian star BILLY TWO RIVERS in the main prelim match.

Three more single matches featuring top mat stars will round out tonight's gigantic wrestling event.

Sunday, December 20, 2020


 

CHARLOTTE CHRISTMAS WRESTLING

 December 25, 1968

CHARLOTTE, NORTH CAROLINA


A total of eighteen professional wrestlers will participate in a charity program at the CHARLOTTE COLISEUM tonight, presented by JIM CROCKETT PROMOTIONS.

A FENCE MATCH is the top attraction this Christmas. SAILOR ART THOMAS, GEORGE BECKER and JOHNNY WEAVER face THE MISSOURI MAULER, HIRO MATSUDA and HOMER O'DELL in this specialty. A seven-foot chain link steel fence is to be rigged around the squared circle. Contestants will do-or-die to the finish in this match, as neither team will be able to escape before the match is over.

The MINNESOTA WRECKING CREW, GENE and OLE ANDERSON, will tangle with JIMMY and BILLY HINES in the semi-final best-of-three falls match. Fans may recall that the HINES brothers wrestled a few years back as THE MASKED RED DEMONS.

There will be a special ladies wrestling contest.

Midgets are also on this holiday variety card. LORD LITTLEBROOK will defend his mighty honor against THE MIGHTY ATOM.

"BULLDOG" LEE HENNING will be out to take down NELSON ROYAL in a one-fall contest.

The opener sends TINKER TODD against PAUL JONES.

Tickets are available at the NATIONAL HAT SHOP and the COLISEUM box office. Doors open at 7:00 and the matches begin at 8:15.

Saturday, December 19, 2020


 

A CROCKETT CHRISTMAS CARD

 December 25, 1969

CHARLOTTE, NORTH CAROLINA

51 Years Ago



Promoter JIM CROCKETT has slated another CHRISTMAS DAY spectacular for the CHARLOTTE COLISEUM, starting at 8:15 p.m.

It is a charity card with a FENCE MATCH set as the headliner.

This type of match takes place inside a seven-foot high steel barrier, which eliminates any escape routes by the combatants.

The two teams confined will be fan favorites GEORGE BECKER and JOHNNY WEAVER and the angry twosome of SKULL MURPHY and BRUTE BERNARD.

In their last meeting, MURPHY enlisted the aid of a steel chair, smashing WEAVER's head into a bloody mess, then bolting to the dressing room. The fence will prevent MURPHY (or anyone else) from doing it this time.

This main event is set for two-out-of-three falls, within a one-hour time limit.

"Two other tag team matches are booked on tonight's card," said CROCKETT.

ABE JACOBS and LES WOLFE will face KURT VON STROHEIM and ART NELSON in one of them.

In the other, SAILOR ART THOMAS and LUTHER LINDSAY will collide with GENE and OLE ANDERSON, the MINNESOTA WRECKING CREW.

"It's a wrestling card with something for everybody," said CROCKETT, pointing to the Christmas spirit of the event. "We'll also have midgets and girls as well."

Friday, December 18, 2020

Thursday, December 17, 2020


 

TOP TAG TEAMS TUSSLE


LEXINGTON, NORTH CAROLINA
May 22, 1965


ALDO BOGNI and BRONCHO LUBICH


GEORGE SCOTT slams BRONCHO LUBICH


HOMER O'DELL and BRONCHO LUBICH


HOMER O'DELL
Without question, the most hated JCP performer of the 1960s...


SANDY SCOTT stretches BRONCHO LUBICH


ALDO BOGNI applies his 'corkscrew' finisher...
---
Those popular FLYING SCOTT BROTHERS, GEORGE and SANDY, get a crack at one of the top villain teams in the sport, ALDO BOGNI and BRONCHO LUBICH, in tonight's two-out-of-three falls wrestling main event at the LEXINGTON YMCA.

Three straight wins over BRUTE BERNARD and SKULL MURPHY have led to the SCOTTS' signing to meet BOGNI and LUBICH.

But, when you face ALDO and BRONCHO, one must also deal with crafty manager HOMER O'DELL, who is always lurking about with his deadly cane. The cane is often used for more than just walking support.

RAY VILLMER, victorious two weeks straight, will also be back tonight to tackle tough TONY NERO.

THE VIKING faces EDUARDO CASTILLIO, and PEPPI GOMEZ will combat ANGELO MARTINELLI in the 8:15 opening match.


SANDY and GEORGE SCOTT

Tuesday, December 15, 2020

Monday, December 14, 2020


 

ANOTHER SIDE OF RIP HAWK

 


This is the way JIM CROCKETT PROMOTIONS wrestling fans saw RIP 'The Profile' HAWK...entering the ring to do battle and to win any way he could. Hair pulling, trunk pulling, piledriving...any way.

RIP was a 'heel' mainstay for JCP for nearly fifteen years and was at the top of many fans' "Most Hated" list.

But there was a wrestling side of 'The Profile' the general public never saw, and with the aid of this article which originally appeared in the September, 1975 issue of Sports Review WRESTLER, I'd like to share it with you...

RIP HAWK oversees a group of high school wrestlers. RIP generously gives his time to these youngsters.

Every man is a combination of things. When you think you know someone, he or she will very often do something that is as uncharacteristic as it is unexpected. Rip Hawk was no exception to that rule.

Most of the world knew HAWK as one of the most ruthless rulebreakers in wrestling, a man incapable of mercy or honor. Instead of denying these charges, HAWK would boast of his cruelty with glee.

Yet, when the spotlights were turned away from him, RIP could be found in a local high school gym teaching members of the school's wrestling team. RIP would go over the fundamentals of the sport and correct the youngsters when necessary. And one thing that RIP stressed above all else is that the grapplers must be scrupulously clean !

"Before you break the rules," HAWK said when no students were present, "you've got to master the rules. What I hope to do is give these kids a sound base from which they can grow. And who the hell wants kids bleeding and crippled anyway? For professionals, it's different. We earn a living by winning - - at all costs. Kids wrestle to develop a team spirit, a physical discipline and a sense of fairness. Though the basics may be the same, the goals are completely different."

Wrestler TERRY SAWYER also lends a helping hand.

Yet, why did a man who tortured his opponents with animal abandon want to help youngsters at all? RIP hesitated before he answered the question, and one got the feeling he wasn't quite sure himself.

"Someone was needed," RIP said, "and I was available. Anyway, if a sport gives you a lot, you owe it something in return. This is my way of paying some long outstanding dues.


If one wasn't familiar with RIP HAWK, it would be easy to swear that the wrestling instructor and the wrestler were two different people. HAWK the wrestler strutted arrogantly, whereas HAWK the instructor moved with unassuming grace.

When grappling for money, RIP would explode at any slight provocation. When teaching the kids a complicated hold, he would become the most patient of men, calmly going over and over the maneuver until the youth felt comfortable executing it.

After devoting time at the high school, RIP went straight to the arena to wrestle. He was his vicious self, making his opponent a bloody mess. If you had told the victim about what HAWK had done hours earlier, he'd have called you crazy. And as the doctor stitched up his wounds, who could blame him?

RIP instructs the students in technique.

Amazingly, thirty-five years after this article was originally published, RIP HAWK, at the local YMCA in the Texas town in which he resided, was still instructing kids the art of wrestling.

Saturday, December 12, 2020


 


 

TWO MAIN EVENTS FOR THE PRICE OF ONE

 May 24, 1969

LEXINGTON, NORTH CAROLINA

51 Years Ago


Power-packed action is offered wrestling fans in an all-star card at the LEXINGTON YMCA tonight, kicking off at 8:15.

The first of two big tag team matches will send the "BLONDE BOMBERS" RIP HAWK and SWEDE HANSON against the popular Texas twosome of NELSON ROYAL and PAUL JONES. The Texans are fast and high-flying, the "BOMBERS" mean and rugged, so the clash of styles could make for just a plain old battle.

Co-featuring the agenda will be a tag battle between the popular duo of Hawaiian SAM STEAMBOAT and partner MR. WRESTLING when they face the highly dangerous combo of THE INFERNOS. Interesting that STEAMBOAT is the only participant who doesn't hide his true identity behind a mask. Both teams have been on a winning streak lately, so something's gotta give in this one. Add in THE INFERNOS' crafty manager, J.C. DYKES, and anything might happen.

Both tag matches will go the best-of-three falls.

Rough PANCHO VALDEZ meets young RANDY CURTIS and fan favorite GREG PETERSON will contest BOBBY PAUL in the evening's first match.

Friday, December 11, 2020

Thursday, December 10, 2020


 

SENSATIONAL SIXTIES SKULLDUGGERY

 

THE MISSOURI MAULER
(LARRY HAMILTON)
---
SPARTANBURG, S.C. - 1969

RIP HAWK and SWEDE HANSON bested THE MISSOURI MAULER and HIRO MATSUDA.

SAILOR ART THOMAS and ABE JACOBS won over TERRY and RONNIE GARVIN.

RICK HUNTER defeated MIKE SHANE.

LES WOLFE topped TONY NERO.


THE MUMMY
(BENJI RAMIREZ)
---
BURLINGTON, N.C. - 1967

TEX McKENZIE and NELSON ROYAL lost to RIP HAWK and SWEDE HANSON.

GEORGE and SANDY SCOTT won from ALDO BOGNI and BRONCHO LUBICH with HOMER O'DELL via DQ.

THE MUMMY defeated RONNIE HILL.

MIKE PAIDOUSIS topped ANGELO MARTINELLI.


SKULL MURPHY
---
ASHEVILLE, N.C. - 1966

BRUTE BERNARD and SKULL MURPHY lost to ALDO BOGNI and BRONCHO LUBICH with HOMER O'DELL.

NELSON ROYAL and SUNI WAR CLOUD topped GEORGE 'TWO TON' HARRIS and 'ROWDY' RED ROBERTS.

RAY DURAN and MIKE PAIDOUSIS wrestled to a draw.

STEVE BOLUS topped TONY NERO.


KURT and HENRY VON STROHEIM
---
RALEIGH, N.C. - 1967

GEORGE BECKERJOHNNY WEAVER and HAYSTACK CALHOUN defeated BRONCHO LUBICHALDO BOGNI and HOMER O'DELL in six man action.

GEORGE and SANDY SCOTT bested KURT and HENRY VON STROHEIM.

HARU SASAKI pinned PAUL DEMARCO.

PEGGY ALLEN topped TAMMY JONES.


JESSE JAMES versus JIMMY HINES
---
CHARLESTON, W.V. - 1969

BRONCHO LUBICH and ALDO BOGNI with GEORGE 'TWO TON' HARRIS stopped SAM STEAMBOAT and MR. WRESTLING.

JESSE JAMES and GREG PETERSON lost to JIMMY and BILLY HINES.

PANCHO VALDEZ and BILLY SPEARS wrestled to a draw.

JIM GRABMIRE toppled DAVE COX.


ABE JACOBS
---
RALEIGH, N.C. - 1966

HAYSTACK CALHOUNGEORGE BECKER and JOHNNY WEAVER bested ALDO BOGNIBRONCHO LUBICH and HOMER O'DELL in six man action.

ABE JACOBS defeated 'BIG' BOB ORTON.

OMAR ATLAS and MIKE PAIDOUSIS were both disqualified.

JOHNNY HEIDEMAN lost to JESSE JAMES.

SONNY FARGO wrestled PEDRO ZAPATA to a draw.