Friday, August 28, 2020

NEWCOMER PAUL JONES

January 20, 1968
LEXINGTON, NORTH CAROLINA
52 Years Ago




A wrestling card slated last Saturday night and called off because of heavy snow is set for tonight (almost intact) at the LEXINGTON YMCA.

The Indian team of BOBBY RED CLOUD and CHIEF LITTLE EAGLE will face the rugged duo of LARS and GENE ANDERSON in the evening's best-of-three falls main event.

The supporting affair also remains the same as ABE JACOBS and LUTHER LINDSAY face the Hispanic team of PANCHO VALDEZ and THE MATADOR. This, too, is for the best two-out-of-three falls.

BOB NANDOR will face "BULLDOG" LEE HENNING as originally scheduled.

The only change from last week will send young CHUCK CONLEY against a newcomer from Texas, PAUL JONES.

Wednesday, August 26, 2020

A STEAMBOAT BATTLE

March 8, 1969
LEXINGTON, NORTH CAROLINA

51 Years Ago



Last week's wrestling card was called off due to heavy snowfall, but action returns tonight to the LEXINGTON YMCA with a star-studded card, beginning at 8:15.

SAM STEAMBOAT, the Hawaiian sensation, will be joined by his regular partner, the masked MR. WRESTLING, to meet the villainous duo of ALDO BOGNI and BRONCHO LUBICH, in the evening's two-out-of-three fall main event. And where BOGNI and LUBICH go, so does their manager HOMER O'DELL.

THE MINNESOTA WRECKING CREW, GENE and OLE ANDERSON, slated to meet STEAMBOAT and MR. WRESTLING last Saturday, will battle the hero unit of New Zealander ABE JACOBS and gridironer LES WOLFE in the night's semi-final tag battle, also for the best-of-three falls.

Singles matches will pit young DAVE COX against tough TONY NERO, and BILLY SPEARS faces veteran "BULLDOG" LEE HENNING in the opener.

Monday, August 24, 2020

WEAVER battles FUNK for the gold...

From February 1, 1971 thru April 10, 1972, one of the all-time greatest booking programs in JIM CROCKETT PROMOTIONS history unfolded.

JCP's top wrestler at the time JOHNNY WEAVER sought to capture the NWA WORLD HEAVYWEIGHT CHAMPIONSHIP, held by Texan DORY FUNK JR.

The fourteen month series of matches occurred almost exclusively in Charlotte, North Carolina, with Texas and Florida an integral part of the program.

Enjoy the following rare photos from this incredible series of matches...

Clipping from THE MID-ATLANTIC GATEWAY

Challenger JOHNNY WEAVER

NWA WORLD HEAVYWEIGHT CHAMPION
DORY FUNK JR.

A perfectly executed suplex by FUNK.

The Champ had the momentum at this point.

The participants face off.
The referee is Walter Buckner.

A WEAVER arm bar has the Champ in pain.

The Challenger tosses the Champ.

Champion FUNK returns the favor.

JOHNNY in control once again.

Saturday, August 22, 2020

BOLO's LEGAL ISSUES

January 27, 1959
CHARLOTTE, NORTH CAROLINA

TOM RENESTO as THE GREAT BOLO
---
A west coast professional wrestler calling himself 'THE GREAT BOLO' wants the courts to unmask Charlotte's version of the hooded villain.

AL LOVELOCK, who claims he was licensed to wrestle under the ring name of 'THE GREAT BOLO' in 1953, filed a suit against THOMAS F. RENESTO in Superior Court Monday, asking $20,000 in actual and $100,000 in punitive damages.

LOVELOCK, from Houston, Texas, also seeks a court order preventing RENESTO from using the name and mask of 'THE GREAT BOLO'.

JIM CROCKETT
---
The bulky wrestler claims that RENESTO served as his 'second' while he was winning matches in Arizona, California, Texas and other states.

RENESTO made his first 'BOLO' appearance in Charlotte in February, 1958. Since then, he has developed into a major attraction for promoter JIM CROCKETT's wrestling shows all over both Carolinas and Virginia, while managing to avoid being unmasked.

He won a Charlotte match just Monday night, defeating LARRY 'CRUSHER' HAMILTON, but his share of the purse was attached as a result of the court action.

TOM RENESTO
---
LOVELOCK's lawsuit also requests that JIM CROCKETT be prevented from presenting RENESTO as 'THE GREAT BOLO'.

Neither CROCKETT nor RENESTO could be reached for immediate comment.

Taken from an ASSOCIATED PRESS story which appeared in the January 27, 1959 issue of THE CHARLOTTE OBSERVER.



Obviously, LOVELOCK was not successful in his lawsuit in blocking 'THE GREAT BOLO' in JIM CROCKETT PROMOTIONS, as TOM RENESTO continued as the masked character in JCP until 1964, along the way adding JODY HAMILTON as his lookalike partner for tag team purposes. The two then left for other wrestling territories and changed their ring name to THE ASSASSINS.

The irony of this story is that although 'THE GREAT BOLO' was never unmasked or his identity exposed in the wrestling ring, his real name was revealed in the court papers when the suit was filed and the story was reported in the press.

I wonder how many wrestling fans were paying attention.

Thursday, August 20, 2020

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.

Tuesday, August 18, 2020

RIP & ROCK MEET THE BOLOS

December 3, 1962
CHARLOTTE, NORTH CAROLINA

58 Years Ago



A pair of tag team matches will headline tonight's big PARK CENTER professional wrestling program starting at 8:15.

The main event is a long-awaited skirmish of THE GREAT BOLO and BOLO meeting RIP HAWK and ROCK HUNTER. The two masked men have yet to taste defeat in Charlotte as a team, and HAWK and HUNTER claim they're the two men who are tough and rugged enough to put down the hooded duo. They'll have one hour and two-of-three falls to do the job.

The other team contest sends THE KENTUCKIANS, TINY ANDERSON and BIG BOY BROWN, against JOHN SMITH and IVAN KAMEROFF. This one is also for two-out-of-three falls with a one-hour time limit.

THE FLYING SCOTTS, GEORGE and SANDY, are also scheduled, but in individual competition.

SANDY faces big IKE EAKINS, and GEORGE will take on GEORGE "TWO TON" HARRIS.

Sunday, August 16, 2020

ONE MORE HOT SUMMER STATESVILLE, NC NIGHT OF WRESTLING


August 24, 1967
STATESVILLE, NORTH CAROLINA









The third and final JIM CROCKETT PROMOTIONS wrestling card for Statesville, N.C. in the summer of 1967.

This says it all.

I was not happy.

Back to City News Stand to retrieve my $2.00 reserved ringside admission.

I probably spent the $2.00 on new comic books before I got out of the place.

Friday, August 14, 2020

ANOTHER HOT SUMMER WRESTLING NIGHT IN STATESVILLE, NC

July 14, 1967
STATESVILLE, NORTH CAROLINA

The Card (and a good one)...














The COMMUNITY BASEBALL CLUB of Statesville (who gave the area citizens AA Baseball) sponsored their second wrestling card of the summer, and it was a great one.

The card's two top matches were both main event matches, with four of JIM CROCKETT PROMOTIONS' top tag teams at the time. And considering GEORGE BECKER & JOHNNY WEAVER were there, it included THE top tag team of the decade.

Specific memories I have of this show:

(1) Prior to the evening matches, Statesville was victim of a horrific summer thunderstorm, which threatened to cancel the show. Fortunately, the storm passed, and the skies cleared. On the down side, the ring had already been set up before Mother Nature struck with a passion, thus soaking the ring mat. As a result, all of the wrestlers had to work a bit slower than usual, to prevent a loss of footing during their matches.

(2) One of the mat stars wasn't entirely successful in keeping his balance. During the ROGER KIRBY / MUMMY bout, Roger gave THE MUMMY a hip toss, and the masked man's momentum (on the slick mat) took him under the bottom rope out onto the normally dirt infield (the ring was set up in the home plate area). This night the dirt was nothing but mud, an aftermath of the storm. The off-white outfit was from that point on, a soaked, slimy brown.

(3) At the point of the "BULLIES" match when THE INFERNOS won the second fall by kicking SWEDE HANSON with the loaded boot, SWEDE juiced. I freaked out because SWEDE would "bleed" for us in our little bitty town.

And to clarify the clipping where it says BECKER took a karate chop to the throat to drop the second fall of the main event - BECKER and SASAKI were the legal men in the ring. SASAKI applied a "stomach claw" hold on GEORGE. WEAVER entered the ring to help his partner, and CHUNG gave JOHNNY a karate thrust to the throat, preventing the save. BECKER submitted to the "stomach claw" hold.

A most memorable evening for me, certainly worth more than the $2.00 I paid for my ringside seat.

GEORGE, JOHNNY, RIP, SWEDE, and J.C. and THE INFERNOS in one night.

Great night.

Wednesday, August 12, 2020

A HOT SUMMER WRESTLING NIGHT IN STATESVILLE, NC

June 2, 1967
STATESVILLE, NORTH CAROLINA

The Card...










The Results...
-
Another summer came to Statesville, and like the previous year, I could be found in my $2.00 ringside seat (on this night, the front row - - you know, Peggy Lathan-type seats).

And what a way to kick off the wrestling summer - - THE INFERNOS were on the card!

I've written many times how J.C. DYKES and THE INFERNOS have always been at the top of my list of all-time favorite tag teams, and here I was, just a few feet away from them.

And something bizarre happened on this night. Refer to the results clipping. It mentions that prior to the main event, a local citizen was arrested for throwing a cup of water on THE INFERNOS. This needs some clarification.

What really happened is as follows: Just as DYKES and his boys came around the ring to climb up the steps into the ring (the steps were on the side of the ring where I was seated), this bafoon, who was sitting at the end of the front row, jumped up from his chair, and threw a large cup of Coca-Cola (not water as the article states) in the face of J.C. DYKES (not THE INFERNOS). DYKES was wearing a blue paisley tuxedo jacket, and it was soaked with the soft drink, as was J.C.'s face.

The idiot then takes off running towards center field of the baseball stadium in which the event was being held. Obviously, he hadn't thought his escape plan through, as there was NO EXIT anywhere in the entire outfield, only a wooden fence, probably eight feet high, of which he had NO CHANCE of scaling.

Both of the masked men immediately took off after the goof, which must have been difficult for THE INFERNO wearing the built-up boot. Nevertheless, they tackled the guy close to dead center field and began punching him mercilessly.

J.C. was close behind, and upon his arrival on the scene, began swinging the metal canteen (which was on a cloth strap) and landed several hard blows on the guy.

A few seconds later, the off-duty Statesville policemen working security made their way to the area, and they cuffed the instigator and walked him all the way back to the infield, straight out of the stadium to the hoosegow, where I'm sure he spent the night as a guest of the city.

I felt badly for J.C. on this hot night because he then had to work the match covered in sticky Coke syrup, but like the pro he was, he did.

It was a great night, and I soon discovered that a few weeks later, THE INFERNOS would return to Statesville to face a team who broke as many rules as they did.

Monday, August 10, 2020

THATCHER DEBUTS IN LEXINGTON


May 11, 1963
LEXINGTON, NORTH CAROLINA

TONY 'CRUSHER' ANGELO

BOLO and THE GREAT BOLO

SWEDE HANSON

LES THATCHER

GEORGE 'CRYBABY' CANNON

FRANK VALOIS

SONNY FARGO

Two big tag team matches will be co-featured for wrestling fans tonight at the LEXINGTON YMCA, starting at 8:15.

Partners THE GREAT BOLO and BOLO, the masked terror duo, meet a big and rough combination in the guises of TONY 'CRUSHER' ANGELO and big SWEDE HANSON in what must be billed as a 'BATTLE OF THE BULLIES' affair.

Popular brothers GEORGE and SANDY SCOTT go against the rugged duet of FRANK VALOIS and GEORGE 'CRYBABY' CANNON in the other tag battle.

Both of these matches are set for two-out-of-three falls.

Newcomer LES THATCHER will face the rowdy SONNY FARGO in singles competition, with one more match scheduled to open the card.

Saturday, August 8, 2020

A 1965 LEXINGTON, NC SUMMER NIGHT

July 24, 1965
LEXINGTON, NORTH CAROLINA

GEORGE 'CATALINA' DRAKE

RON REED
(later wrestled as BUDDY COLT)

GEORGE BECKER

MIKE GALLAGHER

TONI ROSE

TINKER TODD

JOHN and CHRIS TOLOS

GEORGE 'TWO TON' HARRIS
---
A best two-out-of-three falls rematch between the stellar wrestling teams of GEORGE 'CATALINA' DRAKE and RON REED and brothers JOHN and CHRIS TOLOS, known as THE MICHIGAN WRECKING CREW, headlines a four match card tonight at the LEXINGTON YMCA.

Last Saturday, these two teams battled in an exciting and bloody match that ended in a NO CONTEST ruling by the official. The referee was forced to throw the match out for repeated disregard of the rules by both teams.

GEORGE BECKER will be on tonight's card in singles action against a long-time rival, rough and tough MIKE GALLAGHER, in the evening's semi-final contest. The match is also a best-of-three falls match.

In a special one fall event, girl wrestlers TONI ROSE and PEGGY ALLAN will have at it.

TINKER TODD faces GEORGE 'TWO TON' HARRIS, victorious last week, in the first match.

Belltime is 8:15 p.m.