Thursday, April 29, 2021
Today I salute the 'FIRST LADY' --- as far as I'm concerned, she is, hands down, the 'FIRST LADY' of JIM CROCKETT PROMOTIONS and MID-ATLANTIC WRESTLING.
Peggy is my friend, in fact, a very good friend. But, I'll be honest, Peggy is EVERYBODY's friend. If you have attended any of Greg Price's NWA FANFESTS, you've seen her. Folks even buzz after the various FANFESTs, "Who's the woman all of the wrestlers hang around?" That's Peggy.
But, 'FIRST LADY' of MID-ATLANTIC WRESTLING? How did this happen?
Young Peggy began watching JCP wrestling on television around 1965 (I could say she was two years old at the time, but never mind about that part of the story. Let's just say that I am older than Peggy, and we'll let it go at that.)
She ventured out to her first arena JCP show in late 1968 and soon was attending three-to-four shows PER WEEK. (How I envy her for that! She saw some great wrestling.) A weekly itinerary for Peggy, her mother and her grandmother 'Nannie' Smith * included shows in Greenville, S.C., Spartanburg, S.C., Anderson, S.C. and Asheville, N.C. EVERY WEEK! Peggy went even when she was sick. Very few weeks went by that found these ladies not in their front row ringside seats. This road schedule lasted from 1968 until 1983. Throughout the 1970s, they would often be joined by Lynn and Debbie Tate (Lynn would later marry wrestler Bill White). In the 1980s, other friends Jean Holland, Rita Cantrell and Clay Sweet became part of the entourage.
When I asked Peggy how she got to know the wrestlers, she answered that she would go up and talk to the guys, and they would see her on the front row every week, so they knew her face. Bobby Kay was the first wrestler Peggy remembers meeting. Then came the legendary Johnny Weaver, then Ronnie Garvin and Ole Anderson. Peggy met Gene Anderson soon after meeting Ole, since The Minnesota Wrecking Crew was always together. It wasn't long before she would babysit Gene's son, Brad, when his dad would bring him to Spartanburg. "Brad was about five, I guess. He'd sit with me and watch the matches," Peggy told me.
The wrestler Peggy gives credit to for introducing her to most of the guys she now knows was a fellow named Flair.
PEGGY and OLE ANDERSON
Many fans will remember the night in Greenville, S.C., when Ole was knife-attacked by an idiot fan and cut all the way diagonally down his chest. Lynn and Debbie Tate and Peggy were outside the dressing room. Peggy recalls, "We were in the hallway leading to the outside. The dressing rooms were downstairs. There were a couple of wrestlers there. The only one I remember is Bill Eadie (later The Masked Superstar, but at this time, he was one of The Mongols). Lynn was a nursing student at Clemson University, so she and Debbie held icy towels on Ole's chest, and I was elevating his left arm and putting pressure on his left hand as he had a bad cut across and below his thumb. Then after the paramedics arrived and took Ole, I rode to Greenville General Hospital with Gene, because he didn't know where it was, and I stayed with Gene in the ER until Ole was released about two in the morning."
PEGGY and 'The Dean' JOHNNY WEAVER
Peggy's love for JCP wrestling continued until the company was sold to TURNER ENTERTAINMENT in 1988, and there are very few of the wrestlers she didn't know. And they all loved her...and still do.
Peggy's Grandmother 'NANNIE' SMITH
Photos courtesy of Peggy and / or THE MID-ATLANTIC GATEWAY
Tuesday, April 27, 2021
January 11, 1969
TERRY and RONNIE GARVIN
Sunday, April 25, 2021
THE GREAT BOLO (Renesto) reaches for his 'foreign object' while working on BIG BOY BROWN of THE KENTUCKIANS. (Note the tape under the mask to cover Renesto's mustache.)
Big TEX McKENZIE works over the masked man.
Even bigger HAYSTACK CALHOUN tries to physically rip THE GREAT BOLO's hood off, along with the head the mask covers.
Friday, April 23, 2021
June 9, 1969
Any time THE INFERNOS and manager J. C. DYKES enter an arena, trouble is on the way. DYKES and his masked team approach the art of wrestling as if they're engaging in war, and DYKES can make matters even worse.
Wednesday, April 21, 2021
JOHNNY WEAVER and PENNY BANNER were the KING and QUEEN of JIM CROCKETT PROMOTIONS as far as the wrestling public was concerned.
Monday, April 19, 2021
Saturday, April 17, 2021
TONY STEWART WINS WILD NASCAR SPRINT ALL-STAR RACE !
Thursday, April 15, 2021
Referee TOMMY YOUNG insists the combatants follow the rules...
Whether they were opponents or partners, the matches of FLAIR and STEAMBOAT lit up the JCP territory as much as anything during the 1970s and 1980s.