Monday, March 2, 2015

FLAIR / STEAMBOAT - NOBODY DID IT BETTER





RICKY STEAMBOAT

RIC FLAIR

Referee TOMMY YOUNG insists the combatants follow the rules...

YOUNG looks on as FLAIR refuses his 'official' request...



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.

Steamboat has the upper hand (arm actually).

Flair returns the favor.

Saturday, February 28, 2015

DIFFICULT TO FORGET THE GREAT BOLO


I specifically remember THE GREAT BOLO and BOLO wearing this garb when they returned to the Charlotte Coliseum in the late 1960s to face JACK BRISCO and TIM (MR. WRESTLING) WOODS.

THE GREAT BOLO and BOLO work over one of THE KENTUCKIANS in one of the biggest money-making feuds in pro wrestling history.

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.

A 1961 posed photo of BOLO and THE GREAT BOLO when the two were working for JIM CROCKETT PROMOTIONS.
---
From the time I first started pro wrestling on TV, I was fascinated by a mysterious man who wore a mask and went by the name THE GREAT BOLO. This rulebreaker was the top heel in JIM CROCKETT PROMOTIONS and drew money like nobody's business.

Every week, all across the Carolinas and Virginia, droves of people tuned in and turned out to see the likes of GEORGE BECKER, 'Irish' MIKE CLANCY, CHIEF BIG HEART and GEORGE and SANDY SCOTT rip off the hood of this hoodlum so we could all find out who he was (not taking into account that just because we might see his face, we would automatically know his name), but that was a mute point.

The mask of THE GREAT BOLO was his championship belt. To lose the mask was to destroy his wrestling career. Many years after the fact, we now know that THE GREAT BOLO was a superb grappler named TOM RENESTO. But according to an interview the late Mr. Renesto gave a few years before his passing, at the time, the other wrestlers did not actually know who was under the mask of THE GREAT BOLO. Promoter Jim Crockett demanded that Renesto travel alone and don the hood before entering the wrestling venue.

Very similar scenario as the old-time movie serials in which the villains were named The Scorpion, The Wrecker, The Crimson Ghost , The Lightning, etc. Only in the last chapter would the identity of the evil doer be exposed to the audience.

But, ironically, the identity of THE GREAT BOLO would be revealed by only one person in the wrestling business. That person was...THE GREAT BOLO.

A number of years after leaving JIM CROCKETT PROMOTIONS, THE GREAT BOLO (Renesto) and his partner BOLO were wrestling in Georgia as THE ASSASSINS when Renesto decided it was time to leave the business as an in-ring combatant.

He removed his own mask, and THE GREAT BOLO was no more.

Thursday, February 26, 2015

RIP AND SWEDE'S CHALLENGE

May 14, 1966
LEXINGTON, NORTH CAROLINA

49 Years Ago

Popular cowboy TEX McKENZIE is the subject of dispute by RIP HAWK and SWEDE HANSON after they lost last week's wrestling feature here to GEORGE BECKER and JOHNNY WEAVER.

HAWK claims that McKENZIE shoved WEAVER into position for the winning fall, and the "BLONDE BOMBERS" are so angry at the cowboy for his "illegal participation" that they have challenged lanky TEX and his swift-moving buddy NELSON ROYAL to meet them in tonight's LEXINGTON YMCA main wrestling event.

The Texas duo agreed willingly to the HAWK and HANSON challenge, pointing to a scorcher of a two-of-three-falls match.

"We're going to have to teach McKENZIE a lesson about sticking his nose in someone else's business. He had no right getting involved in our match last Saturday, and he's going to learn the lesson the hard way...a good old whipping," said RIP HAWK.

Two winners from last week, IKE EAKINS and GORY GUERRERO, will meet in the evening's semifinal encounter.

Two additional singles matches, featuring top wrestling stars, will open the card at 8:15.

Tuesday, February 24, 2015

A STEAMBOAT BATTLE

March 8, 1969
LEXINGTON, NORTH CAROLINA

46 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.

Sunday, February 22, 2015

CLASH OF THE TITANS

In 1981 and 2010, movie goers could visit their local theatres to see an adventure / fantasy production entitled CLASH OF THE TITANS.

However, some years earlier, fans of JIM CROCKETT PROMOTIONS could witness
their own CLASH when two of the longest-running and most vicious heel tag teams went at it.

It was RIP HAWK and SWEDE HANSON (The Blonde Bombers) versus GENE and OLE ANDERSON (The Minnesota Wrecking Crew).

Here's a 1972 card featuring the BATTLE OF THE BULLIES match as held in RICHMOND, VIRGINIA.

OLE ANDERSON and RIP HAWK throw the rule book out the window.

OLE has the upper hand on RIP.

RIP appears to be on the attack as Manager 'Playboy' GARY HART looks on.
Hey, get down off that ring apron, Gary.

HAWK in trouble again.

Generally, when wrestling another heel team, the crowds pulled for RIP and SWEDE. I remember that to be the case when they wrestled ALDO BOGNI and BRONCO LUBICH, BRUTE BERNARD and SKULL MURPHY and THE INFERNOS.

The only time I ever saw GENE and OLE getting the cheers was when they tangled with RIC FLAIR and GREG VALENTINE.

Friday, February 20, 2015

SOMETIMES YOU WIN, SOMETIMES YOU LOSE


TINKER TODD
---
CHARLESTON, S.C. - 1969

GENE and OLE ANDERSON topped MR. WRESTLING and ABE JACOBS.

JIMMY HINES whipped TINKER TODD.

BOB RAMSTEAD and JESSE JAMES wrestled EL GAUCHO and PEDRO GODOY to a draw.

BILLY HINES defeated BILLY SPEARS.


ARGENTINA APOLLO
---
RICHMOND, VA. - 1971

ARGENTINA APOLLO and LES THATCHER topped GENE ANDERSON and ART NELSON.

KOA TIKI and LUTHER LINDSAY defeated JIM GRABMIRE and JOHNNY HEIDEMAN.

NICK RUSSO won over JOE FURR.

BRUTE BERNARD stopped JIM DILLON.


GEORGE and SANDY SCOTT
---
CHARLOTTE, N.C. - 1966

GEORGE and SANDY SCOTT beat KURT and HENRY VON STROHEIM.

PENNY BANNER defeated LINDA CARROLL.

DON CHUY bested TONY NERO.

RUDY KAY downed JACK DANIELS (cheers!).

ABE JACOBS topped CORSICA JEAN.


THE KENTUCKIANS
TINY ANDERSON and BIG BOY BROWN
---
LYNCHBURG, VA. - 1967

THE KENTUCKIANS bested P.Y. CHUNG and HARU SASAKI.

JESSE JAMES and LES THATCHER wrestled to a no contest with JAN MADRID and GENE DUNDEE.

CHIEF LITTLE EAGLE defeated BULL RAMOS.

NELSON ROYAL toppled ANGELO MARTINELLI.


BRUTE BERNARD
---
RICHMOND, VA. - 1971

GEORGE BECKER and JOHNNY WEAVER defeated GENE ANDERSON and ART NELSON.

BRUTE BERNARD and THE MISSOURI MAULER topped KOA TIKI and LUTHER LINDSAY

BARBARA NICHOLS won from TAMMY JONES.

JESSE JAMES beat ANGELO MARTINELLI.

Wednesday, February 18, 2015

RIP & SWEDE & THE LOS ANGELES RAMS

February 12, 1966
LEXINGTON, NORTH CAROLINA
---
49 Years Ago

What were the LOS ANGELES RAMS doing in LEXINGTON last Saturday night?

The truth of the matter is...they were wrestling...and they're going to do it again tonight.

Professional NFL teammates DON CHUY and JOE CAROLLO, who wowed fans at the LEXINGTON YMCA, will return for more ring action tonight in a featured two-out-of-three falls tag team main event.

CHUY and COROLLO, who play side-by-side in the LOS ANGELES RAMS line and who use body blocks and other gridiron tactics in their matches, will meet wrestling's "BLONDE BOMBERS" - RIP HAWK and SWEDE HANSON.

Hawk has stated that these "boys" need to stick to football and leave wrestling - a tough sport - to "men."

The other tag team match of the night pits GEORGE and SANDY, THE FLYING SCOTTS, against the bald-headed bullies SKULL MURPHY and BRUTE BERNARD. This will be a renewal of a grudge rivalry of long-standing. This one's set for the best-of-three falls as well.

Two singles matches are set as STEVE BOLUS, a fan favorite, takes on the rugged JIM GRABMIRE, and young ALEX MEDINA takes on tough guy JOHNNY HEIDEMAN.

Action begins at 8:15.

Monday, February 16, 2015

SEVEN YEARS AGO

JOHNNY WEAVER
(November 17, 1935 - February 15, 2008)




There are SO MANY legendary wrestling performers who, during their careers, worked for JIM CROCKETT PROMOTIONS.

The list could fill a book the size of Webster's Dictionary.

None would be listed higher in that book than the name Johnny Weaver.

Johnny came to JCP in 1962 and immediately rode his skyrocket to the top of the territory.

For the most part, he would work for the Crockett family for the next twenty-five years.

Even people living in the MID-ATLANTIC section of the country who weren't wrestling fans knew the name Johnny Weaver.

He worked with many partners, he wrestled as a single, he announced the JCP wrestling TV shows, he booked CROCKETT territories.

He could do it all.

AND WE LOVED HIM.

AND WE REMEMBER HIM.

He left us seven years ago.

WE MISS HIM.

Saturday, February 14, 2015

CHECKING THE JCP RECORD BOOKS

KURT VON STROHEIM
---
RICHMOND, VA. - 1966

SANDY SCOTT beat THE GREAT MALENKO in a RUSSIAN DEATH MATCH.

ALEX MEDINA and GORY GUERRERO lost to KURT and HENRY VON STROHEIM.

GEORGE SCOTT topped HANS SCHMIDT on a DQ.

KARL GOTCH demolished 'ROWDY' RED ROBERTS.

STEVE BOLUS whipped SONNY FARGO.


LITTLE BOY BLUE
---
CHARLOTTE, N.C. - 1966

HAYSTACK CALHOUN and ABE JACOBS slipped by JOHN and CHRIS TOLOS.

NELSON ROYAL pinned MIKE PAIDOUSIS.

LITTLE BOY BLUE and JIM DANDY defeated PEE WEE LOPEZ and CHICO SANTANA in a midgets tag battle.

THE VIKING lost to GORY GUERRERO.

SANDY and GEORGE SCOTT
---
CHARLESTON, S.C. - 1966

GEORGE and SANDY SCOTT defeated THE GREAT MALENKO and THE MISSOURI MAULER.

PAUL DEMARCO beat HENRY VON STROHEIM via DQ.

KEN HOLLIS toppled LARS ANDERSON.

SWEET GEORGIA BROWN pinned PRINCESS UBANGI.

ALEX MEDINA won over JOHN GUDISKI.

IKE EAKINS pinned RAY GARDINI.

BOB ORTON
---
GREENVILLE, S.C. - 1966

TEX McKENZIE and JOHNNY WEAVER defeated THE GREAT MALENKO and 'BIG' BOB ORTON.

BILLY TWO RIVERS and SUNI WAR CLOUD wrestled JOHN and CHRIS TOLOS to a draw.

ABE JACOBS topped PEDRO ZAPATA.

STEVE BOLUS whipped CORSICA JEAN.

PAMPERO FIRPO
---
ROANOKE, VA. - 1968

PAMPERO FIRPO and TINY MILLS lost to GEORGE and SANDY SCOTT.

GEORGE BECKER and JOHNNY WEAVER defeated THE MUMMY and 'BULLDOG' LEE HENNING.

BOB NANDOR topped STEVE STANLEE.

STEVE STANLEE beat JERRY LONDON.

Thursday, February 12, 2015

THOSE BLAZIN' INFERNOS


THE INFERNOS and J.C. DYKES ready to work...
(Under the hoods are ROCKY SMITH and his brother CURTIS. ROCKY was an original INFERNO. CURTIS replaced original INFERNO FRANKIE CAIN.)

DENNIS HALL in command of his INFERNO encounter...for the time being. That's referee Sam 'Lucky' Roberts in the background.

Popular NELSON ROYAL attempts to remove the INFERNO's mask...

J.C. shouts instructions to his men, who seem to be in a bad situation.

One of the 'managerial' skills of J.C. DYKES.



ROCKY SMITH, J.C. DYKES, FRANKIE CAIN



NELSON ROYAL in a pinch.



DON CURTIS about to catch fire.



Right in the kisser.






J.C. DYKES, FRANKIE CAIN, LES THATCHER



Looks like a rough day at the office.



Incredible GENE GORDON photo of J.C. DYKES, GEORGE HARBEN and THE INFERNOS at Charlotte's Park Center.

(from the CARROLL HALL collection)