Wednesday, July 23, 2014

THE GREAT BOLO GOES TO COURT

January 27, 1959
CHARLOTTE, NORTH CAROLINA

TOM RENESTO as THE GREAT BOLO
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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
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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
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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.

Monday, July 21, 2014

MAYBE YOU WERE THERE


CHARLESTON, W.V. - 1969

GEORGE BECKER and JOHNNY WEAVER topped THE MISSOURI MAULER and HIRO MATSUDA

HAYSTACK MULDOON beat NIKITA MULKOVICH

SAILOR ART THOMAS and THE AMAZING ZUMA bested EL GAUCHO and PEDRO GODOY

BOB RAMSTEAD lost to 'BULLDOG' LEE HENNING


CHARLOTTE, N.C. - 1971

THE INFERNOS with J.C. DYKES whipped RONNIE and TERRY GARVIN

JACK BRISCO and SANDY SCOTT topped NIKITA MULKOVICH and JOHNNY HEIDEMAN

ROCK HUNTER bested ALEX MEDINA

JERRY BRISCO beat JOE SOTO

CHARLOTTE, N.C. - 1969

HAYSTACK CALHOUN, SAM STEAMBOAT and THE AMAZING ZUMA beat BRONCHO LUBICHALDO BOGNI and GEORGE 'TWO TON' HARRIS in six man action.

GREG PETERSON beat LEON BAXTER

LES WOLFF topped EL GAUCHO

SILENTO RODRIGUEZ bested BILLY SPEARS


NORFOLK, VA. - 1968

LARS and GENE ANDERSON won from GEORGE BECKER and JOHNNY WEAVER on a disqualification

TONI ROSE defeated DONNA CHRISTENELLO

PAMPERO FIRPO and THE MISSOURI MAULER stopped RUDY KAYE and LES THATCHER

BOB NANDOR topped GEORGE 'TWO TON' HARRIS

THE AMAZING ZUMA over JERRY LONDON

LEXINGTON, N.C. - 1967

GEORGE and SANDY SCOTT topped HARU SASAKI and P.Y. CHUNG

LARS and GENE ANDERSON beat CHIEF LITTLE EAGLE and JERRY LONDON

PEDRO GODOY over SONNY FARGO

ROGER KIRBY and THE MUMMY wrestled to a draw.


CHARLESTON, S.C. - 1969

GENE and OLE ANDERSON defeated GEORGE BECKER and JOHNNY WEAVER

PENNY BANNER beat BELLE STARR

THE MASKED RED DEMONS lost to SAM STEAMBOAT and BOBBY NICHOLS via DQ

BOB RAMSTEAD wrestled 'BULLDOG' LEE HENNING to a draw

Saturday, July 19, 2014

O BROTHERS, WHERE ART THOU?

May 3, 1969
LEXINGTON, NORTH CAROLINA

Two of professional wrestling's highest ranked and rowdiest tag teams will collide head-on in a super BATTLE OF THE BULLIES match tonight at the LEXINGTON YMCA.

Brothers GENE and OLE ANDERSON, the MINNESOTA WRECKING CREW, will meet RIP HAWK and SWEDE HANSON, the BLONDE BOMBERS.

Despite the ANDERSON's combined weight of 492 pounds, HANSON at 285 and HAWK at 231 will have a weight advantage. As for wrestling ability, toughness and rulebreaking, the two teams would be a photo-finish. It's a two-of-three falls explosion with a one-hour time limit.

Two other leading brother teams, swift roughnecks JIMMY and BILLY HINES and the spectacular FLYING SCOTTS, GEORGE and SANDY, meet in another two-out-of-three falls contest.

The SCOTTS will be trying to break a win streak established by the pesky HINES boys, who at one time terrorized this area as THE MASKED RED DEMONS.

The veteran BULLDOG LEE HENNING meets the popular youngster BILLY SPEARS, and tough guy ROCK HUNTER takes on fan favorite GREG PETERSON in two supporting matches.

Action begins at 8:15 p.m.

Thursday, July 17, 2014

THE 1966 STATESVILLE SUMMER OF WRESTLING - PART THREE

September 2, 1966
STATESVILLE, NORTH CAROLINA




CLICK ON IMAGE TO ENLARGE


Time for one more outdoor wrestling card before Jack Frost starts to appear.

The third and final JIM CROCKETT PROMOTIONS wrestling show of the summer, again sponsored by the COMMUNITY BASEBALL CLUB, came to town Labor Day weekend.

And what a treat for the locals...a true legend in all sports...LOU THESZ, multiple-time WORLD'S HEAVYWEIGHT CHAMPION.

On this night, THESZ, then fifty years of age, showed those of us in attendance, that he could still go at full throttle.

And he and partner ABE "Kiwi Roll" JACOBS would have their hands full, as their opponents this night were two devious ruffians in THE MISSOURI MAULER and THE GREAT MALENKO, one of the top heel teams at the time.

Not surprisingly, the two combos split the first and second falls. Jacobs took the loss for his team--no way Thesz is going to lose a fall clean. At the climax of the third fall, just as Thesz took the "hot tag" and was cleaning up the ring with the "M&M" boys, Malenko pulled the referee in front of him, and Thesz dropkicked the referee, causing an immediate disqualification.

MAULER and MALENKO made a fast exit through their dugout to their dressing room, and I assume, spun out of the Statesville Senior High School parking lot heading back for Charlotte on that pre-Interstate highway night.

Earlier in the evening, KLONDIKE BILL, getting a major push by JCP, took the toll of GEORGE "TWO TON" HARRIS in what was billed as a BATTLE OF THE MAT GIANTS by big-splashing "Bunk" before "Bunk" could big splash him. Oh well, "do unto others..."

Veteran IKE EAKINS crushed KEN HOLLIS and a young BOBBY SHANE (just getting started in the wrestling business) pinned a much-larger "BIG BOY" BLONDELL.

Another great crowd...another great night...another great summer of wrestling in my home town.

Tuesday, July 15, 2014

THE 1966 STATESVILLE SUMMER OF WRESTLING - PART TWO

August 12, 1966
STATESVILLE, NORTH CAROLINA


CLICK ON IMAGES TO ENLARGE


Just three weeks after drawing a crowd of nearly 1400 fans, Statesville, North Carolina, hosted it's second of three JIM CROCKETT PROMOTIONS wrestling cards of the summer.


There was a minimum of two objects which would be at the baseball park behind Statesville Senior High School this night...a wrestling ring at home plate and...me.

Fortunately, I had lots of company. Another large crowd was in attendance this night to add to the coffers of both JIM CROCKETT PROMOTIONS and the COMMUNITY BASEBALL CLUB, which sponsored the event.

The SOUTHERN TAG TEAM CHAMPIONSHIP was up for grabs (we thought) this night. Of course, a key championship was not going to change hands in a hamlet the size of Statesville, but the participants had us all believing that it could happen.

Champions BOGNI and LUBICH and challengers McKENZIE and ROYAL were in the third and deciding fall. TEX and NELLIE were on the verge of capturing the titles when that low-down, unscrupulous manager HOMER O'DELL wacked ROYAL with his cane (in the referee's vision), causing his team to be disqualified, thus enabling BRONCHO and ALDO to leave the "City of Progress" with the belts which had accompanied them to our fair town.

Disappointment? Sure, but we had definitely witnessed a great match which made us all "believe" - something rare in today's "sports entertainment."

The MINNESOTA WRECKING CREW, i.e., the original incarnation of the name, wrestled separately this night. LARS took the toll of ABE JACOBS, and GENE toppled youngster PAUL DEMARCO.

KEN HOLLIS pinned CORSICA JEAN to open the show, but this was not a big deal as my grandmother probably could have pinned CORSICA JEAN.

Regardless, any time "many of the top TV wrestling stars" came to town was worth plopping down the two bucks to sit two hours in a hard-on-the-bottom steel chair in the infield dirt of the ball park.

And in just three more weeks, they would return again...

Sunday, July 13, 2014

THE 1966 STATESVILLE SUMMER OF WRESTLING - PART ONE

Statesville, North Carolina wrestling fans (and I was one) were treated to THREE nights of JIM CROCKETT PROMOTIONS wrestling shows during the summer of 1966.

A perfect location for wrestling during the summer months...the wooden grandstand ball park similar to that in the movie BULL DURHAM. Sponsored by the COMMUNITY BASEBALL CLUB, who also gave us DOUBLE A BASEBALL at the same site. The ring was set up at home plate, surrounded by metal ringside seat chairs all around. The grandstand served as the General Admission area. The wrestlers entered the ring from the two dugouts.

No rainouts during the summer of 1966. THREE shows in TWO months.

As a fifteen-year old 'rasslin' fan, I found myself at all three shows parked in my $2.00 ringside seat.

This was the first card of the 1966 summer...



CLICK ON IMAGES TO ENLARGE





The match results are shown above.
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For whatever reasons (maybe analysis would reveal why), two memories come back to me about this night.

(1) My cousin, who attended with me, spilled a cup of Coca-Cola on himself during the matches.

(2) One of The Masked Red Demons (either Billy or Jimmy Hines) came out of the dugout for the main event smoking a cigarette (through the mask), discarding it as he approached the ring. I thought to myself - "Atheletes aren't supposed to smoke." Give me a break, I was a naive fifteen year-old who was reading FAMOUS MONSTERS and wrestling magazines, instead of PLAYBOY, at the time. (Don't worry, the PLAYBOYs came later.)

Regardless of my mental stability, I remember the evening fondly.

Friday, July 11, 2014

ALREADY 54 YEARS AGO

June 25, 1960
LEXINGTON, NORTH CAROLINA

World Championship Wrestling, literally, comes to the LEXINGTON YMCA this weekend when two famous brother tag teams battle in the feature contest on a four match card this Saturday evening.

GEORGE and SANDY SCOTT, recently crowned as the WORLD TAG TEAM CHAMPIONS, will battle the rowdy blonde-headed JACKIE and SONNY FARGO in the best two-out-of-three falls main event.

The FARGO BROTHERS won the crack at the tag team title with their second straight victory over JERRY MILLER and HENRY PHILLIPS here last Saturday night.

The SCOTT BROTHERS, a popular duo of Canadians, wrestled the title away from BILL LONGSTON and THE MIGHTY ATLAS recently. The new champs are returning to LEXINGTON after a lengthy absence.

Two big stars, PAT O'HARA and MAN MOUNTAIN EVANS meet in this week's semi-final match.

JERRY MILLER will face RAY ANDREWS in one prelim, and the veteran CHUCK GARIBALDI takes on JIMMY SMITH in the 8:15 opening encounter.

Wednesday, July 9, 2014

MID-ATLANTIC MAIN EVENT ACTION

As the years rolled by, the faces changed, but JIM CROCKETT PROMOTIONS always gave its MID-ATLANTIC fans great mat stars and great matches...
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Do you remember these...

HIRO MATSUDA and THE MISSOURI MAULER double team THE AMAZING ZUMA.

MR. WRESTLING (TIM WOODS) dares 'Cowboy' RON BASS to get back into the ring.
In fact, he triple-dog dares him...

Referee TOMMY YOUNG looks on as GREG VALENTINE applies a chin lock to JOHNNY WEAVER.

'Big' IKE EAKINS is about to slam his face into GEORGE BECKER's fist.

PANCHO VALDEZ has a blonde LES THATCHER in a bad way.

Monday, July 7, 2014

A PROFILE OF THE "PROFILE"

Throughout the fifty+ years of JIM CROCKETT PROMOTIONS, few attained the status and recognition of RIP 'The Profile' HAWK.

A long-time 'heel', RIP often made the claim in interviews that the fans, in reality, loved him and supported him. Naturally, this brought out more heat from the fans who denied this was the case. Wrestling fans did love one thing about RIP. They loved to see him get beat in his matches. Many a fan usually left the arenas disappointed in that regard. RIP usually had the final word.

Even when 'babyfaces' like JOHNNY WEAVER or JERRY BRISCO won a side bet with RIP, they ended up getting dropped on their heads when they bent over to pick up their winnings.

"Oh boy...it's payday!"

In the early 1960s, RIP squared off against another JCP icon, JOHNNY VALENTINE.

A bit of bubbly before a match...

Earning his name as HAWK rips the hair of LOUIE TILLET.

Nearing the end of his tenure with JCP, RIP poses wearing the MID-ATLANTIC HEAVYWEIGHT CHAMPIONSHIP belt (which he shared with his 'nephew', an up-and-coming youngster named FLAIR).
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Many of us had the opportunity and privilege of meeting and getting to know RIP from his appearances at the NWA FANFESTs. The respect he has amongst his peers became evident listening to many of the other FANFEST wrestlers from a by-gone era.

Perhaps WORLD HEAVYWEIGHT CHAMPION HARLEY RACE said it best at the 2007 FANFEST..."Pound for pound, RIP HAWK was easily one of the roughest and most knowledgeable men who ever worked in the business."

As it turns out, those interviews RIP used to give were right after all---I did love RIP HAWK...and I still do.

Saturday, July 5, 2014

HIGH FLIERS VERSUS MASKED TERRORS

August 1, 1964
LEXINGTON, NORTH CAROLINA

'IRISH' MIKE CLANCY

THE BOLOS

GEORGE and SANDY SCOTT

BOB BOYER
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The mysterious terror duo of professional wrestling, THE GREAT BOLO and BOLO, will try to ground the airborn tactics of THE FLYING SCOTTS, brothers GEORGE and SANDY, in tonight's main event collision at the LEXINGTON YMCA.

Tonight's best-of-three-falls battle is a rematch of a thriller of two weeks ago won by the SCOTT BROTHERS on a reversed decision. The referee had raised the hands of THE BOLOS in victory but then found a 'foreign object' in the mask of the hooded competitor who scored the third fall.

GEORGE and SANDY asked for another shot with the masked men.

'IRISH' MIKE CLANCY will face TOMMY O'TOOLE in the evening's semifinal.

Dashing young DOUG GILBERT makes his LEXINGTON debut against JOHN HEATH.

BOB BOYER and TINKER TODD square off in the 8:15 opener.