Fan favorite GEORGE BECKER will be back at the LEXINGTON YMCA tonight in wrestling action.
The popular BECKER will meet the rough and tough PANCHO VILLA, the Mexican with an impressive winning record in the business, in the evening's headliner. Bad blood already exists between these two, and the two-out-of-three falls battle is expected to be a wild one.
HAYSTACK CALHOUN, the world's largest professional wrestler, returns to town and will meet the rugged SWEDE HANSON in the semi-final best-of-three falls contest.
Negro girl wrestlers, SWEET GEORGIA BROWN and DIANA BEAMON, meet in a special event.
The 8:15 opening match sends REGGIE PARKS against "JUDO" JACK TERRY.
There's an old adage that "nice guys finish last," and that's the promise of the mystery team of THE MASKED MEDICS and RIP "The Profile" HAWK, joining forces to take on three "nice guys" at tonight's PARK CENTER wrestling card.
Opposing "The Profile" and THE MEDICS will be ABE JACOBS, LENNY MONTANA and DON McCLARITY, three tough cookies who prefer to wrestle cleanly. Just whether each trio will stick to its tested methods, and what the opposition will do if this is the case, will make for an interesting two-out-of-three falls main event.
The semi-final will send Indian CHIEF BIG HEART against rugged GYPSY JOE, and the main prelim squares off BILL PARKS against tough LAVERNE BAXTER.
The 8:15 opener bills HENRY PHILLIPS against "Roughhouse" SONNY FARGO for a one fall, twenty minute match.
There's wrestling tonight at Charlotte's PARK CENTER, but can the building sustain the explosion?
That will be the big question when the rugged masked combo of THE GREAT BOLO and BOLO return for main event action...this time against the equally rough duo of ALDO BOGNI and BRONCHO LUBICH, who will have their manager HOMER O'DELL in their corner.
Both teams have long winning streaks going, and tonight's victor should emerge as a major challenger for the Southern Tag Team Championship. The bout is slated for two-of-three falls, one hour time.
The semi-final sends TOMMY O'TOOLE against TINY ETCHISON in a one fall contest.
The undercard is topped by a tag team affair which will pit ALEX MEDINA and GINO BRANDO opposite GENE MURPHY and JOE TOMASSO in a two-out-of-three falls affair.
The 8:15 opening match sends BOBBY HART against FRANK VALOIS.
Two tag team matches, including both heavyweights and midgets, are included on an all-star wrestling card tonight at the LEXINGTON YMCA.
French-Canadian stars TONY BAILLARGEON and MAURICE LAPOINTE will make their initial appearance here as a team when they meet the crafty Oriental villian duo of P.Y. CHUNG and TARO MYAKI in the heavyweight scrap.
The midget contest sends teams of FARMER MCGRUDER and PEE WEE LOPEZ against LITTLE BOY BLUE and CHICO SANTANA. This is SANTANA's Lexington debut.
Both tag matches are scheduled for the best two-out-of-three falls.
RAY VILLMER meets BIG JIM WRIGHT * in a semi-finals match to open the card at 8:15.
* BIG JIM WRIGHT would die in the ring the following year (1963).
Wrestling fans will get a chance to witness a rematch between the teams of TEX McKENZIE / NELSON ROYAL and RIP HAWK / SWEDE HANSON at the LEXINGTON YMCA tonight.
Demands for the return came after the popular Texans lost a disputed match to the BLONDE BOMBERS last Saturday night. It has been contended that HAWK used the ropes in an illegal manner to produce the decisive fall when ROYAL was in position to win it all for his team.
The two-out-of-three falls tag match highlights the card which also contains the following other matches:
Newcomer PAUL DEMARCO meets veteran tough guy IKE EAKINS in the semifinal.
KARL GOTCH takes on CORSICA JEAN, while two other newcomers, RAY GARDINI and KEN HOLLIS, clash in the 8:15 opening match of the evening.
One of the top tag teams to ever wrestle for JIMCROCKETTPROMOTIONS was the mean and rugged duo of BRONCOLUBICH and ALDOBOGNI. These guys wrestled on top in MID-ATLANTICWRESTLING for much of the 1960s.
Now, I should point out that this duo was not adored by JCP fans, by any means. In fact, they were at the top of the territory's 'hate list'. LUBICH and BOGNI were ruffians who had no regard for the rulebook, and to make matters worse, the two were always accompanied to the ring by their manager, MR. HOMERO'DELL, without question, the decade's most fan-hated man on the CROCKETT payroll.
WBTV's wrestling commentator, 'Big'BILLWARD, often stated on the air that HOMERO'DELL was "so low he would have to walk on stilts to look a snake in the eye."
O'DELL, when managing, always wore a tuxedo and carried his legendary cane, and believe me when I say, this cane was responsible for putting lumps on many an opponent's noggin' in JCP wrestling rings.
Through the years, I witnessed many BOGNI and LUBICH and O'DELL matches, both on television and in Charlotte'sColiseum and ParkCenter.
But one match I recall was unique in that the fans actually cheered and pulled for these three rulebreakers the night at the CharlotteColiseum when, in a SixManTagTeamMatch, BOGNI, LUBICH and O'DELL faced J.C.DYKES and THEINFERNOS. Both managers donned wrestling attire and joined their men as wrestlers.
I, being a huge mark for THEINFERNOS, cheered for the masked men, and only hoped I could get to my car in the parking lot at evening's end.
This match was equivalent to a pair of locomotives hitting head-on. RefereeAngeloMartinelli certainly earned his payday on this night.
The first fall went to O'DELL's team when BOGNI put one of the masked men out cold with his patented 'corkscrew' hold. The fans went wild. I was stunned. Cheers for HOMERO'DELL! I thought, 'what's next...a man on the moon?"
DYKES was able to revive his men and rally his troops in the second fall, which ended with LUBICH on the receiving end of a 'loaded boot' kick to the head, putting him into dreamland.
With the match even at this point, the third fall quickly became an all-out brawl. It must have been a NODISQUALIFICATION match (I can't recall), but had it not been, referee Martinelli would have had to toss it out due to the rule breaking and brutality. Both O'DELL and DYKES were lacerated, and one INFERNO was also dripping blood from a much-torn mask.
Then, out of seemingly nowhere, was a huge flash! BOGNI was screaming and down, rolling around the ring in agony. LUBICH and O'DELL grabbed their scorched partner, and bolted for the dressing room.
ANGELOMARTINELLI made the twenty-count, and raised the hands of DYKES and THEINFERNOS.
On Charlotte TV the next week, ironically, HOMERO'DELL claimed that "DYKES and THEINFERNOS were the most brutal forms of humanity and a disgrace to the wrestling business and should be barred from the profession." A rather odd statement coming from him.
DYKES denied that he had thrown fire at anyone. "Whether it's O'DELL, BOGNI, LUBICH, or any wrestling fans who say so must have been hopped up on LSD or something. The marks on BOGNI's ugly face are mat burns, where me and my men ground his mug into the wrestling mat. If he can't take it, he should find another way to make a living."
These guys could really make me believe...
BOGNI's 'corkscrew' takes its toll...
A bloodied DYKES cracks O'DELL's coconut with a metal canteen.
An INFERNO gives ALDO BOGNI a free ride to the arena floor...
HOMER comes to the aid of BRONCO LUBICH.
DYKES and THE INFERNOS have their arms raised in victory, at least on this night.
Born Freddie Joe Brisco, he grew up in Blackwell, Oklahoma with five siblings. He was followed by his younger brother, Gerald Brisco, into the sport of wrestling and turned down a football scholarship at University of Oklahoma to go to Oklahoma State. In 1965, he became the first Native American to win an NCAA National Championship.
Jack's first documented professional championship reign began on October 16, 1965, when he defeated DON KENT to win the NWA MISSOURI JUNIOR HEAVYWEIGHT title.
He also won his first tag team title in this promotion, teaming with HAYSTACK CALHOUN as co-holder of the NWA U.S. TAG TEAM CHAMPIONSHIP.
BRISCO headed east to Florida in 1968. Here his career skyrocketed. Over the course of the next few years, JACK held virtually title in the Sunshine State.
BRISCO's first NWA WORLD HEAVYWEIGHT CHAMPIONSHIP began in Houston, Texas when he defeated HARLEY RACE on July 10, 1973. He wore the belt until losing to GIANT BABA on December 4, 1974, then regained the title four days later. JACK remained the champion until December 10, 1975 when he was defeated by TERRY FUNK.
I was thrilled when Ted Turner's independent CHARLOTTE TV station began carrying CHAMPIONSHIP WRESTLING FROM FLORIDA in the late 1960s. The first wrestler who jumped out of the screen at me was JACK BRISCO.
This young man was something special. He didn't have the look of many of the 'stereotypical' wrestlers of the day. Here was a nice-looking, clean-cut, college grad young man (there weren't many back then), and he could really go in the ring.
JACK soon began appearing in the MID-ATLANTIC territory on a limited basis. My first occasion to see JACK wrestle in person was August 4, 1969, when he teamed with MR. WRESTLING (TIM WOODS) to face THE GREAT BOLO and BOLO at the original CHARLOTTE COLISEUM.
Later, I was able to attend a CHARLOTTE PARK CENTER card when BRISCO battled THE MISSOURI MAULER (LARRY HAMILTON). There was also a night in the tiny hamlet of NORTH WILKESBORO, N.C. that I witnessed JACK and JERRY BRISCO meet SGT. SLAUGHTER and DON KERNODLE. (This night, I believe, was also the final night of PAUL JONES' career as a full-time wrestler. PAUL was pinned on this card by TOMMY GILBERT--EDDIE's father. The next night in CHARLOTTE, PAUL was a manager.)
During his tenure with JIM CROCKETT PROMOTIONS, JACK held the NWA EASTERN HEAVYWEIGHT CHAMPIONSHIP twice, the MID-ATLANTIC HEAVYWEIGHT CHAMPIONSHIP four times and with his brother JERRY (or GERRY) the NWA WORLD TAG TEAM titles on three occassions. Fans today still remember the great title match with RICKY STEAMBOAT and JAY YOUNGBLOOD at STARRCADE '83.
A January, 1975 World title defense in GREENSBORO, N.C.
Few athletes have attained the honors and awards that JACK BRISCO has earned. From NCAA champion to NWA champion, BRISCO has worked throughout the world, entertaining fans of wrestling.
He certainly did that for me.
JACK BRISCO will always be at the top of my list, and I thank him for all of the many memories.