Saturday, August 29, 2015

LOOK, UP IN THE SKY

The JIM CROCKETT PROMOTIONS heavens were filled with stars...

ROBERTO SOTO

SUSAN GREEN

KOA TIKI

SGT. JACQUES GOULET

RIC FLAIR knows it was a smart move coming to JCP.

BEARCAT WRIGHT

PAUL ORNDORF

Thursday, August 27, 2015

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.

Tuesday, August 25, 2015

STEINBORN BATTLES ROGERS FOR TITLE

September 15, 1956
LEXINGTON, NORTH CAROLINA

59 Years Ago

Wrestling attendance may have been lagging a bit at the LEXINGTON YMCA in recent weeks, but it gets a major shot in the arm tonight with a double main event attraction that would grab notice in any arena in the nation.

Local sponsors of the grappling business are making plans to pull a big attendance for tonight's slate that includes tag team and singles action.

One of ringdom's most colorful individuals, "NATURE BOY" BUDDY ROGERS, a great (but disliked) WORLD HEAVYWEIGHT CHAMPION from the Northeast, makes his local debut for the main event. The strutting blonde-headed genius will have his hands full because he'll be opposing one of the fastest-rising young stars in the business, DICK STEINBORN.

This is a match that STEINBORN has been requesting since hearing the Champ was headed this way.

ROGERS' championship could seriously be challenged in this two-out-of-three falls title match.

Tonight's tag team match could well be one of the best-ever presented in the 4500 seat YMCA arena.

It's one the fans demanded themselves.

It sends the glamour gentlemen of the sport, GEORGE BECKER and JACK WITZIG against those roughest of mean men, KARL VON HESS and SKULL MURPHY. Fans have wanted to see BECKER and WITZIG get a chance to lamblast these villains, and tonight, it comes to fruition. They'll battle for the best-of-three falls.

The opener tonight should also be a corker, because it matches the explosive young LEN ROSSI against the stubborn Texan roughie, "LARRUPIN" LOU PLUMMER.

Sunday, August 23, 2015

BACK TO THE BALL PARK

DAVID CROCKETT tries his hand at pitching.

'Hands of Stone' RONNIE GARVIN anchors right field.

'Rock 'n' Roll'er RICKY MORTON at shortstop.

'Gorgeous' JIMMY GARVIN pitches as well.

A bit of offense from 'Rock 'n' Roll'er ROBERT GIBSON
---

On a summer afternoon in 1987, in Charlotte, North Carolina, CROCKETT PARK was the scene of one of the most fascinating sports competitions in the Tarheel state's history.

It wasn't Duke playing North Carolina, it wasn't the LA Dodgers against the SF Giants, not even the Boston Red Sox against the NY Yankees.

On this day, before the advent of the CHARLOTTE HORNETS, the CAROLINA PANTHERS or the CHARLOTTE BOBCATS, the professional wrestlers of JIM CROCKETT PROMOTIONS took on a team of employees of the Queen City's WSOC RADIO station for a softball charity fund raiser.

Oh yes, if you're interested, the boys of JCP won the game 4 - 0.

Friday, August 21, 2015

BECKER'S BACK IN LEXINGTON


May 6, 1961
LEXINGTON, NORTH CAROLINA

P.Y. CHUNG *

GEORGE BECKER

BOB NANDOR

FRAN GRAVETTE

TERRY GARVIN


RITA CORTEZ
---
Fan favorite GEORGE BECKER will face the crafty Oriental bully, P.Y. CHUNG, in a special challenge match that headlines tonight's wrestling card at the LEXINGTON YMCA.

BECKER asked for the match himself after he and SANDY SCOTT defeated CHUNG and partner MIKE PAIDOUSIS in tag action last Saturday night.

Following last week's match, CHUNG rammed BECKER into the ring post, splitting his head open. GEORGE declared revenge and asked the promoter for a one-on-one contest with CHUNG.

The match has been signed and will be fought under two-out-of-three falls and one hour time limit stipulations.

A girls tag team match supports the main event with the diabolical duo of SLAVE GIRL MOOLAH and the lovely-but-deadly RITA CORTEZ meeting popular FRAN GRAVETTE and the amazing JUDY GRABLE.

Bullies KEN COOPER and JACK BENARD meet in one preliminary, and European champion BOB NANDOR squares off against tough TERRY GARVIN in the 8:15 opener.
---
P.Y. CHUNG wrestled in other territories as Tojo Yamamoto.

Wednesday, August 19, 2015

I WAS NEVER AN OPTIMIST

...however, I was indebted to the optimists, the SALISBURY, N.C. OPTIMIST CLUB, that is, because in the Spring and Summer of 1976, the club, to raise money for their projects, sponsored JIM CROCKETT PROMOTIONS / MID-ATLANTIC CHAMPIONSHIP WRESTLING in the city of Salisbury, N.C. (where I live).

Not once...not twice...but THREE times within a six month period.


ANGELO MOSCA

March 18, 1976 - SALISBURY POST

WAHOO MCDANIEL

A crowd nearing twelve hundred witnessed 'Chief' WAHOO MCDANIEL pin big ANGELO MOSCA in the main event last night at CATAWBA COLLEGE's GOODMAN GYMNASIUM. The professional wrestling show was sponsored by the SALISBURY OPTIMIST CLUB. Long-time favorite JOHNNY WEAVER and his partner TIGER CONWAY JR. topped JACK EVANS and BILL WHITE in the evening's tag team contest. GEORGE HARRIS, known as 'Two Ton', belly-splashed a much-smaller GREG PETERSON to win his match, and veteran SWEDE HANSON used a neck breaker to subdue BILL HOWARD. OPTIMIST CLUB officials announced they were very pleased with attendance and would be negotiating to bring wrestling back to SALISBURY very soon.


May 8, 1976 - SALISBURY POST

BLACKJACK MULLIGAN


May 9, 1976 - SALISBURY POST

AUGUST 3, 1976 - SALISBURY POST

August 4, 1976 - SALISBURY POST


May 6, 1976 - SALISBURY POST

The wrestler referred to as Red Bastian, was in fact, Red Bastien.

Three great evenings of JCP in my home town, and I had to drive only ten miles round trip for each show. Considering the many, many miles I drove throughout the years to see MID-ATLANTIC CHAMPIONSHIP WRESTLING, this was a welcome change.

And for the record, I was never an OPTIMIST. I was a CIVITAN. We sold fruitcake.

Monday, August 17, 2015

THEY WORKED HARD FOR THEIR MONEY

Working for JIM CROCKETT PROMOTIONS meant lots of hours on the road, going from city to city, almost EVERY day.
---
And once they arrived at their destinations, they worked hard to give us, the wrestling fans, our entertainment dollar's worth.
---
They seldom failed...

RUFUS R. JONES feels the impact of a HARLEY RACE piledriver.

GENE ANDERSON grimaces as KOA TIKI puts on the pressure.

LUTHER LINDSAY attempts to remove the hood of THE MASKED MARVEL.

BELLE STARR and PENNY BANNER slug it out.

RONNIE GARVIN lets the air out of an opponent.

JERRY BRISCO and SANDY SCOTT work on the leg of SWEDE HANSON.

THE MUMMY puts the boot to a downed opponent.

GEORGE 'TWO TON' HARRIS takes a time-out during a TV match taped at WBTV-CHARLOTTE.

Saturday, August 15, 2015

NUMBER ONE versus THE RUSSIAN BEAR

Two long-time JIM CROCKETT PROMOTIONS main eventers who could really set a town on fire were The Russian Bear IVAN KOLOFF and Number One PAUL JONES.

But when the two squared off against one another, the flames were even hotter!

The Russian Bear knee drops Number One from the ring apron...

PAUL gets a bit of revenge...

KOLOFF has JONES in big trouble...
That's referee ANGELO MARTINELLI.

IVAN takes down PAUL for some more punishment.

It could be the beginning of the end for KOLOFF as JONES applies the airplane spin.
The arena looks like Charlotte's PARK CENTER.

Thursday, August 13, 2015

NELSON ROYAL


Ricky Ferrara is at Nelson's mercy as Royal works on his opponent's arm.

A familiar sight in Virginia and the Carolinas...Nelson has his hand raised.

Cowboy Nelson Royal looks over his Mooresville, N.C. ranch.

Fellow wrestlers Tiger Conway Jr. and Ed Wiskowski (later Colonel DeBeers) enjoy one of the many charity rodeo events Nelson sponsored at his ranch.


He lived on a twenty acre tract of land in Mooresville, North Carolina and was one of the town's most outstanding citizens at the time.
He devoted countless hours of his life helping those less fortunate. He organized numerous benefit rodeo shows at his arena for many charitable organizations as well as putting together softball games and the like for community purposes.
Besides being a good citizen and a friend to many, the man in question was by profession a heavyweight wrestler named NELSON ROYAL.

Nelson began his in-ring career around 1961 and came to JIM CROCKETT PROMOTIONS a few years later. 'Nellie' actually wrestled as a heel upon his arrival (using the name SIR NELSON ROYAL) and often teamed with THE VIKING.

He soon 'switched' to babyface and his incredible JCP career took off. The front office teamed Nelson with the tall, lanky TEX McKENZIE, and they quickly became one of the territory's top 'good guy' teams, alongside BECKER & WEAVER and the FLYING SCOTTS.

After several years, TEX left the area, and ROYAL was then paired with JCP newcomer PAUL JONES. Nelson and Paul were as popular as Nelson and Tex, and the 'Royal Run' continued.

Later, Nelson teamed with greats such as Sandy Scott, Les Thatcher and The Amazing Zuma and worked as a single.

Royal 'feuded' with all of the 'heel' teams that made their way through JCP for nearly twenty years and was always a favorite of the fans, in and out of the ring.

Tuesday, August 11, 2015

A GREENVILLE BLOOD BATH

Many MID-ATLANTIC WRESTLING fans always loved to witness a BATTLE OF THE BULLIES match, in which two 'bad guy' teams faced each other instead of the usual 'babyface' versus 'heel' encounter.

I was one of those fans, and I was lucky enough to see quite a few.

One I didn't get to witness took place in 1972 in Greenville, South Carolina. And to make the match even better, it was wrestled under TEXAS DEATH MATCH rules, meaning falls didn't count towards deciding a victor. The two teams battled until one couldn't answer the bell for the next fall. No time limit and no disqualification stipulations were also in place.

On this night, the combatants were the teams of GENE ANDERSON and ART NELSON versus RIP HAWK and SWEDE HANSON.

Referee SAM 'LUCKY' ROBERTS was assigned to be the official. More likely than not, SAM was probably 'UNLUCKY' ROBERTS for this night.

RIP HAWK hammers away on GENE ANDERSON.

No participate left the ring unscathed that night in Greenville.

GENE GORDON witnessed the match and gave the following account..."I believe this TEXAS DEATH MATCH was the roughest, most vicious and bloody match I had seen in many years, and I go all the way back to the likes of COWBOY LUTTRELLDANNY MCSHANE and STRANGLER BOB WAGNER. There was not a lot of wrestling. It was more like something out of the days of the Roman gladiators who battled to the death. No one paid any attention to any of the normal rules. The referee was knocked down several times and thrown to the floor once. He wanted to stop the match but couldn't under the stipulations. All four wrestlers looked like they had been run through a sausage grinder. They were so exhausted they could hardly leave the ring at the end. I saw one woman faint and a few others left in disgust, unable to stand the brutality and gore. I know I'll never forget it."

For the record, the match was won by HAWK and HANSON, although they certainly didn't look like winners at the end.