Wednesday, November 22, 2017

My first look at Championship Wrestling from Florida

        On Saturday morning May 29, 1965 Johnny Weaver flew down to Tampa, Florida to face Big Bob Orton in a televised match. Near the end of the match, Johnny Weaver rolled Bob Orton up. At that point Bill Dromo jumped up on the side of the ring. At the count of two Bob Orton pushed Johnny off causing Johnny to collide with Bill Dromo. Bob Orton was then able to pin Johnny Weaver. On July 31. 1965, Charlie Harville interviewed Bob Orton while showing the tape of this match from Florida. This was my introduction to Championship Wrestling from Florida and Gordon Solie. By the end of the year the CWF show started airing on WBTV 3 in Charlotte, NC on Tuesday nights at 11:30. My brothers and I would go to bed early then get back up in time to watch the show with the tv volume turned down low. This worked pretty good for quite awhile until our parents caught us up that late on a school night. Luckily  for us the show later moved to another Charlotte channel and aired in prime time on Saturday nights.



Monday, November 20, 2017

WCSC 5 in Charleston, SC 1967

All Star Wrestling with Bob Caudle aired in South Carolina, Virginia and West Virginia during the 1960's and early 1970's. Brute Bernard and Skull Murphy are the wrestlers in the ad.


Saturday, November 18, 2017

1962 "Live Wrestling" at WNOK 19 in Columbia, SC

For several years I have had this TV listing from South Carolina. My interest in it lies in the live studio wrestling show that debuted on Saturday February 3, 1962  and aired for one year until Saturday February 2, 1963. I have always believed this had to be a show associated with Jim Crockett Promotions. Today I posted the TV listing on Facebook seeking info. Kriss Knights who has access to "The State" newspaper archives provided the clippings to confirm what I had long believed. Jim Paul, popular WNOK sportscaster was the host of this show. Many thanks to Kriss Knights!




Friday, November 17, 2017

Atlantic Coast Wrestling 1988

Ted Turner bought Jim Crockett Promotions in November 1988. Nelson Royal held his first Atlantic Coast Wrestling tv taping on Wednesday November 16, 1988 at the Mooresville, NC Senior High School. I wish the promotion could have lasted.





Thursday, November 16, 2017

Southern Wrestling Alliance is formed in 1953

         On Saturday May 2, 1953, a group of southern wrestling promoters gathered in Atlanta, Georgia. It was there that this group formed the Southern Wrestling Alliance. Jim Crockett was elected as the first President. On September 1, 1953 the Smith brothers, John and Al won the Southern tag team trophy and jackets from Herb and Roy Welch in Nashville, TN. More than six thousand fans saw the September 8, 1953 rematch at the Fairgrounds Coliseum in Nashville, TN. The referee that night was Jack Dempsey. After winning the tag team trophy and jackets, John and Al Smith began defending their title throughout the area covered by the Southern Wrestling Alliance. There were times when newspapers referred to the Alliance as Association. The last reference I have been able to find is from Florida in 1969.



Wednesday, November 15, 2017

Lexington, NC on Saturday March 29, 1969

The late Gene Gordon covered the match between Rip Hawk/Swede Hanson and the Missouri Mauler/Hiro Matsuda. Mr. Gordon's work lives on through his wonderful photos.





Monday, November 13, 2017

Wednesday, November 1, 2017

The night Matti Suzuki turned on Johnny Weaver

I was able to see this match on the syndicated show, All Star Wrestling, airing on WSLS 10 from Roanoke, VA. The credit for this photo of Matti Suzuki and the excellent story goes to fan/photographer James Reeves from Goose Creek, SC.


Sunday, October 29, 2017

Thursday April 28, 1955 in Norfolk, VA

This is the earliest live tv broadcast I have found featuring wrestlers who were part of Jim Crockett's roster at that time. Bailey Goss ,who was the host of Baltimore Wrestling at  the time was brought in to provide commentary for this special national tv hookup. Mr. Moto faced George Curtis in the main event.




Thursday, October 19, 2017

June 27, 1956 in Asheville, NC

Tiny Mills and Jim Austeri defeated Leo and Chick Garibaldi for the Southern Tag Team Trophy on June 27, 1956. The match took place on that Wednesday night in the Asheville City Auditorium. The Garibaldi's had won the trophy at the same venue a week earlier, June 20, 1956 from Kinji Shibuya and Mr. Moto. Tiny Mills and Jim Austeri would later lose the trophy to George Becker and Jack Witzig on September 17, 1956 in Charlotte, NC.


Monday, October 16, 2017

"Carolina Wrestling" on WFBC 4 in Greenville, SC

This is the earliest studio show from Jim Crockett Promotions that I have been able to confirm. The show was titled "Carolina Wrestling" and was hosted by WFBC personality, Claude Freeman. The show was on the WFBC 4 schedule from June 2,1956 until September 8, 1956. There was one live remote broadcast from Textile Hall on Saturday July 14, 1956. As you can see in the article, some of the names of the JCP wrestlers are spelled in correctly.


Wednesday, October 11, 2017

May 1, 1954 in Lenoir, NC

Here is something I think is pretty rare. The "Crusher" wrestling for Jim Crockett Promotions.



Monday, August 7, 2017

Paul Jones & Nelson Royal vs Rip Hawk & Swede Hanson in 1971

Pictured are Nelson Royal, Swede Hanson, Playboy Gary Hart and referee Angelo Martinelli.


Sunday, May 14, 2017

January 27, 1972 in Greensboro, NC

George Becker worked his last show for Jim Crockett Promotions on Saturday October 16, 1971. Johnny Weaver took on Argentina Apollo as his new partner. During this same period Johnny was involved in a singles feud with Art Nelson who was teaming with Gene Anderson. In early November 1971, Gene Anderson and Art Nelson faced Rip Hawk and Swede Hanson on tv. Playboy Gary Hart was the manager of Hawk and Hanson. During the final moments of the match, Gary Hart used one of his shoes to knock Art Nelson out causing the Anderson/Nelson team to lose. Now Playboy Gary Hart was the common enemy of Johnny Weaver and Art Nelson. Johnny and Art continued their feud but from time to time they got involved in each others matches if Gary Hart was involved. Finally in January 1972, Art Nelson agreed to work the corner of Apollo and Weaver when they faced Rip Hawk and Swede Hanson in Greensboro on Jan. 27, 1972. Apollo's leg was injured  in the second fall so he was unable to continue in the third fall. When Gary Hart got involved, Art Nelson finally helped Johnny Weaver and a new team was born. Here is the final minute of that match. Though this video is not very clear, it does show what transpired. Angelo Martinelli was the referee and Charlie Harville was the timekeeper and ring announcer.


Tuesday, March 21, 2017

Lou Thesz teams with Rip Hawk and Swede Hanson

Lou Thesz made a title defense against Johnny Weaver in Asheville on November 3, 1965. Though the paper did not provide all the specifics, it did say that other wrestlers on the card got involved and the match was a "no contest". Whatever happened that night must have set up this match.




Monday, March 20, 2017

Frances Crockett Ringley 1976

This article was published December 19, 1976. Please click on image for easier reading.


Saturday, March 18, 2017

Wednesday, March 15, 2017

Tribute to Promoter Paul C. Winkhaus

         Mr. Paul C. Winkhaus became the promoter of the weekly wrestling events in Asheville, NC in July 1963. He promoted his first show in the City Auditorium there on July 24, 1963 after purchasing the wrestling office of Chief O. B. Saunooke. Mr. Winkhaus also promoted at the Greenville, SC Memorial Auditorium. I have not yet been able to determine the exact date he started promoting there. The Greenville paper has Herbie Freeman as the promoter there in 1960 and Wally Dusek as promoter from 1961 to as late as August 1963. Mr. Winkhaus passed away in Ohio on Thursday November 14, 1974.



Asheville, NC City Auditorium

                   The city of Asheville, NC has a rich history in professional wrestling. The construction of a new city auditorium began in 1939. The new auditorium received a final inspection on Thursday January 4, 1940 and a dedication ceremony was held on Saturday January 6, 1940.

                    The wrestling promoters I have found mentioned in the Asheville newspaper for the city auditorium are Scotty Dawkins (former wrestler) in 1941. Wrestling in Asheville was sparse during the war years. In January 1946 the promoter for Asheville is listed as Mickey Baarnes assisted by Johnny Bowers. The paper also sometimes spelled his last name as Baarns or Barnes. Mr. Baarnes would also promote shows  in the Asheville City Auditorium during 1950, 1951 and 1952.  On the shows that Mickey Baarnes promoted in Asheville between 1946 and 1952, wrestlers from Nick Gulas' office in Nashville,TN were featured.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                   
                   The city auditorium would become a weekly wrestling venue when in October of 1952 retired wrestler Chief Osley Bird Saunooke became the Asheville wrestling promoter booking his wrestlers out of Jim Crockett's Charlotte office. Chief Saunooke remained the Asheville promoter until July 1963 when an article appears stating that Paul Winkhaus had purchased the Asheville wrestling office from Chief Saunooke. The last city auditorium show for Mr. Paul Winkhaus was on September 5,1973.






Monday, March 6, 2017

Hampton, VA - August 28, 1961

    When pro wrestling returned to Hampton, VA in August 1961, the new promoter was Jim Murdock who booked wrestlers from Jim Crockett promotions for his shows. Though his first card did not draw well (42 paid), that would soon change. Mr. Murdock would continue to promote shows there well into 1966. Prior to becoming a promoter, Mr. Murdock had worked as referee and timekeeper for shows that appear to promoted by "The Elephant Boy" who ran some shows in Virginia during 1959-1960.

    During March of 1965, Mr. Murdock purchased the Sports Arena. He did not own it very long as he put it up for sale in August 1965.

    The largest crowd reported during the years 1961 through 1966 was a standing room only crowd of 1600 fans on January 24, 1962. The main event that night was then United States Heavyweight Champion Pat O'Connor versus "The Angel". There is a lot of history to be found in these cards such as fans attacking wrestlers and police even getting involved in a match or two.





Sunday, January 29, 2017

Jim Crockett Sr.

Jim Crockett Sr. passed away on Sunday April 1, 1973. His service was held on Tuesday April 3, 1973.