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.