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We were recently very fortunate to obtain rare archival photographs from WBTV in Charlotte through our friend Mike Cline. These photos were taken by G.B. Warren and taken in 1965 and 1967. The shots are from four different matches, and at least two different TV tapings. Carroll Hall has helped us identify everyone in three of the matches which include:

  • Skull Murphy and Brute Bernard vs. Peppy Gomez and Lorenzo Parente

  • George Becker and Johnny Weaver vs. Jack Vansky and The Viking

  • Klondike Bill and Greg Peterson vs. P.Y.Chung and Haru Sasaki

The fourth match proved more difficult in identifying the wrestlers, but is thought to at least involve Steve Bolus and Rowdy Red Roberts. The referee for all of the matches was Walt Buckner.

 

 

In the photo above, George Becker has Jack Vansky snared in his patented abdominal stretch as Johnny Weaver slaps the Viking the sleeper. Referee Walt Buckner asks Vansky if he submits.

 

Some further background detail provided by wrestling historian Carroll Hall (from WrestlingMemories.com):

  • The Viking had come to Jim Crockett Promotions very late in 1964 as the partner of Sir Nelson Royal. Royal and the Viking parted ways in the summer of 1965 as Nelson was beginning his face turn. Nelson Royal would become a face cowboy and team with Tex McKenzie by the fall of 1965.

  • Jack Vansky claimed to have the strongest neck in the world. Sometimes the ring announcer's would introduce him as Jack "The Neck" Vansky. On a few occasions during Vansky's tours of the area, photos were shown of Vansky towing a Greyhound bus or a railroad car with rope around his neck.

  • The match with Klondike Bill and Greg Peterson vs. P.Y.Chung and Haru Sasaki would have taken place between March and September 1967 as that is the timeframe that Klondike and Peterson wrestled here as a team.

With the assistance of Mark Eastridge, Carroll Hall has nailed down the dates these photographs were taken. The photographs that involve the Weaver/Becker and Bernard/Murphy teams were from a show that aired 5/29/65. The photographs that involve the Klondike Bill/Peterson team were taken 5/13/67. This information came from actual newspaper listings for each show.

 

These photographs are a real treasure, and offer us a glimpse of a special time gone by.

 

 - Dick Bourne                          


Brute Bernard and Skull Murphy battle Peppy Gomez and Lorenzo Parente.

 

Johnny Weaver and George Becker battle Jack Vansky and the Viking. The referee is Walt Buckner in both matches above.

 

Three great wide shots of a match in progress in the television studio at WBTV in Charlotte. In the ring, Klondike Bill and Greg Peterson battle P. Y. Chung and Haru Sasaki. The referee is Walt Buckner.

 

Wrestlers in this photo are officially unidentified. It appears Steve Bolus has just punched Rowdy Red Roberts. If you have other ideas on who these wrestlers are, please contact us at the Mid-Atlantic Gateway.

(midatlanticgateway@gmail.com)

 

 


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