Wednesday, March 23, 2016

Falls Count Anywhere

The "Flying" Scott Brothers and the Anderson Brothers battle all over the
Memorial Auditorium for a four week period in Greenville, SC.

by Dick Bourne
Mid-Atlantic Gateway

There's very little I enjoy more than talking old school wrestling with some of my friends who are familiar with wrestling from an era just before I started watching as a regular fan. For me, that's the late 1960s and early 1970s. From Carroll Hall to Mike Mooneyham to Chuck Thornton and Don Holbrook, these guys have taught me so much about a time I just missed out on.

George and Sandy, the "Flying Scotts"
What I wouldn't give to be able to hear those "Two Ton" Harris promos when he complained to the NWA president Sam "Munch-nick" or to see the fiery red-headed manager J.C. Dykes and his team of the masked Infernos. I was just born about 10 years too late.

I was recently having one of those discussions, via email, with my friend Don Holbrook who grew up in Greenville, SC and attended most Monday night cards at the Greenville Memorial Auditorium in the late 1960s and 1970s. Don was telling me another tale of a wild night of wrestling at the GMA.

"I remember one time (promoter) Paul Winkhaus told me on the previous Tuesday in Columbia, SC, Brute Bernard was chased all over the building and out the front door into the street and back to the ring by George Scott during a main event," Don wrote me. "I asked Wink a couple weeks later whatever happened next, and he said the next week they had a "falls count anywhere" rematch. Can you imagine 9:45 at night driving down Taylor Street in Columbia and seeing George Scott chasing Brute down the sidewalk?"

Don continued: "Funny thing is, a few months or so after he told me this, George Scott chased Gene Anderson all through the lobby and back to the ring in Greenville, followed the next week by a "falls count anywhere" bout between the Scotts and the Andersons."

Gene and Ole Anderson
"The Minnesota Wrecking Crew"
I loved that story. I thought I'd try and track down the newspaper clipping for that show and post it here, and asked Don if he remembered exactly when that was.

"By now you know I'm terrible with dates and time-frames," he wrote, "but I'm going to try to figure out a date or at least a year for you. I do remember Sam "Lucky" Roberts was the referee because he was running behind George and Gene with his face all red and his pot-belly, trying to keep up with them as they ran around the building. Also, the cops were going nuts because people were trying to follow them."

Mark Eastridge has an amazing collection of newspaper clippings we are blessed to be able to present here on the Mid-Atlantic Gateway, but without a year to at least narrow it down by, and with Greenville running around 50 shows a year in those days, it would be like looking for the proverbial needle in the haystack.

So I called Carroll Hall, who is a as close to walking, talking encyclopedia on 1960s Crockett wrestling as you will ever find. I told him Don's story and he immediately was able to give me a year.

"1969 was the only year Brute Bernard, the Scotts, and the Andersons would have all over-lapped in main events," he told me. he popped that off without even a hesitation. I'm telling you, Carroll Hall is other-worldly when it comes to that stuff.

So I went to the Eastridge archives kept hidden away in the back of the batcave and started looking through Greenville newspaper ads for 1969.

And there it was - on a Monday night as usual, March 10, 1969. George and Sandy Scott vs. Gene and Ole Anderson.

The Greenville ads in those days, written by local promoter Paul Winkhaus who was one of Jim Crockett, Sr. and John Ringley's trusted lieutenants. Winkhaus took great care in including a brief bit of info in each add that gave some matter of context to the main event. For this week it was written:
"Falls will count wherever they are scored, in the ring or out, in this return match between bitter rivals." 

As I looked at other adds around that same time, I discovered that Greenville ran this match as their main event for four -- yes, four! -- weeks in a row! Each week built on what happened the previous week, and each week added a different stipulation. It's a great look into how wrestling was booked back in those days when you had to draw a house every single week.


Match #1 - Monday, February 24, 1969
The "Flying" Scott brothers meet the Anderson brothers. The ad proclaims "Ranking teams meet in a tag team match." The newspaper result says the Andersons won that bout in two out of three falls. This would have been the show Don remembers where George Scott chased Gene Anderson around the building. it set up the "fall count anywhere" affair two weeks later.

Match #2 - Monday, March  10, 1969
With no wrestling card held the following week 3/3, wrestling returned on 3/10. After last week's chase around the Greenville Memorial auditorium, the Scotts met the Andersons in a falls-count- anywhere stipulation. (See the newspaper ad above.) The ad read "Falls will count wherever they are scored, in the ring or out, in this return match between bitter rivals." The newspaper reports that once again the Andersons were victors in the 2-of-3 fall contest.

Match #3 - Monday, March  17, 1969
Apparently the Andersons continued to use under-handed antics to win these matches, because the following week, the two teams met for the third straight show with Texas Death match rules in effect. The ad read: "In a Texas-style DEATH MATCH the falls scored do not determine the outcome of the match. There is NO TIME LIMIT and the two teams wrestle until one or the other cannot answer the bell for the next fall or concedes the victory to the other." The newspaper result states the Scotts outlasted the Andersons in this contest. We're guessing that the Anderson ran from the ring at the end of this brutal affair, because these two teams were going to meet one more time.

Match #4 - Monday, March  24, 1969
Two weeks later, the two teams met for the final time. This time the stipulation was a "LOGGER TAG TEAM MATCH." A logger match was another name for a lumberjack match. The newspaper ad read: "Eight big wrestlers will surround the ring with orders to immediately throw back onto the mat anybody who attempts to run away. There will be NO ESCAPE FOR ANYBODY in this match." Lumberjacks were Abe Jacobs, Les Wolff, Billy and Jimmy Hines, Bobby Paul, El Gaucho, Randy Curtis, and Pancho Valdez. The newspaper results report that the Scotts were victorious in this final chapter in their month long saga.

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