Tuesday, October 13, 2020

Roanoke Times Article Features Roanoke Wrestling History

The following is an excerpt from a great article that appeared on the Roanoke Times website in March of 2018. The article gives a nice summary of Mid-Atlantic Wrestling history in Roanoke, focusing on promoter Pete Aposolou, TV announcer Hal Grant, the famous tag team of the Bolos, and WDBJ-TV channel 7 where a live wrestling program for Jim Crockett Promotions was once taped. (We're pleased that the Mid-Atlantic Gateway and contributor Mike Cline were mentioned in the article as well.)

The following is an excerpt. Read the entire article on the Roanoke Times website here:
WOYM: Who were those masked wrestlers of the early days of Roanoke television?
By Ray Cox | Special to The Roanoke Times Mar 11, 2018

It’s a troubled, perilous world we live in these days. Even here at the answer desk, occasionally attention turns to strange and frightening things. Today’s topic involves huge masked men, bright lights, rope, and what dystopian novelist Anthony Burgess once called “ultraviolence.”

Q: Growing up in Wytheville, one of our Saturday afternoon rituals was watching a local TV station airing live “Wrestling from Roanoke.” There was a tag team group promoted as “The Bolo Brothers.” These two men wore masks that their opponents were always trying to take off during the wrestling match. We never knew who these two masked men were. Could you find out who they were and if they were actually from the Roanoke area?
Becky Hudson

A: Before we get to the sinister and intimidating Bolos, some background is in order.

Professional wrestling has a rich history going back many decades from coast to coast, up into Canada and down into Mexico.

A fondly recalled footnote involved the many Star City bouts promoted by Pete Apostolou on behalf of Jim Crockett Promotions.

WDBJ-TV (Channel 7) carried live studio wrestling Saturday afternoons from 1957-67. Early years of the show were staged on the second floor of the offices that still serve The Roanoke Times. Before divesting its broadcasting arm, what was then known as the Times-World Corp. owned the television station.

Beloved WDBJ weatherman Hal Grant handled ringside blow-by-blow and post-match interviews. Apostolou was the color man.

The Bolo Brothers, infamous “heels” — as squared-ring villains were known — were Saturday afternoon regulars on the shows, which were usually preludes to live evening bouts at venues such as the old American Legion Auditorium.

More on the Bolos in a minute......

Read the rest of Ray Cox's piece on the Roanoke Times website.

Also, get all the details on wrestling taped at WDBJ in Roanoke in our Studio Wrestling Directory:
WDBJ-7 Roanoke [Studio Wrestling]