Monday, March 9, 2015

Wrestling & Roller Derby Double Feature!

TV ad from May 18, 1974

What a way to spend a Saturday afternoon!

For roughly a year and a half or so, I was into Roller Derby almost as much I was into wrestling. When I was watching in 1975-1976, it came on WLOS-13 at 12:30 AM Sunday morning, immediately after "Wide World Wrestling" with Ed Capral had ended.

It was the adventures of the Los Angeles Thunderbirds against some of the most dastardly teams and managers in the International Roller Derby League.

The big babyfaces were Ralphie Valadares and Ronnie "Psycho" Rains, along with "Skinny Minnie" Gwen Miller and Patsy Delgado on the girls side. El Fabuloso and Georgia Hass were the heel managers, and John Hall was the manager at that time of the T'birds. 

Here is some video on YouTube from a 1973 T'birds contest with the Chicago Hawks.

* * * * *

Update: I found a great website on the history of the Los Angeles Thunderbirds published by Scott Stephens, himself once a skater.
"Roller Derby was anything but conventional.
It was dark, violent and underground.
It was non-conformist; hip and authentic.
It welcomed all races, genders and sexual orientations.
It was a "people's sport" with low salaries and admission fees; revered by the inner city working classes.
It was Rock & Roll, Funk, Goth and Punk combined and often edgier than all of them.
It was a traveling circus; a dysfunctional but happy band of gypsies including some of the most colorful characters the sports world has ever seen.
This is why I love it!"   -Scott Stephens
Sounds a lot like pro-wrestling, Scott. (Great website!)