Sunday, March 12, 2017

Wrestling & Roller Derby on WLOS (1970)

In the early 1970s, TV wrestling for Jim Crockett Promotions was still being taped in three different locations: WBTV-3 in Charlotte NC, WGHP-8 in High Point NC, and WRAL-5 in Raleigh NC. The consolidation of television production to WRAL would not take place until 1974.

The Raleigh show hosted by Bob Caudle, titled "All Star Wrestling" went out to most of the Crockett TV markets. Some markets had a second program, and during this time, we believe that program was the show taped in High Point hosted by Charlie Harville titled "Championship Wrestling." In the Greenville/Spartanburg/Asheville market, we know this to be the case from audio recordings from WLOS in the early 1970s.

The newspaper clipping seen here shows a Saturday evening line-up for WLOS-13 in Asheville, NC from August 1, 1970. Included in that line-up is "Championship Wrestling" at 6:30 PM and the stars advertised included George Becker, Johnny Weaver, and  the Infernos.

Munsey Millaway
During this time, WLOS sports director Munsey Millaway and local JCP promoter Paul Winkhaus would host special promotional segments pre-taped at the local studios of WLOS that would air during the same time Charlie Harville was doing his local interviews for the Greensboro/High Point/Winston-Salem market.

This listing is from that time period. (More on Munsey Millaway here.)

Also fun to see Roller Derby listed at 11:30 PM. I'm assuming this was the show that featured the "world famous" Los Angeles Thunderbirds that was popular during that era and featured such stars as Ronnie "Psycho" Rains, "Skinny Minnie" Gwen Miller, Ralphie Valladares, heel manager Georgia Hass and many others. When we first got cable and I could watch WLOS, "Wide World Wrestling" with Ed Capral came on at 11:30 Pm followed by Roller Derby at 12:30 AM. I didn't know it at the time, but the tapes we saw in the mid-70s were actually originally recorded and aired in the early 1970s.

Check out this earlier post on another wrestling/roller derby double feature.

Good memories! Thanks to Carroll Hall at the "All-Star Championship Wrestling" blog for sending us this clipping.