Wednesday, January 31, 2018

Los Angeles Thunderbirds Roller Derby (1970s)

I know it's not related to studio wrestling in the 1970s, but during the same time I got interested in pro wrestling, I also loved watching Los Angeles Thunderbirds roller derby which came on right after wrestling at 12:30 AM on WLOS-13 out of Asheville, NC.  (I have posted about this earlier.)

On this page I plan to collect some video from those days that is on YouTube, perhaps some photos, too.

But THE place to go for all things T'birds is Scott Stephens' excellent history site. Click the graphic or link below.

Wednesday, January 24, 2018

"All Star Wrestling" Memories at WDBJ in Roanoke

I came across some nice memories of wrestling in the studios of WDBJ channel 7 in Roanoke on a sports blog called "Damp Fang" that was published back 2010.

I love little tidbits like this:

The ring was not like the current wrestling rings built today. The corner post were made of wood and there are two known instances in which the post cracked. Both times Johnny Weaver threw his opponent into the turnbuckle so hard that the post cracked and leaned inward.

The writer (unidentified) gives a brief history of "All Star Wrestling" in Roanoke, locally produced at WDBJ by promoter Pete Apostolou and hosted by WDBJ TV personality Hal Grant. Some of his supporting information is credited to my friend Carroll Hall's "Wrestling Memories" website and the Mid-Atlantic Gateway.

Hall Grant at the desk in the studios of WDBJ-7 in Roanoke, VA.
Promoter Pete Apostolou is seen in the inset photo.

The full article can be found here:

A look back at All Star Wrestling on WDBJ-7
July 15, 2010

Sunday, January 7, 2018

All-Star Wrestling with Bill Kersten

Bill Kersten was the long-time voice of "All Star Wrestling" in Kansas City for many years in the 1960s and 1970s. We are told that this studio production was taped at KBMA TV 41 in Kansas City, later KSHB 41. (Thanks to reader Tyrone Mendez.) Later as they moved into the 1980s, the tapings moved to Memorial Hall in Kansas City.

Here is a little audio sample of Bill Kersten on "All Star Wrestling" circa 1977 introducing NWA World Champion (and Kansas City hometown boy) "Handsome" Harley Race, as well as his call of the pinfall and heading to commercial.


See also NWA Champion "Handsome" Harley Race vs. Terry Gibbs in the Kansas City TV Studio 

 Some info on this territory written by Chris Owens on the message board in 2000:

The Central States area probably had its highest talent level in the late 60s and early 70s, when the promotion featured such names as Bob Geigel, Bulldog Bob Brown, Rufus R. Jones, Danny Littlebear, Omar Atlas, Black Angus Campbell (managed by Percival A. Friend), Nature Boy Roger Kirby, Lord Alfred Hayes, Mike George and "Mad Dog" Harley Race.
In the late 70s, Col. Buck Robley and his Army came into the area as the major heels for several years. At various times, the Army included Buzz "Avalanche" Tyler, Bruiser Bob Sweetan, Bobby Jaggers, the Blue Yankee and others. Bulldog Bob Brown, usually a heel, did a face turn to battle against the army. Ted Dibiase, Harley Race, Rufus Jones, Ken Lucas and Kevin Sullivan were all guys who I recall taking part in the long struggle against Robley and the Army.

The early 80s saw a decline in the promotion (at least in my eyes), as many of the familiar names disappeared from the territory and were replaced by guys like Mr. Pogo and Gypsy Joe. Strapped for cash because of the failure of the St. Louis promotion that Geigel, Pat O'Connor, Race and Verne Gagne had purchased from Sam Muchnick, the talent level dropped again in the mid-80s.

Jesse Ventura, Dusty Rhodes, Dick Murdoch, Ox Baker, Thunderbolt Patterson and many other stars began their careers in the Central States area.

Wednesday, January 3, 2018

Rich Landrum and Ric Flair (1979)

Some rare footage of "World Wide Wrestling" host Rich Landrum and Ric Flair from 1979 in the WRAL studios. I believe this 1-minute segment was something recorded and sent to other territories where Ric would be appearing. Posted on Twitter by Kris Zellner.

Fun when new WRAL footage of any kind pops up out of nowhere.

If the video will not play in your browser, go directly to Kris's tweet with this link: