1955

JANUARY:

A tag team tournament to crown Southern Tag Team Champions had been in progress as 1954 ended. The two remaining teams met at the Shrine Auditorium in Mobile, AL on the first card of 1955 with the winning team to be declared the champions. These two teams were those of Mario Galento & Rowdy Red Roberts and Herb Welch & Lee Fields.

The match was a wild one with Fields & Welch winning two out of three falls to become the Southern tag team champions. A rematch was scheduled and another wild melee ensued. This match was so wild that a near riot occurred at the Shrine Auditorium. Both teams were disqualified and the match was declared a no contest. Afterwards, Roberts accused Galento of carrying less than his weight and the team split. Roberts took Rube Wright as a partner and they defeated the team of Lee Fields & Buddy Fuller.

Freddie Blassie made an appearance in the area and defended his Southern Heavyweight championship against the strong challenge of King Karl Kowalski. Freddie beat the powerful Pole two falls out of three to hang onto his title.

Southern Jr. Heavyweight champion Ray Piret also made some appearances. He teamed with Lee Fields to defeat the tough team of King Karl Kowalski & Rowdy Red Roberts. Piret also made a title defense against the popular Oklahoma cowboy, Lester Welch. Welch had earned the title shot by defeating Al Getz. Welch actually won the match with Piret but not the title. Lester pinned Piret to win the first fall, but the match went to the sixty-minute time limit with neither man able to win another fall. Therefore, Welch won the match, but not the title since it was ruled that the championship could not change hands in one fall.

 

FEBRUARY:

Southern heavyweight champion Freddie Blassie made another successful defense in the area by taking on and defeating Rowdy Red Roberts.

Lester Welch and Rube Wright crossed paths in February. Initially they faced off in a tag team match that saw Wright teaming with Karl Kowalski to defeat Welch and Lee Fields. Lester then challenged Wright to a singles match that was fought to a no contest. The rematch saw Welch come out on top by defeating the rough Wright in a two out of three-fall match.

Babe Zaharias, nephew of the famous Zaharias Brothers “The Crying Greeks from Cripple Creek“, appeared in the area in February. He lost to Buddy Fuller in a fantastic match.

It was announced that Ray Piret had lost the Southern Jr. Heavyweight championship on February 21st in Birmingham to Sonny Myers.

Lady wrestlers Vicki Lynn and Pattie Neff made a swing through the area. Lynn defeated Neff.

The Gulf Coast promotion expanded into Louisiana when a partnership was formed with Monroe, Louisiana promoter Gus Kallio. The first card held at Kallio’s Arena in Monroe featuring Gulf Coast wrestlers saw Lee Fields take Mario Galento in a best two out of three fall match. Fields took the first fall after a series of dropkicks allowed to to pin Galento. Galento came back and pinned Fields for the second fall after ramming him headfirst into the corner turnbuckle several times. In the third fall, Galento got a little carried away and slugged referee Bill Barney bringing on a disqualification to give the fall and match to Fields.

Also on that Monroe card the masked Red Scarr beat Danny Dusek.

The following week in Monroe, Lee Fields teamed with Buddy Fuller to defeat the team of Red Scarr & Rowdy Red Roberts. The opener on that card featured a ladies match between Judy Glover against Belle Starr. Glover endured a rough match but managed to beat Starr.

At the same time as the venture into Louisiana, the Gulf Coast promotion made forays into Mississippi. They began running shows in Greenville for promoter Pat Dunne and in Jackson where Roy Welch, co-owner of the Gulf Coast promotion, was listed as promoter. The first card in Greenville saw  Lee Fields & Buddy Fuller team to defeat Danny Dusek & The Cavalier.

The following week in Jackson, Mario Galento win over Bobby Starr while Lee Fields & Lester Welch defeated Walter Sirois & Red Scarr in a tag team bout. The following might in Greenville, Fields & Welch scored a win over Galento & Red Scarr.

Others in the area in February were Al Getz, Herb Welch, Don Wayne, Charley KeeneEddie (Pat) Malone and Rex Mobley.

 

MARCH:

Southern tag team champions Herb Welch & Lee Fields were stripped of the titles due to inactivity after Fields suffered an injury. The titles were awarded to Rowdy Red Roberts & Mario Galento, who had patched up their differences. After his injury healed, Fields appealed to Welch to join him in trying to regain the titles, but Welch showed no interest. Finally after weeks of pleading, Welch agreed. Prior to the match, however, Fields was injured yet again in a match in Corinth, Mississippi and couldn’t team with Welch to face the new champions. Buddy Fuller replaced him, but Welch & Fuller were defeated. Roberts & Galento remained the Southern tag team champions.

New Southern Jr. Heavyweight champion Sonny Myers made his initial appearance in the Gulf Coast. He successfully defended his title in a rough match with Danny Dusek in Mobile. Myers also made a successful defense against former champion Rowdy Red Roberts in Jackson.

Popular Lee Fields recovered from his latest injury and returned in a match against rugged Rube Wright from Birmingham. The match was a rough affair that saw both men bleeding at the end. Fields took two falls out of three to win the match. Wright wasn’t happy and demanded and received a rematch. In fact, Rube blamed his loss on his own whiskers. He said that Lee Fields has held him in place by the beard while he opened a cut on Rube’s forehead.

Therefore Rube Wright appeared clean-shaven for the rematch. It didn’t help though because Lee Fields whipped him thoroughly in two falls to take the match.

Rube Wright tries to separate Lee Fields' head from his body during a wild bout

Rube Wright tries to separate Lee Fields’ head from his body during a wild bout

Lee Fields teamed with Lester Welch to take a match over Charley Keene & Walter Sirois in two out of three falls Monroe. Another match between the same two teams was held in Greenville with the same results.

The following week, Welch teamed with Bobby Starr to take the measure of Mario Galento & Al Getz in Monroe. Starr teamed with Lee Fields in Greenville to take the measure of Southern Tag Team Champions Mario Galento & Rowdy Red Roberts in a non-title match.

Newcomer Frank “Scotty” Thompson arrived in the area. He defeated “Fearless” Al Criswell in his initial match. He then faced the rugged Turk, Ali Pasha with the winner promised a title shot at Southern Jr. Heavyweight champion Sonny Myers. It was a rough and tumble match, but Thompson emerged the winner when Pasha was disqualified in the final fall.

Herb Welch & Buddy Fuller continued to be successful as a tag team. They defeated the rugged team of Walt Sirois & Babe Zaharias. They also teamed with Billy “the Kid” Brown to face the three man team of King Karl Kowalski, Charro Aztec & Rowdy Red Roberts. The villains were just a little too tough and won the match. Archenemies Welch and Roberts squared off after the match and exchanged punches. Welch then challenged Roberts to face him in a singles match. The two hadn’t faced each other since Welch battered Roberts mercilessly the previous summer in a Texas Death Match.

Lady wrestlers Ethel Brown and Judy Glover appeared. Brown defeated Glover in that match. Another ladies match, held in Monroe saw China Mira defeat Dot Dotson.

Former NWA World Jr. Heavyweight champion Baron Michele Leone made an appearance in Jackson and faced off with the immensely popular Lee Fields. The bout was stopped after nearly an hour of wild action and declared a no contest.

Another well know wrestling star appeared in Jackson when the famed Mr. Moto  took on former Southern Jr. Heavyweight champion Ray Piret. Moto used a series of Judo chops to subdue Piret to take the first fall. Piret came back to win the second fall after hitting the wily Japanese with a series of flying tackles. Moto scored the third and deciding fall by pinning Piret after a body slam.

Lee Fields and Mario Galento renewed their solo feud in Monroe. Fields won their first match on a reversed decision causing Galento to complain bitterly and demand a rematch. Unfortunately for the rough New Yorker, he didn’t fare any better in that one although he won the match. Fields battered Galento from pillar to post but caused his own downfall by slugging referee Hercules McIntire. McIntire immediately disqualified Fields and awarded the match to Galento.

The two met in another match in Jackson and again a referee cost Fields the victory.  In this one Fields was about to be pinned for the deciding fall when referee George (Baby Blimp) Harris decided to stomp on Lee’s head. The dizzy Fields was then easy prey for Galento and was pinned, giving Galento the fall and the match. After the pin Fields jumped to his feet and took after Harris, who wound up with a bloody cut over his eye as a reward for his officiating.

George (Baby Blimp) Harris sporting a bloody eye courtesy of Lee Fields

George (Baby Blimp) Harris sporting a bloody eye courtesy of Lee Fields

Galento scored another victory over Fields in a match in Greenville, but used some highly illegal tactics to do so. Fields was furious over the loss and demanded another match.

Others appearing in the area in March were Clyde Steeves, Rex Mobley, Charlie Carr, Don Wayne and Eddie (Pat) Malone.

 

APRIL:

The Herb Welch/Rowdy Red Roberts feud erupted once again when Welch challenged Roberts after the two exchanged punches after a six-man tag team match. It was one of their usual melees, but the Rowdy one defeated Welch to win the match.

Roberts also clobbered Ali Pasha in a rough match to emerge as the number one contender for Sonny Myers’ Southern Jr. Heavyweight crown. I guess they forgot about Scotty Thompson. They also must have forgotten about Roberts as well, because when Myers came back into the area at the end of the month it was Pasha that he faced for the title. Pasha was rough but Myers retained the title.

Another bitter feud continued in Monroe as Lee Fields and Mario Galento continued their battles. Yet another rematch between the two saw Fields score a best two out of three fall match over Galento. The following week the two met in a 10 round boxing match which also saw Fields emerge the victor.

Fields and Galento continued the feud in Greenville as well. Fields defeated Galento in a match but received a severe beating in the process. Galento had used an illegal object to inflict damage on Fields, who immediately filed a complaint with the Mississippi Athletic Commission. This action caused the commission to hold both men’s purses pending a rematch. Fields won the rematch and took home two weeks pay in the process.

Fields also got a match in Jackson with George (Baby Blimp) Harris stemming from Harris’ unprovoked attack on Fields during a match between Fields and Mario Galento. Fields got a measure of revenge when he scored a victory over the massive 360 pounder. The two men met in another match in Greenville, with Fields again gaining a victory. This time, however, was by disqualification as Harris refused to follow the rules.

Harris fared better when he teamed with Joe McCarthy in Greenville to defeat the team of Al Getz and Doyle Welch, son of Herb Welch.

The famed Smith Brothers entered the area after a lengthy absence. They were being billed as the East Coast tag team champions. They defeated the popular team of Lee Fields & Scotty Thompson in their initial appearance in Mobile. The two teams met again in a match in Jackson, and the Smith Brothers took the victory in that one as well.

Midget wrestlers appeared in the area in April. Otto Baumann defeated Tuffy McRae in a match in Mobile, while Lord Littlebrook defeated Ivan the Terrible in Greenville.

The card featuring Littlebrook and Ivan was the very first televised wrestling card ever shown in Greenville. Besides Littlebrook’s victory over Ivan, the team comprised of Rowdy Red Roberts & the returning Tarzan Hewitt defeated Herb Welch & Scotty Thompson.

Hewitt did well on the singles front as well as he defeated newcomer Jack Adams in a battle of rough-housers the following week in Greenville.

Southern Jr. Heavyweight champion Sonny Myers returned as well to make a successful defense of his title against the rugged Ali Pasha in Jackson.

Others who appeared in the area in April were Vic Kalfus, Hercules McIntire, “Fearless” Al Criswell, Rube Wright, Charlie Carr, Ted LaFell, Buddy Fuller, King Karl Kowalski, Billy “The Kid” Brown, Elmer Frezzie and referee Speedy Hatfield.

 

MAY:

Lee Fields got another shot at Al & John Smith when he teamed with Herb Welch to defeat the bearded pair. This win earned Welch & Fields a shot at the Southern tag team crown held by the team of Mario Galento & Rowdy Red Roberts. The title match was a wild one that saw Fields injured in the final fall when he was tossed from the ring. He was unable to return and was counted out, giving Galento & Roberts the fall and the match allowing them to retain the titles. Fields was rushed to the hospital in an ambulance where he was diagnosed with two broken ribs.

A match was signed between Southern Jr. Heavyweight champion Sonny Myers and former NWA World Jr. Heavyweight champion Baron Michele Leone. The attendance was expected to be quite large so the card was staged outdoors at Hartwell Field in Mobile. Myers defeated the Italian nobleman and remained the Southern Jr. Heavyweight champion.

Myers also made a successful defense against Leone in a thrilling match in Greenville.

Leone also wrestled Herb Welch, himself a former recognized holder of the World Jr. Heavyweight title, in a match in Jackson. The match ended in a one hour draw with each man having scored one fall.

On that same card in Jackson, Southern Tag Team champions Mario Galento & Rowdy Red Roberts took the measure of Lee Fields & newcomer Eddie Gossett of Chattanooga, TN in a non-title match.

The Curtis Brothers, Jack & George from Mississippi came into the area to try and get a shot at Roberts & Galento and their Southern Tag Team crown. They defeated Galento & Hercules McIntire in their first appearance. This earned them a shot at Galento & Roberts and they made the best of it. They defeated Red Roberts & Mario Galento to become the new Southern Tag Team champions. A return match was quickly signed between the two teams. All four men wound up in the ring at the same time during the third fall. As they battled away at each other, the referee tried in vain to regain control of the match. He finally gave up and declared the match a no contest. The state commission then held up the title trophy.

The Curtis Brothers scored a victory over Galento & Rube Wright in a wild battle in Greenville.

Popular Don Wayne returned to the area and scored an impressive win as he defeated rough Rex Mobley, returning himself after a brief absence.

The ladies returned in a match that saw China Mira defeat Dot Dotson.

The following week saw Ethel Johnson win over Babs Wingo.

Babs Wingo drags Ethel Johnson by her head

Babs Wingo drags Ethel Johnson by her head

Still another ladies match saw Millie Stafford defeat Lana Lamar.

 

 

JUNE:

Lee Fields returned to action and immediately issued a challenge to the man responsible for his broken ribs, Mario Galento. Galento smugly accepted and the match was set. It was a wild affair with the advantage swinging back and forth several times. Each man had won a fall when all hell broke loose! The two combatants battered each other from post to post with both men ignoring the referee’s warnings to watch the illegal tactics. Finally the referee had had enough and called a halt to the proceedings.

Lee Fields slugs Mario Galento during a wild melee

Lee Fields slugs Mario Galento during a wild melee

The Alabama Commission decided that if the two wanted to batter each other with their fists, they would face each other in a fifteen round boxing match. The two proved they were just as wild at boxing as they had been at wrestling, but Lee brought it to a sudden stop when he stopped Galento in the fifth round.

Former Southern Jr. Heavyweight champion Tex Riley made appearances in the area. He defeated rugged King Karl Kowalski to continue his bid for a shot at current champion Sonny Myers. He further solidified his standing by defeating tough Chico Cortez in straight falls in another bout. He was promised a future match with Myers after this win.

Jack & George Curtis returned to the area. At this point the Southern Tag Team title was still in the hands of the Alabama State Commission with no word on its’ status. The Curtis Brothers defeated King Karl Kowalski & Rube Wright and then challenged the team they defeated for the championship, Rowdy Red Roberts & Mario Galento. The two teams had engaged in a wild match that had resulted in the title being held up. Galento claimed to be unavailable, so Roberts chose rugged Rube Wright as a partner to face the popular brothers from Mississippi. Jack & George made short work of Roberts & Wright to prove themselves as the number one team in the area.

The Curtis team furthered their claim with victories over Walter Sirois & Charlie Carr in Monroe, Galento & Chico Cortez in Jackson and Galento & Rube Wright in Greenville.

This finally led to a rematch for the Curtis Brothers against Mario Galento & Rowdy Red Roberts, who had been given back the Southern Tag Team title by the Alabama Commission. The rematch was held in Monroe and saw the champions emerge with their title intact.

The two teams also met in a non-title match in Greenville. In this one the first fall went to the Curtis Brothers as Jack pinned Galento after applying an Atomic Drop. Roberts won the second fall for his team after forcing Jack to submit to a neck stretch. The third and deciding fall was an all out brawl with Galento suffering a cut above his eye. During the melee the referee was knocked from the ring. Jack Curtis went to the referee’s aid while George Curtis had Roberts pinned. Galento jumped onto George from the ropes and then draped Roberts across his prone body. Jack helped the referee back into the ring who saw Roberts pinning George. He counted three and awarded the fall and the match to Galento & Roberts.

Despite the loss, the Curtis Brothers stayed in contention with victories in Greenville over the teams of Ali Baba the Great & Walter Sirois one week and King Karl Kowalski & George (Baby Blimp) Harris the next.

Two popular favorites returned after short absences. Buddy Fuller returned to defeat Hercules McIntire and Scotty Thompson defeated “Fearless” Al Criswell.

Lady wrestlers returned to the area as Ethel Brown teamed with Rex Mobley to defeat Verne Bottoms & Rowdy Red Roberts in a mixed tag team match in Monroe.

Midget wrestlers also returned to the area in a match that saw Cowboy Bradley defeat Tom Thumb.

The feud between Lee Fields and Mario Galento erupted again in Jackson. The two met in a grueling match that saw each man win a fall apiece. In the third and deciding fall Galento shoved Fields into the ropes and the top rope collapsed. The two continued to battle despite the ring ropes until the match was stopped and declared a no contest.

Mario Galento shoves Lee Fields over the collapsed top ring rope.

Mario Galento shoves Lee Fields over the collapsed top ring rope.

Others in the area this month were Eddie (Pat) Malone, Henry Harrell, Danny Dusek, Scotty Thompson, Ali Pasha and referee Bill Barney.

 

JULY:

Tex Riley received his long sought after shot at Sonny Myers for the Southern Jr. Heavyweight title. Riley, a former champion, was game but Myers edged him out to hang onto the championship. Riley had Myers on the ropes in the third and deciding fall after each had won a fall apiece. It appeared Tex was going to regain the title, but Sonny upended him in what most ringsiders considered a fluke. As a result a rematch was set between the two men. This time Myers emerged victorious, this time a little more decisively.

The Southern Tag Team champions Mario Galento & Rowdy Red Roberts defeated Jack & George Curtis in another rematch to retain the title. Roberts & Galento were issued a challenge by the team that had beaten them to claim the title initially, Herb Welch & Lee Fields. This match was typical of these four men as they battered each other silly. The match went to a time limit standstill and Roberts & Galento retained the title.

Yet another Southern Tag Team title match was scheduled in Monroe between champions Galento & Roberts facing Jack & George Curtis.  Jack Curtis was unable to appear so George Curtis teamed with Rex Mobley only to lose the match to the champions.

In a strange turn of events, Sonny Myers & Tex Riley, who had been feuding over the Southern Jr. Heavyweight crown held by Myers, buried the hatchet and formed a very effective tag team. So effective, in fact, that they upset Mario Galento & Rowdy Red Roberts in Jackson to win the Southern Tag Team crown. Their reign, unfortunately, was a short one as Galento & Roberts regained the title the following week in Jackson.

Galento & Roberts also squared off with George Curtis & newcomer Charlie Laye in Jackson. It was a hard fought battle by both sides, but Galento & Roberts came out on top.

Charlie Laye slugs Rowdy Red Roberts.

Charlie Laye slugs Rowdy Red Roberts.

Another tag team causing a stir was the popular team of Lee Fields & Scotty Thompson, They defeated the team of Rube Wright & King Karl Kowalski in a wild match in Monroe.

Fields & Thompson teamed with Buddy Fuller to face the team of Mario Galento, Rowdy Red Roberts & Chico Cortez in the first six-man tag team match ever held in Jackson. It was a wild battle all the way, but Fields, Fuller & Thompson came out on top.

Herb Welch and Red Roberts engaged in another of their famous battles in a singles match that saw Welch take a rough decision over the rowdy redhead from Little Rock.

In Greenville, Lee Fields teamed with Don Wayne previously, to face off with Mario Galento & Red Roberts. Both teams had a fall apiece when Galento pinned Fields for the third and deciding fall. After the match all four men battled it out until they all collapsed, exhausted, into a heap on the mat.

Two newcomers arrived in the area. One was Mike Paidousis, a former All-American football player from the University of Tennessee. He faced another new arrival in Brother Frank Jares. Jares, a Mormon from Provo, Utah, was after a title match with Sonny Myers and defeated Paidousis to earn the number one contender slot. Brother Jares made good on this when he defeated Myers on July 25th in Birmingham, Alabama to win the Southern Jr. Heavyweight title. The next night Jares lost to Davy Crockett in Mobile. Jares was disqualified for rough tactics and therefore the title did not change hands.

Crockett faced another rough opponent in a match in Jackson in the form of Rube Wright. Wright mauled the Kentucky hillbilly to the point he was disqualified by special referee Lee Fields.

Rube Wright manhandles Davy Crockett on the ropes as referee Lee Fields moves in to break it up.

Rube Wright manhandles Davy Crockett on the ropes as referee Lee Fields moves in to break it up.

Other wrestlers making appearances in the Gulf Coast area in July were Jack Welch, Charlie Carr, Charley Keene, Danny Dusek,  Joe McCarthy, Walter Sirois, George Harris and lady wrestlers Millie Stafford, Pattie Neff, Olga Zepada, Mae WestonBetty White and Kathleen Wimbley.

 

AUGUST:

Brother Frank Jares, the Southern Jr. Heavyweight champion, proved to be a fighting champion as he put the title on the line against veteran Jack Welch, returning to the area after a lengthy absence. Welch proved to be a worthy contender but fell a little short as Jares upended him to retain the title.

Welch also teamed with Bobby Starr only to lose to the team of Mario Galento & Carlos Rodriguez.

Tex Riley continued to press for a Southern Jr. Heavyweight title shot. He defeated popular Buddy Fuller in a scientific match that had the fans on their feet.

Fuller fared better in a match in Jackson when he faced off against young Bobby Starr. Again it was another clean, scientific bout with the more experienced Fuller capturing the final fall to win the match.

Buddy Fuller delivers a dropkick to Bobby Starr

Buddy Fuller delivers a dropkick to Bobby Starr

A mixed tag team match was presented in the area with two male & female teams facing off. In this one Lee Fields & Mary Jane Mull defeated Rowdy Red Roberts & Jo Ann Mullenniex.

Mary Jane Mull also defeated Lana Lamar in a singles match in Monroe. The Following week saw Mull victorious over Verne Bottoms.

Roberts got a measure of revenge the following week, however, as he and his co-holder of the Southern Tag Team title, Mario Galento, jumped Fields after the match. They were administering quite a beating until Buddy Fuller charged the ring to even up the sides. A melee ensued and Galento wound up with a bloody head. Fields then challenged the tag team champs to face him and a partner. The champs agreed but stipulated that it be a non-title match. Fields chose popular Scotty Thompson as his partner, but they went down to defeat by the rugged tag team champs.

Galento & Roberts defended their title in Jackson against old enemies Jack & George Curtis. The Curtis Brothers were hot to regain the title they had once held. It was a wild and wooly match that saw George Curtis seemingly win the match and title for his team when he pinned Red Roberts in the final fall. But referee J.C. Scarbrough then decided that Roberts was in the ring illegally and disqualified the champions, allowing them to keep the title. The Curtis Brothers ignored the referee, however, and left the ring with the title trophy much to the delight of the fans. The Mississippi Athletic Commission reversed Scarbrough’s decision and awarded the title to the Curtis Brothers.

Mario Galento checks on an unconscious Red Rpberts as Jack & George Curtis leave the ring with the Southern Tag Team trophy

Mario Galento checks on an unconscious Red Roberts as Jack & George Curtis leave the ring with the Southern Tag Team trophy

Just to settle things once and for all a rematch was ordered with the title on the line. But Galento was unavailable, so Roberts teamed with Rube Wright to face the Curtis Brothers in Jackson. With Galento out of the picture, the match was made a non-title affair, which was fortunate for the Curtis team because Roberts & Wright won the match.

The Curtis Brothers asked for a return match but once again one member of the team was unavailable as Roberts was scheduled to be in Nashville on the same night the Curtis boys were available in Greenville. As it turned out the Curtis Brothers faced and defeated the team of Rube Wright & Hercules McIntire.

Jack Curtis Jr., son of Jack Curtis, made his first appearance in the area as he teamed with his uncle George in Greenville to defeat Rube Wright & Rex Mobley.

Lee Fields & Bobby Starr were scheduled to team up in Greenville and face the rugged team of Rube Wright & Charlie Carr, but were unable to make the match due to an automobile accident. Neither were seriously injured, just shook up and were totally recovered by month’s end.

Veteran Jack Welch faced off with newcomer Jackie Fargo in a match in Jackson. It was a torrid affair but Welch’s experience proved to be the deciding factor as Welch beat Fargo to win the match.

Welch also teamed with Don Wayne in Greenville to defeat the team of Carlos Rodriguez & newcomer Johnny Silvers.

The ladies returned to Jackson in a match that saw Kathy Branch take the measure of Jo Ann Mullenniex. The following night saw a match in Greenville with Verne Bottoms defeating Branch.

Midget wrestlers returned in a match that saw Lord Littlebrook take the measure of Ivan the Terrible.

Also appearing in the area this month were Charlie Laye, Danny Ferrazzo, Herb Welch and The Masked Terror.

 

SEPTEMBER:

The wrestling matches in Mobile found a new home starting in September. Due to the fact that the Shrine Auditorium did not allow black fans to attend cards there, a move was made to begin staging the cards at the National Guard Armory at Fort Whiting.

Giant wrestler Max Palmer, billed as being 8’3″ tall and weighing 368 pounds, made an appearance in the area. He faced Buddy Fuller & Lester Welch in a handicap match. Welch & Fuller proved to be too quick for the big man and they wore him down and both fell on him to secure the pin.

Chief Little Eagle made his first appearance in the area. Unfortunately for him, he lost to Mario Galento. Little Eagle would make a bigger mark on the area in the years to come.

Chief Little Eagle slugs away at Mario Galento

Chief Little Eagle slugs away at Mario Galento

Leo “The Lion” Newman invaded the territory. He defeated Lee Fields in his initial match. Fields demanded and was given a rematch. Fields proved to be the better man in this encounter when he won in straight falls.

A five man Battle Royal held in Mobile had a strange twist. In the match were Jack & George Curtis, Herb Welch, Rowdy Red Roberts and Mario Galento. The first two men eliminated were to square off in a singles match and then the third and fourth men out were to do the same, with the fifth man as the winner. The first two out were Jack & George Curtis, who obviously refused to wrestle in a singles match. Galento & Roberts were arguing the fact with them when Roberts and then Galento were eliminated by Herb Welch, making Welch the winner. Since Roberts and Galento were the third and fourth out, they would have to face off. They too refused to wrestle each other. So instead they challenged the Curtis Brothers to face them in a tag team match. Jack & George accepted the challenge and the match was on. A wild battle raged and finally Galento & Roberts were disqualified for their foul tactics.

The Curtis Brothers also made a successful defense of their Southern Tag Team title by defeating former champions Mario Galento & Rowdy Red Roberts in Greenville two weeks in a row. They also won a non-title match in Greenville against the team of Rube Wight & The Red Demon.

Davey Crockett returned to the area to face King Karl Kowalski with the winner promised a match against Southern Jr. Heavyweight champion Brother Frank Jares. Crockett fought gamely but was no match for the wild Kowalski.

A mixed tag team match saw Mario Galento team with Dot Dotson to defeat Lee Fields & Belle Starr. Fields had words with referee Rube Wright after the match and the two swapped punches. Fields then challenged Wright to a match and Rube accepted. Each man had won a fall when Wright got carried away in the third fall and was disqualified.

Lee Fields argues with referee Rube Wright who is trying to make him break his hold on Mario Galento as Belle Starr watches from the ring apron

Lee Fields argues with referee Rube Wright who is trying to make him break his hold on Mario Galento as Belle Starr watches from the ring apron

Fields & Galento continued their feud in Jackson as that met in a match that saw both men disqualified. The action continued after the match until Fields finally tossed Galento from the ring.

Lee Fields stomps Mario Galento after having tossed him from the ring

Lee Fields stomps Mario Galento after having tossed him from the ring

Next up for the feuding warriors was another boxing match, As have their past tries at pugilism, this match turned into a free for all. Galento sneakily soaked his gloves in water to make them heavier and thus inflicting more damage on Fields. Galento was disqualified for this action, but Fields had the last laugh as he kicked Galento from the ring.

Lee Fields kicks Mario Galento from the ring in what was supposed to be a coxing match

Lee Fields kicks Mario Galento from the ring in what was supposed to be a coxing match

Eduardo Perez from Argentina made his initial appearance in the Gulf Coast. Comparisons were made between he and another famous Argentinean, Antonino Rocca. Perez defeated the hated “Fearless” Al Criswell in his first bout.

In Monroe, the Curtis Brothers, Southern Tag Team champions made a successful defense of their title against Rube Wright & Charlie Carr in straight falls.

Wright & Carr stayed in contention as they faced and defeated Bobby Starr and the returning Chief Lone Eagle.

The Curtis Brothers made another successful defense of their title as they defeated the team of Rowdy Red Roberts & Joe McCarthy in Monroe.

curtis bros vs mccarthy 01

The lady wrestlers returned to Monroe in a match that saw Dot Dotson defeat Belle Starr.

The midget wrestlers also returned in a match in Jackson that saw Tiny Tim defeat Ivan the Terrible.

Also in the area in September were Earl “Killer” Semmes and “Bull” Williams, both local wrestlers form Mobile.

 

OCTOBER:

Gorgeous George returned to the area to team with Rube Wright. They faced Herb Welch & newcomer Dick Steinborn. Steinborn was the son of famed strongman Milo Steinborn. Welch & Steinborn proved to be too much for the George & Wright team as Steinborn pinned Wright to take the decisive fall.

Rube Wright applies a hammerlock on Dick Steinborn

Rube Wright applies a hammerlock on Dick Steinborn

Steinborn didn’t fare as well in a singles match with Mario Galento and lost to the long haired Gypsy. Steinborn teamed with Buddy Fuller to defeat the team of Rube Wright & Rex Mobley, but still had Galento on his mind. He challenged Galento to another match and Mario accepted with glee. As an added bonus, the winner was promised a shot at Brother Frank Jares for the Southern Jr. Heavyweight title. Again Galento proved to be the better man as he downed Steinborn to win the match.

Referee Charley Keene checks to see if Mario Galento is using a choke hold on Dick Steinborn

Referee Charley Keene checks to see if Mario Galento is using a choke hold on Dick Steinborn

Gorgeous George made a second appearance in the area as he met and defeated Jack Curtis in a wild battle in Jackson. George was accompanied to ringside by his valet Jefferies and a local hairdresser that primped his coiffure between falls.

Curtis blamed the loss of referee Charley Keene and the two got into a fistfight after the match. Keene challenged Curtis to a match. Curtis accepted but Keene quickly changed his mind. He would only face Curtis in a tag team match so a match was set in Jackson where Jack & George Curtis would face Keene & Mario Galento. The match wound up in confusion as the Curtis team and the fans felt that they had won, but referee Charlie Laye declared Keene & Galento the winners. George Curtis got into a scuffle with Laye and tore his shirt. This led to George challenging Laye to a match.

The Curtis Brothers toss referee Charlie Laye from the ring

The Curtis Brothers toss referee Charlie Laye from the ring

Referee Charlie Laye raises the hands of Charley Keene & Mario Galento

Referee Charlie Laye raises the hands of Charley Keene & Mario Galento

George Curtis and Charlie Laye met in a special challenge match in Jackson. The two battled to a one hour draw and a rematch was quickly signed. Curtis emerged victorious in that match after beating Laye two falls out of three.

Farmer Jones with his pet pig Trooper made an appearance in the area. He defeated rugged veteran Charley Keene. Jones also faced Mario Galento in a rough and tumble bout in Jackson. Jones dominated most of the match but in the end Galento emerged victorious.

jones vs galento

Jack & George Curtis, Southern Tag Team champions, made another successful title defense against the team of Rube Wright & Johnny Silvers in Monroe. The Curtis continued to dominate the tag team scene in Greenville as well as they they scored victories over the team of Charlie Carr & newcomer Pierre Dugas one week and the team of Mario Galento & The Louisiana Cajun the following week.

French-Canadian wrestler Pierre Dugas did better on the singles scene in the Gulf Coast area. He proved to be a tough customer as he was disqualified in his match against Eduardo Perez in Mobile. The following week he was defeated by Chick Garibaldi, returning to the area after a year’s absence.

Others in the area this month were Danny Dusek, Rowdy Red Roberts, Chief Little Eagle and The Great Gardenia.

 

NOVEMBER:

Mario Galento & Rowdy Red Roberts were issued a challenge by Lee Fields to put up their Southern Tag Team title, which somehow was stripped form the Curtis Brothers and given back to Galento & Roberts.. Fields’ regular tag team partner Herb Welch was unavailable due to prior commitments in the Carolinas, so Lee asked young Don Wayne to be his partner. Everyone was surprised by this choice until Lee explained that Don Wayne was really Don Fields, Lee’s younger brother. The Fields Brothers proved no match for the rugged champions and went down to defeat, but were granted a rematch. Each team had won a fall when the Fields boys were disqualified in the third and deciding fall. The champs were the ones demanding a rematch now and a third title match was set. The third time proved to be the charm as Lee & Don Fields upended Mario Galento & Red Roberts to become the new Southern Tag Team champions. They were lucky to have won considering the referee was George (Baby Blimp) Harris, an old enemy of Lee Fields who had just returned to the area. In fact Lee and the Blimp exchanged words after the match which led to fists flying. Harris then challenged Lee to a match. The two met on Thanksgiving night in Mobile in a wild match that saw Fields come out the winner.

Lee Fields punishes Mario Galento as Don Fields battles with Rowdy Red Roberts

Lee Fields punishes Mario Galento as Don Fields battles with Rowdy Red Roberts

Brother Frank Jares, the Southern Jr. Heavyweight champion, came in and successfully defended his title in a match against Buddy Fuller. Jares also faced and defeated popular Dick Steinborn.

Jares also but his title on the line against popular George Curtis in Jackson. Curtis took the first fall by pinning Jares after applying an Atomic Drop. Jares evened the score as he took the second fall. In the third and deciding fall Curtis had Jares caught in a leg scissors attempting to pin him. Jares managed to reverse the hold until he had Curtis in a pinning position, Referee J.C. Scarbrough made the count and awarded the fall and the match to Jares. What Scarbrough hadn’t seen was that Jares had put his feet on the bottom rope to give himself more leverage. Despite the fans screaming at Scarbrough about the illegal maneuver the decision stood and Jares retained his title.

George Curtis tosses Brother Frank Jares

George Curtis tosses Brother Frank Jares

After the match, Charlie Laye entered the ring and attempted to attack George Curtis. But before he could do any damage Rex Mobley appeared from the crowd and slugged Laye and chased him from the ring.

mobley vs laye

Farmer Jones (and Trooper) also returned by popular demand. He defeated rugged Danny Dusek. Jones also returned to Jackson to face Mario Galento in a much anticipated rematch. Despite the illegal tactics by Galento, Jones emerged victorious.

Lady wrestlers returned to the area as Edith Wade teamed with George Curtis to defeat the team of Corine Cordero & Mario Galento in a mixed tag team match in Jackson. These same two teams met the following night in Greenville with the same results.

That same night Galento and Curtis met in a solo match. Galento was relentless with illegal tactics and it cost him the match. Curtis was declared the winner by disqualification. The two met the following night in Greenville in a match that ended in a no contest.

Curtis & Galento had a rematch in Greenville the following week, again ending in a no contest. They followed that match with a Texas Death Match with no rules, no disqualification and no time limit. On top of that three weeks pay would be at stake. Curtis came out on top in that match and took home $650.

Galento also teamed with Dot Dotson to defeat Chief Little Eagle & China Mira in another mixed tag team match in Mobile. Later in the evening Little Eagle defeated Galento in a singles match. This was the second singles meeting of the two.

Chief Little Eagle tries to escape the clutches of Mario Galento & Dot Dotson during a mixed tag team match

Chief Little Eagle tries to escape the clutches of Mario Galento & Dot Dotson during a mixed tag team match

Galento had beaten the popular Native American in his debut in the area. Galento wasn’t happy with the loss and bloodied Little Eagle’s nose as a result. A rematch was scheduled between the two. Mario won the rubber match when he defeated Little Eagle.

In Monroe George Curtis began teaming with various partners due to his brother Jack being tied up with other commitments. He teamed with Don Fields to defeat Rowdy Red Roberts & Rube Wright in two straight falls. The following week George teamed with newcomer Chief Apache only to lose to the team of Mario Galento & Charlie Laye. George got back on the winning side when he teamed with yet another newcomer, Jim Hady, the following week. They took the measure of the team of Bill Barney & Charlie Laye. Barney, usually a referee, was a replacement for Rowdy Red Roberts who was unable to appear.

Midget wrestlers returned to Monroe as Cowboy Bradley defeated Tom Thumb.

As an aftermath of the Rex Mobley / Charlie Laye scrap in Jackson a tag team match was put together with Mobley teaming with George Curtis against Laye & Brother Frank Jares. Mobley & Curtis took that match so Laye issued a challenge for a rematch, with Mario Galento as his partner. This one was a bloody free for all but Curtis & Mobley emerged victorious.

Referee J.C. Scarbrough raises the hand of George Curtis and a bloody Rex Mobley in victory

Referee J.C. Scarbrough raises the hand of George Curtis and a bloody Rex Mobley in victory

Former World Heavyweight Boxing Champion Jack Dempsey appeared as a special referee in Monroe for a match between George Curtis & Buddy Fuller against Mario Galento & Charlie Laye. Dempsey kept strict order which allowed Curtis & Fuller to obtain a victory over Galento & Laye.

Also in the area in November was Charley Keene.

 

DECEMBER:

George “Baby Blimp” Harris continued to challenge Lee Fields for a return match but Fields refused. That is until Harris agreed to put his hair on the line. He vowed that if Fields could defeat him, he would allow someone to cut all of his hair off. Fields was intrigued by this notion and accepted the match. Once again it was a rough affair, but this time the Blimp was victorious and saved his curly hair.

It was made known that the young grappler who had been under the name Bobby Starr was in reality Bobby Fields, the youngest of the three Fields Brothers.

Bobby  & Lee Fields teamed to face Mario Galento & “Fearless” Al Criswell in a wild match. All four men battered themselves silly and the match was declared a no-contest.

Lee Fields turns the tables on George Harris and tosses him to the mat.

Lee Fields turns the tables on George Harris and tosses him to the mat.

The Curtis Brothers were back together with the return of jack Curtis after a brief absence. They teamed up in a match against the team Mario Galento & Joe McCarthy in Monroe. After a rough battle the Curtis team came out on top.

George Curtis slams into Joe McCarthy while George Curtis looks on

George Curtis slams into Joe McCarthy while George Curtis looks on

Also in Monroe, Jack Curtis teamed with his son Jack Curtis Jr. to upend the team of Galento & Red Scarr, who was returning after an absence.

Jack Curtis also got involved in a feud with Charlie Laye, who had been have a running feud with Jack’s brother George in Greenville. The two met in a series of matches in Jackson, the first of which ended in a one hour draw.

Referee Bobby Fields attempts to keep George Curtis from tossing Charlie Laye over the ropes

Referee Bobby Fields attempts to keep George Curtis from tossing Charlie Laye over the ropes

Neither men were satisfied with the draw, so a rematch was scheduled with a 90 minute time limit. Laye took the first fall, while Curtis came back to win the second. In the third and deciding fall, Curtis took the third fall and the match by pinning Laye after a series of body slams.

Don Fields returned to the area and squared off with Mario Galento in a match in Greenville. Galento scored two out of three falls to win the match.

Chico Cortez also returned and faced George Curtis in a match in Jackson. Despite initially being baffled by Cortez and his unorthodox wrestling style, Curtis won the match by taking two straight falls from Cortez.

George Curtis executes a rolling escape from an arm lock from Chico Cortez

George Curtis executes a rolling escape from an arm lock from Chico Cortez

Galento got embroiled in yet another feud in Jackson as he ran afoul of Rex Mobley. Galento had bloodied Mobley with a foreign object in a previous tag team match and Mobley was seeking revenge. The two met in a Texas Death Match that ended in a no contest as each man battered the other senseless. A rematch followed the next week, again under Texas Death rules. Once again the match ended in a no contest. A third Texas Death match was made and again another no contest. A fourth Texas Death Match was booked and this time the ring would be wrapped in chicken wire. It was another wild affair but Mobley finally got his revenge as he defeated Galento to win the match.

Mario Galento tried to escape the clutches of rex Mobley, but chicken wire prevents his escape

Mario Galento tried to escape the clutches of Rex Mobley, but chicken wire prevents his escape

A newcomer named Stan Kowalski made his way to the Gulf Coast scene as he faced popular Jack Curtis in Jackson. Curtis took two out of three falls to take the match, with Kowalski being disqualified in the third and deciding fall. Kowalski wasn’t happen with those events so he teamed with Pierre DeGalles the following week in Jackson to challenge Jack & George Curtis. The Curtis Brothers took that match in two straight falls.

Jack Curtis tosses Stan Kowalski across the ring

Jack Curtis tosses Stan Kowalski across the ring

This led to a six-man tag team match the following week in Jackson as the Curtis Brothers teamed with Rex Mobley to face Kowalski, DeGalles & Mario Galento. Both teams threw everything they had during the match but the win went to Mobley & the Curtis Brothers.

George Curtis rides Pierre DeGalles trying to gain an advantage

George Curtis rides Pierre DeGalles trying to gain an advantage

Gorgeous Gus, the wrestling bear was brought into the area. He pinned rough Rube Wright in a match that had the fans wondering who the real wild animal was.

Rowdy Red Roberts suffered a rare defeat when he was pinned by newcomer Walter Kameroff.

Others appearing at the end of the year were Billy Curry, Buddy Fuller, Hercules McIntire and Chick Garibaldi.