1960

JANUARY:

A new year brought about a new promoter in the Gulf Coast territory as Lee Fields took over the promotional reigns. The Southern tag team title was hanging in the balance as Don & Bobby Fields faced off against The Corsican Brothers at the beginning of the year. The Fields brothers were the current champions and the Corsicans were former champions who wanted the title back. The first meeting of the two teams saw a wild affair with the first fall going to the champions after Bobby Fields pinned Corsica Joe. The Corsicans came back to even the score when Corsica Jean pinned Don Fields after a series of knee drops to the throat. In the third fall, the Corsicans were giving the champions fits while referee Charlie Laye seemed to be looking the other way. During the fray Joe tossed Bobby Fields from the ring and kept kicking him back out every time he tried to return. Bobby soon tired of this and equipping himself with a chair, made his way back into the ring. Once inside the ring, he proceeded to flatten the Corsicans with the chair. Referee Laye quickly stopped the match and awarded it to the Corsicans, who were now out cold on the mat. For his troubles, Laye also received a chair shot and was soon laying in a heap alongside the Corsicans. A rematch was quickly ordered and Rube Wright was assigned as the special referee. The Corsicans took the first fall after choking Bobby Fields with the top rope while he was trapped in their corner. Jean then applied a neckbreaker on Bobby and pinned him to take the fall. The Fields boys took turns walloping Corsica Joe in the second fall until Don pinned him to even the score. The battle was on in the third fall as all four men battered each other, with Bobby Fields getting the worst of it. He wound up with a bloody left eyebrow and was severely pounded by the Corsicans. At one point, Bobby shoved Joe away from him and right into referee Wright. Wright was knocked from the ring as the four men continued the battle. By the time Wright regained his senses and climbed back into the ring, Don had Jean pinned and Joe had Bobby pinned. Not remembering who was in the ring when he was knocked out, Rube counted Bobby Fields out and awarded the match to the Corsicans. Jean & Joe were now the Southern tag team champions. Don & Bobby lodged a protest and another rematch was set. This time it would be best 3 out of 5 falls, with no time limit and no disqualification. The match was even with both teams having scored two falls when the match was stopped. Referee Charlie Whatley did his best to control the match, but after several minutes of all four men hammering at each other, he called a halt to the whole thing. Since he couldn’t disqualify anyone, he just declared the match a no contest. Still another match was ordered and this time the ring would be surrounded by chicken wire. The Fields’ had complained that the Corsicans kept leaving the ring to escape punishment, so the wire was decided as the best solution to the problem. It took less than two minutes for the Corsicans to take the first fall as they double teamed Bobby before pinning him. The Fields boys fought back hard in the second fall as they took turns banging Jean around the ring. He kept trying to escape them, but was held in place by the chicken wire surrounding the ring. He even tried climbing over the wire only to be captured and slammed some more. Don then pinned him to take the fall. The Corsicans had Bobby in a bad way in the final fall as they had him trapped in their corner. As Jean held him in place, Joe ran across the ring aiming to slam into Fields with a tackle. But Bobby managed to slip away at the last possible second and the Corsicans slammed into each other. Bobby then fell on the dazed Joe to take the fall and the match. Unfortunately for the Fields brothers the Southern tag team title was not on the line.

A popular favorite returned as former Gulf Coast champion Yvon Roberre made his way back to the area. His aim was to regain the Gulf Coast title now held by Billy Wicks. He faced a tough foe in his return as he took on the rugged Pancho Villa. Villa had been on an undefeated streak and he wasn’t about to let Roberre do anything to change it. Villa used a series of knees and chokes to take the first fall but Roberre fought back and had the Mexican madman bleeding in the second. Yvon gave Pancho a severe beating and took the final two falls to end Villa’s win streak.

By virtue of his win over Villa, Roberre was awarded a Gulf Coast championship match with Wicks. Roberre took the first fall as he caught Wicks coming off the ropes and gave him an extremely high backdrop. Not only was Wicks stunned enough to be pinned, it took several minutes to revive him after the end of the fall. Wicks came back to win the second fall with a unique combination to pin the challenger. Roberre was so impressed with the hold that he asked Wicks to demonstrate how to apply the hold after the fall, which Wicks obligingly did. The advantage swayed back and forth between the two men in the third fall and the fans were thrilled with the fast, clean action. Roberre hit Wicks with a series of bodyblocks with the last one sending both men out of the ring. Referee Charlie Laye began to count both men out and just as he reached the count of eighteen, Roberre rolled back into the ring. Wicks was counted out and the fall and the match went to Roberre. Yvon Roberre was the new Gulf Coast champion.

Roberre defeated rough Carlos Rodriguez in a non-title match to keep his winning streak going. Rodriguez was returning to the area after many years’ absence.

The Mighty Jumbo made his first appearance in the Gulf Coast as he faced off against popular Lester Welch. The 548 pound Jumbo was just plain too much for the popular Oklahoma cowboy as Welch tried everything he could to get the big man off his feet. Welch tried flying tackles, flying dropkicks and forearms smashes but couldn’t budge Jumbo. His downfall came when he tried to grab Jumbo by his legs, only to have the behemoth fall on him and pin him.

Lester Welch struggles to maintain a grip on the massive Mighty Jumbo

Jumbo also faced Gulf Coast champion Yvon Roberre in a match in Laurel, Mississippi. The big man battered Roberre so bad in winning the first fall that Yvon was unable to continue. Jumbo was awarded the second fall and the match by forfeit. Lucky for Roberre that his title was not on the line.

The following week in Laurel, the Mighty Jumbo faced Lee Fields & Lester Welch in a handicap match. The Fields & Welch duo proved to be a bit more than Jumbo could handle and he lost the match.

Young Jack Curtis Jr. returned to the area and met the always dangerous Mario Galento in a one fall match. The youngster was holding his own with the wily veteran until Mario began choking him across the top strand of the ring ropes. Galento refused to break the hold and referee Charlie Laye disqualified him. Curtis asked for a best 2 out of 3 fall rematch and was granted it. Galento took the first fall of that bout with a series of head butts and his famed whip into the corner turnbuckle. Curtis came back to take the second fall after catching Mario in an airplane spin. Galento wore Curtis down in the third fall by continually smothering him with his hands over the young man’s nose and mouth. Curtis was soon so out of breath that he fell prey easily to another of Galento’s whips and was pinned.

Galento began making noise to get a shot at Roberre and the Gulf Coast title. He met Lester Welch in a match to determine the number one contender. Mario took the first fall by whipping Welch into the corner and pinning him. Lester came back to capture the second fall with his abdominal stretch. Galento got carried away in the third fall and was disqualified for refusing to break a choke hold. Even after losing the fall and the match, Galento was still not calmed down. He jumped Welch on the way back to the dressing room and continued to assault him until the police separated the two.

Also appearing in the Gulf Coast area in January was Sputnik Monroe.

 

FEBRUARY:

Mario Galento received his coveted title shot when he was matched up with Yvon Roberre with the Gulf Coast title on the line. For some reason Galento took exception to referee Randy Roper and refused to wrestle with Roper officiating. He was so peeved that he stormed back to the dressing room and was counted out to lose the first fall of the match. Galento was finally satisfied that there was not going to be another referee assigned to the bout, but he wasn’t done with Roper just yet. At one point during the second fall he had Roberre down on the mat and was choking him. As Roper moved in to get a closer look, Galento grabbed him and forced him face down to the canvas. He held both Roberre and Roper down on the mat for several moments before letting them up. Roberre got to his feet only to be caught in the hangman hold and forced to surrender the second fall. Roberre looked like he was on the verge of rebounding in the second fall. He hit Mario with a series of flying tackles until he tried one too many. Just as he leaped at Galento, the bearded ruffian moved and Roberre plowed into referee Roper, sending him flying from the ring. Galento then grabbed the stunned Roberre and applied an illegal piledriver on him. Roper managed to climb back into the ring, saw Galento pinning Roberre and tolled the three count. Mario Galento had won the Gulf Coast crown for the third time. He quickly grabbed up the belt and raced back to the dressing room. Billy Wicks came out to ringside to explain to Roper what had happened but it was too late. Galento was the new champion. Because of the controversy surrounding the title change a rematch was ordered between Galento and Roberre. Roberre was on fire when he hit the ring and he made short work of Galento, taking the first fall in less than a minute with a backslide. Galento came back with a series of whips into the corner to weaken Roberre sufficiently enough to pin him for the second fall. The third fall saw Roberre having to face an additional opponent in the person of referee Charlie Laye. Each time Roberre would get Galento backed against the ropes, Laye would grab Roberre and toss him to the mat. This occurred three times and finally Yvon had had enough. He punched Laye in the stomach and tossed him from the ring. As Roberre back was turned during this action, Galento grabbed him and whipped him into a corner. Rocky Smith, who had been serving as a referee outside the ring, climbed into the ring to try and restore order. Just as he got through the ropes, Galento whipped Roberre into him. Smith was knocked back outside the ropes and was left hanging with his legs tangled in the ropes. Galento whipped Roberre into the corner again and covered him just in time for Laye to climb back into the ring and make the three count. Galento retained the title, but had lots of help in doing so.

Mario had a lot of family around to help him celebrate his latest reign as the Gulf Coast king. His older brother Al (Spider) Galento had returned to the area and faced off with Bobby Fields in a single match. Both men had won a fall apiece when Al began strangling Fields with a towel that he had brought to the ring. Fields managed to wrest the towel from Spider and began giving him a taste of his own medicine. Fields then tied Galento into the ropes and began pounding on him with his fists. Mario then rushed into the ring and jumped Fields from behind, causing Al to get disqualified.

Bobby Fields gives Al "Spider" Galento a punch in the stomach

Bobby Fields gives Al “Spider” Galento a punch in the stomach

Fields and his brother Don then challenged the Galentos to meet them in a tag team match. Since Mario was busy with Roberre over the Gulf Coast title, the Galentos brought in the youngest member of the family, Dino Galento. The Galentos took the first fall of the tag team match when Al managed to hit Don Fields in the stomach with a pair of brass knuckles. This knocked the wind from Fields and allowed the Spider to easily pin him. Al got a little carried away with his weapon in the second fall, battering both Fields boys and referee Rocky Smith with them. Smith disqualified the Galentos and awarded the fall to the Fields brothers. He continued his antics after the fall until Bobby Fields took the knuckles away from him and battered the Galentos until they were bruised. In the third fall, Al had softened Bobby Fields up with a series of bodyslams and had him ready for the kill when he turned the match over to young Dino. As Al taunted the crowd about the sure victory that was about to happen, the inexperienced Dino bent over to pick Fields up off the mat for another slam. But Bobby fooled him and rolled him up in a cradle and pinned him to take the fall and the match, just as Al turned his attention back to the ring. Al was incensed as was brother Mario who had dashed to the ring. They gave Dino a tongue lashing and forced him down on the mat for a wrestling lesson as the fans jeered. Al and Mario then challenged the Fields boys to meet them in a match and made sure Dino had a ringside seat so that he could learn by watching their expertise in the ring. Mario won the first fall for his family by pinning Bobby Fields after a series of whips into the corners. Don and Bobby came back in the second and gave both Galentos a pounding as their younger brother sat helplessly at ringside. Don finally pinned Mario to take the fall. In the third fall, Don continued his dominance of Mario until Dino climbed up on the ring apron. He protested to referee Rocky Smith that Don was pulling Mario down by his hair. This went on for several minutes while Don continued to slam Galento around. Finally Bobby Fields tired of Dino’s protesting and knocked him from the ring apron. Referee Smith then turned his attention to Bobby and was giving him a stern lecture while Don had Mario pinned in the ring. As Smith continued arguing with Bobby, Don picked Galento up for one more bodyslam. Just as he got him up, Al Galento jumped into the ring and planted his fist deep into Don’s midsection. This knocked the wind from Fields and when Smith finally turned back around, Mario had Don pinned for the count. Despite the fans’ displeasure, all three Galento brothers paraded around the ring in celebration.

In a six man tag team match, the Galentos squared off against Billy Wicks, Lester Welch & Lee Fields. Fields had turned the promotional reins over to Rocky McGuire in order to exact a little revenge for his brothers. This match was a wild one until the Galentos lost the match, again due to the inexperience of Dino.

The Mighty Jumbo returned and this time he faced off against two men, since he had so easily handled Lester Welch in his debut. This time he squared off with Don Fields & Billy Wicks, who would act as a tag team. Jumbo handled them just as easily as he had Welch until they abandoned the tag team theory and ganged up on him. First they managed to get him down and tie his feet in the ropes, then proceeded to walk and jump on his ample belly. Then Fields managed to give him several monkey flips and had the big man reeling. Finally Wicks & Fields both picked him up and gave him a bodyslam that shook the entire arena. Then both men fell across him to score the pin fall.

Billy Wicks & Don Fields gang up on The Mighty Jumbo to deliver a body slam

Billy Wicks & Don Fields gang up on The Mighty Jumbo to deliver a body slam

Mean Joe McCarthy returned to the territory and proved that he hadn’t mellowed in his time away from the area. He faced newcomer Frankie Cain in his return. But for most of the match, he spent his time battering referee Chris Halstead instead of Cain. He spent nearly five minutes choking and mauling Halstead as Cain tried to break it up. McCarthy finally pitched Halstead from the ring and turned his attentions to Cain. The two men went at each other hammer and tongs as Halstead watched from the safety of the floor. Finally McCarthy tossed Cain from the ring and he landed at Halstead’s feet. Halstead helped Cain to his feet and then raised his hand, signaling that he was awarding the match to him on a disqualification. McCarthy and Cain met in a rematch but this time Joe kept his temper in check and won the bout in two straight falls. McCarthy kicked Cain around in the first fall and pinned him and forced Cain to surrender to a toehold in the second.

Joe McCarthy was named the new Mississippi State Heavyweight Champion by default. He had been signed to face then champion Lee Fields in a title match, but Fields was unable to compete.

 

MARCH:

Mario Galento and Joe McCarthy had long been the best of friends, but their friendship took a strange turn. First they teamed up to face Lester Welch & Buddy Fuller. Fuller was making his return to the area after selling the promotional rights to Lee Fields. Welch used his abdominal stretch on Galento to win the first fall for his team, but an overzealous fan cost them the second. McCarthy & Galento were double teaming Fuller along the ropes when a fan reached up and tried to pull him from the ring. McCarthy aimed a kick at the fan but someone else tossed a chair into the ring. Galento used that chair to flatten Fuller and Welch and pinned Fuller to take the fall. In the third fall, Fuller had McCarthy in a bad way after several bodyslams. Fuller had McCarthy up for another slam when Welch, who had been chasing Galento all around ringside, chased Mario into the ring. Mario grabbed Fuller by the hair as he sailed past him in retreat from Welch. Fuller fell with McCarthy on top of him and that was all it took for the match to go to Galento & McCarthy.

The following week Mario teamed with his brother Dino to face McCarthy & Chris Belkas. Before the match began, Mario and Joe agreed not to wrestle each other. McCarthy further promised his buddy Mario that he wouldn’t use any dirty tactics on young Dino. McCarthy lived up to his promise, for the first fall that is. In the first fall, Belkas was busy proving how strong he was by allowing the Galentos to take turns applying a full nelson on him, which he would then promptly break. Twice Dino tried and failed and then twice Mario tried and failed. But on the third try, Mario slammed Belkas in the back of the head, knocked him to the mat, and pinned him. In the second fall, McCarthy continued to treat Dino gently and proved to his buddy that there was honor among thieves. That was until Belkas had a headlock on Mario and rushed him into the corner where McCarthy was. Joe stuck his foot out and allowed Belkas to ram his “buddy’s” head right into it. Galento was stunned and it was just a matter of Belkas pinning him to even up the sides. Mario was irate and squared off with McCarthy between falls. At the start of the third fall, McCarthy tried to make amends to Mario only to receive a punch in the mouth for his effort. Galento and McCarthy tore into one another and fought all over the ring and out into the ringside seats. While all of this was going on, Belkas grabbed the bewildered Dino Galento, applied a Boston Crab and forced him to submit. Belkas and McCarthy were awarded the match, but McCarthy didn’t look like a winner due to the bloody head given to him by Mario.

McCarthy demanded a match with Galento and Mario agreed. In fact, Galento was so anxious to get his hands on his former friend that he put his prized Gulf Coast championship on the line as bait. McCarthy took the first fall by forcing Galento to submit to a toehold. Galento came back to win the second by pinning McCarthy after a backdrop. Galento tried the same trick in the third fall only to have McCarthy slam his knee into his face as he was bent over. Galento went down like a shot and was pinned. Joe McCarthy was the new Gulf Coast champion.

Unfortunately for McCarthy he was stripped of the Mississippi State title for his refusal to face the challenge of Mario’s brother Al Galento. As it was, Al defeated Jack Curtis, Jr. in a tournament final in Laurel to become the new Mississippi State champion.

A new masked man arrived in the area calling himself The Great Bolo. He made short work of the popular former Gulf Coast champion Billy Wicks in his debut. He pinned Wicks after using a backbreaker to take the first fall. In the second, Wicks was unable to return to the ring after Bolo slammed him to the arena floor and was counted out.

Next up for the Great Bolo was a man as equally as rough as he was, Al (Spider) Galento. Galento didn’t prove to be much competition as the masked man disposed of him in straight falls, just as he’d done with Wicks. He applied a backbreaker and pinned the Spider to take the first fall. In the second fall, Bolo slipped a piece of metal out of his trunks and slid it into his mask. He then headbutt Al and quickly pinned him. After the match was over, Bolo used a headbutt on referee Rube Wright and then began kicking Galento as he lay on the mat. Mario Galento rushed to ringside to assist his older brother, but was met by the Bolo who hit him with a loaded fist.

The Great Bolo faced an even stiffer test when he squared off with Bobby Fields. Fields took the first fall after a series of whips and a dropkick allowed him to pin his masked foe. Fields had Bolo reeling in the second but couldn’t finish him off. Soon both men were slugging away at one another and the rules went right out the window. Bolo managed to load his mask with the piece of metal and hit Bobby with a headbutt, opening a nasty cut. Fields managed to fight back and when referee Tommy Roland tried to intervene, Fields sent him flying. Roland finally disqualified both men and brought the proceeding to a halt.

Bolo next teamed up with new Gulf Coast champion Joe McCarthy to face Bobby and his oldest brother Lee Fields in a tag team match that wound up a no contest. Bobby then enlisted Lester Welch, known hater of masked men, to take on the rough duo. The match started out wildly as McCarthy attacked Welch in the aisle leading to the ring as he was stopped to sign autographs. McCarthy landed a blow from behind that sent Welch and several autograph seekers sprawling to the arena floor. McCarthy then took off running for the ring with the Oklahoma cowboy right behind him. McCarthy managed to slip Welch’s grasp and avoided him throughout the duration of the match. Welch did manage to get the Great Bolo to submit to an abdominal stretch to win the first fall for he and Fields. McCarthy won the second fall for his team after he rammed Fields’ head into Bolo’s knee and pinned him. In the third fall all four men were going at it in the ring when Bolo spun Fields into referee Tommy Roland. Roland was knocked from the ring and both Fields and Bolo hit the mat. Meanwhile, Welch finally got his hands on McCarthy and applied the abdominal stretch. McCarthy was screaming for mercy, but the referee was still out on the arena floor. Fields climbed out of the ring to retrieve the battered official and while this transpired the Great Bolo loaded his mask and gave Welch a metallic headbutt. McCarthy then pinned Welch and the match went to the team of McCarthy & Bolo.

Others in the area in March were Frankie Cain, Greg Peterson, Treacherous Phillips and “Prince” Tony Nero.

 

APRIL:

Gulf Coast champion Joe McCarthy and his new partner the Great Bolo were proving themselves to be a tough team. They faced off against Bobby Fields & Lester Welch in another battle that proved to be just a wild as the first one. Things looked good for Welch & Fields as they took turns battering McCarthy around and pinning him to take the fall. In the second, Bolo rammed Welch’s head into McCarthy’s knee and pinned him to even the score. Bolo continued the rough tactics in the final fall as he continually slam Welch’s head into the turnbuckles. Welch was pretty much out of it by the time he finally made the tag to Fields. Fields put up a valiant effort but couldn’t fight two men as McCarthy and Bolo double-teamed him. They took turns slamming him to the mat several times before Bolo pinned him to win the fall and the match. This win put McCarthy & the Great Bolo in line for a shot at the Southern Tag Team titles, which Don & Bobby Fields had regained the titles from the Corsicans.

Bobby was anxious to get back at the team that had given he and Welch fits for the past two weeks and gladly agreed to a title match. McCarthy & Bolo had things in control as McCarthy pinned Bobby Fields to take the first fall. The Fields boys evened up the score in the second as Bobby held Bolo from behind and Don delivered a smashing dropkick to his chin. Don then pinned Bolo for the fall. The third fall broke into a total melee and referee Frankie Cain finally called a halt to it and declared the match a no decision. The four combatants continued to fight until several wrestlers charge the ring to separate them. A rematch was ordered and it was just as action packed as the first had been. The Fields Brothers took the first fall quickly as McCarthy missed an attempt at a flying tackle and was pinned by Bobby Fields. McCarthy attempted this maneuver as all four men were in the ring getting the referee’s instructions. The Great Bolo was so upset at his partner’s miscalculation that he belted him between falls. The two patched up whatever differences they had during the second fall and they gave the Fields duo plenty of trouble. Bolo managed to load his mask and gave Bobby a headbutt sending him to the canvas. Bolo then tagged McCarthy and he made the pin to take the second fall. The Fields boys complained to referee Frankie Cain about the Bolo’s mask, but a thorough search failed to locate any weapon. The third fall was more of the same as Bolo continued to use his loaded mask to his advantage, finally slamming it into Don and pinning him. The fall and the match were awarded to McCarthy & Bolo, who were the new Southern Tag Team champions. Don & Bobby were so irate after the decision that they refused to turn the belts over to the new champions. An angry fan tossed a chair into the ring and the Fields boys used it to batter McCarthy, Bolo and referee Cain who wound up with a bloody head. But the decision stood and McCarthy & Bolo were the new champions. Don & Bobby Fields demanded a return match, which was signed, but McCarthy & Bolo refused to put the title on the line. The Fields boys didn’t care, they just wanted to get their hands on the rugged pair and exact some revenge. However McCarthy suffered an injury prior to the match and was replaced by Pancho Villa. Villa & Bolo proved to be an effective team in the first fall. Villa managed to catch Don in a full nelson and forced him over the corner where Bolo was waiting with his loaded mask. One headbutt later the first fall was over, won by Villa & Bolo. Villa fell victim to a kick off the ropes by Bobby Fields and was pinned by Don Fields to lose the second fall. The Fields duo continued to pound on Villa in the final fall and had him bleeding from a severe head wound. Finally Villa was subdued and the third and final fall went to Don & Bobby Fields.

McCarthy’s injury was soon healed and he and his masked companion were forced to give the Fields Brothers another shot at the Southern Tag Team title. The Fields boys made good on the chance and regained the title. But this would be the last the title would be seen in the area until February of 1961.

A feud from earlier in the year started up again as Mario Galento and Yvon Roberre faced off in a series of matches. The two had split the first two falls in the first match between them and Roberre had Galento bleeding in the third fall. Galento pulled a pair of brass knuckles out of his tights and knocked Roberre into dreamland. Not satisfied with that, he next walloped referee Tommy Roland, opening a gash on his forehead. This caused a near riot among the fans as a spectator rushed into the ring and grabbed Galento in a headlock. The police managed to get him out of the ring before Galento could retaliate. Galento gave Roberre and Roland a couple of more licks apiece and left for the dressing room. A rematch between the two was quickly signed and Roberre didn’t fare any better. Galento took the first fall after using his whips into the corner and pinning him. In the second fall Roberre went for a flying dropkick but Galento moved at the last moment. Roberre ended up straddling the top rope and when he bounced back into the ring, Galento pinned him to take the match.

Lee Fields defeated Al (Spider) Galento in Laurel to win the Mississippi State title.

Also in Laurel, Lee teamed with his brothers Don & Bobby as the Fields brothers faced Mario Galento, Chris Belkas & Joe McCarthy in a six-man tag team match. Despite absorbing a great deal of punishment, especially at the hands of Lee Fields, Galento won the final fall for his team. After the match an attractive young woman came out of the audience to attack Lee Fields with her purse. She was arrested and charged with disturbing the peace, public profanity and resisting arrest. She paid a $75 fine at police headquarters and was identified as Barbara Galento, Mario’s daughter.

This led to a mixed tag team match the following week in Laurel where the Galentos faced Lee Fields & Gloria Barattini. After a rousing battle the Galentos emerged victorious.

Two popular favorites returned after lengthy absences, Joe Scarpa and Guy LaRose. They teamed together and faced Mario Galento & Pancho Villa in their return. Villa & Galento double-teamed LaRose in their corner during the first fall. Galento held Guy as Villa continually slammed his knee into LaRose’s midsection. Villa then slammed LaRose to the mat and pinned him to take the fall. Scarpa came back in the second fall making short work of both Galento and Villa with a series of lefts and rights. He then slammed Galento and pinned him to take the fall. Galento managed to come back in the final fall to choke Scarpa into submission to win the match for he and Villa.

Another member of the Welch family made a debut in the area. Joanne “JoJo” Welch defeated Mae Young in a ladies’ bout.

Others in the area in April were Chris Belkas, Rube Wright and Greg Peterson.

 

MAY:

The war between Mario Galento and Yvon Roberre continued in May. The popular Canadian took the first fall after whipping Galento into the corner turnbuckle. He followed that up with a knee lift and a bodyslam. Galento was ripe for the picking and was quickly pinned, giving the first fall to Roberre. Galento came back in the second fall and choked Roberre into submission and pinned him. Things really got out of control in the final fall, as both men appeared intent on ending the other’s career. Roberre got the upper hand and tossed Galento out of the ring and continued to batter the long haired ruffian outside the ring. Galento was soon bleeding above both eyes. As referee Bud Clardy tried to restore order, Roberre gave him a punch for good measure. This brought about Roberre’s disqualification and the match was awarded to Galento. The two continued to batter each other after the official decision had been rendered. It was a full five minutes before they could be separated and order restored. Both men were so anxious to get at each other that they agreed to face off in a Texas Death Match. Galento was ahead on falls two to one when things got completely out of hand. Both men were bleeding profusely as was referee Rube Wright. Things were so wild that Wright called a halt to the proceedings and declared the match no contest. Galento and Roberre continued to knock each other, and Wright, around until the dressing rooms emptied and the two were separated. Promoter Lee Fields decided that since the two of them only wanted to knock each other around with their fists, he would have them meet in a 10 round boxing match. Things were pretty even until Galento decided that he had had enough of the confinement of the boxing gloves. He tore them off and went after Roberre and referee Tommy Roland with just his taped fists. This led to Roland disqualifying Galento and awarding the match to Roberre. Both things didn’t stop there. Roberre, Galento, Roland and all of the other wrestlers on the card filled the ring, swinging fists and chairs at each other.

Joe Scarpa took the measure of Joe McCarthy in a match in Pensacola to take the Gulf Coast crown. McCarthy left the territory after this defeat.

The fans got a real shock when popular Guy LaRose squared off with Scarpa. Everything was clean and scientific for most of the first fall. But as Scarpa rebounded from the ropes, LaRose buried his fist in the popular Italian’s midsection. This stunned Scarpa and he was pinned for the fall. Scarpa came back in the second fall to pin LaRose with a Victory Roll. The two went at each other hammer and tongs in the third and deciding fall. LaRose attempted a flying tackle on Scarpa, who leaped over him as he charged. LaRose slammed his head into the corner turnbuckle and was knocked silly. Scarpa then pinned him to take the fall and the match. LaRose was so upset at this turn of events that he jumped Scarpa after the match and the two fought all the way back to the dressing room as the fans sat in stunned silence.

If there was any hope of LaRose’s new attitude being a temporary thing, all doubt was erased during the Roberre/Galento boxing match. LaRose entered the ring to assist the hated Galento, only to have Scarpa rush into the ring. The two squared off and another slugfest took place. Earlier in the evening LaRose had roughed up popular Billy Wicks to the point that he lost their match by way of disqualification.

A new menace arrived in the form of Nikita “Ripper” Mulkovich. He was disqualified in his debut when he pulled off one of his heavy boots and battered Billy Wicks, his opponent, and referee Joe Powell. Mulkovich made short work of Al (Spider) Galento in another match.

The midget wrestlers made their first appearance of the new decade. Lord Littlebrook teamed with Bobby Fields to tame the team of Beau Brummel & the Great Bolo. Bolo packed his bags and headed back to parts unknown following this match.

Others in the area in May were Pancho Villa and George (Baby Blimp) Harris.

 

JUNE:

Mario Galento refused to face Yvon Roberre in a singles match, so Roberre asked Joe Scarpa to team with him to face Mario & Al (Spider) Galento. Scarpa & Roberre had things all their way in the first fall. They took turn yanking Spider by what little hair he had and just battering him in general. Roberre finally pinned him to take the first fall. In the second fall, both teams lambasted each other from start to finish. The Galentos’ towels managed to find their way into the ring and were put to good use. At one point Roberre had a towel wrapped around Mario’s throat while Scarpa had one wrapped around Al’s throat. Later on in the fall, Scarpa wrapped a towel around Mario’s throat and once again was choking the New Yorker. Referee Joe Powell ordered Scarpa to release the choke, but Scarpa refused. This led to a disqualification and the second fall went to the Galentos. The Galentos smartly left their towels in the dressing room for the third and final fall. Mario won the final fall for his team when he whipped Roberre into the corner where the Spider was waiting with a fist to the head. Roberre went down for the pin and the Galentos took the match. Al & Mario had a little more trouble when they faced Scarpa & Billy Wicks. It was a battle of the legs as Mario forced Scarpa to surrender to a painful leglock to take the first fall. Scarpa & Wicks returned the favor in the second fall, concentrating on Al’s leg. After several minutes of this action, the Spider called it quits to even the falls at one apiece. In the third fall, Al managed to slide a piece of metal under his kneepad. Mario worked Wicks over to the corner and Al rammed him in the head with the loaded knee, resulting in a trickle of blood running down Wicks’ forehead. Like a shark at the scent of blood, Mario went into a frenzy. He tore into Wicks mercilessly until referee Rube Wright stepped between them. Mario gave Wright a whack on the chin for his efforts, knocking him to the mat. But when Wright regained his feet, he grabbed Mario by the hair. Wicks took advantage of this situation and laid a haymaker on Galento and pinned him to win the fall and the match for he and Scarpa.

The National Wrestling Alliance Heavyweight Champion of the World, Pat O’Connor returned to the Gulf Coast in June. He put his title on the line against Russian bad man, Nikita (Ripper) Mulkovich. Mulkovich gave O’Connor a hard time of it in the first fall, but the popular champion from New Zealand came back with a series of bodyslams to take the fall. Mulkovich was simply outclassed in the second fall, which O’Connor won when he forced the Russian to submit to a leglock

A new team arrived on the scene that was destined to become one of the most dominant teams in the history of the sport, the German team of Kurt & Karl Von Brauner. They faced they team of Billy Wicks & Rube Wright in their debut in the Gulf Coast territory. Kurt Von Brauner took the first fall for the German team as he forced Wright to submit to a double toehold. Wicks evened the scored in the second fall when he pinned Karl Von Brauner after a vicious backdrop. The Von Brauners double teamed Wright into submission in the third fall, with Karl pinning him to take the fall and the match.

The Von Brauners returned two weeks later recognized as the World Tag Team Champions. The Germans faced Wicks & Dick Dunn, who had returned after a lengthy absence, in a non-title match. Kurt & Karl kept Dunn in the ring the entire first fall and repeatedly rammed his head into the corner turnbuckles. After a couple of kicks to the stomach and a bodyslam, Kurt forced Dunn to submit to a double toehold. Dunn came back in the second fall and used a series of bodyslams and dropkicks on Kurt to score the pin fall  Kurt hit Wicks with a flying bodyblock off the ropes to score the pin to take the third fall and the match for the new champions.

Another returnee to the area was Donnie Fargo. This was Fargo’s first appearance in the area as a solo act and his first since Lee Fields had taken over as the promoter. His first act back in the area was to insult Fields and dare him to return to the ring to face him. Fields, arguably the most popular grappler in the history of the territory, was not one to back down from a challenge. He turned the promotional reigns over to Les Wolfe and faced off with the boastful blonde New Yorker in the ring. Fields quickly regretted his decision as Fargo proved that he was as vicious by himself as he and his brother had been as a team. He battered Lee from pillar to post, although Fields had managed to take the first fall from Fargo in less than 30 seconds. Fargo made up for that embarrassment for the remainder of the match. Fargo jumped on Lee the minute he slid under the ring ropes to begin the second fall and never let up. He took the next two falls and had Lee bleeding profusely from the head. Even after the match had been awarded to him, Fargo continued to batter the popular Fields until he decided that he had aroused a little too much of the fans’ ire. Fargo had quite a bit of trouble making his way back to the dressing room until the police stepped in and guarded him from the irate fans. Meanwhile, a bevy of volunteers and the ringside physician were feverishly working to revive the battered Fields. When he finally came too, he started wildly swinging at everyone around him while trying to make his way back into the ring. This scenario continued for ten minutes until the physician managed to calm him down and escorted him to the dressing room.

Pancho & Mama Villa won a mixed tag team match over the team of Dick Dunn & Pat Lyda. Mrs. Villa was supposed to face Miss Lyda in a singles match, but Pancho accompanied her to the ring and refused to leave. Lyda returned to the dressing room and when she reappeared, she was accompanied by Dunn. But it was to no avail as the Villas emerged victorious.

Others wrestling in the area in June were Rowdy Red Roberts and George (Baby Blimp) Harris.

 

JULY:

Lee Fields was anxious to get his hands on Donnie Fargo after suffering a tremendous beating at his hands. A rematch between the two was arranged and Joe Scarpa was chosen as the special referee. Fargo refused to wrestle with Scarpa as the lone referee so Tommy Roland was added as a second official. A coin toss decided which man would referee each fall. Fields took the first fall in short order after slamming Fargo several times and pinning him. Fargo evened things up when he used a series of chops to the throat to weaken Fields and pinning him to take the second fall. Fields was in command in the deciding fall until he accidentally sent Fargo flying into Scarpa, who was the referee for the fall. Scarpa was knocked from the ring and Fargo took advantage of this by nailing Fields from behind. Fields crumpled to the mat and Fargo pounced on him for the pin. Roland entered the ring and tolled the three count. Meanwhile, Scarpa had gotten back into the ring, declared Roland’s decision null and void and ordered the match to continue. Lee took advantage of this second chance and pinned Fargo for the fall and the match. Another match was arranged and this time it was decided that there would only be a referee there to start the match and to be on hand for a pinfall or submission after that. Otherwise there would be no referee in the ring to interfere with the two men’s beating of one another. But that isn’t exactly what happened. Both men were so anxious to get at each other that they never even let the match get started. They started battering each other as soon as they entered the ring and continued until both men were a bloody mess. Referee Tommy Roland, who had been on hand merely to signal the start of the match, decided to stop the match and call the whole thing off. Neither man was satisfied with this turn of events, but another match between them would not be signed.

Kurt & Karl Von Brauner, the World Tag Team champions, continued to prove their dominance over local teams. They easily handled Joe Scarpa & Yvon Roberre. Scarpa also teamed with Dick Dunn and they were scheduled to face the tough Germans, but at match time Kurt was injured. Although he was at ringside, rugged Pancho Villa took his place in the ring. Scarpa pinned Villa to take the first fall after a series of flying dropkicks. Pancho got revenge when he pinned Scarpa in the second fall after the popular Italian had been double-teamed by Villa & Von Brauner. Just as it appeared that Dunn was about to pin Karl in the deciding fall, Kurt Von Brauner got into the act. He hit Dunn with his crutch and knocked him senseless. Karl then pinned Dunn to win the match for he and Villa. Joe Scarpa was upset by this turn of events and asked Buddy Fuller to return to the area to face off against the Germans. With Kurt’s leg now healed, the Von Brauners agreed to the match. But they would not put their titles on the line. Scarpa & Fuller took turns body-slamming Karl before Fuller finished him off with a dropkick to take the first fall. The Germans did the same thing in the second fall to Joe Scarpa and Kurt finally forced Scarpa to surrender to a submission hold. The third and deciding fall saw all four men in the ring at the same time, battling away. Finally Karl Von Brauner had Fuller pinned. Referee Joe Cooper counted Fuller out despite the fact that Scarpa was the legal man for his team. Despite the confusion, the match was awarded to the Von Brauners.

The Von Brauners made a point of letting everyone know that they were the greatest tag team in the history of the sport. Many people agreed with them, but at least one person did not. That person was Don Fargo, who along with his brother Jackie had dominated the tag team scene for years before their split. He challenged the Germans to a tag team match, although he didn’t have a partner. The Von Brauners agreed and told Fargo to find himself a partner. Fargo initially approached Lee Fields, who quickly told him where to get off. Fargo couldn’t get anyone in the area to team with him so he imported a wrestler named Jack Marshall. Marshall felt the Von Brauners wrath as they totally dominated him during the match. It didn’t hurt that referee Duke Scarborough let them get away with murder. Fargo only managed to get into the ring on one occasion despite being tagged several times by Marshall. All of the other times, Scarborough managed to miss the tag and kept the blonde battler out of the ring. As a result, the Von Brauners pinned Marshall twice to take the match in two straight falls.

It was announced that former 3 time NCAA and Olympic Bronze medalist Danny Hodge had defeated Angelo Savoldi on July 22nd in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma to with the NWA World Jr. Heavyweight Championship. Hodge would hold the title for 4 years but did not appear in the Gulf Coast during this reign.

Prince Omar arrived on the scene. He defeated George (Baby Blimp) Harris in his debut. He later teamed with Pancho Villa only to lose to the team of Joe Scarpa & Lee Fields.

 

AUGUST:

Lee Fields was so angry over the way the Von Brauners had manhandled young Jack Marshall that he agreed to team with archenemy Don Fargo to face the mad Germans. Furthermore, Lee made sure that the World Tag Team title would be at stake for the match. The Germans were so confident that the Fields/Fargo team wouldn’t be able to function that they readily agreed to put the title up for grabs. But Fields & Fargo both said that for the World title and the money it would bring, they would gladly put their differences aside. Don Fargo took the first fall with his team by pinning Kurt after applying an atomic drop. The Germans worked Fargo over in the second fall and had him bleeding from the head due to the use of a metal object they were hitting him with. Fargo managed to hit Kurt twice in the jaw with his elbow, which caused him to dropped the metal object. Fargo tagged Fields, who rushed into the ring and grabbed up the piece of metal. He went to work on the Von Brauners and gave them a serious dose of their own medicine, finally pinning Kurt to take the fall and the match. Lee Fields & Don Fargo were the new World Tag Team champions.

The Von Brauners demanded and received a rematch for the title, but when time for the match arrived Fargo was nowhere to be found. As a result, the World title was stripped from Fields & Fargo and returned to the Germans. Fields took veteran Rube Wright as his partner and with no title to protect he and Wright were content on punishing the German duo. In less than five minutes they had battered the Von Brauners into submission and taken the first fall. At the start of the second fall, the Von Brauners refused to get into the ring and demanded that they be awarded the match on a disqualification. Finally they fought back and slowly took the advantage. They managed to knock Wright from the ring and then double-teamed Fields until he was a bloody mess. Suddenly Bobby & Don Fields hit the ring to come to their big brother’s aid. A free-for-all ensued for several minutes before the ring could be cleared and order restored.

All of this led to a match between the Von Brauners and Lee & Bobby Fields with the title not at stake. Bobby Fields took the first fall by pinning Karl Von Brauner. The Von Brauners tied Bobby in the ropes in the second fall and continually kicked him until referee Joe Powell managed to get him loose. Booby was then pinned by Karl to even up the sides. Lee Fields pinned Kurt to take the final fall, but the Von Brauners weren’t done just yet. They jumped the Fields boys after the match and gave them a really good pasting. Irate fans tossed chairs into the ring, but much to their dismay, the Germans used them to further batter the popular Fields duo.

Donnie Fargo returned to the area and appeared on TV to explain why he had failed to appear in the rematch between he & Lee Fields against the Von Brauners. He said that Lee had refused to accompany him to a match that he had arranged in Washington D.C., and as a result he refused to appear with Fields in the rematch. Fields came out and apologized for not making the Washington match and said that if Fargo would team with him again he knew that they would regain the title and that he would travel with him from then on. Fargo agreed and the long awaited rematch was set, with the World Tag Team championship on the line. Fields & Fargo were in complete control of the match during the first fall. Fields used a series of forearm smashes to weaken Karl and pinned him to take the fall. The Von Brauners threw all caution to the wind in the second fall and managed to toss Fargo from the ring. They turned their attention to Fields and soon had him severely bleeding. When referee Bud Clardy tried to intervene, he also wound up a bloody mess. As a result, the match was stopped and the Von Brauners were disqualified, but kept their World Tag Team title. A rematch was ordered and it was as wild as the last one had been. The Von Brauners really gave Fields a going over in the first fall until he managed to tag Fargo. Fargo worked over both Von Brauners and then tagged Lee back in allowing him to quickly pin Karl. The Von Brauners jumped Fields after the fall and battered him so bad he was carried back to the dressing room. Fargo came back out alone for the second fall. He was doing very well until the Germans managed to trap him in a corner. They were giving him a beating and when referee Rocky McGuire tried to step in; they tossed him from the ring. McGuire declared the match a no contest and brought a halt to the proceedings.

Joe Scarpa put the Gulf Coast title on the line against newcomer Eric Pederson. Pederson was a former bodybuilder who had competed in the Mr. America and Mr. Universe contests. He came into the area with wins over Tor Yamato, Herb Welch and Fred Blassie and as a result received an immediate title shot at Scarpa. Scarpa looked like he was on his way to an easy win when he took the first fall after a series of flying dropkicks. In the second fall, Scarpa attempted a leapfrog over Pederson, only to end up sailing into the corner and knocking the wind out of himself. Pederson then scaled the ropes and jumped knee first into Scarpa’s midsection. This allowed him to pin the champion to take the second fall. Scarpa was in bad shape and had to be helped to the dressing room between falls. He managed to catch his second wind and was holding the advantage in the third and deciding fall. But once again, he attempted to leap over Pederson, but this time flew completely from the ring. He was stunned and was counted out while lying on the ground. Pederson was awarded the fall and the match and as a result was named the new Gulf Coast champion.

Pederson proved to be a fighting champion, if not a popular one. He didn’t help his lack of popularity in his defense of the title against Tom Drake, who was returning to the area. Pederson was disqualified in the first fall when he refused to break a hold while in the ropes. Drake missed a dropkick in the second fall and was pinned by Pederson. Drake was pounding Pederson from corner to corner until referee Billy Strong grabbed him by the arms to try and restore order. Pederson took advantage of that and hit Drake with a terrific right to the jaw and pinned him. Pederson surprised the fans later on that same night as he went to Don Fargo’s aid against the Von Brauners after Lee Fields had been incapacitated. He and Fargo gave the Von Brauners quite a thrashing after the match had been called a no contest.

Chief Lone Eagle returned after many years’ absence and ran afoul of Pancho Villa. Lone Eagle took the first fall with the help of his wife Princess Bonita who was at ringside with her tom-tom drum. Villa had the Chief down when Bonita started pounding the war drum. Lone Eagle rallied and chased Villa from the ring. Pancho cautiously climbed back into the ring. He soon had Lone Eagle in trouble again and once more Princess Bonita started with the drums. Villa was so angry at this that he jumped from the ring and punched the Indian Maiden in the jaw. This set Lone Eagle off and he ran from the ring and tackled Villa. The two fought outside the ring as referee Rube Wright started counting them both out. Just before he reached the count of twenty, Villa managed to scoot back into the ring. Lone Eagle was counted out and the match was awarded to Villa.

Lone Eagle demanded a rematch, this time best two out of three falls. Villa agreed but only if it were a mixed tag team match with Lone Eagle & Princess Bonita facing he & Mama Villa. The Indians agreed and the match was set. Lone Eagle had Pancho all set up for a monkey flip in the first fall when Pancho held the ropes and caused the popular Indian to slam into the mat. Villa then pinned him to take the first fall. Mama Villa got a hold of Bonita in the second fall and had her reeling with punches to the stomach. Bonita managed to tag in her husband who really had Pancho going. Pancho managed to tag Mama Villa, but Lone Eagle refused to leave the ring. Bonita was still in bad shape and he didn’t want to let Mama get her hands on her again. He challenged Pancho to stay in the ring, but soon wished he hadn’t. Pancho managed to work Lone Eagle over to the ropes and then dropped him throat first across the top rope twice and pinned him. The Villas took home the victory.

Another returnee was rugged Joe McCarthy. Joe faced popular Greg Peterson in his return. Peterson looked good in taking the first fall by forcing McCarthy to submit to a Boston Crab. McCarthy took the second fall by kicking Peterson in the face and pinning him while holding him by the trunks. In the third fall, McCarthy slammed Peterson’s head into the turnbuckles and then pinned him to take the fall and the match.

Still another familiar name came back into the area as Carlos Rodriguez returned. He lost a match to Bobby Fields and left again.

Lady wrestlers appeared when Ethel Johnson defeated Babs Wingo.

 

SEPTEMBER:

The Von Brauners demanded a match with Don Fargo & Eric Pederson and offered to put the World Tag Team title on the line to get it. The new blonde duo accepted the challenge and boasted that they would be the new titleholders once the bout was over. It proved to be a hollow boast because when the match rolled around, the blonde twosome was nowhere to be found. Turns out they headed to St. Louis and then on to the West Coast calling themselves the “Mr. Americas”. The Von Brauners wound up facing Lee Fields & Buddy Fuller, who were a formidable duo and always made a good accounting of themselves. Since they were facing a different team, the Germans refused to put the title on the line. Each team had one a fall apiece when Fields attempted a flying tackle on Karl Von Brauner. Karl moved and Fields went sailing into the referee. Fields was knocked unconscious and was easily pinned. The Von Brauners took the fall and the match.

A rematch was quickly signed with former heavyweight boxing champion Rocky Marciano serving as the guest referee. Unfortunately this match never took placed as it was cancelled due to Hurricane Ethel. Fuller was then unavailable so Lee Fields stepped aside and let brothers Don & Bobby to challenge the Von Brauners for the World Tag Team title, a title they once held. Marciano was unavailable to officiate so that chore went to Treacherous Phillips, a man the Fields boys had no love for. Phillips followed the book to the letter in the first fall, which saw the Fields boys take turns applying a monkey flips to Kurt Von Brauner. Don then pinned him to take the fall. The Von Brauners took the second fall as they double-teamed Bobby and whipped him from corner to corner. Phillips seemed to look the other way and made no effort to keep the Germans to one man in the ring at a time. Bobby was sufficiently weakened and pinned by Kurt. Bobby & Don were giving the Von Brauners fits in the deciding fall when Bobby knocked Kurt from the ring with a dropkick. Unfortunately for Fields, he took a nasty landing on his head and was in bad shape himself. Karl dropped don to the ground under the pretense of helping his stricken brother, but in actuality, they pulled a switch. Karl, pretending to be Kurt, rolled back into the ring and pinned the fallen Bobby Fields. Whether or not Phillips recognized the switch is debatable. He allowed the pins despite the protests of Don and the fans. Don was so riled that he floored Phillips. The Von Brauners then grabbed Don and pitched him from the ring. They then turned their attention to Bobby who was still lying on the mat. They kicked and stomped him until the crowd began to roar. That was when Lee Fields hit the ring and chased the Germans to their dressing room. They were still the World tag champs.

The Von Brauners were anxious to take on all three of the Fields Boys so they asked their compadre Pancho Villa to join them for a six-man tag team match. The match was signed and to make sure the odds were stacked on their side, the Von Brauners introduced their new manager, “Gentleman” Saul Weingeroff. The Von Brauners & Villa triple-teamed Don Fields in the first fall and he was easily pinned by Villa after a neckbreaker. Karl Von Brauner was the victim of triple teaming in the second fall as all three Fields boys worked him over. Bobby Fields finally nailed Karl with a dropkick to the chin and pinned him to take the second fall. The third fall saw all six men in the ring at the same time slugging away at each other. Kurt Von Brauner wound up being triple-teamed by the Fields clan until Bobby put him away to win the fall and the match. Pancho Villa tried to keep the match going when he rammed Bobby’s head into one of the ring posts, knocking him unconscious for several minutes. Lee & Don chased Villa, the Germans and their manager back to the dressing room. They then revived Bobby enough to walk back to his dressing room under his own power.

Villa had better luck when he teamed with his wife Mama Villa to face the team of Greg Peterson & Shirley Aiken. Aiken had Mama Villa set up for a monkey flip in the first fall, but just as she went to flip her, Pancho held his wife against the ropes. This caused Shirley to fall back on her head and she was easily pinned by Mrs. Villa. In the second fall, Pancho worked Peterson over until he was a bloody mess. Pancho got so vicious that referee Charlie Laye finally disqualified him and awarded the fall to Peterson & Aiken. Peterson fought back in the third fall, but was just too weak to hold off the Villas’ onslaught. At one point, Pancho had Peterson pinned when Aiken jumped into the ring and grabbed Villa by the hair and pulled him off her battered partner. Mama Villa then jumped into the ring and as Pancho held Shirley, let a haymaker fly. Aiken was then pinned by Mama Villa and the Mexican couple’s undefeated record in mixed matches stayed intact.

Rocky (Sputnik) Monroe returned to the area and faced the equally rugged Joe McCarthy. The two spent most of the match slugging and kicking away at each other. McCarthy also did a fair amount of biting on Sputnik’s forehead. McCarthy took the first fall after a series of hard punches floored Monroe. Monroe came back in the second fall and simply out punched McCarthy to take the fall. In the third and deciding fall, Monroe was disqualified for tossing McCarthy over the top rope, thus giving the match to McCarthy.

Also appearing in the area this month was Chico Ortiz.

 

OCTOBER:

Bobby Fields was seeking revenge against Pancho Villa after the burly Mexican grappler rammed his head into a steel ringpost and left him unconscious. Pancho agreed to the match, and went so far as to attack Fields as he was signing autographs before the match had begun. Fields hadn’t even had the chance to take his ring jacket off. When Bobby finally got his jacket off he came to life. He battered Villa from stem to stern and soon had Villa bleeding from a cut over his eye. Bobby tried to finish Villa off with a flying tackle, but Pancho ducked out of the way at the last minute. Fields flew out of the ring and slammed his head into the hard wood arena floor. Fields struggled to get to his feet and when he neared the ring Villa placed a hard kick to his head that sent him sprawling to the floor once again. This time Fields would not get up. He was counted out and the fall was awarded to Villa. Fields was helped to the dressing room, but was unable to continue the match. Lee Fields came out and challenged Villa to face him in the second fall. Villa considered it for a minute or two, but decided that he’d done enough for the night and left the ring, leaving Lee’s challenge unmet. Lee had taken the measure of Joe McCarthy earlier in the night. McCarthy was disqualified in the first fall for continually choking Fields. Lee completely overwhelmed McCarthy in the second fall and won it after a series of monkey flips, thus taking the match in straight falls.

For the first time ever in the Gulf Coast territory, the midget ladies made an appearance. Little Darling Dagmar faced off with Baby Cheryl in an exciting and entertaining bout. At one point, Cheryl tried to ram her head into Dagmar’s stomach but missed. Instead she rammed her head into the middle turnbuckle and was easily pinned by Dagmar.

The big girls returned as well as Ethel Johnson defeated Marva Scott.

Pancho Villa took on a newcomer from Hawaii named Oni Wiki Wiki. Wiki took the first fall when he pinned Villa after a series of arm flips. In the second the Hawaiian missed a dropkick and was pinned by Villa. The third fall was rough as Villa used an elbow pad to rake Wiki’s eyes and to pound on him. Wiki decided that he had had enough and managed to take the pad away from Villa. He used it on Villa and ripped a bandage from the Mexican’s forehead and opened up an old cut. Wiki then locked the bloody Villa in a full nelson, but made the mistake of getting too close to a corner. Villa kicked off the turnbuckles and forced Wiki backward top the mat. Villa’s weight crashed down fully on Wiki’s chest and knocked the wind out of him. Villa then pinned Wiki to take the fall and the match. Wiki requested a return match against Villa and was granted it. Villa took the first fall in the rematch when Wiki missed a dropkick and Villa fell on him for the pin. Just to make certain, Villa held Wiki by his trunks while pinning him. This was done in full view of referee Chico Ortiz, who promptly ignored it. Ortiz got involved with Wiki in the second fall when he continually prying Wiki loose from holds while he allowed Villa a free reign. Despite these odds, Wiki managed to slam Villa several times and pinned him to take the fall. In the third fall, Villa continually applied various submission holds on Wiki. Each time Ortiz would ask him if he submitted, Wiki would reach out and muss the referee’s hair. Finally Ortiz stomped Wiki in the face as Villa had him on the mat. Villa then pinned the stunned Hawaiian as Ortiz tolled the three-count.

Villa faced a little stiffer competition as Billy Wicks returned to the area. Wicks completely overwhelmed Villa with punches, bodyslams and finally pinned him after a kneedrop. Wicks quickly finished Villa off in the second fall after stomping his leg and forcing him to submit to a leglock. Wicks took two straight falls, but Pancho wasn’t done just yet. He attacked Wicks after the match and slammed his head into the steel ringpost. He continued to batter Wicks at will, but it was too little too late.

Paul DeGalles made his initial appearance in the Gulf Coast territory and faced off with Oni Wiki Wiki. Wiki took the first fall after he kicked DeGalles in the chin as he charged him. DeGalles came back to win the second fall after jumping on Wiki from the ropes. Wiki was in complete control in the third and deciding fall, but DeGalles slipped a piece of metal into the glove he was wearing on his right hand. One punch later and Wiki was pinned to give the fall and the match to DeGalles.

Paul DeGalles jumps from the ropes onto Oni Wiki Wiki

Joe Scarpa returned after a brief absence to team with Lee Fields to face the team of Treacherous Phillips and newcomer Joe Kono. Fields & Scarpa rammed Phillips’ and Kono’s heads together and Scarpa pinned Phillips to take the first fall. Phillips & Kono tried to do the same thing to Fields & Scarpa in the second fall, but wound up slamming into each other. Fields pinned Kono and the match went to Fields & Scarpa in straight falls.

Fields & Scarpa then faced off against Kono and a new masked campaigner, The Gladiator. The masked man was impressive as he pinned Lee Fields after a backbreaker to take the first fall. Lee came back with a series of bodyslams on Kono to take the second fall. That worked so well that Fields repeated it in the deciding fall and again pinned Kono after a series of bodyslams. But the real story was what happened between the second and third falls. Kono blamed the Gladiator for the loss because he didn’t come to his aid. They continued to argue all throughout the final fall, and the Gladiator gladly let Kono take all the punishment. They got into a slugging match after losing the match to Scarpa & Fields.

The Gladiator also defeated another newcomer The Great Matador in straight falls. The Matador was totally overwhelmed as the Gladiator clobbered him left and right.

Still another newcomer arrived by the name of “El Gran” Lothario. Lothario squared off against popular Joe Scarpa in a one-fall match. Scarpa injured his back during the match and the referee awarded the bout to Lothario. El Gran refused the win, however, and insisted that the match be declared a draw.

El Gran Lothario appears to be enjoying the ride that Joe Scarpa is giving him

The world famed Gorgeous George, a former Gulf Coast champion made what would be his last appearance in the area. He faced popular Buddy Fuller, who was also a former Gulf Coast champion. It was unfortunately evident that George’s best days were far behind him as Fuller dominated the match. George managed to apply a stepover toehold on Fuller and used the ropes to pin him in the first fall. The fans protested so loudly that referee Skip Wetjen reversed the decision after conferring with the ringside fans as to what had actually taken place. George managed to rough Fuller up in the second fall before Fuller surprised his with a cradle to take the fall and the match.

 

NOVEMBER:

Oni Wiki Wiki was granted a return match with Paul DeGalles. Wiki took the first fall when he pinned the Frenchman after a series of dropkicks. DeGalles jumped onto Wiki from the ropes and pinned him to take the second fall and even things up. Things got rough in the third fall and at one point Wiki missed DeGalles with a flying tackle and hit the Great Matador, who was serving as the referee for the match. The Matador was knocked from the ring and was lying at ringside stunned. Wiki managed to hit DeGalles with another flying tackle and had him pinned, but the Matador was still lying at ringside. Wiki got to his feet and began looking for the referee when DeGalles managed to struggle to his feet. He reached into his trunks and pulled out something wrapped in paper. As Wiki turned around, DeGalles hit him with the object and several wet and shiny objects flew into the air. Ringside fans feared that it was Wiki’s teeth, but it turned out to be several pieces of ice that DeGalles had wrapped in the paper. The blow opened up a cut on Wiki’s head and knocked him senseless. The Matador managed to climb back into the ring in time to see DeGalles pinning Wiki. He counted the Hawaiian out and awarded the fall and the match to DeGalles. The Frenchman wasn’t satisfied, though. He managed to work loose one of the top ropes and proceeded to strangle Wiki with it. El Gran Lothario hit the ring and pulled DeGalles off of Wiki and gave him a good pounding.

DeGalles demanded a match with Lothario and was obliged. Lothario took the first fall of the match when he forced DeGalles to surrender to a toehold. DeGalles came back to take the second fall as he loaded a piece of metal into his glove and knocked Lothario out and pinned him. Lothario was dominating DeGalles in the third fall when the Frenchman again went to load his glove. This time referee Joe Powell spotted him and grabbed his hand. As DeGalles jerked away from Powell, he dropped the metal. Lothario quickly grabbed it and made good use of it. One punch and the fall and the match went to El Gran Lothario.

Paul DeGalles ducks out of the ring to avoid a charging El Gran Lothario

Lothario was on a roll as he won a one-night tournament on November 15th in Pensacola to claim the Gulf Coast Heavyweight title, which had been vacant since Eric Pederson left the territory. Lothario defeated Pancho Villa in the final match to claim the belt.

Pancho Villa was anxious to get at Billy Wicks, who handed a rare defeat to the big Mexican. A rematch between the two was signed and Wicks again pinned Villa to take the first fall. Villa had picked Wicks up for a slam when Billy managed to shift his weight and roll Villa up for the pin. As Wicks was making his way to the ring to start the second fall; Villa sneaked up behind him and slammed him hard across the head. Wicks went down and suffered another blow to the head as he hit the arena floor. Villa then climbed into the ring as if nothing had happened. When the referee came out, he started the second fall and counted Wicks out. Wicks was unable to continue, so the referee (who had not seen Villa’s attack on Wicks) awarded the third fall and the match to Villa. Villa also faced off with Lee Fields in a match that was part of a boxing and wrestling card that was staged to raise money for the Mobile County Democratic Fund. The two old enemies battered each other in and out of the ring and the match was finally declared a no contest.

Next up for Villa was Buddy Fuller. Fuller was originally supposed to referee yet another match between Villa and Billy Wicks, but Wicks was injured and unable to appear. Villa then challenged Fuller, who readily accepted to replace Wicks in the match. El Gran Lothario was chosen as the special referee over Villa’s adamant protests. Fuller took the first fall with a sunset flip as Lothario tolled off a rather rapid three-count. Villa demanded that Lothario be replaced as referee and chose Rube Wright to do the officiating. Wright didn’t prove any more to Villa’s satisfaction, either, as he constantly jerked Villa off Fuller when he refused to break an illegal hold. Villa then pitched Wright from the ring, but Fuller quickly caught him in an abdominal stretch. With Wright out of the way, Ali Pasha entered the ring to take over as referee. He started his official capacity but punching Fuller and knocking him to the match. Villa then pinned Fuller and Pasha tolled a three-count that was even faster that the one Lothario had counted in the first fall. But Wright made his way back into the ring and raised Fuller’s hand despite the protests of Villa and Pasha. The official decision was that Villa had been disqualified by Wright and therefore the fall and the match went to Fuller.

Villa faced another stiff test as he was matched with the giant Max Palmer from Mississippi. Billed at 8’2” in height and weighing over 400 pounds, Palmer had a decided size advantage over Pancho. Villa wasn’t able to do much with the hulking Palmer until he brought a piece of steel into play. His used it in his fist to get Palmer down to his knees, and then loaded it into his kneepad. Villa slammed his knee into the giant’s head and pinned him to take the first fall. Villa repeated this tactic in the second fall and had the giant out cold in less than a minute. Villa pinned him to take the match in straight falls. It took a dozen volunteers to revive Palmer and to help the hapless giant back to the dressing room.

Another giant in a newcomer named Stanley the Brute issued a challenge to Villa after the Palmer match, but Villa put him off. The match between the two was signed for the following week. Pancho was just as rough on the Brute as he had been on the giant Palmer. He had the big man bleeding heavily from both eyes when the commission doctor, Dr. J. A. Pennington ordered the match stopped. Villa was declared the winner.

After these strong showings and due to the fact that he was the last man eliminated by El Gran Lothario in the tournament to name a new Gulf Coast champion, Villa got a title match with Lothario. Lothario was in the process of slamming Villa in the first fall when he fell backwards with Villa on top of him. Villa pinned Lothario to take the first fall. Jose came back to take the second fall by forcing Villa to surrender to a leglock. Villa went back to his favorite weapon in the third fall, his loaded elbow pad. He went at Lothario as soon as the bell rang and with two blows had El Gran bleeding heavily. Referee Jack LaRue managed to get the elbow pad off of Villa, but it was too late. Villa continued to pound on the bloody Lothario and then finally pinned him to take the fall and the match. Pancho Villa was the new Gulf Coast champion. And to ad further insult, Villa took the belt and hit Lothario in the head with it, knocking him over the ropes and onto the arena floor.

The masked Gladiator continued to run roughshod over his competition. He faced off against Joe Scarpa in a match that saw Scarpa take the first fall by punching the masked man out. The Gladiator forced Scarpa to surrender to a toehold to take the second fall. The Gladiator battered Scarpa throughout the third fall until Scarpa rolled out of the ring. Scarpa tossed a wooden chair into the ring, but the Gladiator got to it first and broke it over Scarpa’s head and knocked him back to the arena floor. Scarpa grabbed a piece of the broken chair and headed back into the ring. The police stopped him and was trying to take the piece of the chair away from him as the Gladiator kicked at him. The referee stopped the match and awarded it to Scarpa on a disqualification.

The Gladiator heads for cover as Joe Scarpa winds up

Next the Gladiator faced off with popular Oni Wiki Wiki, but again was disqualified when he tossed Wiki over the top rope. The Gladiator next teamed with Ali Pasha to face off with the dynamic team of Lee Fields & Joe Scarpa. The Gladiator pinned Fields to take the first fall after kneeing him in the stomach as he bounced off the ropes. Scarpa came back to win the second fall for his team as he pinned the Gladiator after a series of bodyslams. Pasha forced Scarpa to submit to a stranglehold to win the third fall and the match for his team.

Lee Fields twists the head of Ali Pasha with his powerful legs

The Gladiator faced Jose Lothario next. In a wild battle, El Gran won the first fall by pinning the masked man with a sunset flip. Lothario missed a flying tackle in the second fall and wound up sailing through the ropes and unto the arena floor. This caused an injury to Jose’s back that the Gladiator took full advantage of. When Lothario climbed back into the ring, the Gladiator went to work on his aching back and pinned him after a particular vicious backdrop. Lothario once again tried a flying tackle in the third fall and this time he connected. He not only floored the Gladiator, but referee Bud Clardy who was behind the Gladiator when El Gran hit him. Clardy was knocked from the ring. As Lothario was leaning through the ropes to try and check on Clardy, the Gladiator grabbed him and tossed him over the ropes to the arena floor. An angry Lothario jumped back into the ring and gave the masked man the same treatment and tossed him over the ropes. The difference was that Clardy had managed to make it back into the ring and witnessed Lothario’s action, although he had missed the Gladiator performing the same trick. Clardy disqualified Lothario and gave the fall and the match to the Gladiator, despite the protests of El Gran and the ringside audience.

Lothario challenged the masked man to a rematch and the Gladiator gladly accepted. The rematch was a rough one that saw each man win a fall apiece. In the third fall, Lothario hit the masked man with a series of dropkicks and pinned him to take the fall and the match. Under longstanding rules in the territory, any masked man who loses a match by pinfall or submission must unmask and reveal himself. Referee Skip Wetjen demanded that the Gladiator remove his mask and disclose his identity. At first he refused, but after much protest he unlaced the mask and took it off. Before anyone could get a good look at him, he slipped his trunks off and covered his face. He then raced to the dressing room and refused to give his true identity. Lothario demanded that he identify himself, but to no avail.

The following week, the Gladiator was teamed with Ali Pasha to again face the team of Lee Fields & Joe Scarpa. Fields & Scarpa vowed that they would get the mask off of his face and reveal him to the world. They tried to do just that before the match got started, but he managed to escape their grasps. Scarpa again attempted to de-hood him in the first fall, but this time the Gladiator fled to the dressing room and left Pasha to himself. Scarpa & Fields gave Pasha a real going over and Fields pinned him to take the first fall. The Gladiator did come back out for the second fall and it was obvious that Pasha wasn’t happy with him. The Gladiator started the second fall for his team and was soon fighting once again to keep his identity a secret. Fields & Scarpa once again started trying to strip him of the mask and rather than help his partner, Pasha merely stepped down and made his way back to the dressing room leaving the Gladiator to fend for himself. The Gladiator struggled but Fields laid a haymaker on him as Scarpa held him. The Gladiator was then pinned and unmasked. His identity was revealed as Luis Ramirez.

The midget wrestlers made another appearance in the area as the team of Little Beaver & Tiny Jimenez squared off with Pee Wee James & Dandy Moore. In the first fall the rugged Moore sent Little Beaver spinning into the waiting foot of James. When he attempted to do it a second time, Beaver reversed it and sent Moore crashing into his own partner. Beaver then fell on Moore and pinned him to take the first fall. Beaver was again the star of the second fall as he floored both James & Moore three times each with flying dropkicks. He then pinned Moore once again to take the fall and the match for he & Jimenez.

 

DECEMBER:

Luis Ramirez, the former masked Gladiator had his hands full when he was signed to face off with Terrible Terry the wrestling bear. Ramirez at first refused to get into the ring with the huge Canadian black bear, so referee Skippy Wetjen volunteered to give it a try. Terry quickly handled Wetjen. Next up was Gene Dubois who happened to be Terry’s owner and trainer. Dubois did a little better but soon went down to defeat as well. By this time Ramirez had talked himself into it so he sailed into action, only to taste defeat at the hands (or paws) of the bear.

Dubois had a rough night of it. After his bout with the bear, he faced off against Pancho Villa.The Mighty Jumbo had issued a challenge to Pancho, but the Gulf Coast champion was reluctant to face him. Since Villa wouldn’t face him, Jumbo sent Dubois out in his place. Villa won the first fall although referee Jack Purdin failed to see that Dubois had his feet in the ropes as Villa pinned him. Pancho was giving Dubois quite a beating in the second fall until Jumbo decided to take a hand in helping his protégé. He gave Villa several hard chops to the jaw before Villa bailed out and headed to the dressing room. Jumbo’s actions brought about a disqualification for Dubois and gave the fall and the match to Villa.

Jumbo again issued a challenge for Villa to face him, but Villa agreed only to a tag team battle. He chose Ali Pasha as his partner and Jumbo got Buddy Fuller to join him. Fuller took the first fall for his team as he pinned Pasha after several bodyslams. Pasha came back in the second fall and blinded Fuller and Jumbo with the aid of salt that he had concealed in his trunks. He then pinned Fuller to even up the sides. In the third and final fall, Villa managed to take Fuller out of action by tossing him out of the ring. As Fuller tried to make his way back in, Villa rammed him headfirst into the steel ringpost. Jumbo took over and was giving Villa fits with chops to the jaw. Jumbo then used his huge belly to bump Villa clear out of the ring. As Villa climbed back onto the ring apron, Jumbo came charging at him to belly bump him again. But this time, Villa moved and pulled the top rope down so that Jumbo went crashing over and onto the arena floor. Meanwhile, Fuller had gotten back into the ring and was absorbing a terrific beating at the hands of Villa and Pasha. Referee Skip Wetjen tried to intervene but was shoved aside by Pasha and the massacre continued, with Jumbo lying on the floor groaning in pain. Suddenly Lee Fields rushed into the ring and chased Villa & Pasha back to the dressing room.

Fields wasn’t done with Villa and managed to take the Gulf Coast crown from him on December 13th in Pensacola. Villa got a return title shot in Mobile on the 21st. The two old enemies tore into one another from the onset. Villa managed to floor Fields with a right to the jaw and pinned him to take the first fall. Lee came back with a series of bone crushing bodyslams and a pin to take the second. Both men slugged away at each other in the third fall until Fields opened a deep cut on Villa’s face. Referee Skip Wetjen examined the cut and determined it too deep to let Villa continue. He stopped the bout and awarded the fall and the match to Fields, allowing him to retain the Gulf Coast title. Villa was outraged and continued the fight until he had Fields bleeding as well. The two continued until several others wrestlers came into the ring to separate them. Another title match was set and it was a wild one as well. Villa lost the first fall by disqualification as he tossed Fields over the top rope and onto the arena floor. Fields had hit Villa with several bodyblocks until Pancho ducked under one and raised up, flipping the charging Fields up and over the top rope. Lee was unconscious for several minutes after striking his head on the arena floor. He had to be carried back to the dressing room and was unable to continue for the remainder of the match. Thus the match and the title were awarded to Villa. He had regained the Gulf Coast title.

Mario Galento returned to the area after a lengthy absence. Mario had been away filming the motion picture Natchez Trace in which he had a major role as the character named “Turner”. He teamed with rugged Ali Pasha to face the team of Joe Scarpa & newcomer Mickey Sharpe. Scarpa took the first fall for his team as he pinned Pasha. Pasha returned the favor in the second fall as he pinned Scarpa to even the score. Galento won the third and deciding fall for his team by forcing Sharpe to surrender to his dreaded hangman hold.

Galento also faced off with Scarpa in a singles match. These two had a long-standing hatred for one another and this match didn’t change anything. They tore into one another before the opening bell and didn’t stop from there. Galento had grabbed the microphone before the start of the bout and was protesting the way that Scarpa had beaten him in a television match a few days earlier. Scarpa charged the ring and ducked under the microphone swinging Galento. Galento jumped for the ring and was attempting to remove his ring jacket. He still had one arm in his jacket when Scarpa grabbed him and went to work. It wasn’t long before Galento was bleeding as a result of the beating Scarpa was giving him. In less than a minute, Scarpa had Galento pinned to take the opening fall. The two were content with punching and kicking each other throughout the second fall until Galento managed to catch Scarpa in a sleeper hold to take the fall. Galento sidestepped an attempted flying tackle by Scarpa in the third fall and Joe wound up hung up with his head in the ropes. Galento took advantage of this situation to try and choke the life out of Scarpa. Referee Skip Wetjen tried to break it up but was knocked down several times for his efforts. Finally in an effort to get Galento to release the choke, Wetjen told Mario that he had won the bout. Galento released Scarpa and the popular Italian crumpled to the arena floor. Wetjen then went out and raised Scarpa’s hand in victory. He had disqualified Galento and awarded the fall and the match to Scarpa. Galento gave Scarpa a few parting kicks to the head on his way to the dressing room.

Others in the area in December were Oni Wiki Wiki, Paul DeGalles, Bruce Austin, Lee Beard, Billy Strong, Bob Hamby and Joe McCarthy.