Where Wrestling's Regional History Lives!
- Mike Norris
to another edition of the Gulf Coast Championship Wrestling report. This
month I want to "flashback" and take a look at the year 1968.
Just a couple of explanations before we start, the year will begin in the
month of March. That is because the Gulf Coast promotion was presented in
"seasons" each year prior to 1969. Each season began in late
March and extended through the mid-November. No cards were presented in
the winter months. This changed in 1968. Although the first card of the
season wasn't until Wednesday March 20th, they continued on
through December and were year round after that.
it should be noted that Lee Fields was still an active competitor at this
point and the fans did not know that he was actually the owner and
promoter of Gulf Coast wrestling. Fields had purchased the promotion from
his cousin Edward "Buddy Fuller" Welch in 1959, but kept the
fact a secret as he continued as an active competitor. Rocky McGuire, who
served as the booker, was presented to the fans as the promoter of Gulf
Coast Championship Wrestling.
1968 wrestling season began with Eduardo
Perez reigning as the Gulf Coast Heavyweight Champion. This was the
third and final title reign for Perez. He was the very first Gulf Coast
champion when he defeated Lee
Fields (Albert Lee Hatfield)
on May 22, 1957 in the final match of a 14-man tournament in Mobile,
Alabama. Perez had also defeated Ken Lucas on February 16, 1966 to begin
his second reign. At this point, he was in his third reign having defeated
Bobby Fields (Luther Robert
Hatfield) in September of 1967.
Gulf Coast Tag Team Championship was in the hand of the team comprised of The
Scorpion & The Cobra Kid.
I have no idea who these two masked men were, and they did not stay
in the area very long. The 1967 season had ended with the team of Eddie Sullivan (Ruben Huizar) & Ramon Perez (no relation to Eduardo) holding the tag titles. During
the time off, Sullivan left the territory, so I am assuming that the
Scorpion/Cobra duo was awarded the titles at the beginning of the season
simply to serve as transitional champions.
In order to determine number one contenders for the Gulf Coast champions, the Scorpion & the Cobra Kid, a match was set up between Lee & Bobby Fields against Eduardo Perez & the infamous Dr. Jerry Graham (Jerry Matthews). Graham had competed in the area and had held the Gulf Coast title for a little over a month the summer of 1961. He was better known for the many exploits while teaming with his "brother" Eddie Graham (Eddie Gossett). The Golden Grahams were multi-time World tag team champions and had wrestled all over the world. At this point in his career, however, Jerry Graham was pushing 400 pounds and well past his prime. And although teamed with the current Gulf Coast champion, Perez, the villainous pair was unable to get past the popular Fields brothers. This led up to Lee & Bobby getting a shot at the Scorpion & the Cobra Kid and their Gulf Coast tag team titles. The Fields brothers defeated the masked pair in straight falls on March 27th in Mobile to win the Gulf Coast tag team titles. The Fields boys slammed the masked duo into one another and Lee pinned the Scorpion to earn the first fall. In the second fall, the Fields' were having fun battering their foes into one another. The fall ended when Lee & Bobby double monkey-flipped the hooded pair and scored a double pin. More...