Where Wrestling's Regional History Lives!
- Tim Dills
1967 was another
big year in the area. Tag teams continued to dominate the top of area
cards. Such teams as The Masked Blue Infernos, Billy Hines & Jimmy
Hines, Rip Tyler & Tim Tyler, Joe Sky & Bill Sky, Don Carson &
Ron Carson and others were top teams during the year. Jackie Fargo and Len
Rossi continued to be lead faces in the area for the promotion.
Len Rossi would have a
banner year in 1968 holding tag titles right and left with various
partners. A trio of young stars consisting of Dennis Hall, Les Thatcher
and Ken Lucas had successful stays in the area in 1968. In the absence of
a masked lead heel team after the Blue Infernos were unmasked, another
masked team, the Mighty Yankees, popped on to the scene. Meantime, Don
Carson returned and brought with him The Masked Red Shadow.
Len Rossi & Tamaya
Soto begin the year billed as World tag champions. Briefly, Rossi &
Gene Dundee are billed as champions, although it is not clear why this
occurs. In March, the Masked Mighty Yankees defeat Rossi & Soto to lay
claim to the titles.
The Southern tag titles appear to be dormant for the first few months of 1968. Uncovered title lineage suggests Len Rossi & Tamaya Soto held the titles in October 1967 but the lineage is broken from that point until later in 1968. The Southern Junior Heavyweight title is not very prominent at this time although there is evidence to suggest Len Rossi, who won the title during the summer of 1967, held it the rest of 1967 and most of 1968.
Wrestlers working the territory for promoters Nick
Gulas and Roy Welch during the first three months of 1968 included Whitey
Caldwell, Rip Tyler, Don Greene & Al Greene, Frank Martinez, Joey
Corea, Bobby Whitlock, Akio Yoshihara, The Mummy, Dr. Frank (unmasked as
Nick Adams), Don Carson, The Masked Red Shadow, Jose Morella, Mitsu
Katayana, Rocket Monroe, Corsica Joe, Antonio Marino, Jackie Fargo, Tony
Lazzari, Chief White Eagle, Motoshi Okuma, Shinya Kojika, Jack Dalton
& Frank Dalton with manager Kenny Mack, Rip Collins, The Sundown Kid,
Buddy Wayne, Bill Sky & Joe Sky, Herb Welch, Buster Guillotine Gordon,
Darrell Cochran, Bob Armstrong, Rowdy Red Roberts, Ken Lucas, Dennis Hall,
Tom Drake, Randy Tyler, Treach Phillips, Billy Hines, Sarah Lee, Sylvia
Hackney and more.
Much of the 1960s had seen
the area terrorized by heels Kurt & Karl Von Brauner with manager
Gentleman Saul Weingeroff and also by Tojo Yamamoto. As 1968 began though
a new crew of heels were in place creating havoc. The Von Brauners,
Weingeroff and Yamamoto left the area and began working in the