Where Wrestling's Regional History Lives!
- Tim Dills
saw longtime area heel Tojo Yamamoto turn into
a fan favorite. Bearcat Brown became the first regular African-American
performer on the circuit and formed a memorable and major-drawing tag team
with area favorite Len Rossi. Debuting in ring during 1969 was Jerry
Jarrett, who would make a splash in-ring now and behind the scenes in
years to come.
area continued to be a haven for great tag team action. The tag team ranks
were bolstered early in the year when a new masked team called The Interns
debuted with manager Dr. Ken Ramey. Another manager, Steve Clements first
came to prominence during 1970 as he became manager to one of the area's
top teams of all time, Don & Al Greene. A member of the legendary
Welch family debuted in the area during the year as Jimmy Golden caught
the fancy of area fans. Steady performer Dennis Hall chalked up another
year of working at the top of area cards by teaming frequently with such
stars as Len Rossi and Johnny Walker.
The Southern tag titles began the year in the possession of Don Greene & Al Greene. The Greenes though would drop the titles to Johnny Walker & Dennis Hall. Some time during this quarter the tag titles fell vacant.
The Southern Junior heavyweight title was defended some at this point by Len Rossi. While this title would become the focus of the promotion in years to come, it was rarely defended at this point in time as the area still revolved around tag team competition.
The last record of World tag title holders comes from the fall of 1969 when Len Rossi & Bearcat Brown were recognized as champions. While it is possible and very likely the tag titles were active in this area at this time, research has yet to uncover the exact lineage.
Johnny Walker worked area cards billed as U.S. Junior heavyweight champion although how he came to hold the title has yet to be uncovered by research.
Among the other stars working the territory at this time were Bob Armstrong, The Masked Mighty Yankees, Les Thatcher, Tony Russo, Bob Ramstad, The Masked Black Menace, George Harris, Darrell Cochran, Danny Dusek, Johnny Long, Eddie Sullivan, George Strickland, Luther Jones, Carlos Montes, The Masked Black Monster (Tony Nero), Mitsu Katayana, Sugi Sito, Corsica Joe, Mike Pappas, Frank Martinez, Bearcat Brown, Rocky Cookson, Mack York, Bobby Hart, Bill Costello and more.
The lovely ladies of the mat world worked some in the area during this time. Among those who cards at this time were Donna Christianello, Toni Rose, Cora Combs and Judy Glover.
hottest feuds in the area at this time most often centered around
the shenanigans of The Masked Spoilers with manager Gentleman Saul Weingeroff.
The masked team and their manager feuded against Bob Armstrong, Ron Wright
and Ken Lucas. Armstrong also feuded against former tag partner Bob Ramstad.
As spring neared the area was treated to an interesting feud as Dr. Ken
Ramey's Masked Interns butted heads against Gentleman Saul Weingeroff's
Masked Spoilers in a feud no doubt billed as "