GCCW #19 Page #2

The Islanders (Afa & Sika Anoai) returned to the Gulf Coast in February. They immediately crossed paths with another returnee, Big Bad John (now called just Big John). John teamed with huge Plowboy Tiny Frazier to defeat the Islanders in their first match back, but John suffered a terrible beating from Afa & Sika after the match. The Islanders faced Ricky Fields and newcomer Georgia Sweets (I am not certain, but I believe this was a young man named Roland Daniels who would become famous as Bad Bad Leroy Brown) in a match on television. Sweets was injured during the first fall and couldn't continue the match. Big John came out and volunteered to be Fields' partner for the second fall, but referee Larry Brock would not allow it and awarded the match to the Islanders. Big John took Georgia Sweets to be his partner in a challenge match against the Islanders in Mobile, but once again the giants from Samoa battered the young Sweets around. This led to their disqualification. Although he had won the match, Big John was still not satisfied. He took his case to the NWA who ordered one or the other to face John in a 15-minute match on Mardi Gras night. This match was to take place prior to the Islanders tag team match where they were challenging Bobby & Ricky Fields for the Gulf Coast tag team title. The Islanders would not decide whether Afa or Sika would be the opponent of John. They stated that they would toss a coin the night of the match to decide. When the match rolled around, it didn't matter because both Islanders jumped John and battered him once again. John managed to gain some measure of revenge, however, when he served as the Fields' second for the title match and interfered enough to cost the Islanders the match and allow the Fields Boys to retain the titles. 

Sonny King arrived in the Gulf Coast in February. King had appeared in the Gulf Coast only one time before. In May of 1971, he and Bearcat Brown came in only to lose to the Japanese team of Mr. Koma and the Great Ota. This time King made clear his intentions of staying around and getting in on the title picture. He defeated Alabama champion Rip Tyler in his initial appearance, but the title was not on the line. He soon crossed paths with another newcomer The Super Assassin. This was not the same man who called himself the Super Assassin (and later just the Assassin) in 1976. I believe that man was Randy Colley. This Super A was a different man completely. The first meeting between King and Super A ended in a double count-out. 

The Fabulous Moolah made an appearance in the Gulf Coast in February. She successfully defended her Ladies' World Championship against the challenge of Judy Mansfield.  

The midget ladies also appeared. Princess Little Dove & Baby Cheryl defeated Marie Laveau & Diamond Lil. 

Others in the Gulf Coast in February were Dick Dunn, Joe Kidd, Matt Rivera (who later appeared in the WWWF as Jose Luis Rivera), Jimmy "Bad Boy" Hines and Phil McCardo.  


Big John continued to have his problems with Afa & Sika, the Islanders. John asked the Gulf Coast champion, the Wrestling Pro, to be his partner to face the two wild Samoans. John and the Pro were not exactly strangers to each other. They had once formed a very formidable team and had once held the Gulf Coast tag team titles. But once again John came out on the losing end. He and the Pro gave the Islanders all they could handle, but the wild men ended up with the victory. This led John to challenge the Islanders to a handicap match. During this match, the Islander not in the ring was handcuffed in the corner until tagged. John was doing quite well, giving both Islanders a going over until they pulled a fast one. During one exchange, the Islanders managed to handcuff the referee to the corner, leaving them to double-team Big John. This went on quite a while until Rip Tyler and Sonny King came to John's rescue. John left the area after this match. The Islanders did manage to defeat Bobby & Ricky Fields in Dothan on Friday March 11th to win the Gulf Coast tag team titles. They were immediately challenged by Tyler & King to a match but refused to put the belts on the line. That was a smart move because Tyler & King upended the Islanders in that match. King and Tyler were an odd pairing. In fact, King had defeated Tyler earlier in the month in Dothan to win the Alabama State title. But they put their differences aside and formed a very strong team. After the non-title win, Tyler & King were awarded a title match against the champion. The Islanders emerged victorious in the title match when Sika pinned Tyler after jumping on him from the ropes. A melee ensued after the match with both dressing rooms emptying to keep the four men apart. Tyler & King then challenged the Islanders to face them in a "Hurricane" match, with all four men in the ring at the same time. Again a wild match took place, but Tyler & King came out on time. However Tyler's right leg was injured during an attack by the Islanders after the match. 

The Wrestling Pro was challenged for his Gulf Coast heavyweight title by an old foe. Former NWA World's Jr. Heavyweight champion Ken Mantell came into the Gulf Coast specifically to strip the Pro of his title. These two had had several battles while Mantell was the World's champ and the hatred still burned in both men. Mantell was now bald, but wore a wig into the ring and wore an amateur wrestling ear-guard to keep it in place. The first match between them saw the Pro retain the title when Mantell was disqualified for using the illegal piledriver hold. Mantell argued with the officials after the match but the decision stood. The rematch ended before it began when Mantell attacked the Pro before the match and again applied the piledriver. The referee awarded the match to the Pro, but declared the title held up. Mantell whacked him for his troubles. Meanwhile the Pro recovered sufficiently enough to attack Mantell and a melee ensued. After they were separated, both men were fined $100 for their actions. Another match was ordered with the winner to be declared the new champion. The Pro held the upper hand throughout most of this match until Mantell tossed him into the referee, who was knocked from the ring. Mantell took advantage of this situation and applied the piledriver to the stunned Pro. When the referee managed to get back into the ring Mantell had the Pro pinned. The referee tolled the three-count and Ken Mantell was declared the new Gulf Coast champion. A second referee entered the ring and was questioning the decision of the first. As the two referees conferred, Mantell pulled a pair of scissors out of his cowboy hat at ringside and proceeded to try and cut the Pro's mask off. The Pro managed to fight his way free and Mantell grabbed the belt and headed to the dressing room. The Pro demanded a rematch, but Mantell would only agree if the Pro put his mask on the line. It was agreed and a belt vs. mask match was set. The two put on another torrid display, but Mantell managed to win the match to retain the title. Under the agreed stipulations, the Wrestling Pro would have to unmask! The Pro was explaining to the referee that Mantell had used questionable tactics to secure the win and he felt he shouldn't have to unmask due to the situation. As they debated back and forth, Mantell again pulled out his scissors and went after the Pro's mask. Again the Pro managed to slip from Mantell's grasp and out of the ring. Because of Mantell's actions with the scissors, the referee ruled that the Pro would not have to unmask. 

Mike "the California Hippie" Boyette returned to the Gulf Coast for the first time in two years. He faced Paul "The Butcher" Vachon. Vachon came into the Gulf Coast boasting an international reputation. The huge Canadian was from a well-known family that included his older brother Maurice "Mad Dog" Vachon and sister Vivian Vachon. The Butcher was making his second appearance in the Gulf Coast. He defeated the wily Mr. Ito in his initial appearance. Boyette showed that he had not lost any of his skills during his absence and he gave the huge Vachon all he could handle. Vachon was finally disqualified for fouling the Hippie. Boyette also found his way into the Pro/Mantell feud when he entered the ring to help the Pro while Mantell was trying to cut the mask off of him with scissors. Boyette got some of his hair sheared off for his efforts. 

Another newcomer appeared in the Gulf Coast. His name was Fred Smith. I am fairly certain that this young man was Aurealian Smith Jr., son of Grizzly Smith, who would go on to fame as Jake "the Snake" Roberts. Smith worked mainly opening matches and generally lost. 

Another masked man calling himself "The Pro #1" began appearing in Gulf Coast rings. He drew the ire of the Wrestling Pro, who was the original Pro in his and the fans eyes. 

Others appearing in the Gulf Coast in March were Lord John Ravens, Terry Lathan, Phil McCardo, the Super Assassin and Jimmy "Bad Boy" Hines. 


The Islanders were quite proud of themselves after injuring Rip Tyler and therefore eliminating the team of Tyler & Sonny King as threats to their Gulf Coast tag team titles. They underestimated Tyler though. He recruited his longtime tag team partner Eddie Sullivan to return to the Gulf Coast to team with King. Tyler would manage the newly formed Sullivan & King team. The first meeting with the Islanders saw Sully & King upend the big Samoans to win the Gulf Coast title. But the Islanders argued that Tyler had interfered in the match and had cost them the titles. Gulf Coast officials agreed and the titles were returned to Afa & Sika. Furthermore, the Islanders stated that if Tyler were well enough to interfere in a match, he was well enough to wrestle. They challenged Tyler & Sullivan to a match. This match saw S&T in rare form as they battered the Islanders about for 40 minutes. They were on the verge of victory when the Super Assassin interfered on behalf of the Islanders, causing their disqualification. A six-man tag match was arranged with Tyler & Sullivan teaming with Sonny King to face the Islanders & the Super Assassin. This was a wild battle with all six men spending a lot of time in the ring at the same time. In all of the wild action, the Super Assassin was unmasked by Sonny King, revealing Gene Lewis. King, Sullivan & Tyler went on to win the match.  

Gulf Coast champion Ken Mantell and Mike "Hippie" Boyette became embroiled in quite a rivalry. Mantell teamed with Butcher Vachon to defeat Boyette & the Wrestling Pro in a tag team match. During the match, the referee was involved in the ring with the Pro and Vachon and didn't notice Mantell pull Boyette off the ring apron and apply a piledriver to him on the concrete floor. Boyette had to be carried to the dressing room on a stretcher and he and the Pro lost the match by default. This led to a match between Boyette and Mantell. Boyette started the match with a vengeance and battered Mantell all over the ring. Finally he caught Mantell in the Hippie hold, but Mantell made it to the ropes. Boyette refused to break the hold and was disqualified. The referee managed to pull Mantell out of the ring and away from the angry Hippie, but Boyette wound up with Mantell's wig and scissors. He proceeded to cut the wig into tiny pieces, which he tossed to the overjoyed crowd. A rematch was scheduled between the two and this one was another wild one. Boyette again caught Mantell in the Hippie hold and this time in the center of the ring. Mantell held on for quite a while, but finally submitted to the punishment of the hold and lost the match.  

On April 10th, it was announced that the NWA had stripped Mantell of the Gulf Coast title due to his penchant for using the illegal piledriver. The title was awarded to former champion, the Wrestling Pro, under the understanding that the Pro must defend against Mantell on the 22nd in Dothan. The Pro won this match and retained the title. Mantell left the area after this match. Another challenger to the Pro's title soon arose in a newcomer from West Germany, Kurt Von Hess (Bill Terry). Von Hess had debuted in a tag team match teamed with Butcher Vachon. They faced the Pro & Leon Ogle. Von Hess & Vachon won the match after Ogle left the Pro and returned to the dressing room. The Pro battled gamely by himself but lost when Von Hess pinned him. This led to Von Hess challenging for a title shot. The Pro managed to get by Von Hess in the title match and retained the title. 

The Wrestling Pro defeated the Pro #1 in a loser unmasks match in Dothan on April 15th. No idea who was under the Pro #1's mask. 

Sonny King was keeping a tight hold on the Alabama State title. He made successful defenses in Dothan against Butcher Vachon and Ken Mantell. He continued to have his problems with the Islanders as well. He teamed with Tiny Frazier to defeat the Gulf Coast tag team champions in a non-title match. 

The Islanders were defeated for the Gulf Coast tag team titles on April 29th in Dothan by Rip Tyler & Eddie Sullivan. This was the second Gulf Coast tag team title reign for S&T. 

Others in the Gulf Coast in April were Fred Smith, Terry Lathan and Lord John Raven. 


The Wrestling Pro agreed to meet Kurt Von Hess in a non-title match and the two had a rousing battle. This time Von Hess got the advantage and defeated the Gulf Coast champion. This led to a title match for the big German and he made the best of it. After a grueling match, Von Hess wore the Pro down and defeated him to win the Gulf Coast title. The Pro then challenged Von Hess to a brass knuckles match. This match was a wild one as well with the Pro ending up with his white mask soaked in blood. Battered as he was though, the Pro gave as much as he got and finally knocked Von Hess silly and won the match. Von Hess was burning for another chance at the masked man and agreed to put the title on the line in order to get another match with him. This time the Pro came out on top and defeated Von Hess by using the suplex and pinning him to win the match and regain the title. Von Hess was so irate that he tossed the Pro over the top rope and then battered the referee. He then took the Gulf Coast belt and stalked to the dressing room. But the Wrestling Pro was the new Gulf Coast champion. A rematch was set up and this time Von Hess insisted that it be a European Stretcher match. In this type of match, each man would have three stretcher-bearers in their corner. If they were knocked from the ring, a man would be put on the stretcher and carted to the dressing room. If able to rise from the stretcher and return to the ring, the match would continue. If they reached the dressing room on the stretcher, the match would be over and his opponent would be declared the winner. Von Hess had a new team called The Ragin' Cajuns (Larry Booker & Carl Fergie) and their manager Sgt. Ray Roland in his corner. The Pro had Rip Tyler, Eddie Sullivan and Sonny King in his. During the match, the Cajuns interfered and soon all stretcher-bearers were involved in the match. The match was declared a no contest and the Gulf Coast title was held up. 

A newcomer named Rip Tyler appeared in the area and challenged Rip Tyler. Sound weird? The newcomer was claiming that he was The REAL Rip Tyler and the Rip Tyler that had been competing in the Gulf Coast for all of these years was an impostor. In reality, the Real Rip Tyler was the impostor. He was in fact Randy Colley. The Real Rip Tyler got involved with Tyler & Sullivan during a match between S&T against the team of Gene Lewis & Mr. X. The two also exchanged words during a handicap match between Sonny King against the Islanders. The Islanders were double-teaming King when Tyler came out to help. The Real Rip then came out to help the Islanders. This brought out Eddie Sullivan to help Tyler & King and all six men went at it tooth and nail. This led to a six-man battle with the Islanders & the Real Rip Tyler facing Sullivan, Tyler & King. King and the Gulf Coast tag team champs came out on top in this one, but neither Tyler was satisfied. The Real Tyler recruited Jim Bass to be his tag team partner and they challenged Sullivan & Tyler to a Gulf Coast tag team title match. Actually, this was a reunion of sorts for Colley & Bass. They had competed in the Gulf Coast in 1971 as Jim & Jack Dalton and feuded with Frank Dalton, claiming that he was an impostor. In the title match all four men spent time knocking each other around, but at the end the Real Rip Tyler & Jim Bass were the new Gulf Coast tag team champions. Dalton tried unsuccessfully to add a singles title when he lost an Alabama State title match to champion Sonny King. The two Rip Tylers continued to have bloody single encounters. In a final match set up to determine claimant to the name, the "Real" Rip Tyler failed to show. Instead, he sent in "The Hollywood Blonde" Buddy Roberts (Dale Hey). Roberts gave Tyler a quite a battle before finally winning the match. Tyler got the last laugh when he revealed after the match that the "Real" Rip Tyler was actually Randy Colley. And furthermore, since he and Bass held the titles under an invalid contract (since Colley had signed it as "Rip Tyler) the Gulf Coast tag team titles would be stripped from them. 

The Original Blue Yankee (Curtis Smith) returned to the Gulf Coast. Smith had come full circle. He had come to the Gulf Coast originally in 1969 as the Blue Yankee. Since that time he had competed in the area as one-half of the Infernos, as the Spoiler #1, the Mighty Yankee #1 and as the Challenger #1.

Others in the area in May were "The Continental Lover" Eddie Mansfield, Bobby Simmons, Jimmy Golden, Wild Bill Cody, Dick Dunn, Mike "Hippie" Boyette, Dandy Jack Donovan, Terry Lathan, Leon Ogle and midget ladies Princess Little Dove and Diamond Lil. 


The Wrestling Pro and Kurt Von Hess met in another match to decide who would win the Gulf Coast title that had been held up after their stretcher match. This match would be a strap match with the two men strap together at the wrists by a leather strap.  The Pro took the measure of Von Hess and was once again the Gulf Coast champion. Von Hess attacked the Pro after the match and began to choke him with the leather strap. The Pro was in bad shape until Sonny King hit the ring to help him. Von Hess then recruited Mr. Ito to be his partner against the Pro & King. This match was a torrid battle that saw Von Hess & Ito get the win. After the match, Von Hess & Ito tossed the Pro from the ring and started rendering a tremendous beating to King. Suddenly, out of the crowd came a huge muscular man who entered the ring to help King. He turned out to be The Magnificent Zulu (Ron Pope). King & Zulu teamed the following week to give Von Hess & Ito a terrible beating. Von Hess had better luck in singles matches when he defeated the Wrestling Pro on Thursday June 23rd in Panama City, Florida to regain the Gulf Coast title. He faced Zulu in a non-title match in Mobile on the 28th. Zulu had the upper hand in this match when he caught Von Hess in a bearhug. Von Hess was on the verge of submitting when a masked man called The Black Panther entered the ring and attacked Zulu. This led to Von Hess getting disqualified and Zulu winning the match. Von Hess had previously lost a brass knuckles match to Zulu in Dothan on the 24th

Sonny King made successful defenses of the Alabama State title against Randy Colley on the 3rd in Dothan and the 7th in Mobile. By the 17th, however, the Wrestling Pro was being billed as the champion although I can find no evidence of King losing the belt to him. The Pro lost the belt to the Blue Yankee in Dothan on the 17th.  

The Gulf Coast tag team titles were awarded to the Wrestling Pro & Eddie Sullivan who promptly lost them to the Blue Yankee & Billy Spears. Spears made one appearance in Dothan on June 3rd as the Blue Yankee #2. He and Smith were the Blue Yankees tag team in 1969. The Yankees defeated the team of Dick Dunn & Greg Peterson in Dothan, but Spears was unmasked in the process. Spears also faced Mike "Hippie" Boyette in a pair of singles matches that wound up wild and bloody. Spears won the first one while both men were disqualified in the second. 

Ricky & Rueben Gibson returned to the Gulf Coast and made the Gulf Coast tag team titles their main goal. They twice defeated another team making title noise in the Ragin' Cajuns. Now minus their manager, the Cajuns were still a formidable pair.

Newcomer Luis Martinez arrived in June. Known throughout the Northeast, Martinez soon was extremely popular with the fans with his war cry of "Ariba". He and Dick Dunn lost a tag team match to the Cajuns in his initial appearance but bounced back with a win over Cajun #1 in a singles encounter. 

Others in the Gulf Coast in June were Terry Lathan, Jimmy Golden, Jim Dalton, Eric Spearman, Joe Turner, Frank Dalton, Dennis Hall and Bobby Simmons. 


The biggest news in July was the return of the enormously popular Ken Lucas. Lucas was scheduled to make his return by teaming with the Magnificent Zulu to face Kurt Von Hess & the Black Panther in Mobile. However, prior to the matches Zulu informed promoter Lee Fields that he would not wrestle unless he got the same amount of money for the evening that Lucas was receiving. Fields refused and Zulu stormed out of the dressing room and out into the crowd. He tried to get the fans to rally around him by claiming racial discrimination, but very few fans were buying it. They were there to see Lucas and not the not-so talented Ron Pope. He tried to create a protest march through the Expo Hall. He and about six fans marched around chanting until Lee Fields had the police escort him from the building. Needless to say, the Magnificent Zulu was never seen in the Gulf Coast again.  

As it was Lucas teamed with Eddie Sullivan only to lose to Von Hess and the Panther when the Panther pinned Sullivan. Lucas decided that if he were going to face two Europeans such as Von Hess & the Panther, he would get a European partner. He brought in "the Houdini of Wrestling" Johnny Eagles. Eagles had a habit of being able to counter and escape any wrestling hold applied to him, hence the "Houdini" nickname. Lucas and Eagles handled Von Hess & the Panther rather handily and Lucas put the Panther to sleep to win the match. Lucas now wanted a shot at the Gulf Coast title held by Von Hess. The title match was a tremendous one that got totally out of hand and had to be stopped. Lucas grabbed the title belt after the bout only to have Von Hess grabbed it back. It ended up in the hands of the officials and held up pending a rematch. The rematch was just as exciting with Lucas coming out the winner and becoming the new Gulf Coast champion. 

Kurt Von Hess brought in another protégé in the person of The Russian Stomper (Zarinoff Pierre LeBeouf)

Johnny Eagles got into the title picture by defeating the Blue Yankee on July 15th in Dothan. 

The Gulf Coast tag team championship changed hands in a strange sort of way. The Blue Yankee & Billy Spears were the champions until Spears took up managing the Ragin' Cajuns. Spears was also involved in a feud with Mike "Hippie" Boyette. Spears lost to Boyette in a special "Hippie" match. In this match the middle and bottom rope are removed from the ring. Spears had a habit of going for the ropes every time Boyette got him in the Hippie hold and Boyette wanted to prevent this from happening. Spears agreed to the match only to lose when Boyette applied the Hippie hold. Spears then challenged Boyette to a Texas Death Match. Boyette had the upper hand in this one until the Yankee interfered and he and Spears began cutting the Hippie's hair. The referee threw the match out. The Yankee himself had gotten into a series of battles with the Wrestling Pro with Spears betting $500 that the Yankee could unmask the Pro in a match. The Yankee failed to do so and cost Spears his 500 bucks. A non-tile match was scheduled between the Yankee & Spears against Boyette & the Pro. On the same card as that match Eddie Sullivan was scheduled to face "Pretty Boy" Tony Anthony. As Sullivan entered the ring, Spears came out and called Sully over to the corner. Spears told Sullivan that he was willing to give him his half of the Gulf Coast tag team championship if Sullivan would join the Blue Yankee and take on Spears as his manager. Sullivan looked out to the crowd who were calling for him tell Spears just where to put his offer. After much thought, Sullivan took the belt from Spears, shook his hand and left the ring with him amid the boos of the crowd. In the tag team match, Boyette & the Pro had won the first fall from Spears & the Yankee. Just before the second fall, Spears called Sullivan out to take his place. Sullivan & the Yankee battered Boyette & the Pro to take the next two falls. The Blue Yankee & "Outlaw" Eddie Sullivan, managed by Billy Spears, were the new Gulf Coast tag team champions. 

Boyette then recruited Eagles to team with him to face Sullivan & the Yankee. Sullivan & the Yankee were initially awarded the match in a controversial decision. Suddenly, Grizzly Smith appeared and entered the ring. He informed the referee that Spears had interfered and forced the referee to reverse the decision. This quickly endeared the huge Smith to the Gulf Coast fans. 

Behind the scenes, Smith had actually been brought in by Lee Fields to take over as booker. Rip Tyler had left the area and Lee asked Smith to come in. As an aside, Smith was always accompanied to the matches (and often to the ring) by his 12-year old son, Michael. Michael Smith would later become known to wrestling fans as Sam Houston.  

An old feud re-erupted in Dothan. That being Billy Spears vs. Ricky Gibson. Spears and Gibson had many bloody encounters in 1973 and 1974 in both the Gulf Coast and Georgia. It came to a head again in a Gulf Coast tag team title match between Spears & the Yankee against Ricky & Rueben Gibson. The champs kept their titles and battered Rueben around quite a bit. Spears in particular took great pleasure in battering the young brother of his most hated foe. Gibson then challenged Spears to a singles match. This match ended in a no contest. The rematch was a "Lights Out" match with no rules. Gibson was knocking Spears from pillar to post until Spears fled the ring. The next battle between them was a brass knuckles match and once again Gibson beat Spears to a bloody pulp before knocking him out for the win. 

Ox Baker (Doug Baker) made a rare appearance in the Gulf Coast. He faced the Magnificent Zulu in Dothan. Baker had held the Gulf Coast title briefly in August of 1967. In those days he was simply known as The Ox and wrestled in sneakers and boxing shorts. 

A young man named Mike Seitz of Pensacola started appearing both as a wrestler and referee in the Gulf Coast. This young man would make his mark a few years later under the name Michael "P.S." Hayes of the Fabulous Freebirds. 

Lady wrestlers Wenona Little Heart and Terri Shane appeared in the Gulf Coast. Little Heart defeated Shane. 

Others in the Gulf Coast this month were Ricky Fields, Burrhead Jones, Luis Martinez and Sonny King.  


Kurt Von Hess put up $1000 to get another title shot at Gulf Coast champion Ken Lucas. Lucas agreed and the match was set. Lucas had the upper hand in this match until Von Hess fouled him out of sight of the referee. Grizzly Smith came out and hit Von Hess from behind as the referee checked on Lucas. This allowed Lucas to get the pin to keep his title and to win the German's money. A tag team match was scheduled between Smith & Lucas against Von Hess & Hans Schroeder, but Schroeder failed to shoe and was replaced by Billy Spears. Spears & Von Hess managed to knock the huge Smith from the ring during the match, but Spears soon found himself caught in Lucas' sleeper hold. Von Hess entered the ring with a board and brought it crashing down across Lucas' head, cutting him open. The referee stopped the match and awarded it to Lucas & Smith. Lucas made one more defense against Von Hess in Mobile on the 16th of the month. Lucas won this match with his sleeper and Von Hess left the area. Lucas also defeated the Blue Yankee in defense of the title on the 19th in Dothan.  

NWA World's Jr. Heavyweight Champion Nelson Royal made several title defenses in the area in August. He successfully defended his title against Billy Spears on the 12th in Dothan, the Wrestling Pro on the 16th in Mobile, Ken Lucas on the 26th in Dothan and Johnny Eagles on the 30th in Mobile. 

Eagles held tight to the Alabama State title with successful defenses against Dennis Hall, Mr. Ito and Eddie Sullivan. Ito had been brought in by Billy Spears who traded his contract of the Ragin' Cajuns for the contract of Ito. 

Spears was also leading the Gulf Coast tag team champions, "Outlaw" Eddie Sullivan & the Blue Yankee. They made successful title defenses against the teams of Dick Dunn & the Wrestling Pro and Mike "Hippie" Boyette & Ricky Fields. Boyette & Fields also teamed with Ken Lucas to face Sullivan, the Yankee & Spears in a six-man tag team match. This was a wild one that saw Spears battering Ricky Fields outside the ring, turning him into a bloody mess. Spears' battering of Fields was so vicious that it brought Ricky's dad, promoter Lee Fields out to ringside to chase Spears and company back to the dressing room. Ken Lucas & Ricky Fields defeated Sullivan & the Blue Yankee on the 30th in Mobile to become the Gulf Coast tag team champions. 

Boyette had some legal problems in late August. He had been living in Pensacola and owned a leather craft store there. Turns out he was using the store as a front to fence stolen electronics merchandise. He was arrested along with several others in a burglary ring. Boyette made a couple more appearances after his arrest but was soon let go by Lee Fields.  

The Islanders returned to the Gulf Coast at the end of the month. The got involved in a feud with the huge Grizzly Smith. Smith teamed with newcomer Sylvester DeRitter (Sylvester Ritter) only to lose to the big Samoans. DeRitter would go on to fame a couple of years later as The Junkyard Dog.  

Others in the Gulf Coast in August were "Pretty Boy" Tony Anthony, Terry Lathan, Ricky & Rueben Gibson, Lord John Raven, The Mysterious Medic and John Davidson. 


The feud between Lee Fields and Billy Spears took some drastic turns. Lee turned the promotion duties over to Rocky McGuire and returned to the ring for the first time since his infamous battles with Bobby Shane in 1971. He teamed with son Ricky and Ken Lucas to face "Outlaw" Eddie Sullivan, the Blue Yankee and Spears. It was agreed before the match that if the Fields/Lucas trio won the match that Spears would have to face Lee Fields in a single match the following week. After a grueling match that saw Spear avoiding both Lee and Ricky Fields throughout, Lucas put the Yankee to sleep to win the match for his team. Now Spears would have to get in the ring with an angry Lee Fields. Their match was a brutal one with Spears taking quite a beating. Lee turned the hated Spears into a bloody mess. Finally Sullivan & the Yankee came to their manager's aid. This brought Lucas & Ricky Fields out to assist Lee. The match was awarded to Lee Fields, but he refused the win and challenged Spears to another match. The return match was set up as a Lumberjack match and again Lee had the advantage over a bloody Spears. Suddenly "Wildman" Donnie Fargo entered the ring to help Spears. This brought Ricky Fields into the ring and the father and son team chased the two blonde bad boys from the ring. Fargo had just returned to the Gulf Coast after an absence of over a year. A tag team match was set up between Spears & Fargo against Lee & Ricky Fields. Fargo brought a dress out to ringside and claimed that he would make Lee Fields wear it before the night was through. A wild match ensued and both teams ended up being disqualified. And in the end, Wildman Fargo was wearing the dress! 

Johnny Eagles kept his Alabama State title secure despite a strong challenge from Fargo. Fargo defeated Eagles in a non-title match and was disqualified in the title match. Eagles also challenged Fargo and put up $100 stating that he could defeat Fargo in less than five minutes. He didn't and lost his money.  

Ken Lucas lost the Gulf Coast title to Billy Spears on the 16th of September in Dothan. Spears didn't keep the title long because he lost it the following week in Dothan to the Wrestling Pro.  

Lucas & Ricky Fields did maintain their hold on the Gulf Coast tag team titles with a successful defense against former champions "Outlaw" Eddie Sullivan & the Blue Yankee. 

In a shocker, Lucas lost a "sleeper vs sleeper" match to Mr. Ito. This marked the first time Lucas had lost by sleeper hold since Bobby Shane beat him with the hold in 1971. 

Grizzly Smith continued to have his problems with the Islanders. He went out and recruited the best partner he could think of. He brought in Luke Brown. Smith and Brown had formed a tag team in the sixties and early seventies known as The Kentuckians. They had held the Oklahoma version of the United State tag team titles in 1971. The battle of two of the best tag teams in history went to the Kentuckians who just out-powered the Islanders. The Kentuckians also gained a victory over the team of Mr. Ito & John Black (formerly known as Black Bart in the Gulf Coast), but lost to the Blue Yankee & Eddie Sullivan. 

Others in the Gulf Coast in September were Ray Roland, Terry Lathan, Dick Dunn, Greg Peterson, Bruno Lacardo, the Commodore, Sylvester DeRitter, John Davidson and The Superstar.


Johnny Eagles continued his battles with Wildman Donnie Fargo. After losing $100 to Fargo in a five-minute challenge, Eagles put up $200 for Fargo to face him in a ten-minute match with falls counting anywhere in the building. The two battled the full ten minutes all over the building and out into the parking lot. At the end of ten minutes, Fargo grabbed Eagles' money and stalked to the dressing room. Next Eagles tricked Fargo into signing a contract for a match under English rules. Under these rules, a match is fought in 10 five-minute rounds with a thirty second rest period between falls. A wrestler can win by pinfall, submission or by point score. A point is scored each time a wrestler's body part touches the mat. Eagles was ahead 20 points to 13 when he scored a pinfall in the 7th round to win the match. Fargo decided he would challenge Eagles to his specialty match, a brass knuckles match. In fact Fargo was laying claim to the World's Brass Knuckles championship and agreed to put his trophy on the line to get Eagles in the ring. Eagles was no match for Fargo in this match and Fargo retained his trophy. Finally Eagles offered Fargo another shot at the Alabama State title. Fargo got carried away in the match and lost by disqualification allowing Eagles to retain the title. 

The Gulf Coast title went from the Wrestling Pro to the Superstar. I can't find evidence of the title switch, but the Superstar was billed as the champion as of October 14th. I am not sure who the Superstar was. It probably was Kurt Von Hess who portrayed the Superstar in 1978 for Ron Fuller's Southeastern Promotion. I am positive that it wasn't Bill Eadie. The Superstar successfully defended the Gulf Coast tile against Big Bill Dromo. He also defeated Ken Lucas on the 28th in Dothan. 

A five-team battle royal was held with the winning team to receive $500. The teams entered were Mr. Ito & Alaskan Mike York, the Kentuckians, Terry Lathan & Terry Gibbs, Pat & Mike Kelly (Victor & William Arko), and the Gulf Coast tag team champions Ken Lucas & Ricky Fields. The Kelly Twins won the bout and the money and were demanding a tag team title shot. The Kellys made good on their title shot. They defeated Lucas & Fields to win the Gulf Coast tag team titles. 

Lucas had his share of problems with Mr. Ito as well. After losing to Ito in a Sleeper hold match, Lucas agreed to face him in a Judo jacket match. Lucas was holding his own against the Japanese martial arts champion until Ito started taking shortcuts. Lucas lost his temper and tossed off the Judo jacket and was promptly disqualified. Finally Lucas challenged Ito to a Texas Tornado Match with no referee in the ring. Ito agreed and probably wished he hadn't. Lucas put him to sleep to win the match.

Thunderbolt Patterson (Claude Patterson) made a few appearances in the Gulf Coast in October. He defeated the Superstar by disqualification on the 18th in Mobile. This was a non-title match. He defeated Wildman Donnie Fargo in Ozark, Alabama on the 21st. 

Others in the area this month were "Outlaw" Eddie Sullivan, the Blue Yankee, Billy Spears, Bruno Lacardo, and midget ladies Marie Laveau, Diamond Lil, Princess Little Dove and Darling Dagmar. 


Ken Lucas was declared the Gulf Coast champion by default when the Superstar failed to show for a title match on the 1st in Mobile. Billy Spears; who was now managing the Kelly Twins challenged Lucas to face Pat Kelly. Lucas agreed and the two went at it hot and heavy until Lucas caught Kelly in the sleeper. Lucas won the match and retained the title. Spears and Mike Kelly jumped Lucas after the match and the Kellys and Spears were giving Lucas quite a going over until Ricky Fields hit the ring to assist Lucas. Lucas & Fields challenged the Kellys to a tag title match. Lucas & Fields won the first fall, but the Kelly Twins evened it up by winning the second. The third fall went back and forth until Lucas & Fields were disqualified for rough tactics. A rematch was set with Grizzly Smith serving as the special referee. But the twins refused to put the belts on the line. The bout ended when Lucas put Billy Spears to sleep. Spears, the manager of the Kelly Twins, had jumped onto the ring apron when Lucas caught him. Spears and the Kellys protested the decision stating that Spears was not a participant in the match. But Grizzly Smith ruled that since Spears was put to sleep in the process of interfering in the match, the decision stood. This led to a challenge match between Lucas, Fields & Smith against Spears & the Kellys. At match time, Ali Baba replaced Spears. The Lucas/Fields/Smith team won when Baba was disqualified. 

The Kellys had their share of troubles with another Fields & Lucas team. This being the team of Lee Fields & Ken Lucas. The two teams had several clashes in Dothan, but the Kellys managed to keep the Gulf Coast tag team titles. The Kellys and Ali Baba also faced Lee, Ricky & Bobby Fields in a six-man tag team match in Dothan on the 25th. 

Billy Spears stayed busy by defeating Johnny Eagles on the 1st to win the Alabama State title.

He successfully defended it against Ricky Fields in Dothan on the 4th and again on the 18th. But he lost a best two out of three match to Mobile's own Terry Lathan on the 8th in Mobile. This, however, was a non-title match. Spears faced Lucas in Mobile on the 29th in a match for the Gulf Coast title. Lucas won the match but Spears took the title belt and left for the dressing room. 

Rip Tyler & Eddie Sullivan returned at the end of the month only to lose to Bobby & Ricky Fields. This was to be a match between the Fields' and the Kelly Twins, but the Kellys left the territory. 

The final card in Mobile was held on November 29th. It was announced that the next card would be held on December 27th. 

Others in the Gulf Coast in November were Brian St. John, Terry Gibbs, Luke Brown, Alaskan Mike York, Mike Hendricks, Burrhead Jones, Joe Turner and Mr. Ito. 


Gulf Coast wrestling was presented only in Dothan for the month of December. The Mobile/Pensacola end had shut down at the end of November. In Dothan Rip Tyler & Eddie Sullivan were declared the new Gulf Coast tag team champions after the sudden departure of the Kelly Twins. They successfully defended the titles against Ken Lucas & the Wrestling Pro on the 2nd and the 9th. The Pro also faced Spears & Sullivan in a handicap match in which he had to win 4 out of 7 falls. The Pro was ahead 3 falls to 2 when Spears 7 Sullivan were disqualified for double-teaming. 

Ricky Fields defeated Billy Spears to win the Alabama State title on the 9th and made a successful title defense against Rip Tyler on the 16th. 

The Islanders faced the team of Brian St. John & Dandy Jack Donovan on the 9th and won when Donovan turned on St. John. This led to a challenge match between Donovan and St. John on the 16th. Donovan's wily tactics proved too much for the young St. John and he lost to the veteran. 

The December 27th card that was to be held in Mobile never took place. 

Others in the Gulf Coast in December were Mike Jackson, Terry Lathan, Terry Gibbs, Ali Baba, Mr. Ito, Bobby Fields, the Black Panthers and Burrhead Jones. 


·         Burrhead Jones defeated Eddie Mansfield

·         Terry Lathan defeated Billy Spears

·         The Hangman & Jack Ruffen won over Burrhead Jones & Ed Fury

·         Eddie Sullivan & Rip Tyler w/manager Billy Spears defeated Ricky Fields & Terry Lathan by disqualification. 

This was the very last card ever held by the Gulf Coast Championship Wrestling Association. On Sunday January 8, 1978 the following announcement was printed in the Mobile Press Register: 

" Fields announces wrestling sale - Promoter Lee Fields announced Friday that he had sold the Gulf Coast wrestling franchise to a group led by Ron Fuller. The new promoter is the son of longtime wrestling star in Mobile Buddy Fuller. The franchise covers most of Alabama and parts of Northwest Florida. During the changeover, Fields said there would be no wrestling in these areas for approximately four weeks." 

Southeastern Championship Wrestling started up at the end of March of 1978. 


The Aftermath. What became of the wrestlers who were a part of Gulf Coast Championship Wrestling. Where there careers took them after GCCW and what they are doing now. 

Back to Gulf Coast Main