PWHS Means to Me: Page Eight - Terry Kent
It was in the late 1960’s to the best of my recollection. During an era when TV used to show one-sided squash (and most of them was SQUASH) Pro Wrestling matches and advertise upcoming matches in my area, I happened into a gem of a TV show. Instead of a show consisting of 4 squash matches mixed in with interviews, I was watching an one hour no Disqualification match between 2 teams that were in the middle of a feud that would see them carry it across the United States.
On 1 side stood 2 good ole country boys dressed in bibbed overalls: Tiny Anderson (who was Jake Roberts, Sam Houston, and Rockin Robin’s father) and Big Boy (Luke) Brown. They also were known for their pointed cow horn which gave encouragement and became a weapon when needed. On the other side were the famed Assassins, but in the Mid-Atlantic area they were the Great Bolo (Tom Renesto) and Bolo (Larry Hamilton; a 2nd tier star for Jim Crockett known also as the Missouri Mauler).
For the next hour this youngster stay glued to the television as I saw what looked like a genuine heated feud in which both teams had 1 desire in life: eliminate their opponents from this earth. Brutality, cheating, conniving, non-stop action, ref out manned, fans half-standing and screaming, minutes going by quickly with no winner in sight. Each team saving their partner from defeat. Blood (something never seen on TV during this period) was flowing from all 4 wrestlers.
Somehow the time limit was up and there was no winner. Poor Bob Caudle – the perfect “mark” announcer – tried to do interviews with each team. Branded into my memory forever will be the picture of the Bolos yelling at the top of their lungs while holding SCRAPS- I MEAN SCRAPS- over a few inches of their faces so their identity would stay concealed! The Kentuckians attack again and poor Bob is almost caught in the crossfire.
I had seen some wrestling matches before, but this is the match I point to that made me a dyed-in-the-wool wrestling fan no matter what anybody else wanted to say. I looked forward to the Saturday hour with “Uncle” (I spent 52 hours a year with him lol) Bob Caudle and the stars of the day.
As I grew up, I saw the wrestlers carry out the Grand Play we call Life before my eyes. When I watched wrestling on TV, I did not just see 2-4 wrestlers in a match, but I saw: Good vs Bad, God vs Satan, Mean Bosses vs Innocent Workers, School Bullies vs Average Get Along Students. When I saw George Becker & Johnny Weaver defeating the Bad Guys of the Month (could be Hawk & Hansen, Bogni & Lubitch, The Infernos) it inspired me to go on as Good Guys CAN come out on top no matter the odds.
Pro Wrestling Historical Society. So hard to put it into words. We all know there are 100’s of wrestling groups out there, but there was still a void because something much more was needed. First of all, I knew there were other thoroughly baptized fans in the world; not just sprinkled for a year or two, but Pro Wrestling immersed their lives for many years. Somehow we needed to connect to share our deep feelings knowing there would only be deep respect shown back.
There was a need to preserve the memories of the many wrestlers who shared the best years of their lives with us. Entertaining us night in, night out no matter how the body felt or how much the promoter was paying. Many of us had a Bruno Sammartino, or a Ric Flair, or a Nick Bockwinkle that meant more to us than a Micky Mantle, Bart Starr, or a Wilt Chamberlain. We needed a place to have wrestling rosters with pics to match so all those who come after us will not forget Goliath & Gordman, Crybaby Cannon, Les Thatcher, Exotic Adrian Street and thousands more. A place where the non-stars were just as important. We needed to keep the name of George South, Johnny Rodz, SD Jones, Tommy Siegler, The Mulky’s ever alive in the memories of the true fan.
There was a need to preserve the feuds, the territories, the belts, the storylines, the scandals (real and kayfabe), tragedies, and those special moments that create the deepest memories. There was a need for historians to dig into urban legends to find the real GEM called truth. There was a need to hear from former wrestlers how it was on their side-what was really going on behind the eyes of the public. There was a need for fans to share their piece of the puzzle that helps complete the picture from their viewpoint.
Fans. That’s a major piece of what was missing as you look around. We have 122 reasons why Hulk was the Greatest in every Wrestling Group to be found. We have 122 facts to show why Ric Flair was the Greatest. We have 122 reasons why Vinnie Mac is really the Anti-Christ, and we can go on and on. But that’s just 1 fan trying to convince us of their perception. What we needed is a place where fans can discuss territories, wrestlers, managers, gimmicks and expect total respect in return. There are fans with stories out there that will enrich my life. Everytime I have written about my personal memories, or even list wrestlers from a territory, I have received many thanks from so many fans. People connect. The World seems to be a smaller, and more pleasant place.
PWHS also meets a need I did not know I even had. If you could take a look at the lives of the 10 administrators, you would be amazed to see the age difference, backgrounds, varying viewpoints of a Master Designer, lifestyles etc. But yet, yet in all those differences I have not found 1 administrator I can not have a long, meaningful, totally respectful conversation. We might not do anything else in the world together (though I think we would), but we would go to a Pro Wrestling Match together and enjoy for hours talking about all the aspects I have outlined above. I would not trade the day that Greg Skelley and Jimmy Wheeler came into my life and asked me along for this adventure. I already had been friends with my brother, Brian Edwards, that I will meet someday.
If I listed all of my highlights since joining PWHS, I would have my 1st book to sell in PWHS’s future store. PWHS takes this entertainment business serious. We are not saying anybody else has to, but we say SOMEBODY SHOULD. Its here: a place to learn about its exciting and sometimes scandal-ridden past, a place to learn of exciting history outside of North America (I will never forget how learning of British history affected me, and it still is), a place to see pics and stories of your heroes, and 30,000 serious Pro Wrestling fans that at any moment could become 1 of your closest friends. Thanks Carroll Hall and Dan Thomas for enriching my life. Thanks to the 100 or so I have had great conversations with including the recently fallen John-Paul Volino.
In closing, I have gotten so much more out of PWHS than I ever put in through my articles and pictures of stars from the 70’s. Thanks Jimmy and Greg for allowing me to ride this ride!