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Old 03-21-2010, 06:50 AM
LLN LLN started this thread
 
Location: Upstairs closet
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Sorry for an exclusionary thread, but 80% of you will have no idea about this one.

The thread on Celebrities in Charlotte referencing wrestling, make that Wrastlin’, got me thinking about this significant, but now, probably swept under the table, bit of Charlotte’s cultural heritage.

Anyone on the forum remember Championship Wrestling? I think Charlotte was the Center of that Universe.

My grandfather, an ex-railroad man, ran a small hotel in Charlotte, The Carolina Hotel, in the early 1960’s after he retired from the railroad. I found its remnants one day, off N Poplar, near the cemetery. This hotel was where many of the Championship Wrestlers lived, or at least it seemed to be, while in Charlotte.

My brother and I would make the LONG TRIP from Salisbury, sometimes on the bus, to visit my grandfather at the Carolina Hotel from time to time. When we arrived, there were wrestlers everywhere!

Of course my mom was mortified and embarrassed, being from the genteel poor class in Salisbury. She could not believe her father, in his old age, had stooped to dealing with wrestlers, My dad was even less impressed.. He banned two TV shows in our house growing up, “Mr. Ed” and Wrestling. Of course, that made it even cooler, hanging with the dudes at the Carolina.

We got pictures, autographs, stories and were routinely, in the small lobby, shown various choke holds and other “illegal” but cool stuff. It was awesome.

Don’t remember if many of these guys were at the Carolina, but some of the “stars” from back in the day included:

The Bolos and their evil manager, I think Art Model, or something like that
Two Ton Harris
Johnny Weaver (a “good” wrestler, frequently victimized by The Bolos)
Swede Hanson (he was a Carolina Hotel guy, for sure)
PY Chung (not the restaurant) I think he was a bad guy, too

And a bunch of others with colorful names. Now that I am typing, my mind has gone blank, but it has been nearly 50 years.

I know the “new” Charlotte is not fond of and I doubt even acknowledges this part of it history, but back in the day, this was big time stuff.

On black and white TV, too, with fans in 5 or six rows of bleachers going wild, cheering on the good guys, and booing the bad ones. It was good vs evil, right there before a young boy’s eyes (if one could sneak a view).

LLN
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Old 03-21-2010, 08:03 AM
 
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A lot of those big names used to be in Charlotte, an interestingly a lot of their kids are wrestling on TV today and some bill themselves as being from Charlotte.

Next month Ring of Honor is doing a PPV from the Grady Cole center. ROH, which can be seen on HDNET, is currently being run by none other than Jim Cornette who once was one of be bad guy managers who routinely appeared here in Charlotte. Cornette is seen here in this promotion for the event.


YouTube - ROH BIG BANG Main Event - Explosive Announcement
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Old 03-21-2010, 08:19 AM
 
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"It's still real to me"


YouTube - It's Still Real To Me Dammit
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Old 04-01-2010, 08:38 AM
 
Location: South Korea
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If Swede Hansen was there, you had to have Rip Hawk too.. they were a tag team for years.. back in the day, Sailor Art Thomas, Bronco Lubich, Argentina Rocca, .. I suspect Abe Jacobs was there too, maybe even Lou Thesz or the Scott Brothers.
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Old 04-01-2010, 08:54 AM
 
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I am pretty sure that Nikita Koloff lives in Concord. He and his better known partner Ivan Koloff were once very well known here in Charlotte.
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Old 04-01-2010, 10:21 AM
LLN LLN started this thread
 
Location: Upstairs closet
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jpetrey View Post
If Swede Hansen was there, you had to have Rip Hawk too.. they were a tag team for years.. back in the day, Sailor Art Thomas, Bronco Lubich, Argentina Rocca, .. I suspect Abe Jacobs was there too, maybe even Lou Thesz or the Scott Brothers.

You da man! I remember those names! Bronco Lubich was bad, and yeah, all of those. Pretty sure I remember meeting Rip Hawk, but I sure remember those other guys, too. Thanks for posting up.
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