Saturday, October 1, 2011

Tully and the 'Perfect 10!'

One of the great wrestler-valet combinations in pro wrestling was Tully Blanchard and his "Perfect 10" Baby Doll (also known as Nickla Roberts). It was a great pairing of two great-looking Texans. I've been following Blanchard since his days in his father Joe Blanchard's Southwest Championship Wrestling territory. Tully made a great team with the late Gino Hernandez. Their feud after the team broke up was memorable.

Ironically, Roberts (who also came from a wrestling family) had a connection to Hernandez in the World Class territory. She was "Nickla the Lady Giant" and served as Hernandez's valet.

Tully and Baby Doll got together in the Mid-Atlantic territory right before Blanchard became part of the infamous "Four Horsemen." It was a magical pairing. Seeing them together again was memorable. I've kept in touch with Baby Doll through Facebook and she is STILL a Perfect 10 in my book!

Here is a classic interview with Tully Blanchard and his Perfect 10, Baby Doll:

Monday, September 19, 2011

Meeting Wrestling's 'Man With The Hands of Stone!'

Sorry I haven't posted in a while. Had the opportunity in Atlanta to meet another one of my favorites. This is a guy who was given a major push in the NWA Mid-Atlantic territory that resulted in him defeating Ric Flair almost 24 years ago -- September 25, 1987. The push was complete with inspirational videos set to Frank Sinatra's version of "My Way."

The man was almost unrecognizable until I heard him speak and realized it was the "Man With the Hands of Stone," Ronnie Garvin. I had never seen him with dark hair. Ronnie Garvin was extremely gracious and still said Baltimore was his favorite town -- he did win two of his regional titles (The National heavyweight title and the National TV title there).

But here is his biggest moment -- the entire championship title bout from the Joe Louis Arena in Detroit, MI!

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

My Brief Conversation with 'The Russian Bear!'

The date was January 18, 1971. The place was Madison Square Garden in New York City. The event shook wrestling like the earthquake that hit DC and other parts of the east and midwest today. Ivan Koloff upset the "Living Legend" Bruno Sammartino to win the WWWF World Heavyweight title. Many people say that you could hear a pin drop in the Garden after the three-count.

I startedd to talk to "The Russian Bear" about that night and other aspects of his career, but he was a very busy man. Having said that, it was a joy to speak to him for the little time that I did.

And here is the bout where (as Gorilla Monsoon would say) history was made!

Monday, August 15, 2011

Digital Rocks And Rolls With The Express!

I got to meet one of my all-time favorite tag teams at the NWA Legends Fanfest in Atlanta, GA. They were one of the most popular tag teams ever. I'm talking about Ricky Morton and Robert Gibson -- The Rock 'N' Roll Express. They won four NWA world titles and is regarded among the all-time great tag teams. Pro Wrestling Illustrated ranked them at number four among the top 100 tag teams of all time, while the great book "The Pro Wrestling Hall of Fame -- The Tag Teams" has them at number six.

Before we took this picture, I mentioned to Ricky and Robert how it was great to see them wrestle in my hometown of Washington, DC. Robert, in typical Rock and Roll fashion, said to me, "we rocked and rolled down there, didn't we?"

Since I don't have an interview personally with them, here is a classic Rock and Roll Express interview followed by a commercial for the Rock 'N' Roll Express fan club!

And this is a classic matchup against their arch-rivals Bobby Eaton and Stan Lane, The Midnight Express from the Great American Bash in 1987.

Thursday, August 11, 2011

Digital the Plebian Talks to Nick the Champ!

I had the extreme pleasure of talking to four-time AWA World Heavyweight champion and three-time AWA Tag Team champ Nick Bockwinkel. We talked about his legendary battles with Verne Gagne as well as the influence of his father, Warren Bockwinkel, a great wrestler in his own right.

Here's the chat:

The reason I titled this post this way is because Bockwinkel was so famous for his very classy-sounding and intelligent interviews. Here's an example:

Digital and 'The Bolt' Have a Conversation!

My first interview during the fanfest was with a true legend of the Championship Wrestling From Georgia territory -- Claude "Thunderbolt" Patterson. Patterson was a mainstay throughout that territory for most of his 44-year career in wrestling, winning the Georgia tag-team titles with Mr. Wrestling II, Tommy Rich and Tony Atlas(all of whom were also at the event) and winning the National tag team titles with Ole Anderson (who was also there).

Patterson now runs a church organization for children and puts on free wrestling shows for them (with no profanity, he points out).

Here is my brief interview with "The Bolt!"

This was possibly Patterson's last public wrestling event -- at WCW's Slamboree 93 where he was in a legends match with Brad Armstrong (subbing for his father, Bob) against Ivan Koloff and Baron Von Raschke. The match was held in the Omni in Atlanta, GA.

Welcome to One Man's Journey Through Wrestling History!

Hello! For those who don't know me, my name is Gary "Digital" Williams. In the blogosphere, I'm known for my blog about boxing in the DC/Maryland/Virginia area called Boxing Along The Beltway. I've been working that blog for six years and I'm quite proud of it.

I'm also proud of being an unabashed fan of the old-school style of pro wrestling. I remember taking many a trip to places like the Capital Centre in Largo, MD or the DC Armory in Washington to see everyone from Bruno Sammartino to Hulk Hogan to The Four Horsemen.

On August 4-7 of this year, I was able to relive some of those great moments by attending the NWA Wrestling Legends Fanfest at the Atlanta Airport Marriott Hotel in Atlanta, GA. There were about 60 wrestling legends at this event, people who were among my all-time favorites. It was an amazing event! Greg Price, who has put this event on for 10 years, along with his staff should be highly commended for putting on a first-class event for hardcore, old-school wrestling fans.

By the way, next year's event will be in Charlotte, NC on August 2-5.

The purpose of this blog is twofold. One, to share my personal journey through this event. I have pictures as well as some audio with some of the legends and personalities. Secondly, I plan to put up video of many of these legends and show why they are just that, legends. Youtube has a host of old video.

So I hope you enjoy and let me know what you think!

Take care!