Chapter Seven: Terry Kent - "They had more options and mystery than anyone"
Today the interviewer becomes the interviewee as tables are turned on Terry Kent, as I, Jimmy Wheeler, interview Terry for Terry's series of interviews with the PWHS Team.
Welcome, Terry. You are of course one of the co-owners of the Professional Wrestling Historical Society. How did you originally get involved in PWHS and why do you continue to be?
This is the way I heard the story. Greg Skelley, Mike Steele, Pablo Alvarez, and Jimmy Wheeler ran a page called “Pro-Wrestling Old School Talk” with a few other folks. Greg, approached the other three about starting their own site, but Mike took a sabbatical. Jimmy, Greg and Pablo started PWHS, and the best I can recall, Greg soon contacted me to help out. It was the right time at the right place. I was looking for a serious pro wrestling online site that talked about the territory days, instead of the present wrestling scene. He told me he had seen some articles and discussions I had been a part of on other wrestling sites. I listened to the first PWHS podcast and liked it. Right before the second live podcast, (Jimmy texted me about 2 hours or less before air time and asked if I would be interested in co-hosting with them) …and my life changed.
Greg was so knowledgeable and Jimmy was an encyclopedia. I have loved learning from him by: hearing him on air, through hours of long text conversations, and through some of the finest articles written anywhere, to give a recounting of pro wrestling history. He is nothing short of amazing and should be a part of the historical team at the Pro Wrestling Hall of Fame in Texas. I'm less knowledgeable (by far, far) but can supply the extrovert personality. Greg soon had some personal problems and the podcast was left in Jimmy's and my hands/voices. I loved our shows.
Some financial obligations were met by Jimmy and myself and that's where the title of co-owner got tagged on. Jimmy has been the major cog from the beginning that has kept PWHS going through thick and thin and through every website emergency. He deserves so much of the credit, and my friend Brian Edwards deserves a small percentage, being there day in and day out. I am just glad to be a part of one of the finest wrestling groups online. I want to say the best of course, but so many of you administrators and members have excellent ones also. Our administrators are the best group anywhere though. As a team we are united, and sold out to presenting the preservation of our favorite sport. Thank you to each and every one of you.
Ah, you're too kind. I have to agree about our current team though. It's the best group of people I've ever had the privilege to work with.
You've been a fan for a good number of years, involved at one level or another and yet you're still driven to dig into newspaper archives, magazines and so on to uncover the history of professional wrestling for people from all around the world to see. What exactly is it about professional wrestling that has kept you captivated throughout your life and kept you always wanting more?
It’s a pleasure to try and share my thought process I have toward professional wrestling. It only took a couple of minutes for me to ponder, "Why does it mean so much to me"? It even drove me to the dictionary to make sure I had the right word and spelling to attempt to answer your question (and I misspelled it).
The best word I can give you is “microcosm”. The definition I found when looking up this 25 cent word was:
“A community, place, or situation regarded as encapsulating in miniature the characteristic qualities or features of something much larger.”
In short, I think that professional wrestling tries to reflect what we call “life.” We all have questions about life don’t we? There are some things we don’t understand; there are some things that seem to be developing along certain lines, and then change suddenly; there are complete “traumatic” events that catch us completely off guard; and of course we have people in our lives that we think the world of, and others we have strong feelings of dislike for. We may dislike them for a number of reasons: their way of talking, their demeanor, their lifestyle, maybe even their nationality. Does that not sound like the foundation of professional wrestling in the territory days? I see a parallel with the Roman comedies, tragedies, historical plays. It’s about life being depicted in art.
Taking it a step further, it’s the hero versus. the villain. I have 94 of the original 100 WWWF videos put out on VHS. Volume 29 is called “Inside the Steel Cage”. What you watch are feuds that have gone on to the point there had to be a winner. Every single feud ended with the “good guy” winning inside the cage where the villain could not run. Good triumphed over bad every time. Even at age 12 I sensed some fans were watching the match on T.V. but in reality, in their mind it was them versus their “unfair boss,” “unfair circumstances.” “unfair amount of bills,” or a similar scenario. Jim Crockett was famous for villain versus. villain tag matches (Johnny Weaver and George Becker could only win one match per night realistically). For the most part, the villain team in the “good guys” corner were usually cheered more than their opponents. Even in “evil versus evil”, one team was less evil than their opponent.
I believe every person’s life is interesting. Most would make a good book/movie on some level (that’s why I love doing interviews). When I got hooked on wrestling for good, around age 12, I was going through some traumatic moments; I believe I was called to the ministry-at age 12. Seeing pro wrestling just magnified how I saw life at that point in my life. I saw future ministry as the ultimate battle every person faces: Good Vs. Evil. There were times I looked forward to seeing Becker and Weaver (two different generations) take on the forces of evil through the medium of the Infernos, Rip Hawk and Swede Hansen, Aldo Bogni and Bronko Lubich. I jokingly call Bob Caudle, “Uncle Bob” because I saw him every Saturday, and later on several times per week. Life can be scary at times for people, but watching pro wrestling made my life a little more tolerable, and peaceful. Jimmy, there is my short, convoluted answer.
I hate using this term, but it is sort of a “male soap opera”. From week to week, each territory told a story. One wondered what would happen next week. I remember when lifetime villain Art Nelson teamed up with baby face immortal Johnny Weaver in the Mid-Atlantic region. I wondered every single week, when will Art return to his old wicked ways and turn again on Johnny? The team, I believe, lasted over a year and they were one of the best teams anywhere, anytime. They had monumental battles with the Royal Kangaroos, a special trophy, for months. Lastly, I love marking things chronologically. It records history. I never saw the Crockett Promotions in the '50s, but seeing the results and personalities still makes an impression on me and gives me word pictures that specific wrestlers wrestled in specific towns on a specific date. Do you historians understand what I say?
I'm sure they do, but, boy. Where to go from there, eh? We'll come back to the ministry.
First let's look at Mid-Atlantic Championship Wrestling (MACW), which later became Jim Crockett Promotions, National Wrestling Alliance and finally World Championship Wrestling.
What you're talking about is a time that nearly everyone in my age group (24-30) cannot imagine, a time when tag team wrestling was the prominent feature for a professional wrestling company. So, when you were 12 years old what kind of time frame are we talking and can you try and explain how the MACW was set-up at the time in regards to tag team wrestling and it's importance to the territory?
I guesstimate I was 12 in 1967, but I was probably a little younger. A tag team battle between the Bolos (Assassins) and the Kentuckians was the tipping point to me getting “hooked” on pro wrestling. I am studying the Crockett promotion from the 1950s right now, and tag team wrestling was the main drawing card from the beginning all the way to George Scott becoming the booker in the 70s. The best parallel I can come up with to explain how a fan could look forward to tag teams as the main events: I grew up loving my Mom’s cooking. For instance, my meat was always cooked “well done”; whether it was steak or hamburger. I still can only eat my burgers and steaks well done. Others love it “medium well” or “rare.” I grew up as tag teams being the main dish, and I wouldn’t have it any other way. Without going into detail, doesn’t four guys involved in a match have more possibilities than just two? You can still watch the one on one expertise and skill between two personalities, but at the same time the additional wrestlers could add excitement at the drop of a hat. And include a manager, the options are endless, and could lead to so many varied match types.
Besides, what a “who’s who” I got to see in tag team action. Let me give you an example that many historians will love. I got to see the Bolos (Tom Renesto and Jody Hamilton), the Kentuckians (Luke Brown and Grizzly Smith), George Becker and Johnny Weaver, Aldo Bogni and Bronco Lubich, Skull Murphy and Brute Bernard, George and Sandy Scott, Rip Hawk and Swede Hanson, Rip Hawk and Ric Flair, Rip Hawk and Rock Hunter, The Infernos, John and Chris Tolos, Gene and Lars and Ole Anderson, Tex McKenzie and Nelson Royal, The Alaskans (Jay and Mike York), the Hollywood Blondes (Jerry Brown and Buddy Roberts), Ricky Steamboat and Jay Youngblood, Sgt Slaughter and Don Kernodle, Ric Flair and Greg Valentine, Paul Jones and Masked Superstar, Rudy and Terry Kay. That’s just a sample of the great wrestlers I got to see before the George Scott transition, and tag teams still played an integral part even afterwards. Who could forget the tag teams that still ruled after the emphasis changed more to single action: we saw great tag battles with The Russians, the Rock ‘n Roll Express, Road Warriors, and the Midnight Express. Tag teams still played a vital part in JCP. The Four Horsemen originated and thrived in Crockett territory.
I’m sorry I can’t let this question go by yet. I have traveled this country and got to see wrestling in such cities as Memphis, Denver, Milwaukee, and Los Angeles. Their cards had a different “spirit” to them that this JCP guy had a harder time warming up to. The tag teams seemed more like throwing two guys together for a night while tags were more cohesive in JCP. Greg Gagne and Jim Brunzell were probably the only exception. For me and my personal taste, I thought one on one matches were boring one after another. I kept thinking a tag match would be more entertaining.
It's so mind-boggling that someone can have that perspective. Of course, it's because it's what you were conditioned on growing up, like I was conditioned to prefer singles wrestling. It's just one of those wonderful little details that makes pro-wrestling such a unique deal. Anyway, that's a topic for another day.
All good things must come to an end and the tag team hotbed known as MACW was no different. Can you remember when MACW shifted focus onto singles wrestlers?
Around 1973 George Scott had been called in to be the booker. Jim Crockett Sr. was turning his business over to David and Jim Jr. They had for some reason gained enough respect for George Scott that they allowed him to “tear down” their foundation to build a bigger and better foundation. This change played a part in making JCP elite as they had top singles competition along with the best depth of tag teams anywhere. The three main singles brought in were Wahoo McDaniel, Johnny Valentine, and Don Jardine, the Super Destroyer here (Spoiler in other territories). Little by little the momentum changed and within a year or so JCP was one of the hottest territories going. These three superstars made people believe wrasslin’ was real. Did you see the bloody chests that Wahoo and Valentine left behind? Don’t tell me wrasslin’ is fake when I heard those chops connect, and the blood welts appeared! Those three had a mentality to make every spectator a believer; other matches may be pre-determined, but no one was going to leave thinking those three wrestlers were nothing but real.
By this time you must have been in the ministry. Now, for those of us who have no idea what exactly it means to enter the ministry as an adolescent, could you just explain briefly what exactly you meant by that and also how it may or may not have affected your relationship with pro-wrestling?
I will keep this short, since this is a wrestling interview. I believe there are natural things (such as wrestling), and there are eternal things. At age 12, I just had a knowing that I had to share a message about eternal things to the world; however big that made itself available to me. The only way it affected me was that I was careful with whom I shared my love of wrestling. Some people, in their narrow viewpoint, thought pro wrestling and ministry did not mesh. They were, by far, a small percentage, but I didn’t figure that out for several decades.
Most people have a "sabbatical" period away from wrestling anyway as they exit adolescence. For you, well, you did it a little different to most if I remember correctly. Didn't you enter into the life of a faith healer, and then go on to traveling around the country?
At age 19 I was introduced to a “faith healer” by his brother, who was my supervisor at the printing company I was employed at. My supervisor’s family was held in high respect by the church, and denomination, I was attending, which ran around 2,000 on a Sunday morning. The evangelist had his credentials in the same denomination, that had it's international headquarters in the same city. I was gullible and jumped at the possibility to work fulltime (though it was only for $75 per week) in a ministry that traveled from Michigan to Florida. Besides, I got to sing solos before good-sized crowds nightly. It seemed like the perfect job - I thought I had found the right job and hoped to be there for a long time. However, it ended up being a 6 week nightmare that seemed like a year’s worth of living within the 6 weeks. I came too close to being murdered in Daytona Beach (got a police escort to the city limits at 5 a.m.), and my life was in danger in a small town in Tennessee. To my surprise, I quickly found out that the young man who I was traveling with was a “fake” faith healing preacher. (Boy, do I have a book for Scott Teal's Crowbar Press, with all the experiences I encountered and experienced!) In closing, there are genuine faith healers who act only to help people, but the counterfeits make the genuine seem impossible is the sad summary.
5 years later, I would take to the road for a total of 10 years by car nationally singing and speaking. I was even in a Quartet 1 and a half years as the lead singer that were considered for a Grammy Award around 1985. 8 and a half years I traveled with my wife only by car to smaller churches coast-to-coast. I would leave my house with 3 months scheduled, and every year I did not return until the second or third week of December as other cities were booked while I was traveling. I was In North Dakota when Vince took over the Superstation. I got to see Texas wrestling while in Andrews, watched Mid-South while in Arkansas, attended matches in Denver, Milwaukee, and Los Angeles. I got to see El Monstro and El Canek in LA. Was excited to see wrestling at the Olympic Auditorium in Los Angeles. Saw wrestlers come sit with the fans after their matches there.
Wow. I won't press you on your answer as I think a book through Scott Teal's Crowbar Press - or any publisher - would be a very interesting read. So, I'll let you save that story.
It's remarkable you got to see so much wrestling while traveling as a performer yourself. Speaks to your level of passion for it. I know there's more pro-wrestling included in your journey than you're letting on though. Share with everyone some of your more memorable interactions with the world of professional wrestling.
I have had interaction with professional wrestling several different times, in several different ways. My 10 years in the ministry was broken up into two chapters, 8 years on the road, 1 and a half years off, 2 years back on the road. During my 1 and a half years off the road, I pursued promoting a pro wrestling game that was finally endorsed by Classy Fred Blassie. I got to talk to Jerry Lawler at the Mid-South Coliseum, Rich Landrum (announcer for WCW wrestling) in Richmond VA, and Fred Blassie himself in Allentown, PA at the WWWF TV tapings concerning the possibility of endorsing my game. I have a three part story on the PWHS website telling the story in detailed fashion. Lawler and Landrum treated me with deep respect, and Blassie was even breaking kayfabe by telling workers, “Get the Rev (me) and his friends some seats”, right in front of the regular fans. [read the whole story here]
Secondly, with the sponsorship of the local JayCees, myself and two wrestling friends helped promote and bring in Smoky Mountain Wrestling to our local Augusta Exposition Center; the same place where the NWA had filled up in years gone by. It was two action-packed cards. one of the cards was special when Robert Gibson made the night of thirty-some deaf kids attending that night. [read about it here]
I have had the privilege of being the emcee/announcer at a local card in front of 2000 fans. Manny Fernandez, Stevie Richards, Marty Jannetty, and Bobby Eaton were among the participants. Bobby Eaton made an appearance at my video store, and then we had a great night talking and eating at Outback Steakhouse in addition.
Once again, there's just so much to potentially talk about there, but as you covered some of it on the website already, what was the deal with the announcer gig? How'd it come about? Who was running the show? Do you have a fun story from the show or after it?
My hometown is home to a promoter that has about two cards annually locally and is still sold out; 1500-2000 fans each time. He has always brought in older stars and the fans flock here. The last show, May 2018, had such stars as Rock 'n' Roll Express, the Four Horsemen, JJ Dillon, Teddy Long, Demolition, and Ricky Steamboat. The promoter has upped the experience with offering special fan packages. My front row seat cost $125, second row to fifth decreased by $25 per row. Each row allowed certain perks, which included for my row: autographs of the Horsemen and a photo session. This promoter is creative and refuses to give up. He's announcing a 60 city tour in October at his next big card featuring Sting. He made a few ripples in the wrestling world a few years back by holding one of the few independent Pay-Per-Views at the same Augusta Exposition Center that featured Kevin Nash versus Ricky Morton in the main event, There is an excellent e-book online for FREE entitled, "The Worst Pay-Per-View Ever". It goes into detail from day one to the conclusion of the event. The title of the book came from one review of their event.
I think it would be safe to say that everyone connected to this promoter would describe their relationship as like a roller coaster; high points and low. I was sponsoring Bobby Eaton to make an appearance at the video store I was managing. The promoter was getting something he needed, and I was definitely getting a perk; so we were on good terms at this moment in time. He must have had his original announcer drop out at the last minute, because just a few days before the event he asked me to be the emcee that night. I didn't ask the details, I was just excited to be asked and said, "Yes".
I would rather keep the promoter's name a mystery for now-no one I believe would recognize it unless they have followed his promotions in the past. He did have a special meet-and-greet with the Four Horsemen and JJ Dillon the day before Wrestlemania this past year in New Orleans. I almost did some announcing for him in the past when he had a small promotion and brought in stars like Terry Funk. Two semi-funny stories about the event concerning me. I did my historical homework on the stars like Manny Fernandez. I began to introduce Manny and listing some of the bigger championships he had won in the past. I thought I was doing an impressive job until I caught a glimpse of Manny; he seemed frustrated, was fuming, and wasn't impressed. I had visions of him attacking me right then and there. I quickly just introduced his weight and moved to his opponent.
I'm guessing it's for two reasons a) short and sweet RIGHT…
Secondly, I'm still waiting to be paid for the night. Of course, there were times wrestlers like Hawk of the Road Warriors had the same problem. I write the night off as a priceless memory, and no amount of money could really make a difference (I think the promoter thought the same thing, lol).
You've truly had quite a life and we've barely scratched the surface. Can you run through some of the other roles you've found yourself in?
I have served as an Associate Pastor and in different areas of management. I have been in management for Video Stores, a Breakfast restaurant, and several Hotels. In addition, I have owned my own video store (which probably had the best pro wrestling collection on the East Coast), and Tax Preparation business. My Tax Preparation business boomed after 4 years to over 1000 clients in 2 cities. Presently, I have served for 10 years as an Associate Pastor at a fascinating church. The average church today has an attendance 80-90 people. Our church averages 200 alone between the ages of nursery to 18. In addition, we have a community sports program for middle and high school students that has grown from 40 to 900 in 4 years. It is a good feeling to be a part of something that is leaving a positive influence in my region.
Okay, let's go back in time. You're standing behind the counter of your video store. I walk in and ask you, "Do you have any pro-wrestling tapes, mate?" After mocking my usage of the word "mate," you reply?
At one store, we had three rooms of video, including an entire room dedicated to Professional Wrestling. I had Greg Bowles' pictures of wrestling stars along three walls like crown molding. I had a Japanese wrestling video game to pump your quarters in. Most importantly, I had the first several hundred videos put out by the WWWF, JCP, and other wrestling videos. Ask me, it looked impressive. We live in a wrestling hotbed, so it did good enough for the special attention it gathered.
Now I'm just overwhelmed with choice, so, I need you to give me your top five recommendations. What are they?
You making it hard on me now after so many years...I would say Starrcade '85 (JCP-I saw it by closed circuit in Roanoke Va), Inside the Steel Cage (WWWF), Blood Battles of the South (independent VHS put out by Tommy Rich where he bled more than anyone else I have ever seen, Butchermania, Abdullah the Butcher (put out by Montreal wrestling), and Lords of the Ring (a tape highlighting the best of wrestling throughout the USA featuring Gordon Solie and Joe Pedicino).
A nice bit of variety there.
We've already covered your nearly lifelong passion for the Mid-Atlantic territory, now let's move on up to the early 1990s. What was it about Jim Cornette's Smoky Mountain Wrestling that grabbed your attention and made you want to help bring it to your local venue?
So many reasons: I look at it as the last real territory. It had storylines and had good ole southern-style National Wrestling Alliance-like wrestling. Bob Caudle was the announcer I had grown up with, Sandy Scott was involved in the office and was from Roanoke VA, and my now deceased photographer friend, Greg Bowles, was an acquaintance of Jim Cornette. Jim on one of the promos for our area said, "And Greg Bowles, maybe you can get out of the drunk tank long enough to see us in Fishersville".
How come it was only a one time deal?
It was actually twice. I think it was only twice because it was too controversial for the community-oriented JayCees. The violence of Sullivan's spike and some bad language made it "too hot" for us to sponsor it again. We had a great time those two shows though. We even rented a limo for the Rock 'n' Roll Express, but the way things worked out, Tracy Smothers rode the limo right up to the ring with him waving through the moon roof, and the fans went wild.
Is there anything else you'd like to say about Smoky Mountain Wrestling?
I just wished it had worked. I wish Corny could have added Chattanooga and a couple more top cities. It is so interesting to study about Smoky Mountain Wrestling. Did you know that Flair was offered at least $100,000 just to appear once a month and be the Smoky Mountain champion? Flair and Cornette were Rick Rubin's (money man for SMW) favorites and the deal seems to have been offered. Can you imagine Flair being a Brock Lesnar-like champion? I think a pretty good argument could be made that if that had taken place, Smoky Mountain Wrestling may have found a few more top auditoriums and see more NWA-like wrestlers ring Corny's phone off the hook. It is fun to think about.
You conducted a great interview with "NJPW Gaijin Eric" a couple of years back. It was titled "Before there was an ECW, I loved the TWA." Why should people invest their time in reading that interview and to learning more about Joel Goodhart's Tri-State Wrestling Alliance?
ECW came directly from Joel Goodhart’s Tri-State Wrestling Alliance. He held cards from April 16, 1989 to December 14, 1991. He cancelled his last show the day it was scheduled on January 25, 1992. The main event was going to be a “battle of the Nature Boys”: Buddy Rogers versus Buddy Landel. Also scheduled was Eddie Gilbert versus Kevin Sullivan (falls count anywhere), Steve Williams and Terry Gordy versus Don Kroffat and Doug Furnace, and Chris Benoit versus Shiro Koshinaka. In 1992 Goodhart sold Tri-State to Tod Gordon, who renamed it, “Eastern Championship Wrestling”. In 1993 Paul Heyman took over the creative part of the company and renamed it Extreme Championship Wrestling, or ECW, by 1994.
I think we understand present wrestling more by knowing the history that came before. Its like understanding all the lines said in a movie, instead of 85% of them. There is no doubt that Joel Goodhart was the forerunner of ECW. He was holding possibly the best independent cards in the USA at the time of his promotion. i would love to see his bottom line on the profits because he brought in star after star because of his love for professional wrestling. Joel had a combination of the best talent for skilled technicians, and also the best of the so-called hardcore wrestlers of the day-just like ECW was for those willing to look beyond the blood and gore. My favorite live card ever was attending a Joel Goodhart promotion in Philly. Everyone ought to read about the gimmick main event I saw that night; a fan lumberjack match where actual fans were the lumberjacks for Jerry Lawler versus Terry Funk. After awhile, the lumberjacks thought the match was about them and things got scary and felt like we were close to an actual riot. you can read about it here. But what really brought me to Philly was maybe the last time Abdullah the Butcher and the Original Shiek were paired against each other. Their fight through the crowd lasted longer than their match, and most of it seemed to be in slow motion, but it was priceless! To answer your question, go read the cards Goodhart brought to the Philly area. He used the best of local talent, with the best of wrestling's elite. Besides, it was that night I saw and met the best valet ever-Woman.
This has probably gone a bit long already, but there really are just so many different avenues to travel down. To start winding things down for this time though, let's do some quickfire questions. Just say the first thing that comes to mind.
A scary gimmick to me. I saw him in person and I thought he was legit scary. Most articles make fun of him, but I think Andre the Giant will tell you he’s more than a gimmick. They ended up having a shoot where both of them missed several dates because of real injuries suffered.
Classy Freddie Blassie
The one wrestler I wished I could have grown up watching. I prize the couple of VHS tapes I have of him being the heel he was famous for. He endorsed my game, so I think the world of him.
The real worker of the Andersons. Will always will be famous for “using his head” as a sacrifice to win tag-team gold.
Underrated. As an Anderson he seemed to have the Anderson chemistry.
One of the best of all time, overshadowed by Ric Flair’s persona.
Smart business man and made a believer out of fans. Was great for kayfabe; still is.
Loved the one time visit to Mid-South Coliseum. I disrespected Memphis wrestling for a long time; I thought they were second class to JCP. Since studying history more, I wished I could have watched it weekly as it told storylines, and even the constant heel/babyface turns seemed to make sense if you take the time to watch it. In addition, they had over 35 managers during a short time period.
Jerry "The King" Lawler
Sorta piggybacks on the above; my respect has grown more and more for Lawler. Surprised to find out he was a non-partier. He did have a few other vices though.
Rock 'n' Roll Express
Has to be one of the top three tag teams ever; just their longevity alone. These two are still wrestling on weekends, mainly for the love of it.
Loved him as a “babyface”. Always seemed like he was David facing a Goliath. Fans couldn’t help but root for him fighting against all odds. Never thought him as a manager was believable (I know it was done because of an injury, and glad to see him on TV; but I never believed him as a manager).
The Masked Superstar (Bill Eadie)
The BEST masked wrestler as a single wrestler.
Rudy and Terry Kay
Good brotherly chemistry, but never had a chance in the Mid-Atlantic area with George Becker as booker.
The Hollywood Blondes (Jerry Brown & Buddy Roberts)
They were a little different, but they were good. I thought they were held back also.
Wrestling in Los Angeles
Liked the Sports Arena and seeing El Canek. Canek was like Sammartino, so much more impressive live. Loved the atmosphere of the Olympic, but the wrestling was several notches beneath the heyday of Blassie-Tolos. I even had tickets for the next night of matches that were supposed to be all cage matches; and didn’t go back. As much as I love wrestling, that ought to tell you something.
John and Chris Tolos
Great chemistry as another brother tag team. Loved their “corkscrew” finisher where one takes their middle finger knuckle and grinds it into an opponent’s temple(s).
Rip Hawk and Rock Hunter
Barely remember them, but made an impression on me as two pitbulls. They were about same height, weight and both seemed like seasoned veterans even way back when.
My favorite of all time. (Sorry to disappoint so many readers.) Once his character developed, after being Rip Hawk’s partner, no one had the charisma, personality, endurance, mic abilities as Ric. Isn’t it sad he can’t stand to be by himself, as he said on the ESPN documentary?
Tex McKenzie and Nelson Royal
The tall and short of it. I never noticed the clumsiness of Tex as everyone seems to allude to. They sorta teamed back up in the IWA days.
George Becker and Johnny Weaver
My real first sports heroes. I liked Micky Mantle and Bart Starr, but I got to see these two year around. I even got to see Johnny getting gas with his multi-colored forehead of scars in my hometown. These two took on the evil world and usually came out victorious even when the record book might have said a loss.
Good chemistry with Shawn Michaels. Very stand-offish and seemed to be just getting a pay check in my local town as a veteran.
Just what you read about him almost everywhere: One of the nicest guys in professional wrestling. He was so real when I spent time with him with no airs at all. His son had one of his first matches in my hometown the night I was emcee.
Rip Hawk and Swede Hansen
Seemed like they were together forever. They did not need a manager but Homer O’Dell and Gary Hart added a little more magic to their well-oiled act. Seems like Rip chose Swede out of the “enhancement” ranks and they became tag-team gold.
Skull Murphy and Brute Bernard
These guys made me back up a row when I had my first ringside seat. Their gimmick was completely accepted by me. Was shocked to find out how young Skull Murphy was because of an adolescent illness. Sad they both committed suicide while in JCP.
The Flying Scotts (George and Sandy)
Number one tag team in the country for a long time in Wrestling Revue. They worked like a fine-oiled machine. Loved how they would work together better than any other tag team I had ever seen. One small example: the opponent would whip one of them toward a turnbuckle; the other brother would run to that turnbuckle and throw himself across the top turnbuckle to cushion the impact, and then they would make an instant comeback. Surprised to find out they had their personal differences for a long time. Both Scotts played an important part in wrestling history; George being booker for JCP and WWF, and Sandy a long time employee of MACW and later SMW.
One of the most believable wrestlers of all time. The hardest chops to the chest of anyone. Sorry his career was cut short, and sorry I didn’t get to see more of him sooner. One of the greatest top ten wrestlers.
Had the best Indian chop across someone’s chest. Glad I got see a lot of him in MACW.
Last, but certainly not least, as shown by them getting their own question: The Masked Infernos and J.C. Dykes. For those of us who never had the chance to see them live and in living color just what exactly was it that made them so special?
They had more options and mystery than anyone. They had the loaded boot, loaded mask, loaded canteen (flashlights in some territories), ability to change out due to their similar appearance, two out of three could throw the fireball. JC Dykes running around causing confusion, handing foreign objects to his team, blowing his whistle to give directions to his team, getting extra punches in to the opponents, had opponents outnumbered three to two almost always. Getting the picture? The fans just never knew what they were going to see/experience. Three ordinary guys just being lost in the shuffle with Nick Gulas became superstars around the world! Having said that, I still think Gene and Ole Anderson would be my controversial pick as the greatest tag team of all time; and especially better than the Road Warriors.
Finally, before you go is there anything else you'd like to say to everybody reading this, or as you asked me: "What question(s) would you have wanted me to ask?"
I think eliminating a few well-defined managers from the wrestling scene today is a huge mistake. I think a well-crafted manager can add another dimension, so much more depth, than what we have today. Tennessee took it too far by even having managers for enhancement wrestlers. Managers like JJ Dillon, Harley Race, Ed "Strangler" Lewis can add class to even a top caliber wrestler, even if they never interfere on behalf of their champion.
Thank you for taking time out of your schedule to share so much of your life with us today. Maybe I will have to turn the tables on you again some day in the future, I feel there is so much more to talk about.
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Unique content strictly for the Professional Wrestling Historical Society.
Interview with Terry Kent.
Interviewer: Jimmy Wheeler.
Published: January 10, 2019.
PWHS Team Interview: #7.
Editor: Jimmy Wheeler.
Unique content strictly for the Professional Wrestling Historical Society.
Interview with Terry Kent.
Interviewer: Jimmy Wheeler.
Published: January 10, 2019.
PWHS Team Interview: #7.
Editor: Jimmy Wheeler.