North Carolina Wrestling Territory:
The Washington Post (9/22/1905) mentioned a match in Asheville, NC between
Professor A. Ono of Japan and Olson of Chicago. Ono had previously trained
jiu-jitsu at Annapolis. He claimed that he suffered permanent damage to his eye in
his match with Olson and said that he was fouled.
In his March 17, 1934 column (Jake Wade's Sports Parade) in the Charlotte
Observer, Wade wrote about an upcoming show featuring "two of the best light
heavyweights in the business," Pinky Gardner and Joe Banaski. He talked both men
up, stating that they were scientific, yet colorful, but the latter had not been "achieved
by superfluous clowning, monkeyshines or rank showmanship." From there Wade
admitted that he couldn't tell the difference between the reported fake wrestling
matches, and the true stuff. He stated that he knew that some matches were "fixed,"
and some bouts previously in Charlotte had "looked screwy." Wade explained that
the wrestlers "hotly deny that they ever engage in any fixing," and the grapplers
would "even demonstrate a few holds on you to show you that those holds will make
you grunt and grimace."
Astutely, Wade wrote that "the trick of promoters is to balance the card with comedy
and skill," allowing for sincere exhibitions of skill and the wild "monkey business."
These tactics would, effectively, give the crowd what they wanted - a night full of
entertainment. Too much of any one thing would be dull, leaving a bad taste in
spectators mouths, and run them off.
In late 1947, Stanley Myslajek was promoting wrestling in Durham and Raleigh, North
On August 22, 1988, at the age of 81, Wilton Garrison, the longtime sports editor for
the Spartanburg Herald and Charlotte Observer, died. Around 1936, Garrison
"caught the eye" of Observer sports editor Jake Wade, and was hired as an
assistant. Garrison then took over as the sports editor for the Observer when Wade
left in 1946, according to the obituary in the Charlotte Observer (8/23/88). For a
time, Garrison personally covered the pro wrestling matches in Charlotte. He wrote
reportedly more than 8,000 columns.
South Carolina Wrestling Territory:
The Associated Press covered a wrestling event in Greensville, South Carolina on
April 7, 1932 (4/8/32, New York Times). Reportedly, wrestler George Hill attacked
referee Joe Robinson, provoking "a handful of spectators" to attack Hill in retaliation.
Police were called in to halt the action, and Hill was taken to the police station, where
he was later released. Hill had been wrestling Steve Znoski and had just lost by DQ
when the real chaos began.
Virginia Wrestling Territory:
Bill Lewis was the main behind-the-scenes in Virginian professional wrestling between
the 1930s and the '50s, running shows in Richmond and Norfolk. He earned a badge
of honor by being one of only five wrestling promoters to have remained in the same
territory through a 20-year period, a group including "Toots" Mondt (New York City),
Morris Sigel (Houston), Jim Crockett (Charlotte), and Paul Bowser (Boston).
Research by Tim Hornbaker
|Mid-Atlantic Wrestling Territory