Tri-State Wrestling: Week of 10/30-11/5 1961

Our coverage of 1961 continues with a look at the week ending November 5th: Danny Hodge works the "B" towns, don't be the first person eliminated in a battle royal this week, why Mighty Bolo may have left the territory & more!

Here's a look at the talent roster along with their SPOT ratings for the week.

Columns: TW=This week's SPOT rating; LW=Last week's SPOT rating; ME%=Percentage of main events. Babyfaces are in blue on the left-hand side, heels in orange on the right. They are listed in descending order; wrestlers at the top were mostly in main events while wrestlers at the bottom were mostly in preliminary matches.

I have data for the following house shows this week:
Monday - Shreveport, LA & Tulsa, OK
Tuesday - Little Rock, AR & Monroe, LA
Wednesday - Baton Rouge, LA & Fort Smith, AR & Springfield, MO
Thursday - Cleveland, OK & New Orleans, LA & Wichita Falls, TX
Friday - Jackson, MS & Oklahoma City, OK

Notes/Analysis: With Mike Clancy fresh off a main event feud against Sputnik Monroe, he was booked again in main events most every night this week. In Little Rock and Springfield, he faced Waldo Von Erich in singles bouts. In Tulsa and Oklahoma City, they were on opposing sides of tag team bouts, Clancy teaming with Red McKim and Waldo teaming with The Great Bolo.

With Clancy headlining the "A" towns, Danny Hodge was sent to the "B" towns. This was rare at the time; it was probably felt that Hodge's mere presence in the smaller towns would draw fans. As such, those towns generally booked Russian-roulette style battle royals as the only advertised bout. Normally, this type of battle royal would take place first, while the singles matches that followed were based on the order of elimination. The term "Russian roulette" generally referred to the fact that the battle royal contained an odd number of participants and the first person eliminated would not have a singles bout and "wouldn't get paid" (though sometimes the first person eliminated would be the referee for the rest of the evening). This week, however, the first person eliminated faced a different, and much harsher, fate. Victor the Wrestling Bear was on these shows as well, and the first person eliminated in the battle royals would have to face the bear later in the night. This was the case in Shreveport, Monroe, New Orleans and Jackson. In New Orleans, Hodge was not in the battle royal and was instead booked in the main event against The Russian Angel.

The Louisiana shows often featured wrestlers that only worked one or two times a week, and only in Louisiana. I generally don't include them in the SPOT ratings as I don't consider them full-timers. This week, Tony Neopolitan and Carlos Mendoza worked some of these shows. Neopolitan was definitely part of the "office" for Louisiana; his name frequently pops up on shows in the state both before and after the time periods where they used talent from the McGuirk crew.

As mentioned last week, Sputnik Monroe finished up the week prior. Also finishing up was The Mighty Bolo, who was Pepper Martin. In his book, Shrapnel of the Soul and Redemption, Martin claims to have had a disagreement with McGuirk over a backstage altercation Pepper had with Jerry London. Pepper then said Al Lovelock (The Great Bolo) told him that he overheard Leroy saying he was going to get Danny Hodge to break Martin's leg during an upcoming match, with Lovelock telling him he'd better leave the area right away. Pepper says he and his family packed up their trailer right then and there and "took off for Canada".

The only newcomer this week was Alex Perez. Perez (not to be confused with the 80s wrestler known  as Al Perez [or that guy's doppelgänger known as Seth Rollins]) had been wrestling since 1951, with most of that time spent in Amarillo. Prior to his wrestling career, Perez had been a boxer, winning regional Gold Gloves tournaments in 1948 and 1949 and then playing semi-pro baseball. Women wrestlers Judy Grable and Peggy Allen finished up their run here this week. Peggy appears to have left mid-week; in Oklahoma City, Nell Stewart was advertised opposite Grable in a mixed tag team match.

Frequent matches:
Mike Clancy vs Waldo Von Erich
Great Bolo & Waldo Von Erich vs Mike Clancy & Red McKim

Frequent tag team combinations:
Great Bolo & Waldo Von Erich
Mike Clancy & Red McKim

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