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The legends of
TV Wrestling
!

All Star Wrestling

Harley Race

Wahoo McDaniel

Ernie Ladd!

Johnny Weaver

The Horsemen!

Dusty Rhodes

Magnum TA

George 'Two Ton' Harris

Tim Woods

Jimmy Garvin

Brute Bernard

Johnny Valentine

Nature Boy

Arn Anderson

The New Breed

Johnny Hunter

Terry Funk

Diamond Dan and Hoss

Rick Link

Bingham Brothers

... and more in John Hitchcock's
decades spanning look at
Mid-Atlantic Wrestling!

 

Wrestling Memories
from Greensboro, 

North Carolina - 

the Heart of
Mid-Atlantic Wrestling

The Bloody Independents,
Diamond Dan and Hoss

I can't tell the whole story of the wonderful world of North Carolina Independent Wrestling with out a mention of Diamond Dan Grondy and Mike Kidd who will be forever known as Hoss from this moment on. Johnny Hunter trained these guys and I in a strange way went along for the ride.

I have been a friend with Dan for many years. He was a part of the early Front Row and is mentioned in the Devil's Triangle story. Hoss is Dan's training partner, which is how I met him.

These two guys are well over six three and 255 pounds. I think that when Johnny Hunter saw them he lost his mind with the possibilities of training these two.

Their first match we all turned out in force to cheer them. Dan was in a two out of three falls tag match. And I think Hoss was on that card too in a singles match. We went crazy cheering for Dan and as he walked to the ring, he picked up the house microphone and started to talk.

This was an historical moment for me because the one thing I knew Dan could do was talk trash with the best of them. His promo was short and very funny. I think. The reason I am not so sure is that the house mic was a screeching, popping mess and you couldn't make out a single word Dan said. (I think all independent microphones suck like that because I never heard a clear one in my life.)

There must be a company somewhere that sells these crappy systems on the cheap to every wrestling group in the Carolinas. It turned out to be historical because it was the last time Johnny Hunter ever let Dan near a live microphone. And trust me, it was a huge mistake because that was really one of his strengths as a performer.

The guy could talk but he never got a chance to explore that talent until he went to Virginia. But that is another story. Dan won his first match winning the last fall. It was a blast and it was the first time I ever really knew a guy who was a wrestler.

Soon after that Dan became the feared Russian Assassin and then he never talked again for Hunter. Hoss wrestled as The Blue Cyclone and he was a natural right from the start. The one thing about Hoss was he had the largest hands I have ever seen.

And he made good use out of them by chopping the shit out of other wrestlers. One night against the Dreaded Bingham Brothers, Hoss chopped one of them and knocked the air right out of the guy. He had to toss the heaving Bingham to the other corner so he could tag but truthfully the other Bingham didn't want to wrestle Hoss so he kind of begged him to tag Dan so he wouldn't die like his brother.

After the match I took a gander at the Bingham Brother's chest and it had this huge red handprint etched on it. That was kind of funny. It was real funny to me, not funny to the Bingham Brothers.

I think I must also add that both The Dreaded Bingham Brothers weighed about one hundred and fifty pounds each. Matter of fact, Hoss performed the very first North American Lucha Libre move at Plato's Crash Landing with a Bingham Brother!

There was a Battle Royal one night and with one hip toss, Hoss threw a Bingham ring over the top rope to the floor. It wasn't planned that way but what a brilliant way to introduce this form of wrestling on the fans in attendance.

Both Dan and Hoss taught me more about wrestling than anybody. In a match, Dan or Hoss would juice and later they would walk out of the dressing room with a small mark on their forehead that looked like a rose bush scratched them!

I picked up so much valuable information by just asking and watching. And both guys were always very cool and honest with me.

I owe them both a lot.

 

NEXT TIME:
The Bloody Independents - Rick Link

 

 

 

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