Paperback: 247 pages
Publisher: Crowbar Press
Photos: 243 b&w
Cover: Full color
Item #: 47-cap03
"Classic Wrestling Programs #3: Championship Wrestling ACTION, volume 1" is available exclusively from Crowbar Press.
All books will be shipped via Media Mail (U.S.), Priority Mail, or International Priority Mail (Canada/overseas).
Championship Wrestling ACTION, Volume 1
by Scott Teal
Programs from the collections of —
Scott Teal, Robert VanKavelaar, George (Crybaby) Edwards & Chuck Thornton
A NOTE FROM THE AUTHOR —
This is the one everyone has been waiting for! Now you can own every edition of "Championship Wrestling ACTION" published and sold at arenas in Florida for the year 1970!
On March 2, 1970, I went to my second live wrestling show. It took place in Bradenton, Florida, the small town in which I grew up and lived from 1963 until I left for Tennessee in 1974. Inside that tiny armory, with the bleacher (cheap) seats no further than a few feet away from the ring, I witnessed the most exciting matches I thought I'd ever see. Of course, I was still months away from seeing matches at Tampa's Fort Homer Hesterly Armory. Matches like the Missouri Mauler defending the brass knucks title against Jose Lothario, Jack Brisco challenging Dory Funk Jr. for the NWA world heavyweight title, and years away from seeing Dusty Rhodes make his babyface turn against Pak Song. Still, as the saying goes, you could have cut the excitement in that little arena with a knife ... as well as the second-hand smoke that hovered just below the ceiling and above the ring lights.
What does that have to do with programs? Well, the program handed out that night — if you can call it that as it was more like a promotional flyer — was handed out at that card in Bradenton. It's one of the most valuable pieces in my memorabilia collection. Not valuable monetarily, but sentimentally.
Four weeks later, I made my first trip to the Armory in Tampa and discovered the "Championship Wrestling ACTION" programs being sold. The first issue I bought — volume 2, number 13 — was the first of many I would purchase over the next several years. To my delight, many of the people who bought programs that night left them on their chairs when they left the arena. I quickly gathered up a stack of them and took them home to send to correspondents that I had met through fan clubs columns in the wrestling magazines.
In May 2017, I published the first edition of my own "SLAM-O-GRAM" programs, which in many ways were fashioned after Jerry Prater's "Championship Wrestling ACTION" programs. I used his ideas as a template for "SLAM-O-GRAM," and in the process, traded programs back and forth with Jerry on a regular basis. Since I was working for Nick Gulas' wrestling promotion, I seldom made the trip home, so the Florida programs were my one remaining link to the wrestling territory that had captured my attention in 1968.
For several years, one of my goals has been to publish one or more volumes of the Florida programs. This volume of "Classic Arena Programs, volume 3," which features all the programs for 1970, is the first of what will be a series. The programs for 1971 are being released at the same time in "Classic Arena Programs, Volume 4."
I won't publish a book in the "Classic Arena Program" series unless I find all the programs for any particular year. As of this writing, I have all but three programs for 1972. Hopefully, they will turn up in someone's collection. If and when they do, I will immediately begin scanning, cropping, cleaning, and formatting the programs for the next volume.
The programs in this volume come from my personal collection, as well as from Robert VanKavelaar, Chuck Thornton, and Crybaby George Hill. When George passed away, his collection went to Chuck, and in turn, Chuck loaned them to me for this book. As such, I feel that it's only right to honor George as one of the contributors to this volume.
Chuck, of course, has always been a major contributor when it comes to program and photo images in my books. My own collection today is sizable, but when I first began publishing "Whatever Happened to ...?," I had almost nothing. Chuck was always there to provide images to enhance the stories I told.
In addition to researching almost every city and small town in the state of Florida, Robert VanKavelaar must have the biggest collection of memorabilia from the Championship Wrestling from Florida promotion. His collection of programs is staggering (although I have some he doesn't and I'm going to lord that over him) and includes, not only the Jerry Prater programs, but the one-sheets — like the first lineup sheet I received in Bradenton — for towns like Winter Haven, Arcadia, Sarasota, Lakeland, and many others.
So, enjoy this, the first of several volumes of "Championship Wrestling ACTION", the classic arena programs from the great Championship Wrestling from Florida promotion.