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 Posted: Thu Jan 16th, 2014 11:19 pm
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tamalie
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I found this card the other day. It was a Bakersfield, CA based effort by Ric Drasin, his then wife, and former LA area wrestler Jan Madrid to run opposition to the Eaton/LeBelle promotion. They used the West Coast Wrestling name and briefly had a TV show Sundays at 11:30 AM on KBAK-29. Dick Lane served as announcer. They had a small handful of cards at the Bakersfield Civic Auditorium, weekly on Mondays. Attendance was poor. The place held 3,000 and one of the cards drew a crowd of 270.

Drasin was a bodybuilder type who was trained by Mae Young. He ran in the same circles as Arnold Schwarzenegger and had worked in the past for the established local promotion. This group pushed hard that it had guys that looked the part. Here is a sample quote from Madrid, "We're presenting contests of athletic skill. The wrestlers are all athletes, not out of shape, flabby has beens. The events will be exciting, but you won't see a creeping mummy or a flame throwing desert sheik."

They appear to have had some sort of in with the local paper because they got a ton of ink for basically being upstart nobodies. Some of the guys who worked for this group were back with the main promotion before the year was out and others in the coming years.

February 23, 1976 - Bakersfield Civic Auditorium - Bakersfield, CA

"Card includes: Ric Drasin, Dr. Seymour Koenig, Wildman Jack Armstrong, Bill Rogers, The Christy Brothers, John Burich, Salt & Pepper, Big Bob Bernard, plus a special girl's match"

Tickets: $3 ringside, $2 general admission, $1 general admission for kids under 12.


The card on February 16 in Bakersfield was the one that drew 270 fans to the 3,000 seat Civic Auditorium.

1. Bobby Flash vs. Bill Rogers, draw
2. John Burich defeated Big Bob Bernard
3. Ric Drasin and Dr. Seymour Koenig defeated Big Bob Bernard and Wildman Jack Armstrong
4. Ric Drasin vs. Salt, draw
5. Cheryl Day, Dasie Mae, and ??? defeated Panama Franco, Laura Del Rip (Rio?), and Sharon Lee
6. Salt and Pepper defeated Bob and Gerry Christy

Last edited on Thu Jan 16th, 2014 11:20 pm by tamalie

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 Posted: Fri Jan 17th, 2014 04:25 am
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WongLee
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Alot of Lebell talent. Bill Rogers started around 1968 for Lebell as a very young looking jobber. Drasin and Jack Armstrong were on many an Olympic Auditorium card. Seymour Koenig must have been 2000 years old even in 1976. Panama Franco had a piece of the Mae Young wrestling school run out of the Olympic in the late 60's. Bob & Jerry Christy were jobber tag team The Vigilantes for Lebell.



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 Posted: Fri Jan 17th, 2014 09:07 am
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One Fan Gang



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Drasin is perhaps most identifiable as The Demi-Hulk, the green tweener between Bill Bixby and Lou Ferrigno on the CBS TV-series "The Incredible Hulk" in the late 70s. He is also the one who designed the Gold's Gym logo that is seen worldwide; he may also have done the World Gym logo at a later date.

I spoke to Drasin a few years back about Jack Armstrong for a CAC article I did, and later for one on Magic Schwarz. Ric referred me to Koenig for additional info and he was a lot of fun to discuss his career; I believe he was Dick Beyer's opponent the night he debuted as The Destroyer in 1962.

Drasin talked of having a number of casting calls set up by an agency operating right inside Gold's, that specialized in muscle guys or other athletic guys that fit a certain type. Schwarz would get the biker tough guy roles like in "Over the Top" and Drasin was cast as more a Marlboro-Man look in his days with a full head of hair. I do recall him confirming that Strelich Stadium in Bakersfield was the previously-named Strongbow stadium, and he touted the building as a great venue with ideal sight lines for wrestling throughout.

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 Posted: Tue Jan 21st, 2014 01:09 am
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tamalie
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Does anyone know who Salt and Pepper were? I assume they were a masked duo.

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 Posted: Tue Jan 21st, 2014 01:52 am
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Benlen



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tamalie wrote: Does anyone know who Salt and Pepper were? I assume they were a masked duo.
Not a black white duo?



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 Posted: Tue Jan 21st, 2014 02:23 am
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tamalie
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They could be both.

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