Wrestling References on the

BT Memories Website

BT Memories is a wonderful website published and edited by Reno Bailey dedicated to history and memories of WBT and WBTV in Charlotte. There are several references to wrestling being taped at WBTV in the 1950s-1970s in various locations on the site. Each of them revealed a little slice of knowledge we would have never known otherwise. I thought I would collect links to those references here, as they help paint a more complete picture of wrestling in the TV studio, one of my favorite subjects. - Dick Bourne    

The Mid-Atlantic Wrestling Gateway

BT Memories is published and edited by Reno Bailey

Other resources:

Studio Wrestling

An in-depth look at Mid-Atlantic Wrestling being taped at various television studios in the Carolinas, including WBTV-3 in Charlotte.


The Birth of Televised Wrestling in Charlotte

A look at the origins of TV wrestling in Charlotte at WBTV.


Gene Birke

Director of "Championship Wrestling" for many years.

Photo from B.T. Memories.


A Close Look at the NWA World Championship Belt

by Dick Bourne and Dave Millican




TV Wrasslin' by Gene Birke
Director Gene Birke talks about his experience directing wrestling on WBTV, and the mixed reaction others at the station had about the highly rated show. (The Gateway was honored to provide a few images for Reno Bailey to be appended to the article.)


Big Bill Ward by Mike Cline

Mid-Atlantic Grapplin' Greats publisher Mike Cline (also a occasional contributor to the Gateway) submitted this piece on Mid-Atlantic Wrestling legendary announcer and personality Big Bill Ward to BT Memories in January of 2006. It was also published on the Mid-Atlantic Gateway as part of a larger feature on wrestling at WBTV, as well as other TV studios.


BT Flashbacks by Reno Bailey

Bailey talks about his stint as a weekend announcer on the breaks between shows on WBTV where he would occasionally update fans on the results of a wrestling match that ran long. (Look for the paragraph that begins "In 1962 and '63, in order to augment my $80 per week income...")


BT Memories Feedback

Several letters to the website reference wrestling at WBTV, including a letter from John Hutchinson that illuminates some interesting details about the production of wrestling at the channel 3 studios. Check out all the wrestling references in sections dated March 11, 2008 (John Hutchinson), December 7, 2005 (Mike Cline), and September 28, 2004 (Dick Bourne).


Pictures Worth a Thousand Words

A beautiful Gene Gordon photograph of Big Bill Ward and Jerry Brisco in Studio A at WBTV-3 in Charlotte, accompanied by excerpts from an interview with Mark de Castrique, a director of "Championship Wrestling" for a couple of years at WBTV.




Passing References:

Floor Crew-alty by Clint Pressley, worked camera on Championship Wrestling

BT Flashbacks: Tom Camp "Life would have been less without . . . Big Bill Ward and wrestling taping . . .My life was enriched then and is enriched now with such memories!"

BT Memories Video Center Look for the clip of Big Bill Ward

NEW! Rear View: Tom Camp "...and working alongside Big Jim Crockett and Paul Buck at the then new coliseum (both also geniuses at their work.)" -- from a paragraph about the great promotional talents of Jim Cremins, by Tom Camp. (Scroll through the various entries until you find the entry by Tom Camp.)





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