This Is It!
Six Decades in the making!
Destination: Shawsville, Virginia. A small laid back town in the New River Valley area of Virginia. Where folks still sit on the porch in the evenings and drink lemonade and reflect on the past and discuss the future.
It all began in August, 1942 in Crysler, Ontario, Canada when a future wrestler was born. 18 yrs later this young man left high school and joined Jack Wentworth’s wrestling school in Hamilton, Ontario, where he would lift weights and learn wrestling holds.
Also in August, 1942, in Franklin County Tennessee the youngest of 5 children was born. 22 years later, he was in the World Wide Wrestling Federation makingÂ a living being a Professional Wrestler.
Who are these two people you ask?
“The Russian Bear” Ivan Koloff & “Handsome” Jimmy Valiant
The careers of this two first crossed paths in 1968 in Chicago. Then in 1970-71 they crossed paths in New York. 1973 saw these two working in Indiana. However they never worked against each other or as a tag team. Both was working as heels when ever they crossed paths. However, in 1981 began a feud of all feuds in the Jim Crockett Promotion of the Mid-Atlantic area. Valiant says, “From 81-87 we was married together. We feuded from Richmond to Atlanta and every town in between!”
Fast forward to now, Valiant called up Koloff one day and ask him what he thought about him(Valiant) getting in the ring one last time.Â Lace up the boots, kiss the wife for good luck and take the claim of wrestling in 6 decades. Koloff in his Russian voice said, “If you will do it I will to!” The rest is history.
Only a very small handful of Professional Wrestlers have ever wrestled 6 decades. May 1, 2010 saw two wrestlers born the same year(1942), and the same month(August) tag team for the first time in both of there storied careers. All though through the years they had worked for the same promotions on and off and had some of the best feuds of the (Jim Crockett’s) Mid Atlantic area. WWE Hall of Famer, “Handsome” Jimmy “Boogie Woogie Man” Valiant and the former WWWF World Champion The “Russian Bear” Ivan Koloff (Managed by Col. Howard) in a Old School VS New School Match against Shawn Christian & “Mean” Donnie Green (Managed by Bobby O’Neil)
For one night, In front of over 600 screaming fans, in a town that has no stop lights, Shawsville Middle Schools, “Spring Time Bash” brought the low keyed town of Shawsville, Virginia alive. This was the 10th annual fundraiser BWC (Boogies Wrestling Camp) had held at the Shawsville Middle School. And each of the past 10 yrs. BWC has raised $1000.00 for the scholarship fund. At a later date in the year, Jimmy & Angel Valiant present one student with the $1000.00 scholarship. This year was different. This year it was a “packed house”, standing room only. $2000.00 was going to the scholarship fund. The locals was wondering if the National Guard was going to be called in. The roads was bumper to bumper with vehicles. One family stopped at a rest area some 60 miles away (on hwy 81) and was asking directions to Shawsville. Shawsville will never be the same.
Shawn Christian and Mean Donnie Green realized in short time what they had stepped into. Old School prevailed yet once more. Respect was taught on May 1st 2010 in front of 600 screaming fans as Ivan Koloff & Jimmy Valiant showed these two “new school” puppies what it takes to run with the big dogs! When out of the blue Valiant hit the “Boogie Cutter” and Koloff hit the “Russian Sickle” and the 1,2,3 echoed across the gymnasium.
It was six decades in the making for both Koloff and Valiant. And this night the crowd acknowledged this great accomplishment for these two wrestling legends of this sport so many love.
If you ever in Shawsville , Virginia, on a Sunday, find Alleghany Springs Rd. head down that road. Be sure and keep your windows down and listen for the bumps, screams, words of encouragement and 1,2,3′s. Look to your left, up on that hill, is where you will find the lovely, Angel Valiant. And of course I better mention that Handsome fella, Jimmy Valiant. High on that hill, The words, “I can’t” are not accepted. High on that hill is the place where “Dreams Come True”.
I know first hand. Cause that’s where my dream became reality.