Sunday, October 30, 2011

The Comancheros

Though they were known as "brothers" Ron & Paul Dupree in the Midwest as The Hell's Angels, they were better known as The Comancheros in Arizona, first as the Duprees and later as Chris Colt & Ron Dupree. In both areas they were phenomenal hits and held versions of the World tag team title. Their real names were Russ Grobes and Charles Harris.

The pair first drifted into Arizona on a whim in the  1960s and ended up loving the area due to the mild winters.  This led to extended stays and long running feuds with area grapplers.

Tito Montez was their main challenger, taking them on with a variety of tag team partners  Others also came and went,. with this ultra-dirty tag team constantly cheating to bloody win after bloody win. Some of the combinations they faced included Tito Montez & Armon Hussein, Tito Montez & Cowboy Bob Ellis, Cowboy Bob Ellis & Luis Martinez, Tito Montez & Jerry Miller, Sako San & Fuji San, Eddie Lopez & Kiko Torres, Bob Lueck & Ron Pritchard and The Hornets.

The wildest feud of all would be that of Ben Justice and Pancho Pico, with Justice coming in from Michigan to seek revenge ont hem for a partner they were said to have brutalized. One contest between them in September of 1970 ended with all four men covered with blood and a riot breaking out, with massive fights among fans.

Even the likes of Don Kent, Don Arnold and Woody Farmer became temporary fan favorites when facing them.

In late 1970, The Comancheros disappeared, with Ron Dupree"s encouragement with heart trouble at at least for the moment, placed him at ringside as a manager rather than a wrestler . It was then, when traveling eastward, they became Chris Colt & Ron Dupree, with "Colt" doing the wrestling. The name was reportedly taken from a 1970s era gay magazine (Yes, they were...)

As a singles attraction, Colt faced Kurt Von Steiger, Logger Larson, Tito Montez, Al Madril, Billy Anderson, Jimmy Valentine and Donny Anderson, but eventually ended up teaming with Ron Dupree to reform The Comancheros again.

Then the unthinkable happened , The two split up and ended up fighting each other. These battles of super villains were epic contests with very little scientific action to be had. The fans went with Ron Dupree.

It was shortly afterward they both headed for Washington and the Dean Silverstone promotion where tragedy woudl strike. Ron Dupree would die from a  heart attack in the ring where already sick, he had been forced to take on the role of announcer.

Devastated as an eye witness to the event, Chris Colt would never be the same. He would wrestle for several more years on his own or with other partners, but physically his addictions to alcohol and substances started to overwhelm him. He died in 1996 due to the effects of AIDS. 

Before his death, he had reportedly become a born again Christian and was wanting to write his life story. A nephew found his notes and draft's years afterward and may eventually get these turned into print. We can onyl hope so. He had also reportedly recanted the lifestyle that led to his health situation. Too little, too late perhaps, but his legend in wrestling still lives on regardless.

Some Hells Angels footage exists on You Tube including a bout with them taking on Arnold Skoaland and a very young James Dillon. There are some matches with Chris Colt wrestling on his own as well, but as of yet no Comancheros  footage has surfaced from Arizona.

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