Former wrestler facing tough odds with the count at 8, headed toward 9

Posted by Andy Durham on September 29, 2009 at 7:59 pm under Professional | 3 Comments to Read

Chemotherapy, radiation and blood transfusions.

Those are just a few of items facing a former professional wrestler as he begins his battle with Leukemia. He’ll have several new tag-team partners as he faces an uphill fight to survive over the next couple of months.

This is not one of those loser-leaves-town matches, but in some ways it is pretty darn close. If George “Quick-count” Dalton were calling this encounter, the count would be going way too fast……..The call is already at 8 and it’s headed toward 9.

Former local wrestler Mark Vance is in the fight of his life/for his life, and this one will be much tougher than even the biggest scrap of his career, when he went at it with Johnny B. Badd, as a Dream Warrior, down in Columbia, South Carolina back in the early 90’s.

This kind of match will take the life right out of you. Mark said he just wants to hear from some of his old wrestling buddies before he has to start counting the lights.

Diamond Dan Grondy knows what the knock-out punch feels like. He saw it for real, in the form of a clothesline coming right down Peachtree Street at him, from Rick Steiner back in the late 80’s.

This time for Mark Vance, the stakes could not be more real. He was a dreamer as a kid, and then became a Dream Warrior later in life. Now after experiencing hard nights and taking hard knocks at places like Plato’s Crash Landing, Vance is preparing for his last landing…….

He is ready to go if it is his time, but he’d like to leave on his own terms. Sometimes we don’t have a choice. If your number is up and if the count is at 9 and a-half, not even Tommy Young could save you. This makes me think back to a few occasions when Ed “The Boss” Ross was the referee.

Ed would have to clear his glasses and he always had a very strange, but yet distinct look on his face. I have been hearing reports that Ed Ross may be on the way to that big Ring of Honor in the sky also……

There are many members/memories of the local wrestling scene and I won’t ever forget the Friday night that Buddy Landel broke Athletic Director Bob Sawyer’s locker room door over at Grimsley High School and the following Monday, Landel slipped on a patch of ice outside the Madison Square Garden after a WWF Monday Night Raw show and lost his job the next day because he could not compete with the injured back/butt bone……

Jimmy Valiant comes to mind when you think of wrestlers that have made their mark in this area over the years. That man would kiss a mule if the animal was within 5 miles of the building and if the jackass was within 10 miles of the arena, then Valiant would go get the equine and ride him into the parking lot.

Mark Vance/Mark Pulliam brings back memories of all of the local venues that hosted wrestling matches.

In fact that would make quite a lucrative list….A list of all the local places that held matches in their buildings.

1)Plato’s Crash Landing(With Johnny “Rock” Hunter, Stan Hansen, Jumpin’ Joe Savoldi, Manager extraordinaire-Jimmy “The Genius”, “Cowboy” Chris Starr, “The Libyan Assassin”-Robbie McBride, Kenneth “Soulman” Stanback,”The Beastmaster” Rick Link, “The Outlaw” Mark Vance and others.)

2)The former Cosmos Club on Florida Street(I remember being in there one Monday night for a show.)

3)Lost Dimensions Night Club(No holds barred in this bar.)

4)Rider’s in the Country(Rod Davis/WMAG 99.5 used to be the ring announcer there.)

5)The Salvation Army Boy’s and Girl’s Club(Off of Aycock Street) Johnny Fairplay and TNA were there.

6)Glenwood Recreation Center(I defeated Sheriff BJ Barnes in a Arm Wrestling Match in there one Saturday night.)

7)Grimsley High School(Diamond Dan Grondy and Timber the Lumberjack along with Landel were there. We were supposed to have Smokey Mountain Wrestling, but they went out of business that same week.)

8 Page High School(Chris Plano and New Dimension did a show in the Mac Morris Gym.)

9)The Armory down on Franklin Blvd.(I don’t remember the promotion, but they had wrestling there…..

10)In the outfield after the Greensboro Bats’ games at the War Memorial Stadium(Ricky Morton, Jeff and Matt Hardy as Surge and Willow the Wisp were there and so was Bobby Fulton and the late “Pistol Pez” Whatley who may have came in as Shaska Whatley….)

11)Thomasville Armory(Famous for those Thanksgiving Night shows. Ken Spence and Chris Plano used to battle to see who could be the “King/Kingpin” of Thomasville wrestling promoters.)

12)High Point Armory(Saw “Hands of Stone” Ronnie Garvin and Masked Superstar Bill Eadie there.)

13)The Phillips Avenue Arena(Bobby Fulton, George South, Lodi, Scotty Matthews and the “ScrapYard Dog” all made their way down to the Phillips Arena with our MC Mr. Tim “I’m still too hot for this Stinkin’ Town” Blaze right in the middle of the over 1,000 fans that jammed that building for the “Last Fan Standing Match” on July 31, 2007. This was the single-most illustrious night in the history of local wrestling. The was the night that Junior and Big Mike chased a LIVE Hispanic Bear across the parking lot, while Cecil Carr tried to shot the poor bear.)

14)Rockingham County High School(That night we had Barry Cohen, Diamond Dan Grondy, Bob Emory, Tony Suba, George South, Kevin “The Truth” Casey, and Flash, a local kid from Wentworth that nearly stole the show and my wallet…..)

15)Piedmont Sports Arena/Moulon Rouge/North Carolina Indoor Tennis Center(This was the local home-base for the IWA which was being run by Johnny Powers back in the late 70’s with Mighty Igor, The Masked Superstar, Boris Malenko, Dick “The Bulldog” Brower{With “Brower Power”} and Tam Walenbach all working shows at this venue on Norwalk Street.)

16)Eastern Guilford High School(South Atlantic Wrestling led by Frank Dusek and Paul Jones with Vince Torelli{Ken Shamrock} and the “War Eagle” Chris Chavis were on hand in the mid 90’s.)

17)Southeast Guilford High School(ACW came to SEG back in the late 90’s.)

18)Proehlific Park(Ric Flair and the gang were out at Ricky Proehl’s place in December of 2008.)

*****Some great theraputic wrestling stories and maybe you have a few you might want to add to the list. Let’s hope that Mark Vance/Mark Pulliam can read a few of these and that it helps him make it to the next Survivor Series…….******

You can still reach Mark Vance/Mark Pulliam at and we will try to keep you abreast of his condition………

  • Bruce Mitchell said,

    I always got a big kick out of the ad Mark Vance co-sponsored on the old WKEW show, the one with the great hard-sell narration by our friend Python Wilson. I wish Mark the very best.

  • John Hitchcck said,

    Those were the good old days, that is for sure.
    I think I was there for Mark’s first match at MC Square verses the always dangerous Bam Bam Coleson.Most of those matches were from kids with little talent but a ton of heart. Everyone had a blast watching those cards and all of them got better and better as they wrestled match after match.
    Best to you Mark from your oldest fan,
    John Hitchcock

  • Bamm Bamm Coalson said,

    Wow! Hitch e-mailed this link to me….Mark, I’ll definitely keep you in my prayers & wish the best for you!! As for Hitch’s statement about the MC Square match, it’s a miracle none of us were permanently hurt after the”excellent” training we received:):)!! It was absolutely a blast working with you in the ring the few times we got to go at it!! Keep battling & I’ll e-mail you to keep updated on things!
    Best wishes,
    Bamm Bamm Coalson