Continuing with the theme of police protection, the Love Brothers were a riot and also could cause one. Johnny Powers put John Evans and Wes Hutchings together as Reginald and Hartford Love in the spring of 1969. They were together for about eight years, almost exclusively around the Great Lakes area until they finished up with the IWA.
This shot by Bill Wippert probably was taken March 29, 1972, when the Loves were disqualified at the Buffalo Aud against Tony Parisi and Dom DeNucci. It looks like four guards here, unless there’s one standing behind Hartford. The security was essential; the Loves got shot at in Akron, Ohio, an incident we related in The Pro Wrestling Hall of Fame: The Tag Teams. Cleveland was trouble, too. Reggie was signing a rare autograph for a kid when a flying bottle hit him in the shoulder, ricocheted into the youth, and knocked him out. As Reggie recalled:
I looked over, and the whole place was looking at me except for one guy. I knew that was him. He was looking off somewhere else, see? He could have killed me or that boy. It was a full bottle of beer. I chased him right up and out of the street. Here, right beside the arena in Cleveland, is two bars, and one of them is a black bar. This guy was black. I thought, “What the hell am I doing? I get this guy here, but if we empty out that bar, I’m dead.” So I just let him go. Here there was a bus pulling up, there’s snow all over the place, and I’m walking around in my wrestling gear in the wintertime.