Friday, September 24, 2021

Poster: Flair and Steamboat battle in "Mt. Pilot"

by Brack Beasley
Mid-Atlantic Gateway Contributor

I spent most of my early years in Pilot Mountain, NC. It's a quaint little town at the foothills of the Blue Ridge mountains referred to as "Mt. Pilot" on The Andy Griffith Show. This spot show took place on Saturday night April 8th, 1978 in the East Surry High School gym in Pilot Mountain and featured one of the greatest rivalries, if not the greatest, in the history of professional wrestling - Ric Flair vs. Ricky Steamboat.

Many say that one-on-one in their prime, nobody did it better. Despite attending this show, I have very little recollection of the details of this match or who even won but hey - - I was only 10 years old.

Nevertheless, on the very next day, Flair would defeat Tim "Mr. Wrestling" Woods for the United States Heavyweight title in Charlotte, NC, beginning his second reign as U.S. champ. Johnny Weaver and Baron Von Raschke continued to battle for the TV title belt and the mid-card tag team match featured Crusher Blackwell and Bill White vs. Swede Hanson and Don Kernodle.

The poster has a vertical layout with all black print on a bright orange background which works well with the images of Flair, Steamboat, and Weaver along with "Sponsored by the Pilot Mountain Jaycees" and the local businesses that sold tickets at the top, typically seen on spot show posters.

Nowadays Pilot Mountain is known for it's summertime classic car cruise-ins but in the 1970s the Jaycees brought the stars of Mid Atlantic Championship Wrestling to town on a fairly regular basis.

NO. 13 IN A SERIES

Wednesday, September 01, 2021

The Gateway Goes on Hiatus

The Mid-Atlantic Gateway will be on hiatus for a few weeks. We look forward to seeing you on our return!

Please check out the books in our bookstore, including recently added hardcover versions of two of our most popular books, Crown Jewel and Four Horsemen.

 

And while we're out of the office so to speak, check out any previous posts you might have missed. Everything from 2015 forward is linked in the column on the left - - over 1,500 posts!And sall of the material from 2000 - 2015 is available on the Mid-Atlantic Gateway Archive site.

Here is everything from this past month of August: 

Back soon. So long for now!

Tuesday, August 31, 2021

The Pride of the Carolinas, Don Kernodle: The Last of the Territorial Stars

Gateway Note: The following is a text version of Mike Sempervive's wonderful career retrospective and tribute podcast to Don Kernodle, who passed away May 17, 2021.  Sempervive writes, produces, and voices the Mid-Atlantic Championship Podcast heard on the Arcadian Vanguard podcasting network. He also co-hosts the nationally broadcast Wrestling Observer Live daily radio program with Brian Alverez for WrestlingObserver.com.

We are proud to host and archive this special text version of the 5 1/2 hour audio podcast of the Kernodle tribute that was originally published in two parts over the summer of 2021. The complete unabridged version of the podcast tribute (including a wealth of audio clips) can be found here at MidAtlanticPod.com. Follow Mike on Twitter at @MidAtlanticPod.

* * * * * * * * * *

By Mike Sempervive
Mid-Atlantic Championship Podcast (@midatlanticpod)
Special to the Mid-Atlantic Gateway

Born on May 2, 1950 and hailing from Burlington, North Carolina, at the age of 7, young Don Kernodle knew what his life goal was as soon as he saw professional wrestling on television. 

Photograph by Ginger Layman Lynch

Attending high school at Eastern Alamance before moving on to Elon College, located ten minutes west of his hometown, Kernodle was a very good athlete. Not only would he serve the school as a four-year member of the wrestling team, Kernodle also got into powerlifting, as well as becoming a national championship-level arm wrestler, as well a practitioner of judo - which was a rarity, at the time, especially for those not in the military. That variety of physical talents in his toolbox would become Kernodle’s saving grace during his first experience with the pro wrestling business, which he was so smitten by.

At a Tuesday night house show at Dorton Arena, Kernodle mustered up the nerve to approach then-president of Jim Crockett Promotions John Ringley about getting into the sport. To his surprise, Ringley told Kernodle to come to the studios at WRAL-TV, the next day.

When he arrived, he found out he’d be facing off against Bob Roop, who represented America as a heavyweight wrestler during the 1968 Olympics in Mexico City. A newcomer to the area, Roop was doing an open challenge where he’d offer $2000 to any layperson who could defeat him in less than ten minutes.

After signing a battery of hold-harmless release forms presented to him by the company’s jack-of-all-trades, Les Thatcher, Kernodle was then placed into a dressing room. The only other person in said room? Bob Roop.  

According to the interview he did with the Mid-Atlantic Gateway website, Kernodle said: “I’m nervous; I’m scared. I didn’t know what to expect. So, when I sit down, I’m only about ten feet away from Roop as he’s lacing up his boots. He’s bent over, and he hasn’t even raised his head yet… finally he raised up his head, looked at me and said, ‘You must be the guy that I’m wrestling tonight.’”
 
Kerndole continued, “‘Yes sir, Mr. Roop, I am.’ I walked over to him and shook his hand and said, ‘My name is Don Kernodle. This is nothing personal with you…this is the only chance I’ve got to get into professional wrestling, so I want to try it… they were trying to intimidate me. Yeah, they were really trying to psyche me out…which they did!”

Sunday, August 29, 2021

The Tony Schiavone Interview

Back in February of 2017, the Gateway conducted an interview with longtime JCP/NWA/WCW announcer and broadcaster Tony Schiavone.

The multi-part interview covered Tony's time as a Mid-Atlantic Wrestling fan growing up as well as his early career with Jim Crockett Promotions in Charlotte, both in baseball and wrestling.

Check out the entire seven-part interview on the Mid-Atlantic Gateway.

http://www.midatlanticgateway.com/2017/03/tony-schiavone-interview-complete.html

PARTS 1 - 7 COMPLETE

Tony talks Blackjack Mulligan, Paul Jones, the Andersons, Dick Murdoch, Wahoo McDaniel, Ric Flair, the Hat and Robe, I Broke Wahoo's Leg, road trips to Greensboro, Big Bill Ward, Charlotte O's baseball and Frances Crockett, David Crockett, Bob Caudle, Uncle John, Harrisonburg, VA, Truckin' Tom Miller, Paul Orndorf and Jimmy Snuka, The Baron, Joe Murnick, and the early days of his new podcast with Conrad Thompson. Much, much more about the great days of Mid-Atlantic Championship Wrestling.

Complete interview as one post originally posted Sept. 2019. Interview originally published in  Feb. 2017.

http://bookstore.midatlanticgateway.com

Saturday, August 28, 2021

Mid-Atlantic TV Report: October 29, 1983

The WWE Network is no longer available
in the United States.

Mid-Atlantic Championship Wrestling
TV Summaries & Reviews
by David Taub
Mid-Atlantic Gateway Contributor

This is a review of Mid-Atlantic Wrestling as it once appeared on the WWE Network (now on Peacock). Results are included for the week (Monday-Sunday of the given week) as available. Please email with any corrections, typos, results, other details at 1davidtaub@gmail.com. Follow @TaubGVWire

For links to all available summaries as well as links to the Mid-Atlantic Championship Podcast, visit our TV Summary Index.

Please note
: The WWE Network ceased operation in the United States on April 4, 2021 and programming transitioned to NBC's Peacock streaming service. The Mid-Atlantic shows returned in July of 2021. Links are provided where available.


Mid-Atlantic Championship Wrestling
Original broadcast: 10/29/83
Taped 10/19/83 taped in Shelby NC at the Shelby Recreation Center
Review is from WWE Network/Peacock Network feed.

Match 1
Chavo Guerrero d. Gary Royal

Watch the top of the show, bottom of the screen. A big fan seems perturbed he can’t be in the front row because of the cameraman. Stu Schwartz is the referee for the hour. Caudle promises more info on Starrcade ’83. Some good mat wrestling here. Chavo backflips over Royal, then finishes him off with the Victory Roll.

Caudle throws to a clip of the Starrcade ’83 news conference from last week. All but the reaction from Race and Flair.

-Int. w/Bob Caudle: Jim Crockett Jr.
Crockett thanks the fans for making this possible. This will be the most spectacular wrestling event ever. The fans want to see a match he would never sanction. But, since the fans want it, and NWA President Bob Geigel approved, we will have Greg Valentine vs. Roddy Piper in a dog collar match.

[Break]

[VIDEO TAPE] World Wide Wrestling
Ric Flair & Roddy Piper & Mark Youngblood vs. Dic Slater & Mark Lewin & Dory Funk Jr.
This match is from last week’s World Wide Wrestling. Johnny Weaver is solo on the mic. Slater avoids Flair. Piper executes a flying head scissors on Funk! Things get wild in the end, with Flair eventually pinning Funk. We cut to Jones getting in Funk’s face for losing. Funk isn’t taking it. Mainly verbal. 

-Int. w/Bob Caudle: Dory Funk Jr.
Funk says he’s had all of Paul Jones he could stand. It’s no disgrace to lose to Ric Flair. He thinks Flair will beat Race. Funk says he’ll get even with Paul Jones.

[Break]

Match 2
The Assassins (w/Paul Jones) NC Charlie Brown & Bugsy McGraw

A short brawl. The Assassins double team Brown, which leads to a pin attempt. Dory Funk Jr. comes to ringside and pulls Brown out. Brown, unsure of where Funk’s loyalties lie, takes some swings at Funk, but doesn’t connect. Funk is now in the ring, and fights off a double team from the Assassins. Brown evens the odd, and Funk breaks free and does after Jones. Hamilton Assassin saves his manager, who escapes. The Assassins escape too. Post-match action a little disjointed.

[Break]

Match 3
Non-Title: The Great Kabuki [NWA TV ch.] (w/Gary Hart) d. Steve Muslin

Assuming non-title, since no mention of this being a title shot. At least the belt is there. First Kabuki appearance in a few weeks. Caudle reminds us that Kabuki is the one who defeated Jimmy Valiant, forcing him out of town. Kabuki wins with a chop from the second rope. 

[Break] 

-Int. w/Bob Caudle: Ric Flair and Roddy Piper
Both men are in suits. Piper is happy to get his dog collar match versus Valentine. Somewhat bland interview for the men involved.

[Break]

Match 4
Bob Orton Jr. d. Rick McCord

We Want Flair chant from the fans. Caudle hyping Starrcade ’83. Orton pins McCord following the superplex.

[Break]

Match 5
Kevin Sullivan (w/Gary Hart & Mark Lewin) d. Tim Gerrard

First appearance for Gerrard. Caudle makes the point (again) that Hart promised the promoters he can control Sullivan & Lewin. Caudle has his doubts. More Starrcade talk. Sullivan wins after a double stomp to Gerrard’s gut. 

-Int. w/Bob Caudle: Greg Valentine; Paul Jones and The Assassins
Valentine, looking good in a suit, is livid he must wrestle in a dog collar match. They gave Piper a lethal weapon! He compares his situation to Harley Race. But, he’s The Hammer, he’s a man, and he’ll fight tooth and nail.

Jones says Dory Funk Jr. is a nut. He would fight, but he didn’t want to ruin his tuxedo. Jones turns his attention to Jimmy Valiant. He knows he’s not Charlie Brown. Don’t stick your nose in The Assassins’ business (and the four-year feud is about to begin). Hamilton Assassin says he’s angry. Don’t put your hands on their masks or Jones. Assassin manages to sneak in a middle finer.

“So long for now!”

Results for the week, 10/24/83-10/30/83
(source: Clawmaster’s Archive via Sports and Wrestling blog posted by David Baker; “Wrestling” newsletter by Joe Shedlock)

Mon., 10/24/83 Greenville, SC; Memorial Auditorium
Ric Flair & Wahoo McDaniel beat Bob Orton, Jr. & Dick Slater
Jack Brisco & Jerry Brisco beat Ricky Steamboat & Jay Youngblood
Mark Lewin beat Johnny Weaver
Scott McGhee beat The Ninja
Vinnie Valentino beat Tom Lentz
Angelo Mosca beat Gene Anderson

Tue., 10/25/83 Columbia, SC; Township Auditorium
Ric Flair, Roddy Piper & Wahoo McDaniel double DQ Greg Valentine, Bob Orton, Jr. & Dick Slater
Chavo Guerrero beat Dory Funk, Jr.
Kevin Sullivan & Mark Lewin beat Johnny Weaver & Terry Gibbs
Angelo Mosca beat Tom Lentz
Bugsy McGraw beat Magic Dragon

Wed., 10/26/83 Winston-Salem, NC; Memorial Coliseum (TV)
MACW:
Greg Valentine beat Gary Royal
Dick Slater & Bob Orton, Jr. beat Scott McGee & Steve Muslin
Great Kabuki beat John Bonello
Charlie Brown, Rufus R. Jones & Dory Funk, Jr. beat Bill Howard, Kelly Kiniski & Tom Lentz
WWW:
Wahoo McDaniel beat Magic Dragon
Dick Slater & Bob Orton, Jr. beat John Bonello & Vinnie Valentino
Great Kabuki beat Gary Royal
Kevin Sullivan & Mark Lewin beat Brett Hart & Steve Muslin
Charlie Brown, Bugsy McGraw & Rufus R. Jones beat Jerry Grey, Bill Howard & Ben Alexander
Dark:
Ric Flair, Wahoo McDaniel & Roddy Piper vs. Bob Orton, Jr., Dick Slater & Greg Valentine

Thu., 10/27/83 Abbeville, SC; Civic Center
Greg Valentine vs. Roddy Piper
The Assassins vs. Rufus R. Jones & Bugsy McGraw
Brickhouse Brown vs. Magic Dragon
Vinnie Valentino vs. Bill Howard
Keith Larson vs. Jerry Grey

Fri., 10/28/83 Charleston, SC; County Hall
The Assassins beat Scott McGhee & Mark Youngblood
Ric Flair & Wahoo McDaniel double DQ Bob Orton, Jr. & Dick Slater
Gene Anderson beat Keith Larson
Dory Funk, Jr. beat Steve Muslin
Brickhouse Brown beat Gary Royal

Sun., 10/30/83 Toronto, ON; Maple Leaf Gardens
Charlie Brown beat Baron Von Raschke (8:09) via pinfall
Blackjack Mulligan beat Sgt. Slaughter (6:13) by DQ
Tito Santana beat Leo Burke (17:32) via pinfall
Don Kernodle beat Johnny Weaver (14:14)
Rudy Kay & Terry Kay beat Nick DeCarlo & Mark Fleming (10:11)
Kelly Kiniski beat Vinnie Valentino (7:06)
Kurt Von Hess draw Bob Marcus (20:00)
Joe Marcus beat Tom Lentz (14:36)

Sun., 10/30/83 Charlotte, NC; Charlotte Coliseum
Ric Flair beat Bob Orton, Jr. in a steel cage match
Greg Valentine vs. Roddy Piper in a Texas death match
Wahoo McDaniel vs. Dick Slater in a taped fist match
Plus other matches

Thursday, August 26, 2021

Poster: Andersons battle Keirn and Conway on Plane Crash Saturday

by Brack Beasley
Mid-Atlantic Gateway Contributor

October 4th, 1975 is an infamous date in Mid Atlantic Championship Wrestling history and for that matter, professional wrestling history as a whole. The participants on this card at the Starland Arena in Roanoke, VA  must have been grateful that they were not booked on that ill-fated chartered flight out of Charlotte to Wilmington which ended the careers of "The Champ" Johnny Valentine and Bob Bruggers, injured Tim Woods and David Crockett, and almost stopped Ric Flair's rise to the top of the wrestling world. The Wilmington plane crash this Saturday evening no doubt changed the landscape of wrestling. 

The Starland main event featured Tiger Conway Jr. and Steve Keirn continuing their quest for Gene and Ole Anderson's NWA World Tag Team belts with an undercard that included Ken Patera, Mike " The Judge" Dubois, Johnny Weaver, and Two Ton Harris.

This vertical poster, as most all Starland posters were, has a pretty basic layout with all black print on a bright yellow background and the western style "Wrestling" logo.

Imagine how different the wrestling world would have become if the Roanoke and Wilmington cards had been reversed.

NO. 12 IN A SERIES

Monday, August 23, 2021

Abe Jacobs Returns to County Hall in Charleston


by Andy McDaniel
Mid-Atlantic Gateway Contriobutor

As a kid, I honestly had no idea who Abe Jacobs was other than a guy who always lost his television matches. I say that with the utmost respect for Abe. I did not know any better as a young person. However, in 1998 I got to know Abe Jacobs personally, and my viewpoint would never be the same again. It was during the time of preparation for a reunion of legends show that Mike Mooneyham and I were putting together that I learned about the storied career of Abe and the true legend of, as Mike would often say, "the venerable New Zealander."

It was such a joy getting to know Abe. He was so kind to me from the first time we talked, and that has never changed no matter how many times we have seen each other or how much time has passed. It is always special to hear him tell stories from his wrestling years. 

So, friends, "let me tell you something," this guy was a star back in his day, and to me, he still is. Thanks for all the memories, my old friend.

Previous Videos:
Johnny Valentine

Ole Anderson

Rip Hawk and Swede Hanson 

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Video produced by Andy McDaniel. Check out Andy's book Reunion at County Hall: The Night the Wrestling Legends Returned to Charleston. Available on Amazon.com.

Saturday, August 21, 2021

Matt Striker Always Makes Us Smile

Twitter: @badguywrassler

by Dick Bourne
Mid-Atlantic Gateway
EDITED FROM AN ARTICLE ORIGINALLY PUBLISHED JULY 22, 2018 

What fun to come across this photo on Twitter of Matt Striker and "Good Ol' J.R." Jim Ross. It was taken at a World Class Revolution wrestling event at Southfork Ranch outside Dallas, Texas. 

Conrad Thompson noticed something about the t-shirt Matt is wearing, and pointed the photo out to me. It is an old Mid-Atlantic Gateway t-shirt which was sold here many years ago. That made me smile. 

A former WWE Superstar and broadcaster, Striker is most recently known in wrestling for being the lead announcer for "Lucha Underground", which aired for four seasons on the El Rey Network. During that time, it was one of my favorite hours of television every week. Although the program showcased modern-day styles in wrestling (along with a heavy dose of superhero/science-fiction story telling), Matt managed to weave many "old school" wrestling references into his commentary on the show, my favorite being a nod to Greg Valentine's famous t-shirt "I Broke Wahoo's Leg" from season one. I always get a kick out of those references. Even though he is a veteran of the pro wrestling business, Matt is at heart an old school wrestling fan like the rest of us. A very nice fellow, as well.

J.R. digs the our little website, too, we're told. He even told Bruce Mitchell once on his podcast that the Gateway was "an icon on my iPad."

We have great respect for both of these gentlemen, so it goes without saying we're honored.


EDITED FROM AN ARTICLE ORIGINALLY PUBLISHED JULY 22, 2018

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See also: "For Matt Striker, the Past is Prologue" (A look at a couple of those early Mid-Atlantic references on Lucha Underground.)

Friday, August 20, 2021

Don Kernodle Tribute Part Two

Don't miss the long awaited, eagerly anticipated PART TWO of the Mid-Atlantic Championship Podcast's tribute to the life and career of Don Kernodle. An incredibly detailed look at one of Mid-Atlantic Wrestling's iconic home-grown stars.

From their website:

In this second and final part, we continue the story of how a lifelong wrestling fan became one of the most respected workers in the business. We pick up at the legendary Road To Greensboro, and follow Don through his many adventures. Over three and a half hours, we cover everything. The match and the fallout of the legendary battle against Ricky Steamboat and Jay Youngblood, his team with Sgt. Slaughter is forced to end, traveling to the World Wrestling Federation, successes in Toronto for Maple Leaf Wrestling, brief – but legendary – teams with Bob Orton Jr and Ivan Koloff, his creation of Nikita Koloff, semi-retirement, Atlantic Coast Wrestling, and so much more!
The first part of the special looked at how Kernodle broke into the business, his wrestling education, his big break as one of Sarge’s Privates with Jim Nelson, and all of the angles that led up to the famous night on March 12, 1983.

With tons of audio clips throughout, it is a tour de force! 

 

Links to both episodes: 

SPECIAL EPISODE: DON KERNODLE TRIBUTE SHOW PART 1
SPECIAL EPISODE: DON KERNODLE TRIBUTE SHOW PART 2