Wednesday, January 26, 2022

Flair and Valentine Talk Rhodes and Slater

For the complete story on what should have been an epic NWA World Tag Team title match - - but wasn't, check out the following story on the Mid-Atlantic Gateway:

Dusty Rhodes and Dick Slater Defend the World Tag Team Titles
in the Mid-Atlantic Area - - Almost (1977)

And thanks to Mike Sempervive and the Mid-Atlantic Championship Podcast for their support of the "Mighty" (we love that) Mid-Atlantic Gateway.

Mid-Atlantic Championship Podcast Website
Mid-Atlantic Championship Podcast Twitter
Mid-Atlantic Championship Podcast on YouTube

Tuesday, January 25, 2022

Podcast: MACW October 2, 1982

Mid-Atlantic Championship Podcast Website
Mid-Atlantic Championship Podcast Twitter
Mid-Atlantic Championship Podcast on YouTube

Mid-Atlantic TV Report: December 3, 1983

 
 

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: 11/26/83
Taped 12/03/83 in Greenville, SC - Memorial Auditorium
Review is from WWE Network/NBC Peacock feed.

Note: Results history for this time period is somewhat muddled post-Starrcade. I can’t get a date on when this was taped, but my educated guess it was in Greenville. If you have definitive answers (newspaper clippings are the best), let me know at 1davidtaub@gmail.com.

Match 1
Jimmy Valiant d. Magic Dragon

Jimmy is back officially, as his 90-day exile ended Nov. 26. Tommy Young is the referee for the hour. A quick win for Jimmy with the elbow drop.

-Int. w/Bob Caudle: Roddy Piper
Piper is happy to defeat Greg Valentine in the dog collar match. Now, he wants the United States Heavyweight championship. He implies he’ll quit if he isn’t successful.

[Break]

Match 2
Kevin Sullivan & Mark Lewin (w/Gary Hart) d. Rick McCord & John Bonello

Caudle runs down the current champions. No mention of the Mid-Atlantic tag team champions, as if it had been mentioned in the last six months. The heels take turns twisting Bonello’s arm until the referee stops the match.

[Break]

Match 3
Non-Title: Ricky Steamboat & Jay Youngblood [World tag champs]
d. Gary Royal & Kelly Kiniski

Steamboat & Youngblood are wearing the belts. Caudle says The Briscos have return matches scheduled in a cage. Youngblood slingshots Steamboat onto Royal for the pin. 

-Int. w/Bob Caudle: Mark Youngblood
This is in lieu of local promos. Youngblood focuses on Paul Jones & The Assassins. He will take their masks and scalps. 

[Break]

Match 4
Non-Title: Greg Valentine [U.S. ch.] d. Keith Larson

Caudle talks about how rough the Valentine vs. Piper dog collar match was, but Valentine is still the champ. Hammer wins with the Figure Four.

[Break] -Int. w/Bob Caudle: Paul Jones & The Assassins
Paul Jones yells about Jimmy Valiant. Some of it is bleeped. Lots of threats. He tells Valiant to bring a partner. Jones is about to cry.

[Break]

Match 5
Mark Youngblood d. Bill Howard

Lots of chops by Youngblood. Pins Howard after a chop to the head. 

-Int. w/Bob Caudle: Angelo Mosca
Caudle asks Mosca about his bandaged arm. He was the victim of the Golden Spike. At Starrcade, Scott McGhee suffered the Golden Spike and he is gone. His own son has been out for three months. Mosca has so much hate for Lewin. We go to a clip from Starrcade. Gary Hart brought out the spike but Lewin took it away and spiked McGhee and Mosca. He promises to spill the crimson. 

-Int. w/Bob Caudle: Angelo Mosca
This in lieu of local promos. Almost a repeat of above. But, Angelo’s son has been out of action for only two months.

[Break]

Match 6
Dick Slater (w/Bob Orton) d. Vinnie Valentino

Despite the graphic on the bumper saying the opponent would be Steve Muslin, we get Valentino. A much longer match than expected, as Valentino put up a fight. Slater gets the pin with a front suplex, followed by an elbow drop. 

-Int. w/Bob Caudle: Greg Valentine; Dick Slater & Bob Orton; Gary Hart
Valentine has a bandage on his head. He is still the champ, not Piper. He glosses over Starrcade. The feud vs. Piper is not over.
Slater & Orton said they should be World tag champs. Next week, we’ll see footage of an incident with Wahoo McDaniel.
Gary Hart says Jimmy Valiant won’t make a fool of him. He who walks away, counts.

“So long for now!”

* * * * * * * * *

Results for the week, 11/28/83-12/04/83
(source: Clawmaster’s Archive via Sports and Wrestling blog posted by David Baker; “Wrestling” newsletter by Joe Shedlock)

Mon., 11/28/83 Greenville, SC; Memorial Auditorium (TV)
MACW:
Jimmy Valiant beat Magic Dragon
Kevin Sullivan & Mark Lewin beat Rick McCord & John Bonello
Ricky Steamboat & Jay Youngblood beat Gary Royal & Kelly Kiniski
Greg Valentine beat Keith Larson
Mark Youngblood beat Bill Howard
Dick Slater beat Vinnie Valentino
WWW:
Ricky Steamboat & Jay Youngblood beat Bill Howard & Jerry Grey
Dick Slater beat Keith Larson
Jimmy Valiant beat Ben Alexander
The Assassins beat Gene Ligon & John Bonello
Mark Youngblood beat Magic Dragon
Bob Orton, Jr. beat Vinnie Valentino

Tue., 11/29/83 Raleigh, NC; Dorton Arena
Terry Gibbs beat Brett Hart
Keith Larson beat Bill Howard
Rick McCord beat Gary Royal
Jay Youngblood beat Great Kabuki
Ricky Steamboat beat Greg Valentine
Wahoo McDaniel & Jimmy Valiant beat The Assassins 

Tue., 11/29/83 Columbia, SC; Township Auditorium
Vinnie Valentino beat Jerry Grey
Kelly Kiniski beat Vinnie Valentino
Mark Lewin & Kevin Sullivan beat Rufus R. Jones & Brickhouse Brown
Bob Orton, Jr. beat Mark Youngblood
Roddy Piper double DQ Dick Slater

Wed., 11/30/83 Spartanburg, SC; Memorial Auditorium (TV)

Thu., 12/01/83 Sumter, SC; Exhibition Center County of Sumter (ECCOS)
Kelly Kiniski beat Rick McCord
Brickhouse Brown beat Magic Dragon
Bugsy McGraw beat Terry Gibbs
Bob Orton, Jr. beat Johnny Weaver
Greg Valentine beat Ricky Steamboat
Wahoo McDaniel beat Dick Slater

Thu., 12/01/83 Chester, SC; High School
Great Kabuki vs. Jay Youngblood
Charlie Brown & Rufus R. Jones vs. The Assassins
Mark Lewin vs. Mark Youngblood
Angelo Mosca vs. Gene Anderson
Jerry Grey vs. John Bonello
Vinnie Valentino vs. Bill Howard

Fri., 12/02/83 Lynchburg, VA; City Armory
Roddy Piper & Jimmy Valiant vs. The Assassins
Rufus R. Jones vs. Greg Valentine
Plus other matches

Fri., 12/02/83 Charleston, SC; County Hall
Dick Slater & Bob Orton, Jr. beat Ricky Steamboat & Jay Youngblood
Greg Valentine beat Great Kabuki
Mark Youngblood & Bugsy McGraw beat Gene Anderson & Jerry Grey
Angelo Mosca beat Kelly Kiniski
Brett Hart beat Steve Muslin

Sat. 12/03/83 Newton, NC
Rick McCord beat Gary Royal
Brett Hart beat Jerry Grey
Kelly Kiniski beat Vinnie Valentino
Johnny Weaver beat Gene Anderson
Mark Youngblood beat Great Kabuki
Wahoo McDaniel & Roddy Piper beat Greg Valentine & Bob Orton, Jr.

Sat., 12/03/83 Hampton, VA; Hampton Coliseum
The Assassins beat Jimmy Valiant & Brickhouse Brown
Keith Larson beat Bill Howard
John Bonello beat Steve Muslin
Terry Gibbs beat Mark Fleming
Angelo Mosca beat Don Kernodle
Dick Slater beat Rufus R. Jones to win Mid-Atlantic Heavyweight championship
Ricky Steamboat & Jay Youngblood beat Jack Brisco & Jerry Brisco in a cage match

Sun., 12/04/83 Roanoke, VA;  Civic Center
John Bonello beat Bill Howard
Terry Gibbs beat Rick McCord
Jerry Grey beat Brickhouse Brown
Gene Anderson beat Vinnie Valentino
The Assassins beat Jimmy Valiant & Wahoo McDaniel
Ricky Steamboat & Jay Youngblood beat Jack Brisco & Jerry Brisco in a cage match

Sun., 12/04/83 Toronto, ON; Maple Leaf Gardens
Rudy Kay beat Nick DeCarlo(10:27)
Terry Kay draw Billy Red Lyons(15:00)
The Destroyer beat Joe Marcus(8:06)
Johnny Weaver beat Kelly Kiniski(11:41)
Buddy Hart(aka Bret Hart) beat Great Kabuki(9:54) via pinfall
Leo Burke beat Keith Larson(8:31)
Angelo Mosca & Blackjack Mulligan beat Sgt. Slaughter & Don Kernodle(11:28)
Roddy Piper beat Greg Valentine(14:18) in a dog collar match

Monday, January 24, 2022

Title History of the United States Championship

It was the top championship in the Mid-Atlantic territory for Jim Crockett Promotions in the 1970s and 1980s and was held by some of the greatest names to ever step into a pro wrestling ring. 

Now this book lays out every champion and the detailed story behind every championship title change from the title's introduction in 1975 until the sale of the family business to Ted Turner in 1988. 

It was a glorious time.

Order your copy of "Jim Crockett Promotions' United States Championship" today!


Sunday, January 23, 2022

Bob and Jackie Caudle

Wishing the happiest of wedding anniversaries to the sweetest couple in the world, Bob and Jackie Caudle. 73 years! We love you guys!

Saturday, January 22, 2022

Poster: All Three Mid-Atlantic Singles Titles On the Line in Charlotte

by Brack Beasley
Mid-Atlantic Gateway Contributor

A sensational triple main event was on tap for wrestling fans at the old Charlotte Coliseum on Saturday night, October 15th, 1977 as all three Mid Atlantic singles titles were up for grabs. 

Ric Flair defended his United States title against Dusty Rhodes, Greg Valentine defended his Mid-Atlantic title against Paul Jones, while Baron Von Raschke's TV title was on the line for the first 15 minutes in a rematch with Ricky Steamboat, whom the Baron had just defeated for the belt at a television taping a few days prior.


The mid card match was an interesting 6-man tag with Dick Murdock, Mr. X #1, and Mr. X #2 versus Roberto Soto, Tiger Conway Jr., and Johnny Weaver, while the undercard featured familiar Mid-Atlantic grapplers such as the Missouri Mauler, Charlie Fulton, Abe Jacobs, and Danny Miller.

There were seven matches in all but unfortunately for most fans in Charlotte this particular night. all three heel champions managed to retain their respective championships against the babyfaces, although I imagine Rhodes, Jones, and Steamboat gave the reigning champs a run for their money.

The poster itself has a horizontal layout with black print on a two tone pink over yellow background while the date and six main-event participants really stand in high impact red.

There are also great images of Flair, Rhodes, Jones, Valentine, Steamboat, and Soto along each side and it's neat how they put "The American Dream" under Rhodes' name opposite "Champion" under Flair's.

* * * * * * * * * *

Mid-Atlantic Gateway Notes: The American Dream Dusty Rhodes
As was often the case in the mid-to-late 1970s, and on this night, Dusty Rhodes made sporadic short-term appearances in the area, usually over a weekend. Rhodes was a special draw all over the country in those days, and for all three major organizations: WWWF, AWA, and many of the NWA territories, particularly Mid-Atlantic, Georgia, and Florida.) Much like Andre the Giant or the NWA Champion coming to town for a small number of dates, Dusty would hit lots of different promotions in any given week. In this case, Rhodes was only in for Saturday (for this card in Charlotte vs. Flair) and Sunday in Asheville NC (matinee show vs. Valentine for the Mid-Atlantic title) and Savannah GA (then a Mid-Atlantic town, for a second shot at Flair's U.S. title.)

Also of note related to Rhodes, it is worth pointing out that the Friday night before this Charlotte card, Rhodes and partner Dick Slater lost the NWA World Tag Team titles back to Gene and Ole Anderson in Atlanta, bringing an end to their short one-month reign. In the prior two weeks, Rhodes had also challenged Harley Race for the NWA title in a couple of matches in Florida, and Superstar Billy Graham for the WWWF title in Madison Square Garden. Yes indeed, the American Dream was on quite a roll.

NO. 24 IN A SERIES

Thursday, January 20, 2022

The Cane That Wouldn't Break: Greg Valentine Shatters Ric Flair's Face (1980)

by Dick Bourne
Mid-Atlantic Gateway

"I was looking at that cane and I could tell that cane was gonna be brutal to break over a darn cement block, let alone somebody’s head."
   - Greg Valentine

On a recent episode of Ric Flair's podcast Woooo Nation: Uncensored, a listener sent in a question asking about the time Gene Anderson hit Ric Flair with his cane, legitimately breaking Flair's nose. It's one of the most infamous and talked about angles in Mid-Atlantic Wrestling history during that era.

Except it wasn't Gene Anderson that hit him. And the cane didn't break. And that was part of the problem.

To be fair, it was Gene Anderson's cane, and it happened back in 1980, almost 42 years ago this summer, so it's easy to understand how the details of the thing can getting a little foggy over time.

It was actually Greg Valentine who tried to break Anderson's cane over Ric's head following a tag team match between Flair and Valentine against Jimmy Snuka and the Iron Sheik, who were managed at the time by the then cane-wielding Gene Anderson. Valentine failed miserably at the task, although it wasn't really his fault. However, Ric paid the price for it with a legitimately broken nose and 30-plus stitches in his head, face, and lips.  

Ric Flair battles Greg Valentine during their bloody feud of 1980.

Sadly, as memorable as you might think something like that would be to someone, Ric didn't seem to remember the details either, except that it hurt like hell. 

One guy who did remember every detail of it was Greg "The Hammer" Valentine who perpetrated the deed. David Chappell and I asked him about it back in March of 2004, just prior to his induction to the WWE Hall of Fame at Wrestlemania 20. We had the opportunity to interview him at a legends show in Lenoir, NC, promoted by Tony Hunter.

Rather than have me tell you the story of that angle, let's let Greg tell you himself, in this edited excerpt from our Gateway Interview in 2004 with The Hammer himself:

Chappell (to Greg Valentine): When you first came back from New York at the end of 1979, you asked Ric to be your partner again, and he wouldn’t do it, right?

 

Valentine: Flair turned his back on me. (laughs) When I came back fr
om New York, Ric was on the other side. He was a babyface, and he wouldn’t tag with a villain like me. (laughs)

 

Chappell: Then for a while right after that, you went back to tag team wrestling?

 

Valentine: Yeah, that’s right. Ray Stevens and I held the (World) Titles at that time.

 

Bourne: But soon after that, you went after Flair again. And you broke his nose in that feud in 1980. Now, one of the urban legends in wrestling was that you caught Ric with Gene Anderson’s cane and legitimately broke his nose with that cane. Is that true?

 

Valentine: Yeah…it’s true. You know, we were sitting back in the dressing rooms getting ready for that match. Of course, Ric was on the other side of the building. We didn’t have dressing rooms together…heels were on one side and babyfaces were on the other. George Scott came in and told me what they wanted us to do. But I was never supposed to break Flair’s nose…I was supposed to break the cane!

 

Chappell: But didn’t that whole thing have its roots from an incident on TV, where you came out and told Ric that you’d seen the light, and that you now wanted to tag back up with him? Wrestle as a fan favorite tag team, in other words?

 

Valentine: (laughing) Can you believe he trusted me?! This was against…I think it was Snuka and the Iron Sheik, right? And Gene Anderson was managing Snuka and the Sheik at that time.  So I short-armed Ric and wouldn’t tag him. The place was sold out---I thought there was going to be a riot when I refused to tag him. Ric is already bleeding, and he keeps crawling on his knees trying to tag me in…and I’m walking away from him.

 

Chappell: You were heartless! (everybody laughs)

 

Valentine: I know it! (laughs) But as I was saying before, they told me back in the dressing room, ‘We want you to hit Flair over the head with Gene Anderson’s cane and make sure you break the cane over his head.’

 

Chappell: That cane was pretty sturdy, wasn’t it?

 

Valentine: Hey, I was looking at that cane and I could tell that cane was gonna be brutal to break over a darn cement block, let alone somebody’s head. (everybody laughs) I didn’t know, but I kept saying, ‘Maybe you better gimmick up the cane a little bit, so I can make sure I can break it.’ Gene said, ‘Naw, you can break it…just hit him.’

 

Chappell: That was easy for Gene to say!

 

Valentine: (laughs) Ric knew I was supposed to break the cane. But later, I found out that the cane was made out of hickory wood. You know, the hardest wood there is! They make baseball bats out of hickory.

 

Bourne: Oh my word!

 

Chappell: Flair’s nose didn’t stand a chance, did it? (everybody laughs)

 

Valentine: At the time I didn’t know it was hickory, but I was thinking it might be something like that.  So I was out there, and the Sheik and Snuka found out that I wouldn’t tag Ric so they worked him over pretty good. After they took the fall on Ric, Gene Anderson threw me the cane and I caught it. Ric’s hanging over there in the corner trying to get away…or acting like he’s trying to get away. Now, Flair has blood all over his face by that point, and I’m thinking if I hit him, the cane is just going to slide down. But…I went for it! (everybody laughs) WHAM! I hit him as hard as I could…and it didn’t break! (everyone laughs)

 

Chappell: What was running through your mind then?

 

Valentine: I’m just looking at that cane. Gene is looking at me from the outside on the floor. Gene yelled at me, "Break it kid, break it!"  So now I really clocked Ric hard with the cane right on top of the cranium. And he’s REALLY trying to get away when he heard Gene say again, ‘BREAK THE CANE, KID!!’ (laughs)  I tried again with a wild stroke and Ric is moving trying to avoid it and I hit him across the top of his nose…the bridge of his nose. It went right down and busted his lips open…his lips were bleeding bad.

 

Chappell: Did you know you had broken his nose then?

 

Valentine: I had no idea I had broken his nose…I didn’t find out until a few hours later that his nose was broken. And I STILL didn’t break the cane! (everyone laughs) But the damage had been done then. I think it was Mulligan that came out and ran us all off. Ric went right to the hospital. He had stitches all over his lips.

 

Chappell: What was Flair’s reaction to what you had done?

 

Valentine: I called Ric up around two o’clock in the morning, and he was already back home. I apologized for it. And he said, ‘Man, don’t worry about it. We’re gonna make lots of money from it.’ (laughs)

 

As our friend George Pantas pointed out to me recently, we all sure were laughing a lot at Ric's expense. You could tell Greg enjoyed remembering that time. And of course they did make lots of money off that very real angle, drawing big houses for the matches across the territory for months to follow. The angle led eventually to Valentine defeating Ric Flair for the United States Heavyweight title later that summer. The cane angle is a notable moment in the title history of the U.S. Championship and another great chapter in the tumultuous "family" relationship between Flair and his cousins the Andersons in Mid-Atlantic Wrestling lore.

You can find video of the whole thing from Mid-Atlantic TV on YouTube if you want to search for it. We won't post the links here because the date on the YouTube footage is wrong and the video quality is atrocious. But worth at least hearing Flair's interview with Bob Caudle and David Crockett in advance of looking at the film because it is one of Ric's greatest dead-serious babyface promos of that era.

* * * * * * * * * * * *

Some links to other features on the Gateway related to this story:

Greg Valentine: The Gateway Interview
(Archive site. The above edited excerpt is from Pg. 3 )

The Ric Flair/Gene Anderson Figure Four/Hair Challenge
The angle that led to Gene Anderson needing to carry a cane.

 


Wednesday, January 19, 2022

Red Cross and a Greyhound Bus: Steamboat's Award Annoys Paul Jones

 A “Bloody” TV Encounter Between Paul Jones and Ricky Steamboat
by David Chappell

Mid-Atlantic Gateway

When former tag team partners Paul Jones and Ricky Steamboat split in the aftermath of a wild two ring battle royal on December 3, 1978 in the Charlotte Coliseum, the bad blood between these ex-friends was palpable over the next year or so. The extent of the bad feelings between the two was showcased several months after the break-up in two segments on Mid-Atlantic Championship Wrestling television.

Ricky Steamboat
At the outset of the Mid-Atlantic Wrestling TV show that was taped on March 28, 1979, Ricky Steamboat was brought out to the set to accept a plaque from the American Red Cross for his participation in a Christmas 1978 blood drive. Bill Huey from the Winston-Salem, North Carolina chapter of the American Red Cross told the viewing audience that due to Ricky’s participation in the drive, “The result of that was a better than fifty percent increase in our total blood collection and Ricky has given tremendous support to Red Cross blood services and we’d like to take the opportunity to present this award…the award is the blood drive ‘Big Drop’ award for outstanding participation in the blood drive at Christmas and also to express our appreciation to Ricky for what he has done not only for Winston-Salem but for the entire Red Cross blood services area. So, Ricky, with our very deep appreciation, sir.”

When Huey handed Ricky the ‘Big Drop’ plaque an emotional Steamboat responded, “Hey, thank you very, very much. You know, everybody realizes that I have a busy schedule but on something like this I do like to take time out and just a little bit of my effort and if my appearances there, or just to say a few words on behalf of the drive such as this, which is to bring the people out to come and to donate for this type of organization or anything that would benefit the life of another human being in some way, form or matter. I tell you what, if I had a lot more time I would be doing much more…but that one special thought and that I want to thank you very, very much.” Announcer Bob Caudle then commented, “And that’s a very nice honor for a fine young man and really an outstanding citizen, Rick Steamboat.”

No. 1 Paul Jones

Later in the show, “Number One” Paul Jones appeared on the set with Caudle and was none too pleased with Steamboat’s new accolades. “I saw Steamboat receive that plaque out here,” Jones fumed. Caudle responded, “Shows what a fine citizen he is.” Paul instantly retorted, “Well let me tell you somethin’, everything’s going Steamboat’s way. Let me tell you somethin’…that plaque…I gave blood one time and all I got was a cup of Kool-Aid and a cookie! And Steamboat gets a plaque!! Well let me tell you somethin’…Steamboat’s gonna need the Red Cross, the Salvation Army and a Greyhound bus when I finish with him!”

The rift between these two former partners had grown so wide by March of 1979 that the two couldn’t even see eye-to-eye on giving blood! Jones’ response to Steamboat’s charitable endeavors, along with being one of the best one liners I can ever remember, foreshadowed what would be occurring for the rest of 1979 between these now bitter rivals...‘big drops’ of blood being spilled in the wrestling ring between these two and their respective tag team partners, with the Red Cross nowhere in sight.

 
Originally published July 2017 on the Mid-Atlantic Gateway

http://horsemen.midatlanticgateway.com

Monday, January 17, 2022

The Mid-Atlantic Trifecta: AEW Tours the old Crockett Territory

by Dick Bourne
Mid-Atlantic Gateway

A few weeks ago I wrote about David Crockett's special appearance in Greensboro on All Elite Wrestling (AEW) television that aired on Christmas night. It would be the first of three appearances he would make on AEW TV over the next two weeks as AEW toured three of the old Mid-Atlantic territory's great wrestling cities: Greensboro, Charlotte, and Raleigh, NC.

David was introduced at ringside and received a great reception all three nights. The Greensboro and Charlotte shows took place at the fabled Greensboro Coliseum and the former Charlotte Coliseum (now Bojangles Coliseum), both home to some of the biggest events for Jim Crockett Promotions in the 1960s-1980s. Raleigh's event took place at the PNC Arena, a relatively newer venue in the capitol city. Back in the day, Crockett wrestling once took place at Dorton Arena or the Raleigh Civic Center. 

Greensboro. Charlotte. Raleigh. I like to think of it as hitting the Mid-Atlantic trifecta.

In Charlotte, Crockett presented the TNT Championship belt to Sammy Guevara, who had defeated Dustin Rhodes to fill the interim TNT championship while reigning champion Cody Rhodes was briefly out of action. 

David Crockett presents the TNT Championship to Sammy Guevara at AEW's "Battle of the Belts.".

Dustin, son of the legendary "American Dream" Dusty Rhodes who booked the old Mid-Atlantic territory for five years in the 1980s, wrestled a heck of a match with the much younger Guevara, who is one of the true rising superstars in pro-wrestling. Rhodes is now in his mid-50s and had to feel a sense of nostalgia wrestling in the old Charlotte Coliseum again, a building he worked some 30+ years earlier for WCW against the likes of "Stone Cold" Steve Austin, Bobby Eaton, and Arn Anderson. Ironically, Arn Anderson was in the corner of Rhodes that night in Charlotte.

Actually, it was the fans who hit the trifecta, having David at three AEW shows, all in towns special to old Mid-Atlantic fans and the Crockett family going back several generations. Tony Khan acknowledged this in an address to the fans after the Dynamite live show went off the air in Raleigh. "Thanks to the Crockett family for making it possible to promote professional wrestling in the state of North Carolina," he said. It was an acknowledgment that the Crocketts paved the way for anyone and everyone who now promotes here, from the independents to the major leagues.  

"I want to tell you, from the bottom of my heart, it's meant a lot to me over the last few days," Tony Khan said to David Crockett in Raleigh. "Thank you for being here yet again to represent the Crockett family." 

Khan thanked the fans, too.  "And thanks to all you great people for that wonderful reception. That's meant a lot to a lot of people, to Mr. Crockett and his family."

David Crockett is recognized at ringside in Greensboro.

 
I have a new appreciation and respect for Tony Khan, for bringing in David and for making a concerted effort to acknowledge the old territory, its promoters, and most importantly its longtime fans. Crockett himself made that point to the fans in Greensboro. "Without you fans," David said, "we wouldn't have existed."

The AEW swing through the old Mid-Atlantic territory over the holidays yielded one more special gift: the reuniting in Raleigh of David Crockett and AEW broadcaster Tony Schiavone with the legendary Bob Caudle, who called Mid-Atlantic wrestling matches for over three decades at WRAL TV studios in Raleigh. 

David Crockett, Bob Caudle, and Tony Schiavone in Raleigh, Jan. 12, 2022
(Photograph courtesy of Tony Schiavone.)


David and Tony made the trip across town on the afternoon of the AEW Raleigh show to visit Bob, now in his 90s and who lives in Raleigh with his wife of over 70 years, Jackie. It was a very special moment that made for a very special photo. Lots of fans thought so, too, as the post went viral on Twitter. (More about that here.)

Thanks to Tony Khan and AEW for the gift of two special weeks of shows over the Christmas and New Year holidays for all of us.  

See also: David Crockett Makes Christmas Night Appearance on AEW Wrestling