Sunday, April 21, 2019

Almanac History - July 1980 (Part Three)

David Chappell's
Mid-Atlantic Championship Wrestling History


JULY 1980 - PART 3

After Ricky Steamboat and Jay Youngblood inserted themselves in a match with NWA World Tag Team Champions Ray Stevens and Jimmy Snuka on the July 9, 1980 Mid-Atlantic Championship Wrestling television program, announcer Bob Caudle had a hard time believing what he was seeing. Caudle marveled, "It goes to show you, anything can happen on Mid-Atlantic Championship Wrestling! The fans in our TV arena are about to go nuts here, along with Gene Anderson who keeps beating on the ring...he's gonna break that cane!" The ultra excitable color commentator David Crockett added, "I've already blown one mic!"

Gene Anderson
Manager of the World Tag Team
Title belts
The exciting back-and-forth bout came to an end when Steamboat appeared to secure the win for the "good guys" when he captured Stevens in his surfboard hold with no hope for escape, as the "bad guys" already had one save and Youngblood had chased Snuka out of the ring. The bell then rung, seemingly signaling the end of the match by submission and Steamboat dropped the flailing "Crippler" to the mat and the fan favorites began celebrating!

However, there was more to this story. In all the excitement, it became clear that the floor manager didn't ring the bell signaling the end of the match...but rather Gene Anderson, Snuka and Stevens’ diabolical manager, snuck around the ring to where the bell was and started ringing it! This controversial ending brought out a very rare verbal explanation from referee Tommy Young.

Young explained, "I heard the bell and figured the time was out---so the match is a draw." Crockett then bellowed, "The floor manager says he didn't ring the bell...Gene Anderson rang the bell!" Tommy responded, "Well, that could very well be; I don't know. But all I know is I heard the bell, and when I looked back there Gene Anderson was not there. The official verdict...this is a draw. I'm sorry, this is a draw." Crockett went ballistic, yelling, "BUT GENE ANDERSON RANG THE BELL!" Young then calmly talked Crockett down off the ledge explaining, "I did not see it. I'm sorry David, but it's a draw. It's all I can do."

Steamboat and Youngblood were no happier about the outcome than Crockett was. Ricky complained to Caudle and Crockett later in the same show, "What can the NWA do about Anderson? What can we do about that man? Every time we turn around he's doin' something behind our backs!” Youngblood concurred, "Bob, it was plain to see we had them beat right in the middle. Plain to see! Anderson has been comin' around doin' all this kind of stuff. He's been takin' everybody's eyes off the match, and doin' a lot of stuff."

Ricky was becoming even angrier and blurted out, "When we sign contracts, we sign contracts to wrestle Stevens and Snuka, not Anderson---he's a manager! He's not supposed to interfere; he's not supposed to be involved. And every time we wrestle 'em he's always runnin' up and down to the ring and he's sticking his cane in there and he's hittin' people with it!"

Seeking and searching for relief from Gene Anderson, Steamboat opined, "What can we do about that particular man? I think what we may have to do is check into that and possibly get a man in our corner also."

While that stipulation was going to come about shortly, around the second week of July the one unique stipulation that was employed was a “Falls Count Anywhere” contest in Columbia, South Carolina at the Township Auditorium on July 15th. On that night, the champs retained their belts against Steamboat and Youngblood in a match where the participants battled into every nook and cranny of the arena!

The two teams split their other two matches during the week. On July 11th in Lynchburg, Virginia Ray and the “Superfly” successfully defended their belts in a title encounter, while Ricky and Jay exacted a bit of revenge in Greenville, South Carolina at the Greenville Memorial Auditorium on July 14th by besting the champs in a non-title bout.

In two other noteworthy matches that occurred around the area in and around the second week of July, starting in Sumter, South Carolina on July 10th, Andre the Giant and Sweet Ebony Diamond defeated Snuka and Stevens in a non-title bout as Andre wound down his latest tour of the Mid-Atlantic area in impressive fashion. And at the end of the week and bleeding into the third week of the month, Ric Flair defeated former partner Greg Valentine in a bloody bout at the Raleigh Civic Center, retaining his United States Heavyweight Title in the process.

More from July 1980 Next Time                        ALMANAC DIRECTORY

Friday, April 19, 2019

Action Figures Friday: Greg Valentine & The Valentine Trophy Case

Mid-Atlantic Gateway Photo
(Inspired by the work of Reggie Richardson!)
by Dick Bourne
Mid-Atlantic Gateway

Yes, this may be considered gimmick infringement!

If you've been keeping up with our latest pics on Action Figures Friday, you'll remember that we have been featuring some images from Reggie Richardson over at Wrestler Weekly. These have combined classic Mid-Atlantic Wrestling magazine covers with custom action figures for a fun little blast of nostalgia.

We were inspired by Reggie to create our own similar set-up. The North Carolina branch office of the Gateway doesn't have many action figures, but we do love this one of Greg Valentine sporting his classic "I Broke Wahoo's Leg" t-shirt and the Mid-Atlantic Championship belt. He's positioned in front of a Volume 3 Issue 3 of Mid-Atlantic Wrestling Magazine, published in the late summer of 1977 by Les Thatcher for Jim Crockett Promotions. it spotlights the famous Valentine Family Trophy Case!

So thanks to Reggie for the inspiration and click here for more Action Figures Friday images, including another we worked up with this particular figure.

Thursday, April 18, 2019

The "Red Cover"

This is the cover of a photo album sold at the wrestling events in 1974, one of two distinct issues that year with this theme. Known to collectors as "the Red Cover", there was also a second photo album released that year (known as "the Blue Cover").

The album featured about 16 pages of black and white promotional photos of the wrestlers of that era including Johnny Valentine, Rip Hawk, Swede Hansen, Johnny Weaver, Jack Brisco, Jerry Brisco, and many others. Even a very young Ric Flair, his first year in the territory.

One of the distinguishing features of this issue that makes it special to collectors is the designation on the cover "Produced by Ringley and Crockett." John Ringley, then married to Frances Crockett, had been pegged to run the company following the death of Jim Crockett Sr. in 1973. Up until that point, the company Ringley & Crockett, Inc. had handled all the non-wrestling related promotions of Jim Sr.'s empire including concerts, Globetrotters basketball, fishing tournaments, etc. It appeared that perhaps now that company name would absorb the wrestling related business as well, or maybe not. Perhaps it was just going to undertake the publishing of the photo albums, magazines, and programs.

Regardless, it wasn't long after this particular album was published that John Ringley and Frances Crockett divorced, and the wrestling business was known from that point forward solely as Jim Crockett Promotions, Inc.

Tuesday, April 16, 2019

Mid-Atlantic TV - September 26, 1981
Mid-Atlantic Wrestling
on the WWE Network
Mid-Atlantic Championship Wrestling
TV Summaries & Reviews
by David Taub
Mid-Atlantic Gateway Contributor

This is a review of Mid-Atlantic Wrestling as it appeared on the WWE Network. Results are included for the week (Monday-Sunday of the given week) as available. Please email with any corrections, typos, results, other details at 

Mid-Atlantic Championship Wrestling
Original broadcast: 9/26/81
(taped 9/26/81 at WPCQ-TV studios in Charlotte)
WWE Network feed.  [EPISODE LINK]

Bob Caudle & David Crockett open the show giddy. Crockett, wearing the Augusta green jacket special, announce that Ric Flair won the World Heavyweight championship from Dusty Rhodes in Kansas City (although no date is given). This is the first show Mid-Atlantic show taped since Flair defeated Rhodes on 9/17/81.
Caudle & Crockett run down the show, with Jay Youngblood taking on Ole.

—Interview w/Bob Caudle: Jake Roberts & “Bad Bad” Leroy Brown
Brown does most of the talking, saying they are going to clean things up.
Caudle introduces the next match via magic blue screen.


Match 1
Austin Idol d. Scott McGee
Our referee for this and all matches this hour is a blue-romper wearing Sonny Fargo.
Idol at times yells “Come on, Flair.” Announcers put McGee over as a contender for the junior heavyweight championship. Idol applies the figure-4 (not called the Las Vegas Leglock). Idol’s facials look like he is selling the hold more than McGee. A submission win for Idol.


Match 2
NWA TV championship: Ron Bass [ch.] d. Jim Nelson
A competitive match for a while. Nelson at one point has Bass cornered and starts laying in the forearms. Bass no sells and bulls his way out of the corner. A few moves later, Bass gets the pin with the running slam.

Match 3
Sgt. Slaughter d. Frank Monte, in a replay from 9/19/81 World Wide Wrestling.
Rick Landrum & Johnny Weaver on the mic, Tommy Young is the referee. Sarge wins with the cobra.

—Interview w/David Crockett: Scott McGee
In this spot on tapes that aired around the market, local promos would air. I suppose these are the “generic” promos that stayed on the tape, and last on the Network. McGee talks about his ascent in wrestling.


Match 4
The Grappler & Super Destroyer d. Ron Ritchie & Johnny Weaver
Super D has a white mask on. While Weaver is battling Grappler on the outside, Super D nails the superplex for the pin. Jake Roberts comes into the ring to complain to the referee about the masked heel duo’s illegal switching during the match.

—Interview w/Bob Caudle: Grappler & Destroyer; Austin Idol; Ole Anderson
Rapid interview time. Not much from the masked team. Rambling by Idol, challenging Flair. Ole is surly, only as Ole can be. He said he will take the belt from Flair. Runs down the other babyfaces on the show.

Magic screen intro for the next match.


Match 5
Jake Roberts & Leroy Brown d. Ricky Harris & Mike Miller
Crockett announces that the United States Heavyweight championship is vacant, with a tournament upcoming. Crockett is a little vague, saying Piper won the match, with Abdullah’s interference, but not going into detail. Lots of big names to wrestle for the title.
Brown picks up the win for his team after a big splash onto Miller.

—Interview w/David Crockett: Jim Nelson, Ricky Harris, and Mike Miller
Filler spot where local promos would normally go. More of a straightforward interview with why each man lost their respective match on the show.


Match 6
Jay Youngblood d. Ole Anderson by DQ
The Grappler joins Caudle & Crockett. He gets involved by tossing Youngblood into the ring after Ole sent him out. Grappler remain at ringside. Sure enough, Grappler gets int the ring, attacking Youngblood for the DQ. Roberts, Bass and Leroy Brown make the save, and the heels retreat.

—Interview w/Bob Caudle: Bass, Brown, Roberts, Youngblood
In rapid fire, all four babyfaces are tired of the interference by Ole and the crew. Times they say, are a changing.

“So long for now!”

Direct Link to this program on the WWE Network:
Subscription required. They offer a free 30-day trial.

TV Summary Index

Results for the week of 9/21-9/27 after the jump......

Sunday, April 14, 2019

Best of the Gateway: Les Thatcher's Peacock Masterpiece

by Dick Bourne
From the Mid-Atlantic Gateway Archives

          “The pride of the Peacock is the glory of God.”
                            – William Blake, 19th Century English Poet

Nineteenth century poet William Blake may have been onto something here in this line from a proverb he wrote on expression and relationships. The relationship between Ric Flair and his fans has indeed been a glorious manifestation of the unique way he has connected with them over his long career. Even as a “bad guy”, most fans have never been able to escape the irresistible bad-boy charms of the Nature Boy.

One of those charms has always been his collection of resplendent robes, especially in the 1970s, early in his career, something in which he took great pride. It wasn’t long into Flair’s career that Les Thatcher recognized that Flair’s colorful robes had become his signature, and he put that to work in one of his projects.

Les Thatcher
Les Thatcher is known within the wrestling industry as one of the most versatile and creative minds in the business. For over four decades, he has literally done it all: wrestler, television announcer, television producer, magazine editor, magazine writer, promoter, booker, trainer - - you name it, he’s done it, and done it pretty darn well.

In the 1970s, Thatcher’s work in television and magazine publishing was cutting edge for the wrestling business at that time. He hosted and produced the “Southeastern Championship Wrestling” program in Knoxville TN for Ron Fuller, and created unique segments for the show, such as the “Personality Profile”, ideas that had never really been tried before on wrestling programs. He convinced Jim Crockett Jr. to allow him to publish an in-house full color wrestling magazine, a risky prospect unheard of at the time primarily because of the additional costs involved. Within the pages of those magazines, he would come up with increasingly clever ideas to feature the wrestlers.

When Ric Flair exploded onto the national wrestling scene in the mid-1970s, he had successfully crafted the image of the “Nature Boy”. It wasn’t always going to be that way. Flair originally wanted to be a cowboy, asking promoter Verne Gagne if he could be “Cowboy” Ricky Rhodes, and be billed as the younger brother of his idol at the time, Dusty Rhodes. In a moment of great wisdom and judgment, Gagne emphatically told him “no”.

The “Nature Boy” was born a few years later when booker George Scott had a vision of Flair as the second coming of the flamboyant “Nature Boy” Buddy Rogers, a former world heavyweight champion and one of wrestling’s top stars in the 1960s. Rogers made famous the peacock-like strut that Flair would later adopt and custom in his own image.

Flair carried Scott’s vision, not to mention Roger’s style, to an entirely different level. He became a peacock, embodied in the colorful robes he quickly collected in the years following his return from the 1975 plane crash. Flair commissioned his robes crafted by the great Olivia Walker who made some of the most famous robes in wrestling for some of the greatest names in the business. In fact, one of his most popular robes was a gorgeous creation adorned in colorful peacock feathers. Sadly (and infamously) that robe was destroyed in the “hat and robe” angle in 1978; Blackjack Mulligan ripping it to shreds in response to Flair destroying Mulligan’s cowboy hat given to him by Waylon Jennings.

In 1977, Les Thatcher came up with an idea for Mid-Atlantic Wrestling magazine to further allow Ric Flair his expression as the most colorful wrestler in the territory. The famous peacock graphic was born.

Flair at this point had amassed an impressive collection of robes in many different designs and colors. Thatcher conceived of a montage of photographs of Flair in each of his robes, each representing a single feather in a peacock’s plumage.

Thatcher brought photographer Woody Smith into the project. They met at Flair’s house one afternoon and set up a tripod in the backyard. Smith had Flair stand in the same spot so that he would be in identical proportion in each shot. Flair would put a robe on, Smith would take a photo, Flair would change into the next robe, hit his mark, next photo taken, and so forth. In all of the photos Flair had his back turned to the camera, showing off the “Nature Boy” inscribed on each, except for one. The one photo where Flair faced forward was the one where he wore that now famous peacock robe. Flair squared with the camera, arms open wide, seemingly ready at any moment to break into that famous strut. You can almost hear the “Wooooo!”

Thatcher and art director Cal Byers took a drawing of a peacock and placed the photos of Flair inside each of the peacock’s feathers. It was the perfect way to highlight Flair’s colorful, cocky character and to feature the robes which had quickly become his trademark.

It was a very creative idea (as most of Les's ideas were) that resulted in a special graphic image that is still enjoyed today, and kept alive forever here on the Mid-Atlantic Gateway.

See also: The Hat & The Robe

This feature was originally published on the old Mid-Atlantic Gateway 
in February 2009 and was republished on the new 
website on July 27, 2015.

Friday, April 12, 2019

Action Figure Friday: The Iron Sheik

Another classic staging from Reggie Richardson over at Scottie Richardson's Wrestler Weekly. A great Sheik figure wearing a custom Mid-Atlantic title belt standing in from of an old 1980 issue of Mid-Atlantic Wrestling Magazine.

I love these set ups that Reggie is doing with the magazines. Keep 'em coming!

Wednesday, April 10, 2019

Mid-Atlantic TV - September 19, 1981
Mid-Atlantic Wrestling
on the WWE Network
Mid-Atlantic Championship Wrestling
TV Summaries & Reviews
by David Taub
Mid-Atlantic Gateway Contributor

This is a review of Mid-Atlantic Wrestling as it appeared on the WWE Network. Results are included for the week (Monday-Sunday of the given week) as available. Please email with any corrections, typos, results, other details at 

Mid-Atlantic Championship Wrestling
Original broadcast: 9/19/81
(taped 9/16/81 at WPCQ-TV studios in Charlotte)
WWE Network feed.  [SHOW LINK]

Caudle & Crockett open the show. By popular demand, Abdullah, Piper and Wahoo are allowed back on the show.

—Int. w/Bob Caudle: Ron Bass
Bass talks mostly about Piper vs. Wahoo, and Flair vs. Ole.


Match 1
Ricky Steamboat & Jay Youngblood d. Mike Miller & Rick Harris.
Tommy Young is the referee for this and all matches for the hour.
The match gets the blue screen introduction before the break. Steamboat pins Miller after the top-rope flying bodypress after about five minutes.


Match 2
Sgt. Slaughter d. Ron Ritchie
For some reason, no one is in the ring as we come back from break. Can you say live to tape with no edits? We finally get our talent. Caudle does mention that last week was our first look at Slaughter, so I guess that was his debut. Slaughter finishes off Ritchie with a knee to the gut. No cobra this week.


Match 3
Jake Roberts d. Jim Nelson
Caudle notes Nelson’s crew cut, and how he looks like he belongs in the Marines. Ole Anderson and Roddy Piper come to ringside mid-match to taunt The Snake. Roberts hits the “oh oh oh oh,” ie Crockett’s description of the unnamed DDT. Roberts finishes Nelson off with the knee lift for the win.

Post-match, Piper and Ole get on the apron. Both retreat as Roberts nearly gets a right hand on Ole. Bass comes to the ring to back up his fellow Texan (as Jake was billed from).


—Interview w/Bob Caudle: Ole Anderson & Roddy Piper; Sgt. Slaughter
Ole says he didn’t jump in the ring because he didn’t want to get fined. Ole talks about how injured Wahoo and Flair are. Piper has a “Satisfaction Guaranteed” on the front of the shirt, with “Mr. Mean Machine” on the back. Another Piper interview classic talking about Wahoo’s injuries.
As Ole & Piper exit, Slaughter enters. He vows to win a major title soon.

Caudle introduces the next match on the blue screen before the break.


Match 4
NWA TV championship: Ron Bass d. Charlie Fulton
The TV championship is on the line for the first 15 minutes. Bass needs about six to finish Fulton off with the running power slam.


Match 5
Paul Jones & Frank Monte d. Ole Anderson & Roddy Piper by DQ
Piper regales Caudle with the bagpipes pre-match, but stops. Ahhh. Piper has his yellow-and-green checker trunks. The finish has all four men brawl in the ring. Monte gets sent outside. Jones gets double teamed. Steamboat and Bass make the save. Tommy Young disqualifies Ole & Piper.

—Interview w/Bob Caudle: Steamboat & Bass
Bass warns Ole & Piper, mentioning a falls count anywhere contest coming up, with Wahoo involved as well. Steamboat echoes Bass’s statements. The records show a few falls county anywhere matches, involving combinations of Piper, Ole, Flair, Wahoo, etc. over the next few weeks.

“So long for now!”

Direct Link to this program on the WWE Network:
Subscription required. They offer a free 30-day trial.

TV Summary Index 

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

Available results for the week, Sept. 14-20
Mon., 9/14/81 Greenville, SC
Wahoo McDaniel & Ron Bass beat Roddy Piper & Nikolai Volkoff
Jay Youngblood beat Austin Idol by DQ
Johnny Weaver beat Chris Markoff
Jacques Goulet beat Dewey Robertson
Scott McGhee beat Ricky Harris
Don Kernodle beat Charlie Fulton

Tue., 9/15/81 Columbia, SC
Siva Afi d. Laurent Soucie
Scott McGee d. Ricky Harris
Terry Latham d. Charlie Fulton
Paul Jones d. Mike Miller
Leroy Brown d. Ole Anderson
Ricky Steamboat d. Ivan Koloff by DQ
(Wrestling ‘81/Shedlock)

Tue., 9/15/81 Durham NC
Wahoo McDaniel & Ric Flair vs. Roddy Piper & Greg Valentine
Ron Bass vs. ??
Jake Roberts vs. ??
The Grappler & Super Destroyer vs. ?? & ??
Plus other matches

Tue., 9/15/81 Mount Airy, NC
Nikolai Volkoff & Chris Markoff vs. Johnny Weaver & Jay Youngblood
Austin Idol vs. Sweet Ebony Diamond
Jacques Goulet vs. Steve Muslin
Ali Bey vs. Don Kernodle
El Toro vs. Mike Davis

Thu., 9/17/81 Spartanburg, SC
Johnny Weaver & Paul Jones beat Nikolai Volkoff & Chris Markoff by DQ
Frank Monte beat Tony Tosi
Terry Lathan beat Charlie Fulton
Dewey Robertson beat Jim nelson
Austin Idol beat Jay Youngblood

Thu., 9/17/81 Sumter, SC
Wahoo McDaniel & Leroy Brown beat Roddy Piper & Greg Valentine
Jake Roberts beat Ricky Harris
Don Kernodle beat Ali Bey
Scott McGee beat Mike Miller
Steve Muslin beat Mike Reed

Fri., 9/18/81 Charleston, WV
Leroy Brown beat Greg Valentine in a Lumberjack match
Jake Roberts, Paul Jones & Johnny Weaver beat Nikolai Volkoff, Chris Markoff & Austin Idol
Mike Davis beat Jacques Goulet
Don Kernodle beat Ricky Harris
Sivi Afi beat Mike Miller

Fri., 9/18/81 Richmond, VA – Richmond Coliseum
Ron Ritchie beat Charlie Fulton
Terry Latham beat Mike Reed
Super Destroyer & Grappler beat Dewey Robertson & Steve Muslin
Ron Bass beat Ivan Koloff by DQ
Ricky Steamboat beat Ole Anderson
Wahoo McDaniel & Jay Youngblood (sub for Ric Flair) beat Abdullah The Butcher & Roddy Piper by DQ

Fri., 9/18/81 Knoxville, TN (Mulligan/Flair promotion)
Blackjack Mulligan, Jr., Terry Taylor & Jay Strongbow beat Kevin Sullivan, John Studd & Crippler Canyon
Wayne Farris beat Rick Connors
Jeff Sword & Doug Vines beat Tim Horner & Keith Larson
Don Carson beat Dennis Brown
Ron Wright beat Izzy Slapowitz
Mike Fever beat Tony Russo

Sat., 9/19/81 Charlotte, NC — Charlotte Coliseum
Charlie Fulton d. Steve Muslin
Ron Ritchie d. Jim Nelson
Super Destroyer &The Grappler d. Terry Latham & Dewey Robertson
Ivan Koloff d. Jay Youngblood
Wahoo McDaniel & Ricky Steamboat & Jake Roberts d. Ole Anderson & Roddy Piper & Abdullah The Butcher [Roberts sub for Flair]

Sun., 9/20/81 Asheville, NC
Steve Muslin d. Mike Miller
Scott McGee d. Jim Nelson
Frank Monte d. Mike Reed
Leroy Brown d. Ivan Koloff
The Grappler & Super Destroyer d. Johnny Weaver & Dewey Robertson
Wahoo McDaniel & Ric Flair d. Ole Anderson & Roddy Piper in an Indian strap match
(Wrestling ‘81/Shedlock)

Sun., 9/20/81 Toronto, Ontario (Maple Leaf Wrestling/Frank Tunney)
Frankie Laine beat Terry Latham
Ron Ritchie beat Goldie Rogers
Steve Bolus beat Kurt Von Hess
Leroy Brown & Johnny Weaver beat Nikolai Volkoff & Chris Markoff
Greg Valentine beat Jay Youngblood
Ric Flair & Wahoo McDaniel beat Roddy Piper & Ole Anderson by DQ
John Studd beat Angelo Mosca (15:10) to win Canadian Title

* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *
Please note: This summary and review was written by David Taub and does not necessarily represent the views of the Mid-Atlantic Gateway or its publishers or editors. It is for information purposes only and is published here with permission. This material is not affiliated in any way with the WWE Network,, or World Wrestling Entertainment, Inc.

Direct Link to this program on the WWE Network:
Subscription required. They offer a free 30-day trial.

TV Summary Index

Monday, April 08, 2019

BBQ with the Caudles!

We had the pleasure of sharing some barbecue with Bob and Jackie Caudle in Raleigh this weekend. Two of our favorite people on the planet! We love them dearly and are happy to report they are both doing well.

Bob thanks all his fans for asking about him and says he looks forward to seeing you down the road. And we all thank Diana Chappell for the early Easter goodies!

Always a thrill to spend time with the great voice of Mid-Atlantic Wrestling Bob Caudle. And Jackie is always the life of any party!