Saturday, May 27, 2017

Crockett Foundation Night at BB&T Ballpark in Charlotte

Jim Crockett, Jr., along with Frances, David, and Jackie were all recognized at the 2016 event!

A look back at the first Crockett Foundation Night in 2016 at the Charlotte Knights BB&T Ballpark in downtown Charlotte. 

The 2017 Crockett Foundation Night will be on Sunday, September 3 and will feature WWE Hall of Famers and Mid-Atlantic Legends Hall of Heroes members Ricky Morton and Robert Gibson (the Rock and Roll Express), James J. Dillon and others.

The video above feature Tony Schiavone's introduction of the Crockett Family (Frances, Jim Jr., David, and Jackie) at the Ballpark, plus clips of the Rock & Roll Express, Baby Doll, Tommy Young and others.

More info to come on the Mid-Atlantic Gateway and be sure to check out the Crockett Foundation Website at

Thursday, May 25, 2017

Best of the Gateway: Roddy Piper's Debut in the Mid-Atlantic Area

by David Chappell
Mid-Atlantic Gateway 
Originally published October 25th, 2016

“Rowdy” Roddy Piper, who would become one of the biggest names in the history of professional wrestling, entered Mid-Atlantic Championship Wrestling in the early autumn of 1980 as a virtual unknown to the fans of Jim Crockett Promotions. Without any advance publicity, Piper debuted in the territory on October 7, 1980 at the Dorton Arena in Raleigh, North Carolina, defeating Special Delivery Jones. But it was at the next night’s TV tapings at the WRAL television studios in Raleigh that Piper was truly introduced to the fans of the Mid-Atlantic area.

Roddy Piper with his bagpipes
At the beginning of that October 8, 1980 television taping, color commentator David Crockett announced as part of the match rundown, “And we have a newcomer…Rodney Piper.” Announcer Bob Caudle responded, “David, he’s from Glasgow, Scotland, and I understand he’s a rough, tough Scot.” Crockett answered, “That’s right; he really is. He’s a young, good looking guy, though. He’s very good.”

After Piper won his first TV match with ease, Caudle attempted to introduce Roddy to the area’s fans saying, “At ringside right now, and you just saw him in the ring and I gotta say…” Piper couldn’t wait for the introduction, blurting out, “Let me just tell you something Mister. I tell you something; I come to the area here and I walk in the arena and this lady says, ‘Who are you?’ She says, ‘WHO ARE YOU,’ to me! Who am I, who am I? Do I look like the tidy bowl man?! I come to the arena; I’m in my wrestling gear. Since I’ve been 16 years old, I’ve been professional wrestling.”

A boisterous Piper continued, “I was the youngest professional wrestler in the world when I started wrestling! By the time I was 19 years old, I won the Light Heavyweight Championship of the World, brother. Who am I?? When I was 21 I took Muhammad Ali, the World Heavyweight Boxing Champion, hip tossed him right down on his buttocks, and made him look like a fool. Who am I, you say?? You take a look at me, man; I’m the whipped cream on your strawberry shortcake! Who am I?? I am Rowdy Roddy Piper, 26 years old…”

Bob Caudle with Roddy Piper
At this juncture, a chant breaks out in the studio audience of ‘Rod-dy, Rod-dy, Rod-dy,’ which Piper feeds off of and pushes forward exclaiming, “…in the prime of my life, with ten years of experience! TEN YEARS of experience! And I come in here with a body that none can disclaim. Now don’t get me wrong, barbell plates and stuff like that is not my thing, brother. I am a wrestler! I am finely honed, I’m young and I’m ready. You listen to me, I see people comin’ around here, I see people comin’ around here, the ‘Nature Boy’ Ric Flair. What’s a Nature Boy, what does that mean? He runs through the woods nude?? The guy thinks he’s Euell Gibbons, comes up here and supposed to have all these pretty chicks chasing him all around?”

Without taking a breath Piper rants more on Flair and concludes, “Saw him the other day with some chicks, looked liked a Sasquatch exhibition, brother. Well, you listen to me. I’m what’s happening. You say, ‘Who am I?’ I told ya; I gotta question for you. You do you think you are, man?”

Almost at a loss for words, Caudle comments, “I tell ya fans, there’s no doubt what Roddy Piper thinks of Roddy Piper, and he can back it up as he said. He was the youngest wrestler in the world at 16, and held many championships. And that’s the story from Roddy Piper.”

It was a Mid-Atlantic story that had its first chapter in Raleigh in early October of 1980, and within less than a month saw Piper win the NWA Television Title in Richmond, Virginia in a spectacular one-night tournament. The United States Title came soon thereafter, and then many memorable feuds that culminated in 1983 with the vicious battles with former “Dream Team” friend Greg Valentine and the epic “Dog Collar Match” at Starrcade 1983.

The lady asking Roddy Piper who he was at his first WRAL appearance asked a fair question. But in his debut interview for Jim Crockett Promotions, Piper made it crystal clear who he was, and likely never had to answer that question again while wrestling in Mid-Atlantic Championship Wrestling. Fans in the Carolinas and Virginia quickly recognized Rowdy Roddy Piper as a wrestling star that just doesn’t come around every day, and saw that star shining brightly even during Piper’s earliest Mid-Atlantic appearance.

Retweet and WIN!

Click the Twitter link below, RETWEET, and you are entered to win! Thanks to our friends Tony Schiavone and Conrad Thompson for their support of the "Four Horsemen" book.

Tune in Monday, June 19 for their special podcast devoted to the entire run of the Four Horsemen in Jim Crockett Promotions and WCW in the 19870s and 1990s.

Wednesday, May 24, 2017

Classic TV: Mid-Atlantic Wrestling from April 1980

Mid-Atlantic Championship Wrestling from 4/19/80
Includes local promos for Kingsport, Tennessee's Dobyns-Bennett High School for a main event of Blackjack Mulligan & Andre the Giant vs. Masked Superstar 1 & 2.

1) Tony Russo/Swede Hanson vs SD Jones/Rufus Jones
2) Ric Flair vs The Scorpion
3) Local Promos - Masked Superstars 1 & 2
4) Greg Valentine/Ray Stevens vs Matt Borne/Nate Jenkins
5) Interview - Nature Boy Ric Flair

Sunday, May 21, 2017

Get it early! Big News on Pre-Ordering "Four Horsemen" on WHW 

Tune in to the hit podcast "What Happened When" with Tony Schiavone and Conrad Thompson this Monday 5/22 for information on how you can pre-order and receive early our new book "Four Horsemen," an exclusive for WHW listeners. 

The winner of the book give-away will be announced on Monday's show as well. 

"What Happened When" is an exclusive presentation of the MLW Radio Network. Click here to listen to all the shows!

Saturday, May 20, 2017

Mooneyham Reviews "Four Horsemen"

Check out Mike Mooneyham's nice review in the Charleston Post & Courier of the forthcoming book "Four Horsemen."

New Book Traces History of the Four Horsemen
by Mike Mooneyham

"Four Horsemen" will be available on the Mid-Atlantic Gateway and on on Monday, June 5th!

And tune in this week to the "What Happened When" podcast with Tony Schiavone and Conrad Thompson for a way to order and receive the book early.

Friday, May 19, 2017

Leaving No Doubt

Blackjack Mulligan Dispatches Enforcer Luciano

by David Chappell
Mid-Atlantic Gateway

Enforcer Luciano with Bob Caudle and David Crockett
One of Blackjack Mulligan’s most intriguing feuds in Mid-Atlantic Championship Wrestling was against the notorious mafioso boss, Enforcer Luciano. While the Mulligan/Luciano program was quite short, lasting only about three months from May to August in 1980, it had its share of memorable moments. Who can forget Blackjack bringing in his cousin “Crazy Luke” to battle the Enforcer? And Luciano surprisingly dominating Mulligan in a series of the Enforcer’s specialty matches, the “Detroit Street Brawls.” But to me, the most lasting memory of this feud was its grand finale.

As the summer of 1980 neared its end in late September, Jim Crockett Promotions decided to take the extraordinary step of producing a TV highlight show to pay tribute to the wresting action during the “long hot summer” of 1980 as announcer David Crockett would couch it. And how could any highlight show of the summer of 1980 be complete without a segment focusing on the feud between Blackjack Mulligan and Enforcer Luciano?

Blackjack started off the segment with announcer Bob Caudle stating, “I understand they have a film here of Luciano. Everybody’s been asking me and hollering and screaming whatever happened to Luciano…he just kind of took a U-haul trailer and left town. We're gonna find out in just a second where Luciano is, and WHY he left town.” Caudle questioned, “This is the way you got rid of him Jack, really?” Blackjack affirmed, “That’s exactly right, Luciano didn't want too much. You know, Luciano considered himself a real bad boy.”

The film that was shared with the viewing audience of the Mid-Atlantic Championship Wrestling television show was a Texas Street Fight between Mulligan and Luciano. These Texas Street Fights occurred throughout the territory’s larger arenas in late July and early August, and emphatically ended the feud.

Mulligan continued his narration, “I notice I have my Texas Street Fighting clothes on here now, because that’s when you’re really gettin’ down to it. Luciano just took a right hook to the face right there because now we're to the point now…the referee’s knocked down. Hit the man so hard that I knocked the referee down too!”

Blackjack then elaborated further, “I got the boots on, got the spurs on and we are ready to go. I'm holding the right hand of his, he had something taped to it and just punishing him a little bit. There’s a chain, a chain came loose, the man had a chain taped to his arm there. Trying to use everything in the world. There it is right there, a piece of chain. Now, I’m gonna give him a little bit of his own medicine Bob Caudle. We're gonna see how he likes a little bit of that!”

Caudle interjected, “You must have Jack, because we haven't heard of him since this either.” Mulligan explained “You know, everybody thinks they're pretty tough wherever they come from…you know, Luciano never attacked west Texas before. There's a right hook to the jaw there. I'm sure the man had a busted jaw…he probably had to eat soup for three or four months! Because at this point now I don't think Luciano wants it, because you understand a Texas Street Fight is a very serious affair!"

Mulligan then explained why stating, “Because that is the way we settle things down in the state there if there is a difference over a woman or property or some money, or if somebody took somebody’s pickup truck illegally…this is the way we settle it because it definitely gets settled. Because a man goes out there and fights...see I'm prying his arm loose right there. I'm definitely trying to pry his arm loose from his shoulder is what I'm trying to do!”

Blackjack carries on with his entertaining blow by blow noting, “At this point I get it down there and put the old boot on it…let's see what happens right here. This is the way we settle things from down where I come from, and I’m puttin’ the heel of that boot on that hand and I'm sure the man the next morning probably had a rough time eating a hot dog with that hand because I'm sure there were some knuckles smashed. There goes another shirt, one of those Detroit specials…tore that off of him too!”

Mulligan then describes the final segment of the bout that concluded the Enforcer’s run in the Mid-Atlantic area saying, “Here we go, there goes the man into the ropes right here, and there goes a boot right to the jaw and I guarantee you if the man had got up from this; watch this, slipping it off…” Caudle then excitedly observed, “You took that boot off!” Blackjack cackled, “I know this is a little bit nasty and I know this is a little bit dirty, but this is the thing they call the coup de grace, right across the face!”

Mulligan then gave the fans some historical context to this demolition of Luciano, explaining, “This is the same thing that happened to ol’ Luther Daniels one night when he was messin’ around with the wrong person; shouldn't have been messin’ around. Brother, when you put the spurs on ‘em and you put the boots on ‘em, that’s when Slim Gabriel comes to town, and he's the high Sheriff when he comes down there.”

The viewing audience then learned that Blackjack was not finished, and that he wasn't leaving the Enforcer’s utter demise to any element of chance.   “Luciano is hurtin’ now, believe me. So when you want to finish a man off in west Texas drop that spur right across the top of his head and give him a good ol’ boot right between the eyes, put it between the goalposts, and he won't come back to town! And if he does you better watch out because you haven't put enough on him,” Mulligan exclaimed.

Blackjack concluded, “There's Luciano, he's down and out. At this point I’m gonna give him just a little bit more because he was such a loudmouth and such a smart aleck. Right in the face! I know that seems a little mean and nasty…there I go. You should never kick a man while he's down, but it depends on what kind of man he was. Luciano was an extra dirty filthy rat…he’s gonna get it one more time right smack in the puss! There he is, down one, two, three it's all over for Luciano and I don't think we ever saw him or that we’ll ever hear from him again.”

I saw the Richmond Coliseum version of this epic Texas Street Fight on August 1, 1980. To this day, when any team or individual suffers a major whuppin’ I will immediately harken back to Enforcer Luciano laying on his back, spread eagle, staring up at the Richmond Coliseum lights for at least five minutes courtesy of the big man from Eagle Pass, Texas…never to be heard from again.  Yes, Blackjack Mulligan left absolutely no doubt!

Thursday, May 18, 2017

Friends Gather at Eblen Charities Golf Tournament

Abe Jacobs, Andy McDaniel, Nikita Koloff, and Mike Mooneyham
at the Eblen Charities golf tournament in Asheville, NC, May 16, 2017

Tuesday, May 16, 2017

Four Horsemen: A Timeline History

Only on "What Happened When" with Tony Schiavone & Conrad Thompson.
Check out Episode #16 (Fall Brawl '97) for details.