Saturday, July 20, 2019

Blooper! Fat Boy Duncan!

 
by Dick Bourne
Mid-Atlantic Gateway

We love the newspaper bloopers, but when David Chappell came across this one and sent it to me, I laughed out loud.

These are the results that appeared in the Tuesday morning Greenville, SC, newspaper following the weekly Monday night event at the Greenville Memorial Auditorium on 8/11/80.

The scheduled co-main event was to be Blackjack Mulligan vs. "Bad Boy" Bobby Duncum, but it appears that FAT BOY DUNCAN took his place!!

In other notes:

Not mentioned in this clip is that Greg Valentine was defending the U.S. title that night in his match against Sweet Ebony Diamond (Rocky Johnson.)

Interesting to see future Japanese superstar Tenyru on the under card, forming an interesting team with Brute Bernard and the underrated Gene Lewis. Their opponents featured one of my favorite tag teams of all time, Matt Borne and Buzz Sawyer (Mid-Atlantic Tag Team champions at that time), with their partner the legendary veteran Johnny Weaver. I'm betting that was an entertaining six-man tag match before the intermission.

The opener that night, not listed in these results, was Don Kernodle vs. Tony Russo.

For more Bloopers, see the entire list here. More to come!


http://bookstore.midatlanticgateway.com

Friday, July 19, 2019

First Round Continues: Windham vs. Jones

http://www.canadianbulldogsworld.com/rickard-the-greatest-us-champion-of-a-c1uoq

Mike Rickard is writing a multi-part feature fantasy booking a big tournament that will declare the winner to be "The Greatest U.S. Champion of All Time." The feature will be a weekly post to the Canadian Bulldog's World website.

The tournament will go on all summer and will feature the 21 U.S. champions from the Crockett era competing in single elimination bracketing.

See the introduction for more information on participants and tournament set up.

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

The first round of the tournament is underway with another most interesting first round match-up:


PAUL JONES VS. BARRY WINDHAM
This one is bound to stir up some controversy!

Many younger fans might see this one as a one-sided affair, those only familiar with Jones from his work in the 1980s as a manager and then familiar with Windham for his relatively short but exciting run as U.S. champion when a member of the Four Horsemen in 1988.

However, those younger fans should remember that in his early-to-mid 1970s prime, Paul Jones was one of the top ranked wrestlers in the world, holding marquee victories over Jack Brisco, Terry Funk, Blackjack Mulligan, Ric Flair and many others.

But Horsemen fans in particular will remember that Horsemen may have never been so dominant as they were when Windham was in the group and held  the U.S. title.


So it's an interesting and test early on in the second match of the first round of Mike's tournament and no matter which way he sees it going, the result is bound to be controversial.  Go to the match-up.

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

PREVIOUSLY:

Introducing the Mike Rickard Greatest U.S. Champion of All Time Tournament 
by Mike Rickard, Canadian Bulldog's World

FIRST ROUND
Harley Race vs. Tully Blanchard


Mike Rickard is the author of "Wrestling's Greatest Moments", as well as the autobiographical "Laughing All the Way to the Bank (Robbery): How An Attorney Survived Prison" and the new novel "Flunky: Pawns and  Kings." His website is located at MichaelRickard.com.



Mike recently wrote a nice review of our book on the history of the United States Championship. We appreciate that very much and are happy that the book was perhaps a part of inspiring this tournament.

Read Mike's review here.

You can order the full color book on Amazon.com here.

 

http://bookstore.midatlanticgateway.com

Thursday, July 18, 2019

Mid-Atlantic TV: January 2, 1982

http://network.wwe.com/video/v1870847183
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 1davidtaub@gmail.com

For links to all available summaries and links to these TV shows on the WWE Network, visit our TV Summary Index.


Mid-Atlantic Championship Wrestling
Original broadcast: 1/02/82
(taped 12/30/81 at WPCQ-TV studios in Charlotte)
WWE Network feed.  [Watch this Episode on the WWE Network.]

It’s a new year as we switch to 1982. Before the review, here are the current champs:

  • NWA World Heavyweight: Ric Flair
  • United States Heavyweight: Sgt. Slaughter
  • Mid-Atlantic Heavyweight: Roddy Piper
  • NWA TV: Ivan Koloff
  • World tag team: Ole Anderson & Gene Anderson
  • Mid-Atlantic tag team: Ox Baker & Pretty Boy Fergie

And, a quick summary of top babyfaces and heels:

Babyfaces:
Ricky Steamboat
Black Jack Mulligan
Black Jack Mulligan, Jr.
Jimmy Valiant
Ray Stevens
Jake Roberts
Jay Youngblood
Paul Jones

Heels:
Sgt. Slaughter
Roddy Piper
Big John Studd
Ole Anderson
Ivan Koloff
Ninja
Austin Idol

On to the show.

Bob Caudle & David Crockett preview the hour and ask fans to consider which wrestler made the most impact in 1981. I sense a write-in contest is coming.

Match 1
Jake Roberts & Jay Youngblood d. Mike Miller & Chris Markoff. 
Stu Schwartz is the referee for the hour.
Markoff must have defected. He is spelling his name “Chris” instead of “Kris” and dropped the water polo cap. More talk of the most impactful wrestler of 1981, good or bad. Caudle predicts a big 1982 for Ray Stevens. Back to the match. The heels have a good run. But, it’s Jake Roberts pinning Miller after the knee lift.

[Break]

— Int. w/Bob Caudle: Roddy Piper
The next match can’t begin, because Roddy Piper has something to say. Mainly, he’s made the most impact in 1981. He also complains Flair hasn’t given him a title shot.

Match 2
NWA TV title: Ivan Koloff [ch.] d. Ron Sexton
Clarification on the TV title rule (maybe). The TV title is on the line for the first 15 minutes of the match. But these TV matches are 10 minutes in time limit only. Sandy Scott joins the announcer’s desk. He says Slaughter and Ole think they’ve been #1 for 1981. It’s all Koloff. He finishes Sexton off with the driving knee to the back of the head for the pin.

—local promos w/Big Bill Ward
First appearance on the Network for Big Bill Ward. He’s talking about a 3/16/82 card at the George Whythe  HS Gym in Whytheville, VA. Also, 3/09/82 at Christiansburg HS Gym in Christiansburg, VA. And “tomorrow” at the Roanoke Civic Center. “Tonight” at the Brushfork Armory in Bluefield, WV. It’s Koloff vs. Valiant for the TV title; and Super D vs. Jay Youngblood, mask vs. Youngblood leaves town.
Les Thatcher now holds a mic for Super D. This is NOT Scott Irwin. He literally has a bus ticket for Youngblood. I’m guessing taped from the Knoxville studio.
Ward is back with Lord Al Hayes. Decent heel interview for his lumberjack match vs. Johnny Waver. Ivan Koloff is next, talking about his match vs. Valiant. Koloff holds the TV title belt.

A check of future results says the Bluefield card took place March 6. So, this must be the tape from the Bluefield-Beckley-Oak Hill, WV market, which aired nine weeks after the original airdate. Bicycling tapes at its best. The results also say that Super D is Don Kernodle.

http://network.wwe.com/shows/vault/mid-atlantic

[Break]

Match 3
Ray Stevens d. Tony Russo
Stevens still has one of the World tag team championship belts. Stevens wins with the piledriver

[Break]

—Int. w/Caudle: Jake Roberts, Black Jack Mulligan, Jr. and Ray Stevens
Babyface interview time. Roberts enjoyed his Christmas break. Went back to the family farm. Said a hog on the farm reminded him of Ole Anderson. Roberts has his stoic interview style down, just not as creepy in later years. Black Jack Mulligan, Jr. joins in, saying he is chasing Slaughter. No word on the result of that cliffhanger from last week, whether Junior survived the Cobra Clutch challenge. Stevens holds the World tag title belt. Says Ole is tough, but he will put an end to it.

Caudle introduces the next match via bluescreen.

[Break]

Match 4
Blackjack Mulligan, Jr. d. Bill White
Details. Not Ole Anderson’s strong suit as booker. The spelling is back to one word: Blackjack for this week. Slaughter comes out and joins Caudle & Crockett. They finally bring up the Cobra Clutch challenge from last week. Slaughter says he won. The announcers disagree.

—local promos w/Big Bill Ward
Ward runs down the upcoming cards in Whytheville, Christianburg, Roanoke and Bluefield. Johnny Weaver talks about his lumberjack match vs. Lord Al Hayes. Jay Youngblood talks about his mask vs. leaving town against Super D. Youngblood even says he’ll cut his hair if he loses.

[Break]

Match 5
Sgt. Slaughter & Pvt. Nelson d. Mike Davis & Terry Taylor
Davis & Taylor work on their foes’ arms. Caudle & Crockett calls it good strategy to counter the Cobra Clutch. But, despite the best effort, Davis succumbs to Slaughter’s Cobra Clutch.

—Int. w/Caudle: Ivan Koloff, Ole & Gene Anderson
Ivan talks about Koloff supremacy. Says he will keep his TV championship. The Anderson brothers are in. Gene talks about Ninja. He complains about Stevens. Ole trash talks Ray Stevens. Ole says Sandy Scott can stop him here, but he can’t stop him in the ring.

“So long for now!”

 Match results


Results for the week, 12/28/81-1/03/82 after the jump...

Tuesday, July 16, 2019

NWA Title Art: The Red Velvet

The Red Velvet Belt, seen here with the "Jack Brisco" nameplate. (Version 1-B)
Graphic art created by David Williams © 2019

PART 2 
by Dick Bourne, Mid-Atlantic Gateway
Art by David Williams 

The very first version of the the "domed-globe" NWA World title belt was a leather strap encased in bright red velvet fabric. It was first introduced on July 20, 1973 in Houston, TX, when the previous belt was retired and this new belt was presented to then-reigning champion Harley Race. 

When first presented, it did not have a nameplate. (I've always thought it was a crime to have not had a nameplate for Harley Race, especially if they were going to have a nameplate for Brisco.) Jack Brisco defeated Race that night, and soon after a simple "trophy shop" nameplate was affixed with the name "Jack Brisco" in upper and lower case letters. 



The two images in the Progression chart above show the two slightly different configurations of the red velvet belt, with and without the Jack Brisco nameplate. (Version 1)

NWA World Champion Jack Brisco
The shape of the strap may look odd compared to the traditional cut of a wrestling belt's leather strap. But graphic artist David Williams was careful to reproduce the red-velvet strap as accurately as possible using several photos that showed the belt's clasping buckle and belt holes. 

While beautiful in its own unique way, the red velvet didn't last long because the moisture created by perspiration and the belt often traveling in a bag with damp ring-wear caused the fabric to quickly deteriorate. When the belt was originally presented, it was housed in its own Halliburton-style suitcase. But that created just one more thing to haul around and it is thought that Brisco started traveling with the belt, at least to and from the hotel, in the bag with the rest of his gear. The red velvet fabric would apparently easily stain other fabrics, and there are stories of Brisco in the ring with lightly stained pink socks under within his wrestling boots.

According to Jerry Brisco, Jack hated the red belt, likely because of issues like those described above. Sometime in 1974, the belt's red velvet fabric and the strap it covered were discarded and a new, black leather strap was cut for the beautiful gold plates (as seen in PART ONE.)

The book "Ten Pounds of Gold" that I authored with Dave Millican lays out in great detail all four versions of the NWA "domed-globe" belt. (There is a chart summarizing those versions in pp. 70-71 of the book.)



Each of the four versions had their own unique characteristics while also sharing some characteristics to other versions. I'll detail them for the belts covered in the each specific installment of this series.

Characteristics that made Version 1 of the belt unique:
  • Original strap encased in red velvet.
  • "Jack Brisco" Nameplate

Characteristics common to Version 1 and Version 2 of the belt:
  • NWA letters on the globe straight across (curved on versions 3 and 4)
  • Names of countries in white lettering on black background. 
  • Black paint on side panels to either side of the globe. (Black onyx used for ver. 3 and 4.)

In PART THREE of NWA Title Art, we'll take a look at David Williams's detailed renditions of what the belt went through in the second version. The 1974-1976 period included dents in the globe and paint coming off the black side panels as Jack Brisco, Shohei "Giant" Baba, and Terry Funk defended it around the world.

PART 1: Incredible Art - The NWA World Title Belt Recreated

http://www.tenpoundsofgold.com

Sunday, July 14, 2019

Best Of: With Ric Flair, It's "All in the Family"

by Dick Bourne
Mid-Atlantic Gateway


It's probably fair to say that in the storybook world of pro-wrestling, especially back in the territory days, worked family connections were just as common as bonafide family relationships.

For all the Funks, Briscos, and Von Erichs there were just as many Valiants, Fargos, and Andersons.

Ric Flair and Rip Hawk
Mid-Atlantic Tag Team Champions
(Photo by Bill Janosik)
Sometimes wrestling would even take an actual truthful family relationship (like father and son Johnny and Greg Valentine) and create a worked relationship (Johnny and Greg Valentine as brothers in the mid-1970s.)

But then there is the case of the "Nature Boy" Ric Flair. Flair would for a short time be a member of two different wrestling families soon after arriving to Jim Crockett Promotions.

Ric Flair arrived in Charlotte in May of 1974, debuting for Jim Crockett Promotions against Abe Jacobs at the Charlotte Coliseum on Monday night, May 13.

Within two weeks, booker George Scott was toying around with different ways to align Flair to begin his slow push. There were two family relationships that sprung up almost at the same time.

Ric was first said to be the nephew of Rip Hawk, the "blond bomber" who had a notorious reputation in the area going back more than a decade. George Scott teamed Hawk and Flair up early, only a few weeks after Flair arrived, and the two would soon win the Mid-Atlantic Tag Team championship from Paul Jones and Bob Bruggers on the Fourth of July in Greensboro. Flair's star was quickly on the rise.

But during that same time, the story was also floated on TV and in newspaper promos that Flair was a cousin of Gene and Ole Anderson, playing off the fact they were all three from Minnesota.

A newspaper article written in advance of a 5/24/74 show in Burlington, NC, listed the matches for the upcoming card, and included this:

"Singles action has Ric Flair, a relative of the Anderson Brothers, facing Billy Ashe."

Three days later on 5/27 in Greenville, SC -- exactly two weeks after his debut - - Flair and Rip Hawk teamed for the first time, getting an upset win of sorts over area veterans Nelson Royal and Danny Miller. Flair's push was on.  Less than seven weeks later, they won the Mid-Atlantic tag team titles.

We've joked over the years that if Flair was Rip Hawk's nephew and he was also Gene and Ole Anderson's cousin, then that must have meant that Rip Hawk and the Anderson Brothers were somehow related.

Try to figure out that family tree!

Wait ... we did.

Extensive genealogical and ancestral research has unearthed the following information:

  1. There was a family of Andersons that immigrated to Minnesota from Sweden in the late 1800s. The patriarch was Noah Anderson. He and his wife Elsa had four children, two boys and two girls.
  2. Their first son, Nils Anderson, married and had four sons of his own: Gene, Lars, Nils Jr., and the youngest Ole. All became pro wrestlers.
  3. Their first daughter, Alma Anderson, married a Minnesota physician named Morgan Flair. They had a son named Richard "Ric" Flair who also became a pro-wrestler. (This makes Ric a first cousin to the four Anderson brothers by blood.)
  4. The second daughter, Catherine Anderson, married a pro wrestler named Harvey "Rip" Hawk. (This makes Rip an uncle by marriage to Ric Flair and, as an aside, an uncle by marriage to the four Anderson brothers, too. Apparently Rip never wanted to publicly acknowledge them.)
  5. Unrelated to this article, but to finish out the family tree, Noah and Alma's second son, Liam Anderson, had a son named Arn, which makes Arn blood cousin to the four Anderson brothers and Ric Flair, and as it works out, also a nephew by marriage to Rip Hawk. Liam and his wife Lesa Anderson moved to Georgia when Arn was just a baby, which might explain Arn's south-Georgia accent (as well his penchant for uttering classic southern phrases like "If I tell you a grasshopper can pull a freight train, hook him up!")
This research illustrates the uncle-nephew relationship between Rip Hawk and Ric Flair and the cousin relationship with the Anderson brothers. Ahhh, the many wonders of Mid-Atlantic Wrestling lore.

Mythical Anderson Family Tree (Click to see larger image.)

Confused? Don't worry. As Ole Anderson would say, this is all horsesh*t. And it may go quite the way of making the argument that I had way too much free time on my hands when writing this.

Originally published May 23, 2018 on the Mid-Atlantic Gateway. 
Updated with Family Tree diagram in 2019


http://bookstore.midatlanticgateway.com

Saturday, July 13, 2019

Rickard's Fantasy Tournament: Race vs. Blanchard


Mike Rickard is writing a multi-part feature fantasy booking a big tournament that will declare the winner to be "The Greatest U.S. Champion of All Time." The feature will be a weekly post to the Canadian Bulldog's World website.

The tournament will go on all summer and will feature the 21 U.S. champions from the Crockett era competing in single elimination bracketing.

See the introduction for more information on participants and tournament set up.

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

The first round of the tournament is underway with an incredible match-up to kick things off.


HARLEY RACE VS. TULLY BLANCHARD

What a first round pairing! And I'm torn between these two, because Harley Race is in my top 5 for all-time greatest NWA World champions but Tully Blanchard would probably crack my all-time top five as a U.S. heavyweight champion. In my mind, as an all around performer, Blanchard is one of the most underrated of all time. His intensity and believability during the mid-80s heyday of Crockett wrestling couldn't be matched.

But Harley Race is Harley Race.

So it's an interesting and test early on in the first match of the first round of Mike's tournament and no matter which way he sees it going, the result is bound to be controversial. Go to the match-up.

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

PREVIOUSLY:

Introducing the Mike Rickard Greatest U.S. Champion of All Time Tournament 
by Mike Rickard, Canadian Bulldog's World

Mike Rickard is the author of "Wrestling's Greatest Moments", as well as the autobiographical "Laughing All the Way to the Bank (Robbery): How An Attorney Survived Prison" and the new novel "Flunky: Pawns and  Kings." His website is located at MichaelRickard.com.



Mike recently wrote a nice review of our book on the history of the United States Championship. We appreciate that very much and are happy that the book was perhaps a part of inspiring this tournament.

Read Mike's review here.

You can order the full color book on Amazon.com here.

 

http://bookstore.midatlanticgateway.com

Thursday, July 11, 2019

Incredible Art: The NWA World Title Belt Recreated

The "Brisco Belt", the second version of the NWA World Title
"domed globe"  belt used in 1974-1976.

Graphic art created by David Williams © 2019

by Dick Bourne
Mid-Atlantic Gateway
Art by David Williams

Back in late February, a computer artist named David Williams contacted me wanting to source some photos for a graphic art project he was envisioning. "I’ve been obsessed for several years with the thought of accurately rendering the classic NWA belt," he wrote me. "The problem is I want to make it as perfect to original as possible, or not bother."

Given my love and appreciation for that old belt, this certainly seemed like a worthwhile endeavor and I wanted to enthusiastically support the project. The only thing David needed was some close-up hi-res photos of the belt, which I was happy to send him. Some of these photos I had taken myself, including the cover photo for the book "Ten Pounds of Gold" which showed close detail of the main plate, and others that showed the leather strap and details of the side plates.

With the help of some measurements Dave Millican made when he and I photographed the belt for the book back in 2008, Williams was able interpolate specific measurements for every element of the belt, all in perfect scale, in all of the title's iterations.

David Williams is a wrestling fan like the rest of us, growing up watching "Championship Wrestling from Florida," counting Jack Brisco and Buddy Colt among his favorites. Today he is a professional computer artist and career art director, as well as designer and publisher of the Ferrari Club of America’s Prancing Horse magazine. And let me tell you, this cat has mad skills.

Version 2A, end to end, every meticulous detail.
(David Williams)

After reviewing all the photos I sent him, he decided to attempt not only the original version, but a recreation of all four versions of the "domed globe" belt that were worn and defended by the great NWA champions of 1973-1986. The two images you see on this page are of the second version of the belt. It is always identifiable by several unique characteristics, primarily the white lettering on black background above the flags, the tight leather cut, and "NWA" letters that go straight across the globe (as opposed to the curved letters on later versions.)  You will also notice the "BRISCO" nameplate, which was on this version of the belt.

We collaborated on what should be included with regard to some of the details and in the end, David wound up with 10 different amazing images showing the progression of the belt from when it debuted in Houston, Texas on July 20, 1973 until it was retired in February of 1986. Each version features some change in the physical characteristics of the plates or the leather, even including the dents in the globes and the busted lacing around the edges of the leather strap.

In the coming weeks, I will present each of these 10 images, taking the opportunity to use David's amazing work to illustrate the evolution of the belt over the years, paired with information taken directly from the "Ten Pounds of Gold" book. You will see for yourself in some enlarged images the incredible detail of every single aspect of the belts, right down to the exact number of "beads" around the edge of the belt, the specific maps on the different globes, the lacing on the leather straps, the wrestlers on the plate, the fonts on the nameplates, and every other detail you can imagine. Just amazing work.

Coming up next: Version 1A of David Williams's amazing sequence of images, the belt as it first looked when it was presented to Harley Race before his match with Jack Brisco in Houston in July of 1973, the beautiful gold plates on the bright red velvet-wrapped leather strap.


http://tenpoundsofgold.com

Wednesday, July 10, 2019

Blooper! A "Worked" Tag Team Title Match


by Dick Bourne
Mid-Atlantic Gateway

We love the newspaper bloopers, but this might be better classified as a major breach of kayfabe! It's from Greenville, SC, in October of 1975.

We're pretty sure this was supposed to say WORLD Tag Team Title Match. (The "K" and the "L" are actually next to each other on the keyboard, which likely explains the error somewhere in the process.)

We're also pretty sure the boys in the back got a big laugh out of this if they saw the ad in the local paper.

Worked Tag Team Title Match!

* * * * * * * * * *

Tiger Conway, Jr and Steve Keirn were the hot babyface tag team at the time, even earning a non-title win over the Andersons on television.

Interesting 2nd main event with a young Bob Backlund making a rare appearance in the area. He was in for a few dates over the previous weekend as well.

Also interesting to note that the ad announces "New Time" for the show - - but doesn't actually list the time! By checking other ads before and after this show it looks like the bell-time for Greenville events changed from 8:15 PM to 8:00 PM.

For more Bloopers,  check out the list here. More to come!


http://bookstore.midatlanticgateway.com

Tuesday, July 09, 2019

Sweetness




See, just every now and then, I've got to throw this record on the turntable
and rock. You really should, too.



"If Steve Earle and John Prine tag teamed Bob Dylan, and Jerry Reed was pushin', Roger Alan Wade would laugh at em and say, '' y'all can't make a Sweet G.A. Brown''...
                                      - Elroy Keith