Friday, June 26, 2015

"MatLands" - New Book by Jim Brunzell

While most of the wrestling world might remember him as either one half of the AWA world tag team champions with Greg Gagne or one half of the WWF tag team "The Killer Bees" with B. Brian Blair, we at the Mid-Atlantic Gateway prefer to tout "Jumpin'" Jim Brunzell as the former Mid-Atlantic heavyweight champion from his time working our territory in 1979 and 1980.

Brunzell has a new book out titled "MatLands: True Stories from the Wrestling Road." It is independently published and available now at A 15-page preview of the book is available there as well. (The preview doesn't get you far enough to see any of the wrestling material, but looking at the table of contents, "MatLands" is all about the wrestling.)

From the publisher:
Hall of Fame member, Jumpin' Jim Brunzell chronicles his journey through the uncertain and sometimes dangerous road of professional wrestling. Some forty plus true stories that give a snapshot into the zany life that Jim and his "Blood Brothers" lived everyday in the very real world of "MatLands."

Brunzell had a nice run in the Mid-Atlantic territory, which included big feuds with Ken Patera, Ray Stevens, and the Iron Shiek. Jim held the Mid-Atlantic heavyweight championship twice, winning it the first time from Ken Patera in Richmond, VA. on 9/14/79.

He lost the title to "The Crippler" Ray Stevens in Greensboro on 11/22/79 but regained it from him on Christmas day in Charlotte.

Brunzell lost the title a final time to the Iron Sheik on 5/11/80 in Charlotte.

Brunzell worked with a great crew during his time in the Carolinas and Virginia including Ric Flair, Blackjack Mulligan, Jimmy Snuka, and many others. He was also fortunate enough to be in the territory when the legendary "Nature Boy" Buddy Rogers made a brief return to the ring and one of the stories in his book is about the legendary world champion of both the WWWF and the NWA.

There is a chapter titled "Ed Wahoo McDaniel" which alone is enough to get a thumbs up from us.

And lastly there is a chapter titled "The Magic Rat Drove His Sleek Machine" which has us wanting to spend time with barefoot girls sitting on the hood of a Dodge, drinking warm beer in the soft summer rain. But that's just us.

"MatLands" is available through

Meanwhile, on the Gateway, we knew Jim Brunzell was talented, we just didn't know how talented.