Saturday, July 18, 2015

Classic Clipping: Bobo Brazil Defends the U.S. Title

July 18, 1977  -  37 years ago today!
Cumberland County Memorial Arena
Fayetteville, North Carolina

Bobo Brazil was 11 days into his United States heavyweight title reign for Jim Crockett Promotions in July of 1977 when he put the title on the line in a rematch against former champ Blackjack Mulligan.

An excerpt from the Mid-Atlantic Gateway Almanac for July of 1977:

Blackjack Mulligan ran into difficulty almost immediately as the third quarter of 1977 began. A brief series of United States Heavyweight Title matches against top challenger Bobo Brazil ended in disaster for Mulligan on July 7, 1977 in Norfolk, Virginia when Brazil upended the seemingly unbeatable Texan for the coveted U.S. belt.

But Brazil's victory was not without controversy, at least in the eyes of Mulligan. On the ensuing television show of Mid-Atlantic Championship Wrestling, Brazil's victory interview with Bob Caudle was interrupted by Mulligan, who claimed that interference by special referee George Scott cost him the victory. Specifically, Blackjack claimed that Scott grabbed his arm without reason, allowing Brazil to get a clean "coco butt" on him enabling Bobo to knock him senseless and score the three count.

In an attempt to have history repeat itself, Mulligan as he did in December of 1976, protested the decision and sent the tape of this match to NWA President Eddie Graham for review. Again, as in December of 1976, an ultra confident Mulligan produced a videotape from Graham to be played on Mid-Atlantic TV for fans of the area to see the decision reversed and Blackjack installed as U.S. Champion again. But unlike December of 1976 when Graham ruled that Mulligan be given back the U.S. belt, this time the President sided with Brazil, saying that George Scott's actions as special referee in no way prejudiced Mulligan. Blackjack watched in astonishment as Graham ruled against him, flew into a rage, and vowed to get Scott, whom he held responsible for cheating him out of the U.S. belt.

Mulligan's anger against George Scott grew even fiercer several days later when Blackjack had apparently won the title back from Brazil in a return match, only to have Scott step in when Mulligan was being awarded the U.S belt and reversing the decision back to Brazil because Mulligan had used brass knuckles on Bobo to capture the pin fall. Blackjack went ballistic, attacked Scott with the brass knuckles, opening up a huge bloody gash on Scott's head which required emergency medical attention. Mulligan had gotten his revenge on Scott, or so he thought.

Soon thereafter on an edition of NWA Wide World Wrestling, George Scott was being interviewed by Ed Capperal when Mulligan interrupted the proceedings by gloating over injuring Scott and challenging George to a match. Scott countered by saying he didn't wrestle anymore, which met with Mulligan calling Scott a coward and roughing him up on the set. Scott later came back saying that he had enough of Blackjack and that he would wrestle Mulligan, and produced a contract for Mulligan to sign. Blackjack broke out laughing saying that Scott was nuts and that he would destroy him, and signed George's contract without reading the fine print. It turned out that Blackjack had signed a contract to wrestle George Scott AND a mystery partner in TWO ON ONE HANDICAP MATCHES!! When Mulligan realized his mistake, he broke out in a hilarious tirade that was one of the funniest outbursts ever on Mid-Atlantic Championship Wrestling television. These handicap matches would occupy Mulligan throughout the area until the middle of August!

From this post by David Chappell.