JOHNNY VALENTINE BATTLES PAUL JONES ON MID-ATLANTIC CHAMPIONSHIP WRESTLING
When the next week rolled around, the anticipation was palpable in the WRAL TV studios. July 27, 1974 was the Saturday many fans around the area had been looking forward to! Ring announcer Joe Murnick said, “Ladies and gentlemen we have a very, very special event.” Paul Jones came in and said, “Joe, I meant what I said last week. I’ve got my thousand silver dollars right here. Before this match starts, I’m gonna put them in that fish bowl down there, and I’m gonna show the people how to beat Johnny Valentine, the Champ, in less than 10 minutes or else he can have my thousand silver dollars.” As promised, Paul Jones brought 1000 silver dollars and tried to add them to a fish bowl nearly already filled with Valentine’s 1000 silver dollars. Jones did a good job, but still a good many silver dollars fell out of the fish bowl and onto the floor! The great “Chief” Wahoo McDaniel joined play-by-play man Bob Caudle at ringside for the call of the match, so you knew this special 2000 silver dollar challenge match was a big deal!
Check out this exclusive audio from 1974!
Joe Murnick interviews Paul Jones as he presents his matching 1000 silver dollars.
Things got underway with Valentine staring at the fish bowl overflowing with money. Bob Caudle chuckled and said, “You can tell how he loves money, just look at him…look at the expression on his face!” Wahoo laughingly replied, “That man; he doesn’t trust anybody.” Then Johnny was taking his good time taking off his ring robe. All these were vital seconds ticking away for Jones, who had to defeat Johnny by pinfall or submission within 10 minutes. “Number One” was clearly the aggressor at the outset, knowing he was fighting the clock as well as Valentine. Within the first minute of the match, Jones nearly upended the “Champ” with a small package hold.
The normally stoic Wahoo McDaniel said Jones should stay on Valentine and keep after him, and could be heard in the background yelling “C’MON PAUL” as Jones would push his offense as the time limit was ticking away. Bob Caudle commented that Jones was on the attack, and seemingly was not pacing himself. In turn, whenever the opportunity would present itself, Valentine would duck and shy away from Paul allowing those precious seconds to tick off the clock. Wahoo grudgingly admitted the Valentine was smart by laying back and killing time.
Wahoo commented that the only way Paul could get this match was by putting up $1000 of his own money, and that Valentine knew what he was doing and that there would be time pressure on Paul to keep from losing his money. Wahoo added, “It’s hard to beat anybody in 10 minutes.” The middle of the bout saw fists flying, with both men spending time outside of the ring. Jones was extending himself to the maximum, prompting Wahoo to say Paul was giving 100% effort.
In the bout’s final minutes, Jones had Valentine in his famous airplane spin, dumped Johnny on the mat but could only get a two count. Paul also was frantically trying to capture the “Champ” in his feared Indian Death Lock hold, but without success. As the match’s final seconds ticked off, Paul had Valentine locked in the painful abdominal stretch maneuver, but the resourceful Valentine did not give up as the time limit unceremoniously expired. A flat-out in the ring Valentine had once again defied fate, and held on to his 1000 silver dollars. But this time, the “Champ’s” 1000 silver dollars had doubled and had become 2000 silver dollars!
Paul Jones, overcome with emotion, was frantically running around outside the ring near the announcers’ desk after the match was over exclaiming, “YOU SEE HIM BOB, WAHOO…HE STALLED FOR TIME! I HAD HIM BEAT!!” Bob Caudle and Wahoo McDaniel tried to console Paul about the situation, but to no avail. Paul continued to holler, “THERE’S YOUR CHAMPION! THERE’S YOUR SO-CALLED CHAMPION LAYIN’ IN THE RING! LOOK AT HIM! DOES HE LOOK LIKE A CHAMPION? YOU’RE DARN RIGHT HE DON’T! HERE’S YOUR CHAMPION RIGHT HERE…HE STALLED FOR TIME!!”
In the following audio, the final minute of the match is joined in progress as you hear Paul Jones put Johnny Valentine in the airplane spin, an attempted Indian death lock, and the abdominal stretch, but "The Champ" refuses to give up!
Final moments of Johnny Valentine vs. Paul Jones for the 2000 Silver Dollars
Plus Paul Jones' Wild Reaction!
Commentary by Bob Caudle and Wahoo McDaniel
Johnny Valentine continued with his silver dollar matches throughout 1974 and well into 1975, but because of Paul Jones’ ill-advised challenge, the silver dollar bouts were thereafter for 2000 silver dollars. When Johnny’s son (initially referred to as his “brother”) Greg Valentine revived the silver dollar challenge in 1976 when he entered the Mid-Atlantic area, it went back again to being a 1000 silver dollar challenge. Perhaps Paul Jones harkened back to losing 1000 silver dollars to Johnny Valentine, as he never put up 1000 silver dollars and challenged Greg Valentine during the later years of this specialty match! A lesson well learned by Paul in July of 1974…betting against a Valentine where silver dollars were at stake was an extremely risky proposition!