Wednesday, June 29, 2016

Caudle, Schiavone, and Ross a Highlight of Fanfest

by Dick Bourne
Mid-Atlantic Gateway

One of the things I love most about the Fanfest Weekend in Charlotte each year is getting to see and hear from the great voices of wrestling from my youth. There were many great TV wrestling broadcasters in the various territories during the "territory era." Three of them are going to be in Charlotte during the Mid-Atlantic Wrestling Legends Fanfest Weekend.

Bob Caudle, Tony Schiavone, and Jim Ross will be making appearances at this year's Fanfest.

David Crockett and Bob Caudle
Bob Caudle will always be my favorite, having grown up listening to him call play-by on "Mid-Atlantic Championship Wrestling" every week for almost 20 years. Bob called the action on that program for over three decades. He has been at almost every Mid-Atlantic Legends Fanfest event since they began in 2004, and is one of the most popular attendees with fans each year. He was a member of the inaugural class of the Hall of Heroes, which is a special part of Fanfest on Friday nights each year.

Jim Ross was the voice of "Mid-South Wrestling" in the early-to-mid 1980s before coming to Jim Crockett Promotions in 1987 and joining Tony Schiavone and David Crockett on "World Championship Wrestling" on the Superstation WTBS. The younger generations know him primarily as the voice of the WWE in the 1990s and 2000s. Ross is still a player in the wrestling business today, hosting one of pro wrestling's (and the country's) most successful weekly podcasts. Ross returns to Fanfest this year and is heavily involved in the entire weekend, hosting his own "Ringside with Jim Ross" event on Thursday night, a roast of the legendary Ole Anderson on Sunday morning, and taking photos and signing autographs throughout the weekend in between.

Ric Flair with Tony Schiavone
But I'm perhaps most excited about the appearance this year of longtime JCP and WCW broadcaster Tony Schiavone. It will be his first Fanfest appearance.

Tony is a tough guy to schedule because Fanfest always falls right in the middle of baseball season. Tony is the radio voice of the Gwinnett Braves, the AAA affiliate of the Atlanta Braves, and is always in Atlanta or on the road calling the Braves games during Fanfest. This year, however, it worked out that Tony would be right up the road in Durham, NC, calling the series of Braves games with the Durham Bulls, and was able to schedule time in between to be in Charlotte at Fanfest. Don't miss this opportunity to meet one of the great voices from Jim Crockett Promotions in the 1980s and WCW in the 1990s. Tony hosted the syndicated "World Wide Wrestling" for JCP from 1985-1988, "World Championship Wrestling" on Superstation WTBS from 1985-1989, as well as many other stints on other JCP/WCW programming ("The Main Event" for example) during that era. A younger generation will remember him as the host of "WCW Monday Nitro" during the famed Monday Night Wars when WCW dominated the WWF in TV ratings for several years, and of "WCW Saturday Night" with co-host Jessie Ventura in the mid-1990s.

There are, of course, other great voices that aren't at Fanfest this year that we were fortunate to be able to see and hear at earlier Fanfests, including Les Thatcher, Rich Landrum, David Crockett, and Lance Russell. Hopefully, we'll get to enjoy them at Fanfest again down the road.

But this a rare and special opportunity to see Tony this year as who knows where the Braves might be playing during future Fanfest weekends. It will be special to see all of these great broadcasters again, as just hearing them talk today takes you back to a great time in wrestling.

Late edit: All three will be available for various photo ops through out the weekend in various combinations. Visit NWALegends.com for complete details.

This year's big Fanfest Weekend is August 4-7, 2016 at the University Place Hilton in Charlotte. Visit NWALegends.com for complete details.

www.nwalegends.com

Tuesday, June 28, 2016

Crockett Foundation: Threads for Jarheads

by Debbie Ringley Mrozinski
The Crockett Foundation (crockettfoundation.com)

Crockett Foundation
Most people are familiar with wrestling, whether it is on a professional scale or at an amateur level. After all, who hasn’t gone to a wrestling match or spent time with the family gathered in front of the television in order to root for their favorite star? Chances are, you’ve done that yourself. Wrestling is one of those things that brings people together because of the larger-than-life personalities who participate in it, not to mention the physical prowess that has to exist in order for them to do everything that is asked of them on a routine basis. With that being said, you might not yet be fully aware of exactly how the sport of wrestling became so popular in the first place.

Jim Crockett, Sr. developed an interest in the sport from the time he was a young child.... >>

 >> Read the entire article on the Crockett Foundation website. Click here.

Proudly carrying the torch Jim Crockett Sr. lit so many years ago by helping improve 
the lives of American veterans one donation at a time.

Friday, June 24, 2016

Norfolk TV Station catches the Tidewater area up on Tony Schiavone



Norfolk, VA television station WAVY-10 recently did a feature on Tony Schiavone, the voice of the Gwinnett Braves (Atlanta Braves affiliate) radio broadcasts, who is originally from the Richmond area.

It is an EXCELLENT feature on Tony, covering his entire wrestling broadcasting career with Mid-Atlantic Wrestling/Jim Crockett Promotions and WCW, as well as his current work with the Braves. (On a side note, WAVY was once a Mid-Atlantic Championship Wrestling affiliate on the old 1970s-1980s Crockett Promotions network.)

We are looking forward to seeing Tony in Charlotte this August, as he makes his first appearance at the annual Mid-Atlantic Wrestling Legends Fanfest (Aug. 4-7) at the University Place Hilton. Details online at www.nwalegends.com or on their Facebook page or Twitter feed.


http://www.midatlanticgateway.com/p/us-title-book.html

Thursday, June 23, 2016

Remembering Muhammad Ali Through the Prism of Mid-Atlantic Wrestling

by David Chappell
Mid-Atlantic Gateway

Exclusive, rare audio recording of Tony Atlas
included within this post.

****************************
When “The Greatest,” Muhammad Ali passed away recently, it got me to thinking about Ali’s connections to professional wrestling. Without question, Ali was a big fan of wrestling. In fact, Ali admitted that much of his showmanship outside of the boxing ring had its genesis from the pro wrestling world. And on rare occasions, “The Greatest” even entered the wrestling ring or its immediate environs as an actual participant.

Ali’s connections to Mid-Atlantic Championship Wrestling were not substantial, but nevertheless were noteworthy and memorable in my mind. The final portion of Ali’s in-ring boxing career (1974-1981) intersected with a significant number of years from the Mid-Atlantic Championship Wrestling era.

ABC News
My earliest joint recollection of Ali and Mid-Atlantic Wrestling was on November 1, 1975. Traveling to Harrisonburg, Virginia, and what is now called James Madison University (JMU), I had just heard a promo cut by Superstar Billy Graham building a Texas Death Match against Wahoo McDaniel set for November 7, 1975 at the Richmond Coliseum. At JMU, they were showing a replay of the brutal “Thrilla in Manila,” the epic Muhammad Ali-Joe Frazier fight, that had happened a month earlier. On the replay, there were also sound bites from Ali. I couldn’t help but think how Graham and Ali had the same natural charisma, which made you hang onto every word they said. The violence of the fight replay also had me wondering the whole next week if the Texas Death Match in Richmond would be as violent as the boxing match in Manila was. Superstar Graham’s promo certainly suggested that it would be!

During the mid-1970s, when Ali was still a boxing champion or top contender, Ric Flair would occasionally bring up Ali’s name in Mid-Atlantic Wrestling promos. Usually it was in the context of other celebrities of the day, like Joe Namath, Elvis Presley or Burt Reynolds, that the “Nature Boy” would favorably compare himself to. Ric would also take poetic license with some of Ali’s famous lines, and turn them into his own masterpieces. My favorite Ric Flair “Ali-ism” came from the middle of 1975 when Flair told announcer Bob Caudle on a Mid-Atlantic television interview, “I float like a butterfly and sting like a bee…and every pretty lady wants a piece of me!!”

Ali’s most famous encounter with a wrestler in the ring was the matchup against Antonio Inoki on June 26, 1976 in Tokyo, Japan. While not tied to Mid-Atlantic Wrestling, I was nevertheless interested in the outcome and remember listening for updates by round on my scratchy transistor radio. The match and resulting “draw” left many unsatisfied, but it did bring Ali back into a wrestling discussion on Mid-Atlantic Wrestling television! Later in the summer of 1976, “Professor” Boris Malenko managed Bolo Mongol, who had just completed a tour of Japan. Malenko bragged that Bolo Mongol had defeated Inoki three times in three different Japanese cities. Malenko hastened to add for the viewing audience, that Inoki was the same man that Cassius Clay (Boris used Ali’s birth name) couldn’t defeat!

What made this segment particularly memorable was that for the only time I could remember, Bolo Mongol actually spoke on Mid-Atlantic TV saying, “Clay could not beat him; I beat him.” I was told much later in time that Bolo Mongol and the Masked Superstar were actually the same person. At first I didn’t believe it, and went back to the audio I had of that Bolo Mongol statement…and yes, it was clearly the same voice as that of the Masked Superstar!


Tony Atlas and Muhammad Ali  (Mid-Atlantic Wrestling Magazine)

The popular strongman from Roanoke, Virginia, Tony Atlas, also had a Mid-Atlantic connection with “The Greatest” during Tony’s second stint in the Mid-Atlantic area in 1978. Atlas and Ali made a joint appearance of sorts in an edition of a Mid-Atlantic Magazine that was sold in the territory’s arenas in 1978! Posing for a photo together as part of a Friendship Force International function, both Tony and Ali seemed very happy in promoting the “peace through friendship” agenda that the Friendship Force espouses and acts on, by bringing diverse people from all over the world together.

But what comes to mind for me as the most enduring Ali connection with Mid-Atlantic Wrestling also happens to involve Tony Atlas, and it was a promo that Tony did with Rich Landrum promoting a bout against Ken Patera, which was a no disqualification match in Charleston, South Carolina set on August 18, 1978.




Exclusive Rare Audio: Tony Atlas Does His Best Muhammad Ali (Local Promo with Rich Landrum)


Mark Eastridge Collection
Doing his best Muhammad Ali impersonation and in perfect Ali cadence, to the point that I thought “The Greatest” had entered the Mid-Atlantic area for one night to battle the dastardly Patera for the Mid-Atlantic Heavyweight Title, Atlas exclaimed, “Everybody’s always talkin’ about Ken Patera, sayin’ Ken Patera is strong…Ken Patera lift a whole lotta weight. Eveybody know Ken Patera lift five hundred pounds. Let me tell you something Ken Patera, when I get you in the ring daddy I’m gonna float like a butterfly and I’m gonna sting like a bee…Patera, your hands can’t hit what your eyes can’t see!”

Without taking a breath, Atlas continued, “I gonna hit you in your mouth, there ain’t no doubt. Patera, if you come out there I’m gonna put you out! Now Patera, I know you got the title; I want the title. But this is p-funk! Electrify, personify and satisfy daddy! So I’m gonna boogie down; I gotta do it! I am the people’s champion… I’m not the Mid-Atlantic champion… I wanna be the Mid-Atlantic Champion. I want the title daddy; I want some of you to go along with it! We gonna get down, right there daddy! All of it’s gonna happen. P-funk, excitement, pandemonium in the air…Patera come on out, daddy we’re gonna get down, we gotta get down, we’re gonna get down.”

Tony wrapped up the interview reiterating, “Patera, I want the title; I want some of you to go along with it. 500 pounds is gonna be hittin’ back, 500 pounds is gonna be boogying with ya daddy! Patera, you got the title, you ain’t gonna keep the title! I want you Patera; it’s gonna be p-funk. P-funk, excitement...I gotta get there! I’m goin’ there now. Bye ya’ll, I’ll meet you there…"

With Muhammad Ali’s recent death, the tie-ins between the legendary boxer and Mid-Atlantic Wrestling immediately started coming back to me. While the connections might be few in number, they have stuck with me for around four decades. But more than anything else, thinking about them together again, confirmed to me that both Muhammad Ali and Mid-Atlantic Championship Wrestling were each truly, “The Greatest.”



http://www.midatlanticgateway.com/p/us-title-book.html

Tuesday, June 21, 2016

Dusty Rhodes Wins the NWA World Title - 35 Years Ago Today!


NWA World Heavyweight Champion Dusty Rhodes
"The American Dream" Dusty Rhodes defeated "Handsome" Harley Race for the NWA World Heavyweight Championship on June 21, 1981 at the Omni in Atlanta Georgia.

35 years ago today!

News of Dusty's big win was reported all over the world.


Dusty will be honored at the annual Hall of Heroes Dinner Banquet at this years Mid-Atlantic Wrestling Legends Fanfest in Charlotte.


http://midatlanticwrestling.net/nwabelt.htm

Friday, June 17, 2016

Ernie Ladd's Infamous Mid-Atlantic Wrestling Debut

Exclusive audio recording of Ernie Ladd's 1979 Mid-Atlantic
Wrestling debut at the end of this article!

* * * * * * * * * *
by David Chappell
Mid-Atlantic Gateway

A newcomer to Mid-Atlantic Championship Wrestling burst onto the scene on the Mid-Atlantic Championship Wrestling television show that was taped on January 31, 1979. And what an electric debut it was for the “Cat,” Ernie Ladd! Scheduled to wrestle Herb Gallant in his first Mid-Atlantic TV bout, instead Ladd approached announcer Bob Caudle in his street clothes, with apparently no intention of wrestling.

Caudle admonished Ladd, “You’re supposed to be up in the ring.” Ernie answered, “Look, I’ve asked over and over [for] Andre the dumb Giant! I wanna beat Andre the dumb Giant. I asked the promotion for Andre the dumb Giant, and they never give it to me! I wanna beat Harley Race on TV, and I’m TIRED of gettin’ in the ring with people that are inferior to my ability. And I’m sick and tired of it! So right now you can’t force me in the ring; you can’t make me do anything! I do what I want to do! I’M MY OWN MAN!

Graphic courtesy Mid-Atlantic Grapplin' Greats
Caudle leaned over to the “Big Cat,” and lightly touched him on the arm and appeared ready to make a point. Instead, Ladd yelled, “Don’t put your hands on me…don’t touch me!!” Caudle instinctively drew back. Ernie continued, “Because I don’t have to get in the ring and wrestle! He’s an inferior caliber wrestler to me, so I will NOT get in there and disgrace myself with him. Regardless of what you say or anybody else says...I can be fined, suspended, because I have enough money to do anything I want with it! Now what can I tell you, Mr. TV announcer?"

Color commentator David Crockett chimed in, “How would you disgrace yourself wrestling Herb Gallant?” Ladd quickly retorted, “Listen, I asked for the [World] Champion, number one…” As Ernie was talking, someone in the studio audience shouted for the “Cat” to get in the ring! Ladd bellowed, “Shut up out there!” Referee Sonny Fargo was also calling over to the set for Ernie to step in the ring, but Ladd was having none of it. “Don’t ask me about getting in the ring and wrestle, Mr. Referee. You can’t tell me what to do Mr. Referee…you’re just a referee,” Ladd explained.  The fans in the TV studio were getting more rowdy in response to Ladd’s antics, which prompted Ernie to lash out, “And why don’t you people be quiet!!”

Ladd composed himself briefly and said, “I asked for one man…Andre the dumb Giant. He’s not here. I have not gotten him, and I’m upset and I’m disturbed! I asked for Harley Race…” But then David Crockett got Ladd stirred up again, interrupting him and saying, “You have to prove yourself.” A once again fired up “Big Cat” fired back, “What do you mean I have to prove myself? My record all around the world speaks for itself! World’s greatest football player, international wrestler. I don’t care what they’ve seen, clean their ears out get up close to that television, you see me wrestling out of Madison Square Garden, you see me wrestling out of Atlanta, you see me wrestling all over the world, and I come in here and make a special request to make a proper debut, to beat the World’s Champion on TV…”

Crockett persisted, “You have to prove yourself…” An exasperated Ladd yelled back, “What do you mean I have to prove myself? Look at the referee interfering!” Referee Sonny Fargo yelled towards Ernie, “I’m gonna give you a 10-count to get in here!” Ladd indignantly replied, “He ain’t gonna give me a 10 count…nobody gives me nothing! I’ll tell you what I’ll do. I’ll be the first man to get in the ring and shake his hand, and congratulate him! I’ve had so many awards…”

And then Ladd actually made his way into the ring!

An incredulous Bob Caudle jumped back in saying, “David, he’s dressed…he’s in the ring in his street clothes. He’s just gonna shake his hand, he said.” But unfortunately for Gallant, he received more contact from “Ol’ #99” than a handshake! Caudle described the scene exclaiming, “Whoa, he kicked him right in the stomach! Ladd now with Gallant, he went in to shake Gallant’s hand. He’s got his street shoes on David, those big heavy leather shoes with a hard heavy heel, stomping and kicking Gallant with those! Now he’s hanging him right in the air!” Crockett interjected, “Throws him down right on his back!” Caudle continued, “Look at how big and how strong Ernie Ladd is.”

The “Big Cat,” street clothes and all, pinned Gallant immediately afterward. Crockett said after the three-count, “He finally wrestled, though!” Caudle concurred, “He wrestled, that’s right. He’s not gonna be fined. There’s no doubt he got in the ring and he wrestled, but the way he went about it, the sneak attack on Gallant, I’m not so sure in the minds of all the fans that proved anything...”

As an irate Ladd approached the interview area, Caudle bravely said to him, “With a sneak attack like that on Gallant!” Ladd furiously came back at Bob, “That’s not a sneak attack!! They don’t give big fat Haystacks Calhoun any static about what he puts on, what he has to do or what he has to wear! I’m my own man, I do EXACTLY what I want to do when I want to do it! I’m the best wrestler! And don’t EVER make the mistake and think that Ernie Ladd is gonna give you something!”

Listen to the entire thing play out in this rare, archival audio!



Before he entered the Mid-Atlantic area, Ernie Ladd’s reputation certainly preceded him. And in his first television appearance in the territory, he only reinforced that reputation for trickery, deceit and aggression. The “Big Cat” had arrived, and his claws were clearly out…ready to strike anyone unfortunate enough to be in his path!

Wednesday, June 15, 2016

Jim Ross Reveals First Film Project "6:05 on the SuperStation"

NWALegends.com / Facebook
An exciting new "feel good" film is coming from the makers of last years "Mid-Atlantic Memories", a new project that features Jim Ross as one of its producers. It's being called Ross's first film project.

Ross announced the project on his weekly podcast "The Ross Report" which is distributed by Podcast One.

The film project is called "6:05 on the SuperStation" and the initial information is that it will focus on the roughly 20-year period of time (the late 1960s through the late 1980s) that wrestling was a fixture on Saturday nights on Atlanta television station WTCG-17 that later became SuperStation WTBS.

The project will be fan-funded, in a similar fashion to "Mid-Atlantic Memories." There are lots of opportunities for giving at various levels, some of which will allow the contributor to spend time with Ross and others involved with the project at this years Mid-Atlantic Wrestling Legends Fanfest in Charlotte (Aug. 4-7.)

Full information can be found at NWALegends.com and through links on their social media pages.

Tuesday, June 14, 2016

Mooneyham: Miller Leaves Behind a Treasure Trove of Memories


Wrestling great Danny Miller leaves behind a treasure trove of memories
by Mike Mooneyham, Charleston Post & Courier
June 12, 2016

Provided / Charleston Post & Courier
“I’m just not sure anybody would remember me.”

That’s what Danny Miller told me shortly after he was invited to the Mid-Atlantic Wrestling Legends Fanfest in Charlotte back in 2013.

Miller had been selected as member of that year’s Hall of Heroes class, a high distinction that honors some of the greatest stars to ever appear in the old Mid-Atlantic territory.

Even though I assured him that certainly wasn’t the case, he still expressed reservations.

“It’s been a long time,” he said, pointing to the fact that 40 years had transpired since his last major run on the circuit.

What the veteran star would come to discover, however, was that nobody had forgotten Danny Miller, a fact borne out by the large, receptive crowd that turned out to meet and honor him during the weekend gathering.

WWE Hall of Famer Jerry Brisco was on hand that night to present Danny at the awards ceremony....

Read Mooneyham's entire article on the Post & Courier website.

Tiggers Are Wonderful Things


Check out that second tag team event - Brute Bernard and Chuck O'Connor (later known as Big John Studd) vs. Sandy Scott and TIGGER Conway.

When I was about five or six years old, I loved when my grandmother would read to me "The Many Adventures of Winnie The Pooh." My favorite character in those stories was that crazy, knucklehead Bengal tiger known as TIGGER.


When Pooh first met him, he asked innocently, "Exactly what is a "Tigger?" To which Tigger replied:


The Wonderful Thing About Tiggers (Audio)

"The wonderful thing about Tiggers, is Tiggers are wonderful things,
Their tops are made out of rubber, and there bottoms are made out of springs,
They're bouncy, trouncy, flouncy, trouncy, fun, fun, fun, fun, fun,
But the most wonderful thing about Tiggers is I'm the only one,
I'm the only one!"
Well apparently there were two. The second one was named "Tigger Conway" and he was in the semi-main event of a card in Wilson, NC, in September of 1974.

Because I loved that childhood character, that blooper jumped off the page at me.

Interesting to note the pairing of Wahoo McDaniel and Paul Jones in September of 1974. The two would famously team up less than a year later in May of 1975 to dethrone Gene and Ole Anderson for the NWA world tag team titles.

But before that took place, Jones would take Tigger Tiger Conway as his partner and in December of 1974, just a few months after these matches in Wilson took place, they defeated Ric Flair and Brute Bernard for the Mid-Atlantic tag team titles. Bernard substituted for Ric's "Uncle" Rip Hawk, who had recently departed the area. Jones and Conway lost the titles in February of 1975 to the Andersons.

See more newspaper ad Bloopers here.

(Newspaper clipping courtesy of Mark Eastridge.)

Sunday, June 12, 2016

The Most "Beautiful" Mid-Atlantic Wrestling Show Ever

by David Chappell
Mid-Atlantic Gateway

Fans of the Mid-Atlantic Championship Wrestling television show were treated to a “beautiful” surprise on the October 4, 1978 TV taping from the WRAL TV studios in Raleigh, North Carolina. Ricky Steamboat came out for an interview to start the show, but it turned out Ricky would be the interviewer of his own special guest.

After the rundown of the show’s scheduled bouts, announcer Bob Caudle told color commentator David Crockett, “Ricky’s right here David, and he’s got a special guest here in the studio and we’d like to introduce her.” Steamboat appeared on the set, and explained, “Well, I was having lunch today, this afternoon, and I met a pretty nice….I should say good lookin’ young lady. Did a little talkin’ and I asked her if she would come down here to TV and she said…maybe! But I peaked my head through the door, there she was, so I’d like to introduce her to everybody…this is Miss North Carolina, Debbie Shook!”

As the lovely Miss North Carolina appeared before the cameras, Steamboat exclaimed, “Nature Boy [Ric Flair], you know something, you get on television, I’ve seen you on here a lot, and I’ve got to admit that you’ve had quite a few good lookin’ women, but let me tell you something partner, this is MISS NORTH CAROLINA now, and you can’t get any better than that!” Everybody on the set then broke out into a hearty laugh!

Bob Caudle then asked, “Debbie, where are you from?” Miss Shook replied, “I live in Spruce Pine, North Carolina. And I’d like to say one thing! Today, I don’t think wrestlers can contend with what a woman can dish out! So, he’s not as tough as he acts!” Everyone on the set and the fans at ringside were laughing loudly! Steamboat chuckled, “Are you putting me on the spot or what?!” Ricky then continued, “Well, I’d like to thank you, just having you out here for this little bit of TV time…I know you’re real busy because I understand you all do a lot of travelling such as we do. Take for instance, what have you done today?” Debbie responded, “We met with some people from the Miss America pageant. The headquarters for the Miss North Carolina pageant will be in Raleigh next year so we’re getting a lot of work done and we’ll be in the Raleigh area. Steamboat followed up, “I understand you’ve also done some help in Charlotte…let me see, some other television station down there… you’ve done something else down there, what was that?” Miss Shook answered, “I’ve been working with WRET, and WBTV and WLOS TV in Charlotte, so we’re just getting all around the state, in High Point, Wilmington and Fayetteville areas.”

David Crockett then noted to Debbie, “Well I can say you’re a very good representative for the state of North Carolina!” Bob Caudle added, “Debbie, thank you for being with us…it’s a pleasure to meet you and have you with us.” A grinning Ricky Steamboat then exclaimed, “EAT YOUR HEART OUT NATURE BOY!” Bob Caudle ended the segment by saying, “Alright, hey David, a very nice young lady!” Crockett cackled, “Ric [Flair]...you’re outta luck boy!” To which Caudle chuckled, “Well, I tell you, he really is isn’t he…how about that!?”

Not only did Mid-Atlantic fans around the area get to see a surprise appearance from Miss North Carolina on this show, but they also got to see Ricky Steamboat with this lovely lady upstage the ultimate ladies man, Ric Flair, without the Nature Boy even being present! Yes, this TV show was truly the most “beautiful” Mid-Atlantic Championship Wrestling show of all-time!

Saturday, June 11, 2016

Crockett Foundation: Thunderbolt Patterson


THUNDERBOLT PATTERSON
by Debbie Ringley Mrozinski
CrockettFoundation.com

Growing up in the Crockett family meant you knew the wrestlers for different reasons other than their ring personas or their win/loss record. We never really knew who was a good guy and who was a bad guy. We only knew them through our personal interactions with them.

Whether it was being taught how to cook Japanese food by a Japanese wrestler or learning to curse in many different languages, down time around these guys was never boring. All of this teaching happened at one of two places, the JCP offices or at Jim Crockett Sr.’s home. Jim Sr.’s home was in an established neighborhood in South Charlotte. It was your typical southern neighborhood with brick ranch homes and tree lined streets so Sunday dinners at his home became a neighborhood spectacle. You see any wrestler that did not have a place to go for dinner on Sunday was invited to come to Big Jim’s house for some home cooking.

The standing invitation does not sound that unusual until you remember that those potential guests were all larger than life characters. Ric Flair, Johnny Valentine, Wahoo McDaniel, but the one that comes to mind is Thunderbolt Patterson...

Read the entire article on the Crockett Foundation website.




Read more about Thunderbolt Patterson on the Mid-Atlantic Gateway.

Thursday, June 09, 2016

Main Event Memories: Valentine and Flair vs. Wahoo and Jones

The marquee at the Columbia Township Auditorium, January 24, 1978


NWA World Tag Team Champions
Ric Flair and Greg Valentine

An NWA World Tag Team Title match headlined a four-match card at the historic Township.


http://www.midatlanticgateway.com/p/newspaper-bloopers.html 
I guess someone at the newspaper said, 
"Why not? Let's throw another "G" on his name!


Marquee photo from Japanese magazine sent to us by Greg Price. Newspaper clipping from the collection of Mark Eastridge.


Tuesday, June 07, 2016

Summertime Outdoor Shows

Remember the old commercial jingle that was popular in the late 1970s during summertime - -

🎼 "Baseball, hotdogs, apple pie, and Chevrolet..."

Well for me it was more like wrestling, hamburgers, chocolate pie and a cherry red 1967 Ford Mustang. But I digress.

The thing is, it all relates to our childhood memories in the summertime. And for a lot of us, summertime meant pro-wrestling outdoor shows at our local baseball park or football stadium.



Here is a good example of one of those shows, 35 years ago today!

Wahoo McDaniel and Ivan Koloff battled in the main event, followed by the "Minnesota Wrecking Crew" Gene and Ole Anderson taking on the somewhat unusual pairing of Paul Jones and "Wildfire" Tommy Rich. Rich was making semi-regular appearances in the Mid-Atlantic area, although still primarily a mainstay for Georgia Championship Wrestling. Ole Anderson was booking both territories at the time and a lot of talent was making appearances in both areas.

Regular outdoor shows were common in Wilmington, along with Rocky Mount, NC, Florence, SC, and other towns in the Mid-Atlantic area as well.

"Hot fun in the summertime." Great memories of days gone by.





Monday, June 06, 2016

Join Conrad Thompson's Team to Battle the Blood Cancers

http://www.conradcares.com
Join 1st Family Mortgage's Conrad Thompson (host of Ric Flair's "WOOOOO! Nation" podcast, a friend of the Mid-Atlantic Gateway, and all around good guy!) in supporting The Leukemia & Lymphoma Society (LLS) to help fund the therapies and treatments that save lives.

Please visit ConradCares.com right now and join his team to help defeat blood cancers.

From Conrad Thompson:
"Please join me in supporting The Leukemia & Lymphoma Society (LLS) by making a donation to my fundraising campaign for Man or Woman of the Year. I am part of team working to raise as much as possible in a 10-week period. Every dollar I raise counts as one vote and the candidate who gets the most votes/raises the most money is named the Man or Woman of the Year"


Danny Miller Passes Away

Our heartfelt condolences go out to the friends and family of the great Danny Miller, who passed away Monday, June 6.

He was the first Mid-Atlantic TV champion, crowned in 1974 after defeating Ole Anderson in the finals of a tournament that took place on television. He was the 3rd ever Eastern heavyweight champion after that title was created in our area. He defeated the Missouri Mauler (Larry Hamilton) in 1971 for the honors. The Eastern title later evolved into the Mid-Atlantic Heavyweight Championship.

Miller was a mainstay in the area for years and was a major player behind the scenes working as local promoter for the Crockett's in the mid-1970s in the Greenville/Spartanburg/Asheville market. He credits then-booker George Scott for teaching him the business side of wrestling.

He was a tag-team partner of Les Thatcher's in the early 1970s and they were an extremely popular duo.


For a look at Miller's entire career, check out this bio and obit on Canoe Slam! Wrestling.

Below is the newspaper clipping for one of Miller's biggest victories in the Mid-Atlantic area, defeating the Missouri Mauler for the Eastern Heavyweight title in the main event of a big Greensboro card.


Friday, June 03, 2016

Classic Mid-Atlantic Match from 1977 on NWAOnDemand.com

http://www.nwaondemand.com

Many of you may (or may not) be aware of the website NWAOnDemand.com which is a subscription video-on-demand service that features the Paul Boesch/Houston video library from the 1960s-1980s. They recently added a tape of the famous 1977 match from Mid-Atlantic Championship Wrestling between Greg Valentine and Wahoo McDaniel where Valentine broke Wahoo's leg and won the Mid-Atlantic heavyweight championship in the process. The video includes the complete aftermath as well, including Paul Jones attacking Valentine and Ricky Steamboat mixing it up with Ric Flair as well. It is rare to find original footage from the WRAL TV studio to begin with. Most of what is in the WWE library from the Mid-Atlantic area is from the WPCQ TV studio in Charlotte. Cool to hear Bob Caudle and David Crockett call this match in this setting. And the quality of the footage is amazing.

http://www.midatlanticgateway.com/2015/07/sweet-ga-brown-wahoos-leg.html
It's also amazing this match exists at all, especially on this service that features mainly Houston wrestling.

Houston, like St. Louis, wasn't a wrestling territory with it's own stable of wrestlers that booked regular towns and tours, etc. It was a single city that booked talent from all over the country from many different territories. While it was at various times affiliated with certain organizations or promoters from which it predominantly booked talent, it was an office that stood on its own. As a result the top talent from across the wrestling landscape, including the AWA, WWWF, and many different member offices of the NWA, appeared on the Friday night cards promoted by Paul Boesch at the Sam Houston Coliseum.

The resulting video tape library is very impressive, and it's notable that the WWE did not wind up acquiring it for its huge archive of territorial footage.

So with the NWAOnDemand.com library only featuring tapes of matches and interviews from the Houston promotion, it was odd that a Mid-Atlantic wrestling match showed up on the service recently.

We can't be sure what explains this one Mid-Atlantic match on the service, but in the territory days, promoters would send tapes into other territories when one of their stars was booked into that territory. It is likely that is the case here, that this match was shown on Houston TV in advance of either Wahoo McDaniel or Greg Valentine coming to Houston, or possibly both. No way of knowing if that is indeed the case here, but not sure what else would explain it. Besides, the WWE owns the Jim Crockett Promotions tape library.

NWAOnDemand.com is currently offering (as of this writing) a free 7-day trial of the service, and this one match makes that trial worth taking. Add to that the very impressive line-up of that includes matches with such stars as Harley Race, Ric Flair, Terry Funk, Gino Hernandez, Tully Blanchard, Ted DiBiase, Andre the Giant, Bruiser Brody, and many many others.

And the quality of the footage is in many cases just stunning, and is in full 1080 HD. The only negative is the unnecessary stretching of the video to the HD standard 16:9 widescreen format. Since I'm guessing most people watch this on the their computer or their portable device, I'm not sure I see the point, and the distortion is annoying, although the footage is still tremendous to see.

Check them out at NWAOnDemand.com. The link directly to the Mid-Atlantic Wahoo/Valentine match is here.

http://www.midatlanticgateway.com/p/us-title-book.html

Thursday, June 02, 2016

During the Break

Co-host David Crockett and Ric Flair wait during a commercial break of a taping of Mid-Atlantic Championship Wrestling at WRAL TV studio in Raleigh, NC in 1981.