Tuesday, November 14, 2017

Crockett TV in Texas (1977-1978)

TEXAS CONNECTIONS IN THE MID-ATLANTIC AREA
PART THREE  
by Dick Bourne
Mid-Atlantic Gateway

Did you miss our earlier installments? Check out PART ONE and PART TWO now.


Previously in PART TWO of our "Texas Connections" feature, we took a look at the stars of Mid-Atlantic Championship Wrestling that were making trips in 1978 to the "Southwest Championship Wrestling" territory promoted by Joe Blanchard. These included Ric Flair, Greg Valentine, Blackjack Mulligan, Wahoo McDaniel, Ricky Steamboat, and Tiger Conway, Jr.

In PART THREE, we take a look at the Crockett Promotions TV shows that aired on local TV in that area, as well as in the Amarillo Territory promoted by the Funks, and Crockett's U.S. championship appearing on Amarillo TV during that time as well.



U.S. CHAMPION RIC FLAIR
WRESTLES ON AMARILLO TV (1977)

In 1977, Ric Flair made an appearance on the Amarillo promotion's television program during his first reign as United States Heavyweight Champion. Not only did the match air on Western States Wrestling's "All Star Wrestling" show, but it also aired nationally on Superstation WTCG-17 out of Atlanta. (WTCG would later change its call letters to WTBS.)

The action in the match was called by legendary Texas wrestling announcer Steve Stack, who also later called matches for Joe Blanchard on his "Southwest Championship Wrestling" show. His color commentator was former NWA World Heavyweight Champion Terry Funk, a member of the legendary Funk family that promoted the Amarillo territory for over two decades.

Flair was in prime form during his 5-minute TV match against Gary Star, even leaving the ring to come over to the broadcast position and jaw a little bit with Terry Funk.

Here is a rare audio of the ring introductions, Flair's appearance at the desk, and brief commentary by Steve Stack and Terry Funk as U.S. Champion Ric Flair wrestles on Amarillo TV:



Flair defended the U.S. title in the Amarillo territory in August of 1977 against Abdullah the Butcher and Ricky Romero (father of Ricky Jr., and Jay, Mark, and Chris Youngblood), and returned in September to defend against former NWA champion Dory Funk, Jr.



GEORGE SCOTT AND JOHNNY WEAVER DISCUSS "WIDE WORLD WRESTLING" APPEARING ON CORPUS CHRISTI AIRWAVES (1978)

On the 2/18/78 broadcast of "Wide World Wrestling", host George Scott and co-host Johnny Weaver passed on greetings to all the wrestling fans in the Corpus Christi, Texas, area who were now watching their show on their local airwaves. They don't mention the specific station, but we are working on trying t o figure that out through newspapers from that era.

Here is the transcript of their discussion:

George Scott: "You know, we've got a lot of friends down there in Corpus Christi, Texas, and I want to say hello to everybody down there, our friends who are watching the wrestling from here now. I know you like to go down there yourself sometimes, John. It's great country.

Johnny Weaver: "We certainly do, we're starting to get mail from the people down there, George, and this is the only way right now for us to say hello to them is right here on this program.

George Scott: That's very true, and I know Mulligan is from Texas, I know he's been down there defending his belt, that U.S. heavyweight championship. And also, Wahoo has been going down there, Wahoo McDaniel. And I guess Wahoo's a legend in Texas, as he is all over the country.

Johnny Weaver: Well it will certainly make for some great matches in that area, and you fans - when you see us down there, be sure and come out, because we'd like to say hello to you in person. You're going to see some great matches, just like George said, Wahoo's been going down there and Mulligan has been defending his belt down there. I know they're going to have great matches, just like you see right here.

George Scott: Also, you know, Tully Blanchard was here, he made a big name for himself around this area, he's down there now, so let's just say a salute to Texas, we love it down there.

"Wide World Wrestling" aired on KRIS TV* channel 6, an NBC affiliate.


BOB CAUDLE AND DAVID CROCKETT 
WELCOME AUSTIN TEXAS TO THE MID-ATLANTIC NETWORK (1978)


A few months later, Bob Caudle and David Crockett welcomed Austin, Texas television station KTVV to the Mid-Atlantic Wrestling network. (KTVV-36 is now KXAN in Austin.)

Listen to this short audio clip of Bob Caudle and David Crockett:



This announcement took place on the 5-13-78 broadcast of "Mid-Atlantic Championship Wrestling", and that very next Wednesday night, Ricky Steamboat traveled to San Antonio from the Mid-Atlantic area to challenge Tully Blanchard for his Southwest Heavyweight Championship belt. (It was a loaded card. See the details in PART TWO of this series.)

With both of Jim Crockett Promotion's television programs airing in the south Texas territory, Joe Blanchard booked many of Crockett's top stars to appear on some of big cards. His home base of San Antonio fell in between Corpus Christi and Austin and so much of the main territory fell with in broadcast range of these two shows.


Next time in PART FOUR, we'll take a look at one of the most famous nights in Mid-Atlantic Wrestling history, the night in November 1975 Terry Funk won the United States Championship in a huge one night tournament in Greensboro and threatened to took the U.S. title out of the Mid-Atlantic area back to Texas. Thanks to another Texan, Paul Jones, that didn't last for long.

All the details next time in "Texas Connections."

Did you miss our earlier installments? Check out PART ONE and PART TWO now.

*Thanks to Jeff Baxter for writing us and identifying the station that carried "Wide World Wrestling" in 1978 in Corpus Christi, TX.  


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