Thursday, November 15, 2018

Swedish Killers!

by Dick Bourne
Mid-Atlantic Gateway

What a great old newspaper ad this is from Asheville, NC, in 1967, written by promoter Paul Winkhaus. Winkhaus was the local promoter for Jim Crockett Promotions in the Greenville and Asheville area, and he put a lot of thought (and drama) into his newspaper advertisements at the time.

The main event was the team of George and Sandy, the popular "Flying Scott Brothers" versus the "Swedish Mat Killers" Lars and Gene Anderson.


Killer Swedes! Can Flying Scotts compete with Killer Swedes? The card also featured Chippewas, Shawnees, Bulldogs, Mummies, and Panchos!

What a great main event featuring brother team vs. brother team. We're big fans of the Minnesota Wrecking Crew (and the Scott brothers for that matter), so we loved seeing this ad.

A great period in the 1960s and a hot card at the old Asheville City Auditorium.

See T.V. Wrestling each Saturday 5 PM on channel 4!

Thanks to Andy McDaniel for forwarding this newspaper ad to us.

Wednesday, November 14, 2018

Post Highlights: Wrestling in Roanoke, VA

Over at our sister website "Studio Wrestling" we've had a streak of posts recently revolving around the "Star City" Roanoke, VA, and the wrestling show that once originated from there on WDBJ-7.

Here is a list of links from those recent posts:

For all of the posts dealing with studio wrestling at WDBJ-7 in Roanoke, VA, including promoter Pete Apostolou, announcer Hall Grant, and the Roanoke Sports Club CLICK HERE.

For the Mid-Atlantic Gateway's page on the history of Studio Wrestling visit this link: WDBJ-7 Roanoke VA

Lastly, for a look at all of the studio locations where wrestling was taped for Jim Crockett Promotions from 1956-1981, visit the "Guide to Studio Wrestling" page on the Mid-Atlantic Gateway (currently on the Gateway Archive site.)

Tuesday, November 13, 2018

The Guest Ring Announcer in Florence

by Andy McDaniel
Special to the Mid-Atlantic Gateway

During the eighties there was no area hotter for pro-wrestling than the Mid-Atlantic territory. Maybe others would argue that, but as one who lived in that area and during that era, I stand by my opinion. As I have written in many articles, my love for action at County Hall in Charleston, SC is beyond measure. However, there are also fond memories of the other venues that Henry Marcus promoted across the state.

While many of us love to remember the great matches we witnessed or those awesome Saturday morning promos that gave us just the right words to draw the crowds to the upcoming events, it is also the funny moments which took place, that we recall with a smile. While looking through some of the archived articles on the Gateway, I ran across a story on an event that took place in Florence, SC. These events were held outdoors at the football stadium. It was normally very hot, and the bugs were always terrible. The wrestlers never truly seemed excited to be there. It was not the greatest venue.

As I read about the card featuring the Rock and Roll Express I was reminded of a truly funny moment that took place at another show from this same venue. The match featured Jimmy “the Boogie Woogie Man” Valiant in his war against Paul Jones and his army. The opponent on this night was Teijo Kahn. The funny moment was not during the match, bur rather during the introduction. The scheduled ring announcer for the night was not there, not sure why, but regardless of the reason, it was determined the getting one of the locals to handle the intros would be a good idea. However, it would soon be learned, in a very comical way, that other arrangements should have been made. The names listed on the card were handed to this gentleman. It was abundantly clear that he had never done such work before and even more obvious was his unfamiliarity with wrestlers and their names.

It was bell time, he began to stumble his way through the first few matches and then came time for the Jimmy and Teijo match. Paul Jones entered the ring with his henchman and the introduction was to follow, but what actually happened caused the crowd filled bleachers to howl in laughter. Our guest ring announcer peered at the paper in his hand and looked over at the mohawked muscleman, looked back at his paper and then without covering the microphone or at least walking over to get closer and less obvious, he simply blurted out: "What the hell is your name?"

It was clear that Paul was fighting back the laughter, but with his tongue being bit, he leaned over to the confused and way out of his comfort zone ring announcer and gave him the name, but it still did not correct the issue and he asked Paul to repeat the name once again. By this time, it had just become funny and the man finally said, “Oh yeah, Kong, here is Kong in the blue corner.”

Just writing these words makes me laugh when I think back to this fun night. The written bloopers that are sometimes featured here on the Gateway are fun to read, but when you got to see one in person, it is even better.

Sunday, November 11, 2018

Mid-Atlantic Wrestling's Mount Rushmore

Artwork by Mandy Knowles

Our friend Mandy Knowles created a beautiful rendition of what a Mid-Atlantic Wrestling Mount Rushmore might look like, based on our recent series on the only four men who held all five of the Crockett Promotions titles in the 1970s and 1980s.

Those four wrestlers are the "Hawaiian Punch" Ricky Steamboat, Greg "The Hammer" Valentine,  "Nature Boy" Ric Flair, and "Number One" Paul Jones.

For a look at each wrestler on this version of a Mid-Atlantic Wrestling Mount Rushmore and their amazing championship pedigree, check out these earlier posts on what we like to call Jim Crockett's Grand Slam Championship.
  1. Paul Jones
  2. Ric Flair
  3. Greg Valentine
  4. Ricky Steamboat
Now, we certainly realize that there would be lots of differing opinions on who should make up a true Mid-Atlantic Wrestling Mount Rushmore. I mean, how could one leave off Wahoo McDaniel? Blackjack Mulligan? The Anderson Brothers? The Four Horsemen? You could probably list a dozen more yourself.

Then again, how could you argue leaving off any of the four in this drawing, especially given their amazing title pedigree in Jim Crockett Promotions?

Mandy became a wrestling fan back in 1984 and her favorite wrestler of all time was Andre the Giant. We appreciate her excellent creation of Mid-Atlantic Wrestling's Mount Rushmore!

Friday, November 09, 2018

WHW Live! This Sunday 11/11 in Charlotte

The VHS Days

Remember when you had to pay $40 - - FORTY DOLLARS! - - for a highly edited VHS tape of the big Jim Crockett Promotions events? I didn't care, I loved these things, the packaging, the artwork, the long rewinds.

Ahhh, the VHS days!

Thursday, November 08, 2018

Blooper! Who knew Sarge was a Saint?

by Dick Bourne
Mid-Atlantic Gateway

It's been awhile since we posted a newspaper ad blooper on the site, and our friend Andy McDaniel recently noticed this one, so I thought we'd post it today.

A word about Bloopers: they aren't just simple typos or misspellings - - in order to qualify they have to result in something unintentionally funny. For example, my personal all-time favorite wrestling ad blooper is this one for Ole Anderson. There are also occasionally wrestler's names that somehow get so changed in the journey from wrestling office to newspaper office, you wonder how in the world they could possibly happen. Like Rufus R. JOYNER.

So in that spirit, we have a great card from Charlotte in the fall of 1981 (37 years ago!) featuring a Texas Death Match main event between Roddy Piper and Wahoo McDaniel.

But it was the second main event that gave us a chuckle. As Andy said in his text message, "I don't remember Sgt. Slaughter being a saint." Yep, this simple typo resulted in the abbreviation for "sergeant" turning the reigning U.S. Heavyweight champion into a saint!

St. Bob Slaughter.

Sgt. Slaughter had just won the U.S. title in a tournament in Charlotte two weeks earlier, defeating Ricky Steamboat in the finals. Now Steamboat was Slaughter's number one challenger for the gold belt.

Certainly fans at the Charlotte Coliseum that October night thought Steamboat was more of a wrestling saint than Slaughter!

To filter our website to show only our Blooper posts, click here or click the Blooper link in the list of all "All Labels and Tags" in the right hand column of the website.

More bloopers to come.

Wednesday, November 07, 2018

"Big Time Wrestling" returning to the Mid-Atlantic Area


The "Big Time Wrestling" promotion is returning to the old traditional Mid-Atlantic area again this year with shows in Raleigh, NC, Friday 11/16 and Prince George, VA Saturday 11/17.

They also will be back in December with shows in Bristol, VA, Friday 12/7 and Spartanburg, SC, Saturday 12/8

Different shows feature Mid-Atlantic legends such as Ricky Morton and Robert Gibson (the Rock & Roll Express), Sgt. Slaughter, Magnum T.A., the Barbarian, Meng, plus other superstars such as Mick Foley, "Hacksaw" Jim Duggan, and many others. See specific show/ticket pages for details. 

Check out the posters for the events below, and visit their website for ticket information:

Tuesday, November 06, 2018

Wrestling and Election Returns on the bill at Dorton Arena (1972)

by Dick Bourne
Mid-Atlantic Gateway

I recently came across this little Raleigh newspaper clipping for a November 1972 card at Dorton Arena. I was struck by the mention that election returns would be announced during the event.

Promoter Joe Murnick assured fans they would be made
aware of local election results at his Dorton Arena show.

This got me thinking about that presidential election year of 1972 and how differently we follow things like that today with our smart phones, Twitter, and cable news networks. In 1972, there were only three broadcast networks and unless you were glued to the TV in your living room or perhaps to your local AM radio station, you had no idea of how the election was playing out.

But savvy promoter Joe Murnick wanted fans to know that they didn't need to sit around the television at home and wait for local WRAL news anchor Charlie Gaddy to give them election results - - - election results would be announced in the arena!

That's an unusual pitch for a wrestling show. Politics have always been an ugly business, but can you imagine election results being announced at a wrestling event today? The fights in the ring would likely pale in comparison to the brawls that would break out in the stands.

I'm guessing that the local races were what were really of interest to the local crowd. There wasn't much drama in the presidential race that year as Richard Nixon wound up putting a 520-17 electoral college smackdown on George McGovern. But in North Carolina, Republican Jesse Helms was in a tough battle with Democrat Congressman Nick Galifianakis for the open U.S. Senate seat. Galifianakis led early in the race by 20 points, but Helms wound up winning on election night by a solid 8-point margin. It was the first time a Republican had won a U.S. Senate seat in North Carolina in the 20th century and began a long tenure for Helms in the U.S. Senate.

Helms had several connections to wrestling. In the 1980s, Mid-Atlantic Wrestling announcer Bob Caudle, who was a longtime WRAL news personality, worked for Helms in his constituent office. Several wrestlers, including area stalwart Johnny Weaver, did political ads for Helms that aired during the wrestling programs in Helms' re-election bid in 1978. In the 1990 election, Ric Flair campaigned for Helms. 

Here are the match-ups in the three top bouts which all featured members or affiliates of the Minnesota Wrecking Crew:
Ole Anderson vs. Johnny Weaver
The winner of this bout would go on to meet NWA World Champion Dory Funk, Jr. on a future show. The stipulations were that there would be a $1,000 fine to anyone who interferes in the event. We're assuming that was targeted to other wrestlers and not angry fans because their candidate lost.

Gene Anderson vs. Art Nelson
This was billed as "brass knuckles" match.

The Menace vs. Sandy Scott
The Menace was a masked associate of the Anderson Brothers. He wore a maroon colored mask (Anderson colors) and often accompanied Gene and Ole in matches and would occasionally interfere on their behalf. I'm guessing that tendency to  interfere was one of the reasons there was the $1,000 fine stipulation in the Anderson/Weaver main event. 

Late edit: Results of the show - -
  • Johnny Weaver defeated Ole Anderson
  • Gene Anderson defeated Art Nelson
  • Sandy Scott won by DQ over The Menace
  • Freedy Sweetan & Mike "The Judge" Dubois defeated David Finley (Crockett) and Frank Hester
  • Terry Kay defeated George "Two Ton" Harris
  • Bobby Kay defeated Tinker Todd

There were two other Mid-Atlantic cards that evening, one each in the other two states of the territory, as Jim Crockett Promotions often ran three shows a night:

  • In Columbia, SC, Eastern Heavyweight Champion Jerry Brisco defended his title against Rip Hawk, who was being managed for the first time by Homer O'Dell. O'Dell had recently taken over the managerial duties for Hawk and partner Swede Hanson from Gary Hart.
  • In Danville, VA, Thunderbolt Patterson and Ronnie Garvin battled The Royal Kangaroos in a tag team main event. 

I earlier mentioned Charlie Gaddy, who wound up a broadcasting legend in the Raleigh market, hosting the local news anchor desk at WRAL into the 1990s. The national network anchors at that time were John Chancellor on NBC, Walter Cronkite on CBS, and Harry Reasoner on ABC.


Special thanks to Mark Eastridge as always for access to his newspaper clippings archive.
Updated with results from the Raleigh show provided by Carroll Hall of the All Star Championship Wrestling website.

Sunday, November 04, 2018

Mr. Wrestling Tim Woods' Last Stand (Part 6)

by David Chappell
Mid-Atlantic Gateway

Catch up on this story in:

* * *


When the Mid-Atlantic Championship Wrestling show that was taped on October 24, 1979 from the WRAL TV-5 studios in Raleigh, North Carolina opened, Tim Woods was standing front and center with announcers Bob Caudle and David Crockett. Caudle quickly exclaimed, "Tim Woods [is] right here with that "Wanted Poster" and that baseball bat on your shoulder!"

Woods smiled and answered, "Well, this [bat] is my buddy...he's gonna be a real companion of mine until I get this score settled. You know, Buddy Rogers and Jimmy Snuka hurt me once, they hurt me twice, but I promise you they're not gonna hurt me again. I've made no bones about it, I've put "Wanted Posters" out all over. I've given thousands of them away and I've got thousands more to give away."

Tim continued, "And I want them to know that I mean what I say. Not only that, but I've proved it by taking off my mask which I've fought for, for a long, long time. And I hope if nothing else that will convince them that I'm very serious about this. They were fined and reprimanded by the National Wrestling Alliance but that's a small thing compared to what they've got in store for them."

While staring intently at the baseball bat on Woods' shoulder, Caudle queried Tim, "When you say you want them out, and you want them out of this right here have anything to do with the way they may go out of wrestling?"  Woods answered, "I'll tell you what, I don't care how I put 'em out..." At this juncture, "Superfly" Jimmy Snuka was up in the ring and was barking loudly at Tim, and this was clearly starting to get under Woods' skin.

Woods snapped, "Jimmy Snuka's standin' up there right now but I guarantee..."  Caudle interrupted, "Now wait a Snuka's standing up on the ropes and [Woods'] got that bat!" Crockett quipped, "Better watch out for that swing!" Caudle then laughed, "Yeah, I'm gonna be ducking, David!" But Woods was not in a jovial mood, taunting Snuka saying, "When there's two of them against one they're pretty tough. All I've got is a little equalizer...come on down, HEY come on down!"

At this point, an extremely agitated Woods is positioned in a batter's stance with the bat! Crockett deadpanned, "Looks like he's getting ready to hit a home run." Caudle responded, "Yeah, and I tell ya, when you have guys like Snuka and John Studd, not to mention Buddy Rogers, and you don't know what's gonna happen because..." Crockett then cut Bob off as the cameraman did a close-up of Snuka whose facial expression was extremely scary to say the least.

Crockett commented, "Look at Snuka right now, look at the expression!" Caudle concurred with seeing the far-out look that the "Superfly" was displaying, noting, "You know David, everybody has said that maybe Snuka and maybe Studd are hypnotized by Rogers or something, and if that's the case there's no telling what they're gonna do." Crockett followed, "Snuka's got to have more respect for a man with a baseball bat!"

Woods abruptly ended the interview with his bombshell announcement, proclaiming, "The neck brace is off; next week I'm gonna be wrestling right here!" A gushing Caudle responded, "The neck brace is off; he is recovered David! It's been a long haul for Tim Woods, but he's back." Crockett ended this tense segment by saying, "That's right, he is back and about the hypnotism we'll talk a little more about that later on.

Buddy Rogers addresses the charge that he hypnotizes Jimmy Snuka as a means to terrorize Tim Woods... to be continued in Part 7!

Saturday, November 03, 2018

How Johnny Valentine's 1000 Silver Dollars Doubled!

by David Chappell
Mid-Atlantic Gateway

Originally published October 30, 2015


Early in the Mid-Atlantic Championship Wrestling tenure of Johnny Valentine, the “Champ” truly came up with a gimmick match that would entertain fans around the territory for years. Valentine had a stranglehold on the Mid-Atlantic Heavyweight Championship belt during the year of 1974, but Johnny felt he needed more competition to keep him sharp beyond merely defending the Mid-Atlantic Title. This led to the birth of Johnny Valentine’s 1000 silver dollar challenge!

Around the middle of the year in 1974, Valentine began bringing a fish bowl full of silver dollars to ringside…1000 silver dollars to be exact. Johnny promised that he would give up the silver dollars to any wrestler that could pin him or make him submit in 10 minutes. These challenges occurred almost exclusively on Mid-Atlantic Championship Wrestling television, but as the months went on some of these challenges made it into the area’s arenas.

During the early months of these 1000 silver dollar challenges, Valentine defended his money against a host of challengers at least a couple of times a month. While Johnny said he would take on all comers, he generally defended the $1000 only against lower and mid card wrestlers, mainly on the “good guy” side of the area’s talent ledger. Interestingly, Valentine had very few easy matches defending his money, even against a slew of lesser opponents. Johnny often had to “pull rabbits out of his hat” to prevail close to the 10 minute time limit mark, and even had a few surprising draws sprinkled in.

Listen to Joe Murnick's ring introduction to Johnny Valentine vs. Bob Bruggers
for the 1000 Silver Dollars!

Despite all the close calls, Valentine continued his 1000 silver dollar challenge unbeaten streak against challenger Bob Bruggers on the Mid-Atlantic Championship Wrestling TV show that aired in many area markets on Saturday July 20, 1974. Immediately after the bout, Johnny was confronted by none other than “Mr. Number One” Paul Jones! Paul challenged Johnny, and “Mr. #1” said that Valentine was afraid to put his 1000 silver dollars on the line against him. Valentine scoffed at the notion of such a match, telling Paul, “Get in line boy! You’re not good enough to wrestle me!” Johnny went on to say that Paul Jones was at the bottom of the ladder, didn’t belong in the same ring with him and should be carrying his bags!

Valentine brushing off Jones’ challenge just made Paul more angry and determined. And Paul had a plan to move himself up to the top of Valentine’s list. Jones said to Johnny, “I’ll give you some incentive boy!” Jones told Valentine and the viewing audience that he would match Valentine’s 1000 silver dollars, and bring the money next week, making it a total of 2000 silver dollars. Paul then said to Johnny, “And I can beat you in 10 minutes, and I know I can! And if I can’t beat you in 10 minutes you can have the 2000 dollars! You just be here; I’ll be here! And I bet you move me right to the top of the list next week!” Johnny, who was on his way out of the ring, immediately turned around when he heard Paul say he would bring money to the ring next week!  Valentine said, “Wait a minute; wait a minute.” Jones responded, “DON’T YOU WAIT A MINUTE ME!!”

No. 1 Paul Jones battles Johnny "The Champ" Valentine

Valentine then shouted at Jones that he still thought that Paul didn’t belong in the same ring with him, but that he saw money now. The “Champ” again queried Jones if he was serious about bringing 1000 silver dollars of his own money to the ring next week. Valentine said, “You’re telling me that if you can’t beat me in 10 minutes your thousand dollars is MINE??” Jones said, “Yeah, that’s EXACTLY right! I knew I’d get you in the ring one way or the other!” Paul went on to say, “I’ll be here next week early with my 1000 silver dollars! I’ll put ‘em in there myself, and match your thousand silver dollars. And I can beat you in 10 minutes…I know I can!!”

After an instant of digesting what Jones had said, a big smile came over Valentine’s face and he exclaimed, “I ACCEPT!”

After Paul left the ring, Valentine continued to roam around the ring with a maniacal smile across his face, shouting at Jones to bring his money next week and yelling at ring announcer Joe Murnick, “I want SILVER DOLLARS…SILVER DOLLARS!!!” The “Champ” clearly had a quite odd fixation on silver coins, rather than paper money!

Listen to the final minute of the Bruggers match called by Bob Caudle and Johnny Weaver and then all of the the classic verbal confrontation between Paul Jones and Johnny "The Champ" Valentine!

To Be Continued..... The challenge has been accepted!

Paul Jones battles Johnny Valentine with 2000 Silver Dollars on the Line