Sunday, September 22, 2019

Andre the Giant's First Night in Charlotte

by Dick Bourne
Mid-Atlantic Gateway

Awhile back I posted a series on Andre the Giant's first tour of the Mid-Atlantic area in June of 1974. The story was inspired by a submission to the Mid-Atlantic Gateway by Les Thatcher of some photographs that he took and a wonderful story he had written then when he was tasked to take Andre on several promotional stops around the territory.

The can check that series out here:

Part 1: The Tour (includes a photo with Joe, Elliot, and Carl Murnick.)
Part 2: Les Thatcher's Opus: Les Thatcher's "lost story" about taking Andre on tour (including photos with Charlie Harville, Nick Pond, and Joe Murnick.)
Part 3: Context (Including additional photos with Scott Casey and Bill Ward, plus other Mid-Atlantic history that week.)

As I mentioned in the series, I was amazed out how much memorabilia seemed to exist from that one week in 1974. And now I've come across a bit more.

Scooter Lesley, who owns the vast photo archives of the late Gene Gordon, recently sent me a photo Gordon took of Andre in the locker room at the old Charlotte Coliseum (aka, Independence Arena, now Bojangles Coliseum.) I immediately thought of Les Thatcher's story and his photographs.


Nelson Royal, Swede Hanson, and Andre the Giant in Charlotte, June 10, 1974


The photograph, seen here, is of Nelson Royal and Swede Hansen looking up in awe at Andre. Although clearly staged, Nelson and Swede were no doubt legitimately in awe of the "Eight Wonder of the World" as they spent the week with him on his first tour of the area.

I knew the photo had to be from that week in June 1974, just based on some quick tell-tale signs. Nelson Royal still being in the area at the same time Swede Hansen was a babyface pegged it to those months in 1974, and this was likely Andre's only tour through that time. I knew that Nelson had teamed with Andre on Andre's first card in Charlotte. I looked up the newspaper clipping of that 6/10/74 Charlotte Coliseum show in Mark Eastridge's vast clipping archives, and confirmed that Swede Hanson was indeed on that same show, too.

That night in Charlotte, where Andre teamed with Royal to defeat Mr. Ota and Mr. Hiashi, was part of an 11-day tour that stretched from 6/3 to 6/13/74.
  • Mon 6/3 - Greenwood SC - Andre beat Pedro Godoy and Mike Paidousis
  • Tue 6/4 - Raleigh NC - Andre defeated Mike Paidousis and Bill White
  • Wed 6/5 - Anderson SC -Andre & Sandy Scott def. Mr. Ota/Mr. Hiashi
  • Thu 6/6 - Greensboro NC - Andre participated in a Battle Royal
  • Fri 6/7 - Richmond VA - Andre participated in a Battle Royal
  • Sat 6/8 - Roanoke VA - Andre def. Chuck O'Connor and Mike Paidousis
  • Sun 6/9 - Rocky Mount NC - Andre def. O'Connor/"Two Ton" Harris
  • Mon 6/10 - Charlotte NC - Andre & Nelson Royal def. Mr. Ota/Mr. Hiashi
  • Tue 6/11 - Columbia SC - defeated Mike Paidousis and Bill White
  • Wed 6/12 - Raleigh NC - Studio TV Appearance
  • Thu 6/13 - Norfolk VA - Andre participated in a Battle Royal
Andre was also one of the "lumberjacks" in the main event that night, a Lumberjack Match between the Super Destroyer (Don Jardine) and Swede Hanson. That match ended in a "no decision" when at one point all of the lumberjacks found themselves in the ring in swinging away at each other until Andre cleared the ring of everybody!   

No doubt Andre made a big impression on wrestling fans as well as his peers that first week in the area. Gene Gordon's photograph, added to Les Thatcher's photos and "lost story" documented earlier, are a lasting record of that memorable period of time.


http://www.midatlanticgateway.com/p/origins-of-mid-atlantic-title.html

Saturday, September 21, 2019

Tony Schiavone Profile for Charlotte O's Baseball (1982)

Before Tony Schiavone joined ringside partners Bob Caudle, David Crockett, and Johnny Weaver as one of the voices of Mid-Atlantic and World Wide Wrestling in the early 1980s, he was the radio voice of the Charlotte O's baseball franchise, the AA affiliate of the Baltimore Orioles.

Both the wrestling organization and the baseball club were part of Jim Crockett Promotions, Inc.

Ric Flair recently told listeners on episode #26 of his podcast "WOOOOO! Nation" that after meeting Tony and hearing him call O's baseball, he suggested to the Crockett family that Schiavone get a chance to join the wrestling part of the company.

Not long after Flair's suggestion, Schiavonie had the opportunity to follow the legendary Charlotte wrestling announcer "Big" Bill Ward as host of the localized promo segments that were inserted into the wrestling shows. He later was the backstage interviewer for "Starrcade '83" and then got his shot co-hosting "World Wide Wrestling" alongside David Crockett later in 1984. The rest, as they say, was history.

But before all that took place, the following short profile on Tony appeared in a 1982 Charlotte O's baseball program....



VOICE OF THE CHARLOTTE O's TONY SCHIAVONE (1982)
One of Greensboro's top radio personalities comes to Charlotte this year as the voice of the O's. He is Tony Schiavone, a 24 year old native of Virginia. Last year Tony was the voice of the Class A Greensboro Hornets and was named 1981 South Atlantic League Broadcaster of the Year.

Bob Taylor of WBTV will join Tony this year as color man. This will be Bob's second year on O's Radio, and the former professional player once again brings his knowledge of the game to the booth.

Schiavone is a graduate of James Madison University and has been in radio for five years. His past duties have involved football, basketball, and baseball play-by-play, and host of a call-in talk show.

His duties with the O's will also include coordinating media information and keeping official statistics.
Schiavone is married to the former Lois Berger of Greensboro and they are expecting their first child in July.

 Originally published December 26, 2015 on the Mid-Atlantic Gateway

http://bookstore.midatlanticgateway.com

Friday, September 20, 2019

Mid-Atlantic TV: March 6, 1982

Mid-Atlantic Championship Wrestling
on the WWE Network
Mid-Atlantic Championship Wrestling
TV Summaries & Reviews
by David Taub
Mid-Atlantic Gateway Contributor

This is a review of Mid-Atlantic Wrestling as it appeared on the WWE Network. Results are included for the week (Monday-Sunday of the given week) as available. Please email with any corrections, typos, results, other details at 1davidtaub@gmail.com

For links to all available summaries, visit our TV Summary Index.


Mid-Atlantic Championship Wrestling
Original broadcast: 3/06/82
(taped 3/03/82 at WPCQ-TV studios in Charlotte)
WWE Network feed.  [How to watch this show on the WWE Network.]
 Bob Caudle & Roddy Piper open the show. The Brisco Brothers are here, and Roddy Piper looks forward to meeting them. Speaking of which …

—Int. w/Caudle: Jack Brisco & Jerry Brisco
Jerry compliments Piper. Piper asks Jack how he handles fear. Jack doesn’t fear anyone. Good work by Piper, but he had his back to the camera the whole time.

Match 1
Austin Idol d. Vinnie Valentino
Dave Hebner is the referee for the hour. Mostly Idol on the offense, save one brief flurry from Valentino. Lots of flexing and shimmying from Idol. He wins with the Las Vegas Leglock.

—Int. w/Caudle: Jake Roberts
Roberts talks about Slaughter and his Privates attack on Steamboat and Flair from 2/21/82 in Greensboro. We go to the clip, first seen last week. Caudle and Roberts narrate. As a refresher, after Flair defeated Steamboat, Slaughter and the Privates attacked Steamboat in the ring. Flair makes the save, but gets attacked himself, brutalized with a belt. Steamboat clears the ring with a chair, with Roberts and Stevens helping out. Steamboat carried a bloodied Flair to the back. Roberts is so good, before his creepy, demented heel interviews from Georgia/Mid-South and perfected in the WWF.

[Break]

Match 2
David Patterson d. Rick Benefield
Most of the talk centers around Slaughter. Patterson, wrestling’s Gable Kaplan, wins with a side leg sweep. Maybe a Side Cuban Legsweep?

—local promos w/Big Bill Ward
Ward plugs the bumper sticker. Austin Idol says the Ann Arbor fans are begging for him. TV champ Ivan Koloff talks about potential contenders. He doesn’t care. But, Jimmy Valiant is crazy in the head. He’s not getting a title shot.

[Break]

—Int. w/Caudle: Ray Stevens
Stevens compliments Roddy Piper. Then, the talk turns to last week’s brawl between Jimmy Valiant and Ole & Hansen & Koloff. We then go to the clip from last week. Back to the announce desk. Stevens is holding the mic. Where did Caudle go? Jimmy Valiant joins the set and says his piece.

[Break]

—Int. w/Caudle: Ivan Koloff; Austin Idol; Sgt. Slaughter
Koloff yells about Valiant. He hints at challenging him to a chain match. Austin Idol is up next. Says the fans want to see him on TV. Idol is channeling his best Superstar Billy Graham. Sgt. Slaughter talks about a future match with Jerry Brisco. It doesn’t matter how many Privates he has, the Marines are one.

Caudle introduces the next match via magic blue screen.

[Break]

Match 3
Jack Brisco & Jerry Brisco d. Bill White & Mike Miller
Piper says he will point out every mistake the Briscos make. The brothers didn’t cut the ring in half, allowing a tag out. Mistake one. The Briscos tagging, he calls selfish. Piper says in two weeks he’ll be named the most important wrestler of 1981. Finally, a conclusion to that contest! Caudle reminds fans you have a week left to send in your cards. Austin Idol is spotted filming on the outside. More squabbling from Piper about the Briscos. Jack makes Miller submit to the figure four for the win. That’s the same finisher twice on the show.

—local promos w/Big Bill Ward

Another bumper sticker promo. Blackjack Mulligan Jr. and Jack Brisco are in. Audio is bleeding into this segment. I guess that happens when you’re market 17 out of 17. Pretty generic stuff from the two.

[Break]

Match 4
Pvt. Nelson & Pvt. Kernodle d. Ron Ritchie & Tony Anthony
Caudle says the Privates won the Fayetteville tournament. Ole & Hansen won in Greensboro, as well as Atlanta. The Briscos won in Charlotte. All those results are legit (3/01, 2/07 & 2/28 and 2/14 respectively). Kernodle waylays Anthony with a loud chop. Nelson holds Anthony up and Kernodle comes off the top rope with a clothesline for the pin.

—Int. w/Caudle: Nelson & Kernodle
Kernodle starts yelling then walks away toward the camera and away from the mic. Caudle has to draw him back. The Privates ramble about all the babyfaces. Out comes Ricky Steamboat, wearing a suit. Steamboat stares them down, as the Privates back off. Steamboat laments losing a close friend of his, Don Kernodle. But, he gained Ric Flair back. Finally, a fired up babyface promo from Steamboat that has been missing for a while.


“So long for now!”

House show results after the jump...

Wednesday, September 18, 2019

Dino Bravo's Mid-Atlantic TV Debut Was Memorable (Part 2)

by David Chappell
Mid-Atlantic Gateway

After defeating Steve Strong in his debut match on the April 28, 1976 Mid-Atlantic Championship Wrestling television show (as we learned in PART ONE), Dino Bravo joined Bob Caudle and David Crockett at the announcer's desk to offer some insight on the program's final match involving the NWA World's Tag Team Champions Gene and Ole Anderson. Bravo told the viewing audience that he had no love for the Andersons, as they had injured Bravo's partner about a year before. When Gene and Ole took over on young Randy Colley and were brutalizing him, Bravo ran up to the ring irate.

Caudle exclaimed, "Dino's going to the ring now David!" Crockett responded, "Dino's over there, he's yelling...why don't you beat him?" Caudle continued, "Randy Colley now, still picked up gonna be slammed again by Ole Anderson. And again he's gone back to the arm, and he's not attempting to pin." Crockett yelled, "He's got it locked; he's got the arm locked..he's applying the pressure!" At this point in time, it appeared Ole Anderson was out to break Colley's arm, which certainly did not sit well with Bravo.

An agitated Bravo remarked, "They could beat that kid!" At that instant, the referee stopped the bout with Caudle explaining, "The referee says ring the bell, that's it." Dino exclaimed, "They are sick, they are thoroughly disgusting. I wish I could get my hands on the two of them at one time." Gene and Ole then approached the announcers desk and Bravo confronted them yelling, "You're really proving something here, that kid's been wrestling two months already you try to cripple the kid. Why don't you try to break that arm; why don't you try to break that arm? Try, go ahead and try to break my arm!"

Somewhat perplexed, Ole countered, "Why don't you just buzz off, buddy-boy. Take that kid outta here before we break his arm! You wanna have your arm broken so bad, I'll give you a chance to get your arm broken! Get yourself a partner and come back in a couple of weeks and we'll wrestle you..now get out of here!" Pushing the envelope, Dino responded, "A championship match...give me a championship match!" After shaking his head in disbelief and pondering the proposal, Ole fired back, "Alright, I tell you what buddy-boy...you're so big, you're so tough, I'll make it, we'll make it a championship match; you get yourself a partner."

Ole then fine-tuned his response a bit by elaborating, "But I'm gonna tell you what, there's a little stipulation there. If you want to have this you get any partner but it can't be Wahoo McDaniel...we've seen enough of him. It can't be Paul Jones, and it can't be Rufus R. Jones. You get anybody else you want, and I tell you what we'll wrestle you for the championship in two weeks right here in that ring." An exuberant Bravo shouted, "Beautiful!"

Ole clearly had enough of Dino, telling Caudle, "Get this kid outta here! I saw him a year or so ago out in L.A. and he had a partner out there at that time, what was his name Brito, or whatever it happened to be. And the guy is still a little bit hot, carries a little bit of a grudge because we..." Caudle jumped in and said, "He said you hurt his arm, hurt his partner's arm." A smiling Ole answered, "We didn't just hurt it, we dislocated it..tore it out. I could hear it when it was cracking, just like we had this kid right here. I could hear those cartilages crack."

An incensed Ole continued to vent to Caudle, "This guy thinks he's gonna come over, he came over in a match a few seconds ago and says beat somebody...I told you a million times to beat somebody isn't good enough. Because if you just beat somebody, like Gene and I have done so many times , you get a punk back like this one right here, who thinks he can have two or three weeks of good training and then he can beat us. Well the reason we go out there and break somebody's arm or dislocate it is to show 'em that they're not as tough as they think they are."

Ole even suggested Caudle had a role in Bravo's bravado continuing, "Now this wise-aleck comes out here; I don't know what you guys were talking about, it doesn't make any difference. You let him come over to the ring while I'm wrestling, you have him come over there and he says beat somebody...well we're gonna beat them in our own sweet time." Bob stood up for himself saying , "I didn't have him come over!" Unconvinced, Ole countered, " Well somebody did, somebody's sticking that kid's face in our face."

Getting angrier and angrier, Ole lashed out, "And I'll tell ya, the only thing that's gonna happen is Mr. Dino Bravo, or whatever your name is, as good as you might be, as nice a body as you've got, as big of arms as you might have...you are gonna find out the same thing as anybody else has found out when they've wrestled the Anderson brothers. You know what our nickname is, it's the Wrecking Crew, and I tell ya when we get you in that ring, I told you...two weeks! Two weeks, you figure it out! You get yourself a partner, but like I said you can't have Wahoo, you can't have Jones, you can't have Rufus...you get anybody else in the world I don't care, anybody else...if you can find anybody else."

Bob then poked at Ole, "Why not one of those three, why not anybody?" Ole didn't take the bait saying, "Don't get into that...you just get Bravo back out here. I don't care if he comes out here with a midget or anybody else. I'm gonna guarantee you one thing Bravo, you stuck your nose in our face once before and your partner got his arm broken. Now you're gonna stick your face into it again. In two weeks we're gonna come back here, we'll wrestle and we'll show you what we can do by putting these championship belts up against you and whoever you want.  And when we get you in that ring in two weeks you might as well start counting the end of your days because I'm gonna guarantee you just as sure as Gene and I are standing here, two weeks from now you're not gonna have an arm...you won't be able to wrestle again! And this is the guy that's gonna do it...Gene and I are gonna do it!"

While Dino Bravo secured his NWA World's Tag Team Title match in two weeks on television, the following week on Mid-Atlantic Championship Wrestling TV would set up the table for Dino's big chance!

The Andersons attack Dino Bravo on the May 5, 1976 Mid-Atlantic Championship Wrestling TV taping, and the wrestler who saved Dino is named Bravo's partner...to be continued in Part 3!


http://www.midatlanticgateway.com/p/yearbooks.html

Sunday, September 15, 2019

An Upset for the Ages: Keirn and Conway beat the Andersons (1975)

by David Chappell
Mid-Atlantic Gateway

I loved watching Mid-Atlantic Championship Wrestling on television. In fact, my Saturday’s during the Mid-Atlantic era revolved around TV wrestling! But as much as I loved my television wrestling on Richmond’s WTVR-TV 6 back in the 1970’s, the TV matches themselves were very predictable as far as who won and who lost. And that was absolutely okay with me. It made sense that an established and championship duo like Gene and Ole Anderson would whip up on and defeat the many young upstart tandems that the promoters threw in against them on TV. For me, the team of Tiger Conway and Steve Keirn fit that bill. In my mind they were in the class of a good upcoming tag team, and would certainly put up a good fight, but there was no way in the world they could beat Gene and Ole Anderson. Boy, was I in for a big surprise!

Steve Keirn & Tiger Conway, Jr.
First off, let me say that in September of 1975 Conway and Keirn brought a little more to the table than some of the typical Anderson’s TV opponents. Tiger Conway, Jr. was rapidly losing the “junior” designation…he was becoming his own man, and an accomplished wrestler. Tiger rose to one half of the Mid-Atlantic Tag Team Champions with Paul Jones in late 1974 and early 1975. But in February of 1975 when Gene and Ole Anderson took over as the area’s tag team kingpins, it was Tiger who was effectively booted out of the territory. Conway reappeared in the area with little fanfare a few weeks before being paired with Keirn in September of 1975.

Steve Keirn was building up some credentials as well. Hitting the area in the middle of 1975, the 1974 NWA Rookie of the Year put on an impressive showing against NWA World Champion Jack Brisco in a rare TV match from the WRAL TV studios soon after entering the territory. But Keirn’s performances after that were a bit uneven, and it appeared he was settling into a mid-card tag team slot with partner Ron Starr. Conway’s return to the area seemed to change things, as Tiger liked what he saw in the aggressive youngster Keirn.

Gene & Ole Anderson
During the latter days of September 1975, NWA World Tag Team Champions Gene and Ole Anderson were operating at an all-time high level. Gene and Ole were winding down one of the greatest tag teams programs ever, with Paul Jones and Wahoo McDaniel, having wrestled Jones and McDaniel in lengthy matches throughout the spring and summer. As great as the Anderson Brothers were, they perhaps were never as invincible-looking as they were in the middle of September of 1975.

The Mid-Atlantic Championship Wrestling TV show that was taped on September 17th was down to its final match of the program, with the World Tag Team champs Gene and Ole Anderson pitted against youngsters Tiger Conway and Steve Keirn in a non-title bout. While the match had no particular build-up, the crowd was super hyped. I probably should have sensed something unusual was up when television commentator David Crockett said, “There’s something in the air; I don’t know what it is, but these fans can feel it. They were up on their feet when Keirn and Conway walked in the ring. They’re ready!”

Saturday, September 14, 2019

Rhodes vs. Valentine as the "Greatest U.S. Champion of All Time" Tournament Continues



Round One of Mike Rickard's fantasy tournament of all the great Jim Crockett Promotions U.S. champions to determine the "Greatest U.S. Champion of All Time" wraps up this week!

This week, it's "The American Dream" Dusty Rhodes vs. Greg "The Hammer" Valentine.

Dusty came close to first winning the title in 1979 when special referee Buddy Rogers aided him in defeating Ric Flair for the belt in Greensboro, only to have the NWA return the title to Flair days later. Having three short NWA World title runs under his belt by 1987, he finally capture Crockett's top title by defeating Lex Luger in a cage match at Starrcade '87 in Chicago.

Greg Valentine is a former three-time U.S. champion having defeated Ric Flair (1980), Wahoo McDaniel (1982), and Roddy Piper (1983) for the honors.

Valentine and Rhodes didn't meet often in the ring over the years, but Valentine was a top contender for the NWA title when Rhodes had it during the summer of 1981.

So, who you got? Check out this final match in the first round of the tournament on Canadian Bulldog World's website.

Round Two begins next week!

For the complete history of Jim Crockett Promotions' United States Championship, check out our book at the Gateway Book Store or on Amazon.com.

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

Friday, September 13, 2019

Action Figures Friday: Steamboat and Flair and the U.S. Title




Back in 2015, Josh Watko wrote this nice review of our book "Jim Crockett Promotions' United States Championship." Josh also contributed images of memorabilia to the book that focused on "The American Dream" Dusty Rhodes' 1987-1988 reign as U.S. champion.

Josh's memorabilia website, J.W.'s Wrestling Memorabilia, is a fun look at tons of different memroabilia from many different eras.

We particularly liked this photo he took of his Ricky Steamboat and Ric Flair action figures alongside our book, and thought it would make a good entry for "Action Figures Friday."

You can buy our book on the history of the United States Championship at the Mid-Atlantic Gateway Book Store or on Amazon.com.


http://bookstore.midatlanticgateway.com

Thursday, September 12, 2019

Mid-Altantic TV: February 27, 1982

Mid-Atlantic Championship Wrestling
on the WWE Network
Mid-Atlantic Championship Wrestling
TV Summaries & Reviews
by David Taub
Mid-Atlantic Gateway Contributor

This is a review of Mid-Atlantic Wrestling as it appeared on the WWE Network. Results are included for the week (Monday-Sunday of the given week) as available. Please email with any corrections, typos, results, other details at 1davidtaub@gmail.com

For links to all available summaries, visit our TV Summary Index.


Mid-Atlantic Championship Wrestling
Original broadcast: 2/27/82
(taped 2/24/82 at WPCQ-TV studios in Charlotte)
WWE Network feed.  [How to watch this show on the WWE Network.]

Bob Caudle & Roddy Piper open the show. Sgt. Slaughter joins in, saying he should be the World Heavyweight champion. He’ll play a tape later.

[Break]

Match 1
Terry Taylor d. David Patterson
Sonny Fargo, in a red uniform and white belt, is the referee for the hour. It took me a while to place Patterson. He looks like if early 1980s Alex Trebek stepped in the ring and had a body. Can you figure out who Patterson is? [Spoiler: he’ll have an interview in a few weeks, which finally makes it obvious]. Caudle mentions other wrestlers are upset with Austin Idol’s ringside filming. Idol is ringside here. Taylor nails Patterson with the flying forearm, places Patterson in an abdominal stretch, and rolls to the mat for a pin combo.

[Break]

Match 2
Pvt. Jim Nelson & Pvt. Don Kernodle (w/Sgt. Slaughter) d. Mike Davis & Vinnie Valentino
Idol is filming and has a brief conversation with Slaughter. Piper praises the coaching Slaughter has given his Privates. Kerndole holds up Davis and Nelson comes off the top rope with a left-armed clothesline and makes the cover.

—Int. w/Bob Caudle: Sgt. Slaughter
Slaughter talks about making a challenge prior to a recent Flair vs. Steamboat match to the winner. He says both men disrespected him. We go to a film clip from Feb. 21 in Greensboro. The Flair/Steamboat match just ended. Slaughter and his Privates jump Steamboat. Flair makes the save. Then, the heels turn their attention to Flair. Slaughter says it’s just him beating Flair. Slaughter whips Flair in the head with his military belt. Steamboat clears the ring with a chair. Steamboat, then, carries a bloodied Flair to the locker room.

—Int. w/Bob Caudle: Pvt. Kernodle & Pvt. Nelson
This is the segment in lieu of a local promo. Kernodle says just call them Pvt. Nelson and Pvt. Kernodle, don’t use their first name. Kernodle lays some verbal smack upon Flair and Steamboat. Nelson is in a fighting mood, and challenges anyone to fight them. Kernodle shakes Piper’s hand. Kernodle insists they are their own men.

[Break]

—Int. w/Roddy Piper: Ole Anderson & Stan Hansen
Piper takes over the mic. Hansen has a simplistic “Pro-Wrestling” t-shirt. Just as the interview gets started, the Network overdub of Jimmy Valiant’s music drowns everything out. Ole looks annoyed as Valiant comes hopping and bopping on the set. Valiant grabs the mic and dances. A punch by Ole, and it’s on. The battles spills into the ring, where Ivan Koloff is waiting for his match vs. Tony Anthony. Valiant holds his own against three men. Blackjack Mulligan Jr. and Ray Stevens (in a three-piece suit) come in to help their friend.

Valiant returns to Caudle, and thanks Mulligan and “The Crippla’” for helping him.

Match 3a:
NWA TV title: Ivan Koloff [ch.] -no match- Tony Anthony
The Koloff-Anthony match just gets cancelled and we move into the next match.

Match 3b:
Mike George d. Mike Miller
Piper disappears, so David Crockett joins Caudle. Idol continues to film, as Caudle notes he’s taking flak for it. George wins with the shoulder breaker.

[Break]

—Int. w/Bob Caudle: Ray Stevens & Jake Roberts & Blackjack Mulligan Jr.
Stevens talks about the melee with Valiant and Ole earlier, then Slaughter and his Privates attacking Flair/Steamboat. Roberts joins in, saying this is too much. He doesn’t know what happened with Kernodle. Mulligan, in a pink shirt and gray vest-coat warns Slaughter.
Caudle introduces the next match via magic blue screen

[Break]

Match 4
Ron Ritchie d. Bill White
Crockett is still there. This is a slow-paced match. Enough time for Caudle & Crockett to brag about one hour of Mid-Atlantic Championship Wrestling is the most action packed anywhere. The conservation continues with the 1981 contest, why Koloff didn’t wrestle in the hour, and maybe a little about the match in the ring. White goes for a slam, Ritchie slips behind and rolls him up for the pin. Crockett just has to call him over.

—Int. w/David Crockett: Ron Ritchie
A blown-up Ritchie talks about Slaughter’s attack on Flair and Steamboat. Slaughter comes out and says Ritchie can’t talk to him like that. Ritchie walks off.

[Break]

—Int. w/Bob Caudle: Kelly Kiniski & Don Gilbert
This may be in lieu of the local promos. Kiniski gives a gee whiz, I’m glad to wrestle such great competition interview. Gilbert welcomes Kiniski to Mid-Atlantic. Kinsiki has his Canada jacket on, by the way.

[Break]

Match 5
Ole Anderson & Stan Hansen (w/Gene Anderson) d. Kelly Kiniski & Don Gilbert
Idol talks to Caudle, about how he is not filming this time. He says it’s his right. He also claims to be the next World Heavyweight champion. Not a completely one-sided match, but close. Hansen pins Gilbert after nearly decapitating him with the clothesline.

—Int. w/Bob Caudle: Ole Anderson & Stan Hansen & Gene Anderson
Ole praises Hansen. They will be the greatest tag team. All three go nuts when Caudle mentions Jimmy Valiant’s names. It looks like Hansen said something he wasn’t supposed to, because the audio went momentarily silent. Ole mentions the Japs are coming to down, namely Baba. Idol wanders by for a cameo.

“So long for now!”

House show results for the week after the jump.

Tuesday, September 10, 2019

Blooper! Lard Anderson! (1966)


by Dick Bourne
Mid-Atlantic Gateway

Another classic Anderson Brothers blooper, this one from Johnson City, TN, in March of 1966. Tennessee legend Whitey Caldwell went to a 15-minute draw with LARD Anderson!

Mark Eastridge adroitly pointed out we now have a complete Anderson Brothers Blooper Trifecta, wrestling in some alternate parallel universe, as JEAN, OLD, and LARD Anderson. (Check out those earlier Bloopers if you haven't already seen them.)

Of course, the result in the newspaper should read LARS Anderson. It's an honest typo. After all, the "d" and the "s" are next to each other on the qwerty keyboard. 

There is some interesting Anderson Brothers history around this March 1966 card from a historical timeline perspective. Larry Heinemi had only been working under the name Lars Anderson for a matter of weeks at this point. He and Gene Anderson had just teamed up and left the AWA for the Nashville territory, and worked for Welch/Gulas for about three months before making their team-debut for Jim Crockett Promotions in in May of 1966.  In this clipping, we are seeing the earliest period of the Minnesota Wrecking Crew. There was no Ole Anderson yet; that would come two years later. The birth of the team was Gene and Lars, and that team was just weeks old at the time of this card in Johnson City, TN. (All of that history is laid out month by month in the early timeline of our book "Minnesota Wrecking Crew.")

Thanks as always to Mark Eastridge. His ongoing research found this great blooper!

See a list of all the earlier bloopers here.

 
http://bookstore.midatlanticgateway.com

Sunday, September 08, 2019

Best of the Gateway: "Tough Kid" (Roddy Piper)

by Dick Bourne
Mid-Atlantic Gateway


Edited From the Mid-Atlantic Gateway Archives / Cokes & Popcorn
Originally published June 29, 2015


Roddy Piper once gave a great example of what old-timers did to protect the business back in the day. In his day, they sometimes would go to extremes to make sure fans completely bought into an angle. It was all about "protecting the business."

In the audio clip below, Roddy is discussing the famous 1982 angle where he and Ric Flair engaged in an amateur wrestling contest. After Piper embarrassed Flair by pinning him both amateur and professional style, Flair and Greg Valentine attacked him and ground his face into the cement floor of the WPCQ TV studios in Charlotte.

In 2011, Piper discussed what we didn't see during the commercial break to make sure fans bought into the angle:



Roddy Piper discusses Gene Anderson
Rock 100.5 Atlanta's Rock Station 


The interview was part of a promotional appearance for the 2011 NWA Wrestling Legends Fanfest in Atlanta, GA.

Piper mentions he was taken to the back after the angle during the commercial break, and Gene Anderson rubbed sandpaper on his face to create the abrasion you see in the photo below and to help sell the angle to fans. Anderson looked at him and said, "Tough kid." Piper said it was one of the greatest compliments he had ever received.


Roddy Piper 1982

This photo above (taken by magazine photographer Eddie Cheslock in Richmond, VA) was shot in 1982 following the angle between Ric Flair and Roddy Piper which led to the sandpaper treatment he describes receiving in the video from Gene Anderson.


Ricky Steamboat 1978

The 1982 Flair/Piper angle was basically a repeat of an angle four years earlier between Flair and Ricky Steamboat in 1978 (except the 1978 angle didn't involve an amateur wrestling contest.)




From the Mid-Atlantic Gateway Archives
Cokes & Popcorn

Want more watered-down Cokes and stale popcorn like we used to get at the wrestling shows? Visit the Cokes & Popcorn page on the Mid-Atlantic Gateway Archives. 
These are little stories of respect I want to hang onto.


Saturday, September 07, 2019

Mid-Atlantic TV: February 20, 1982

http://network.wwe.com/video/v1870847183
Mid-Atlantic Wrestling
on the WWE Network
Mid-Atlantic Championship Wrestling
TV Summaries & Reviews
by David Taub
Mid-Atlantic Gateway Contributor

This is a review of Mid-Atlantic Wrestling as it appeared on the WWE Network. Results are included for the week (Monday-Sunday of the given week) as available. Please email with any corrections, typos, results, other details at 1davidtaub@gmail.com

For links to all available summaries, visit our TV Summary Index.


Mid-Atlantic Championship Wrestling
Original broadcast: 2/20/82
(taped 2/17/82 at WPCQ-TV studios in Charlotte)
WWE Network feed.  [How to watch this show on the WWE Network.]

[We skip a week on the Network. February 13 show currently unavailable.]

Bob Caudle & Roddy Piper open the show.
Piper talks about Steamboat and the wrestler who contributed the most in 1981 and something from last week.

—Int. w/Roddy Piper: Sgt. Slaughter
Piper grabs the mic and interviews Slaughter. Mutual admiration society. Caudle looks upset. It appears he wants to regain control of the mic, but neither Piper nor Slaughter will let him.

Match 1
Blackjack Mulligan Jr. & Jake Roberts d. Buck Brannigan & Don Gilbert
Tommy Young is the referee for the hour. Caudle picks up on the mutual admiration of the prior interview. Piper still won’t reveal his partner. Austin Idol is at ringside, with a handheld movie camera. Caudle speculates Idol will study the film. Piper says he has VCR at home and records the matches. Young is the #1 official, according to Piper. The finish has Roberts whip Brannigan into the ropes, tags Mulligan who nails him with the flying forearm for the pin.

[Break]

Match 2
Sgt. Slaughter [U.S. champion] d. Vinnie Valentino (Non-title match)
Slaughter seems more aggressive than normal. Nelson is at ringside, but so is another wrestler who looks identical (white top, camouflage cap and pants). Caudle identifies him as Don Kernodle, clean shaven. Idol is back out with his camera. Slaughter wins with the Cobra Clutch.

—Int. w/Bob Caudle: Sgt. Slaughter & Pvt. Nelson & Pvt. Kernodle
Caudle sounds like he has a cold. He throws to a clip of Dusty Rhodes from the Mid-South TV studio on Shreveport (before they moved to the Irish McNeil Boys Club). Slaughter narrates the clip. Slaughter says he used an armbar in the match, because he saw this tape earlier and Rhodes used an armbar. Not sure who the opponent is, but Alfred Nealy is the referee. Rhodes wins with the elbow. Slaughter brags about himself, and his Cobra Clutch. Nelson and Kernodle stand silently in the background, until ordered by Slaughter to tell who the greatest wrestler is. “Sir, Sgt. Slaughter, Sir.”

[Break]

Match 3
Porkchop Cash d. Ben Alexander
Porkchop is wearing cutoff jean shorts with a belt. Piper joins on the commentary mid-way through the match. Piper and Caudle talk about who the top teams in the tag tournament will be. Caudle picks Anderson & Hansen to win the tournament. Piper picks himself, and his yet to be named partner. Piper calls Cash an intelligent wrestler, and mentions his partner, Leroy Brown. Cash wins with a leaping headbutt.

—local promo w/Big Bill Ward: Roddy Piper
Ward wants the Ann Arbor audience to send a SASE to the Charlotte office to receive a Mid-Atlantic Championship Wrestling bumper sticker. Piper delivers another Piper classic. Works in an “Uncle Arbor” line. Did you know he was one of the greatest soccer players in Scotland and he’s never lost a match? You can tell Ann Arbor was the end of the bicycle line. You can hear some audio bleed into the local promo.

[Break]

Match 4
NWA TV championship: Ivan Koloff [ch.] d. Tim Horner (not Rick Benfield)
The wrestler is listed on the Network as Rick Benfield, and that’s what Caudle calls him, but this is Tim Horner. TV title on the line. As the match starts, Jimmy Valiant makes a cameo, meaning the Network overdub drowns everything else. Piper scoffs if he could beat Koloff. Of course he could. Horner gets one move in for the match. Koloff wins with the knee driving down into the back of the head.

[Break]

—Int. w/Bob Caudle: Ray Stevens; Blackjack Mulligan Jr.; Ricky Steamboat; Jake Roberts
Stevens said his partner got hurt (without actually naming Pat Patterson) at the hands of Anderson & Hansen. It happened 2/14/82 in Charlotte, for the record. Stevens says he’s got Dusty Rhodes and Leroy Brown to partner with him in subsequent tournaments. Mulligan Jr. says he’s still hunting after Slaughter. As a side note, the elder Blackjack Mulligan debuted on this date (2/20/82) on WWF as a heel, about to engage in a feud with Andre. Steamboat praises Flair for giving him a title rematch (a little context lost here). Roberts talks about Piper and Slaughter’s fascination with each other.
Caudle introduces the next match via magic blue screen.

[Break]

Match 5
Mike George d. Steve Sybert
George is a Mid-Atlantic newcomer, best known for his time in Mid-South and Central States. Austin Idol is back at ringside, filming. George wins with the shoulder breaker, impressing Piper.

—local promo w/Big Bill Ward
Ward plugs the bumper sticker again. Johnny Weaver is in again, putting over the bumper sticker as well. They keep teasing a trip to Ann Arbor, but no dates announced.

[Break]

—Int. w/Bob Caudle: Mike George
George says Sgt. Slaughter knows why he’s there. Short and simple.

Match 6
Ole Anderson & Stan Hansen (w/Gene Anderson) d. Tony Anthony & Rick Benfield
Idol is still at ringside, filming. Great double team moves by the heels. The most impactful wrestler of 1981 contest is still going on. Hansen pins Anthony after the clothesline, then a knee drop.

—Int. w/Bob Caudle: Ivan Koloff; Austin Idol; Ole Anderson & Stan Hansen & Gene Anderson
Koloff complains about Valiant. He says he’ll tear him apart. Idol talks about his filming, as its his goal to win the World Heavyweight championship. The Andersons and Hansen are up next. He likes the $25k tournament prize.

“So long for now!”

http://www.midatlanticgateway.com/p/origins-of-mid-atlantic-title.html

House show results for the week after the jump....


Friday, September 06, 2019

Classic Poster Friday: Old Wrestling Posters Never Die

by Dick Bourne
Mid-Atlantic Gateway


Awhile back I received an email from John Harrison, a nice fellow I met a few years back at a show in Seagrove, NC. He forwarded to me a photo of an old poster he had held onto for nearly 36 years. It looks as though it is stapled to a plywood wall, torn, tattered, ripped, weathered - - it's beautiful.

I appreciate folks who hold onto their early wrestling memories. It is what this website is all about, after all.

"Me and three buddies went to this one," John wrote me, "and we actually pulled this poster from a sign in the middle of Main Street in Biscoe, NC. I was driving, pulled up to the sign and we had to pull this poster off the wooden sign it was stapled to.  A town cop came by and turned around and pulled us over.  He thought we had hit the sign, but we told him we were taking the poster, and he laughed and sent us on our way."

John also pointed out that Biscoe is spelled incorrectly on the poster.

"We used to get a couple of shows locally each year," he concluded. "I was a Flair and Mulligan fan and I remember them coming around as well.  Good times..."

Good times indeed. I can identify with John. Some of my best wrestling memories growing up were going to wrestling shows with my buddies. And I held onto every bit of memorabilia I could get my hands on then, whether it was ticket stubs, posters, programs, you name it.

This particular poster is from January of 1979 for a card in Biscoe, NC which is a small town in Montgomery County located about halfway between Charlotte and Raleigh, just off I-73.  Back in those days, long before there was an I-73 running north-south right by town, Biscoe was a very small town like so many others where Jim Crockett Promotions ran small spot shows, often times in conjunction with a fund-raising effort by a local high school or civic organization.  This show took place just weeks after Paul Jones turned on Ricky Steamboat in the famous two-ring battle royal in Charlotte. (Paul swears it was Steamboat you really turned. But I digress.)

The fact that this poster is in such bad shape just makes it an even better story, more impressive that John hung on to it after all these years. It has no real financial value being in such rough shape. But I'm guessing it has tremendous sentimental value to John and his buddies who were with him that night at the East Montgomery Gym in Biscoe, NC.

Originally Published July 26, 2015 on the Mid-Atlantic Gateway.

http://bookstore.midatlanticgateway.com

Wednesday, September 04, 2019

Flair Injures Wahoo: Eye Witness Account of the Famous "Table Leg" Match

Editor's note: We recently received a nice message on Facebook from a fellow who was at the match in Charlotte in 1976 where Ric Flair hit Wahoo McDaniel over the eye with a broken table leg and won the Mid-Atlantic Heavyweight championship. Even though Flair worked the shot, he was not aware that a nail was sticking out of the wooden leg, and that nail nearly gashed out Wahoo McDaniel's eye.

The account of this match in "The Mid-Atlantic Heavyweight Championship" leaves out some key details of how this all came about which, thanks to the excellent memory of Chip Stokes, is laid out in great detail here.

I asked Chip to send me as detailed a report from that match as possible, considering it took place 44 years ago. I wanted to post those details I didn't have for the book.
One day I'll update the text of the book to include this information, but for the time being we'll let Chip fill you in himself. -DB

The Charlotte Table Leg Match
Ric Flair vs. Wahoo McDaniel
May 24, 1976 - Charlotte Coliseum
by Chip Stokes
Special to the Mid-Atlantic Gateway

I was about 15 years old in 1976, born and raised in Charlotte.  I would drag my dad to the matches on occasion, at the Park Center or the big cards in the old Charlotte Coliseum.  This card was a double main event, with Ric and Wahoo first and Dusty Rhodes making a special appearance to challenge Blackjack Mulligan for the U.S. Title in the final match.

My vantage point:  Looking down on the ring like a football field, we were sitting just right of center field in the Mezzanine seats.  To the right of the ring, the side we were favoring, was the heavy wooden ring side table that would come into play at the end of the match.  Tommy Young was the referee.  So we faced the ring, the table to the right of the ring, from our view.

To this day, I still do not know who was supposed to win the match.  I think they immediately when to the finish when Wahoo was hurt.  Here is how we viewed it.

Tommy Young took a ref bump to the LEFT side of the ring, opposite the table.  He flew out – cannot remember who hit him – and he was out for the ending.  Ric and Wahoo went out of the ring to the RIGHT, side of the wooden table.  I think Ric threw Wahoo out, not sure, cannot remember that clearly.

Ric picked up the heavy wooden table, upside down over this head, table legs up in the air, and brought it down on Wahoo’s head.  Wahoo raised his hands to block the contact, but still sold it and went down hard.  I assume he probably bladed from that impact, I don’t know.  While Wahoo was down on the concrete floor, Ric dropped the wooden table upside down on the floor, table legs up.  Then Ric grabbed a leg and began trying to break it loose from the table.  We could see him pushing and pulling on the leg, trying to break it lose.

Finally Ric broke the heavy wooden table leg loose, about the time that Wahoo got back on his feet.  Ric then brought the table leg down on Wahoo’s head, holding the end of the leg, with the heavier portion that was nailed to the body/frame of the table coming into contact with Wahoo.  Wahoo again had his hands up to protect from the blow, and I am sure Ric pulled the swing correctly not to make real contact, but as everyone knows now, although Ric did not in that moment, the leg had a nail sticking out, a nail from where Ric broke the leg off the table.  So while Ric pulled the blow and Wahoo was protecting himself, the nail ripped into Wahoo’s head violently.

Wahoo went down again and began bleeding profusely on the concrete floor.  I think Ric saw this and immediately knew Wahoo was really hurt.  Ric rolled Wahoo into the ring and immediately, Wahoo's blood making a puddle around his head, flat on the mat. Wahoo wasn't moving.  Ric then literally ran to the other side of the ring where Tommy was just crawling back into the ring. Ric virtually picked Tommy up and carried him across the ring, so that he could make the count when he quickly pinned Wahoo. Ric then grabbed the old Eastern States belt and ran from the ring, I believe to quickly clear the way for medial personnel to come help Wahoo.

The blood on the mat just spread out.  They took Wahoo out via stretcher – for real this time – and his injury, and the stitches to close it, were reported on the next day in the Charlotte Observer.

In a subsequent month’s edition of the Mid-Atlantic magazine, they showed a picture of Dusty in the ring just prior to his bout with Blackjack.  At Dusty’s feet is the bloody puddle from Wahoo minutes earlier.

That's my memory from 43 years ago.  The greatest match I ever saw, between Ric and Wahoo over the Mid-Atlantic Heavyweight championship.  And the most dramatic ending.

http://www.midatlanticgateway.com/p/origins-of-mid-atlantic-title.html

Tuesday, September 03, 2019

Rickard's U.S. Title Tournament Continues: Roddy Piper vs. Mr. Wrestling Tim Woods


Mike Rickard's "Greatest U.S. Champion of All Time" Tournament continues on the Canadian Bulldog's World website with "Rowdy" Roddy Piper vs. Mr. Wrestling (Tim Woods)


A tough battle is figured between these two, as no one was more of a technician (legit) than Tim Woods. Both guys were tough as nails, so it will be fun to see where this one goes.

Who you got?

The Match: "Rowdy" Roddy Piper vs. Mr. Wrestling (Tim Woods)

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


EARLIER FIRST ROUND MATCH-UPS AFTER THE JUMP.

Sunday, September 01, 2019

Best of the Gateway: The Tony Schiavone Interview

Back in February of 2017, the Gateway conducted an interview with longtime JCP/NWA/WCW announcer and broadcaster Tony Schiavone.

The multi-part interview covered Tony's time as a Mid-Atlantic Wrestling fan growing up as well as his early career with Jim Crockett Promotions in Charlotte, both in baseball and wrestling.

Check out the entire seven-part interview on the Mid-Atlantic Gateway.

http://www.midatlanticgateway.com/2017/03/tony-schiavone-interview-complete.html
PARTS 1 - 7 COMPLETE

Tony talks Blackjack Mulligan, Paul Jones, the Andersons, Dick Murdoch, Wahoo McDaniel, Ric Flair, the Hat and Robe, I Broke Wahoo's Leg, road trips to Greensboro, Big Bill Ward, Charlotte O's baseball and Frances Crockett, David Crockett, Bob Caudle, Uncle John, Harrisonburg, VA, Truckin' Tom Miller, Paul Orndorf and Jimmy Snuka, The Baron, Joe Murnick, and the early days of his new podcast with Conrad Thompson. Much, much more about the great days of Mid-Atlantic Championship Wrestling.

http://bookstore.midatlanticgateway.com