Monday, July 13, 2020

A Look Back at Enforcer Luciano's Ode to "The Godfather"

by Dick Bourne
Mid-Atlantic Gateway

I thoroughly enjoyed David Chappell's recent post here remembering the funny moment on Mid-Atlantic Wrestling in 1980 when the mafioso Enforcer Luciano presented Blackjack Mulligan with a dead fish. ("Blackjack Mulligan vs. Enforcer Luciano ... in a FISH match??")

Enforcer Luciano with Bob Caudle and David Crockett

Luciano's intent, of course, was to play off the famous scene in the movie "The Godfather."

Luca Brasi sleeps with the fishes. 

I didn't see the first Godfather movies when they first came out in theaters in the 1970s, it wasn't until I was in my twenties in the 1980s that I rented them on VHS and watched them, several years after I had seen the Luciano/Mulligan skit. So when Luciano and Mulligan played out this angle on TV, I had no idea at that time what the fish in the angle meant!


Blackjack played it like he didn't know what it meant either, claiming "Down where I come from it means you've been cat-fishing on a trout line or something."

Video of the Luciano/Mulligan angle on Mid-Atlantic television is not known to exist, but here (as a cultural point of reference!) is the scene in "The Godfather" on which this wrestling angle was based:





So Luciano was clearly sending a message to Blackjack that this is where things were headed. Relive the (somewhat) famous "fish" angle with Enforcer Luciano and Blackjack Mullgian by reading David Chappell's detailed account of it on the Mid-Atlantic Gateway.

 Originally published January 19, 2017 on the Mid-Atlantic Gateway.


http://www.midatlanticgateway.com/p/big-gold.html

Friday, July 10, 2020

Crockett Cup '85 Rolls On: Matches 11 and 12

MIKE RICKARD'S FANTASY WRESTLING TOURNAMENT
ROUND ONE CONTINUES

Catching up? Here is the background info:
Tournament Announcement
Seedings and First Round Pairings

BRACKETS
Updated brackets going into tonight's matches.
[Links to previous matches at the bottom of this post.]



THIS WEEK'S MATCHES: #11 & #12 
Roddy Piper and Bob Orton Jr. vs. Thunderbolt Patterson and Manny Fernandez 
Rock-n-Roll RPMs vs. Mark and Jay Youngblood

The 1985 Jim Crockett Sr. Memorial Tag Team Tournament is underway. Wait, did you just say 1985? It’s time to take a look at one of wrestling’s biggest events from the mid-80s and see what it might have been like with a few historical alterations. What if Jim Crockett Promotions hosted its tag team tournament the Crockett Cup in 1985 and included teams from promotions outside the National Wrestling Alliance (“NWA”) including the World Wrestling Federation (WWF), the American Wrestling Association (AWA), New Japan Pro Wrestling (NJPW), All Japan Pro Wrestling, and more? In this case, you’d have 48 of the greatest tag teams in the world battling in a winner take all tournament for $1,000,000 and the prestigious Jim Crockett Sr. Memorial Cup Trophy.

First Round Rules: Here are the rules for the first-round matches. A pool of referees from the NWA, AWA, and WWF have been appointed for the tournament and randomly selected for each match. The first-round matches have a thirty-minute time limit and are sanctioned under NWA rules (throwing an opponent over the top rope is an automatic disqualification). The matches are one fall with a win obtained by a pinfall, submission, count-out, or disqualification.

The first-round matches are being held over two nights. The first eight matches took place at the Baltimore Civic Center on Thursday April 11. Bob Caudle and David Crockett are calling the matches tonight. The remaining eight matches in round one take place at the Norfolk Scope on Friday April 12. In match nine, Ted DiBiase and Steve “Doctor Death” Williams defeated Mike Graham and B. Brian Blair. Match ten saw Jerry “The King” Lawler and “Superstar” Bill Dundee score a tainted win over “Boogie Woogie Man” Jimmy Valiant and Bugsy McGraw. As we head into the last six matches of round one, keep in mind that these titanic teams are battling for more than just bragging rights—they’re competing for the prestigious Jim Crockett Sr. Memorial Trophy and a cool one million dollars.

LET'S GET THINGS UNDERWAY....

Earlier today, David Crockett spoke with “Raging” Bull Manny Fernandez and Thunderbolt Patterson about their upcoming match. Patterson tells Crockett Fernandez is the perfect partner and they’re looking forward to splitting the million dollars. “The Raging Bull” says Piper likes to talk trash but we’ll see how much he’s talking when he gets his teeth kicked in. David Crockett brings up “Cowboy” Bob Orton’s cast and notes it’s caused some controversy in the WWF and some of the competitors in the tournament are questioning whether he really needs it. Patterson looks at Crockett and says he’s heard a lot of jive but nothing like this. David informs T-Bolt that WWF officials claim Orton has a doctor’s note for the cast to which ‘Bolt replies, “A doctor? Only doctor that would do that is a veterinarian or Dr. Pepper.” T-Bolt says Orton will have a cast on both arms when he and the Raging Bull get done with him.

Tony Schiavone is backstage with “Rowdy” Roddy Piper and “Cowboy” Bob Orton Jr. Orton has a cast on his left forearm. Tony welcome Piper and Orton back to the Mid-Atlantic area and Piper gives Schiavone a dirty look. “Welcome back? Welcome back brother?” Piper replies. “I’m big time now brother, I’m here for one reason—one million dollars. My bodyguard here, Ace and I are going to slap some sense into these clowns and ride out with the trophy and the check.”

“What happened to your tag team partner’s arm? Can he compete?”

“Can he compete?” Piper replies. “’Cowboy’ Bob could wrestle with one arm and still beat these geeks. Say Tony, you ever have a broken arm?” Tony shakes his head no as he suddenly finds “Ace” Orton standing behind him, smacking his right hand on the cast. “Well don’t ask no more stupid questions or you won’t have to find out what it’s like”

MATCH 11
“Rowdy” Roddy Piper and “Cowboy” Bob Orton Jr. vs. Thunderbolt Patterson and Manny “Raging Bull” Fernandez
AWA referee Marty Miller is officiating this match and he takes a good long look at “Cowboy” Bob’s cast. Piper goes to lock up with ‘Bolt but backs up and tags in Orton, sneering at Patterson. No problem for Thunderbolt as he slugs Orton as soon as he comes towards him. Irish whip and T-bolt hits a double thrust on Orton, knocking him down. Patterson snapmares Orton into the babyface corner and tags in Manny. Fernandez rams Orton’s head into the turnbuckle and then chops him down to the mat. Bob Caudle talks up “The Raging Bull’s” martial arts prowess. David Crockett says Orton doesn’t know if he’s coming or going. Fernandez drops a forearm smash on Orton then tags in Patterson. Side headlock on Orton and Patterson punches him in the face, getting a warning from referee Marty Miller. Patterson whips Orton into the babyface corner where Fernandez greets him with an extended boot. The fans are loving every minute of this and “Rowdy” Roddy Piper is furious. Patterson peppers Orton with punches and “Cowboy” falls to the mat. T-bolt stomps Orton then tags in “Raging Bull.” Both babyfaces whip Orton into the ropes and catch “Cowboy” Bob with an elbow to the chest. Cover on Orton by Fernandez but Piper comes in and stomps Fernandez in the head. Piper goes over and spits at Patterson, who naturally, enters the ring. Marty Miller tells T-bolt to get back to his corner while Piper takes his opening and throws Fernandez through the ropes. Piper goes back to his corner as Orton staggers over and tags in “The Rowdy Scot.”

    Piper goes out after Fernandez and rams his head into the mat apron. Fernandez goes after Piper, but Piper counters with his patented “Piper Poke to the Eyes” and Fernandez is swinging wildly. Piper slams Fernandez to the concrete then throws him into the ring. Piper lifts Fernandez up and delivers a beautiful vertical suplex. Cover on Manny, but he kicks out at two. Piper stomps him in the head. Piper picks Manny up and whips him into the ropes, locking the sleeperhold on Fernandez. Piper has the hold in the center of the ring as Bob Caudle points out he's seen Piper put many opponents away with this hold before. David Crockett adds that “The Raging Bull” is already on one knee. The fans chant for Fernandez, but he’s slowly dropping towards the mat as Piper maintains a solid grip on the hold. The referee checks on Fernandez and lifts his arm only for it to drop. Fernandez’s arm drops a second time as Marty Miller raises it a third time. This time Fernandez raises his arm, and rises to one foot. David Crockett notes the look of worry on Roddy Piper’s face. Manny is fighting back and gets to both feet as the fans’ cheers grow louder, with Thunderbolt encouraging them by stomping on the mat apron. Fernandez elbows Piper and almost breaks loose. A second elbow and “The Raging Bull” is close to breaking out. Piper grabs Fernandez by the air and yanks him down to the mat. Marty Miller admonishes him about the hair pull. Fernandez is groggy as Piper picks him up and whips him into the corner. Piper charges in, but Manny lifts both his feet, catching Piper square in the face. Piper staggers backwards and tags in “Cowboy” Bob. Orton punches Manny then whips him into the ropes, but Manny ducks under him and bounces off the other ropes, surprising “Ace” Orton with “The Flying Burrito” (flying forearm smash). Cover on Orton for 1, 2…oh no, Piper has broken it up. Thunderbolt isn’t having it and comes in, slugging away at Piper. Marty Miller tells them to get back to their respective corners as they both ignore him. Meanwhile, Orton and Fernandez are battling it out in a neutral corner as Manny gets his second wind. The referee gives up on Piper and Patterson and turns his attention to the legal men in the ring. Fernandez whips Orton into the corner and charges in, but Orton gets out of the way. Fernandez drops to the mat as Orton covers him, putting his legs on the ropes for added leverage as the referee misses the underhanded tactics.

Winners: “Rowdy” Roddy Piper and “Cowboy” Bob Orton Jr. 

After the match Orton rolls out and pulls Piper out of the ring as they head to the dressing room, the fans booing them.


MATCH 12
The Rock-n-Roll RPMs (Mike Davis and Tommy Lane) vs. Mark and Jay Youngblood
It’s a battle of two babyface teams with Mid-Atlantic Championship Wrestling’s RPMs taking on Championship Wrestling from Florida’s Mark and Jay Youngblood. Jay Youngblood was a popular wrestler in the Mid-Atlantic region for many years so it should prove interesting to see who the fans cheer. Referee Dick Kroll conducts the customary pre-match inspection on all four wrestlers then motions for the match to start. It’s Mike Davis against Jay Youngblood as the fans get behind Jay, with some modest applause for Davis. Davis and Youngblood shake hands before a collar and elbow tie-up.  Side headlock on Jay but he slips out and applies a hammerlock on Davis. Bob Caudle points out that Davis could go for an elbow to the face to break out, but instead, the Rock-n-Roller backs Jay into the ropes, forcing a break. David Crockett points out that Jay Youngblood seems adept at tag team wrestling. Bob reminds his broadcast colleague that Jay held the NWA World Tag Team Championship five times with Ricky Steamboat, jogging David’s memory. Jay and Mike lock up again, this time with Mike inviting Jay to a test of strength. Mike lifts his right hand up, but Jay grabs his opponent’s arm and locks in an armbar. Jay applies pressure but again, Mike makes it to the ropes, getting a break. Bob Caudle points out both teams are keeping things fair but David Crockett wonders if the one-million-dollar prize will tempt anyone to cut corners as we’ve seen in previous matches. Side headlock on Davis as Davis slips out, whipping Jay into the ropes. Jay comes off with a shoulderblock, knocking Davis down. Jay whips Davis into the ropes but Davis counters, hitting a crisp dropkick on Youngblood. A second dropkick by Davis send Jay down to the mat as Davis tags in Tommy Lane. The RPMs whip Jay into the ropes and hit a double elbow on him, dropping him to the ground. Tommy drops an elbow on Jay then picks him up for a suplex. Cover for just about a two-count.

Tommy clocks Youngblood with a forearm, but Jay seems to shrug it off. He starts shaking as Lane punches him, with little effect. Jay starts dancing as David Crockett says, “We’ve seen this before. Lane has Jay’s dander up.” Jay chops Lane then whips him into the ropes, hitting another chop, this one flooring Lane. Bodyslam by Jay on Tommy Lane and a tag to Mark. Jay tugs on the top ropes, giving Mark some momentum as he dives over the top rope and he splashes Tommy Lane. Mike runs in for the save, but Jay chops him backwards as referee Dick Kroll makes the three-count.

Winners: Mark and Jay Youngblood

After the match the RPMs shake hands with Mark and Jay, and David Crockett says it’s good to see some teams showing good sportsmanship.

NEXT TIME:

Join us next time as World Class Championship Wrestling’s “Dynamic Duo” (Chris Adams and Gino Hernandez) take on Central States Wrestling’s American Starship (Starship Eagle and Starship Coyote) and brothers Bret and Buzz Sawyer lock horns with the WWF’s Jimmy “Superfly” Snuka and Ricky “The Dragon” Steamboat. 



* * * * * * * * * * * * * * *

PREVIOUS POSTS IN THIS FANTASY SERIES
Tournament Announcement
Seedings and First Round Pairings Announced 
First Round: Matches 1 & 2
    Hennig/Blackwell vs. Mulligan/McDaniel
    Tyler/Whatley vs. Maharishi/Nagasaki
First Round: Matches 3 & 4
    Windham/Rotunda vs. Bockwinkel/Saito
    Rougeaus vs. Inoki/Sakaguchi
First Round: Matches 5 &6
    Barbarian/Graham vs. Hart Foundation (Hart/Neidhart)
    High Flyers (Brunzell/Gagne) vs. Savage/Poffo
First Round: Matches 7 & 8:
    The Von Erich vs. Blanchard/Abdullah the Butcher
    Tenryu/Tsuruta vs. The British Bulldogs
First Round: Matches 9 & 10:
    Graham/Blair vs. DiBiase/Williams
    Valiant/McGraw vs. Lawler/Dundee
First Round: Matches 11 & 12:
    Piper/Orton vs. Patterson/Fernandez
    Rock & Roll RPMs vs. Youngblood Brothers

http://bookstore.midatlanticgateway.com

Wednesday, July 08, 2020

Mid-Atlantic TV Report: November 13, 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. Follow @TaubGVWire

For links to all available summaries as well as links to the Mid-Atlantic Championship Podcast, visit our TV Summary Index.


Mid-Atlantic Championship Wrestling
Original broadcast: 11/13/82
(taped 11/10/82 at WPCQ-TV studios in Charlotte)
WWE Network Direct Link to this show: Mid-Atlantic11/13/82
WWE Network feed.   [How to watch this show on the WWE Network.]


We skip the 11/06/82 show on the network. Too bad. The debuts of Rick Rood (losing to Paul Jones), Joe Lauren (aka Road Warrior Animal; teaming with Gene Anderson, and falling to the Brisco Brothers), plus Masa Fuchi (teaming with Ricky Harris) falling to Steamboat & Youngblood.

Match 1
Roddy Piper d. Frank Monte

This show starts right away with the match in progress. Stu Schwartz is the referee for the hour, and it doesn’t last long. Piper wins with a pin after a back suplex.

-Int. w/Bob Caudle: Sgt. Slaughter & Don Kernodle
Slaughter & Kernodle confront Piper, saying he’s not so tough when he doesn’t have a 3-on-1 advantage. Slaughter challenges Piper, and Piper responds that he has a partner. Slaughter says since Piper wears a skirt, his partner is probably Moolah or Tommy Rich. Piper calmly says his partner is Abdullah the Butcher and walks away. Slaughter’s face is a classic. His jaw literally drops.

[Break]

-Int. w/Bob Caudle: Roddy Piper & Wahoo McDaniel
Piper wants Flair. We go back to the 10/17/82 Charlotte clip of Flair & Valentine beating on Piper and Wahoo. Piper makes “60 minute” jokes on Flair. Piper is back to his crazy interview style. Piper says he’s glad to team with Wahoo.

Wahoo talks about losing the U.S. championship to Greg Valentine. We go to a clip, of a match between the two from an unmentioned arena. A tough-looking match. The finish sees Sir Oliver Humperdink hand Valentine an object, while “The Hammer” is out on the apron. Wahoo back suplexed Valentine back in the ring. While in midair, Valentine nailed him in the head with the object and scored the pin. Same exact finish as Santana vs. Savage from 1986 WWF. If this was indeed the title change footage, that was 11/04/82 in Norfolk, VA.

Match 2
Wahoo McDaniel d. Masa Fuchi

Despite “Fuchi” on the tights, Caudle pronounces it “Fuji.” Next week, Dusty Rhodes and Dory Funk, Jr. Soon, Bruiser Brody! Fuchi gets some offense, but succumbs to the chop of Wahoo McDaniel for the pin.

[Break]

Match 3
Jos LeDuc (w/Sir Oliver Humperdink) d. Ricky Rudd

That is indeed Rick Rood, aka Ravishing Rick Rude. But, going by “Rudd” here. Caudle says he has muscles on top of muscles. Caudle acknowledges LeDuc is the former TV champion, so I guess he was officially stripped on the 11/06/82 show. LeDuc wins with the one-arm backbreaker.

Match 4
Non-Title: U. S. Heavyweight Champion Greg Valentine (w/Sir Oliver Humperdink)
d. Ron Ritchie
First time I remember back-to-back matches. Caudle is on screen briefly as the bridge. It’s mostly Valentine. Ritchie gets a small flurry of chops. Valentine takes control with a jumping piledriver, back suplex, and elbow drop for the win.

-Int. w/Bob Caudle: Sir Oliver Humperdink
Sir Oliver says Bruiser Brody is headed in. That was brief. King Parsons says he and Gary Black have nothing to lose. Gary Black says he’s served in the Marine Corp and can’t wait to punch Slaughter in the face. Black looks like another enhancement wrestler, Bob Owens

[Break]

Match 5 
Non-Title: Sgt. Slaughter & Don Kernodle [World Tag champs] 
d. King Parsons & Gary Black
All heel team in this one. Great double team moves. Slaughter forces Black to submit to the Cobra Clutch.

[Break]

-Int. w/Bob Caudle: Sire Oliver Humperdink, Paul Jones, Greg Valentine, Leroy Brown and Jos LeDuc
We rejoin abruptly. Jones talks about the power of the House of Humperdink. Jones alludes to a future tournament for the TV championship. Valentine denies using brass knuckles in his defeat of Wahoo McDaniel. Humperdink talks more about the TV title tournament. He says LeDuc was stripped for attacking an NWA official, and now he’s not allowed to enter the tournament. Brown says not to worry.

Caudle introduces the next match via magic blue screen.

[Break]

Match 6
Leroy Brown (w/Sir Oliver Humperdink) d. Mike Rotundo by DQ

Rotundo is still wearing a neck collar. Caudle alluded to footage of Bruiser Brody that Humperdink showed, which may explain the abrupt rejoin. Rotundo gets some mat work in, but when the two men are standing, Brown has the advantage. He’s about to piledrive Rotundo, but Jack Brisco makes the save, but causes the DQ.

-Int w/Bob Caudle: Mike Rotundo
This is in lieu of local promos. Rotundo is very fired up, and wants Brown again next week.

[Break]

-Int w/Bob Caudle: Mike Rotundo
Rotundo gives the same interview, I guess for the portion of the audience that didn’t get the prior interview.

Match 7
Jack Brisco & Jerry Brisco & Jimmy Valiant d. Ken Timbs & Pvt. Nelson & Gene Anderson

This match lasts less than 30 seconds. Jerry forces Timbs to submit to the Figure Four.

-Int. w/Bob Caudle: Jack Brisco & Jerry Brisco
Brief interview from the Briscos, mentioning the upcoming TV title tournament (but, no date or location).

As the credits start to roll, Caudle says “so long for now!”

**********************************************

Results for the week, 11/01/82-11/14/82

Sunday, July 05, 2020

Ricky Steamboat defends Crockett's U.S. Title in Florida

Flair and Steamboat Travel to Florida for an Extra Payday During Crockett's Christmas Break
by Dick Bourne
Mid-Atlantic Gateway
Special Thanks to Mark Eastridge



Mark Eastridge Collection
As I've written about before here on the Mid-Atlantic Gateway, I always loved when wrestlers with Crockett-area titles defended those belts in other territories. Specifically, the United States heavyweight championship and the NWA world tag team championships were occasionally defended outside the Mid-Atlantic territory in other areas such as Georgia, Florida, and Texas to name a few.

In December of 1977, just a few days before Christmas, Ricky Steamboat took the U.S. title to Championship Wrestling from Florida and successfully defended it in Miami Beach.

He didn't go alone. His top rival for the championship, "Nature Boy" Ric Flair, was also booked for Eddie Graham's promotion the same night, but not as the challenger for Steamboat.

It was a bonus payday for both Flair and Steamboat, who were in the middle of what was Jim Crockett Promotions' annual Christmas break. Each year in those days, the Crockett promotion would shut down for two full weeks right before Christmas, returning to action for big shows on Christmas night.

Barry Rose Collection
In 1977, the last Crockett shows before the Christmas break were on Tuesday, December 13 at their regular Tuesday stops in Columbia, SC and Raleigh, NC. The next night, they taped multiple episodes of "Mid-Atlantic Championship Wrestling" and "Wide World Wrestling" at WRAL in Raleigh, including the annual year-end highlights shows, to get them through the next several weeks of TV while the company was down.

During the Crockett break, Steamboat and Flair took the opportunity to get themselves booked in Florida exactly one week later, on 12/21/77 at the Miami Beach Convention Hall.

Steamboat was the reigning U.S. champion at this time, having defeated Flair for the prestigious belt  in Greensboro, NC in October. He defended the title that night in Miami against another Mid-Atlantic regular Bill White. It was an interesting match-up and was likely White's only shot ever at the U.S. championship. Steamboat was successful in that title defense.

Flair wrestled Rocky Johnson in the semi-main event of this card, which was headlined by a WWWF title match between reigning champion "Superstar" Billy Graham and "The American Dream" Dusty Rhodes.

Also on the big card were Jack and Jerry Brisco, Bob Roop, Bob Orton, Jr., Buddy Roberts, Dutch Mantell and many others.

U.S. Champion Ricky Steamboat
in Miami Beach before his U.S. title defense
(plmathfoto@hotmail.com)
It was a homecoming of sorts for Steamboat. When he arrived in Florida in the spring of 1976 with only a few months experience under his belt, promoter Eddie Graham thought Richard Blood (his real name) looked so much like perennial Florida favorite Sam Steamboat, he gave him the name Ricky Steamboat. And the rest, as they say, is history.

Before returning to Miami as United States Champion, Steamboat's last match there had been a win over Jim Lancaster in the preliminaries on a card in July of 1976. 

With Superstar Graham on the card in Miami to defend the WWWF title against Rhodes, and two of Mid-Atlantic Wrestling's top stars supporting that card, it was one of the more unique cards to take place in Florida in those years.

Photographer and photo-collector Pete Lederberg owns the rights to photographs taken this very night in Miami Beach.  The photos were originally shot by area photographer Brian Berkowitz. The title defense and those photographs are a cool little bit of history for Jim Crockett Promotions' U.S. championship.

Berkowitz's photo above of Steamboat with the U.S. title belt was featured full page in color in the book "Jim Crockett Promotions' United States Championship", along with a few other photos licensed from Lederberg. See many other photos from this night (including match photos of Steamboat vs. White and Flair vs. Johnson) in Pete Lederberg's Facebook photo album: Miami 12/21/77.

Thanks to Mark Eastridge, Pete Lederberg, Carroll Hall, and Barry Rose for their contributions to this article.

 
Previously published September 26, 2016 on the Mid-Atlantic Gateway

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

Friday, July 03, 2020

Crockett Cup '85 Continues: Matches 9 and 10

MIKE RICKARD'S FANTASY WRESTLING TOURNAMENT
ROUND ONE CONTINUES

Catching up? Here is the background info:
Tournament Announcement
Seedings and First Round Pairings

BRACKETS
Updated brackets going into tonight's matches.
[Links to previous matches at the bottom of this post.]



THIS WEEK'S MATCHES: #9 & #10
Mike Graham/Brian Blair vs. Ted DiBiase/Steve Williams
Jimmy Valiant/Bugsy McGraw vs. Jerry Lawler/Bill Dundee


The 1985 Jim Crockett Sr. Memorial Tag Team Tournament is ready to begin. Wait, did you just say 1985? It’s time to take a look at one of wrestling’s biggest events from the mid-80s and see what it might have been like with a few historical alterations. What if Jim Crockett Promotions hosted its tag team tournament the Crockett Cup in 1985 and included teams from promotions outside the National Wrestling Alliance (“NWA”) including the World Wrestling Federation (WWF), the American Wrestling Association (AWA), New Japan Pro Wrestling (NJPW), All Japan Pro Wrestling, and more? In this case, you’d have 48 of the greatest tag teams in the world battling in a winner take all tournament for $1,000,000 and the prestigious Jim Crockett Sr. Memorial Cup Trophy.

First Round Rules: Here are the rules for the first-round matches. A pool of referees from the NWA, AWA, and WWF have been appointed for the tournament and randomly selected for each match. The first-round matches have a thirty-minute time limit and are sanctioned under NWA rules (throwing an opponent over the top rope is an automatic disqualification). The matches are one fall with a win obtained by a pinfall, submission, count-out, or disqualification.

The first-round matches are being held over two nights. The first eight matches took place at the Baltimore Civic Center on Thursday April 11. Bob Caudle and David Crockett are calling the matches tonight. The remaining eight matches in round one take place at the Norfolk Scope on Friday April 12.

Match seven saw Kevin and Mike Von Erich defeat Tully Blanchard and Abdullah the Butcher. Unfortunately for Mike Von Erich, a post-match attack by Tully and Abdullah may keep him out of the tournament. Match eight featured an action-packed encounter between the WWF’s British Bulldogs and All Japan Pro Wrestling’s Genichiro Tenryu and Jumbo Tsuruta with the Bulldogs prevailing.

As we head into the last eight matches of round one, keep in mind that these all-star teams are battling for more than just bragging rights—they’re competing for the prestigious Jim Crockett Sr. Memorial Trophy and a cool one million dollars.

Tony Schiavone is backstage with one of tonight’s teams—Jimmy “Boogie Woogie Man” Valiant and Bugsy McGraw. McGraw is flapping his arms like a bird and moving in circles while “Handsome” Jimmy high-fives Tony Schiavone. Schiavone asks Jimmy about his and Bugsy’s big match tonight. Valiant tells Tony he’s tangled with Lawler and Dundee before and they’re a tough team, but him and his brother Bugsy have the people behind them and nothing can stop the power of the people. Jimmy kisses Schiavone and tells him he loves him before him and Bugsy take off. Luckily, Valiant isn’t wearing lipstick or Tony might have some explaining to do to Lois when he gets home.


Mike Graham and B. Brian Blair vs. Ted DiBiase and Steve “Doctor Death” Williams:
Bob Caudle welcomes special guest commentator Gordon Solie to the announce booth. “The Dean of Wrestling Announcers” says it’s an honor to be part of such a prestigious tournament and that Jim Crockett Jr. has assembled the crème de la crème of the wrestling community. World Class Championship Wrestling referee David Manning performs the pre-match preliminaries then calls for the bell. The match begins with second-generation grapplers Ted DiBiase and Mike Graham locking up. Graham applies the headlock but DiBiase gets to the ropes, with Graham giving him a clean break. DiBiase offers his hand to Graham who shakes it only to get a kick in the gut followed by a punch. Graham punches back then hits a fireman’s carry, taking DiBiase down to the mat and applying a front facelock on the mat. DiBiase escapes and goes for a waist lock, but Graham reverses it and takes DiBiase down to the mat, rubbing his face into the mat for good measure. DiBiase slams his hands on the mat and tags in “Doctor Death” while Graham tags in B. Brian Blair. Williams invites Blair to try a test of strength but Blair is no dummy and when Williams raises his hands, Blair kicks him in the gut. Irish whip sends Williams into the ropes and Blair hits a dropkick, knocking Williams down. Arm bar on Williams as Blair tags in Graham. Graham and Blair whip Williams into the ropes and land a double elbow on him. Graham goes to work on Williams’s knee as Mike knees Williams’s knee. David Crockett tells Bob Caudle Graham is twisting Williams’s leg like a pretzel. “Doctor Death” goes for the hair to try and stop Graham, but Graham is keeping out of the way. Bob Caudle reminds David the best way to deal with a big strong man like Williams is to take him off his feet. Gordon adds that he’s seen Graham in plenty of matches and his amateur wrestling skills coupled with his professional wrestling game make him a master of the game of human chess. Graham continues the pressure on Williams’s leg as “Doctor Death” reaches for the ropes, forcing a break. Graham obliges then pulls Williams by his leg back into the center of the ring and drives his knee into Williams’s knee. Graham applies the figure four leglock with incredible speed as Bob Caudle wonders if it’s too early in the match. Gordon agrees but he points out that Graham does have it in the center of the ring. Mike has the move locked in tight as Solie points out the stress being inflicted on the various tendons and ligaments. David Crockett pulls out a pocket dictionary and begins looking up some of the words for future reference. “He’s got it locked in tight! Doctor Death is in trouble!” David Crockett adds.

However, David has spoken too soon as Ted DiBiase comes in and drops an elbow on Graham, forcing him to release the hold. B Brian Blair comes in and starts trading punches with DiBiase. David Manning tells DiBiase and Blair to get back to their corners and on his way back, DiBiase sees an opportune moment and drops a forearm smash to Graham’s back as he’s trying to reapply the figure four on Williams. Blair protests, naturally causing the referee to turn his attention to Blair instead of the heels. DiBiase throws Graham through the ropes where he lands outside the ring. Williams tags in DiBiase who goes outside the ring and rams Graham’s head into the mat apron before throwing him back into the ring. Ted bodyslams Graham then tags in “Doctor Death.” DiBiase and Williams whip Mike into the ropes and hit a double shoulder tackle. Gordon Solie tells Bob and David that Graham has incredible stamina, but even he has his limits. DiBiase whips Graham into the heel corner. Tag in to Williams who headbutts Graham, who is in the heel corner. Another tag to DiBiase.

Williams holds Graham as DiBiase comes off the second rope with an elbow to Graham’s head. Snapmare into a reverse chinlock. DiBiase is applying the pressure and weakening Graham down further. DiBiase whips Graham into the ropes and goes for a back body-drop but Graham counters and hits a Sunset Flip, getting a two count. DiBiase is furious and drops a fist on Graham, but Graham gets out of the way. DiBiase is getting flustered and goes to pick Graham up for a bodyslam, but Graham counters into a small package near the ropes. However, DiBiase grabs the ropes and gets enough leverage to reverse the small package, utilizing a handful of tights for the insurance policy.

Winners: Ted DiBiase and Steve “Doctor Death” Williams

MATCH #10
Jimmy “Boogie Woogie Man” Valiant and Bugsy McGraw vs. Jerry “The King” Lawler and “Superstar” Bill Dundee: 
Jerry “The King” Lawler and “Superstar” Bill Dundee get a polite reception from the fans. The Manhattan Transfer’s “Boy from New York City” plays as the fans go crazy, knowing what’s next. It takes several minutes before the match can get underway as the wildly popular “Handsome” Jimmy slaps hands and hugs the fans at ringside while Bugsy is dancing around the ring, complete with aviator googles and a camouflage doo-rag. Gordon Solie points out that “The King” and the Superstar are watching with what appears to be mild amusement but after five minutes, their amusement appears to have turned to impatient anger. Bob Caudle tells Solie he believes he called it as Lawler and Dundee head out of the ring and start brawling with Valiant and McGraw. Bad move as Jimmy and Bugsy take offense to having their quality time with their fans interrupted. McGraw rams Dundee’s head into the mat apron while “The Boogie Woogie Man” rams Lawler’s head into the steel post. Valiant and Lawler have had their battles back in the Memphis territory and they’re picking right back where they left things.

Lawler is down on the floor while Valiant and McGraw throw Dundee into the ring. Both men whip “The Superstar” into the ropes and hit a double elbow. Referee Tommy Young tells one of them to get to their corner and Bugsy exits the ring while he’s slapping his chest. “Handsome Jimmy” claps his hands and dances a bit before dropping an elbow on Dundee. David Crockett tells Bob Caudle he read in a Pro Wrestling Illustrated scouting report that Valiant has a calcium deposit in his elbow that makes it more effective. Caudle tells him he’s going to have a long talk with Bill Apter about that one as the match continues. Valiant throws Dundee into the babyface corner where Bugsy introduces his boot to Dundee’s head. Dundee falls to the mat as Valiant tags him in. Bugsy digs deep into his arsenal and begins stomping Dundee. He picks him up and rams his head into the neutral corner. Dundee fires off some punches, sending McGraw back. Jerry Lawler is waiting to make the tag and he’s busted open.

McGraw and Dundee are slugging it out in the center of the ring as Tommy Young warns them to lay off the punches. Dundee hits an elbow on McGraw, stunning him, then hits a beautiful dropkick that sends Bugsy towards Lawler. Tag to “The King” who unloads with some punches on McGraw with Tommy Young admonishing Lawler for the fisticuffs. Bodyslam by Lawler on Bugsy. “Handsome” Jimmy decides to lend a hand and comes in without a tag, raking Lawler’s eyes. Dundee comes in and starts brawling with Valiant. Bob Caudle tells David Tommy Young is one of the NWA’s best referees and even he is having trouble controlling these two teams. Young does his best to separate Valiant and Dundee while they’re doing their best to clobber each other. Meanwhile, Lawler reaches into his tights and pulls out a small chain and slugs McGraw, who falls back down to the mat. Lawler tucks the chain away and covers Bugsy, yelling for Young to make the count. The fans are booing, but Tommy has no idea what happened and leaps to the mat, making the count 1-2-3. Bob Caudle says it looks like some wrestlers are willing to cut corners for that one-million-dollar prize. Gordon Solie says this tournament is going to show many wrestlers’ true nature. Gordon thanks Bob and David for letting him sit in on the commentary.

Winners: Jerry “The King” Lawler and “Superstar” Bill Dundee
Lawler and Dundee make their way back to the dressing room as the fans boo them. Back in the ring, “The Boogie Woogie Man” checks on his tag team partner.

Ten matches in with six more remaining in round one. Join us next time as the WWF’s “Rowdy” Roddy Piper and “Cowboy” Bob Orton Jr. take on hometown heroes Manny Fernandez and Thunderbolt Patterson while another Mid-Atlantic Championship Wrestling team, the Rock-n-Roll RPM’s (Mike Davis and Tommy Lane) battle Florida Championship Wrestling’s Mark and Jay Youngblood. 


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PREVIOUS POSTS IN THIS FANTASY SERIES
Tournament Announcement
Seedings and First Round Pairings Announced 
First Round: Matches 1 & 2
    Hennig/Blackwell vs. Mulligan/McDaniel
    Tyler/Whatley vs. Maharishi/Nagasaki
First Round: Matches 3 & 4
    Windham/Rotunda vs. Bockwinkel/Saito
    Rougeaus vs. Inoki/Sakaguchi
First Round: Matches 5 &6
    Barbarian/Graham vs. Hart Foundation (Hart/Neidhart)
    High Flyers (Brunzell/Gagne) vs. Savage/Poffo
First Round: Matches 7 & 8:
    The Von Erich vs. Blanchard/Abdullah the Butcher
    Tenryu/Tsuruta vs. The British Bulldogs
First Round: Matches 9 & 10:
    Graham/Blair vs. DiBiase/Williams
    Valiant/McGraw vs. Lawler/Dundee

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Wednesday, July 01, 2020

Mid-Atlantic TV Report: October 30, 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. Follow @TaubGVWire

For links to all available summaries as well as links to the Mid-Atlantic Championship Podcast, visit our TV Summary Index.


Mid-Atlantic Championship Wrestling
Original broadcast: 10/30/82
(taped 10/27/82 at WPCQ-TV studios in Charlotte)
WWE Network Direct Link to this show: Mid-Atlantic10/30/82
WWE Network feed.   [How to watch this show on the WWE Network.]

Bob Caudle opens the show running down the lineup. The action is already in the ring.

Match 1
NWA TV Championship: Jos LeDuc [ch.] (w/Sir Oliver Humperdink) d. Johnny Weaver
Stu Schwartz is the referee for the hour. Just as the match gets going, Caudle throws to a break

[Break]

The show resumes with LeDuc in control. In the hour, we’ll see the duo Caudle calls the uncrowned World tag team champions, Ricky Steamboat & Jay Youngblood. They will also be presented with a picture. Weaver works the leg, as Caudle mentions how beautiful the TV championship belt is. Dusty Rhodes is headed in, and Dory Funk, Jr. is headed back. Sweet Brown Sugar, Dick Murdock, Harley Race, Roddy Piper are all headed back. Weaver gets a sleeper, but LeDuc gets in the corner to break it up. Weaver goes for a bulldog, but LeDuc slips out. Weaver crashes into the corner. LeDuc makes the pin, using his feet on the ropes.

[Break]

-Int. w/Bob Caudle: Paul Jones, Jos LeDuc, Sir Oliver Humperdink
Caudle introduces Jones as the new Mid-Atlantic champion. LeDuc and Humperdink are also there. Before Jones can say anything, Sandy Scott joins in. We haven’t seen Scott since May 15! Scott says he is ordering a restart against Weaver because LeDuc had his feet on the ropes. Humperdink refuses, and demands Scott keep his hands off him. We don’t really see anything, as LeDuc blocks the screen. LeDuc then gives Scott a shove, and Scott runs away. Jones continues with his interview, rambling about Sandy Scott.

Jones says he’s going to stick around on commentary. Scott returns again (LeDuc and Humperdink already left). Scott says he is taking this to the board, and either LeDuc will be fined, suspended or stripped of the belt.

Match 2
Wahoo McDaniel d. Ken Timbs
Jones talks about winning the championship. He teases where he won the title (10/25/82 in Fayetteville, NC), but doesn’t come through. Jones praises the House of Humperdink. Wahoo uses a lot of the “Tommyhawk” chop. He finishes Timbs off with the big chop and pin.

-Int. w/Bob Caudle: Mike Rotundo
Rotundo is looking forward to his chance against Leroy Brown. He talks about how Brown hurt his neck. He’ll be ready. Wrestling can overcome size. His wrestling will tire Brown down.

[Break]

Rotundo is still with Caudle for some final pre-match comments.

Match 3
Mike Rotundo d. Leroy Brown (w/Sir Oliver Humperdink) by DQ
Rotundo works on Brown’s leg, trying to keep him grounded. Brown gets in some loud slaps to the chest. Humperdink joins Caudle. They talk about the NWA board reviewing the tape of LeDuc shoving Sandy Scott. Humperdink isn’t worried. Rotundo works on the knee. Brown is able to power his way back to his feet. Rotundo is back in control, and attempts the airplane spin. But, Humperdink gets on the apron, and Brown gets away. He follows up with a slow-motion piledriver. Brown goes for a second piledriver, but it appears he mistimes it. Rotundo actually slips out, probably to save himself. Brown shoves the referee for the DQ. He proceeds to drop Rotundo over the top rope for good measure.

[Break]

-Int. w/Bob Caudle: Jack Brisco
Jack talks about losing the Mid-Atlantic championship to Paul Jones. He says Jones used the tights to win. He wants a rematch. Wahoo is in. He go to the clip from last week of Flair and Valentine attacking Wahoo after the Flair vs. Piper match. Wahoo has an ominous warning. Steamboat & Youngblood are up next. Caudle hands them a fan-made poster by Tommy Peterson, calling them the uncrowned World champions. Steamboat whispers something to Youngblood (he keeps calling him Jason during the interview). Steamboat offers his lei and Youngblood’s Indian headdress as a gift to young Tommy.

[Break]

Match 4
Jack Brisco d. Jim Dalton
Jones provides commentary, and he talks smack about Brisco for most of the match. Caudle notes the old Paul Jones would never take pleasure in breaking a man’s leg. This one does. Brisco wins with the figure four, and Jones excuses himself right afterward.

-Int. w/Paul Jones: Pvt. Nelson & Ben Alexander
This is in lieu of local promos. Alexander dismisses the idea that Youngblood & Steamboat are the uncrowned World tag team champions. In a long winded way, Alexander says they have more to gain in the match than his opponents. Nelson praises Slaughter & Kernodle. Nelson says Youngblood & Steamboats couldn’t take away the Mid-Atlantic tag team championship from him and Kernodle. Now, that title is retired. First I heard that official acknowledgment.

[Break]

Match 5
Ricky Steamboat & Jay Youngblood d. Pvt. Nelson & Ben Alexander
Caudle references a Jimmy Valiant win over Bill White, that clearly did not air on this episode. Caudle mentioning something about how Valiant gets going when the music comes on, so maybe that caused an issue on the Network and had to be edited off. Steamboat & Youngblood are in matching red trunks, pads and boots. Youngblood pins Alexander following a chop.

-Int. w/Bob Caudle: Greg Valentine; Don Kernodle & Sgt. Slaughter
Valentine is offended by the clip of the attack on Wahoo. He said it is doctored. He gives his version of the story, saying Wahoo was attacking Flair, and Valentine was defending Flair. Valentine says he will take Wahoo’s title and threatened to break his leg. He promises the true film to come.
Slaughter and Kernodle air wearing suits (but no tie for Slaughter, who is chomping a cigar). Slaughter says they are the highest paid men in wrestling because they are the champs. Valentine enters in with the fan poster of Youngblood & Steamboat. The three heels make fun of it. Valentine slips ina racial remark. Slaughter tears up the poster, extinguishes his cigar on the poster, then the heels tear up Steamboat’s lei and Youngblood’s headdress which were left behind. Slaughter says he doesn’t like kids to boot.

“So long for now!”

During the credit roll, instead of just the still shot of the last match, we cut to a live picture of the torn up lei in the ring. The last shot of the credit roll is a logo for NEMO, the National Electric Mobile Operation. NEMO had mentioned in the credits starting as far back as the Sept. 18, 1982 show.

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Results for the week, 10/25/82-10/31/82  
(source: Clawmaster’s Archive via Sports and Wrestling blog posted by David Baker; “Wrestling” newsletter by Joe Shedlock

Mon., 10/25/82 Greenville, NC; Greenville Memorial Auditorium
Johnny Weaver beat Ken Timbs
Jim Dalton beat King Parsons
Keith Larsen beat Ben Alexander
Wahoo McDaniel beat Greg Valentine
Jay Youngblood & Ricky Steamboat beat Sgt. Slaughter & Pvt. Kernodle by countout

Mon., 10/25/82 Fayetteville, NC; Cumberland County Memorial Arena
Bill white d. Pork Chop Cash
Mike Davis d. Pvt. Nelson
Leroy Brown d. Mike Rotundo
Jimmy Valiant d. Leroy Brown
Paul Jones d. Jack Brisco to win Mid-Atlantic Heavyweight championship

Tue., 10/26/82 Raleigh, NC; Raleigh Civic Center
Keith Larsen beat Ken Timbs
Pvt. Nelson beat King Parsons
Porkchop Cash beat Jim Dalton
Paul Jones beat Johnny Weaver
Jack Brisco beat Jos Leduc
Greg Valentine beat Jimmy Valiant by DQ

Tue., 10/26/82 Columbia, SC; Township Auditorium
Ben Alexander d. Abe Jacobs
Ron Ritchie d. Bill White
Gene Anderson d. Mike Davis
Mike Rotundo d. Leroy Brown
Ricky Steamboat & Jay Youngblood d. Sgt. Slaughter & Pvt. Kernodle by DQ

Wed., 10/27/82 Charlotte, NC; WPCQ-TV studio
Mid-Atlantic Championship Wrestling:
NWA TV championship: Jos LeDuc [ch.] d. Johnny Wever
Wahoo McDaniel beat Ken Timbs
Mike Rotundo beat Leroy Brown by DQ
Jack Brisco beat Jim Dalton
Jimmy Valiant beat Bill White
Ricky Steamboat & Jay Youngblood beat Pvt. Nelson & Ben Alexander
World Wide Wrestling:
Jos LeDuc double DQ Jack Brisco
Ricky Steamboat & Jay Youngblood beat Ken Timbs & Bill White
Leroy Brown beat Ron Ritchie
Wahoo McDaniel beat Ricky Harris
Johnny Weaver beat Jim Dalton

Fri., 10/29/82 Charleston, SC; Charleston Town Hall
NWA World Champion Ric Flair no contest with Wahoo McDaniel
Sgt. Slaughter & Pvt. Kernodle beat Ricky Steamboat & Jay Youngblood
Greg Valentine vs. Johnny Weaver
Keith Larsen vs. Bill White
Mike Davis vs. Ken Timbs

Sun., 10/31/82 Asheville, NC
Ron Ritchie beat Jim Dalton
Mike Davis beat Ken Timbs
King Parsons beat Gene Anderson
Leroy Brown beat Mike Rotundo
Jimmy Valiant beat Jos LeDuc
Sgt. Slaughter & Pvt. Kernodle beat Ricky Steamboat & Wahoo McDaniel

Sun., 10/31/82 Toronto, Ontario
Jimmy Valiant beat Ivan Koloff
Buddy Rose beat WWF World Champion Bob Backlund by countout
Leo Burke beat Johnny Weaver by DQ
Leroy Brown beat King Parsons
Salvatore Bellomo beat Swede Hansen
Rudy & Terry Kay beat Bill White & Pvt. Nelson
The Destroyer beat Mike Davis
Keith Larson draw John Bonello

Sunday, June 28, 2020

Joe Murnick Leaves Charlotte for Raleigh (1961)

by Dick Bourne
Mid-Atlantic Gateway

Joe Murnick had worked for Jim Crockett in Charlotte for several years in the 1950s before moving to Raleigh. He held many roles for Jim Crockett Promotions, including promoting the Raleigh area and central North Carolina back into the late 1950s. But he did so raising his young family in Charlotte.

When longtime Richmond VA promoter Bill Lewis died in March of 1961, Murnick assumed his territory of Eastern Virginia, including Richmond and Norfolk, all under the Crockett umbrella. He relocated his family to Raleigh in the summer of 1961. C&M Promotions was born.

Murnick had been very involved in many civic functions is Charlotte, including the Charlotte Park and Recreation Commission, which oversaw the Park Center and Memorial Stadium.

The following article appeared in the Charlotte News in July of 1961, announcing Murnick leaving Charlotte for Raleigh.

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JOE MURNICK, PARK LEADER, LEAVING TOWN
The Charlotte News, July 17, 1961

The resignation of Joe H. Murnick as vice chairman of the Charlotte Park and Recreation Commission will be acknowledged today at a 4 pm meeting of the park board in Park Center.

Mr Murnick, a prominent sports promoter and member of the board for 10 years, will move to Raleigh Aug 1. His resignation is effective today and City Council will name a successor.

Mr Murnick, best known for his role in salvaging plans to rebuild the burned-out Armory Auditorium, has been promoting wrestling and other sports events in the Raleigh-Durham area. He said he is moving to Raleigh to be closer to his work.

He has served as chairman of the Park Center and Memorial Stadium committees of the commission. After the armory burned in 1954, he and Ernest Sifford, another board member, led the fight to rebuild the controversial structure as Park Center.

"Mr Sifford and I were the only two people in favor of re-building the armory" he recalled. "Many people thought that it would be competitive with the Coliseum, but results have proved otherwise."

The Coliseum handles big attractions and Park Center the smaller ores.

As chairman of the Memorial Stadium Committee, Mr. Murnick was also instrumental in bringing college football here.

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More about Joe Murnick on the Mid-Atlantic Gateway

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http://bookstore.midatlanticgateway.com

Wednesday, June 24, 2020

Crockett Cup '85 Continues: Matches 7 and 8

MIKE RICKARD'S FANTASY WRESTLING TOURNAMENT
ROUND ONE CONTINUES

Catching up? Here is the background info:
Tournament Announcement
Seedings and First Round Pairings

BRACKETS
Updated brackets going into tonight's matches.
[Links to previous matches at the bottom of this post.]


THIS WEEK'S MATCHES: #7 & #8
The Von Erich vs. Blanchard/Abdullah the Butcher
Tenryu/Tsuruta vs. The British Bulldogs

The 1985 Jim Crockett Sr. Memorial Tag Team Tournament is ready to begin. Wait, did you just say 1985? It’s time to take a look at one of wrestling’s biggest events from the mid-80s and see what it might have been like with a few historical alterations. What if Jim Crockett Promotions hosted its tag team tournament the Crockett Cup in 1985 and included teams from promotions outside the National Wrestling Alliance (“NWA”) including the World Wrestling Federation (WWF), the American Wrestling Association (AWA), New Japan Pro Wrestling (NJPW), All Japan Pro Wrestling, and more? In this case, you’d have 48 of the greatest tag teams in the world battling in a winner take all tournament for $1,000,000 and the prestigious Jim Crockett Sr. Memorial Cup Trophy.

First Round Rules: Here are the rules for the first-round matches. A pool of referees from the NWA, AWA, and WWF have been appointed for the tournament and randomly selected for each match. The first-round matches have a thirty-minute time limit and are sanctioned under NWA rules (throwing an opponent over the top rope is an automatic disqualification). The matches are one fall with a win obtained by a pinfall, submission, count-out, or disqualification.

The first-round matches are being held over two nights, with the first eight matches taking place at the Baltimore Civic Center on Thursday April 11. Bob Caudle and David Crockett are calling the matches tonight.

Matches So Far:  The first two matches saw Blackjack Mulligan and Wahoo McDaniel defeat Larry “The Ax” Hennig and “Crusher” Jerry Blackwell while Mega Maharishi and Kendo Nagasaki stole a win from Buzz Tyler and “Pistol” Pez Whatley. Matches three and four saw the WWF’s U.S. Express (Barry Windham and Mike Rotunda) defeat the AWA’s Nick Bockwinkel and Mr. Saito while New Japan Pro Wrestling’s Antonio Inoki and Seiji Sakaguchi defeated Montreal’s Raymond and Jacques Jr.  Rougeau. Match five saw the WWF’s Hart Foundation score a controversial win over Mid-Atlantic Championship Wrestling’s the Barbarian and Superstar Billy Graham. In match six, the AWA’s “High Flyers” (“Jumping” Jim Brunzell and Greg Gagne) defeated Memphis’ CWA promotion’s brother team of Randy “Macho Man” Savage and Lanny Poffo. The next two matches promise to be instant classic as they compete for more than just bragging rights—they compete for the prestigious Jim Crockett Sr. Memorial Trophy and a cool one million dollars. (Links to all previous matches at the bottom of this post.)

Tony Schiavone is backstage with the British Bulldogs, Davey Boy Smith and the Dynamite Kid. Schiavone says both wrestlers are two talented young men who have impressed fans wherever they wrestle. Dynamite says it’s wonderful to be here tonight and he hopes the fans will cheer them on. Davey Boy Smith tells Tony they’ve wrestled in Japan and they know some of the world’s best teams hail from there. They’re not going to take Genichiro Tenryu and Jumbo Tsuruta lightly.

MATCH #7
Kevin and Mike Von Erich vs. Tully Blanchard and Abdullah the Butcher
It’s time for another brother duo as Kevin and Mike Von Erich clash with the odd pairing of Tully Blanchard and Abdullah the Butcher. Kevin and Tully start for their respective teams with Tully extending his hand. Kevin hesitates but shakes Blanchard’s hand. Collar and elbow tie-up. Blanchard gets the advantage and positions Kevin against the ropes, giving him a clean break. The two lock up again with Tully going for a waist lock as Kevin reverses it. The two are close to the corner and the referee orders a break, with Blanchard giving another clean break. David Crockett says he’s surprised by Blanchard’s unusual show of sportsmanship. Right now, it looks like a wrestling match Bob Caudle says as Blanchard applies a side headlock on Kevin. As Kevin seems to be getting out, Blanchard grabs a handful of Kevin’s long locks and pulls him to the mat. WWF referee Gilberto Roman warns Blanchard about the hair and he says it won’t happen again. Tully switches things up and knees Kevin in the gut as they go to lock up. Kevin fires off with a series of punches that knocks Blanchard into a neutral corner. Hip toss by Von Erich as Blanchard comes out and Kevin applies a front headlock on Tully on the mat. Tully slips out and applies a go-behind as Kevin tries to escape. Blanchard releases the hold and drops a knee on Kevin’s back. Tully picks up Kevin and slams him to the mat. Tully drops an elbow on the back of Kevin’s neck. Tully applies a front facelock and goes to wear Kevin down.

The fans start clapping and cheering Kevin. Bob Caudle notes the fans need no excuse to get behind the Von Erichs as they hate Blanchard and Abdullah. Tully continues the facelock until Kevin begins to rally. David Crockett tells Bob he’s never seen a wrestler work barefoot but Bob reminds him about Jimmy “Superfly” Snuka. David quickly changes the subject and marvels at Von Erich’s athleticism. Kevin is on his feet but Tully grabs him by the hair again, yanking him down to the mat.

Tag to Abdullah and Tully grabs Kevin’s arms while the Butcher unloads with some chops. Abdullah rakes his nails across Kevin’s back then takes his face and runs it down the ropes, with Bob Caudle saying that will inflict a lot of pain. Kevin grabs his face as Abdullah chops him then headbutts him down to the mat. The Butcher whips Kevin towards the heel corner where Tully is ready to tag.

Blanchard whips Kevin into the ropes and goes for a back body-drop, but Kevin manages to lift a knee, knocking Blanchard down. Kevin is on rubber-leg street though and stumbles backward into a neutral corner. Tully quickly regroups and picks Kevin up, going for a suplex, but Kevin blocks it. Tully tries it again, but Von Erich blocks it again then reverses it. Both men are down as Gilberto Roman begins counting both men. Kevin gets to his feet and tags in Mike as the fans cheer.

Mike runs in and grabs Tully, whipping him into the ropes and hitting a big back body-drop on Blanchard. Mike whips Tully into the babyface corner and he crashes hard. Kevin slugs Tully as the referee admonishes him for the fisticuffs. Mike rams Tully’s head into the turnbuckle and tags in Kevin. Kevin whips Tully into the ropes and applies the Von Erich Claw!
Kevin has the claw on Tully in the center of the ring. Bob Caudle says things are looking bad for Tully as he drops to one knee. David Crockett shouts “Here comes Abdullah!” as the Butcher drops a forearm across Kevin’s back. Mike runs in and slugs away at Abdullah. Tully is still woozy as he Kevin whips him into Abdullah, dazing the “Madman from the Sudan.” Tully is down on the mat as Kevin climbs to the top rope and hits a flying bodysplash, covering Blanchard for the 1-2-3. The Von Erichs advance to round two.

Winners: Kevin and Mike Von Erich

After the match, Abdullah and Tully decide to take out their frustrations by beating down the Von Erichs. Tully throws Kevin over the top rope with Von Erich crashing hard outside the ring. Abdullah begins brawling with Mike who is fighting back until Tully joins in, with the numbers game quickly catching up. The Butcher pulls out a fork and starts carving up Mike’s forehead and he’s busted open. Kevin tries to get in the ring but Tully stomps him in the head. The fans cheer as the Italian Stallion, Rocky King, and Mike Jackson run in for the save, but Tully and Abdullah beat them down before going back to slicing and dicing poor Mike. Finally, Kevin rolls in with a steel chair, causing the heels to take a powder. Bob Caudle says Mike is looking bad as a ringside physician comes in to check on him. David Crockett says Blanchard and Abdullah may have lost the match, but they may have taken Mike Von Erich out of the tournament.

MATCH #8
Genichiro Tenryu and Jumbo Tsuruta vs. the British Bulldogs
It’s a huge match-up with two Japanese superstars battling two of England’s best. Davey Boy Smith starts off against Tsuruta. They go to lock up but Tsuruta shoves him into the corner, seemingly effortlessly. Smith goes at Jumbo but the Japanese legend slaps on a headlock. Smith gets out and applies his own headlock, with Caudle remarking that Smith is a powerful man for his size. Jumbo whips Smith into the ropes and goes for what may be a lariat, but Smith ducks under and bounces off the ropes, hitting a cross bodyblock on Jumbo, knocking him down. Tag to Dynamite as the British Bulldogs whip Jumbo into the ropes, hitting a double clothesline. Fast tag to Davey Boy who climbs to the top rope and hits a missile dropkick on Jumbo. Cover for a two count by Pacific Northwest referee Sandy Barr. Another tag to Dynamite who kicks Jumbo in the gut. Dynamite picks up the big man and slams him down hard. Elbow drop on Tsuruta followed by yet another tag. Bob Caudle says this team has speed and knows how to use it. Davey Boy headbutts Jumbo and David Crockett says it looks like Smith’s headbutts pack quite a punch. Suplex on Tsuruta followed by a cover for a two-count.

Yet another tag and this time Davey Boy hoists Dynamite into the air, dropping him on top of Tsuruta. Dynamite hits a legdrop and goes to the second rope. Diving headbutt, but there’s nobody home. Tag to Tenryu who has been waiting to get into the match. Big chop by Tenryu sends Dynamite back into the corner. Another one nearly sends him through the ropes. Bob Caudle remarks that these chops are legal and that both Japanese stars are known for their crushing chops. Genichiro applies a side headlock and quickly wears the Dynamite Kid down to the mat. The majority of the fans are cheering the Bulldogs, but a sizable minority are applauding Genichiro and Jumbo. The Dynamite Kid starts to get to his feet so Genichiro hits a side suplex on him, covering him for a two-count. Davey Boy is eager to tag in but Dynamite is nowhere close.

Genichiro applies a corkscrew neckbreaker on the Kid, adding to his woes. Things are looking bad for Dynamite as Tenryu goes for the diving back elbow drop. Bob Caudle says it’s curtains for the Bulldogs if he hits this, but incredibly, Dynamite gets out of the way. With what looks to be one last burst of energy, Dynamite whips Tenryu into the corner where Davey Boy Smith is waiting, standing on the top rope with his head pointing out into the ring. Tenryu collides with Smith’s head and stumbles back as Dynamite covers him. In an incredible stroke of bad luck, Jumbo trips on the bottom rope and is unable to break up the pin. 1-2-3 and the Bulldogs advance! Bob Caudle says if imitation is the sincerest form of flattery, Ole and Gene Anderson must be very flattered.

Winners: The British Bulldogs

Eight matches in with eight more remaining in round one. Join us next time as Florida Championship Wrestling’s Mike Graham and B. Brian Blair battle Mid-South Wrestling’s Ted DiBiase and Steve “Dr. Death” Williams and hometown heroes Jimmy Valiant and Bugsy McGraw take on two of Memphis CWA’s best—Jerry “The King” Lawler and “Superstar” Bill Dundee.


* * * * * * * * * * * * * * *

PREVIOUS POSTS IN THIS FANTASY SERIES
Tournament Announcement
Seedings and First Round Pairings Announced 
First Round: Matches 1 & 2
    Hennig/Blackwell vs. Mulligan/McDaniel
    Tyler/Whatley vs. Maharishi/Nagasaki
First Round: Matches 3 & 4
    Windham/Rotunda vs. Bockwinkel/Saito
    Rougeaus vs. Inoki/Sakaguchi
First Round: Matches 5 &6
    Barbarian/Graham vs. Hart Foundation (Hart/Neidhart)
    High Flyers (Brunzell/Gagne) vs. Savage/Poffo
First Round: Matchs 7 & 8:
    The Von Erich vs. Blanchard/Abdullah the Butcher
    Tenryu/Tsuruta vs. The British Bulldogs

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Tuesday, June 23, 2020

Monday, June 22, 2020

Sunday, June 21, 2020

Canadian Champion Dino Bravo vs. Len Denton (WRAL Studio)



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Thursday, June 18, 2020

Blackjack Mulligan's Honky-Tonkin' Did Him In! (1977)

DINO BRAVO DEFEATS BLACKJACK MULLIGAN ON TELEVISION
by David Chappell
Mid-Atlantic Gateway

Over the course of the rich history of Mid-Atlantic Championship Wrestling, there were any number of surprising results in televised bouts. One that certainly stands out was when Dino Bravo defeated the United States Heavyweight Champion Blackjack Mulligan not once, but TWICE, on television in early 1977. As expected, the big man from Eagle Pass, Texas did not react well to the defeat(s), but Mully’s explanation for the loss(es) was one for the ages!

Dino Bravo & Mr. Wrestling Tim Woods
NWA World Tag Team Champions (1976)
But first, a little background on how this TV match came about is in order, and how Bravo justifiably had a chip on his shoulder when he stepped into the ring on TV against Mulligan.

When Dino entered the Mid-Atlantic area in April of 1976, he almost immediately became one-half of the World Tag Team Champions with “Mr. Wrestling” Tim Woods and later in 1976 Dino and Woods also aced the Mid-Atlantic Tag Team belts. But by the time 1977 rolled around, Bravo was looking to establish himself as a singles force in Jim Crockett Promotions.

In early 1977 the promotion started a new feature called “Dream Match ‘77” where the fans would write in requesting matches they would like to see take place on Mid-Atlantic television. Announcer David Crockett came out on the Mid-Atlantic Championship Wrestling show dated February 23, 1977 and told the fans that they had voted for a number of different wrestlers to be paired up against Mulligan, so the promotion decided that Blackjack would be called upon to narrow the fan’s favorites down to one grappler to face Mulligan in a “Dream Match” the following week on TV.

The list of wrestlers Mulligan had to choose from was Wahoo McDaniel, Paul Jones, Rufus R. Jones, Tiger Conway and Dino Bravo. Paul Jones, Conway and Bravo were brought out on the set with Mulligan for Blackjack’s decision. Mulligan immediately eliminated Rufus from contention saying Rufus was scared to death of him, and also Wahoo was taken out of the mix as Mully stated the Indian had a yellow streak down his back and was wrestling in Texas at that time.

Things got more interesting when Mulligan had to confront face-to-face the three remaining wrestlers who the fans wanted him to square off against. Mulligan summarily dismissed Paul Jones from the group referring to him as “crybaby,” and told Jones he was doing the choosing and, “you’ve had too many chances at my belt, you get out of here…you’re eliminated right now!” It then came down to Bravo and Conway, with Tiger saying, “pick me Texan, let’s see what you’re made of,” while Dino remained silent.

Blackjack Mulligan
U.S. Heavyweight Champion
Mulligan inquired to Crockett, “I gotta wrestle one of these two guys?” When Crockett answered in the affirmative, Mulligan blurted out, “I’ll pick Bravo!” An indignant Bravo replied, “I never thought I’d have to thank you for anything Blackjack, but I have to thank you tonight, giving me the biggest opportunity of my career to wrestle the U.S. champ right here on TV. It might be a dream match for the fans, but it’s gonna be your nightmare because I’m gonna defeat you right here, Blackjack.” Mulligan dismissively answered, “I’ll give him the wrasslin’ lesson of his life…he doesn’t stand a chance!”

After Bravo pulled the upset the following week against Blackjack in their televised “Dream Match,” and followed that with another pinfall in a post-match fracas, the question then became how would Mulligan react to the embarrassment on TV, one which elevated Bravo to the number one contender status for the United States Heavyweight Title. The short two-word answer to that question would be an emphatic…‘not well.’

Mulligan spent much of the next month of March ducking and dodging Bravo before he appeared on the April 6, 1977 edition of the Mid-Atlantic Championship Wrestling TV show and told announcer Bob Caudle that he was leaving and was not going to wrestle on Mid-Atlantic Championship Wrestling television any more as a result of the debacle with Bravo. Blackjack declared, “[Bravo’s] calling me a coward and saying things behind my back, it’s easy to say things behind a man’s back but let me tell you something…he told everybody he beat me twice on national TV, is that right?” Crockett shot back, “It’s a fact!”

Mulligan then explained, “Oh let me tell you something, me and [Ric] Flair, the night before that match had been out all night honky-tonkin’ with two of the best lookin’ women from Las Vegas, drank two bottles of wild turkey and I wasn’t feelin’ good and my eyeballs were standing out on their stems!” Crockett wisecracked, “That’s your fault!” Blackjack continued, “But I want to tell you something, if you think beating a man in that condition is a big deal…”

At that moment Dino Bravo appeared in the interview area and Mulligan addressed him directly, “I’ll tell you something little boy, I’ll tell you something little Italian boy…” Bravo cut Blackjack off and shouted, “Realize the facts as they are, I can beat you anytime I want to and I’ve proven it to you! It’s only a matter of time…this [U.S.] belt is gonna belong to me, buddy! You wanna wrestle me anytime, I’ll take that belt from you! If you’re man enough, get up in that ring and wrestle me right now!”

Caudle asked, “What about that Blackjack?” Mulligan stuttered and stammered, “I’ve gotta catch my plane, and besides I don’t want to hurt him anyway…I’ve gotta catch my plane” and then exited the interview area. Crockett commented, “[Mulligan] has to wrestle him, the NWA says he has to…[Bravo] is the number one contender.” Caudle followed, “And what a match that’s gonna be! Dino Bravo is as ready as anybody I’ve ever seen!” Crockett then concluded, “That’s right, [Bravo] is full of fire…he’s ready for that match!”

Despite Blackjack’s protestations, he and Bravo then embarked on a three month program battling over Mulligan’s United States Heavyweight Championship. During the month of April 1977, Dino came the closest to winning the Title, beating Blackjack a number of times by disqualification and count-outs in championship bouts. Bravo was so hot during April that he even captured one-half of the Mid-Atlantic Tag Team Titles with partner Tiger Conway while simultaneously going toe-to-toe with Mulligan.

During May and going into June of 1977, the tide of this feud slowly turned in Blackjack’s favor, though Bravo still scored sporadic wins but never was able to capture the trophy he so prized, the United States Heavyweight Championship belt. Coming up empty despite such a valiant struggle, Dino would leave the Mid-Atlantic area altogether in July of 1977.

When Dino Bravo left the Mid-Atlantic territory in July of 1977, Blackjack Mulligan must have breathed a huge sigh of relief. A three-month titanic struggle over the U.S Championship belt with Bravo he was left recovering from that could well have been avoided, in Mulligan’s own words, if Blackjack had just kept his honky-tonkin’ with Ric Flair in check that one fateful night!


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Wednesday, June 17, 2020

Mid-Atlantic TV Report: October 23, 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. Follow @TaubGVWire

For links to all available summaries as well as links to the Mid-Atlantic Championship Podcast, visit our TV Summary Index.


Mid-Atlantic Championship Wrestling
Original broadcast: 10/23/82
(taped 10/20/82 at WPCQ-TV studios in Charlotte)
WWE Network Direct Link to this show: Mid-Atlantic10/23/82
WWE Network feed.   [How to watch this show on the WWE Network.]


Bob Caudle opens the show saying we will see “the conclusion of that match, Ric Flair vs. Roddy Piper.” Something got cut off in the Network version. We go to a still of Flair vs. Piper as we head to break.

[Break]

Match 1:
Jimmy Valiant d. Ken Timbs

Tommy Young is the referee for the hour. Valiant has “California” on the back of his trunks. Caudle mentions Jack Brisco regained the Mid-Atlantic Heavyweight championship, although no date or location is mentioned. Valiant wins with the back elbow. After, Jos LeDuc runs in, attacking Valiant. Jimmy makes his own save, and gets his hands on Humperdink, ripping his sports coat.
[Break]

Match 2:
Rick Steamboat & Jay Youngblood d. Ben Alexander & Jim Dalton

Caudle mentions Dusty Rhodes and Sweet Brown Sugar will come in soon. All babyfaces here. Youngblood pins Dalton after Steamboat slingshots him in.

-Int. w/Bob Caudle: Ron Ritchie
Typical in lieu of local promos. Ritchie is confident about his match against Greg Valentine. Talk turns to the World tag team championship.

[Break]

Match 3:
Greg Valentine (w/Sir Oliver Humperdink) d. Ron Ritchie

Humperdink, sans coat, shoves Tommy Young. Valentine gives the referee a light push as well. Caudle promises “more” footage of Flair-Piper. All Valentine. Greg secures the submission, not quite with the Figure Four, but more of a leg grapevine. It was the same move he broke Wahoo’s leg in 1977.

[Break]

-Int. w/Bob Caudle: Sgt. Slaughter & Don Kernodle; Sir Oliver Humperdink, Jos LeDuc, and Greg Valentine
The champs are dressed up. “$300 suits” Slaughter says. He’s wearing a cream-colored number; surprised it isn’t a camo suit. He says they have no competition. Last week, their opponents didn’t even show up. Kernodle echoes Slaughter’s points. Slaughter says they are champs because “I’m an officer, and he’s (Kernodle) is a gentleman.

Humperdink and LeDuc join Caudle. Humperdink is upset at Valiant. LeDuc is dressed nice (for him). LeDuc reminds Valiant he’s the TV champion. He won’t be able to get to Humperdink no more. In comes Greg Valentine. He called that finisher the “English” figure-four hold. He’s chasing Wahoo McDaniel and the U.S. championship.

[Break]

-Int. w/Bob Caudle: Wahoo McDaniel
[FILM FOOTAGE: Ric Flair vs. Roddy Piper]
We go to the promised Flair vs. Piper footage. No mention of when or where this is taking place, but it’s 10/17/82 at the Charlotte Coliseum. Wahoo is narrating. Piper is walloping Flair. Fight spills to the outside. Both men are bleeding. Piper knocks Flair back outside. Wahoo, already at ringside, gets into a shoving match with Flair. As referee Tommy Young tries to separate the men, Greg Valentine (in a PWI shirt) attacks Piper. Wahoo makes the save, as the match is stopped. Flair & Valentine double-team Wahoo. McDaniel talks about upcoming tag matches with Piper vs. Flair & Valentine, and singles matches against Valentine.

Match 4:
Jerry Brisco d. Bill White

Mostly mat wrestling. Caudle goes over all the potential contenders to Ric Flair’s title. Brisco finishes White off with a butterfly suplex, followed by the Figure Four leglock.

-Int. w/Bob Caudle: Mike Rotundo
This is in lieu of local promos. Mike is wearing a “WCBY 108 FM” shirt, a Charlotte rock station. His neck is improving. They talk about the House of Humperdink.

[Break]

-Int. w/Bob Caudle: Paul Jones & Sir Oliver Humperdink
While Jack Brisco waits in the ring, Jones joins Caudle and calls him a thief. Humperdink is yelling in agreement. Jones calls him a coward for not putting the Mid-Atlantic championship on the line. Brisco eventually agrees. Jones calls him an idiot for doing so.

Match 5
Mid-Atlantic Heavyweight championship
Jack Brisco [ch.] d. Paul Jones (w/Sir Oliver Humperdink)
Caudle notes how Jones and Humperdink baited Brisco. Action starts off with a hot brawl. The match is back and forth. While Brisco is pounding Jones in the corner, Humperdink pulls his leg. Jones lands on top of Brisco, and Tommy Young makes the two count, when he sees Humperdink holding on to Brisco’s leg. Jones gets up, thinking he won. In the confusion, Brisco dropkicks Jones into Humerdink, who was on the apron. Brisco gets the 1-2-3. In the post-match, Jones and Humperdink double-team Brisco. In comes Jos LeDuc.

The show is ending. No music. Just the copyright credit, not the full credit roll. Caudle voices over

“So long for now!” 
as the show goes off the air. Second week in a row with a Memphis-type feel.

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HOUSE SHOW RESULTS FOR THE WEEK

Monday, June 15, 2020

Remembering the Jim Crockett Scholarship Fund (1973)

by Dick Bourne
Mid-Atlantic Gateway

Ticket stub from Thanksgiving Night in Greensboro 1973

The Territory's Biggest Night

When Jim Crockett passed away in 1973, the family decided to establish a scholarship in his name. According to a report in the Greensboro News & Record, the traditional Thanksgiving night event in the Greensboro Coliseum was the first in a series of scholarship events to be held in the coming weeks to honor the legacy and memory of James Allen Crockett, Sr. Proceeds from the event would go to that fund.

The Thanksgiving event in Greensboro, which was always a big affair and one of the biggest shows of the year in the entire territory, was particularly loaded that evening. The NWA world champion Jack Brisco was booked to defend the ten pounds of gold against former champion Dory Funk, Jr. in what was another in a series of classic battles between the two wrestlers who defined pro-wrestling in the 1970s. Jack had defeated Harley Race in July of that same year for the title, and the angle now was that Brisco had never defeated his arch-rival Funk, Jr. in a title match.  This was a huge deal at the time and billed as a special event selected for Greensboro. To add even more star power to that main event, former legendary champion Lou Thesz was brought in to act as special referee for the title contest.

A number of other big names were brought in from outside the area for the show, which wasn't that unusual for big shows in Greensboro. Terry Funk was in to challenge Eastern heavyweight champion Jerry Brisco in a battle of the younger brothers who were in the main event that night. Indeed, Thanksgiving night in Greensboro was a Funk vs. Brisco showcase.



Also in were the father and son combination of Eddie and Mike Graham. Eddie and Mike were top stars for Championship Wrestling from Florida, and Eddie was also the promoter of that territory. They squared off against one of the Mid-Atlantic territory's top legendary heel tag teams Rip Hawk and Swede Hanson. What a classic brawl that must have been.

Another top star in for the big card that didn't wrestle regularly in the territory was Cowboy Bill Watts. A regular in Georgia and Florida, Watts had made several special appearances in Greensboro that year, but was not a regular member of the Crockett roster.


TRANSCRIPTS

Championships At Stake In Thanksgiving Wrestling  
Thanksgiving night in the Greensboro Coliseum will be wrestling championship night, the finest card ever presented to Piedmont sports fans. 
Jack Brisco, the new world heavyweight title-holder, will risk his crown against Dory Funk Jr. of Texas, the former champion. Funk lost his title some time ago to Harley Race, who in turn was beaten by Brisco ... and Jack Brisco has never beaten Funk in a title match. Lou Thesz, a former world champ, will be the special referee. 
Younger brothers of both champions clash In the Eastern Heavyweight title match. Jerry Brisco, who holds the crown, will take on Terry Funk. Both title features will be one hour time limit.  
This Thanksgiving special, which usually draws the season's largest wrestling crowd at the Greensboro Coliseum, will be the first in a series of Jim Crockett Scholarship Fund events throughout the area. Wrestlers and promoters alike are working to set up a series of college scholarships to honor the late Jim Crockett, regarded as the South's outstanding promoter at the time of his death last spring.  
Other matches include Cowboy Bill Watts versus Beauregard, Bob Bruggers versus El Gaucho and The Destroyer versus Rufus R. Jones. A special tag team match will have Rip Hawk and Swede Hanson against Eddie and Mike Graham. 

Wrestling Set Tonight  
The late Jim Crockett will be honored tonight during professional wrestling in the Greensboro Coliseum tonight involving world champions. 
Lou Thesz, who held the world crown for many years, will referee a match between current champ Jack Brisco and Dory Funk Jr.  Funk lost his title to Harley Race who was beaten by Brisco.
The Eastern Heavyweight title is also at stake with present titlist Jerry Brisco being challenged by Terry Funk. Rip Hawk and Swede Hanson will have a tag team battle against Eddie and Mike Graham and there will be several singles events. 


A Rare Thanksgiving Night Card in Charlotte

With so many big outside names taking the top spots on the Greensboro card, one could easily wonder where the rest of the Mid-Atlantic roster was that night. Typically, Norfolk, VA, also hosted a big card of wrestling on Thanksgiving night. But in 1973, Charlotte instead played host to a rare Thanksgiving night show that, like Greensboro, also featured some special guest stars.


The headline event for the Charlotte Coliseum featured the top two singles stars in the territory at the time, Johnny Valentine vs. Johnny Weaver. In the semi-main event, the Mid-Atlantic tag team titles were on the line as new champions Jay York and Brute Bernard defended against the area's most popular tag-team combination, former champs Sandy Scott and Nelson Royal. As an added bonus, former world boxing champion Joe Louis was in town and had been assigned as special referee for the title contest.

Two big outside names were brought in for the show as well. Area favorite Paul Jones had been campaigning in the state of Florida for the last couple of years and had won the Florida heavyweight championship. He was in the midst of a red-hot feud with Buddy Colt. The two had traded the Florida title several times during the year of 1973 and now they brought their heated rivalry to Charlotte for Thanksgiving night. The Florida title was not on the line in Charlotte, but it was a bit of a homecoming for Jones who had wrestled on cards throughout the Mid-Atlantic territory for years before moving down to the sunshine state. Charlotte fans were well familiar with the feud because "Championship Wrestling from Florida" was seen on Charlotte area television in those years.

Charlotte's traditional night for wrestling was Monday night, and as a testament to the city's ability to support pro-wreslting, Jim Crockett Promotions returned to the city the very next Monday night 11/26, only four days following the big Thanksgiving night show. The main event back at the cozy confines of the Charlotte Park Center was Johnny Valentine vs. Rufus R. "Freight Train" Jones.

The death of Jim Crockett had saddened the entire Mid-Atlantic area earlier that year, but on this big night Jim Jr., David, Jackie, and Frances did their father proud with one huge night of wrestling in their showcase cities. It was the territory's biggest night of the year and was 1973's shining moment.

 Originally published June 30, 2015 on the Mid-Atlantic Gateway


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