Tuesday, February 25, 2020

A Look Back at JAWS: Mid-Atlantic Wrestling's Land-Shark

If you've hung around the Mid-Atlantic Gateway for very long, you know we like to seek out the niche and the obscure. It's hard to argue that we haven't succeeded in that quest with our posts on Professor Boris Malenko's assassin JAWS. 

A look back to 1977:

JAWS: Prof. Boris Malenko's Forgotten Assassin 

JAWS 2: The Mystery of Charlotte's Land-Shark


Photo courtesy of Danny Miller's daughter, Corinna Miller.


Saturday, February 22, 2020

John Ringley: The Match Maker

The following article was originally published in the Charlotte News in May of 1973. It was written by Ronald Green, sports editor of the News at the time. Green, a journalist and columnist in Charlotte for 50 years is member of the North Carolina Sports Hall of Fame, among many other career honors in North Carolina and nationally. 

Green had a series of great articles about pro-wrestling in Charlotte in the 1970s, including this one on promoter John Ringley, who had just taken over as head of Jim Crockett Promotions one month earlier following the death of Jim Crockett, Sr.

Charlotte News
Originally Published May 9, 1973
Article by Ronald Green, Charlotte News Sports Editor

Johnny Ringley's idea of an easy chair is one made of metal that folds and is situated where he can watch a good wrestling match. Preferably in a big crowd. Anything softer and in quieter surroundings makes him uncomfortable.

At the age of 33, Ringley has traveled close to a million miles, much of it by car in late afternoon-to-wee hours journeys to towns around the Carolinas and Virginia. So hurried has been his pace for the past 13 years, he gets restless after 24 hours away from his work and wants to "jump back in."

Ringley is the new maestro of grunt and groan in this area, the successor to the late Jim Crockett as promoter of professional wrestling and assorted other entertainment.

"I've done it all," said Ringley, tall, sandy-haired and quick with a smile. "After I married Mr. Crockett's daughter Frances, he offered me a job with him but I turned it down.

"A few months later, I accepted it. I started out doing everything — putting out window cards, setting up rings, selling tickets, taking tickets, announcing in the ring . . . I've done everything there is to do in this business but wrestle and I don't intend to do that. But wrestling is No. 1 with me and always will be."

To those whose tastes run away from hulking gladiators, this may be difficult to understand. There is a more glamorous side to Ringley's work, that of dealing with stars like Tom Jones and the Rolling Stones.

Ringley recalls, "We had Tom Jones when he was the second or third act from the opening on the Dick Clark Caravan of Stars. We had Dionne Warwick when she was still so little known, she did her act and then went into the audience to sell programs."

Ringley has hauled the Rolling Stones all over this area and thanked the Lord when he was rid of them. He has had Herman's Hermits in his home to celebrate New Year's because they were on the road and he thought they should have company for the occasion.

We're not into rock and Broadway stuff as heavily as we used to be," he said. "They cost too much and are much more difficult to deal with."

But Ringley's organization has stepped up its promotion of the Harlem Globetrotters from about 10 games a year to 25 or 30. Next to wrestlers, he counts them as the easiest group with whom to work. No written contracts, just verbal agreements and never a failure to appear.

Wrestling, the world peopled with brawny, long-haired Jack Armstrongs and bearded or masked badmen, remains the primary product flowing out of the old house-turned-office on East Morehead St., though.

"We're operating in three towns a night, six nights a week with wrestling," said Ringley. "And we're booked solid into September. We've already booked dates, in fact, as far ahead as next spring."

Ringley is the matchmaker, assigning wrestlers for all these shows, rushing to see one of them here, one there, feeling out the audiences to determine what they like.

"The fans are really the matchmakers," he said. "They make the match. I just write it down on paper. Mr. Crockett always said, "Give them what they want and they'll come to see it."

"I try to operate along the same lines as he did. I learned from him and before he died, he had turned over most of the business to me. It was always comforting to have him sitting in that office, though. It was like having money in the bank, knowing I could ask his advice."

It was mid-morning as Ringley talked. He had a trip to make to Danville, Va., and back.

In one recent week, he worked the wrestling show here on Monday night, drove to Columbia and back on Tuesday, drove to Savannah and back on Wednesday, conducted business by car and plane in Greenville, Macon and Atlanta on Thursday, flew to Orlando and back on Friday, drove to Roanoke and back on Saturday and to Raleigh and back on Sunday, keeping early morning office hours here most of those days.

"I love it," said the matchmaker. "There's nothing I'd rather do."

*  *  *  *  *
Originally published in The Charlotte News, May 9, 1973.
Jim Crockett, Sr. had passed away only 39 days earlier.

Special thanks to Mark Eastridge for providing this article
to the Mid-Atlantic Gateway. 


Friday, February 21, 2020

Mid-Atlantic TV Report: June 26, 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, visit our TV Summary Index.

Mid-Atlantic Championship Wrestling
Original broadcast: 6/26/82
(taped 6/23/82 at WPCQ-TV studios in Charlotte)
WWE Network feed.  [How to watch this show on the WWE Network.]
WWE Network Direct Link to this show: Mid-Atlantic 6/26/82

-Int. w/Caudle: Jack Brisco & Ricky Steamboat
Brisco and the returning Steamboat speak with Caudle to open the show. Brisco says it is good to have Steamboat back from Japan. To help catch him up, we go to the video from two weeks ago, where Piper hurt Brisco’s knee. Steamboat says all the run ins happen because they are the best wrestlers. Steamboat says he’ll watch Jack’s back.


Match 1
Jack Brisco & Ricky Steamboat d. Matt Borne & Steve Sybert
The red-romper wearing Sonny Fargo is the referee for the hour. Easy match for Brisco & Steamboat. Brisco reverses a back suplex on Sybert, and in the midst tags in Steamboat. He comes off the top rope with a chop to the prone Sybert and scores the pin. (As a note, Borne just came from a run in Portland, losing to Buddy Rose in a chain match to settle their feud on June 15. And, on Portland TV, they said Rose & Rip Oliver “crippled” Borne in Seattle on June 16.)


Match 2
Jake Roberts d. Roddy Piper by DQ
Rick Steamboat joins Caudle on commentary. Piper is fighting dirty. He tears at Roberts’ bandages over his eye, reopening a previous cut. Roberts is bleeding slightly. Relatively slow-paced match. Piper is wearing my personal favorite tight design — the tartan. Boots are nearly matching. Roberts is engaging in a comeback when Sgt. Slaughter appears out of no where, and trips Roberts. Referee calls for the DQ. Piper is climbing the top rope, when Steamboat gets in the ring. Piper backs down and retreats.

-Int. w/Caudle: Pvt. Nelson & Pvt. Kernodle
The Privates are the new Mid-Atlantic tag team champions. Of course, no day or location of when they beat Cash & Parsons. Records indicate it happened 6/17/82 in Roanoke. Kernodle says Slaughter wanted the title back in June, and they made it happen. Nelson also puts the bad mouth to the returning Steamboat.


Match 3
Jimmy Valiant d. Bill White
Network edit jump cut goes right to the start of the match. Typical Boogie Woogie match. Valiant wins with the elbow smash.


-Int. w/Caudle: Sgt. Slaughter, The Privates, The Ninja, Roddy Piper
Slaughter tells The Privates to slick with Slaughter. He then dismisses them. Slaughter continues saying how the likes of Piper and Ninja needs to watch each other’s backs. Slaughter cedes the mic to Piper. He talks smack on Brisco and Steamboat. Ninja just paces back and forth with his sword.
Caudle introduces the next match via magic blue screen.


Match 4
Sgt. Slaughter & Pvt. Jim Nelson & Pvt. Don Kernodle d. Mike Rotundo & Kelly Kiniski & Mike Davis
FWIW, Kernodle is still clean shaven and with a full head of hair. Heels mostly in control. Davis misses a dropkick, and Slaughter finishes him with the clothesline for the win.

-Int. w/Caudle: Rotundo & Kiniski
This is in lieu of local promos. A blown up Kiniski praises Slaughter and The Privates for the just concluded match. He says he and Rotundo are tagging regularly. Rotundo also slightly praises the heels, but complains about their double teaming.


Match 5
Wahoo McDaniel & Jay Youngblood d. Ali Bey & Ken Timbs
Caudle points out what a great hour this has been. Maybe so. Seven hall of famers in the hour appeared. Funny, that Ali Bey is here. The Turk was around the last few weeks. Same gimmick! Highlight of the match is Wahoo blasting Bey with a hard chop. Youngblood wins after a chest chop to Timbs.

-Int. w/Caudle: Paul Jones; Jack Brisco
A subdued Jones is tired of Mosca smack talking him. Brisco is straight forward, saying he is ready for Piper.

“So long for now!”

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

Results for the week, 6/21/82-6/27/82 
(source: Clawmaster’s Archive via Sports and Wrestling blog posted by David Baker; “Wrestling” newsletter by Joe Shedlock)

Mon., 6/21/82 Greenville, SC — Township Auditorium
Jack Brisco beat Roddy Piper
The Ninja beat Paul Jones
Jake Roberts beat Gene Anderson
Pvt. Nelson & Pvt. Kernodle beat Porkchop Cash & King Parsons
Bill White beat Terry Gibbs
Ron Ritchie beat The Monk

Tue., 6/22/82 Raleigh, NC — Raleigh Civic Center
Jack Brisco beat Roddy Piper
Paul Jones beat The Ninja by DQ
Jim Dalton beat Keith Larson
Steve Sybert beat Terry Gibbs
Ron Ritchie beat Ali Bey
Pvt. Nelson & Pvt. Kernodle beat Pork Chop Cash & King Parsons

Tue., 6/22/82 Sumter, SC
Jimmy Valiant beat Sgt. Slaughter by DQ
Jake Roberts beat Ivan Koloff
Jay Youngblood beat Angelo Mosca
Mike Rotundo beat Dave Patterson
Mike Davis beat Ken Timbs
Tim Horner beat Juan Reynosa

Fri., 6/25/82 Charleston, SC — Charleston County Hall
Sgt. Slaughter beat Wahoo McDaniel
Jack Brisco no contest with Roddy Piper
Jimmy Valiant beat Ivan Koloff by countout
Mike Rotundo & Kelly Kiniski beat Steve Sybert & David Patterson
Matt Borne beat Mike Davis
Ali Bey beat Keith Larsen
Ron Richie beat Bill White

Sat., 6/26/82 Charlotte, NC
Jack Brisco beat Roddy Piper
Angelo Mosca beat Paul Jones
Jimmy Valiant beat The Ninja by DQ
Pvt. Nelson & Pvt. Kernodle beat King Parsons & Porkchop Cash
Juan Reynosa beat Terry Gibbs
Ron Ritchie beat The Monk
Tim Horner beat Ali Bey

Sun., 6/27/82 Asheville, NC
Jack Brisco beat NWA World Champion Ric Flair by DQ
Jimmy Valiant beat Ivan Koloff in a Russian chain match
Wahoo McDaniel beat Sgt. Slaughter
Jake Roberts & Paul Jones beat The Ninja & Gene Anderson
Ali Bey beat Terry Gibbs
Kelly Kiniski beat Juan Reynosa
Mike Rotundo beat Jim Dalton

Sun. 6/27/82 Toronto, Ontario (Maple Leaf Wrestling)
NWA World Champion Ric Flair beat Jack Brisco
Angelo Mosca beat Gene Kiniski in a Texas death match
Non-United States Heavyweight championship: Wahoo McDaniel beat Sgt Slaughter
Canadian TV championship tournament, 1st round: Pork Chop Cash d. Pvt. Nelson
Canadian TV championship tournament, 1st round: Pvt. Don Kernodle d. King Parsons
Canadian TV championship tournament, 1st round: Jay Youngblood d. David Patterson
Canadian TV championship tournament, 1st round: The Destoryer d. Johnny Weaver
Canadian TV championship tournament, semifinal: Pork Chop Cash DCO Pvt. Kernodle
Canadian TV championship tournament, final: Jay Youngblood beat The Destroyer to win vacant championship.


Thursday, February 20, 2020

Championship Podcast: February 27, 1982

The new episode of the "Mid-Atlantic Championship Podcast" has dropped and features a look at the Mid-Atlantic Championship Wrestling episode from February 27, 1982.

Each week, Mike Sempervive and Roman Gomez will review another episode form the series that is currently available in the In-Ring/Territories section of the WWE Network. The show is a production of the Arcadian Vanguard Podcast Network and is available to stream on their website and anywhere else you get your podcasts (such as iTunes, etc.)

We continue to enjoy this weekly deep dive into each of these Mid-Atlantic Championship Wrestling episodes and encourage you to check it out if you haven't already done so.

Also available from the podcast is a special "Prelude Episode" that set the stage for the year 1982 and things to come, as well as two "bonus" episodes, one looking back at Starrcade '84, the other a special bio/profile of the patriarch of the Crockett promotional empire Jim Crockett, Sr. Both of these bonus shows are excellent!

Previous Episodes of the podcast can be found on their website as well as linked from our TV Summary Index.

* * * * *

From the "Mid-Atlantic Championship Podcast" website for this episode:

Welcome to The Mid-Atlantic Championship Podcast. On this episode of the show, Mike Sempervive returns alongside Roman Gomez, to take a look at Mid-Atlantic Championship Wrestling from February 27, 1982, featuring:
  • A slight reprieve this week from the constant hammering home of the ongoing NWA World tag team championship tournament, as well as Who Contributed The Most in 1981.
  • Austin Idol continues to scout the area’s talent – and begins to make his own locker room leery of him.
  • Jimmy Valiant makes a statement by way of Stan Hansen, Ole Anderson and Ivan Koloff.
  • We’re still not sure if Sgt. Slaughter knows why Mike George is here, but he certainly knows who Ron Ritchie is now.
  • Plus top results from around the loop, great promos, and much more, on another exciting edition of the Mid-Atlantic Championship Podcast!Championship Podcast!
Also, be sure to also check out David Taub's summaries of the Mid-Atlantic shows that are on the WWE Network. We will be cross-referencing that listing with links to the podcast episodes as well.


Jim Crockett's North Carolina State Senate Run (1974)

A reminder of the airtime for "Championship Wrestling" on WBTV channel 3 in Charlotte sits atop an ad for Jim Crockett Jr.'s unsuccessful North Carolina state senate campaign shortly before election day in November 1974.

Wednesday, February 12, 2020

Down Time

The Mid-Atlantic Gateway is on a temporary hiatus. We’ll be back soon with more great Mid-Atlantic Championship Wrestling memories.

Until then, so long for now.

Monday, February 10, 2020

SLAM! Wrestling reviews "The Canadian Heavyweight Title"

"remarkable, compelling, and long-overdue"

Marshall Ward over at SLAM! Wrestling recently wrote a nice review of Andrew Calvert's excellent book "The Canadian Heavyweight Title: The Complete History 1978-1984."

The review begins:

My favourite period in wrestling is the Mid-Atlantic era and the Toronto territory of the late '70s to the early '80s.

I vividly remember sitting on the edge of my seat in the front row of the Kitchener Memorial Auditorium, seeing greats like Johnny Weaver, Billy Red Lyons, Sweet Daddy Siki, the Great Kabuki, and "Boogie Woogie Man" Jimmy Valiant.

That's why Andrew Calvert's new book, The Canadian Heavyweight Title: The Complete History 1978-1984, feels like it was written for fans like me, who long for the glory days of Jim Crockett Promotions and Maple Leaf Wrestling....

Read Marshall's entire review "Canadian title book opens a jar full of memories" on SLAM! Wrestling.

"A trip down memory lane..."


"The Canadian Heavyweight Title: The Complete History 1978-1984" is published by MapleLeafWrestling.com and available on Amazon.com as well as via links in the Mid-Atlantic Gateway bookstore.


Friday, February 07, 2020

The Awesome Twosome is Born

The Story of the Heel Turn of Chief Wahoo McDaniel (Part 3)
Part Three in a Four-Part Series
by Dick Bourne
Mid-Atlantic Gateway

Catch up on the earlier parts of this series:
PART ONE: Wahoo's Black Saturday
PART TWO: The Conspiracy

"Bob Caudle, I think the wrestling world is in for the biggest surprise they have ever seen."   - Tully Blanchard

Even though Wahoo McDaniel was no longer the automatic #1 contender for the NWA World title after being stripped of the U.S. belt, Ric Flair made good on his promise he made to him in Raleigh's Dorton Arena back in June when the two of them had their memorable confrontation. "You want a title shot," Flair asked? "You got it!"

The match took place in the Convention Center in Myrtle Beach, SC. It was on the same night that Wahoo McDaniel had been notified that the the NWA was stripping him of the title and holding up the belt.

Fans were still somewhat torn over who they supported in the match. Wahoo still had his share of fans, despite his apparent recent change in attitude. But as the match wore on, fans seemed to firmly settle on the side of the Nature Boy. Wahoo was ferocious in his attack, likely still furious over being stripped of his U.S. title just hours earlier. Flair had been battered by Wahoo's trademark tomahawk chops, and seemed exhausted.

At one point Wahoo had the champion pinned cleanly, but Flair was able to put his foot on the bottom rope to break the count. Tully Blanchard, who was at ringside, came past quickly and knocked Flair's foot off the rope. Referee Tommy Young saw this and immediately disqualified Wahoo for the outside interference of Blanchard.

Wahoo looked very angry at that moment, glaring at Blanchard. His interference had just cost him his shot at Flair's title. Flair was furious as well, and attacked Blanchard and the two of them slugged it out in a wild brawl.

For several moments, Wahoo stood aside and just watched as the two went at it, similar in some ways to when he stood back and let Flair and Blanchard fight that night in Raleigh. Fans screamed at Wahoo to go over and help Flair. But just as it appeared Flair might be gaining the advantage, pummeling Blanchard in the corner, Wahoo walked over, paused for a brief moment, and then grabbed Flair's arms from behind.

Fans were shocked. It was one thing when Wahoo hadn't taken sides in the disputes between Blanchard and Flair. It was another thing all together to actually see Wahoo helping Blanchard against Flair.

Wahoo held Flair as Blanchard removed a shoe and blasted Flair with the heel, knocking him to the mat. He then tossed the shoe to Wahoo, grabbed Flair, and held him as Wahoo continuously blasted Flair with the shoe, too. The blows opened Flair up, and he was soon a bloody mess. Fans were furious that Wahoo had now aligned himself with the hated Tully Blanchard.

Dusty Rhodes and Bob Caudle reviewed the tape of the match on TV the next week, and Dusty observed how Wahoo had turned to the dark side. "it's clear to me now, Chief," Dusty said, "that you ain't nothing but a yellow, no good, rotten dog!"

At first, in the weeks that followed, Wahoo and Tully didn't make much out of their new association, neither one making much of a big deal out of it. They didn't appear together in interviews yet. But there was no denying that, where you saw one, the other was close by. There were increasing indicators of their growing affection for each other. Tully pointed out how Wahoo was one of the toughest men he had ever been in the ring with, and what a great pro-football player he was in the NFL. Wahoo pointed out how Tully was a star quarterback at West texas State, a breeding ground for great champions.

Wahoo also mentioned how, just as he had been involved in training Ric Flair in his early career, he had also been instrumental in training Blanchard early on, calling back to the days the two of them worked together for Southwest Championship Wrestling out of San Antonio, Texas. Indeed, it was Tully's father Joe Blanchard who operated that promotion and who booked Wahoo against his son almost every night for months in hopes Tully would gain great experience and toughness as a result.
The biggest indicator, however, especially to the fans, of their growing friendship was when Wahoo beat Sam Houston in a TV match using Tully's signature "slingshot suplex", which Tully chuckled over and seemed delighted with as he observed it while doing commentary with Bob Caudle.

"Tully Blanchard, that sure is a surprise right there," Bob Caudle told him. "Bob Caudle," Tully replied, "I think the wrestling world is in for the biggest surprise they have ever seen."

Fans now really hated Wahoo. For his part, Wahoo no longer seemed to have much respect for the fans anymore, either. He told Bob Caudle he had tried all his life to make the fans happy, but you can't make them happy. "If I lost all my fans in one night," he said, "then they weren't that great of fans to begin with."

While Wahoo and Tully seemed to always be talking about each other, they hadn't really appeared together on TV yet. That all changed in mid-August when the two appeared together for the first time in a TV interview. And there was a noticable change in Wahoo's appearance - - he was wearing a suit! From that point forward over the next many months, if Wahoo wasn't dressed in his ring gear, he wore a suit. It was a very tangible change that the fans could see. Wahoo certainly had changed, in more ways than one.

Tully called him the "Super Chief" and Wahoo announced they have formed "the most awesome tag team wrestling has ever seen."

The "Awesome Twosome," as Tully nicknamed themselves, was born.

They began a reign of terror as a tag team. Wahoo and Tully even jumped Flair after a match in Charlotte and gave Flair a "stuff-piledriver."  Flair was stretchered out of the building. It was reminiscent of the same move Bob Orton, Jr. and Dick Slater did to Flair a year earlier, nearly putting him out of wrestling.

Flair clearly needed help to battle the Awesome Twosome. He traveled to the swamps of Florida and recruited his old friend and partner Blackjack Mulligan to come back to the Mid-Atlantic area and team up with him. He also teamed with longtime rival Ricky Steamboat, and even formed the unlikely alliance with Dusty Rhodes. Between the four of them, they did battle with the Awesome Twosome.

Wahoo liked pointing out that they could take on any and all of them. "Looks like everybody is after us. Steamboat goes and gets Flair, Flair goes and gets Mulligan. They all go get Dusty Rhodes," he laughed. "Well, it's just me and Tully right here."

The summer of 1984 finished out with lots of crazy tag team battles, with Wahoo and Tully battling the various combinations of Flair, Steamboat, Mulligan, and Rhodes.

But as fall apporached, there was still the matter of the held-up U.S. championship. And Wahoo wanted his title back.Jim Crockett and the NWA were about to finanally make a decision on how the whole matter would be resolved.

Wahoo wants his title back. In the final installment in this series, we'll look at the tournament to name a new United States Champion, plans for Starrcade, and how those plans all eventually changed.

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


"David Crockett, you've been making mistakes for so long, it's almost irreputable how your brother can keep putting you on television. 
The Awesome Twosome!  Awesome.  Twosome." 
- Tully Blanchard

"You said "gruesome." I guess it is a little gruesome when they are layin' down lookin' up and we're pounding on them."
- Wahoo McDaniel 

* * * * * * * * * * * *
Series Breakdown:
Part Three: The Awesome Twosome (This Article)
Part Four: The Tournament (Coming Next)
* * * * * * * * * * * *


Thursday, February 06, 2020

Mid-Atlantic TV Report: June 19, 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, visit our TV Summary Index.

Mid-Atlantic Championship Wrestling
Original broadcast: 6/19/82
(taped 6/16/82 at WPCQ-TV studios in Charlotte)
WWE Network feed.  [How to watch this show on the WWE Network.]
WWE Network Direct Link to this show: Mid-Atlantic 6/19/82

Bob Caudle opens the show previewing the men on the show, including Jack Brisco.

—Int. w/Bob Caudle: Roddy Piper
The mention of Brisco brings Piper out. He talks trash on Brisco, and Caudle goes to the video from Piper attacking Brisco during the Brisco vs. Muraco match from last week. “How efficient,” Piper mocks as they go to the tape.

Coming back, the camera focuses on the back of Piper’s shirt “Pay the Piper.” The front says “Piper Pays Back.” Another classic Piper rant. “Of course I’m nuts … I ain’t going to live to be 30. I’m not all there.” Piper makes the challenge in either a tag or single match.


Match 1:
"King Kong" Angelo Mosca d. King Parsons
Stu Schwartz is the referee for the hour. Caudle notes the one-month trial period of “must be a winner” rules is over. He encourages fans to send in comments on what they think of the rules. Even match, with Mosca using his bullying style. The finish sees Parsons have Mosca in the corner. The referee breaks it up. Mosca, out of the corner nails Parsons with the elbow to the head and gets the pin.


Match 2:
Non-Title Match: Jack Brisco [Mid-Atlantic Champion] d. Juan Reynoso
Reynoso immediately goes for Brisco’s left knee, which is bandaged up. At one point, Brisco and Reynoso slug at each other toe-to-toe. Brisco misses a dropkick, and Reynoso has a brief advantage. Brisco takes over and finishes Reynoso with the figure-four.


Match 3:
Ivan Koloff & Ninja d. Ron Ritchie & Rusty Roberts
A mystery manager is in Koloff & Ninja’s corner. He wanders by Caudle and formally introduces himself, Sir Oliver Humperdink. He says he is the greatest manager, and warns the babyfaces of Mid-Atlantic, including Jack Brisco. Humperdink is wearing a suit, tie and shades. Caudle wonders why Koloff & Ninja even need a manager. Heels control most of the match. Ritchie tags in and gets a good house of fire run. Koloff cuts him off with a knee to the gut and tosses him in the corner to tag in Roberts. Less than a minute later, Ninja comes of the top with a headbutt on Roberts and gets the pin.


-Int. w/Bob Caudle: Wahoo McDaniel and Jack Brisco
Wahoo is in a pink Izod shirt. He is back from an injury. But, if he has to hurt people, he will. We go to a tape of Flair vs. Brisco. This appears to be 5/23/82 from Greensboro. Not much in the clip, but Brisco chases Flair from an intentional DQ, with Flair bloodied. We now go to a Flair vs. Wahoo clip from Championship Wrestling from Florida in the Tampa studio. Tommy Young is the referee. Just a minute or less of action. Wahoo says he was in the hospital, and didn’t realize an NWA official took his U.S. title back and gave it to Slaughter. Wahoo and Brisco agree keeping your health is important.


Match 4:
David Patterson d. Keith Larson
Caudle says they hope to have Flair on the program soon. Also coming back, Greg Valentine. Another reminder that the 30-day must-be-a-winner rule ended June 16. The NWA board is taking comments from the fans and wrestlers. The match is relatively even until Larson misses a cross bodyblock off the top rope. Patterson follows with a knee to the head for the pin.

-Int. w/Bob Caudle: The Privates and The Monk
This is in lieu of local promos. Caudle asks the trio about their upcoming TV main event. The Monk speaks and speaks perfect English! Kernodle says Sgt. Slaughter is relaxing with his new U.S. championship in Hawai’i. He wants the Mid-Atlantic tag team championship back, and calls Cash & Parsons “boys” three times. Yes, that is racial. Nelson contributes with some smack talk. Now Kernodle is calling Wahoo a “boy.”


Match 5:
Jay Youngblood & Paul Jones & Jake Roberts d. Pvt. Kernodle & Pvt. Nelson & The Monk
A good, action-packed match. Youngblood spends a majority of the match as the babyface in peril. He finally makes the tag, and the babyfaces tag in and out quickly to finish off Monk. Youngblood gets the pin after the tomahawk chop and an elbow.

-Int. w/Bob Caudle: Jay Youngblood & Paul Jones & Jake Roberts
All three guys are blown up. Jones offers praise for his partners. Youngblood mentions he has been in Japan for the last month (true). A warning to the area’s heels. He warns them that they are surrounded by nothing but Indians, himself, The Briscos and Wahoo. Roberts is glad to be back following an eye injury.

So long for now!

* * * * * *

Results for the week, 6/14/82-6/20/82
(source: Clawmaster’s Archive via Sports and Wrestling blog posted by David Baker; “Wrestling” newsletter by Joe Shedlock)

Mon., 6/14/82 Greenville, SC
King Parsons beat Ben Alexander
Terry Gibbs beat Pvt. Nelson
Jim Dalton beat Mike Davis
The Monk beat Keith Larson
Ron Ritchie beat Ali Bey
The Ninja & Roddy Piper beat Jack Brisco & Jimmy Valiant

Thu., 6/17/82 Harrisonburg, VA
Keith Larson vs. Bill White
Tim Horner vs. The Monk
Ron Ritchie vs. David Patterson
Kelly Kiniski vs. Matt Borne
Jay Youngblood & Paul Jones vs. Angelo Mosca & The Ninja

Thu., 6/17/82 Roanoke, VA
Pvt. Kernodle & Pvt. Nelson beat Porkchop Cash & King Parsons to win NWA Mid Atlantic Tag Title

Fri., 6/18/82 Charleston, SC — Charleston County Hall
Bill White beat Keith Larson
Tim Horner beat David Patterson
Johnny Weaver beat The Monk
Angelo Mosca & The Ninja beat King Parsons & Porkchop Cash
Wahoo McDaniel beat Sgt. Slaughter in a Canadian lumberjack match

Fri., 6/18/82 Wilmington, NC— Legion Stadium
Jack Brisco vs. Roddy Piper
Jimmy Valiant vs. Ivan Koloff in a chain match
Jay Youngblood & Paul Jones vs. Don Kernodle & Jim Nelson
Kelly Kiniski vs. Matt Borne
Mike Rotundo vs. Juan Reynosa
Mike Davis vs. Jim Dalton

Sat., 6/19/82 Greensboro, NC — Greensboro Coliseum
Jimmy Valiant beat Ivan Koloff via DQ
Don Muraco & Roddy Piper beat Jack Brisco & Wahoo McDaniel by DQ
Paul Jones & Jake Roberts beat The Ninja & Gene Anderson
Angelo Mosca beat Johnny Weaver
Jay Youngblood beat The Monk
Mike Davis beat The Monk
Kelly Kiniski beat Jim Dalton
Ron Ritchie beat Juan Reynosa

Monday, February 03, 2020

Mystery Solved? The 1975 United States Tournament Belt

by Dick Bourne
Mid-Atlantic Gateway

Can you imagine at what point in the evening that George Scott, Sandy Scott, David Crockett and Jim Crockett were all standing around looking at each other asking, "Who brought the belt?"

One of the longest unsolved mysteries in Mid-Atlantic Wrestling history, especially for belt enthusiasts, involved trying to figure out what belt Terry Funk held high over his head the night he won the United States title tournament in November of 1975. Because it wasn't the United States title belt.

This tournament was held as a result of the October 1975 plane crash in Wilmington, NC that ended the career of then reigning U.S. champion Johnny Valentine. The tournament George Scott booked is the most famous and, arguably, the best tournament ever held in Mid-Atlantic Championship Wrestling history.

Not only were the area's top wrestlers involved, but Scott booked some of the top wrestlers from other territories around the country including Red Bastien, Dusty Rhodes, Harley Race, Ray Stevens, Terry Funk and Blackjack Mulligan. Mulligan wound up staying in the territory taking Valentine's spot as the area's top heel. But it was another Texan that wound up capturing the U.S. championship that night - Terry Funk.

Terry Funk holds up the "mystery" belt after
winning the U.S. tournament in in 1975
(from pg. 59 in the book)
Funk wrestled four matches in that tournament, defeating Bastien, Rufus Jones, and Rhodes before topping Paul Jones in the tournament final.

But when the referee raised Funk's hand, the belt he handed him was not the United States Championship belt.

Oddly, there have never been many photos published from that night, but there was one key photo documenting Funk's win that was published in an early 1976 issue of "Mid-Atlantic Wrestling Magazine," JCP's in-house publication sold at the matches. There, bloodied and exhausted and leaning against the ring ropes in the Greensboro Coliseum, Funk holds the belt high above his head after defeating Paul Jones in the tournament's final match. But it was nearly impossible to tell in the low-resolution photograph just what belt this was standing in for the United States championship.
Apparently, the real U.S. belt was not in the building for a reason we will likely never precisely know. Johnny Valentine was the reigning champion at the time of the plane crash and had the belt in his possession at the time of the accident. The most reasonable and likely explanation is that, in the chaos that ensued following that tragedy, the office simply failed to get the belt back from him in the weeks between the crash and the tournament. But regardless of the reason, it clearly wasn't there.

Can you imagine at what point in the evening that George Scott, Sandy Scott, David Crockett, and Jim Crockett were all standing around looking at each other asking, "Who brought the belt?"

The promoters had a big problem on their hands. They had a high profile tournament taking place in front of a sold-out Greensboro Coliseum and on the night of the tournament had no belt to present to the winner.

So what explains the photo of Terry Funk holding a belt high over his head? What belt was it? 

While working on his book about the Canadian Heavyweight title in 2019, my friend Andrew Calvert (who publishes the respected Maple Leaf Wrestling website) wrote me that he thought perhaps he and some of his friends had solved the mystery.

Andrew had just finished reading my book "United States Championship." He closely inspected the photo of Funk and thought the belt looked familiar. He consulted two of his friends who were knowledgeable about Mulkovich belts, Chris Kovachis and Griff Henderson. They both concluded independently from each other that they thought  the belt was one of the WWWF Tag Team championship belts.

But what could possibly explain why a WWWF tag team belt would be in the Greensboro Coliseum that night?

When Andrew presented their theory, it immediately made sense to me. One of the "outside" wrestlers working that show that night was Blackjack Mulligan, who just happened to currently be one half of the WWWF Tag Team champions with partner Blackjack Lanza. Mulligan had worked for Jim Crockett Promotions for a three-month span in the spring of that year, but left to go to the WWWF to reunite the famous team of the Blackjacks.

Blackjack Mulligan on WWWF television wearing his WWWF Tag Team title belt.

For context, booker George Scott had already arranged to bring Blackjack Mulligan back to the Mid-Atlantic territory to take Johnny Valentine's spot as the top "heel" in the territory. But Mulligan was presently still working out his notice with Vince McMahon, Sr. at the time of the U.S. tournament in Greensboro. During the months of November and December, he was back and forth between both promotions. And the night of the tournament, he was in for a single-night shot, his belt in his bag.

One can only speculate at what point that day everyone figured out that this was the belt they could use, but it seems clear that Blackjack Mulligan had reached into his bag and pulled out a WWWF belt that could be recognized as the United States championship - - at least for that one night.

Judge for yourself. Take a look at the belt Funk is holding in the photo above and compare it to the collage of photos of various WWWF Tag Team champions of that era below.

Three different teams wearing the WWWF Tag Team championship belts.
Mr. Fuji and Toru Tanaka, the Valiant Brothers, Sonny King and Chief Jay Strongbow

The photos seem to provide visual confirmation at the very least, and the argument is further buttressed by the fact Mulligan was on the Greensboro show and was the only possible connection to those belts at that point in time.

By the time Terry Funk returned to Greensboro three weeks later to defend the U.S. title against Paul Jones on the annual Thanksgiving night card in Greensboro, the company had regained possession of the original U.S. belt from Johnny Valentine.

For the better part of the last 45 years, I've wondered what belt Funk held over his head in Greensboro. No one had ever been able to provide a viable answer until now. PWInsider's Mike Johnson once wrote after reviewing my book Big Gold that I was the "Indiana Jones of title belt archaeology." That was a very nice compliment. I wish I had uncovered this information on the U.S. belt on my own, but all credit goes to the Canadian raiders of the lost ark, Andrew, Chris, and Griff. I will always be grateful to them. (Visit Andrew Calvert's website at mapleleafwrestling.blogspot.com.)

While we can't be 100% certain the mystery is solved, it's as close as we've ever come, and it's hard to imagine any other possibility at this point. But we are always open to further information.

I regret not having this information before finishing my book on the United States title history. But I hope to include it in an updated volume at some point. 

For all the details on the rich history of JCP's United States Heavyweight Championship, the champions, and the five belts that represented the title, check out our book "United States Championship" available via he Mid-Atlantic Gateway Book Store and on Amazon.com.


Sunday, February 02, 2020

Mid-Atlantic TV Report: June 12, 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, visit our TV Summary Index.

Mid-Atlantic Championship Wrestling
Original broadcast: 6/12/82
(taped 6/08/82 at WPCQ-TV studios in Charlotte)
WWE Network feed.  [How to watch this show on the WWE Network.]
WWE Network Direct Link to this show: Mid-Atlantic 6/12/82

Bob Caudle, with the August Green jacket special, opens the show, saying all the great stars will be here, including NEW United States Heavyweight champion, Sgt. Slaughter.

—Int. w/Caudle: Magnificent Muraco
Muraco warns Caudle not to call him Don. “The Prince of Darkness has returned.” Muraco rants on Wahoo McDaniel and yells at the fans. He says Wahoo is in the hospital. Jack Brisco comes out, and says he’s not fooling anyone. He’s why Wahoo lost. Muraco dismisses Brisco, and says Roddy Piper signed him to a six-figure contract. Things get physical. Brisco slaps Muraco and the latter agrees to a match. “You’re going down too, Indian!”

Caudle introduces the next match via blue screen (which is not quite working). Caudle introduces Slaughter’s opponent as David Patterson.


—Int. w/Bob Caudle: Sgt. Slaughter
Before the match, Caudle talks to Slaughter. He rants, saying he’s faced Wahoo in all kinds of matches. So, when they are scheduled for a boot camp match, he doesn’t show up. Caudle says Wahoo was injured, and because of the new NWA experimental rules that there had to be a winner, Slaughter took the title (no date or arena mentioned). Slaughter calls Wahoo yellow.

Match 1
Non-title: Sgt. Slaughter [US Champion] d. Steve Sybert
Blue-romper wearing Sonny Fargo is the referee for the hour. Sybert is wearing a mini-Andre the Giant black one-strap singlet. Caudle says Jake Roberts will be back soon after getting sprayed a few weeks ago by Ninja. Wahoo will be out of the hospital from his knee injury and back by the middle of next week. Sybert gets one bit of offense in. Slaughter wins with the Cobra Clutch.


Match 2
Non-title: Jack Brisco [Mid-Atlantic Champion] d. Magnificent Muraco by DQ. 
Brisco’s left knee is taped up. Muraco goes for that knee most of the match. Roddy Piper joins Caudle midway through the match. Caudle noticed this is the most subdued he’s ever seen Piper. Lots of Beach Bum chants. Lots of matwork. Muraco locks in the figure-four, but Brisco reverses. Piper comes off the top rope on Brisco’s head for the DQ. Piper tries to wallop Brisco with a chair. Brisco ducks and Piper hits the turnbuckle. The double team continues, until Jimmy Valiant and Paul Jones make the save.

—Int. w/Caudle: Pork Chop Cash & King Parsons
This is in lieu of local promos. Parsons said he was just sitting at home, when Pork Chop called and he said he need help. He did mention that two weeks ago, they won the title. Pork Chop says that Parsons has more moves than a bowl of Jello. They are the people’s champion. I did Pork Chop for some reason. Just had the unique look and rap.


Match 3
Non-title: Pork Chop Cash & King Parsons [Mid-Atlantic tag champions] d. The Monk & Petty Boy Fergie
Caudle says Jake Roberts is coming back after the Ninja spraying him. Greg Valentine is also coming back. The Monk obviously went to the same stylish as Ali Bey and the Vachon brothers. Where in the world did a monk gimmick work? Caudle is kind of struggling this match. He’s just going all over the place. So, I will note that I’m not sure when, but Mid-Atlantic added a third camera. Or, maybe I just never noticed it before. Caudle says Muraco has been fined for his actions earlier. The finish sees Parsons do his Rocky Johnson impression, with two dropkicks and an Ali shuffle, followed by a small package on Fergie for the win.


—Int. w/Caudle: Paul Jones; Jack Brisco
Jones talks about Mosca, saying it doesn’t bother him to interfere in his matches. Brisco is out, drenched in sweat. He talks smack on Muraco and Piper. Brisco brings out the dented chair that nearly knocked his head off. Brisco wants Piper in any type of match. Caudle notes Brisco’s leg didn’t suffer as much as it could.
Caudle introduces the next match via blue screen.


Match 4
Paul Jones d. Ken Timbs

Caudle desperately needed a broadcast partner this episode. He repeats the same news on Muraco, Roberts, Valentine and Wahoo. Jones finishes Timbs off with two football tackles, followed by the Indian death lock for the win.

—Int. w/Caudle: Kelly Kiniski & Mike Rotunda
This appears to be the in-lieu of local promo interview. Caudle talks to Kiniski & Rotundo about their six-man tag coming up. A rather dull babyface interview. Kiniski seems to get lost in places. Rotunda is glad the fans accepted him in the Mid-Atlantic conference. He gets lost in places too. Caudle is doing his best to lead them along. It looks like Rotundo is wearing a knock-off Starter jacket.

Match 5
Ivan Koloff & Angelo Mosca & The Ninja d. Mike Davis & Mike Rotundo & Kelly Kiniski
Mike Davis is the best interview of the babyface team, yet where was he in the last segment? Ninja sprays the ceremonial mist to start the match. Gene Anderson is absent again. No mention of him from Caudle. Mosca no sells a Rotundo dropkick. Koloff has a big bandage over his right eye. Caudle recapping how Slaughter won the U.S. title by default, the Piper-Brisco war. Koloff whips Davis into a chop from Ninja on the apron. Tag out to Mosco, who pins Davis after a big right hand to the head.

—Int. w/Caudle: Roddy Piper & Magnificent Muraco; Angelo Mosca & Ivan Koloff & Ninja
Piper: “I put Rich in the ditch!” He gloats about hurting Wahoo and Brisco. Muraco brags about the money Piper is paying him. He says he got “Five grand in Atlanta from some fat slob.” Piper & Muraco are being Hall of Fame obnoxious. Mosca is in. He gloats abut himself. He really does come off as a tough guy. He doesn’t like being called Ding Dong. Ninja is doing sword play in the foreground. Koloff says he is not a coward. He is still sour over the situation with Valiant from last week. He says Valiant tried to hurt him in a tag match, so he can take his TV title from him in a single match. Koloff is too smart for that.

“So long for now!”

* * * * * * * * *

Results for the week, 6/07/82-6/13/82
(source: Clawmaster’s Archive via Sports and Wrestling blog posted by David Baker; “Wrestling” newsletter by Joe Shedlock)

Mon., 6/07/82 Greenville, SC
Bill White beat Jim Dalton
Mike Rotundo beat Ben Alexander
King Parsons beat Carl Fergie
Terry Gibbs beat David Patterson
Sgt. Slaughter beat Wahoo McDaniel (injured by Don Muraco) by forfeit to United States championship
Sgt. Slaughter beat Don Muraco
Terry Gibbs won a battle royal

Tue., 6/08/82 St. Catherines, Ontario(TV)
Jimmy Valiant & Johnny Weaver beat Pvt. Nelson & Pvt. Kernodle
Pvt. Nelson & Pvt. Kernodle beat Ken Timbs & Nick DeCarlo
Pvt. Kernodle draw Johnny Weaver
Tony Parisi beat Pvt. Nelson
Tony Parisi beat Ken Timbs
Tony Parisi beat The Destroyer by DQ
The Destroyer beat Mike Davis
Kelly Kiniski beat Steve Sybert
Kelly Kiniski beat Ken Timbs
Johnny Weaver & Kelly Kiniski beat Ken Timbs & Steve Sybert
Gene Kiniski beat Mike Davis
Gene Kiniski beat Chris Jones & Nick DeCarlo in a handicap match
Mike Davis beat Alex Girard

Tue., 6/08/82 Columbia, SC  — Township Auditorium
Sgt. Slaughter beat Don Muraco
Don Muraco beat Angelo Mosca
King Parsons beat Gene Anderson
Mike Rotundo beat Jim Dalton
Ron Ritchie beat Bill White
Terry Gibbs beat Keith Larson

Tue. 6/08/82 Raleigh, NC — Raleigh Civic Center
Tim Horner beat Carl Fergie
David Patterson beat Ali Bey
Keith Larson beat Juan Reynosa
Ivan Koloff & The Ninja beat Paul Jones & Porkchop Cash
Jack Brisco beat Roddy Piper

Thu., 6/10/82 Sumter, SC
David Patterson beat Mike Moore
Ken Timbs beat Abe Jacobs
Bill White beat Terry Gibbs
Johnny Weaver beat Jim Dalton
Sgt. Slaughter beat Mike Rotundo (sub for Wahoo McDaniel)
Paul Jones beat Angelo Mosca

Fri., 6/11/82 Cincinnati, OH
Kelly Kiniski beat The Monk
Porkchop Cash beat Juan Reynosa
Roddy Piper beat Bob Armstrong in a Canadian lumberjack match
King Parsons beat Jim Dalton
Sgt. Slaughter beat Don Muraco

Sun., 6/13/82 Roanoke, VA
Sgt. Slaughter beat Jay Youngblood
Jack Brisco beat Roddy Piper
Jimmy Valiant beat Ninja
Angelo Mosca beat Ron Ritchie
Porkchop Cash & King Parsons beat Pvt. Kernodle & Pvt. Nelson
Terry Gibbs beat Jim Dalton

Sun., 6/13/82 Asheville, NC
Jack Brisco beat Roddy Piper
Jimmy Valiant, Jay Youngblood & Paul Jones beat Ivan Koloff, Angelo Mosca & Gene Anderson
Johnny Weaver beat Bill White
Kelly Kiniski beat Juan Reynosa
Mike Rotundo beat The Monk
Tim Horner beat David Patterson