Monday, November 30, 2020

Mid-Atlantic Podcast Shines with Mid-Atlantic Gateway Audio


This year's Thanksgiving Day episode of the great Mid-Atlantic Championship Podcast takes a look at an episode of Mid-Atlantic Wrestling from August of 1982 that IS NOT featured on the WWE Network. In light of that, host Mike Sempervive utilized exclusive (and rare) audio recordings of that show from the Mid-Atlantic Gateway audio archives to cover a lot of developments taking place that specific week. Sad that the network doesn't include this show. But very fortunate that David Chappell has preserved his audio casettes from all those years ago. 

Mike Sempervivie and Roman Gomez host the podcast as part of the Arcadian Vanguard Network and cover an individual episode of classic Mid-Atlantic Wrestling as seen on the WWE Network on each of their shows.

This particular episode is considered a special episode, and Sempervive is solo to work through all of the audio we provided, including the local promos for a show at the Richmond Coliseum in late August. on top of that as a special bonus, audio from World Wide Wrestling that same week is also featured, as hosted by David Crockett and Johnny Weaver. 

Mike does a great job of putting it all in perspective and introducung each audio clip an putting things in context of the times. Things we hot that week as Roddy Piper had approached Jack Brisco, Jimmy Valiant, and Wahoo McDaniel about letting him team up with them. Paul Jones turns dirty (again!) It's one of Paul's greatest promos as he talks about money being important, but it's championship he covets most. Plus Sgt. Slaughter and his Marine Privates attack Wahoo McDaniel, Jim Crockett resigns as NWA President, the House of Humperdink is growing, and more!

Great special episode, don't miss it! And follow their incredible Twitter feed @MidAtlanticPod.

 

Saturday, November 28, 2020

Sixteen Teams Remain! Crockett Cup '85 Update as we head into Round Three

MIKE RICKARD'S FANTASY WRESTLING TOURNAMENT
APTER'S ROUND THREE  SCOUTING REPORT!


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

BRACKETS
Updated brackets!
[Links to previous matches at the bottom of this post.]

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. 

The first round saw 32 teams competing to advance to round two with 16 teams making it in. Round two followed as these 16 teams battled the 16 top-seeded tag teams that received a first-round bye. Now, round two has finished and just sixteen teams remain as round three begins. 

THIRD ROUND RULES:
Here are the rules for the round two of our tournament. A pool of referees from the NWA, AWA, and WWF have been appointed for the tournament and randomly selected for each match. The third-round matches have a sixty-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 third-round matches are being held over two nights at the Omni in Atlanta, Georgia. The first four matches will take place on Friday April 19 while the remaining four will take place on Saturday April 20. Your commentators for the matches will be Bob Caudle and David Crockett, but as always, you never know when a special guest will show up. 

BILL APTER'S SCOUTING REPORT
Bob Caudle and David Crockett welcome the fans to the Omni on night one and let them know they are in for a special treat. Pro Wrestling Illustrated Senior Editor Bill Apter has put together a special edition of his Scouting Report segment to bring fans up to speed on the tournament. The lights dim as the report airs on closed circuit screens set up in the arena. 

Bill Apter is joined by legendary wrestling commentator Gordon Solie. Bill welcomes Gordon, introducing him as “The Dean of Wresting Announcers.” Gordon thanks him for inviting him here and says as exciting as rounds one and two were, fans are in for history in the making. Bill says he couldn’t agree more. He’s been at ringside covering some of the first two rounds and it’s an all-star assemblage of talent. Apter turns towards round three’s eight matches. 

The Rock-n-Roll Express (Ricky Morton and Robert Gibson) vs. the Russians (Ivan and Nikita Koloff and Krusher Krushchev): Bill says the Russians are a powerful team and Mid-South Wrestling’s Rock-n-Roll Express will have to count on their speed and experience as a team if they hope to overcome the Russians. Gordon nods and says the Russian team has the veteran leadership of Ivan Koloff, a former world champion, incredible power, and the advantage that any two of the trio can compete in the match. Gibson and Morton won’t know who they’ll be facing until the match itself, a potential psychological edge for the representatives from the Soviet Union, including American turncoat Krusher Krushchev. 

Ole and Arn Anderson vs. Antonio Inoki and Seiji Sakaguchi: Bill says the Andersons have shown a willingness to do anything to win, as seen by their pre-match attack in round two on Barry Windham and Mike Rotunda. Gordon agrees and says he’s known Ole Anderson for a long time and his legacy as a member of the Minnesota Wrecking Crew means he knows how to systematically take opponents’ limbs apart. Unfortunately for the veteran Japanese team, Arn Anderson seems to be a quick study. However, Antonio Inoki and Seiji Sakaguchi have faced a plethora of world-class opponents during their careers and their experience will be difficult to overcome, regardless of what chicanery the Andersons have planned.  

The Midnight Express (“Beautiful” Bobby Eaton and “Loverboy” Dennis Condrey) with Jim Cornette vs. the High Flyers (“Jumping” Jim Brunzell and Greg Gagne): Bill talks about how the Midnight Express are one of the most exciting teams in wrestling today and while they’re known for cutting corners, there’s no denying the results they’ve had. Bill notes the team’s impressive round two over the WWF’s Hart Foundation. Gordon adds that the team’s manager Jim Cornette has a keen mind and unfortunately one with a penchant for nefarious tactics. However, former AWA World Tag Team Champions Jim Brunzell and Greg Gagne have been wrestling together since the 1970s and their wins in rounds one and two suggest they could go to the finals. 

Kevin and Mike Von Erich vs. the British Bulldogs (Davey Boy Smith and the Dynamite Kid): Bill talks up both teams and shares his admiration for the Von Erich brothers toughing it out through Mike’s injury in round one at the hands of Abdullah the Butcher and Tully Blanchard. Gordon agrees and says the Von Erichs are Texas tough. However, they’re facing a team that has had seasoning in Japan and looks to be on their way to the WWF Championship. Both teams have speed and high-flying moves on their side as well as experience with their teammates. This should be a brilliant battle of four young lions. 

Bruiser Brody and Stan Hansen vs. the Road Warriors (Hawk and Animal) with “Precious” Paul Ellering: Bill tells Gordon that he hopes Jim Crockett has reinforced the ring because these two teams could end up destroying it as they battle each other. Gordon says many people are picking the Road Warriors as the odds-on favorite to win the tournament because they’ve been virtually unstoppable wherever they’ve worked. However, the team of Brody and Hansen can take anything Animal and Hawk can dish out and they are probably the team with the best chance of meeting them head-to-head in power with the exception of the Russians. Nevertheless, the presence of manager “Precious” Paul Ellering could tip things in the Road Warriors favor.  

The Oklahoma Cowboys (Tex and Roy) vs. Dory and Terry Funk: Bill Apter says the Oklahoma Cowboys’ biggest strength might be that no one besides Jim Crockett knows who is under the masks. Gordon says that may be true, but we know what the Funk Brothers bring to the table, two former NWA World Heavyweight Champions often considered the best brother tag team in “The Sport of Kings.” Gordon asks Bill if he’s ever met any cowboys from Oklahoma named Tex and Roy. Bill muses for a moment then tells Gordon he hasn’t, now that you mention it. The cameraman extraordinaire says Gordon may have a clue to the team’s identity. 

The Texas Outlaws (Dusty Rhodes and “Captain Redneck” Dick Murdoch) vs. the Iron Sheik and Nikolai Volkoff (with “Classy” Freddie Blassie): Bill Apter turns his attention to the unexpected reunion of the Texas Outlaws, a championship team from the 60s and 70s who branched off into superstardom as singles wrestlers. Apter asks Gordon if the team has been apart for too long to be effective and what he thinks of the current WWF Tag Team Champions, the Iron Sheik and Nikolai Volkoff? Gordon says Rhodes and Murdoch are consummate professionals and they’ve already shown they haven’t lost a step. Still, they have two ruthless opponents as well as the crafty mind of Fred Blassie in their corner. All four men are tough as nails and this one could quickly become a pier-six brawl. 

The Fantastics (Tommy Rogers and Bobby Fulton) vs. Fabulous Freebirds (Michael “P.S.” Hayes, Terry “Bam Bam” Gordy, and Buddy Roberts): Bill Apter says the team of the Fantastics have much going for them, but the Freebirds seem too experienced to overcome, regardless of which combination of the trio meet them. Gordon agrees, but says Rogers and Fulton have the speed advantage, which could lead to an upset win. Bill says the fans are the real winners as they’re about to see sixteen of the crème de la crème of professional wrestling show everything they’re capable of as they compete for the Crockett Cup and one million dollars. 

Join us next time as round three of the tournament begins and more teams fall by the wayside in their quest for tag team glory and some serious cash!

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

PREVIOUS POSTS IN THIS FANTASY SERIES
Tournament Announcement
Seedings and First Round Pairings Announced

SECOND ROUND
Second Round: Matches 1 & 2 (Tournament 17 & 18)

     Mulligan/McDaniel vs. The Russians
    Rock & Roll Express vs. Maharishi/Nagasaki
Second Round: Matches 3 & 4 (Tournament 19 & 20)
    Brown/Jannetty vs. Inoki & Sakaguchi
    Ole & Arn Anderson vs. Windham/Rotunda)
Second Round: Matches 5 & 6 (Tournament 21 & 22)

    Midnight Express vs. Hart Foundation
    PYT Express vs. High Flyers
Second Round: Matches 7 & 8 (Tournament 23 & 24) 
    Rude/Barr (with Percy Pringle III) vs. Kevin and Mike Von Erich
    Fujinami/Kimura vs. British Bulldogs
Second Round: Matches 9 & 10 (Tournament 25 & 26)
    Brody/Hansen vs. Williams/DiBiase
    Road Warriros vs. Lawler/Dundee
Second Round: Matches 11 & 12 (Tournament 27 & 28)
    Piper & Orton vs. The Oklahoma Cowboys
    The Funk Brothers vs. The Younglood Brothers
Second Round: Matches 13 & 14 (Tournament 29 & 30)
    Rhodes/Murdoch vs. Adams/Hernandez
    Sheik/Volkoff vs. Steamboat/Snuka
Second Round: Matches 15 & 16 (Tournament 31 & 32)
    Fantastics vs. Fabulous Ones
    Sheepherders vs. Freebirds


FIRST ROUND

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
First Round: Matches 13 and 14:
    Dynamic Duo (Gino & Chris) vs. American Starship
    Sawyer Bros. vs. Steamboat/Snuka
First Round: Matches 15 and 16
    Batten Twins vs. Fabulous Ones
    Weaver/Houston vs. Sheepherders

Thursday, November 26, 2020

Happy Thanksgiving from the Mid-Atlantic Gateway!

Join us as we reflect back on some of the Thanksgiving wrestling and Starrcade related posts from years gone by here on the Gateway.

Happy Thanksgiving to everyone! We are particularly thankful for all of you who have supported the Mid-Atlantic Gateway these past twenty years.


Thanksgiving Wrestling Through The Years for Jim Crockett Promotions
Links to pages featuring info on annual Thanksgiving cards for Jim Crockett Promotions from 1966-1987.

The Forgotten Prelude to Starrcade '85 (Posted Nov. 23, 2018)
A Thanksgiving Surprise: Starrcade Magic Returns to Greensboro
Thanksgiving Retro: Greensboro & Norfolk 1975
Dr. Joseph Estwanik: A Doctor Remembers

 

2018 Anniversary Flashbacks
Thanksgiving Flashback: Starrcade '83 (Posted Nov. 24, 2018)
Thanksgiving Flashback: Starrcade '84 (Posted Nov. 22, 2018)
Thanksgiving Flashback: Starrcade '85 (Posted Nov. 28, 2018)
Thanksgiving Flashback: Starrcade '86 (Posted Nov. 27, 2018)
Thanksgiving Flashback: Starrcade '87 (Posted Nov. 26, 2018)

 

Crown Jewel  |  The Mid-Atlantic Gateway Book Store

Tuesday, November 24, 2020

Mid-Atlantic Wrestling on Thanksgiving: 1966 in Greensboro, Norfolk, and Charleston

Click here for more Thanksgiving Memories 1966-1987 on the Gateway Archive site.

THURSDAY NOVEMBER 24, 1966
GREENSBORO NC, NORFOLK VA, AND CHARLESTON SC
Newspaper clippings courtesy of Mark Eastridge.


GREENSBORO, NORTH CAROLINA

Newspaper Ad for Thanksgiving Night in Greensboro


Southern Tag Title is the draw, but the NWA World Champion also
headlines the big holiday card.




NORFOLK, VIRGINA



CHARLESTON, SOUTH CAROLINA

A rare Thursday Night card for Charleston, SC, especially for Thanksgiving.
Their normal night for wrestling was Friday night.

* * *

Click here for more Thanksgiving Memories 1966-1987 on the Gateway Archive site.
Newspaper clippings courtesy of Mark Eastridge.

Sunday, November 22, 2020

Follow-up: Roddy Piper and the U.S. Championship in Oregon (1981)

by Dick Bourne
Mid-Atlantic Gateway


Earlier I published a story on Roddy Piper defending the United States Heavyweight championship in Salem, Oregon for promoter Don Owen in 1981. It was part of a week-long tour for Roddy of the Pacific Northwest territory (Portland.) Piper was the reigning U. S. champion for Jim Crockett Promotions, having defeated Ric Flair earlier that year.

Following that article's solicitation for more information from longtime Portland fans, I received an email from a nice fellow named Steven in Seattle who filled in some gaps for us on the previous story, as well as some terrific information on Roddy's appearance two nights earlier in Portland.

 

Classic Portland Wrestling (Instagram)

 

On Tuesday June 16, Piper also defended the U.S. title against arch-rival "Playboy" Buddy Rose, who was the top heel in the Portland territory. (The special referee was former NWA World Champion Lou Thesz.) In this amazing photo from the Classic Portland Wrestling page on Instagram, Rose is seen squatting down in front of a prone Piper, holding the United States championship belt. It isn't clear in this photo whether Rose is taunting Piper (likely) or in a show of respect handing him the belt (less likely) following a grueling match. I wish we knew more about that match and its outcome, but obviously Piper retained the title that night. He also defended the title against Rose the following night in Seattle, Washington. (See a great photo of Piper signing autographs on this same Pacific Northwest tour with the Crockett United States Championship belt on Classic Portland Wrestling.)

Piper's return to the Portland territory in 1981 was a really big deal, and he was received as the returning hero. Piper was one of the biggest stars ever there, and so his return really meant something to fans there. The promotion took advantage of Piper's status as United States champion, and even though the Crockett U.S. title was actually a territory title in and of itself (the top singles title in the Mid-Atlantic territory), it was occasionally seen on the nationally cablecast Superstation WTBS for Georgia Championship Wrestling, and was regularly featured in national newsstand wrestling magazines as one of the stepping stones to the NWA World Heavyweight championship. 

Months after Piper had left Portland for the Mid-Atlantic area, Steven told us about the cool moment on the KPTV channel-12 "Portland Wrestling" television broadcast when legendary Portland host Frank Bonnema announced that there was a new United States Heavyweight wrestling champion and his name was Roddy Piper. This surely got a nice reaction form the Portland faithful. Bonnema told the TV audience that they had received a telegram that Piper had won the title "back east in North Carolina." Piper indeed had defeated Ric Flair for the belt in Raleigh, NC, on 1/27/81.

As I reported in the preceding article about Piper's 1981 Pacific Northwest appearances, Piper's opponent  in Salem, OR on 6/18/81 was The Destroyer, but we had no idea who might have been working under the mask there as the Destroyer at that time. Steven let us know that it was David Patterson, who was better known in later years as Dave Sierra as well as the Cuban Assassin. Patterson is a Mid-Atlantic alumnus, who worked in lower card matches and as enhancement on TV matches for JCP in the early 80s, and always demonstrated the potential he had through his time here, but never got a break in the Mid-Atlantic area.  

If haven't seen the article on Piper returning to Oregon that preceded this one (including the 6/18/81 newspaper ad for Salem), check it out here:

Roddy Piper Defends the Crockett U.S. Title in Oregon (1981)
http://www.midatlanticgateway.com/2020/11/piper-us-title-oregon.html

Visit the excellent Classic Portland Wrestling Instagram page for more Portland wrestling memorabilia. (Direct link to the Buddy Rose/Roddy Piper photo above.) (Piper wearing the U.S. belt, back turned.)

(See a great photo of Piper signing autographs on this same Pacific Northwest tour with the Crockett United States Championship belt on Classic Portland Wrestling)

 

Friday, November 20, 2020

Crockett Cup '85 Round Two Concludes!

MIKE RICKARD'S FANTASY WRESTLING TOURNAMENT
ROUND TWO CONCLUDES


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: #31 AND #32
(Second Round Matches #15 and #16):

- The Fantastics vs. The Fabulous Ones
- The Freebirds vs. The Sheepherders

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. 

The first round saw 16 teams competing to advance to round two with eight teams making it in. Now, these eight teams will battle the 16 top-seeded tag teams that received a first-round bye. As we saw in round one, some wrestlers are willing to bend or break the rules in order to get closer to the $1,000,000 prize so expect the unexpected as round two continues.

Second Round Rules: Here are the rules for the round two of our tournament. A pool of referees from the NWA, AWA, and WWF have been appointed for the tournament and randomly selected for each match. The second-round matches have a forty-five-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 second-round matches are being held over two nights. The first eight matches took place at the Richmond Coliseum on Saturday April 13. The remaining eight matches in round one take place at the Asheville Civic Center on Sunday April 14. Bob Caudle and David Crockett are calling the matches tonight but you never know which announcers from another promotion might show up. Our previous two matches featured “The American Dream” Dusty Rhodes and “Captain Redneck” Dick Murdoch (aka the Texas Outlaws) defeating “Gentleman” Chris Adams and Gino Hernandez (aka “The Dynamic Duo”) while the wily heel team of the Iron Sheik and Nikolai Volkoff stole a win from fellow WWF wrestlers Jimmy “Superfly” Snuka and Ricky “The Dragon” Steamboat. Now, just two matches remain in our second round and you can be certain the competition will be furious as these four teams wage war to make it to round three. Keep in mind each team is battling for more than just bragging rights—they’re competing for the prestigious Jim Crockett Sr. Memorial Trophy and a cool one million dollars.

Johnny Weaver is backstage with the Tommy Rogers and Bobby Fulton of the Fantastics. Johnny asks them how they feel about the chance to win the Crockett Cup and one million dollars in cash. Bobby says it’s a lot of money and there’s a lot he could do with it. Mom needs a new car and his grandma could get her first color TV. Tommy says a lot of people in the tournament might be underestimating them but they’ll be in for a big surprise once the bell rings.

The Fantastics (Tommy Rogers and Bobby Fulton)
vs. the Fabulous Ones (Steve Keirn and Stan Lane)

Both teams shake hands before the match. Dick Woehrle does the usual pre-match preliminaries and the bell rings as Rogers and Keirn go into a collar-and-elbow tie-up. Side headlock on Rogers but he bounces off the ropes and sends Keirn into the ropes where he catches him with a hip toss, turning it into an arm bar. Keirn struggles to slip out, but Rogers is putting on the pressure. Keirn flips his way out, reversing the hold. However, Tommy flips his way out, reapplying the hold. Tommy puts the pressure on until Keirn reaches the ropes, forcing a break. Bob Caudle says he isn’t surprised by the subsequent clean break given their history. Another collar-and-elbow tie-up sees Keirn go for a headlock but Rogers counters and whips Steve into the ropes. Both men run the ropes, with Rogers leapfrogging Keirn. Keirn comes off the ropes and hits a shoulderblock on Rogers, knocking him down. Armbar on Rogers as Keirn tries to pressure him down to the mat. Keirn changes things up and pulls Tommy to the Fabs’ corner, tagging in Stan Lane. Stan Lane climbs to the second rope and drops an elbow on Tommy’s arm while Keirn locks it up. Lane goes to change things into a hammerlock but Rogers escapes, hip tossing Lane. Rogers goes down to the mat and gets Lane in a side headlock.

Five minutes in and the fans are cheering both teams. David Crockett says it sounds like the Fantastics are the slight fan favorites. Stan tries to get up from the headlock, but Rogers is fighting. Finally, Stan gets to a knee as Rogers keeps the side headlock on, then to both his feet. Side suplex by Stan, but incredibly, Rogers keeps the hold on! David Crockett says Rogers refuses to let go. Bob Caudle says the Crockett Cup and the million dollars are a powerful motivator. Once again, Lane gets to his feet, and he gets to the ropes, forcing a break. Tommy gives a clean break then whips Stan into the ropes. Rogers goes for a dropkick, but Stan holds onto the ropes and Rogers crashes to the mat. Stan helps Rogers to his feet and it’s clear Rogers is dazed. Nice bit of sportsmanship David notes before Stan hits Rogers with an enziguri. Rogers collapses to the mat and Lane covers him for a two-count. Tag to Keirn who comes in and hits a swinging neckbreaker on Tommy. Steve picks up Keirn and drops his neck on the top rope. David Crockett says it looks like the Fabulous Ones are taking shortcuts. The fans are starting to boo the Fabs, but Steve Keirn doesn’t seem to care and smirks as he whips Rogers into the ropes and drops Tommy’s neck onto the top rope, getting a warning from referee Dick Woehrle. 

Ten minutes in as Keirn covers Rogers as Bobby Fulton comes in for the save. Woehrle orders Bobby to get back to his corner as Stan Lane comes in without a tag and hits a karate kick to Rogers’ mid-section. Bodyslam by Lane as he whips Tommy into the ropes and catches him with a Savate kick. Another cover by Lane but Rogers is close to the ropes and gets his leg on the bottom rope. Lane yells at the referee then stomps Rogers in the head. Lane picks Rogers up and hits a Russian leg-sweep. Another cover, but this time Bobby Fulton breaks it up, with Bob Caudle saying that likely would have been it for the Fantastics. Steve Keirn comes in and drags Rogers to the Fabs’ corner while Bobby Fulton argues with Stan Lane. Keirn uses the opportunity to catapult Rogers into the corner, dazing him. Steve gets in his corner and straightens out his halo as referee Dick Woehrle seems to ask him something. Steve shakes his head no as Stan Lane knees Tommy in the gut. The fans are chanting “Tommy, Tommy” as they try to rally the popular babyface. Keirn goes to suplex Rogers, but somehow, the Fantastic blocks it. Another try by Keirn and again, Rogers blocks it. Then, Rogers shows incredible heart as he suplexes Keirn with both men falling to the mat. Both are down on the ground and in the center of the ring. No one moves for several seconds but then Tommy starts crawling to the Fantastics’ corner. Stan Lane runs in and grabs Rogers’ leg, but Tommy kicks Lane with both feet, sending him through the ropes onto the floor. Tommy makes the hot tag to Bobby who runs in dropkicking Steve Keirn. Bobby races to the top rope and as Keirn slowly gets to his feet, Fulton hits the Top Rope Sunset Flip, covering him. Stan gets to the mat apron, but Rogers is able to intercept him. 1-2-3 and it’s all over for the Fabs!

Winners: The Fantastics (Tommy Rogers and Bobby Fulton)

The Fantastics roll out of the ring as Dick Woehrle raise their arms in victory. Rogers and Fulton mingle with the fans, showing their appreciation for their support. 

Tony Schiavone is backstage with all three members of the Fabulous Freebirds—Michael “P.S.” Hayes, Terry “Bam Bam” Gordy, and Buddy Roberts. Terry says it’s good to be in the Mid-Atlantic area and he says I’m not gonna say we’re the greatest team in the world and I’m not going to say we’re the worst, but we can swing a chair better than anybody. Buddy Roberts takes the microphone and tells Tony they’ve been all over the country and they’ve been all around the world. There’s a lot of people who don’t like us and there’s a lot of people who do. Buddy says we’re gonna show everybody here in the Mid-Atlantic area just who the Freebirds are. Michael Hayes tells Tony “The boys are back in town! The boys are back in town and we ain’t here to mess around.” Hayes says he heard it through the grapevine that there are a lot of teams in the Crockett Cup who are running their mouths off about how inferior American wrestlers are. Well, the ‘Birds are always ready for a fight and it don’t matter if it’s the Russians, the Iranians, or the New Zealand Sheepherders. You can all get together cuz when you come walking down Badstreet, you’re gonna find why nobody has ever made it to the end!”

The Sheepherders (Butch Miller and Luke Williams) with Rip Morgan (flag bearer)
vs. the Fabulous Freebirds (Michael “P.S.” Hayes and Terry “Bam Bam” Gordy) with Buddy Roberts

The Sheepherders are in the ring with their flag bearer Rip Morgan when the song “Freebird” plays. The crowd goes crazy as the Freebirds come out to the ring. Hayes and Gordy enter the ring while Buddy stays in their corner. Morgan backs out of the ring as the Sheepherders and Freebirds circle each other in the ring. Bob Caudle says it doesn’t look like either team is waiting for the bell to ring. Referee Paul Morton goes to check the Sheepherders when Williams and Miller charge the ‘Birds. The two teams start exchanging punches, kicks, and eye gouges. David Crockett remarks that the Sheepherders might be smaller, but they’re fighting like Tasmanian Devils, which is appropriate considering the team is from New Zealand. Bob asks David if he is thinking of Australia instead but David quickly changes the subject, pointing out that this is a wild brawl.

The Freebirds get the upper hand and knock both Sheepherders down. Williams and Miller take a powder, regrouping with Rip. Back in the ring, Michael Hayes struts in the ring then does the moonwalk, with Gordy motioning for them to get in the ring. After some stalling, Williams gets in the ring and slugs away at Hayes. Hayes punches right back as the referee steps back. Bob Caudle notes that Paul Morton looks to be giving both teams a lot of leeway. Hayes kicks Williams in the gut then bodyslams. Hayes drops an elbow on Luke but Williams seems to shrug it off. Hayes whips Williams into the ropes but the Sheepherder reverses it and when Hayes bounces off the ropes, Miller knees him in the back. Hayes goes down as Williams tags in Miller. Both Sheepherders whip Hayes into the ropes and catch him with a double elbow to the chest. Miller kicks Hayes in the head then whips him into the ropes, bouncing off the other ropes and catching him with a powerful kneelift. Miller picks Hayes up and whips him into the Sheepherders’ corner where Williams has an outstretched boot. David Crockett tells Bob Caudle the Sheepherders are vicious and they’re not giving Hayes time to do anything. Tag to Williams who kicks Hayes while Miller unloads with punches. Michael Hayes falls down in the corner and Luke drives his boot into Hayes neck, choking him. It’s five minutes in as referee Paul Morton starts the five-count and Williams breaks at four. Morton orders Williams out of the corner and as he does, Miller gets in a few cheap shots. The referee admonishes Miller while Williams throws Hayes out of the ring towards Rip Morgan. Williams starts arguing with the referee as Rip Morgan goes to blast Hayes with the flagpole. However, Buddy Roberts spins him around and slugs him in the face then whips him into the ringpost. Roberts checks on Hayes who gets on the mat apron. In the meantime, Roberts takes Morgan and hits a swinging neckbreaker on the cement. David Crockett says that might be it for Morgan. 

Back in the ring, Hayes is outside on the mat apron trying to get in. Luke Williams goes to stop Hayes, but Hayes drives his shoulder into Williams gut. Hayes gets into the ring but Williams whips him into the ropes. Both men clothesline each other, with them falling to the ground. David Crockett cheers Michael Hayes saying he’s got to get up and make the tag. Both Hayes and Williams struggle to get to their feet, but Hayes grabs the ropes and pulls himself up. He then dives and tags in “Bam Bam.” Gordy comes in like the proverbial house afire, dropping lefts and rights on Williams. Gordy slams Williams as Miller charges in, but “Bam Bam” elbows him, knocking him down. Both Sheepherders come at Gordy but he grabs them and delivers a double noggin knocker. Gordy whips Williams into the ropes and hits a devastating lariat. Cover on Williams for a two count. Gordy signals for the Asiatic Spike as the fans go crazy. They’ve no doubt kept up with the Freebirds thanks to the Apter mags. Gordy applies the submission hold, but Miller runs in to break it up. Hayes comes in and begins brawling with Miller. As the referee is focusing on Gordy and Williams, Hayes throws Miller into the ropes and Buddy pulls the rope down, which sends Miller flying out of the ring. Hayes gets back to his corner as “Bam Bam” lifts Williams up, piledriving him hard onto the mat. Gordy covers Luke and gets the win.

Winners: The Fabulous Freebirds (Michael “P.S.” Hayes and Terry “Bam Bam” Gordy)

Buddy gets into the ring to celebrate with his Freebird brothers as the crowd cheers. Michael Hayes takes Luke Williams and throws him over the top rope. He grabs the microphone and says “Time to toss out the trash!” as the fans cheer. 

Join us next time as round three of the tournament begins and more teams fall by the wayside in their quest for tag team glory and some serious cash.

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

PREVIOUS POSTS IN THIS FANTASY SERIES
Tournament Announcement
Seedings and First Round Pairings Announced

SECOND ROUND
Second Round: Matches 1 & 2 (Tournament 17 & 18)

     Mulligan/McDaniel vs. The Russians
    Rock & Roll Express vs. Maharishi/Nagasaki
Second Round: Matches 3 & 4 (Tournament 19 & 20)
    Brown/Jannetty vs. Inoki & Sakaguchi
    Ole & Arn Anderson vs. Windham/Rotunda)
Second Round: Matches 5 & 6 (Tournament 21 & 22)

    Midnight Express vs. Hart Foundation
    PYT Express vs. High Flyers
Second Round: Matches 7 & 8 (Tournament 23 & 24) 
    Rude/Barr (with Percy Pringle III) vs. Kevin and Mike Von Erich
    Fujinami/Kimura vs. British Bulldogs
Second Round: Matches 9 & 10 (Tournament 25 & 26)
    Brody/Hansen vs. Williams/DiBiase
    Road Warriros vs. Lawler/Dundee
Second Round: Matches 11 & 12 (Tournament 27 & 28)
    Piper & Orton vs. The Oklahoma Cowboys
    The Funk Brothers vs. The Younglood Brothers
Second Round: Matches 13 & 14 (Tournament 29 & 30)
    Rhodes/Murdoch vs. Adams/Hernandez
    Sheik/Volkoff vs. Steamboat/Snuka
Second Round: Matches 15 & 16 (Tournament 31 & 32)
    Fantastics vs. Fabulous Ones
    Sheepherders vs. Freebirds


FIRST ROUND

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
First Round: Matches 13 and 14:
    Dynamic Duo (Gino & Chris) vs. American Starship
    Sawyer Bros. vs. Steamboat/Snuka
First Round: Matches 15 and 16
    Batten Twins vs. Fabulous Ones
    Weaver/Houston vs. Sheepherders

Tuesday, November 17, 2020

Mulligan vs. Studd: A Long and Winding Road

by David Chappell
Mid-Atlantic Gateway

When Blackjack Mulligan morphed into a fan favorite in April of 1978, turning Mid-Atlantic Championship Wrestling upside down, the big Texan had to immediately had to face the wrath of Ric Flair’s $10,000.00 bounty. Through the spring and summer of 1978, Blackjack endured brutal bounty matches against some of the roughest and toughest grapplers in the world. In particular, Mulligan’s bounty matches against the Masked Superstar were legendary and are still vividly remembered by Mid-Atlantic fans to this day.

ONLINE WORLD OF WRESTLING

When Mulligan finally prevailed in the memorable bounty program with the Masked Superstar in early September of 1978, there was a slight lull as Flair could not believe that Blackjack ran off his number one bounty hunter. But by the fall of 1978, Flair had enlisted the assistance of a new giant of a bounty hunter, and the man’s name was “Big” John Studd. Long-time observers of Jim Crockett Promotions may have noticed that Studd was a familiar looking grappler, as he had appeared in the Mid-Atlantic area earlier as “Chuck O’Connor” in 1974 into the early winter of 1975.

In one of his first appearances as “John Studd” in early November of 1978 the behemoth told World Wide Wrestling announcer Rich Landrum, “A few months ago Ric Flair called me and he said, ‘Studd, John Studd, I want you to do me a favor. I want you to get rid of a man.’ I said, ‘Who?’ He said, ‘Jack Mulligan.’ I said, ‘Tell me what the man is, tell me what he looks like.’ He said, ‘The man’s big, he’s six foot eight and he weighs over 300 pounds and he’s tough.’ I said, ‘What does it mean to you?’ He said, ‘I tell ya what, I have a $10,000.00 bounty on Mulligan! It’s yours, all you gotta do is hurt him!’”

Studd smiled at Landrum and concluded, “Hey, that’s all it takes. That’s what I’m inflated with, the thought that it’s gonna make me $10,000,00! That’s all I needed. I know you’re big Mulligan, I know you’re strong, I know you’ve done away with a lot of other bounty hunters…it doesn’t bother me. You haven’t gotten to John Studd, listen to me Mulligan, six foot nine and 330 pounds, strong and mean…that’s not brag that’s fact Mulligan! And I will get you and I will get the $10,000.00 bounty, and you Mulligan will apologize to Ric Flair for any humiliation you’ve caused him!”

This was the beginning of a saga between Mulligan and Studd where the $10,000.00 bounty was always the backdrop. The long and winding road to come between these two proceeded to January of 1979 where Studd did the unthinkable and collected the bounty, and while Mulligan left the Mid-Atlantic area for about six months the big Texan made periodic cameos in the area enough to put Studd on notice that he would not just fade away.  

By the summer of 1979 Mulligan had returned in earnest and during the Fall of 1979 Blackjack and Studd engaged in a series of brutal Texas Street Fight brawls, with Blackjack gaining the upper hand in them as the new decade and the year of 1980 arrived. In some of those bouts, Studd actually put up the $10,000.00 bounty money he had earlier collected on Mulligan’s head! And on January 13, 1980 in the Greensboro Coliseum, Mulligan gained sweet revenge as he ran Studd out of the territory in a bloody Loser Leaves Town cage match that sent Studd packing! Or did it? 

In one of the stranger angles in Mid-Atlantic history, just as Blackjack got rid of his latest bounty hunter in the form of John Studd, one of the early bounty hunters against him returned…the Masked Superstar! But things would get nuttier. As soon as Superstar returned at the beginning of 1980, he would have a new wrestling companion in a huge masked grappler referred to as Superstar # 2! The team of the Superstar’s #1 and #2 then turned their attention to put Mulligan out of wrestling, at the behest of the vanquished John Studd who was supposedly pulling the strings from outside of the Mid-Atlantic area. Even at this juncture, Studd was still talking about bounty money being in play!

But the more the fans and the TV announcers saw of this Superstar #2, the more it became clear that this mountain of a man was none other than John Studd under a hood! After a number of tag team bouts between Blackjack and several partners against Superstar’s #1 and #2 during the early spring of 1980, Mulligan finally got a series of singles matches with Superstar #2. In May of 1980 in several of the bigger towns in the Mid-Atlantic area, Mulligan took the measure of Superstar #2 while Superstar #1 was locked in a small cage near ringside so he couldn’t interfere. 

Blackjack prevailed in those climatic matches in May of 1980, unmasked Superstar #2 as John Studd, and ended the saga of Mulligan versus Studd that stretched all the way back to November of 1978. A long and winding road to be sure, but one surely filled with action and excitement at every twist and turn along the way!

Sunday, November 15, 2020

Mid-Atlantic TV Report: March 26, 1983

Mid-Atlantic Wrestling on
the WWE Network

Mid-Atlantic Championship Wrestling
TV Summaries & Reviews
by David Taub
Mid-Atlantic Gateway Contributor

This is a review of Mid-Atlantic Wrestling as it appeared on the WWE Network. Results are included for the week (Monday-Sunday of the given week) as available. Please email with any corrections, typos, results, other details at 1davidtaub@gmail.com. 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: 03/26/83
(taped 03/23/83 at WPCQ-TV studios in Charlotte)
WWE Network Direct Link to this show Mid-Atlantic 03/26/83
WWE Network feed.   [How to watch this show on the WWE Network.] 

Mid-Atlantic Championship Wrestling
Original broadcast: March 26, 1983 (taped 3/23/83 at WPCQ-TV studios in Charlotte)
WWE Network feed

Bob Caudle opens the show with Gary Hart, who is holding Kabuki’s weaponry. Today, we’ll get a demonstration. He has a $100 challenge for Ken Timbs, if he can strike Kabuki with kendo stick.
In the ring, Kabuki is demonstrating nunchuks. Gary Hart cautions kids not to try this at home. Hart gets in the ring, holding a melon. Kabuki chops it with a pair of silver sai. Before Kabuki gets into it, Hart places a garbage bag on the mat to act as a tarp. Someone thought ahead. Kabuki uses a Samurai sword to slice the melon in half.

Timbs now starts his challenge. Hart calls it a Dragon Shai match. Timbs is swinging away, but Kabuki blocks most of the shots with his arms (which is allowed for the challenge). Timbs actually nails Kabuki in the back of his head, knocking off his helmet. Kabuki pulls out his sai. Kabuki grabs the kendo stick and goes to town on Timbs. He even nails Hart who is trying to break things up. Timbs eventually escapes, $100 richer but in a lot of pain.

[Break]

Match 1
Sgt. Slaughter & Don Kernodle d. Mike George & Mike Davis by referee stoppage

Mike George is back. Babyfaces put up a fight, but Slaughter & Kernodle seemingly finish off the team with the Atomic Bomb (although Caudle seemingly forgot the name). Slaughter lifts Davis up, clotheslines him out of the ring. The referee for the hour, Stu Schwartz, stops the match, as Davis can’t continue.

[Break]

[CLIPS] Andre the Giant (WWF)
Caudle narrates some WWF clips of Andre vs. an unnamed masked man, Swede Hansen, and Jose Estrada.

-Int. w/Bob Caudle: Jimmy Valiant & Bugsy McGraw
Jimmy says they raised 5,000 canaries in five days, so please don’t send the Boogie Woogie Man any more money. He tells Bugsy (wearing a PWI t-shirt and blue tie) to hold the money and hide it. Valiant heads into the ring for a tug of war.

Tug of War: Jimmy Valiant NC One Man Gang (w/Sir Oliver Humperdink)
The match doesn’t quite end as expected with Gang splashing Valiant in the corner. Instead, he lets go of the rope, and OMG & Humperdink stomp him until McGraw makes the save. After the match, OMG & Humperdink gloat to Caudle, calling Valiant an idiot. They leave, and McGraw and Valiant storm the set. Valiant calls them scum, SCUMMMM.

[Break]

-Int. w/Bob Caudle: Dory Funk, Jr. & Jake Roberts
Dory, in his even keel style, says he saw Roberts in Florida, and wanted him as his partner. Caudle is perplexed why Jake is with them. Paul Jones, in his prom tux, joins his charges. He says tonight they’ll see if the team clicks. Jake, in essence, says he’s here to prove himself

[Break]

Match 2
Dory Funk, Jr. & Jake Roberts (w/Paul Jones) d. Vinnie Valentino & Sweet Brown Sugar

Caudle can’t believe the change in Roberts. Jones, on commentary, tells Caudle “you’re proud of him too.” A DDT finishes off Valentino. Caudle, who doesn’t call it a DDT, says it looks like a piledriver.

-Int. w/Bob Caudle: One Man Gang & Sir Oliver Humperdink
Humperdink gloats over Valiant. David Crockett comes out and says that tug of war isn’t finished. If they don’t complete it, he is suspended.

[Break]

[TAPED INTERVIEW] w/David Crockett: Rick Steamboat & Jay Youngblood
The interview is taking place behind the chain link fence. Youngblood talks about how brutal the cage is. Now, they have a rematch against Slaughter & Kernodle. 

-Int. w/Bob Caudle: Jos LeDuc
LeDuc says it’s not over between him and Valiant. He says Humperdink is running his mouth. He doesn’t owe him any money. If Humperdink gets in his face, LeDuc will break it. He wants the TV title Slater holds. No one ever beat LeDuc for it. He makes a challenge. LeDuc has a huge up and down scar on his forehead. Slater comes out. He gets in LeDuc’s face. He doesn’t care for LeDuc’s challenge. Slater says he has more guts and challenges Slater. “Let’s go” LeDuc says. He gets in the ring, and Ron Rossi gets out. Valentine is with Slater.

Match 3
NWA TV championship: Jos LeDuc d. Dick Slater [ch.] by DQ

Hard chops and punches traded early. Valentine joins on commentary. He acknowledges he’s been partners with both men. An elbow knocks down LeDuc, twice. Slater bumps around like crazy for LeDuc. The way his eyes bug out during a choke hold is scary. Fantastic back and forth match. Valentine hands Slater the U.S. title belt, and Slater wallops LeDuc for the DQ. Slater and Valentine double team LeDuc. Slater kicks LeDuc’s head twice, as Valentine held him down. They finally leave.

-Int. w/Bob Caudle: Jack Brisco & Jerry Brisco
The Briscos talk about the dastardly acts of the heels, from One Man Gang to Slater & Valentine. Jerry says they want to challenge for the tag team title. It’s time they are recognized as the number-one contenders. Jack agrees.

[Break]

Match 4
Jack Brisco & Jerry Brisco d. Masa Fuchi & Rick Harris

Quick tags by the Briscos. Jack pins Fuchi after an Oklahoma roll.

-Int. w/Bob Caudle: Sgt. Slaughter & Don Kernodle
Kernodle says they didn’t lose the tag title, they were stolen. He says they sent the tape to the NWA for review. Caudle says we all saw what happened. Slaughter says Steamboat & Youngblood are afraid. He talks about being in a jam, telling a Vietnam story.

“So long for now!”

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

Results for the week, 3/21/83-3/27/83
(source: Clawmaster’s Archive via Sports and Wrestling blog posted by David Baker; “Wrestling” newsletter by Joe Shedlock)

Mon., 3/21/83 Greenville, SC; Memorial Auditorium
Ricky Harris vs. Mike George
Jerry Brisco vs. Gene Anderson
Sweet Sugar Brown vs. Red Dog Lane
Johnny Weaver & Jim Nelson beat Jake Roberts & One Man Gang
Ricky Steamboat & Jay Youngblood vs. Sgt. Slaughter & Pvt. Kernodle in a steel cage match

Tue., 3/22/83 Columbia, SC; Township Auditorium
Ken Timbs beat Paul Jones
Vinnie Valentino beat Masa Fuchi
Gene Anderson beat Mike Davis
Jos LeDuc beat Dick Slater
Sgt. Slaughter & Pvt. Kernodle beat Ricky Steamboat & Jay Youngblood

Wed., 3/23/83 Charlotte, NC; WCPQ-TV studio
Mid-Atlantic Championship Wrestling:
Sgt. Slaughter & Pvt. Kernodle beat Mike George & Mike Davis
Jake Roberts & Dory Funk, Jr. beat Vinnie Valentino & Sweet Brown Sugar
Jos LeDuc beat Dick Slater (9:25) by DQ
Jack Brisco & Jerry Brisco beat Masa Fuchi & Ricky Harris
World Wide Wrestling:
Sgt. Slaughter & Pvt. Kernodle beat Mike Davis & Bill White
Jake Roberts & Dory Funk, Jr. beat Mike Rotundo & Vinnie Valentino
Jack Brisco & Jerry Brisco beat Red Dog Lane & Ken Timbs 

Thu., 3/24/83 Harrisonburg, VA; Harrisonburg High School
Jos LeDuc vs. Ricky Harris
Bugsy McGraw vs. The Ninja
Dory Funk, Jr. vs. Jack Brisco
Greg Valentine vs. Mike Rotundo
Dick Slater vs. Jimmy Valiant

Fri., 3/25/83 Fredericksburg, VA; Stafford High School
Jimmy Valiant vs. One Man Gang
Jerry Brisco vs. The Ninja
Plus other matches

Fri., 3/25/83 Charleston, SC; County Hall
Bill White beat Mike Davis
Sweet Brown Sugar beat Ken Timbs
Johnny Weaver beat Ricky Harris
Jim Nelson, Ricky Steamboat & Jay Youngblood beat Great Kabuki, Sgt. Slaughter & Pvt. Kernodle

Sat., 3/26/83 Charlotte, NC; Charlotte Coliseum
Mike Davis beat Ken Timbs
Bill White draw Abe Jacobs
Wayne Jones beat Ben Alexander
Dick Slater fought Jos LeDuc
Jack Brisco & Jerry Brisco beat Dory Funk, Jr. & Paul Jones
Greg Valentine, Sgt. Slaughter & Pvt. Kernodle vs. Jim Nelson, Ricky Steamboat & Jay Youngblood

Sun., 3/27/83 Roanoke, VA; Roanoke Civic Center
Jake Roberts & Gene Anderson beat Mike Davis & Mark Fleming
Bugsy McGraw beat Ricky Harris
Roddy Piper beat Dick Slater
Sgt. Slaughter & Pvt. Kernodle beat Ricky Steamboat & Jay Youngblood
Jimmy Valiant beat Greg Valentine by DQ

Sun., 3/27/83 Asheville, NC; Asheville Civic Center
Roddy Piper beat Dick Slater to win NWA Mid Atlantic Television Title
Plus other matches

Sun., 3/27/83 Toronto, Ontario; Maple Leaf Gardens
Rudy Kay draw Billy Red Lyons
The Destroyer beat Nick DeCarlo
Tony Parisi beat Kurt Von Hess
Bobby Bass beat Brian Mackney
Tiger Jeet Singh beat Frankie Lane
Jim Nelson beat Terry Kay(13:31) to win NWA Canadian Television Title
Mike Rotundo beat Leo Burke by DQ
Ricky Steamboat & Jay Youngblood beat Sgt. Slaughter & Pvt. Kernodle in a steel cage match
NWA World Champion Ric Flair beat Roddy Piper

Saturday, November 14, 2020

Rickard Reviews Crown Jewel for Wrestling Memories and Merchandise Website

by Mike Rickard
Book Review for Wrestling Merchandise and Memories Website

Wrestling historian Dick Bourne has done it again with his new book Crown Jewel: The NWA World Championship 1959-1973, a 170-page book which carefully details the events leading to the creation of the belt as well as the men who defended it before dropping it to the next champion. It also includes an amazing collection of photos of the champions, press clippings covering title changes, and other fascinating pieces of history that make it irresistible for wrestling fans, historians, and belt collectors.

The National Wrestling Alliance World Heavyweight Championship was once the most-recognized title in the world of professional wrestling. For decades the NWA World Heavyweight Championship exemplified the prestige that wrestling promoters sought to impress upon fans whenever and wherever it was defended. Anyone familiar with the history of wrestling knows the giants that held the belt.....

--> Read Mike Rickard's entire review on the Wrestling Merchandise and Memories website.

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

Full Disclosure: Mike Rickard is a regular contributor to the Mid-Atlantic Gateway; we feature his long running fantasy wrestling tournament Crockett Cup '85 (most recent matches here.) Mike has written book reviews (and other pieces) for Canadian Bulldog's World: Merchandise and Memories website for years, and has always been very supportive of my book projects and our work here on the Gateway in general. He is the author of "Wrestling's Greatest Moments", as well as the autobiographical "Laughing All the Way to the Bank (Robbery): How An Attorney Survived Prison" and the novel "Flunky: Pawns and  Kings." His website is located at MichaelRickard.com

Thursday, November 12, 2020

Roddy Piper Defends the Crockett U.S. Title in Oregon (1981)

by Dick Bourne
Mid-Atlantic Gateway

Salem, Oregon, June 18, 1981
Clipping from the Mark Eastridge Collection


One of my favorite scavenger hunts in wrestling research is tracking down defenses of Crockett's championships in other territories. There were many times during the territory days in the late 1970s and early 1980s that the World Tag Team and United States championships traveled to Georgia, Florida, Texas (San Antonio and Houston territories), Mid-South and elsewhere.

Now add Portland to that list. Mark Eastridge, a Mid-Atlantic Gateway contributor for many years and an amazing collector of newspaper ads and results from around the world, recently sent me this clipping from the Portland territory. I was thrilled to see it because it documented a "Rowdy" Roddy Piper defense of the United States Championship in the NWA's Pacific Northwest. 

The card featured here is from June 18, 1981 in Salem, Oregon, roughly 30 miles south of Portland, and features Piper scheduled to defend the title in an open challenge to the winner of a battle royal earlier that same night.  Salem was just one stop on a near week-long tour Piper made in the territory that June, with other stops including Portland and Eugene, Oregon, and Seattle, Washington. 

Piper wound up successfully defending his belt against The Destroyer that night, who came out on top in the earlier battle royal. We don't have information on who was under the mask as the Destroyer, but we'd love for any longtime Portland fans to let us know.

Just before leaving on this short tour of the Oregon territory, Piper challenged Harley Race for the NWA World Heavyweight Championship in Charlotte, NC. Piper won that match by DQ, but not the title of course. Race was only a week away from losing the NWA title to Dusty Rhodes in Atlanta.

Piper was in the middle of his first reign as United States champion for Jim Crockett Promotions having defeated Ric Flair for the title in January of that year in Raleigh NC's Dorton Arena. Piper had become the most hated heel in the area at that point and he and Flair went round and round for the title. Piper also had other memorable feuds over the U.S. title from 1981-1983 including with Wahoo McDaniel, and Greg Valentine. He was a 2-time U.S. Champion, and also held the other singles titles in the area including the NWA TV championship and the Mid-Atlantic Heavyweight Championship.

Piper never lost it back to Flair, though, and their feud continued on after Flair won the NWA World Heavyweight Championship in September of 1981. Piper was Flair's early number one challenger for the title whenever Flair came back to his home territory to defend the world championship.

Piper was a very big deal in the business during those years. Not only was he one of the top wrestling stars for JCP, he would become a top TV color commentator on both Mid-Atlantic Championship Wrestling (with Bob Caudle) and the nationally televised Georgia Championship Wrestling (with Gordon Solie.) After being stabbed by a fan in the summer of 1982 in Raleigh, Piper turned good-guy (in both Georgia and the Mid-Atlantic) and instantly became one of the most popular wrestlers in the country. After wrestling in the famous Dog Collar match on Thanksgiving night at Starrcade '83, Piper left for the WWF in early 1984, becoming one of the top heels there, and wrestling in the main event at the first Wrestlemania in 1985. 

Although Piper was a top heel as U.S. Champion in June of 1981, he was the returning hero in Oregon, where he had been one of the top draws for Portland promoter Don Owen in the years before coming to the Mid-Atlantic area. Piper had a great deal of affection and loyalty for Owen, and made many returns there, even once when he was working for the WWF. 

Piper joins Ric Flair and Wahoo McDaniel during that era as U.S. champions for Jim Crockett Promotions who took the title on the road outside of the Mid-Atlantic area.

Thanks to Mark Eastridge for providing the newspaper clipping.  

For a detailed history of the United States Championship and the five different belts that represented it from 1975-1988, check out our deluxe full-color U.S. title history book in the Mid-Atlantic Gateway Book Store through the link below.

 

Wednesday, November 11, 2020

Maple Leaf Wrestling Takes a Look at Crown Jewel

Photo by Andrew Calvert / MapleLeafWrestling.com


Crown Jewel and the Love of Wrestling

http://mapleleafwrestling.blogspot.com/2020/11/crown-jewel-and-love-of-wrestling.htm
by Andrew Calvert

On my latest visit to see my friend Roger Baker I was able to take him a copy of Dick Bourne's new book Crown Jewel The NWA World Championship 1959-1973. One of my favorite of Roger's photos is featured in the book, a shot of Kiniski (lifting his ring jacket to show the belt) facing off before a title bout with Carpentier in Toronto in '66.

The book is jammed full with the history of the title, the origins of the belt, and the names that held it. Pat O'Connor, Buddy Rogers, Lou Thesz, Gene Kiniski, Dory Funk, Jr., and Harley Race. This time Dick goes back a bit before the scope of the Mid Atlantic Gateway site -and it is a fascinating read with all of the quality and great photos you expect with all of Dick's books. 

Of course Toronto was a big part of that title, especially in the earlier years......

>> Read the entire review on the Maple Leaf Wrestling website


Tuesday, November 10, 2020

Dr. Tom Prichard talks at length about Crown Jewel on "Taking You to School"

by Dick Bourne
Mid-Atlantic Gateway 

"It was a huge part of what attracted me as a fan. And I think today, too many people are jaded and don't appreciate the little things like that. Which really, back then, they were big things, but looking at it now with all the other glitz and glamour, and lights, camera, action, they are little things now. It's all the pieces and parts that make up professional wrestling, and "Crown Jewel" is a huge piece and huge part of the history of wrestling."

- Tom Prichard on "Crown Jewel" and what made the NWA belt so special.
"Taking You to School" Podcast


I was really pleased and honored that Tom Prichard, a fellow for whom I have a great deal of respect, spent nearly twenty minutes on his podcast Monday (11/9/20) talking about my new book Crown Jewel. Tom's podcast, titled "Taking You to School," is part of the Two Man Power Trip of Wrestling podcasting network, and hosted by John and Chad, two of the nicest guys you'll meet in and around the wrestling business.

John led off the discussion mentioning a post he'd just seen on the Gateway that Prichard wrote, and Tom explained it was actually an email that he had written me. I had asked permission from him to post it on the website. (See: Wrapped Up in History: Dr. Tom Prichard on "Crown Jewel")

He then took off on a near 20-minute dissertation on how much this version of the NWA World Title belt meant to him as a kid growing up, and how much it means to wrestling history.

"He's put out some great books, " Tom kindly said of my series of books on belts. "This one, though, really hit home." 

Tom was born in Texas in 1959, the same year the NWA "crown belt" was presented to then champion Pat O'Connor. In Texas, the Funk family dynasty were the major players and local heroes. He became a fan at a very young age, and so when Dory Funk, Jr. won the title from Gene Kiniski in 1969, the belt Funk wore became the symbol of excellence to Tom and his brother Bruce and thousands of other wrestling fans who went to see their heroes at the Sam Houston Coliseum every Friday night. He was there in Houston the very last night an NWA champion wore the "crown belt" into the ring and that belt was retired, when Jack Brisco defeated Harley Race for the title in June of 1973.


As a result, the book all these years later seemed to really connect with the Prichard boys (Bruce's reaction here) and Tom spoke almost lovingly of the classic old belt, the little details that made it special (and that are presented in great detail in the book) and what it meant to him and to fans in that era, and how important it is in wrestling history.

Take a few moments to listen to Tom's podcast, linked below, and enjoy his memories of the old belt, the legendary title it represented, and the great wrestlers that wore it during that time. There is also some great discussion about Tom's close friend Brad Armstrong, who died eight years ago this month. 

TWO MAN POWER TRIP OF WRESTLING
"Taking You to School" with Tom Prichard

Crown Jewel, Brad, & NJPW

"A hell of a book," Tom told Poz. "I highly recommend it." 

No better recommendation than that. 

I want to thank Tom Prichard and his co-host John Pozarowski for the nice things they both had to say about this book and all my books. I am beyond flattered. 

More information on Crown Jewel can be found in the Mid-Atlantic Gateway Book Store. You can find purchase links there or search for it on Amazon. 

The Anderson Family Battles Wahoo, Rufus, and Bravo

by Dick Bourne
Mid-Atlantic Gateway
From the "Main Event Memories" Series

Tonight's "Main Event Memory" on the Mid-Atlantic Gateway is from the early fall of 1976 and reflects back on a trio of individuals running roughshod through the Mid-Atlantic area that entire year - The Anderson Brothers and their young cousin Ric Flair.

The Anderson family prepared to battle Wahoo McDaniel, Dino Bravo, and Rufus R. "Freight Train" Jones. The big six-man battle was the main event on a card at the Scope Coliseum in Norfolk, VA, and would be fought under "Lights Out" rules: the match was not sanctioned by the National Wrestling Alliance -- anything goes!

One side of this main event was carrying all the championship gold:

  • "The Minnesota Wrecking Crew" Gene and Ole Anderson were the reigning NWA World Tag Team champions. 
  • The Nature Boy" Ric Flair was in the middle of his year long feud with Chief Wahoo McDaniel over the Mid-Atlantic Heavyweight championship. He had regained the title from Wahoo after hitting him in the head with the broken table-leg in the infamous match in Charlotte that resulted in Wahoo going to the hospital legit and getting 53 stitches over his eye. 

The Andersons and Flair had issues with Wahoo, Rufus, and Bravo individually and were hoping to settle all of the issues in this one night where there were no rules. Lights out!

As Ole says, how can these three hope to compete with the "Anderson family" under those circumstances?



Listen as Les Thatcher interviews the Andersons and Ric Flair about their big upcoming bout on September 9, 1976!

* * * * *

Originally published June 28, 2015 and republished October 20, 2018

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

Monday, November 09, 2020

Bruce Prichard Talks "Crown Jewel" on Something to Wrestle

On a recent episode of the enormously popular "Something to Wrestle" podcast (the King Kong Bundy Episode, No. 239), Bruce Prichard and co-host Conrad Thompson discuss our recent book Crown Jewel, a look at the famous belt and the history of the NWA World Championship from 1959-1973. The discussion takes place at 14:42 into the podcast.

Transcript:

BRUCE PRICHARD: Okay, I'm going to do something very uncharacteristic for me. I've been doing a lot of uncharacteristic sh*t.

CONRAD THOMPSON: I agree.

BRUCE: (Holds up book) Can you see what that is?

CONRAD: Yeah, that looks like our man Dick Bourne's new book "Crown Jewel", the story of the NWA World Title from 1959-1973.

BRUCE: Yeah, and you need to send me Dick's number so I can thank him personally because this is my favorite championship belt of all time, the NWA World Heavyweight Championship from, as you said, 1959 to 1973. This is the belt worn by Pat O'Connor, Gene Kiniski, Buddy Rogers, Dory Funk, Jr. Harley Race wore it for a few short weeks or months before he dropped it on July 20, 1973 in Houston, TX, to Jack Brisco in the third fall with a Lou Thesz press. But, it's interesting, as I look back at some of the pictures he has of this particular belt - - you know as a kid, you fantasize - - like I got to hold this belt when, on July 20, 1973 in Houston Texas at the Sam Houston Coliseum, I was sitting in Section 5, Row 12, Seat 8 - - and Jack Adkisson, Fritz Von Erich, was holding this particular belt and I asked him if I could look at it and hold it, and did for a second. But to me it was always...

CONRAD: The belt.

BRUCE: ... thick gold, and heavy, and it just appears to be very thin in real life, and that's bothering me a little bit. 

CONRAD: When you're a kid, everything seems bigger and larger than life. And then you become an adult and your like, well, maybe not so much. But this belt, I know you've told me for years and years, it was your favorite of all the NWA world titles. You grew up on this one, and of course it was replaced by what we now know as the "ten pounds of gold" and then of course "big gold." But this was like your one. So when Dick told me he was doing a book on this, he sent me a copy of it, and I said "hey, can you send one to Bruce?" ... and you got a special one. But everybody can grab their own right now at midatlanticgateway.com or you can just look for it on Amazon. It's called "Crown Jewel: The NWA World Championship from 1959 -1973" and our old pal Dick Bourne, who did the Horsemen book, the Big Gold book, he did the Ten Pounds of Gold book, his belt series continues, and I thought this would be right up your alley. So I'm glad, (a) you got it, and (b) you remembered to put it over here for Dick.

BRUCE: It is. Well, because I've damn near read almost half of it, just in bits and pieces, the parts that I wanted to read about, and the part about Salvadore Lutteroth, Jr. and getting the jeweler in Mexico City to do the championship, which I had told you guys about and some people poo-poo'd me. But it's an interesting, very interesting read if your in to that kind of thing, it's the holy grail. It's funny because I had always noticed that there were two different straps on this belt, two different leathers, but I always thought, ah man, you know in the old days maybe their just touching up the picture, making the strap look bigger, and different parts. But the leather that Dory had on his was much softer leather than the normal championship belts at that time, and I always thought that was cool as hell. Don't know why. But, you know Thesz taking the belt - - and the fact that the globe! -- the world globe on the one when Dory got it, it came off. And for years I always thought it was all just one piece, and it wasn't. And that's freaking me out, too.

CONRAD: Really cool book, check it out over at Amazon.com or MidAtlanticGateway.com. Shout out to Dick Bourne, one of the best rasslin' book writers around.

BRUCE: Yes sir! I highly recommend it. 

 

*********

Check out the King Kong Bundy episode, No. 239, over at the Westwood One site for Something to Wrestle, on SomethingToWrestle.com, or download the show from anywhere you get your podcasts. 

Something to Wrestle with Bruce Prichard is co-hosted and produced by Conrad Thompson and is presented by the Westwood One Podcast Network. 

 Follow Bruce Prichard (@bruceprichard), Conrad Thompson (@heyheyitsconrad), and the show (@PrichardShow) on Twitter.