Sunday, April 18, 2021

Ric Flair: The "Drug Store Wrestler"

by David Chappell
Mid-Atlantic Gateway

“In your area” promos that Paul Jones and Ric Flair cut for a match at the Richmond Arena in Richmond, Virginia in the spring of 1975 would bring about two new monikers for Flair that I had never heard Ric called before. One name would become synonymous with Flair to this day, while the other was probably never heard again after this Richmond match.

The promos were done on April 23, 1975 promoting a championship bout in Richmond for the Mid-Atlantic Television Title between the champion Flair, and his bitter rival and former TV champion, Paul Jones. The TV announcer for these Richmond promos was the legendary Bob Caudle.

May 2, 1975   Richmond VA
Paul began his promo, “You know Bob, you’ve heard of drug store cowboys…dressed up like a cowboy sitting on a bar stool at a drug store? Well, Flair, I wanna know one thing. Are you a drug store wrestler, or are you a wrestler that has the ability to be a champion? Well, you gotta do one thing; you gotta prove it to me! Where’d you get that big belly at, from eating banana splits? Where’d you get those 22 inch arms, from drinking cherry cokes? I think you are a drug store cowboy; I mean a drug store wrestler!”

A fired up Jones continued, “But you gotta prove it to me that you aren’t, Flair. And let me tell you something else, I guarantee you I’m goin’ to be in Richmond early. And I guarantee you that I’m gonna walk around town, and if I’m gonna check every drug store and if I see you on that bar stool I’m gonna knock you right off that bar stool right there. And then that night, I’m gonna get you in the ring where I can win the belt in front of everybody.”

Paul finished up his promo by saying to Flair, “You’ve embarrassed me, you’ve harassed me…you’ve caused me to lose sleep at night! Just because you STOLE that belt from me! The people don’t wanna see you wear that belt; the people wanna see Paul Jones, Number One, wear that belt. And after Friday night in Richmond, you’re gonna see right wear the belt belongs…right around ‘Number One’s’ waist. So let me tell you something you drug store, soda jerk…you better be ready!"

A very angry Ric Flair a little later in the show responded back to Paul saying with lots of venom, “I want to answer Jones; I was sittin’ in the back and heard Jones shooting off his mouth. Well let me tell you something Jones, if you call having blonde hair that Elke Sommer likes running her fingers through; a body that looks like it was carved out of granite by Michelangelo, and a body that Raquel Welch would give her right arm to rub suntan oil on every day…YES, I am a drug store wrestler! That’s my answer to you!”

Ric wasn’t through, as he then told Jones, “Let me tell you something else Paul Jones. Along with this belt…the day I won this belt I went out and bought a Cadillac. I went out and bought a house. I bought a whole new wardrobe, and I bought a couple of my girlfriends a whole new wardrobe. And you know why? Because this belt right here is 100,000 big ones a year; that’s just sittin’ home, that’s not goin’ out the front door. Just owning this belt makes me a very wealthy young man. It brings my life style way up here, high in the sky, just the way I like it! I like pretty ladies coming by early in the morning, pretty ladies coming by in the afternoon, pretty ladies coming by at night.”

Flair concluded his promo by having Bob Caudle hold his TV belt exclaiming, “Jones, I like everything I got right now because I’m wearing that belt and because I’m the champion. And if you think for one minute that you’re gonna get in that ring with me Friday night and do me damage, pound knots on my head, mess with my body, mess with my mind, mess with anything about me you’re wrong! Jones, I’m gonna take you like any bare wild animal would, and I’m gonna break one of your arms and then maybe you’ll be walking around drug stores looking for somebody else to beat up on, because it won’t be the Nature Boy! WOOOOO!"

In the last sentence of his promo, Ric referred to himself as the “Nature Boy” for the first time that I had ever heard. That name, of course, has stuck with Flair though the next 41 years. The “drug store wrestler” nickname bestowed on Ric by Paul Jones, luckily didn’t stick!

The May 2, 1975 TV Title bout between Ric Flair and Paul Jones was a hot battle that saw Flair leave Richmond with his belt still intact, but it was tough for any match to live up to those two incredible promos preceding it. The promos that I will always associate with the “Nature Boy” reference that I heard for the first time of thousands upon thousands more times to come, and the “drug store wrestler” reference that I never heard again!


Originally posted April 25, 2016 on the Mid-Atlantic Gateway

Thursday, April 15, 2021

Mid-Atlantic TV Report: July 16, 1983

The WWE Network is no longer available
in the United States.

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

This is a review of Mid-Atlantic Wrestling as it once 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 Follow @TaubGVWire

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

Please note: The WWE Network ceased operation in the United States on April 4, 2021. Their press release stated that their entire archive of material (which would include the Mid-Atlantic Wrestling shows) would be transitioned to NBC's Peacock streaming service by the end of the summer 2021. We'll update as we know more.

Mid-Atlantic Championship Wrestling
Original broadcast: 07/16/83
(taped 7/06/83 in Shelby, NC; Recreation Center)
From the now defunct WWE Network (U.S.) feed.

Match 1
Bugsy McGraw d. Joel Deaton

Bugsy is back! Tommy Young is the referee for the hour. In the background, there is a large fan blowing from the top of the arena, never mentioned by Caudle, who always just calls it “the arena.” Bugsy gets the win with the big splash.

-Int. w/Bob Caudle: Jimmy Valiant
The Network overdub drowns out a lot. Valiant’s right eye is marked up red thanks to Gary Hart’s fireball. Valiant swears revenge on all the managers, or he will leave town.

Match 2
One Man Gang (w/Sir Oliver Humperdink) d. John Bonello

Gang is holding one-half of the Mid-Atlantic tag team championship. Easy victory, finishing off Bonello with the big splash.

-Int. w/Bob Caudle: Sir Oliver Humperdink and One Man Gang
Something is off with the picture quality. Humperdink is glad Bugsy is back. He also talks trash about Jimmy Valiant. Gang just bellows in the background.


Match 3
Non-Title: Dory Funk Jr. [Mid-Atlantic champion] (w/Paul Jones) d. Mike Davis

Funk is taking his time with Davis. He tosses him outside two times. The second, we see an awkward cut to a crowd shot. Davis takes a back bodydrop and sells his knee. Dory latches on the spinning toe hold for the submission. 

-Int. w/Bob Caudle: Rufus R. Jones
Rufus talks about Paul Jones, Jake Roberts, Dory Funk Jr. and their recent 3-on-1 attack. Rufus will get them back. He’s still sore about Paul Jones mistreating his female fan who won the Dream Contest. Rufus censors himself from getting kicked off TV.


Match 4
Rufus R. Jones d. Golden Boy Grey

Jones wiggles out of a headlock. Jones wiggles out of a full nelson. The production, while better than the studio, is still having growing pains. Crowd shots at odd times; lighting not the best it can be; the focus on the long-range camera a little off; problem with the replay. Jones wins with the shoulder block “Freight Train,” followed by the headbutt for the pin.

[VTR] Comments from Ric Flair & Roddy Piper
They are in front of the orange NWA set in the pre-tape. Piper has a pipe and a pair of handcuffs around his neck. Flair rambles, then Piper rambles, banging the pipe against a trash can, because they will take out the trash. Valentine, Harley Race, etc., watch out.


-Int. w/Bob Caudle: Bugsy McGraw; Rufus R. Jones
Bugsy has no shirt, his pilot cap, and a blue tie. The camera is off, or maybe it’s the quality of the tape. Bugsy talks about his comeback from his knee injury. He’s looking for One Man Gang and Sir Oliver Humperdink. Rufus talks about going after Dory Funk Jr., Jake Roberts and Paul Jones.


Match 5
The Assassin d. Rick McCord

This week, The Assassin is in a full black body suit. He may be the son of the Great Bolo. A butterfly suplex. A side-saulto. Who new Herc knew how to wrestle? He gets the win with a powerslam.

Match 6
Arman Hussein (w/Gary Hart) d. Gary Royal

This match starts right after the replay from the prior match. Hussein has some of the most colorful tights I’ve ever seen. He also has the pointy-toe boots. Is Gary Hart booking Mid-Atlantic at this point? Hussein wins with the unnamed Camel Clutch. 

-Int. w/Bob Caudle: Gary Hart and Arman Hussein
Hart said he was going to bring the very best. He doesn’t deal with Americans or Canadians. Hart talks about Hussein’s background, how his mom had a vision from Allah, and raised him in the Sudan. A few words from Hussein close out the segment.

-Int. w/Bob Caudle: Gary Hart and Arman Hussein
This is in lieu of local promos. Almost a repeat of what we just heard. Hart calls Rufus R. Jones an Oreo cookie. Hussein starts explaining the difference between American Blacks and I guess other Blacks. Caudle has such an uncomfortable look on his face.


Match 7
Dick Slater d. Keith Larson

All Slater, winning with the unnamed Samoan Drop. 

-Int. w/Bob Caudle: Paul Jones & Dory Funk Jr.; Dick Slater
Jones vows revenge on Rufus R. Jones. He tells him to come after Dory, come after Jake (Roberts). Caudle asks what happened to Funk’s $100,000 challenge? Jones deflects the answer. Dick Slater comes in, as Jones and Funk (who didn’t say anything) exit. Slater says nothing scares him. Just sign to face him. His “time off” made him in a very bad mood. Jones returns and rambles.

“So long for now!”


Results for the week, 7/11/83-7/17/83 
(source: Clawmaster’s Archive via Sports and Wrestling blog posted by David Baker; “Wrestling” newsletter by Joe Shedlock)

Mon., 7/11/83 Greenville, SC; Memorial Auditorium
Roddy Piper beat Greg Valentine by DQ
Dory Funk, Jr. beat Rufus R. Jones
Mike Rotundo beat Jake Roberts
Bugsy McGraw beat Magic Dragon
John Bonello beat Gary Royal
Brett Hart beat Joel Deaton

Tue., 7/12/83 Raleigh, NC
Vinnie Valentino d. Masa Fuchi
Johnny Waver d. Jerry Grey
The Assassin d. Mike Davis
Jos LeDuc & Bugsy McGraw d. Kelly Kinisi & Gary Royal
Ric Flair & Rufus R. Jones d. Dory Funk, Jr. & Jake Roberts
Jack Brisco & Jerry Brisco d. Rick Steamboat & Jay Youngblood

Wed., 7/13/83 Charlotte, NC; Charlotte Park Center (TV)
Rick Steamboat & Jay Youngblood d. Bill Howard & Masa Fuchi
Great Kabuki d. Mike Davis
Jimmy Valiant d. Tom Lentz
The Assassins d. John Bonello & Vinnie Valentino
Dick Slater & Jake Roberts d. Brett Hart & Joel Deaton
Ric Flair d. Golden Boy Grey
Jack Brisco & Jerry Brisco d. John Bonello & Vinnie Valentino b DQ
The Great Kabuki d. Brett Hart
The Assassins: 1 & 2 d. Keith Larson & Rick McCord
Dick Slater d. Mike Davis

Thu., 7/14/83 Harrisonburg, VA ; High School
Cy Jernigan beat Tom Lentz
Masa Fuchi beat Jerry Grey
The Assassin beat Keith Larsen
Mike Davis beat Jake Roberts
Jack Brisco & Jerry Brisco beat Ricky Steamboat & Jay Youngblood

Thu., 7/14/83 Orangeburg, SC
Sgt. Jacques Goulet d. John Bonello
The Magic Dragon d. Brett Hart
Jimmy Valiant d. The Great Kabuki
Bugsy McGraw & Johnny Weaver & Mike Rotundo d. Kelly Kiniski & One Man Gang & Sir Oliver Humperdik

Fri., 7/15/83 Hampton, VA; Civic Center
The Assassin beat Masa Fuchi
Keith Larsen beat Gene Anderson
Armand Hussein & Jake Roberts beat Mike Davis & Vinnie Valentino
Dory Funk, Jr. beat Johnny Weaver
Roddy Piper beat Greg Valentine
Jack Brisco & Jerry Brisco beat Ricky Steamboat & Jay Youngblood by DQ

Fri., 7/15/83 Charleston, SC; County Hall
Jimmy Valiant & Rufus R. Jones beat Great Kabuki & Gary Hart in a steel cage match
Dick Slater beat Rick McCord
Magic Dragon beat Brett Hart
Abe Jacobs beat Joel Deaton
John Bonello beat Glenn Lane

Sat., 7/16/83 Spartanburg, SC; Memorial Auditorium
Cy Jernigan d. Masa Fuchi
Bill Howard beat Mark Fleming
Kelly Kiniski beat Mike Davis (sub for Johnny Weaver)
Bugsy McGraw beat One Man Gang
Jimmy Valiant, Bob Orton, Jr. & Johnny Weaver (sub for Jos LeDuc) beat Great Kabuki, Magic Dragon & Gary Hart

Sun., 7/17/83 Greensboro, NC; Greensboro Coliseum
Ric Flair beat NWA World Champion Harley Race by DQ
Plus other matches

Sun., 7/17/83 Kingsport, TN; Dobyns-Bennett Dome (Afternoon Show)
NWA World Champion Harley Race beat Jimmy Valiant
Bugsy McGraw, Johnny Weaver & Mike Rotundo beat One Man Gang, Oliver Humperdinck & Kelly Kiniski
Great Kabuki beat Vinnie Valentino (sub for Jos LeDuc)
Rick McCord beat Jacques Goulet
Cy Jernigan beat Joel Deaton

Sun., 7/17/83 Roanoke, VA; Roanoke Civic Center (8p)
Ric McCord vs. Tom Lentz
Mike Rotundo vs. Magic Dragon
Dick Slater vs. Jos LeDuc
Mid-Atlantic tag team championship: One Man Gang & Kelly Kiniski [ch.] d. Bugsy McGraw & Johnny Weaver
Cage match: Jimmy Valiant & Bob Orton Jr. vs. Great Kabuki & Gary Hart
NWA World Heavyweight championship: Harley Race vs. Ric Flair

Tuesday, April 13, 2021

Classic Jack Brisco vs. Dory Funk, Jr. from Japan (with Sam Muchnick)

A classic 2-of-3 falls contest in Japan in January of 1974 between reigning NWA World Champion Jack Brisco and former champion Dory Funk, Jr. from Japan. The video includes great pre-match footage of NWA President Sam Muchnick with Jack's brand new NWA World Championship belt, the original "ten pounds of gold" on the red velvet strap. 

This post was originally published on the Domed Globe blog on April 7, 2021

Saturday, April 10, 2021

Mid-Atlantic Wrestling comes to Augusta GA to Challenge for Georgia Titles (1977)


by Dick Bourne & Mark Eastridge
Mid-Atlantic Gateway
Edited from our 2015 Series on the Mid-Atlantic/Georgia Talent Sharing Arrangements

When we think of springtime in Augusta, we typically think of the PGA Masters Championship taking place annually at Augusta National Golf Club.

But in 1977, Augusta was ground zero for a series of unofficial talent exchanges between Mid-Atlantic Championship Wrestling and Georgia Championship Wrestling that was a showcase for a master class of talent at that time. 

Augusta GA was located right at the Georgia/South Carolina border and in the television mix of both promotions. The May 2nd, 1977 card at the legendary Bell Auditorium had an unusual line-up where all of the challengers for the Georgia titles were current regulars from the Mid-Atlantic territory.

Paul Jones (c) vs. The Masked Superstar for the Georgia Heavyweight Championship

Paul Jones was the reigning Georgia Heavyweight champion. He had been a regular in the Mid-Atlantic territory for many years, but was campaigning in the state of Georgia for the spring and summer of 1977. His challenger for the Georgia championship was the Masked Superstar (Bill Eadie), who was currently one of the top heels in the Mid-Atlantic territory and in the middle of a red-hot feud with the Mighty Igor there. This Augusta match-up foreshadowed their heated and violent feud in the Mid-Atlantic territory that would blossom in the fall of 1977, even resulting in the Superstar cutting Paul Jones hair. The Masked Superstar would later become a regular in the Georgia territory in the early 1980s. But for this one night, he unsuccessfully challenged Jones for the Georgia title, losing on disqualification for outside interference by Boris Malenko. Malenko was the Superstar's manager in the Mid-Atlantic territory, but was also a challenger for a title on this special card.

Thunderbolt Patterson (c) vs. Boris Malenko for the Georgia TV Title
The second main event that night was "Professor" Boris Malenko challenging Thunderbolt Patterson for the Georgia TV championship. Malenko was a veteran of all the southern NWA territories and was a recognized name in Georgia. Thunderbolt had already been a big part of this talent-sharing period with the Mid-Atlantic territory, and had just days earlier been in Hampton, VA teaming with Wahoo McDaniel to challenge Ric Flair and Greg Valentine for the NWA world tag team championships in a Mid-Atlantic main event. The Wahoo/Thunderbolt pairing was a rare and special combination to challenge Flair and Valentine.

The Anderson Brothers (c) vs. Johnny Weaver and Tiger Conway, Jr. for the Georgia Tag Team Titles
The third main event that night featured the reigning Georgia Tag Team champions Gene and Ole Anderson being challenged for those belts by the Mid-Atlantic duo of Johnny Weaver and Tiger Conway, Jr. The Anderson Brothers were Georgia regulars during this time, but were still making regular Mid-Atlantic appearances in their old home territory trying to regain the NWA World Tag Team championship from Ric Flair and Greg Valentine. The Andersons brought the world tag team titles to Georgia in the fall of 1976 and planned to keep them there until Flair and Valentine had snatched them away right after Christmas of 1976.  In the meantime, the Andersons won the Georgia tag titles and were taking on all challengers, including the unusual Mid-Atlantic challenge of Weaver and Conway this night in Augusta.

Fans in Augusta had to be thrilled to see some of the top Mid-Atlantic stars making their town and challenging for the top titles in the Georgia territory. Not many towns in either territory got a mixed-roster line-up like this.

The Mid-Atlantic challengers appeared to be in for one-shot deals as the Masked Superstar, Boris Malenko (managing Superstar at that time), and Tiger Conway were back in the Mid-Atlantic territory the next night in Raleigh NC, and Johnny Weaver was in Columbia, SC the next night as well.

This Georgia card had a great Mid-Atlantic feel to it with all of the Mid-Atlantic challengers and former Mid-Atlantic regulars in the main events. But the undercard had a Mid-Atlantic feel to it as well with the opening two matches featuring all guys who had been regulars in the Mid-Atlantic territory in 1975-1976:

(1) Randy Savage (who had teamed under his real name Randy Poffo with his brother Randy Poffo in 1975)
(2) Roberto Soto (also teaming earlier in the Carolinas and Virginia with his brother Manuel Soto and battling the Anderson brothers)
(3) Charlie Fulton and Don Kernodle (who had been opening card talent for Jim Crockett Promotions for several years.)

The following week, however, the crossover of Mid-Atlantic/Georgia talent would present one of the most amazing breaks from kayfabe during an era where those breaks were very rare. Tune in for May 9 in Augusta, GA when we visit the Mid-Atlantic/Georgia talent exchange!


Originally posted September 28, 2015 on the Mid-Atlantic Gateway.
The article above was from our 2015 series spotlighting the talent exchange between Mid-Atlantic Championship Wrestling and Georgia Championship Wrestling in 1977.

In PART ONEwe looked at the Valentine's night show in Augusta. PART TWO featured a look at one of Georgia's top babyface Thunderbolt Patterson making special appearances in the Mid-Atlantic area challenging for the U.S. title and the world tag team titles. See links below for a guide to all the posts in this series.

Wednesday, April 07, 2021

Classic Windbreakers for Jim Crockett Promotions (1985)

It would be pretty cool to have a complete collection of these satin jackets today. They were sold by Jim Crockett Promotions in 1985 and 1986, primarily through mail order out of their in-house magazine.

The jackets feature some of the earliest designs for JCP as they worked to get merchandising off the ground in those years.

The wrestlers featured included a team jacket for "America's Team" Dusty Rhodes and Magnum T.A., as well as individual logos for each of them. Also featured were Ric Flair, Manny Fernandez, and the Rock and Roll Express.

The jackets sold for a whopping $50, which was a lot of money back in the mid-1980s. I'm guessing not a whole lot of them were sold. However, those same logos appeared on caps and t-shirts as well, which likely sold better, especially at the arenas.

My personal favorite, strictly from a design standpoint, was the logo for Dusty Rhodes, which had a great western look and evoked an image that just said "TEXAS" with the star in the center of the letter "O" in Rhodes. The Ric Flair design is great looking, too, and a variation was used in the famous "I Do It With Flair" t-shirt of the same era.

Originally posted February 15, 2017 on the Mid-Atlantic Gateway.

Monday, April 05, 2021

Crockett Cup '85: Texas Outlaws vs. Shiek & Volkoff

See the Scouting Report on the remaining teams.

Third Round Match #7
(Tournament Match #39)
The Texas Outlaws vs. Iron Sheik & Nikolai Volkoff

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 continues. 

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. 

Note: The wrestling world lost one of the giants when Jim Crockett Jr. passed away on March 4, 2021. As someone who cut his wrestling teeth on Mid-Atlantic Championship Wrestling, his work means a great deal to me and his contributions to professional wrestling cannot be overstated.  

Round three’s sixth match saw the Oklahoma Cowboys (Roy and Tex) defeat the team of Dory Funk Jr. and Terry Funk. Judging from the fans’ enthusiastic response, the Cowboys (whose identities remain a mystery) not only surprised the fans, but also seems to have won them over. The seventh match features the Texas Outlaws (“The American Dream” Dusty Rhodes and “Captain Redneck” Dick Murdoch) taking on the Iron Sheik and Nikolai Volkoff.

Pre-Match Interviews
Tony Schiavone is backstage with “The American Dream” Dusty Rhodes and “Captain Redneck” Dick Murdoch. Dusty is wearing a black cowboy hat and David Allan Coe t-shirt while “Captain Redneck” is sporting a trucker hat and denim shirt. Dusty says “Tony Schiavone, you know I’m no stranger to adversity and we’ve seen this tournament can be adverse and dangerous. Now, me and “Dirty” Dick are about to face two dangerous men, the Iron Sheik and Nikolai Volkoff as well as that lowdown dirty dog Freddie Blassie. Rest assured though that ‘The American Dream’ and ‘Captain Redneck’ are ready to bring the adversity to them. Tell ‘em about it Mr. Murdoch.” “Captain Redneck” grabs the microphone “Let me tell you something Sheik and Volkoff, I didn’t serve my country to see two foreign punks come over and snatch one million dollars outta my hands. And don’t think for a second that I’ve forgotten how your countrymen held our citizens hostages in Iran Mr. Sheik or how your Soviet Union is always up to no good Mr. Volkoff. Me and Dusty are going to make you wish you’d never stepped foot in the United States of America and that’s a promise from ‘Captain Redneck!’”

Johnny Weaver is outside the heel dressing room and he’s interviewing the Iron Sheik, Nikolai Volkoff, and manager “Classy” Freddie Blassie. Blassie shakes his head as he looks at “The Dean of Professional Wrestling” and says “We’re stuck in this backwater town and now we have to be interviewed by this pencil neck geek. Johnny Weaver, if I wasn’t busy managing, I’d come out of retirement and put you in your place. Take a look at my team. Tag team champeens and ready to squash those two hicks Dusty Rhodes and Dick Murdoch. Those two nincompoops don’t stand a chance against the Iron Sheik and Nikolai Volkoff.” Nikolai Volkoff stands by as the Iron Sheik gets on the stick. “Mr. Johnny Weaver, let me tell all the jabronis out there that there’s only one Iron Sheik and only one Nikolai Volkoff. Nikolai is going to squeeze the life out of that no-good cowboy Dick Murdoch and I’m going to break that no-good Dusty Rhodes with my Camel Clutch. Iran, number one! Russia, number one! Camera man zoom!” The Iron Sheik flexes for the camera man while Volkoff glares menacingly at Johnny Weaver before things head back to ringside. 

Bob Caudle and David Crockett welcome WWF announcer and former grappling great Gorilla Monsoon to the announce table. Monsoon says what an event the Crockett Cup is. A capacity crowd on hand to witness history in the making. David Crockett is impressed by Gorilla’s hyperbole and notes “What else can I add to that?” Gorilla casually points out the fans are literally hanging by the rafters. David takes a closer peek at the arena but doesn’t add anything.

The Texas Outlaws (“The American Dream” Dusty Rhodes and “Captain Redneck” Dick Murdoch) vs. The Iron SHiek and Nikolai Volkoff
The Iron Sheik and Nikolai Volkoff enter the ring along with manager “Classy” Freddie Blassie with the fans loudly booing. The ring announcer informs the fans that Mr. Volkoff has asked that they rise and be silent while he sings the Soviet national anthem. The booing gets even louder as Volkoff bellows the Soviet anthem. David Crockett says Volkoff’s singing is an insult to every veteran sitting in the stands. Gorilla adds that “If you hung Nikolai Volkoff for being a good singer, you’d be hanging an innocent man!” The fans cheer as Dusty Rhodes and Dick Murdoch run into the ring and attack the Iron Sheik and Nikolai. Dusty begins slugging away at the Sheik while “Captain Redneck” unloads on Volkoff. Freddie Blassie wisely leaves the ring as AWA referee Gary DeRusha signals for the bell and the match begins. The two teams brawl around the ring as Bob Caudle says these two teams are known for their rough and tumble styles and apparently, the referee isn’t doing anything to stop them. The Sheik and Volkoff take a powder, but Rhodes and Murdoch follow them out. Dusty charges at the Iron Sheik, but the wily Iranian gets out of the way and shoves Rhodes into the ring post. Murdoch and Volkoff exchange punches. David Crockett says things are out of control and this match may end in a double count-out.

Outside the ring, the Iron Sheik kicks Dusty in the head with one of his pointed boots, busting “The American Dream” wide open. David Crockett says that should be an automatic disqualification. Bob Caudle adds that the Iron Sheik’s boots have been a source of controversy for years, with some wrestlers claiming the Sheik loads them up with something, turning them into even more of a weapon. Freddie Blassie throws the Iron Sheik his cane and the Sheik sticks it into Dusty’s gut, bowling him over just as he’s trying to get to his feet. Meanwhile, Nikolai Volkoff rakes Murdoch’s eyes then rams “Captain Redneck’s” head into the mat apron. Volkoff goes to do it again, but Murdoch stops him and rams Volkoff’s head into the mat apron. Murdoch throws Volkoff head first into the ring post. Dusty’s face has turned into a crimson mask and the Iron Sheik is choking him with Blassie’s cane. Murdoch attacks the Iron Sheik with a double axe-handle to the back then throws him into the ring. 

It’s Captain Redneck vs. the Iron Sheik while Dusty and Nikolai are trying to get their wits about them outside the ring. The Iron Sheik goes for a test of strength and Murdoch kicks him in the gut. Murdoch bodyslams the Sheik then drops an elbow on him. The ring announcer informs the fans that five minutes have elapsed. Lateral press by Murdoch by the Sheik kicks out at two. 

Bob Caudle asks Gorilla what he thinks of these two teams. Gorilla says the Sheik and Volkoff are the current WWF Tag Team Champions which speaks for itself. Dick Murdoch is a former WWF Tag Team Champion and Dusty was a top contender for the WWF Championship. David says Dusty’s a former NWA World Champion too. Gorilla replies that the Iron Sheik is former WWF Champion. As the fans cheer on the babyfaces, Monsoon says “you can cut the electricity with a knife!” 

Nikolai Volkoff and Dusty have returned to their respective corners. Both men are bleeding but appear ready to rumble. Murdoch whips the Iron Sheik towards Dusty who catches the Iron Sheik with a Bionic Elbow. The Iron Sheik staggers out of the corner only to catch a big right hand by Murdoch. Murdoch drapes the Iron Sheik’s head across the top rope then drops a big forearm to the chest. Tag to Dusty. Bob Caudle says it’s incredible how the Texas Outlaws haven’t lost a step despite not teaming for some time. Gorilla adds that Rhodes and Murdoch are two of the world’s premier athletes. Dusty and Dick whip the Sheik into the ropes and catch him with a double elbow smash to the chest. Dusty covers the Sheik, but the tough Iranian kicks out at two. Gorilla points out that Dusty’s not going to pin a man the caliber of the Iron Sheik without hooking the leg. Ten minutes have elapsed. 

“The American Dream” takes his Iranian foe down with a double leg takedown. Dusty twists one of the Sheik’s legs before dropping an elbow on it. Dusty twists the leg again and drops a second elbow. Bob Caudle observes that Dusty may be wearing the Sheik down for the figure four leglock. David Crockett adds that Dusty has a number of weapons in his arsenal as do all four wrestlers. David says Dusty definitely knows the difference between a wristlock and a wristwatch, a comment which catches Gorilla Monsoon’s attention.

Stardust goes to work the leg some more but when he leans down, the Sheik catches him with an eye gouge. Big knee to the gut on Dusty. The Iron Sheik rakes his fingernails across Dusty’s back then whips him into the heel corner where Nikolai has a boot waiting to greet “The Dream’s” head. Tag to Volkoff who drops a big forearm across Dusty’s back. Volkoff goes to slug Dusty again, but Rhodes blocks the punch. However, he’s too close to the heel corner and the Iron Sheik pulls him back, grabbing his arms. Nikolai drops a big forearm across Dusty’s chest. Referee Gary DeRusha starts a five-count for Nikolai and the Iron Sheik as the two heels continue double-teaming Dusty. Dick Murdoch has had enough and runs in, but DeRusha orders him back to his corner. “Captain Redneck” isn’t having it and starts arguing with DeRusha as the referee does his best to force Murdoch back to his corner. The only problem is that this means it’s open season on Dusty as the Iron Sheik chokes him with the tag rope while Volkoff uses Dusty for a punching bag. 

Fifteen minutes into the match as David tells the referee to turn around as Gorilla Monsoon says “give me a break ref!” The fans are screaming for the referee to turn around. He does and sees that Dusty is getting mugged. Volkoff tags the Iron Sheik and the heels whip Dusty into the ropes, catching him with a double elbow smash to the chest. The Iron Sheik slams Dusty down and covers him for a two count. The Iron Sheik stomps Dusty in the head before lifting him up with a belly-to-back suplex. Cover by Sheiky but Dusty kicks out again. The Iron Sheik argues with the referee. Dusty rolls the Iron Sheik up, but Nikolai comes in and breaks the surprise pin by stomping Dusty in the head. Nikolai gets back to the heel corner as the Iron Sheik rubs Dusty’s face across the top ropes. “That’ll leave a mark!” Gorilla notes as David Crockett says he can’t believe how much the Iron Sheik and Nikolai Volkoff are getting away with.

Tag to Nikolai as the Soviet strongman picks up Dusty and drops his neck across the top rope. The referee warns Volkoff not to do that again and Nikolai ignores him, covering Dusty for a near-fall. Volkoff picks Dusty up and whips him into the ropes. Volkoff catches Dusty and applies a bear hug. Nikolai squeezes Rhodes as David Crockett says “Fight, Dusty, fight!” Gorilla Monsoon says “you can see the life oozing out of him” as Dusty begins fading. The referee checks Dusty’s arm and raises it, with Stardust’s arm dropping. Volkoff smiles as he continues applying the pressure. DeRusha lifts Dusty’s arm again and again Dusty’s arm falls. Dick Murdoch looks like he’s going to come in but Dusty digs down deep and punches Volkoff in the face, getting a warning from the referee. Dusty begins juking and jiving as he fights to escape the bear hug. Volkoff squeezes again, but this time Rhodes rakes Volkoff’s eyes, loosening the big Russian’s grip. Dusty hits a big elbow on Volkoff’s head, sending the big man back as he escapes the bear hug, as the ring announcer informs the fans that twenty minutes have passed. 

The damage has been done though and Dusty collapses to the mat. He tries to crawl to make the tag but Volkoff stomps him in the back. Bodyslam on Dusty towards the heel corner as Nikolai tags the Iron Sheik back in. The Iron Sheik stomps Dusty in the back several times then lifts him up for another belly-to-back suplex. Dusty crashes hard onto the mat and the Iron Sheik follows up by stomping Dusty’s lower back. Bob Caudle notes the Iron Sheik is softening up Dusty’s back, no doubt so he can apply the Camel Clutch. Gorilla adds that if the Sheik applies his patented maneuver, that’s all she wrote. Sure enough, the Sheik gets Dusty and locks in the Camel Clutch. Gorilla wonders how long Dusty can hold out.  David Crockett adds that there’s no way Dusty is going to quit and that we don’t stop matches here by throwing in a towel.  The Iron Sheik applies the pressure but Dusty is shaking his head no and fighting to reach the ropes. The fans are cheering for Dusty and chanting his name as “The American Dream” refuses to quit. The only problem is that the Sheik has Dusty trapped in the center of the ring. Dusty makes some headway as the match hits the twenty- five-minute mark. Blood is pouring down Dusty’s head as he struggles to escape. Dick Murdoch runs in and stomps the Sheik in the back of the head. Nikolai Volkoff runs in and starts brawling with Murdoch. The two trade punches with neither man getting the upper hand. The referee tells them to get back to their corner but they ignore him. 

Meanwhile, Dusty is trying to get to his feet. Bob Caudle points out that Dusty has been through the wringer but he’s known for his incredible endurance. Monsoon adds that all four men are highly-conditioned athletes. The Iron Sheik begins kicking one of his pointed boots on the mat apron and as he does, David Crockett shouts “He’s loading up his boot!” “The American Dream” is using the ring ropes to get to his feet as the Iron Sheik approaches, getting ready to boot the Dream into another zip code. Dusty tries to dodge the kick, but it connects—right in the mid-section. Dusty crumbles to the mat. The Sheik covers Dusty for an easy 1-2-3, but the referee is still trying to get Murdoch and Volkoff into their corner and doesn’t even see the pin attempt. The Iron Sheik comes over and starts arguing with DeRusha as Freddie Blassie starts yelling at him from ringside. DeRusha turns his attention to Blassie as the Iron Sheik and Volkoff whip Murdoch into the ropes. However, Murdoch comes off with a double clothesline, knocking both men down to the mat. Murdoch helps the Sheik up then kicks him in the gut, following up with the brainbuster! The Iron Sheik goes down as Murdoch puts Dusty on top of him. Murdoch grabs the referee and DeRusha goes to make the count as Volkoff attacks Murdoch. Gorilla Monsoon questions whether Dusty is even conscious. David Crockett points out that the only thing that matters right now is that “The Dream” has the Iron Sheik down for the cover. A three-count later and Murdoch and Rhodes have won! Gorilla Monsoon exclaims, “Stick a fork in him!” Bob Caudle says the Texas Outlaws are headed to round four.  

Winners: The Texas Outlaws (“The American Dream” Dusty Rhodes and “Captain Redneck” Dick Murdoch)    

Murdoch whips Volkoff into a ring post and rolls back into the ring to check on “The Dream.” DeRusha raises Rhodes and Murdoch’s hands in victory but Bob Caudle says neither man looks like a winner right now after the terrible beating they endured. Dusty is grabbing his mid-section as David Crockett wonders if “The American Dream” has been injured. Bob Caudle says it’s been a privilege calling the match with Gorilla and Monsoon thanks Bob and David for this tremendous opportunity.

Join us next time as the Fantastics (Tommy Rogers and Bobby Fulton) take on the Fabulous Freebirds. Who will advance to round four in the quest for tag team glory and some serious cash?

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


Original Tournament Announcement (May 2020)

Seedings and First Round Pairings Announced

[ Scouting Report ] [ Brackets ]

Third Round: Match 1 (Tournament Match #33)
     The Rock & Roll Express vs. The Russians
Third Round: Match 2 (Tournament Match #34)
     Ole & Arn Anderson vs. Antonio Inoki and Seiji Sakaguchi
Third Round: Match 3 (Tournament Match #35)
     Midnight Express vs. High Flyers
Third Round: Match 4 (Tournament Match #36)
     Kevin and Mike Von Erich vs. The British Bulldogs
Third Round: Match 5 (Tournament Match #37)
     Road Warriors vs. Brody and Hansen
Third Round: Match 6 (Tournament Match #38)
     Funk Brothers vs. Oklahoma Cowboys
Third Round: match #7 (Tournament Match #39)
    Texas Outlaws vs. Iron Sheik/Nikolai Volkoff

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: 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

Friday, April 02, 2021

New Tony Schiavone T-shirt Calls Back to a Classic Design from the Past

by Dick Bourne
Mid-Atlantic Gateway

Tony Schiavone has a new t-shirt on Pro Wrestling Tees. Well, I think it's new, it may have been around awhile, but I just came across it. But I marked out a little bit for this. It's a take-off on an old historic, but largely forgotten, classic Jim Crockett Promotions t-shirt sold at the Starrcade '84 event.

Whoever created this design nailed the homage to the original. Bravo.

The original design has a bit of a story to it, as it was the first (and only to my knowledge) "Mid-Atlantic Championship Wrestling" t-shirt produced by Jim Crockett Promotions.

Let's be honest, merchandising was never Jim Crockett Promotions' strong suit. The list of marketing and merchandising missed-opportunities makes for a pretty long list.

There had been wrestling programs (Mid-Atlantic Wrestling Magazine) and a few posters (Wahoo, Blackjack, Steamboat to name a few) in the 1970s, but those were only sold at the arenas and were never marketed on TV. 

In 1983, Crockett made a short-lived attempt to capitalize on the success of their first huge closed-circuit event Starrcade '83 by offering the Starrcade '83 photo album and a t-shirt through mail order.

In 1984 came the very first t-shirt sold at the arenas that bared the words of Mid-Atlantic Championship Wrestling. And it was the last as far as we know. It was a simple design bearing the name of their follow-up closed-circuit extravaganza, Starrcade '84, with the Mid-Atlantic Wrestling moniker stretched below.

The shirt is very rare, there weren't many made. George South has one in his collection, hanging in his museum. You can occasionaly come across one on Ebay, sometimes going for a high asking price, depending on what shape the t-shirt is in.

Following this 1984 shirt, JCP would introduce their first line of slogan/logo t-shirts featuring their top stars in 1985. The logos were also available on hats, jackets, and bandanas. "I Do It With Flair" is the best remembered of that series, and spurred on a similar t-shirt design for Ric Flair's daughter in the WWE in 2015.

In 1986, a second line of designs were released featuring artistic renderings of their top stars, a trend which continued until the sale of JCP to Ted Turner in 1988.

The Schiavone t-shirt is a very cool item indeed, and we hope to see more things like this that call back to the glory years of Mid-Atlantic Wrestling.  

You can get your own Schiavone Starrcade '84 t-shirt at

Late edit: Kudos to the artist who created this shirt, Ryan D (@highonryan), the creative genius who handles merchandise for Conrad Thompson's wildly popular Ad Free Shows (@adfreeshows) podcasts.

Mid-Atlantic TV Report: July 9, 1983

The WWE Network is no longer available
in the United States.

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

This is a review of Mid-Atlantic Wrestling as it once 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 Follow @TaubGVWire

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

Please note: The WWE Network ceased operation in the United States on April 4, 2021. Their press release stated that their entire archive of material (which would include the Mid-Atlantic Wrestling shows) would be transitioned to NBC's Peacock streaming service by the end of the summer 2021. We'll update as we know more.

Mid-Atlantic Championship Wrestling
Original broadcast: 07/09/83
(taped 7/04/83 in Greenville, SC; Memorial Auditorium)
From the now defunct WWE Network (U.S.) feed.

Bob Caudle introduces the show in front of the new “Mid-Atlantic Wrestling” set. We are “here in the arena.”

-Int. w/Bob Caudle: Roddy Piper & Ric Flair
Piper & Flair come out. Flair says the best action is in Mid-Atlantic. They have formed a pact. He tells Harley Race this will be the endless summer.  

Match 1
Jimmy Valiant d. Bill Howard

Stu Schwartz is the referee. A marked improvement in the TV production. Valiant, in his “Purple Haze” tights wins a quick one with the elbow drop.


[CLIP] Jimmy Valiant & Rufus R. Jones vs. Great Kabuki & Gary Hart in a cage
Jimmy is narrating. Match is form 7/02/83 in Greensboro. Valiant’s hair and beard is already green. Hart is in a red singlet/tights combo. Valiant pins Hart, while Rufus is wearing the goggles to protect him from Kabuki. After the match, Hart throws a fireball at Valiant.
Back to the interview. Valiant says he’s going to be serious. His face is reddened. He wants any kind of match to get revenge. Even a loser leaves town match. Some voiceover/tape noises bleed in the background. 

Match 2
Mike Rotundo d. Bill White

Caudle is anxious to the see The Assassin, which may be the son of The Great Bolo. Rotundo wins with the airplane spin.


Match 3
The Assassin d. Mike Davis

The Assassin has black trunks, boots, and the traditional Assassin mask. No body shirt. Obvious to see now, with that physique, it is Hercules Hernandez. Lots of power moves, with some wrestling mixed in. A powerslam leads to a win for the debuting Assassin.

[CLIP] Youngblood getting his war bonnet back
We are back 7/02/83 in Greensboro. Youngblood & Steamboat attack The Brisco Brothers in the ring. They pass it off to Jimmy Valiant for safekeeping. Youngblood & Steamboat grab the mic, reminding the Briscos they are after them.

-Int. w/Bob Caudle: Mike Rotundo
This is in lieu of local promos. Generic babyface promo for Rotundo. He wants a title. He knows he only has a few good years in wrestling.


-A replay of last week’s Dream Contest giveaway featuring Paul Jones, and Rufus R. Jones getting a beatdown.

[VTR] Comments from Ric Flair
He is in front of the orange NWA set. He didn’t like what happened to Rufus last week. He and Piper will have Rufus’ back. Woo!


-Int. w/David Crockett: Sir Oliver Humperdink and One Man Gang.
Humperdink says no one can slam the Gang. Bugsy McGraw hobbles out on crutches. He says he knows he can slam Gang. Gang knocks him down and the heels walk out laughing.

-Int. w/Bob Caudle: Bugsy McGraw
Back at the arena, McGraw is no longer on crutches. He has a red PWI shirt on. McGraw says that incident happened a few weeks ago. He knows he will get even.


Match 4
Non-Title: The Great Kabuki [NWA TV ch.] (w/Gary Hart) d. Gary Royal

Bugsy McGraw joins Caudle on commentary. The match already started coming back from break. Royal gets some offense in. Kabuki gets the pin after placing the claw on Royal’s forehead. No mention of the TV title for the record.

-Int. w/Bob Caudle: Bugsy McGraw (in lieu of local promos)
Bugsy says never say die. Anyone can come back from adversity. He’s looking for Humperdink and One Man Gang.

Match 5
Dick Slater & Jake Roberts (w/Paul Jones) d. Rick McCord & Keith Larson

An unusually long match. Ends with Roberts pinning McCord, following the DDT.

-Int. w/Bob Caudle: Gary Hart, Great Kabuki and Arman Hussein
Gary Hart assures people Hussein is Sudanese. Don’t worry that his father is from the South, and Hussein was born in the South. He has royal blood in him. More about Hussein’s background. He was born a Muslim, and will die a Muslim. This gets weird. Gary Hart tells Hussein that he is not a Black southerner. Hussein puts down Southerners, whites and blacks. He is educated at Queens College at Oxford. His only purpose is to follow Gary Hart’s orders. Mid-Atlantic’s gain is also World Class’ gain.

“So long for now.”

A cleaner looking credit roll. 

* * * * *

Results for the week, 7/04/83-7/10/83
(source: Clawmaster’s Archive via Sports and Wrestling blog posted by David Baker; “Wrestling” newsletter by Joe Shedlock)

Mon., 7/04/83 Greenville, SC; Memorial Auditorium (TV)
Jimmy Valiant beat Bill Howard
Mike Rotundo beat Bill White
The Assassin (Ray Hernandez) beat Mike Davis
Great Kabuki beat Gary Royal
Dick Slater & Jake Roberts beat Rick McCord & Keith Larson
Bob Orton, Jr. beat Jerry Grey
Mike Rotundo beat Bill Howard
Dick Slater & Jake Roberts beat Mike Davis & Keith Larson
The Assassin beat Gary Royal
Great Kabuki beat Joel Deaton
Armand Hussein beat Glenn Lane
Roddy Piper d. Dory Funk Jr.
NWA World Champion Harley Race DCO Ric Flair

Tue., 7/05/83 Columbia, SC; Township Auditorium
Rick McCord & Keith Larson d. Masa Fuchi & Jerry Grey
Gene Anderson d. Brett Hart
Bob Orton Jr. d. Kelly Kiniski
Wahoo McDaniel d. Great Kabuki
Jack Brisco & Jerry Brisco d. Rick Steamboat & Jay Youngblood

Tue., 7/05/83 Raleigh, NC; Dorton Arena
Jos LeDuc beat Armand Hussein
Bugsy McGraw beat Magic Dragon
One Man Gang beat Mike Rotundo
Jake Roberts beat Rufus R. Jones
Roddy Piper & Jimmy Valiant beat Dory Funk, Jr. & Greg Valentine (w/Paul Jones)
NWA World Heavyweight championship: Harley Race [ch.] DCO Ric Flair

Wed., 7/06/83 Shelby, NC; Recreation Center (TV)
Bugsy McGraw d. Joel Deaton
One Man Gang d. John Bonello
Dory Funk Jr. d. Mike Davis
Rufus R. Jones d. Golden Boy Grey
The Assassin d. Rick McCord
Arman Hussein d. Gary Royal
Dick Slater d. Keith Larson
Jimmy Valiant d. Bill White
Rufus R. Jones d. Bill Howard
The Assassin d. Keith Larson
Arman Hussein d. Mike Davis
Bugsy McGraw d. Ben Alexander
Mike Rotundo d. Rick McCord
Dory Funk Jr. & Dick Slater d. John Bonello & Gary Royal 

Wed., 7/06/83 Sumter, SC; Exhibition Center
Abe Jacobs d. Masa Fuchi
Vinnie Valentino d. Sgt. Jacques Goulet
Kelly Kiniski d. Brett Hart
Jos LeDuc d. the Magic Dragon
Roddy Piper & Bob Orton, Jr. vs. Greg Valentine & Jake Roberts
NWA World Champion Harley Race DDQ Ric Flair

Thu., 7/07/83 Norfolk, VA; Scope Coliseum
NWA World Champion Harley Race beat Wahoo McDaniel
Jake Roberts & Greg Valentine beat Ric Flair & Roddy Piper by DQ
Great Kabuki beat Jimmy Valiant
Dick Slater beat Johnny Weaver
Rufus R. Jones beat Magic Dragon
Jos Leduc beat Armand Hussein
Bugsy McGraw beat Bill Howard

Fri., 7/08/83 Charleston, SC; County Hall
Jimmy Valiant & Rufus R. Jones d. Great Kabuki & Gary Hart by CO
Bugsy McGraw d. Magic Dragon
Johnny Weaver d. Jacques Goulet
Armand Hussein d. John Bonello
Keith Larsen d. Jerry Grey

Fri., 7/08/83 Richmond, VA; Richmond Coliseum
One Man Gang beat Mike Rotundo
Bob Orton, Jr. beat Jake Roberts
Wahoo McDaniel & Roddy Piper beat Dory Funk, Jr. & Greg Valentine
Jack Brisco & Jerry Brisco beat Ricky Steamboat & Jay Youngblood
Ric Flair beat NWA World Champion Harley Race by DQ

Sat., 7/09/83 Charlotte, NC; Charlotte Coliseum
Keith Larson & Rick McCord beat Gene Anderson & Bill Howard
The Assassin beat John Bonello
Jake Roberts beat Mike Davis
Dick Slater beat Jos LeDuc
Greg Valentine beat Roddy Piper by DQ
Jack Brisco & Jerry Brisco beat Ricky Steamboat & Jay Youngblood
Ric Flair beat NWA World Champion Harley Race by DQ

Sun., 7/10/83 Asheville, NC; Asheville Civic Center
Rick McCord & Keith Larson beat Gene Anderson & Bill White
Keith Larson beat Jerry Grey
The Assassin beat Brett Hart
Wahoo McDaniel beat Magic Dragon
Greg Valentine beat Roddy Piper by DQ
NWA World Champion Harley Race DDQ Ric Flair
Jack Brisco & Jerry Brisco beat Bob Orton, Jr. & Rufus R. Jones

Sun., 7/10/83 Toronto, Ontario; Exhibition Stadium (Maple Leaf Wrestling)
Nick DeCarlo & Billy Red Lyons beat The Executioner & Bill Armstrong
Kelly Kiniski & Jacques Goulet beat Bob Marcus & Joe Marcus
Johnny Weaver & Mike Rotundo beat Alec Gerrard & Tim Gerrard
Fabulous Moolah beat Princess Victoria
Dick Slater beat Nick DeCarlo (sub for Jos LeDuc)
Great Kabuki beat Jimmy Valiant
Ricky Steamboat & Jay Youngblood beat Jake Roberts & Dory Funk, Jr.
Angelo Mosca beat One Man Gang
Greg Valentine no contest with Wahoo McDaniel
Ric Flair beat NWA World Champion Harley Race by DQ

Wednesday, March 31, 2021

Steve Strong and Superstar Billy Graham arrive in Mid-Atlantic Wrestling

by David Chappell
Mid-Atlantic Gateway

The early autumn of 1975 saw changes in the Mid-Atlantic States that went beyond the advent of the colorful fall foliage. October in Mid-Atlantic Championship Wrestling witnessed the arrival of two newcomers that were even more colorful than the falling leaves outside, Superstar Billy Graham and Steve Strong.

Superstar Billy Graham
Charlotte Park Center (1975)
Hailing from Arizona, Graham and Strong stood out from the crowd not only because of their colorful and outlandish ring attire, but each possessed amazingly muscular physiques. Each claimed to have 22 inch biceps, and bragged when they tagged up that their opponents were facing a collective 88 inches of bicep muscles.

Young, brash and jacked up, Graham and Strong verbally hit the territory by storm. Graham already had a national reputation in the wrestling world, and Strong was developing one. Prior to their introductory interview with announcer Bob Caudle on October 15th, Graham had popped into the territory for a match in Greensboro in April and Strong had been on the prior week’s TV show watching the matches, but otherwise they were brand new to the fans of Jim Crockett Promotions.

Bob Caudle began the interview, “We bring you the very finest professional wrestling in the world. And in the Mid-Atlantic area we have the greatest wrestlers also in the world, and two more that have now arrived in the Mid-Atlantic area and we want to introduce them to you right now, Superstar…”

The flamboyant Graham interrupted Caudle by spouting out, “Don’t just say two more, this is something special baby! It’s not just two more wrestlers arriving; you are lookin’ at two of the greatest in the entire world, in the entire universe. Comin’ in for one reason and one reason only…to get a hold of Wahoo McDaniel baby, to get a hold of Paul Jones man, but cannot get them under contract baby! They will not, they refuse to ink the contract mama. They refuse to step inside the ring with Superstar Billy Graham!”

Steve Strong

At this juncture, the Superstar focused his attention onto the muscularity of his friend, Steve Strong. Graham shouted, “Show a trap shot of him baby…look at this body! Zoom in on my man here! What you gonna do with him Paul Jones, Wahoo McDaniel, when we unleash the power baby?”

Graham went on to disparage Wahoo, bellowing, “I ran the Indian-cat out of Minnesota baby. He had to leave the state, leave the northern plains and come down to the Carolinas, the Mid-Atlantic coast baby. Now the Superstar and the Strong-man baby are gonna put some lumps on his head, gonna put some cuts on his head! And him and Paul Jones are gonna be hitchhiking on Route 67 baby, goin’ south…further south!”

The Superstar then wanted to rap about his own muscular body, boasting, “No way, no way in the world you can penetrate this body…and I want all the ladies to take a good look, but don’t touch, baby! Just take a good look at the power, take a look at the beauty, take a look at the body, and most of all McDaniel Wahoo and Paul Jones, take a good look baby and get ready because we’re comin’ someplace sometime. Just get us in the ring with the Indian-man and Paul Jones!”

With the interview segment almost out of time, Caudle attempted to at least get a word in edgewise with Strong, inquiring, “What about that Steve Strong, that’s Superstar Billy Graham.” Steve cockily answered, “Wahoo McDaniel is strictly reservation material. Has no right to be in the ring with the Strong-man and Superstar. Paul Jones, Number 1, I eat more for breakfast than that man weighs!”

Caudle concluded, “I tell you fans, two of the greatest…you don’t want to miss them whenever they get into your area. Superstar Billy Graham, Steve Strong now…talking about Wahoo McDaniel, Paul Jones. Also we have Steve Keirn, Tiger Conway, and all of the great wrestlers around the Mid-Atlantic area will be waiting on them and will be meeting them soon. So, that’s it from them.”

The muscular duo would team occasionally during the fall of 1975, but Graham’s appearances were sporadic and he would often wrestle Wahoo McDaniel in specialty matches in the area’s bigger venues before leaving the territory in between Christmas and New Year’s Day. Strong would also team with Blackjack Mulligan, but his main event run in the territory fizzled out by the end of 1975, though he stayed around into the spring of 1976 working matches further down the cards.

With the super strong arrival of these two in October, it’s a bit surprising that their 1975 run in Mid-Atlantic Championship Wrestling only amounted to a largely forgotten footnote in the history books of Jim Crockett Promotions. Like those colorful fall leaves, the brash and colorful Superstar Billy Graham and Steve Strong had largely been blown away by the approaching chill of the Mid-Atlantic winter.


Originally posted April 2, 2017 on the Mid-Atlantic Gateway.

Saturday, March 27, 2021

Mid-Atlantic TV Report: June 25, 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 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: 06/25/83
(taped 6/22/83 at WPCQ-TV studios in Charlotte)

We are missing this week from the Network. 

Here are the results:

  • Dory Funk Jr. d. John Bonello
  • Ricky Steamboat & Jay Youngblood d. Bill Howard & Masa Fuchi
  • Jimmy Valant & Bob Orton Jr. d. Great Kabuki & Magic Dragon
  • Jake Roberts d. Rick McCord
  • Greg Valentine NC Mike Rotundo

The Briscos defeated Steamboat & Youngblood 6/18/83 in Greenville to win the tag team championship.

Results for the week, 6/20/83-6/26/83
(source: Clawmaster’s Archive via Sports and Wrestling blog posted by David Baker; “Wrestling” newsletter by Joe Shedlock)

Mon., 6/20/83 Burlington, NC
Johnny Weaver vs. Dick Slater
Plus other matches

Tue., 6/21/83 Columbia, SC; Township Auditorium
Ric Flair beat Greg Valentine by DQ
Dory Funk, Jr. beat Johnny Weaver
One Man Gang & Kelly Kiniski beat Jos LeDuc & Bob Orton, Jr.
Mike Davis beat Bill White
Gene Anderson beat John Bonello
Keith Larson beat Jerry Grey

Tue., 6/21/83 Raleigh, NC
Gene Anderson d. Brett Hart
Rick McCord d. Sgt. Jacques Goulet
Jake Roberts d. Mike Rotundo
Rufus R. Jones d. The Magic Dragon
Jimmy Valiant d. The Great Kabuki
Rick Steamboat & Jay Youngblood d. Jack Brisco & Jerry Brisco

Wed., 6/22/83 Charlotte, NC; WPCQ-TV studio
Dory Funk, Jr. beat John Bonello
Ricky Steamboat & Jay Youngblood beat Bill Howard & Masa Fuchi
Jimmy Valiant & Bob Orton, Jr. beat Magic Dragon & Great Kabuki
Jake Roberts beat Rick McCord
Greg Valentine double DQ Mike Rotundo
Jake Roberts beat Mike Davis
Ricky Steamboat & Jay Youngblood beat Jerry Grey & Masa Fuchi
Jimmy Valiant & Bob Orton, Jr. beat Ben Alexander & Bill White
Jos LeDuc beat Bill Howard

Fri., 6/24/83 Richmond, VA; Richmond Coliseum
Bob Orton, Jr. d. Jake Roberts
Non-Mid-Atlantic Heavyweight championship: Rufus R. Jones d. Dory Funk Jr. [ch.]
Dick Slater d. Jos LeDuc
Jack Brisco & Jerry Brisco d. Ricky Steamboat & Jay Youngblood
Greg Valentine d. Ric Flair

Fri., 6/24/83 Charleston SC; County Hall
Great Kabuki beat Jimmy Valiant
One Man Gang & Kelly Kiniski beat Mike Rotundo & Johnny Weaver
Magic Dragon beat Mike Davis
Gene Anderson beat Keith Larsen
Ric McCord beat Kim Duk
Bill Howard beat John Bonello

Sat., 6/25/83 Charlotte, NC; Charlotte Coliseum
Rick McCord beat Masa Fuchi
Mike Rotundo beat Kelly Kiniski
Jos LeDuc beat One Man Gang
Jake Roberts beat Bob Orton, Jr.
Rufus R. Jones beat Magic Dragon
Great Kabuki beat Jimmy Valiant
Ric Flair & Roddy Piper beat Greg Valentine & Dory Funk, Jr.
Jack Brisco & Jerry Brisco beat Ricky Steamboat & Jay Youngblood

Sat., 6/25/83 Roanoke, VA; Roanoke Civic Center
Abe Jacobs vs. Cy Jernigan
Kelly Kiniski vs. Mike Davis
Magic Dragon vs. Brett Hart
Bob Orton Jr. & Mike Rotundo vs. One Man Gang & Sir Oliver Humperdink
Mid-Atlantic Heavyweight championship: Dory Funk Jr. vs. Rufus R. Jones
NWA TV championship: Great Kabuki vs. Jimmy Valiant

Sun., 6/26/83 Asheville, NC; Asheville Civic Center
Masa Fuchi beat Mark Fleming
Jacques Goulet beat Rick McCord
Gene Anderson beat John Bonello
Keith Larson beat Ben Alexander
Ric Flair & Roddy Piper beat Greg Valentine & Jake Roberts
Jack Brisco & Jerry Brisco beat Ricky Steamboat & Jay Youngblood

Wednesday, March 24, 2021

A Brief History of Wrestling in the Mid-Atlantic Area

A Look Back at the Promoters and Television History of Jim Crockett Promotions
by Dick Bourne

Mid-Atlantic Gateway

Professional wrestling has been one of the most popular live events in the Carolinas and Virginia since the early/mid-1900s. Several key players were responsible for making pro wrestling an institution here, some familiar to fans, others perhaps not so familiar.

The company known for promoting wrestling across Virginia and the Carolinas for decades was Jim Crockett Promotions. Jim Crockett, Sr. started promoting wrestling in our area when he bought an old warehouse in Greensboro, NC, in December of 1933, named it the “Sportrena”, and held his first matches there. With that first card, the company that later grew to be known as Jim Crockett Promotions was born.

Crockett established his base of operations in Charlotte a year later in 1934, moving in on a chaotic promotional scene at that time. In 1939 he and successful Richmond promoter Bill Lewis bought out the interests of promoter Pete Moore who had been in partnership with Crockett for nearly 10 years going back to their days headquartered out of Bristol, VA. Moore’s promotional interests spanned the width and breadth of the area that we think of now as the Mid-Atlantic territory.  After buying Moore out, Lewis based his operations out of Richmond, and Crockett based his out of Charlotte. Together they brought top pro-wrestlers from around the country to the halls, armories, and small arenas throughout the Carolinas and Virginia.

As the companies evolved, Crockett had become the main promoter, with Lerwis booking all of his talent through the Crockett's Charlotte office. Lewis died in 1961, and Crockett sent Joe Murnick, his top lieutenant in Charlotte, to replace him. Murnick would headquarter out of Raleigh, but assumed all of Lewis's territoy to the east, including Fayetteville, Richmond, Hampton, and Norfolk and all points in between.

Over the years, Crockett had many local promoters like Murnick working for him within the various regions of the main territory including such men as Henry Marcus (central and lower South Carolina), Paul Winkhaus (Western North Carolina and Upstate South Carolina) and Pete Apostolou (Central and Southwest Virginia.). These promoters coordinated the local promotion of Crockett’s wrestling events. However, it was Murnick who became Crockett’s largest and most trusted partner.

In April of 1973, Jim Crockett, Sr. passed away and his son in law, John Ringley, took over the operations of the company. He was soon followed by Crockett's oldest son, Jim Crockett, Jr., who during his tenure expanded the reach of the company outside of the traditional territorial boundaries that had existed for years within the pro wrestling industry, and wound up being one of the two top players nationally. 

Crockett Jr.'s lieutenants included Joe Murnick and his sons Elliot and Carl, along with longtime wrestlers Sandy Scott, Johnny Weaver, and Gene Anderson, who transitioned to regional promoters at the ground level, working with and later slowly replacing those listed earlier.

The territory was always known within the business as the “Charlotte territory” because that is where the Crocketts were based. Until the mid-1970s, fans simply knew it as “All-Star Wrestling” or “Championship Wrestling.” Around the time of Jim Sr.’s passing, the promotion began to brand its wrestling business as “Mid-Atlantic Championship Wrestling”, which also became the name of their television program. Prior to this time, television wrestling had been taped out of multiple locations each week including Charlotte, High Point, Roanoke, and Raleigh. In 1974, the company consolidated its weekly television production to one location - - the studios of WRAL in Raleigh, NC. There had been many hosts of the local programs over the years including Nick Pond, Charlie Harville, Hal Grant, Bill Ward, and Bob Caudle. After the 1974 consolidation, Caudle became the main voice of the company, and would serve in that capacity until the company was sold to Ted Turner in 1988.

But it was from the WRAL studio that the magic we saw unfold each week on our TV screens originally took place. In 1975, Crockett Promotions added a second studio program eventually known as “World Wide Wrestling” which was hosted at different times by Ed Capral, Rich Landrum, David Crockett, and Tony Schiavone.

Eventually finding itself on the losing side of a wrestling war in the late-1980s, the 53-year old family business was sold to Ted Turner in late 1988. Turner had been a partner in Crockett's national expansion, enthusiastically providing four hours of weekly television on his nationally cable-cast Superstation WTBS out of Atlanta. This eventually included quarterly prime-time TV specials as well.

The syndicated "Mid-Atlantic Championship Wrestling" (later renamed "NWA Pro Wrestling") and "World Wide Wrestling", along with the national WTBS "World Championship Wrestling" battleship, drove hundreds of thousands of fans to the arenas each month. For a short time anyway, the once small Mid-Atlantic territory one of the largest and most successful wrestling promotions in the country.

This article was based on a shorter limited piece originally posted June 28, 2017 on the Mid-Atlantic Gateway.

Monday, March 22, 2021

Charlotte O's Baseball Profiles of Tony Schiavone and Frances Crockett (1982)

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

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

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

Not long after Flair's suggestion, Schiavone was asked to interview Ric Flair at his home in Charlotte for a feature that aired prior to Flair's NWA World Title match against Harley Race at Starrcade '83. That went well, and he was tabbed with the opportunity to follow the legendary Charlotte wrestling announcer "Big" Bill Ward as host of the localized promo segments that were inserted into the wrestling shows. He eventually wound up getting his big shot co-hosting "World Wide Wrestling" alongside David Crockett in 1984. The rest, as they say, is history.

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

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

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

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

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


The following is a profile of Frances Crockett, then the general manager of the successful Charlotte O's baseball club. The O's were the AA affiliate of the Baltimore Orioles.

Both the Charlotte O's baseball club and the Mid-Atlantic Wrestling organization were part of Jim Crockett Promotions, Inc.

Frances is the oldest child of Jim and Elizabeth Crockett. She was the first woman General Manager of a professional baseball team and as reported on the Crockett Foundation website she has been profiled in Sports Illustrated, Sporting News and the Wall Street Journal. She serves as a special adviser to the board of the Crockett Foundation

This appeared in a 1982 Charlotte O's program sold at ballgames held at Crockett Park.

General Manager Frances Crockett

She sits back watching and listening never missing what is happening. Formulating and piecing together where she wants to go and what she wants for herself and the Charlotte O's. Basically shy and uncomfortable in the lime light, she nos taken the city of Charlotte by storm.

Since she took charge of the O's in 1977, Frances Crockett has developed a rare combination of energy and imagination to the job with spectacular results. In 1981 an all time Charlotte sports attendance record was set of 211,761. Crockett Park has become the place to be every spring and summer with promotions and give-aways every night of the season.
Frances' philosophy is that "The fans are what it is all about." This philosophy often throws her into conflict but she never falters. An old-fashioned girl who runs the team like any other business with old fashioned principles.
Her father, "Big" Jim Crockett, taught Frances everything she knows. Few knew more about managing and promotion than her father. She began in 1977 with no previous background in business or baseball. Many people thought of her as only a publicity stunt, but her natural charms with the team coupled with her shrewd business head has led her to the top of her profession.
"There are a lot of people who are responsible for the O's success. Our staff, both full-time and part-time, have to get a lot of credit. And I can't say enough about our loyal fans and advertisers. All these people, they are the ones that make this thing go."

For more information on the mission of the Crockett Foundation and the good work they do, please visit their website.

This post was combined and edited from two earlier posts from December of 2015 on the Mid-Atlantic Gateway.