Tuesday, May 17, 2022

Wrestling Art: Greg Valentine and that Famous T-Shirt

Digital artist Robby Bannister is back with another great art-cover paying tribute to the old Mid-Atlantic Wrestling Magazines of the 1970s and 1980s.

This time, the cover features one of the most iconic moments in Mid-Atlantic Wrestling history - - Greg Valentine celebrating his 1977 Mid-Atlantic championship title win over Wahoo McDaniel, wearing the Mid-Atlantic title belt and his infamous "I Broke Wahoo's Leg" t-shirt. 

Art by Robby Bannister

Greg had an original cover of his own that year, one of our favorite covers of that era, featuring an artistic rendition of "the Hammer" standing alongside the mythical Valentine Trophy Case that sported the Mid-Atlantic title belt and other trophies. The only thing missing was the fish bowl filled with a thousand silver dollars. Or in the case of that famous match between Greg and Wahoo, TWO thousand silver dollars. The photo that inspired Robby's cover was in that very issue.

Robby's other couvertures d'hommage have featured Blackjack Mulligan, Arn Anderson, Jimmy Snuka and Paul Orndorf, and the idea that began the series Don Kernodle.

Monday, May 16, 2022

Mid-Atlantic Wrestling Tour on a Bo' Town Roasters Cup!

This Bo'Town Roasters coffee cup from Bojangle's looks like a tour itinerary for 1970s Mid-Atlantic Championship Wrestling.

Greenville, Asheville, Raliegh, Charlotte, Richmond, Rick Hill, Florence, and everywhere in between. Jim Crockett Promotions on the road. All aboard! 

Originally published May 2018 on the Mid-Atlantic Gateway.


Friday, May 13, 2022

Tough Kid: Roddy Piper and the Sandpaper

by Dick Bourne
Mid-Atlantic Gateway
Edited From the Mid-Atlantic Gateway Archives / Cokes & Popcorn

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

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

In a radio interview in 2011 promoting an upcoming NWA Wrestling Legends Fanfest, Piper discussed what we didn't see during the commercial break to make sure fans bought into the angle:

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

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

Roddy Piper 1982
Photograph by Eddie Cheslock

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

Ricky Steamboat 1978

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

On a 2015 appearance on Ric Flair's old podcast WOOOOO! Nation, Steamboat recounted how the same thing has been done to him to help get the angle over.

From the Mid-Atlantic Gateway Archives / Cokes & Popcorn
Also republished in June of 2015 on the Mid-Atlantic Gateway

Wednesday, May 11, 2022

Texas Sized Memories of the NWA Tilte

Memories of Texas Stadium 1984:
Ring jacket, replica belt, Texas flag, and yellow roses.

by Dick Bourne
Mid-Atlantic Gateway

The month of May in 2022 marks the 38th anniversary of the brief NWA World title exchange between Kerry Von Erich and Ric Flair. Kerry won the title on May 6, 1984 at Texas Stadium in Irving, Texas. He dropped the title back to Flair in Yokosuka, Japan on May 24, 1984.

Kerry's victory was at the "Parade of Champions" show that honored Kerry's brother David, who had passed away earlier that same year.

The photograph above contains several iconic elements, not the least of which is the original ring jacket Kerry wore in the ring the day he won the title. The belt is a Dave Millican replica of the National Wrestling Alliance world championship belt, affectionately known as the "domed globe" or "the ten pounds of gold." The belt and jacket are adorned with the Texas flag and yellow roses, all of which call back to that memorable and emotional day in Texas Stadium.

The book "Ten Pounds of Gold" features dozens of photos of the original NWA belt shot especially for the book, one with the original Kerry Von Erich ring jacket paying tribute to his late brother David, the belt and the jacket reunited at the time of the photo in 2008 for the first time in 24 years. I've always loved this photo above, though, taken the following year that featured the flag and the yellow roses with Dave's replica. I've always regretted not thinking to do that when I shot the original belt and robe together for the book.

Republished in edited form in May 2022 on the Mid-Atlantic Gateway.


Tuesday, May 10, 2022

Magazine Memories: The SuperStar Grapevine (1977)

The SuperStar Grapevine column in "Wrestling Superstars" was always one of our favorite sections of that newsstand magazine.

And of course we believed every word of it. Who were we to question the journalistic standards of Stanley Weston and his fine group of editors?

So hear are a few classic entries worth hanging onto that appeared in that literary tome in late 1977. The titles are ours.

Nobody Does it Better
Ric Flair claims the song "Nobody Does It Better" was not inspired by James Bond, but by him. "The songwriter, Carol Sager, obviously has seen me wrestle. Who can blame the woman for becoming overcome by my brilliance?" Don't you wish you had Flair's imagination?

Move Over Mother Teresa
Wahoo McDaniel doesn't want any publicity for his many charitable works, but someone should publicly congratulate him. Wahoo is a tireless worker for the downtrodden and helpless. We're lucky to have Wahoo living in our world.

A Dish Best Served Cold
Terry Funk, back on the road to success, declares, "Harley Race cheated when he took my title. That doesn't bother me anymore. I don't want revenge. I just want to break him in two for the fun of hearing him scream."

Two Legs A Week
Feeling no remorse whatsoever for breaking Wahoo McDaniel's leg, Greg Valentine has gone on to break the leg of young rookie "Irish" Pat McKillan. "I hope to break at least two legs a week," says Valentine. "Maybe four, if I get lucky."

Originally published in May 2018 on the Mid-Atlantic Gateway.


Sunday, May 08, 2022

Poster: 14-Man Battle Royal in Lynchburg

by Brack Beasley
Mid-Atlantic Gateway Contributor

This poster takes us back to Sunday night, August 22nd, 1976 and promotes a card held at City Stadium in Lynchburg, VA. 

The main attraction was a 14-man over the top Battle Royal for prize money, $5,600 to be exact. I'm not sure where they came up with that odd figure but in today's money it's over $28,000. (And even more odd - - the newspaper ad for the show listed the prize money as $6,000.)

Interestingly enough, the majority of the competitors were part of the top tag teams of 1976 and included The Anderson Brothers, The Mongols, Mr. Wrestling Tim Woods and Dino Bravo, Sergeant Jacques Goulet and Mike "The Judge" Dubois, Ron Garvin and Tiger Conway Jr. Paul Jones, Johnny Weaver, Angelo Mosca, and Tony Atlas rounded out the Mid Atlantic stars on this card. 

I'd like to know what the other 7 matches were because the talent in Lynchburg on this night particular night would have made some intriguing match-ups. 

As the norm, battle royal posters had unique layouts and this one boasts all black print on a striking two tone pink over yellow background with all 14 participants in the same sized font, which is nice to see. 

For advance tickets, wrestling fans could go to Peter's News Stand. 



Friday, May 06, 2022

New NWA Champion Dusty Rhodes Wrestles on Wide World Wrestling


In July of 1981, the new NWA World Heavyweight Champion Dusty Rhodes made his first appearance with the ten pounds of gold on World Wide Wrestling. Rhodes had defeated Harley Race for the honors weeks earlier in the Omni in Atlanta, GA. Commentators Rich Landrum and Johnny Weaver called the action as Rhodes battled Jim Nelson in the cozy confines of WRAL TV studios in Raleigh. 

Video from that era is very rare, but through the magic of a vintage audio recording, we present Dusty's first appearance on Mid-Atlantic area television as NWA World Champion.

NWA World Champion Dusty Rhodes on World Wide Wrestling

Audio from the collection of David Chappell.

Wednesday, May 04, 2022

The Domed Globe Blog

Check out one of our sister-blogs which focuses on everything related to the domed-globe NWA world heavyweight championship belt 1973-1986, better known as "the ten pounds of gold."

The Domed Globe

The blog focuses on the eight men who wore and defended the domed-globe version of the belt that was in service from 1973-1986: Harley Race, Jack Brisco, Giant Baba, Terry Funk, Dusty Rhodes, Tommy Rich, Ric Flair, and Kerry Von Erich.

Recent posts focus on the Jack Veneno title controversy of 1982, Terry Funk winning the NWA title from Jack Brisco, Harley Race's wicked smile, and Tom Prichard's story about the night Brisco beat Race for the title in Houston.

There are video clips, photographs, memorabilia, etc. Check it out and help celebrate the most respected world title belt of all time.

Monday, May 02, 2022

Poster: Andre the Giant part of Explosive Six Man Tag in Hampton, VA

by Jody Shifflett
Mid-Atlantic Gateway Contributor

This poster is from 1976 and originated from the Hampton Coliseum and happened just two nights after the Thanksgiving spectaculars at the Greensboro Coliseum and the nearby Norfolk Scope.


What an epic card this was, headlined by none other than Andre The Giant, Paul Jones and Rufus R. Jones taking on and defeating the dream team of Ric Flair, Greg Valentine and Blackjack Mulligan! 

The poster features great sunrise colors and took place at the legendary Hampton Coliseum which is often referred to by concert-goers as the 'Mothership' because of its unique design.

The Hampton Coliseum, Hampton, VA

Hampton was truly a hotbed for Mid-Atlantic Wrestling as this was where Flair defeated Wahoo the year before in 1975 for his first Mid Atlantic Championship.