UPDATED!

Additional information regarding a faux title change in March 1978 in Charleston.

A correction on the venue and location for the Outlaw's win of the Mid-Atlantic heavyweight title in 1984.

Plus video of the title change!

 

Title histories in pro-wrestling are often hard to track down and confirm, mainly because very rarely were official records kept by the promotions. Historians have relied on magazine and program reports as well as newspaper clippings, eye witness reports, and other sources.

All of the published title histories we've found for the Mid-Atlantic Heavyweight title are inaccurate or incomplete at some point, some of them wildly so.

Hours of tireless research (at least I like to look at it that way!) studying hundreds of newspaper clippings, reviewing hundreds of hours of audio tapes of the television shows, and even reviewing historical notes from booker George Scott have resulted in what we assert is the most definitive history of the Mid-Atlantic Championship avialable.

We continue the process of confirming each change, and providing supporting documentation.

If you have information which either contradicts or confirms information we present here, please contact us at the Mid-Atlantic Gateway.

 

E-mail us with comments or questions at:

midatlanticgateway@gmail.com

 


RELATED RESOURCES:

The Origin and Evolution of the Mid-Atlantic Heavyweight Championship

Mid-Atlantic Champions Photo Gallery

Eastern Heavyweight Champions Photo Gallery

Briscos: Common Thread

Other Crockett Title Histories

Methodology


PHOTO CREDITS

Most of the photographs on this page were taken by Bill Janosik, Eddie Cheslock, or Gene Gordon. Some were taken from Mid-Atlantic Wrestling Magazine published by Jim Crockett Promotions and no specific photo credit was given in those issues.

Specific credits and copyright acknowledgements can be found in the Mid-Atlantic Champions Photo Gallery and Eastern heavyweight Champions Photo Gallery.

 


We Need Your Help With Newspaper Clippings


 


SPECIAL NOTE: The Mid-Atlantic title was originally called the Eastern Heavyweight title, which came into existence in 1970. The name was changed to Mid-Atlantic Heavyweight title (and a new belt presented) in October of 1973. Crockett Promotions recognized all Eastern title holders as former Mid-Atlantic champions. We will include former Eastern title reigns in the total number of Mid-Atlantic title reigns accordingly.


1970s  |  1980s  |  Eastern Title  |  Mid-Atlantic Title


 

Pat O'Conner

First Recognized Eastern Heavyweight Champion

A GATEWAY EXCLUSIVE

As part of the storyline to introduce the Eastern heavyweight title to the Mid-Atlantic territory,  it was announced that Pat O'Conner was the reigning Eastern Heavyweight Champion. This was established both on television and in newspaper clippings. This is generally considered to be a fictitious title reign.

NEWSPAPER CLIPPING

 

 

Missouri Mauler (Larry Hamilton)

10/13/70 - Announced on TV (Air Date 10/17/70) that Mauler won the Eastern Heavyweight title from Pat O'Conner in New York

Mauler's first match back for Crockett in 1970 was on 10/12/70 in Charlotte NC. At WGHP TV studios on the following day 10/13/70, Mauler makes the announcement that he defeated O'Conner for the Eastern title in New York. The earliest reference to an Eastern title match we've found is in Lexington NC on 10/17/70 vs. Al Torres.

O'Conner's reign as champion, and this title change, are generally accepted to be fictional for the purposes of creating and establishing the title. A newspaper reference in January 1971 to O'Conner holding the title, and Mauler defeating him for the title, can be found here:

NEWSPAPER CLIPPING 

 

 

Danny Miller

7/15/71 Greensboro Coliseum, Greensboro, NC

NEWSPAPER AD & RESULT

 

 

Missouri Mauler (2)

9/20/71 Charlotte Park Center, Charlotte, NC

NEWSPAPER ARTICLE, AD, AND RESULT

 

 

Jack Brisco

11/30/71 WGHP TV Studio, High Point NC (Air Date: 12/4/71)

The date of this change was established by process of elimination.

Missouri Mauler successfully defended the title on Monday 11/29/71 in Greenville, SC.  WGHP taped TV on Tuesdays, and while no record exists of matches on that taping on 11/30, neither Larry Hamilton (Mauler) nor Jack Brisco were on house shows Tuesday 11/30 held in Raleigh or Columbia.

Carroll Hall (who assists us with title histories) saw the switch on WGHP TV and knows it was around the Thanksgiving weekend. It could not have been the Tuesday before Thanksgiving (11/23/71) because Mauler is still champion on 11/29/71. Plus, both Mauler and Brisco were wrestling in Columbia that night. It could not have been two weeks later on Tuesday 12/7/71 because the Mauler (but not Brisco) was wrestling in Columbia that night.

This only leaves Tuesday 11/30/73 at WGHP in High Point NC as the possible date of the switch, and that date is now considered confirmed based on the information and process above.

 

 

Rip Hawk (1)

2/14/72 Charlotte Coliseum, Charlotte NC

Based on information found in the newspaper ad for this show, Rip Hawk apparently won a tournament to earn the title shot from Eastern Champion Jack Brisco.

NEWSPAPER AD, PREVIEW, AND RESULTS

 

 

Jack Brisco (2)

4/10/72 Charlotte Park Center, Charlotte NC

NEWSPAPER AD, PREVIEW, AND RESULTS

 

 

Rip Hawk (2)

Sometime between 4/25/72 and 5/25/72, Puerto Rico

This was a "phantom" switch.

Jack Brisco accounts in his autobiography that he was unavailable for regular bookings in the territory due to so many bookings elsewhere, and the promotion decided to give the title back to Rip Hawk, the story being put forth that the title changed hands in Puerto Rico.

Brisco is listed as defending the Eastern title against the Missouri Mauler in Charleston on 4/25. This was the last reference to Jack Brisco as Eastern champion.

In May, a clip is shown on WBTV where Rip pins Jack Brisco, and Rip claims that he won the Eastern title from Jack in San Juan, Puerto Rico.

 

 

Jerry Brisco

6/13/72 Township Auditorium, Columbia, SC

NEWSPAPER AD AND RESULT

 

 

Rip Hawk (3)

8/28/72 Memorial Auditorium, Greenville, SC

NEWSPAPER AD AND RESULT

 

 

Jerry Brisco (2)

9/4/72 Memorial Auditorium, Greenville, SC

NEWSPAPER AD AND RESULT

 

 

Rip Hawk (4)

12/28/72 Greensboro Coliseum, Greensboro, NC

NEWSPAPER AD AND RESULT

 

 

 

Jerry Brisco (3)

3/3/73 Memorial Coliseum, Winston-Salem, NC

NEWSPAPER AD AND RESULT

 

 

Ole Anderson

5/9/73  WRAL TV Studio, Raleigh NC

Wrestling Revue magazine from that year interviews new Eastern Champion Ole Anderson and reports he won the title at WRAL TV.

An original photograph taken in Richmond 5/4 has an inscription on the rear noting that Anderson won the title from Brisco on 5/9, which was a Wednesday night, the night which television was taped in Raleigh. The only house event that same night 5/9 was in Asheville NC and neither Brisco nor Anderson were on the Asheville show, which made it possible for them to be on Raleigh TV.

PHOTOGRAPHS AND NEWSPAPER CLIPPINGS

AND MORE INFORMATION ON THIS TITLE CHANGE

 

 

Jerry Brisco (4)

7/3/73 Township Auditorium, Columbia, SC

On 7/3/73, Jerry wrestles Ole Anderson for the title in Columbia. Ole is billed as the champion and Jerry as the former champion. There were no results in the newspaper. However, further research shows no references to the Eastern title from 7/3 until 7/14. On the 14th, Jerry defended the Eastern title against Ole in Roanoke VA. Unless we uncover evidence to the contrary, this confirms Columbia 7/3 as the site and date for the change.

NEWSPAPER AD plus REFERENCE CLIPPING


Eastern Title Retired

Mid-Atlantic Heavyweight Championship Established

Jerry Brisco

9/6/73, Greensboro Coliseum, Greensboro, NC

Jerry Brisco is final Eastern Heavyweight Champion

New Mid-Atlantic Championship Belt is presented to Jerry Brisco

See Origin of the Mid-Atlantic Heavyweight Championship for more detials.


 

 

Johnny Valentine

Awarded to Valentine following injury

to Jerry Brisco (Jan 1974)

This title change has proven very difficult to document.

Here is what we know for sure:

Newspaper results from 12/28/73 in Charleston SC show a title match between champion Jerry Brisco and challenger Johnny Valentine being stopped after Brisco is injured. ("Brisco accidentally ran into the referee, fell down, and hit the support. It was feared he may have broken some ribs, so the match was stopped.")

REFERENCE CLIPPING: CHARLESTON

A newspaper clipping from Columbia, SC promoting a 3/5/74 card at the Township Auditorium mentions that Jerry was returning to action following an injury around Christmas 1973. The time frames line up well, and we will assume that Jerry Brisco was out for an injury and the title was awarded to Valentine early in the year 1974, using the story above. The clipping also mentions a tour of the orient, so the story could be partially based on that truth. (Brisco was not on Mid-Atlantic cards for the first 7 weeks of 1974.)

REFERENCE CLIPPING: COLUMBIA

Another possible story: Valentine was told on TV that he would be awarded the title by default when Jerry Brisco failed to show up for a title defense. Brisco later complained to announcer Elliott Murnick on the Raleigh version of Mid-Atlantic Championship Wrestling, after returning to action,  that he never lost the belt in the ring, that the Crockets gave Valentine the belt while he was in Japan with his brother Jack.  (Credit - Carroll Hall) This story matches a listing in Title Histories by Duncan & Will: "Awarded [to Johnny Valentine] when Jerry Brisco goes to Japan."

Contradicting this is a mention in an issue of Wrestling Guide magazine by Charleston correspondent James Reeves that Valentine won the title from Brisco in Charleston. Looking at match dates and newpaper ads, by process of elimination, this would have had to happen on 1/4/74. Valentine wasn't on the 1/11 card a week later. He is documented to be defending the title as early as 1/21 in Charlotte, which would have been promoted on a Charlotte TV taping on 1/16/74. Clippings for the 1/4/74 Charleston card are unclear, listing Valentine wrestling "Tom Jones for the third time in as many weeks." Tom Jones had wrestled Valentine twice in December (12/7 and 12/14/73). We are guessing Tom Jones was a replacement for Brisco, who missed the date due to either injury or going to Japan as documented above.

We do not believe Valentine defeated Brisco in the ring for the title.

REFERENCE CLIPPING - WRESTLING GUIDE ARTICLE

Earliest title-defense reference for Valentine: 1/21/74 Valentine vs. Bruggers in Charlotte. Promotional work for that match would have taken place on the TV taped 1/16/74.

First match back for Jerry Brisco following alleged injury: 2/11/74 Charlotte (in a 6 man tag team match.)

 

 

 

Paul Jones

3/9/75 Park Center, Charlotte NC

Jones pinned Valentine in a fence match

As Jones pinned Valentine, Valentine put his leg on the rope to break the count. The referee did not see this, and Jones pulled Valentine's leg off the ropes before the three count ended. Valentine protested, Ric Flair came down to ringside and protested as well, but referee Angelo Martinelli raised Paul Jones hand and awarded the title belt to Jones.

 MORE ON THE DECISION TO RECOGNIZE THIS TITLE CHANGE

 

 

Johnny Valentine (2)

3/19/75. Announced at the TV taping in Raleigh (airing in most markets on 3/22/75) that Jones had been stripped of the title and the belt  returned to Johnny Valentine by NWA President Sam Muchnick. Valentine is now recognized as champion.

 Valentine announced on the WRAL TV taping on 3/12/75 that he had sent the film of the 3/9 match in Charlotte to NWA president Sam Muchnick asking that the film be reviewed and the title returned to him since he his leg on the rope and the count should have been stopped (see Paul Jones above.)  Muchnick reviewed the tape, ruled in Valentine's favor, stripped Jones of the title, and awarded the title to Johnny Valentine. This was announced at WRAL TV taping on 3/19/75.

MORE ON THE DECISION TO RECOGNIZE THIS TITLE CHANGE

 

 

Wahoo McDaniel

6/29/75 Asheville Civic Center, Asheville NC

 After a chase that went on for the better part of a year, Wahoo McDaniel finally defeated Johnny Valentine for the Mid-Atlantic title. Valentine had seemed unbeatable.

NEWSPAPER AD & DATEBOOK REFERENCES

A GATEWAY EXCLUSIVE

 

 

Ric Flair

9/20/75  Hampton Coliseum, Hampton, VA

Many title histories don't have Flair winning his first Mid-Atlantic title until spring of 1976, but it was actually two weeks before the Wilmington Plane Crash. Flair was allowed to maintain the title throughout his rehabilitation period, despite not defending the title during the NWA 30-day defense period. He returned to action in January, mostly in tag matches or six-man matches, and began defense of the title in February.

NEWSPAPER AD AND PREVIEW | 2nd NEWSPAPER AD AND RESULTS

 

 

Wahoo McDaniel (2)

5/03/76 Charlotte Coliseum, Charlotte, NC

NEWSPAPER AD AND RESULT

 

 

Ric Flair (2)

5/24/76 Charlotte Coliseum, Charlotte, NC

This is the famous "Table Leg" match where Ric hit Wahoo with a table leg that had been broken off from a ringside table. Although the spot was worked, the table leg had a nail sticking out of it and severely cut Wahoo over his eye, requiring 40 stitches to close the wound. Wahoo would mention this incident in TV interviews over the next decade.

NEWSPAPER AD     RESULT CLIPPING

 

 

Wahoo McDaniel (3)

9/11/76  Greenville Memorial Auditorium in Greenville, SC

NEWSPAPER AD   RESULT CLIPPING

 

 

Ric Flair (3)

10/16/76 Greensboro Coliseum, Greensboro, NC

NEWSPAPER AD | RESULTS

 

 

Wahoo McDaniel (4)

12/27/76  Richmond Coliseum, Richmond, VA

NEWSPAPER AD   RESULT CLIPPING

 

 

 

Greg Valentine

6/11/77 Greensboro Coliseum, Greensboro, NC

NEWSPAPER AD | RESULTS

 

 

Wahoo McDaniel (5)

8/9/77 Dorton Arena, Raleigh NC

NEWSPAPER AD & RESULT

 

 

Greg Valentine (2)

9/7/77 at WRAL TV studios, Raleigh NC  Airdate 9/10/77

Mid-Atlantic Championship Wrestling Television

 

 This was the famous match where Valentine broke Wahoo's leg on television. Greg Valentine put up the $2000 in silver dollars against Wahoo's Mid-Atlantic title. In a match still talked about today, Valentine had Wahoo prone on the mat and held his leg and fell full-weight on the leg, breaking the ankle. Wahoo submitted and Valentine had regained the title.

 

 

Wahoo McDaniel (6)

4/2/78 Greensboro Coliseum, Greensboro, NC

GREENSBORO NEWSPAPER AD & RESULT

UPDATED: *Also documented to have changed hands two days earlier on 3/31/78 in Charleston SC with Gene Anderson as a special referee. The change was ignored in Greensboro and Greg Valentine wore the belt into the ring and defended against Wahoo on 4/2, so that date is still recognized as the official title change.

CHARLESTON 3/31 AD & RESULT

 

 

Ken Patera

4/9/78 Charlotte Coliseum, Charlotte NC

NEWSPAPER AD & RESULT

 

 

Tony Atlas

9/17/78 Roanoke Civic Center, Roanoke VA

NEWSPAPER AD & RESULT

 

 

Ken Patera (2)

10/15/78 Roanoke Civic Center, Roanoke VA

NEWSPAPER AD & RESULT

 

 

Jim Brunzell

9/14/79 Richmond Coliseum, Richmond VA

NEWSPAPER AD & STORY BY DAVID CHAPPELL

 

 

Ray Stevens

11/22/79 Greensboro Coliseum, Greensboro NC

NEWSPAPER AD & RESULT

 

 

Jim Brunzell (2)

12/25/79 Charlotte Coliseum, Charlotte NC

NEWSPAPER AD & RESULT

THANKS TO KYLE ROSSER FOR HELPING US ESTABLISH THIS DATE

 

 

 

The Iron Sheik

managed by Gene Anderson

5/11/80  Charlotte Coliseum, Charlotte NC

NEWSPAPER AD & RESULT

 

 

Ricky Steamboat

11/1/80 Richmond Coliseum, Richmond VA

NEWSPAPER AD AND RESULT | STORY BY DAVID CHAPPELL

 

 

Ivan Koloff

4/16/81 The Scope, Norfolk VA

NEWSPAPER CLIPPINGS COMING SOON

 

 

Ricky Steamboat (2)

10/10/81 Greensboro Coliseum, Greensboro NC

Steamboat replaced Dusty Rhodes who was originally scheduled to meet Koloff for a shot at the Mid-Atlantic title. Rhodes spent several weeks in the area right after loosing the NWA World title to Ric Flair.

NEWSPAPER AD & RESULT

 

 

Roddy Piper

11/1/81 Greensboro Coliseum, Greensboro NC

NEWSPAPER AD & RESULT

 

 

Jack Brisco (3)

5/10/82 Greenville Memorial Auditorium, Greenville SC

Brisco is a former 2-time Eastern Heavyweight Champion, which is the title that morphed into the Mid-Atlantic title in September of 1973. Eastern title reigns are recognized as former Mid-Atlantic title reigns, making this reign Jack's 3rd Mid-Atlantic title reign.

Jack Brisco and his brother Jerry are the only two men to have held both the Eastern States and Mid-Atlantic titles.

NEWSPAPER CLIPPING  | COMMON THREAD

 

 

Roddy Piper (2)

7/7/82 WPCQ Television Studios, Charlotte NC

Piper had stolen the Mid-Atlantic title belt after a disputed match, and would not return it to Brisco unless he agreed to face him on TV and put up $10,000.  Brisco quickly got up the money (with help from Ricky Steamboat and Wahoo McDaniel) and the two met in one of the more, memorable televised title matches of the time.

 

 

Jack Brisco (4)

8/3/82 Civic Center, Raleigh NC

Roddy Piper is stabbed by a fan after the matches are over.

 NEWSPAPER CLIPPING

 

 

Paul Jones (2)

managed by Sir Oliver Humperdink

9/1/82 WPCQ TV Studios, Charlotte NC

 

 

Jack Brisco (5)

10/18/82 Memorial Auditorium, Greenville SC

 NEWSPAPER CLIPPINGS

 

 

Paul Jones (3)

managed by Sir Oliver Humperdink

CORRECTED

10/25/82 Fayetteville NC

NEWSPAPER AD (AD ONLY - NO RESULT)

 

 

Jack Brisco (6)

Believed to be 11/30/82 in Columbia SC

 

 

 

 

Dory Funk Jr.

managed by Paul Jones

1/30/83 Charlotte NC

NEED CLIPPING

 

 

Rufus R. Jones
8/5/83 Richmond VA

NEED CLIPPING

 

 

Dick Slater

12/3/83 Hampton VA

NEED CLIPPING

 

 

Ivan Koloff (2)

Koloff is given the title by Dick Slater on Mid-Atlantic TV.

Slater won the US title on 12/14/83 in Charlotte NC and elected to give the Mid-Atlantic title to Ivan Koloff. 

This "handover" of the title, without objection from the sanctioning bodies, cheapened the title in a manner from which it never really recovered. While Koloff was a top level wrestler, the title no longer had value because it was handed off and not won in the ring. The title became a minor/mid-level title from this point forward.

(Rhetorically, and in terms of the storyline, fans have to ask why would the NWA and/or Crockett Promotions allow something like this to happen? How is this reasonably explained? The answer, of course, is lazy booking!)

 

 

 

Angelo Mosca Jr.

accompanied by Angelo Mosca Sr.

1/25/84 Shelby NC TV Taping (TH)

NEED CLIPPING

 

 

Ivan Koloff (3)

3/18/84 Charlotte Coliseum, Charlotte NC

NEED CLIPPING

 

 

Angelo Mosca Jr. (2)

4/22/84 Charlotte Coliseum, Charlotte NC

NEED CLIPPING

 

The Masked Outlaw (Dory Funk Jr.) (2)

managed by Gary Hart

 

May 1984  Memorial Auditorium, Spartanburg SC

World Wide Wrestling TV Taping

Previously incorrectly listed as North Rowan HS, Spencer NC

CLIPPING Clipping does not confirm this match, but this is the only taping we've discoverd in May 1984. Thanks to Carroll Hall.

 

 

Angelo Mosca Jr. (3)

6/27/84* - Scope Arena, Norfolk VA

*Date not confirmed.

Thanks to Robert Reddick for information tha confirms Norfolk as the location of this title change. Need Clipping!

 

 

Ron Bass

managed by JJ Dillon

 

August 1984 (perhaps 8/29/84*) - Location Unknown

World Wide Wrestling TV Taping

NEED CLIPPING - DATE & LOCATION NOT CONFIRMED

 

 

 

Buzz Tyler

3/16/85 Greensboro NC

NEWSPAPER AD AND RESULT

 

 

Krusher Khrushchev (Barry Darsow)

11/28/85 - Starrcade 85, Greensboro Coliseum, Greensboro NC

Defeated Sam Houston to fill the vacant championship.

 

 

 

Sam Houston

1/11/86 WTBS Television Studios

Techwood Drive, Atlanta GA

 

Black Bart (Ricky Harris)

3/18/86 Mooresville NC (TH)

May have also been a TV taping.

NEED CLIPPING

 

Ron Garvin

9/2/86 TV Taping

Memorial Auditorium, Spartanburg SC

NEED CLIPPING

 

TITLE RETIRED

12/27/86 WTBS Television Studios

Techwood Drive, Atlanta GA

Ron Garvin wins US Tag Titles with Barry Windham and decides to give up the Mid-Atlantic title. He hands the belt to Jim Crockett on World Championship Wrestling.

The belt is never seen again and the title is unofficially retired.



A SAD DAY FOR MID-ATLANTIC WRESTLING

This sequence of images from World Championship Wrestling show Ronnie Garvin handing over the Mid-Atlantic Heavyweight championship belt to Jim Crockett, Jr. on 12/27/86 in the studios of WTBS in Atlanta. Garvin was forfeiting the title after he and Barry Windham had won the United States tag team championships. He is wearing the US tag title.

While Jim Crockett told Tony Schiavone that he would announce later what would be done with the title, the belt and the championship were never seen or mentioned again.

The great era known as "Mid-Atlantic Championship Wrestling" had quietly come to an end.

Learn more in The Origin of the Mid-Atlantic Heavyweight Championship by Dick Bourne.

 

CLICK HERE

Replica of the Mid-Atlantic Heavyweight Championship Belt (1977-1985)

Belt crafted by Dave Millican