Of course, you didn’t have to hit the road with
these guys when you were based at WRAL with the studio
show. There are many fans that believe that TV wrestling
in the studio was a better setting than when the shows
were taped from the larger arenas. Which was your
favorite location to broadcast from?
I enjoyed it more in the studio. I think mainly
because it was a more intimate crowd in the studio. It
wasn’t so large and you were far closer to the crowd
in the studio. You could talk to the crowd and stuff
like that while the commercials were on.
Talk about REALLY being close to the crowd…tell us
about that tiny TV studio you were in from 1981-1983 in
Charlotte, that you mentioned earlier. Did they use a
shoehorn to shove the ring in there? (laughs)
it was tough going in there! It was very difficult to do
a lot in that studio. There weren’t many people in
there, and the ones that were there were right on top of
you. There was no room in there to maneuver cameras or
anything else. For a couple of weeks in that studio,
Roddy Piper worked with me. Do you remember Piper?
Definitely…talk about someone having the gift of
During those two years in the Charlotte studio, the
promotion may have been the best in the country…and
yet the TV show was being done out of a glorified coat
(laughing) I don’t know what the whole story was,
but I think probably RAL needed their studio for
something [else]. But I’m not completely sure what the
reason was for the change, and the move to Charlotte.
Did you have much interaction with the crowd in the
You could talk with them, and of course the fans
were right on top of the wrestlers. Some times the fans
could get right irate. (laughs)
Any fan related incidents in the studio that come to
A couple of times, we had a couple of nuts jump up
in the ring! One of the times, I think it was with Hawk
and Hanson, some guy was crazy enough to get up in the
ring…it only took about fifteen seconds for him to
really get pummeled and get run out of there. The guy
was in bad shape when he left!
The moral of that story is you best not
underestimate the strength and toughness of a
The thing about it was, a lot of people looked at
[the wrestlers] and said, ‘I can handle him.’ Let me
tell you, [the wrestlers] were big, hefty guys. If Flair
would have hit me with those chops of his, he would have
caved my chest in. They were big tough guys, and
athletic on top of that.
I’ve always thought that the athleticism of
wrestlers in the 60s and 70s was underestimated as well.
You don’t have to look like a bodybuilder to be a
They had to be in tremendous shape…to get in that
ring and wrestle the length of the matches they did
then. I saw Flair in the studio away from the crowd,
before we started taping the matches, do five hundred
sit-ups and five hundred deep knee-bends like it was
nothing. The guy could go on and on and on and on. Tell
me that doesn’t take some stamina.
Flair didn’t even let the plane crash in
Wilmington, North Carolina in 1975 slow him down! He was
I certainly remember the time around the plane crash
well. It was on a Saturday night in Wilmington. I
wasn’t there…I was [at home], and didn’t hear
about it until the next morning. I got some details
then, but when they came back up to Raleigh for the
tapings the next Wednesday,
[Crockett] was with them.
had a concussion, and had his knee banged up pretty
back was hurt badly, but you’re right, he came back
from it real fast. That really surprised me.
wrestler that was hurt the worst was Johnny Valentine. I
remember the other guys saying that they felt like
Johnny really saved their lives, because he was in the
front of the plane and he braced himself so he took the
full impact. He kept everybody else from being thrown
around the plane worse than they were.
What are your memories of Johnny “The Champ”
He had his back and leg severely injured in the
plane crash. I only saw him a couple of times after the
crash…he was on crutches then. I tell you, Johnny was
a strong, tough individual. His injuries in the crash
would have killed a normal man. He was a heck of a nice
guy…he really was.
I understand Johnny was also quite a practical
He sure was…a lot of them were. They were like a
bunch of overgrown kids in that respect! (laughs)
Were you ever on the receiving end of any of their
No, not really to any large extent. I tell you, one
of the biggest pranksters of them all was Gene Anderson.
If you ever went to shake hands with Gene, he’d get
your thumb or finger bent back so bad that he’d have
you crying. (laughs) He’d love to do stuff like that.
was crazy about Gene. He was a character, but a really
special guy…I was so sorry when he passed away.
I’ve always heard that Gene Anderson was a
Hey…he was a tough nut, he really was! Oh man,
don’t let anybody ever tell you that Gene Anderson
wasn’t the toughest guy around. NOBODY would really
want to tangle with Gene.
You said that you were close to Gene. Were there
others in the promotion over the years that you felt
especially close to? Were there guys that gave you
I can’t think of anybody that I really didn’t
like. There were those that were easier to talk with and
get to know on a friendly basis…Flair, of course, was
that way. Flair and I have been friends for a long time.
Arn Anderson was one of my favorites. Arn and I got
along really well. George and Sandy Scott also. Another
one I got close to when he was here was Tully
Blanchard…he was a great guy. I think Tully became a
TV Champion Tully Blanchard & Babydoll with
Bob Caudle on Mid-Atlantic Wrestling, 1985.
TV Champion Arn Anderson with Bob Caudle on the JCP
Sports set, 1986.
I said, I really liked them all. Blackjack [Mulligan]
was a favorite of mine also. Swede Hanson…Swede and
Rip Hawk and I were close. Swede was a big tough nut
though…you wouldn’t want to necessarily meet up with
him in a long, dark alley. (laughs)
Tell us about the matches that comprised the
television show in the Mid-Atlantic days. For the most
part, they featured main eventers against undercard
guys. But occasionally, you would get a big match that
would have been the headline bout in an arena.
There were definitely main event matches on TV at
times, and they had their purpose. For instance, you may
have had a tag match like the Anderson’s against Paul
Jones and Wahoo [McDaniel]. In those types of matches,
you usually had a winner, but somebody interfered or did
something that would get the fans riled up. Or sometimes
they would end up as a disqualification, but you’d get
the best talker out on the microphone and he’d say,
‘We’re gonna get his butt in Richmond on Friday
night,’ or something like that. That’s how they
would build around a TV match and take it into the
arenas. They promoted that way a lot…and it was a good
way to do it.
Did those main event type matches on TV have any
special significance to you as an announcer?
No, I tried to treat all the matches about the same.
But I’m sure some of the matches and angles you
saw and broadcasted will always be more memorable to you
Oh yes, no doubt about it. Gosh…if I had to pick
one that sticks out most in my mind…I think it would
be when Flair and Sting wrestled the [whole] time limit
at the first Clash of Champions in 1988. I mentioned
that match to you previously. I mean, those guys never
slowed down. I don’t see how they did it…they were
amazing and in amazing condition to pull that match off.
They could really work...they could really go.
matches I did with Flair and Steamboat were classics.
Dusty [Rhodes] and Flair had some good matches. I
remember the match were
Valentine broke Wahoo’s leg…that was something. When
Flair tore up Blackjack’s cowboy hat, and then
Blackjack turned around and tore up Flair’s ring
robe…that sticks out to me.
match that is sort of memorable to me for a different
reason…Don Kernodle got his arm cut coming out of the
ring one time. This was in the 80s. I think he hooked it
on a bolt on the ring post, or something like that. You
know, I always heard people talk about blood capsules. I
tell you…these guys were bleeding and were REALLY
bleeding, and bleeding a lot. And Kernodle was that
Along those same lines, a different kind of
memorable moment for me came in 1980 when Ray Stevens
Crockett over a film clip of a match, which Stevens
destroyed on the WRAL set. That was the first time I
ever remember an announcer being attacked by a wrestler,
and it was pretty shocking at the time. Was there ever a
push to get you involved in an angle like that?
No, there never was. In fact, the only time I ever
got struck by a wrestler, it was strictly an accident.
Do you remember Skull Murphy and Brute Bernard?
Yes, particularly the unpredictable Brute Bernard.
Our announcing desk had rollers on it. When you
interviewed those two, I would talk with Skull and Skull
and I would be behind the desk. Now, Brute was out in
front of the desk strutting around in a circle talking
his nonsense (Editors note: At this point Bob does a
wonderful impersonation of Brute Bernard!). I said
something over towards Brute and Brute acted like he
didn’t like it, and he came towards Skull and I and
put his hands on the desk. As he did, the desk started
rolling on those rollers and rammed back into us hard.
That was the only time I can remember that I even got
touched. Later, the next time Brute came around the
desk, he leaned over to me and whispered, ‘Sorry about
So, there really wasn’t much thought of getting
the announcers involved in angles?
Crockett could do a little bit.
had wrestled some, and trained some and was part of the
whole business…so he could do it. But nobody ever even
hinted about trying to put a finger on me.
Do you remember in the mid 80s when Nikita Koloff
I sure do. I remember Nikita and Magnum TA had some
great matches around that time. It was devastating when
Magnum was in that car accident in Charlotte. For a long
time, we weren’t really sure whether he was going to
make it or not. It was probably only because he was as
big and as tough as he was, that he was able to survive
Much like Johnny Valentine and Ric Flair, as we
spoke about earlier.
Champion Magnum TA with Bob Caudle, 1985
That’s right. Magnum really hung in there.
Magnum did some announcing after his accident,
Yes he did…he did some work announcing with