Tuesday, June 16, 2015

Looking Back at the WRAL Studio

Wahoo McDaniel executes a perfect back suplex at WRAL.
One of our favorite memories here at the Mid-Atlantic Gateway is "studio wrestling", and in particular, the Jim Crockett TV shows taped at WRAL TV studios in Raleigh, NC. You have to be of a certain age to remember how special that environment was and how it came across on the TV screen. Wrestling was taped there from 1959-1981. The WPCQ Charlotte studio that came later (1981-1983) was cramped and hot and the quality of the audio and video wasn't up tot the standards of WRAL. WRAL was just about as perfect as you could get for studio wrestling back in the days when most of the territory wrestlings shows were shot out of studios or small buildings.

Over the years, we've been fortunate enough to hear from folks behind the scenes like Tom Gallagher and Rick Armstrong who actually worked some of those TV tapings from a production standpoint. They shared some wonderful insights into how those Wednesday night's came together. Others that attended tapings at WRAL have provide their memories.

Of course, we've also been blessed to have Bob Caudle, Les Thatcher, and Rich Landrum contribute to this website and offer their perspective as three of the major voices on those programs over the years.

The following is a list of some of the articles on the Gateway Archives website written about those magic days at WRAL.

Wednesdays in the Video Tape Room at WRAL by Tom Gallagher
Wednesdays Behind the Camera at WRAL by Rick Armstrong
One Night at the WRAL Wrestling Tapings by Bruce Mitchell
The WRAL Local Promos A Conversation with Les Thatcher

Bob Caudle and Rich Landrum also discuss the studio in their Gateway interviews:
Bob Caudle: The Gateway Interview
Rich Landrum: The Gateway Interview

There is an entire section on the Mid-Atlantic Gateway Archives that covers all the different studios where Crockett wrestling took place over the years, with a big focus on WRAL: WRAL Studios, Raleigh NC

And taking it one step further, we have an entire blog-site devoted to memories and memorabilia around the wrestling studios and the broadcast talent that worked them. It's called the Studio Wrestling Scrapbook and is a part of the Mid-Atlantic Gateway. Check it out!