Friday, October 30, 2015

How Johnny Valentine's 1000 Silver Dollars Doubled (Part One)

by David Chappell
Mid-Atlantic Gateway


Early in the Mid-Atlantic Championship Wrestling tenure of Johnny Valentine, the “Champ” truly came up with a gimmick match that would entertain fans around the territory for years. Valentine had a stranglehold on the Mid-Atlantic Heavyweight Championship belt during the year of 1974, but Johnny felt he needed more competition to keep him sharp beyond merely defending the Mid-Atlantic Title. This led to the birth of Johnny Valentine’s 1000 silver dollar challenge!

Around the middle of the year in 1974, Valentine began bringing a fish bowl full of silver dollars to ringside…1000 silver dollars to be exact. Johnny promised that he would give up the silver dollars to any wrestler that could pin him or make him submit in 10 minutes. These challenges occurred almost exclusively on Mid-Atlantic Championship Wrestling television, but as the months went on some of these challenges made it into the area’s arenas.

During the early months of these 1000 silver dollar challenges, Valentine defended his money against a host of challengers at least a couple of times a month. While Johnny said he would take on all comers, he generally defended the $1000 only against lower and mid card wrestlers, mainly on the “good guy” side of the area’s talent ledger. Interestingly, Valentine had very few easy matches defending his money, even against a slew of lesser opponents. Johnny often had to “pull rabbits out of his hat” to prevail close to the 10 minute time limit mark, and even had a few surprising draws sprinkled in.

Listen to Joe Murnick's ring introduction to Johnny Valentine vs. Bob Bruggers
for the 1000 Silver Dollars!

Despite all the close calls, Valentine continued his 1000 silver dollar challenge unbeaten streak against challenger Bob Bruggers on the Mid-Atlantic Championship Wrestling TV show that aired in many area markets on Saturday July 20, 1974. Immediately after the bout, Johnny was confronted by none other than “Mr. Number One” Paul Jones! Paul challenged Johnny, and “Mr. #1” said that Valentine was afraid to put his 1000 silver dollars on the line against him. Valentine scoffed at the notion of such a match, telling Paul, “Get in line boy! You’re not good enough to wrestle me!” Johnny went on to say that Paul Jones was at the bottom of the ladder, didn’t belong in the same ring with him and should be carrying his bags!

Valentine brushing off Jones’ challenge just made Paul more angry and determined. And Paul had a plan to move himself up to the top of Valentine’s list. Jones said to Johnny, “I’ll give you some incentive boy!” Jones told Valentine and the viewing audience that he would match Valentine’s 1000 silver dollars, and bring the money next week, making it a total of 2000 silver dollars. Paul then said to Johnny, “And I can beat you in 10 minutes, and I know I can! And if I can’t beat you in 10 minutes you can have the 2000 dollars! You just be here; I’ll be here! And I bet you move me right to the top of the list next week!” Johnny, who was on his way out of the ring, immediately turned around when he heard Paul say he would bring money to the ring next week!  Valentine said, “Wait a minute; wait a minute.” Jones responded, “DON’T YOU WAIT A MINUTE ME!!”

No. 1 Paul Jones battles Johnny "The Champ" Valentine

Valentine then shouted at Jones that he still thought that Paul didn’t belong in the same ring with him, but that he saw money now. The “Champ” again queried Jones if he was serious about bringing 1000 silver dollars of his own money to the ring next week. Valentine said, “You’re telling me that if you can’t beat me in 10 minutes your thousand dollars is MINE??” Jones said, “Yeah, that’s EXACTLY right! I knew I’d get you in the ring one way or the other!” Paul went on to say, “I’ll be here next week early with my 1000 silver dollars! I’ll put ‘em in there myself, and match your thousand silver dollars. And I can beat you in 10 minutes…I know I can!!”

After an instant of digesting what Jones had said, a big smile came over Valentine’s face and he exclaimed, “I ACCEPT!”

After Paul left the ring, Valentine continued to roam around the ring with a maniacal smile across his face, shouting at Jones to bring his money next week and yelling at ring announcer Joe Murnick, “I want SILVER DOLLARS…SILVER DOLLARS!!!” The “Champ” clearly had a quite odd fixation on silver coins, rather than paper money!

Listen to the final minute of the Bruggers match called by Bob Caudle and Johnny Weaver and then all of the the classic verbal confrontation between Paul Jones and Johnny "The Champ" Valentine!

To Be Continued..... The challenge has been accepted!

Paul Jones battles Johnny Valentine with 2000 Silver Dollars on the Line 

Jerry Bledsoe Articles on Tom Miller a Double-Edged Sword

I've recently been enjoying some old newspaper articles about Tom Miller that Carroll Hall (over at the "All Star Championship Wrestling" website) came across awhile back. We both liked "Truckin'" Tom Miller as both a TV wrestling host and ring announcer in the 1970s and 1980s in the mid-Atlantic area.

Tom Miller
Tom was also a well-known and well-loved radio personality in Greensboro, Charlotte, and Danville and all over the southeast hosting shows aimed at late-night truck drivers and country music fans. He and his shows won several radio broadcasting awards.

North Carolina writer/publisher Jerry Bledsoe wrote these articles back in the 1970s and 1980s in the defunct Greensboro Daily News. Bledsoe is a very successful journalist and author of several best selling true-crime novels.

Reading Jerry's articles was a mixed blessing for me. First of all, it was wonderful he enjoyed writing so much about Tom; his writing serves as a record of a talented man and local personality that might otherwise not exist. These articles provide wonderful memories of Tom and his off-beat sense of humor, and gave Tom great exposure in the Greensboro area at the time.  But despite Jerry's obvious fondness for his friend, he never gave Tom's work in professional wrestling much weight.

Happy Birthday, Big Dave!

A special shout out to one of my very best friends in this whole wide world David Walker in Alabama who is celebrating a birthday today. Dave and I have been best of friends for 28 years and counting. For a lot of those years I've tried to get him interested in wrestling to no avail. Then finally, I got him hooked on (of all things) Lucha Underground! It's my favorite modern day wrestling product, and an odd way to get someone interested in wrestling I suppose, but we take our opportunities as they present themselves. Now I've just got to work him back in time to 1975!

As far as that birthday, I won't tell his age here, but let's just say it's one of those BIG ROUND NUMBERS!

All the best, Big Dave.

Wednesday, October 28, 2015

At The Ranch (and In the Mud)

This photo was sent to us several years ago by Blackjack Mulligan when were working on a website with him. We used it in a contest on the Mid-Atlantic Gateway, the challenge being to see who could identify all the wrestlers in the picture.

What an amazing and rare photograph, taken in 1973 on on one of the boy's ranches (at the Headlock Ranch perhaps - - Blackjack couldn't remember where it was taken.) It looks like these guys had been ridin', ropin' , wranglin', workin' or playin' in the mud!

There are five wrestlers in this photo. Can you name them all?

The answer after the jump....

Tuesday, October 27, 2015

Close Encounters with the Ten Pounds of Gold

by Dick Bourne
Mid-Atlantic Gateway

I suddenly realized the referee in the ring was walking towards my position. I thought, well this is it, someone is finally going to ask me to leave. But as I looked up, he reached out with the NWA world title belt - - the beautiful "ten pounds of gold" 

- - and waited for me to take it.

The year was 1982. I was 21 years old. I had just moved from Tennessee to begin work for Russell Corporation in Alexander City, Alabama. For the first time ever, I was isolated from Mid-Atlantic Championship Wrestling, unable to watch the weekly adventures of my favorite group of wrestlers in my favorite wrestling territory.

I had settled in to my shabby little apartment and hooked up cable. I could get "Georgia Championship Wrestling" on the Superstation out of Atlanta, and saw some of my guys there -  Roddy Piper, Ole Anderson, Ray Stevens, and Ric Flair. I was getting familiar with the NWA promotion based out of Pensacola, Florida that ran the panhandle of Florida and the lower two-thirds of the state of Alabama. This would be my new home territory. It was known as "Southeastern Championship Wrestling."

I liked their TV show well enough. I was familiar with a lot of their wrestlers who used to be regulars in the Southeastern promotion based out of Knoxville, TN. in the 1970s. Guys like Ron Fuller, Bob Armstrong, and Jimmy Golden. But nothing was ever going to replace Mid-Atlantic Wrestling and Jim Crockett Promotions for me. That was the wrestling I had grown up on. And I missed it terribly.

However, that fall, Southeastern Championship Wrestling was having a tour called "October Fest" and the NWA world champion Ric Flair was coming to the territory to put his title up against a different challenger in a different town in the territory each night of that week. Ric Flair was a "Mid-Atlantic guy" and even though now he was world champion and just passing through to defend the title, having him come through my new home state of Alabama made me feel a little less homesick.

Monday, October 26, 2015

Recent Updates

Teams That Never Held the Mid-Atlantic Tag Titles (But Should Have) - #1
The countdown ends with the #1 team we felt should have had a run as Mid-Atlantic tag team champs but never got the chance.

Mooneyham writes great review of "United States Championship" Book
A terrific review for our latest book from one of wrestling's most respected journalists Mike Mooneyham at the Charleston Post & Courier.

Eagle Pass Biographies (Part Two)
Blackjack Mulligan looks at some of the great West Texas characters that populated his promos and imagination in the 1970s and 1980s. Don't miss Part One, either.

The Mid-Atlantic / Georgia Championship Wrestling Talent Exchange
Stars from each of the territories made several visits across territorial lines. A fascinating look at Augusta, GA in 1977, as well as Charlotte and other towns in the Mid-Atlantic area that were involved. Currently a six part series with more to come.

Locally filmed pro wrestling footage to air on WWE Network
George Pantas discusses 8mm film footage he shot in the Norfolk area in the 1970s that is now popping up on the WWE Network.

Coming Soon!
● How Johnny Valentine's 1000 Silver Dollars Doubled! With CLASSIC audio clips.
● Close Encounters with the Ten Pounds of Gold
● At the Ranch (And in the Mud!)

Sunday, October 25, 2015

Mooneyham writes great review of "United States Championship" Book

A special thanks to Mike Mooneyham for the great review of "United States Championship", the new book on the history of the Crockett version of the U.S. title and the five belts that represented it. The review was posted today on the Charleston Post & Courier website.

The book is available now directly from the Mid-Atlantic Gateway and will be available on in late November.

Bourne strikes gold with new book on U.S. wrestling title; Remembering Ken Burger
Oct 25 2015 1:00 pm
by Mike Mooneyham, Charleston Post & Courier

Dick Bourne has done it again.

Bourne, who runs the popular Mid-Atlantic Gateway site, has followed up his “Ten Pounds of Gold” and “Big Gold” books with an informative and entertaining volume on “Jim Crockett Promotions’ United States Heavyweight Championship.”

The book, which takes a comprehensive look at one of pro wrestling’s most revered titles, just might be Bourne’s best effort yet.

A lifelong follower of Mid-Atlantic wrestling, Bourne explores the five classic U.S. title belts that were worn by some of the profession’s greatest performers over a 13-year period.

Just the images — more than 100 photographs of both the champs and the belts — are worth the price of admission....

Read the full review on >>>

Saturday, October 24, 2015

Teams That Never Held the Mid-Atlantic Tag Titles (But Should Have) - #1

by Dick Bourne and David Chappell
Mid-Atlantic Gateway

We finish our countdown of the 5 teams that competed in the Mid-Atlantic Wrestling area that never held the Mid-Atlantic tag team championships - - but should have. For our explanation of the process and our thinking behind this countdown, visit the original page here.

We've selected five teams that we felt fit that mold and should have been recognized or rewarded by the booker or the promotion with the Mid-Atlantic tag team championships, but for whatever reason were never given that shot.

We have spotlighted those five teams over the past few weeks, counting down to the number one team we thought should have been given that championship - - but wasn't.

The countdown so far:

5. Randy and Lanny Poffo

It's time to look at our pick for #1!

Mike "The Judge" DuBois & Sgt. Jacques Goulet (1976)

DC: This team featured two talented stars, with "The Judge" being known to Mid-Atlantic fans from previous successful stints in the area. DuBois and Goulet shined for much of 1976, battling babyface teams like Johnny Weaver and Ronnie Garvin and Tiger Conway and Ronnie Garvin with an exciting roughhouse style.

When Dino Bravo and Tim Woods held the World Tag Team Titles in the late spring and early summer of 1976, Duois and Goulet gave the champs all they could handle in several Title bouts. During this time frame, the promotion gave the Judge and the Sergeant several TV interviews, and Goulet provided a rambling, but very entertaining interview style! When the autumn of 1976 rolled around, the Mid-Atlantic Tag Team Title belts were pulled out of the mothballs and a tournament was set on TV to crown new Mid-Atlantic Tag Team champs. In a rushed match that started with only about 5 minutes of TV time remaining in the program, Tim Woods and Dino Bravo defeated DuBois and Goulet for the revived Mid-Atlantic Tag Team Titles. This loss effectively ended the DuBois/Goulet team.

I have always felt the promotion erred in not putting the belts on DuBois and Goulet in this tournament. Tim Woods would leave the area in early 1977 and Dino Bravo began concentrating on singles matches, so winning the Mid-Atlantic Tag belts did nothing to enhance them. If Dubois and Goulet would have won the Tournament, they would have kept the "undercard" tag team scene vibrant as the Anderson's and Ric Flair and Greg Valentine were beginning their epic feud over the World Tag Team Titles.

DB: More than any of the other teams that were overlooked for championship gold in the Mid-Atlantic tag team division, this team by far was the best in my book. They had great chemistry and were a tough, physical team. And they were straight out of the French Foreign Legion!

The Judge had been around for some time in the Mid-Atlantic area, most memorably as the tag team partner of Freddie Sweetan in 1973. The Sarge was a relative newcomer to the area, but would be around for several years, most notably forming a regular tag team with Gene Anderson (a team featured as one of our honorable mentions.) But these two together were tremendous.

They came close to gold once, going to the finals of the fall 1976 tournament for the vacant Mid-Atlantic tag team championships only to lose in the finals of the tournament to former NWA world tag champs Dino Bravo and "Mr. Wrestling" Tim Woods. This made no sense to me at the time. The tournament was on TV and it seemed like the better course would have been to have the heels go over and then fans would pay to see Woods and Bravo chase the titles. Plus it would have obviously elevated Goulet and Dubois in the process.

But maybe the best thing to me about this team was hearing ring announcer Joe Murnick introduce them with that wonderful North Carolina drawl. From Mid-Atlantic Wrestling in December 1976:

Joe Murnick Ring Introduction of DuBois and Goulet

You just can't beat a classic Joe Murnick ring introduction!

And so there you have it; our choices for the 5 tag teams that never held the Mid-Atlantic tag team championships - - but should have!

Here is one final review of our top 5. If you missed any of these features, click the links and explore the history. Great memories!

1. Mike "The Judge" DuBois & Sgt. Jacques Goulet

Take a look at our honorable mentions.
Look for more Countdown features to come here on the Mid-Atlantic Gateway.

Republished on the Mid-Atlantic Gateway May 7, 2020.

Friday, October 23, 2015

Eagle Pass Biographies (Part Two)

by Blackjack Mulligan
As told to the Mid-Atlantic Gateway

Editor's Note: The Eagle Pass Biographies take a humorous look at those legendary west Texas characters from the fertile mind and imagination of Blackjack Mulligan. All of these names appeared in his TV promos back in the 1970s and 1980s. Part fact, part fiction. True lies and alibis.

Spider Grip and Sheriff Slim Gabriel
Part One: Uncle Reba Joe and Sara Jo Puckett
Part Three: Scrap Iron, Luther Daniels, Cousin Luke Mulligan and more!

Spider Grip with one of his trophies.
That's Uncle Jed Mulligan in the background
at left. Pretty sure this is them!
Spider was raised somewhere in Concho County, Texas (county seat is Paint Rock, population 231, about 200 miles southwest of Dallas). He just showed up one day. He stood about 6'1" weighed about 135 lbs. and was the rangiest looking critter that I ever did see. Looked like it had been a while since Spider had had a bath.

Spider was working as a ranch hand and moon-lighted as a rodeo clown for the RCA (Rodeo Cowboys Association), keeping the bulls away from the thrown riders.

I had met Spider while working on a ranch as a youngster. He was the toughest man I ever saw. A water moccasin bit him one day at the crik. Spider just grabbed him and bit his head off, sucked the venom out of the bite, and kept on working...and then he told me to get back to work!

Spider did a lot of hunting over in Junction, TX, a little town halfway between San Angelo and San Antonio. Helped a survey crew clear way for the road between Mason and Rock Springs which ran right through Junction!

Spider got gored by a bull named Chilli Dog and died shortly afterwards.

Slim Gabriel was actually sheriff of Ector County, not Duvall County as ol' Mully once represented. He was elected under some very questionable circumstances, some of the voters were...well let's say they had passed on. Slim actually had a piece of the action at the local saloon and the local brothel! Whenever you crossed Slim, bad things could happen. Like disappearing.

As the story goes, Cooter Watson (like the rest of us) had a hankering for a young saloon girl by the name of Sara Jo Puckett. Well, so did Sheriff Slim. Cooter was invited out back by deputies one night where she worked at the Ace O' Clubs and Cooter was never seen again! He actually had it out with Sheriff Slim over Sara Jo, and needless to say that was that for Slim and his political run in Ector County.

They say he has been seen in Mexico working as a smuggler with one eye and a messed up arm! That's my story and I'm stickin' to it.

The Ballad of Sheriff Slim Gabriel

Coming up next time on Part Three of the Eagle Pass Biographies:
Scrap Iron Adams, Luther Daniels, Crazy Luke Mulligan and more!

Did you miss Part One? Learn all about Uncle Reba Joe and Sara Jo Puckett!

The Eagle Pass Biographies were passed along from Robert Windham to Dick Bourne in emails and phone conversations in October and November of 2006. 
Originally posted on the Mid-Atlantic Gateway in 2006.
Copyright  © Robert Windham and The Mid-Atlantic Gateway

Thursday, October 22, 2015

Recent Updates

A look at recent posts over the last few days, both here and on other Gateway-affiliated sites:

Wahoo Returns a Favor
Part Six in our ongoing series about the 1977 talent exchange between Mid-Atlantic and Georgia Championship Wrestling

The Big Brown Box
A fond look back at the Greenville Memorial Auditorium, a classic venue in Greenville, SC.

Three of the Four Horsemen (1988)
A great photo of three of the Four Horsemen from the 1988, all wearing their belts.

WGHP Studio Wrestling Ticket
A rare piece of memorabilia from a time long lost.

U.S. Title Book Collage 
A sampling of pages in a collage from the new book on the United States Heavyweight Championship.

Blooper! "Boyce" Malenko
We weren't familiar with this particular member of the famous Malenko family.

New book from the Mid-Atlantic Gateway:

"Jim Crockett Promotions' United States Championship"
by Dick Bourne

Order before Nov. 5th and receive Free Shipping.
Available on beginning the week of Thanksgiving

Click here for more details.

A summary of articles in our series about a 1977 talent exchange between Mid-Atlantic Championship Wrestling and Georgia Championship Wrestling.

Part One: 
Paul Jones and the Hollywood Blondes (Jerry Brown and Buddy Roberts) visit Augusta, GA on Valentine's Day night. It is the first in a series of Augusta cards to feature Mid-Atlantic talent in the coming months. 

Part Two: 
T-bolt travels from Georgia Championship Wrestling to make several challenges for the U.S. title and the NWA world tag team titles in the Mid-Atlantic area over several months.

Part Three: 
The Masked Superstar, Johnny Weaver, Tiger Conway, Jr. and "Professor" Boris Malenko come to Augusta to challenge all the Georgia title holders.

Part Four:
Georgia Learns of New World Tag Champs before the Titles Change Hands (5/9/77)
Augusta, Georgia fans learn that Gene and Ole Anderson are the new world tag team champions...before it happens! Blackjack Mulligan and Dino Bravo are also in for one night only. 

Part Five:
Paul Jones surprises Charlotte During Mid-Atlantic/Georgia Title Exchange (5/8 & 5/16/77)
While a regular in Georgia for the spring and summer of 1977, Paul Jones makes a surprise appearance in Charlotte on a historic night.

Part Six:
Wahoo McDaniel returns a favor to Thunderbolt Patterson in Augusta (5/16/77.)
After Thunderbolt came to the Mid-Atlantic area to team with Wahoo against Flair and Valentine, Wahoo returned the favor to help T-bolt battle the Andersons.

Blooper! Not Familiar with this Malenko

Greenville, South Carolina
July 21, 1975

This blooper comes from a July 1975 card in Greenville, SC. The semi-final tag team match featured fan favorites Abe Jacobs and Klondike Bill against the hated team of the Missouri Mauler and BOYCE MALENKO.

Wait. What?

We're not familiar with Boyce Malenko, but are well familiar with the famous "Professor" Boris Malenko, who formed a feared tag team with the Missouri Mauler in the 1970s.

How does a blooper like that even happen? It's not a typo. The only thing we can figure is that someone from the Charlotte office called the Greenville office on the phone with that week's card and the person taking the message, perhaps unfamiliar with the wrestlers, thought they said Boyce. That actually probably explains a lot of these bloopers.

We love them all. More bloopers to come. (Take a look at them all.)

Wednesday, October 21, 2015

WCCW Referee David Manning Visits WOOOO! Nation

Ric Flair and Conrad Thompson on WOOOOO! Nation
World Class Wrestling official David Manning is Ric's guest this week on the 25th episode of WOOOO! Nation!

From the WOOOO! Nation website:
David Manning is quite the storyteller! Ric and David are close friends that have had a lot of fun over the years. Hear hilarious stories, a Mike Von Erich miracle, Dallas tragedies and more. Even if you're not a fan of World Class Championship Wrestling, you will be a fan of David Manning after this podcast.
Add a little Flair to your life by joining the Nature Boy every week as he talks pro wrestling, sports, tells stories like only he can, and interviews his celebrity friends. No topic is off limits for Flair during his weekly CBS podcast. Come join WOOOOO! Nation!

Ric Flair and Conrad Thompson are on "WOOOOO! Nation" right now! Check it out via iTunes or directly download from the WOOOOO! Nation page at the PLAY.IT website.

Excellence: Three of the Four Horsemen

This was quite a team! Three of the Four Horsemen with all their hardware, accompanied as always by their manager James J. Dillon.

Arn Anderson and Tully Blanchard are wearing those beautiful blue NWA world tag team belts. Barry Windham is wearing the 5th version of the United States heavyweight championship belt. (Learn all about those 5 belts and the champions who wore them in the new book on the championship - info here.)

Photographer and location unknown, but a great photo of what many consider three of the greatest wrestlers of that era.

Tuesday, October 20, 2015

The Big Brown Box

One of the greatest old wrestling venues in the Mid-Atlantic territory was the Greenville Memorial Auditorium in Greenville, SC. It was affectionately known to locals as "the Big Brown Box."

Greenville hosted wrestling cards promoted by Jim Crockett Promotions almost every Monday night for decades.

The Greenville Memorial Auditorium (set up for basketball.)
"It was just about the most perfect building for wrestling," Peggy Lathan told me.

Peggy, a long time fan (and a great friend to the Mid-Atlantic Gateway) started attending wrestling matches at the Greenville Auditorium when she was a teenager in 1968 with her mother and grandmother.

Blooper! What exactly is "Mid Championship"?

Charlotte, North Carolina
May 8, 1977

Gateway visitor Charlie G. spotted an unusual error on one of the newspaper ads we featured in an earlier story. I'm not sure it is actually a blooper, more like just a simple error by someone not paying attention, but I thought it was worth sharing here, and I had completely missed it.

In our October 14 story about Paul Jones making a big surprise appearance in Charlotte (in Part Five of our Mid-Atlantic/Georgia series), you'll notice that on all four sides of the ad it was intended to read "Mid Atlantic Championship Wrestling." But on the sides of the clipping it simply says MID CHAMPIONSHIP WRESTLING.

I'm guessing this is the case on several ads from that era as much of that border work was used over and over, especially in Charlotte, Greenville, and Asheville ads. We'll have to keep our eye out.

There is also a misspelling on this same ad as Kim Duk faces Rick MAGRAW.

Monday, October 19, 2015

Wahoo McDaniel Returns A Favor


by Dick Bourne and Mark Eastridge
Mid-Atlantic Gateway

For the third straight Monday night show in a row at the Bell Auditorium in Augusta, GA, Mid-Atlantic Wrestling regulars appeared on the card as part of a de facto Mid-Atlantic/Georgia talent exchange during the year 1977.

As we've discussed in 5 earlier installments in this series, full time wrestlers from both groups made appearances in each other's territories for one night special events. Augusta Georgia was "ground zero" for Georgia Championship Wrestling in this exchange.


On two different nights in the previous months, Georgia fan favorite Thunderbolt Patterson had travelled to the Mid-Atlantic area to team with Wahoo McDaniel. He had most recently joined the Chief on 4/30/77 in Hampton, VA to take on the NWA World Tag Team champions from Ric Flair and Greg Valentine. (See Part 2 of the series for more on Thunderbolt's many appearance for Jim Crockett Promotions in the spring of 1977.)

The two failed to take the belts in Hampton, but formed a very impressive combination that the fans really got behind. Two weeks later, on Monday 5/16 in Augusta, GA, Wahoo returned the favor to T-bolt and came to Georgia, as this popular combination received another chance at the World Tag Team titles, except this time from a different team.

A packed Bell Auditorium crowd saw Wahoo McDaniel come in for one night only to team with Thunderbolt to challenge the new World Tag Team champions Gene and Ole Anderson.

The Anderson Brothers had defeated Flair and Valentine for the titles a week and a day earlier, taking the titles on 5/8 in Charlotte, NC. (See Part 4 and Part 5 of this series for more on that historic night.) You will note that the article above from the Augusta newspaper mentions that the Andersons had regained the titles in Charlotte. What wasn't mentioned was that Wahoo McDaniel was the special referee in that match where the title changed hands. Even though Wahoo had found himself a strange ally to the Andersons in their battles with Flair in Valentine in the Mid-Atlantic area, he would set that aside to team with Thunderbolt to attempt to wrest the titles from the Minnesota Wrecking Crew.

Wahoo and T-bolt won the match by disqualification but, as we all know well, the titles can't change hands on DQ. The Anderson brothers retained the titles.

Much of the undercard on this show would be recently familiar to Mid-Atlantic fans, too.  Roberto Soto, Bill Howard, Abe Jacobs, Charlie Fulton, and Don Kernodle loaded the Bell Auditorium card, and all had  been Mid-Atlantic regulars over recent years.

Republished on September 30, 2020 on the mid-Atlantic Gateway.

Previous installments in the Mid-Atlantic/Georgia Talent Exchange Feature:

Part One: Paul Jones and the Hollywood Blondes in Augusta
Part Two: Thunderbolt Patterson tours the Mid-Atlantic area
Part Three: The Mid-Atlantic Challengers in Augusta 5/9
Part Four: Georgia Fans Find Out About World Tag Title Change - Before It Happens
Part Five: Paul Jones Surprises Charlotte During Mid-Atlantic/Georgia Talent Exchange

And one more thing - - - we've spotted another blooper! In that April 30 Hampton, VA card up top, it appears there might be an inter-gender match scheduled - - Johnny Eagle facing MRS. X!

And thanks to Charlie G. who points out Cowboy Frankie LAN and Steve KOVADS on the same clipping. Those might be considered more typos than bloopers, but I sure missed them first pass through.

See more Bloopers!

Sunday, October 18, 2015

The History of the United States Championship

Check out the new book reliving all the history of the United States Heavyweight Championship and the five classic championship belts that represented it.

Order your copy of "Jim Crockett Promotions' United States Championship" today!

Crockett Foundation: Annual BBQ at Crockett Park

George Harbin
Charlotte Ring Announcer
We've been enjoying the articles and features on the Crockett Foundation website, including one on the philanthropic history of Jim Crockett Promotions. We learned about an annual BBQ that took place at Crockett Park where fans could enjoy BBQ and a cold beverage with the Crockett family and many of the wrestlers of the era.

It's a fascinating look at a simpler time and a fun event that raised money for a great cause.

Featuring references to George Harbin, Johnny Weaver, George Becker and Ole Anderson.

by Matthew Worseman, Crockett Foundation

Jim Crockett and Jim Crockett Promotions have a long history of philanthropy over the years. Whether the Crocketts were donating the entire gate from a wrestling match or holding the annual BBQ at Jim Crockett Memorial Ballpark, the need to give back is deeply rooted in the Crockett DNA. While Jim was working his way up the wrestling ladder, this humble man always knew that he would have to find a way to pay it forward....

>>> Read the entire article on the Crockett Foundation website.

The Crockett Foundation focuses its efforts on helping veterans and veteran’s organizations that are trying to make veterans lives more livable while he or she is suffering from mental illness brought on by their service to our country.

Find out more information on how you can contribute to the Crockett Foundation. Visit them on Facebook and help spread the word.

Saturday, October 17, 2015

Teams That Never Held the Mid-Atlantic Tag Titles (But Should Have) - Honorable Mentions

by Dick Bourne and David Chappell
Mid-Atlantic Gateway

We continue our countdown of the 5 teams that competed in the Mid-Atlantic Wrestling area that never held the Mid-Atlantic tag team championships - - but should have.

The countdown so far:

Before we announce our choice for the #1 tag team that never held the Mid-Atlantic tag team titles - - but should have -- we look at a few other great teams that didn't make the top five cut but would have also made great tag champs. They are our "honorable mentions."


Masked Superstar and Kim Duk
managed by Prof. Boris Malenko
Masked Superstar and Kim Duk 
(managed by "Professor" Boris Malenko)

DB: You could easily argue that this colorful team should have made our top-5 list. This team wasn't together very long, but they were a memorable combination under the able tutelage of Professor Boris Malenko, who would manage the Masked Superstar's singles career for several years here. They had a great look and worked well as a team, and with both guys working at or near the top of many of the cards at that time, they seemed destined for a tag title run. But it never happened.

DC: An outstanding team during the first half of 1977. But the promotion wanted these two in singles programs: Duk against Wahoo McDaniel and Superstar against the Mighty Igor.

The Mongols
The Mongols 
(managed by "Professor" Boris Malenko)

DC: Coming into the area as the "International Tag Team Champions" in early 1976, their push was to be the World Tag Team Champions. Bolo and Geeto had a short program with the Anderson's for the World Tag Team belts, but came up short. The Mongols didn't seem as suited for a "secondary" tag title as some of the other contenders.

Sgt. Jacques Goulet and Gene Anderson

DB: This team was a regular combination for well over a year in 1978-1979 and had great credibility because each had been a partner in another established tag team - - Goulet with Mike "The Judge" Dubois, and of course Gene with Ole as the Minnesota Wrecking Crew, the Anderson Brothers. Goulet and Anderson were always in the tag match just before the main events and would have been a perfect combination to hold the tag belts in those years when not much was being done with them anyway.

DC: A veteran duo that could hold their own with anybody. During portions of 1978 and 1979, this team was a tough out for any Mid-Atlantic opponent.

Bob Caudle with Boris Malenko and Missouri Mauler
Mr. X #1 and #2

DC: If you want a masked team that could have been Mid-Atlantic Tag Team champs, look no further than this team. During portions of 1977 and 1978, these two masked marvels befuddled many a team with their unorthodox style.

Boris Malenko and the Missouri Mauler

DB: Another tough combination that flirted with main events but never quite got there. They would have been perfect for the Mid-Atlantic tag team titles.

NEXT TIME: It is time to unveil our choice for #1. Until then, so long for now!