Sunday, June 12, 2016

The Most "Beautiful" Mid-Atlantic Wrestling Show Ever

by David Chappell
Mid-Atlantic Gateway

Fans of the Mid-Atlantic Championship Wrestling television show were treated to a “beautiful” surprise on the October 4, 1978 TV taping from the WRAL TV studios in Raleigh, North Carolina. Ricky Steamboat came out for an interview to start the show, but it turned out Ricky would be the interviewer of his own special guest.

After the rundown of the show’s scheduled bouts, announcer Bob Caudle told color commentator David Crockett, “Ricky’s right here David, and he’s got a special guest here in the studio and we’d like to introduce her.” Steamboat appeared on the set, and explained, “Well, I was having lunch today, this afternoon, and I met a pretty nice….I should say good lookin’ young lady. Did a little talkin’ and I asked her if she would come down here to TV and she said…maybe! But I peaked my head through the door, there she was, so I’d like to introduce her to everybody…this is Miss North Carolina, Debbie Shook!”

As the lovely Miss North Carolina appeared before the cameras, Steamboat exclaimed, “Nature Boy [Ric Flair], you know something, you get on television, I’ve seen you on here a lot, and I’ve got to admit that you’ve had quite a few good lookin’ women, but let me tell you something partner, this is MISS NORTH CAROLINA now, and you can’t get any better than that!” Everybody on the set then broke out into a hearty laugh!

Bob Caudle then asked, “Debbie, where are you from?” Miss Shook replied, “I live in Spruce Pine, North Carolina. And I’d like to say one thing! Today, I don’t think wrestlers can contend with what a woman can dish out! So, he’s not as tough as he acts!” Everyone on the set and the fans at ringside were laughing loudly! Steamboat chuckled, “Are you putting me on the spot or what?!” Ricky then continued, “Well, I’d like to thank you, just having you out here for this little bit of TV time…I know you’re real busy because I understand you all do a lot of travelling such as we do. Take for instance, what have you done today?” Debbie responded, “We met with some people from the Miss America pageant. The headquarters for the Miss North Carolina pageant will be in Raleigh next year so we’re getting a lot of work done and we’ll be in the Raleigh area. Steamboat followed up, “I understand you’ve also done some help in Charlotte…let me see, some other television station down there… you’ve done something else down there, what was that?” Miss Shook answered, “I’ve been working with WRET, and WBTV and WLOS TV in Charlotte, so we’re just getting all around the state, in High Point, Wilmington and Fayetteville areas.”

David Crockett then noted to Debbie, “Well I can say you’re a very good representative for the state of North Carolina!” Bob Caudle added, “Debbie, thank you for being with us…it’s a pleasure to meet you and have you with us.” A grinning Ricky Steamboat then exclaimed, “EAT YOUR HEART OUT NATURE BOY!” Bob Caudle ended the segment by saying, “Alright, hey David, a very nice young lady!” Crockett cackled, “Ric [Flair]’re outta luck boy!” To which Caudle chuckled, “Well, I tell you, he really is isn’t he…how about that!?”

Not only did Mid-Atlantic fans around the area get to see a surprise appearance from Miss North Carolina on this show, but they also got to see Ricky Steamboat with this lovely lady upstage the ultimate ladies man, Ric Flair, without the Nature Boy even being present! Yes, this TV show was truly the most “beautiful” Mid-Atlantic Championship Wrestling show of all-time!