Wednesday, August 24, 2016

Rhodes and Slater defend the World Tag Team Titles in the Mid-Atlantic Area - - Almost


by Dick Bourne and Mark Eastridge
Mid-Atlantic Gateway
includes Vintage Classic Audio

As we've discussed in 7 earlier installments in this series, full time wrestlers from both the Mid-Atlantic territory and the Georgia territory made special appearances in each other's areas for one-night events.

While Augusta Georgia was "ground zero" for Georgia Championship Wrestling in this exchange, Georgia stars appeared in many different Mid-Atlantic towns during this time period including Richmond, Charlotte, and Greensboro, and others.

In September of 1976, reigning NWA world tag team champions the Anderson brothers left the Mid-Atlantic territory to go to Georgia, and they took their NWA world tag team title belts with them. A year later, they lost those belts to the unlikely pairing of Dusty Rhodes and Dick Slater on 9/23/77 in Atlanta.

Rhodes and Slater were scheduled to come to the Mid-Atlantic territory to defend their newly won titles on October 30 in Greensboro, and actually had sent in video taped interviews to promote the match to be aired in the local Greensboro TV market. Newspaper ads ran advertising Rhodes and Slater bringing their titles to Greensboro to face former champions Ric Flair and Greg Valentine.

But before Rhodes and Slater made it here with the belts for the 10/30 show, they lost them back to the Andersons on 10/14/77 in Atlanta. Greensboro newspaper ads, seen above, were revised to reflect the Andersons as new champions.

"Dusty Rhodes, you may call yourself  'the American Dream' but you're going up against the Dream Team!"  - Greg Valentine 

Here is rare vintage audio of Valentine and Flair welcoming Rhodes and Slater to town:

Vintage Audio: Greg Valentine and Ric Flair promote their scheduled match with Rhodes and Slater

I've always hated that Dusty Rhodes and Dick Slater never made it here with the tag team belts. It would have been an interesting match-up between them and Flair and Valentine - - to say the very least!

And it's nice to hear Greg Valentine use the term "Dream Team" - - that's the name of David Chappell's ongoing 8-part series about Mid-Atlantic Wrestling's "dream team" of the 1970s, Ric Flair and Greg Valentine.

More of the Mid-Atlantic/Georgia Wrestling partnership to come!