Tuesday, September 06, 2016

Main Event Memories: Brisco, Valentine Defend Titles

by Dick Bourne
Mid-Atlantic Gateway

Forty two years ago, two of the NWA's top stars defended their titles on one big card on an early September Friday night in Richmond, VA at the Richmond Coliseum. The card was loaded with current and, in one particular case, future stars.

The Super Destroyer (Don Jardine) challenged Jack Brisco for the NWA World Heavyweight Championship in a match where if he won the title, he promised to unmask. The stipulation grew out of the fact that the NWA had declared they would not recognize as champion someone whose identity could not be verified. The Super Destoyer already had as a condition that he would unmask if he were defeated by pinfall or submission. Brisco was in his 14 month as NWA champion, having defeated Harley Race for the title in July of 1973 in Houston, TX.

The Super Destroyer applies his feared claw-hold to Jack Brisco during their
NWA world championship bout. (Bill Janosik Photo)

In the second main event, Johnny Valentine met arch-rival Wahoo McDaniel. It's a pretty sure bet that Valentine's Mid-Atlantic title was on the line here, although that was not stipulated in this newspaper ad. Valentine and Wahoo's rivalry went way back to their days battling in Texas. The two had renewed their feud in the Mid-Atlantic area and Wahoo spent the better part of a year chasing Valentine for the Mid-Atlantic Championship, which he finally won from Valentine in July of 1975.

Brisco was fortunate to have kept the title
after his battle with the Super Destroyer
A young Ric Flair, who had only been in the Mid-Atlantic territory only seven months at this time, would battle Paul Jones on the undercard. Jones, a very popular and established star in the area, would be a frequent opponent of Flair's in 1974 and early 1975, mentoring him toward main event status. Flair would defeat Jones for the Mid-Atlantic TV title early in 1975.

Also on the card were The Avenger (Reggie Parks), former NFL player Bob Bruggers, Mr. Ota, and many others.

David Chappell wrote about this card in his "Richmond Countdown" feature several years ago:

This card was one of the most intriguing nights in Richmond wrestling history. On top was a NWA World Heavyweight Title bout between the titleholder Jack Brisco and the masked Super Destroyer. Many fans believed that there would be a title change or an unmasking, as the Super Destroyer vowed not only to unmask if he lost by pinfall or submission, but also if he won the World Title. Alas, neither happened. The semifinal produced another classic championship battle between Wahoo McDaniel and Mid-Atlantic Champion Johnny Valentine. Third from the top was a bout between Paul Jones and the youngster Ric Flair. This was the first top flight singles opponent that Flair had wrestled in Richmond. A lot of fans, me included at the time, didn’t believe Flair could hang with the area’s "big boys" in singles competition. Ric used this match to start winning the naysayers over.

Reserved ringside seats were only $5.00 for this show in 1974, an amazing price especially considering the NWA champion was on the card. 

"Mid-Atlantic Championship Wrestling" aired in Richmond each Saturday at 2 PM on WTVR channel 6.

Thanks as always to Mark Eastridge for the newspaper clipping. Thanks also to Bill Janosik for his amazing photographs.