Saturday, December 10, 2016

Paul Jones manages Tully Blanchard to his first Crockett Championship

by Dick Bourne
Mid-Atlantic Gateway

When you think of Tully Blanchard in the Mid-Atlantic area, several things usually come immediately to mind:

(1) his feuds with Dusty Rhodes over the NWA TV title and the National heavyweight title
(2) his great tag team combinations with Wahoo McDaniel (the "Awesome Twosome") and Arn Anderson (in the Four Horsemen)
(3) the "I Quit" match and bloody feud over the United States title with magnum T.A.

And when you think of someone accompanying Tully Blanchard to the ring, you immediately think of his "Perfect 10" Baby Doll in 1985, and James J. Dillon with Tully Blanchard Enterprises and the Four Horsemen in 1986.

What seems to be largely forgotten in the lore of Tully Blanchard is his first  manager in 1984 that led him to his first championship for Jim Crockett Promotions.

Not long after Tully arrived in the Mid-Atlantic area in 1984, he took on Paul Jones as manager. Jones had a legendary career as a wrestler in the territory going back to the 1960s, and had retired in 1983 as an active competitor to take up the role as manager of champions. He guided Dory Funk Jr. to the Mid-Atlantic Championship in 1983 and would later guide Manny Fernandez and Rick Rude to the NWA world tag team championship in 1986.

But in 1984, he managed Tully Blanchard as Blanchard defeated Mark Youngblood for the NWA Television Championship. In fact, Jones was very instrumental in Tully's win, as you will see in the video below.

This video shows the finish to the match where Tully won the TV title from Youngbllod. The referee is Stu Shwartz and the match takes place on "Mid-Atlantic Championship Wrestling" hosted by Bob Caudle. Also seen in this video are some local promos from a Greensboro card featuring Blanchard, Ernie Ladd, Don Kernodle and Ivan Koloff. 

Thanks to my friend Brian Rogers who forwarded this link to me which reminded me of Paul Jones' key role in the early career of Tully Blanchard for Jim Crockett Promotions.