Thursday, March 09, 2017

Bracketology: The 1978 World Tag Team Tournament

As we get close to NCAA "March Madness" and tournament time in college basketball, it seemed fitting to take a look at one of Mid-Atlantic Wrestling's great tournaments from back in the day.

Tony Schiavone talked about attending this show in our interview with him. It was one of the great tournaments held in the 1970s in Greensboro and featured talent from outside our territory coming in just for this show. That list included Jack and Jerry Brisco, Stan "The Lariat" Hansen, and Andre the Giant.

The tournament was being held because previous champions Ric Flair and Greg Valentine were stripped of the titles after continually failing to defend them.

TOURNAMENT: NWA World Tag Team Championship
DATE: April 23, 1978
LOCATION: Greensboro NC
VENUE: Greensboro Coliseum
WINNERS: Paul Jones and Ricky Steamboat
Single Elimination, Three Rounds, Four Teams compete in an additional qualifying round for advance to the semi-finals.*
Previous champions Ric Flair and Greg Valentine were stripped of the titles by the NWA for failure to defend the titles.
Sandy Scott, David Crockett, Joe Murnick, Wally Dusek, Ring Announcer Tom Miller


(1) Wahoo McDaniel and Andre the Giant defeated Ric Flair and Greg Valentine by forfeit.
*Winner advances to special qualifying round to move to semi finals - see brackets. 
Valentine came out in a 3-piece suit, Flair was nowhere to be found. Valentine said that they were not going to compete in the tournament because nobody had defeated them for the belts. Wahoo grabbed the microphone and told Valentine that they would have lost if Flair had shown up. 

(2) Ken Patera and the Masked Superstar beat Bobo Brazil and Tony Atlas
*Winner advances to special qualifying round to move to semi finals - see brackets. 

(3) Gene and Ole Anderson defeated Jack and Jerry Brisco
Jack Brisco went for a body slam on Ole Anderson; Ole held onto the leg and cradled Jack cleanly for the pin.

(4) Paul Jones and Steamboat beat Cyclone Negro and Baron Von Raschke
Side note: Jones and Steamboat are the reigning Mid-Atlantic Tag Team champions.

(5) Blackjack Mulligan and Stan Hansen beat Johnny Weaver and Mr. Wrestling Tim Woods
Mulligan was booed as a heel at this point, even though the famous "hat & robe" angle turning Mulligan babyface had already occurred. 

SPECIAL QUALIFYING ROUND*Winners from the first two first-round matches compete for semi-final slot - see brackets.
Patera and Superstar beat Wahoo and Andre
Ken Patera body slammed Andre the Giant in this match. Match went to a time limit draw. Winner was to be decided on a coin flip. The referee flipped the coin and Patera went down to pick it up.
Wahoo stomped on the coin. When he moved his foot, he saw he had lost the toss. Patera and Superstar jumped around the ring in celebration. 

(1) Jones and Steamboat beat the Anderson Brothers
(2) Patera and Superstar beat Mulligan and Hansen by DQ
Mulligan challenged Superstar to come into the ring and "get his ass kicked", since Flair had put the bounty up and Superstar said he would collect it. Mulligan got DQ'd by pushing the referee when trying to take off Superstar's mask. He tore the top and Superstar had to change his mask for the finals. Mulligan was cheered heavily in contrast to the reaction he received in the first round.

Jones and Steamboat beat Patera and Superstar
Steamboat won with a bodypress.

Special thanks to Mark Isley, who was in attendance that night in Greensboro, for his assistance with this feature.

For a look at why this tournament took place, the events leading up to it, and the fallout, visit the entry in the Mid-Atlantic Wrestling Almanac for April 1978.

(Original Feature on the Archive site.)