Wednesday, August 30, 2017

Magazine Memories: Roddy Piper and Ric Flair

by Dick Bourne
Mid-Atlantic Gateway

From time to time we will pick out a favorite single page or clipping from one of the old newsstand wrestling magazines and post it here to the Mid-Atlantic Gateway. I think most of us (old folks, anyway) remember a time when we couldn't wait for the new wrestling magazines to arrive at our local newsstand or magazine shop. For me it was a convenience store called the Garden Basket in Kingsport, TN, which I believe at one time in the late 1970s must have carried every single wrestling magazine that that was published - seemingly dozens of them!

These pages are intended, as most everything here on the Gateway is intended, to evoke memories of great times and great wrestlers in the past.

This time we feature a full-page photo taken by our friend (and Mid-Atlantic Gateway contributor) Eddie Cheslock. It features what appears to be Roddy Piper about to get thrown into a ring post by then arch-rival Ric Flair. The two battled over the U.S. title for most of 1981, until Flair won the NWA world title, and then then they fought over it as well. I loved the kayfabed stories and headlines in these magazines.

Eddie Cheslock was a regular photographer for the "Apter mags" in the early-to-mid 1980s. His posed work (wrestlers shot against the bricks backstage of the Richmond Coliseum) is very familiar to any wrestling fan who ever attend the Mid-Atlantic Wrestling Legends Fanfests in Charlotte as his photos were staples on the photo tables that promoter Greg Price made available for autographs. But many don't realize the great work Eddie did taking action shots during some of the greatest bouts in Mid-Atlantic Wrestling history. These appeared in all the Weston (Apter) magazines of that era including "Inside Wrestling", "The Wrestler", "Pro Wrestling Illustrated" and many others. Some were credited (as you see above), and some were not. All of them were great shots.

Eddie primarily shot in Richmond, Hampton, Norfolk and other towns in eastern Virginia, but also occasionally shot in Greensboro, Charlotte, and other major Crockett towns. His work has also been featured prominently in my books including "Four Horsemen", "Ten Pounds of Gold", "Big Gold", and "Jim Crockett Promotions' United States Championship." That U.S. title book chronicles all the battles for Crockett's U.S. title over the years including the wild feud featured in this memorable photo by Eddie that was featured in "Inside Wrestling" magazine.

More Magazine Memories to come!