Monday, January 15, 2018

Strange Goings-On in Greensboro (Part 2)

The Baron appeals to NWA President Bob Geigel
by David Chappell
Mid-Atlantic Gateway 

Miss PART ONE? Catch up by clicking here.


When the Mid-Atlantic Championship Wrestling television show taped on September 6, 1978 came on the air, color commentator David Crockett surprisingly turned the mic over to Baron von Raschke just as the opening theme music had ended. “You know, we lose the World Tag Team Title belts to Paul Jones and Rick Steamboat,” the Baron explained. “But immediately after the match we filed a protest with NWA President Bob Geigel. We sent him film from the match, he was review the film, he was send it back and we now have it in the control room,” Raschke elaborated.

At this point, the fans watching at home, but even to a larger extent the faithful that had been at the Greensboro Coliseum a mere four days earlier must have been getting very anxious. The German then continued to a puzzled TV audience, “We asked before the show to start, Ricky Steamboat and Paul Jones to come out with the World Championship belts that they are supposed to have won from us!” Jones and Steamboat appeared on the set, and they seemed just as dumbfounded at the turn of events as everyone else.

“Let me tell you something, you asked for us to come out and we wondered what you wanted,” Paul Jones exclaimed. “We thought you wanted a rematch or something,” a highly agitated Jones continued. At this juncture, Raschke became equally confrontational. “We want you to watch the film that Bob Geigel, President of the NWA, sent back…roll the film and you will see,” the Baron barked back.

“All right, here it is right here,” announcer Bob Caudle said as the film began for the TV audience. The Baron spewed, “Look at this! You know we are in control of the match the whole way. This is what is injustice…” As Ricky Steamboat attempted to respond, Greg Valentine interrupted him and pronounced, “Hey, let me tell you something Jones and Steamboat, I just want you to watch right here. I want you to watch coming right up here, just how you beat us. You say you all can always beat us fair and square, that you can always beat us fair and square, but right here this film right here we got will show you.”

An increasingly animated Jones then reacted to a portion of the film where he appeared to have the “Hammer” pinned, but Raschke came in for the save to stop the count at two. Paul yelled to Greg, “I had you beat right there!” Valentine retorted, “That was a legal save…that’s a legal save right there!” The Baron added, “We are obeying all the rules. We are making fair tags; legal tags. We are in control of the match, from beginning to end.”

Caudle questioned the Baron on that last statement, which led to Valentine taking over the commentary on behalf of the bad guys, “Raschke is the legal man in the ring and so is Paul Jones and Raschke’s got the claw…now watch this carefully, watch this carefully. Jones is back there working on Raschke’s leg and there’s a legal tag and now I’m in the ring. A big bionic elbow on that mush head of yours, Jones!”

From this segment of the film it was clear that the Baron uncharacteristically let go of his claw hold to properly tag Valentine into the ring. Valentine then vociferously hollered, “Raschke let go, now I’m the legal man in the ring and Jones is the legal man in the ring. NOW REMEMBER THAT!”

At this point in time it was apparent that Valentine was going to follow up with an explanation of a forthcoming in-ring sequence that he hoped would cast doubt on the legality of the Jones and Steamboat title win in Greensboro. Would this sequence and upcoming explanation be persuasive to the fans, but even more importantly, to NWA President Bob Geigel?

This was about to get VERY interesting…