Friday, April 27, 2018

Action Figures Friday: U.S. Champ Sgt. Slaughter

by Dick Bourne
Mid-Atlantic Gateway
Photograph by Mike Simmerman

Another great photo by Mike Simmerman from his custom collection of figures. This one depicts United States Heavyweight Champion Sgt. Slaughter on the set of "Mid-Atlantic Championship Wrestling" with host Bob Caudle.

Slaughter was a two-time U.S. champion during the years 1981 and 1982 and had a memorable series of matches with Wahoo McDaniel over the championship.

Slaughter's entire run as U.S. champion is well documented in the shows currently available in the VAULT section of the WWE Network streaming service.

He first won the title in a tournament held on 10/4/81 in Charlotte, defeating Ricky Steamboat in the finals. The title had been vacated following former champ Wahoo McDaniel's inability to defend it following an injury suffered at the hands of Abdullah the Butcher and Roddy Piper. Wahoo got redemption when he defeated Slaughter for the title on 5/21/82 in Richmond, VA. But in a cruel twist of fate, the title was again stripped from McDaniel when he was injured by Slaughter and temporary rules in place by the NWA at the time required the title to be forfeited to the challenger if the champion was unable to defend on any given night. Wahoo again redeemed himself by beating Slaughter for the title a second time on 8/22/82 in Charlotte.

The entire history of Jim Crockett's U.S. championship from 1975 until the company was sold to Ted Turner in 1988 is chronicled in great detail in the book "United States Championship" available on Amazon or from the Mid-Atlantic Gateway.