Monday, May 07, 2018

Bob Caudle's New Full Time Job in 1978: Bumper Stickers!

by David Chappell
Mid-Atlantic Gateway

I remember how thrilled I was in early 1978 when it was announced on Mid-Atlantic Championship Wrestling television programming that the promotion was giving away Mid-Atlantic Championship Wrestling bumper stickers! It was something novel at the time, as Jim Crockett Promotions had never done a giveaway of any kind to the fans that I could remember.

The wrestlers were even assisting in getting the word out about the giveaway, as I recall Ric Flair once telling the fans how great the bumper stickers looked, and that he had put several on the wing of his new airplane!

On the March 8, 1978 taping of the Mid-Atlantic Championship Wrestling TV show during a tag team bout pitting Bobo Brazil and Johnny Weaver against Charlie Fulton and the Russian Stomper, the giveaway was teased by announcer Bob Caudle. Bob commented:

"By the way David, right here let's tell everyone to get their pencil and paper ready, and in a minute or so we'll be telling them how they can get a Mid-Atlantic Championship Wrestling bumper sticker!"

Color commentator David Crockett added, "That's right, so hurry up and get your pencil and paper."

True to their words, Bob and David revisited the bumper sticker giveaway in a couple of minutes time. And a couple of things would soon become crystal clear. One, that the Mid-Atlantic fans had great difficulty in grasping the concept of a self-addressed, stamped envelope, and two that the response to the giveaway was massive in the volume of bumper sticker mail that was flooding the WRAL TV5 studios mail room!

Caudle exclaimed as a graphic of an address hit the TV screen, "All right fans right there, send to me, Bob Caudle, WRAL TV, Post Office Box 12000, Raleigh North Carolina 27605. Send it to me...a self-addressed stamped envelope, inside your envelope, and I'll send you free of charge a Mid-Atlantic Championship Wrestling bumper sticker."

Bob then took pains to explain the process in detail, "Now don't forget, just send the letter to gotta send a letter, a postcard will not do. And inside your envelope you gotta have a return self -addressed envelope with a stamp on it. So that all I gotta do is just drop that bumper sticker in it, put it in the mail and send it right back to you."

A cackling David Crockett then chimed in, "That sounds fair enough!"

There was a slight pause, and Caudle then chuckled, "David you talk like...when you say that's fair, you're sort of ribbing me a little bit because you've seen the MANY boxes of mail we've had coming in!" David answered excitedly, " Oh, have I!" Bob concurred, "And I tell you, it's a full time job just putting bumper stickers in there!"

I vividly recall how terrific I thought it was for the promotion to be giving away Mid-Atlantic bumper stickers. And I concede I was one of those fans that initially had trouble wrapping my head around the concept of a self-addressed, stamped envelope! But when I mastered that concept and finally received the bumper sticker in the mail, I still remember how excited I was to own a small but special piece of Mid-Atlantic Championship Wrestling.

And the fact that Bob Caudle, as part of his new full time job, had likely placed that bumper sticker in my envelope made it the most special of all.