Saturday, May 05, 2018

Ric Flair and Greg Valentine Defend Their NWA World Tag Team Titles at the "Parade of Champions" in Texas

by Dick Bourne
Mid-Atlantic Gateway

Ric Flair and Greg Valentine head to Texas
with the NWA World Tag Team titles!
In December of 1977, NWA World Tag Team champions Ric Flair and Greg Valentine left their Mid-Atlantic home territory and headed to Corpus Christi, TX to defend their title belts.

Last November, I wrote a series on the Texas Connections with Jim Crockett Promotions, and PART TWO of that series focused on JCP's relationship in 1977 and 1978 with promoter Joe Blanchard in San Antonio. His fledgling "All Star Wrestling" promotion would later be known as "Southwest Championship Wrestling."

Recently, researcher Mark Eastridge came across newspaper material related to the big Corpus Christi "Parade of Champions" show on 12/15/77. It was on this show that several Mid-Atlantic stars made their way down to the Lone Star State to make this almost a combined Blanchard/Crockett show.

The headliner was one of the biggest wrestling stars to ever come out of the state of Texas, Wahoo McDaniel. The Midland, TX high school standout and Oklahoma University all-American and AFL/NFL football legend had been a ring warrior in both the Amarillo and Houston territories in the 1960s and early 1970s. He was making a big return to Texas on this night.

This "Parade of Champions" show had a strong Mid-Atlantic flavor to it:

  • Wahoo McDaniel was one of the top full-time singles stars in Mid-Atlantic Wrestling, in the middle of the memorable feud with Greg valentine over the Mid-Atlantic Heavyweight Championship that months earlier had cost Wahoo a broken leg.
  • Blackjack Mulligan was another favorite son of Texas, and was in middle of a big headlining feud with Ricky Steamboat in the Mid-Atlantic area. In fact, only a couple of weeks after this "Parade of Champions" show in Corpus Christi, Mulligan regained the United States title from Steamboat in Greensboro, NC. 
  • Ric Flair and Greg Valentine brought their NWA World Tag Team championships to Corpus Christi to face Tully Blanchard and Tiger Conway, both familiar mid-card faces in the Mid-Atlantic area. Blanchard would stay in the San Antonio territory and become a headliner for his father's promotion over the next few years. 

Results from the show:

  • Wahoo McDaniel defeated Ox Baker in what was originally billed as an American Championship title match. However, three days before the big Parade of Champions show, Baker had lost his title to Fritz Von Erich in Fort Worth, Texas, on 12/12.
  • Ric Flair and Greg Valentine defeated Tully Blanchard and Tiger Conway, Jr. in a 2-of-3 falls contest to retain their NWA World Tag Team championships.
  • Alberto Madril defeated Blackjack Mulligan by DQ to retain his Texas Heavyweight championship.
  • Killer Karl Krupp defeated Dennis Albert in the opener.

It's fun to go back and see the Crockett promotions stars making special appearances, and even title defenses, in another area. In this case, it was Crockett and booker George Scott lending a helping hand to promoter Joe Blanchard who was just getting his San Antonio office started. Corpus Christi was one of his towns.

Note: This post corrects an earlier error on the location of this card.

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Check out the earlier installments of the "Texas Connections" series published last fall on the Mid-Atlantic Gateway

PART ONE: Mid-Atlantic Wrestlers Hailing from the Great State of Texas
PART TWO: Crockett's Connections with Joe Blanchard's Southwest Wrestling
PART THREE: Crockett TV in Texas
PART FOUR: Terry Funk Takes the U.S. Title Back to Texas
PART FIVE: Sound Clips!
PART SIX: Bonus: Big Ratings in Austin, TX