Wednesday, May 09, 2018

Remembering Paul Jones and His Picture Contest

by Andy McDaniel
Special to the Mid-Atlantic Gateway

The recent passing of Paul Jones was indeed sad news. But for long-time Mid-Atlantic wrestling fans, it was another part of our youth, now gone.

Over the years the names have added up, Wahoo McDaniel, Rufus R. Jones, Johnny Valentine, Tim Woods, Burrhead Jones, etc.…. and each one hurts, but there is something deeper when there is some type of personal connection.

Andy McDaniel and Paul Jones
Mid-Atlantic Wrestling Legends Fanfest (2016)
During my youth, of course, Paul was a staple part of Mid-Atlantic programs. I loved his time with Wahoo, his team with Steamboat, (which sadly ended when Ricky turned on Paul, at least according to Paul) but his time with Masked Superstar, the Baron, working with Sir Oliver Humperdink, Jimmy Valiant, all of these bring great memories as well. In fact, there are so many stories and memories it would be hard to write them all down.

One memory in particular brings me laughs and smiles and will always be special: The Picture contest. The recent addition of Mid-Atlantic programming to the WWE Network has been a treasure trove of wonderful memories and I was so excited to see this great memory be included in the episodes that was added. The interaction between Paul and Rufus R. Jones was classic pro wrestling. It was hilarious and drew you in all at the same time. Paul with his standard “let me tell you something” addresses the young lady who won the gigantic picture of Paul. As he dressed her down for attempting to touch him, things elevated and here comes Rufus. “Paul Jones, we don’t treat a lady like that where I come from” Rufus quickly stated. Paul, with a slap to the face, tells Rufus he can go back to where he came from and the fight ensued from that point ending with Rufus having his clothes torn and being beat up in the ring. I have watched this several times since it was placed on the network and every time brings a smile to my face.

These classic characters simply cannot be duplicated. The guys and gals of today are great at what they do, but for me, I will take the heroes from my past.

Ole Anderson and Paul Jones
Mid-Atlantic Wrestling Legends Fanfest (2016)
It was a couple of years ago, I was in Charlotte to see my friends from the Mid-Atlantic Gateway be inducted into the Hall of Heroes. It was a great time catching up with old friends like, Jimmy Valiant, George South and others, but while there I got a special treat. I was in one of the back rooms and I found myself sitting with Ole Anderson and Paul Jones. I had spent time with Ole before, but never had had that chance with Paul. Sitting and listening to these two tell stories was an old-time fans dream. It was something else indeed.

It would not be too long after this moment that Ole would be called away for photo obligations and I was left sitting with Paul. We talked about County Hall memories and it was like we knew each other forever. I enjoyed every minute of that time. I was terribly saddened to hear of his passing.

We had remained in contact since our time together in Charlotte. He had asked for a copy of my County Hall memories book and I was more than happy to send him one. We exchanged emails and such from time to time. I am thankful for the years of memories and grateful for the day I got to spend with Number 1 Paul Jones. He will be missed.

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Mid-Atlantic Vault
Mid-Atlantic Wrestling 7/2/83 Episode

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