Wednesday, July 18, 2018

WRAL Wednesdays: Wahoo McDaniel vs. The Blue Scorpion

by Dick Bourne
Mid-Atlantic Gateway

Today, we begin a new feature series of photos that will appear each Wednesday for the next few months. They were all taken from the studio bleachers of WRAL channel 5 television studios in Raleigh, NC. Our first photo in the series is also accompanied by vintage audio (below) from this very TV show.

The photographs were taken by photographer Ric Carter who was attending the WRAL TV wrestling tapings on an early July Wednesday night in 1975, just over 43 years ago this month. He is sitting in the large set of bleachers that is on one side of the ring in the studio, looking across toward the set and the hard camera.

Wahoo McDaniel prepares to battle the Blue Scorpion at WRAL Studios in Raleigh

Mr. Carter wasn't sure of the exact date he attended this taping, but we were able to narrow it down using audio tapes made from the wrestling TV shows in those years, and by matching up the wrestlers and matches in Ric's photos with the matches taking place on the audio tape.

In the following short audio clip you'll hear the ring introductions for this match, including the voices of ring announcer David Crockett and the opening comments of host Les Thatcher:

Ring Introductions: Wahoo McDaniel vs. The Blue Scorpion

The photos Ric Carter took were during the Mid-Atlantic Wrestling "B" show hosted by Les Thatcher. At that time in 1975, there were two separate and different "Mid-Atlantic Championship Wrestling" shows that were taped at WRAL. The "A" show was hosted by Bob Caudle and David Crockett and was the show that aired in all of the Crockett TV markets. The "B" show hosted by Thatcher was a second show with different matches that would air in markets where Jim Crockett Promotions could obtain a clearance for a second hour of wrestling in that market. Not all cities or markets had that second show. (In October of 1975, this Mid-Atlantic "B" show was replaced by a new show called "Wide World Wrestling", hosted by legendary former Georgia wrestling commentator Ed Capral.)

The exact date of these photos appears to be from the taping on Wednesday, July 9, airing the following Saturday, July 12, 1975. In the photo featured today, ring announcer David Crockett (facing the hard camera with his back to the fans in the bleachers) introduces the Mid-Atlantic Heavyweight Champion Wahoo McDaniel and the Blue Scorpion. These two wrestled in the opening match of that taping.

In the photo you see Wahoo wearing the Mid-Atlantic title belt, which at this time was the old Eastern heavyweight title belt. You can see the simple set just off the ring to the right which was used as a backdrop for interviews. You can also see a clock just below the hard camera in the center of the photo which shows the time as 8:15 PM. The first hour taping for the "A" show typically started around 7 PM, with the "B" show starting around or a little after 8 PM.

Next week on "WRAL Wednesdays", we'll take a look at some of the action in the ring between Wahoo and the Scorpion from this match.

All photographs in this series by Ric Carter, © Used with permission.
Vintage audio provided by Gary Wray.