Saturday, October 06, 2018

"Mr. Wrestling" Tim Woods' Last Stand (Part 4)

by David Chappell
Mid-Atlantic Gateway 

Catch up on this story in PART ONE  | PART TWO  |  PART THREE

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After the second violent attack against "Mr. Wrestling" Tim Woods by Jimmy Snuka and Buddy Rogers on Mid-Atlantic Wrestling television programming on September 19, 1979, Woods vowed another improbable comeback against the odds. The following week on Mid-Atlantic Championship Wrestling TV, Blackjack Mulligan told announcer Bob Caudle, "Jimmy Snuka, I want to make a comment about you and your manager, your owner or whatever kind of relationship you have with Buddy Rogers, I don't know, but this sport of wrestling has no place for people that will try to injure people like you did Tim Woods, and you're gonna have to reckon with Mr. Wrestling before it's all over."

When the first week in October of 1979 rolled around, there was still no "Mr. Wrestling" Tim Woods in the WRAL TV studios. But Woods was still the talk of the Mid-Atlantic Championship Wrestling television program that was taped on October 3, 1979. On that show Bob Caudle addressed Buddy Rogers, "You guys have been fined the biggest fine in the history of wrestling for what you did to Mr. Wrestling."

Rogers cackled in response, "It was well worth the fine; whatever fine we got I paid it. I don't care how big the fine was, or will be or anything else...we got the job done on 'Mr. Wrestling' Tim Woods. That's just a sample of what my clan is gonna do!" Caudle then exclaimed, "I gotta tell you, Tim Woods is gonna be back! Mr. Wrestling is gonna be back!" Rogers dismissively answered, "I heard he's coming back. Let me tell ya, he said he was comin' back just a week ago...he's still isn't back, right? He'll be out a long time!" Caudle shot back, "He's improving..." But before Bob could finish his thought Rogers interrupted, "He don't have the word 'guts' to come back. What do you think fellas?" John Studd, who was standing next to Buddy, yelled, "I KNOW he doesn't have the guts!"

As the Mid-Atlantic Championship Wrestling TV program that was taped on October 17, 1979 began, Bob Caudle opened it by welcoming Mr. Wrestling onto the set. The masked man came onto the interview area with both hands hand holding a baseball bat with "Snuka" written on it and holding a "Wanted--Out Of Wrestling" poster with photos of Jimmy Snuka and Buddy Rogers on it in the other hand!

A smiling Caudle quipped, "Tim, come on in. I don't think it's baseball season here Tim!" A fired up Mr. Wrestling responded, "Yeah, it's baseball season." Bob clarified, "Is it open season or something?" Mr. Wrestling agreed, "It is OPEN season, but we'll talk about that in a minute. I hope the people can come in on this picture just a little bit...two of my favorite people, Buddy Rogers and Jimmy Snuka." At this juncture the fans were able to see a camera close-up of the "Wanted" posters that Mr. Wrestling had produced to distribute at the area's arenas.

Mr. Wrestling continued, "Now, we all get injuries in wrestling, and I'm not crying about anything...I've been wearing a neck brace for weeks now. Hopefully, the Doctor will let me take it off towards the end of this week. I'm wearing it only part of the time now; my neck is feeling much better and I'm coming along just very, very good. But, we all get injuries as I say. But it's the way you get them that makes you mad." Caudle added, "Deliberate injury too, I think, Mr. Wrestling."

Mr. Wrestling then made a very important symbolic gesture to the television audience saying while pointing to his mask, "I wanna say one thing...this mask has meant everything to me. I've defended it, I've worn it, I've been the World's Tag Team Champion with it; I've held a lot of titles wearing this mask and nobody has ever taken it off me." At this instant, Mr. Wrestling shockingly removed his mask exposing his face for all to see!

A startled Bob Caudle exclaimed, "Tim Woods! There he is, 'Mr. Wrestling' Tim Woods, David." In a very solemn tone Woods explained, "I'm gonna take this mask off and I'm gonna leave it off until I settle the score with Jimmy Snuka and Buddy Rogers. They hurt me once, they hurt me twice...but they're not gonna hurt me again. And if either one of them would like to come out right now I'll be more than happy to accommodate 'em."

Woods sternly finished, "I'm a believer in one thing and they can rely on it and I want 'em to go to bed tonight thinkin' about it...I've always been a believer in doing unto others as they do unto you. Think about that Snuka and Rogers, because I've never meant anything more in my life. When I make promises I keep 'em and I WILL get even with both of ya."

Caudle wrapped up the segment noting, "Alright, David, that's the story now from Tim Woods and it's great to see him out and great to see him up and as he says it won't be much longer and he'll be out of that brace and watch out Snuka and watch out Buddy Rogers." Crockett agreed, "That's right, it's unfortunate for Mr. Snuka and Mr. Rogers." Caudle concurred, "That's right, he's got more than blood in his eyes, David, if you know what I mean. If I were those two I'd be like he says, I'd be worried about that tonight when I go to bed."

Jimmy Snuka and Buddy Rogers respond to the newly unmasked Tim Woods and a confrontation ensues!

To be continued in Part 5!

Special thanks to Brack Beasley for the photographs of vintage Mr. Wrestling Tim Woods memorabilia. The baseball bat with Snuka's name on it and the "Wanted" poster are genuine vintage items from Tim Wood's personal collection.