Thursday, November 29, 2018

Mr. Wrestling Tim Woods' Last Stand (Part 7)

by David Chappell
Mid-Atlantic Gateway

Catch up on this entire story in:

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Later in the Mid-Atlantic Championship Wrestling television program that was taped on October 24, 1979 announcer Bob Caudle confronted Buddy Rogers about Tim Woods' earlier pronouncement that he was back from his injury, and about the blockbuster allegation that Buddy was hypnotizing the "Wildman" Jimmy Snuka prior to his matches. As the threesome came out to the interview area, Caudle told the fans, "Big John Studd, Buddy Rogers, Jimmy Snuka are here, and Tim Woods was just out here and had that baseball bat and it looked liked this wild man [Snuka] may even attack him with the bat!"

Rogers responded for the trio, "Let me tell you something, when I take this man Jimmy Snuka and tell him to go after Tim Woods he could have three bats, four bats...he'll be right on him pal. And that goes for [John Studd] too...any time I want them on Tim Woods." Buddy then pause and reflected, "I don't need them, I'll take him myself any time any place!" A stunned Caudle exclaimed, "You'll take Tim Woods?!?" Rogers reiterated, "I will take Tim Woods any time, any place!"

Caudle then followed up with Rogers, "I gotta ask you one thing, earlier you said that you really hated Tim Woods, you hated him more than any man alive...why is that Buddy? Why Tim Woods?" Rogers responded with a stunning claim, "Well, this man at one strategic point of my life cost me at least TWO MILLION dollars, and that came out of purses that I could have had in wrestling! But he became what I call a fink, and that's a RAT...someone that would squeal a secret that I had planned. He turned around and told the world!"

At this point, Snuka went directly up to the camera with a far-off stare that looked disturbing to say the least. Caudle blurted out, "Look at his eyes; look at his eyes! Are these guys hypnotized?!?" Without hesitating Buddy answered, "I hypnotize these guys between fifteen and twenty minutes before they come out to any ring! And I guarantee you they will face a tiger when I say sic 'em!"

Bob pressed on, "Did you get them to do your dirty work if you hate Tim Woods so much? Is that the reason you've got them?" Rogers chuckled, "The night that he tuned Tim Woods up it wasn't me, I was just watching!" Caudle asked, "Is it revenge?" A giddy Rogers shot back, "Oh yeah, it sure is revenge, and revenge is sweet! But let me tell ya, Tim Woods will never forget that night!"

Caudle fired back about the returning Tim Woods, "He's back though, don't forget he's back, he's well and he says he'll be ready!" Buddy scoffed, "Listen, the good Lord was on his side, but I tell ya he won't be on his side too long 'cause we're gonna put him right back where we want him, once and for all!

The dueling television interviews on October 24, 1979 between Tim Woods and Buddy Rogers and Jimmy Snuka did not stop with the Mid-Atlantic Championship Wrestling show...things would heat up that same night in the WRAL TV-5 studios on the set of World Wide Wrestling!

The War of Words between Tim Woods and Buddy Rogers continues to escalate on World Wide Wrestling...

To be continued in Part 8!

Wednesday, November 28, 2018

Thanksgiving Flashback: Starrcade '85

Thirty-three years ago today: Starrcade '85!
What a great photo taken in Atlanta's Omni at Starrcade '85. It features the Atlanta crowd watching Greensboro's closed circuit broadcast featuring the legendary Johnny Weaver with the old Greensboro Coliseum logo behind him. Great memories. 32 years ago. (More on STARRCADE '85)

We also should point out one of the photographers listed for the photos that would follow in the article from Greensboro was Mid-Atlantic Gateway contributor Eddie Cheslock.

Tuesday, November 27, 2018

Thanksgiving Flashback: Starrcade '86


 Thirty-two years ago on Thanksgiving day (on that year Thanksgiving was on November 27), Starrcade '86 took place in the dual venues of the Omni in Atlanta and the traditional Greensboro Coliseum in Greensboro.  It was the second of two years that JCP split the event between two cities with alternating matches in each locations closed-circuited back to the other. What is often forgotten is that Kansas City, KS was the third city that year to be a part of Starrcade '86, hosting live matches at Memorial Hall and then presenting the entire closed circuit telecast.

Take a look back at Starrcade '86 on the Mid-Atlantic Gateway Archive website. There you will find the program cover, ticket stub, results from Greensboro, Atlanta, and Kansas City, as well as newspaper ads and closed circuit locations.

Monday, November 26, 2018

Ten Years Burning Down the Road

It was 10 years ago last month that Dave Millican and I photographed the original 1973 NWA "ten pounds of gold" title belt in Charlotte, which led to my first book a year or so later.

Thank you, Dave, I could not have done it without your knowledge and support. -DB

Ten Pounds of Gold Review: "Fun and Fact Filled"

Author Mike Rickard ( has written a nice new review about our book "Ten Pounds of Gold."

Book Review: "Ten Pounds of Gold"-A Fun and Fact-Filled Look at the NWA World Heavyweight Championship
November 26, 2018, Michael Rickard

It’s been said that you should write what you know, and wrestling fan/historian/author Dick Bourne has shown this with his various books dedicated to the legendary territory, Jim Crockett Promotions (JCP). JCP was one of many promotions during the heyday of the National Wrestling Alliance, and like all NWA territories, it featured appearances by the NWA Heavyweight Champion. Now, in the book, Ten Pounds of Gold (2nd Edition): A Close Look at the NWA World Championship Belt, Bourne explores an important period in the title’s storied history. -->  Click here for the full review.

Mike is the author of "Wrestling's Greatest Moments", the autobiographical "Laughing all the Way to the Bank (Robbery)" and the new novel "Flunky: Pawns and Kings" (which has a loose wrestling connection as well.) His website and blog are located at

We appreciate Mike's enthusiastic support of our book projects.

Visit the Mid-Atlantic Gateway Bookstore.

Thanksgiving Flashback: Starrcade '87

It was a nights for firsts and lasts.

It was the first Starrcade outside the traditional Mid-Atlantic territory, as Jim Crockett Promotions moved Starrcade to Chicago that year. It was also the company's first ever pay-per-view event.

But it was shut out of the majority of cable systems by the WWE, the effects of which were felt in the company's business in 1988 and helped lead to the sale of the company to Ted Turner in late 1988.

It would prove to be the last Thanksgiving show under the Jim Crockett Promotions banner and the last Starrcade for the family promotion as well.

Relive the memories of the first Starrcade outside of the traditional Mid-Atlantic territory, thirty-one years ago today! Visit our Starrcade '87 page on the Mid-Atlantic Gateway archive site.

Saturday, November 24, 2018

Thanksgiving Flashback: Starrcade '83 35th Anniversary


 It is called "the Granddaddy of The All" and is generally recognized as the first "Super Card" that ushered in the modern era of super card pay-per-events.

Before there was Wrestlemania, there was Starrcade.

The first Starrcade was in 1983 and was sub-titled "A Flare for the Gold" and featured the area's favorite son "Nature Boy" Ric Flair regaining the NWA world title from Harley Race. It was Flair's second World championship of what would become 16 World titles over the next two decades.

Take a look back at Starrcade '83 on the Mid-Atlantic Gateway Archive website. There you will find special art graphics, program cover, newspaper and magazine material, ticket stub, results, and much more. 


What do Swede Hanson, Pat O'Connor, the Missouri Mauler, Johnny Weaver, Jerry Brisco, Dory Funk, Jr., Wahoo McDaniel, Rufus R. Jones, Ricky Steamboat, Paul Jones, Ivan Koloff, Roddy Piper, Dusty Rhodes, and Nikita Koloff have in common? They all failed in their bid to capture the NWA World Heavyweight championship on a Jim Crockett Promotions card on a Thanksgiving night. Only Ric Flair was successful in capturing the "ten pounds of gold" on Thanksgiving, and he did it twice. See the list of all those Thanksgiving title matches on the Mid-Atlantic Gateway.

Friday, November 23, 2018

Thanksgiving Flashback: The Forgotten Prelude to Starrcade '85

by Dick Bourne
Mid-Atlantic Gateway
originally published November 23, 2015

As the years pass, it's natural for the smaller details to fade from memory on any good story. When folks talk about the build-up to Starrcade '85 all these 30+ years later, the story usually begins with Ric Flair and the Andersons turning on Dusty Rhodes in the cage in the Omni on 9/29. That's the angle they think of when they remember all the things that led up to the big world title match at Starrcade.

But the story began much earlier. You see, Dusty Rhodes needed to be the number one babyface and he had to have more than just the number one heel do bad things to him to set up his biggest match of the year. He needed someone the fans were beginning to love as much or more than him to turn on him. He needed more than evil deeds; he needed selfish betrayal.

Ric Flair had somewhat of a dual personality in the spring and summer of 1985 on Atlanta TV. For a majority of the time that Flair had been NWA world champion since September of 1981, he remained the most popular wrestler imaginable in his home territory of the Mid-Atlantic area, while wrestling straight heel as defending NWA world champion in every other territory in the NWA. When Jim Crockett Promotions acquired the wrestling TV time on Superstation WTBS, Flair maintained his heel persona on the national broadcast, while staying the babyface in the Mid-Atlantic area (even though many Mid-Atlantic fans were seeing the Superstation cable broadcasts, too.)

In the early months of Jim Crockett Promotion on the Superstation, Flair feuded with Magnum T.A. But in the home area of Mid-Atlantic Wrestling, the company prepared for the first Great American Bash at Memorial Stadium in Charlotte with mega-babyface Flair defending the honor of America and his world title against the rising "Russian Nightmare" Nikita Koloff.

At this same time, the company was in the early stages of making plans for the biggest show of the year that was more than a half year away - - Starrcade. Booker Dusty Rhodes knew he wanted to end up challenging Flair for the world title, but he didn't want a repeat of the situation he had the previous Thanksgiving at Starrcade '84 where he and Flair met both as babyfaces in the main event of that show.

Dusty needed more than a simple angle where the heel carried out some dastardly deed to set up the match. With Flair still hugely popular in the Mid-Atlantic area, and riding the successful program there with Nikita Koloff, Dusty devised the ingenious plan to add betrayal into the mix heading towards Starrcade '85.

He allowed the Mid-Atlantic Flair/Nikita feud to also play out on Atlanta TV, and planned a series of three main events between the two in Atlanta.

On 8/11/85, Flair defended the NWA title against Nikita at the Omni, with the match ending in a double count-out. A return match was set for 9/1 with the title on the line again but this time in a lumberjack match, with wrestlers surrounding the ring to make sure the combatants stayed in the ring.

The day before that rematch, on the 8/31/85 World Championship Wrestling show, Dusty shot an angle that was every bit as important as the big turn in the cage to come later, because it laid the foundation for the turn in the cage to have maximum impact. yet sadly, that small angle is largely forgotten in this story.

On that Saturday's show, Ivan and Nikita continued to run down Flair and the U.S.A. until Flair had had enough. During Nikita's TV match, with Ivan at the podium doing commentary with Tony Schiavone, Flair interrupted and challenged Ivan Koloff. Nikita saw what was happening, left the ring and jumped Flair from behind and through him in the ring. Nikita had the upper hand until Flair ducked a clothesline and nailed Nikita with a flying forearm. As he applied the figure four, Ivan hit the ring and the two Koloffs started to do a major number on Flair as the TV studio crowd was in an uproar.

Then the nearly unthinkable happened. Dusty Rhodes hit the ring to make the save. Dusty cleared the ring and then helped Ric to his feet. If you watch the angle carefully, you will notice that Flair gently pulled way from Rhodes as he was trying to help him up, and didn't really acknowledge his assistance. As Flair lit into a crazy promo on Nikita, Rhodes left the studio unnoticed.

Dusty Rhodes takes Ric Flair's hand after Flair had been attacked by the Koloffs

On its face, the angle was to add heat for the Flair/Nikita rematch at the Omni the following night. It certainly did that, but it also served the larger purpose as a subtle beginning to what would be the Flair turn on Dusty a month later in the cage.

The following night 9/1 in the Omni, Ivan and Khrusher Khrushchev, who were part of the contingent of lumberjacks at ringside, repeatedly attacked Flair during the match. The match ended again in a no contest, resulting in a third match between the two being set for 9/29, this final confrontation to take place inside a steel cage.

The following Saturday on World Championship Wrestling, Flair warned Dusty in unmistakable terms to stay out of his business, referring to the previous week's events on TV where Rhodes had saved him from the Koloffs' attack - -

"Dusty Rhodes, don't ever make the mistake of sticking your nose in my business. If I'm down and out, I'll get up and take care of myself. ... don't think you can walk into that ring and give me a hand or try to help me out and ease the tension in our relationship."

It didn't seem odd or out of place at all. Flair and Rhodes had feuded for years, and although Flair had become increasingly popular on the Superstation as of late, he still maintained that heel edge, cutting masterful promos where he would crack on both babyfaces and heels all at the same time in the same interview. It was beautiful to behold. Dusty had been warned. It was subtle, and yet direct at the same time.

Apparently, though, not direct enough for Dusty to get the message.

Fast forward to the infamous cage match of 9/29/85. Flair, with a sold out Omni behind him, finally turned back the challenge of the "Russian Nightmare" Nikita Koloff. But when the cage door was unlocked, Ivan Koloff and Khrusher Khrushchev hit the ring and three began to pummel Flair. The crowd didn't like it, but suddenly their boos turned into a loud roar as the "American Dream" hit the ring, throwing those famous elbows and sending the Russians running. The Omni came unglued.

With the Russians dispatched, Dusty turned to help Ric to his feet just as he did four weeks earlier on the Superstation. Except this time Ric pointed at Rhodes from the mat and shouted angrily, "I told you not to interfere in my business!" As Dusty stood confused at Ric's reaction, he failed to notice Ole and Arn Anderson entering the cage door behind him. The Andersons attacked Rhodes. Ric got to his feet, paused for a moment, and then went over to the cage door, pulled the chain back through, and padlocked it shut.

If you watch this carefully, you will notice fans at ringside within the camera shot screaming at Flair and pointing to the Andersons pounding Rhodes as if to implore the champ to return the favor and help Rhodes out. But instead, Ric went and joined his cousins and the three put an epic beatdown on the Dream.

You know the rest. As the Andersons held Rhodes, Flair leapt from the top turnbuckle onto Dusty's leg, badly injuring the ankle.

Booker Rhodes used the betrayal to turn Flair heel in the Mid-Altlantic area as well, as the Crockett syndicated shows the entire Omni cage angle. Ric was now a full fledged heel everywhere. Dusty was out of action for a little over a month. TV followed his rehab along with his doctor Joseph Estwanik. When he made his return on 11/3 in the Omni in an undercard match against Mike Davis, he proved the ankle was well, and Jim Crockett signed the NWA world title match between Rhodes and Flair for Starrcade '85.

The angle in the cage in Atlanta was hot and resulted in a near riot at the Omni, as fans at one point rushed ringside and braced the cage door to prevent the Andersons and Flair from being able to exit the ring.

But what made that angle work so well and what made that crowd riot was the betrayal - - not the attack. The weeks leading up to that betrayal are what are often overlooked today as we look back on that famous build to Starrcade '85.

Whatever you think of Dusty Rhodes as a storyteller and how this particular story played out in the end, you have to admit he hit this part of the story out of the ballpark.

Added: YouTube video - - WTBS 8/31/85
Thanks to Scott Anderson for sending us the link.

Thursday, November 22, 2018

Happy Thanksgiving! Starrcade '84 Thirty-Four Years Ago This Thanksgiving Day

Happy Thanksgiving to everyone from the Mid-Atlantic Gateway! We are thankful for all of you, and thankful for the fact you join us to help keep the memories of Mid-Atlantic Championship Wrestling and Jim Crockett Promotions alive.
- Dick Bourne and David Chappell


Thirty-four years ago today, Thanksgiving night, November 22, 1984 - - Jim Crockett Promotions returned to the Greensboro Coliseum for what would be its second annual Thanksgiving tradition: Starrcade.

Not only was the show a sellout in Greensboro, it was beamed to multiple closed circuit locations across the territory and in a few locations outside of the territory.

Ad for Columbia SC Township Auditorium, Closed Circuit (CCTV) Location for Starrcade '84

Advance Ticket Sales Brochure
Program Cover
Video Promo
Advance Event Newspaper Ad
Newspaper Ad
Newspaper Result
Promotional Starrcade Cash
Ticket Stubs
T-Shirt Logo
Newspaper Article
More video!

Newspaper clipping courtesy of Mark Eastridge.

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Wednesday, November 21, 2018

Thanksgiving Week 2018

Last year, the WWE brought Starrcade back to the Greensboro Coliseum for a night of nostalgia which by and large was a huge hits for the fans. Given the event's success and positive response from fans, especially locally, some speculated that the WWE might make it an annual tradition back in Greensboro or in perhaps in Atlanta, and perhaps as WWE Network special.

Well, yes and no. The WWE is bringing back Starrcade again this year as a special presentation on the WWE Network except - - - - - - - - it's in Cincinnati, Ohio.

I can hear Stone Cold Steve Austin now. WHAT???? And the WWE will wonder why there won't be any buzz about this event this year.

Starrcade, if you are going to go to the trouble to bring it back as a nostalgic attraction at all, needs to be in the old traditional Mid-Atlantic/JCP territory. Sure, Starrcade continued as a Ted Turner WCW event for over a decade, and in places like Nashville and Washington D.C. and occasionally even in a traditional Crockett city.

But if you are going to bring back the nostalgic aspect of Starrcade, it needs to be here. In Greensboro. Just like they did last year so wonderfully.

Bruce Mitchell of wrote about the night Starrcade returned to Greensboro much more eloquently than I could ever hope to do. It was a special article for the Mid-Atlantic Gateway last year. Take a moment to read that again now. A Thanksgiving Surprise: Starrcade Magic Returns to Greensboro by Bruce Mitchell

Over the next few days we'll be taking a look back at some of the Crockett Starrcades on the actual date anniversary of those big shows. Along with your turkey and pumpkin pie, I hope you'll feast on these great memories of Thanksgiving events from years ago:

November 22 - Starrcade '84 The Million Dollar Challenge
November 24 - Starrcade '83 A Flare for the Gold
November 26 - Starrcade '87 Chi-Town heat
November 27 - Starrcade '86 Night of the Skywalkers
November 28 - Starrcade '85 The Gathering

And don't forget, wrestling was a Thanksgiving tradition in Greensboro and Norfolk long before Starrcade. Take a look back at 20 years of JCP Thanksgiving events from 1967-1987 on our Thanksgiving Tradition page on the old Mid-Atlantic Gateway Archive website.

Plus check out these old posts on Thanksgiving and Starrcade traditions:

The Forgotten Prelude to Starrcade '85
When most folks think of events leading to the Flair/Rhodes main event at Starrcade '85, they think of Flair and the Andersons turning on Dusty in the cage at the Omni. However, it got it's start much earlier than that. Read about an angle and an important part of that story largely forgotten in the saga of Starrcade '85.

Thanksgiving Retro: Greensboro and Norfolk 1975
A look back at a huge night of action in the Mid-Atlantic territory featuring NWA champion Jack Brisco, U.S. champion Terry Funk, Wahoo McDaniel, Paul Jones, Andre the Giant, Superstar Billy Graham, Gene and Ole Anderson and so many more!

Thanksgiving Wrestling Through The Years for Jim Crockett Promotions
Links to pages featuring info on annual Thanksgiving cards for Jim Crockett Promotions from 1967-1987.

Dr. Joseph Estwanik: A Doctor Remembers
Kyra Quinn looks back at a sometimes forgotten character in the story of Starrcade '85.

A Second Look at WWE Starrcade (2017)
I was skeptical at first. Then I took a second look once it was over, and I saw things in a different light. WWE's Starrcade in Greensboro 2017.


Monday, November 19, 2018

Black Friday Week Sale in the Bookstore

Mid-Atlantic Gateway bookstore:

Four Horsemen on Amazon:
1976 Yearbook on Amazon:

Sgt. Slaughter in the House!

Sgt. Slaughter and David Chappell at the "Big Time Wrestling" show in
Prince George, VA

Something must have happened between the first photo and the second photo
because Chap looks like he is in pain!

Saturday, November 17, 2018

Grand Slam Champs in Action

Photo courtesy Jody Shifflett
by Dick Bourne
Mid-Atlantic Gateway

We recently posted a series on four wrestlers that we dubbed the Grand Slam Champions of Jim Crockett Promotions. These four wrestlers were the only four who held all five of the Crockett Promotions titles in the 1970s and 1980s.

Those four wrestlers are the "Hawaiian Punch" Ricky Steamboat, Greg "The Hammer" Valentine,  "Nature Boy" Ric Flair, and "Number One" Paul Jones.

We recently featured a drawing of what a Mid-Atlantic Wrestling Mt. Rushmore might look like if these four were on it. Jody Shifflett saw that and sent us a photo of one of his posters that featured those four in a main event tag match in June of 1978 in Forest City, NC.

Only two were actually Grand Slam champions at the time of this show, Paul Jones (accomplished in one calendar year in 1975) and Ric Flair (accomplished from 1974 to 1977.) Valentine and Steamboat would have all five jewels in the crown within the next few years, too. But it's cool to see all four here in a tag team main event. These two teams feuded over both the Mid-Atlantic and NWA World Tag Team titles during these years.

For a look at each wrestler and their amazing championship pedigree, check out these earlier posts on what we like to call Jim Crockett's Grand Slam Championship.
  1. Paul Jones
  2. Ric Flair
  3. Greg Valentine
  4. Ricky Steamboat

On an unrelated note to the Grand Slam but related to this poster: think of how many years Johnny Weaver and Gene Anderson were in the ring together. In the 1960s it was Gene and Lars Anderson who battled Weaver and George Becker in tag team matches. In the 1970s, Weaver took different partners to battle Gene and Ole Anderson over the years in spot show matches or on TV. And even into the 1980s, they would meet occasionally, once in particular I'm remembering when Gene tagged with Red Dog Lane to battle Weaver and Pvt. Jim Nelson on the famous Final Conflict cage match show in Greensboro in the spring of 1983, the same show that was the inspiration for Jim Crockett Promotions to try closed circuit later that year on Thanksgiving night. They also met in many singles matches over the years, including this one in Forest City. 

Republished April 24, 2021 on the Mid-Atlantic Gateway

Thursday, November 15, 2018

Swedish Killers!

by Dick Bourne
Mid-Atlantic Gateway

What a great old newspaper ad this is from Asheville, NC, in 1967, written by promoter Paul Winkhaus. Winkhaus was the local promoter for Jim Crockett Promotions in the Greenville and Asheville area, and he put a lot of thought (and drama) into his newspaper advertisements at the time.

The main event was the team of George and Sandy, the popular "Flying Scott Brothers" versus the "Swedish Mat Killers" Lars and Gene Anderson.


Killer Swedes! Can Flying Scotts compete with Killer Swedes? The card also featured Chippewas, Shawnees, Bulldogs, Mummies, and Panchos!

What a great main event featuring brother team vs. brother team. We're big fans of the Minnesota Wrecking Crew (and the Scott brothers for that matter), so we loved seeing this ad.

A great period in the 1960s and a hot card at the old Asheville City Auditorium.

See T.V. Wrestling each Saturday 5 PM on channel 4!

Thanks to Andy McDaniel for forwarding this newspaper ad to us. 
Also published in November 2022 on the mid-Atlantic Gateway.

Wednesday, November 14, 2018

Post Highlights: Wrestling in Roanoke, VA

Over at our sister website "Studio Wrestling" we've had a streak of posts recently revolving around the "Star City" Roanoke, VA, and the wrestling show that once originated from there on WDBJ-7.

Here is a list of links from those recent posts:

For all of the posts dealing with studio wrestling at WDBJ-7 in Roanoke, VA, including promoter Pete Apostolou, announcer Hall Grant, and the Roanoke Sports Club CLICK HERE.

For the Mid-Atlantic Gateway's page on the history of Studio Wrestling visit this link: WDBJ-7 Roanoke VA

Lastly, for a look at all of the studio locations where wrestling was taped for Jim Crockett Promotions from 1956-1981, visit the "Guide to Studio Wrestling" page on the Mid-Atlantic Gateway (currently on the Gateway Archive site.)

Tuesday, November 13, 2018

The Guest Ring Announcer in Florence

by Andy McDaniel
Special to the Mid-Atlantic Gateway

During the eighties there was no area hotter for pro-wrestling than the Mid-Atlantic territory. Maybe others would argue that, but as one who lived in that area and during that era, I stand by my opinion. As I have written in many articles, my love for action at County Hall in Charleston, SC is beyond measure. However, there are also fond memories of the other venues that Henry Marcus promoted across the state.

While many of us love to remember the great matches we witnessed or those awesome Saturday morning promos that gave us just the right words to draw the crowds to the upcoming events, it is also the funny moments which took place, that we recall with a smile. While looking through some of the archived articles on the Gateway, I ran across a story on an event that took place in Florence, SC. These events were held outdoors at the football stadium. It was normally very hot, and the bugs were always terrible. The wrestlers never truly seemed excited to be there. It was not the greatest venue.

As I read about the card featuring the Rock and Roll Express I was reminded of a truly funny moment that took place at another show from this same venue. The match featured Jimmy “the Boogie Woogie Man” Valiant in his war against Paul Jones and his army. The opponent on this night was Teijo Kahn. The funny moment was not during the match, bur rather during the introduction. The scheduled ring announcer for the night was not there, not sure why, but regardless of the reason, it was determined the getting one of the locals to handle the intros would be a good idea. However, it would soon be learned, in a very comical way, that other arrangements should have been made. The names listed on the card were handed to this gentleman. It was abundantly clear that he had never done such work before and even more obvious was his unfamiliarity with wrestlers and their names.

It was bell time, he began to stumble his way through the first few matches and then came time for the Jimmy and Teijo match. Paul Jones entered the ring with his henchman and the introduction was to follow, but what actually happened caused the crowd filled bleachers to howl in laughter. Our guest ring announcer peered at the paper in his hand and looked over at the mohawked muscleman, looked back at his paper and then without covering the microphone or at least walking over to get closer and less obvious, he simply blurted out: "What the hell is your name?"

It was clear that Paul was fighting back the laughter, but with his tongue being bit, he leaned over to the confused and way out of his comfort zone ring announcer and gave him the name, but it still did not correct the issue and he asked Paul to repeat the name once again. By this time, it had just become funny and the man finally said, “Oh yeah, Kong, here is Kong in the blue corner.”

Just writing these words makes me laugh when I think back to this fun night. The written bloopers that are sometimes featured here on the Gateway are fun to read, but when you got to see one in person, it is even better.

Sunday, November 11, 2018

Mid-Atlantic Wrestling's Mount Rushmore

Artwork by Mandy Knowles

Our friend Mandy Knowles created a beautiful rendition of what a Mid-Atlantic Wrestling Mount Rushmore might look like, based on our recent series on the only four men who held all five of the Crockett Promotions titles in the 1970s and 1980s.

Those four wrestlers are the "Hawaiian Punch" Ricky Steamboat, Greg "The Hammer" Valentine,  "Nature Boy" Ric Flair, and "Number One" Paul Jones.

For a look at each wrestler on this version of a Mid-Atlantic Wrestling Mount Rushmore and their amazing championship pedigree, check out these earlier posts on what we like to call Jim Crockett's Grand Slam Championship.
  1. Paul Jones
  2. Ric Flair
  3. Greg Valentine
  4. Ricky Steamboat
Now, we certainly realize that there would be lots of differing opinions on who should make up a true Mid-Atlantic Wrestling Mount Rushmore. I mean, how could one leave off Wahoo McDaniel? Blackjack Mulligan? The Anderson Brothers? The Four Horsemen? You could probably list a dozen more yourself.

Then again, how could you argue leaving off any of the four in this drawing, especially given their amazing title pedigree in Jim Crockett Promotions?

Mandy became a wrestling fan back in 1984 and her favorite wrestler of all time was Andre the Giant. We appreciate her excellent creation of Mid-Atlantic Wrestling's Mount Rushmore!

Thursday, November 08, 2018

Blooper! Who knew Sarge was a Saint?

by Dick Bourne
Mid-Atlantic Gateway

It's been awhile since we posted a newspaper ad blooper on the site, and our friend Andy McDaniel recently noticed this one, so I thought we'd post it today.

A word about Bloopers: they aren't just simple typos or misspellings - - in order to qualify they have to result in something unintentionally funny. For example, my personal all-time favorite wrestling ad blooper is this one for Ole Anderson. There are also occasionally wrestler's names that somehow get so changed in the journey from wrestling office to newspaper office, you wonder how in the world they could possibly happen. Like Rufus R. JOYNER.

So in that spirit, we have a great card from Charlotte in the fall of 1981 (37 years ago!) featuring a Texas Death Match main event between Roddy Piper and Wahoo McDaniel.

But it was the second main event that gave us a chuckle. As Andy said in his text message, "I don't remember Sgt. Slaughter being a saint." Yep, this simple typo resulted in the abbreviation for "sergeant" turning the reigning U.S. Heavyweight champion into a saint!

St. Bob Slaughter.

Sgt. Slaughter had just won the U.S. title in a tournament in Charlotte two weeks earlier, defeating Ricky Steamboat in the finals. Now Steamboat was Slaughter's number one challenger for the gold belt.

Certainly fans at the Charlotte Coliseum that October night thought Steamboat was more of a wrestling saint than Slaughter!

To filter our website to show only our Blooper posts, click here or click the Blooper link in the list of all "All Labels and Tags" in the right hand column of the website.

More bloopers to come.

Wednesday, November 07, 2018

"Big Time Wrestling" returning to the Mid-Atlantic Area


The "Big Time Wrestling" promotion is returning to the old traditional Mid-Atlantic area again this year with shows in Raleigh, NC, Friday 11/16 and Prince George, VA Saturday 11/17.

They also will be back in December with shows in Bristol, VA, Friday 12/7 and Spartanburg, SC, Saturday 12/8

Different shows feature Mid-Atlantic legends such as Ricky Morton and Robert Gibson (the Rock & Roll Express), Sgt. Slaughter, Magnum T.A., the Barbarian, Meng, plus other superstars such as Mick Foley, "Hacksaw" Jim Duggan, and many others. See specific show/ticket pages for details. 

Check out the posters for the events below, and visit their website for ticket information:

Tuesday, November 06, 2018

Wrestling and Election Returns on the bill at Dorton Arena (1972)

by Dick Bourne
Mid-Atlantic Gateway

I recently came across this little Raleigh newspaper clipping for a November 1972 card at Dorton Arena. I was struck by the mention that election returns would be announced during the event.

Promoter Joe Murnick assured fans they would be made
aware of local election results at his Dorton Arena show.

This got me thinking about that presidential election year of 1972 and how differently we follow things like that today with our smart phones, Twitter, and cable news networks. In 1972, there were only three broadcast networks and unless you were glued to the TV in your living room or perhaps to your local AM radio station, you had no idea of how the election was playing out.

But savvy promoter Joe Murnick wanted fans to know that they didn't need to sit around the television at home and wait for local WRAL news anchor Charlie Gaddy to give them election results - - - election results would be announced in the arena!

That's an unusual pitch for a wrestling show. Politics have always been an ugly business, but can you imagine election results being announced at a wrestling event today? The fights in the ring would likely pale in comparison to the brawls that would break out in the stands.

I'm guessing that the local races were what were really of interest to the local crowd. There wasn't much drama in the presidential race that year as Richard Nixon wound up putting a 520-17 electoral college smackdown on George McGovern. But in North Carolina, Republican Jesse Helms was in a tough battle with Democrat Congressman Nick Galifianakis for the open U.S. Senate seat. Galifianakis led early in the race by 20 points, but Helms wound up winning on election night by a solid 8-point margin. It was the first time a Republican had won a U.S. Senate seat in North Carolina in the 20th century and began a long tenure for Helms in the U.S. Senate.

Helms had several connections to wrestling. In the 1980s, Mid-Atlantic Wrestling announcer Bob Caudle, who was a longtime WRAL news personality, worked for Helms in his constituent office. Several wrestlers, including area stalwart Johnny Weaver, did political ads for Helms that aired during the wrestling programs in Helms' re-election bid in 1978. In the 1990 election, Ric Flair campaigned for Helms. 

Here are the match-ups in the three top bouts which all featured members or affiliates of the Minnesota Wrecking Crew:
Ole Anderson vs. Johnny Weaver
The winner of this bout would go on to meet NWA World Champion Dory Funk, Jr. on a future show. The stipulations were that there would be a $1,000 fine to anyone who interferes in the event. We're assuming that was targeted to other wrestlers and not angry fans because their candidate lost.

Gene Anderson vs. Art Nelson
This was billed as "brass knuckles" match.

The Menace vs. Sandy Scott
The Menace was a masked associate of the Anderson Brothers. He wore a maroon colored mask (Anderson colors) and often accompanied Gene and Ole in matches and would occasionally interfere on their behalf. I'm guessing that tendency to  interfere was one of the reasons there was the $1,000 fine stipulation in the Anderson/Weaver main event. 

Late edit: Results of the show - -
  • Johnny Weaver defeated Ole Anderson
  • Gene Anderson defeated Art Nelson
  • Sandy Scott won by DQ over The Menace
  • Freedy Sweetan & Mike "The Judge" Dubois defeated David Finley (Crockett) and Frank Hester
  • Terry Kay defeated George "Two Ton" Harris
  • Bobby Kay defeated Tinker Todd

There were two other Mid-Atlantic cards that evening, one each in the other two states of the territory, as Jim Crockett Promotions often ran three shows a night:

  • In Columbia, SC, Eastern Heavyweight Champion Jerry Brisco defended his title against Rip Hawk, who was being managed for the first time by Homer O'Dell. O'Dell had recently taken over the managerial duties for Hawk and partner Swede Hanson from Gary Hart.
  • In Danville, VA, Thunderbolt Patterson and Ronnie Garvin battled The Royal Kangaroos in a tag team main event. 

I earlier mentioned Charlie Gaddy, who wound up a broadcasting legend in the Raleigh market, hosting the local news anchor desk at WRAL into the 1990s. The national network anchors at that time were John Chancellor on NBC, Walter Cronkite on CBS, and Harry Reasoner on ABC.


Special thanks to Mark Eastridge as always for access to his newspaper clippings archive.
Updated with results from the Raleigh show provided by Carroll Hall of the All Star Championship Wrestling website.

Sunday, November 04, 2018

Mr. Wrestling Tim Woods' Last Stand (Part 6)

by David Chappell
Mid-Atlantic Gateway

Catch up on this story in:

* * *


When the Mid-Atlantic Championship Wrestling show that was taped on October 24, 1979 from the WRAL TV-5 studios in Raleigh, North Carolina opened, Tim Woods was standing front and center with announcers Bob Caudle and David Crockett. Caudle quickly exclaimed, "Tim Woods [is] right here with that "Wanted Poster" and that baseball bat on your shoulder!"

Woods smiled and answered, "Well, this [bat] is my buddy...he's gonna be a real companion of mine until I get this score settled. You know, Buddy Rogers and Jimmy Snuka hurt me once, they hurt me twice, but I promise you they're not gonna hurt me again. I've made no bones about it, I've put "Wanted Posters" out all over. I've given thousands of them away and I've got thousands more to give away."

Tim continued, "And I want them to know that I mean what I say. Not only that, but I've proved it by taking off my mask which I've fought for, for a long, long time. And I hope if nothing else that will convince them that I'm very serious about this. They were fined and reprimanded by the National Wrestling Alliance but that's a small thing compared to what they've got in store for them."

While staring intently at the baseball bat on Woods' shoulder, Caudle queried Tim, "When you say you want them out, and you want them out of this right here have anything to do with the way they may go out of wrestling?"  Woods answered, "I'll tell you what, I don't care how I put 'em out..." At this juncture, "Superfly" Jimmy Snuka was up in the ring and was barking loudly at Tim, and this was clearly starting to get under Woods' skin.

Woods snapped, "Jimmy Snuka's standin' up there right now but I guarantee..."  Caudle interrupted, "Now wait a Snuka's standing up on the ropes and [Woods'] got that bat!" Crockett quipped, "Better watch out for that swing!" Caudle then laughed, "Yeah, I'm gonna be ducking, David!" But Woods was not in a jovial mood, taunting Snuka saying, "When there's two of them against one they're pretty tough. All I've got is a little equalizer...come on down, HEY come on down!"

At this point, an extremely agitated Woods is positioned in a batter's stance with the bat! Crockett deadpanned, "Looks like he's getting ready to hit a home run." Caudle responded, "Yeah, and I tell ya, when you have guys like Snuka and John Studd, not to mention Buddy Rogers, and you don't know what's gonna happen because..." Crockett then cut Bob off as the cameraman did a close-up of Snuka whose facial expression was extremely scary to say the least.

Crockett commented, "Look at Snuka right now, look at the expression!" Caudle concurred with seeing the far-out look that the "Superfly" was displaying, noting, "You know David, everybody has said that maybe Snuka and maybe Studd are hypnotized by Rogers or something, and if that's the case there's no telling what they're gonna do." Crockett followed, "Snuka's got to have more respect for a man with a baseball bat!"

Woods abruptly ended the interview with his bombshell announcement, proclaiming, "The neck brace is off; next week I'm gonna be wrestling right here!" A gushing Caudle responded, "The neck brace is off; he is recovered David! It's been a long haul for Tim Woods, but he's back." Crockett ended this tense segment by saying, "That's right, he is back and about the hypnotism we'll talk a little more about that later on.

Buddy Rogers addresses the charge that he hypnotizes Jimmy Snuka as a means to terrorize Tim Woods... to be continued in Part 7!