Wednesday, February 06, 2019

Mr. Wrestling Tim Wood's Last Stand - The Finale (Part 12!)

by David Chappell
Mid-Atlantic Gateway

This is the finale! Catch up on this entire story in:

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With the arrival of 1980, Tim Woods got multiple chances to exact the ultimate revenge against Jimmy Snuka in the month of January. That is, defeat the "Wildman" for his United States Heavyweight  Championship belt. The first of the January U.S. Title bouts occurred in the port city of Charleston, South Carolina on January 4th, as Snuka slipped through to a pinfall victory at County Hall in a contest that was evenly fought throughout.

Woods and Snuka met again on January 7th, this time in the Cumberland County Memorial Auditorium in Fayetteville, North Carolina in perhaps the most violent bout to date between the arch-rivals. Jimmy, despite losing copious amounts of blood, still left Fayetteville with his prestigious belt in tow.

The next night at the Township Auditorium in Columbia, South Carolina, the match for the U.S. Title had a decidedly different flavor. Tim controlled the majority of the encounter, prompting Snuka and Gene Anderson to leave the ring before a decision was reached, leading to a countout win for Woods.  However, the win was a hollow one for Woods as Jimmy still retained the belt. But it gave promoter Henry Marcus a good reason to bring the combatants back to Columbia the following week in a match where the "Superfly" couldn't run!

On January 15, 1980, Tim had his best shot to date at whipping Snuka for the United States Title, as the return match in Columbia was a Lumberjack match and the Superfly couldn't leave the ring when things got heated. A host of other wrestlers surrounded the ring and were poised to throw Jimmy right back into the squared circle if he tried to take off. Tim's loss in this specialty match, one that seemed to highly favor him, appeared to signal that "Mr. Wrestling" was unlikely to ultimately dethrone the Superfly.

In the remaining two U.S. Title bouts in January, Snuka showed more of a dominating presence and did not require Gene Anderson's chicanery to emerge victorious. On January 18th in the Winston-Salem Memorial Coliseum, Jimmy wore down Tim with his strength and power to score a decisive victory. More of the same occurred in the Charlotte Coliseum on the afternoon of Super Bowl Sunday, January 20th. In what would be Tim Woods' last crack at Jimmy Snuka and the United States Heavyweight Title, the Superfly dispatched Tim in twenty-four minutes for a convincing win before a disappointed crowd in Charlotte.

For the next couple of weeks, Tim Woods wrestled mid-card bouts against the likes of Dewey Robertson and the results were a mixed bag. Tim's last significant match ever in Mid-Atlantic Championship Wrestling was an opening round tournament match that was taped on February 6, 1980 against the Masked Superstar #1 in the TV tournament for the vacant NWA Television Title. Woods dropped that bout, and Superstar #1 would go on to ultimately win the tournament.

When Tim Woods stopped appearing in Jim Crockett Promotions events later in February of 1980, there was no reason to believe that we wouldn't see "Mr. Wrestling" again soon. After all, he had many short absences from the Crockett territory during the 1970s, only to reappear and be engaged in a new and different program. But this go-round there would be no returns for Tim "Mr. Wrestling" Woods.

We as fans had to be content to remember all the great skills and thrills this exceptional grappler provided us over many years in the Carolinas and Virginia...including a very memorable "last stand."

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This is the finale! If you missed any earlier chapter, catch up on the entire story in: