Sunday, March 24, 2019

Almanac History - July 1980 (Part Two)

David Chappell's
Mid-Atlantic Championship Wrestling History


JULY 1980             WEEK 2
The second week of July of 1980 kicked off in earnest with the Mid-Atlantic Championship Wrestling television taping in the WRAL TV 5 studios in Raleigh, North Carolina on July 9th. The TV card featured a good mix of Mid-Atlantic stars, but the final bout of the card really stole the show!

The first television bout featured a mid-card matchup where Johnny Weaver and Special Delivery Jones bested the duo of Swede Hanson and Billy Starr. Greg "The Hammer" Valentine defeated Ron Ritchie, and the program also showcased wins by "Bad Boy" Bobby Duncum in his second TV appearance and the former World Tag Team Champions Ricky Steamboat and Jay Youngblood. But the last bout on the program would see a return to action of the former World Tag Team a quite unexpected way.

Jimmy Snuka and Ray Stevens
with manager Gene Anderson
Inserted in the middle of the July 9th TV taping was a film of the match where Jimmy Snuka and Ray Stevens defeated Ricky Steamboat and Jay Youngblood for the NWA World Tag Team Championship. Announcer Rich Landrum narrated the video snippets, along with Steamboat and Youngblood. The end of the match saw Stevens piledriving Steamboat on the concrete floor, soon after Ricky had been hit with the cane of manager Gene Anderson.

The film clip went on to show that almost simultaneous to Steamboat being laid out on the arena's concrete floor, Snuka hit Youngblood with a flying head-butt with the "Superfly" capturing the three count on Jay for the pinfall victory.

Steamboat was particularly bitter about the loss of the titles in this way, and vented to Landrum while watching the film, "I'm motionless, I'm laying there [and] I'm knocked out cold. I don't know nothing, I don't feel nothing, but there's gonna be a time and day when Stevens and Snuka [are] gonna feel that cement floor on their heads!"

Ricky and Jay's anger came out in full force and effect when the last match on the July 9th TV program was about to begin. Jimmy Snuka and Ray Stevens were prepared to wrestle Tony Garea and Nick DeCarlo, and both teams were in the ring waiting for the opening bell to ring. At that very instant, Steamboat and Youngblood raced into the ring and immediately tore into Snuka and Stevens! Garea and DeCarlo seem startled by the turn of events, but left the ring, and the final bout of the show became a "main event" caliber match between the World Tag Team Champions and the former champs!

Color commentator David Crockett exclaimed, "This is the rematch...I wish the championship was on the line!" An equally excited announcer Bob Caudle followed, "What a match! It's all impromptu, at least as far as Snuka and Stevens are concerned and Gene Anderson...because it definitely wasn't on their minds they were gonna wrestle this match. Certainly not today!"

Ricky Steamboat and Jay Youngblood appear to defeat Jimmy Snuka and Ray Stevens in the unscheduled TV match---but referee Tommy Young is forced to make a controversial ruling!

To be continued...                                                        ALMANAC DIRECTORY