Friday, March 01, 2019

The Anderson Brothers defend the NWA World Tag Team Titles against Thunderbolt Patterson and Bill Watts

by Dick Bourne
Mid-Atlantic Gateway

It was the hot summer of 1977, and Gene and Ole Anderson dominated the tag team scene in the state of Georgia. At one point they held both the Georgia Tag Team titles and the NWA World Tag Team titles.

This screen capture from raw 16mm film footage seen in the Vault section of the WWE Network shows the Andersons wearing the World Tag Team title belts preparing for a defense against "Cowboy" Bill Watts and Thunderbolt Patterson at the Omni on June 24, 1977.

WWE Network

The Anderson Brothers were a month and a half removed from their big victory over Ric Flair and Greg Valentine in Charlotte, NC, on May 8, 1977 where they regained those World tag team titles in a famous cage match where Wahoo McDaniel was the special referee.

Later that fall in 1977, the Andersons would lose those titles to Dusty Rhodes and Dick Slater, but for only a month. The Andersons held those titles off and on in Georgia and the Mid-Atlantic area from 1975-1981.

The film footage, which dropped on the WWE Network on 2/28/19, is heavily edited raw footage of about 7 minutes in duration, and without sound. This clip comes out of the blue as it is believed that WWE doesn't own much Georgia footage, and the source of this material isn't known. It might have been added as part of their recognition of Black History Month, spotlighting Thunderbolt Patterson.

Not much wrestling in this match, as it was an all out, fists-a-flying, "pier six" brawl. Too bad there was no sound, as the crowd was surely into this match-up. Thunderbolt had been feuding with the Andersons for months with various partners over both the Georgia and World tag team titles. The finish to this match is hilarious, which eventually resulted in the Andersons keeping their titles. Check it out in the 1977 sub-section of the Vault on the WWE Network.