Sunday, April 21, 2019

Almanac History - July 1980 (Part Three)

David Chappell's
Mid-Atlantic Championship Wrestling History


JULY 1980 - PART 3

After Ricky Steamboat and Jay Youngblood inserted themselves in a match with NWA World Tag Team Champions Ray Stevens and Jimmy Snuka on the July 9, 1980 Mid-Atlantic Championship Wrestling television program, announcer Bob Caudle had a hard time believing what he was seeing. Caudle marveled, "It goes to show you, anything can happen on Mid-Atlantic Championship Wrestling! The fans in our TV arena are about to go nuts here, along with Gene Anderson who keeps beating on the ring...he's gonna break that cane!" The ultra excitable color commentator David Crockett added, "I've already blown one mic!"

Gene Anderson
Manager of the NWA World
Tag Team Champions
The exciting back-and-forth bout came to an end when Steamboat appeared to secure the win for the "good guys" when he captured Stevens in his surfboard hold with no hope for escape, as the "bad guys" already had one save and Youngblood had chased Snuka out of the ring. The bell then rung, seemingly signaling the end of the match by submission and Steamboat dropped the flailing "Crippler" to the mat and the fan favorites began celebrating!

However, there was more to this story. In all the excitement, it became clear that the floor manager didn't ring the bell signaling the end of the match...but rather Gene Anderson, Snuka and Stevens’ diabolical manager, snuck around the ring to where the bell was and started ringing it! This controversial ending brought out a very rare verbal explanation from referee Tommy Young.

Young explained, "I heard the bell and figured the time was out---so the match is a draw." Crockett then bellowed, "The floor manager says he didn't ring the bell...Gene Anderson rang the bell!" Tommy responded, "Well, that could very well be; I don't know. But all I know is I heard the bell, and when I looked back there Gene Anderson was not there. The official verdict...this is a draw. I'm sorry, this is a draw." Crockett went ballistic, yelling, "BUT GENE ANDERSON RANG THE BELL!" Young then calmly talked Crockett down off the ledge explaining, "I did not see it. I'm sorry David, but it's a draw. It's all I can do."

Steamboat and Youngblood were no happier about the outcome than Crockett was. Ricky complained to Caudle and Crockett later in the same show, "What can the NWA do about Anderson? What can we do about that man? Every time we turn around he's doin' something behind our backs!” Youngblood concurred, "Bob, it was plain to see we had them beat right in the middle. Plain to see! Anderson has been comin' around doin' all this kind of stuff. He's been takin' everybody's eyes off the match, and doin' a lot of stuff."

Jay Youngblood and
Ricky Steamboat
Ricky was becoming even angrier and blurted out, "When we sign contracts, we sign contracts to wrestle Stevens and Snuka, not Anderson---he's a manager! He's not supposed to interfere; he's not supposed to be involved. And every time we wrestle 'em he's always runnin' up and down to the ring and he's sticking his cane in there and he's hittin' people with it!"

Seeking and searching for relief from Gene Anderson, Steamboat opined, "What can we do about that particular man? I think what we may have to do is check into that and possibly get a man in our corner also."

While that stipulation was going to come about shortly, around the second week of July the one unique stipulation that was employed was a “Falls Count Anywhere” contest in Columbia, South Carolina at the Township Auditorium on July 15th. On that night, the champs retained their belts against Steamboat and Youngblood in a match where the participants battled into every nook and cranny of the arena!

The two teams split their other two matches during the week. On July 11th in Lynchburg, Virginia Ray and the “Superfly” successfully defended their belts in a title encounter, while Ricky and Jay exacted a bit of revenge in Greenville, South Carolina at the Greenville Memorial Auditorium on July 14th by besting the champs in a non-title bout.

In two other noteworthy matches that occurred around the area in and around the second week of July, starting in Sumter, South Carolina on July 10th, Andre the Giant and Sweet Ebony Diamond defeated Snuka and Stevens in a non-title bout as Andre wound down his latest tour of the Mid-Atlantic area in impressive fashion. And at the end of the week and bleeding into the third week of the month, Ric Flair defeated former partner Greg Valentine in a bloody bout at the Raleigh Civic Center, retaining his United States Heavyweight Title in the process.

More from July 1980 in PART FOUR                       ALMANAC DIRECTORY