Friday, May 31, 2019

Action Figures Friday: Blackjack Mulligan vs. Masked Superstar

Another great presentation from our friends Reggie and Scottie at Wrestler Weekly (@wrestlerweekly) spotlighting the brutal feud between Blackjack Mulligan and the Masked Superstar.

Their battles went back to 1978 when Superstar was trying to collect the bounty on Mullgian's head, placed there by Ric Flair.

Now two years later, their feud begins again, with Mulligan hoping to take the TV title from Superstar, but Superstar has an ace up his sleeve - - Superstar #2.

Thursday, May 30, 2019

Ivan Koloff Wins the Mid-Atlantic Title from Ricky Steamboat (1981)

by David Chappell
Mid-Atlantic Gateway

APRIL 16, 1981
The month leading up to this change there was no buildup to this switch, and if you believe Steamboat, they had never wrestled before the title change. The change in Norfolk had the Koloff-Steamboat match fourth from the top.

The angles that were going on the month before the change in Norfolk included the Anderson Brothers reuniting, the NWA TV Title tournament, and the Greg Valentine-Sweet Ebony Diamond controversy, the conclusion of the Blackjack Mulligan-Iron Sheik program, and the debut of Lord Alfred Hayes.

Koloff and Ray Stevens had their brief run as NWA World Tag Team Champions during this period, managed by Gene Anderson. The Koloff team dropped the straps back to Paul Jones and the Superstar at the time Gene announced he was heading back into the ring with Ole. This freed Koloff up for singles action, but while targeting Steamboat (among others), he never specifically targeted the Mid-Atlantic Title.

During this same time period, Steamboat was mainly matched with Jimmy “Superfly” Snuka in the Mid-Atlantic title bouts. Snuka had started to talk again, and was about ready to leave the area. There was even an unofficial one day reign for Snuka…winning the Mid-Atlantic title in Dorton Arena on 4/7/81 and having it returned to Steamboat at the TV taping the next day!

Steamboat and Koloff were billed (with Ricky as champ) in Richmond for a non-title match on 4/17/81. A number of the tape excerpts below are from the local promos for that match, along with other snippets from my tapes that track the TV part of this Mid-Atlantic title change:

KOLOFF: “I'm looking forward to coming to Richmond on the 17th, finally I got this Ricky Steamboat to sign a contract to wrestle me. He's been dodging me all this time! He still won't put up his Mid-Atlantic it because you're afraid of me? Well Steamboat, you have the credentials, you've proven yourself. You were man enough to take the belt, to capture the belt, now you're not man enough to put it up? Is it because you're afraid of Koloff? Is it because you realize you're not wrestling with pineapples, or a surfboard? You may be sent back to Hawaii after this match!” (Local Promos, Mid-Atlantic Championship Wrestling 4/1/81)

STEAMBOAT: “You know Richard, I’m listening to the statements from the Russian Bear Ivan Koloff stating the fact that maybe I am afraid of him because the title is not on the line. When the promotion brought me the contract Ivan, you had signed it, fine. I signed it without a moment's hesitation. But it read Ivan Koloff versus Ricky Steamboat, NOT Ivan Koloff versus Ricky Steamboat FOR the Mid-Atlantic Championship. I sincerely apologize for that...maybe next time.” (Local Promos, Mid-Atlantic Championship Wrestling 4/1/81)

LANDRUM: “Another fine champion, Mid-Atlantic Champion Ricky Steamboat...Superfly Snuka has been after you, hasn't he?”

STEAMBOAT: “That's right, the man has been hot on my trail, and I'm not embarrassed to say that I've been hot on his trail, too. Whatever statements he wants to make about me, that's fine because of the fact that I don't care what he says because a lot of people in this area know, a lot of guys have done a lot of talking and I just wanna say that I back up what I say and have to do in that ring.” (World Wide Wrestling mid-show interview 4/1/81)

STEAMBOAT: “You know something Richard, I'm sure that for the people in Richmond there's gonna be a lot of curiosity seekers upon my particular match with Ivan Koloff, the Russian Bear. We've never met, we've never wrestled before, but I know he wants to use me, use my name as a steppingstone for this area, possibly to come back to Richmond for a title shot. Well Ivan Koloff, the people in Richmond have seen what I can do and they've seen what I have're not gonna use me for a steppingstone.” (Local Promos, Mid-Atlantic Championship Wrestling 4/8/81)

LANDRUM: “Rick Steamboat, I'm just happy to say, and I'm proud that the Mid-Atlantic Heavyweight belt is back around your waist. It really looked like Snuka had taken it away from you, but after the NWA reviewed the film and all and some illegal tactics, I'm glad to see the belt's back around your waist.”

STEAMBOAT: “Well, thank you very much Richard. I hope that everybody is happy as much as I am. I want to thank the review committee from the NWA all the way up to the highest where the President even took a look at the film and I'd also like to thank the fans for their support and happiness on my behalf of getting the belt back around my waist. Now Jimmy Snuka, this all revolves around you, it all revolves around you and your manager Gene Anderson. Now why don't you be a man for once in your life, stand on your own two feet and challenge me once again for this belt which would be fine. Anywhere, anytime, except this time Mr. Snuka be a man and for once in your life be there by yourself.” (Mid-Atlantic Championship Wrestling, taped interview 4/8/81)

KOLOFF: “Like I told you before, I'm looking at the possibility in the near future of setting a great name for Ivan Koloff in this area. You know, the best wrestlers in all the free world today are right in this the Mid-Atlantic area and the Wide World Wrestling area. And this is what I'm intending on doing, first of all I want to go out and either cripple, defeat or put out of wrestling people such as Steamboat, Ricky Steamboat, this Ric Flair, this Mulligan, Superstar, this Paul Jones. What I'm trying to tell you is, by doing this, by either crippling them or putting them out of wrestling, I will bring recognition to myself and I will step up that ladder higher and higher.” (World Wide Wrestling in-show interview 4/8/81)

Piper challenges Flair on TV, and the Anderson’s distract Flair and Koloff attacks Ric. This sets up the Flair/Koloff feud that goes on for many months. (World Wide Wrestling 4/15/81)

Richmond promo for 5/1/81 card where new M-A Champion Ivan Koloff wrestles Dusty Rhodes:

KOLOFF: "You know my contract to get rid of Ric Flair, to put him out of wrestling has not been fulfilled yet, and now I've got Dusty Rhodes to wrestle May the first in Richmond. I don't know what his intentions are, I know the only way he would sign the match would be for a Mid-Atlantic Title shot. Well, you've got it Dusty Rhodes, let's see how good you are." (Local Promos, Mid-Atlantic Championship Wrestling 4/22/81)

STEAMBOAT: MACW interview with Steamboat who talks about Koloff attacking Ric Flair and then says, "I've also got a little bit of a beef to go with Koloff also because he's got the Mid-Atlantic belt that he took away from me. He's gotten on TV and admitted, admitted, the way he's taken it was by cheating, but since the referee did not see him, he's telling everybody he didn't cheat! That's sort of like going out and stealing something...if you didn't get caught you didn't steal it.” (Mid-Atlantic Championship Wrestling in-show interview 4/22/81)

WEAVER: "We do have news, we have a new Mid-Atlantic Champion, who happens to be Ivan Koloff, not only has he been stirring up a lot of animosity among wrestlers, imagine he has stirred up a lot with Ricky Steamboat, he has also stirred up quite a bit with the one and only Nature Boy Ric Flair.” (World Wide Wrestling show opening 4/22/81)

KOLOFF: "This Ricky Steamboat around here...I've got your title Steamboat! I told you I was after you and wouldn't let up until I got you, I got what meant everything to you. Now I've got it! So Ric Flair, Steamboat, I don't care...I'm out to set a reputation for myself and believe me it's gonna be at your cost!” (World Wide Wrestling in-show interview 4/22/81)

Interviews are direct transcripts from the Chappell Audio Cassette Collection

Wednesday, May 29, 2019

Mid-Atlantic TV: November 28, 1981
Mid-Atlantic Wrestling
on the WWE Network
Mid-Atlantic Championship Wrestling
TV Summaries & Reviews
by David Taub
Mid-Atlantic Gateway Contributor

This is a review of Mid-Atlantic Wrestling as it appeared on the WWE Network. Results are included for the week (Monday-Sunday of the given week) as available. Please email with any corrections, typos, results, other details at

Mid-Atlantic Championship Wrestling
Original broadcast: 11/28/81
(taped 11/25/81 at WPCQ-TV studios in Charlotte)
WWE Network feed.  [Watch this Episode on the WWE Network.]
TV Summary Index

We skip another week, Nov. 21, 1981. Results for them? Email me.

Bob Caudle & David Crockett preview the hour.
Caudle introduces the opener on the magic blue screen.

Match 1
Jake Roberts & Black Jack Mulligan d. Nikolai Volkoff & Charlie Fulton
Stu Schwartz is the referee for the hour.
Mulligan is back on Mid-Atlantic TV. Nikolai wears his water polo-like helmet. No Lord Alfred Hayes. Volkoff gets his shots in. Mulligan has the claw on Fulton, but stops when Nikolai interferes.
Roberts handles him and Black Jack (two words this time) pins Fulton after a bodyslam.

— Int. w/Bob Caudle: Black Jack Mulligan
Lots of references to his ranch. Mulligan apologizes for being out of shape, but enjoys teaming with Jake Roberts.

[TAPE] Caudle goes to a clip from World Wide Wrestling, where Rich Landrum is speaking with NWA representative Sandy Scott. This must be from the 11/14/81 show. Same interview as the 11/14/81 Mid-Atlantic show. Scott says they are competing for the best athletes in the world. So, they will hold a Cadillac tournament. Slaughter comes out, wanting the Cadillac.

[CLIP] Now we cut to a clip of Tommy Rich vs. Tony Russo.
Same seen on this show two weeks ago. Piper now comes out, and he and Slaughter interact while voicing over the Rich clip. A clip within a clip within a clip. Kind of confusing.

[CLIP] Now, we go to a clip of Angelo Mosca wrestling Steve King, in the same WWF clip.

Finally, back to Black Jack, who wraps up the interview.
[CLIP] They play a clip of a confrontation between Big John Studd and Blackjack Mulligan Jr.


— Int. w/Bob Caudle: Sgt. Slaughter
Slaughter says he’s through with Wahoo McDaniel. But, he agrees to pay him $1,000 if he can break out of his cobra hold. He brags about his training of Pvt. Jim Nelson

Match 2
Private Jim Nelson d. Keith Larson
Slaughter stays for commentary. Caudle defends Wahoo, as we cut to an inset of Slaughter. When Nelson gets himself in trouble, Slaughter leaves for ringside. He returns when Nelson resumes the offense. The topic turns to Black Jack Mulligan. Once again, Slaughter temporarily strolls to ringside.
Nelson hits the Cobra Clutch on Larson. He eventually finishes him with a pin.


— Int. w/Bob Caudle: Ricky Steamboat
Steamboat carries a DASH bag, which is Delta Airlines Special Handling. It is full of cards and letters to petition for a rematch against Roddy Piper.

Caudle with the magic blue screen intro for the next match.


Match 3
Ninja (w/Jim Holiday) d. Vinnie Valentino
Holiday drops by the announcing desk talking about a magazine saying Ninja is a rising star. More talk about Steamboat’s quest for a rematch. He wins with a headbutt from the second rope.


Match 4
Roddy Piper & Ole Anderson d. Don Kernodle & Tony Anthony
Caudle & Crockett mention Ray Steven and Billy Robinson are coming in soon. They reference Gene Anderson’s injury. He’s not wrestling but accompanying Ole to ringside. A decision will have to be made on the World tag team title soon. 10 cents if you can guess what body part Ole works. Anthony submits to a tight-looking arm bar.
Ole and Piper continue to beat on Anthony. Steamboat and Roberts make the save.

— Int. w/Bob Caudle: Ricky Steamboat & Jake Roberts
Steamboat and Roberts are angry about what just happened.

“So long for now!”

Epilogue: There’s a chance this is the 11/21/81 episode. No references either way to Thanksgiving.

Direct Link to this program on the WWE Network:
Subscription required. They offer a free 30-day trial!

Mid-Atlantic TV Summary Index

Results for the week of 11/23 - 11/29/81 after the jump......

Tuesday, May 28, 2019

Searching for Silver: Memories of Angelo Martinelli in the late 1960s

Greenville SC Memories
by Don Holbrook

Mid-Atlantic Gateway Contributor

Back in the late 1960’s and very early 1970’s Angelo Martinelli was still wrestling now and then. It seemed like he was on the Greenville, SC, cards quite often either wrestling - - usually the second match or so - - but mostly refereeing.

He had been a big star back in the 1950s and early 1960s, wrestling everybody from Gorgeous George to Blassie, Rocca and others. I understand he worked main events in New York, California, Boston and quite a lot in Atlanta plus other places. Ole Anderson said in a shoot interview that he and Gene used to come out from the dressing room to watch his matches when he was still wrestling. They would stand in the back of the arena and they said he was really good.

In those days I would always get to the building on Monday nights around 4:00 PM. My mother was working in the Greenville Memorial Auditorium office at the time. I always knew if Angelo was refereeing for the night because he would always be the very first guy to show up, sometimes before promoter Paul Winkhaus.

He would do the same thing every single time. Enter the stage door, sign in on the ledger book they kept for all shows, carry his bags downstairs to the dressing rooms and then come back upstairs and head straight to the lobby where the concession employees would be setting up and getting ready before the doors open. He would always have a handful and a big pocketful of change. He would go to each concession stand and vendor and ask the attendants if they had any silver coins, especially quarters. This was back in the day when full silver coins were still in general circulation and fairly plentiful, but being phased out.

Referee Angelo Martinelli tries to maintain order in a wild Indian Strap Match
between Wahoo McDaniel and Johnny Valentine in 1975.

He’d buy every one he could get his hands on, even-money value swap of course. He even had some of the auditorium employees saving them for him. Then he would go to the auditorium office where there was a teller-type window in a rear hallway that was attached to the ticket office where they could provide change during events for the concessions and auditorium parking lots, etc. It was all cash back then; no credit cards. He would ask them for silver coins, too. Most weeks he would really rack up.

In later years after he died I thought about that and figured someone in his family probably inherited quite a coin collection and/or a sizable sum of money. The other interesting thing I noticed was Angelo always traveled alone and I heard once that the guys generally didn’t care for him. But Mr, Crockett (Sr.) really liked him and took care of him.

Good memories from my many nights at the Greenville Memorial Auditorium. 

Sunday, May 26, 2019

The War Dance Never Dies: Blackjack Mulligan Statement on Wahoo McDaniel

by Dick Bourne
Mid-Atlantic Gateway

Back in October of 2005, George South presented a tribute wrestling show to Chief Wahoo McDaniel called "The War Dance Never Dies." Blackjack Mulligan heard about the show and was interested in supporting it and sent the following statement via email, which was read to the fans in Mooresville, NC, on the night of the show.

People come and go in the wrestling business, but rarely is there a person who has such impact as Wahoo McDaniel.
Wahoo McDaniel was the person responsible for getting me into wrestling. We grew up near each other in Texas. Wahoo was a few years older than me, I was a freshman at Odessa High School when Wahoo was a senior at Midland High School just 20 miles apart. We both went on to the NFL and in 1967, he introduced me to San Antonio promoter Joe Blanchard and I began training to be a professional wrestler.

When I first came to Mid-Atlantic Wrestling in 1975, I had a series of matches with Wahoo that were some of the toughest of my career! Ballplayers always had their separate little deal. You know, there was no complaining about getting hit hard or anything like that. We just went out and worked each other over. He was one of the toughest men I ever fought, and one of the toughest men I ever met.

Wahoo set the bar at a very high level in our profession and the rest of us just tried to keep up. He was truly one of our great characters and is greatly missed by all.

My best to everyone in Mooresville and to all the Mid-Atlantic Wrestling fans at this special event to remember the great Chief Wahoo McDaniel.

May God bless you all,

                       - Blackjack Mulligan
                         September 2005

It was a fun night in Mooresville. Wrestling legends Masked Superstar (Bill Eadie), Chief Jay Eagle,  and Jimmy "Boogie Woogie Man" Valiant worked the show, along with "Mr. No. 1" George South. Masked Superstar won the EWA Heavyweight Championship that night.

The EWA "War Dance Never Dies" Locker Room

Reflecting back, it was quite a crew working those EWA and Highspots shows in 2005. Some of the great EWA standouts of that era included Jason Jones, Jake Manning, Bobby Houston, Rob and Chris Guerrero, The Canadian Bulldog, and Jimmy Jack Funk, Jr., among others.

One of the top moments of the night, though, was a giant screen airing of a legendary brawl between Wahoo and Johnny Valentine back in June of 1974. It took place at the studios of WGHP channel 8 in High Point, NC, and is considered some of the rarest video footage of the two known to exist. Charlie Harville was on commentary and the referee trying to break up the two was Angelo Martinelli. Wahoo and Valentine literally beat the crap out of each other! (As they were known to do.)

The icing on the cake was the reading of the statement by Blackjack Mulligan, which was also displayed on the giant video screen. 

I always had a good time at George South's shows back in those days, and miss them. I miss his crew of guys, too. Good times.

Check out all of our great books in the Mid-Atlantic Gateway bookstore!

Friday, May 24, 2019

Action Figures Friday: Valentine vs. Bravo in Toronto

Barry Hatchet /

There is no one that does detail on staging classic wrestling action figure photos quite like Barry Hatchet in his "Make Believe Gardens" series on

This photo features Canadian Heavyweight Champion Dino Bravo vs. challenger Greg Valentine 

From the Maple Leaf Wrestling website:

Dino Bravo and Greg 'Hammer' Valentine had some great bouts in Toronto over our Canadian Heavyweight Title. This could be any one of 3 where Bravo was champ at introductions. Valentine would eventually beat Bravo for the title in April but would lose it back in June.

Bravo had recently turned back the challenge of Ric Flair and had tagged with Ricky Steamboat against the team of Flair and Valentine before starting this series.

Jim Crockett Promotions and Toronto Promoter Frank Tunney had a working relationship between 1978 and 1983, where Tunney booked a majority of his talent appearing on Toronto cards from the Mid-Atlantic Wrestling territory. The Canadian heavyweight champions during this era also appeared for Jim Crockett Promotions on cards in their cities, as well as on the Mid-Atlantic Wrestling and World Wide Wrestling TV shows, with the Canadian title belt.

More excellent photos from this staging can be found here.

Wednesday, May 22, 2019

The Story on the Ric Flair Foreword removed from "Ten Pounds of Gold."

by Dick Bourne
Mid-Atlantic Gateway

Since posting a photo on twitter of one of the original versions of the book "Ten Pounds of Gold", I've received a number of questions at the website regarding the "Foreword by Ric Flair" notation on the cover.

Here is the story of how that foreword came about, and why it is no longer in the book.

In October of 2008, Michael Boccichio at Highspots worked out a deal with Ric for Dave Millican and I to photograph the original 1973 NWA World title belt. At that time, Highspots had a working business relationship with Ric (remember this DVD?) and Dave and I knew he still had the famous domed-globe belt that was retired in 1986. We paid Ric a small "booking fee" and spent the day with the belt taking photographs and just generally marking out over what was in front of us.

Not long after, I decided I wanted to do a book about the belt itself, its origins and its history, featuring many of the photographs taken that day. I asked Michael if he would see if Ric would be willing to write a foreword for the book. Ric said OK, but he didn't want to actually write it. He said we could come up with something to suggest to him and he would approve it.

Rather than create something out of whole cloth, I decided to take a promo Ric did on WCW Monday Nitro years ago and mold it into the foundation of a foreword. It was from the famous promo Ric did when he brought the old NWA belt out on TV in the ring in St. Louis in 2000 and told the story of how he first saw the belt around the waist of Jack Brisco and knew he wanted to one day hold that championship.

The text of that promo can be found here. That show is on the WWE Network in the Vault section. (Check out Ric's appearance with the NWA belt at around 24:40 of that show.)

The Ric Flair foreword as it appeared in the original 10x8" hardcover edition of "Ten Pounds of Gold."

I wrote up a foreword, gleefully threw in a gratuitous final line reflecting how I hoped Ric would feel about the book, and sent it to Michael. He showed it to Ric on a flight they made together to an appearance in the northeast. I forget where they were going, but I'm pretty sure it was the same trip where they visited the ESPN Sportcenter set together in Connecticut with Ric's son Reid.

Anyway, Ric approved it, and I was delighted to include it in the original version of the book.

Subsequently, Highspots and Ric had a falling out, and Michael asked that the foreword be removed from the book. I hated taking it out, but I understood. Michael had been very good to me in helping get the whole photo project started to begin with. So other than the initial run of the large hardcover version of the book, the foreword does not appear, including the current softcover commercial version of the book.

Years later, Conrad Thompson arranged for me to photograph Ric with the original 1986 cast version of the NWA belt for my book "Big Gold." I briefly thought about asking Ric for a foreword for "Big Gold" but didn't want to push my luck. He was very kind to me that night as it was, posing for photos with Big Gold and taking Conrad and I to dinner, along with his fiancee Wendy. It was a lot of fun, and an evening I'll never forget.

With Conrad, Wendy, and Ric at Stoney River Legendary Steaks
in Duluth, GA. (March 2014)
So that's how the Ten Pounds of Gold foreword came about, and why it isn't in the book now. But you never know, one day there might be a Third Edition, and that foreword just might reappear.

My thanks again after all these years to Michael at Highspots for helping make it all possible, even if some of it fell apart later. It still was a very cool thing Dave and I got to do.

Monday, May 20, 2019

Mid-Atlantic TV: November 14, 1981
Mid-Atlantic Wrestling
on the WWE Network
Mid-Atlantic Championship Wrestling
TV Summaries & Reviews
by David Taub
Mid-Atlantic Gateway Contributor

This is a review of Mid-Atlantic Wrestling as it appeared on the WWE Network. Results are included for the week (Monday-Sunday of the given week) as available. Please email with any corrections, typos, results, other details at

Mid-Atlantic Championship Wrestling
Original broadcast: 11/14/81
(taped 11/11/81 at WPCQ-TV studios in Charlotte)
WWE Network feed.  TV Summary Index

We skip another week, Nov. 7, 1981. Results for them? Email me.

Bob Caudle & David Crockett introduce the show.
Sonny Fargo in the blue romper is the referee for the hour.

— Int. w/Bob Caudle: Sandy Scott
The NWA representative says they are recruiting the top sport stars to join them.
Caudle introduces the next match via blue screen.


Match 1
Jay Youngblood d. Ricky Harris. 
Youngblood wins with the tomahawk chop to the head followed by a flying chop to the prone Harris.


— Int. w/Bob Caudle: Sgt. Slaughter and Private Jim Nelson
Slaughter takes exception to Wahoo’s comments about himself and Piper last week. We go to a replay of Wahoo’s comments from last week with Bob Caudle. Sarge brings out a contract, challenging Wahoo to a title match.

Match 2
Non-title: Sgt. Slaughter [U.S. Champ] (w/Pvt. Jim Nelson) d. Ken Hall
It’s Slaughter with the win following the clothesline-cobra hold finish.

—Local promos w/Ken Conrad for 2/07/82 Roanoke
The Network airs a promo for 2/07/82 Roanoke. Wow, how far behind did this tape get bicycled? Nonetheless, this appears to be the tape from the Bluefield-Beckley-Oak Hill, WV market. Ken Conrad handles the mic. It’s Stevens & Mulligan Jr. vs. Choi Sun & The Ninja. Car vs. title: Valiant vs. Koloff. Koloff talks about his TV title vs. Valiant’s Cadillac match.

— Int. w/Bob Caudle: Sandy Scott
Scott talks about upcoming tournaments for a Cadillac to draw the top talent in the country. A clip of Tommy Rich vs. Tony Russo from what looks like a Mid-Atlantic house show plays. Piper comes out, saying he would sell his grandmother. Ole, then Slaughter come out wanting the Cadillac. Scott then plays a clip of Angelo Mosca from the WWF taking on Steve King. “He looks like King Kong, fights like Faye Raye,” Piper says.
[CLIP] Park Center: Tommy Rich vs. Tony Russo
[CLIP] WWF: Angelo Mosca vs. Steve King


— Int. w/Bob Caudle: Jay Youngblood, Ricky Steamboat, Jake Roberts
Youngblood, speaking a little slow and out of it, says he’s willing to sign Slaughter’s open contract (of course, he doesn’t). Steamboat & Roberts talk about all the tough competition coming into the Mid-Atlantic area. Steamboat wants Piper. Roberts calls Ole a snake in the grass, and he’ll mow him down.


Match 3
Jimmy Valiant d. Deke Rivers
The Network dub plays over the first part of the match. A quick match, with Valiant winning with the running elbow. Back to the overdub.

— Int. w/Bob Caudle: Roddy Piper
Piper is back, with his yellow shirt with the tiger in front and “I’m a Piper” in the back. Piper is tired of people calling him a coward. A clip plays from last week of Piper attacking Steamboat, who was in the middle of a match with a blue masked man. Piper says Steamboat hasn’t earned a Mid-Atlantic title shot. Steamboat is in the ring during the time. Awkward conclusion, as Piper leaves. Caudle is a deer in headlights, and Steamboat just leaves the ring.
[CLIP] Piper attacks Steamboat from last week

—Local promos w/Ken Conrad for 2/07/82 Roanoke
Youngblood & Stevens talk about Ninja & Choi Sun. Stevens says his opponent’s name sounds like a Chinese soup. Valiant is in to talk about his match against Ivan Koloff. Ric Flair defends the World title against Blackjack Mulligan Jr. Junior says he’s known Flair for a while. He has a lot of respect, but business is business.


Match 4
Jake Roberts & Rick Steamboat d. Super Destroyer & The Grappler by DQ
A back-and-forth main even struggle. Piper and Ole come to ringside cheering on the masked team. After minutes of working on Roberts, Steamboat gets the hot tag. As Steamboat makes the pin, Piper reaches in and we have a DQ. Piper and Steamboat go at it, as Roberts holds Ole at bay. Piper makes his escape.

— Int. w/Bob Caudle: Ricky Steamboat & Jake Roberts
Steamboat is steamed at Piper. He plays the rest of the Steamboat vs. blue masked man tape. Naturally, Steamboat gets the pin. He calls Piper “Casper, the White Ghost.”

“So long for now!”

Mid-Atlantic TV Summary Index

Results for the week of 11/9 - 11/15/81 after the jump......

* * * * * * * * * * * *

Saturday, May 18, 2019

Evel Knievel's Closed-Circuit Snake River Canyon Jump: A Ringley & Crockett Promotion

by Dick Bourne
Mid-Atlantic Gateway
On September 8, 1974, legendary daredevil Evel Knievel attempted to jump the Snake River Canyon in Twin Falls County, Idaho, in a self-designed rocket. As a 13 year old kid, this was a seminal moment in my childhood. I had just started getting interested in wrestling, and I always thought Evel Knievel would have made a great pro wrestler. Or maybe a a great pro wrestling manager. Either way, Evel could give as good a promo as anyone in pro wrestling.

I was already a huge Knievel fan, eagerly anticipating his next motorcycle jump over cars or buses that would regularly be televised on ABC's Wide World of Sports. I knew he had aspirations of one day jumping the Grand Canyon. This was apparently to be a warm-up to that bigger feat. Or perhaps the National Park Service had no interest in him attempting something like that at the Grand Canyon. Regardless, I was seriously into the hype surrounding the Snake River jump, even if it was the semi-final to some future main event.

The event drew national attention and was promoted on pay-per-view around the country. The Knievel organization established partnerships with local promoters, one of which was Ringley & Crockett, Inc. in Charlotte.

Ringley & Crockett, Inc. was the non-wrestling arm of Jim Crockett Promotions, run by Jim Crockett, Sr.'s son-in-law John Ringley until the end of 1974. Ringley promoted rock concerts, Harlem Globetrotters basketball, fishing tournaments, and all sorts of other events. They were also the promoters for the Evel Knievel Snake River Canyon jump to be telecast on giant-screen closed-circuit television at the Charlotte Coliseum on Independence Blvd., also the home of many big Mid-Atlantic Wrestling events in the Queen City. 

Sadly, the jump failed. A good description of what happened, as well as info on the jump-site (where Evel's dirt take-off ramp still stands as a tourist attraction), can be found on a favorite website of mine, An except:

With much media fanfare, daredevil Evel Knievel tried and failed to leap the mile-wide chasm of the Snake River Canyon on his specially engineered rocket motorcycle. His drogue parachute malfunctioned and opened on take-off. Evel and his contraption floated to the bottom of the canyon, landing on the riverbank directly below his launch ramp (If he'd gone into the river, his safety harness probably would have drowned him). It was a less-than-auspicious milestone for Evel and the city of Twin Falls, but Evel's fans loved him for at least trying.

Where I grew up, the closest closed-circuit location for the jump was in Johnson City, TN, and despite my ongoing pleading, my father had no interest in paying to see Evel Knievel climb into a rocket. 

Carroll Hall at the All Star Championship Wrestling website came across the clipping and forwarded it here. It was nice to discover the Crockett connection to this event after all these years.

For more on Evel Knievel, visit

Friday, May 17, 2019

Action Figures Friday: Roddy Piper


Another nice staging for Action Figures Friday by our friends Scottie and Reggie at @wrestlerweekly featuring United States Heavyweight Champion Roddy Piper in 1981. All that's missing are the bagpipes and a kilt!

Piper was a two-time U.S. champion, first winning the strap on 1/27/81 from Ric Flair at the Dorton Arena in Raleigh, NC. He lost the title on 8/8/81 to Wahoo McDaniel in Greensboro.

His second title reign came two years later when he defeated Greg Valentine on 4/16/83 in Greensboro, NC, only to lose the title back to "the Hammer" two weeks later on 5/1/83 in the same city.

Republished in October 2022 on the Mid-Atlantic Gateway.

Wednesday, May 15, 2019

Almanac: July 1980 - Part Five

David Chappell's
Mid-Atlantic Championship Wrestling History


The final days of the month of July 1980 featured two more television tapings from the WRAL TV 5 studios in Raleigh, North Carolina due to the month having five Wednesdays. The first of those remaining TV tapings occurred on July 23rd, and showcased the surprising return of a longtime star and a first of its kind "music video" featuring Ric Flair!

The returnee was none other than "Number 1" Paul Jones who had been absent from the area for several months after a lengthy run as a wrestling rule-breaker. Paul returned in his "good guy" persona to tell the fans that he was turning over a new leaf, and was going to start wrestling by the rules if the fans and wrestlers would take him back.

Jones told surprised Mid-Atlantic announcers Bob Caudle and David Crockett, "Listen, I'm ashamed of what I did. I left somewhere to get my head together, I even put a mask over my head I was so ashamed. But I'll never put another mask over my head again, and I'll never have to go to the people or the wrestlers and say I'm sorry, because I've always been a man. I've been down a wrong road, I realized it Bob and David, and all I want is the opportunity." Time would tell how sincere Paul was, and where his apparent change of heart would lead.

The most intriguing segment of the July 23rd program was a music video of sorts featuring Ric Flair. With the background music featuring Donna Summer's mega-hit "Hot Stuff" blaring, the Nature Boy strutted his stuff to the beat of the music. While Caudle and Crockett gushed over this novel production, not everyone was so impressed.

At the end of the show Greg Valentine complained to Caudle, "Now you showed this ridiculous thing with Ric Flair, out there disco dancing ." Caudle reacted, "That was great!" Greg continued, "I thought it was ridiculous. You know Flair, maybe you can dance pretty good, maybe you should stick to that! In fact, when I take that belt away from you maybe we can get you a job as a go-go dancer somewhere because that's all you'd be good for, except you'd have to wear a mask because your face is so scarred up."

The next two nights around the territory, Blackjack Mulligan continued his demolishing of Enforcer Luciano in Texas Street Fight matches, pounding the Enforcer into oblivion in Sumter, South Carolina and Charleston, South Carolina respectively. But Saturday night July 26th at the Charlotte Coliseum proved to be the most noteworthy arena event during the final days of July.

The super-spectacular card in Charlotte featured three title bouts, including NWA World's Heavyweight Champion Harley Race successfully beating back the challenge of Sweet Ebony Diamond. On that same star-studded card, and the Iron Sheik defeated Jim Brunzell in a wild and bloody No Disqualification bout. But the match of the night in Charlotte saw Greg Valentine defeat Ric Flair to capture the United States Heavyweight Championship with a clean win over the Nature Boy to the chagrin of the Charlotte faithful.

On Monday the 28th in the Greenville Memorial Auditorium and the following evening in the Columbia Township Auditorium, Ric Flair reversed roles and challenged Greg Valentine for the U.S. Title. While winning both of those contests by disqualification, the frustrated Nature Boy left both South Carolina venues title-less.

The final major arena card of the month of July occurred on the 29th at the Hampton Coliseum in Hampton, Virginia for a rare Tuesday night show, as Hampton cards were normally held on Saturday. What made this card additionally abnormal, was a power outage that occurred in the building during a tag team match pitting Swede Hanson and Enforcer Luciano against Special Delivery Jones and Johnny Weaver! Auxiliary power kicked in and the show went on with that tag match, with the bad guys prevailing once the lights returned.

The two main events in Hampton had significant pre-match buildups. The No Disqualification Mid-Atlantic Title bout between the Iron Sheik and Jim Brunzell had the feel of a last chance match for the challenger from White Bear Lake, Minnesota. In an in-your-area promo for the Hampton area fans, Brunzell told announcer Rich Landrum, "I don't like this match, Rich, but it's all boiled down to this. It's the only way things are going to be settled in the Mid-Atlantic area as far as I'm concerned, as far as the Iron Sheik is concerned. I'm tired of being put down, I'm frustrated, and I'm gonna vent those frustrations in this No Disqualification match. Sheik, I hope you're ready brother." Jim came up short in this critical matchup, which signaled the beginning of the end of Brunzell's year-plus successful Mid-Atlantic run.

The other main event in Hampton featured a World Tag Team Title encounter between champions Jimmy Snuka and Ray Stevens and challengers Ricky Steamboat and Jay Youngblood, with the special stipulation of Johnny Weaver being in the corner of the "good guys" to counteract the champs' manager Gene Anderson. This stipulation was a direct result of Anderson interfering in a televised impromptu match between the two teams.

In an in-your-area promo for the Hampton faithful, Youngblood explained to announcer Rich Landrum, "You know, we asked Johnny to be in our corner and he jumped at the chance, because Johnny's the type of a man that likes to see a person get a fair break. That means Gene Anderson, there's gonna be law and order in that ring...we've got everything to gain and nothing to lose. And Hampton's gonna be the place where we get those belts back!" Unfortunately for the fan-favorites, while they won the match by DQ, they didn't carry the prized belts out with them. Much like the Sheik-Brunzell outcome, this decision portended storm clouds on the horizon for the Steamboat-Youngblood team in this feud.

The final TV taping of the month of July occurred on July 30th in the WRAL TV studios in Raleigh, and it was one to remember! Greg Valentine was announced as the new United States Heavyweight Champion, and came out on the TV set dressed in a tuxedo with two lovely ladies in tow. Greg gloated over his win, taunting Ric Flair and told Caudle and Crockett, "I'm not worried about challengers right now, I'm not accepting any challengers because I'm just gonna enjoy what this [belt] brings me...lots of money, and the fringe benefits right here."

Back in the control room listening to Valentine's diatribe, Ric Flair couldn't listen to anymore without taking action. The Nature Boy joined Valentine on the set, and proceeded to get the jump on the "Hammer" and tore virtually all of Greg's fancy clothes off, to the amazement of Valentine's girlfriends! However, Flair paid a heavy price for his embarrassing Valentine, as Greg's buddy "Bad Boy" Bobby Duncum came from the back and conked the Nature Boy flush with a steel chair with a sickening thud that reverberated through the TV studio.

Flair appeared at the end of the show, and thanked Johnny Weaver for taking his place in his schedule match. Ric said he was headed to the hospital to get checked out after the serious blow to his head. Duncum's involvement with the chair-shot later caused Flair to call his friend Blackjack Mulligan for assistance, and set up exciting tag team bouts featuring Duncum and Valentine against Flair and Mulligan as the calendar flipped over from July to August of 1980.

* * * * * *
Go back and review the entire month of July 1980!

Tuesday, May 14, 2019

Blackjack Mulligan's Public House

This place may have been founded by Blackjack's Irish cousins, he and his west Texas crew never mentioned it to us while down in Odessa and Sweetwater.

So how did we not know about this place? Blackjack Mulligan's Public House, two locations, one in Garfield, NJ, the other in Secaucus, NJ.

The next Mid-Atlantic Gateway Board Meeting is going to be held there. Last barstools on the right. I guess we'll flip a coin to figure out which location, although I'm thinking Garfield because they have Rib Night every Thursday.

Road trip!

Monday, May 13, 2019

Remembering George Harben

by Mike Cline
Mid-Atlantic Grapplin' Greats
Published here with permission from the author.

Do you remember George Harben?  I certainly do.

I remember George Harben as the ring announcer on WBTV's CHAMPIONSHIP WRESTLING TV program, which was video taped every Wednesday night in Charlotte and broadcast that following Saturday afternoon.

And for a number of those years, the same program was broadcast over WBTV's 'sister station' in Florence, South Carolina.

However, Mr. Harben's career in the wrestling business went back quite a bit further than announcing on television and at house shows at PARK CENTER and the CHARLOTTE COLISEUM.

Harben was born in Stone Mountain, Georgia, a famous historical spot that is still visited by tourists the year round. He broke into the business as a wrestler in 1933 and had an active career until retiring in 1956.

In 1935, George helped train one of the all-time greats of modern wrestling, none other than LOU THESZ, who went on to become WORLD HEAVYWEIGHT CHAMPION six times. THESZ was a young boy of eighteen when he worked with Harben.

In 1940, during the years of World War 2, George Harben made a trip to Australia by boat to wrestle and was on board when the vessel was struck by a mine off the coast of New Zealand.

He also wrestled in Cuba before Fidel Castro took control of that country.

George Harben wrestled with his brother Charlie over most of the United States as a tag team. The two were in the main event that drew the largest crowd to ever witness a wrestling card at the old CHARLOTTE ARMORY. It was in early 1953, and the Harbens' opponents were GEORGE and BOBBY BECKER.

Besides his ring announcing duties for JIM CROCKETT PROMOTIONS, Harben also assisted in advertising the company's wrestling shows in several other towns besides Charlotte and for a while promoted house shows in Hickory, North Carolina.

George Harben passed away some years ago, but I can still his voice---
"Good evening Ladies and Gentleman and welcome to another exciting evening of Championship Wrestling on Channel 3."

* * * **

Originally published on Mid-Atlantic Grapplin' Greats, October 25, 2016 
Published here with permission from the author.

Sunday, May 12, 2019

Charlotte Wrestling History: The National Hat Shop

by Dick Bourne
Mid-Atlantic Gateway

Growing up watching wrestling in the 1970s in Kingsport, TN, our cable system carried WBTV-3 out of Charlotte for a few years. This was around 1975-1978 and I saw some of the great local promotional spots for the cards each week in Charlotte at the Park Center or at the Charlotte Coliseum (now known as Bojangles Coliseum.)

The local promos were the way the local events were sold, and they were often more fun than the wrestling matches we saw on TV. Conducted in those years by the great Les Thatcher, these interviews would always include information on the screen with the date of the show, the town, and the venue. They also included information on where one could go to buy advance tickets.

For just about as long as the Crockett family promoted wrestling in Charlotte, the primary advance ticket outlet there was the National Hat Shop on South Tryon Street.

Newspaper ad for wrestling at the Park Center:
"Tickets on sale National Hat Shop"

Gary Silverstein is the son of the man who owned the National Hat Shop, a Charlotte landmark for just over five decades. I communicated with Gary via email awhile back and he was nice enough to share some information about the National Hat Shop and his father's relationship with Jim Crockett, Sr.

"My dad's name was Isadore Silverstein, but he was always called Izzy. He opened National Hat Shop in 1932. We had four different locations on South Tryon Street. Previous to that, he'd owned a cigar shop (Dixie Cigar Store on E Trade) and was selling tickets to events at the old Armory, the predecessor to the Park Center and the Grady Cole Center.

He was in charge of the box office for all Crockett Promotion events. In fact for the Monday night wrestling events, my dad would bring the money home with him and make the deposit for the Crocketts. Jim Crockett was a close friend of my father, as was Grady Cole.

My Grandfather came to Charlotte in around 1896 and opened the Vogue Men's Clothing store. My dad was born here in 1903. We continued to sell tickets to almost every event held at both the Coliseum and the Grady Cole Center (this was prior to Ticketmaster) until I closed the store in 1983."

Look closely at the photo above. Hanging from the upper level of the Charlotte Park Center are two banners: the one on the left is for wrestling each week on WBTV 3. The one on the right is for advance tickets at the National Hat Shop.

My thanks to Gary Silverstein for sharing these memories of an important part of Charlotte's wrestling history.

(A version of this story was originally posted in 2012
on the old Mid-Atlantic Gateway website in the 
Potpourri section of the Resource Center.)

Friday, May 10, 2019

Action Figures Friday: Valentine and Raschke!

Another great presentation from our friends Scottie and Reggie at Wrestler Weekly.

This time they feature the NWA World Tag Team Champions Greg Valentine and Baron Von Raschke in front of one of the classic issues of Mid-Atlantic Wrestling Magazine from that era.

Man, these little belts make the whole thing work!  Check out the Wrestler Weekly twitter feed for more great wrestling memories, tributes, and memorabilia.

Republished in September 2022 on the Mid-Atlantic Gateway

Wednesday, May 08, 2019

Mid-Atlantic TV - October 31, 1981
Mid-Atlantic Wrestling
on the WWE Network
Mid-Atlantic Championship Wrestling
TV Summaries & Reviews
by David Taub
Mid-Atlantic Gateway Contributor

This is a review of Mid-Atlantic Wrestling as it appeared on the WWE Network. Results are included for the week (Monday-Sunday of the given week) as available. Please email with any corrections, typos, results, other details at 

Mid-Atlantic Championship Wrestling
Original broadcast: 10/31/81
(taped 10/28/81 at WPCQ-TV studios in Charlotte)
WWE Network feed. TV Summary Index

We skip ahead two weeks. Have the 10/24/81 episode? Results for them? Email me.

Bob Caudle & David Crockett open the show, and we head to the ring with the match already started.

Match 1
Buddy Landell d. Charlie Fulton. 
The referee for this and all matches during the hour is Sonny Fargo, in a blue romper.
Landell still has his natural brunette hair. Caudle & Crockett announce the hour’s lineup: Valiant, Ninja, Ole & Gene! Landell wins with a pin following a gut-wrench suplex.


— Int. w/Bob Caudle: Jake Roberts and Wahoo McDaniel
Roberts talks about funny business with a recent World tag team title match with Gene & Ole. Apparently, Gene was wearing a mask. Jake accused them of funny business of either a switcheroo and Gene using a loaded mask. Jake and Paul Jones were the opponents. Must have happened on TV last week. Wahoo backs up Jake and offers to team up with him. He says he knows the Andersons fight dirty. Finally, they show the clip from the 10/24/81 match from World Wide. It’s Ole & Super Destroyer versus Jake & Jones. Grappler is on commentary with Rich Landrum. If you listen close enough, there seems to be audio bleeding through. Sure enough, Super D loads his mask and headbutts Jones for the win. Apparently, this was Super D substituting for Gene in a World tag team title bout.


— Int. w/Bob Caudle: Ole Anderson & Gene Anderson
Gene is holding half of the tag team title. Ole claims that Gene dressed up as Super D (huh? Some logic gap. If they were claiming that was Gene in a mask, how come Grappler kept on cheering for his partner?). Ole continues to threaten Roberts, Wahoo and Jones. The Network edit of Jimmy Valiant’s music comes in, then stops, then starts again as the interview concludes.

Match 2
Jimmy Valiant d. Ricky Harris
Valliant wins with the elbow smash. Network edit means we go to break real quick.


— Int. w/Bob Caudle: Ninja and Mr. Holiday
Jim Holiday, called Mr. Holiday here, says don’t call him Kabuki, call him Ninja. He reads a newspaper article explaining what Ninjas are.

Match 3
Ninja (w/Jim Holiday) d. Mike Davis
A little bit more than chops this time around for Ninja. Davis has a brief defensive flurry, before winning with the chop.

— Int. w/Bob Caudle: Ricky Steamboat; Bad Bad Leroy Brown
This is in lieu of the local promos. Steamboat comments on Ninja, saying he thought Halloween was on the 31st (well, this did air on the 31st). Brown talks about Ole Anderson.
Caudle introduces the next match via magic blue screen.


Match 4
NWA TV championship:
Ron Bass [ch.] d. Kris Markoff (w/Lord Alfred Hayes) by DQ
Markoff wears what best can be described as a water polo cap in Russian colors. Hayes, wearing shades, jumps in the ring. Bass fends him off, but the referee calls for the DQ.


Match 5
Non-United States Heavyweight championship: Sgt. Slaughter [ch.] d. Don Kernodle
A camo-wearing Jim Nelson watches from ringside. Kernodle puts up a strong fight, but Slaughter wins with the cobra hold.

— Int. w/Bob Caudle: Roddy Piper; Sgt. Slaughter; Ivan Koloff
Piper says everyone is afraid of him; a drenched Slaughter introduces his new recruit, Nelson. He makes him perform pushups. Koloff says he can take Bass.

“So long for now!”

TV Summary Index 

Results for the week of 9/21-9/27 after the jump......

Monday, May 06, 2019

Almanac: July 1980 Part Four

David Chappell's
Mid-Atlantic Championship Wrestling History


The third week of July in 1980 kicked off in exciting fashion on July 16th, when there were two championship matches on the taping of the World Wide Wrestling television show. Matt Borne and Buzz Sawyer successfully defended their Mid-Atlantic Tag Team Titles against the duo of Ben Alexander and Billy Starr during the program. But the more noteworthy title encounter during that TV taping was a battle of the masked men that many fans had been clamoring for.

Matt Borne and Buzz Sawyer
Mid-Atlantic Tag Team Champions
The Masked Superstar defended his NWA Television Championship against Sweet Ebony Diamond on this edition of World Wide Wrestling, and the sparks flew! After some great early action, the Superstar locked Diamond in his devastating cobra hold and appeared to have the match in hand, but the "sweet man" somehow got to the ropes forcing a break and the tide of the bout turned.

Using a vicious head-butt followed by a cross body block that took the Superstar off his feet, Sweet Ebony seized control of the match. When both masked men then tumbled toward the ropes, their momentum took them over the top rope and then a major brawl occurred out on the floor to the delight of the fans! Diamond was able to break away from the fray and slip back into the ring just milliseconds before the referee's count hit 10, earning himself a hard fought countout victory. But unfortunately for Diamond, titles don't change hands on a count out decision.

Nevertheless, the Superstar was impressed with the skill of his opponent. At the end of the show announcer Rich Landrum commented to the Superstar, "You retained your belt over Sweet Ebony Diamond, but that was one heck of a match." The Superstar responded, "Listen, every time I come out here I'm very, very confident. I'm still very, very confident. But this is the first time, I hope the only time, I'm going to come out here and tell you and tell the people viewing, that I feel very, very fortunate to have this belt at the present time. Now Sweet Ebony Diamond, I gotta give you a lot of credit."

Masked Superstar
Incredibly, the Superstar continued on in his effusive praise of his masked rival admitting, "Wherever you're at right now, I wanna tell you one thing that I haven't told anybody, and I mean anybody! You're a very, very good tough competitor. You're a very, very competent wrestler. Now don't get overconfident because I'm blowing some smoke. Don't get overconfident...but I've gotta give you credit where credit's due. But I'm holding on to this belt, I'm defending this belt, and I don't care who gets in the ring with me. If it's you Diamond again, or Blackjack Mulligan or his cousin, or the big man Andre the Giant, or Ric Flair or anybody. If you want this belt, you're gonna have to fight me for it!"

Arena action the following two evenings saw the same main events, but at the geographical extremes of the Mid-Atlantic area. At the Norfolk Scope on July 17th and the following night down at County Hall in Charleston, South Carolina, Ric Flair defeated Greg Valentine to retain his United States Heavyweight Championship and the Iron Sheik retained his Mid-Atlantic Heavyweight Championship against top challenger Jim Brunzell.

Richmond, Virginia also hosted a super spectacular card on July 18th. In a follow-up from their classic TV match two days earlier, Sweet Ebony Diamond battled the Masked Superstar over the NWA Television Title, coming up with a DQ win but no title to take home. On July 22nd at the Raleigh Civic Center, Diamond secured a No DQ match with the Superstar but still could not nab the belt despite a technical victory.

Richmond also saw Ricky Steamboat and Jay Youngblood attempting to regain the NWA World Tag Team Titles against Jimmy Snuka and Ray Stevens. In Richmond, the challengers won a countout decision but did not secure the belts. Later in the week in Roanoke, Virginia on the 20th and in Greenville, South Carolina on the 21st, Jay and Ricky were oh so close to recapturing the belts, but fell just short.

The end of the third week of July saw the beginning of the end for Enforcer Luciano in his feud with Blackjack Mulligan. In Roanoke on July 20th and in Fayetteville, North Carolina the next night, Blackjack laid out the Enforcer in Texas Street Fights where Luciana pulled out everything but the kitchen sink, but was still soundly whipped by the big man from Eagle Pass, Texas.

Finally, the third week of July in 1980 saw a title change and a World's Title bout! The title change occurred in of all places...Toronto, Canada! The Canadian Heavyweight Championship, which was referenced in the Mid-Atlantic area, switched from the Iron Sheik to Angelo Mosca on July 20th. And on July 22nd in Raleigh, Ric Flair got a rare opportunity to dethrone Harley Race for the NWA World Heavyweight Championship. The Nature Boy gave it all he had, but got counted out of the ring enabling Race to emerge from the Raleigh Civic Center with his title belt intact.

Next time: We finish out the month of July!

* * * * * *

To read all about the month of July 1980, begin in PART 1

Saturday, May 04, 2019

Unusual Tag Team: Ole Anderson and Pvt. Jim Nelson

Photo by Steve Davies

by Dick Bourne
Mid-Atlantic Gateway

In the late summer of 1981, Gene Anderson was legitimately injured in the ring and was out of action for a prolonged period of time. He and Ole Anderson were the NWA World Tag Team Champions at the time.

Ole Anderson began taking substitute partners during the fall including Mr. Fuji, Buzz Sawyer, Stan Hansen, and on one occasion, Pvt. Jim Nelson, who was apparently on loan from Sgt. Slaughter.

On Friday, November 13, 1981, Ole took the young Marine recruit under his wing to take on the challenge of Jake "The Snake" Roberts and "Number One" Paul Jones.

In the rare photograph above taken in the Richmond Coliseum, Ole pushes an anxious Nelson back to the corner just before the opening bell, as if to say "Hold on there, kid. I got this."

Not long after, Ole took Ray Stevens as a partner and tried to sacrifice him to keep the titles in an angle that called back to the famous "supreme sacrifice" with Gene Anderson in 1975. Stevens, though, would have none of it, and the incident turned him babyface heading into 1982.

When the NWA finally stripped the Andersons of the titles in January 1982, Ole took Stan Hansen as his permanent partner and the team went on to win the tag titles in a multi-city tournament that lasted for months. (Read all about that tournament in our 12-part series.)

Friday, May 03, 2019

Action Figures Friday: The Brisco Brothers on WTBS!

A cool display from our pal Matty over at Wrestling with Classics featuring Jack and Jerry Brisco on the set of World Championship Wrestling at WTBS.

For continuity's sake, will guess this would be during the early 1985 stretch of a few months where the WWF held tapings at Techwood Drive. That set was actually created for the WWF and then used for years after when Crockett took things over in Atlanta.

We love any tribute to the old TV studios that held wrestling. Great stuff!

Wednesday, May 01, 2019

Mid-Atlantic TV - October 17, 1981
Mid-Atlantic Wrestling
on the WWE Network
Mid-Atlantic Championship Wrestling
TV Summaries & Reviews
by David Taub
Mid-Atlantic Gateway Contributor

This is a review of Mid-Atlantic Wrestling as it appeared on the WWE Network. Results are included for the week (Monday-Sunday of the given week) as available. Please email with any corrections, typos, results, other details at 

Mid-Atlantic Championship Wrestling
Original broadcast: 10/17/81
(taped 10/14/81 at WPCQ-TV studios in Charlotte)
WWE Network feed. TV Summary Index

We jump ahead three weeks on the Network, missing the 10/03/81 and 10/10/81 episodes. Do you have access to them? Results for them? Email me.

Bob Caudle & David Crockett open the show. We’ll see a music video of Jimmy Valiant, plus new U.S. champion Sgt. Slaughter.

—Interview w/Bob Caudle: Jake Roberts & Jay Youngblood
Jake challenges Ole to find a partner. He name-drops Gene, challenging him to come out of retirement. Jake notes the World tag team title hasn’t been defended in 60 days. Youngblood wants Piper, and of course, here comes the Hot Rod.
“I don’t know you, you little squaw!” Piper yells. Youngblood remains clam. Piper wants a death match. Crockett reminds Piper a regular match has been signed and that won’t change. Piper leaves, and Youngblood notes Abdullah isn’t around anymore.

Caudle plays a snippet of a Jimmy Valiant video, with the Network overdub of the theme song.


Back from break, and we have the full Jimmy Valiant video, originally produced in Memphis. The Network overdubs a piano jazz music, that they will use for all Valiant matches. Action of Jimmy, plus seeing him emerge from a limo.

Match 1
Jimmy Valiant d. Jim Nelson

And here, he is, Jim Valiant. Stu Schwartz, with the green polo and red pants is the referee for the hour. 
Jimmy has “FM 100 Means Music” on the back of tights. According to match listings, Jimmy was in Mid-Atlantic as a heel, but clearly a face here. Longer than the usual Jimmy TV match. Valiant wins with the elbow. Quick edit to the break, probably because of the original music.


Match 2
Jay Youngblood -time limit draw- Roddy Piper
Hot Rod wears a red shirt, with “Hot Rod” in a crisscross design in the front, and his name in the back. Youngblood, of course, is defending the honor of fellow Indian, Wahoo McDaniel. Good wrestling earlier on. Youngblood chops Roddy’s chest, in what have been right in front of the microphone, because it was the loudest chop I ever heard.
Piper gets busted open at his hair line.

— Local promos w/Les Thatcher for 10/21/81 Roncerverte, WV

These were taped from the studio in Knoxville of Mulligan/Flair’s Championship Wrestling. I guess this tape survived from the Bluefield-Beckley-Oak Hill, WV market. Could be Roanoke too. I know that Mid-Atlantic and Mulligan/Flair had a close relationship, with Mulligan/Flair booking Mid-Atlantic wrestlers, and vice versa. Anyway, Thatcher talks to Blackjack Mulligan Jr. about his match vs. Kevin Sullivan. Junior is dressed like a truck driver. Johnny Weaver & Paul Jones are there to talk about their main event against Kris Markoff & Nikolai Volkoff.


Match 3
Kabuki d. Charlie Fulton
Kabuki is in full, well kabuki gear. Robes, helmet, sword, face shield, everything. Tommy Young is the ringside attendant collecting everything. Kabuki has “Pogo” on the side of his tights. Caudle on Kabuki’s facepaint: “It’s painted like some Japanese warrior, David.” Maybe like Kabuki? After about four chops, Kabuki gets the win.


— Int. w/Bob Caudle: Wahoo McDaniel; Jake Roberts
Wahoo, sans headdress, says he’s going to get Piper. He also owes Abdullah. Jake the Snake joins Caudle. Roberts says it’s 59 days since Gene & Ole last defended the World tag title. Mentions something about defending them in St. Louis.

Blue screen intro for the next match. Network sound edit for Bad, Bad Leroy Brown. The old bumper theme bleeds in.


Match 4
Jake Roberts & Bad Bad Leroy Brown d. Ricky Harris & Ali Bey
Most of the commentary continues to rave over the Youngblood-Piper match. New U.S. champion Slaughter is up next. Brown pins Harris following a slam and big splash.

— Local promos w/Les Thatcher for 10/21/81 Roncerverte, WV
Izzy Slapowitz talks about the Syndicate being in town. I believe that is Doug Vines & Jeff Sword. Kevin Sullivan talks about his match against Blackjack Mulligan Jr. Relatively low-key. Lord Alfred Hayes steps in with Kris Markoff & Nikolai Volkoff. They have championship belts draped over their shoulders. Assuming it is the Mid-Atlantic tag team title. Hayes is a classic. “I could have been in Paris, London, Rome, even on the French Riviera. But I am going to be in Roncerverte, where they quaff beer.”


Match 5
Sgt. Slaughter [U.S. Champion] d. Frank Monte [Non-title match]
I think Monte, Jake Roberts and David Patterson were in a competition for “If Alex Trebek were a pro wrestler, he’d look like me.” All Sarge. Wins with the cobra hold. Sarge sings as he finishes off his opponent.

— Int. w/Bob Caudle: Sgt. Slaughter; Ivan Koloff; Ole Anderson
Sarge says he told you so about winning the championship. Does his drill instructor bit. He challenges Leroy Brown and Flair. Koloff complains about Ricky Steamboat. Ole comes in and shakes Ivan’s hand. Ole says he can’t defend his tag title, because he doesn’t have a tag partner. But, when the time comes, he will.

“So long for now!”

TV Summary Index

Results for the week of 9/21-9/27 after the jump......