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.

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