Saturday, July 06, 2019

Almanac: August 1980 (Part Two)

David Chappell's
Mid-Atlantic Championship Wrestling History


The beginning of the second week of August 1980 in the Mid-Atlantic Championship Wrestling area saw on its first day the ending of a major feud, and the beginning of a brand new one. On August 8th at County Hall in the port city of Charleston, South Carolina the Iron Sheik wrote a successful ending to his Mid-Atlantic Heavyweight Championship program with Jim Brunzell, thoroughly defeating the challenger from White Bear Lake, Minnesota in a Falls Count Anywhere/No Disqualification battle. That very same night in Lynchburg, Virginia the first salvo in the Ric Flair and Blackjack Mulligan versus Greg Valentine and "Bad Boy" Bobby Duncum brew-ha-ha was fired, with the melee that ensued being deemed a double disqualification.

The Flair/Mulligan against Valentine/Duncum four-way carried on the following night at the Charlotte Coliseum with the "bad guys" pulling out a bloody victory, but on August 12th at the Raleigh Civic Center Flair and Mulligan turned the tables and got their hands raised. On August 15th at the Richmond Coliseum the four were set to tangle again, but Duncum came to the ring in his street clothes and told the Richmond fans that he was suffering from a leg injury and that he wasn't going to compete unless he was 100% healthy. The Masked Superstar took Duncum's place in the match, but the last minute switcheroo doomed the rulebreakers to a hard fought loss.

The 11,000 or so fans that gathered in the Maple Leaf Gardens in Toronto, Canada on August 10th saw quite a card that featured three major bouts involving Mid-Atlantic stars. Blackjack Mulligan and Enforcer Luciano completed their final bout against each other, with Mully dominating the Enforcer one last time in a Texas Street Fight. Ric Flair battled Greg Valentine in a brutal "Death Match," finally prevailing after 34:06 of non-stop action. And last but certainly not least, Mid-Atlantic Heavyweight Champion the Iron Sheik regained the Canadian Heavyweight Championship belt, dispatching Angelo Mosca for the title in 14:51 to the chagrin of those in attendance.

That same August 10th night in Asheville, North Carolina saw an unusual contest of the masked men, pitting the Masked Superstar putting up his NWA Television Title against the popular Mr. Wrestling II making a guest shot in the territory. The Superstar retained his TV belt on that occasion and also retained against Paul Jones, Johnny Weaver and Sweet Ebony Diamond during the course of the week.

Sweet Ebony Diamond
Speaking of Sweet Ebony Diamond, the masked man also got shots at the area's other singles titles during the week, but came up empty handed. On August 11th in the Greenville Memorial Auditorium Greg Valentine pinned Diamond in a U.S. Title confrontation, but in Sumter, South Carolina on August 14th Diamond dominated the "Hammer" but Greg went the disqualification route to hold onto his coveted belt. In Charleston, South Carolina the following evening  it was more of the same as Diamond had the Iron Sheik on the ropes in a Mid-Atlantic Title bout, but the Sheik also got himself purposely disqualified and left the "Sweet man" thoroughly frustrated after a tough week seeking championship gold.

The battle over the NWA World Tag Team Titles between champions Ray Stevens and Jimmy Snuka and challengers Ricky Steamboat and Jay Youngblood formed bookends around the second week of August, with a wild double disqualification finish happening in Greenwood, South Carolina on August 8th, while on August 16th at the Spartanburg Memorial Auditorium the challengers were at their best but the "bad guys" nevertheless maintained hold of their belts through the middle of the month.

The Mid-Atlantic Championship Wrestling television program of the week was taped at the WRAL TV studios on August 13th, and featured a surprisingly competitive opener between Paul Jones and Ricky Ferarra and a final bout that featured an unusual six man team made up of the Superstar, the Iron Sheik and Greg Valentine. In between, there were separate matches featuring the combatants over the World Tag Team Titles, the champs Ray Stevens and Jimmy Snuka and the primary team chasing them, Ricky Steamboat and Jay Youngblood.

During the week's TV show, the initial interview segment featured Sweet Ebony Diamond and Paul Jones, primarily focusing on Paul's recent turn back to the "good guy" side. Diamond complimented Jones on his change of heart, telling him that, "When you've seen the light, you can't walk in the dark." Paul told announcer Bob Caudle that he knew how the bad guys thought, and that he believed that they had selected the Iron Sheik to go after him before he got re-started back in the territory. "Number One" warned the Sheik that, "If you mess around with me you're gonna lose that Mid-Atlantic Title, and that's a promise."

The final interview segment of the August 13th television taping involved the victorious six man team of the Superstar, the Iron Sheik and Greg Valentine. The most noteworthy comments came from the Mid-Atlantic Heavyweight champion and the newly crowned Canadian champion, the Iron Sheik. Hossein the Arab put a bow on his feud with Jim Brunzell, saying he beat him and was "sick and tired of Jim Brunzell," and that Brunzell was "too sissy" and was on his way out of the Mid-Atlantic area and over "to Hollywood." The Sheik also responded to Paul Jones' comments earlier in the show, joined the impending battle with Jones and bellowed, "Mr. Paul Jones, you better be ready!"

Be on the lookout for August 1980 Part 3!