Wednesday, September 18, 2019

Dino Bravo's Mid-Atlantic TV Debut Was Memorable (Part 2)

by David Chappell
Mid-Atlantic Gateway

After defeating Steve Strong in his debut match on the April 28, 1976 Mid-Atlantic Championship Wrestling television show (as we learned in PART ONE), Dino Bravo joined Bob Caudle and David Crockett at the announcer's desk to offer some insight on the program's final match involving the NWA World's Tag Team Champions Gene and Ole Anderson. Bravo told the viewing audience that he had no love for the Andersons, as they had injured Bravo's partner about a year before. When Gene and Ole took over on young Randy Colley and were brutalizing him, Bravo ran up to the ring irate.

Caudle exclaimed, "Dino's going to the ring now David!" Crockett responded, "Dino's over there, he's yelling...why don't you beat him?" Caudle continued, "Randy Colley now, still picked up gonna be slammed again by Ole Anderson. And again he's gone back to the arm, and he's not attempting to pin." Crockett yelled, "He's got it locked; he's got the arm locked..he's applying the pressure!" At this point in time, it appeared Ole Anderson was out to break Colley's arm, which certainly did not sit well with Bravo.

An agitated Bravo remarked, "They could beat that kid!" At that instant, the referee stopped the bout with Caudle explaining, "The referee says ring the bell, that's it." Dino exclaimed, "They are sick, they are thoroughly disgusting. I wish I could get my hands on the two of them at one time." Gene and Ole then approached the announcers desk and Bravo confronted them yelling, "You're really proving something here, that kid's been wrestling two months already you try to cripple the kid. Why don't you try to break that arm; why don't you try to break that arm? Try, go ahead and try to break my arm!"

Somewhat perplexed, Ole countered, "Why don't you just buzz off, buddy-boy. Take that kid outta here before we break his arm! You wanna have your arm broken so bad, I'll give you a chance to get your arm broken! Get yourself a partner and come back in a couple of weeks and we'll wrestle get out of here!" Pushing the envelope, Dino responded, "A championship match...give me a championship match!" After shaking his head in disbelief and pondering the proposal, Ole fired back, "Alright, I tell you what're so big, you're so tough, I'll make it, we'll make it a championship match; you get yourself a partner."

Ole then fine-tuned his response a bit by elaborating, "But I'm gonna tell you what, there's a little stipulation there. If you want to have this you get any partner but it can't be Wahoo McDaniel...we've seen enough of him. It can't be Paul Jones, and it can't be Rufus R. Jones. You get anybody else you want, and I tell you what we'll wrestle you for the championship in two weeks right here in that ring." An exuberant Bravo shouted, "Beautiful!"

Ole clearly had enough of Dino, telling Caudle, "Get this kid outta here! I saw him a year or so ago out in L.A. and he had a partner out there at that time, what was his name Brito, or whatever it happened to be. And the guy is still a little bit hot, carries a little bit of a grudge because we..." Caudle jumped in and said, "He said you hurt his arm, hurt his partner's arm." A smiling Ole answered, "We didn't just hurt it, we dislocated it..tore it out. I could hear it when it was cracking, just like we had this kid right here. I could hear those cartilages crack."

An incensed Ole continued to vent to Caudle, "This guy thinks he's gonna come over, he came over in a match a few seconds ago and says beat somebody...I told you a million times to beat somebody isn't good enough. Because if you just beat somebody, like Gene and I have done so many times , you get a punk back like this one right here, who thinks he can have two or three weeks of good training and then he can beat us. Well the reason we go out there and break somebody's arm or dislocate it is to show 'em that they're not as tough as they think they are."

Ole even suggested Caudle had a role in Bravo's bravado continuing, "Now this wise-aleck comes out here; I don't know what you guys were talking about, it doesn't make any difference. You let him come over to the ring while I'm wrestling, you have him come over there and he says beat somebody...well we're gonna beat them in our own sweet time." Bob stood up for himself saying , "I didn't have him come over!" Unconvinced, Ole countered, " Well somebody did, somebody's sticking that kid's face in our face."

Getting angrier and angrier, Ole lashed out, "And I'll tell ya, the only thing that's gonna happen is Mr. Dino Bravo, or whatever your name is, as good as you might be, as nice a body as you've got, as big of arms as you might are gonna find out the same thing as anybody else has found out when they've wrestled the Anderson brothers. You know what our nickname is, it's the Wrecking Crew, and I tell ya when we get you in that ring, I told you...two weeks! Two weeks, you figure it out! You get yourself a partner, but like I said you can't have Wahoo, you can't have Jones, you can't have get anybody else in the world I don't care, anybody else...if you can find anybody else."

Bob then poked at Ole, "Why not one of those three, why not anybody?" Ole didn't take the bait saying, "Don't get into just get Bravo back out here. I don't care if he comes out here with a midget or anybody else. I'm gonna guarantee you one thing Bravo, you stuck your nose in our face once before and your partner got his arm broken. Now you're gonna stick your face into it again. In two weeks we're gonna come back here, we'll wrestle and we'll show you what we can do by putting these championship belts up against you and whoever you want.  And when we get you in that ring in two weeks you might as well start counting the end of your days because I'm gonna guarantee you just as sure as Gene and I are standing here, two weeks from now you're not gonna have an won't be able to wrestle again! And this is the guy that's gonna do it...Gene and I are gonna do it!"

While Dino Bravo secured his NWA World's Tag Team Title match in two weeks on television, the following week on Mid-Atlantic Championship Wrestling TV would set up the table for Dino's big chance!

The Andersons attack Dino Bravo on the May 5, 1976 Mid-Atlantic Championship Wrestling TV taping, and the wrestler who saved Dino is named Bravo's be continued in Part 3!