Thursday, October 31, 2019

Roddy Piper and Bob Armstrong bring their Georgia feud to the Mid-Atlantic Area

Halloween Edition Dick Bourne
Mid-Atlantic Gateway

The recent spate of excellent quality uploads of old "Georgia Championship Wrestling" shows on YouTube had me fondly remembering Roddy Piper's one-year stint in Georgia and particularly his early feud with "Bullet" Bob Armstrong.

In the fall of 1981, Ole Anderson became booker for both the Mid-Atlantic and Georgia territories, something pretty unheard of in that time.  One result of his having that dual responsibility was the cross-over of talent between the two promotions. This was yet another chapter in the long history of what I have dubbed the "talent exchange" or partnership between the Mid-Atlantic and Georgia territories that went back to the mid-1970s.

Gordon Solie and Roddy Piper, hosts of
"Georgia Championship Wrestling" on SuperStation WTBS
One of the most visible examples of this was Roddy Piper becoming the co-host of "Georgia Championship Wrestling" alongside Gordon Solie in late October of 1981. Piper proved to be the perfect bombastic and colorful compliment to Solie's rather dry style of calling matches. It's not clear what Solie must have first thought of Piper when he debuted alongside him on WTBS on Halloween evening of 1981, but he warmed up to him pretty quickly as there was great chemistry between the two and they became one of the top pro wrestling broadcasting duos in the country with broad exposure on the nationally televised Georgia program.

Piper was such a hit in the color commentary role that Ole Anderson also paired him with Bob Caudle on "Mid-Atlantic Championship Wrestling" a few months later. Piper was perhaps the only wrestler to ever be a color commentator on two top shows for two different promotions at the same time. It was this experience that would first get him noticed in that role and would later serve as a foundation for the groundbreaking "Piper's Pit" segments on WWF television shows in 1984. 

Bob and Brad Armstrong
Along with his commentary duties in Georgia, Piper also would occasionally conduct interviews. In his first few months, he seemed particularly enamored of the father and son combination of Bob and Brad Armstrong, and his passive-aggressive confrontations with the two eventually led to fireworks between Piper and Bob Armstrong.

For several weeks in a row, Piper would interview the Armstrongs at ringside, complimenting the tag team prowess of the team, but also questioning their strategies and execution. He even went so far as to get personal with Bob, suggesting he was perhaps a bad father for occasionally letting his son take a beating in a match.

Bob, for his part, handled all of this masterfully in the slow build to the inevitable explosion with Piper, at first just just acting mildly annoyed at Piper's antics, usually brushing him off or ending the interviews before Piper was ready to end them, leaving the rowdy Scot occasionally flummoxed and at a loss for words.

Bob Armstrong was the perfect foil for Piper, aptly able to hold his own in a verbal joust with him, using his popular southern wit to confound the west coast bullying and arrogance of Piper. Armstrong was now looked at as one of the wise old veterans in the territory by the fans, and fans enjoyed watching Armstrong put Piper in his place over those early weeks.

But Piper was relentless. And as he turned the volume up on his criticism of the Armstrongs, it began to get under Bob Armstrong's skin. However, the two never touched for nearly three months.

Things finally came to a boiling point on the 1/30/82 episode of "Georgia Championship Wrestling"  and Armstrong attacked Piper at the podium and the they brawled into the ring.

That wild melee led to an actual match between the two at the Omni on Sunday, February 7. It was Piper's long awaited first match in Georgia and part of a big night at the Omni which included National Heavyweight Champion Tommy "Wildfire" Rich defend that title against former NWA world champion Harley Race.

There are different accounts as to the result of the February match. Most reports say it was a double DQ or a no-contest finish. The match would actually serve as a springboard to a progression of matches Piper would have over the next few months at the Omni, moving from one challenge up to the next. Following Armstrong, there was Tommy Rich and then Dick Slater. Others opponents down the line in 1982 for Piper included Dusty Rhodes, Ole Anderson, and Don Muraco.

Even though Piper moved on to other opponents in Atlanta, his feud with Bob Armstrong would continue outside the territory. Piper's only real role in Georgia was doing TV's with Gordon Solie on Saturday mornings, and matches on the Omni cards every three weeks or so. He didn't wrestle often on the house show circuit in Georgia because he was a full-time wrestler for Jim Crockett Promotions, and was actually booked out to Atlanta through the Charlotte Crockett office. In fact, through much of this time period Piper was Mid-Atlantic Heavyweight Champion, feuding first with Ricky Steamboat and then with Jack Brisco over that title belt.


Their feud was a quite unusual because it began in Georgia, but was largely carried out in the Mid-Atlantic territory, even though Armstrong never appeared in person on Mid-Atlantic television.  The feud had incubated every Saturday on WTBS for nearly three months (November 1981 - January 1982) without the two ever touching.

Then soon after that one Atlanta match on 2/7/82, things moved directly to the Mid-Atlantic territory, where Piper was the reigning Mid-Atlantic Heavyweight Champion. But other than isolated matches in Norfolk and Greensboro, their war took place entirely in the city of Greenville, SC on Monday nights.

Over a two month period, beginning on February 22 and culminating on April 19, the two had five (5) different matches in the Greenville Memorial Auditorium.

  • 2/22/82 - Mid-Atlantic title match (mid-card)
  • 3/01/82 - No Disqualification match (semi-main)
  • 3/22/82 - 2 out of 3 falls match (main event)
  • 3/29/82 - Indian Strap match (main event)
  • 4/19/82 - Canadian Lumberjack match (main event)

With Armstrong not appearing in person on any Mid-Atlantic TV shows, and only a few isolated clips shown from Georgia, it is astounding that Piper and Armstrong went for five events in Greenville, headlining the last three of them. it is a testament to the chemistry they had together and how well things clicked on the Georgia show, which was seen on cable channel WTBS in the Greenville market, although cable penetration in 1982 was far more limited than today.

Piper and Armstrong also headlined three shows in Cincinnati, OH, a city which featured talent from both Mid-Atlantic and Georgia promotions. The local promoter for the Cincy shows was Les Thatcher.

Piper and Armstrong also headlined three shows in Cincinnati, OH which were part of the Georgia Wrestling tours of Ohio and Michigan at that time. The local promoter for the Cincy shows was Les Thatcher, and lots of Mid-Atlantic talent was booked on those shows as well.

It was a wonderful feud and a great memory from that time where so much talent was appearing in both territories simultaneously.

Originally published October 30, 2016 on the Mid-Atlantic Gateway.
Thanks to Brian Rogers for his help with these Greenville newspaper clippings.

Wednesday, October 30, 2019

Mid-Atlantic TV: April 10, 1982

Mid-Atlantic Championship 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 Follow @TaubGVWire

For links to all available summaries, visit our TV Summary Index.

Mid-Atlantic Championship Wrestling
Original broadcast: 4/10/82
(taped 4/07/82 at WPCQ-TV studios in Charlotte)
WWE Network feed.  [How to watch this show on the WWE Network.]

Bob Caudle welcomes us to the show, joined by NWA representative Sandy Scott.

Before Scott gives an update on the World tag team tournament, we go to a taped segment where Gordon Solie talks with tournament director Eddie Graham. This is taped on the set of Championship Wrestling from Florida. Graham notes there is one regional tournament left in Canada. Graham thanks Fred Ward for filling in for him running a tournament when Mike Graham competed.
Back to Sandy Scott, who announces that Wahoo McDaniel & Don Muraco won the western region in Hawaii. He runs down the remaining teams left, the same teams from last week. Scott says the final will take place in a city yet to be announced.

—Int. w/Bob Caudle: Ivan Koloff
Koloff walks in, and says he wouldn’t help Jimmy Valiant if he was the last man on earth. The Network overdub of Jimmy Valiant’s music plays, and he scoots right into the ring.

Match 1
Jimmy Valiant d. Ben Alexander
Dave Hebner is the official for the hour. Alexanders attacks early, but Boogie Woogie quickly dispatches his foe. Valiant nearly slips on his jacket on the mat. Koloff tries to interfere, but Valiant holds him at bay. Valiant drops the elbow and makes the pin. His message on the back of his tights: “Lay Down Sally.”


Match 2
“Pretty Boy” Carl Fergie d. Keith Larson
Scott mentions the Koloff-Valiant segment we just saw. Fans chant “Go Home Fergie, Go Home!” Larson charges into the corner but misses. Fergie wins with the knee drop.

—Int. w/Bob Caudle: Sgt. Slaughter
Slaughter says he’s met all his challenges and run most of them out of town. He challenges Jack Brisco, or Wahoo McDaniel “if he ever gets back to town.” Slaughter name drops Don Muraco. He also says “we have someone on our side coming in,” Angelo Mosca.


Match 3
Jack Brisco d. Bill White
Caudle & Scott talk about Slaughter’s challenge to Brisco, and the Brisco Brothers still competing in the tag team tournament. Jack wins with the figure-four.
—local promos w/Big Bill Ward

Pvt. Nelson is holding one half of the Mid-Atlantic tag team championship. He won them recently with partner Pvt. Kernodle. No mention of when and where. This is a local promo, but no date is pushed. The date The Privates won the title is vague, but keep in mind that this particular show with this promo probably aired weeks after the listed air date (the bicycling concept). Nelson’s promo shows why he is a much better promo in Russian.


-—Int. w/Bob Caudle: Gene Anderson & Ole Anderson
The Andersons complain about Jimmy Valiant. Ole says his days are numbered.

Match 4
NWA TV championship: Ivan Koloff [ch.] d. Tony Anthony
All Koloff, save for 10 seconds of an abdominal stretch by his opponent. Anthony, for his run here in Mid-Atlantic, has a full head of perma-fro. His hairstyle changed when he became a Dirty White Boy. Koloff finishes Anthony off with a knee to the back of the head from the top rope.

—Int. w/Bob Caudle: Blackjack Mulligan Jr.; Jack Brisco; Jimmy Valiant
Mulligan talks about newcomers such as Angelo Mosca, Don Muraco and the impending return of Wahoo McDaniel. Mulligan wants to take Slaughter up on his challenge. Brisco is up next, talking about the tag team title tournament and Slaughter. The U.S. belt is the reason why he is here. The Network piano jazzy music brings in Jimmy Valiant. He is chasing Koloff. A hug for Bob Caudle.
Caudle is about to introduce the next match via blue screen, but …

Match 5
Nina (w/Gene Anderson) -no match- Vinnie Valentino
Koloff attacks Valiant as he is leaving. The action spills into the ring. Valiant takes a shot at Gene. And Ninja sprays the green mist into Valiant. Mulligan, Roberts, Weaver, Stevens and Sandy Scott break things up. Valiant is screaming in pain as he is escorted out.

—Int. w/Bob Caudle: Johnny Weaver & Ray Stevens
Weaver and Stevens, both in suits, give an update on Valiant. They say it is a conspiracy between Koloff, Ninja and Gene Anderson. We now go to a standby match.

Match 6
Tim Horner d. Rusty Roberts
Weaver and Stevens stick around the announcer’s desk. The mat still has a green mist stain. Horner wins with a sunset flip, not 100% executed well, but good enough for the win.

—local promo w/Big Bill Ward
A very green Mike Rotundo talks with Bill Ward. Rotundo talks about Jimmy Valiant, Roddy Piper and more. Bob Cadule’s voice in the background bleeds through. Rotundo name drops Ann Arbor. Ward thinks Rotundo looks like Rocky Balboa. Maybe.


Match 7
Pvt. Nelson & Pvt. Kernodle DDQ Terry Taylor & Kelly Kiniski
Weaver and Stevens remain on the mic. They praise the work Slaughter has done with The Privates. Stevens says Valiant went to the hospital to have his eyes checked. Even match. The finish sees all four men brawl in the ring. Taylor and Kernodle keep going at it and the referee rings the bell.

—Int. w/Bob Caudle: Jake Roberts and Sandy Scott
Scott can’t believe what’s going on today. He says The Privates are still threatening Taylor & Kiniski, saying what happened to Valiant could happen to them. Jake Roberts comes in, and we get a replay of Valiant getting sprayed. Roberts doesn’t like it at all. David Crockett comes in and says Gene Anderson would like to comment.

—Int. w/Bob Caudle: Ninja and Gene Anderson; Ivan Koloff   
Anderson said they warned Valiant. Gene admits they all worked together with Ivan. Koloff joins in. Says this is only the beginning. He hopes Valiant is blind. It’s what he deserves.

“So long for now!”

Results for the week, 4/05/82-4/11/82
(source: Clawmaster’s Archive via Sports and Wrestling blog posted by David Baker)

Mon., 4/5/82 Greenville, SC
Ric Flair, Jack & Jerry Brisco beat Stan Hansen, Ole & Gene Anderson
Roddy Piper beat Ray Stevens
Porkchop Cash beat Jeff Sword
Ron Ritchie beat Ken Timbs
Vinnie Valentino beat Steve Sybert

Tu., 4/6/82 Raleigh, NC
Ric Flair & Paul Jones vs. Sgt. Slaughter & Jim Nelson
The Ninja vs. Jake Roberts
Plus other matches

Wed., 4/7/82 Charlotte, NC(TV)
Jack & Jerry Brisco beat Steve Sybert & Mike Miller
Tim Horner beat Tony Russo
Jake Roberts beat Bill White
Terry Taylor beat Ric Benefield
Stan Hansen & Ole Anderson beat Ron Ritchie & Tony Anthony
Jack Brisco beat Carl Fergie
Blackjack Mulligan, Jr. beat Rusty Roberts
Roddy Piper beat Vinnie Valentino
Jake Roberts beat Steve Sybert
Paul Jones beat Bill White
Wahoo McDaniel beat Ali Bey
Ron Ritchie beat Sgt. Slaughter

Thu., 4/8/82 Sumter, SC
Vinnie Valentino draw Bill White
Mike George beat Steve Sybert
Jack Brisco beat Roddy Piper by countout
Jimmy Valiant & Jake Roberts beat The Ninja & Ivan Koloff by DQ
Terry Taylor beat Jeff Sword
Johnny Weaver beat Lord Al Hayes in a lumberjack match

Thu., 4/8/82 Fisherville, VA
Ric Flair & Jake Roberts beat Sgt Slaughter & Pvt. Nelson

Fri., 4/9/82 Charleston SC
Jimmy Valiant & Blackjack Mulligan, Jr. beat Ivan Koloff & Chris Markoff (sub for Austin Idol)
Ray Stevens beat The Ninja by DQ

Fri., 4/9/82 Richmond, VA — Richmond Coliseum
Sgt. Slaughter & Ole Anderson & Stan Hansen d. Ric Flair & Paul Jones & Jake Roberts
Jack Brisco d. Roddy Piper
Johnny Weaver d. Lord Alfred Hayes
Pvt. Nelson & Pvt. Kernodle d. Tony Anthony & Tim Horner
Mike George TLD Carl Fergie
Keith Larson d. Ken Timbs
Jay Youngblood d. David Patterson

Sat., 4/10/82 Cincinnati, OH
Tony Anthony beat Cowboy Young
Rick Conner beat Kenny Hall
Pvt. Nelson & Pvt. Kernodle beat Kelly Kiniski & Vinnie Valentino
Jack Brisco beat Ole Anderson
Lumberjack match: Johnny Weaver beat Lord Al Hayes
Non-U.S. title match/Texas Death match: Leroy Brown d. Sgt. Slaughter [ch.] after four falls
No DQ match: Roddy Piper d. Bob Armstrong
(Shedlock/Wrestling ’82)

Monday, October 28, 2019

Hot Main Event in Raleigh in 1976

by Dick Bourne
Mid-Atlantic Gateway

The top "good guy" tag team of 1976 was the pairing of the scientific Texan "Number One" Paul Jones with Oklahoma's "Chief" Wahoo McDaniel. The two were the top two singles babyfaces at the time, both top challengers for the NWA World Heavyweight title when champion Terry Funk brought the ten pounds of gold into the territory.

As a team, they had one of the most classic, memorable tag team feuds of the era with the top heel team in the territory in 1975, perennial world tag champs Gene and Ole Anderson, known as the Minnesota Wrecking Crew.

A great card in the summer of 1976 featuring the top singles "good guys" vs.
the top singles "bad guys" in a tag war against each other.

Individually, however, each man had a big singles feud going at the same time with the top two singles heels at that time, and both feuds contested the top two signles titles in the area.

Wahoo McDaniel was in the middle of a brutal year-long feud in 1976 with young "Nature Boy" Ric Flair over the Mid-Atlantic title. The two traded the title back and forth all year, including the infamous match where Flair almost cost Wahoo one of his eyes accidentally when a planned angle in the match went badly wrong.

Paul Jones was battling the big tough Texan from Eagle Pass Blackjack Mulligan over the United States title, and their feud lasted the entire year of 1976 as well.

So it was no surprise when the two top single "good guys" met the top "bad guys" in a tag team match-up guaranteed to thrill fans who were following their individual wars over the singles titles.

This type of match-up, however, was generally saved for the mid-size regular stops on the Crockett tour (Raleigh, Asheville, or Charleston for example.) For the big shows on the major towns on the Mid-Atlantic Wrestling circuit (Greensboro, Charlotte, or Richmond as examples), Paul and Wahoo would generally be in singles matches either defending or challenging for these singles championships. When Paul and Wahoo teamed, they would almost always tangle with the Anderson brothers, with the NWA World Tag Team titles at stake. (The Anderson's top challengers in 1976, though, were "Mr. Wrestling" Tim Woods and Dino Bravo.)

Paul and Wahoo vs. Flair and Mullgian be perfect for the main event in the mid-size regualr stops, and would allow the booker/promoter to match-up the singles stars against each other in a tag team main event.  It would serve as a change of pace and not require title matches to always serve as main events. No titles at stake, just some of the wildest, most heated action you can imagine.

And just look at the undercard on this show, amazing talent right down to the opening match - Johnny Weaver, Geto Mongol, Bolo Mongol (Bill Eadie, later Masked Superstar), Larry Zybszko, Boris Malenko, Dr. (Tatsumi) Fujinami, the amazing Johnny Eagle, and Doug Sommers. Incredible!

Saturday, October 26, 2019

Dino Bravo's Memorable Mid-Atlantic TV Debut (Part 3)

by David Chappell
Mid-Atlantic Gateway
Be sure to check out PART ONE and PART TWO of this great story from 1976!

Newcomer Dino Bravo had already secured his NWA World's Tag Team Title match with Gene and Ole Anderson on the Mid-Atlantic Championship Wrestling TV taping set for May 12, 1976, but in his second television appearance in the Mid-Atlantic area, Bravo had to contend with rough and tough veteran Bill White. That challenge became immensely more difficult when the Andersons jumped in the ring, clearly trying to take out Dino so he would be in no condition to wrestle the following week. But to the chagrin of Gene and Ole, Tim Woods hit the ring and helped Bravo fend off the assault by the Anderson Brothers.

During the middle of the program, announcer Bob Caudle addressed Woods and said, "Tim, I tell ya, you got in there to help a young fellow out a little bit ago. The Andersons were really beating up on him." Woods answered, "Well I tell ya, I hate to see that. A fine young athlete Dino Bravo, he came here and laid it right on the line, he made no bones about it. He said what he wanted, I understand he got it. He came in there, he wrestled his opponent, he beat him, and then the Andersons with their old tricks come in with the old double of them came in and the other finally kneed him from the back."

Woods continued, "He nearly beat the two of them, honestly. He was really fighting. And the Andersons are known, not only for hurting opponents, injuring them, but after that slapping them around like they did to Rufus, and I wasn't about to let that happen to Dino Bravo." Caudle concluded this segment by saying, "Well, I tell you, it was a great gesture on your part."

As the program was about to end, Caudle started a conversation with Ole Anderson saying, "Ole, earlier we saw you in there fighting against a young fella Dino Bravo." Ole snarled, "This Bravo, he's been around, he's got in our hair. He's followed us to a couple of places before, and we thought we were through with him a year ago. I figure anytime we have a team in there and we break one of that member's arms, then the other guy ought to have enough brains to stay away. But Bravo doesn't have enough brains!"

Anderson continued, "He came out here last week and interfered in a match, he gets out here and he thinks he's so big, he thinks he's so tough, he wants to be a white knight, wear a white hat or whatever it happens to be...thinks he's Mr. Good Guy! He's gonna come out and he's gonna avenge all the wrongdoings that we've done. Anytime we've been in the ring, anytime we've hurt anybody, it was because they deserved it. Now this little pipsqueak loud mouth good lookin' boy, fair haired, everybody thinks he's the savior of the race. He's gonna come out here and he's gonna make everything right by getting rid of the Anderson Brothers."

Ole added, "Well let me tell you something, it's not gonna happen! You know as well as I do that these belts mean more to us than anything else, we've given up our family and friends and everything because of these belts." At this point, Bravo comes onto the set with Woods right behind him. A furious Ole screams, "You come out here again I'm gonna take this're gonna see this belt up close!" Woods interjects, "Shut your big yap Anderson!" Ole shouts back, "I'll shut my yap when I feel like it!"

Woods then reasoned to Ole, "All you know is how to hurt people. You call yourself the World Champion? You're supposed to be wrestlers, you're supposed to represent wrestling. You call that wrestling?" Ole then questioned Tim, "What do you have to do out here? What are you, Mr. Good Guy too? You guys think you're pretty tough."

A smiling Bravo then announced, "Thank you very much for finding a partner for me, Mr. Anderson. If I had to choose one, there's the man right here I would have chosen. And next week, you won't hurt me like all these young wrestlers throughout this country, and I'll make sure next week, Ole Anderson and Gene Anderson, it won't happen like a year ago in California...this time we'll beat you."

An infuriated Ole countered, "You're gonna get a partner and come back and try and beat us? The only way you guys are gonna see this belt is when I jam it right down your throats! And you better be ready because we're gonna break a lot of arms and they're gonna be your arms!" As the Andersons departed the set, a disgusted Wood said, "Go ahead, I tell you what, I've watched these Andersons slap people around, hurt people...I'm telling you I'm SOOO happy to see a man like Dino Bravo that gets up and says what's on his mind."

Tim went on to tell the fans, "He's got the match, he's picked me as his partner and believe you me, next week, right here for the world's heavyweight championship, we're talking about the championship of the world, Dino Bravo and I will wrestle these Anderson Brothers. Believe me, we're gonna have a little conference between now and then." Bravo added, "I got the match, and I'm not gonna blow it and I got the best man with me right here and we'll walk away with those belts next week believe me."

Caudle wound down this heated segment by noting, "Well Dino, I tell you, he came in there and he sort of helped you out against the Andersons earlier tonight...I guess you said to yourself then, here's the man I want, we can beat them." Bravo concurred, " That was quite a surprise, but believe me, if I had to choose a partner this would be the man right here, Tim Woods." Bob responded, " Well you're both great wrestlers and I think your styles are gonna compliment each other;  I think the Andersons are worried. I think Ole's upset, I really think he is!"

Woods reflected, "Dino Bravo had the two men going in here by here's a man who is not afraid of them, not afraid of their reputation, not afraid to get in there and fight 'em, wrestle 'em, do whatever it takes. And I guarantee you Dino, I'm not either." Bob then questioned Bravo, "And you've got a score to settle with them, right?" Dino answered, "I've seen them hurt a lot of people, and this is the end of it. Tim, we're gonna do it together baby!" Woods agreed saying, "Okay, I'll be with you all the way and that's a promise so help me God." Caudle concluded the show saying, "It's gonna be next week, and it's gonna be a great one!"

It absolutely turned out to be a great one, as Dino Bravo and "Mr. Wrestling" Tim Woods upset the Andersons the following week to become the World's Tag Team Champions and ushered in a program that lasted throughout the summer of 1976. Dino Bravo's debut on Mid-Atlantic Championship Wrestling television was indeed memorable...and then some!

Friday, October 25, 2019

Valentine vs. McDaniel: "Greatest U.S. Champion" Tournament Rolls On

Mike Rickard's fantasy-booked "Greatest U.S. Champion of All-Time" tournament continues on Canadian Bulldog's World, with another second round match-up, this one between Greg Valentine and Wahoo McDaniel. 

Greg and Wahoo had a long storied history in Mid-Atlantic Wrestling, feuding nearly eight years off and on between 1977 and 1983. Their main history began in 1977 when they fought over the Mid-Atlantic Heavyweight title, including the famous match where Valentine broke Wahoo's leg.

The two renewed their rivalry in the early 1980s over the United States championship.

So it is only fitting that Mike Rickard pair them up in the second round of his fantasy tournament to determine the greatest U.S. champ ever!

So who ya got?

Rickard's match can be found here:
Round Two, Match 3: Greg Valentine vs. Wahoo McDaniel

Check out other links to all the previous matches in the tournament below!


Greg Valentine vs. Wahoo McDaniel
Gateway PreviewThe Match

Blackjack Mulligan vs. Ricky Steamboat
Gateway Preview | The Match

"No. 1" Paul Jones vs. "Nature Boy" Ric Flair
Gateway Preview | The Match

"Rowdy" Roddy Piper vs. "Handsome" Harley Race


Thursday, October 24, 2019

Wahoo McDaniel Punt Return for a Touchdown for the Jets!

Darius Rucker Puts the Anderson Brothers in his Top Five

by Dick Bourne
Mid-Atlantic Gateway

Ole and Gene Anderson
A few years ago, we posted a brief audio clip from "The Dan Patrick Show" radio broadcast where Patrick asked guest country music star Darius Rucker about his interest in pro wrestling.

Darius, a big Mid-Atlantic Wrestling fan going back to the early 1970s, ranked his top 5 greatest wrestlers of all-time and of course he had his long-time friend Ric Flair on the top of that list. But he also included a tag team in the list - Gene and Ole Anderson, the Minnesota Wrecking Crew.

That was a cool moment for me me personally, as the Anderson Brothers were among my favorites growing up as well. It was great hearing Darius mention their names in that list and on a national radio broadcast.

I thought I'd post that radio audio clip here again. Along with his all-time Top 5 greatest pro-wrestlers, Darius also mentions Mid-Atlantic legends Rip Hawk and Swede Hanson during the discussion with Dan Patrick.


(Audio clip also available on SoundCloud.)

Darius Rucker has Hootie and the Blowfish back together for their first album in 14 years, titled "Imperfect Circle" set to be released on November 1, 2019.

Edited from a story originally published January 31, 2016 on the Mid-Atlantic Gateway.

Wednesday, October 23, 2019

Jim and David Crockett to appear on Starrcast panel hosted by Tony Schiavone

Starrcast IV, Baltimore MD
Friday, November 8, 2019
7:00pm - 8:00pm
Ram's Head Live!

Jim Crockett Promotions took the war to Vince McMahon in the 1980s and its legacy remains mighty in the hearts and souls of diehard professional wrestling fans. Tony Schiavone, who went from fan to one of the voices of JCP, sits down with Jim and David Crockett, who publicly discuss, for the first time ever, the highs and lows and legacy of their family, their battle to keep the flame of true pro wrestling lit and the promotion that defined greatness for many, many decades. A Starrcast exclusive like no other!!

Taking place on the Pro Wrestling Tees stage at Ram's Head Live Friday night, November 8, at 7 PM. Available to stream live & on demand on FITE.TV. 

Information from the Starrcast schedule page. Visit the Starrcast website for more details.

Mid-Atlantic TV: April 3, 1982

Mid-Atlantic Championship 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 Follow @TaubGVWire

For links to all available summaries, visit our TV Summary Index.

Mid-Atlantic Championship Wrestling
Original broadcast: 4/03/82
(taped 3/31/82 at WPCQ-TV studios in Charlotte)
WWE Network feed.  [How to watch this show on the WWE Network.]

Bob Caudle welcomes us to the show, joined by NWA representative Sandy Scott.
Scott gives a progress report on the World tag team tournament. Buddy Rose & Rick Oliver are in from the northwest. Pvt. Kernodle & Pvt. Nelson are in. Adonis & Ventura from the New York area. Graham & Steve Keirn from Florida. Wahoo McDaniel & Don Muraco. Angelo Mosca & Killer Khan. Greg Gagne & Jim Brunzell. Ole Anderson & Stan Hansen. Tenyru & Tsuruta.

—Int. w/Bob Caudle: Sgt. Slaughter
Slaughter comes out, and he wants the World Heavyweight championship. He’s run Wahoo out of town. He’s run Steamboat out of town. He will run Ric Flair out of town.

—Int. w/Bob Caudle: Jack Brisco
Jack Brisco stops by before his match. There’s a lot of competition, mainly Sgt. Slaughter. But it’s easy to have confidence when you have stooges. Brisco throws out a challenge.


Match 1
Jack Brisco & Jerry Brisco d. Steve Sybert & Mike Miller
Sonny Fargo, with red romper and black belt, is the referee for the hour. Scott remains on commentary. Terry Taylor joins in too. Says Briscos helped break him in wrestling. Jack makes Miller submit to the Figure-Four.

—Int. w/Bob Caudle: Jack Brisco & Jerry Brisco
The Briscos say their goal is to win the World tag team championship.

Match 2
Tim Horner d. Tony Russo
Jack Brisco sticks around on commentary. Brisco says Slaughter is a tough man, but also has those stooges around him. Horner wins reverses a sunset flip into a roll up for the win.


Match 3
Jake Roberts d. Bill White
Jack Brisco sticks around on the mic. They talk about Flair & The Briscos vs. Andersons & Hansen, and also Roddy Piper. Roberts wins with the knee lift.


—Int. w/Bob Caudle: Jake Roberts; Blackjack Mulligan Jr.
Roberts mentions the tag team tournament, and Slaughter. He criticizes Sarge’s techniques. Mulligan also has words for Slaughter.

Match 4
Terry Taylor d. Rick Benfield
Brisco talks about working out with Taylor. Sandy Scott joins the mic as well. Taylor wins with the abdominal stretch into a roll up. Caudle and Brisco just call it “the stretch.”

—local promo w/Big Bill Ward
Ward introduces Mike Rotunda. This is for the Ann Arbor market. Let’s just say Rotunda is really, really green on the mic here. Watch his eyes. He has no clue what camera to look at. Rotunda talks about his Syracuse background and hopes to wrestle in Ann Arbor.


Match 5
Ole Anderson & Stan Hansen (w/Gene Anderson) d. Ron Ritchie & Tony Anthony
More talk with Brisco about upcoming six-man tags. All Ole & Hansen. Anthony is the unlucky one, losing to Hansen via lariat.

—Int. w/Bob Caudle: Ole & Hansen & Gene Anderson; Sgt. Slaughter; Ivan Koloff
Ole is perturbed by Jack Brisco. Ole says he has no chance against he & Hansen. Ole gives Brisco a warning. Brisco has a brief verbal comeback. Slaughter says he proves he can bite off what he can chew. Has threatening words for Flair and reads a newspaper clip that he pinned Flair. Koloff is in complaining about Valiant, noting that the “Boogie Woogie Man” is in his head.

“So long for now.”

Results for the week, 3/29/82-4/04/82
(source: Clawmaster’s Archive via Sports and Wrestling blog posted by David Baker)

Mon., 3/29/82 Greenville, SC
Bob Armstrong beat Roddy Piper in an Indian strap match
Jimmy Valiant beat Ivan Koloff with Ole Anderson & Blackjack Mulligan, Jr. as special referees
Ole Anderson beat Blackjack Mulligan, Jr.
Carl Fergie & David Patterson beat Mike George & Kelly Kiniski
Mike Davis beat Steve Sybert

Wed., 3/31/82 Charlotte, NC(TV)
Ivan Koloff beat Vinnie Valentino
Jimmy Valiant beat Steve Sybert
David Patterson beat Keith Larson
Blackjack Mulligan, Jr. beat Mike Miller
Jack & Jerry Brisco beat Carl Fergie & Tony Russo

Fri., 4/2/82 Charleston, SC
Tony Anthony beat Jeff Sword
Kelly Kiniski beat Chris Markoff
Judy Martin beat Princess Victoria
Pvt. Nelson & Pvt. Kernodle beat Porkchop Cash & Mike George
Sgt. Slaughter double DQ Jake Roberts

Sat., 4/3/82 Greensboro, NC
Ric Flair, Jack Brisco & Jerry Brisco beat Stan Hansen, Ole & Gene Anderson

Sun., 4/4/82 Asheville, NC
Ole Anderson, Stan Hansen & Sgt. Slaughter beat Ric Flair, Blackjack Mulligan, Jr. & Ray Stevens
Jack Brisco beat Roddy Piper
Jerry Brisco beat Bill White
Ron Ritchie beat Tony Russo
Terry Taylor beat Keith Larson

Sun., 4/4/82 Charlotte, NC
NWA World Champion Ric Flair beat Sgt. Slaughter by DQ
Paul Jones beat Gene Anderson by DQ
Jack & Jerry Brisco beat Carl Fergie & David Patterson
Jake Roberts beat Lord Al Hayes
Mike George beat Mike Miller
Kelly Kiniski beat Steve Sybert

Sun., 4/4/82 Toronto, Ontario
Tony Rocco beat Tito Senza
Johnny Weaver beat Jeff Sword
Pvt. Kernodle & Pvt. Nelson draw Tony Parisi & Jay Youngblood
Blackjack Mulligan beat The Ninja
Jimmy Valiant beat Ivan Koloff by DQ
Angelo Mosca beat Tarzan Tyler

Tuesday, October 22, 2019

Andre the Giant vs. The Wright Brothers


It was always an exciting time when the "Eighth Wonder of the World" Andre the Giant came into your territory two or three times a year. Andre was a special attraction that toured the world of pro-wrestling much like the touring world champions of that era did.

The image in this ad was similar to an image used on a big stand-up poster of Andre that was always featured on television during the local promo segments when he was coming to our town.

This newspaper ad, from Knoxville, TN, in September of 1974, touts Andre in a handicap match with the top heel brother combination in Tennessee wrestling history - Ron and Don Wright.

Chilhowie Park was the traditional weekly home to some of Knoxville's greatest pro-wrestling cards. This one was so big, they only needed to advertise one match. The main event in Knoxville that night was the only match that mattered!

This was right around the time Ron Fuller bought the Knoxville territory. You will notice that the TV is still listed as "Wide World of Wrestling" which was the name of the small studio show taped at WTVK channel 26. It wouldn't be long before promoter Ron Fuller would move to the powerful WBIR channel 10 (CBS affiliate) and rename the show Southeastern Championship Wrestling.

Edited from a post originally published June 24, 2015 on the Mid-Atlantic Gateway.

Sunday, October 20, 2019

Bloopermania! Black Belt Jones invades the Richmond Arena (1976)

We've presented some classic newspaper bloopers here in the past. For some of them there just seems to be no explanation. But this one may take the cake.

This will probbaly go down as the most botched results article for a wrestling show ever.

MAY 21, 1976

Where to begin?

Well for starters, they listed the results in reverse order, making the opening match of El Gaucho vs. Greg Peterson the "feature event" of the Richmond card.

They did OK with the remaining two openers. You have to forgive them for Larry "Zibisco." Nearly everyone spells Larry Zbyszko wrong. (I may have just done it right there.)

Then there is Jacques "Gullet." You get Jacques right, but can't get any closer than that on Goulet?

But the real winners are in the two main events:

Black Belt Jones defeated Paul Jones. Black Belt Jones appears here instead of Black Jack Mulligan. My first thought was to ask how on earth is that possible. Where could that copy writer come up with Black Belt Jones? Then I decided to Google it. Wikipedia describes "Black Belt Jones" as a "1974 American blaxploitation martial arts film." I guess the copy-writer at the Richmond Times-Dispatch was a fan.

Two bloopers appear in the main event result as Dino Bravo and Kim Wood defeated Jim and Ole Anderson.

Hey! Jim Anderson! Another Anderson brother!

This Richmond newspaper report was so outrageous, promoter Joe Murnick must have insisted on a correction, because one did appear the next day in the Times-Dispatch. (They still spelled Zbyszko wrong.)

So if this kind of thing amuses you (as it obviously does us), visit our Bloopers Page for lots more.

Thanks as always to Mark Eastridge for his research and for sending us these clippings. 

Friday, October 18, 2019

Action Figures Friday: "The Russian Bear" Ivan Koloff

Action Figures Friday returns with a nice one from Wrestler Weekly's twitter feed. It's the "Russian Bear" Ivan Koloff on and Inside Wrestling cover featuring Koloff's Georgia feud with Ole Anderson. The figure is decked out with Koloff's Russian chain and the Mid-Atlantic Heavyweight title belt.

Wednesday, October 16, 2019

Johnny Valentine's Two Thousand Silver Dollars! (Best of 1974)

How Johnny Valentine's 1000 Silver Dollars Doubled (Part One)

by David Chappell
Mid-Atlantic Gateway


Early in the Mid-Atlantic Championship Wrestling tenure of Johnny Valentine, the “Champ” truly came up with a gimmick match that would entertain fans around the territory for years. Valentine had a stranglehold on the Mid-Atlantic Heavyweight Championship belt during the year of 1974, but Johnny felt he needed more competition to keep him sharp beyond merely defending the Mid-Atlantic Title. This led to the birth of Johnny Valentine’s 1000 silver dollar challenge!

Around the middle of the year in 1974, Valentine began bringing a fish bowl full of silver dollars to ringside…1000 silver dollars to be exact. Johnny promised that he would give up the silver dollars to any wrestler that could pin him or make him submit in 10 minutes. These challenges occurred almost exclusively on Mid-Atlantic Championship Wrestling television, but as the months went on some of these challenges made it into the area’s arenas.

During the early months of these 1000 silver dollar challenges, Valentine defended his money against a host of challengers at least a couple of times a month. While Johnny said he would take on all comers, he generally defended the $1000 only against lower and mid card wrestlers, mainly on the “good guy” side of the area’s talent ledger. Interestingly, Valentine had very few easy matches defending his money, even against a slew of lesser opponents. Johnny often had to “pull rabbits out of his hat” to prevail close to the 10 minute time limit mark, and even had a few surprising draws sprinkled in.

Listen to Joe Murnick's ring introduction to Johnny Valentine vs. Bob Bruggers
for the 1000 Silver Dollars!

Despite all the close calls, Valentine continued his 1000 silver dollar challenge unbeaten streak against challenger Bob Bruggers on the Mid-Atlantic Championship Wrestling TV show that aired in many area markets on Saturday July 20, 1974. Immediately after the bout, Johnny was confronted by none other than “Mr. Number One” Paul Jones! Paul challenged Johnny, and “Mr. #1” said that Valentine was afraid to put his 1000 silver dollars on the line against him. Valentine scoffed at the notion of such a match, telling Paul, “Get in line boy! You’re not good enough to wrestle me!” Johnny went on to say that Paul Jones was at the bottom of the ladder, didn’t belong in the same ring with him and should be carrying his bags!

Valentine brushing off Jones’ challenge just made Paul more angry and determined. And Paul had a plan to move himself up to the top of Valentine’s list. Jones said to Johnny, “I’ll give you some incentive boy!” Jones told Valentine and the viewing audience that he would match Valentine’s 1000 silver dollars, and bring the money next week, making it a total of 2000 silver dollars. Paul then said to Johnny, “And I can beat you in 10 minutes, and I know I can! And if I can’t beat you in 10 minutes you can have the 2000 dollars! You just be here; I’ll be here! And I bet you move me right to the top of the list next week!” Johnny, who was on his way out of the ring, immediately turned around when he heard Paul say he would bring money to the ring next week!  Valentine said, “Wait a minute; wait a minute.” Jones responded, “DON’T YOU WAIT A MINUTE ME!!”

No. 1 Paul Jones battles Johnny "The Champ" Valentine

Valentine then shouted at Jones that he still thought that Paul didn’t belong in the same ring with him, but that he saw money now. The “Champ” again queried Jones if he was serious about bringing 1000 silver dollars of his own money to the ring next week. Valentine said, “You’re telling me that if you can’t beat me in 10 minutes your thousand dollars is MINE??” Jones said, “Yeah, that’s EXACTLY right! I knew I’d get you in the ring one way or the other!” Paul went on to say, “I’ll be here next week early with my 1000 silver dollars! I’ll put ‘em in there myself, and match your thousand silver dollars. And I can beat you in 10 minutes…I know I can!!”

After an instant of digesting what Jones had said, a big smile came over Valentine’s face and he exclaimed, “I ACCEPT!”

After Paul left the ring, Valentine continued to roam around the ring with a maniacal smile across his face, shouting at Jones to bring his money next week and yelling at ring announcer Joe Murnick, “I want SILVER DOLLARS…SILVER DOLLARS!!!” The “Champ” clearly had a quite odd fixation on silver coins, rather than paper money!

Listen to the final minute of the Bruggers match called by Bob Caudle and Johnny Weaver and then all of the the classic verbal confrontation between Paul Jones and Johnny "The Champ" Valentine!

To Be Continued..... The challenge has been accepted!

Paul Jones battles Johnny Valentine with 2000 Silver Dollars on the Line 

 Originally published October 30, 2015 on the Mid-Atlantic Gateway.

Monday, October 14, 2019

Canadian Title Book from

Book available on and through the Mid-Atlantic Gateway Book Store.

For more information visit

Mid-Atlantic TV: March 27, 1982

Mid-Atlantic Championship 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 Follow @TaubGVWire

For links to all available summaries, visit our TV Summary Index.

Mid-Atlantic Championship Wrestling
Original broadcast: 3/27/82
(taped 3/24/82 at WPCQ-TV studios in Charlotte)
WWE Network feed.  [How to watch this show on the WWE Network.]

Bob Caudle opens the show, joined by NWA representative Sandy Scott.
Scott says the NWA World tag team tournament is wrapping up. Scott also fines Slaughter $500 for last week’s attack on TV against Jake Roberts. Scott says Ric Flair is returning to the area soon, and Caudle and Scott talk about the Flair vs. Slaughter feud.

Taped comments from the Mid-Atlantic studio from Flair. He has a blue/yellow plaid jacket and sunglasses. Flair talks about Ole jumping him in New Orleans. Flair wants tag or six-man against Ole, Slaughter and Piper. He says he can team with Steamboat, Jake Roberts and Jay Youngblood. Flair vows revenge. Woo!

Sgt. Slaughter joins Caudle and Scott at the desk. He ridicules Flair for not being their live. Slaughter says his fine is worth it and promises more. Scott warns him he risks being stripped of the United States championship.

Match 1
Jake Roberts & Blackjack Mulligan Jr. d. Pretty Boy Fergie & Mike Miller.
Sonny Fargo is the referee for this, and all matches this hour (in a mustard yellow shirt/pants combo and a big black belt). Scott sticks around for commentary. Austin Idol is back out filming the match, but Scott says its legal. Caudle notes its upsetting other wrestlers. Roberts finishes off Miller with the running knee lift.

— Interview w/Bob Caudle: Blackjack Mulligan Jr. & Jake Roberts
Mulligan talks about Slaughter, and he has his eyes on him. He also complains about Idol. Roberts joins in (presumably after catching his breath) and echoes his partner’s words.


Caudle introduces a video of Jimmy Valiant, his arrival at the airport (on a Delta), interspersed with some Memphis highlights. He is greeted by fans, who then ride away in motorcycles (Valiant is wearing a king’s crown, maybe this is Memphis after all). [WWE edit on Valiant’s music]

Match 2
Jimmy Valiant d. Bill White
The WWE Network overdub drowns out everything else. Valiant presents Caudle a white rose before the match. Short match ended by an elbow drop and dancing. “Lay Down Sally” is the message on his trunks.


Match 3
Ron Ritchie -time limit draw- David Patterson
Scott still at the mic with Caudle. Talk about the NWA tag tournament, Slaughter’s fine, and some about the ongoing match. We get the bell at 10-minues, no winner. It is a draw.

— Interview w/Bob Caudle: Austin Idol; Ivan Koloff; Ole Anderson & Sgt. Slaughter
Caudle asks him about filming ringside. Idol says people are jealous of him. Ivan Koloff comes in, wondering why Jimmy Valiant hasn’t been suspended for eye gouging and roughhousing. Ole Anderson & Sgt. Slaughter come in, putting the badmouth on Flair, Roberts and Steamboat.


Match 4
Jack Brisco d. Steve Sybert
Caudle introduces the match from the magic blue screen and gets a little lost. Roddy Piper walks out in the middle of the match, joining the commentary and offers faux praise. Brisco wins after a few minutes with a Figure Four Leglock submission.


Match 5
Pvt. Nelson & Pvt. Kernodle d. Mike George & Tony Anthony
Caudle introduces the team as “Sgt. Slaughter’s Privates.” Insert your juvenile humor joke. It seems as if the small push for Mike George is over, although he was protected. Slaughter offers comments with Caudle & Scott. The Privates win with the two-man clothesline on Anthony as Kernodle makes the pin. Slaughter enters the ring, and Mike George goes after him.

Sarge and the Privates triple team George, before Jake Roberts comes after him. A melee breaks out with Jack Brisco and Blackjack Mulligan Jr. joining in as well.

— Interview w/Bob Caudle: Jake Roberts & Jack Brisco & Blackjack Mulligan Jr.
Roberts says they’ll stick their nose in Sarge’s business when “things don’t look kosher to us.” Brisco and Mulligan echo Roberts sentiments.

“So long for now.”

Results for the week, 3/22/82-3/28/82
(source: Clawmaster’s Archive via Sports and Wrestling blog posted by David Baker)

Mon., 3/22/82 Greenville, SC
Bob Armstrong beat Roddy Piper by countout
Ray Stevens & Jimmy Valiant beat Ivan Koloff & John Studd
Ole Anderson draw Jay Youngblood
Les Thornton draw Terry Taylor
Kelly Kiniski beat Jeff Sword
Bill White beat Ken Timbs

Tue., 3/23/82 Columbia, SC
Tony Anthony d. Chris Markoff
Terry Taylor d. Jeff Sword
Les Thornton d. Ron Ritchie
Mike George d. Ken Timbs
Ricky Steamboat & Ray Stevens & Leroy Brown d. Roddy Piper & Austin Idol & Big John Studd

Thu., 3/25/82 Winston-Salem, NC
Tommy Rich vs. Ole Anderson
Roddy Piper vs. Leroy Brown
John Studd & Austin Idol vs. Blackjack Mulligan, Sr. & Jake Roberts
Chris Markoff vs. Kelly Kiniski
Tony Russo vs. Keith Larson
Vinnie Valentino vs. Steve Sybert

Thu., 3/25/82 Sumter SC
Sgt. Slaughter vs. Ricky Steamboat
Ray Stevens & Porkchop Cash vs. Pvt. Nelson & Pvt. Kernodle
Mike Miller vs. Mike George
Bill White vs. Tim Rogers
Jeff Sword vs. Tony Anthony

Fri., 3/26/82 Richmond, VA — Richmond Coliseum
Peggy Lee vs. Leilani Kai
Johnny Weaver vs. Pretty Boy Fergie
Austin Idol vs. Mike Davis
Ivan Koloff vs. Jimmy Valiant
Stan Hansen & Ole Anderson vs. Ray Stevens & Blackjack Mulligan, Jr.
Ricky Steamboat vs. Sgt. Slaughter

Sat., 3/27/82 Stafford, VA
Ivan Koloff vs. Jimmy Valiant
Johnny Weaver vs. Lord Alfred Hayes in a lumberjack match
Plus 2 more matches

Saturday, October 12, 2019

Ric Flair Tells George South: Tonight You're Ricky Steamboat

by Dick Bourne
Mid-Atlantic Gateway

I've written before about all the stories that George South has told me over the many years we've been good friends, and usually I find myself not believing half of them. I mean, come on - - wrestlers tend to tell tall tales, am I right? And George loves to tell a good story. But then someone comes along that was involved in one of those stories and says something that confirms his story and I wind up calling him and confessing  - - "You were right!"

Such was the case awhile back on an episode of the "WOOOO! Nation" podcast, when Ric Flair and co-host Conrad Thompson were taking questions sent in by fans. One question dealt with wrestler Mike Jackson and why he never quite got a break to move up the cards back in the day. Jackson was thought of at the time (and still to this day) as one of the best underneath workers in the business and all the main event guys liked working with him.

But Flair moved on quickly from Jackson and said this, which confirmed part of a story George had told me long ago:

"You know who was actually the best worker back then, was George South .... I got in the ring with him one time and I said, 'Buddy, today you're Ricky Steamboat'. And we tore it down."  - Ric Flair, WOOOO! Nation, December 9, 2015
The audio of this is embedded at the bottom of this post.

About ten years ago, George told me the story about his November 12, 1988 match with Ric Flair on Superstation WTBS, a match that went nearly 15 minutes, much longer than the usual WTBS TV match at the time. We were making a 22-hour round trip in a rented truck to visit the great Blackjack Mulligan at his home in Florida. That's right, I had 22 hours of listening to George South tell stories with the same Journey CD playing in the background the whole time. (And that part about Journey is a shoot!)

World Championship Wrestling on Superstation WTBS, November 12, 1988

George told me on that trip that before they walked through the curtain that morning in the WTBS studio, Ric had uttered those same words to him: Today you're Ricky Steamboat. Now, I never knew if I really believed that or not. I mean, I knew George loved Ricky Steamboat, and at times thought he was Ricky Steamboat, so it seemed plausible that in the context of the story this was George's wishful thinking. That is until last week when I heard Ric Flair say those very same words.

So having once again called George to acknowledge he had indeed told me the truth, I asked him to tell me whole story again. He quickly reminded me that it was a match Ric didn't want to have to begin with.

"When you got to TV, you found out who would actually work," George told me. "Ric was scheduled to work for the first time in awhile, but he really didn't want to. He had just gotten in from Pittsburgh after being up all night and he had to catch an early plane to Ohio after the taping. That studio was so cold and he didn't want to work and then have to shower and have that wet hair and rush to the airport."

Indeed, a quick review of notes from those Saturday night shows in the fall of 1988 showed that Ric didn't wrestle on any WTBS studio taping that late summer or fall until that Nov. 12th show. He did lots of those classic interviews, but didn't work in the ring. 

"He and Dusty sort of got into it right there in front of everyone, and Dusty told him he was going to have to wrestle," George told me. "So Ric threw his bag on a chair and said, 'Well then I want South.'"

I asked George if he remembered who he was originally scheduled to work, or if he remembered who Flair was scheduled to work, but he could not recall. "All I know is Ric changed it and I was now working with him."

George had wrestled Flair on several occasions on different Crockett TV shows going back to 1985, but this time the circumstances were different. Flair was in a horrible mood and George figured he might be in for a tough, stiff, short match.

"Ric got dressed," George told me, "and as we were at the curtain about to go out, he looked at me and said, 'Buddy, today you're Ricky Steamboat."

George's heart skipped a beat. "I about peed in my pants!"

He entered the ring alone during the long break set aside for the "College Football Scoreboard" segment that aired on WTBS during fall Saturday afternoons in those years. Ric didn't follow right away and it seemed like an eternity waiting for him, even though it was only a few minutes. George had time to ponder what was to come.

When they came out of the break and back on air, Ric came through the curtain and entered the ring wearing one of his beautiful white robes. He removed the "Big Gold" NWA world heavyweight title belt and handed it to his manager James J. Dillon at ringside. George told me he thought to himself, "OK, buddy, here we go," and then they locked up.

But George wasn't prepared for what happened next.

"Ric started calling all these spots," George told me, "and I was going a hundred miles an hour. I was having the time of my life, but I was rushing."

Indeed, Ric was giving a great deal to George early on. George was reversing holds, working a lot of drop-downs, trading chops, and even throwing drop-kicks.

Suddenly, he was aware that he wasn't pacing himself. And there was no finish in sight.

"I got so blowed up in there," George said. "I was really hurting."

I asked George if he and Ric had discussed the match before hand. "No, not at all," he told me. "Back in those days, he called it in the ring. I didn't know anything. And I didn't know if we were going 2 minutes or 20 minutes. I was just going so fast. Ric did this every night, but I didn't!"

Given that Ric didn't want to work to begin with, it was surprising the match was going the way it was. "Honestly, I think he was doing it just to tick Dusty off," George told me. He laughed as he thought back on it. "He was so annoyed with Dusty, I think he would have let me win the NWA belt just to get back at him."

"Dusty was hollering at me 'What are you doing?' and I said, you know, I'm not gong to beat a guy like George South in one minute. Sorry." 
- Ric Flair, WOOOO! Nation, December 9, 2015

George thought he might have a chance to rest when they went to a commercial break during the match, but no such luck. "Ric just kept going," he said.

By the time they were back from commercial, they were over eight minutes into the match, with still no end in sight.

"If there ever was a clinic in pro-wrestling, we're watching it. The world champion Nature Boy Ric Flair against George South, showing us a variety of moves during the break."   - Tony Schiavone, World Championship Wrestling, November 12, 1988

Back in those days, unlike today, commercial breaks during matches were relatively rare except in longer main event matches. The fact Ric went two segments with George made the match seem all the more special. Ric was calling all the signature spots that he would normally do with main event guys like Harley Race, Sting, Lex Luger, and yes, certainly with Ricky Steamboat.

"He had me shoot him out of the corner and he did his flip into the turnbuckles," George said." I couldn't believe what was happening. Then he went to the top turnbuckle and told me to throw him off. Brother, I was about to die in there! I think he just flipped off the turnbuckle himself!"

When George finally threw Ric from the top, Ric's feet hit the lights, and debris fell into the ring. It was a surreal moment for George, and Ric kept giving him a comeback.

Finally, Ric called for the finish. He lifted George high in the air and held him for a few moments before delivering the vertical suplex.

"Now, we go to school!" Flair shouted, as he applied the figure four leglock. It didn't take long for George to submit.

George lay prone on the mat, exhausted. As TV aired the instant replay of the figure four, Ric hopped out of the ring to do a ringside post-match interview with David Crockett.

Referee Teddy Long knelt down on one knee beside George. They were right behind Flair, who would soon be joined in the interview segment by Barry Windham and J.J. Dillon.

"I thought Teddy was checking on me, making sure I was OK. So I whispered, 'I'm OK, Teddy.' He said right back to me, 'Brother, you've got to get out of this ring! I've got to get you out of the shot.' I could barely move, so he just rolled me like a big log out of the ring."

David Crockett prepares to interview Ric Flair after the match.
Teddy Long tries to usher George South out of the ring behind them.

If you carefully watch this back on tape, you can see this happening. "Oh, it's funny now," George said, "but it wasn't funny then. I had never been so blowed up in all my life."

To make matters worse, George observed that Ric was barely breathing hard. "He was just so in shape, it was amazing. You couldn't blow him up. He was what he said he was - - a 60-minute man."

Still exhausted, George made his way back to the dressing room and then collapsed on his hands and knees and crawled to his chair.

"Kevin Sullivan was sitting in a chair right inside the door watching the monitor," George said. "He just looked down at me crawling on the floor and laughed. Not so much laughing to be mean, just laughing as if to say 'brother, we have all been there.' I don't think there was a wrestler in that locker room who hadn't been blown up at one time or another by Ric Flair."

George looks back on that match with fondness. It is without a doubt the longest and most competitive match he ever had on TV, and it is a memory he will hang on to forever. Nice to know Ric remembers it, too, all these many years later.

Edited from an original post on the Mid-Atlantic Gateway, from December 18, 2015.

Listen as Ric Flair talks about George South on WOOOOO! Nation
December 9, 2015

You can probably find the whole match if you do a little searching on YouTube. Otherwise, enjoy this one-minute music video of a few highlights from the match.
Check out's new book on the history of the
Canadian Heavyweight Championship, now available on Amazon and our book store.

Friday, October 11, 2019

Mulligan vs. Steamboat: Second Round in the "Greatest U.S. Champion of All Time" Tournament Continues

Mike Rickard's fantasy-booked "Greatest U.S. Champion of All-Time" tournament continues on Canadian Bulldog's World, with another second round match-up between Blackjack Mulligan and the "Hawaiian Punch" Ricky Steamboat.

Mulligan and Steamboat actually feuded over the U.S. title briefly in the 1970s, including Mulligan taking the title from Steamer on New Year's Day of 1978 in Greensboro, NC.

So who ya got? This was a tough one for me to pick.

Rickard's match can be found here:
Round Two, Match 3: Blackjack Mulligan vs. Ricky Steamboat

Blackjack Mulligan vs. Ricky Steamboat
Gateway Preview | The Match

"No. 1" Paul Jones vs. "Nature Boy" Ric Flair
Gateway Preview | The Match

"Rowdy" Roddy Piper vs. "Handsome" Harley Race