Friday, December 06, 2019

My Wahoo Surprise on a Visit Home to the Carolinas (1982)

by Dick Bourne
Mid-Atlantic Gateway

In 1982, I was living and working in Alabama, far removed from my Mid-Atlantic Wrestling, and I knew very little about what was going on back in the Carolinas. This was, of course, nearly two decades before the internet, and while I kept up somewhat with the happenings by way of the newsstand magazines, they were ridiculously late in updated news, often times many months behind. And I had not yet discovered the "dirt sheets", which provide news on a much more timely basis.

So when I went to spend a weekend visiting my grandmothers in Spartanburg, SC, I carried along my clunky 500 pound VCR (one of the original old "top loaders") and looked forward to recording an hour or two of Mid-Atlantic/World Wide wrestling.

Hooking up the VCR to my grandmother's cable and then to her 1970s Zenith TV freaked out my sweet grandmother. "You're going to break my TV! Please don't break my TV!" She had no idea about VCR, which were still relatively new then, and seeing me disconnecting and reworking cables gave her a lot of anxiety.

But everything went off without a hitch. I was able to record not only one, but two separate hours of Mid-Atlantic Wrestling (the first-run show on WBTV-3 out of Charlotte, NC, and the previous week's show which aired one-week-delayed on the "bicycle" on WFBC-4 out of Greenville, SC. I also was able to tape part of World Wide Wrestling on WLOS-13 out of Asheville, NC, although this particular week, it overlapped with the WBTV CHarlotte episode of Mid-Atlantic.

All of this timing was a bit of a hassle. My VCR was one of the early models, and you could only schedule a single recording at a time. Recording all three of those shows required not only planning around their broadcast schedules, but planning on when to program the VCR for the next show!

When I got around to watching the recording of the current episode of Mid-Atlantic Wrestling, I was thrilled to see that one of my all-time favorites Wahoo McDaniel had returned to the Mid-Atlantic area. I had no idea. And to my surprise, he was teaming with none other than Don Muraco! Now this was a shock to me because I had been watching Muraco as a heel in the Georgia territory on the cable superstation WTBS back home in Alabama. He and Roddy Piper had been allies there. So seeing Wahoo teaming with Muraco, apparently a babyface, was a real surprise.

But it was a nice surprise. Not only were they teaming together, it was being discussed how they had won the Western Division of the ongoing NWA World Tag Team tournament. I knew none of this! I knew the tournament was going on, it was being touted pretty heavily on Georgia Championship Wrestling. Atlanta had hosted one of the early tournaments, a huge affair with teams from all over the world. But this information on Wahoo and Muraco was a real revelation to me. (And I even bought the story, albeit briefly, that they had won the western finals in Hawaii!)

But that wasn't all that was going on with Wahoo. They showed a clip from the previous week's World Wide Wrestling episode where Wahoo pinned U.S. Champion Sgt. Slaughter in a non-title match, setting up a blistering feud that would go on for months between the two over the U.S. championship. Wahoo's interest in the U.S. title also played a big part in the storyline that led to Wahoo and Muraco splitting up as a team not long after. (I knew Muraco was a heel all along!)

These storylines and moments from the JCP shows that weekend are great memories for me because it was a brief return to Mid-Atlantic Wrestling which I loved and missed so much.

All of these memories were stirred up by David Taub's recent post summarizing this very show here on the Gateway (Mid-Atlantic TV: May 1, 1982) as part of his series of summaries of the Mid-Atlantic TV shows currently available for streaming on the WWE Network.

And as his series progresses, sometime next spring, Mike Sempervive at the "Mid-Atlantic Championship Podcast" will get to this show as well, and I look forward to his analysis and review of this particular show, a sentimental favorite of mine to be sure.