Thursday, January 30, 2020

Blackjack Mulligan Faces The Indian Strap (Part 2)

by David Chappell
Mid-Atlantic Gateway

Before reading this, catch up on PART ONE which includes rare audio of Blackjack's interview before his strap match with Wahoo McDaniel.)

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After his stinging “Indian Strap Match” defeat at the hands of “Chief” Wahoo McDaniel on May 30, 1975 in the Richmond Arena, Blackjack Mulligan departed the Mid-Atlantic area and headed back north to the ring wars in the WWWF. Only Blackjack and Mid-Atlantic fans in Charlotte, North Carolina and Richmond, Virginia knew how devastating the Indian Strap Match defeat was to the big man from Eagle Pass, Texas.

Mulligan was so infuriated by the Strap Match loss in the Richmond Arena and a prior one in Charlotte two weeks earlier, that he stewed over it while he was in the WWWF and couldn’t, and wouldn’t, let it go. Blackjack was able to secure a bout back in the Mid-Atlantic area, a seemingly one-shot deal with the promoters in both federations, to attempt to exact revenge against Wahoo in a specialty bout that he was more comfortable with…a Texas Death Match. A brutal bout where falls don’t count, and the winner is only declared when the vanquished opponent couldn’t answer the bell after a ten count.

On June 30, 1975 Blackjack appeared back in the Mid-Atlantic area exactly a month after the infamous Indian Strap beating he absorbed in Richmond, facing Wahoo at Memorial Stadium in Charlotte in a Texas Death Match. Blackjack had also been dominated by Wahoo in an Indian Strap contest in the Queen City back on May 17, 1975. While this style of match was far more to Mulligan’s liking, and his thirst for revenge against the great Indian was unquenchable, Blackjack still came up short in this bitter battle.

Rather than taking his lumps in Charlotte and retreating back to the WWWF for good, Mully was preparing to saddle up for one last stand in the Mid-Atlantic area. And it seemed only fitting that his last opportunity for revenge against Wahoo McDaniel would be back at the scene of the final Indian Strap bout indignity…Richmond, Virginia!

The date was July 18, 1975 and the venue was the Richmond Coliseum. The fans in Richmond hadn’t seen hide nor hair of Blackjack Mulligan since the Indian Strap debacle on May 30th. But it was etched in stone in Blackjack’s mind as he replayed the beating McDaniel gave him over and over and over again.

Mulligan became even more enraged as he thought back and fumed over Wahoo’s words leading up to the Indian Strap Match back in May. In that pre-match Richmond promo Wahoo told legendary announcer Les Thatcher, “I’m not gonna stand up in front of the people here and say I don’t have the advantage, because I do. But the reason I wanted this match was to keep the man in the ring. Because I believe the people in Richmond, myself, deserve to see who the toughest man is.”

Wahoo continued, “This is the biggest man I’ve ever wrestled in an Indian Strap Match. But I can tell you one thing, this strap is gonna work in my favor…it can cut an ear off, it can knock an eye out, and when it gets wet it’s like a razor. I can say one thing Mr. Mulligan, you’d better buckle it on and be ready when you get there because I’m comin’ with this strap and I’m gonna be ready!”

Blackjack angrily recalled Wahoo’s parting shot to Thatcher and the Richmond fans, “You can’t tell me the man that’s six foot seven and 309 pounds hasn’t got some guts. I know his record and he’s beaten a lot of top guys. But Mulligan, you’re gonna be eight feet away and that’s a far as you’re gonna be from me all night and that’s gonna be the shortest distance you’ve ever been, and I’m gonna take that strap and I’m gonna drag you around that ring and you’re gonna say, ‘Please Mr. Indian let me go!’”

When Richmond’s wrestling faithful tuned into their beloved Mid-Atlantic Championship Wrestling program on Saturday afternoon July 12, 1975, imagine the shock when announcer David Crockett appeared mid-program in a special inserted segment just for Richmond. Crockett solemnly uttered, “With me is Blackjack Mulligan, he has asked for this time because he has some grievances to air.”

When Mulligan slid into camera range, the Richmond fans heard from Blackjack for the first time since he had been demolished by Wahoo in the Indian Strap bout. His words were blood curdling and oozing with a hunger for revenge…chilling even today almost 45 years later!


Blackjack Mulligan lays out his case for revenge in the upcoming Richmond Texas Death Match, with responses from Wahoo McDaniel ... and Ric Flair!