Tuesday, January 14, 2020

Blackjack Mulligan Faces The Indian Strap

by David Chappell
Mid-Atlantic Gateway

When thinking of the great Blackjack Mulligan and his illustrious career in the Mid-Atlantic Championship Wrestling area, many believe his earliest days in the Crockett territory occurred right after the October 1975 Wilmington, North Carolina plane crash when the big man from Eagle Pass, Texas was brought into the Mid-Atlantic states as a “replacement” for the badly injured Johnny Valentine. But actually, the big Texan’s initial foray into Mid-Atlantic Championship Wrestling was a short three month stint in the spring of 1975, from March through May, where Blackjack tasted success, but it ended when Mully got a taste of Wahoo McDaniel’s infamous “Indian Strap” on May 30, 1975 in the Richmond Arena.

In the lead-up to this intriguing “Cowboy versus Indian” match, Wahoo had left his eight-foot leather strap with announcer Les Thatcher for Blackjack to comment on during his pre-match promo. The mere visual of the dreaded strap unnerved Mulligan to no end. As Mulligan leered at the strap, he exclaimed to the fans:

“I’m not a coward! I’ll fight! And believe me I’m gonna fight with everything I’ve got! I’m going into the ring with the worst possible conditions…I don’t know anything about a strap. The man’s a savage, it’s been proved he’s crazy, something’s snapped in his mind! He’s goin’ downtown wrecking cars, slapping old ladies…there’s something wrong with that Indian!”

“Now somebody’s gonna get hurt, and somebody’s gonna get hurt very bad! I have no idea, all I know is that eight feet away from me, strapped to me, is gonna be a half crazed Indian! You know something, you put a coyote in a corner and he’s gonna fight…he’s gonna fight like a wild dog, like a wild maniac! That’s what I’m gonna do! I’ve got guts McDaniel, don’t make the mistake…do not underestimate me.”

Mulligan’s rage at Wahoo continued as he grabbed the unforgiving eight foot piece of leather, telling McDaniel in no uncertain terms:

“You better fight with everything you got! I don’t know how to use this thing. I’ve seen some public whippings…nobody likes to be humiliated in front of thousands of people, and I have no intentions of being humiliated! You better worry about rather than pulling me around the ring, you better worry about knocking me off my feet…that’s the first thing you better worry about. The second thing you better worry about is you getting out of that ring alive!”

After that scary statement, Mully gave the fans some insight as to the lengths he was willing to go to in order to come out victorious versus Wahoo and his fearsome Indian strap. Blackjack bellowed:

 “I may have a hog leg in my boots, you don’t know what I’m gonna have in my trunks, because I know nothing about a strap match! But I can tell you one thing, I’m gonna be fightin’ for my ever lovin’ life, I’m gonna come out fightin’! Somebody’s gonna be hurt very bad, and it’s not gonna be me!” 

Then Mulligan totally lost control as he was fumbling with the strap he was gripping and yelled to Thatcher:


Blackjack Mulligan battles Wahoo McDaniel in
in an Indian Strap Match in Richmond

(Photo by Bill Janosik)

Blackjack was defeated in the Richmond Arena, as Wahoo managed to drag the massive Texan two times around the ring by his Indian strap, giving Wahoo the win under the Indian Strap match rules. Mulligan, after being soundly beaten in Richmond, headed north to the WWWF, and out of the Mid-Atlantic area. But the terrible taste of the strap would not leave Blackjack’s mouth, to the point that Mulligan made a special trip back to Richmond in July of 1975 to avenge that dreadful whipping. And Blackjack’s words leading up to that match for revenge are still chilling…45 years later!

Mulligan returns to Richmond from the WWWF for a one shot appearance and challenges Wahoo to a Texas Death Match on July 18, 1975!

Listen to the entire promo that is transcribed above. Audio fidelity is sketchy, but we hope you will still enjoy!