Friday, October 30, 2020

One More Silver Dollar

Bob Geigel takes the NWA belt from the Midnight Rider when the outlaw from Colorado
refused to unmask after pinning NWA World Champion Ric Flair.

by Dick Bourne
Mid-Atlantic Gateway

This picture is yet another in our series of "Great Pretender" photographs (on the Domed Globe website) featuring wrestlers photographed with the NWA World Heavyweight championship belt, but who never held the title.

Well, except, this one is a bit of a cheat. The man under the mask is none other the American Dream Dusty Rhodes who did indeed hold the NWA title (including the domed globe version of the title twice) on three different occasions.

Or was it Rhodes? We may never know for sure.

I've got to run to keep from hiding
And I'm bound to keep on riding
And I've got one more silver dollar
But I'm not gonna let them catch me, no
Not gonna let 'em catch the Midnight Rider

The Midnight Rider pinned Ric Flair to apparently win the title on February 9, 1983 in Miami, Florida. But NWA President Bob Geigel, who served as special referee for the bout, ruled that the NWA would not recognize a masked wrestler as NWA champion without knowing their identity. If the Midnight Rider wanted to keep the NWA title belt and be recognized as champion, he must unmask.

This was a problem for the Midnight Rider.

You see,  Dusty Rhodes had recently lost a loser-leaves-town match to Kevin Sullivan, and was barred from wrestling in the state of Florida for 60 days. If the Rider unmasked and proved to be Rhodes, he would be barred from wrestling under the NWA banner for a year. Stuck between the proverbial rock and a hard place, Rider refused to unmask, and the NWA World heavyweight title was returned to Flair.

One of our favorite wrestling stories ever from the Florida territory, the entire story of the Midnight Rider (at least his first run) is told in great detail by Jason Tepper on the Kayfabe Memories website.  


Originally posted December 14, 2018 on The Domed Globe website,
part of the Mid-Atlantic Gateway family of websites.


Wednesday, October 28, 2020

Wrapped Up in History: Dr. Tom Prichard on "Crown Jewel"

The following post is edited from an email I received from Tom Prichard after he had read my new book Crown Jewel. A photo Tom took in Houston when he was 15 years old is included in the book. I sent him a copy, and was really pleased to get such a nice note back from him: 

Thank you so very much for the book. I had a chance to sit down for a couple hours and read it. Read and study the pictures.

A couple times…

I was born in 1959 and wrestling was the first thing I remember seeing on TV that really caught my eye. I grew up in El Paso and the Funks were our heroes. We moved to Houston summer 1969 after Dory won the belt. The first time I saw the belt live was at the Sam Houston Coliseum and still remember how cool it looked. Like you mentioned in the book, a lot of people never saw or knew there was a nameplate. It always had a mystery about it to me anyway and I like seeing the details and intricate designs so many of the older belts have.

I’ve found myself googling “Houston 1969” and getting lost in the buildings, structures and businesses that are long gone but played a huge part in my life. I know we can’t go back and “it ain’t yesterday no more” but reading Crown Jewel and looking at the pictures was like wrapping myself up in a cool blanket and going back in time to some of the GREATEST times of my life!

Crown Jewel is loaded cover to cover with
photographs and memorabilia.

History doesn’t seem to mean much to a lot of the guys in the business today. I can understand in some aspects and in other ways I can’t. It’s being diluted more and more as time passes. We’ve crossed the line, jumped the shark, etc. but I still believe it’s important to know who came before you and what impact they had. Good or bad.

For some reason Shawn Michaels reminds me of Rogers. The cliques, entourage, manipulation, heat, etc. Nothing’s really new except we all get a little older as time passes.

I always wanted to be a wrestler. Growing up it was the Funks who inspired me. I got to meet and become friends with some of the people who I admired growing up. Reading and hearing about how things really went down (according to whoever is telling the story) is still fascinating to me.

I had dinner with Bruno about 15 years ago in Tampa. Sal Corrente invited me and I was stoked! Bruno came across so genuine and nice I had to ask him about the Buddy Rogers match. Knowing the rivalry and bits and pieces of the story I asked Bruno if Buddy had a heart attack the week of the match. Of course Bruno laughed and said no, Buddy actually wrestled the entire two weeks right up to that match. I love the stories, fabrications, flim flam and over all larceny involved with the carnies and showman who found their way in and never left.

If I’m going to be honest with myself I believe those aspects intrigued and attracted me to the business more than anything else. Lou took HIS belt when he dropped the TITLE to Hutton. Hutton never had a belt but he was the champ. O’Connor got the belt and the stories were burned into it from there on out. How crazy is it that nobody knows where it is. That huge part of history seemingly gone forever…

This was a great book for all the reasons mentioned as well as the passion I felt from reading it.

Great job. I really enjoyed it.



Follow Tom Prichard on Twitter @drtomprichard and be sure to check out his podcast Taking You to School with Dr. Tom Prichard, part of the Two Man Power Trip of Wrestling Empire podcast network.

Tuesday, October 27, 2020

Flair & Steamboat: Hell Freezes Over. Again.

The Anderson Brothers vs. Ric Flair and Ricky Steamboat 
August 11, 1981 - Raleigh, NC
by Dick Bourne
Mid-Atlantic Gateway

"The Hawaiian Punch" Ricky Steamboat and
"Nature Boy" Ric Flair
It's hard to imagine now, with 35 years having passed by and so much water under the bridge, that two superstar wrestlers teaming up would be such a big deal. But in 1981, when Ric Flair and Ricky Steamboat joined forces to challenge Ric's cousins Gene and Ole Anderson for their NWA world tag team championship, it was a very big deal.

Not as big, perhaps, as in 1979 when Flair had just turned babyface and fans and good-guy wrestlers alike weren't sure if they could trust the Nature Boy. Back then, when Flair asked Ricky Steamboat to be his partner and challenge Paul Jones and Baron Von Raschke for the NWA world tag titles that summer, it did indeed seem like hell had frozen over. The blood feud between Flair and Steamboat that had been going on for two straight years was unlike any other ever seen in the territory.

That was big, but now this seemed just as big to me for different reasons. This story had multiple layers to it now, calling back to family feuds and broken relationships going back some five long years.

Ric Flair's on-again, off-again relationship with his cousins Gene and Ole Anderson had been one of the greatest on-going stories in Mid-Atlantic Wrestling lore:

  • 1976: The big break-up as Flair took Greg Valentine as his partner and wrestled the titles from the Andersons in a scenario so unlikely that it actually made the fans cheer for the hated Anderson brothers. The two teams traded the titles back and forth over the next two years.
  • 1978: Ric's reunion with the family in 1978 when blood proved thicker than water and special referee Gene Anderson, thought to be impartial in the war between Flair and Steamboat, helped Ric retain the U.S title in the match where fans felt sure Steamboat would regain it. 
  • 1979: The family was at odds again when Flair turned good-guy and cousin Gene became the manager of Jimmy "Superfly" Snuka who proceeded to take Ric's U.S. title, and his favorite robe to boot.

Now in 1981, with Gene back in action after his managerial stint was over, the Anderson brothers reunited and regained the world titles. Not being able to leave well enough alone, Ole saw to it that the family feud erupted again when he and Gene joined Ivan Koloff in ganging up 3-on-1 on Flair inside a steel cage.

While Flair's current feud with Koloff had seemed more professional (albeit very violent), the family feud with the Andersons was very personal. With the cousins again waging war, Flair made the decision to once again attempt to do what he hadn't been able to do since his days in 1976-1978 with partner Greg Valentine - - take the NWA world tag team championships from the Andersons.

Flair took several different partners early on to tackle the Minnesota Wrecking Crew - - Blackjack Mulligan, Jay Youngblood, Wahoo McDaniel - - but in the end, there was only one man Flair could turn to that had a chance of making that magic happen again. It was his career long rival and now one of his best friends and allies - - the "Hawaiian Punch" Ricky Steamboat.

Like an onion with seemingly endless layers to peel away, this match-up had all of this tangled up history behind it. Flair was once again living out this family feud that had been going on for five years. Steamboat must have remembered back to the bloody wars with Flair in 1977, how Gene Anderson had helped Ric keep the U.S. title in that major battle of 1978. But the two were able to once again put that history behind them and join forces, just as they had shocked the world in doing two years earlier.

I'm convinced that they would have eventually been successful in taking the world tag team titles from the Andersons had it not been for something else happening in the meantime that changed the face of wrestling history: Ric Flair defeated Dusty Rhodes in Kansas City, KS to win the NWA World Heavyweight title. The Anderson's tag titles were safe once again as Ric Flair turned his attention to touring the world in defense of the "ten pounds of gold."

With the world title in the picture, Flair and Steamboat would renew their rivalry several more times over the next 13 years, but for a brief few weeks in the summer of 1981, there was magic in the air again as hell froze over for a second time and Ric Flair and Ricky Steamboat formed one of wrestling's most powerful and exciting combinations.

Originally posted October 27, 2016 on the Mid-Atlantic Gateway.

Check out other MAIN EVENT MEMORIES on the Mid-Atlantic Gateway:

1. The Anderson Family (1976) The Andersons and their cousin Ric Flair
2. Dusty's Big Championship Weekend (1976) with Flair, Mulligan, and the Andersons
3. Mulligan vs. Flair on a Hot July Night (1978) Worlds Collide!
4. The Origins of Wahoo vs. Flair (1975) with Wahoo McDaniel and Ric Flair
5. Blackjack Mulligan vs. Rufus R. Jones (1976) "Have mercy, Mama!"
6. The Briscos Challenge Flair & Valentine (1978) Jim Crockett makes the match.
7. A Local Boy Gets His Shot (1981) Don Kernodle teams with Ric Flair in his hometown.
8. Bullrope Match: Ole vs. Flair (1981) Dusty prepares Ric for a big match in Charlotte.
9. Ric Flair Wins His First Mid-Atlantic Championship (1975) Hair vs. Title in Hampton!
10. Blackjack Mulligan Regains the U.S. Title (1978) New Year's Night in Richmond
11. The Gathering on Tour (1986) Post Starrcade event in Columbia SC
12. Township Tangle (1978) Flair & Valentine vs. Wahoo & Jones
13. Flair Wins the NWA Title (1981) Historic Win over Dusty Rhodes in Kansas City
14. Brisco, Valentine Defend Titles in Richmond (1974) Huge main events in Richmond

Monday, October 26, 2020

Mid-Atlantic TV Report: February 26, 1983

Mid-Atlantic 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 WTVR-6 in Richmond, VA. (Does not appear 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 as well as links to the Mid-Atlantic Championship Podcast, visit our TV Summary Index.

Mid-Atlantic Championship Wrestling
Original broadcast: 02/26/83
(taped 03/23/83 at WPCQ-TV studios in Charlotte)

WTVR-6 Richmond Feed

Match 1
Non-Title: Greg Valentine [U.S. Champion] d. Vinnie Valentino

We start with the match already in progress. Stu Schwartz is the referee for the hour. Easy match for The Hammer, who wins with the Figure Four.

-Int. w/Bob Caudle: Dick Slater & Greg Valentine
Slater is the new TV champion. He says Mike Rotundo is just a kid. He’s a pro. He doesn’t have to cheat. He doesn’t drink nor smoke. He is a role model. Valentine shakes Slater’s hand. He declares himself the greatest U.S. champion of all time. Rotundo comes out to confront Slater. He wants a rematch during the show. Slater refuses and walks away. Rotundo says Slater cheated, and he wants the belt back.


Match 2
Non-Title: Sgt. Slaughter & Don Kernodle [NWA Tag Champs] vs Dizzy Hogan & Frank Monte

Caudle plugs Andre the Giant is coming in soon. Slaughter slingshots Monte when he gets to high on a body splash. Kernodle hits a clothesline off the second rope, but Dizzy breaks up the pin. Slaughter tags in and finishes Monte with a Cobra Clutch. The heels continue the beat down. Jim Nelson makes the save and nails Slaughter from behind.

-Int. w/Bob Caudle: Slaughter & Kernodle
Slaughter is incensed. He doesn’t even realize who attacked him. Kernodle keeps saying “It’s Nelson.” That angers Slaughter even more.


Match 3
Sweet Brown Sugar d. Ricky Harris

Sugar gets the pin following a high drop kick.

[VIDEO] Workout video of Rick Steamboat & Jay Youngblood
Montage video of running and weight lifting. Music is “Twilight Zone” by Golden Earring. 

-Local promos w/Big Bill Ward
Mentions cards 3/11/83 Hampton Coliseum; Slaughter, Kernodle, Weaver, Rotundo and Briscos at  3/04/83 at the Washington & Lee HS Gym in Montross, VA; Gene Anderson, Red Dog Lane, Sgt. Slaughter, Private Nelson, Mike George, Rotundo, Weaver, Briscos and others at 3/03/83 Colonial Heights HS Stadium in Colonial Heights, VA.
3/18/83 at the Richmond Coliseum. Battle royal. Gang & Slater & Humperdink vs. Steamboat & Valiant & McGraw. Flair defends NWA World title against Greg Valentine.
We go to taped comments from Valentine. He says he’s the number one contender. He’s coming full speed ahead.
Humperdink, Slater and Gang are in with Ward. They talk smack about McGraw.


Match 4
Jack Brisco d. Red Dog Lane

Jerry Brisco and Paul Jones are on commentary. They continue to argue with each other. Jerry mentions Jack beat Lane in college. Jones says no one cares. Brisco scores a quick pin when Lane makes a cover too high and Brisco just reverses it for the pin.


-Int. w/Bob Caudle: Sgt. Slaughter & Don Kernodle; Paul Jones; Sir Oliver Humperdink and One Man Gang
Slaughter & Kernodle talk about their upcoming defense vs. Steamboat & Youngblood. Some mean words for Nelson as well. Jones warns Jack Brisco is setting his goals too low. He is holding the Mid-Atlantic title of Dory Funk, Jr. Humperdink talks about Jimmy Valiant’s conspicuous absence, as One Man Gang holds some blonde locks of hair.


[PRE-TAPED INTERVIEW] w/Bill Ward: Ric Flair and Greg Valentine
Flair and Valentine are side-by-side, each in suits, and each holding their respective title belt. Flair says a title match is inevitable, and shakes Valentine’s hand and says let the best man win. Valentine has equally complimentary words for Flair. But, he said he would do anything possible to win.

-Local promos w/Big Bill Ward
Same towns as the first promo. We get comments from Steamboat, sick of the actions of One Mang Gang and Slater. Valiant struts in, with “Boy from New York City” in the background. Also, a trophy for the battle royal winner is in the back. We cut to comments from Slater, Gang and Humperdink. Slater isn’t impressed with Valiant.


-Int. w/Bob Caudle: Gary Hart
Mike Rotundo immediately confronts Hart. Says he doesn’t want any interference. Hart says let’s do the match. So, we have an impromptu match…

Match 5
NWA TV championship: Dick Slater [ch.] d. Mike Rotundo

Caudle says this is a TV title match. Hart sticks around on commentary. Hart says Great Kabuki is coming in soon. Short match, but Rotundo charges the corner and Slater gets a knee up. He pins Rotundo clean.

-Int. w/Bob Caudle: Jimmy Valiant & Bugsy McGraw; Mike Rotundo; Rick Steamboat & Jay Youngblood & Jim Nelson
Valiant and McGraw head out to “Boy from New York City.” We go to a clip last week where Slater, Valentine and Gang attack Valiant. Gang cuts a few locks of Valiant’s hair. Back to now. Valiant wants Humperdink in a loser leaves town match. Rotundo comes in. He’s not done challenging for the TV championship. Steamboat & Youngblood talk about Slaughter & Kernodle. Nelson joins them. He tells Slaughter if he wants his hat back, take it.

“So long for now!”


Results for the week, 2/21/83-2/27/83
(source: Clawmaster’s Archive via Sports and Wrestling blog posted by David Baker; “Wrestling” newsletter by Joe Shedlock)

Mon., 2/21/83 Hillsville, VA; Woodlawn Intermediate School
Abe Jacobs beat Masa Fuchi
Tommy Gilbert beat The Ninja
Dizzy Hogan & Johnny Weaver beat Gene Anderson & Red Dog Lane
Dory Funk, Jr. beat Sweet Brown Sugar
Greg Valentine beat Mike Rotundo 

Tue., 2/22/83 Kingstree, SC
Dizzy Hogan d. Gene Anderson
Mike Rotundo d. The Ninja
Jimmy Valiant d. One Man Gang
Don Kernodle & Sgt. Slaughter d. Jack Brisco & Jerry Brisco

Tue., 2/22/83 Mount Olive, NC
Sweet Brown Sugar d. Pvt. Nelson
Rick Steamboat & Jay Youngblood d. Dory Funk, Jr. & Greg Valentine
Roddy Piper d. Dick Slater

Wed., 2/23/83 Charlotte, NC; WCPQ-TV studio
Mid-Atlantic Championship Wrestling:
Greg Valentine beat Vinnie Valentino
Sgt. Slaughter & Pvt. Kernodle beat Frank Monte & Dizzy Hogan
Sweet Brown Sugar beat Ricky Harris
Jack Brisco beat Red Dog Lane
Dick Slater beat Mike Rotundo
World Wide Wrestling:
Jack Brisco & Jerry Brisco beat Masa Fuchi & Ricky Harris
Dory Funk, Jr. beat Bill White
One Man Gang beat Vinnie Valentino
Sgt. Slaughter & Pvt. Kernodle beat Ben Alexander & Frank Monte
Greg Valentine beat Dizzy Hogan
Dick Slater beat Ron Rossi
Sweet Brown Sugar beat Ken Timbs
Thu., 2/24/83 Harrisonburg, VA; High School

Jimmy Valiant vs. One Man Gang
Jack Brisco vs. Dory Funk, Jr.
Plus other matches

Fri., 2/25/83 Charleston SC; County Hall
Ricky Steamboat beat Dick Slater
Sweet Brown Sugar beat Dory Funk, Jr. by DQ
Jay Youngblood beat The Ninja
Mike George beat Ken Timbs
Bill White beat Frank Monte

Sat., 2/26/83 Spartanburg, SC; Memorial Auditorium
Masa Fuchi beat Vinnie Valentino
Mike George beat Ricky Harris
Dizzy Hogan beat Jim Nelson
Sgt. Slaughter & Pvt. Kernodle beat Mike Rotundo & Jerry Brisco
Jimmy Valiant beat One Man Gang in a New York street fight match

Sun., 2/27/83 Winston-Salem, NC; Memorial Coliseum
Mike George beat Frank Monte
Johnny Weaver & Jim Nelson beat Gene Anderson & Red Dog Lane
Ricky Steamboat & Jay Youngblood beat Dick Slater & One Man Gang
Sgt. Slaughter & Pvt. Kernodle beat Mike Rotundo & Jerry Brisco

Mon., 2/28/83 Greenville, SC; Memorial Auditorium
Masa Fuchi beat Vinnie Valentino
Dory Funk, Jr. beat Mike Rotundo
One Man Gang beat Johnny Weaver
Gene Anderson & Red Dog Lane beat Dizzy Hogan & Mike George
Greg Valentine beat Jimmy Valiant in a match with Roddy Piper as special referee

Saturday, October 24, 2020

Gene Anderson Gets One Last Shot at the NWA Title (1981)

by Dick Bourne
Mid-Atlantic Gateway 

The great Gene Anderson, original founding member of the famous Anderson family in wrestling, was never known for his singles competition. He was primarily known for being part of a famous tag team known as the Minnesota Wrecking Crew with two different worked-brothers: Lars Anderson in the 1960s and Ole Anderson in the late 1960s through the early 1980s.

Photo courtesy of
@wrestlerweekly on Twitter
Gene was the silent killer of the team, letting his braggadocious, loudmouth, younger brothers do all the talking. Les Thatcher once noted while calling an Anderson Brothers match on Mid-Atlantic Championship Wrestling in 1975:

"As Teddy Roosevelt said, 'Talk softly and carry a big stick.' You'll hear very little out of Gene Anderson," Thatcher quipped. Gene Anderson carried a very big stick in the Minnesota Wrecking Crew.

The Andersons were no strangers to tag team championships. They held multiple regional and world championships over several decades. But it was somewhat of a rare occurrence when Gene Anderson received a shot at the NWA World Heavyweight singles title.

He received a few in the early 1970s against champion Dory Funk, Jr., in towns like Norfolk, Richmond, and Raleigh for promoter Joe Murnick, who more than others apparently saw value in putting Gene in the ring on top with Funk.

But after those shots in 1970 and 1971, Gene Anderson's days as a contender for the World Heavyweight singles title ended. To my knowledge, he never got a shot at Harley Race, Jack Brisco, or Terry Funk throughout the remainder of the 1970s. (Someone please let me know if I missed one.)

And then suddenly, almost exactly 10 years after his last NWA title shot on July 7, 1971, Gene gets one last shot at the title again, this time against new NWA champion (and long time rival in the tag team wars) Dusty Rhodes on July 11, 1981 in Spartanburg, SC.

Admittedly, on the surface the booking of this match doesn't make a whole lot of sense. Throughout his career, Gene was predominantly a tag team wrestler and never was in the mix for singles titles. Ole as an opponent made more sense, and indeed Ole was getting several shots at Rhodes during this time. Ole had the long running singles feud with Dusty, particularly in the Georgia Championship Wrestling terriotory. He could also deliver a better promo to promote the match.

Gene Anderson, Bob Caudle, and Ole Anderson
This Spartanburg card was a matinee show at 3:00 PM. Ole is not listed on it, so it's likely he was booked on another spot show town on a matinee card. I've not been able to find a record of any such show at this point. Both Ole and Gene reunited later that same evening in Charlotte for a defense of their NWA World tag team championship against Ricky Steamboat and Bad Bad Leroy Brown. Rhodes and the NWA title weren't on that Charlotte show, so it's safe to assume Rhodes defended the title in some other Crockett town that Saturday night,  but I've not come across any record of a title defense for Rhodes that night.

The Spartanburg newspaper reported the following day that Rhodes had defeated Anderson in the main event. In other action on that 7/11 Spartanburg card, Bad Bad Leroy Brown defeated the Iron Sheik. No other results were listed.

This would be Gene's last shot at the NWA championship. He never got another shot after that, at least none that we have ever come across. (As always, we welcome additional information.) He and Ole were also in their final run as NWA World tag team champions. I kind of like knowing this one last, odd singles title shot was against Dusty Rhodes, who had a long and storied rivalry and feud with the Andersons.

If you've hung around the Mid-Atlantic Gateway for very long, you know we are big fans of the Anderson Brothers. This is a nice little rare piece of Anderson lore to hang on to.

* * * * * * 

Thanks as always to Mark Easteridge for the newspaper clippings. Thanks to Scottie Richardson at @WrestlerWeekly for the poster image. 

Originally published on the Mid-Atlantic Gateway July 19, 2017. 
Republished in edited format in July 2018 and March 2022 on the Mid-Atlantic Gateway.

Thursday, October 22, 2020

The Oklahoma Cowboys Arrive at Crockett Cup '85: Round Two Rolls On


Catching up? Here is the background info:
Tournament Announcement
Seedings and First Round Pairings

Updated brackets going into tonight's matches.
[Links to previous matches at the bottom of this post.]


(Second Round Matches #111 and #12):

- The Oklahoma Cowboys vs. Roddy Piper and Bob Orton, Jr.
- Dory and Terry Funk vs. Mark and Jay Youngblood 

The 1985 Jim Crockett Sr. Memorial Tag Team Tournament is underway. Wait, did you just say 1985? It’s time to take a look at one of wrestling’s biggest events from the mid-80s and see what it might have been like with a few historical alterations. What if Jim Crockett Promotions hosted its tag team tournament the Crockett Cup in 1985 and included teams from promotions outside the National Wrestling Alliance (“NWA”) including the World Wrestling Federation (WWF), the American Wrestling Association (AWA), New Japan Pro Wrestling (NJPW), All Japan Pro Wrestling, and more? In this case, you’d have 48 of the greatest tag teams in the world battling in a winner take all tournament for $1,000,000 and the prestigious Jim Crockett Sr. Memorial Cup Trophy. 

The first round saw 16 teams competing to advance to round two with eight teams making it in. Now, these eight teams will battle the 16 top-seeded tag teams that received a first-round bye. As we saw in round one, some wrestlers are willing to bend or break the rules in order to get closer to the $1,000,000 prize so expect the unexpected as round two continues.

Second Round Rules: Here are the rules for the round two of our tournament. A pool of referees from the NWA, AWA, and WWF have been appointed for the tournament and randomly selected for each match. The second-round matches have a forty-five-minute time limit and are sanctioned under NWA rules (throwing an opponent over the top rope is an automatic disqualification). The matches are one fall with a win obtained by a pinfall, submission, count-out, or disqualification. 

The second-round matches are being held over two nights. The first eight matches took place at the Richmond Coliseum on Saturday April 13. The remaining eight matches in round one take place at the Asheville Civic Center on Sunday April 14. Bob Caudle and David Crockett are calling the matches tonight but you never know which announcers from another promotion might show up. In our previous two matches, Bruiser Brody and Stan Hansen defeated Steve “Dr. Death” Williams and Ted DiBiase while the Road Warriors beat Jerry “The King” Lawler and “Superstar” Bill Dundee. As round two continues, bear in mind that these titanic teams are battling for more than just bragging rights—they’re competing for the prestigious Jim Crockett Sr. Memorial Trophy and a cool one million dollars.

Tony Schiavone is backstage and announces there’s a mystery team participating in the next match, a duo known as the Oklahoma Cowboys. Schiavone tells the fans that the masked team petitioned Jim Crockett to participate in the tournament and that he granted their request once they revealed their identities to him. The two masked men walk in with the first one introducing himself as Tex while the other claims his name is Roy. Tony asks them why they’re wrestling under masks. Tex tells Tony there’s not much they can say, but if the other wrestlers knew who they were, they’d never allow them in. Roy tells Tony they’ll unmask after they win the tournament and there are going to be a lot of surprised people. They walk off before Tony can ask any more questions.

Bob Caudle and David Crockett are both perplexed by the masked team’s identity. They send things over to Johnny Weaver, who is about to interview the Oklahoma Cowboys’ opponents, “Rowdy” Roddy Piper and “Cowboy” Bob Orton. “The Rowdy Scot” looks at Weaver and asks him, “So you’re still wearing that old plaid jacket you’ve had since the 70s, eh Weaver?” Bob Orton Jr. chuckles as “Hot Rod” goes on, “See ya washed out in round one and now they got ya interviewing people. Lot safer this way for you Weaver, but don’t think my bodyguard ‘Ace’ won’t knock you out if you get wise with me.” “The Dean of Wrestling” tells Piper he’s there to interview the two but Piper’s going to go into his match with a fat lip if he doesn’t cut the clowning. Piper says “Okay tough guy. Let’s talk about our next opponents. A couple of cowboys who are hiding behind masks. I never liked masked wrestlers brother and those masks aren’t going to stay on long once me and ‘Ace’ finish things up. The only cowboy in this match is Bob Orton Jr. Nobody never heard of no Oklahoma Cowboys and after we get done with them, nobody will ever see them again.”

The Oklahoma Cowboys vs.
“Rowdy” Roddy Piper and “Cowboy” Bob Orton

The Oklahoma Cowboys come out to polite applause as Bob Caudle notes no one seems to know much about this team other than their credentials were strong enough to impress Jim Crockett. The sound of bagpipes fill the arena as the fans watch a band of bagpipers playing an introduction for Piper and Orton. The two heels take their time as the fans boo them, with security struggling to keep some angry fans away from the team. David Crockett notes that extra security was brought in due to concerns Piper and Orton might cause a riot. Piper and Orton get in the ring as referee Tommy Young checks both teams for foreign objects and any illegal ring gear. Piper motions for Young to check under his kilt and Young shouts something at Piper. Piper takes his kilt off and is laughing at Young. 

Piper and Orton confer and Piper decides to start the match as Tex is in the ring with Roy waiting on the apron. Piper is smiling as he extends a hand to Tex. Tex extends a hand then pulls it back, blocking a slap from Piper and hitting a forearm on Piper. Piper’s not smiling now David Crockett notes as Piper charges Tex, only to get an arm drag takedown that Tex turns into an armbar. Tex applies the pressure as Piper tries to escape, until he’s able to back Tex into the ropes. Piper motions for a clean break and to no one’s surprise unloads with a forearm to Tex’s chest. Tommy Young starts a five count as Piper peppers Tex with punches, then throws him into the ropes. Piper goes for a clothesline but Tex ducks under and bounces off the ropes, hitting a cross bodyblock. Cover on Piper but Piper kicks out before two. Bob Caudle says it’s too early in the match but Tex is trying to throw Piper off his game. Piper gets up and Tex snapmares him down to the mat. Tex bounces off the ropes but gets waylaid by “Cowboy” Bob Orton, who hits a forearm smash to the back of Tex’s head. David Crockett says Orton didn’t use that cast or it would have been lights out for Tex. Bob adds “and a disqualification if the referee saw it.”  

Roddy tags in Orton who drops a knee across Tex’s head. Orton bounces off the ropes and drops an elbow on Tex. Tag to Piper and they both whip Tex into their corner, rocking the masked man. Tag to Orton who hits a suplex on Tex, covering him for barely a two-count. Orton whips Tex into the heel corner where Piper punches Tex. Bob Orton runs towards Roy, but backs off, goading him into the ring. Referee Tommy Young goes to keep Roy out of the ring while Piper begins choking Tex with the ring rope. Orton points to Roy who is arguing with Tommy Young while Piper continues to choke the life out of Tex. David Crockett is screaming for Tommy Young to turn around. Tag to Piper who uses Tex for a punching bag while Orton holds the mysterious masked man in the corner. Piper grabs Tex and delivers a corkscrew neckbreaker, covering Tex for a two-and-a-half count. Piper starts yelling at Tommy Young and as he does, Tex somehow rolls Piper up. Piper reverses with a small package, grabbing the second rope for added leverage. However, Tommy Young sees it and kicks Piper’s hand off the rope. Tex kicks out. Piper is furious and whips Tex into a neutral corner, charging him only for Tex to lift up both his legs. Piper staggers back and comes back towards Tex, only to catch a big left. Piper comes in again, but Tex is firing off lefts and rights as Tommy Young begins a five-count. Piper stands back then falls face first onto the mat. Tex staggers towards his corner and in comes Roy.

Roy whips Piper into the ropes, hitting a dropkick. Roy slams Piper to the mat then targets his legs with elbow drops. Roy picks Piper up, but Piper surprises him with his patented Piper Poke to the eyes. Piper uses the respite to tag in “Cowboy” Bob who charges at Roy only to get arm dragged to the mat. Orton gets up and kicks at Roy, but Roy spins him around, landing an atomic drop that sends him towards Tex. Tex greets him with a big left and when he turns around, Roy lifts him up for a suplex. Roy drops an elbow onto Orton’s knee followed by another. David Crockett says Roy is twisting Orton’s knee in ways it was never meant to go. Orton winces in pain as Roy drops another elbow on Orton’s knee. Roy then takes Orton and locks in the figure four leglock. Piper runs in to make the save, stomping Roy in the head. Tex comes in to even and Piper swings wildly, hitting Tommy Young and knocking the official down to the mat. David Crockett wonders if Piper did this intentionally or not. Tex goes to check on the referee and as he does, Piper lifts up Roy and holds him as “Cowboy” Bob bounces off the ropes and lowers the boom with his forearm cast. Unfortunately, he lowers the boom on his partner as Roy slips out of the way. Orton is looking around and appears shocked. He’s even more shocked when Roy delivers a double underhook suplex then locks in the figure four in the center of the ring. Tex helps Tommy Young get his bearings then heads back to his corner. Piper is out cold in the center of the ring which means Orton has no choice but to submit. 

Winners: The Oklahoma Cowboys

Tommy Young raises the Cowboys’ hands in victory while Orton is still reeling over what’s happened.

Tony Schiavone is backstage and he says “What a match we just saw and what a match we’re about to see. A battle between two teams of brothers, Mark and Jay Youngblood vs. Terry  and Dory Funk Jr.” Terry and Dory walk in and Dory tells Tony, “Not just any brothers, but the only brothers to have held the NWA World Heavyweight Championship.” Schiavone asks the team how they plan on overcoming the young team of Mark and Jay Youngblood. Terry tells him “You’ve heard the saying ‘Old age and treachery will always beat youth and exuberance,’ and there’s a reason for it. Dory and him have been wrestling for years and there’s a reason they’re still going strong—few people have beat them in the ring and they’re here to capture one million dollars. Those two egg-sucking dogs the Youngbloods are headed back to the reservation while the Funks are headed to round three.”

Dory Funk Jr. and Terry Funk vs. Mark and Jay Youngblood
The Funks enter the ring first with the fans unsure whether or not to cheer them. The Youngbloods enter the ring wearing their headdresses. They turn their backs to take them off as Dory and Terry blindside them from behind. Bob Caudle speculates that referee Jerry Calhoun is used to the wild and wooly action in Memphis Wrestling so he signals for the bell as the match begins. Dory rams Jay’s head into the turnbuckle while Terry throws Mark through the ropes. Dory and Terry begin double-teaming Jay, with Terry chopping him and Dory hitting uppercut forearms. However, Jay isn’t having it and stands with his back to the corner, chopping at Terry and Dory. Terry goes down and as Dory goes to grab Jay, Mark grabs his leg and pulls him out of the ring. Mark takes Dory’s head and rams it into the mat apron. 

Jay bodyslams Terry then applies a chinlock. Mark is back in the ring and Jay tags him in. The two whip Terry into the ropes, hitting a double chop. Mark covers Terry for nearly a two count. Mark goes to lock up but Terry stops him with a rake to the eyes, followed by a series of headbutts that daze the youngster. Terry delivers a suplex to Mark before tagging Dory back in.

Dory grabs Mark in a side headlock, going to wear him down. However, Mark slips out, throwing Dory into the ropes and hitting a shoulderblock that sends Funk to the mat. David Crockett tells Bob Caudle that Mark is looking great against the former United States Champion. Bob reminds David that it was Dory’s brother Terry who held the U.S. title. David says “Wow! Look at that!” as Mark dropkicks Dory, knocking him down again. Mark goes for a second dropkick, but Dory slips out of the way. Dory delivers a series of big forearm uppercuts to Youngblood that knock him into the heel corner. Dory grabs Youngblood by the hair and rams his head into the turnbuckle in the heel team’s corner. Tag to Terry who drops a chop on Youngblood while Dory keeps his opponent in an armbar. Double Irish whip followed by a double forearm and Youngblood goes down hard. Terry throws Mark through the ropes onto the cement and starts jawing with the referee. With the referee distracted, Dory picks up Mark and slams him down onto the unforgiving floor. Jay comes over but Bob Caudle points out the damage has been done. Mark staggers up to the mat apron only for Terry to knock him down with a headbutt. The referee starts the ten-count, but Mark makes it in by eight. David Crockett notes that the Funks are two seasoned veterans and are showing why they’re still considered one of wrestling’s greatest tag teams, even if you can’t stand them. Terry helps Mark up with a vertical suplex then tags in Dory. Bob Caudle remarks that these fast tags are keeping the Funks fresh while Youngblood is getting weaker by the moment. Double suplex by the Funks as Dory covers Mark. Jay comes in, breaking up the pin. Terry comes in, brawling with Jay while Dory hits a piledriver on Mark. That’s all she wrote as Dory uses a lateral press to get the 1-2-3. 

Winners: Dory Funk Jr. and Terry Funk

NEXT TIME: Join us next time as round two of the tournament continues as “The American Dream” Dusty Rhodes and his mystery partner take on the Dynamic Duo (Chris Adams and Gino Hernandez) while the Iron Sheik and Nikolai Volkoff battle Jimmy “Superfly” Snuka and Ricky “The Dragon” Steamboat. Which teams will prevail as round two continues and the remaining teams’ quest for tag team immortality and some serious cash continues!


Tournament Announcement
Seedings and First Round Pairings Announced  

Second Round: Matches 1 & 2 (Tournament 17 & 18)

     Mulligan/McDaniel vs. The Russians
    Rock & Roll Express vs. Maharishi/Nagasaki
Second Round: Matches 3 & 4 (Tournament 19 & 20)
    Brown/Jannetty vs. Inoki & Sakaguchi
    Ole & Arn Anderson vs. Windham/Rotunda)
Second Round: Matches 5 & 6 (Tournament 21 & 22)

    Midnight Express vs. Hart Foundation
    PYT Express vs. High Flyers
Second Round: Matches 7 & 8 (Tournament 23 & 24) 
    Rude/Barr (with Percy Pringle III) vs. Kevin and Mike Von Erich
    Fujinami/Kimura vs. British Bulldogs
Second Round: Matches 9 & 10 (Tournament 25 & 26)
    Brody/Hansen vs. Williams/DiBiase
    Road Warriros vs. Lawler/Dundee
Second Round: Matches 11 & 12 (Tournament 27 & 28)
    Piper & Orton vs. The Oklahoma Cowboys
    The Funk Brothers vs. The Younglood Brothers


First Round: Matches 1 & 2
    Hennig/Blackwell vs. Mulligan/McDaniel
    Tyler/Whatley vs. Maharishi/Nagasaki
First Round: Matches 3 & 4
    Windham/Rotunda vs. Bockwinkel/Saito
    Rougeaus vs. Inoki/Sakaguchi
First Round: Matches 5 &6
    Barbarian/Graham vs. Hart Foundation (Hart/Neidhart)
    High Flyers (Brunzell/Gagne) vs. Savage/Poffo
First Round: Matches 7 & 8:
    The Von Erich vs. Blanchard/Abdullah the Butcher
    Tenryu/Tsuruta vs. The British Bulldogs
First Round: Matches 9 & 10:
    Graham/Blair vs. DiBiase/Williams
    Valiant/McGraw vs. Lawler/Dundee
First Round: Matches 11 & 12:
    Piper/Orton vs. Patterson/Fernandez
    Rock & Roll RPMs vs. Youngblood Brothers
First Round: Matches 13 and 14:
    Dynamic Duo (Gino & Chris) vs. American Starship
    Sawyer Bros. vs. Steamboat/Snuka
First Round: Matches 15 and 16
    Batten Twins vs. Fabulous Ones
    Weaver/Houston vs. Sheepherders

Wednesday, October 21, 2020

Mid-Atlantic TV Report: February 19, 1983

Mid-Atlantic 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 as well as links to the Mid-Atlantic Championship Podcast, visit our TV Summary Index.

Mid-Atlantic Championship Wrestling
Original broadcast: 02/19/83
(taped 03/09/83 at WPCQ-TV studios in Charlotte)

Unfortunately, the WWE Network does not have the 2/19 nor 2/26 episodes. Here are the TV results in abstract form for 2/19/83:

  • Jack Brisco d. Ken Timbs
  • Mike Rotundo d. Rick Harris
  • Dory Funk, Jr. & Dick Slater d. Rick Morton & Frank Monte
  • Rick Morton d. Dory Funk, Jr. by DQ

Plus, the contract signing between Slaughter & Kernodle and Steamboat & Youngblood.

This page will be updated if more detailed information is found.


Results for the week, 2/14/83-2/20/83
(source: Clawmaster’s Archive via Sports and Wrestling blog posted by David Baker; “Wrestling” newsletter by Joe Shedlock)

Mon., 2/14/83 Piedmont, SC; Wren High School
Frank Monte beat Jim Dalton
Dizzy Hogan beat Ricky Harris
Jay Youngblood beat Red Dog Lane
Ricky Steamboat beat Greg Valentine
Don Kernodle & Sgt. Slaughter beat Mike Rotundo & Sweet Brown Sugar

Mon., 2/14/83 Lumberton, NC; Recreation Center
Dory Funk, Jr. vs. Jack Brisco
Plus other matches

Tue., 2/15/83 Columbia, SC; Township Auditorium
Jack Brisco beat Dory Funk, Jr. in a Texas death match
Plus other matches

Tue., 2/15/83 Burlington, NC
One Man Gang d. Dizzy Hogan
Jimmy Valiant d. Paul Jones
Don Kernodle & Sgt. Slaughter d. Mike Rotundo & Sweet Brown Sugar

Wed., 2/16/83 Charlotte, NC; WPCQ-TV studio
Mid-Atlantic Championship Wrestling:
Jack Brisco beat Ken Timbs
Mike Rotundo beat Ricky Harris
Dick Slater & Dory Funk, Jr. beat Frank Monte & Ricky Morton
Dory Funk, Jr. draw Ricky Morton  
World Wide Wrestling:
One Man Gang beat Frank Monte
Jack Brisco beat Bill White
Mike Rotundo beat Johnny Weaver
Dick Slater & Dory Funk, Jr. beat Ron Rossi & Ricky Morton

Fri., 2/18/83 Richmond, VA; Richmond Coliseum
The Ninja beat Ricky Morton
Jim Nelson beat Jim Dalton
Jack Brisco & Jerry Brisco beat Sgt. Slaughter & Pvt. Kernodle by DQ
Jimmy Valiant beat One Man Gang
Roddy Piper beat Dick Slater

Fri., 2/18/83 Charleston, SC; County Hall
Frank Monte beat Ken Timbs
Johnny Weaver & Tommy Gilbert beat Gene Anderson & Red Dog Lane
Dory Funk, Jr. no contest with Sweet Brown Sugar
Ricky Steamboat & Jay Youngblood beat Greg Valentine & Terry Funk 

Sat., 2/19/83 Newberry, SC
Jack Brisco & Jerry Brisco vs. Ricky Steamboat & Jay Youngblood
Greg Valentine vs. Sweet Brown Sugar
Ken Timbs vs. Frank Monte
Vinnie Valentino vs. Masa Fuchi

Sun., 2/20/83 Greensboro, NC; Greensboro Coliseum
Red Dog Lane beat Ricky Morton
Dizzy Hogan & Red Dog Lane beat Ricky Harris & Bill White
Jack Brisco beat Paul Jones
Dick Slater beat Jerry Brisco
Jimmy Valiant beat One Man Gang in a New York street fight
Ricky Steamboat & Jay Youngblood beat Ric Flair & Greg Valentine
Sgt. Slaughter & Pvt. Kernodle beat Terry Funk & Dory Funk, Jr.

Sun., 2/20/83 Columbia, SC;  Township Auditorium
Jack Brisco & Jerry Brisco beat Dory Funk, Jr. & Red Dog Lane (sub for Terry Funk)
Dick Slater beat Mike Rotundo to win NWA Mid Atlantic Television Title
Jimmy Valiant beat Oliver Humperdink
Greg Valentine beat Sweet Brown Sugar
Gene Anderson beat Dizzy Hogan
Tommy Gilbert beat The Ninja
Frank Monte beat Masa Fuchi

Sun., 2/20/83 Toronto, Ontario;  Maple Leaf Gardens
Rudy Kay & Nick DeCarlo draw Jim Nelson & Tim Gerrard
Johnny Weaver beat Bobby Bass
The Destroyer beat Terry Kay
Leo Burke double countout with Tony Parisi
Sal Bellomo beat Ray Stevens by DQ
Jay Youngblood & Ricky Steamboat beat Sgt. Slaughter & Pvt Kernodle in a boot camp match
NWA World Champion Ric Flair beat Terry Funk (sub for Roddy Piper)

Monday, October 19, 2020

Paul Jones' Big Surprise in Charlotte (1977)

by Dick Bourne and Mark Eastridge
Mid-Atlantic Gateway

Paul Jones was a Mid-Atlantic Wrestling mainstay thought most of the decade of the 1970s, but spent time in Florida and Georgia, too, including several months in the Peach State in the spring and early summer of 1977.

As we continue our look at the talent exchange between the Mid-Atlantic and Georgia territories that year (first described here), we see that Jones was a big part on both ends of the deal. He first visited Georgia while a regular in the Mid-Atlantic, but also briefly came home to Charlotte while a regular in Georgia.

Jones was first a visitor to Augusta, Georgia (ground zero in Georgia of these exchanges) on 2/14/77 when he came in to face Gene Anderson on a card that also featured the Mid-Atlantic tag champs Jerry Brown and Buddy Roberts (the Hollywood Blondes) in to face Georgia champs Mr. Wrestling I & II. He subsequently moved to the Georgia territory full time until returning later that summer.

While Jones was away in Georgia, the feud between the Anderson Brothers and the championship team of Ric Flair and Greg Valentine reached yet another boiling point where the two teams met in a cage match for the NWA world tag team championships on 5/8 with Wahoo McDaniel assigned as the special referee. The match took place at the Charlotte Coliseum. 

The Anderson Brothers regained the titles that night, but Flair and Valentine injured Ole Anderson after the match with a stuff-piledriver (rarely seen in that era) and were in the process of injuring Wahoo as well. 

Out of nowhere, Paul Jones appeared at ringside and entered the cage to a huge surprise pop, coming ot the aid of his former partner and cleaning house of Flair and Valentine. The visual of Paul with his old partner Wahoo McDaniel standing side by side with the Anderson Brothers was a surreal scene for most Mid-Atlantic fans. The two teams had some of the most memorable matches ever over the tag titles during the years 1975 and 1976.

Add caption
Paul's appearance was a great surprise to the fans live in Charlotte. He hadn't been in the Mid-Atlantic area for months and was not advertised on that 5/8 Charlotte card, so fans had no idea he was even in the building.

We've included video from YouTube below of Paul making the save. The audio on this is somewhat muted, although I think you'll get the idea of how excited the crowd was to see Paul make that save. He had been a huge fan favorite in the area for years. My favorite part of this was the reaction of one fan seated near the 16mm camera filming this action. If you listen carefully, you can hear his excitement rise as Paul begins to clean house. "Oh my goodness! Oh my goodness!!" he says over and over. There was nothing quite like a surprise appearance by a big name back in the day when you weren't expecting it. Still isn't today.

Paul Jones followed up his surprise appearance on 5/8 in Charlotte with a scheduled match there the following Monday night 5/16 at the Park Center where he challenged Ric Flair for the Mid-Atlantic TV title. Paul defeated Flair, but only after the 15 minute time limit had expired where the TV title was on the line.

These were the only two known appearances in the Mid-Atlantic area by Jones during this time period, and the second one on 5/16 was his only announced appearance.

On a side note, this was the show the night before the mixed card in Augusta on Monday 5/9 that we reviewed last time (in Part Four of this series) where the local Sunday morning newspaper in Augusta gave away the result of Sunday night's title change in Charlotte before it had actually happened.

Enjoy this 16mm film footage of Paul Jones making the save in the cage in Charlotte.
Paul enters the cage at the 3:36 mark.

Next: Wahoo McDaniel returns a favor on a visit to Augusta, GA.

Originally published October 14, 2015 on the Mid-Atlantic Gateway.

* * * * * * * * * *

Previous installments in the Mid-Atlantic/Georgia Talent Exchange Feature:
Part One: Paul Jones and the Hollywood Blondes in Augusta
Part Two: Thunderbolt Patterson tours the Mid-Atlantic area
Part Three: The Mid-Atlantic Challengers in Augusta 5/9
Part Four: Georgia Fans Find Out About World Tag Title Change - Before It Happens


Friday, October 16, 2020

New Book CROWN JEWEL Available Now!


For more information on this book, visit the Crown Jewel book page
in the Mid-Atlantic Gateway Book Store.

Trial Run: The Origins of Ric Flair's First Babyface Turn (1979)

by Dick Bourne
Mid-Atlantic Gateway

Featuring exclusive vintage audio of Ric Flair
and Rich Landrum from 1979!

This is a look at an interesting point in wrestling history, something that never would - - or never could - - happen today.

In 1979, Jim Crockett Promotions booker George Scott finally pulled the trigger on something he had known he would eventually do for the last year or so - - turn Ric Flair babyface.

Photo by Peggy Lathan
Looking back, it's curious how Scott went about it. I'm not sure he completely trusted his decision. The most effective turns in wrestling were always when you took a babyface or heel who was hot, but close to perhaps running out of steam in that role, and making the turn before the heat started to cool. You could argue there was no cooling down Ric Flair even if you wanted to, but in reality, had been the top heel for three years and had long protracted feuds with Wahoo McDaniel, Ricky Steamboat, and Blackjack Mulligan, and there wasn't another top level babyface to marry Flair to that would have the impact those programs had. And a lot of fans loved him regardless.

But Flair had been so generally hated as a heel, that Scott seemed unsure if the fans would readily accept or trust Flair as a "good guy." Plus, he would be losing his number one heel if it flopped.

So George Scott made the decision to drag it out over a couple of months in a single market, out of sight from the rest of the territory, beginning with what in hindsight looks like almost a trial run in Greensboro to see what the reaction would be. 

Indeed the fans in person at the Greensboro Coliseum and those watching on Greensboro television were the only fans who saw the initial phase of Flair's historic first turn take place.

The April 22, 1979 card at the Greensboro Coliseum was the place it first started with no early indication going into it that something like this was getting ready to happen.  

The Greensboro cards were usually pretty loaded, and this was no different with four big main events featuring two Mid-Atlantic-territory title matches and two world title matches featuring both the NWA  and AWA World Heavyweight champions. 

  • AWA champ Nick Bockwinkel was in the middle of a tour of the Mid-Atlantic area defending his AWA title during an odd period where he was making more title defenses here than Race, although none of them had an angle or story with them. But it was a treat to get to see a technician like Bockwinkel on our cards. He defended the title that night against Paul Orndorf, one half of the current NWA World Tag Team Champions.
  • Paul Jones and Ricky Steamboat were continuing their 5-month feud over the NWA TV title that had begun when Jones turned on Steamboat (although that's not the way Jones remembered it) the previous December in a memorable angle that took place during a huge two-ring battle royal.  Jones had held the TV during all of that time, Steamboat trying again and again to take it from him, being frustrated at every turn. This match was to be the culmination of the feud for awhile, the two settling things in a Texas Death Match!
  • Ric Flair was defending the U.S. title that night against the popular "Superfly" Jimmy Snuka, the other half of the current NWA World Tag Team champions with Orndorf. This was of course before roles were reversed five months later and Snuka would win the U.S. title in a tournament as a new heel managed by Buddy Rogers, and Flair would be the challenger.
  • In the main event, Harley Race defended the NWA title against Dino Bravo, who had just recently lost his Canadian Heavyweight Championship, but remained a top contender both in Canada and the U.S. for Race's title. He had recently been the top contender for Ric Flair's U.S. title as well.
  • Wrestlers on the undercard included former WWWF champion Pedro Morales, Big John Studd, Don Kernodle, Abe Jacobs, Leo Burke, and others.

Flair later claimed that Paul Jones had approached him about "holding his hand" in his title defense against Steamboat, Flair saying Jones was paranoid that Steamboat was getting close to beating him. None of this happened on the main TV programs, and if it happened at all, it perhaps was mentioned in the local Greensboro promos leading up to the April 22 card. 

The match was a Texas Death match, but as was the case in those days, Jones' NWA TV championship was only up for grabs in the first fifteen minutes of the match.

Flair did indeed show up during the match, sitting in a steel folding-chair at ringside. When the wild action spilled out of the ring onto the floor and Steamboat was getting the better of Jones, Ric went to Jones’ aid and attempted to hit Steamboat with the chair. But Ricky ducked, and Flair instead nailed Jones with the chair, knocking him out cold. Steamboat won the match because Jones was unable to answer the 10-count after the Flair chair-shot. While Steamboat won the Texas Death match, he didn't win the TV title, which was only on the line for the first 15 minutes of the match (TV title rules at the time) and the Texas Death match had gone 35 minutes and six falls!

Needless to say, even though Flair claimed it was all an accident (and it certainly appeared it was), Jones was plenty angry with the Nature Boy for costing him the match.

Later that evening, Flair was defending the U.S. title against Jimmy Snuka, and just as in the earlier match, action spilled out of the ring and onto the floor. As Snuka and Flair brawled outside, Paul Jones suddenly appeared with his own steel folding-chair and whacked Flair with it from behind. Except in this case, it was clearly no accident. Jones was aiming for Flair and it was payback for what happened in his match with Steamboat. Flair was also knocked out, and Snuka won the match (but not the title) by count-out.  

Moments later, a revived but visibly angry Flair grabbed the house mic and screamed for Jones to return to the ring. Jones didn't return but the ring announcer announced that Flair and Jones would face each other one-on-one at the next Coliseum show on May 5.   


A specially-taped two-minute segment aired on the TV shows that aired in the Greensboro market the afternoon of May 5 card at the Coliseum. The segment aired in place of the normal mid-show interview in the Greensboro TV market. So only fans in that market saw it.  It featured World Wide Wrestling host Rich Landrum with Flair in the empty WRAL studio reviewing film from both of the matches outlined above, with Flair giving his perspective on both.

Flair pleaded his case to Landrum that it was an accident that he hit Jones with the chair and was furious that Jones had intentionally hit him with a chair in retaliation, which cost Flair his match with Jimmy Snuka. 

Listen to Ric Flair and Rich Landrum:

The local promos for the Flair/Jones battle featured Jones with the other heels as normal, which signaled to fans that Jones wasn't turning back babyface, in case some fans might have thought that. Flair did not appear on the babyface side (having had his earlier segment with Landrum) but Ricky Steamboat spoke in Flair's spot, mentioning that he didn't have love for either guy and hoped this match might eliminate both of them. 

The rest of the Mid-Atlantic territory knew nothing of this happening, and Flair continued as a heel for the next month or so with most people unaware of his sudden feud with fellow-heel Paul Jones. 

Flair won the match with Jones on 5/5 when Jones was disqualified for the interference of Baron Von Raschke. They gave Flair a vicious beating which started building sympathy for Flair. On the very next show in Greensboro 5/20/79, Flair solicited the aid of his old tag team partner Big John Studd to challenge Jones and Von Raschke for their NWA World tag team titles. Notice Flair was not asking for help from the babyface side of the roster.....yet. His teaming with Studd signaled he wasn't becoming an official fan-favorite anytime soon. It was a heel-vs.-heel tag team battle.


The two Jones/Flair steel chair films from Greensboro 4/22/79 that were shown to Greensboro fans on 5/5/79 were not shown to the rest of the territory until later in May, and Flair faced Jones again for the first time since their 5/5 Greensboro match in Charlotte on 5/26. 

Throughout the month of May and into early June, Flair continued to team with the various heels including former tag partner Big John Studd and Ernie "The Big Cat" Ladd. He defended his U.S. title against most of the popular wrestlers in the territory during that time, including Dino Bravo, Ricky Steamboat, Tony Atlas,  Rufus R. Jones, and a visiting Dusty Rhodes. 

Things finally started to shift in June, as Flair began to solicit the "good guys" to be his partner, beginning with Dusty Rhodes in Greensboro on 6/3 and Jim Brunzell in Asheville and Raleigh. He eventually persuaded a reluctant Ricky Steamboat into being his partner on 6/23 in Charlotte, and the turn was complete. From that point forward, Flair was a card-carrying member of the "good guy" brigade, and quickly became one of the fan's favorites. 

Flair would continue to battle Jones in singles matches throughout the summer, and take Steamboat as a partner in failed attempts to take the NWA World tag titles from Jones and Raschke. It wasn't until August that Flair finally succeeded when he reunited with former friend and foe Blackjack Mulligan and the pair won the the titles from Jones and Raschke in dramatic fashion in Greensboro. 


Not only did the long war with Paul Jones set up Flair's eventual babyface turn, but happening a short time after in June was "Nature Boy" Buddy Rogers' entry into the area as a special referee for a match between Flair and Dusty Rhodes for Flair's U.S. title. Rogers was involved in the finish which made it briefly appear that Rhodes had defeated Flair for the title. This created animosity between Flair and Rogers and fans sided with Flair in that conflict, too. The Rogers affair was all part of the larger story to turn Flair babyface.

Flair's slow-burn babyface turn would hardly be possible today. No one would have the patience to do it that way for any number of reasons we are all familiar with. The unique aspect to this, though, was the "trial run" George Scott booked in Greensboro. It was part of what made the year 1979 a special one in Mid-Atlantic Championship Wrestling.  

Special thanks to Mark Eastridge.

Thursday, October 15, 2020

Mid-Atlantic TV Report: February 12, 1983

Mid-Atlantic 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 as well as links to the Mid-Atlantic Championship Podcast, visit our TV Summary Index.

Mid-Atlantic Championship Wrestling
Original broadcast: 02/12/83
(taped 02/09/83 at WPCQ-TV studios in Charlotte)
WWE Network Direct Link to this show Mid-Atlantic 02/12/83
WWE Network feed.   [How to watch this show on the WWE Network.] 

[CLIP] Slaughter & Kernodle vs. Steamboat & Youngblood
We are in an unnamed arena. Youngblood is dominating Kernodle. David Crockett & Johnny Weaver are on the mic. We cut to Caudle in the studio, who says we’ll see the conclusion of the match later.

-Int. w/Bob Caudle: Sir Oliver Humperdink
Humperdink is back and complaining about Jimmy Valiant. He ran out Ivan Koloff. Jos LeDuc is laid up in a hospital. He hurt Humperdink, splitting his head open. He stole his money. Now, he wants Valiant in a match. It doesn’t matter when.


-Int. w/Bob Caudle: Jerry Brisco
Just a brief comment from Jerry, wearing a suit, as we head to the next match.

Match 1
Jack Brisco d. Rick Harris

Stu Schwartz is the referee for the hour. Brisco lavishes praise on his brother. Caudle mentions there is a new manager around, but doesn’t reveal who. Brisco wins with the Figure Four.


Match 2
Mike Rotundo & Jerry Brisco d. Dick Slater & Dory Funk, Jr. by DQ

Dick Slater & Dory Funk, Jr. are in the ring. Rotundo doesn’t seem to have a partner. It’s supposed to be Tommy Gilbert. Rotundo goes to the interview area, and jaws with Paul Jones, resplendent in a periwinkle tuxedo. Slater is willing to make it a singles match. After taunting by Jones, Rotundo gets in the ring with Funk. Slater sticks around, and gets on the apron and tags in! So much for the singles match. Caudle vociferously complains. Rotundo has now chance. Jerry Brisco comes along and pulls Rotundo out of the ring. Brisco, still in his dress clothes wants in. And apparently it’s allowed. Rotundo kicks out of a Funk piledriver. Wild action. Jerry reverses a Funk spinning toe hold into a Figure Four. Slater breaks it up. Slater tosses the referee out for the DQ. Jack Brisco makes the save.


-Int. w/Bob Caudle: Mike Rotundo
Rotundo says Slater & Funk will pay for that. Mike is fired up! His best interview thus far. Mike calls himself a country boy!He thanks the Briscos for their help. 


[CLIP] Terry Funk vs. Jerry Grey
Caudle throws to a tape from Florida. It’s a match from the Tampa TV studio. A bunkhouse match to boot. Funk has cowboy boots, jeans, chaps, and an orange shirt that says “Dusty Sucks Eggs.” Tommy Young is the referee, even in Florida. All Funk and gets the pin after nailing Grey with his boot.

-Int. w/Bob Caudle: Dick Slater
Slater has no remorse for beating on Rotundo earlier. Slater is with Gary Hart, the new manager eluded to earlier. He runs down the Briscos and “Rodney” Piper. Fans chant “traitor.”
Gary Hart says Great Kabuki has been deported. He is looking for wrestlers to take on Ric Flair. He is willing to spend some money.

Personal observation: I didn’t see Slater until 1989 in WCW, and he was terrible. Every subsequent WCW appearance was even worse. When Dave Metlzer compared his style to Terry Funk, and others said Slater was one of the best in the world, I had no idea what they were talking about it. Dick Slater 1983 shows what they were talking about. He was great. He did use Funk’s style in the ring, persona, interviews. Wow.


[CLIP] Slaughter & Kernodle vs. Steamboat & Youngblood
Caudle throws back to the Slaughter & Kernodle vs. Steamboat & Youngblood match. Babyfaces have the advantage. Youngblood locks on the Cobra clutch on Kernodle. Slaughter makes the dramatic save. The match has two referees. The heels try to leave, but Steamboat won’t let them. Things are breaking down. The fighting continues, and the referees can’t control it, and the match is eventually stopped. Crockett keeps on saying law and order ahs to take place. For the record, this is taped 2/05/83 in Greensboro. 

After the match, Crockett is talking with Sandy Scott (from the World Wide show). Scott brings in Slaughter & Kernodle, and tells them they will levy one of the biggest fines. Slaughter was upset over the fine, but paid it willingly. But, they are finished with Steamboat & Youngblood. No more matches. Scott says no. One more match. It will be in March. Slaughter says no, they are on vacation in March. Scott tells them it will be in a cage. Slaughter goes nuts.

-Int. w/Bob Caudle: Sweet Brown Sugar & Dizzy Hogan
This is in lieu of local interviews. Sugar: We’re pretty good specimens of manhood. Sugar likes the way his team is developing. Hogan likes teaming up too. 


Match 3
Sweet Brown Sugar & Dizzy Hogan d. Ken Timbs & Jim Dalton

Gary Hart is out, and has some comments about scouting Sugar & Hogan before the match. Caudle says Sugar & Hogan are unlikely to sign with Hart. He retorts people didn’t think Reagan would get elected. Hart likes the moves of Sugar & Hogan, but they don’t have brains. They need advice. Hart says his Chicago attorney, Saul Liebowitz, can help with Slaughter & Kernodle’s situation. Hogan powerslams Timbs for the pin.

-Int. w/Bob Caudle: Rick Steamboat & Jay Youngblood
Steamboat talks about the wildness with Slaughter & Kernodle. Sandy Scott comes out and says they have been fined too. Steamboat’s jaw drops. Steamboat & Youngblood confer. The ask how long they have to pay. Scott says one week, before the official contract signing. Youngblood looks despondent. Steamboat is aghast when Scott says the match will be in a cage. Steamboat is happy about that. They’ll find the fine money.

“So long for now!”


Results for the week, 2/07/83-2/13/83
(source: Clawmaster’s Archive via Sports and Wrestling blog posted by David Baker; “Wrestling” newsletter by Joe Shedlock)

Mon., 2/07/83 Greenville, SC; Memorial Auditorium
Vinnie Valentino beat Frank Monte
Jack Brisco beat Dory Funk, Jr.
Johnny Weaver & Jerry Brisco beat Gene Anderson & Masa Fuchi
Ricky Steamboat & Jay Youngblood beat Sgt. Slaughter & Pvt. Kernodle in a boot camp match
NWA World Champion Ric Flair beat Mike Rotundo

Tue., 2/08/83 Columbia, SC; Township Auditorium
Porkchop Cash & Vinnie Valentino beat Ken Timbs & Jim Dalton
Johnny Weaver beat Gene Anderson
Jay Youngblood beat Dory Funk, Jr.
Dick Slater beat The Champ
Jack Brisco & Jerry Brisco beat Sgt. Slaughter & Pvt. Kernodle by DQ
NWA World Champion Ric Flair beat Ricky Steamboat

Wed., 2/09/83 Charlotte, NC; WPCQ-TV studio
Mid-Atlantic Championship Wrestling:
 Jack Brisco beat Ricky Harris
Jerry Brisco & Mike Rotundo beat Dick Slater & Dory Funk, Jr. by DQ
Dizzy Hogan & Sweet Brown Sugar beat Jim Dalton & Ken Timbs
World Wide Wrestling:
Dizzy Hogan & Sweet Brown Sugar beat Ricky Harris & Red Dog Lane
Dory Funk, Jr. beat Frank Monte
Dick Slater beat Mike Thompson
Mike Rotundo beat Ken Timbs

Thu., 2/10/83 Norfolk, VA; Scope Coliseum
Dizzy Hogan beat Ricky Harris
Mike Rotundo beat Red Dog Lane
Roddy Piper & Jerry Brisco beat Greg Valentine & Dick Slater
Jack Brisco won a battle royal
NWA World Champion Ric Flair beat Ricky Steamboat

Fri., 2/11/83 Charleston, SC; County Hall
Frank Monte beat Ricky Harris
Tommy Gilbert draw Red Dog Lane
Sweet Brown Sugar beat The Ninja
Dick Slater beat Jerry Brisco
Jack Brisco beat Dory Funk, Jr. by DQ

Sat., 2/12/83 Sumter, SC; Exhibition Center
Frank Monte & Vinnie Valentino beat Ken Timbs & Masa Fuchi
Sweet Brown Sugar beat One Man Gang
Sgt. Slaughter & Pvt. Kernodle beat Mike Rotundo & Jerry Brisco
NWA World Champion Ric Flair beat Jimmy Valiant

Sun., 2/13/83 Asheville, NC; Civic Center
Bill White beat Masa Fuchi
The Ninja beat Vinnie Valentino
One Man Gang beat Dizzy Hogan
Ricky Steamboat & Jay Youngblood beat Greg Valentine & Dick Slater
Jimmy Valiant beat Terry Funk
Jack Brisco & Jerry Brisco beat Sgt. Slaughter & Pvt. Kernodle by DQ

Sun., 2/13/83 Charlotte, NC; Charlotte Coliseum
Abe Jacobs beat Jim Dalton
Tommy Gilbert & Johnny Weaver beat Gene Anderson & Red Dog Lane
Pvt. Kernodle & Sgt. Slaughter beat Jack Brisco & Jerry Brisco
Dory Funk, Jr. beat Mike Rotundo
Ricky Steamboat & Jay Youngblood beat Dick Slater & Greg Valentine
Jimmy Valiant beat Terry Funk