Monday, January 04, 2021

An Introduction Fit for a "Superstar"

by David Chappell
Mid-Atlantic Gateway

Fans of Jim Crockett Promotions that turned their television sets on to view the Mid-Atlantic Championship Wrestling television program that was taped on September 29, 1976 knew from the opening moments of the show that they were going to witness a very special episode. 

Prof. Boris Malenko
with the Masked Superstar

At the outset of the show, venerable announcer Bob Caudle talked with Chief Wahoo McDaniel who had just dispatched Bolo Mongol in a Hair versus Hair, Loser Leaves Town match days earlier in the Greensboro Coliseum. Wahoo and Caudle, with color commentator David Crockett at their side, commented on a film clip where Wahoo defeated Bolo Mongol, and with the help of Dusty Rhodes shaved off the top knot of the Mongol’s hair. Wahoo gave the viewers a tease as to what was to come by referencing Mongol’s manager “Professor” Boris Malenko and saying, “Well you know, Malenko is out searching and I’ve heard he’s got somebody bigger and better than the Mongol, but that remains to be seen, let him bring him on…we’ll take him!”

After a short break Caudle told the fans, “All right, in the center of the ring David [Crockett] there stands Boris Malenko, evidently the Superstar is his new man that we’ve heard so much about. He wants to say a few words.”  Crockett added, “He won’t wrestle until he’s given permission to talk.” Malenko blurted out, “Just one moment, referee!” Referee Tommy Young yelled back, “Let’s go!!” 

Undeterred, Malenko continued, “Ladies and gentlemen, I’d like to make an announcement. I’ve been harassed, humiliated, almost driven out of the ends of my wits here, by such persons as Wahoo McDaniel, Paul Jones and others I know you know that don’t need mentioning. But because I’ve been put in such an embarrassing position and also the people that I’ve managed such as Bolo and Geto Mongol have left me, I have by some stroke of good fortune, some luck, have come up with a person that I would look from the four corners of the earth to meet up with, but where did I meet him right here in the United States of America.”

With the masked newcomer fidgeting next to him, the “Professor” carried on without taking a breath, “A learned individual, an ex, a former gold medal winner of the Olympics, a learned individual, holding a ‘doctrine’ degree of neurology, holding a ‘doctrine’ degree of psychology, the greatest athlete that has ever been seen here in the Mid-Atlantic area or any other area in the world today, I give you my new champion, the greatest wrestler today that will ever be seen and the greatest wrestler that is ever going to enter this ring or any other ring, my champion…SUPERSTAR!!”

Stepping to the front of the interview set, the hooded newcomer finally spoke in measured tones, “Thank you very much Mr. Malenko. Referee, will you tell these idiots, these ‘mediocracy’ people, I am here for one reason. My friend Mr. Malenko has asked me to come here and settle some personal issues…I’m going to begin this evening. And I want everybody here to realize that they are now at once and for all going to appreciate…stardom.”

A wide-eyed Caudle concluded the segment, “All right fans and David, there you have the story from Boris Malenko and his new wrestler, or protégé, or whatever it might be, he calls him Superstar and he says he’s just fantastic!”

Later in the same show, Mid-Atlantic Championship Wrestling President Jim Crockett, Jr. confronts the Superstar and Professor Boris Malenko…to be continued in Part 2!