Friday, July 09, 2021

Poster: Roanoke Tournament for a Lincoln Continental

by Brack Beasley
Mid-Atlantic Gateway Contributor

In the 1970s it was not uncommon for wrestling territories, especially in the South, to hold Cadillac tournaments with the winner's purse being a new Cadillac.

On Saturday night, March 26, 1977 the Roanoke Civic Center (presented erroneously as the Roanoke Coliseum on this poster) the promotion changed it up a bit and instead hosted an elimination tournament for a new 1977 Lincoln Continental Mark V.

The lineup of participants was impressive: Ric Flair, Greg Valentine, Brute Bernard, Jacques Goulet, Jerry Blackwell, Johnny Weaver, Wahoo McDaniel, Bill White, Ron Starr, Danny Miller, Dino Bravo, and Johnny Eagle. I would love to know what the pairings were for this tournament of twelve leading up to the final match in which Flair got the best of Wahoo to win the Lincoln.

Battle royal and tournament posters always had a different look to them and this one does as well with all the wrestler's names printed in the same sized font and apparently in no particular order. The all black print on this horizontal poster looks great over a bright pink background with three wrestler images down each side and the "wrestling" splash in the top left corner seems to have been seldomly used for Roanoke.

What an awesome night of Mid Atlantic Championship Wrestling it must have been for the fans fortunate enough to be in Roanoke, VA this Saturday in 1977, although most probably left disappointed seeing the Nature Boy win the Lincoln.


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Gateway Notes
by Dick Bourne, Mid-Atlantic Gateway

Flair's tournament win for the Lincoln Continental in Roanoke provided the set-up for the next show for promoter Pete Apostolou in the Star City which would be held on April 9, 1977. Wahoo would attempt to get revenge for losing out on the Lincoln Continental, likely due to Flair's underhanded heel tactics, in an Indian Strap match with the Nature Boy at the Roanoke Civic Center.

Both Flair and McDaniel held championship gold at the time of this tournament. Wahoo was the reigning Mid-Atlantic champion. His feud with Flair stretched all the way back to the fall of 1975 when Flair defeated Wahoo for that same Mid-Atlantic title in Hampton, VA. The two had battled back and forth trading that title for most of the year of 1976. Now they were feuding over that Lincoln. 

Wahoo was a few weeks away from settling in for a new feud over his title, this time with Greg Valentine, which would eventually lead to Wahoo getting his leg broken in a TV match with "The Hammer" that same year.

Flair's gold belt was one half of the NWA World Tag Team titles that he and Valentine held, having defeated Flair's cousins the Anderson Brothers back in December of 1976. The Andersons had moved on to Georgia Championship Wrestling, but continued to return periodically to continue their feud with Ric and Greg in the Mid-Atlantic area over the tag titles throughout 1977 and into 1978, which also led to Ole Anderson teaming up with longtime foe Wahoo McDaniel late in 1977. It was a magical time in Mid-Atlantic Wrestling.