Friday, October 29, 2021

Poster: Fabulous Freebirds Part of a Strange Show in Winston-Salem

by Brack Beasley
Mid-Atlantic Gateway Contributor

This poster takes us back to 1981 and promotes a card at the Winston-Salem Memorial Coliseum on Friday night July 17th. It's billed as a triple main event and the top of the bill features a very rare early appearance in Jim Crockett Promotions by the Fabulous Freebirds challenging the Gene and Ole Anderson.

In the semi it was the Big Cat Ernie Ladd vs. Bad Leroy Brown and the first main event pitted Austin Idol against Paul Jones. 

The poster itself has an attractive horizontal layout with black print over a light green background and the date and top two main events really stand out in high impact red. The familiar "Wrestling" splash is in the top left corner along with four images of the Andersons, Brown, Idol, and Jones. 

From top to bottom this particular card had a great mix of familiar and not so familiar faces to Mid Atlantic fans.

Gateway Notes: What a rare and unusual main event for the Mid-Atlantic area! The whole show is like something out of the twilight zone. Ole Anderson was booking both the Mid-Atlantic and Georgia territories at this time, and lots of Georgia regulars were getting sporadic bookings in the Mid-Atlantic area (and vice-versa.) But this main event sort of came out of the blue. Especially considering that Michael Hayes and Terry Gordy had split up as a team in the spring of 1981, and Gordy was teaming with Jimmy Snuka that summer, and in fact they were the Georgia Tag Team champions at the time of of this match with the Andersons, based on records of the title that I could find. Perhaps the Freebirds here were Hayes and Buddy Roberts, except Roberts had left Georgia by this time, meaning he wouldn't have been being booked by Anderson. So who knows? (Do you? Email us if you have further info on this card.)

This is an odd show for other reasons, too. The poster advertises the card for Winston-Salem's Coliseum, but the newspaper ad promotes it as an outdoor show at Ernie Shore Field, the local baseball venue. Since posters usually were printed weeks in advance, we're guessing the show got moved outdoors for one reason or another.

The newspaper ad for this card indicated that while the Anderson brothers were indeed the NWA World Tag Team champs, this was a non-title affair. Also, the Iron Sheik replaced Austin Idol on this show and that change was reflected in the newspaper ad as well.      -D. Bourne