Saturday, January 22, 2022

Poster: All Three Mid-Atlantic Singles Titles On the Line in Charlotte

by Brack Beasley
Mid-Atlantic Gateway Contributor

A sensational triple main event was on tap for wrestling fans at the old Charlotte Coliseum on Saturday night, October 15th, 1977 as all three Mid Atlantic singles titles were up for grabs. 

Ric Flair defended his United States title against Dusty Rhodes, Greg Valentine defended his Mid-Atlantic title against Paul Jones, while Baron Von Raschke's TV title was on the line for the first 15 minutes in a rematch with Ricky Steamboat, whom the Baron had just defeated for the belt at a television taping a few days prior.

The mid card match was an interesting 6-man tag with Dick Murdock, Mr. X #1, and Mr. X #2 versus Roberto Soto, Tiger Conway Jr., and Johnny Weaver, while the undercard featured familiar Mid-Atlantic grapplers such as the Missouri Mauler, Charlie Fulton, Abe Jacobs, and Danny Miller.

There were seven matches in all but unfortunately for most fans in Charlotte this particular night. all three heel champions managed to retain their respective championships against the babyfaces, although I imagine Rhodes, Jones, and Steamboat gave the reigning champs a run for their money.

The poster itself has a horizontal layout with black print on a two tone pink over yellow background while the date and six main-event participants really stand in high impact red.

There are also great images of Flair, Rhodes, Jones, Valentine, Steamboat, and Soto along each side and it's neat how they put "The American Dream" under Rhodes' name opposite "Champion" under Flair's.

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Mid-Atlantic Gateway Notes: The American Dream Dusty Rhodes
As was often the case in the mid-to-late 1970s, and on this night, Dusty Rhodes made sporadic short-term appearances in the area, usually over a weekend. Rhodes was a special draw all over the country in those days, and for all three major organizations: WWWF, AWA, and many of the NWA territories, particularly Mid-Atlantic, Georgia, and Florida.) Much like Andre the Giant or the NWA Champion coming to town for a small number of dates, Dusty would hit lots of different promotions in any given week. In this case, Rhodes was only in for Saturday (for this card in Charlotte vs. Flair) and Sunday in Asheville NC (matinee show vs. Valentine for the Mid-Atlantic title) and Savannah GA (then a Mid-Atlantic town, for a second shot at Flair's U.S. title.)

Also of note related to Rhodes, it is worth pointing out that the Friday night before this Charlotte card, Rhodes and partner Dick Slater lost the NWA World Tag Team titles back to Gene and Ole Anderson in Atlanta, bringing an end to their short one-month reign. In the prior two weeks, Rhodes had also challenged Harley Race for the NWA title in a couple of matches in Florida, and Superstar Billy Graham for the WWWF title in Madison Square Garden. Yes indeed, the American Dream was on quite a roll.