Wednesday, February 02, 2022

Wrestling Art: NWA Tag Champs Jimmy Snuka and Paul Orndorff

The next art from Robby Bannister's series of Mid-Atlantic Wrestling Magazine art covers features the NWA World Tag Team Champions from late 1978 and 1979 Paul Orndorff and Jimmy Snuka. The duo won the titles from Greg Valentine and Baron Von Raschke in December 1978.

Robby is creating a series of these faux magazine covers in homage to the original series of Mid-Atlantic Wrestling Magazine covers from the 1970s and 1980s. The magazines were sold as event programs at the local arenas and also could be purchased by mail directly from the Crockett offices in Charlotte. 

Robby's first cover in this series featured Blackjack Mulligan as United States champion from 1976 and his second cover featured "The Enforcer" Arn Anderson. His introductory cover was of Don Kernodle.

Here is more info on the championship tag team of Orndorff and Snuka from David Chappell's December 1978 entry in the Mid-Atlantic Wrestling Almanac:

NWA World Tag Team Champions Greg Valentine and Baron von Raschke had more than their hands full in the month of December with the challenge of Paul Orndorff and Jimmy Snuka. The athleticism of Orndorff and Snuka seemed to keep the Champions guessing and off balance. During the month, Valentine and Raschke were able to hold onto the Championship by the skin of their teeth, often purposely getting themselves disqualified to save their Titles. But on December 26, 1978 at the Richmond Coliseum, Orndorff and Snuka got the Title Match they wanted---one with No Disqualifications!

The Richmond match was a lengthy encounter, with both teams pulling out all the stops. The see-saw battle saw both teams have their opportunities to come out on top, but ultimately the challengers were able to capture a quick pinfall to the delight of the huge Coliseum crowd. The hated Champions had been dethroned by the upstart challengers! An enraged Baron von Raschke could not accept that he was no longer one half of the World Champions, and he proceeded to assault the referee, and then dropped him on his head with a piledriver! The NWA acted quickly on the Baron’s reprehensive conduct, suspending him almost immediately for his actions in Richmond. 

We're looking forward to more great art covers from Robby in the future!

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Check out more of Robby Bannister's art on his Facebook page featuring wrestlers from various territories over different eras.