Friday, February 04, 2022

Poster: Rip Hawk and Swede Hanson Battle Each Other in Norfolk

by Brack Beasley
Mid-Atlantic Gateway Contributor

This poster promotes a card held at the Norfolk Arena in Norfolk, VA on Thursday, November 7th, 1974.

The main event, promising to be a violent affair, was a Fence Match between former allies Rip Hawk and Swede Hanson with a special stipulation making the pile driver legal. At the time, the pile driver was an illegal maneuver in the National Wrestling Alliance.

The semi main event featured promising newcomers Tiger Conway Jr. and Chuck O'Connor (who later would become Big John Studd). 

While this poster gives few details on the other bouts on this card, we know from the newspaper ad for this show that Klondike Bill teamed with Tio Tio vs. Two Ton Harris and Frank Morrell, Danny Miller took on rookie Ric Flair, and Billy Ash met Ken Dillinger in the opener. 

The poster is the smaller variety measuring only 14 by 22 inches and has a vertical layout with all black print over the two tone pink and yellow background. I would assume this card took place at the old arena built during World War II as opposed to the larger Scope Exhibition Hall which opened in 1971 but I could be mistaken. Nevertheless, Crockett held cards at the Scope starting in 1972 and for many years forward.

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Mid-Atlantic Gateway Notes
by Dick Bourne

  • Promotional posters from Richmond, Hampton, and Norfolk are hard to come across. Nice to see this one from Brack's amazing collection, especially from the less familiar venue of the Norfolk Arena.
  • For fans from that era, seeing long-time tag team partners Rip Hawk and Swede Hanson fighting each other had to be surreal. Swede had turned "good guy" following a split between himself and then-partner the Super Destroyer (aka The Spoiler, Don Jardine) in February of 1974. When Rip Hawk returned to the Mid-Atlantic area in the spring of 1974 from his NWA suspension for using the piledriver (actually had been away working in Florida), he would occasionally cross paths with Swede in tag matches, but the singles feud between the two former partners broke wide open in August and continued throughout the fall of 1974.
  • Rookie Ric Flair defeated veteran and longtime area star Danny Miller on this card, an indication that Flair's star was continuing to rise as a singles competitor within Crockett Promotions. Flair and Rip Hawk were the reigning Mid-Atlantic Tag Team champions at the time of this card in Norfolk.