Wednesday, August 17, 2022

Blackjack's Crew: At The Ranch (and In the Mud)

by Dick Bourne
Mid-Atlantic Gateway

This photo was sent to us back in the 2000s by Blackjack Mulligan when we were working on a website with him. We used it in a contest on the Mid-Atlantic Gateway, the challenge being to see who could identify all the wrestlers in the picture.

What an amazing and rare photograph this is, taken in 1973 at the Headlock Ranch. It looks like these guys had been ridin', ropin' , wranglin', workin' or playin' in the mud!

There are five wrestlers in this photo. Can you name them all?


It was a bit of a trick question because one of the adults in the photo wasn't a wrestler. But the young kid in the photo later was.

Here are the identities of everyone in this 1973 photo:

1. Dusty Rhodes
2. Ray Stevens
3. Pat (last name unknown, was the ranch foreman at the time)
4. Dustin Rhodes
5. Dick Murdoch
6. Ric Flair

In the note that accompanied the photo, Blackjack affectionately called this group his "crew."

At the time of the contest on the Mid-Atlantic Gateway, we had some folks who argued the fellow on the far right couldn't possibly be the "Nature Boy" Ric Flair. But indeed it is. This photograph was taken in 1973, many months before Ric would come to the Mid-Atlantic territory. He was heavier then, and really didn't lose the bulk of that weight until after the 1975 plane crash.

What an incredible group of talent in that one photo!

* * * * * * *

Here is another fun photo Blackjack sent us from around that same era - -

Dusty Rhodes, Dick Murdoch, and Blackjack Mulligan from the early 1970s.

Edited from a post originally published October 28, 2015
and republished in 2019 on the Mid-Atlantic Gateway.