Friday, September 30, 2022

Action Figure Friday: Valentine and Raschke - World Tag Champs!

Another great presentation from our friends Scottie and Reggie at Wrestler Weekly.

This time they feature the NWA World Tag Team Champions Greg Valentine and Baron Von Raschke in front of one of the classic issues of Mid-Atlantic Wrestling Magazine from that era.

Man, these little belts make the whole thing work!  Check out the Wrestler Weekly twitter feed for more great wrestling memories, tributes, and memorabilia.

Originally published in May 2019 on the Mid-Atlantic Gateway

Thursday, September 29, 2022

NWA champion Giant Baba (1979)

Giant Baba in the locker room after his victory over Harley Race for the NWA World Championship in Nagoya, Japan, 1979. 
Originally posted on the Domed Globe website.

Tuesday, September 27, 2022

Poster: Hot Night in South Boston

by Jody Shifflett
Mid-Atlantic Gateway Contributor

Here is a great card from 1978 featuring pretty odd tag teams on both sides. Captain Redneck Dick Murdock and Mr. USA Tony Atlas against the duo of the Nature Boy Ric Flair and strongman Ken Patera.

I’m hoping Flair and Patera won but who knows what happened at this hot spot show where anything could happen back in the day. 

The undercard was pretty good with a great mix of veterans and newcomers. I’m sure the fans got their moneys worth on this hot July Monday night!


Monday, September 26, 2022

"Greenville is My Town" - 1978 Article in The Tiger mentions WFBC's Billy Powell

Ring announcer Billy Powell (R) with
Greenville promoter Paul Winkhaus

by Dick Bourne
Mid-Atlantic Gateway

Back in November of 1978, the student newspaper at Clemson University called "The Tiger" ran an article on Mid-Atlantic Wrestling in the area. The two page spread included discussion of the current popularity of pro wrestling (including an interview with Ric Flair), the skeptics (including the Clemson collegiate wrestling coach), and the fans. 

A large photo was included of Ric Flair battling Blackjack Mulligan at the Greenville Memorial Auditorium, less than an hour away from the Clemson campus in Greenville SC. With some examination of the Monday cards that took place in the weeks prior to this article's publication, I've determined that the photo is from their Texas Death Match in Greenville, the main event of the October 23, 1978 card at the Auditorium.

Of particular interest to me, though, was a brief discussion of Greenville ring announcer Billy Powell, an institution in Greenville, and whose involvement in Greenville wrestling went all the way back to 1960 and the early television tapings of pro wrestling that took place at the WFBC TV studios in Greenville.

Here is a transcript of the portion of the article that dealt with Billy Powell:

A big part of Monday night wrestling is played by the ring announcer. In Greenville, the announcer is Billy Powell, a well known personality who has gained most of his popularity through the Monday night matches.

"You bet your hat I'm a wrestling fan," Powell said. He has been announcing the matches in Greenville since 1960. "We originally did the TV wrestling here, but the program was moved to Raleigh a few years back," the outgoing Powell stated. 

Wrestling in Greenville used to be held in Textile Hall, and that is where Crockett Promotions sanctioned some of their first matches. Crockett operates from its Charlotte base under the sponsorship of the National Wrestling Association (sic). "If the matches are not sanctioned, the NWA will have nothing to do with you," Powell stated.

Concerning the wrestlers as people, Powell said, "They're all nice guys. Did you see Gene Anderson in the ring tonight as he fixed my mic cord? In the ring he is a bad dude, but outside he is just a teddy bear," Powell finished.

Asked if he would ever leave the area, Powell said, "No, because Greenville is my town."


Greenville fans who only watched on TV and never attended a Monday night Memorial Auditorium wrestling event were still intimately familiar with Billy Powell. Twice each Saturday during the one-hour broadcast of Mid-Atlantic Championship Wrestling on local NBC affiliate WFBC-TV channel 4 (later WYFF), Powell did exclusive 1-minute narrated promos for the card upcoming that Monday. They featured only his voice and a still artistic depiction of two wrestlers in battle. They always began the same way - - "Hello everybody, this is Billy Powell, inviting you to joins this Monday Night at the Greenville Memorial Auditorium..." These promotional segments aired twice during each show in addition to the local promotional interviews with the wrestlers taped at WRAL in Raleigh. In that way, Billy Powell's voice was as much a part of the Greenville experience of watching wrestling every week as host Bob Caudle or any of the wrestlers. 

Not only would Powell run down the matches for upcoming card, he would also briefly touch on what happened the previous Monday night, too, tying everything together. He was the man Greenville wrestling fans trusted and was a warm and familiar voice each and every week.  

For more on Billy Powell, visit the Billy Powell page on the archived Mid-Atlantic Gateway site, and check all of his related posts on this blog. You can also learn about the history of TV wrestling in Greenville on the WFBC-4 page of our guide to the studio locations for wrestling in the Mid-Atlantic area.

And you can also read the full article on wrestling in Greenville from the Nov. 3, 1978 edition of "The Tiger", which includes an interview with a young Ric Flair, archived here. It's on pages 12 and 13 of the paper, within the downloadable pdf.


Audio: Holiday Greetings from Billy Powell
during the beginning of one of his local promos. 

Originally published on the Studio Wrestling website in April 2001.

Saturday, September 24, 2022

Johnny Weaver's Big Angle in 1978: Baron Von Raschke

A Multi-Part Series
by David Chappell
Mid-Atlantic Gateway

Series Introduction
1976 - Greg Valentine (Part One)
1977 - Greg Valentine (Part Two)


Johnny Weaver’s primary main event angle in the year of 1978 started in February of that year and went on into April of 1978. It really began without any fanfare or buildup, but once it got going it was quite intriguing.

At this point in time, Baron von Raschke was the Mid-Atlantic Television Champion. Any time the TV Champion wrestled a match on television, his belt was at stake for the television time limit of ten minutes. On the February 8, 1978 taping of the Mid-Atlantic Championship Wrestling television program, the Baron wrestled Johnny Weaver, with of course the big German’s TV belt at stake.

Raschke had more than his hands full during this televised bout. Johnny controlled most of the match to the delight of the packed studio audience. As the match drew close to the ten-minute time limit mark, Weaver caught the Baron in his patented Sleeper hold. Raschke was flailing around like a fish out of water, gasping for breath and appeared poised to submit or lapse into unconsciousness. But miraculously the Baron held out until the ten-minute time limit expired, and was thus able to retain his TV Title though he was flat out on the mat while Weaver was up jumping around. This strong showing against Raschke emboldened Weaver, who then challenged the Baron to a novel “Sleeper versus Claw” match on TV.

So the following week on Mid-Atlantic Championship Wrestling television, Johnny Weaver and Baron von Raschke squared off in a truly unique competition. Each wrestler would have the opportunity to put their signature hold on the other for a maximum of two minutes, and the grappler that lasted the longest in the other’s favorite hold would be declared the winner.

The event started with a coin toss to determine which wrestler would start first. Johnny won the flip of the coin, and everybody figured Weaver would elect to put the Sleeper hold on Raschke to start. However, Johnny surprised everyone by electing to have the Baron put this Claw hold on him first. A surprised announcer Bob Caudle told the fans that what Weaver did was much like a football team winning the coin toss but electing to kick off. Bob said if he was Johnny, he would have chosen to put the Sleeper hold on Raschke first.

Using some great quick thinking and making the ropes several times while in the clutches of the Baron’s fearsome Claw hold, Weaver was able to withstand Raschke’s onslaught for the allotted two minutes without submitting or losing consciousness. Almost immediately after the bell rung at the two-minute mark, Johnny caught the Baron in his vaunted Sleeper hold. Raschke was not so fortunate, and while he protested that Weaver was illegally choking him, he succumbed to Johnny’s favorite hold and went to sleep in just over a minute giving Weaver a clear victory in this most unusual contest.

The Baron was infuriated that Weaver had embarrassed him by using an illegal choking hold in the Claw versus Sleeper Challenge, and clearly put a bullseye squarely on Johnny. To up the stakes, right as the 1978 calendar flipped over to the month of March the National Wrestling Alliance instituted a tournament for all of its TV champions across the country to claim a single NWA TV Champion. Being the Mid-Atlantic Television Champion, Baron von Raschke was the representative for Jim Crockett Promotions in the national tournament, and the Baron prevailed and brought the brand spanking new NWA Television Championship belt to the Mid-Atlantic area.

But before the Baron could even catch his breath as the new NWA Television Champion, he was upset by Johnny Weaver on March 5, 1978 in the Charlotte Coliseum. Johnny would actively defend his new belt for about a month, including numerous successful defenses against Raschke that were especially brutal. During the month of March, Weaver also put up his NWA TV belt against fellow fan favorite Ricky Steamboat and the big man from Eagle Pass, Texas, Blackjack Mulligan.

As March turned into April, the storm clouds that were moving in on NWA TV Champion Johnny Weaver turned into a damaging storm in Greenville, South Carolina on April 3, 1978. That night in the Greenville Memorial Auditorium, Weaver put up his NWA TV Championship against Raschke in a No Disqualification bout with a 60-minute time limit, where the match could only be won by Johnny using his Sleeper or by the Baron by using his Claw. 

To the dismay of the packed house in Greenville, the Baron was able to hit Weaver with a chair and knocked Johnny out in the process, enabling the big German to finish off Weaver with his Claw hold. While Johnny had a number of return TV Title matches with Raschke during the remainder of the month of April, Weaver was unable to recapture the prized belt. But what an eventful three-month main event run it was for Johnny Weaver in 1978!

NEXT UP 1979---Ken Patera, and later a different role for Johnny Weaver!

Bonus: Johnny Weaver's Impact in Maple Leaf Wrestling (by Andrew Calvert)
Bonus: Weaver Still TV Champ after Battle with the Baron (photo by Charles Robinson)

Friday, September 23, 2022

Action Figure Friday: Bravo and Valentine in Toronto

Barry Hatchet /

There is no one that does detail on staging classic wrestling action figure photos quite like Barry Hatchet in his "Make Believe Gardens" series on

This photo features Canadian Heavyweight Champion Dino Bravo vs. challenger Greg Valentine. 

From the Maple Leaf Wrestling website:

Dino Bravo and Greg 'Hammer' Valentine had some great bouts in Toronto over our Canadian Heavyweight Title. This could be any one of 3 where Bravo was champ at introductions. Valentine would eventually beat Bravo for the title in April but would lose it back in June.

Bravo had recently turned back the challenge of Ric Flair and had tagged with Ricky Steamboat against the team of Flair and Valentine before starting this series.

Jim Crockett Promotions and Toronto Promoter Frank Tunney had a working relationship between 1978 and 1983, where Tunney booked a majority of his talent appearing on Toronto cards from the Mid-Atlantic Wrestling territory. The Canadian heavyweight champions during this era also appeared for Jim Crockett Promotions on cards in their cities, as well as on the Mid-Atlantic Wrestling and World Wide Wrestling TV shows, with the Canadian title belt.

More excellent photos from this staging can be found here.

Originally published in May of 2019 on the Mid-Atlantic Gateway.
The Canadian Heavyweight Title by Andrew Clavert
and more at the Mid-Atlantic Gateway Book Store.

Tuesday, September 20, 2022

N.C. Artist Competed Against Don Kernodle in Weight Lifting

by Dick Bourne
Mid-Atlantic Gateway

North Carolina artist, United States Army veteran, and longtime Mid-Atlantic Wrestling fan Ronald Ragland passed away earlier this summer. His daughter Allison White wrote us with the news and shared an interesting wrestling connection about her late father she was reminded of when going through some of his papers.

Back in 1971, Ragland competed in a weight-lifting competition and one of the other competitors in his weight class was none other than future pro-wrestling star Don Kernodle. Both lifted in the 242 lb. weight class. Ragland won the competition with a total of 1,190 pounds lifted across all categories. Kernodle came in second with a total weight lifted of 1,083 pounds. (See the meet results sheet here.)

Don Kernodle with Ronald Ragland
at the NWA Wrestling Legends Fanfest in Charlotte
"He talked about this many times and that he and Don Kernodle competed," Allison wrote me. "The best highlight for him was he actually got to meet Don Kernodle at the 2008 Hall of Fame event in Charlotte.  Don was so friendly, you would have thought they were best buddies all their lives.  And till the day Dad died, he would tell this story and how nice it was to meet him."

It was just one of a few other wrestling connections her father had. "Before Dad got married in the 50's he lived at the Charlotte YMCA and lifted weights with Bob Fink (Rock Hunter, Ivan Koloff's Manager.) He was offered a job as a wrestler, they needed more wrestlers for TV, but he was already working at his first advertising company."

Ragland and his daughter were fortunate enough sit with Rip Hawk at one of the Hall of Heroes banquets at an NWA Wrestling Legends Fanfest in Charlotte. The two exchanged letters and emails afterwards, with Rip sending Ron several personally autographed photos.

Ragland's lifelong love of wrestling got Allison hooked on Mid-Atlantic Wrestling, too. "Dad took me to the Dorton Arena on my 12th Birthday in March 1976," she wrote me, "and I was hooked also after seeing the main event Blackjack Mulligan vs. Paul Jones. Dad had connections at WRAL since they were working on Kerr Drug Commercials with them at that time. I got to go to several TV tapings."

Ronald Ragland was a commercial artist for all of his career. Following retirement, he created a limited edition series of old country artwork. WRAL TV in Raleigh did a feature on Ragland for their "Tar Heel Traveler" series before his death, which can be seen on their website here:

A tribute to late Raleigh artist, award-winning weightlifter Ronald Ragland ::
Featured on Tar Heel Traveler

 Photos provided by Allison White.

Saturday, September 17, 2022

Mid-Atlantic Arm Wrestling: The Most Obscure Championship (Part 4)

by David Chappell
Mid-Atlantic Gateway

Catch up on PART 1   PART 2    PART 3

The Aftermath

Despite the tremendous buildup for this event, to the point of the President of Jim Crockett Promotions being its TV announcer, the Mid-Atlantic Championship Wrestling Arm-Wrestling Championship vanished from the scene as quickly as it arrived. To my best recollection, this championship was never defended. In fact, I don’t believe that it was ever even mentioned again after the Avenger hoisted the trophy signifying his championship victory.

The two finalists in the championship match, the Avenger and the Super Destroyer, were in the early stages of an extremely rare program of masked man versus masked man that would go on for a number of additional months. It seems odd that this battle for a championship would not have factored in and played some kind of role in what would become a red-hot feud between the masked men. But, alas, it never did.

There would be several times later in the Mid-Atlantic Championship Wrestling years where arm-wrestling would work its way into feuds and angles. A couple that come immediately to mind were the Mighty Igor versus Blackjack Mulligan in 1977 and Tony Atlas versus Ken Patera in 1978. If there was ever a time that the Mid-Atlantic Championship Wrestling Arm-Wrestling Championship would have become relevant again, these two programs should have brought it out of the mothballs. But again, it didn’t happen.

To me, the saga of the Mid-Atlantic Championship Wrestling Arm-Wrestling Championship will always leave me wondering why this championship was created with such fanfare on television, but was never followed up on despite the fact that the Avenger and the Super Destroyer, the two finalists, were in the midst of a heated program that was about to get a lot more heated. None of that is clear to me looking back. The only thing that is clear to me, is that the “one and done” Mid-Atlantic Championship Wrestling Arm-Wrestling Championship had to the most obscure championship in the promotion’s history!

Friday, September 16, 2022

Action Figure Friday: "Superfly" Jimmy Snuka, U.S. Champion

Very cool customization of "Superfly" Jimmy Snuka with a custom U.S. title belt, presented by our friends at @wrestlerweekly.

Snuka was United States champion in 1979 and 1980 and had a memorable, long, bloody feud with "Nature Boy" Ric Flair over that title belt. You can read all about Snuka's run as United States champion (as well as the entire history of that championship) in our full-color book "Jim Crockett Promotions' United States Championship", available on Amazon and via the Mid-Atlantic Gateway bookstore

Originally published in March of 2022 on the Mid-Atlantic Gateway.

Wednesday, September 14, 2022

Poster: Queens NY hosts Mid-Atlantic Wrestling (1985)

by Brack Beasley
Mid-Atlantic Gateway Contributor

When it comes to old Mid-Atlantic Championship Wrestling posters, this one could be considered somewhat of an oddity as it promotes a spot show in -- of all places -- "The Big Apple". 

It took place on Wednesday September 25th, 1985 at the Holy Cross Catholic high school gym in Queens, NY and featured quite a lineup of wrestling stars. Jimmy Valiant challenged Abdullah The Butcher (managed by Paul Jones at the time) in the main event while Terry Taylor and Black Bart fought for the NWA National Heavyweight belt in the semi. 

The remainder of the card included Superstar Billy Graham, Pez Whatley, Baron Von Raschke, Curt Hennig, and Larry Zbyszko. 

With a vertical layout, the poster has all black print over an attractive tri-color background and 4 wrestler images. 

* * * * * * * * * * *

by Dick Bourne

Man, I'd love to know the story behind this very rare and very unusual poster. First of all, for the poster to promote "Mid-Atlantic Championship Wrestling" and to be taking place in the borough of Queens, NY is a pretty big disjuncture in an off itself. 

Secondly, this line-up, which featured a card almost entirely made up of semi-main event and mid-card talent for that time in Jim Crockett Promotions (except for the AWA talent I'll mention in a moment), indicates it was a sold spot-show and certainly not part of a JCP plan to expand northward into the heart of WWF territory. Otherwise, it would have featured the likes of Flair, Rhodes, Magnum, Blanchard on top.

In fact, this card features much of the roster (other than Dick Slater, Buzz Sawyer, Jim Cornette, and the Midnight Express) that was largely relegated to the old Georgia Championship Wrestling territory at this time after JCP had purchased it earlier in 1985 and tried to continue to run it as its own touring territory. (The exception to that, of course, was Atlanta and the Omni, which always received a loaded card full of all the top JCP talent.)

Lastly, making this card even further a bit of an oddity are the unusual billed appearances of AWA talent who were not appearing for JCP at the time, including Baron Von Raschke, Curt Hennig, Larry Zbyszko, and Tom Zenk, an indication that the nearly defunct "Pro Wrestling USA" alliance of late 1984 was still a thing, if only held together by a thread.

Most of this same crew worked a show the next night in Staten Island, NY. 

What an unusual card and fascinating poster. Thanks to Brack for sharing this one.

Monday, September 12, 2022

Flair Confronts Wahoo on the Set of Mid-Atlantic Wrestling (1977)

Wahoo McDaniel Regains the Mid-Atlantic Title from Greg Valentine (1977)
Ric Flair confronts the new champion on the set of Mid-Atlantic Championship Wrestling

by Dick Bourne
Mid-Atlantic Gateway

On Tuesday, August 9, 1977, Wahoo McDaniel regained the Mid-Atlantic heavyweight championship from Greg Valentine at the Dorton Arena in Raleigh, NC. Valentine had defeated the Chief earlier that summer in Greensboro.

The next night at the taping of "Mid-Atlantic Championship Wrestling", David Crockett introduced the studio audience at WRAL-TV to the new champion, and the crowd gave Wahoo a huge ovation.

These were always some of my favorite moments - - when a new champion was introduced at the beginning of that week's TV show.

Wahoo's celebration was cut short when he was interrupted by the U. S. champion Ric Flair, who made it clear that Wahoo had no chance of getting his title from him.

Wahoo told host Bob Caudle that he was going to make history that week, as he had shots at both the U.S. title held by Flair and the NWA world title held by Harley Race.

"If the man wrestled with his mouth, he'd be unbeatable. But he has to get in there and defend that title, and I'm on a lucky streak right now, I'm gonna take his title and get Harley Race - - I got a chance at the world title. Three belts in one week, it's never been done." - Wahoo McDaniel

Here are the first 5 minutes of Mid-Atlantic Championship Wrestling that aired on Saturday, August 13, 1977.

Indeed, Wahoo was ready to go after Flair that very night. He and Flair left the WRAL studio (separately, I'm sure!) and drove to nearby Rocky Mount, NC where Wahoo fought Flair for the U.S. title that same night. He had another shot at Flair two nights later in Richmond. Then on Sunday, he challenged Race for the NWA world title in Greensboro.

While Wahoo wasn't successful in winning those three belts in a week, it was nevertheless quite a six day span for the big Chief!

08/09 Raleigh, NC Wahoo McDaniel beat Greg Valentine to win NWA Mid Atlantic Title
08/10 Rocky Mount, NC Ric Flair beat Wahoo McDaniel (U.S. title match)
08/11 Lynchburg, VA Wahoo McDaniel & Mighty Igor beat Blackjack Mulligan & Masked Superstar
08/12 Richmond, VA Ric Flair beat Wahoo McDaniel (U.S. title match)
08/13 Spartanburg, SC Wahoo McDaniel double DQ Greg Valentine (Mid-Atlantic title match)
08/14 Greensboro, NC Harley Race beat Wahoo McDaniel (NWA world title match)

Originally published December 2015 on the Mid-Atlantic Gateway.

Saturday, September 10, 2022

Avenger vs. Super Destroyer: Mid-Atlantic's Most Obscure Championship (Part 3)

by David Chappell
Mid-Atlantic Gatewa

Catch Up on PART 1 and PART 2 


It would be a battle of the masked men as the Super Destroyer and the Avenger battled for the Mid-Atlantic Television Arm-Wrestling Championship as the President of Mid-Atlantic Championship Wrestling, Jim Crockett, Jr., announced to the fans “This is for the Championship.”

In this championship encounter, the glove of the Super Destroyer would not be an issue as the Avenger forcefully announced, “Leave the glove on!”

Crockett exclaimed twice in the early seconds of the match, “The Avenger has the advantage,” as the Super D’s arm was being pushed downward to the delight of the WRAL studio audience who were screaming their approval. The Destroyer made a brief comeback, only to have the Avenger again gain the upper hand. Crockett noted, [the Destroyer’s] arm is about halfway down…[the Avenger]became within a few inches of being the winner!”

The contest then leveled out a bit as Crockett noted, “It’s all even now…straight up.” The Super Destroyer then claimed the edge, but almost immediate Mr. Crockett said, “It’s straight up now; no one has the advantage.”

Then came a back and forth flurry of action that would soon produce our winner. Jim Crockett commented, “The Avenger now has the advantage; has his arm halfway down. But wait, the Destroyer is coming back…the Destroyer has a slight advantage. And now the Destroyer has his arm halfway down!”

The tide would now turn once again, but for the last time. As the crowd in the studio audience roared, Mr. Crockett exclaimed, “The Avenger now has a slight advantage…now [the Destroyer’s] arm is about halfway down! THE AVENGER HAS WON!!”

Announcer Bob Caudle then reclaimed the mic saying, “There [is the Avenger] being given the trophy by referee Sonny Fargo!” Color commentator Big Bill Ward added, “Listen to that crowd Bob, they are tickled to death! The Wrestling Arm-Wrestling Champ—The Avenger!” Caudle confirmed, “He defeated the Super Destroyer!”

The Destroyer was beaten, but not unbowed. The next match on the studio card was Wahoo McDaniel versus the Super D’s new associate, Brute Bernard. After Wahoo got the Brute in the abdominal stretch hold, the Super Destroyer jumped into the fray causing the Brute to lose via disqualification. Wahoo then proceeded to clean house, dispatching the Destroyer back to the dressing room ending his forgettable evening!


Friday, September 09, 2022

Figure Friday: Harley Race and Ten Pounds of Gold

by Dick Bourne
Mid-Atlantic Gateway

Our good friend Jeff Jewett put together a great photo for Action Figure Friday that we featured several years ago. It features a figure of the 8-time NWA World Heavyweight Champion (and "greatest wrestler on the face of God's green earth") Harley Race, complete with miniature domed-globe belt and his classic 1980s red and blue robe. He's standing in front of the original 8x10" hardcover edition of the book "Ten Pounds of Gold", a close look at the 1973-1986 NWA World championship title belt and the eight champions who held it during that time period. (You will notice that the original version of the book I wrote with Dave Millican even contained a brief foreword from the legendary "Nature Boy" Ric Flair, which was subsequently removed. You can learn all about that here.)

Jeff had his copy of the original "Ten Pounds of Gold" book signed by Harley Race, which you see in the bottom left corner of the slipcover in the photo above. I just think the whole thing is very cool and loved this, and I appreciate Jeff's thoughtfulness in putting this photo together for me.

As it relates to Race and the "Ten Pounds of Gold" book, I was fortunate enough to have several phone conversations with Harley Race in 2012 when working on the second edition of the book. He loaned me a notebook that promoter Paul Boesch had given him after the historic NWA title change match with Jack Brisco on July 20, 1973 in Houston. That notebook contained dozens of 8x10" photographs taken by Boesch himself that night. Many of those photos appear in the second edition of "Ten Pounds of Gold" and I've always appreciated Harley's generosity and kindness in allowing me to use them. 

In what turned out to be the third and final phone call during that time, Harley suggested I change the title of the book. At first I thought he was joking. But he was dead serious. Change the name of the book to "Ten Pounds of Pure Gold." And then it hit me - - that's the way Harley usually referred to the belt. "Ten pounds of pure gold, buddy." 

That's a wonderful memory, and all these years later I begin to wish I had done just that.

Thanks again for the photo, Jeff!

Edited from an original post published April 2020 as Part of Action Figure Friday on the Mid-Atlantic Gateway.

Thursday, September 08, 2022

The Big Gold Exchange


Just imagine Klondike Bill’s workbench in his shop behind the office on Briarbend Drive a few days after Greensboro, July 26, 1986.

It was rumored to not have existed, that Dusty Rhodes name plate. Jim Crockett told us on TV that one had been ordered. We verified later it had been ordered because we had seen the Crumrine order form and art work (it's in the book, thank you Teddy Srour.) But we didn't know that it indeed had been made until Cody Rhodes posted about it on Twitter several years ago.

The original photo was taken by Clint Beckley, and we created the special fantasy image above.  

Wednesday, September 07, 2022

Adam Pearce's Bookcase

Twitter @ScrapDaddyAP

Former NWA World Heavyweight Champion Adam Pearce apparently has extraordinarily good taste in books, especially one we noticed up on the top shelf of his bookcase.

That's the rare, original 10 x 8" hardcover edition of Ten Pounds of Gold by Dick Bourne and Dave Millican.

The image is from a video that Pearce posted to his social media.    

You can put the Ten Pounds of Gold in your bookcase, too. Visit the Mid-Atlantic Gateway Book Store.


Tuesday, September 06, 2022

The Most Obscure Championship (Part Two)

by David Chappell
Mid-Atlantic Gateway

Mid-Atlantic Wrestling's Most Obscure Championship
Catch up on Part One


(Don Jardine)

Paul Jones versus the Super Destroyer would have been a Main Event wrestling match in any Jim Crockett Promotions venue, much less on television, but their meeting in the semifinal of the Mid-Atlantic Championship Wrestling Arm-Wrestling Championship was a truly unique spectacle.

Announcers Bob Caudle and Big Bill Ward had earlier in the show signaled their belief that Jones was the favorite in their eyes to emerge as the Champion. However, Paul himself cast some doubt on that prediction just before the match saying that his shoulder was definitely ailing him, so on balance this encounter with the Super D. rated as a toss-up before the two adversaries hooked up.

Of concern to Paul Jones’ fans was Paul’s demeanor as he approached the Destroyer yelling to the masked man, “Take you glove off!!” The Super Destroyer laughed off Jones’ demand, seemingly getting inside Paul’s head. The Destroyer’s glove had become a concern for his opponents, as it was the hand that the masked man used to apply his deadly claw hold. The Super D.’s grip was so tight, almost like a suction cup, that many speculated that his glove must have played a role in him having such a vice-like grip.

When Jones and the Destroyer finally locked up, Jim Crockett, Jr. exclaimed, “The match has begun!” Crockett quickly told the viewing audience that the Super Destroyer had the early advantage. Crockett then reported, “Paul Jones’ shoulder is giving way slightly!” Then after just a few more seconds Crockett concluded, “The Destroyer has the advantage…the Super Destroyer is the winner!”

Thus, the favorite to win the Championship had been eliminated in about 30 seconds as Jones’ injured shoulder was clearly more of a hinderance to him than anyone thought heading into the semifinal bout.

Crockett then announced, “The Destroyer will now meet the Avenger.” An exuberant Ivan Koloff had reentered the ring to congratulate the Destroyer, prompting Mr. Crockett to admonish Sonny Fargo yet again, “Get Mr. Koloff out of the ring!” As before, Ivan reluctantly exited the squared circle.

Mr. Crockett then reiterated, “The winner of this match will be the Mid-Atlantic Television Arm-Wrestling Champion! The Super Destroyer will meet the Avenger!”

Continued in Part 3!

Sunday, September 04, 2022

Big Dust, Big Gold


"If you've read "Big Gold" by Dick Bourne you know the nameplate for my Father was never on the actual Title after my Father defeated Ric at The GAB. It was rumored to not even exist, but it was ordered and it does exist. I found it in a cigar-box ... (and now) it officially goes on the original "Big Gold".

- Cody Rhodes, July 25, 2016, @CodyRhodes                   

Thursday, September 01, 2022

Gateway Interview: Baron Von Raschke (Part 4)


PART 1  | PART 2  | PART 3

Chappell: Was it originally the plan for you to stay in the Mid-Atlantic area longer than you did? 

Raschke: I don’t remember all of the details, but basically I was just homesick. I wanted to go home. It was all right with Crockett…so I did. 

Chappell: I can certainly understand your reasons for not staying at that point, but the angle with you and Charlie Brown was some great stuff! And having a manager, Gary Hart, was something new for Crockett fans to see. 

Raschke: Yes, but I had managers before in other places. Bobby Heenan was my manager in Indianapolis, and then later on in New York, Freddie Blassie was my manager for a little while. As far as Gary Hart in ‘83…it was just something a little different. Gary and I had been in Texas together at the same time. 

Chappell: I never felt you needed a manager. You were very skilled with your interviews, and you never seemed like a wrestler who needed someone else to talk for him. 

Raschke: Thank you. 

Chappell: Did you see your interviews as being a strength for you? 

Raschke: For some reason, I was always a real shy person… 

Chappell: (laughs) No way…that’s hard to believe! 

Raschke: It probably is…but everything I was, Baron Von Raschke wasn’t---he really became my alter ego. When I got into character it was real easy for me to think on my feet and respond to questions, ad lib, and go with it. That’s what the Baron does…can do, did do and probably will keep doing! 

Chappell: And as he has shown us this evening…the Baron is just as good as he ever was! 

Raschke: I try! (everybody laughs) 

Chappell: As you mentioned briefly just a moment ago, your last run with Crockett was in the mid 80s. The business was certainly changing a great deal by the 1986 time frame. You had been in the AWA again after the brief 1983 Mid-Atlantic stint, and you and the Crusher had lost the AWA World Tag Team Titles to the Road Warriors---a new breed of tag team. Wrestling had changed considerably from the last time you wrestled for Crockett in 1983. 

Raschke: This all runs together for me a little bit, but I think in the last [Crockett] run Ivan and Nikita Koloff had a third partner who broke his leg… 

 Chappell: Right…Krusher Khrushchev. 

Raschke: Yes…and he broke his leg, and I got a call that [the Russians] needed a partner to replace him. I think there was an upcoming six-man against Dusty (Rhodes) and the Road Warriors…or something like that. So, I was elected. That was my final run in there with Crockett. 

Chappell: Towards the end of that final run, I remember you wrestling as a babyface again. And even teaming up with another great veteran and Mid-Atlantic legend, Chief Wahoo McDaniel! I remember you and Wahoo teaming up in the 1987 Jim Crockett, Sr. Memorial Cup Tournament. 

Raschke: Yes, we did. Wahoo was one of my favorite people. 

Chappell: Really? 

Raschke: Oh yeah. He was a great guy and a great athlete…he was a great credit to the business. He was just a good person…really a big-hearted guy. 

Chappell: You and the Chief butted heads in your first run with Crockett. It was really something to see you all teaming together during that final stint! 

Raschke: There you were with a tag team…one guy with a headdress of Eagle feathers, and the other guy looking like a Bald Eagle! 

Chappell: (laughing) Something to behold! 

Raschke: Actually, those were turkey feathers…after the dog got a hold of the turkey! (everybody laughs) 

Chappell: After your last run with Crockett, didn’t you go to the WWF briefly…when they were gobbling up all the talent in sight in the mid/late 80’s? 

Raschke: Yeah, Vince (McMahon) was good…he flew me in just to fire me! 

Chappell: Gee… 

Raschke: At great expense. 

Chappell: At that time, didn’t Vince have you managing some people up there? 

Raschke: Yeah…tried to. 

Chappell: That didn’t last long, did it? 

Raschke: It didn’t last long at all. 

Chappell: I guess the last time I remember seeing you on a wrestling program was when the AWA was in its dying days, but their show was still running on ESPN. If I recall, you were involved in a Team Challenge Series as the AWA was about to peter out in 1990. 

Raschke: I was, and then I did a little wrestling for small promotions for a while after that. 

Chappell: Do you watch any professional wrestling today? 

Raschke: I do not. 

Chappell: None? 

Raschke: Very, very rarely. It’s not fun for me to watch. 

Chappell: Tell us some things about the Baron…post-wrestling. 

Raschke: Well, my wife and I bought a gift and souvenir shop and ran that for a time. And right about then, that’s when I started teaching school again. I also worked for the Minnesota Zoo for a while. Even during this time, I was still into wrestling a little bit. I was way up in northern Minnesota when we ran the gift shop…where it’s still cold and snowing as we speak! We stayed up there six or seven years with the gift and souvenir shop. 

Chappell: You must have worn a winter coat all year round up there! 

Raschke: That was about 300 miles from where we live now. 

Chappell: What is the Baron up to presently? 

Raschke: Actually, I’m in between bookings right now. I’m looking for work. 

David Chappell with the Baron
Charlotte 2005

Chappell: I know one booking that Mid-Atlantic fans are hoping that you will be a part of, and that is the Mid-Atlantic Wrestling Legends Fanfest in Charlotte over Thanksgiving weekend. Might we see you there? 

Raschke: I’ve been contacted about that, but nothing has been set yet. I’m considering it, but due to careful planning I can’t afford to retire until I’m (age) 105! 

Chappell: (laughs) Tell me about that, too! Obviously we would love to see you at Fanfest, but logistically you are a long haul from Charlotte.But I hope it works out; we’d love to see you there. 

Raschke: I’d love to come. 

Chappell: Are you currently doing any more substitute teaching? 

Raschke: No, my wife had me give that up a couple of years ago. When we moved down here, I didn’t resume that. 

Chappell: Where are you living presently? 

Raschke: We’re down the (Mississippi) River now, David . We live seven miles from where the Mississippi River starts. We live near the river, though, in Wabasha, Minnesota. 

Chappell: That’s beautiful country up there… 

Raschke: It really is. 

Chappell: Just a couple of final things as we wrap up Baron… 

Raschke: [Editor’s Note: The Baron Is Again In Character Voice Here!] ‘WE’RE NOT DONE YET???!!!’ (laughs) 

Chappell: (laughing) Soon! Since you’ve lapsed back into character, how did your famous catch-phrase ‘Dat Is All Da People Need To Know’ come about? 

Raschke: That particular one, came out of a thing with Marty O’Neill, who was an announcer in Minnesota. He was a small man, a short man, and all of the wrestlers towered over him. Even Mad Dog Vachon! But Marty was a great, great announcer and interviewer. And he called me up to the mic one time to be interviewed, and as you know, the interviews usually lasted two or two and a half minutes. Of course, I take my glasses off…and I can’t see two feet in front of me! 

Chappell: I know all about that! 

Raschke: Usually, there’s a guy out there that gives you a wind-up signal…you know, a cue that it’s time to quit talking. Anyway, Marty calls me up and I’m talking about whatever I’m talking about…blah, blah, blah, blah, blah. I’d finished what I was talking about, but I couldn’t see anybody winding us up! Marty, being the pro that he was, asked me another question…and I didn’t have an answer for it! 

Chappell: (laughs) 

Raschke: So I said, ‘DAT IS ALL DA PEOPLE NEED TO KNOW,’ and I stormed off!

Chappell: (laughing) 

Raschke: Marty was such a good announcer…and he loved that! He thought it was great, and he asked me to do it again when we did another interview. And again, and again. Pretty soon, the promoter would say, ‘You gotta do that; you gotta do that!’ So, that’s how that phrase started…and continued! 

Chappell: That’s a great story! That phrase is forever part of wrestling lore! 

Raschke: (laughs) 

Chappell: How difficult was it living your wrestling life in the persona of a hated German? I imagine at some points in time that had to wear on you? 

Raschke: I just sort of dealt with it. The Baron was such a nasty, vicious and despicable character…[Editor’s Note: The Baron Is Again In Character Voice Here!] ‘I JUST COULDN’T LIVE LIKE THAT 24 HOURS A DAY!’ 

Chappell: (laughing) 

Raschke: But anyway, the Baron turned out to be all right. He’s kind of like me…to know me, is to love me! I could separate my personal life from the Baron. 

Chappell: During your time in the Mid-Atlantic area, what were some of your favorite towns and places? 

Raschke: Well, I really enjoyed the Mid-Atlantic territory…the towns were all great. Your hometown Richmond was a great place… 

Chappell: Richmond loved the Baron too! At times, we loved to hate you, but you know what I mean! 

: (laughs) Yes, I do! Norfolk, Charlotte, Greensboro, Greenville, Charleston…they were all great. Great fans…great towns. I just have a lot of good memories from the Charlotte territory. Just a real good run there. 

Chappell: When you think about the times you wrestled in Mid-Atlantic Championship Wrestling, what are the first things that come to your mind? 

Raschke: I think back on all of the great talent that I worked with there, and the business like approach the Office had. The fans were great. I just have a good feeling about the Charlotte territory, and Mid-Atlantic Wrestling. 

Chappell: In closing, Baron, anything you’d like to say to all of your Mid-Atlantic fans out there? 

Raschke: [Editors Note: The Baron Is Again In Character Voice Here!] ‘The Baron hopes that some day, things will work out where I can come down and see all of my fans and friends from the Mid-Atlantic area. ‘Until that happens, I look forward to my next opponent…who’ll probably be the toughest one. ‘AND DAT IS ALL DA PEOPLE NEED TO KNOW!!!!!!’ 

Chappell: (laughing) What a perfect way to finish up! Well, Baron, you have been as entertaining tonight as you were during all your great years in the Mid-Atlantic area! Thank you for being so generous with your time this evening…it’s been great talking with you. 

Raschke: Good talking to you, David . You have a good evening, and continued good luck with the web site. And that REALLY is all you need to KNOW! 

PART 1  | PART 2  | PART 3  |  PART 4