Thursday, June 8, 2023


From Friends to Foes:
The Bloody War between Ivan Koloff and the Iron Sheik

by David Chappell,
Mid-Atlantic Gateway
Originally published December 2016

When the autumn of 1980 arrived in Mid-Atlantic Championship Wrestling “Hossein the Arab,” the Iron Sheik, was riding high in the territory. The Sheik was the reigning Mid-Atlantic Heavyweight Champion, and he also held the Canadian Heavyweight Championship. If holding all that hardware wasn’t enough, the Sheik was set to form a tag team that had the potential to shake up Jim Crockett Promotions in a very big way.

The Iron Sheik came out on the World Wide Wrestling television show that was taped on September 24, 1980 and made a major announcement to the Mid-Atlantic fans. The Sheik told announcer Rich Landrum, “I have new news for Mid-Atlantic area. The newcomer, gonna be my partner, one of the toughest, roughest rugged wrestlers in the world, from up north my country Russia, and they call him Russian Bear…Ivan Koloff. You guys so lucky! You are so lucky American people to see the toughest, roughest man from old country to America. And we’re gonna show to you American people, what is wrestling about…what you people can see about wrestling. And you punks, young students, you should come see Ivan Koloff, the great Sheik, the best wrestler in the world.”

Absent from the Mid-Atlantic area since early 1975, Ivan Koloff made his return to Jim Crockett Promotions in early October of 1980. And while the Russian Bear did team at times with his friend the Iron Sheik in the early days after his return, Koloff initially got embroiled in a feud with the masked Sweet Ebony Diamond. At that same time, the Sheik was in a heated battle with Ricky Steamboat over the Mid-Atlantic Title. In November, when the Sheik lost the Mid-Atlantic belt to Steamboat and Ivan’s feud with Ebony Diamond began to fizzle out, Koloff and the Sheik started to team more frequently. The result of that increased teaming was surprising, to say the least!

Stunningly, issues between Koloff and the Sheik came out in the open as the holiday season of 1980 commenced, specifically during TV programming that was taped on November 26, 1980. On that World Wide Wrestling show when the two “friends” were being interviewed by announcer Rich Landrum after an easy victory over Special Delivery Jones and Jerry Caldwell, both the Sheik and Koloff were espousing the superiority of their respective home nations, Iran and Russia.

During the interview, the Sheik moved in front of Ivan as the Russian Bear was talking, and ended up cutting Ivan off and talking himself, laughing in the process. When Koloff got the microphone back he commented that, “Sheik is a great wrestler, but he is becoming a little hoggish of the [TV] time.”

 The story continues! ...........

Thursday, June 1, 2023


Wednesday, May 31, 2023


 Thanks to @WrestlerWeekly for the kind words!


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Friday, May 26, 2023


Blackjack Mulligan Promo: Hang Ol' Johnny Weaver and Have a Big Laugh
Local Richmond VA Promo with Les Thatcher (1975)
From the Mid-Atlantic Gateway Audio Library

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After 23 years, the traditional Mid-Atlantic Gateway has ceased publication. We've had a blast along the way, and hope you have, too.    READ MORE >>

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Saturday, April 8, 2023

The 2023 Tragos/Thesz Wrestling Hall of Fame Award Winners Announced


The 24th annual George Tragos/Lou Thesz Professional Wrestling Hall of Fame (TNTHOF) Induction weekend will take place July 20-22 in Waterloo, IA.   In addition to the award winners announced below, the following wrestling legends have already committed to attending:

TNTHOF Board President Gerry Brisco, John Bradshaw Layfield (JBL), James Beard, Wes Brisco, Colt Cabana, Tommy “Wildfire” Rich, "The Boogie Woogie Man" Jimmy Valiant, Baron Von Raschke, JJ Dillon, B. Brian Blair, Bob Roop, Nord the Barbarian/Berserker, Thunderbolt Patterson, Jonard Solie, Ric McCord, Joe Malenko, and many more to announce in the coming weeks.

All Access Passes are $140 and can be purchased here.  The Tragos/Thesz Hall of Fame is a non-profit organization that 100 percent of the All-Access Pass goes to preserving and growing the weekend.  The All Access Pass includes all events, a meal Thursday night at the Dan Gable Museum, events and autograph sessions throughout Friday and Saturday, an Impact Pro Wrestling show Friday night, a dinner and Hall of Fame induction banquet Saturday evening.  In addition, there will be a silent auction, a roundtable legends Q & A and a team trivia contest.   The complete schedule will be released in May. 

More: The 2023 Award Winners Announced ...