Monday, January 09, 2023

1974 Concludes With a Bang!

By David Chappell
Mid-Atlantic Gateway

One of the most memorable televised matches ever on Mid-Atlantic Championship Wrestling TV wasn’t actually a scheduled match at all. And occurring in the middle of 1974, it in many ways was “Exhibit A” in the evolving change of Jim Crockett Promotions from a tag team based territory to an area focused on a hard-hitting singles style.

Indian star Wahoo McDaniel was on his way to the Carolina’s in early July of 1974 when he came by the High Point, North Carolina TV studios to help announcer Charlie Harville with color commentary. Johnny “The Champ” Valentine was in the squared circle and was none too happy to see Wahoo in the territory, goaded McDaniel into the ring, and the two proceeded to have an impromptu slugfest that was talked about for years hence! In fact, a clip on the Wahoo-Valentine brawl was shown due to popular demand on a Jim Crockett Promotions highlight year-in-review show way off in 1980!

And on the subject of Mid-Atlantic Championship Wrestling year-in-review shows, the December of 1974 version featured the Wahoo-Valentine in-ring brawl in one of its segments. Wahoo and the Super Destroyer were both in the studio when the tape of the High Point fracas was shown to the viewers.

Announcer Sam Menacker began, “This is really a highlight, boy-o-boy, Wahoo McDaniel and Johnny Valentine! What a feud these two men have. Look at these punches and chops! It’s just a testimony of the condition of both of you.”

Wahoo commented, “I want the Destroyer to be sure and take a good close look at this, because this could happen to him at any time too.” Menacker noted, “The Destroyer is sitting here watching intently, very intently.” The Super Destroyer chimed in, “Well Mr. Wahoo, it just goes to show one thing, that you pick, like you pick your opponents. You picked that tape to make yourself look good. They should show a few of the tapes where I beat you decisively in the center of the ring, with a one, two, three count that really counts.”

Watching the wild action Menacker exclaimed, “Wahoo, boy I’m telling you, I can’t remember ever seeing anything like this, all these chops! You didn’t beat him, I mean he gets up. He’s tough, but you’re still withstanding his punches too.” McDaniel agreed, “That’s right, it’s just a tough battle. In a short period of time like this, it’s hard to tell who the best man is. As you can see he’s holding his own and I’m holding my own.”

Menacker continued excitedly, “You dropped him there! The fans are cheering you on!” Wahoo then added some important context, “Sam, I want to bring up one thing. This was one of the first weeks I was here. Valentine wanted to test me early. He got a good showing early that I wasn’t gonna back down from him. I want the Destroyer to answer this, because he waited an extra week to see what I could do. They wanted to feel me out ahead of time. He’s felt me out since; he knows how I am. Now Valentine knows that you’re not gonna run over me.”

Sam, still awe-stuck at the ferocity of the spontaneous brawl stated to Wahoo, “Here [Valentine’s] wasting time, you dropped him there. He’s purposely wasting time here, he’s regaining his bearings a bit in doing this. He’s trying to get his second wind. Again, look at these punches fly! Another chop! And that stops him; that backs him up.”

The Super Destroyer then interjected, “It just goes to show the great condition of the Super Destroyer and as you can see on your screen, Johnny Valentine.” McDaniel disgustedly retorted, “Yeah, he looks in real good shape there. I tell you, I’m tired of sitting out here. I don’t want to sit at the table with this man.” Wahoo then stormed off from the announcer’s table leaving Menacker and the Super D. behind as the segment wrapped up.

Sam concluded, “I certainly don’t blame Wahoo for leaving. Say fans, in this match you’ve seen a lot of punching and a lot of toughness on the part of both these wrestlers. Oh, look at that chop by Wahoo McDaniel! Another chop to the back of the head! That shakes up Valentine as the Destroyer watches intently, and we now must go to a commercial break.”