Monday, February 27, 2023

Ken Patera: A Tale of Two Very Different Mid-Atlantic Wrestling Runs

by David Chappell
Mid-Atlantic Gateway


An exciting newcomer by the name of Ken Patera came onto the Mid-Atlantic Championship Wrestling landscape in February of 1975. Ken came to the territory with great credentials, primarily from the world of amateur weightlifting. Ken won a gold medal at the Pan American games in 1971, and participated in the 1972 Olympic Games in the sport of weightlifting. Patera, rightly so, was introduced as “Wrestling’s Strongest Man” during his first Mid-Atlantic stint, which lasted for about a year.

The Ken Patera of 1975 and early 1976 was a friendly, soft spoken and educated man, often referring to the fact that he had attended Brigham Young University in his interviews. Despite all of his credentials, Ken was exceedingly modest, a trait that seemed to endear him to the Mid-Atlantic fans. Patera showcased his strength in a number of incredible feats of strength shown on the Mid-Atlantic Championship Wrestling television show in the spring and summer of 1975. The most memorable of these feats was Ken holding back a pickup truck, his back against a wall with his feet against the bumper, with announcer Les Thatcher having the vehicle in reverse, flooring the accelerator with smoke bellowing from the screeching tires!

Patera’s in-ring feats were also noteworthy during his first stint with Jim Crockett Promotions. Ken was an excellent tag team wrestler, and came close numerous times to dethroning World Tag Team Champions Gene and Ole Anderson with a series of partners from the “good guy” side of the fence. On the singles side of things, Patera had interesting feuds with none other than Johnny “The Champ” Valentine during the spring and summer of 1975, and with Blackjack Mulligan and Steve Strong during the fall of 1975.

Patera tricked Valentine on a TV segment where Johnny was putting lower card wrestlers’ names in a fish bowl, saying he would randomly draw a name out and give the lucky man a shot at his 2000 silver dollars. Valentine’s 2000 silver dollar TV challenge was legendary around the area at this time. During a commercial break, Ken exchanged all the names in the fish bowl with his own name, and Valentine about had a coronary when he drew the name “KEN PATERA” out of the fish bowl! This led to a silver dollar match on TV where Ken had Johnny flat out in the ring at the 10 minute mark, but the referee decided that Valentine didn’t submit so the “Champ” kept his money.

The two battled evenly in the areas’ arenas over the next few months, with Patera getting a number of shots at Johnny’s prestigious United States Title. These bouts had tremendous intensity, and often revolved around Patera cinching Valentine in a headlock or bear hug with his powerful arms sapping the strength out of the “Champ.” Valentine would often somehow manage to pull out a victory, but Ken typically walked out of the ring immediately while Johnny lay motionless on the canvas for a number of minutes!

Ken’s last major angle during his first run in Jim Crockett Promotions played off of his weightlifting background. In October of 1975, Superstar Billy Graham challenged Patera to a bench press weightlifting contest on TV. Graham put forth his friend, the muscular Mid-Atlantic newcomer Steve Strong, to actually participate in the competition. By the time the contest actually took place, a couple of weeks later, Blackjack Mulligan had joined Patera and Strong in the contest to see who could bench press the most weight. After the weight had risen to over 400 pounds, Mulligan and Strong attacked Patera as he was attempting to lift, with the result being that the weight crashed down on Ken’s neck and chest. Patera was out of action for about a week, but it was amazing that he wasn’t hurt more seriously. This incident led to a brief feud in November and December where Patera attempted to exact revenge on Mulligan and Strong.

The “World’s Strongest Wrestler” was then deemphasized and left the Mid-Atlantic area in February of 1976. Other than making a couple of “guest” appearances in the territory later in the year, Mid-Atlantic fans didn’t see Patera again in the territory until the early months of 1978. During the interim, fans saw Ken participate in the CBS “World’s Strongest Man” contest and for the fans that read the national wrestling magazines, they saw that Patera was wrestling in the WWWF territory in the northeast.

The Ken Patera that was wrestling in New York was a far different grappler than the one Mid-Atlantic fans grew to love in 1975, in appearance, personality and wrestling style. The hair had become long and blonde, the modesty had been replaced by arrogance and the scientific wrestling had been replaced by ruthless rulebreaking. The question then became, if Ken Patera came back to the Mid-Atlantic area, which version of the Olympic strongman would we get? It wouldn’t take long to find out!

... To be continued in Part Two

Originally published December 2015

Big History. Big Gold.

Saturday, February 25, 2023

A Look Back at Big Swede Hanson's Defining Moment

Swede Hanson

by David Chappell
Mid-Atlantic Gateway

My earliest professional wrestling memories came about from watching All-Star Wrestling, the precursor to Mid-Atlantic Championship Wrestling, on television in the late 1960s. Two of the most noteworthy stars of that time were Rip Hawk and Swede Hanson, the dastardly duo that ran roughshod in Jim Crockett Promotions through the 60’s into the early 1970’s. These two villains were almost inseparable, with Rip being sly and sneaky with the gift of gab, while Swede was the silent partner, and a big brutish enforcer.

By late 1973, the winds of change were blowing in the Carolinas territory which was by then called Mid-Atlantic Championship Wrestling. Rip Hawk exited the area for about a three month period in December of 1973. While the “Ripper” was gone, Swede had his contract purchased by none other than the notorious Super Destroyer! The Super D. “managed” and had Swede in tow as his enforcer, and big Swede’s first major target was Johnny Weaver, as Hanson interfered in a huge match between Weaver and the Destroyer on December 28, 1973 at the Richmond Coliseum in Richmond, Virginia. Swede saved the Destroyer from losing his mask in that bout, with his antics giving Weaver an unsatisfying disqualification victory.

In January of 1974, Swede Hanson and the Super Destroyer formed an imposing tag team combination, dispatching such high-end “good guy” tag teams as Johnny Weaver and Art Nelson, and Nelson Royal and Sandy Scott during that month. In early February, Swede took to wearing a hood as “Mr. X” when teaming with the Destroyer. This chicanery came to an end after a couple of tag team bouts, when Mr. X was unceremoniously unmasked by Danny Miller and Johnny Weaver as being big Swede Hanson under the hood.

The unholy alliance between Swede Hanson and the Super Destroyer began showing cracks almost as quickly as it began. For the many years that Swede teamed up with Rip Hawk, the Ripper did not always treat Hanson with a boatload of respect. But Swede was the “good soldier,” never really challenging Rip even when Hawk was condescending to him. However, when the Super Destroyer started talking down to Swede and chastising him for supposed inadequacies in the ring, the big 300 pounder from Newark, New Jersey didn’t care for that treatment in the least. The slights mounted, and an inner rage started to build in the big Swede. A defining moment in the career of Swede Hanson was about to happen!

On February 13, 1974 at the television tapings for Mid-Atlantic Championship Wrestling, Swede Hanson reached his breaking point. During a televised bout the Destroyer not only berated the big Swede verbally, but had the audacity to SLAP him in front of the TV studio audience and all the thousands of fans watching at home! Swede Hanson finally had enough! After being content to stay in the background and take the snide insults for many years, Swede decided to control his own destiny. His defining moment in Jim Crockett Promotions had arrived!

Announcer Elliot Murnick said, “I’m up at the ring now and Swede Hanson is pacing around here.” Hanson interrupted, “Let me tell you something Murnick. You don’t pull something like that with me. I’m not a whipping dog for these people! If this guy thinks I’m a whipping dog for him he’s out of his mind! I don’t know what’s the matter with this character. He’s not gonna get away with it with me. I’ve had enough of this stuff. For years, I’ve had enough of garbage like him!”

Friday, February 24, 2023

Figures Friday: Ten Pounds of Gold

Mike Simmerman's Action Figures

The NWA Champions that wore the original "Ten Pounds of Gold" (1973-1986)
L-R: Terry Funk, Giant Baba, Dusty Rhodes, Harley Race, Ric Flair,
Kerry Von Erich, Jack Brisco, and Tommy Rich

Originally published April 2013.

Wednesday, February 22, 2023

The Voice of the Charlotte Coliseum: C. J. Underwood

by Dick Bourne

Mid-Atlantic Gateway

I came across a nice memorial to Charlotte news personality C.J. Underwood on the BT Memories website (link at the bottom of this post), a website devoted to memories and memorabilia from WBTV-TV and WBT radio in Charlotte over the years. It got me to thinking about the one time I had a brush with C. J. as a teenager going to matches at the old Charlotte Coliseum

C.J. was the longtime ring announcer at the Charlotte Coliseum in the late 1970s and early 1980s. He was very friendly with fans at the shows. Once between matches, I walked up to ringside and asked him for his autograph. He had just stepped back into the ring, but he took a moment and got down on one knee and signed the table of contents page of my copy of "Mid-Atlantic Wrestling Magazine."

"Are you having a good time tonight?" he asked as he signed his name.

He had a great smile and was a favorite local personality on the Charlotte TV airwaves. For many years he hosted a segment on WBTV news called "Carolina Camera" which was a human interest piece in the tradition of "On The Road" with Charles Kuralt.

In early September 1981, following a big labor day show at the Charlotte Coliseum, and only weeks before Ric Flair would win the NWA World Heavyweight championship, Underwood did a "Carolina Camera" profile on the "Nature Boy" that was one of his most popular segments ever.

The segment is included below, and includes footage from a show at the Charlotte Coliseum earlier that summer featuring Flair against Roddy Piper is 'Texas street fight." Plus, you'll also get a glimpse of future wife Beth and his son David, who was only 2 years old at the time. 

Check out this fond farewell to C.J. from his good friend and fellow WBTV alumni Bill Ballard on the BT Memories website:  First Person | C. J.'s Last Days (BT Memories / Bill Ballard)

Originally posted February 2017 on the Mid-Atlantic Gateway

Tuesday, February 21, 2023

Four Horsemen in Hardcover Now Available


FULL COLOR HARDCOVER now available at

"... a nice slice of the apple pie that was Jim Crockett Promotions in the 1980s." 
- Mike Johnson,
" authoritative volume on the history of The Four Horsemen." 
- Mike Mooneyham, Charleston Post & Courier
"The book serves as a journal of my years with the Four Horsemen." 
- James J. Dillon

 Every member! Every version! Every associate! The women! The managers!
It's all laid out month by month, year by year, with photos and charts included.

Monday, February 20, 2023

Ricky Steamboat Returns to Norfolk (2015)

Ricky Steamboat made a return to Norfolk, VA recently in an appearance for Big Time Wrestling at the Norfolk Scope.

Prior to the event Eric Stace and Eddie Cheslock met Ricky in front of the famous Scope Coliseum, site of so many great Mid-Atlantic Wrestling events over the years, including yearly cards on Thanksgiving night in the 1960s, 1970s, and early 1980s. They took some photographs of the former NWA world champion with a replica of the belt he wore in 1989.

Thanks to those guys for allowing us to post this great photograph here on the Gateway. Thanks also to promoter Tony Hunter who helped make all that possible.

Ricky Steamboat with the book
"United States Championship"
George Pantas interviewed Ricky Steamboat for the Norfolk Navy Flagship in advance of his appearance in Norfolk. You can find links to that interview (which contains lots of Mid-Atlantic discussion) here.

Also, our buddy George South had a chance to spend some time with Ricky before the Norfolk event and show him our new book on the United States Championship. He posted some comments about that on his website. George reports that Ricky loved the book and asked for a copy, which you just better believe is on the way soon. (You kidding me?)

George wrote:
We spent 30 minutes talking about the U.S. belt! He remembered that "heavyweight" was misspelled on the belt and loved seeing all those photos of it again. He marked out a little remembering working with Buddy Rogers in one of the U.S. tournaments. And got mad that Slaughter put new leather on the black belt! haha

Steamboat held the U.S. championship on several occasions in the 1970s and 1980s, trading the title with the likes of Ric Flair, Blackjack Mulligan, Wahoo McDaniel, and Dick Slater.

For more information on the book about Jim Crockett's United States Championship and the five belts that represented it, click here.

Originally published  in November 2015 on the Mid-Atlantic Gateway.

Friday, February 17, 2023

Matt Striker Keeps it Old School

Twitter: @badguywrassler

By Dick Bourne
Mid-Atlantic Gateway

What fun to come across this photo on Twitter of Matt Striker and "Good Ol' J.R." Jim Ross. It was taken at a World Class Revolution wrestling event at Southfork Ranch outside Dallas, Texas. 

Conrad Thompson noticed something about the t-shirt Matt is wearing, and pointed the photo out to me. It is an old Mid-Atlantic Gateway t-shirt which was sold here many years ago. That made me smile. 

A former WWE Superstar and broadcaster, Striker is most recently known in wrestling for being the lead announcer for "Lucha Underground", which aired for four seasons on the El Rey Network. During that time, it was one of my favorite hours of television every week. Although the program showcased modern-day styles in wrestling (along with a heavy dose of superhero/science-fiction story telling), Matt managed to weave many "old school" wrestling references into his commentary on the show, my favorite being a nod to Greg Valentine's famous t-shirt "I Broke Wahoo's Leg" from season one. I always get a kick out of those references. Even though he is a veteran of the pro wrestling business, Matt is at heart an old school wrestling fan like the rest of us. A very nice fellow, as well.

J.R. digs our little website, too, we're told. He even told Bruce Mitchell once on his podcast that the Gateway was "an icon on my iPad."

We have great respect for both of these gentlemen, so it goes without saying we're honored.


* * * * *

See also: "For Matt Striker, the Past is Prologue" (A look at a couple of those early Mid-Atlantic references on Lucha Underground.)

Wednesday, February 15, 2023

No Repect at All: Tully Blanchard in Lynchburg
By Dick Bourne
Mid-Atlantic Gateway

There are classics, and then there are classics. Two big bloopers appear in the newspaper ad below, but one is an all-time blooper, right up there with "Old Anderson" and "Tigger Conway" that we posted here earlier.

In the second half of 1977, a young wrestler named Tully Blanchard was learning the ropes and getting some seasoning away from his Dad Joe Blanchard's San Antonio promotion by touring with Jim Crockett Promotions in the Carolinas and Virginia. He never worked above mid-card that 7 months in the Mid-Atlantic territory, but was clearly on his way to a bright future in the business. On this night in Lynchburg, Tully would open the show in a match against the "French Tank", veteran Rick Ferrara.

JOLLY Blanchard in the opener in Lynchburg, VA
Lynchburg City Armory, November 18, 1977

Tully had a bit of a reputation throughout his career of being somewhat in a perpetual bad mood. How ironic is it then that he be listed in this ad as JOLLY Blanchard? As we often do with these bloopers, we wonder how in the heck this one happened!

Then there is blooper #2 for the match of Baron Von Raschke and Masked Superstar vs. Mr. Wrestling Tim Woods and #1 Paul Jones. Except the ad writer struggled with how to spell the big German's name and came up with Baron Von RASHICE.

Rashice? Really? Sounds like a bad skin condition.

I think it's a safe assumption that the newspaper ad writer wasn't a wrestling fan, and clearly not familiar with the names that would be appearing on this card.

There are a couple of other anomalies in the ad. They split Superstar into two words (Super Star) and Ferrara's name is misspelled, but that happened a lot with his last name. Misspellings in general were common in these ads. We really don't count simple misspellings as bloopers anyway.

The write-up in the newspaper promoting the show wasn't much kinder to Tully, as it listed TONY Blanchard in the opener against Rick Ferrara. Tully Blanchard couldn't catch a break in Lynchburg.

But JOLLY Blanchard made us laugh the most. It is one of our favorite bloopers we've ever posted in our ongoing Bloopers feature.

Want to see the other bloopers? You can always click the Bloopers link on the right side of this page and it will filter all of our posts to show only the Blooper posts. Or you can see a master list by clicking here: The Blooper Directory.

Thanks as always to Mark Eastridge for the clippings.

Originally published February of 2018 on the Mid-Atlantic Gateway.

Tuesday, February 14, 2023

Happy Valentine's Day!

Roses? No.     Chocolates? Never.
More likely a flying elbow smash.

If you're really lucky maybe your sweetheart will tie you up in some sort of half romantic/half kinky figure-four leglock.

What does Greg Valentine recommend? Break Wahoo's leg and brag about it.

Wishing you and yours a Happy Valentine's Day!

Sunday, February 12, 2023

Studio Wrestling Focus: WDBJ-7 Roanoke VA

Over at our sister website "Studio Wrestling" there are a number of posts revolving around the "Star City" of Roanoke, VA, and the "All Star Wrestling" show that once originated from there on WDBJ-7.

Here is a list of links from those recent posts:

For all of the posts dealing with studio wrestling at WDBJ-7 in Roanoke, VA, including promoter Pete Apostolou, announcer Hall Grant, and the Roanoke Sports Club CLICK HERE.

For the Mid-Atlantic Gateway's page on the history of Studio Wrestling visit this link: WDBJ-7 Roanoke VA

Lastly, for a look at all of the studio locations where wrestling was taped for Jim Crockett Promotions from 1956-1981, visit the "Guide to Studio Wrestling" page on the Mid-Atlantic Gateway (currently on the Gateway Archive site.)

Edited from a post originally published in November 2018 on the Mid-Atlantic Gateway

Thursday, February 09, 2023

Poster: Wahoo chases Flair in Winston-Salem (1976)

By Brack Beasley
Mid-Atlantic Gateway Contributor

This poster promotes a fantastic card of Mid-Atlantic Championship Wrestling that took place at the old Winston-Salem Memorial Coliseum on Friday, April 23rd, 1976


There was a big double main event. Wahoo McDaniel continued his quest for Ric Flair's Mid-Atlantic Heavyweight belt and this match had a special stipulation of two referees (one of which would be NWA official George Scott) in an attempt to keep things in order. Wahoo would emerge victorious on this night but by disqualification, allowing Flair to escape with his title. 

The semi featured big, bad Angelo Mosca attempting to collect the $5,000 bounty placed upon Tim Woods by Blackjack Mulligan. Woods would come out the winner of this contest and Mosca left without a victory or the bounty money. 

In exciting tag team action Geeto and Bolo Mongol topped Ron Garvin and Tony Atlas, while the undercard included Doug Gilbert, Great Malenko, Big Bill Dromo, and Klondike Bill. 

The poster has a beautiful horizontal layout with six wrestler images on the sides, black print (except the main event participants in high impact red) on a bright blue background, and the familiar "Wrestling" oval in the upper left corner.


Tuesday, February 07, 2023

NWA Belt Art Revisited (David Williams)

The fourth and final version of the original 1973-1986 NWA World Championship belt, the "Ten Pounds of Gold."
The final version featured new leather with a slightly different cut around the center plate
and a fourth and final different flag configuration.

by Dick Bourne, Mid-Atlantic Gateway
Art by David Williams

PART ONE : Introduction & History of the Project
PART TWO: The Red Velvet
PART THREE: Black Leather and Dented Globe
PART FOUR: New Globe, Refurbished Plates
: The Final Version of a Classic

We pick up where we left off in Part 4:

Not long after Harley Race defeated Terry Funk for the title in Toronto in February of 1977, the refurbished and repainted plates were attached to a brand new cut of leather. This new leather strap had a different style of lacing and was cut slightly different, the main change being that the cut of the leather did not follow the shape of the main plate as closely as the old leather did, which tightly hugged the upper edge of the main plate (as seen in the image at the top of Part 3.)

Pretty soon, however, the plates began to show the same wear and tear as the earlier version of the belt did. The globe was badly dented again, and paint began flaking off the plates in different areas. Most noticeably, some of the segments of ornamental "beads" around the edge of the main plate began to break off as well.

The look of the belt in its last years: dented globe (again), missing beads, missing paint, missing eyelets.

Let's face it, after several years of observation, it was clear that this type of construction for a ring used title belt just didn't make much sense. Those bead-sections were each attached individually with 4-6 beads to a section. And many of them were getting broken off the belt.

In addition, some of the faux eyelets and snaps broke away from the belt, too. By the time Jim Crockett had the new "Big Gold" belt made in 1986, the old Ten Pounds of Gold was in pretty rough shape.

An illustration of the shape the belt was in at the end, with the busted lacing and missing paint.

Artist David Williams has done an incredible job of recreating every version of the belt, with sub-versions illustrating the damage to the belt in later years.

The following chart shows the progression of the belt from its original configuration in 1973 to it's final look in 1986.

The final progression chart.

The book "Ten Pounds of Gold" that I authored with Dave Millican lays out in great detail all four versions of the NWA "domed-globe" belt. (There is a detailed flow chart summarizing those versions in pp. 70-71 of the book.)

My thanks to computer artist extraordinaire David Williams for the amazing work he did on all the different versions of the famous domed-globe belt.

PART ONE : Introduction & History of the Project
PART TWO: The Red Velvet
PART THREE: Black Leather and Dented Globe
PART FOUR: New Globe, Refurbished Plates
: The Final Version of a Classic
Final Progression Chart

 Originally series published on the Mid-Atlantic Gateway in July of 2019

Friday, February 03, 2023

U.S. Champion Terry Funk

Edited from Original NWA Promotional Photograph

If you are looking at this photograph and thinking to yourself, "Wow, I've never seen a photo of Funk with the old Crockett U.S. title belt," well - - you still haven't.

You see, even to this day as of this writing, there has never been a legitimate photo to surface of Terry Funk wearing the Crockett/Mid-Atlantic Wrestling version of the U.S. title belt. The night he won the championship in a tournament in Greensboro in 1975, the actual belt wasn't present and they used a stand-in (a WWWF tag belt of all things.) Funk then only wore the original belt to the ring one time, in his first defense on Thanksgiving night against Paul Jones, the man he beat in the finals of the aforementioned tournament. While there certainly had to have been a photo taken by the wrestling media that night, one has never surfaced, and believe me  - - we have searched long and hard. One may show up one day.

The above photo is a well done photoshopped image originally from a mid-1970s promotional photograph when Terry Funk was NWA World Heavyweight Champion. In the original, Terry is wearing the "domed-globe" NWA title belt. Longtime Mid-Atlantic Wrestling fan Steven Chandler (aka Jesse Santana in his wrestling persona) did a great job in modifying the photo to have Terry wearing the Crockett version of the U.S. title belt from that same era. It gives us all a great idea of what Terry would have looked like wearing that classic cast U.S. title belt.

Funk briefly held that U.S. title in November 1975, in the weeks leading up to his historic win over Jack Brisco for the NWA World title in Miami Beach, FL in December 1975. It was all part of classic booking from that era to simultaneously build Funk up as top world title contender as well as establish Paul Jones as U.S. champion and the #1 contender for Funk's world title when he would later win it. 

You can read more about the famous tournament Funk won in Greensboro to win the U.S. title, as well as the aftermath that Thanksgiving, in our feature on its 40th Anniversary published back in 2015. You can also read about my brief interaction with Funk at the NWA Wrestling Legends Fanfest in Charlotte in 2010 where he posed for a photo with a cast replica of the U.S. belt. 

Wednesday, February 01, 2023

Blackjack Mulligan-John Studd: It's On!

By David Chappell
Mid-Atlantic Gateway

The Mid-Atlantic Championship Wrestling television program that aired in most markets on Saturday October 28, 1978 showcased the first extended interview with a giant newcomer to Jim Crockett Promotions, by the name of “Big” John Studd. As Studd ambled out to the set, announcer Bob Caudle told the fans, “He’s only been in the Mid-Atlantic area just a few weeks now, and he's already creating quite a bit of controversy, quite a bit of talk, stir and activity…John Studd.”

Blackjack Mulligan tests John Studd

The massive newcomer responded, “That’s right, BIG John Studd, let’s get it straight, it’s BIG John Studd. Not just any John Studd, but BIG John Studd! Now I’m out here for a few minutes and I’m going to be very congenial, anything you want to know, ask me!” 

Before Caudle could respond, Studd preemptively cut him off shouting, “And I’ll tell you this, I’m six feet nine inches and I weigh 330 pounds and when John Studd comes to town, everybody leaves town! I came out here and I had a list, I called it my Studd List. The List was about two feet long, but all of a sudden the promoters are getting phone calls from everybody right and left saying ‘my knee hurts, my ankle hurts, my thigh hurts.’ What’s wrong? They’re all cowards!”

At that juncture, Studd turned his attention to none other than equally big Blackjack Mulligan, who was standing in the WRAL TV5 studio ring ready to be introduced for his upcoming televised match. Studd bellowed, “Mulligan! Stay up there unless you want to get slapped!” After some yapping back and forth between the two behemoths Studd then continued, “On my Studd List I have Number 1 on the list, Paul Jones! Paul Jones, you’re not number one because you’re a great wrestler, you’re number one because you’re at the head of the list! Now we have your partner Ricky Steamboat.”

Once again, Big John and Mulligan were trading heated barbs prompting John to exclaim, “Mulligan, you just get back in the corner where you belong! Get than man in a cage!” Studd rambled on referencing the horrific  Flair/Steamboat TV incident from the week before where Ric injured Steamboat’s face and eye saying, “Ricky Steamboat, the man has never tasted defeat, but he knows pain because my man Ric Flair came out here and rubbed his face in the dirt! He knows pain, and he’s gonna taste defeat!”

Studd then once again turned his attention to Mulligan, “Now we have Blackjack Mulligan, six foot two and 210 pounds!” Bob Caudle audibly gasped when Studd uttered those bogus measurements, but Studd concluded, “Ric Flair sent for me, he said ‘Studd, I want you to do me a favor, I have $10,000 and all you have to do is get rid of Mulligan.’ Ric, I’m gonna take your 10-grand and Mulligan’s going out of town!”

The John Studd and Blackjack Mulligan saga would last for a year and a half around the Mid-Atlantic area, and the brutal matches between these two giants would be among the most memorable in Jim Crockett Promotion’s history. And to think, it all started with this first in-person confrontation when the first crossed words were passed between the two giants!