Saturday, April 08, 2023

The 2023 Tragos/Thesz Professional 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 ...

Friday, April 07, 2023

Four Horsemen Book in Full Color Harcover


now available at

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.

Thursday, April 06, 2023

Prom Night with Mid-Atlantic Wrestling

By David Chappell
from the Mid-Atlantic Gateway Archives

I remember the day well, April 30, 1976, the night of my High School Prom. At that time I was a junior at Patrick Henry High School, about ready to finish up the 11th grade. Back in those days, the Prom was held on campus at our gymnasium. I remember helping with the decorations and the preparations for the gala event. Yep, I was VERY excited about that Friday night spectacular! However, a funny thing happened to me on the way to the Prom, and it was called Mid-Atlantic Championship Wrestling!

Jim Crockett Promotions obviously did not know that my Prom was on April 30, 1976 as Mid-Atlantic Wrestling visited the Richmond Coliseum on that same Friday night. What was a young guy to do? Then I heard Les Thatcher announce the main event for that Richmond card would be Rufus R. Jones, Wahoo McDaniel and "The Eighth Wonder Of The World" Andre The Giant against Ric Flair, and his cousin’s Gene and Ole Anderson. With that announcement, my decision was made—I was going to the Coliseum!

You see, that six man tag team match had one of the greatest buildups in Mid-Atlantic history. Throughout the month of April in 1976, a feud was built between Rufus R. Jones and Ric Flair and the Andersons. I will never forget the sight of Rufus having a chauffeur’s cap put on him by Flair and then Ric and the Andersons slapping Rufus while they pushed him down on his knees.

The two weeks leading up to that Coliseum match had some of the best promos that Jim Crockett Promotions ever put out. Rufus was swearing out revenge for what was done to him, and he went out and got Wahoo and Andre as his partners. Andre did not appear in the area often, and it was a real event when he came to your town. The Andre the Giant of April 1976 was Andre in his physical prime. Andre was huge of course, but he also had amazing agility and dexterity for a man his size.

Ric Flair and the Andersons did a great job of hyping this six man tag as well. Ole in particular did some of his best interviews ever. Listening to Ric and Ole, you almost wanted to believe they had a chance against Andre’s team. But despite the best efforts of the "bad guys," I believe the huge crowd that showed up at the Coliseum that night was there for one reason and one reason only. To see Andre The Giant destroy the team from Minnesota!

I remember talking to some other Coliseum regulars that night that the undercard looked kind of weak. There were only five matches, and usually Coliseum cards had seven matches. Sure enough, the first two matches were below average. The third match saw the first Richmond appearance of Italian star, Dino Bravo. Bravo beat one of my favorite all-time underneath guys, Bill White. Dino was impressive, but of course it was difficult to gauge just how good he was against an opponent like White. Watching that match, I was thinking that it ought to have been a TV match rather than one I paid to see. Sure enough, when I turned on Channel 6 the next afternoon, one of the TV matches was……..Dino Bravo versus Bill White!

The semi-final event was a tag team match between The Mongols and Roberto and Manuel Soto. The Mongols had Professor Boris Malenko in their corner. Interestingly enough, this same match was also on Mid-Atlantic Championship Wrestling TV the next day! The Coliseum match was a solid one between these two mid card tag teams. The Soto’s got the victory when Malenko interfered on behalf of his Mongols.

The Main Event more than made up for an average undercard! I still remember how huge Andre looked when he entered the ring, and how he dwarfed the other five wrestlers. This was not your classic back and forth match. Flair and the Andersons had virtually no offense the entire match. It was clear early on that this was going to be a major butt-kicking by Rufus, Wahoo and Andre. And after all, that was what everybody came to see!

The crowd was one of the loudest I ever experienced at the Coliseum, a building with a reputation of being wild. The loudest single pop I have ever heard at a wrestling match was during this match, when Rufus, Wahoo and Andre put a chauffeur’s cap on Ric Flair and slapped him upside the face! I thought for sure the roof was coming off the building! Needless to say, the "good guys" emerged victorious, and I remember leaving the Coliseum that night feeling justice had been done.

I’ll always remember heading back to school the Monday morning after the Prom of 1976. There was no conversation about the Prom. Rather, all the questions were directed to me about the matches at the Coliseum! What did Andre look like, did Rufus get his revenge, etc., etc. Boy, did I ever have some stories to tell. Somehow, I’ve never regretted missing my Junior Prom. But to this day, I know a bunch of people who regretted not going to the Richmond Coliseum on April 30, 1976!

Originally published in 2001 on the original Mid-Atlantic Gateway website. Republished in April of 2015 and now again in 2023 as part of the "Best of the Gateway" series.

Tuesday, April 04, 2023

Major Leaguer: Terry Funk Insists "It's My Moment!"

"I am a major leaguer. 
I am just like Nolan Ryan; 42 and tryin' 
to teach you people what a true hero is today. "

by Dick Bourne
Mid-Atlantic Gateway

We usually don't stray much past 1988 on this website, but this is one of my favorite Terry Funk interviews ever during his 1989 run in the early days of Ted Turner's WCW.

During the spring of 1989, Funk had some very memorable interviews and TV matches setting him up as the wild and unpredictable challenger to NWA World champion Ric Flair. WCW had initiated the "Top 10" concept and Terry hadn't made into the top 10 yet and was very frustrated by that fact. This was in the weeks following his "pearl harbor" attack on Ric Flair in Nashville.

Frustrating Funk further was the fact that Lance Russell interrupted him to go to the ring for the "Rookie Challenge" where two young competitors would have a shot at "their moment" on national television.

But a protesting Funk insisted it was HIS moment, and he made sure he stole that moment from rookies Lee Scott and Dwayne Bruce. Mayhem ensues.

My favorite visual is near the end of this video when Funk piledrives Lee Scott and you see Funk between Scott's extended legs with a big grin on his face screaming "It's my moment!"

Sidebar: Funk evoked the name of Nolan Ryan in this interview, a reference to the Major League Baseball Hall of Famer who in this same year of 1989 for the Texas Rangers would lead the American League in strikeouts with an incredible .615 winning percentage and would be voted to the All-Star game that year - - amazingly all at the age of 42. The same age as Funk.

The clip is from an episode of "NWA Pro Wrestling" taped at the Center Stage Theater in Atlanta (also regular home to "World Championship Wrestling" on WTBS.) Commentary is by my favorite 1989 broadcast team of Lance Russell and Bob Caudle.


Originally posted April 2018 on the Mid-Atlantic Gateway

Saturday, April 01, 2023

Poster: Funk vs. Brisco in Greensboro (1972)

By Brack Beasley
Mid-Atlantic Gateway Contributor

This poster takes us way back to early 1972, February 17th to be exact, and promotes a card held at the Greensboro War Memorial Coliseum.

The NWA World Heavyweight Championship was up for grabs as champion Dory Funk, Jr. defended against perennial foe Jack Brisco. Funk retained his title as this classic match-up ended in a one hour draw and I have no doubt these two men put on a professional wrestling clinic for the fans in Greensboro. 

Johnny Weaver and Art Nelson topped Rip Hawk and Swede Hanson (managed by Gary Hart) in the semi while the undercard featured familiar names like Missouri Mauler, Brute Bernard, Sandy Scott, Jerry Brisco, Jim Dillon, and The Kentuckian Luke Brown.

The poster features a horizontal layout with the two main events listed side by side, black and red print over a two-tone pink and yellow background, and six great wrestler images adorning the sides.