Sunday, February 22, 2009

Live Studio Interviews In Place of Local Promos

As was discussed earlier on this blog, the 11/18/81 edition of Mid-Atlantic Wrestling that aired on WWE Classics On Demand included the inserted local promos for the Roanoke market. Something many fans may not know is that those local promos are actually inserted on top of other interviews that were recorded live right there in the studio as the show was being taped. There were a small number of TV markets for the Crockett shows that did not have a local promo insert on certain weeks, and a few that did not have them at all when Crockett Promotions wasn't running shows in that viewing market. Examples include some TV markets in Florida and West Virginia where Mid-Atlantic Wrestling was being carried.

In place of those interviews were generic interviews conducted right there in the studio. These were what we saw in the earlier MACW shows that have aired on the On Demand channel over the last couple of years. For example:

(1) On the MACW 9/1/82 show, the two 2:20 minute local promo slots were filled with two additional interviews with Kelly Kiniski and Sir Oliver Humperdink.

(2) On the MACW 12/8/82 show, Ric Flair and Greg Valentine did a classic interview in one of those promotional slots, Flair especially was on fire joking about North Carolina's basketball woes, Don Kernodle and other things going on. You can tell this interview was aimed at the Florida market, as Flair talked about Miami, West Palm Beach, and Tampa, and what he and Valentine would do to Dusty Rhodes if they caught him in the state of Florida. Rhodes was not wrestling in the Mid-Atlantic territory then; he was the booker in Florida.

(3) On the MACW 3/12/83 show, Paul Jones and Dory Funk Jr. also do one of these promos aimed at the Florida market, including some very funny comments aimed at Rhodes.

One of the really cool things about seeing these "live" segments (as opposed to the promotional inserts) is seeing interviews that we would never have seen otherwise. However, given the choice, I'd hope to see the local promos in these future shows that air on WWE Classics On Demand.

Friday, February 13, 2009

WCW on TBS - Sept. 20, 1986

While we wait on the next episode of "Mid-Atlantic Championship Wrestling" to air on WWE Classics On Demand, I thought we'd take a look at the shows they are airing from a few years later that Jim Crockett Promotions was producing for Superstation WTBS in Atlanta.

World Championship Wrestling
WTBS Airdate: Saturday 9/20/86
Recorded: Sunday 9/15/86
WWE On Demand Premier Date: 2/3/09
Hosts: Tony SChiavone and David Crockett
Referee: Randy Anderson



Opening CLip - Paul Ellering slaps Jim Cornette
Interview - Bill Dundee and "Nature Boy" Buddy Landel
• Baron Von Raschke vs. Tom Barrett
Interview - Jim Cornette with Big Bubba Rogers
Interview - Ric Flair with Babydoll
• Rock & Roll Express vs. Gene Ligon and Mike Simani
Intrerview - Magnum TA and Dusty Rhodes
Interview - James J. Dillon and Tully Blanchard
Arn Anderson vs. Jack Jackson (Anderson slam!)
Interview - Arn Anderson
Interview - Jim Cornette with Bubba and the Midnight Express
VIDEO - Paul Ellering slaps Jim Cornette and then the Midnight Express injure Road Warrior Animal (from Championship Wrestling earlier that day)
Interview - Dennis Condrey!
Interview - The Russians (Koloffs and Khrushchev)
• The Kansas Jayhawks (Mantel & Jaggers) vs. Puablo Kenshaw and Tony Zane
Interview - Dick Murdoch
• Dick Murdoch/Ronnie Garvin vs. Mulkie Mania (Randy & Bill Mulkie)
Interview - National Champion Chief Wahoo McDaniel

The frustrating thing going here with the WWE airing these shows, is that during the fall of 1986 the WTBS Football Scoreboard show was using the TBS studios for their live Scoreboard inserts to their programming throughout the day and the studio was not available for the wrestling tapings which were normally taped on Saturdays. Prior to the football season, Crockett taped the "first run" Saturday night show first that same morning, then the Saturday morning hour that would air the following week.

When the football season started, Crockett had to move tapings to Sunday morning. Unlike a year earlier in the fall of 1985, when they would tape the following Saturday's two shows in order a week ahead of time, they decided to drop Sunday's "Best of Championship Wrestling" show and instead air a fresh hour of studio wrestling taped that same Sunday morning, to keep their TV from being a week behind. So they created a new show - "World Championship Wrestling Sunday Edition" which was taped that same morning. Right after it had taped they taped "Championship Wrestling" which would air the following Saturday morning, and then finally "World Championship Wrestling" which would air the following Saturday night.

As a result, the Saturday show for the fall became almost non-eventful, as all the big announcements and angles had already aired the past Sunday and even now on Saturday mornings. This show is a good example, it sort of has the feel of an old "Championship Wrestling" Saturday morning show, not a lot going on, just going through the motions of standard TV matches and interviews. They do replay the angle with the Midnights and the Road Warriors from that mornings show, since the audience for the Saturday AM show was much smaller.

My whole point of going through all that is that we unfortunately for the next several months will see what can best be described as the TBS "C" show, at least until the football season is over. I don't know why they would show the Sunday show instead except that perhaps they are only going through the tapes of Saturday shows at this point. Maybe someday we will see the "Sunday Edition" show on Classics On Demand, because for the fall shows, at least, those are much better shows.

WWE Classics On Demand will air the next Saturday night show, airdate 9/27/86, next week on 2/18 and we will provide the match and interview details on that show as well at that time. On the two TBS shows that air before it that we don't get to see, Wahoo McDaniel brawls with Nikita Koloff to help set the table for their title unification match in the Omni that weekend, and Ric Flair has a confrontation with Dick Murdoch.

Thursday, February 12, 2009

And now we wait . .

The next episode of Mid-Atlantic Championship Wrestling on WWE Classics on Demand will not air until March 18th. It will be the show originally taped 11/25/81.

We will have a preview on that show in a few weeks, and some other things popping up here in the meantime. Stay tuned!

Monday, February 9, 2009

Mid-Atlantic Wrestling - Screen Caps 11/18/81


Bob Caudle interviews U.S. Champion Sgt. Slaughter and his new recruit Pvt. Jim Nelson (standing at attention!)


Sandy Scott lays down the law to Sgt. Slaughter, Roddy Piper, and Ole Anderson.


Tommy Rich in action at the Charlotte Park Center vs. Tony Russo.


Blackjack Mulligan Jr. (Barry Windham) talks about his upcoming shot at Ric Flair's NWA World Heavyweight Championship.


Bob Caudle talks with Ricky Steamboat and Jake Roberts


Steamboat brawls with Ole Anderson and Roddy Piper


Roddy Piper taunts Steamboat with the Mid-Atlantic title belt.


Ater being hit from behind, Steamboat gets pinned by Roddy Piper in his street clothes while Piper's "mystery man" makes the count. We never knew the identity of the Piper's Mystery Man!


Sgt. Slaughter applies the deadly Cobra Clutch!

Gateway Notes on MACW 11/18/81

Mid-Atlantic Championship Wrestling
WPCQ Television Studios - Charlotte NC
Taped Wednesday Night November 18, 1981
Referee - Sonny Fargo
Read the Rogers Report on this show here.



LIVE STUDIO MATCHES

  • Jay Youngblood vs. Ricky Harris
  • Sgt. Slaughter vs. Mike Hall
  • Jimmy Valiant vs. Zeke Rivers
  • Ricky Steamboat & Jake Roberts vs. Super Destroyer (Scott Irwin) and the Grappler (Len Denton)

NOTES

  • An odd situation involving Wahoo McDaniel. Wahoo had what I remembered at the time (based on my notes) a "shoot" interview a week or so earlier than this taping, talking about not getting the matches he wanted, and how Sgt; Slaughter was US champion becasue he won a tournament that Wahoo wasn't in. Sounds like a work, I know, but what folowed made me think maybe not. Slaughter makes a challange to Wahoo on this show, and it certainly looked like they were building to a Sarge vs. Wahoo program, but it turned out Wahoo would suddenly leave the area for several months, and was actually gone before this show was taped, not returning until the spring of 1982 with partner Don Muraco during the world tag team title tournement. Later in the show Youngblood says he'll sign the contract with Slaughter, making it appear they knew Wahoo was gone, but all during the show Bob and David kept talking about Sarge's challenge to Wahoo. Very odd, because it was never going to happen to begin with.
  • The Jimmy Valiant match came off as a little awkward on this tape becasue they have edited out Boogie's theme music, so it sort of began in progress, and awkwardly broke back to the set right after the pin.
  • Bob and David make a cool reference to the Andersons when Roberts and Steamboat do the Anderson "block and tackle."
  • Steamboat and Roberts made an excellent team on this show, and the match with Super D and the Grappler was excellent on all four guys. I had forgotten how great Roberts was at this point in his career.
  • They show a match taped a month or so earlier at the Charlotte Park Center between a visiting Tommy Rich from Georgia and Tony Russo. You briefly see the regular ring announcer for the Charlotte Coliseum in this clip, C.J. Underwood. Underwood was also a television personality for WBTV-3 in Charlotte.
Screen Captures coming later tonight.

Questions on Roanoke Promos Answered

I've just had a chance to quickly review the 11/18/81 MACW episode (review coming later tonight) and can clear up a few things related to the Roanoke promos seen on this show.

At the beginning of the first local promo segment, the announcer says "a lot of action going on in the Bluefield WV area, and in our sister state in Roanoke VA..."

This pretty much confirms that the tape WWE has was one that aired in the Bluefield WV market on WHIS (now WVVA) channel 6. It still isn't clear why the two dates are so far removed, but we may get a clearer picture of that when I locate dates for Roanoke shows around that time period.

As we learned earlier from Carroll and Kyle, the NWA Professional Wrestling show out of Knoxville (a separate territory, but closely affiliated with Jim Crockett Promotions) had taken the traditional MACW time slot on channel 10 in Roanoke and the events in Roanoke were under their banner at this time, even though they were often headlined by Mid-Atlantic talent.

It will be interesting to see if we will get more local promos in the shows to come from the WWE Classics On Demand channel.

Sunday, February 8, 2009

Time Lag on the Local Promos

One of the real surprises in the premier episode of Mid-Atlantic Championship Wrestling that aired on WWE Classics On Demand this week was the inclusion of the local promos for the Roanoke VA market. In the first place, it is unusual (and in fact, might be a first) that the WWE kept the local promos in the program to begin with. None of the other territory programs that have aired regularly on the channel (World Class, Florida, old TBS shows, etc.) have include promos for the local events taking place at the time, nor have any of the three Mid-Atlantic Wrestling shows that have aired over the past years had them included. But secondly, the promos were for a show that took place over two months after the show originally aired in some markets.

This taping for this first show took place on 11/18/81, and yet these promos were for a show in Roanoke on 2/7/82. This would lead you to believe that the show aired much later than the first run week of 11/21/81 which is when it aired in the Raleight, Charlotte, Greensboro, and Richmond markets as well as perhaps a few others.

As we have learned, the tapes of Mid-Atlantic Wrestling were sent to several markets the weekend following the taping, and when those tapes were returned, they were sent to another set of markets. This was called "bicycling." (For a detailed look at this process, see Wednesdays In The Video Tape Room on the Mid-Atlantic Gateway.) From talking with long time fans who were watching Roanoke wrestling at the time (Kyle Rosser, Carroll Hall, and Jim Nelson to name a few), the MACW show that aired on WSLS channel 10 in Roanoke was two weeks behind its first run in the major markets. That would put the Roanoke airdate on 12/5/81, still two months out of the 2/7/82 show.

There is no way to know this for sure, so any discussion here is pure speculation, but I think it's possible this tape wasn't from the Roanoke market, but from a neighboring TV market in Virginia or West Virginia that was promoting the Roanoke show. This show would have had to have been way out on the edge of the "bicycle" wheel. It's really the only way to explain why promos for an event so far removed from the taping date were insert-edited into this tape (although I am open to other ideas.)

There were at least four tapes in the "bicycle" (as described by Tom Gallagher in the article linked above) and there were by this time a couple dozen markets for the show. It's possible that one of the tapes that came back at the end of the "bicycle" was kept for the video tape library, and that is what we are seeing on WWE Classics On Demand today.

Coming Up Next: Our full review of the 11/18/81 show early this week, with screen caps and maybe some video.

Thursday, February 5, 2009

First Report: Mid-Atlantic Wrestling taped 11/18/81

Special thanks to Brian Rogers for sending us this terrific report on the premier of Mid-Atlantic Championship Wrestling on WWE Classics On Demand.

The Rogers Report

The show opens with Bob Caudle, David Crockett, and Sandy Scott. Scott promises to reveal an incentive later to bring more talent into the area.

First match is Jay Youngblood vs Ricky Harris. Youngblood looks smooth as always in getting the victory.

We then get an interview with an irate US Champion Sgt. Slaughter, joined by Pvt. Nelson. Sarge brings a tape for us to see of a Wahoo interview where the Chief calls the Sarge a coward. Back in the studio Sarge pulls out a contract to defend the title against "the fat indian" as Sarge calls Wahoo.

Sarge vs Ken Hall is our next match in the studio. Sarge calls out for Wahoo a few times during the match. Sarge gets the win with the cobra clutch.

Time for a local promo for Roanoke on Feb 7,1982 with an interview with Ivan Koloff,who will be taking on Jimmy Valiant in a no DQ match for Boogie's Cadillac. Koloff says he is going to take the Caddy and then watch Ric Flair destroy Blackjack Mulligan Jr. Sandy Scott is back with his incentive program of offering a 1982 Cadillac to get some of the talent in. Tommy Rich is mentioned and we get to see a taped match of Rich in action against Tony Russo with Ole Anderson at ringside. Rich gets the win with the Thesz press.

Roddy Piper, Ole Anderson, and the Sarge join Caudle and Scott back in the studio to discuss the Cadillac prize. Scott shows the 3 a tape of Angelo Mosca in action.

After a break we get an interview with Jake Roberts, Steamboat, and Youngblood. Jay wants the US title from the Sarge. Steamboat wants Piper and the Mid-Atlantic title. Jake wants Ole.

Our next studio match is Jimmy Valiant getting a very quick victory.

Piper joins Bob for an interview. Roddy has a tape of Steamboat in action against a masked man and Piper runs in and covers Steamboat for the pin with the masked man counting to 3. Back in the studio Steamboat comes to the ring and challenges Piper, who heads to the dressing room.

Time for another local promo for Roanoke on Feb 7 with an interview with Ray Stevens and Jay Youngblood discussing their tag match and then the Boogie Man discusses his match with Koloff.
Finally Mulligan Jr. discusses his title match with Ric Flair.

Back in the studio our next match is Steamboat and Roberts vs Super Destroyer and the Grappler. A good hard, physical match. Piper and Ole Anderson come to ringside and the great referee Sonny Fargo has his hands full. Piper and Ole get in the ring and fight it out with Jake and Steamboat,who get the win by DQ.

Jake and Steamboat join Caudle at ringside to discuss and show the rest of the tape Piper showed earlier in the show. Steamboat is hot and wants Piper badly.

Bob Caudle tells us "So long for now."

A very good episode with some nice action and some great hot interviews.

Thanks again to Brian Rogers for sending us this terrific report on the premier of Mid-Atlantic Championship Wrestling on WWE Classics On Demand. Look for our Gateway review, screen captures, and more early next week.

ALSO - Stay tuned for a note later this weekend about the difference in time between the date this show was taped and the date of the show promoted in the local promotional segments.

Wednesday, February 4, 2009

Local Promos from Roanoke Included!

Reports are coming in on the episode of Mid-Atlantic Wrestling that premiered today on WWE 24/7 (at least on the systems that have it so far; some systems still have not updated with the new content for the week.)

One of the big surprises was the inclusion of the two local promo inserts for the Roanoke market. It is of course unclear if this will continue, or may include different markets in the future, but for the many folks who found the local promos to be one of the most entertaining parts of the show, this is a welcome development.

To my knowledge, this is the first time the WWE has included the local promos in these regional shows, although they may have left them in some of the AWA shows. But I don't recall seeing any of them in the Florida or World Class shows that have aired.

While a more detailed report is forthcoming, we have learned that the promos dealt with the Cadillac tournament coming to Roanoke. See the preview for this show on this blog for more details about the Cadillac tournaments.

More later as we get it.

(Thanks BR!)