Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Gateway Notes on MACW 11/25/81

(For a complete report on the matches and interviews on this show click here: First Report on MACW 11/25/81. For screen captures, click here.)

It's nice to have this next show in sequence as WWE Classics On Demand gets rolling with the Mid-Atlantic Wrestling episodes. However, this experience will also force me to learn to have a little patience as, at least at this point, a new show is airing only once a month. Perhaps they will step those up in frequency over time.

Some perspective on this show:

There were some awkward moments early in the show transitioning between segments. It seemingly took forever for the production crew to get up to speed after the move to the WPCQ studios in Charlotte from WRAL in Raleigh. WPCQ was a small station and a small operation overall and didn't do much production on the level of a "live" wrestling show. Usually you noticed this during transitions between segments going from interviews to matches or introductions. Things were pretty awkward getting started this week, apparently due to the wrestlers being late getting to the ring for the opening match. David Crockett was noticeably aggravated over that. During those nervous moments, Bob Caudle mentioned US champion "Bob" Slaughter, one of the very few times Slaughter's real first name was heard on MACW TV.

"The big dog's back in town..." Blackjack Mulligan made his return to the area after spending most of his time in the Knoxville territory that was closely affiliated with Jim Crockett Promotions. Blackjack's interview on the show perfectly illustrated why he was so good at connecting with wrestling fans there, a relationship that had been well cultivated over the years.

David Crockett mentions that European Champion Billy Robinson and Ray "The Crippler" Stevens will be coming to the area soon. (I always loved it when they kept us up to date on who we'd be seeing in the area soon.)

If the segment with Slaughter and Piper reviewing films of Tommy Rich and Angelo Mosca looked similar to the segment last week (11/18/81 show), it's because it was indeed almost identical. The segment shown here was from the previous week's World Wide Wrestling show with Rich Landrum, which was formatted identically to the segment on the same week's Mid-Atlantic show.

Sgt. Slaughter's new recruit Pvt. Jim Nelson made his debut in the ring under the guidance of the Sarge. Both booker Ole Anderson and Slaughter were very high on the young wrestler out of Roanoke VA. Nelson broke in to the major leagues when Anderson used him on TV in Georgia and then brought him to the Carolinas where he wrestled underneath for most of 1980s and 1981. Nelson certainly looked the part of a young Marine recruit!

The local promos for the Sunday-after-Thanksgiving show in Charlotte were done "live" in the studio with Bob Caudle. In all other markets, fans were seeing pre-taped promos for their towns.

During the tag match with Ole Anderson and Roddy Piper, David Crockett explains that Gene Anderson is injured and the NWA needs to make a decision soon on the disposition of the title. Over the next several weeks Ole would take several different partners including Piper, Ray Stevens, Jim Nelson, and others. The match on this show was fascinating for an old Anderson fan like myself because Piper worked the match with Ole in exactly the same fashion that Ole and Gene would work a match, working over the arm and eventually getting the submission. Roddy even did the trademark "Anderson slam" (the hammerlock slam).

Coming up soon here on the blog we will preview the next MACW show to air on WWE Classics On Demand, which will premier on April 15.

Saturday, March 21, 2009

Mid-Atlantic Wrestling - Screen Caps 11/25/81

David Crockett and Bob Caudle open the program.

Blackjack Mulligan tells Bob Caudle he's been herding cattle and mending fences, all the hay is put up, and he's back!

Rich Landrum talks with Sandy Scott about the upcoming Cadillac tournaments.

Blackjack Mulligan Jr. (Barry Windham) is being restrained by Scott McGhee and Buddy Landel in a confrontation with Big John Studd at the Charlotte Park Center.

Ric flair talks about his upcoming title defense against Ray "The Crippler" Stevens in Charlotte.

Bob Caudle interviews US Champion Sgt. Slaughter

Pvt. Jim Nelson makes his Mid-Atlantic Wresting debut (well, at least as a Private!)

Rick Steamboat brings out a bag of mail full of fan support for his quest for a Mid-Atlantic heavyweight title match with Roddy Piper.

Bob Caudle introduces The Ninja with manager Jim Holiday

Roddy Piper and Ole Anderson talk about their upcoming match with Ricky Steamboat and Jake "The Snake" Roberts.

Roddy Piper steps into the ring with his bagpipes and Mid-Atlantic title belt.

Bob Caulde says "So long for now!"

"Mid-Atlantic Championship Wrestling has been furnished to ths station for broadcast at this time by Jim Crockett Promotions in exchange for commercial consideration."

Thursday, March 19, 2009

First Report: Mid-Atlantic Wrestling taped 11/25/81

The Rogers Report

The show opens with Bob and David telling us what's in store for this week on MACW. Our opening match is tag-team action featuring the great Blackjack Mulligan and Jake Roberts vs Nikolai Volkoff and Charlie Fulton. Good action throughout with Volkoff bodyslamming Mulligan at one point. This match reminds of how quick and agile Roberts was back then. Mulligan gets the pin after the claw and bodyslam.

Postmatch interview with Bob and Mulligan. Blackjack says he's been doing some work down on the farm, but the big dog is now back. Jack comments on the top talent that has come into the area.

Bob then cuts to a taped interview with Rich Landrum and Sandy Scott talking about that great talent and Sandy tells us we have a 1982 Cadillac to entice more top talent into the area. Sgt. Slaughter interrupts the interview and states he is # 1 in the world, not just the Mid-Atlantic area and he wants that Caddy. Sandy then tells the Sarge to take a look at this tape of Tommy Rich. We see Rich in action vs Tony Russo while Sarge and Sandy discuss the match and who is coming into the area. Sarge says he will wrestle 5 men at one time for that 82 Caddy. Sarge says he has an open contract to anyone that wants a shot at the US title. Roddy Piper joins Slaughter and says he would like that Caddy as well. Rich gets the win. Roddy says Rich does not impress him at all. Sandy tells Sarge and Roddy he has another tape he wants to show them of another top wrestler coming in-Angelo Mosca. Piper and Sarge seem surprised that Mosca is coming. We then see Mosca in action from up north with Vince McMahon on commentary. Mosca destroys his opponent. Sarge then says Mosca will go down like all the others.

Back in the studio, Bob and Blackjack talk more about the Caddy and all the tough competition that stands in the way of getting it. We then see a tape of Blackjack being slapped by John Studd. Jack says Studd will pay.

Bob then reminds us of the great card coming up Thanksgiving weekend at the Charlotte Coliseum with Ric Flair defending the title against Ray Stevens. We then see a tape of Ric commenting on this upcoming match and Ric tells Stevens it's going to be a long night for him and if Ole sticks his nose in, a long night for him as well.

Back in the studio Mulligan comments on his match that night in Charlotte against Studd and then Steamboat and Roberts come out and comment on their match that night as well.

Back from break and Bob has the Sarge at the podium for an interview. Sarge says he is offering $1000 to anyone that can break his cobra clutch. Sarge then introduces the next match with his protege Pvt. Jim Nelson vs Keith Larsen in the studio. Sarge says he has trained him to be a vicious and tough wrestler. Sarge gets some cheap verbal shots in on Wahoo during the match. Nelson gets the win with the cobra clutch.

Back from break Bob has Steamboat at the podium. Rick has a huge bag with him and says he is doing all he can to get Piper in the ring. He then reveals that the huge bag is 1 of 3 he has received this week with mail of fans wanting to see Steamboat vs Piper. He says Piper continues to ignore the challenge and he tells the fans to keep the letters coming and he will continue to take the bags of letters and dump them on Jim Crockett's desk until he gets the title match.

Next studio match is the Ninja with Jim Holliday against Vinnie Valentino. Holliday joins Bob and David at the podium to discuss the Ninja and how great he is. Ninja gets the win.

Bob then reminds us again of the big Thanksgiving weekend card on Sunday at the Charlotte Coliseum. 7 big matches in all. Sarge joins Bob to discuss his match against Mulligan Jr. in Charlotte. Ole then comes in to say that Stevens is taking the World Title from Flair that night. Ole invites Piper out and they discuss their match coming up in Charlotte against Steamboat and Roberts.

Back from break and we have tag team action with Ole and Piper against Tony Anthony and Don Kernodle. David reminds us that Gene Anderson is injured and has been going to matches with Ole, but not getting into the ring and defending their World Tag titles. David says that the tag titles have to be defended and the NWA will have to do something about this. Ole and Piper work well as a team with Piper using the Anderson technique of working on one part of the body. He and Ole continuously work on Anthony's arm until he submits. Piper and Ole destroy Kernodle and Anthony in the ring afterwards and go back to working on Anthony's arm. Steamboat and Roberts hit the ring and Bob says "we have a wild melee in the ring now".

Ole and Piper leave the ring in a hurry. Steamboat and Roberts join Bob at the podium and they say are coming after Ole and Piper. Bob tells us "so long for now".

Thanks to Brian Rogers for this quick report on the current MACW show airing on WWE Classics On Demand. Look for screen captures coming this weekend or early next week.

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

2nd Big Show Debuts tomorrow

The 2nd in-sequence episode of Mid-Atlantic Championship Wrestling will premier tomorrow (Wednesday 3/18) on the WWE Classics On Demand cable channel. The show was originally taped November 25, 1981. We'll have a "First Report" posted here hopefully on Thursday.

The April schedule has begun popping up on some cable system websites. The next scheduled Mid-Atlantic show is the 12/2/81 episode which will be available on 4/15/09 on the channel.

In an unrelated note, it was a pretty cool moment on Monday Night Raw this week, as four top stars in Mid-Atlantic Wrestling from the late 70s and early 80s all appeared together. Ric Flair, Jimmy Snuka, Ricky Steamboat, and Roddy Piper were all there together, shoulder to shoulder, for a brief moment. It was like a 1980 Mid-Atlantic Wrestling reunion. All four held the United States championship during that time, and three of the four were Mid-Atlantic champs as well.

1980 Mid-Atlantic Reunion on RAW

On Monday Night Raw (3/16/09), Ric Flair made an appearance and brought out some of his old pals from his Mid-Atlantic Wrestling days.

For a brief moment Roddy Piper, Jimmy Snuka, Ric Flair, and Ricky Steamboat all stood shoulder to shoulder on the RAW stage. It made for a really cool moment for Mid-Atlantic fans who will remember that all four were top stars together for Jim Crockett Promotions in the late 1970s and early 1980s. All four were United States heavyweight champion, Flair losing and winning it to all the other three at one time or another. Three of the four (Flair, Piper, and Steamboat) were Mid-Atlantic champions as well.

Photos from WWE.com

Sunday, March 8, 2009

Preview: Mid-Atlantic 11/25/81

Mid-Atlantic Championship Wrestling - 11/25/81
This show was taped at WPCQ the Wednesday night before Thanksgiving and aired in the major markets on 11/28/01. Here is a preview of the 11/25/81 episode of Mid-Atlantic Championship Wrestling that will air on WWE Classics On Demand on March 18.

Wrestlers on the Show:
The notes I made 28 years ago are a bit sketchy on this program, leading me to believe I did not see all of this show to begin with. There were 5 matches but I only know the main eventer in the final three:
  • Jim Nelson
  • The Ninja
  • Roddy Piper/Ole Anderson

Notes on The Show:
Despite the build-up on last weeks show, Wahoo McDaniel suddenly departs the territory leaving Blackjack Mulligan Jr. and Jay Youngblood as the top contenders for Sgt. Slaughter's U.S. championship. In an angle to push Youngblood, he breaks the cobra hold of Pvt. Jim Nelson, but is unable to break the cobra hold of the Sarge.

Johnny Weaver and Jay Youngblood are the new Mid-Atlantic Tag Team Champions, defeating the Russian team of Nikolia Volkoff and Chris Markoff managed Lord Alfred Hayes. This was announced on NWA Professional Wrestling airing on WBIR in Knoxville which was taped the same morning as it aired on 11/28/81. The MACW taping has already taken place on Wed. 11/25, so it would not be covered by MACW until the taping on 12/2.

Champions Recognized on 11/28/81NWA World Champion: Ric Flair
World Tag Champions: Gene and Ole Anderson
United States Champion: Sgt. Slaughter
Mid-Atlantic Champion: Roddy Piper
Mid-Atlantic Tag Champions: Johnny Weaver and Jay Youngblood
NWA TV Champion: Ivan Koloff
World Jr. Champion: Jerry Brisco
Canadian Champion: Big John Studd
Southern Champion: Blackjack Mulligan Jr.

World Wide Wrestling This Week
Jake Roberts defeats Nickolia Volkoff and with that we see the last of Lord Alfred Hayes and the Russians.

Wrestlers on the show:

  • Jimmy Valiant
  • Ivan Koloff
  • Jake Roberts vs. Nikolia Volkoff
  • Ricky Steamboat
  • Jim Nelson (with Sgt. Slaughter) vs. Mike Davis

Steamboat & Caudle

This is a capture from the induction announcement of Ricky Steamboat to the WWE Hall of Fame. It was nice to see a shot or two of Ricky from Mid-Atlantic Wrestling, and I hope it bodes well for more of those shows coming up on the Classics On Demand channel.

Congratulations to Ricky on being inducted into the Hall of Fame. Here is the induction video that aired on WWE TV: