Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Preview: Mid-Atlantic Wrestling Airdate 12/12/81

The WWE Classics On Demand schedule for May lists the next episode of Mid-Atlantic Wrestling to premier on Wednesday 5/13/09. WWE Classics always lists the taping date for the Mid-Atlantic shows, which were always Wednesday nights at WPCQ studios in Charlotte. The date they give for this show is 12/3/81 which is a Thursday night following the taping date of the show currently airing. At first glance this would appear to be an error. However, Crockett Promotions always took a two-week break before Christmas, and this meant no TV tapings during those two weeks as well. In the 1970s, they would start doubling up TV tapings in early December so that they would have enough shows to get them through the two week Christmas break. This may be the case here, although there really will be no way to verify that.

The show they list as being taped on 12/3 (and would have aired in most markets on Saturday 12/12/81) will feature in action: Ricky Steamboat, Ivan Koloff, Ray Stevens, Jimmy Valiant, and the team of Sgt. Slaughter and Pvt. Nelson. Your referee is Sonny Fargo. They will be driving the Ray Stevens babyface turn pretty hard on this show, so expect Ole Anderson and Roddy Piper to be involved.

The World Wide Wrestling show that was taped the same night (these are not airing on WWE Classics, regrettably) featured in action: Jay Youngblood, Ole Anderson & Roddy piper, The Ninja, Ricky Steamboat, and the team of Sgt. Slaughter & Pvt. Nelson.

Mid-Atlantic Tag Team Title Change Ignored

On Friday November 27, Johnny Weaver and Jay Youngblood defeated Nikolia Volkoff and Chris Markoff for the Mid-Atlantic tag team championship. I was expecting to see some acknowledgement of this on the Mid-Atlantic show taped the following Wednesday 12/2 (currently airing on WWE Classics), but in a big disappointment no announcement was made. You had to look quick, but as they came back from commercial break for the match between Jay Youngblood and Jeff Sword, you will see Jay removing the tag team title belt from around his waist and handing it to the ring attendant. This was the only indication there had been a title change.

Johnny Weaver was co-host of the World Wide Wrestling show with Rich Landrum, and I would bet that it was mentioned there. Still, I can't get over it not being acknowledged on the Mid-Atlantic show, especially with Jay appearing with the belt. The Russian team, managed by Lord Alfred Hayes, had held the Mid-Atlantic titles for 20 straight weeks.

The title change was acknowledged, however, on the 11/28 taping and airing of NWA Championship Wrestling taped in Knoxville Tennessee the morning after the change. See the video below. Complete details including photos can be found on the Johnny Weaver blog.

Monday, April 20, 2009

Screen Shots from MACW 12/2/81

For a full run down of this show, see the "Rogers Report" at this link: Mid-Atlantic Wrestling taped 12/2/81.

NWA trouble-shooter Sandy Scott threaten to strip Roddy Piper of the Mid-Atlantic championship if he doesn't sign a contract to defend against Ricky Steamboat, who watches at left.

Piper finally signs the contract.

Roddy Piper laughs as he tells Ole Anderson he will beat everyone, including Ole, to win that new 1982 Cadillac that is up in a tournament in Charlotte.

Ole says he or Gene will leave Charlotte with the new Cadillac.

Big John Studd lays down a challenge to Blackjack Mulligan.

Carl Fergie applies a front face lock to Larry Hamilton. (No, not that Larry Hamilton.)

Blackjack Mulligan talks with Bob Caudle with his son Blackjack Jr. and Jake Roberts.

Paul Jones, Ricky Steamboat, and Jake Roberts all hope they will be the one to win the Cadillac.

Referee Tommy Young raises the hand of Pvt. Jim Nelson.

Bob Caudle introduces Ole Anderson and Ray Stevens.

Angry at Ole's attempt to sacrifice him like he did his brother Gene, Ray Stevens reaches out and grabs one of the World Tag Team title belts.

Ray Stevens tells Bob Caudle that if Ole wants the other belt back, he'll have to come take it from him.

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

First Report: Mid-Atlantic Wrestling taped 12/2/81

The Rogers Report

This episode of MACW opens with Bob, David and Sandy Scott. Scott gives us an update on the World-Tag title situation and again lets us know the Caddy Tourney is coming.

Our opening match is Jake Roberts and Mulligan Jr. vs Tony Russo and Jerry Prader. Tommy Young is our referee today. Quick tags for Roberts and Mulligan Jr. We get the Anderson arm slam from Jr and the pin.

John Studd joins Bob at the podium and tells us he is ready and waiting for Mulligan. We see the clip of Studd slapping Jr. and Studd says "it has to hurt for a daddy to see his son get slapped." Studd is angry and wants Mulligan anywhere he can get him.

Studd then goes to the ring for his match and gets the submission win in dominating fashion.

Sandy Scott returns to the podium and tells Gene Anderson to stay out of the upcoming World-Tag title matches. He then begins to tell us about the Steamboat-Piper situation and Steamboat comes out with another bag of letters and Scott asks Piper to come out and join them. Piper is hot, and Scott says if Piper does not calm down, he will strip him of the Mid-Atlantic title. Scott pulls out a contract for Piper to sign to defend his title against Steamboat. Piper signs it and then leaves angrily. Steamboat then signs it and thanks all the fans for all the letters they sent in to make this match happen.

Sgt. Slaughter joins Bob and David at the podium to watch our next match featuring Pvt. Nelson vs Tim Horner. Sandy Scott comes out during the match and says a situation is developing in the back with Blackjack Mulligan. Jack then comes out and confronts Slaughter with some harsh words and then returns to the dressing room. Scott returns and says he is going to the back to try and cool off Mulligan. Horner gives Nelson all he wants, but Nelson gets the win with the clothesline.

Bob gives us the rundown on the card tonight at the Charlotte Coliseum. Sarge comes out and says he has dropped out of the Caddy tourney to take on Mulligan Jr. for the title. Ole comes in and hypes up the Caddy battle royal and tourney. Piper joins him and comments on the Caddy as well. Gene then comes in and Ole says he and Gene are leaving Charlotte with the Caddy.

Our next match is Jay Youngblood against Jeff Swords. A nice match with Swords getting in some good shots on Jay, but Youngblood gets the pin after a nice chop and elbow smash.

Roberts and Mulligan Jr. join Bob at the podium. Jr. says he wants the US title very bad and will face Sarge anywhere, anytime. Roberts wants to talk about Ole Anderson. Jake says either he has to go or the Wrecking Crew has to go. Blackjack joins them and says things are going to start picking up and he takes some verbal shots at Sarge and Studd.

In the ring we have tag action with Ole and Ray Stevens vs. Paul Jones and Buddy Landel. Gene Anderson joins Bob at the podium during the match and discusses the Tag title situation and Sandy Scott's rules. Jones and Landel dominate early with quick tags and some nice offense. Ole and Ray start to work on Landel "Anderson style". Landel finally gets the tag and Paul Jones goes to work. All four men get involved and Gene interferes by pulling Jones leg. Meanwhile, Ole and Stevens get into it after Ole throws Landel into Stevens with the "Gene sacrifice." Stevens gets the pin on Landel.

Ray is fighting mad and will not give Gene and Ole the World tag belt.

Bob then again reminds us about the big card in Charlotte. Paul Jones, Jake Roberts, and Steamboat join Bob to discuss the battle royal and tournament for the Caddy. Roberts says there is no friends in this deal. Mulligan Jr. then joins Bob to discuss his US title match against Sarge. He says he will win the US title from Slaughter.

Our next match is Carl Fergie vs Larry Hamilton. Fergie gets the win with the neckbreaker.

Ray Stevens joins Bob at the podium to discuss the Ole situation. Ray says "don't sacrifice me like you did your stupid brother." He says he has the tag belt and if Ole wants it, to come get it, but be prepared to have his butt kicked. He says nobody pushes Ray Stevens around.

Bob says so long for now...

Special thanks to Brian Rogers for this report on the new episode of Mid-Atlantic Wrestling on WWE Classics On Demand.

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Mid-Atlantic Trivia

This graphic appeared during a match from "World Championship Wrestling" featuring Ronnie Garvin vs. The Grim Reaper on WWE Classics On Demand. I always enjoy seeing the Mid-Atlantic Wrestling logo pop up anywhere, I just want it to stay alive out there.

They mention Garvin was the last Mid-Atlantic champion. For a complete history of the Mid-Atlantic Heavyweight Championship and photos of all the wrestlers who held that championship, visit the links below.

Mid-Atlantic Title History
Origin & Evolution of the Mid-Atlantic Championship
Mid-Atlantic Champions Photo Gallery

Sunday, April 5, 2009

WTBS October 1986: Magnum's Accident

It’s tough watching these WTBS shows currently airing on WWE Classics On Demand. These shows are from October 1986, the month Magnum TA had his career ending automobile accident. That was 23 and a half years ago.

The WWE classics channel has skipped the WTBS show that aired on Saturday 10/18/86. (**Update on 4/6: The 10/18/86 show did air after all this week.) This show gave a hint at the tragedy that had occurred, but wasn’t able to address it directly because it had been taped nearly a full week earlier on Sunday 10/12/86. Magnum’s accident was on Tuesday 10/14, which meant that the shows airing on TBS on Saturday would include Magnum in the ring and in interviews, which was extremely awkward for all involved as there was major news coverage of Magnum’s accident all over TV and newspapers during this time.

On the shows that aired on Saturday 10/18, WTBS placed a small graphic in the corner of the screen that said “Recorded October 12, 1986” during any segments that either featured Magnum TA or where he was mentioned in interviews or commentary. They were pushing an upcoming program between Magnum and “Gorgeous” Jimmy Garvin.

Here is a timeline of how that week played out:

Sunday October 12:
Crockett tapes three shows “Sunday Edition” which will air later that night; “Championship Wrestling” and “World Championship Wrestling” that will air the following Saturday 10/18

Tuesday October 14:
Magnum has his automobile accident in Charlotte

Wednesday October 15:
Crockett tapes the syndicated programs “NWA Pro Wrestling” and “World Wide Wrestling” in Columbia SC. These shows aired Saturday 10/18/86. A somber Bob Caudle and David Crockett announce on their respective shows that Magnum had been injured in an automobile accident and more information would be forthcoming. Keep in mind at this point the whole company was having to immediately move forward with these tapings a little over 24 hours after the accident. No one had any idea if Magnum would live at this point. In fact, it looked very grim.

Saturday October 18:
The NWA Pro and World Wide shows air with the news of Magnum’s accident. But on WTBS, their shows had been taped before the accident, resulting in the eerie scene of Magnum being seen on both the morning and afternoon shows. WTBS placed a small graphic in the corner of the screen that said “Recorded on 10/12” during any segments that either featured Magnum TA or where he was mentioned in interviews or commentary. They were pushing an upcoming program between Magnum and “Gorgeous” Jimmy Garvin.

Sunday October 19:
Crockett tapes TBS programming that Sunday morning, the first of which airs later that night on “WCW Sunday Edition.” Jim Crockett comes out and makes the announcement that Magnum TA Terry Allen (one of the few times Magnum’s real name was ever mention on Crockett TV up until that point) had been injured in an automobile accident and had broken the 5th vertebrae in his neck and was out of action for good. Tully Blanchard, and James J. Dillon had the uncomfortable task of appearing immediately afterwards and although they couldn’t completely break character, did acknowledge the accident and wished Magnum well before moving into the taped segment where the Horsemen jumped Dusty Rhodes in the Crockett Promotions office parking lots and break his hand.

Speaking of that famous incident, all these years later I’m still not sure what they were thinking when they opened the World Wide show with footage of James J Dillon in a car with a camera rolling waiting for a “small red sports car” to come by, and then they follow it on the highway. With news of Magnum’s accident all over the media, but few outside of the Charlotte area knowing many of the details, this opening clip made you think they were playing into the injury because at that point, you didn’t know they were following Dusty until the complete clip aired later in the show. As you first watch it you think it might be that they are playing it like they are following Magnum. It was really strange.

But nothing was more bizarre than what occurred on “World Championship Wrestling – Sunday Edition” that aired the Sunday evening before Magnum’s accident. Magnum’s opponent on that show was a masked wrestler named “The Grim Reaper”, and it was Magnum’s last match that aired on TBS. Thankfully he did not wrestle on the “Championship Wrestling” or “World Championship Wrestling” programs, although they showed the Greensboro incident where Dusty injures Blanchard’s leg with a chair and Magnum is involved in that. I remember what a strange feeling that was seeing that only days after the accident.