David Chappell's

Mid-Atlantic Championship Wrestling History

October 1974

by David Chappell

The Almanac

Almanac Index

October 74 Roster

Championship Picture This Month:



Jack Brisco


Johnny Valentine


Rip Hawk and Ric Flair


  • Paul Jones

  • Ivan Koloff (defeated Paul Jones 10/30/74 in the studios of WRAL TV in Raleigh.)

In this story: a rare photograph of Johnny Valentine with the original Mid-Atlantic Heavyweight title belt. (Bill Janosik photo.)

October of 1974 in the Mid-Atlantic Championship Wrestling area started off with a bang, as Tim Woods returned to the territory to challenge Johnny “The Champ” Valentine for his 2000 silver dollars. What happened in this televised match spawned a memorable feud that would occur a little less than a year later in the summer and early fall of 1975.

On October 1st, “Mr. Wrestling” Tim Woods arrived back in the Mid-Atlantic area, minus his patented white mask. Tim battled the mammoth Chuck O’Connor in Columbia, South Carolina in his first bout back in the territory, and then the next night in the WRAL TV studios in Raleigh, North Carolina, Woods battled Johnny Valentine for Johnny’s 2000 silver dollars. This was definitely a “main event” match on television between these two top stars in the wrestling business!

Announcers Bob Caudle and David Crockett reintroduced the audience to Woods, running down his many amateur awards and credentials. Through the majority of the match, Woods controlled the action. However, when referee Sonny Fargo was thrown through the ropes and onto the floor, things went haywire. Woods wrapped Valentine up for the pin, and had Johnny’s shoulders down for a good 15-20 seconds, but there was no referee to count the fall. When Tim realized the problem with the referee and went to check on him, Valentine got the jump on him and drove Woods’ head into the mat with a vicious suplex. Johnny then put the figure four leg lock on Woods, and forced Tim to submit. Despite Tim’s screams of pain, Valentine refused to release the hold, breaking Woods’ leg in the process.

Valentine was smiling immediately after breaking Woods’ leg, but later took the tact that he would never have done this on purpose, and it happened because Woods had hit him so hard on his ear during the match, that Johnny couldn’t hear Tim give up! This far-fetched explanation apparently carried some weight with NWA President Sam Muchnick, as Valentine was not suspended for his reprehensible behavior, but only reprimanded and fined. Tim Woods didn’t react nearly so generously, coming back at Valentine with a vengeance when he returned to the area in August of 1975!

Former partners and now bitter rivals, Rip Hawk and Swede Hanson, continued their heated feud during the month of October. Hawk had been taking brutal beatings for the most part during his matches with Hanson, but thought he had caught a break when the NWA legalized his favorite hold, the piledriver! At the end of the month, Hawk and Hanson battled in two bouts where the piledriver came into play. On October 26th in Roanoke, Virginia, the two rivals hooked up in a bloody fence match where the piledriver was legal. And then two nights later in Fayetteville, North Carolina, Hawk and Hanson wrestled a match where either wrestler could only win the match by using the piledriver! In this match, Swede pummeled Rip, using Hawk’s patented hold against him for the victory! Hawk was rapidly running out of options in his battles with the big Swede.

The “Ripper” had things work for him substantially better in tag team action. Hawk and partner Ric Flair maintained their hold over the Mid-Atlantic Tag Team Titles during the month of October. The toughest Title Match for the champions came early in the month, when the dynamic team of Swede Hanson and Tiger Conway, Jr. took Hawk and Flair to the limit on October 3rd in the Greensboro Coliseum. Hawk and Flair had mixed results in non-title bouts during October. The champs beat Johnny Weaver and the Avenger on October 10th in Norfolk, Virginia and did likewise versus Danny Miller and Swede Hanson on October 22nd in Raleigh, North Carolina at the Raleigh Memorial Auditorium. However, Rip and Ric dropped non-title bouts during the month to Johnny Weaver and Swede Hanson on October 11th in Lynchburg, Virginia and to the Avenger and Swede Hanson on October 21st in Charlotte, North Carolina.

Mid-Atlantic Heavyweight Champion Johnny Valentine was riding high during the month of October, keeping a tight grip on his prized Title belt. In addition to putting Tim Woods out of wrestling during the month, maintaining hold of his 2000 silver dollars in the process, “The Champ” was so bold as to even take on TWO wrestlers in a Handicap Match on Mid-Atlantic Championship Wrestling television! Valentine defeated BOTH Bill Ash and Terry Sawyer, looking every bit the invincible champ in the process! The brazen Valentine even took on Sonny King in King’s own specialty match, the ten round fight! Despite dropping boxing matches to King in Columbia, South Carolina on October 8th and in Hampton, Virginia on October 12th, Johnny put on respectable showings in both contests.

No town in the Mid-Atlantic area saw more of Johnny Valentine in October than did Charlotte, North Carolina. Johnny headlined four cards in Charlotte during the month, two against the exciting Tiger Conway, Jr. and two against his bitter enemy, Sonny King. Valentine wrestled Conway in Title matches in Charlotte’s Park Center on October 7th and October 14th. During the October 7th bout, Johnny got Tiger so upset that the young challenger was disqualified. In the return bout on October 14th, “The Champ” controlled much of the action in route to a pinfall victory.

Johnny battled Sonny King at the Park Center in Charlotte on October 21st, and through Johnny’s experience and chicanery, the Champ managed to steal a count out victory over Sonny. Infuriated, King was able to sign a Title Match against Valentine in the return bout at Park Center on October 28th. The rematch ended in more frustration for King, whereby the challenger was awarded a disputed win over Valentine, but still no title belt to show for all his efforts.

The inevitable showdown between the two masked men in the territory, the Super Destroyer and the Avenger, moved closer to becoming a reality in October. Before a match on Mid-Atlantic Championship Wrestling television between the Super Destroyer and Abe Jacobs, the Avenger came out with a contract and challenged the Destroyer. The Super D. dismissively cast aside the Avenger’s challenge, calling the Avenger stupid and referring to him as an illiterate. When the Avenger said the Destroyer had a “yellow streak” down his back and then walked away, the Destroyer proceeded to attack him from behind and was joined by his cohorts Ric Flair and Chuck O’Connor. Just before the three nearly took the mask off the Avenger, Paul Jones and Wahoo McDaniel ran into the TV studio and chased the bad guys off, preserving the Avenger’s identity.

“The Eighth Wonder of the World,” Andre the Giant, made another impressive pass through the Mid-Atlantic area at the end of the month. The crowds were huge at the venues where Andre appeared. At the Greenville Memorial Auditorium on October 28th a capacity crowd was in attendance to see Andre, with another 3000 fans turned away at the door. In that match, the team of Andre, Paul Jones and Wahoo McDaniel defeated the Super Destroyer, Ivan Koloff and Chuck O’Connor in dominating fashion. The next night in Columbia, South Carolina, the same threesome of good guys dominated the Super D., Koloff and Art Nelson. Andre finished his tour of the Mid-Atlantic area by capturing a $2,500 Russian Roulette Battle Royal in Danville, Virginia on October 30th, and on Halloween night, Andre, Jones and Wahoo vanquished the ferocious trio of the Destroyer, Ivan Koloff and Johnny Valentine.

The month of October came to an end with a very significant television taping at the WRAL TV studios, much the way the month started. The October 30th TV taping of Mid-Atlantic Championship Wrestling in Raleigh, North Carolina featured three significant events. In one of them, Ric Flair battled Sonny King with Mid-Atlantic Heavyweight Champion Johnny Valentine doing ringside commentary. Valentine told King that if he made a good enough showing against Flair, King would be given a Mid-Atlantic Title match. The match went to a time limit draw, and while Valentine did not think King put up a good showing, announcer Bob Caudle did!

A truly unique “Football Match” took place on that same October 30th TV taping. The bout came about because the Destroyer was questioning Wahoo McDaniel’s football credentials, saying that the Chief in no way measured up to Wahoo’s former New York Jets teammate, Joe Namath. Wahoo’s response to the Super D. was, “Who did you ever play for?” But then, Wahoo came up with a novel idea to test the Super Destroyer’s football prowess. The Indian told the Destroyer that he would tape five one hundred dollar bills to a ring post, and within five minutes if the Super D. could come through him from the other side of the ring and grab the money, the loot was his! It was an interesting contest, and the Destroyer came close to grabbing the money, but Wahoo’s ferocious chops kept the Super D. at bay, and the masked man was unable to get his hands on the money! But the news wasn’t all bad for the Destroyer, as he didn’t lose his mask with this defeat, as his mask was specifically not at stake in this most unusual match.

The final “main event” on this tremendous October 30th television taping, pitted “Number One” Paul Jones against the “Russian Bear” Ivan Koloff for Jones’ coveted Mid-Atlantic Television Title in a 30 minute time limit encounter. This was part of an ongoing “dream match” series that fans had been writing in requesting to see special matches on television. Jones had retained his TV Title for several months, and appeared poised to keep his belt in this match. Jones seemed on top for much of this contest, and even got Ivan snared in his painful Indian Death Lock at one point, but Koloff was able to get to the ropes to break the hold. Ivan battered Paul about the head when he was controlling the bout, and had Paul groggy on several occasions. But when the match neared its conclusion, Paul seemed to surely have Ivan defeated, but referee Angelo Martinelli counted Jones’ shoulders down instead of Ivan’s, whose shoulders also appeared to be down, and Ivan Koloff was the new Mid-Atlantic Television Champion! As announcer Bob Caudle said, “Paul Jones pinned himself!” This defeat was a devastating one for Jones, and it certainly ended the month of October 1974 on a down note for most of the fans of Mid-Atlantic Championship Wrestling.


1. Johnny Valentine---The “Champ” put Tim Woods out of wrestling, kept his 2000 silver dollars and most importantly, maintained hold of his Mid-Atlantic Heavyweight Championship. A successful month, no matter how you want to measure it.

2. Ivan Koloff---The “Russian Bear” recaptured the Mid-Atlantic Television Title from Paul Jones at the end of the month. That, plus a solid rest of October, gives Ivan the number 2 slot this month.

3. Swede Hanson---The big Swede continued to dominate his former partner, Rip Hawk, during the month of October. In fact, Swede even used the piledriver against Rip!


1. Tim Woods---The former “Mr. Wrestling” only appeared in the territory for a couple of matches in October, but suffered a broken leg at the hands of Johnny Valentine in a memorable television match. Woods would go after Valentine for revenge, but this wouldn’t happen for many months.

2. Rip Hawk---The “Ripper” continued to have all kinds of problems against his former partner, Swede Hanson. Even with the piledriver legalized, Hawk could not handle Swede! On the positive side, Hawk and partner Ric Flair held the Mid-Atlantic tag belts throughout the month.

3. Paul Jones---Losing the Mid-Atlantic Television Title to Ivan Koloff at the end of October certainly made October of 1974 a less successful month for “Mr. # 1.” And the way Paul dropped the belt to Koloff was certainly gut-wrenching, to say the very least.



© 2010 David Chappell   Mid-Atlantic Gateway  Published 5/07/09