David Chappell's

Mid-Atlantic Championship Wrestling History

December 1974

by David Chappell

The Almanac

Almanac Index

December 74 Roster

Championship Picture This Month:



Jack Brisco

(defeated Giant Baba on 12/9/74 in Tokyo, Japan)


Giant Baba

(defeated Jack Brisco on 12/2/74 in Kagoshima, Japan)



Johnny Valentine


Tiger Conway Jr. and Paul Jones

(defeated Ric Flair and Brute Bernard - sub for Rip Hawk - on 12/6/74 at County Hall in Charleston SC)


Paul Jones

(defeated Ivan Koloff on 12/26/74 at the Greensboro Coliseum in Greensboro NC)


The month of December brought the year of 1974 to an end, and the year did not go out quietly! Numerous title changes combined with two of the most enduring names in Jim Crockett Promotions leaving the territory, one never to return again, highlighted this historic month. Not to mention a big star returning to the area in early December, only to lose a “Loser Leaves Town” match on Christmas Day and having to leave the territory before the month was even over! Yes, December of 1974 featured a little bit of everything!


At the beginning of the month, the biggest title of them all changed hands; but not for long. NWA World’s Heavyweight Champion Jack Brisco dropped his coveted belt in Kagoshima, Japan to Giant Baba on December 2, 1974. However, it didn’t take long for Brisco to return the favor to Baba. On December 9, 1974, Jack reclaimed his prized belt, defeating Baba in a rematch in Toyohashi, Japan on December 9, 1974. But this would be just the first of several titles affecting the Mid-Atlantic area to change hands during December!


The Mid-Atlantic Tag Team Titles would be the next titles to change hands, and they did so in a very unusual match. On December 6th at County Hall in Charleston, South Carolina reigning champions Rip Hawk and Ric Flair were signed to defend their belts against the upcoming duo of Paul Jones and Tiger Conway, Jr. However, Rip Hawk was a no-show for the bout, and the promotion surprisingly allowed Brute Bernard to take the place of Hawk. But more surprisingly, the bout continued to be a Championship Match even though Hawk didn’t participate! The Flair/Bernard team could never get on track, and a dazed Flair was pinned by Paul Jones and the Titles went over to the “good guys!”


The new Champions then had a potent team to challenge them for the Titles several times during the remainder of the month. Ric Flair and the “Russian Bear” Ivan Koloff joined forces and emerged as a threat to Jones and Conway almost immediately. On November 14th in the Starland Arena in Roanoke, Virginia, Jones and Conway put their Titles up for the first time against the Flair/Koloff duo. In a battle that had many ebbs and flows, the new Champs prevailed, but by the narrowest of margins. Closing out their Title defenses for the month at the Dorton Arena in Raleigh, North Carolina, Jones and Conway had another bruising battle with Flair and Koloff, but the Champs managed to have their hands raised, and walked out with the Mid-Atlantic Tag Team straps still around their waists.


The final Title to change hands during the month of December was the Mid-Atlantic Television Title. Ivan Koloff began the month with the TV belt, and had several successful defenses during the month. But as the month wore on, top challenger Paul Jones was battling ever closer to regaining the prestigious Title. On December 2nd in Fayetteville, North Carolina in a Title match with two Referees, Koloff retained his TV belt by a whisker. Then on December 12th in the Scope Exhibition Hall in Norfolk, Virginia, Koloff again escaped with his Championship when both he and Jones were disqualified for hitting the referee. Then the next night at the Richmond Coliseum in Richmond, Virginia, the “Russian Bear” escaped with his belt for a final time when both he and Jones were counted out of the ring.


Koloff’s good fortune ran out on December 26th at the Greensboro Coliseum in Greensboro, North Carolina when he and Jones once again met for the TV Title. In this bout, Jones set a blistering pace and in a matter of a mere 13 minutes, upended Ivan to once again become the Mid-Atlantic Television Champion! These two met one more time for the TV belt during the month, this time with Paul Jones entering the ring as the Champion. In this match at the Spartanburg Memorial Auditorium in Spartanburg, South Carolina on December 28th, Jones handily retained his newly won Championship.


Two major stars of Jim Crockett Promotions left the area in December, and these were not just any stars! Johnny Weaver and Rip Hawk, both fixtures in the Carolinas since the early 1960s exited the territory; Weaver to return in the autumn of 1975while Hawk would never again wrestle in Mid-Atlantic Championship Wrestling.


Weaver had slipped into the mid card ranks during the fall of 1974, and while he was no longer wrestling main events, he was just as popular with the fans as ever. It was hard to imagine a December of wrestling action without Johnny Weaver, but it was unfortunately a reality. Johnny’s last match in the territory was on November 30th in Spartanburg, dropping a decision to Cowboy Parker. Mid-Atlantic fans would not see Weaver in the ring again until the final days of September in 1975.


Rip “The Profile” Hawk finished his disastrous series of bouts with former longtime partner Swede Hanson during the month of December, and they went no better than the matches earlier in the year. In Columbia, South Carolina on December 3rd, Hawk was pummeled and beaten thoroughly by the big Swede in a “Lights Out” Fence Match. In the last match between the two former friends, Swede destroyed Rip at the Richmond Coliseum on December 13th in another “Lights Out” Fence Match. Hawk finished out the month wrestling mid card matches, with his last match in the Mid-Atlantic area being a tag team loss where he and Mr. Fuji went down to defeat to the tandem of Bob Bruggers and Sandy Scott at the Hampton Roads Coliseum in Hampton, Virginia. Unlike Johnny Weaver, Rip Hawk would never again wrestle for Jim Crockett Promotions. The end of 1974 was certainly the end of an era, with Rip “The Profile” Hawk’s departure from the Mid-Atlantic Championship Wrestling scene.


The one “Champ” who maintained his Title belt during the month of December was none other than Johnny “The Champ” Valentine! While Valentine had to fend off the challenges of Paul Jones and Wahoo McDaniel during the month, the “Champ’s” toughest opponent during December was the popular Sonny King.   Particularly grueling were a series of two out of three falls Title matches that matched Valentine and King.


The first of these two out of three falls bouts occurred at the Dorton Arena in Raleigh, North Carolina on December 3rd. An added attraction in the Raleigh match saw former World Heavyweight Boxing Champion Joe Louis keep order as the special referee! Valentine did not see fit to follow the rules, leading to Louis disqualifying him, but that result allowed Johnny to retain his Title. Valentine and King had another two out of three falls Title match at the Richmond Arena on December 6th. Joe Louis wasn’t the referee in this encounter, but Valentine was nevertheless disqualified again, once more holding onto his belt. The final two out of three falls battle between Valentine and King was the wildest of them all! In this contest, held at County Hall in Charleston, South Carolina, both Valentine and King were so out of control, that both were disqualified. While Johnny left the fracas in Charleston with his Mid-Atlantic Title intact, he surely knew he was in a titanic struggle.


Valentine was also active on Mid-Atlantic Championship Wrestling television during the month. Johnny had a spirited test for his 2000 silver dollars on TV against the always formidable Danny Miller during the month of December. The two battled on even terms for the first seven minutes of the ten minute time limit, until there was a mid ring collision that Danny got the worst of. Valentine recovered the quickest, and was able to pin Miller and capture a hard earned victory. Johnny also had a tough match on TV in December against up and comer Tommy Seigler. In a back and forth contest, Seigler surprisingly held Valentine to a draw. And in a humorous moment on Mid-Atlantic Championship Wrestling television during December, color commentator Big Bill Ward told the viewing audience that rough and tough Johnny Valentine had some curious hobbies…gardening and painting! Even “Big Bill” seemed highly perplexed about those hobbies!


The animosity between the two masked men in the Mid-Atlantic area, the Super Destroyer and the Avenger, continued at a high level during the month of December. During a Mid-Atlantic Championship Wrestling television program in December, the Avenger came out to ringside and was studying the Destroyer during the Super D’s bout against Tapu. The Avenger then came over to the broadcast area and told announcers Bob Caudle and David Crockett that he had the secret to defeat the Super Destroyer, and that the Destroyer’s claw hold would not work on him. And after the Destroyer’s match with Tapu was over, the Avenger went into the ring and was able to escape the Destroyer’s claw hold not once, but TWICE! And the Avenger even captured a three count on the Destroyer during the melee, but since it was not a scheduled match, the Destroyer did not have to unmask.


There were, however, a number of scheduled matches between the Super Destroyer and the Avenger during the month of December. For the most part, the matches were tag team bouts with the masked men of course on opposing sides. The major singles match between the Destroyer and the Avenger took place at the Greenville Memorial Auditorium in Greenville, South Carolina on Christmas night. The Avenger gave the fans a Christmas present, dominating the Super Destroyer from beginning to end! However, the Super D. managed to escape with his mask intact…barely.


The Christmas night card in Greenville had a very interesting match as the co-main event. The rugged Missouri Mauler returned to the area at the beginning of the month, and was very impressive in his December bouts. That is, until he ran into Sonny King on Christmas night in Greenville! In a “Loser Leaves Town” match, King took the measure of the Mauler and sent him packing! So the Missouri Mauler entered, and departed, the area…all during the month of December.


The month of December ended with the promotion telling the fans that the Anderson Brothers and Ken Patera would be entering the area at the beginning of 1975. And two year end highlight shows, showcasing some of the best matches from 1974, aired on Mid-Atlantic Championship Wrestling television in a fitting end to the wrestling year!


In one of the 1974 highlight shows, announced by new broadcaster Sam Menaker, the fans saw taped matches including a TV draw between Johnny Valentine and NWA World Champion Jack Brisco, Valentine breaking Tim Woods’ leg on TV, the Wahoo-Valentine slugfest from the High Point studios soon after Wahoo entered the area and a Wahoo/Super Destroyer bout where Wahoo took the mask off the Destroyer, but the Super D. covered his face with the referee’s shirt, preserving the masked man’s identity.


In the second 1974 highlight show, announced by Bob Caudle, the featured matches included a TV time limit draw between Tiger Conway, Jr. and NWA Champ Jack Brisco, Ivan Koloff defeating Paul Jones for the Mid-Atlantic Television Championship in a TV match and a wild tag team match between the Super Destroyer and Koloff against Paul Jones and Wahoo McDaniel.


Yes, highlights definitely abounded in December and throughout the year of 1974…and 1975 looked to pick up just where 1974 left off!






1.     Paul Jones---It’s a pretty big deal when a wrestler wins one title during the course of a month, but “Mr. Number One” did one better during the month of December. After capturing one half of the Mid-Atlantic Tag Team Titles early in the month, Jones put an exclamation point on the end of the month by defeating Ivan Koloff for the Mid-Atlantic TV Title on the day after Christmas, effectively ending his bitter feud with the “Russian Bear.”

2.     Sonny King---The highly popular King gave Johnny Valentine his toughest bouts of 1974. And Sonny also made the Missouri Mauler’s stint in the territory a quick one, running the Mauler out of the area in a “Loser Leaves Town” match on Christmas day, before the Mauler had been in the territory for even a full month!

3.     Swede Hanson---The big Swede finished off his former partner, Rip Hawk, in several climactic bouts during the month of December. The dominance that Swede showed over Rip during the final months of 1974 was astounding.




1.     Rip Hawk---December of 1974 truly marked the end of an era when the “Ripper” wrestled his last match ever for Jim Crockett Promotions at the end of the month. Pretty much dropping all of his matches in December certainly didn’t tarnish the overall body of work that Rip built up over a decade of excellence as a JCP main eventer.

2.     Missouri Mauler---The Mauler steamrolled back into the Mid-Atlantic area during the early days of December, only to be summarily dispatched from the territory by losing a “Loser Leaves Town” match to Sonny King on Christmas night in Greenville. A very quick exit for the burly grappler from St. Joseph’s, Missouri!

3.     Johnny Weaver---It was a very strange month indeed in December, without seeing Johnny Weaver in a Mid-Atlantic Championship Wrestling ring. Johnny’s last match in the area ended on November 30th, just minutes before the new month began. There was definitely a void felt around the area in December, with Johnny being strangely absent.




© 2010 David Chappell   Mid-Atlantic Gateway  Published 10/2/10