David Chappell's

Mid-Atlantic Championship Wrestling History

February 1975

David Chappell /  Mid-Atlantic Gateway


The Almanac

Almanac Index


 

  

The month of February 1975 provided Mid-Atlantic Wrestling fans tons of hot action, despite the frigid weather. From the first days of February, where ice and snow played havoc with cards as far south as Columbia, South Carolina, to the last days of the month where there was the promise of spring in the air, February 1975 provided us with a wealth of fantastic memories.

 

Anderson Brothers Make First Defense of NWA World Tag Team Championships; also win Mid-Atlantic titles.

Early in the month of February, February 7th to be exact, Gene and Ole Anderson made the first defense of their recently won NWA World's Tag Team Titles in Richmond, Virginia against the tandem of Wahoo McDaniel and Sonny King. In that match, as well as in the rest of their title defenses through the month, the Anderson's successfully defended their titles. By the end of the month, the Anderson's began facing the formidable duo of Paul Jones and Wahoo McDaniel, a team that would become a thorn in the sides of the Anderson's through much of 1975.

The Andersons also won the Mid-Atlantic Tag Team Championships defeating the team of Paul Jones and Tiger Conway Jr. in Greensboro on February 20th.

 

History Made in Winston-Salem:

Ric Flair wins his First Singles Championship

A MID-ATLANTIC GATEWAY EXCLUSIVE

February of 1975 was a historic month for "Nature Boy" Ric Flair. On February 8, 1975, Flair took the measure of "Number One" Paul Jones by winning the Mid-Atlantic Television Title from Jones in Winston-Salem, North Carolina. Although widely reported as happening later in 1975, this was Ric Flair's first ever singles title in professional wrestling. After winning the TV title from Jones, Flair defended his new title successfully in a series of title bouts with Tiger Conway later during the month of February. Ric also wrestled Dusty Rhodes in Greensboro, North Carolina on February 20, 1975, starting a feud between the two that was confined primarily to Greensboro for the next few years, but one that would become much wider in scope in the years to come. For much more information on Ric Flair's TV Title victory, see the "February 1975 Spotlight" article that is included with this month's materials.

 

A major newcomer appeared on the scene in February of 1975, and his name was Ken Patera. Soft spoken and friendly, Ken made his first appearance on Mid-Atlantic television on February 12, 1975. The promotion hyped his Olympic weightlifting background, and promoted Patera as "The World's Strongest Wrestler." Before long, Patera would be performing feats of strength for fans in the area that were quite amazing. But in February, Patera wrestled primarily in mid-card matches and dominated them. The strongman from Oregon would take off in earnest in the month of March.

Johnny "The Champ" Valentine continued to maintain a stranglehold on the Mid-Atlantic Heavyweight Title during the month of February, despite a number of grueling defenses against Paul Jones, Sonny King and Wahoo McDaniel. Valentine also maintained his 2,000 silver dollars in his continuing "challenge" matches on Mid-Atlantic Championship Wrestling television; however, the opponents in these TV matches were less than stellar. Johnny suffered a rare defeat in the month of February when he lost a brutal Indian Strap Match to Wahoo McDaniel in Hampton, Virginia on February 15th.

The battles between the Super Destroyer and the Avenger were as hot as ever, as this great feud between the masked wrestlers expanded into the month of February 1975. In fact, the matches between these two were never as even as they were in the month of February, as in several towns around the territory the two went to sixty-minute time limit draws. In many of these matches, the promotion made the Super D. post a cash bond to ensure that he would not run out of the ring when the action got too hot and heavy! While the bouts between these two in February were highly competitive, the upcoming month of March would prove to be a decisive turning point to this classic feud.

 

Feb. 20th An Interesting Night In Mid-Atlantic History

In addition to the Greensboro card mentioned previously, Thursday, February 20th was also a significant date for the promotion in both Norfolk, Virginia and Charlotte, North Carolina. In Norfolk, the promotion interestingly renewed an old feud that was rooted in 1974, and was over in almost everybody's mind. Bearcat Wright was brought back to the area to team with his brother Sonny King, to avenge Bearcat's 1974 injuries at the hands of the Super Destroyer and Johnny Valentine. In mid 1974, when Johnny Valentine put a bounty on Bearcat's head and the Super D. collected it, Sonny King came to the Mid-Atlantic area to get retribution for his brother. This angle was played out for a number of months in 1974, but had pretty much run its course by February of 1975. Thus, it was a big surprise to see Bearcat return for this "revenge" match, and for a couple of others in the month of March. The grudge matches between these four had inconclusive endings, and this 1974 angle finally expired for good in March of 1975.

February 20, 1975 was an amazing night in Charlotte, NC for Jim Crockett Promotions. On this night, the upstart International Wrestling Alliance (IWA) "invaded" the Charlotte Coliseum and put on a major card there in hopes of beginning a takeover of the Mid-Atlantic area. Starting in Charlotte so early, the hub of Mid-Atlantic Championship Wrestling, was an extremely bold and assertive move by the IWA. The IWA card on this night included stars like Ivan Koloff, Thunderbolt Patterson, Dino Bravo and the Mighty Igor, wrestlers who had made (or would subsequently make) major impacts in Jim Crockett Promotions.

Jim Crockett, Jr. took the threat of the IWA seriously, and decided to confront the threat head on. As a result, Crockett ALSO scheduled a major card on Thursday night, February 20, 1975 at Charlotte's Park Center to go directly up against the IWA, sandwiched between his normal Thursday Park Center cards that ran on February 17th and February 24th. And Jim Crockett made sure this February 20th card was not just another card! In addition to a main event of Gene and Ole Anderson against the "dream team" of Paul Jones and Wahoo McDaniel, Crockett brought in Dusty Rhodes, Harley Race and Haystacks Calhoun to bolster this line up. Yes, as of February 20, 1975, the battle between the IWA and Jim Crockett Promotions for control of the Mid-Atlantic area had been joined. It was equally clear that from this date and for about six months thereafter, Jim Crockett would do everything necessary to run the IWA out of his territory.

Even more amazing was the fact that Crockett held a card that same evening in Greensboro (mentioned earlier) where many of the wrestlers were double-booked, including the Anderson Brothers who had an amazing night. They defeated Paul Jones and Tiger Conway to win (and subsequently retire) the Mid-Atlantic Tag Team Titles and then quickly drove to Charlotte and successfully defended their NWA World Tag titles against Jones and McDaniel.) 

February of 1975 was eventful for any number of reasons, and provided several historic "firsts" for the promotion and its wrestlers. But the upcoming month of March would not disappoint either, bring in with it two of the biggest new stars in the history of Mid-Atlantic Championship Wrestling!

WHO'S HOT

1. RIC FLAIR---The Nature Boy notched what would be the first of many career singles titles this month. Ric showed in his subsequent successful title defenses against Tiger Conway, that his title victory was no fluke.
2. KEN PATERA---The "World's Strongest Wrestler" steamrolled through all of his opponents in the month of February. But could the newcomer keep this pace up as the opposition got stronger?
3. GENE AND OLE ANDERSON---The Minnesota Wrecking Crew were very impressive in their first full month as NWA World Tag Team Champs. By the end of the month, Gene and Ole were gearing up for the formidable challenge of Paul Jones and Wahoo McDaniel.

WHO'S NOT

1. BRUTE BERNARD---The "unpredictable one" no longer had the Super Destroyer behind him during the month of February. While still an entertaining character, the Brute was no longer logging victories in a regular fashion any more.
2. TIGER CONWAY---Losses were creeping in more frequently for Tiger in February, to the point that he was very close to slipping into mid-card status by the end of the month.
3. PAUL JONES---Reeling from his TV Title loss to Ric Flair, "Number One" began to focus more on a budding tag team with Wahoo McDaniel.

 

 

 


 

RETURN TO TOP OF PAGE

2002 David Chappell /  Mid-Atlantic Gateway