David Chappell's

Mid-Atlantic Championship Wrestling History

April 1975

David Chappell /  Mid-Atlantic Gateway


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April of 1975 saw Wahoo McDaniel have his strongest month yet as a member of Jim Crockett's roster. Despite not holding a championship belt, the Chief had a truly dominating month in April. The two singles champions of Mid-Atlantic Championship Wrestling, Johnny Valentine and Ric Flair, had unusual months during the month of April. Valentine traveled outside of the area for a good portion of the month, while Flair had an inordinate number of tag team matches in April. Gene and Ole Anderson, the NWA World Tag Team Champions, continued to have a busy schedule of tag matches in the area during the month of April.

Wahoo McDaniel's memorable month of April 1975 began with one of the Chief's other passions in life besides wrestling, as he played golf with his buddy Lee Trevino on April 2nd as part of the pro-am portion of the Greater Greensboro Open PGA event.

Wahoo had a memorable match in Charlotte, North Carolina on April 5, 1975 in the Charlotte Coliseum against NWA World's Heavyweight Champion Jack Brisco. Despite a large number of near falls by the Chief against the World Champion, Wahoo had to be content with a sixty minute draw against Brisco. This April 5th battle between Brisco and Wahoo was the World Champ's only title defense in the Mid-Atlantic area during the month of April.

The Chief was active in tag team matches this month, particularly against the NWA World Tag Team Champions Gene and Ole Anderson. Wahoo wrestled against the Andersons eight times in April, four times teaming with Sonny King and three times tagging with Paul Jones. In Norfolk, Virginia on April 10th, Wahoo teamed for the first time in the area with Rufus R. "Freight Train" Jones, as the new team had a classic battle against the "Minnesota Wrecking Crew."

McDaniel had a significant number of outright wins against Mid-Atlantic Heavyweight Champion Johnny "The Champ" Valentine during the month of April. While none of these victories was with the Mid-Atlantic Title on the line, Wahoo's performances did chip away somewhat at the aura of invincibility of Valentine. Certainly, Valentine had not had a month to this point in his Mid-Atlantic area stay where he had a more challenging series of bouts from his closest pursuers.

While Valentine had a tough month of April against the likes of Wahoo and Paul Jones, "The Champ" spent a significant part of the month campaigning outside of the Mid-Atlantic area. Early in April of 1975, Valentine wrestled in St. Louis, Dallas, San Antonio and Houston in addition to taking some days off. Valentine maintained the Mid-Atlantic Heavyweight Championship for the duration of the month of April, but he was not at his usual dominating best.

Mid-Atlantic Television Champion Ric Flair only defended his title five times during the month of April 1975. Two of those defenses were back to back defenses in Charleston, South Carolina on April 4th and 11th respectively against Paul Jones. Ken Patera got two title shots against the "Nature Boy," in the WRAL studios on April 16th and in Lynchburg, Virginia on April 18th. Abe Jacobs also tried unsuccessfully to wrest the TV Title from Flair in the WRAL TV studios on April 9th.

Rather than defending his TV Title, Flair was much more active in the tag team ranks during April. Ric was involved in a whopping twenty tag matches during the month of April, and ten of those were with new partner Blackjack Mulligan.

From April 16th to the end of the month, giant Haystacks Calhoun came into the area for a quick two week run, and was involved in a match of some sort nearly every night. In that span, Calhoun wrested ten times, including a wild match in Spartanburg, South Carolina on April 26, 1975 where Haystacks teamed with Rufus R. Jones against the Super Destroyer and big Blackjack Mulligan. Calhoun also served as a special referee twice in April, including being referee in a Mid-Atlantic Title match between Paul Jones and Johnny Valentine on April 29th in Columbia, South Carolina.

NWA World Tag Team Champions Gene and Ole Anderson wrestled almost exclusively as a tag team during the month of April, with both Gene and Ole having only two singles matches apiece during the month. On the tag team front, the Anderson's had their most title defenses in April against their budding nemeses Paul Jones and Wahoo McDaniel. But overall, the Anderson's faced the new team of Ken Patera and Sonny King the most during the month of April.

Rufus R. Jones made quite an impact in the Mid-Atlantic area during his first few weeks in the territory. The "Freight Train" was reintroduced to the area's fans during April of 1975 after being out of the area for two years, and he immediately became one of the territory's most popular fan favorites. His "head-butt" was an effective weapon against many of his early foes in Jim Crockett Promotions. An example of Rufus' rapid rise on the cards can immediately be seen by looking to Charlotte, North Carolina on consecutive Park Center cards. On March 31st, Rufus started back in the territory with the second match against Frank Morrell. On the next Park Center card, which was held on April 14th, Rufus headlined the card, teaming with Wahoo against Ric Flair and Johnny Valentine. The "Freight Train" had quite an impressive month during April of 1975.

Like Rufus, another relative newcomer used the month of April as a major springboard. Blackjack Mulligan went from an early match against Charlie Cook on a March 31, 1975 Fayetteville, NC card, to headlining against Wahoo McDaniel on April 28th in Charlotte. This Charlotte match between Mulligan and McDaniel set in place a torrid "Cowboy versus Indian" feud that would rage throughout the month of May 1975, and which would feature a number of specialty matches. Mulligan also battled Dusty Rhodes in Greensboro, NC twice during the month of April, and both battles were rugged and bloody affairs.

While April of 1975 did not produce any title changes, its action was the precursor of major developments that would take place in May between the Anderson's and the team of Paul Jones and Wahoo McDaniel. April also set the table for a short bitter feud between Wahoo and Blackjack Mulligan that would erupt in May. But above all else, April 1975 was the month that Wahoo McDaniel's star shined the brightest in the Mid-Atlantic sky. Title or not, April of 1975 was undoubtedly Wahoo's month on top of the heap in Mid-Atlantic Championship Wrestling.

WHO'S HOT

1. WAHOO McDANIEL---During April, Wahoo closed in on both the NWA World Tag Team Titles, and also the Mid-Atlantic Heavyweight Title. The Chief also dished out some of the toughest whippings to Johnny Valentine that "The Champ" ever endured while wrestling for Jim Crockett Promotions.
2. RUFUS R. JONES---The "Freight Train" quickly moved from opening bouts to main events during the course of the month of April. The way the fans flocked to the Dillon, SC native was amazing. While wrestling mainly tag matches in April, Rufus would turn more to singles competition in the months to come.
3. BLACKJACK MULLIGAN---Mulligan formed a fearsome tag team with Ric Flair during April, and generally looked unstoppable in his bouts during the month. But would the "Cowboy" meet his match in the "Indian," Wahoo McDaniel. The month of May would tell the tale.

WHO'S NOT

1. THE AVENGER---The popular masked man who was headlining cards against the Super Destroyer just a month before, continued to slip down the cards during April. As an example of how far the Avenger's stock had fallen by the end of the month, on the April 30, 1975 television taping at the WRAL studios, the Avenger was teamed with Charlie Cook to wrestle the ferocious team of Johnny Valentine and the Super Destroyer. The "bad guys" prevailed with ease.
2. SWEDE HANSON---April continued the descent of this recent main event performer. The big Swede was quickly falling from the upper mid-card perch that he was occupying since the beginning of 1975. On the same April 30, 1975 TV taping referenced above, the promotion teamed Swede with Don Kernodle against Gene and Ole Anderson. The tag champs won convincingly.
3. BRUTE BERNARD---Brute was still entertaining with his antics in the ring, bit he was quickly becoming less than challenging for the younger and bigger "good guys" that were now operating in the territory.


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David Chappell /  Mid-Atlantic Gateway