3RD QUARTER 1976
The third quarter of 1976 saw the blossoming of several great
feuds, along with entrances and departures of some of the
greatest stars that ever performed for Jim Crockett Promotions.
July of 1976 will probably be best remembered for the epic
battles between NWA World Tag Team Champions Gene and Ole
Anderson and the former champs Dino Bravo and "Mr.
Wrestling" Tim Woods. The Andersonís held off the former
champions, but only by a whisker.
Two casts on the arms of Ole Anderson and Paul Jones
dominated the month of August 1976. Both men used their casts to
great advantage, and in the case of Ole it was a big reason why
the Andersonís remained World Tag champs. Jones lost his TV
title to Angelo Mosca in August, but even using his cast did not
enable him to regain the belt. But Angelo certainly got some
knots on the head from that cast!
September was the most eventful month of the year 1976 to
date. Wahoo McDaniel defeated Ric Flair for the Mid-Atlantic
Heavyweight Title after a long summer of great bouts. Newcomers
Greg Valentine and The Masked Superstar burst on to the scene.
NWA World Tag Team Champions Gene and Ole Anderson left the
area, taking the World Titles with them. With no tag team belts
in the area, the promotion brought the Mid-Atlantic Tag Team
Titles out of the mothballs and hurriedly set up a TV tournament
to crown a set of new champions.
The third quarter of 1976 certainly changed the landscape of
Mid-Atlantic Championship Wrestling for years to come!
July started with several big name visitors passing through
the area. Andre the Giant made a swing through the area during
the first two weeks of July. Andre primarily wrestled Blackjack
Mulligan, but also was a special referee in U.S. Title matches
between Mulligan and number one contender Paul Jones. Andre also
wrestled a rare match on Mid-Atlantic television during the
first week of July, teaming with newcomer Red Bastien.
Former Olympic wrestler Chris Taylor also wrestled around the
Mid-Atlantic circuit during the early part of July, 1976. Taylorís
matches were primarily against Jerry "Crusher"
Blackwell, in matches that were billed as the "Battle of
the 400 Pounders." Taylor won the matches against Blackwell
and after one TV appearance, departed the area as quickly as he
July also saw a new young tag team emerge on the scene, Randy
and Lanny Poffo. This team never rose to great heights in the
Mid-Atlantic area, but Randy Poffo would emerge as "Macho
Man" Randy Savage many years later and achieve superstar
status. Angelo Poffo, the father of these two, was also in the
area at this time and would occasionally team with his sons
during this time frame.
No titles changed hands during the month of July, which was
something of a rarity. However, the action during July was
non-stop, with several feuds reaching their apex during this
The battle for the NWA World Tag Team Titles between newly
re-crowned champs Gene and Ole Anderson and Dino Bravo and
"Mr. Wrestling" Tim Woods reached its high water mark
in the month of July. The battles between these four were epic
during July, and the competition was very even. The determining
factor in the majority of these matches was the cast worn by Ole
Anderson on his arm, which he used to his advantage to pull out
a number of close victories.
Another feud that was nearing its zenith in July was the feud
between Mid-Atlantic Champion Ric Flair and his number one
challenger, Chief Wahoo McDaniel. Wahoo and Ric put on a number
of memorable battles in July, with Flair barely maintaining his
grip on the Mid-Atlantic belt. Towards the end of July, these
two started hooking up in fence matches around the circuit,
drawing huge gates.
Blackjack Mulligan continued his iron grip on the United
States Heavyweight Title during the month of July, taking on all
comers. Mulliganís primary opponent as July progressed evolved
from Paul Jones to Rufus R. "Freight Train" Jones,
whom Mulligan dispatched with relative ease as the big Texanís
reign as U.S. Champ extended to four months and counting.
August of 1976 should have been named "The Month of The
Casts." Ole Anderson continued to wreak havoc with the cast
on his arm in August. "Mr. Wrestling" Tim Woods, Dino
Bravo and Wahoo McDaniel all felt the wrath of Oleís cast
during the month of August. In somewhat of a different twist,
"good guy" Paul Jones also used a cast on his hand and
arm to his advantage in August battles against Angelo Mosca.
Gene and Ole Anderson continued to defend their NWA World Tag
Team Titles often and successfully during the month of August.
By the end of the month, Gene and Ole had essentially turned
back any remaining challenges of former champions Dino Bravo and
"Mr. Wrestling" Tim Woods. Oleís cast continued to
be the deciding factor in a number of these bouts.
By the end of August, Ole had begun to go after others with
his cast. During an August Lumberjack Match between Ric Flair
and Wahoo McDaniel, Ole operating as a lumberjack outside the
ring smashed Wahoo with his cast. This set off a mini-feud
between Ole and Wahoo that resulted in a series of Indian Strap
Matches between the two where Wahoo also wore a cast on his arm.
Wahoo came out on top in these matches, foreshadowing Oleís
departure from the area that would occur in about a month hence.
While Wahoo tangled with Ole Anderson later in the month of
August, the big Chief continued his efforts to reclaim the
Mid-Atlantic Title from "Nature Boy" Ric Flair during
this month. Ric continued to hold Wahoo off, but McDaniel was
coming closer than ever to winning the belt back as the month
drew to a close.
One title that did change hands during the month of August
was the Mid-Atlantic TV Title. Paul Jones put his TV belt on the
line against "Big Nasty" Angelo Mosca on Mid-Atlantic
television on August 11, 1976 from the WRAL-TV Studios in
Raleigh, N.C. (the match aired around the area on Saturday,
August 14, 1976). With assistance from Blackjack Mulligan, Mosca
toppled Jones for the TV Title, injuring Paulís jaw in the
process. The night after Paul lost the TV Title, he had a match
against Blackjack Mulligan where Blackjack broke his hand. Paul
had a cast put on his hand, and much like Ole Anderson, Jones
used the cast as a weapon in his matches. Angelo Mosca was the
wrestler that felt the brunt of Jonesí cast. Despite being
battered with the cast often, Mosca was able to hold Paul Jones
off for the remainder of the month of August and remain TV
August of 1976 was a solid month for Jim Crockett Promotions,
but it would pale in comparison with the coming month of
September and the excitement and changes that month would bring.
With a major title change, and multiple big stars arriving in
and leaving the area, September was the most eventful month of
1976 to date.
The major title switch saw Wahoo McDaniel defeat Ric Flair
for the Mid-Atlantic Heavyweight Title in Greenville, S.C. on
September 11, 1976 in a fence match. This match was the
culmination of a summer-long quest by Wahoo to gain revenge
against Flair for losing the belt and receiving 40 stitches in
their match in May in Charlotte. Flair made no excuses for
losing the title, but vowed to win the belt back saying this
feud was far from over.
Wahoo was also embroiled in another feud in September that
was short in duration, but long in historical significance. Wahoo and Paul Jones had a confrontation on Mid-Atlantic
television with "Professor" Boris Malenko and his team
of Bolo and Geto Mongol. Malenko accused Wahoo of breaking his
teeth in this confrontation, setting up a series of "Loser
Leaves Town" and "Hair Against Hair" matches
between Wahoo and Bolo Mongol. McDaniel won out in these
September bouts, shaving Boloís head (all Bolo had to shave
was the top knot!) and forcing Bolo to leave the area. Geto had
for all intents and purposes left the area a week or so
previously, so the team of the Mongols was history in the
On September 29, 1976, the same show that Mid-Atlantic TV
showed Bolo Mongol being run out of the area by Wahoo, Professor
Malenko appeared with a new masked wrestler called the Masked
Superstar. Superstar was promoted as an Olympic gold medal
winner, and a Doctor of Psychology and a Doctor of Neurology! He
was in fact well spoken, but what most fans didnít realize at
the time was that the Superstar was actually the same man as the
recently departed wild man, Bolo Mongol! His real name was Bill
Eadie, and his transformation between Bolo Mongol and The
Superstar within a weekís time was truly amazing. Superstar
would be a main event performer for Jim Crockett Promotions for
years and years to come.
Another newcomer in September and who would also be a
Mid-Atlantic main event star for years was Greg Valentine.
Valentine was promoted as being the "brother" of the
legendary Johnny "The Champ" Valentine, when in
actuality he was Johnnyís son. Greg also went by the nickname
"The Bionic Elbow" when he entered the Mid-Atlantic
area. In fact, prior to his first Jim Crockett Promotions
television appearance in late September, Greg sent in a tape
that was played on Mid-Atlantic TV of him breaking boards with
his powerful elbow smash! Greg would become one of the all-time
As the Masked Superstar and Greg Valentine joined the
Mid-Atlantic main event ranks as heels in September, that meant
that two other heels had to leave the area to balance out the
roster. Surprisingly, the two stars that left the area were none
other than NWA World Tag Team Champions Gene and Ole Anderson.
Ole lost a series of Indian Strap Matches to Wahoo McDaniel in
late August and early September to pave his way towards leaving
the area. Then in mid and late September, Ole lost a series of
"Loser Leaves Town" matches to Rufus R. Jones that
signaled the end of the Andersonís great run as regulars for
Jim Crockett Promotions. While Gene and Ole would play
significant roles in Mid-Atlantic story lines over the next
year, they would not be true regular performers again for JCP as
a team until 1981.
With the Andersonís leaving the area in late September,
they of course took the NWA World Tag Team Titles with them.
With the Mid-Atlantic area no longer being the home base of the
World Tag Team Champions, the promotion scrambled to unearth the
old Mid-Atlantic Tag Team Titles in order to have continued
competition in the tag team division. The Mid-Atlantic Tag
Titles were put on the shelf in early 1975 when the Andersonís
brought the World Tag belts into the area, and had not been an
active title since that time. Then on Saturday, September 25,
1976 the promotion announced on its TV show that the
Mid-Atlantic Tag Team Titles would again become active titles
and immediately started a 12 man tournament on television that
would last until November 6, 1976 to crown new champions.
The month of September certainly changed the Mid-Atlantic
landscape as the promotion headed into the autumn months. More
historic changes would be right around the corner in October!
Hot & Who's Not
- BLACKJACK MULLIGAN---The big man from Eagle Pass
continued to dominate the United States Heavyweight
Championship through the third quarter of 1976. Mulligan
successfully defended his title against strong challenges from
Paul Jones, Rufus R. Jones and assorted other contenders
including Andre the Giant. Blackjack also teamed up
occasionally with his buddies Ric Flair and Angelo Mosca,
forming fearsome tag teams. Mulligan was also at his
devastating best during the third quarter of 1976, breaking
the hand of Paul Jones and putting Burrhead Jones (the cousin
of Rufus R. Jones) in the hospital for an extended period of
- GREG VALENTINE---Despite entering the Mid-Atlantic area
at the very end of the third quarter of 1976 (late September),
Valentine made an immediate impact. His rough and rugged style
made many people compare him to his father, Johnny Valentine. At
this time, the promotion was touting him as the
"brother" of Johnny Valentine. His signature move upon
entering Jim Crockett Promotions was the "bionic
elbow," a devastating maneuver. Greg was teamed up with Ric
Flair as partners in the Mid-Atlantic Tag Team Tournament that
started soon after Valentine entered the area, starting a
wrestling friendship and partnership that would last a number of
- THE MASKED SUPERSTAR---Much like Greg Valentine, The
Superstar came into the Mid-Atlantic area at the tail end of the
third quarter of 1976, but made his presence felt right away.
Saying he was entering the area to restore the reputation of his
manager, "Professor" Boris Malenko, Superstar combined
size, strength and intelligence and was a wrestler to be feared.
The mask added to his mystique, keeping many an opponent
confused and off of their game. The clothesline and the cobra
were two awesome holds that Superstar dominated foes with in his
early days in the Mid-Atlantic area.
- BOLO MONGOL---Bolo Mongol went from being a mid-card
tag team with partner Geto in July and August, to getting a
short main event program with Wahoo McDaniel in September
1976. The matches with Wahoo were "Loser Leaves
Town" and "Hair vs. Hair." Bolo lost these
matches and was banished from the area. Perhaps Bolo (Bill
Eadie) got the last laugh, as he re-entered the area a week
later by transforming himself into The Masked Superstar!
- PAUL JONES---Jones lost his Mid-Atlantic TV title to
Angelo Mosca in mid-August 1976, suffering an injured jaw in
that match. The next night Jones had his hand broken by
Blackjack Mulligan. Paul wore a cast on his arm, but was unable
to wrest the title back from Mosca during the remainder of the
third quarter of 1976. However, Jonesí luck would change in a
big way in October of 1976!
- JOHNNY WEAVER---Weaver emerged from the mid-card ranks
briefly to main event status against United States Champion
Blackjack Mulligan during the third quarter of 1976. Mulligan
had too much youth, size and ferocity for Weaver to handle and
clearly proved that Johnnyís days as a consistent main event
performer for Jim Crockett Promotions were in the past. However,
Weaver continued to be a solid mid-carder in the Mid-Atlantic
area for many more years to come.
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