information regarding a faux title change in
March 1978 in Charleston.
A correction on the
venue and location for the Outlaw's win of
the Mid-Atlantic heavyweight title in 1984.
Plus video of the
Title histories in
pro-wrestling are often hard to track down
and confirm, mainly because very rarely were
official records kept by the promotions.
Historians have relied on magazine and
program reports as well as newspaper
clippings, eye witness reports, and other
All of the published
title histories we've found for the
Mid-Atlantic Heavyweight title are
inaccurate or incomplete at some point, some
of them wildly so.
Hours of tireless
research (at least I like to look at it that
way!) studying hundreds of newspaper
clippings, reviewing hundreds of hours of
audio tapes of the television shows, and
even reviewing historical notes from booker
George Scott have resulted in what we assert
is the most definitive history of the
Mid-Atlantic Championship avialable.
We continue the
process of confirming each change, and
providing supporting documentation.
If you have
information which either contradicts or
confirms information we present here, please
contact us at the Mid-Atlantic Gateway.
Most of the
photographs on this page were taken by Bill
Janosik, Eddie Cheslock, or Gene Gordon.
Some were taken from Mid-Atlantic Wrestling
Magazine published by Jim Crockett
Promotions and no specific photo credit was
given in those issues.
SPECIAL NOTE: The
Mid-Atlantic title was originally called
the Eastern Heavyweight title,
which came into existence in 1970. The
name was changed to Mid-Atlantic
Heavyweight title (and a new belt
presented) in October of 1973. Crockett
Promotions recognized all Eastern title
holders as former Mid-Atlantic champions.
We will include former Eastern title
reigns in the total number of Mid-Atlantic
title reigns accordingly.
part of the storyline to introduce the
Eastern heavyweight title to the
Mid-Atlantic territory, it was
announced that Pat O'Conner was the reigning
Eastern Heavyweight Champion. This was
established both on television and in
newspaper clippings. This is generally
considered to be a fictitious title reign.
- Announced on TV (Air Date 10/17/70) that
Mauler won the Eastern Heavyweight title
from Pat O'Conner in New York
first match back for Crockett in 1970 was on
10/12/70 in Charlotte NC. At WGHP TV studios
on the following day 10/13/70, Mauler makes
the announcement that he defeated O'Conner
for the Eastern title in New York. The
earliest reference to an Eastern title match
we've found is in Lexington NC on 10/17/70
vs. Al Torres.
reign as champion, and this title change,
are generally accepted to be fictional for
the purposes of creating and establishing
the title. A newspaper reference in January
1971 to O'Conner holding the title, and
Mauler defeating him for the title, can be
WGHP TV Studio, High Point NC (Air
date of this change was established by
process of elimination.
Mauler successfully defended the title on
Monday 11/29/71 in Greenville, SC.
WGHP taped TV on Tuesdays, and while no
record exists of matches on that taping on
11/30, neither Larry Hamilton (Mauler) nor
Jack Brisco were on house shows Tuesday
11/30 held in Raleigh or Columbia.
Hall (who assists us with title histories)
saw the switch on WGHP TV and knows it was
around the Thanksgiving weekend. It could
not have been the Tuesday before
Thanksgiving (11/23/71) because Mauler is
still champion on 11/29/71. Plus, both
Mauler and Brisco were wrestling in Columbia
that night. It could not have been two weeks
later on Tuesday 12/7/71 because the Mauler
(but not Brisco) was wrestling in Columbia
only leaves Tuesday 11/30/73 at WGHP in High
Point NC as the possible date of the switch,
and that date is now considered confirmed
based on the information and process above.
Rip Hawk (1)
Charlotte Coliseum, Charlotte NC
on information found in the newspaper ad for
this show, Rip Hawk apparently won a
tournament to earn the title shot from
Eastern Champion Jack Brisco.
Brisco accounts in his autobiography that he
was unavailable for regular bookings in the
territory due to so many bookings elsewhere,
and the promotion decided to give the title
back to Rip Hawk, the story being put forth
that the title changed hands in Puerto Rico.
is listed as defending the Eastern title
against the Missouri Mauler in Charleston on
4/25. This was the last reference to Jack
Brisco as Eastern champion.
May, a clip is shown on WBTV where Rip pins
Jack Brisco, and Rip claims that he won the
Eastern title from Jack in San Juan, Puerto
Revue magazine from that year interviews new
Eastern Champion Ole Anderson and reports he
won the title at WRAL TV.
original photograph taken in Richmond 5/4
has an inscription on the rear noting that
Anderson won the title from Brisco on 5/9,
which was a Wednesday night, the night which
television was taped in Raleigh. The only
house event that same night 5/9 was in
Asheville NC and neither Brisco nor Anderson
were on the Asheville show, which made it
possible for them to be on Raleigh TV.
On 7/3/73, Jerry
wrestles Ole Anderson for the title in
Columbia. Ole is billed as the champion and
Jerry as the former champion. There were no
results in the newspaper. However, further
research shows no references to the Eastern
title from 7/3 until 7/14. On the 14th,
Jerry defended the Eastern title against Ole
in Roanoke VA. Unless we uncover evidence to
the contrary, this confirms Columbia 7/3 as
the site and date for the change.
title change has proven very difficult to
is what we know for sure:
• Newspaper results
from 12/28/73 in Charleston SC show a title
match between champion Jerry Brisco and
challenger Johnny Valentine being stopped
after Brisco is injured. ("Brisco
accidentally ran into the referee, fell
down, and hit the support. It was feared he
may have broken some ribs, so the match was
• A newspaper
clipping from Columbia, SC promoting a
3/5/74 card at the Township Auditorium
mentions that Jerry was returning to action
following an injury around Christmas 1973.
The time frames line up well, and we will
assume that Jerry Brisco was out for an
injury and the title was awarded to
Valentine early in the year 1974, using the
story above. The clipping also mentions a
tour of the orient, so the story could be
partially based on that truth. (Brisco was
not on Mid-Atlantic cards for the first 7
weeks of 1974.)
• Another possible
story: Valentine was told on TV that he
would be awarded the title by default when
Jerry Brisco failed to show up for a title
defense. Brisco later complained to
announcer Elliott Murnick on the Raleigh
version of Mid-Atlantic Championship
Wrestling, after returning to action,
that he never lost the belt in
the ring, that the Crockets gave Valentine
the belt while he was in Japan with his
brother Jack. (Credit - Carroll Hall)
This story matches a listing in Title
Histories by Duncan & Will:
"Awarded [to Johnny Valentine] when Jerry
Brisco goes to Japan."
• Contradicting this
is a mention in an issue of Wrestling
Guide magazine by Charleston
correspondent James Reeves that Valentine
won the title from Brisco in Charleston.
Looking at match dates and newpaper ads, by
process of elimination, this would have had
to happen on 1/4/74. Valentine wasn't on the
1/11 card a week later. He is documented to
be defending the title as early as 1/21 in
Charlotte, which would have been promoted on
a Charlotte TV taping on 1/16/74. Clippings
for the 1/4/74 Charleston card are unclear,
listing Valentine wrestling "Tom Jones for
the third time in as many weeks." Tom Jones
had wrestled Valentine twice in December
(12/7 and 12/14/73). We are guessing Tom
Jones was a replacement for Brisco, who
missed the date due to either injury or
going to Japan as documented above.
We do not believe
Valentine defeated Brisco in the ring for
title-defense reference for Valentine:
1/21/74 Valentine vs. Bruggers in Charlotte.
Promotional work for that match would have
taken place on the TV taped 1/16/74.
• First match back
for Jerry Brisco following alleged injury:
2/11/74 Charlotte (in a 6 man tag team
Park Center, Charlotte NC
pinned Valentine in a fence match
Jones pinned Valentine, Valentine put his
leg on the rope to break the count. The
referee did not see this, and Jones pulled
Valentine's leg off the ropes before the
three count ended. Valentine protested,
Ric Flair came down to ringside and
protested as well, but referee Angelo
Martinelli raised Paul Jones hand and
awarded the title belt to Jones.
Announced at the TV taping in Raleigh
(airing in most markets on 3/22/75) that
Jones had been stripped of the title and
the belt returned to Johnny
Valentine by NWA President Sam Muchnick.
Valentine is now recognized as champion.
announced on the WRAL TV taping on 3/12/75
that he had sent the film of the 3/9 match
in Charlotte to NWA president Sam Muchnick
asking that the film be reviewed and the
title returned to him since he his leg on
the rope and the count should have been
stopped (see Paul Jones above.)
Muchnick reviewed the tape, ruled in
Valentine's favor, stripped Jones of the
title, and awarded the title to Johnny
Valentine. This was announced at WRAL TV
taping on 3/19/75.
Many title histories
don't have Flair winning his first
Mid-Atlantic title until spring of 1976, but
it was actually two weeks before the
Wilmington Plane Crash. Flair was allowed to
maintain the title throughout his
rehabilitation period, despite not defending
the title during the NWA 30-day defense
period. He returned to action in January,
mostly in tag matches or six-man matches,
and began defense of the title in February.
This is the famous
"Table Leg" match where Ric hit Wahoo with a
table leg that had been broken off from a
ringside table. Although the spot was
worked, the table leg had a nail sticking
out of it and severely cut Wahoo over his
eye, requiring 40 stitches to close the
wound. Wahoo would mention this incident in
TV interviews over the next decade.
9/7/77 at WRAL TV
studios, Raleigh NC Airdate 9/10/77
Championship Wrestling Television
This was the famous
match where Valentine broke Wahoo's leg on
television. Greg Valentine put up the $2000
in silver dollars against Wahoo's
Mid-Atlantic title. In a match still talked
about today, Valentine had Wahoo prone on
the mat and held his leg and fell
full-weight on the leg, breaking the ankle.
Wahoo submitted and Valentine had regained
*Also documented to have changed
hands two days earlier on 3/31/78 in
Charleston SC with Gene Anderson as a
special referee. The change was ignored in
Greensboro and Greg Valentine wore the belt
into the ring and defended against Wahoo on
4/2, so that date is still recognized as the
official title change.
Dusty Rhodes who was originally scheduled to
meet Koloff for a shot at the Mid-Atlantic
title. Rhodes spent several weeks in the
area right after loosing the NWA World title
to Ric Flair.
Memorial Auditorium, Greenville SC
Brisco is a former
2-time Eastern Heavyweight Champion, which
is the title that morphed into the
Mid-Atlantic title in September of 1973.
Eastern title reigns are recognized as
former Mid-Atlantic title reigns, making
this reign Jack's 3rd Mid-Atlantic title
Jack Brisco and his
brother Jerry are the only two men to have
held both the Eastern States and
Piper had stolen the
Mid-Atlantic title belt after a disputed
match, and would not return it to Brisco
unless he agreed to face him on TV and put
up $10,000. Brisco quickly got up the
money (with help from Ricky Steamboat and
Wahoo McDaniel) and the two met in one of
the more, memorable televised title matches
of the time.
8/3/82 Civic Center,
Roddy Piper is
stabbed by a fan after the matches are over.
Koloff is given the
title by Dick Slater on Mid-Atlantic TV.
Slater won the US
title on 12/14/83 in Charlotte NC and
elected to give the Mid-Atlantic title to
This "handover" of
the title, without objection from the
sanctioning bodies, cheapened the title in a
manner from which it never really recovered.
While Koloff was a top level wrestler, the
title no longer had value because it was
handed off and not won in the ring. The
title became a minor/mid-level title from
this point forward.
(Rhetorically, and in
terms of the storyline, fans have to ask why
would the NWA and/or Crockett Promotions
allow something like this to happen? How is
this reasonably explained? The answer, of
course, is lazy booking!)
by Angelo Mosca Sr.
1/25/84 Shelby NC TV
Coliseum, Charlotte NC
Mosca Jr. (2)
Coliseum, Charlotte NC
Masked Outlaw (Dory Funk Jr.) (2)
by Gary Hart
Memorial Auditorium, Spartanburg SC
World Wide Wrestling
incorrectly listed as North Rowan HS,
CLIPPINGClipping does not confirm this
match, but this is the only taping we've
discoverd in May 1984. Thanks to Carroll
Mosca Jr. (3)
6/27/84* - Scope
Arena, Norfolk VA
*Date not confirmed.
Thanks to Robert
Reddick for information tha confirms Norfolk
as the location of this title change. Need
Defeated Sam Houston
to fill the vacant championship.
WTBS Television Studios
Drive, Atlanta GA
Bart (Ricky Harris)
May have also been a
9/2/86 TV Taping
Ron Garvin wins US
Tag Titles with Barry Windham and decides to
give up the Mid-Atlantic title. He hands the
belt to Jim Crockett on World
The belt is never
seen again and the title is unofficially
A SAD DAY
FOR MID-ATLANTIC WRESTLING
sequence of images from World
Championship Wrestling show Ronnie
Garvin handing over the Mid-Atlantic
Heavyweight championship belt to Jim
Crockett, Jr. on 12/27/86 in the studios of
WTBS in Atlanta. Garvin was forfeiting the
title after he and Barry Windham had won the
United States tag team championships. He is
wearing the US tag title.
Jim Crockett told Tony Schiavone that he
would announce later what would be done with
the title, the belt and the championship
were never seen or mentioned again.
great era known as "Mid-Atlantic
Championship Wrestling" had quietly come to