TOURNAMENT BRACKETING & RESULTS
PARTICIPANTS WERE NOT SEEDED.
PAIRINGS WERE DETERMINED IN ADVANCE THROUGH A RANDOM DRAWING.
Rufus R. Jones defeated Steve Strong by
pinfall. Rufus pinned Strong with a backslide.
Terry Funk defeated Red Bastien by
pinfall. Funk and Bastien wrestled clean until Funk turned,
kicking Bastien until finally pinning him.
Blackjack Mulligan defeated Ken Patera
by pinfall. Mulligan pinned Patera after coming off the top rope
with a knee to Patera's throat.
Dusty Rhodes defeated Professor Boris Malenko by
pinfall. Dusty pinned Malenko after delivering the bionic elbow
Wahoo McDaniel defeated Superstar Billy
Graham by pinfall. Graham had Wahoo in his full nelson when
Wahoo kicked off the turn buckle. Both men fell to the mat with
Graham maintaining the full nelson on Wahoo. Wahoo was on top of
Graham and Graham's shoulders were to the mat, and the referee
counted him out.
Harley Race defeated Tiger Conway Jr.
by pinfall. Conway rolled Race into a reverse cradle out of the
turnbuckle. Race continued the roll, and cradled Conway for the pin.
Paul Jones defeated Ole Anderson by
pinfall. Anderson Irish-whipped Jones into the ropes and Jones
caught him with body press coming out of the ropes for the pin.
Johnny Weaver defeated Gene Anderson by
Judge's Decision following a 20 minute draw. Weaver had Gene
Anderson in the sleeper when time ran out. The panel of five judges voted
Weaver the winner. The judges were (1) NWA President Jack Adkisson,
(2) Raleigh promoter Joe Murnick, (3) wrestler and broadcaster Les
Thatcher, (4) longtime Crockett Promotions associate and ring
announcer Wally Dusek, and (5) New Jersey State Athletic
Commissioner (and father of Larry Sharpe) Augie Wilde.
ROUND TWO - QUARTER FINALS
Terry Funk defeated Rufus R. Jones by
pinfall. Terry Funk was re-entering the ring and Rufus picked
him up for a slam. Funk held to the ropes causing Rufus to lose his
balance falling backwards with Funk on top of him. Funk held him for
the three count.
Dusty Rhodes defeated Blackjack
Mulligan by pinfall. Rhodes had Mulligan in a headlock when
Mulligan shot him into the ropes. The two collided and Dusty fell to
the ringside floor, landing on top of one of the official judges
Augie Wilde. Blackjack fell to his back in the ring.
The referee was distracted by Rhodes and Wilde, and began issuing
the ten-count on Rhodes to return to the ring. While this was going
on, Tim Woods, who had his hand broken by Mulligan some weeks earlier,
entered the ring. Woods hit
Mulligan with his cast, knocking Mulligan unconscious. Rhodes beat
the ten count and returned to the ring, and then covered the
unconscious Mulligan for the three count.
Harley Race defeated Wahoo McDaniel by
disqualification. Wahoo threw Race into the ropes. Rather than
bouncing off the ropes back toward Wahoo, Race jumped slightly,
falling backward over the top rope to the floor, making it look as
though Wahoo had thrown him over the top rope. The referee made the
judgment that Wahoo had intentionally thrown Race over the top rope
and disqualified McDaniel. An angry Wahoo brawled with Race outside
of the ring, hitting him with a chair and also hitting referee Greg
Peterson with a chair. Wahoo was later fined for these actions.
Paul Jones defeated Johnny Weaver by
pinfall. Jones and Weaver wrestled a very scientific match with
Jones pinning Weaver with an inside cradle.
ROUND THREE - SEMI-FINALS
Terry Funk defeated Dusty Rhodes by
disqualification. This match was a brawl from the beginning,
much of it taking place outside the ring until Rhodes was eventually
Paul Jones defeated Harley Race by
pinfall. Race held the advantage most of the match, using his
trademark flying head butts and knee-drops. Jones caught him by
surprise with the same maneuver he used earlier to defeat Ole
Anderson, coming out of the ropes with a body press for the pinfall.
A major advance for Jones as he defeats former United States champ
and former NWA champ Race to advance to the finals.
FINAL ROUND - CHAMPIONSHIP FINAL
Terry Funk defeated Paul Jones by
pinfall to win the United States Heavyweight Championship. Both
wrestlers, exhausted from their earlier encounters, wrestled a
methodical, scientific match early on. At the end, there were
several back-and-forth near falls. Referee Greg Peterson was
inadvertently knocked down, and while he was down, Jones was able to
pin Funk for what seemed like a five or six count. Peterson, who was
also physically involved earlier during the Wahoo/Race brawl, was
unable to get into position to count the pin. Eventually, an
exhausted Jones lifted Funk for a vertical suplex, but could not get
Funk over. Funk quickly cradled Jones for a three count to win the
match and the United States Heavyweight Championship.
* * * * *
Ray Stevens and Tim
Woods were scheduled to meet each other in the opening round of the
tournament. Stevens was announced as having "travel difficulties"
and did not make the show. he was replaced by Johnny Weaver. Woods
was injured prior to the tournament, but was not replaced. Instead,
Weaver (replacing Stevens) met Gene Anderson in the first round.
Anderson was originally scheduled for a bye in the original 19-man
This is what the original tournament
bracket looked like before the substitution of Weaver for Stevens
and the re-bracketing to 18 participants:
Weaver made it to the finals of a previous tournament held in
Florida for the vacant US title. He was defeated by Harley Race in
the finals of that tournament, which was a fictitious tournament
created as the back-story for Race when he first brought the title
to Greensboro in July 1975 and lost it to Johnny Valentine.
United States Title History.
A FAN'S BRACKET:
DAVE ROUTH'S ORIGINAL
FILLED OUT BRACKET FROM THE NIGHT OF THE TOURNAMENT
(1) NWA President Jack
(2) Raleigh promoter Joe Murnick
Crockett Promotions associate and ring announcer Wally Dusek
(4) wrestler and
broadcaster Les Thatcher
(5) New Jersey State
Athletic Commissioner (and father of Larry Sharpe) Augie Wilde.