After that program with Weaver, you were pretty
much a tag team specialist for most of the rest of
your run in the Mid-Atlantic area.
Valentine was the first of your really big-time
You all had the famous TV angle in June of 1978
where you put up your TV Title against Paul Jones,
in exchange for a shot at the NWA World Tag Team
Titles. You lost the TV belt to Jones, but you and
won the World Tag Team Belts from Jones and
Steamboat! And all this happened on one TV show!
and I made a real good team. He was a great partner
as a partner, if you would. I spoke with
a couple of months ago, and he was very
complimentary of you. He said you taught him how to
be patient in the ring.
(laughs) I don’t know if I taught
too much! He was always a really good performer, and
he was just a good hard worker. He was very steady.
It was a pleasure for me to be with a partner of his
stature…he was great.
Valentine & Baron von Raschke
World Tag Team Champions
was very similar to his Dad (Johnny Valentine) in a
lot of ways, wasn’t he?
Well…they looked just like each
other---picture images. They were both very well
built people, and they both worked really, really
didn’t have his Dad’s weird sense of humor!
(laughs) I don’t think
could have ever topped his Dad in that category!
Besides Jones and Steamboat, another team I
remember you and
up against during your title reign was Blackjack
Mulligan and Dick Murdock.
The old M & M Boys…they were quite a
Yes, for sure. I told Blackjack I would be
talking with you tonight, and he wanted me to be
sure and tell you ‘hello’ for him.
Please give him a ‘hello’ back from me!
I definitely will.
the title reign of Baron Von Raschke and
Valentine came to an end at the tail end of
1978…to newcomers Paul Orndorff and
Jimmy Snuka. Tell us about the Orndorff/Snuka tandem.
They were two great athletes. There was nobody
like Snuka, as far as flying around. He could climb
those ropes, and leap further than anybody I’d
ever seen. He was like a kangaroo going across the
(laughing) Snuka was unbelievable with those
And Orndorff had a terrific athletic background.
He was a real horse in the ring. They both were very
impressive…to the fans and to us.
What was going through your mind when Snuka was
preparing to jump across the ring onto YOU?
I got very tense and my eyes got extremely large
when I would see Snuka climbing those ropes on the
other side of the ring, getting ready to make that
I can only imagine! And for that time period,
Baron, that was an almost unheard of move.
It certainly was. And in the late 70s, Snuka
weighed 30-40 pounds more than he would into the
And those 30-40 pounds were all muscle!
always thought Snuka and Orndorff got over pretty
much on their athleticism. They weren’t much on
their interviews…but they were new and so
athletic, the lack of mic skills didn’t really
hurt them all that much.
, they looked good too!
And they really were good.
After you and
went your separate ways, you actually teamed up in
early 1979 with you former enemy, Paul Jones.
(laughing) Actually, Baron, it WAS pretty hard
to imagine! You two even won the NWA World Tag Team
That we did.
Jones and Baron von Raschke at WRAL TV in Raleigh
World Tag Team Champions
But I tell you, the thing I remember most about
you teaming with Jones was when you two wrestled Ric
Flair and Ricky Steamboat during the summer of 1979.
You and Paul were in large part responsible for
Flair really getting over as a babyface for the
Oh yeah…that was a great series! I think
that’s when we sold out your hometown…
You’re absolutely right! For the first match
of that series, I don’t think the
Richmond Coliseum was ever packed with more people…or
had more people turned away at the door.
I believe we sold [
Richmond] out several times. We kept selling that match
out. That was a great run with Paul and myself
against Flair and Steamboat.
Tell us about the dynamics of the Raschke/Jones
team. In a lot of ways you all seemed to be total
opposites, but boy did that team ever work!
You know, Paul and I had the same phenomenon
like I was mentioning before…it was a lot like Mad
Dog Vachon and Baron Von Raschke.
was a little shorter than I was…I was the tall one
of the team. I’m not the best looking guy…it was
In that time frame, I remember Paul briefly
putting a blonde wig on you and saying that the only
thing people could call you then was ‘handsome!’
I also recall Paul saying with that blonde wig on,
you got ALMOST as many girlfriends as Paul did!
All that wig did was make matters worse!
How did Paul rank as a tag team partner?
Very high. Paul and I really clicked…it was
just great. Paul and I also had a great time
You and Paul rode the Mid-Atlantic highways
Yes…usually by ourselves. Paul had been around
the territory a long while, so he knew his way
around very well.
Before we leave the subject of you and Paul
against Flair and Steamboat, I’m curious about one
You’re a very curious fellow…
I’m not quite sure how to take that Baron!
any rate, was there any thought of putting the World
Tag Team Belts on Flair and Steamboat? They were so
hot as a team for that brief period of time.
I really don’t have any idea about that. Belts
were really never that important to me…
There seems to be a split of opinion with your
colleagues as to whether holding a title was all
that significant. From the wrestlers I’ve talked
with, there appears to be about an even split of
opinion on that subject.
Belts were something to talk about; they gave
the fans something to talk about. But I could work
in the ring whether I had [a belt] or not.
It was funny, they never put the belts on Flair
and Steamboat, but later that summer in 1979, they
put the Titles on Flair and Blackjack Mulligan. I
come back from summer vacation that year, and you
and Paul had lost them and already won them back!
…you HAVE to pay attention to these things!
I know…always keeping the people guessing.
Can’t ever miss an episode!
There you go! (everybody laughs)
Your final major tag team program in the area
was a very memorable one, in the fall of 1979. You
and Paul battled the new duo of Ricky Steamboat and
Jay Youngblood. Steamboat and Youngblood would
become one of the Mid-Atlantic area’s top teams
for four more years.
They were another young upcoming team. We had
some really good, really serious, matches with them.
At that time, Jay Youngblood had never gotten a
serious push. Even teaming with Ricky, there had to
be some concern about him getting over. And the
program as a whole getting over.
You see what happened there, was they teamed up
Ricky Steamboat and Jay Youngblood…a couple of
guys that were kind of so-so looking. Then, you have
Paul Jones and myself…two very attractive and
All the young girls were just going crazy over
Paul and I. When the girls would come to see Paul
and myself, of course, they saw Youngblood and
Steamboat too. So there were a few, a small number,
that started liking Jay Youngblood and Ricky
Steamboat. Can you imagine that?
Baron, I’m having a hard time imagining any of
It boggles the mind, doesn’t it?
You might say so! But all of this sounds a
little backwards to me…
The passage of time can twist things sometimes,
you know? Anyway, some of our young attractive
fans…Paul Jones’ and Baron Von Raschke’s
attractive fans, had the gall to go over to Ricky
Steamboat, who looked so-so, and to Jay Youngblood,
who looked so-so. So, Steamboat and Youngblood got a
few more fans.
(laughing) And a tag team rivalry for the ages
know, when I interviewed Paul Jones he insisted to
me that Ricky Steamboat turned on him in 1978, about
a year before all of this happened. I’m starting
to understand now why you and Paul got along so
At the risk of dredging up some painful memories
for you, do you remember when Steamboat and
Youngblood painted the yellow streak down your back
(laughing) I’ll take that as a ‘yes.’
How come you had to remember THAT?
You have to admit, that angle is pretty hard to
forget! Here’s your chance, all these years later,
to explain that to all of us fans!
Well, it was a terrible, terrible thing that
they did. Young punks…and their screaming,
hollering fans---yelling and screaming and enjoying
something like that.
(laughing) Sounds like your memory might be
remember on the TV interview right after it
happened, Paul said he couldn’t get the paint off
of him. When I interviewed Paul in Charlotte about a
year ago, I should have asked him if he had any
remnants of that yellow paint still on his back!
That wasn’t easy to wash off…we’d probably
still have to check his back! (everybody laughs)
was quite a deal!
Without having you and Jones to start off with,
do you think Steamboat and Youngblood would have
become the superstar team they eventually became?
They were good talents…they would have
eventually gotten there anyway.
Well, Baron, nothing lasts forever…and neither
did your partnership with Paul Jones. You two had a
falling out in early 1980, and had some heated
matches against each other. And you were actually
cheered in those matches!
(laughs) Yes…I was.
I’m not quite sure why, but I cheered for you
To know me…is to love me! (everybody laughs)
How could such a great team have had it all end
You want to know why?
Yes, I would.
That Paul Jones was a sneaky coward…he was
manipulative. You know, he would give me a medal
every time something would happen…and I would go
for it. Then I found out that he was just using
He kept using my nice personality, and my good
(laughs) A man can only take so much of that
But, yeah, Paul and I had some terrific cage
matches. And then I was off to a different
Was it difficult facing Paul again as an
opponent, after the great run together as World Tag
I look back on that,
, and it’s all good memories. I enjoyed what I was
doing, and Paul enjoyed what he was doing. We went
our separate ways there for a while…but we got
back and saw each other in Las Vegas recently, and
it was a great feeling on both sides, I think.
That’s terrific…had you seen Paul anytime
recently before the Cauliflower Alley Club event?
No…not since the time I came back to Charlotte in
the mid 80s and wrestled for a while there then.
not a real good person about calling and writing
people, so seeing people in Las Vegas was really
When you left the Mid-Atlantic area in early
1980 after the matches against Paul, you went to
Georgia and the AWA and some other areas. But in the
fall of 1983, you briefly came back to the Carolinas
with Gary Hart as your manager…attempting to
unmask Charlie Brown. Why was that stint back in the
Mid-Atlantic area so short?
Then, my daughter had started into college and
my son was in high school…so we didn’t want to
move. At that time, my family wasn’t with me and I
got to be a very, very lonely guy---and I didn’t
like that. So, I needed to get back to where my
why I didn’t stay in
any longer than I did.