Cokes & Popcorn

Little Refreshments I Want To Hang On To

by Dick Bourne


Stale Popcorn

Somebody Take the Money

Never Let 'em See You Sell, Kid

Hardcore Love of Mid-Atlantic Wrestling

Superbowl Perspective


Sandy Scott's Last Rib

Welcome to the Territory

Don't Mess With Brisco

Who's Your Friend?

Old Wrestling Makes New Friends in Line at Hardee's

Real Pain

I'll be adding more popcorn to this page over time.


Minnesota Wrecking Crew


Visit the Online Store!

Smoked Filled Rooms


Thanks to Mike Mooneyham for mentioning the Mid-Atlantic Gateway and quoting from the Cokes & Popcorn stories in his "Charleston Post & Courier" wrestling column.


Thanks to Jim Nelson, Paul Jones, Ole Anderson, Brad Anderson, Sandra Scott, Barry Caldwell, Greg Price, Eddie Cheslock, Jason Jones, and (as always) Peggy Lathan for their contributions to this page.

New book from the Mid-Atlantic Gateway!

Keeping Wahoo Happy

 I came across a great little quote in a newspaper article that had a connection to my glory days of wrestling in the 1970s.

The article ("Pro Wrestling Makes Millions as other Sports Fight to Survive" by James Warren of the Chicago Sun Times, Nov. 9, 1977) focused on the success of pro-wrestling in tough economic times.

Many promoters were interviewed for the story, including our guy Jim Crockett, Jr. who opined on the need to keep his top talent happy:

The wrestler thus has an enviable freedom...... Jim Crockett, Jr., who promotes in Virginia and the Carolinas, realizes this can put pressure on the promoter. "I guard my top 10 wrestlers with my life. I've got to make them happy or they'll take off."

One of Crockett's stars, Wahoo McDaniel, a 39-year old former Miami Dolphin linebacker, earned $200,000 last year. "I'll perform as many services for Wahoo as possible," says Crockett, "like helping him with his taxes or getting him a starting time at the best golf course if he wants to play golf. I want to keep Wahoo happy."

Ah yes, Wahoo did love his golf. And Crockett knew the way to keep Wahoo doing his famous war dance in Mid-Atlantic rings.

Somebody Take The Money


Recently Jason Jones told us about showing an online video to Harley Race while kicking back one afternoon in the World League Wrestling office.


Jason is a great young wrestler who deserves a break. He was trained by George South back in the early 2Ks, and has wrestled for NOAH in Japan and had a few appearances in the WWE. He currently is the World League Wrestling Champion for Harley Race's WLW group in Missouri, and is heavily involved in running the front office for that company.


Back in 2005, George South was involved in a feud with Brad Anderson (son of the late great Gene Anderson of the Minnesota Wrecking Crew) over the EWA championship in North Carolina. George put a bounty on the head of Anderson in hopes that he wouldn't have to put the title up against him. We got the idea at the time to do a video about the bounty and copy the memorable video Harley Race did in similar circumstances back in 1983 with Ric Flair. Then for fun, we took both videos and blended them together.


it was that video Jason showed Harley a few weeks back:





Harley is like a lot of the veteran stars from days gone by - he appreciates the respect shown him by the younger generations. Harley had a smile on his face as he watched the video, and seemed to appreciate the tip of the hat.


But he also had one more comment to Jason about George:


"That kid is nuts."



* * * * *

A few trivia notes: (1) In this video, George is wearing a mid 1970s-era sport coat given to him by Paul Jones. (2) No one was able to collect the bounty and Brad Anderson won the EWA title in Statesville NC on 6/18/05. (3) Both Brad Anderson and Jason Jones are former EWA champs along with other great names like Brad Armstrong, Ricky Morton, Ivan Koloff, Jake "the Snake" Roberts, Masked Superstar, Buddy Landel, the Barbarian, Bobby Houston and others.  (4) Jason Jones wrestled Brad Anderson in a great match at the Night of Legends II event in Spartanburg SC in February 2005. Both won the EWA title later that same year. (5) And yes, that is really 25-grand in that EWA brief case. At least that's our story, and we're stickin' to it.


Never Let 'em See You Sell, Kid.

One of the greatest wrestling t-shirts ever designed hit the NWA Wrestling Legends Fanfest in Atlanta earlier this month. It photographically depicts the various emotions of the one and only Ole Anderson, except that each photo shown above each listed emotion is the exact same photo. Joy, sorrow, excitement…same photo of Ole. It is brilliant and captures Ole Anderson to a tee.

Scott Teal of and designed the shirt. Scott co-wrote Ole Anderson's auto-biography a few years back.

Brad Anderson recently saw a photo of the shirt on Facebook and loved it. Brad is the son of Ole's long time Minnesota Wrecking Crew tag team partner Gene Anderson.

"That's so great," Brad related. "Ole not selling anything!"

Brad was reminded of something his father taught him, both as it related to wrestling, and everything else in life. "Never let 'em see you sell, kid," his Dad taught him.

Gene obviously taught Ole that same lesson well.

The t-shirt is available at Scott Teal's Crowbar Press website at

(Photo of t-shirt from Robert Everett's Facebook page.)

Minnesota Wrecking Crew: A Brief History of the Anderson Family in Wrestling

Only $9.95 through

Hardcore Love of Mid-Atlantic Wrestling

On a recent independent wrestling show in Lincolnton NC, hardcore wrestling/ECW icon Tommy Dreamer made a special appearance. As he was coming in at the back of the building, he came across George South, who had just finished unloading and setting up the ring for that night's show. As he was just getting ready to say hello, he noticed the large photo of legendary wrestlers on the side of George's ring truck.

"Holy cow!", Dreamer uttered, as he stared at the photos of the Mid-Atlantic Wrestling legends. "I remember all those guys!"

Turns out that Tommy Dreamer grew up watching Mid-Atlantic Wrestling and was a huge fan of that era. At the tender age of nine years old, he saw Enforcer Luciano, the mobster wrestler hired to collect a bounty on the head of Blackjack Mulligan, chew lightbulbs on TV during an interview with Bob Caudle....and he was hooked.

"Bet you can't name them all," George challenged Tommy.

"I'll take that bet," replied Dreamer, and he rattled every one of them off without hesitation. "Blackjack Mulligan, Gene and Ole Anderson, Wahoo McDaniel, Masked Superstar, Jimmy Valiant, Greg Valentine, Ric Flair, Paul Jones, Ricky Steamboat.....I even know THAT guy!", Dreamer laughed pointing to a 1984 photo of a rookie George South.

George was pretty impressed, having no idea Dreamer was such a fan of the lost era we all love most.

"Oh, I'm serious," said Dreamer, "I loved those guys. And it was those guys who paved the way. I have so much respect for all of them."

Photo above: George South looks at the wrestlers emblazoned on the side of his truck in early 2009.

For Non-NFL fans, Wrestling Puts the Superbowl in Perspective

I'm a big fan of the National Football League, and although neither of my favorite teams made it to the Superbowl this year, I'm guessing the game between the Pittsburgh Steelers and the Green Bay Packers is going to be a good one.

My friend Peggy loves college football, but barely pays attention to the NFL until the Superbowl rolls around. Non-NFL fans typically need a hook to get them interested in the big game or to perhaps understand the back-story to the two teams facing each other. Friday morning before the Superbowl, her local sports station gave her that hook.

Listening to WCCP "The Drive" 104.9 FM, morning host Mickey Plyler and guest offered this about the Superbowl on their show "The Rush Hour" (roughly quoting):

"The Pittsburgh Steelers are like 'Nature Boy' Ric Flair – the long time champion. The Packers are the 'young lions,' as Bob Caudle of the Mid-Atlantic wrestling show used to call Ricky Steamboat. Now, Steamboat eventually beat Flair – can the Packers do it to the Steelers?"

And suddenly, it all made sense. And if you know Peggy, you know she's a fan of the bad guys, and always a fan of the long time champ Ric Flair. Her choice was clear - Go Steelers!


I recently received a cool note from my friend (and long time Charlotte area wrestling fan) Barry Caldwell. I thought some of you would enjoy it, too.

* * * * *

Sometime I sits and thinks and sometime I just sits. Today I was doing both.

I got to thinking about some music that I remember from the 1950s. Anyone that is old enough to remember Arthur Smith and the Crackerjacks would also remember Tommy Faile. Tommy was a good all round entertainer that played several instruments and sang a good song. He can also be remembered for the songs that he wrote. "Phantom 309" was a big hit with the truckers. "The Brown Mountain Light" was a money maker for him.

I think it was in the late 50s that Tommy decided to record some songs under an assumed name. I believe he was maybe trying to attract a younger audience with his new name. It was a one time thing.

I was big into wrestling at the time and later on in the early 1960s some new wrestlers came to Charlotte and one name jumped out at me.

"Heck, I've got a record by him,” I told my brother. He said, “No, listen to the song. You know who it is singing. That’s Tommy Faile.”

It was more fun at that moment to think this new wrestler had made a record. Tommy Faile had chosen the assumed name . . . . . . Sandy Scott.

* * * * *

Thanks for sending me a little Crackerjack to go with my Coca-Cola and popcorn, Barry. I love stuff like this.

So let's hear the tune:


Also listen to "Shake It Up" by Sandy Scott (Tommy Faile)

Sandy Scott's Last Rib

Ron Garvin and Tim Horner were visiting Sandy Scott in the hospital, and while there, Sandy received a phone call. Sandy’s wife Sandra, right by Sandy's side, answered the phone.

“Hold on Jim, here he is,” Sandra Scott said and handed the phone to her husband. “It’s Jim Crockett.”

Ronnie and Tim briefly looked at each other, somewhat surprised. Sandy sort of smiled and said “Hold on boys, Jim Crockett’s on the phone. Let me put this on the speaker phone.”

Sandy pushed the speaker phone button and placed the receiver down on the phone. He looked at his visitors. “Say hello to Jimmy, boys.”

Ronnie Garvin looked halfway uncomfortable, but said “Hello there, Jim!”

What Sandy hadn’t told Ronnie and Tim, of course, was that it was his minister on the phone, not former promoter and head of Jim Crockett Promotions.

In a somewhat more-than-ironic twist of fate, the minister of the Westhampton Christian Church in Roanoke VA is named Jim Crockett. This Jim Crockett, however, might have better odds of being related to Davy Crockett of the Alamo than to Jim Crockett of Mid-Atlantic Wrestling. The Rev. Crockett is a native of San Antonio and served congregations both there and in Oklahoma before being called to Westhampton Church in Roanoke.

When Ronnie and Tim heard the Rev. Crockett’s voice, they immediately knew it wasn’t their Jimmy Crockett, and it was all Sandy could do to hold back laughter.

“Son of a gun got us again,” Garvin muttered.

They all had a good laugh about it after Sandy’s call ended. What were the odds that one of the area’s most veteran stars, who had worked for the Crockett family for over 25 years would have a minister named Jim Crockett?

That rib got all of us in a way, though. After Sandy had passed away and arrangements were announced and published for his funeral, dozens of long time wrestling fans and Gateway visitors wrote the website asking if that were some kind of a joke. Or perhaps – could it possibly be – that promoter Jim Crockett had gone into the ministry?

Yep, Sandy was still ribbing us.


* * * * *

This story is actually a blend of stories related to me by Sandra Scott and Jim Nelson, related to Jim by Tim Horner. Like all good stories, it is slightly embellished. Some the dialogue is how I imagined it might have taken place. The general circumstances, including Sandy's love of a good rib, are just as they happened.

Welcome to the Territory

When Ole Anderson first came to the Mid-Atlantic area, "the Charlotte territory" as it was known then, he would go to the gym each day with Gene and Lars Anderson to work out. Ole was hitting the weights hard at the time. There was another fellow working out at the gym each day who Gene and Lars warned Ole about. Ole might want to stay away from this fellow, he might be a little too interested in the new arrival to the area.

One day while Ole was lifting weights, the man came over and touched Ole gently his shoulder. "My, my, aren't you big and strong!" Ole never said a word to the guy, but moved over to the other side of the gym. Gene caught Ole's eye and nodded, as if to say "this is the guy you need to look out for." So Ole tried his best to avoid him.

A few more times that week, the same man approached Ole. "My, my, you're the biggest of the Anderson brothers, aren't you? You're soooo big and strong!" Ole was ready to pound the guy, but each time Gene would convince him to just let it go.

One of the first matches Ole had in the territory was a 6-man tag team match with his partners Gene and Lars. Ole's three opponents were across the ring, one of them with his back turned and his foot on the bottom ropes. In those days, you got your start date in the territory and you were given your bookings and you might be working against guys you had never wrestled before, and some cases, being new to the territory, not even have met yet, as the good guys and bad guys didn't travel together or hang out with each other. So it was in this case, Ole wasn't familiar with all of his opponents that first night. When the bell rang, Ole started the match, and as he came to the middle of the ring, there was the friendly fellow from the gym ready to lock up with him! That man was none other than Sandy Scott.

Gene, Lars and Sandy had successfully pulled a huge rib on Ole. Over the course of his career in wrestling, and certainly in those early years in the Charlotte territory, Ole learned to have a great deal of respect for Sandy Scott as a wrestler. The Anderson Brothers had a big rivalry with Sandy and George, the Scott Brothers in the late 60s and early 70s. But on that night in the summer of 1968, Ole quickly gained a great deal of respect for Sandy as one of the best ribbers in the business.

The two remain good friends to this day, enjoying fellowship in recent years at the Gulf Coast Wrestlers Reunion in Mobile AL and the NWA Wrestling Legends Fanfest events in Charlotte, and speak regularly on the phone. Ole even tried to sell Sandy a copy of his book while in Mobile; after all, Ole doesn't give anyone a book for free. But by the end of the weekend, Ole gave way to Sandy's relentless pressure and gave Sandy a book. "All these years later," Ole complained, "and the son of a gun is still ribbing me!"

Postscript: This story was originally published on the Gateway 3/9/10, less than 48 hours before Sandy Scott passed away in Roanoke VA on the morning of 3/11/10. Sandy will be greatly missed by all those who knew and loved him.

Don't Mess With Brisco

Jim Nelson and I were recently lamenting the untimely death of the great Jack Brisco. Jim got his first big break in the business in early 1982 as Pvt. Jim Nelson, one of Sgt. Slaughter's two Marine recruits, right around the time that Jack and Jerry Brisco returned to the Mid-Atlantic territory. Jim told me this great little story about the respect that Jack had from the boys as one of the real tough guys in the business.

The Brisco Brothers were set to wrestle Gene and Ole Anderson in a tag team main event at the Township Auditorium in Columbia SC. Jim was on the card that night as well, and in the same locker room as the Andersons. Jack had been suffering from the stomach flu and sent word to the Andersons in their locker room via referee Sonny Fargo to go easy on him that night. Ole, sensing an opportunity to make Jack miserable (as was apparently Ole's tendency to do to everyone) just laughed and said "We'll see about that." But Gene, one of the legit toughest guys ever himself, knew better.

"Don't mess with Brisco, Ole," Gene said. "You mess with Brisco, you're on your own."

Ole, who probably really knew better, decided not to heed Gene's warning and when the match began, Ole started going after Jack pretty good. The word had gotten around, and Jim said all the boys in both locker rooms had their heads sticking out the door to watch what was about to happen.

The match got underway and Jack had soon had enough of it, and started stretching Ole - bad. Ole tried to tag in Gene, but Gene would short-arm him. "You pissed him off, you deal with him."

After the match Ole came back to the locker room all worked up. "How can a guy with arms that little make me hurt so bad?"

Who's Your Friend?

Even though I don’t watch wrestling anymore, I have a certain amount of respect for John Cena having nothing to do with him inside the ring, but rather based on something that happened a few years back at a gathering of old timers having lunch in Florida. Paul Jones related the story. It was the monthly get-together in Tampa of some of the guys who live in the area….Buddy Colt, Brian Blair, Jack Brisco among others. Paul said Jack brought a kid with him that day and Paul, who doesn't watch today's wrestling product, didn’t know who it was, although everyone else seemed to. Paul said the kid was very pleasant, but sat quietly and wasn’t saying much.

Paul finally asked Jack, “Who’s your friend?” Jack smiled, and asked, “You don’t know who this is? This is Vince’s champion,” and introduced the two. Paul said Cena stood up, extended his hand and said “Mr. Jones, it’s an honor to meet you.” He said Cena could not have been more polite, more respectful of all the guys at that table. He sat, listened, and laughed with them; never once would Paul have guessed this guy was a big deal.

That was good to hear and said a lot about Cena, at least as it regards how he looks at the business and those that came before.

Old Wrestling Makes New Friends in Line at Hardee's

My friend Peggy's father, Dick Lathan, still works part time and goes every morning to Hardee's for breakfast. One morning, he was standing in a long line waiting to place his order and was wearing the 2008 Fanfest t-shirt (with the Anderson Brothers and Thunderbolt Patterson on the front) Peggy had given him. There were two old men in line behind him and he felt fingers on his back and turned around thinking he was in their way. They told him no, they were just reading his shirt. The shirt listed on the back all the wrestlers who were part of that year's Fanfest event. The men said they were familiar with almost every name on the shirt and that they were big wrestling fans. Mr. Lathan asked them who their favorite was, and they said Ole and Gene Anderson. He turned around and showed them the front of the t-shirt with the picture of Ole and Gene and Thunderbolt and they just loved that.

They all talked for 20 minutes about wrestling. They didn't know Gene had died and they shared some memories of going to wrestling at the Greenville Auditorium and seeing the Andersons wrestle and they remembered when Ole was stabbed there leaving the ring after a match.

It's nice when things like that happen, to make connections with old fans like us who remember and have great respect for those great days and those great wrestlers.  

Real Pain

Ole Anderson was in the hospital for a few days over Christmas 2009. Among other problems, he was suffering from kidney stones, and confided to the nurse at the hospital that he hadn't been in that much pain in some time.

"Have you ever felt worse pain?", she asked him. "Sure I have," he told her. "What could have possibly caused you more pain than a kidney stone?" she asked.

Ole replied -

"Danny Hodge."

The nurse didn't get the joke, but Ole felt better for setting the record straight.


Danny Hodge and Ole Anderson at the 2009

NWA Wrestling Legends Fanfest in Charlotte

Copyright © 2010-2011 Mid-Atlantic Gateway. Updated 8/24/11