Wrestling Night of the Legends

Spartanburg SC

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Photos from the Night of Legends 2 by Dick Bourne


More Photos courtesy of Peggy Lathan


More  Photos courtesy of Blake Arledge


More Photos courtesy of Wayne Castevens


Blackjack Mulligan's letter to Spartanburg (on Blackjack's BBQ)


2004 Event

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Greg "The Hammer" Valentine

Spartanburg, SC  Feb. 19, 2005


Greg Valentine is wearing a replica of the Mid-Atlantic Heavyweight Championship belt

that he originally wore in 1977-1978 (as seen in the inset photo.) The replica belt was crafted by Dave Millican and is owned by Dick Bourne. It is part of the

Mid-Atlantic Gateway Collection.

Special thanks to Blake Arledge for this photograph.


Report on the 2/19/05 Spartanburg Legends Show

Originally posted by Dick Bourne on the Mid-Atlantic Legends discussion board.


What a wonderful, memory filled night of wrestling at the Spartanburg Memorial Auditorium.


Bob Caudle was introduced first by ring announcer Ralph Harkey, and got one of the biggest pops of the night. Very cool, the Mid-Atlantic Wrestling theme music blasting as he came down the aisle. What was neat is that Bob didn’t really want to it, he is such a humble guy, he told booker George South that he feared no one would really remember him since he hadn’t been on TV in over 12 years. George said “You wait and see.” And the reaction was tremendous. Those of you that remember the reaction he and David Crockett got at the first Fanfest in Charlotte will have a good idea about what this was like. But bigger here, because of the Mid-Atlantic music and lights. People just love Bob.


Next, Ralph read a message from Blackjack Mulligan (a feature on this letter can be found on Blackjack's website) wishing the fans and his fellow wrestlers well, and telling everyone he appreciated being invited and was sorry he could not attend. This was actually pretty emotional and was well received by the fans, the mention of Blackjack's name getting a big pop from the crowd.


Brad Anderson (Gene Anderson’s son) had an excellent opening match with Jason Jones. Brad brought Gene’s old wrestling boots out with him, and hung them on the corner post. That may have been lost on most people there but it gave me cold chills. I got a photo of this that will be on the Gateway when I have a chance to update it tomorrow. Anyone that loved the Andersons and remember those boots they always wore will enjoy this photo.


Superstar and Barbarian had a fun match, crowd was into it. Barbarian was in an almost jovial mood, and Eadie really fed off an enthusiastic crowd and was doing all the old Superstar moves, including finally the cobra hold on Barbarian’s manager Michael Wallstreet Lee (Mike Lee, who did a tremendous job as a manager) which got a big pop.


Bambi and Peggy Lee (wrestling in her Spider Woman gimmick) had a super stiff match. None of the guys had anything on these two as far as working tight that night. Crowd got into that, too.


Brad Armstrong came out and was interviewed and talked about his recent matches with George South and was tired of George running down the Armstrong family name, so this got George out there with him. George said that since they were in WCW territory, he brought his own WCW referee Jamie Tucker (who did indeed ref for WCW in the final year or so before the WWE buyout) and people booed the whole WCW thing. Brad grabbed the mic and said, while he had worked for WCW and had respect for WCW, this was Mid-Atlantic Wrestling territory (which got a big pop) and Mid-Atlantic Wrestling was run back-in-the-day by the NWA. He then said he was going to bring out the NWA’s greatest referee, and the Starrcade music blasted and out came Tommy Young, to a pop second only to Bob Caudle’s earlier ovation. (Brad Armstrong later told George “You know it’s going to be easy when the referee is that over!”) Tommy and George argued and then Brad and Tommy left the ring as George pitched a fit in the ring. Time for intermission.


Lex Luger and Tracy Smothers were next. I’m not getting into the whole Lex thing because it aggravates me that this was such a special and fun show, fans really seemed to enjoy it, and all the internet chatter will be about how out of it Lex was. Well, he was. Tracy Smothers deserves some sort of special award for making the thing somewhat entertaining, although that adjective doesn’t fit this match. Lex could hardly even hit the ropes, had trouble even keeping his balance. He got one of the loudest pops coming to the ring of the night, but it fell flat when people seemed horrified at the shape he was in. Again, Tracy Smothers pulled a rabbit out of the hat to pull that off at all. I’ll say no more about that; these shows should be about the positive things and the good memories. Seeing Lex like that broke my heart for the guy.


Greg Valentine then wrestled local legend Chief Jay Eagle in a strap match. Jay had built this thing up well at his local show, playing off the old angle where Greg Valentine broke Wahoo McDaniel’s leg. When Greg came to the ring, he was wearing a black t-shirt with white letters (just like in the famous 1977 photo) that read “I Broke Wahoo’s Leg” and he was also wearing a replica of the Mid-Atlantic Heavyweight championship belt. (My proudest moment! It was my replica belt he was wearing, the one seen on the Gateway site, crafted by Dave Millican.) Eagle won the strap match, but afterward, Valentine nailed him from behind, and put on the figure-four leg lock (to a HUGE pop) and left Jay Eagle laying, then put on a t-shirt that said “I Broke Eagle’s Leg”. Very cool angle, and only the first of two insider-type tributes to Wahoo that night.


Next came George South vs. Brad Armstrong for George’s EWA title belt. This was another George South 1970s time warp classic, just like the CCW show in Lenoir. George did Brute Bernard, Dick Murdoch, Wahoo’s Indian war dance, Blackjack Mulligan’s claw, Paul Jones’ airplane spin, plus they also had one of those classic WRESTLING matches, transition wrestling with all the deep arm drags, Brad’s amazing drop kick (especially for a guy who has had major knee re-construction). Brad Armstrong is a wrestling machine, I put him in a class on a technical level with only a few others. He is so smooth. Huge pop for Brad’s win, and he put over the belt in a cool way. This was the best wrestling match on the show. (CCW promoter Tony Hunter was attending the show with Magnum TA, and said Magnum got a huge kick out of George and Brad doing all the old 70s signature moves of the legends.)


Ricky Morton beat Terry Taylor in the final match. Terry had Jason King out with him as his manager (Terry announced that he was his protégé). Another cool Mid-Atlantic moment, Ricky Morton got the mic and said he had a career of managers causing trouble at ringside, and he was about to even that odds, and “Boy from New York City” started playing and Jimmy Valiant came out to a great pop, doing all the Boogie man stuff with the fans, planting a huge kiss on referee Jamie Tucker, all the old Valiant stuff. Was over big like always. He managed Morton. After Morton won, George South hit the ring and he and Terry Taylor were putting the boots to Morton when all of a sudden the Midnight Express music started playing, and Bobby Eaton came full speed down the aisle to a big surprise pop (they had kept him hidden and 95% of the fans didn’t even know he was there) and cleared the ring of Taylor and South. He then took the house mic and told Morton that it wasn’t over between the two of them and he would see him 3/12 in Lenoir, and walked out.


They then brought out all of the wrestlers back to the ring (with a few exceptions) for a group photo op, and everyone gave them a big hand, and that wrapped up the show.


Other legends attending that did not participate in the wrestling event but were part of the fan festivities that night were Paul Jones, Penny Banner, Magnum TA, Jimmy Garvin and Precious. Also visiting with fans were Bill White, Randy Mulkey, Sonny Landel, JYD Jr., and others.


The ovation for Bob Caudle and his address to the fans, Blackjack’s letter, Gene Anderson’s boots, Wahoo’s war dance, Blackjack’s claw, Tommy Young back in the ring as a referee, Brad Armstrong and George’s old-school match, the Superstar's cobra hold, Greg Valentine wearing the Mid-Atlantic belt, the Spartanburg Memorial Auditorium…..it was a truly fun and memorable night for all the old Mid-Atlantic fans. Great job by the Miss South Carolina organization for giving it that “big show” feel, and kudos to my buddy George for booking one heck of a great show.


- Dick Bourne

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