The Mid-Atlantic Gateway presents . . .

The Top 15 Cards Ever

in Richmond

by David Chappell

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Number 6   -   Friday, July 30, 1976

The hot summer of the bicentennial year of 1976 was approaching its midpoint when Jim Crockett Promotions rolled into town on Friday night, July 30, 1976. And a standing room only crowd estimated at 11,000 in the Rich mond Coliseum was geared up to see two simmering feuds that were about ready to sizzle like the hot summer weather.


This six bout extravaganza was highlighted by two grudge matches that everybody was anxious to see. Neither of the bouts billed as Main Event matches would disappoint the huge crowd in attendance! In fact, they in very large part made this card one of Rich mond’s all time best.


In one Main Event, Rufus R. Jones battled United States Heavyweight Champion Blackjack Mulligan in a No Disqualification Match. The week before, in the Rich mond Arena, Blackjack and Rufus met with Mulligan getting disqualified. Rufus made it clear in his promos for this No DQ match, that Blackjack couldn’t run this time. Blackjack countered, saying that Rufus’ head-butts had made his head swell up twice its normal size, but that the No DQ stipulation would ensure that there would be a decisive winner in this match.


This bitter feud had begun in earnest when Blackjack put Rufus’ cousin, Burrhead Jones, in the hospital several weeks before. Rufus was out to avenge the beating Blackjack gave to Burrhead, but Rufus also had his eyes on Blackjack’s prized U.S. Title. While this match was a non-title bout, Rufus still had a lot of incentive to really get after the big Texan.


In the other Main Event, Wahoo McDaniel wrestled Mid-Atlantic Heavyweight Champion Ric Flair in a Fence Match. About two months before this Fence Match in Rich mond, Flair defeated Wahoo for the Mid-Atlantic Title in the infamous “table leg and 40 stitches match,” which was the 1976 Match Of The Year voted by the Mid-Atlantic Gateway website visitors.


Flair and Wahoo had two wild “post-40 stitches” matches in Rich mond before this one, but neither one of them seemed to settle the issue. So, the NWA ordered a Fence Match, which typically ended major feuds. However, this was no normal feud, and as it would turn out, the battles between Flair and Wahoo would continue to rage through the remainder of 1976.


The promos leading up to this match gave a hint as to the amazing intensity that would be exhibited during the match itself. The normally calm McDaniel was clearly agitated while talking about the upcoming match. Wahoo said a Fence Match was the match everybody wanted to see…and that he wanted it too. He was out to get revenge for the 40 stitches, and he said he was sick of Flair running out of the ring. With this Fence Match, Wahoo said the only way Flair could get out was if he decided to push Ric through one of the two inch squares of the cage! Wahoo said Flair was going to regret the day that he crossed the Indian.


For his part, the “Nature Boy” was as out of control during the promo for this match as I’d ever seen him. He said that Wahoo was out to kill him, and that everybody connected with the NWA ought to be put in jail for setting up this match. Ric said he wasn’t a dog, and that with his style and sophistication he should not be locked up in a cage. At the end of the promo interview, foaming at the mouth, Flair said Mulligan and a lot of his friends would be in Rich mond…and that Wahoo wouldn’t get away with this!



MAIN EVENT---Ric Flair Versus Wahoo McDaniel In A Fence Match


While Ric Flair’s Mid-Atlantic Heavyweight Championship was not on the line in this match, something much more important was…Flair’s life! Both Wahoo and the massive crowd at the Coliseum were out for Flair’s blood on this night---and they got a LOT of it!


Once the door of the fence was shut and locked, Flair was running around frantically, trying to figure out an escape plan. On this night, there would be no escape from the Chief! Flair could only run so far within the confines of the fence, and Wahoo caught him several minutes in, and the battle began in full force soon thereafter.


Wahoo dominated the early portion of the encounter with a chop-fest that had the fans howling for more! Flair begged off several times, but there was no mercy shown by Wahoo on this night.


Within ten minutes, Flair was thrown into the fence, and after being down for a brief period of time, came up bleeding. Bleeding more than I had ever seen anybody bleed in a wrestling match. Wahoo kept Flair’s blood flowing with repeated flings against the fence and vicious chops to the Nature Boy’s head.


Flair got his only sustained offense of the night going at about the fifteen minute mark when he caught Wahoo with a low blow. From there, Ric threw Wahoo’s head into the cage and opened up a bloody cut on Wahoo as well. Though, the Chief never bled as profusely as the Nature Boy did.


Wahoo turned the tables on Ric, when he caught Flair after an unsuccessfully attempted backdrop after throwing the Chief into the ropes. After a brutal series of chops, where Ric returned some of the fire with hard punches himself, Wahoo maneuvered Ric into position for a beautiful suplex which the bloody Flair kicked out of…but a fraction of a second AFTER the count of three.


While still not the Mid-Atlantic Heavyweight Champion, Wahoo nevertheless thrilled the rabid crown with a clean victory over the Nature Boy. While matches like this one would have ended most normal feuds, this one only seemed to intensify the bad blood between Ric Flair and Wahoo McDaniel!


SEMI-FINAL---Blackjack Mulligan Versus Rufus R. Jones In A No Disqualification Match


The No DQ stipulation didn’t seem to have much effect on Blackjack Mulligan, as the U.S. Champion immediately left the ring soon after the opening bell! Rufus would have none of those shenanigans, and was on Mulligan’s tail throughout, making sure Blackjack would have to stay in the ring and fight.


Once in the ring, the action was back and forth for the first ten minutes or so of the contest. Mulligan took control with a vicious kick to Rufus’ head, and taunted the crowd as he pummeled the “Freight Train” over the next several minutes. Rufus would finally rise up, aided by the deafening roar of the crowd, and stopped Mulligan for the time being with a double-fist to the big Texan’s head.


The middle portion of the match had tons of action outside of the ring on the floor, much of which would have led to disqualifications of both combatants if not for the stipulation. After some time, and some very questionable tactics, Mulligan gained the edge on Rufus and threw the Freight Train back into the ring. Once inside, Blackjack got the dreaded claw hold on Rufus, and Jones looked like a goner for the longest time. But, feeding off of the energy of the crowd, Rufus shook and wiggled his way to the ropes—finally causing the referee to break the hold!


Buoyed by that escape, Rufus found a second wind and took control of the action. One final attempt to escape led Blackjack to be slung into the ropes hard, and when Mulligan bounced back toward the center of the ring, he immediately ran full force into Jones’s “Freight Train,” full of steam! Down from the Freight Train maneuver, Rufus was able to blast Mulligan with TWO head-butts---and get a hard earned three count for the win!


The crowd went wild over Rufus’ clear-cut victory. While it was not a U.S. Title bout, the Freight Train still got a measure of revenge over Blackjack and his treatment of the Jones family in this wild encounter!



WOMAN’S WORLD TITLE MATCH---The Fabulous Moolah (Champion) Versus Vicki Williams


Typically, most cards at the Coliseum had at least one title match of the area’s regular Mid-Atlantic belts at stake. But on this night, the only title match was a rare defense of the Woman’s World Title, featuring an appearance by the legendary Fabulous Moolah.


This bout seemed to have more viciousness and intensity than your typical woman’s match. The challenger actually gained an early edge, with some impressive mat wrestling that kept Moolah at bay. But, at the same time, the Champion became more and more frustrated.


Slowly, Moolah seized control, and was an expert at pulling the hair of Williams from every conceivable angle without it being detected by the referee! Moolah’s tactics became more and more harsh as the match progressed, to where outright chokes became commonplace.


After one brief offensive flurry by Williams at around the fifteen minute mark, Moolah moved in for the kill. After a punishing backdrop, Moolah used a series of fists and elbows to put away her game rival.


In one of her infrequent visits to the Coliseum, Moolah once again proved that she was as tough and ornery as they came! And on this night, Vicki Williams clearly showed that she was a worthy opponent for the longtime Champion.





In an excellent and entertaining match, the strongman from Roanoke, VA, Tony Atlas, bested the rugged German Hans Schroeder. At this time, both of these men were solid mid card performers and this one could have gone either way. Atlas frustrated Schroeder with his amazing strength and funky gyrations, and seemed to have the big German off of his game most of the night. While Schroeder mounted his share of offense, he eventually fell victim to Atlas’ Sleeper hold. These two put on a strong showing; very much on a Main Event type level.


In the only tag team match of the night, the up and coming duo of Randy and Lanny Poffo got the victory over the tandem of Manuel Soto and Danny Miller . Manuel’s normal partner, Roberto Soto, had recently been injured by Blackjack Mulligan. The Poffo Brothers were outstanding in this bout, particularly in terms of teamwork and the athleticism of Lanny. The Soto/ Miller team had the look of a team that had just been thrown together…which it had been! The match was competitive, but the Poffo’s remained in relative control throughout, and came out with an impressive “W.”


The curtain raiser saw veteran Bill While wrestle Steve Bolus to a 20 minute draw. Very few opening performers could get a crowd going early on like White could, and this night was no exception! White’s antics got the fans into it early…and they never quieted down the rest of the night! Bolus was his typical solid self as well. A terrific opening bout, in what would turn out to be one of Rich mond’s all-time largest crowds…and one of its greatest cards ever!


Up Next: Ten Other Great Rich mond Cards That Didn’t Quite Crack The Top 15!



Listen to the 

Audio Promos for this card:

Rufus R Jones | Wahoo McDaniel

Blackjack Mulligan | Ric Flair