The Mid-Atlantic Gateway presents . . .

The Top 15 Cards Ever

in Richmond

by David Chappell

Return to TOP 15 Index


Number 10   -      Saturday, April 30, 1983

This Saturday night super spectacular card was one that stands out for several reasons. It was unique in that it was the first "Super Card" that Richmond ever hosted, a type of card that would soon become the norm in professional wrestling but seemed very unique at the time. This card foretold changes in the wrestling world that were in their infancy, but that would in time radically change wrestling's landscape. But in April of 1983, all it seemed to the fans was that they were seeing more wrestling stars than ever in events that were hyped to heretofore unseen levels.

This event had a number of new and novel elements to it. Nine matches were on the card, at least two more matches than was the norm. Admission prices were hiked by nearly a third, with the best seats being $15.00. A huge price increase in terms of what ticket prices ran in that time period. This was a trend that never reversed itself. This card also had intrigue with some outside stars that came in for this event only, Angelo Mosca and Mike Graham. It was a card that also had seemingly nothing but main event matches on it, and was promoted as such. The cards of many, many years that featured a hierarchy which began with underneath versus underneath matches, graduating to mid-card matches followed by main events appeared to begin to blur with this "Super Card" and in the majority of cards that would follow it thereafter. But first and foremost, this card will always be remembered for its main event, a match that was hyped with local promos that made it seem very unique and special to Richmond. In a match that had a multitude of stipulations, the stipulation that meant the most to those in attendance was that the loser of the title match between Ricky Steamboat & Jay Youngblood versus Sergeant Slaughter & Don Kernodle could never wrestle as a team in Richmond or Virginia again! And unlike many stipulations in today's wrestling that have no meaning, the losing team in this match in fact NEVER wrestled in Richmond together again after this Saturday night in April of 1983.

MAIN EVENT - NWA World Tag Team Champions Ricky Steamboat & Jay Youngblood defend their titles against former titleholders Sergeant Slaughter & Don Kernodle.

This bout would be the climax of a tremendous feud between these four. The bout was held inside a steel cage and was a no disqualification match with Sandy Scott as the special referee. There was also a special, and very unusual, stipulation where if the bout went to a sixty-minute time limit draw, there were three judges at ringside with scorecards to determine the outcome on a point system. One of those Judges was Jerry Brisco, whose brother Jack had just injured Steamboat in a TV match that would signal the early beginnings of the infamous Brisco brother's heel turn. And of course the most significant of all the stipulations was that the losing team could never wrestle in Richmond or Virginia again.

The sellout crowd was at a fever pitch as the cage was erected and the combatants came to the ring, knowing that one team would never make a ring entrance together again. Ricky Steamboat came to the ring noticeably favoring the leg that Jack Brisco had injured in the match days earlier. Steamboat would favor the leg throughout the match.

The Slaughter and Kernodle team dominated the early part of the match with quick tags, keeping the injured Steamboat in the ring for an interminable length of time. By the time Jay Youngblood made a save and got into the match himself, momentum was clearly with the Slaughter and Kernodle tandem.

During the middle of the match, blood flowed freely as the combatants were slammed repeatedly into the unforgiving steel cage. It became a back and forth affair with Steamboat and Youngblood slowly turning the tide in their favor.

The end came quickly at around the forty-minute mark, with Steamboat and Youngblood taking the fall that ended the Mid-Atlantic careers of the Sergeant Slaughter-Don Kernodle duo that had ruled the NWA for the previous eight months. Steamboat and Youngblood had retained their titles, and at the same time eliminated the team that had caused them so much grief. It was a wild scene at the end of that match, the fans knowing that the Slaughter-Kernodle team was no more! And what a tremendous match this was that featured non-stop action from beginning to end, with the only downside being that this great feud would never again be seen in the Coliseum.

(Editor's Note: Slaughter left Crockett Promotions soon after for his memorable run in the WWF, which was preparing to go national.)

SEMI-FINAL---Roddy Piper defended his United States Heavyweight Title against the former champion, Greg "The Hammer" Valentine.

These two former partners were in the process of building quite a heated feud. Piper had won the U.S. Title a couple of weeks prior to this match, and already Valentine was ominously promising to win the title back and "hurt" Piper in the process.

The match was a rugged encounter with Valentine maintaining the upper hand for the majority of the contest. Piper would have short intense periods where he would control the bout, but Valentine dominated for the most part and appeared to be headed for victory and another reign as U.S. Champion.

The bout ended unexpectedly with a Piper victory when Roddy caught Valentine coming off the ropes and captured Greg in a backslide for the win. But Roddy's good fortune would be short lived, as the next night in Greensboro, NC Valentine would defeat Piper for the U.S. Title, and in the process severely injure Piper's ear by continually pounding on it. The feud between these two would wage on until the end of 1983 at the first Starrcade, when Piper would beat Valentine in a dog collar match.

Jimmy Valiant vs. Kabuki in a New York Street Fight---This bout was a brutal New York Street fight with both wrestlers bringing in all kinds of weapons to the ring to try to give themselves the advantage. With the aid of manager Gary Hart, the Great Kabuki was able to use his kendo sticks with great effectiveness against the "Boogie Woogie Man."

However, Hart interfered one time too many, and was sprayed in the face with Kabuki' mysterious green mist. Almost simultaneously, Valiant got behind a distracted Kabuki and was able to roll him up for a quick three count and the victory.

This Valiant victory clearly did not end this feud, as these two would battle each other many times during the remainder of the year 1983.

Joe LeDuc vs. Dick Slater in Lumberjack Match for NWA TV Title---In the night's only title change, the Canadian Lumberjack surprised "Dirty" Dick Slater to become the new NWA TV Champion! The time limit for this match was extended to 60 minutes, and LeDuc pounded his way to victory in a hard-hitting match up.

LeDuc was able to overcome a tremendous amount of punishment from the lumberjacks stationed outside the ring, and emerged with a hard fought victory. Much like the main event, this match was bloody and hotly contested throughout.

LeDuc would have an undistinguished reign as TV Champion, but that should not diminish his surprising title victory on this night. Both LeDuc and Slater put on a memorable match for the sellout crowd to witness.

Other Matches---

Jake Roberts took the measure of Mike Graham, who was flown in from Florida to compete on this card. Roberts used several of his patented knee lifts to immobilize Graham, setting him up for the kill. Graham showed a good deal of scientific skill and speed, but ultimately succumbed to the dirty tactics and chicanery of the wily Roberts.

Bugsy McGraw defeated the massive One Man Gang in a slow, methodical match. Neither man exhibited much finesse or wrestling ability, but this was an entertaining bout with the result having to be classified as an upset.

A very interesting bout saw the brother combination of Jack and Jerry Brisco down the makeshift team of Gene Anderson and the massive Angelo Mosca. The Brisco's ran circles around their two opponents, particularly the aging Anderson who looked like he was moving in slow motion. Mosca, who was brought in from Canada for this match, also looked slow and plodding. In the end, the speed and experience of the Brisco's prevailed. The match was completely scientific from the Brisco's perspective, and there was no hint that this duo was turning heel in the next few weeks.

The second match from the bottom turned out to be very entertaining and surprisingly competitive. The flamboyant Rufus R. "Freight Train" Jones edged by the rugged Texan Ricky Harris. Harris became better known to fans in the Mid-Atlantic area as Black Bart when he returned to the area in 1984. Harris very much held his own with Rufus, only succumbing after putting up quite a fight.

The curtain raiser saw the up and coming star from the University of Syracuse, Mike Rotundo, have no problem disposing of long time Mid-Atlantic veteran, Bill White. Rotundo caught White in the airplane spin after only several minutes of action, and made short work of one of the area's all-time most recognized enhancement talents.

Next Up: Number 9 (December 13, 1974)


Audio Promos


David Crockett with the Richmond Line-Up

Roddy Piper

Greg Valentine

Ricky Steamboat & Jay Youngblood

Sgt. Slaughter & Don Kernodle