The Mid-Atlantic Gateway presents . . .

The Top 15 Cards Ever

in Richmond

by David Chappell

Audio Clips now on-line!

Return to TOP 15 Index


"The card you  posted this week is one of my favorite cards of all time
-- I still remember Flair trying to go through the crowd and about ten
wrestlers to get at Koloff, who was egging Flair on while waiting for Dusty
Rhodes to enter the arena.  One of the great forgotten feuds!"


-Chris Ryan

Mid-Atlantic Gateway Visitor

Number 12   -      FRIDAY      MAY 1, 1981

The night of May 1, 1981 provided plenty of excitement and historic moments for the many Mid-Atlantic faithful that packed the Richmond Coliseum this night. An NWA World’s Title changed hands, and several out of town stars were flown in to bolster an already strong lineup. The bouts were significant and entertaining from top to bottom, sure ingredients for a Top 15 card!


MAIN EVENT---Paul Jones & The Masked Superstar (Champions) vs. Gene & Ole Anderson (Challengers) for the NWA World’s Tag Team Titles.

The rather unlikely duo of Paul Jones and The Masked Superstar had held the NWA World’s Tag Team Titles for approximately five months leading up to this match. Jones and Superstar had both done separate baby face turns in the late summer of 1980, and had started teaming soon thereafter.

In February of 1981, Ole Anderson came back to the Mid-Atlantic area to join his brother Gene, who had been a manager for the last year or so. The "Minnesota Wrecking Crew" was back together! Despite Gene looking dreadfully old, slow and overweight, the "Wrecking Crew" got an immediate hard push.

We in Richmond knew something was likely up by the way this match was promoted. A weirdly worded stipulation of "the titles can change hands only on a pin fall or submission" was later "amended" in the pre-match interviews to be a "winner take all" match. One just got the sense that a major title change was coming.

Sure enough, Gene and Ole would become champions again! Ole handled the bulk of the match for his team. In classic Anderson fashion, Gene and Ole did an impressive job of punishing the arms of both Jones and Superstar. The "good guys" had their moments as well, and the match was a fairly long one, particularly considering the poor condition of Gene.

This match marked the end of the Jones/Superstar combination, and interestingly enough would be the last reign of Gene and Ole as NWA World Tag Team Champions. Gene would be injured within several months time, effectively dissolving for good the greatest team in Mid-Atlantic Championship Wrestling history.


Ivan Koloff (Champion) vs. Dusty Rhodes (Challenger) for the Mid-Atlantic Heavyweight Title.

Dusty was very close in time to winning the NWA World’s Heavyweight Title. Rhodes was one of a number of stars that Jim Crockett was bringing into the area during this time frame. Some would not stay around long (Rhodes, Austin Idol, Mr. Wrestling # 2, the Russians, Angelo Mosca). Others would come in and remain fixtures in the area for years (Jimmy Valiant, Wahoo McDaniel).

Ivan Koloff was embroiled in a feud with Ric Flair at this time, where Koloff had attacked Ric from behind with the assistance of the Anderson’s and Roddy Piper.

No one expected Rhodes to win the Mid-Atlantic title, and the match ended predictably with Koloff being disqualified and retaining his title. However, the action was outstanding and truly showcased two of the greatest attractions in professional wrestling. And this was just the semi-final match of the evening!


Sweet Ebony Diamond (Champion) vs. Greg Valentine (Challenger) for the NWA Television Title.

This match between Diamond (Rocky Johnson) and Valentine was another chapter in a long running program between these two over the vacant television title. The two had several inconclusive matches on Mid-Atlantic television. Diamond actually defeated Valentine in the WRAL studios for the TV title on the Wednesday night before their match in Richmond on Friday night. The Mid-Atlantic fans would not see that result until they turned on their TV sets the following Saturday, the next day after their match at the Coliseum.

This bout was another strong one between these two, with Diamond’s superior athleticism really showing through. Valentine was not able to hold his composure while facing Diamond’s onslaught, and was disqualified giving the victory to Diamond. This match was not particularly long, but was a highly entertaining encounter between these two with distinctly different wrestling styles.


Ric Flair vs. Angelo Mosca

When was the last time you remember Ric Flair during this time frame having the FOURTH match from the top!! Ric was less than five months away from his first reign as NWA World’s Heavyweight Champion, but at this juncture he was embroiled in a feud with Ivan Koloff.

Mosca, now referred to as "King Kong," was not a regular in the area at this time, and ironically he and Flair were often tag team partners during Mosca’s previous stint in the Mid-Atlantic area.

This was an extremely stiff match, with Flair content to slug it out with the bigger Mosca for the victory.


Preliminary Matches

Dewey Robertson from Canada defeated Ricky Harris. Ironically Harris, later referred to as "Black Bart," would ultimately become the bigger star for Jim Crockett Promotions.

Swede Hanson, very close to the end of his lengthy Mid-Atlantic career, pinned Richmond’s very own Cy Jernigan.

The opening bout saw two legendary Mid-Atlantic underneath performers go at it as Frank Monte defeated Charlie Fulton.


Next Up: Number 11 (February 18, 1977)


Supplementary Material

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Mid-Atlantic Magazine Cover

Volume 4 No 5


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Click to see Larger Image of the Promo Ad

from the Gateway Audio Studio


Bob Caudle Runs Down the Entire Card 

(0:20 / 166 KB)


Ric Flair Promo (0:37 / 305 KB)

"...Angelo Mosca, you're just one in a number, brother, that's going to be brought in to try and stop Ric Flair in his quest to get Roddy Piper..."


Superstar Promo (0:37 / 307 KB)

"...this one's for all the marbles, right here in the Coliseum..."