In addition to a number of great matches, this
card at the Richmond Coliseum had some unique
features. This event was promoted for a good three
weeks beforehand, as the holidays had caused the
wrestlers to skip Richmond for several weeks. This
event was a very rare Sunday card. Matches were
almost always held in Richmond on Friday.
Something else unusual was that this event was a
2:00 p.m. afternoon card. For whatever reason,
Richmond was not a city that had its wrestling
during the daylight hours. This spectacular
afternoon event was also the last card held in
Richmond during the decade of the 1970’s. What a
fantastic decade the 1970’s were for Jim
Crockett Promotions, particularly the mid and late
The main event of this card saw United States
Heavyweight Champion Jimmy Snuka successfully
defend his crown against Tim Woods. Gene Anderson
had just become the manager of Snuka a week or so
before this bout. The feud between Snuka and Woods
had been building throughout the Fall of 1979 when
Snuka (managed by then manager Buddy Rogers)
injured the neck of Woods in a television match
that aired on World Wide Wrestling. Woods came
back sporting a neck brace and carrying a baseball
bat (he called it the "ding-bat") vowing
revenge on Snuka. Woods went as far as to print up
and distribute "Wanted Posters" for
Rogers and Snuka in arenas during this time frame.
(See the poster at right.) This match in Richmond represented the end of this
feud , with Snuka coming out on top. This would be
Woods’ last Main Event ever in Richmond, and he
would wrestle only one more time ever in
Richmond-two weeks later in January in a mid-card
match. A somewhat inglorious ending for one of Jim
Crockett Promotions’ biggest stars in the 1970’s.
The semi-final bout saw Mid-Atlantic
Heavyweight Champion Jim Brunzell defeat newcomer
Ray "The Crippler" Stevens. Brunzell was
at the height of his Mid-Atlantic run with Jim
Crockett Promotions. Stevens had just entered the
area about a month previously with a tremendous
national reputation. Stevens immediately singled
out Brunzell and his title. In interviews leading
up to the match, both competitors brought up their
previous feud in the AWA. The heat between these
two seemed genuine, and their styles both in and
out of the ring were completely different. With
these contrasting styles, it all added up to a
terrific match where Brunzell came out on top, but
Stevens ultimately became a bigger and more
long-lasting star in the Mid-Atlantic area.
To show you what a tremendous card this was,
the third match from the top was a grudge match
between Ric Flair and Greg Valentine! This match
would have been the top match on most cards in
Richmond, particularly at this time as Flair and
Valentine had never wrestled against each other
before. Ric Flair had turned face in the middle of
1979, at a time when his former partner Valentine
was tearing up the WWWF. When Valentine came back
to the Mid-Atlantic area in December, he was
anxious to team back up with Ric. The two met face
to face on Mid-Atlantic television with Flair
saying he had seen the light and would not team
with Greg as long as he was a rule-breaker.
Valentine was furious, and the feud nobody ever
thought they would see had begun. Flair took the
measure of Valentine in this match, and Greg would
focus on tag team wrestling for about six months
before again turning his attention to Flair and
the U.S. belt.
The undercard saw the team of S.D. Jones and
Rufus R. Jones defeat Frankie Laine and Mr. X.
Rufus was the dominant performer in this match.
The ageless Johnny Weaver had no trouble putting
away Doug Sommers. Don Kernodle and Rick McGraw
took care of David Patterson and Frank Monte.
During this time frame, Monte was faring much
better in the world of bodybuilding than the world
of wrestling. Brute Bernard got a rare win during
this time of his fading career, besting Bob
Marcus. Coco Samoa opened this memorable Richmond
card with a win over Tony Russo.
This was a truly great event to usher out the
1970’s and bring in the new decade with a bang!
up Next: Countdown #14
TO ENLARGE IMAGES
FILES IN MP3 FORMAT
Valentine - "I
Can't Digest This"
have done everything together. And now I guess
this is just one more thing we are going to do
together; fight each other."
Flair - "We've
Done it All"
taught you how to be polite to the ladies, I
taught you how to be a stud, Valentine. Now I'm
going to teach you how to wrestle."
on their battle over the Mid-Atlantic
Stevens - "I Like To Hurt People"
Brunzell - "That Belt Would Make a Great