Tuesday, July 5, 2016

Rare Studio Shot in WRAL (1975)

Ric Flair, Les Thatcher, and Johnny Valentine on the set of "Mid-Atlantic Championship Wrestling", 1975
Photo by Ric Carter

What a rare and special image from the studios of WRAL-TV in Raleigh, NC, in 1975. Ric Flair (wearing the Mid-Atlantic TV championship belt), host Les Thatcher, and U.S. Champion Johnny "The Champ" Valentine are apparently waiting to come back from a commercial break, as you can see the floor director or camera operator leaning against the ringpost.

LATER EDIT: Since originally posting this, we have learned that the photographer that took this shot is Ric Carter. We hope to provide more information on him and his work in a future post.

At that point in time, two separate versions of "Mid-Atlantic Championship Wrestling" were taped on Wednesday nights, one hosted by long time Raleigh announcer Bob Caudle, the other hosted briefly by Sam Menacker and then regularly by Les Thatcher. After the consolidation of Charlotte and High Point TV tapings into Raleigh, the Thatcher-hosted "B" show replaced those shows in markets where more than one hour of Crockett programing aired.

This second hour of the show featured all different interviews and matches than the first hour.

This second hour of "Mid-Atlantic Championship Wrestling" was later replaced by the new "Wide World Wrestling" show in October of 1975, which would be hosted by longtime Georgia wrestling host Ed Capral.

Thanks to Doc Hopper on Facebook for sharing this image with us, which he found on the Net.

Wednesday, June 29, 2016

Caudle, Schiavone, and Ross Together in Charlotte

Check out the article on the Mid-Atlantic Gateway about three top wrestling broadcasters from the 1970s-1990s all at the Mid-Atlantic Wrestling Fanfest together in Charlotte in early August.

Mid-Atlantic Gateway:
Caudle, Schiavone, and Ross a Highlight of Fanfest

Saturday, June 25, 2016

TV Title Tournament Advertised for WRAL-5

Mark Eastridge Collection
This newspaper ad appeared in the Wilson NC newspaper on February 9, 1974. It was ent to us by Mark Eastridge.  It promotes a "Sports Special!" on Mid-Atlantic Wrestling, which aired on WRAL-5 TV out of Raleigh, NC.

The "sports special" mentioned is a "Mid-Atlantic Championship Wrestling tournament featuring America's outstanding mat men."

The show was seen in the Wilson, NC area on WRAL-5 TV at 11:30 Saturday night.

The tournament mentioned was a historic one, the prize being the first ever Mid-Atlantic Television Championship.

A month later, on the Raleigh show that was taped on 2/27/74 and aired on 3/2/74, Danny Miller defeated Ole Anderson in the finals of the tournament to become the inaugural Mid-Atlantic TV champion.

Carroll Hall of the All-Star Championship Wrestling website pointed out to us that the photo used in the ad is from 1964. "The tall guy that Sandy Scott is facing is Mike Valentino who became Baron Michel Scicluna in the WWWF," Carroll reported.

We always love coming across these old ads for TV studio wrestling!

Sunday, June 19, 2016

Georgia Championship Wrestling

Gordon Solie interviews Tommy Rich and Mr. Wrestling II

The WTBS-17 studios in Atlanta were home to "Georgia Championship Wrestling" going back to the early 1970s and was later home to "World Championship Wrestling" for Jim Crockett Promotions in the mid-to-late 1980s.

An upcoming documentary called "6:05 on the SuperStation" will take a look back at the studio, station, wrestlers, and announcers who helped make wrestling on WTBS an institution on Saturday evenings. 

Jim Ross has joined up with the producers of "Mid-Atlantic Memories" documentary, and together  hope to present a similar feel-good film about a 20-year period in time when folks down south were glued to their TV sets at 6:05 p.m. on Saturdays and Sundays.

"6:05 On The SuperStation!" will be the first film produced by Ross, who said on his "Ross Report" podcast "We're gonna make a hell of a movie!"

The film will be fan-funded. More details can be found on the NWALegends.com website. The film also has a Twitter page where you can keep up with how things are progressing on the film.

(See also: Jim Ross Reveals First Film Project "6:05 on the SuperStation" )

Friday, June 17, 2016

During the Break at WRAL

Co-host David Crockett and Ric Flair wait during a commercial break of a taping of Mid-Atlantic Championship Wrestling at WRAL TV studio in Raleigh, NC in 1981.

Thursday, May 26, 2016

Houston Wrestling

Continuing with our recent peeks at the old territory TV shows, here is a nice shot from Paul Boesch's "Houston Wrestling" TV show. I love the studio look with the curtains in the background with a modified NWA logo hanging in front of the curtains. This was a standard look for lots of wrestling TV shows in the 1970s.

Promoter and TV host/commentator Paul Boesch interviews Chief Wahoo McDaniel before showing footage of a match where Wahoo challenged Ric Flair for the NWA world championship at the Sam Houston Coliseum in 1985. Wahoo was reigning United States champion in the Mid-Atlantic area and wore the title belt in the ring in Houston before the match with Flair.

Footage of this interview and the Flair/Wahoo title match can be seen on the NWA Classics 24/7 video on-demand service, which contains the entire Paul Boesch Houston video library. Check them out. Full details at NWACLassics.com.

Sunday, May 22, 2016

David Crockett at WRAL (1981)

Promoter and broadcaster David Crockett in the studios of WRAL
television in the summer of 1981.

Saturday, May 14, 2016

Saturday Wrestling (December 1973)

Back in the territory days, before national cable networks existed, Saturday was the primary day for the 1-hour wrestling shows syndicated to local TV markets.

By December of 1973, Jim Crockett Promotions had discontinued the local studio tapings in Charlotte and High Point and consolidated everything to Raeligh's WRAL-5 studio. Also around this time, the simultanious local TV taping for the Raleigh market (which had it's own soundtrack hosted by Elliot Murnick) ended. The promotion taped two seperate hours of television each Wednesday night in Raleigh, both titled "Mid-Atlantic Championship Wrestling." One was hosted by Bob Caulde, the other by Les Thatcher. The Caudle broadcast went to all of Crockett's TV markets. The "B" show hosted by Thatcher went to a 2nd station in a market where the "A" show was already on. (In 1975, the "B" show was repackaged as "Wide World Wrestling.")

Here is a sampling of stations and times where wrestling aired in North and South Carolina in the Mid-Atlantic territory for December 15, 1973. Notice that both the Florida and Georgia TV shows had select clearances in the territory, and occasionally a few of their top guys (particularly Dusty Rhodes) would be booked on Crockett's shows in Greensboro and less occasionally Charlotte.

TV Listings for December 15, 1973

WBTV Ch. 3 Charlotte NC (CBS)
4:00 PM Mid-Atlantic Wrestling (time approximate after NFL football)

WRET (WCNC) Ch. 36 Charlotte NC (Ind.)
6:00 PM Championship Wrestling From Florida
7:30 PM Georgia Championship Wrestling

WRAL Ch. 5 Raleigh NC (ABC)
11:30 PM Mid-Atlantic Championship Wrestling

WRDU (WRDC) Ch. 28 Durham NC (NBC)
3:00 PM Championship Wrestling from Florida

WGHP Ch. 8 High Point/Greensboro/Winston-Salem NC (ABC)
11:30 Mid-Atlantic Championship Wrestling

WCTI Ch. 12 New Bern NC (ABC)
11:30 PM Championship Wrestling from Wrestling

WFBC Ch. 4 Greenville SC  (NBC)
1:00 PM Mid-Atlantic Championship Wrestling

WLOS Ch. 13 Asheville NC (ABC)
11:30 PM Mid-Atlantic Championship Wrestling (B-show)

WBTW Ch. 13 Florence, SC (ABC/CBS)
4:00 PM Mid-Atlantic Wrestling (time approximate after NFL football)

"Mid-Atlantic Championship Wrestling" also aired on these other stations in the Mid-Atlantic area during this time in 1973:

WTVR-6 Richmond VA
WSLS-10 Roanoke VA
WAVY-10 Norfolk VA
WNOK-19 Columbia SC
WCSC-5 Charleston SC

The TV listings were partially drawn from a post on the Radio Discussions forum.