Throwback Thursday: NWA Mid-Atlantic Championship Wrestling (June 26, 1982), As Seen on WWE Network and Peacock

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This week Throwback Thursday revisits a classic edition of Jim Crockett Promotions’ Mid-Atlantic Championship Wrestling, as seen on the WWE Network and Peacock, that aired 40 years ago this month!

In mid-summer 1982 Jim Crockett Promotions (JCP) was already absorbing and consolidating a number of smaller promotions in the Mid-Atlantic region, even starting a small, short-lived promotion in Knoxville, Tennessee (NWA Southern Championship Wrestling) with Blackjack Mulligan (Bob Windham) and then-NWA World Champion Ric Flair. Despite Jim Crockett, Jr.’s, growing clout in the National Wrestling Alliance (NWA) his Mid-Atlantic Championship Wrestling (MACW) promotion did not have the national reach of Georgia Championship Wrestling (GCW), which aired nationwide on WTBS every weekend. At this time the main story behind the scenes in JCP had to do with booker Ole Anderson. For nearly a year Ole Anderson had been the simultaneous booker for both JCP and GCW, an arrangement that was mutually beneficial to all involved. Then, in January 1982, Gene Anderson, one half of the then-NWA World Tag Team Champion Minnesota Wrecking Crew (with Ole Anderson), suffered an injury that required the NWA to vacate the World Tag Team title on January 23, 1982. Jim Crockett, Jr., then-President of the NWA, tasked Ole Anderson with booking one of the first national tournaments in cartel history. With a mix of actual and kayfabe regional tournaments (akin to the NCAA March Madness tournament) across numerous NWA territories, including the World Wrestling Federation (WWF), the World Tag Team title tournament became one of the biggest stories in the NWA, helping to gin up interest in live events across numerous NWA territories. However, in the days prior to this edition of Mid-Atlantic Championship Wrestling airing, and just as the tournament was entering it’s final phase, Ole and Jim Crockett, Jr., had a falling out, resulting in Ole being fired as booker of JCP. In response, Ole took the World Tag Team titles with him back to Georgia, concocting an angle in which tournament finalists Wahoo McDaniel & Don Muraco split-up, thus awarding the titles to himself and Stan Hansen at a live event on the evening this very program aired (June 26, 1982), and planned to defend the titles exclusively in the GCW territory, NWA be damned. When Bob Geigel became President of the NWA in August 1982 Geigel would force Ole Anderson to return the World Tag Team titles to JCP. While the issue wound up being resolved it gave both promotions black eyes within the NWA and the among hardcore fans eagerly following the massive, months long World Tag Team title tournament that ended up amounting to nothing.

 

 

The big story in Mid-Atlantic Championship Wrestling at the time this edition of MACW aired was the growing strife between Mid-Atlantic Heavyweight Champion Jack Brisco and Roddy Piper, with Brisco bringing in a young Ricky Steamboat to help. Another of the big stories was the continued dominance of U.S. Heavyweight Champion Sgt. Slaughter and his Privates as they sought, with Piper, to take out Jack Brisco and Ricky Steamboat. Outside the wrestling ring Paul McCartney & Stevie Wonder’s duet “Ebony And Ivory” was the top song in the nation while Asia’s self-titled debut album, Asia, remained the number one album. On television a re-run of M*A*S*H on CBS was the big ratings winner for the week as Steven Spielberg’s E.T. the Extra-Terrestrial, starring Dee Wallace, Henry Thomas, Peter Coyote, Drew Barrymore, and Robert MacNaughton, continued to dominate the box office.

With all of that out of the way, let’s head over to the WWE Network on Peacock, hit ‘play’, and see how well this edition of NWA Mid-Atlantic Championship Wrestling holds up 40 years later!

Edits are not an issue with this edition of Mid-Atlantic Championship Wrestling on the WWE Network and Peacock. That said, any and all local event promos have (for obvious reasons) been cut. There are also a few music edits, but nothing to get hung-up about. Context, meanwhile, is decent, with editions of the series dating back to September 12, 1981 available for you to enjoy on the WWE Network and Peacock right now!

 

NWA Mid-Atlantic Championship Wrestling (WATCH)
Date: June 26, 1982 (TAPED: June 23, 1982) – Location: WPCQ-TV Studios, Charlotte, North Carolina
Attendance: N/A – TV Ratings: N/A
Commentator: Bob Caudle – Interviews: Bob Caudle

CHAMPIONS AT THE TIME:
NWA World Heavyweight Champion: “Nature Boy” Ric Flair (September 17, 1981, Kansas City, Kansas, from “The American Dream” Dusty Rhodes; former three-time NWA World Heavyweight Champion Lou Thesz was the special guest referee for this bout)
NWA World Women’s Champion: The Fabulous Moolah (October 9, 1978, Fort Worth, Texas, from Evelyn Stevens)
NWA World Junior Heavyweight Champion: Tiger Mask (May 25, 1982, NJPW Big Fight Series 1982, Shizuoka, Japan, from Les Thorton)
NWA United States Heavyweight Champion: Sgt. Slaughter (June 7, 1982, Greenville, South Carolina, from Wahoo McDaniel)
NWA Mid-Atlantic Heavyweight Champion: Jack Brisco (May 10, 1982, Greenville, North Carolina, from Roddy Piper)
NWA World Tag Team Champions (Mid-Atlantic): VACANT (January 23, 1982; the Tag Team Championship was vacated after Gene Anderson, one half of the then-World Tag Team Champions the Minnesota Wrecking Crew with Ole Anderson, was legitimately injured and was unable to compete; as a result the NWA vacated the titles and JCP announced a national, regional style tournament to fill the vacancy; for more on this matter see the introduction of this article above)
NWA Mid-Atlantic Tag Team Champions: Pvt. Don Kernodle & Pvt. Jim Nelson (June 17, 1982, Roanoke, Virginia, from Porkchop Cash & “Iceman” King Parsons)
NWA Television Champion: Jimmy Valiant (November 3, 1981, Charlotte, North Carolina, from “Russian Bear” Ivan Koloff)

 

This week’s edition of NWA Mid-Atlantic Championship Wrestling starts out with the usual opening of the day, with the original music overdubbed, before we join Bob Caudle at the announce position where Caudle welcomes us to the show and gives a rundown of what we can expect to see this week.

 

Caudle then brings in NWA Mid-Atlantic Heavyweight Champion Jack Brisco & Ricky Steamboat for an interview. Brisco begins by telling Caudle that since Steamboat’s return from Japan, Brisco has filled Steamboat in on the recent problems Brisco’s been having with Roddy Piper and Don Muraco, the “beach bum”, and announces that Steamboat has agreed to be Brisco’s tag team partner and to watch Brisco’s back whenever Roddy Piper is around. We then see footage from a few weeks ago of Piper splashing Jerry Brisco’s knees as Jerry had his opponent trapped in the figure-four leg lock. We then see footage from the June 12, 1982 edition of Mid-Atlantic Championship Wrestling of Piper attacking Jack Brisco as Brisco reversed a Don Muraco figure-four. After the bell Muraco held Brisco for a Piper chair show but Brisco narrowly avoided certain injury at the very last second. Back in the studio Brisco says that he can handle Piper alone, one-on-one, but needs someone like Steamboat to stand in Brisco’s corner and keep Piper’s paid goons, like Muraco, away from him. Steamboat then says that he and Brisco never brag about being better wrestlers but says the proof is right in front of the fans eyes, that Piper and his friends have to resort to run-ins because that aren’t as good as Steamboat or Brisco. Steamboat says he’s heard about the attacks on the Brisco’s all the way in Japan. They may not brag, Steamboat says, but they’ve proven it time and again on TV and elsewhere. The proof “in the pudding” is the outside help that is needed to help Brisco’s opponents. So, Steamboat says, whenever Brisco needs Steamboat to sit in Brisco’s corner and watch for outside interference, he’ll be there for his friend Jack Brisco. Bob Caudle wraps the interview and tosses to our first Peacock ad-break of the show with a still of Piper attempting to brain Brisco with the steel chair.

 

Tag Team Match (4:40)
Ricky Steamboat & NWA Mid-Atlantic Heavyweight Champion Jack Brisco vs. Matt Bourne & Steve Sybert

This is a solid tag team opener. While Matt Bourne holds his own in this one, Sybert struggles. This match, to no ones surprise, features good wrestling and psychology. The bulk of this match sees Steamboat & Brisco work over Sybert’s knee, but not focused on submitting Sybert. In the end Wahoo lifts Sybert up for a back suplex as Steamboat scales the ropes for a chop. As Steamboat hits the chop, Brisco drop Sybert back with the suplex for the pinfall at 5:51.

WINNER is Ricky Steamboat & NWA Mid-Atlantic Heavyweight Champion Jack Brisco (Pin, 5:51)

 

After the match we see a slow-motion replay as we head to our next Peacock ad-break.

 

Singles Match (11:24)
Special Guest Commentator: Ricky Steamboat
Jake “The Snake” Roberts vs. Roddy Piper

This is an excellent TV match of the era and holds up reasonably well today. The match is back-and-forth early on until Piper takes control in the corner and grounds Jake. As Jake tries to fight back Piper goes to eyes, blinding Jake and giving Piper the opening to take full control of the match. Piper reopens cuts on Jake’s forehead and uses a number of dirty tactics to cut Jake off time and time again. Despite bloodying Jake and controlling the bulk of the match Piper is unable to put Jake away. Out of nowhere Jake evades a knee drop from Piper and is finally able to make a solid comeback. With Piper reeling Jake lands his big running knee lift, a la Mr. Wrestling II, for a long two-count. As Piper gets to his feet Jake rushes Piper and shoves Piper to the mat. Jake rears back for a second knee lift when U.S. Heavyweight Champion Sgt. Slaughter arrives at ringside to trip Jake for the DQ at 6:56.

WINNER is Jake “The Snake” Roberts (Disqualification, 6:56)

 

Following the bell Roddy Piper continues to take the fight to Jake Roberts. As Piper climbs to the top rope Ricky Steamboat arrives and scares Piper off, chasing Piper from the ring.

 

We then see a slow-motion replay of Slaughter tripping Roberts before Caudle hypes the rest of the card to come. After an awkward edit we join Caudle at the announce position as Caudle brings in the new Mid-Atlantic Tag Team Champions, Pvt. Jim Nelson & Pvt. Don Kernodle, for an interview. Kernodle starts by crowing about winning the Mid-Atlantic Tag Team titles and shouting about June being the month for Sgt. Slaughter’s boot camp to get the gold back, as Slaughter regained the U.S. Heavyweight title from Wahoo McDaniel earlier in the month, and says that when Sgt. Slaughter and his Privates promise something, you can believe it. Pvt. Nelson is up next, talking about how Slaughter gave the Privates only two weeks to regain the gold or get out of the camp. Nelson says that he and Kernodle will hold the Tag Team titles for as long as they want before tossing it back to Kernodle, who talks about Slaughter giving the two a second chance and how everything is better the second time around. Kernodle then turns his attention to the returning Ricky Steamboat, saying that Steamboat must have forgotten about the pain that Slaughter inflicted on Steamboat and that Slaughter just may have to do it all over again. In fact, Kernodle says, he and Pvt. Nelson would love to “sign the dotted line” to face Brisco & Steamboat anytime in any arena in the world because Kernodle & Nelson have the gold and the belts are going to stay with the Privates for a long time to come. Bob Caudle wraps the interview and we head to our next Peacock ad-break.

 

—“Non-Title Singles Match” (22:09)
Bill White vs. NWA Television Champion Jimmy Valiant

This is the kind of Valiant squash that old-school fans will know well. Valiant smothers White from the opening bell and never lets up. Though White gets in a few shots on Valiant the match is all Valiant. In the end, after having his fun, Valiant drops the big elbow on White for the 1-2-3 at 1:58.

WINNER is NWA Television Champion Jimmy Valiant (Pin, 1:58)

 

After the match a replay still of Valiant pinning White precedes our next Peacock ad-break. Coming out of the break we join Bob Caudle at the announce position for an interview with United States Heavyweight Champion Sgt. Slaughter, flanked as always by his Privates and Ninja. Slaughter begins by talking about how he took Nelson & Kernodle from nothing and turned them into champions. When they became Tag Team Champions the first time, Slaughter says, the duo drifted away from Slaughter. This time, Slaughter says, if the two stick with Slaughter the two will “always be” the Mid-Atlantic Tag Team Champions. Slaughter then dismisses the two to the ring to prepare for the next bout. As Ninja floats around behind Slaughter and Caudle, Slaughter talks about how Steamboat, the Mulligans, Wahoo, and Youngblood looked to form a group to “help themselves”, but now, a few months later, many of them are already gone. But, Slaughter says, he, Ninja, and Roddy Piper are still here. Piper then enters the interview and Slaughter hands the interview off, saying that “no one can handle it” like Roddy Piper. Piper calls being with Slaughter a pleasure before saying that Jack Brisco is afraid of Piper. Piper says he could have smashed Brisco’s head “like a melon” but didn’t because he missed by just “that” much. Piper says he thought he scared Steamboat off and thought Steamboat was smart enough before threatening Steamboat with an “Hawaiian punch”. Piper rants about Steamboat looking for corner’s to be in and says he knows why he depresses Steamboat, because Steamboat looks at Piper and says “Why, why can’t I be like Roddy Piper?”

 

Bob Caudle then wraps the interview before giving us the blue-screen ring introductions of the forthcoming six-man tag team match before we head to the next Peacock ad-break.

 

—“Six-Man Tag Team Match” (24:32)
Mike Rotundo, Kelly Kiniski, & Mike Davis vs. NWA United States Heavyweight Champion Sgt. Slaughter & NWA Mid-Atlantic Tag Team Champions Pvt. Don Kernodle & Pvt. Jim Nelson

This match is even to start with Rotundo, Kiniski, & Davis having their moments to shine against Kernodle and Nelson as momentum swings wildly. Nelson & Kernodle try their best to get the better of Rotundo, Kiniski, & Davis but, try as they might, the babyfaces manage to keep Nelson & Kiniski on their heels. This continues until Sgt. Slaughter finally makes his presence felt, helping give his partners the edge on Rotundo from the apron. While Rotundo puts up a fight the heels control the match from here on out. Soon enough its Kiniski’s turn to get whipped before Rotundo gets another round with Slaughter and company. Eventually Mike Davis gets the hot tag and, like a ball of fire, takes the fight to Kernodle & Nelson, hitting a series of great dropkicks. Slaughter tags himself in before easily stepping out of the way of a Davis dropkick. As Davis gets to his feet he walks into a vicious Slaughter lariat that gives Slaughter, and his team, the pinfall win at 8:06.

WINNERS are NWA United States Heavyweight Champion Sgt. Slaughter & NWA Mid-Atlantic Tag Team Champions Pvt. Don Kernodle & Pvt. Jim Nelson (Pin, 8:06)

 

After the match we see a slow-motion replay of Slaughter’s lariat before heading back to the announce position where Bob Caudle interviews Mike Rotundo and Kelly Kiniski. Kiniski starts by putting over Slaughter’s team and is gracious in defeat. Kiniski talks about teaming with Rotundo and getting to know Rotundo, and Rotundo’s move set, better. Kiniski reiterates Steamboat’s comments from earlier in the program about wrestlers relying on run-ins and says that if a wrestler can’t win by themselves then they’re not “doing it the right way.” Kiniski feels that Steamboat is going to clear some things up in the area is glad that Steamboat is back. Rotundo is up next and says that he respects all three of his opponents, Slaughter, Nelson, & Kernodle, but not how they do business. Rotundo wants just one man in the ring at a time and, if Rotundo and Kiniski can work their tag team style, Rotundo believes they can defeat Slaughter and his Privates. Slaughter’s team may be good, but it’s not the way Rotundo thinks it should be done. Caudle turns back to Kiniski who says that Roddy Piper has something to deal with now that Steamboat is back in town, and that Piper had better think of Steamboat and Brisco as Piper lays awake at night. Caudle then wraps the interview and we’re off to our next Peacock ad-break.

 

Tag Team Match (38:58)
Ali Bey & Ken Timbs vs. Wahoo McDaniel & Jay Youngblood

This one may be a squash, but it’s a helluva lotta fun! For fans of stiff, hard-hitting action, this match is for you! There are stiff chops throughout from both Wahoo and Youngblood as they have a grand time taking the fight to Bey & Timbs. While Timbs runs headlong into the steamroller, Bey doesn’t go down without a fight. The highlight of the match is a late confrontation between Ali and Wahoo in which Wahoo chops Ali across the ring with a chop that would make Gunther salivate. In the end, after taking their time beating the bejabbers out of Bey & Timbs, Youngblood lands a big chop on Timbs before landing a big running elbow for the pinfall at 4:23.

WINNERS are Wahoo McDaniel & Jay Youngblood (Pin, 4:23)

 

Following the match we see a slow-motion replay of the finish before heading back to the interview location where Bob Caudle is joined by Paul Jones. Jones, in a very subdued, almost sleepy manner, talks about his recent issues with “King Kong” Mosca. Jones says he doesn’t talk about other people and he doesn’t like when people talk about him. If there’ talking to be done, Jones says, they should do it in the ring, where Jones says he will face Mosca anytime, anywhere.

 

Bob Caudle then wraps Jones’ interview and turns to greet Mid-Atlantic Heavyweight Champion Jack Brisco for another quick interview. Brisco puts over Steamboat as one of the best wrestlers in the world and reiterates his appreciation for Steamboat agreeing to watch his back and partner with him. Brisco says he wants revenge for what Piper has done to himself, Jerry Brisco, Wahoo, and others. As long as Piper doesn’t have Muraco or some other “paid assassin” Brisco is certain he can take care of Piper. Brisco says he knows that Piper dreams of holding the Mid-Atlantic Heavyweight title that Brisco now holds but says that he’s going to keep it. Brisco says he’s gone through a lot to get the Championship and that there’s no way he’s going to give it up after all he and his brother have gone through to get it. Brisco says he’s proud to be Champion and is looking forward to coming after Roddy Piper. Bob Caudle then wraps the interview and signs off, tossing to the credits!

 

Final Thoughts

This is a great edition of NWA Mid-Atlantic Championship Wrestling! There are hall of famers aplenty here, with at least one in every match. All of the action is good to great, including the squashes, and the promos are just incredible. The highlight of the show is the Piper/Roberts clash, the six-man tag, and the stiff show-closing tag team bout. Put another way, if you love old-school pro wrestling, the stiff, rugged, realistic style without any of the modern gaga, this is your kind of show! If you haven’t seen this edition of Mid-Atlantic Championship Wrestling, or it’s been a while, you can’t go wrong with this one! Who knows, You might actually like it, and that’s never a bad thing!

Already subscribed to the WWE Network or WWE Network on Peacock? Then you can relive this classic edition of NWA Mid-Atlantic Championship Wrestling right now or see it for the very first time! As always, let us know what you think in the comments section below!

For pre-WNN editions of Throwback Thursday, click here!

Thanks for reading – until next week, see ya at ringside!

 

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