Mulligan: I’ve got to say this at this point, David. [ Jim Crockett Promotions] was the hardest working place that I ever was in.


Chappell: How so?


Mulligan: Seven years…and one year would consist of working 9-10 times a week. We worked every night, and did TV in Raleigh and did two tapes there. And then we started into double-shots…Crockett got to making so much money he started the double-shots.


Chappell: I get tired just thinking about you all doing those double-shots!


Mulligan: We started doing the double-shots on Sundays. Remember, the only thing that really went down in that era, because of the Southern Baptists, was football…and even that wasn’t very well received. So we started working on Sundays twice. I worked 9-10 times a week…I did that for seven years!


Chappell: Unbelievable…


Mulligan: I was in my prime when I came in, and when I left Mid-Atlantic I was virtually a shadow of myself.


Remember, before this, I was retired from football with a lot of major injuries. Mid-Atlantic took more out of me than that…it was nothing but blood and guts and hard work. George was a taskmaster.


I, myself, made my own choice to leave. I made my own deal, when I finally decided to leave. I actually, later on, had an opportunity to go back with Crockett…which I’ll get to later. But it took SO much out of me.


Chappell: Well, when you and Ric split, and Ric put that $10,000 bounty on you, just that series of cage matches you had in 1978 with (Masked Superstar) Bill Eadie would have ended the career of any normal wrestler. But you two guys survived them…and flourished!


Mulligan: (laughs) I don’t know about ‘flourished.’


Nowhere in the history of wrestling, has anybody ever gone one hour in a cage with Bill Eadie…and then come back in a return match for 90 minutes. That was brutal.


Cage matches were not meant to go an hour. Bill Eadie and I did so many of them, I can’t even remember how many times around (the circuit). I had to be a drag to him, because Bill Eadie was a great athlete from West Virginia…


Chappell: Don ’t sell yourself short Blackjack…you more than held your own in that series!


Mulligan: I wasn’t built to do one hour matches. In cage matches, I was built to do 20-30 minutes…because that was mass mayhem in there.


Chappell: When I spoke to Bill Eadie several months ago, he told me that he lost so much weight during that series of matches that his wrestling uniform wouldn’t fit.


Mulligan: Oh, it was brutal. And George comes to me and says, ‘This is working SO good.’ I said, ‘George…PLEASE.’


Chappell: It was during the hot summer too. The schedule of that program…it was insane.


Mulligan: It really was! I said, ‘George, what are you doing? All these long cage matches in the long hot summer…’ He said, ‘No, no…it’s working really good.’ We had some big arguments over those cage matches.


As a matter of fact, there was a little secret deal that George Scott and I did with those cage matches. Bill Eadie may remember it. I said, ‘I’ll bet you my total paycheck for the week, if the return cage match outdraws the first one.’


The reason I made the bet wasn’t Bill…it was ME that was so bad at doing the long cage matches! I…I just wasn’t built that way…a big guy just doesn’t have the stamina to do it.


Chappell: So, did you lose your paycheck?


Mulligan: He won…I lost my paycheck. I said, ‘Man, I don’t agree with this at all.’ I don’t know if Bill Eadie remembers that or not…


Chappell: He didn’t mention it when I talked with him, but he talked about that long program of cage matches with you.


Mulligan: It was kind of a little thing that nobody would talk about, so I’m not surprised.


George had this big grin on his face and said, ‘Boy, you’re gonna have a sad week aren’t you buddy?’ I said, ‘What are you talking about?’ He said, ‘I got your check!’ The return match was bigger than the first match by a few people…both were huge. And man, it was a big check, too.


Chappell: (laughing)


Mulligan: I said, ‘George, just take the stupid thing,’ and I walked off and left him. Later, I said, ‘George, I don’t know what’s gonna come up in your mind anymore…this is ridiculous.’ Nobody ever did it before, and nobody has done it after…guys wouldn’t do it.


Then…he gives me my check! (laughs)


Chappell: I guess the Boss had made his point! (laughs)


Mulligan: But I need to say this about George Scott…it’s important. All those promises he made me when I came in, he more than kept. From the first day that I was there to the day that I left, George Scott kept his word to me…and doubled it.


Nobody in the history of wrestling thought that George could make us the kind of money we made. Within two years of when I came in, everybody in every major territory in the world was calling George Scott to get into the Carolinas. The money we were making was…PHENOMENAL.


Chappell: And I suspect even in your wildest dreams, you never thought it would take off the way it did.


Mulligan: No one did. Vince McMahon, Sr. said, ‘I’ve never seen a man with so much guts and moxie in my life, to take a chance like you took and go down there and do that.’


Chappell: We were just speaking of Bill Eadie…you seem to have a great deal of respect for him. You wrestled him even later in the area, when Bill came back in 1980.


Mulligan: I respect Bill Eadie a lot. We had a long career together. We spent a lot of time together overseas. We were over in Arabia together. We can both tell you stories about being in Kuwait City when there was a bomb scare. The Iraqi’s were trying to blow the place up.


I’m not sure if Bill Eadie was on this tour or not…he might have been. Anyway, we arrived on the border of Yemen and Oman…they stopped a war, a village war, to come to the wrestling matches!


Chappell: You’re kidding! (laughs)


Mulligan: They stacked arms on each side, and a guy told us, ‘I don’t want any hanky-panky or anything…we need to get in and out of here as fast as we can, because these two villages, these two tribes, are literally at war.


Chappell: And here I thought the Richmond Coliseum was a danger zone sometimes!


Mulligan: It’s unbelievable…it takes more time to tell this story. After the match, the Sultan comes in. I was actually working for a Sultan of Oman…he paid me and was fixing to move over there---that’s another story in itself too! But he got killed in an accident…so that really kind of ended that.


But anyway, I met the Sultan of Yemen…who led a tribe of Yemen fighters up in the mountains at the border. About a minute later, a sergeant with the police there said that sword that I was just looking at, probably that very day emboweled somebody…that’s the way they kill over there.


Chappell: Man!


Mulligan: So, Bill Eadie and I have some stories!


When you see him, ask him about the Pakistani’s we had to shoot with! They show up and say, ‘We’re going to win, we’re going to win.’ Well, Bill Eadie only had the World Champion over there, but I had this guy that looked like ‘Lurch,’ about 500 pounds dressed in a white suit wrestling barefooted!


Chappell: (laughing)


Mulligan: Bill Eadie tells these guys, ‘Well…we’re gonna win.’ I looked at Eadie and said, ‘You wanna trade guys?’ (everybody laughs)


Chappell: Bill talked a lot about Japan…but our conversation never got over to Pakistan! (laughs)


Bill was a great opponent for you when you were a babyface. After him, you had some great battles in 1979 and 1980 with Big John Studd. Tell us about Studd.



Mulligan: Big John…I really miss him. He called me before he died…told me he had Hodgkin’s disease and swore me to secrecy that I wouldn’t tell anybody. I lost him so quickly after that…


Chappell: You and Studd had some amazing matches…those street fights with him were brutal. And it was something, seeing you up against somebody physically bigger than you were.


Mulligan: He was a big guy on his way out of the territory, and I snatched him out of the jaws of death, so to speak. I told George Scott, ‘Look at this monster, man. We’re missing the boat here.’ And the rest is history with John Studd…we went round and round for a long time.


Chappell: After Studd, a feud of yours I really enjoyed in 1980 was you against ‘Bad Boy’ Bobby Duncum. The battle of the Texans, and the battle of the former football players. That was something else!



Mulligan: Bobby was one of my guys, but that program ended…this is hard to say---because he didn’t know how to get into the program.


Chappell: Why was that?


Mulligan: I…I made a couple of comments that he didn’t like…


Chappell: Huh?


Mulligan: Yeah, I mean, I wasn’t serious at all. You know how I am about doing promos…


Chappell: I definitely remember him saying a bunch of derogatory stuff about you and your family in his promos. What…he couldn’t take it in return?


Mulligan: Let’s put it this way…you can’t be too serious. You’ve got to be able to laugh at yourself in this business…at least a little bit, you know?


You can be serious, but you can’t be too serious. I said something like, ‘I tell you one thing Bobby Duncum, if I find your ol’ lady in the parking lot I’ll whup her tail and your kids too.’ He took offense to that…


Chappell: Gee…


Mulligan: I said, ‘My God, Bobby…you know that I’m kidding. I’m kidding!’


Chappell: So that’s how that program ended?


Mulligan: That was it. He got mad at that, and the attitude carried over. I said, ‘ Bobby, we go back to St. Louis football, and all that stuff.’ He said, ‘Naw, naw…I don’t like the things you said.’ I said, ‘ Bobby, Bobby, Bobby…you don’t get it, you never got it, and you never will.’


You either get it in this business, or you don’t. That’s the reason some ballplayers couldn’t make the transition over to wrestling…because of attitude. Big Angie [Angelo Mosca] made it about 90%. But a lot of them couldn’t do it.


Chappell: Talking about your promos…I’ve always been curious about some of the people you mentioned in those. Let’s see…there’s Sheriff Slim Gabriel, Spider, Gripp, Uncle Reba Joe…were they real people?


Mulligan: Real world! Slim Gabriel was the Sheriff of Ector County, Texas for years…a real live person. Spider/Gripp came from the old Rodeo. Reba Joe, Uncle Reba Joe, was my idol…he was a redheaded Cowboy. If you ever saw the movie ‘Hud,’ they copied that story after my Uncle…I’m sure they did! (laughs) He’s from Abilene, Texas…raised on a ranch and drove a Cadillac convertible…solid redhead.


Chappell: Oh…and we can’t forget Sarah Joe! (laughs)


Mulligan: Sarah Joe Puckett…wasn’t an extension of the Concho County Queen, but she wasn’t really that bad! (laughs) She wasn’t as bad as I made her out to be! (everybody laughs)


Chappell: And who can forget Cousin Crazy Luke Mulligan…played expertly by ‘Killer’ Tim Brooks! Remember when he had popcorn all over the ring that time you were wrestling Ox Baker on TV! Man, you had a group of characters out there in Texas! (both laughing)