The Mid-Atlantic Gateway presents . . .

The Top 15 Cards Ever

in Richmond

by David Chappell

Return to TOP 15 Index


Number 9   -   December 13, 1974   

This card of Mid-Atlantic Championship Wrestling at the end of 1974 was unforgettable in several respects. It was the last Mid-Atlantic card that Richmond would host during the year of 1974, a year that saw Jim Crockett Promotions revitalized with new and impressive talent that would set the stage for the promotion to reach unparalleled heights in the decade to follow. This card also showed very vividly the transitional nature of 1974, where the big names of yesteryear gave way to the stars and great rivalries of the future. But more than anything, I now remember this card for the night that three of Richmond's greatest wrestling rivalries of 1974 ended on this frigid December night in 1974, Friday the 13th.

MAIN EVENT---Rip Hawk battles former partner Swede Hanson in a Lights Out, Non-Sanctioned Fence Match.

Rip Hawk and Swede Hanson were probably the most famous and recognized tag team in the history of Jim Crockett Promotions to this point in time. When Swede turned "good guy" in early 1974, it was inevitable that these former long time partners would clash at some point. In Richmond, they had never met one on one until this fateful night. Previously, the two had been paired against each other as part of tag teams during 1974, but never in a singles bout. The promotion not only made this epic confrontation Richmond's last match of 1974, but made it a lights out, non-sanctioned anything goes fence match!! What a way to close out the banner year of 1974!!

This bout was a bloody battle between these two long time friends, with Hawk keeping the much larger Hanson on the mat for long periods of time utilizing low blows, foreign objects and of course the steel of the fence. Swede would rally, only to seemingly always be put on the defensive by a Hawk cheap shot. The crowd roared to deafening noise levels, as Swede would make his series of comebacks. Finally, close to the 20-minute mark, Swede used a number of battering ram shots into the cage to immobilize Rip and take the pinfall.

None of us knew at the time, that this would be Rip Hawk's last match ever in Richmond, Virginia as a member of Jim Crockett Promotions. So many, many great performances by Rip for more than a decade ended with a memorable finale this night. Even in victory, this night turned out to be a "farewell" of sorts for Swede Hanson as well as the promotion immediately de-emphasized Swede's role with Mid-Atlantic Championship Wrestling after this final program with the departing Rip Hawk. Swede would never again appear in a main event program for Crockett Promotions after this night, despite wrestling in the area for many years in the future. This match truly ushered in a changing of the guard for Mid-Atlantic Championship Wrestling.

SEMI-FINAL---"Chief" Wahoo McDaniel battles the masked Super Destroyer.

These two top stars had developed quite a rivalry over the last half of 1974. In fact, upon Wahoo's arrival in the Mid-Atlantic area in the summer of 1974, the Super Destroyer was one of the great Indian's primary targets. The two had a number of terrific battles, but this night would be the last time Wahoo and the Super D. would ever face each other in the Richmond Coliseum.

It's too bad that this battle wasn't also inside a fence, as the majority of the action in this bout took place outside of the ring! During the course of this lengthy match, Wahoo nearly unmasked the Super Destroyer after lambasting him with a series of chops that rang throughout the Coliseum. There was also a sequence of several minutes where the Super Destroyer had Wahoo trapped in his vice-like claw hold. Wahoo would finally escape, to the delight of the huge crowd and the battle waged on at a fever pitch.

After several more back and forth near falls by both men, the match ended the way most Super Destroyer bouts did, via disqualification. This time, with the Super Destroyer tossing the referee out of the ring in a fit of rage, while he and Wahoo continued to battle for a while longer.

At the time of course, no one in the crowd knew that this was the last match these two icons would ever have against each other in the Richmond Coliseum. But the match had so much intensity and was so hard fought, you almost have to wonder if the combatants may have known that this was their final night to shine in the Coliseum---they surely gave it their all and left it all in the ring!

Ivan Koloff vs. Paul Jones for the Mid-Atlantic TV Title

Much like the match that would follow it, this bout would have been well served to be inside a fence! This was a particularly vicious bout, despite the fact that there were no special stipulations in it other than Koloff's TV title being on the line.

Throughout the last half of 1974, these two had traded the TV title and battled in a number of bloody specialty matches, including Koloff's favorite, the Russian Chain Match. This match saw its share of blood, as foreign objects were used to open up both men. The vast amount of action outside the ring whipped the crowd into a frenzy, almost to riot-like levels close to ringside.

When wrestling was actually utilized in this match, Jones was far superior. However, Koloff was intent on making this a brawl, and he succeeded. Finally, both wrestlers secured steel chairs on the outside of the ring that they were more focused on than the referee's count inside of the ring. Both grapplers were ultimately counted out, which enabled Koloff to retain his Mid-Atlantic Television Title.

As with the other two main events, this would be the final match in the Richmond Coliseum between these two in what was a brutal feud over the Mid-Atlantic TV Title. Koloff was about ready to bolt Jim Crockett Promotions for the IWA, while Jones was ready to settle in as one of the Mid-Atlantic area's biggest superstars.


Other Matches

An excellent six-man tag team match saw the "good guy" trio of the Avenger, Tiger Conway, Jr. and Tommy Seigler defeat Brute Bernard, Mr. Fuji and Chuck O'Connor in an exciting contest. The masked Avenger was the star of this match, as the promotion was building him for a major upcoming feud with another masked man, the Super Destroyer. On the other side of the fence, Brute Bernard was slipping further and further down cards, and Chuck O'Connor (later known as John Studd) was about ready to leave the area.

Samoan Tio Tio pinned Japanese star Mr. Hayashi in a surprisingly good match. It was rare to see Hayashi in a singles match without his normal tag team partner, Mr. Ota.

In the opening tag team bout of the evening, Cowboy Parker and Frank Morrell (subbing for Ken Dellinger) took the measure of the young team of Mike Stallings and Billy Ash. The team of the "Outlaws" Parker and Dellinger were actually getting a minor push by the promotion at this time, so it was somewhat disappointing that Dellinger was a no-show this night. The plodding Morrell actually did a fine job as a replacement this night.

In the curtain raiser, Richmond "favorite" (OK, how could you not like the guy a little bit!) George "Two Ton" Harris disposed of hapless Joe Furr with a well-placed thumb to the windpipe.

Next Up # 8---December 27, 1976