Tuesday, August 21, 2018

Racing and Rasslin' on WGHP

"... Junior Johnson runnin' through the woods of Carolina ..."
- Bruce Springsteen, "Cadillac Ranch"

It was great receiving this little ad from newspaper researcher Mark Eastridge recently. It is from the Greensboro Daily News in October 24, 1964 and is an advertisement for Saturday afternoon sports programming on WGHP-8 out of High Point, NC.

The ad was primarily for ABC's "Wide World of Sports" which on that day would feature racing from Charlotte and included some classic names from NASCAR's past including Ned Jarrett and Junior Johnson, among others.

The race was the 1964 National 400 held at the Charlotte Motor Speedway. It actually took place the previous Sunday, October 18, but highlights would air on "Wide World of Sports" that following Saturday. Fred Lorenzen, seen in the photo in the ad, won the race. (My all time favorite Junior Johnson came in 39th in his 1964 Ford.)

WGHP was also home to weekly Jim Crockett Promotions wrestling tapings and the ad also mentions that following the Charlotte 400 will be "Championship Wrestling" on channel 8 featuring two tag team matches. The program was hosted by broadcasting hall-of-famer Charlie Harville.

Racing and wrestling! They were the top two professional spectator sports in our area at that time, and it didn't get much better on a fall afternoon than racing, wrestling, and I'm sure a little college football thrown in.

(Racing information from the Racing Reference website at racing-reference.info)


Sunday, August 5, 2018

Bob Caudle and Nick Pond in WRAL News Team Ad from 1975

This is a very cool ad from an October 1975 issue of TV Guide magazine featuring the "TV5 Action News Team" from WRAL-5 television in Raleigh, NC.

The TV5 news team at that time consisted of Bob Caudle, Jon Mangum, Charlie Gaddy, and Nick Pond. 

"The TV5 Action News Team: 
Depend on it Morning, Noon, and Night."

It's a nice to see both Caudle and Pond, longtime wrestling hosts, in the same photo.  Both Caudle and Pond were wrestling announcers for wrestling tapings held at the WRAL studios. Pond was the Raleigh-area host of "Championship Wrestling" from approximately 1962-1972. Caudle hosted the syndicated show "All Star Wrestling" during most of that same time, and then transitioned to the host of "Mid-Atlantic Championship Wrestling" which was seen in Raleigh on WRAL and syndicated to TV stations throughout the Carolinas and Virginia well into the 1980s

Tapings for Jim Crockett Promotions wrestling began at WRAL in 1959. In 1981, they moved to a studio in Charlotte. NC. Caudle continued to host the show there, and then later out in the arenas for both Jim Crockett Promotions and Turner Broadcasting until the early 1990s.

Thanks to Carroll Hall at the All Star Championship Wrestling website for providing us this great piece of memorabilia.

Sunday, July 8, 2018

Saturday TV Wrestling in Toronto

The Maple Leaf Wrestling website has a terrific look at what the TV schedule looked like for a Saturday afternoon in Toronto in 1981.

Fans there sure were lucky to see a wide variety of wrestling including the local Maple Leaf Wrestling show, plus Mid-Atlantic Championship Wrestling, AWA, WWF, and more!

During these years, promoter Frank Tunney was booking a lot of talent for the Toronto shows from Jim Crockett Promotions based out of Charlotte, NC. Toronto fans got to see the "Mid-Atlantic Championship Wrestling" show which aired on channel 4 WIVB out of Buffalo, NY, just across Lake Ontario. Many of the Crockett stars also appeared on "Maple Leaf Wrestling" as well. 

Take a look at the post on Andrew Calvert's excellent Maple Leaf Wrestling. Andrew gives some great detail with what it was like to be "pinned to the couch" on a Saturday afternoon in Toronto.


Saturday, June 2, 2018

Grunt-by-Groan Description by Nick Pond

An early reference to Nick Pond calling the wrestling action for Raleigh from the studio of WRAL in Raleigh, NC.

Carroll Hall of the All Star Championship Wrestling site provided the clipping. He has been researching this time period trying to determine when Pond took over as host from Ray Reeve.

"The earliest reference I have found for Nick Pond as host is April 1, 1962," he wrote me. "The latest for Ray Reeve as host is June 3, 1961. The gap between the two is getting smaller."

Pond called the action for the Raleigh market, while Bob Caudle called the action for all other markets. This was the case for roughly a 10 year period from 1962-1972.

Thursday, May 24, 2018

Sam Muchnick Renews KPLR Contract (1966)

Wrestling Revue Magazine 1966

NWA President Sam Muchnick (left) and Harold Koplar (right) flank announcer George Abel as Muchnick signs a contract to continue to present "Wrestling at the Chase" on KPLR TV in St. Louis.

Koplar was the founder of KPLR-TV channel 11, one of the most successful independent stations in broadcast television history. Part of the success was the legendary and historic "Wrestling at the Chase" TV show which promoted the regular wrestling events at Kiel Auditorium and later the Checkrdome and the St. Louis Arena.

"Wrestling at the Chase" was produced by the St. Louis Wrestling Club through the production facilities of KPLR. The St' Louis Wrestling Club was Muchnick's wrestling promotion in the Gateway City, and the epicenter for the territorial wrestling organization known as the National Wrestling Alliance.

The show was originally taped in the Khorassan Ballroom at the Chase Park Plaza Hotel, also owned by Koplar. It later moved to a smaller venue in the adjoining KPLR TV studios.


Sunday, April 8, 2018

A Tribute to Bob Caudle

Featuring the voice of "Mid-Atlantic Championship Wrestling" Bob Caudle.

Also seen in this video:
David Crockett, Johnny Weaver, Lance Russell, Ric Flair, J.J. Dillon, Dusty Rhodes, Terry Funk, Baby Doll, Arn Anderson, Tully Blanchard, Barry Windham, Wahoo McDaniel, Jim Cornette with the Midnight Express and more.


Wednesday, April 4, 2018

Russ Dubuc: The Lost Voice of Wide World Wrestling

by Dick Bourne
Mid-Atlantic Gateway

In the fall of 1977, Jim Crockett Promotions replaced Ed Capral as the host of their syndicated program "Wide World Wrestling" with a fellow by the name Russ Dubuc. I've long thought of Russ Dubuc as the "lost voice" of Wide World Wrestling. He only hosted for a few months and is largely forgotten in the annals of Crockett Promotions television history.

I recently came across an audio recording of an episode of Wide World Wrestling hosted by Dubuc from February 4, 1978. I thought I would document his contributions to studio wrestling here with a sample of his voice from that program.

In this clip, Dubuc is making viewers aware of how they can get their very own Wide World Wrestling bumper sticker. At the end of the clip you'll briefly hear the voice of Ricky Steamboat, his guest color-commentator for the week. The audio is pretty low fidelity, but you should be able to make it out.

Dubuc was replaced as host by Tom Miller in the early spring of 1978. Miller was a popular regional radio personality and friend of the promotion. He had co-hosted "Mid-Atlantic Championship Wrestling" with Bob Caudle in the summer of 1976, and would later become the regular ring announcer at the Greensboro Coliseum.

Not much is known about Dubuc's background, but we're always on the hunt. We hope to provide some further information soon.

Russ Dubuc may not be widely remembered by Mid-Atlantic area wrestling fans, but his contributions to Jim Crockett Promotions and studio wrestling at WRAL in Raleigh will be remembered forever here on the Studio Wrestling website and the Mid-Atlantic Gateway.

* * * * *

Wide World Wrestling Theme Music 1975-1978
Check out this post on the Mid-Atlantic Gateway with streaming audio of the "Wide World Wrestling" theme music used during the time Russ Dubuc was host of the program.


Saturday, March 17, 2018

Paul Winkhaus Tribute on "All Star Championship Wrestling" Site

Paul Winkhaus
Carroll Hall, who publishes the "All Star Championship Wrestling" website, recently posted some material related to Crockett Greenville promoter Paul Winkhaus, including his obituary.

Winkhaus promoted Greenville, Asheville, Anderson, and smaller towns in that area for Jim Crockett Promotions for several decades. He also co-hosted some promotional segments on WLOS-13 out of Asheville, NC, for the local shows at the Asheville Auditorium in the late 1960s and early 1970s. The segments were taped at the WLOS studio and were hosted and produced by then WLOS sports director Munsey Milliway.

Some good stuff there, including an early photo of Winkhaus with boxer Tony "Two Ton" Galento, circa 1930s.

Here are the links:
For more information on the studio segments at WLOS with Winkhaus and Milliway, visit our page for wrestling at the WLOS-TV Studio.