Thursday, August 27, 2015

Ed Capral with Mulligan and Flair on Wide World Wrestling (1976)

U.S. Champion Blackjack Mulligan and Mid-Atlantic Champion Ric Flair are interviewed by host Ed Capral on the set of "Wide World Wrestling" at WRAL. Sitting just off camera to the right is booker George Scott.

Blackjack Mulligan wearing the United States championship belt, with Ric Flair
in the ring on "Wide World Wrestling" 

Referee Angelo Martinelli seems anxious to get the match underway.

Monday, August 24, 2015

Brad Keene in Canada

Man Behind the Mike
Wrestling Revue Magazine, April 1966

During the thirteen years that Brad Keene has been doing wrestling on TV he has given the audience some unusual exhibitions of his own.

Brad Keene
Some of the odd-ball things he's done to liven up the program are breaking a rock on the chest of Klondike Bill with a 16-pound sledge hammer; 'being held up in the air on one hand of Hercules Cortez while interviewing him; having Whipper Billy Watson demonstrate some of his favorite holds on him; taking on Hard Boiled Haggerty in a wrist-wrestling contest, and so forth.

Over the years he's interviewed most of the big names in pro wrestling both on radio and TV and knows the game inside out and backwards.

Brad has worked throughout West-ern Canada, handling shows in most of the big cities like Calgary, Winnipeg and Vancouver. He is currently doing a regular weekly wrestling show in Vancouver, B.C. for a tremendous viewing audience. This is one of the highest rated time periods art the Pacific Coast.

His station, Channel 8, also makes video tapes for other cities including, Winnipeg, Calgary, Edmonton, Kitchener, Montreal, Halifax, Regina, Saskatoon and, for almost two years, Tacoma, Washington. Thus, Brad's shows reach a vast audience stretching all the way from the Atlantic to the Pacific on both sides of the U.S.A. - Canadian border.

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Occasionally the Studio Wrestling website will spotlight some of the great voices and TV hosts from territories across the wrestling landscape in the 1960s and 1970s.

Thanks to Carroll Hall for providing this article to the Mid-Atlantic Gateway.

Wednesday, August 5, 2015

Sound Bytes: Les Thatcher (1975)

Back in the mid-1970s, the television hosts for Jim Crockett Promotions would always run down the list of current champions that week. Bob Caudle, Les Thatcher, Ed Capral, Rich Landrum - - they would announce that the show was sanctioned by the National Wrestling Alliance and then list all of the champions, starting with the NWA world heavyweight champion.

In this example, Les Thatcher announces the NWA sanctioning and runs down the champions of the NWA in July of 1975.

From the 2nd hour of Mid-Atlantic Championship Wrestling taped 7/23/75 at WRAL in Raleigh:

Les Thatcher

Quite a distinguished list of champions!

NWA World Heavyweight Champion: Jack Brisco
NWA World Jr. Heavyweight Champion: Hiro Matsuda
NWA World Tag Team Champions: Gene and Ole Anderson
United States Heavyweight Champion: Johnny Valentine
Mid-Atlantic Heavyweight Champion: Wahoo McDaniel
Mid-Atlantic Television Champion: Ric Flair

Tuesday, August 4, 2015

"Championship Studio Wrestling" (Mid-America Wrestling)

Check out this rare footage from a program called "Championship Studio Wrestling" from the NWA Mid-America Wrestling promotion out of Chattanooga, TN. It features host Harry Thornton (one of the promoters behind the scenes) interviewing Bobby Eaton and the Great Togo. 

The show was taped at WDEF-12 studios in Chattanooga, TN under the promotional mantle of Nick Gulas.

I was particularly pleased to hear the theme music at the end of the show, which rekindled a childhood memory. It is a Chico Buarque de Hollanda song called "A Banda" performed by Herb Alpert and the Tijuana Brass. My parents had the 1967 album from which that song was taken, "Herb Alpert's Ninth", which featured both Beethoven and Alpert on the cover.

Here is an audio clip from the video above that jumps straight to Harry Thorton doing the show close and then to the theme music. 

"Championship Studio Wrestling" host Harry Thornton
Mid-America Wrestling promoted by Nick Gulas

Sunday, August 2, 2015

Ring Introduction by Elliot Murnick

Elliot Murnick (Facebook)
If you're as old as I am, you will remember back to when Carl and Elliot Murnick did the ring introductions on Mid-Atlantic and Wide World Wrestling from around 1976-1978. They are the sons of Raleigh promoter Joe Murnick and were involved in several of the family businesses. Mr. Murnick did the ring introductions for years at WRAL, but by early 1976 had mostly turned it over to the boys.

As part of our Mid-Atlantic Gateway "Sound Bytes" series here on the Studio Wrestling website, we'll present a few sample of ring introductions from those years.

This one is from August of 1976 from Mid-Atlantic Wrestling hosted by Bob Caudle, who you will also hear in this clip, pitching to Elliot Murnick in the ring.

Ring Introduction by Elliot Murnick

The Death of Introductions from the Ring

In 1978, Bob Caudle and Rich Landrum started doing the ring introductions from the floor near their announce position using blue-screen chroma-key composting on the studio backdrops to show the wrestler being introduced in the ring. I always found this highly annoying and missed the introduction form the ring form the moment they were gone. Ring introductions should always be done form the ring. It's as if WRAL had this new chroma-key technology and just looked for any way to use it, rather than a useful way to use it. Fans never got the hang of it, and usually couldn't hear the intros that well anyway. Bob and Rich would be looking at the monitor off-screen (sort of like the weather people do when they use green-screen chroma key today) rather than looking at the ring or at the fans, so the fans sort of watched the monitor, too, and never reacted to the introductions. Those introductions most always fell flat.

TV wrestling mostly eliminated their ring introductions when they moved out of the studio to the arenas anyway, except when there was a main-event level match. But I digress.

More Sound Bytes to come.