Tuesday, July 5, 2016

Rare Studio Shot in WRAL (1975)

Ric Flair, Les Thatcher, and Johnny Valentine on the set of "Mid-Atlantic Championship Wrestling", 1975
Photo by Ric Carter

What a rare and special image from the studios of WRAL-TV in Raleigh, NC, in 1975. Ric Flair (wearing the Mid-Atlantic TV championship belt), host Les Thatcher, and U.S. Champion Johnny "The Champ" Valentine are apparently waiting to come back from a commercial break, as you can see the floor director or camera operator leaning against the ringpost.

LATER EDIT: Since originally posting this, we have learned that the photographer that took this shot is Ric Carter. We hope to provide more information on him and his work in a future post.

At that point in time, two separate versions of "Mid-Atlantic Championship Wrestling" were taped on Wednesday nights, one hosted by long time Raleigh announcer Bob Caudle, the other hosted briefly by Sam Menacker and then regularly by Les Thatcher. After the consolidation of Charlotte and High Point TV tapings into Raleigh, the Thatcher-hosted "B" show replaced those shows in markets where more than one hour of Crockett programing aired.

This second hour of the show featured all different interviews and matches than the first hour.

This second hour of "Mid-Atlantic Championship Wrestling" was later replaced by the new "Wide World Wrestling" show in October of 1975, which would be hosted by longtime Georgia wrestling host Ed Capral.

Thanks to Doc Hopper on Facebook for sharing this image with us, which he found on the Net.