Wednesday, February 28, 2018

Local Promos in the WRAL Studio

This great studio shot from the WRAL TV studios in Raleigh, NC was featured in one of the Weston magazines in 1979.

Rich Landrum (host of "World Wide Wrestling" for Jim Crockett Promotions at the time) is conducting local promos for "Mid-Atlantic Championship Wrestling." With him are NWA TV champion #1 Paul Jones, Greg Valentine, and Mid-Atlantic heavyweight champion Ken Patera.

Patera may be congratulating Jones for joining the right team in 1979, that being the "bad guys." Paul had recently been a victim of brutal betrayal from partner Ricky Steamboat in a 2-ring battle royal in Charlotte. (Or at least that's Paul's story. And to this day, he is sticking to it.)

Landrum was the longtime ring announcer in Richmond, VA, and hosted "World Wide Wrestling" from the fall of 1978 until early 1982.  In this photo he's either giving Paul the evil eye or, perhaps more likely, keeping an eye on the time clock.

I love seeing these shots from the old studios.

The backdrop seen here was the set used for "Mid-Atlantic Championship Wrestling" from 1974-1978. This old set, which was replaced with a new one in 1978, was used for the local insert promotional segments ("Let's take time for this commercial message about the Mid-Atlantic Wrestling events coming up in YOUR area...") until the summer of 1981 when Crockett moved TV production to WPCQ in Charlotte.

Monday, February 19, 2018

Bob Caudle Named Program Director at WRAL (1975)

Article published 12/21/75
This article appeared in the Raleigh News and Observer on December 21, 1975. Bob Caudle, longtime host of "Mid-Atlantic Championship Wrestling" taped at the WRAL TV studios in Raleigh, was being named program director for WRAL.

James Goodman, president and general manager of he station, made the announcement.

The most relevant piece of information to come from this report was confirmation of the date Bob first came to WRAL, listed here as April of 1962. 

A light-hearted promotional video was made at the time which aired during the WRAL newscasts when Goodman later named Bob Debardelaben as Bob Caudle's replacement doing the weather forecasts. The video also included cameos by Blackjack Mulligan, longtime Raleigh wrestling announcer Nick Pond, and Raleigh promoter Joe Murnick.

We posted that video and story a few years ago and it has been one of our most popular posts.

Check that out here:
1976 Weather Promo has 5 Wrestling Connections 

Special thanks to Carroll Hall at the "All Star Championship Wrestling" website for sending us this terrific bit of news from the past. This sure was good news for the Caudle family four days before Christmas in 1975.

Sunday, February 11, 2018

Studio Wrestling at WNOK-19 in Columbia, SC

Carroll Hall (All Star Championship Wrestling) has documented new information about an additional location for studio wrestling for Jim Crockett Promotions. With the help of Kriss Knights, Carroll was able to verify through newspaper reports that wrestling was taped at the studios of WNOK-19 in Columbia SC from 2/03/62 until 2/02/63.

The actual name of the show is not known. Like other shows of the era, it was likely titled "Championship Wrestling" or "All Star Wrestling", but the listings simply refer to it as Live Wrestling. The show was hosted by WNOK sportscaster Jim Paul.

This brings the total to ten (10) of the number of television studio locations for live TV wrestling and/or taped TV wrestling for Jim Crockett Promotions from 1956-1988. The complete list is always posted in the right-hand column of this site.

We'll be updating our Studio Wrestling section on the Mid-Atlantic Gateway with more information on wrestling at WNOK soon.

Here is the post Carroll Hall made on his "All Star Championship Wrestling" website after confirmation of this site for studio wrestling.

Friday, February 9, 2018

Studio Wrestling in Nashville (1977)

This image is of a ticket printed in an event program for Nick Gulas's Studio Wrestling show out of the studios of WNGE-TV in Nashville, TN. The program was for the show at the Nashville Fairgrounds on December 14, 1977. The ticket is good for the TV taping on Saturday December 18.

WNGE (which stood for Nashville General Electric) was originally WSIX-TV channel 8, and is now WKRN-TV channel 2.

From the Nashville Broadcasting History website:
Live studio wrestling was a popular early program on WSIX-TV. Sponsored by Harold L. Shyer Jewelers ("If you don't know diamonds, know your jeweler...and if Harold says it's so, it's so"), early performers included the Fargo brothers, the Greene brothers, the Germans and their manager, "Gentleman" Saul Weingeroff, Tojo Yamamoto and others.

Promoted by the popular Nick Gulas, many Nashvillians remember the night things got out of control in the WSIX-TV studio and a female fan got so angry with the villainous Jackie Fargo that she took off her high-heeled shoe and when he jumped out of the ring, she hit him over the head with it. (Pictured above: The "Fabulous One"Jackie Fargo with sposor Harold L. Shyer.)

Wednesday, February 7, 2018

Apostolou Acquires Starland Arena (1965)

Our friend Kyle Rosser sent us this bit of info he found on Roanoke wrestling promoter Pete Apostolou and Starland Arena that was on the Roanoke News website from 1965:

“Professional wrestling has found a new home in Roanoke. Pete Apostolou, president of the Roanoke Sports Club, announced Saturday that part of former Starland Bowl at 3555 Shenandoah Ave., N.W., has been acquired as a wrestling arena.”
Apostolou appeared regularly as a color commentator on his TV show "All-Star Wrestling" in the 1960s. The show was hosted by WDBJ-7 personality Hal Grant and aired live on WDBJ on Saturday afternoons.

The Starland Bowl was a skating rink and bowling alley until being converted into the famous Starland Arena in 1965. It became home to Mid-Atlantic wrestling events in Roanoke for over two decades.

For more information on "All Star Wrestling" from Roanoke, visit Studio Wrestling: WDBJ-7 on the Mid-Atlantic Gateway.