Tuesday, December 31, 2019

George Scott hosts Wide World Wrestling

For a period of several months in 1978, booker George Scott hosted and co-hosted "Wide World Wrestling" in the studios of WRAL-5 in Raleigh, replacing the departed Ed Capral who had hosted the show for Jim Crockett Promotions since its inception in 1975.

For much of that time, Scott actually provided color commentary, as the company settled in with Tom Miller on play-by-play during the summer and early fall of 1978. Miller was a famous radio personality in the Carolinas and Virginias during this time and had temporarily served as color commentator for Bob Caudle on "Mid-Atlantic Championship Wrestling" back in the summer of 1976 while regular co-host David Crockett was away helping his sister Frances Crockett with the company-owned minor league baseball team the Charlotte O's.

Scott usually conducted the interviews on Wide World, as seen above with NWA World Tag Team Champions Ricky Steamboat and Paul Jones. He and Miller continued as a team until the show received a major overhaul in the fall of 1978. It was renamed "World Wide Wrestling" with a brand new set, and longtime Richmond ring announcer Rich Landrum was brought in as the revamped show's new host.

Scott's tenure as host of "Wide World Wrestling" is largely lost to time and history, as no known video footage of his tenure in that role is thought to exist. The image above is taken from 8mm film shot directly off a TV screen back in 1978 and may be the only surviving image of George Scott in that role.

Scott booked for Jim Crockett Promotions from 1973-1981 and is generally considered one of the best creative minds in wrestling history.

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Footnote: Russ Debuc briefly hosted "Wide World Wrestling" as well in between the Capral and Landrum eras. His tenure lasted about 4 months. More on Russ Debuc here.

Hear the "Wide World Wrestling" theme music here.

Monday, December 2, 2019

Distant Signals

Some of you old folks out there (like us!) will remember the days when you stayed up late at night and tried to maneuver your set-top or aerial antenna to pull in some distant station that had wrestling.

In this rough image, Mid-Atlantic champion Ric Flair and Blackjack Mulligan talk with Ed Capral on Wide World Wrestling from the WRAL television studios in December 1975. Ric wasn't back to wrestling yet at this point, still recovering from injuries suffered in the October 1975 Wilmington NC plane crash. But he was back doing interviews and color commentary by the end of December. In this image he is holding the Mid-Atlantic Heavyweight championship belt (represented by the old Eastern Heavyweight title belt.)

Check out our article on the Mid-Atlantic Gateway for more about what we had to go through in the 60s and 70s to do pull in those distant signals.