I want to take you back to a different time. To the evening of March 5th 1977, where something odd and magical was happening in Miami. Elsewhere in America, Kiss was playing at the Rupp Arena and Wally Szczerbiak was being born, so not all was right. But Miami was different. In Miami, Ela and Adolfo Costales were celebrating their 22nd wedding anniversary and Championship Wrestling had come to town.
They arrived at the Dinner Key Auditorium in Miami. They being professional wrestlers. The thought of them either brings a smile or a smirk. For you smirkers, take your politically-correct, oh-so-sophisticated-practically-effete sensibilities back to watching Oprah or MSNBC, talking about defining elections and speculating about the ‘best restaurant in town.’ This blog post ain’t for you’se. Perhaps, you would be more comfortable with a more delicate subject.
This tale is retold for anyone who appreciated that wrestlers had jobs–we speak now of the pre-Vince McMahon, pre-WWF era. Their jobs involved athleticism and showmanship. In that way they remind me of Melville’s great reflection in Moby Dick about those of us with jobs:
“What of it, if some old hunks of a sea-captain orders me to get a broom and sweep down the decks? What does that indignity amount to, weighed, I mean, in the scales of the New Testament? Do you think the archangel Gabriel thinks anything the less of me, because I promptly and respectfully obey that old hunks in that particular instance? Who ain’t a slave? Tell me that.”
That December evening, after their jobs were done, the guys of the Mid-Atlantic Championship Wrestling sat around having a few beers, the finished bottles referred to as dead soldiers.When in through the door walks the tall scrawny kid who had been taking photographs. Everyone assumed someone else had asked him to do that. But no one had and it didn’t matter. The kid was accepted as one of the guys that night. The kid would never forget it.
Mil Mascaras, Thunderbolt Patterson, Johnny Weaver and the Deleon kid with the camera were all part of the show that night. The wrestling worker bees didn’t ‘take’ their act on the road, their act was always on the road. You get the sense that they loved what they got to do and constantly wondered how long they would get to do it. Maybe that’s why they seem to appreciate all who helped them along the way, even unofficial kid photographers. That makes them very unlike our ‘performers’ today. I went a few times, dragging my Dad along and praying that the darn Commie–Boris [The Great] Malenko–wasn’t on the card that night.
We don’t know what became of the kid with the camera. He might be pushing up daises or just pushing bromeliads, but we are pretty certain that he got to pay forward the kind and classy way that professional wrestlers treated him on that night.
Everything you ever wanted to know about 1970′s Mid-Atlantic Championship Wrestling is copied in full at end of this post.
Mid-Atlantic Championship Wrestling Roster
Comprehensive lists of the wrestlers and other personnel that appeared for Crockett Promotions during the 1st quarter of 1977, broken down by the main eventers, mid-carders & under-carders, big-name visitors, plus a list of those who entered and exited the area during the time period.
(N) denotes newcomer to area. (D) denotes departure from area. (R) denotes returnee to area.
(Faces) Dino Bravo, Mighty Igor, Paul Jones (D), Rufus R. Jones, Wahoo McDaniel, “Mr. Wrestling” Tim Woods (D)
(Heels) Kim Duk, Ric Flair, Blackjack Mulligan, Masked Superstar, Greg Valentine
(Faces) Tony Atlas (D), Red Bastien, Tiger Conway, “Cowboy” Frankie Lane, Ricky Steamboat (N), Johnny Weaver (R)
(Heels) Brute Bernard, Jerry Blackwell, Jerry Brown (Hollywood Blondes) (N), Sgt. Jacques Goulet, Lanny Poffo, Randy Poffo, Buddy Roberts (Hollywood Blondes) (N)
(Faces) Klondike Bill, Steve Bolus (D), Dan Burdick (N), “Big” Bill Dromo (N), Johnny Eagle, Francisco Flores, Keith Franks, Dr. Fujinami (D), Herb Gallant, Rick McGraw (N), Danny Miller, Vic Rosetani (D), Joey Rossi (D), Ron Starr
(Heels) Dennis Condry (N), Jack Evans (D), Ricky Ferrara (R), George “Two Ton” Harris, Scott Irwin (N), Butch Malone (N), Angelo Poffo (D), Tony Russo Larry Sharpe (R) Blue Scorpion, Doug Sommers, Bill White, Mr. X (N)
“Professor” Boris [Great - JC] Malenko (Kim Duk & Masked Superstar), Ivan Kamikoff (Mighty Igor)
WOMEN – None
MIDGETS – None [these were the dark times - JC]
Gene Anderson (Georgia), Ole Anderson (Georgia), Andre The Giant, Giant Baba (All Japan), Dory Funk, Jr. (Florida/Texas), Gladiators, Superstar Billy Graham (WWF), “Professor” Boris Malenko (wrestled infrequently), Mil Mascaras (WWF/Mexico), Ken Patera (WWF), Thunderbolt Patterson (Georgia), Harley Race (NWA Champion), Dusty Rhodes (Florida), Tenriu (All Japan), Jumbo Tsuruta (All Japan), Baron Von Raschke (AWA)
Sonny Fargo, Zack Murray, Tommy Young
Ed Capral (Wide World Wrestling), Bob Caudle & David Crockett (Mid-Atlantic Championship Wrestling)
TV RING ANNOUNCERS
Carl Murnick, Elliott Murnick, Joe Murnick
Ed Capral, Les Thatcher
1. Wahoo McDaniel (2)
2. Blackjack Mulligan (4)
3. Masked Superstar (5)
4. Dino Bravo (10)
5. Rufus R. Jones (6)
6. Greg Valentine (7)
7. Mighty Igor (NR)
8. Kim Duk (NR)
9. Paul Jones (3)
10. Ric Flair (1)
1. Ric Flair & Greg Valentine (2)
2. The Hollywood Blondes (NR)
3. Wahoo McDaniel & Rufus R. Jones (NR)
4. Dino Bravo & Tiger Conway, Jr. (NR)
5. Dino Bravo & “Mr. Wrestling” Tim Woods (3)