Wednesday, April 7, 2021

Jack Brisco defends against Dory Funk, Jr. in Japan (with Sam Muchnick)

A classic 2-of-3 falls contest in Japan in January of 1974 between reigning NWA World Champion Jack Brisco and former champion Dory Funk, Jr. from Japan. The video includes great pre-match footage of NWA President Sam Muchnick with Jack's brand new NWA World Championship belt, the original "ten pounds of gold" on the red velvet strap. 

This post was re-published on the Mid-Atlantic Gateway on April 13, 2021

Monday, January 18, 2021

NWA Champs in Nashville (1989)


There are four amazing legends in this screen capture, one from broadcasting, the other three are former NWA World Heavyweight Champions.

L-R: Lance Russell, Lou Thesz, Pat O'Connor, and Terry Funk

The three former NWA champs were brought in to be judges in case the NWA World title match between champion Ricky Steamboat and challenger Ric Flair went to a 60-minute draw at the Wrestle War '89 PPV event in Nashville, TN in May of 1989. In the end, the judges weren't needed for a decision as Flair defeated Steamboat by pinfall to win the tile for a record-tying 6th time (as it was figured then.)

One of the greatest NWA title matches of all time, and widely considered the greatest Flair-Steamboat match of all time, it is also remembered for what happened afterward, where Terry Funk jumped Ric Flair after the match to set up a six-month feud between the two. 

It was the second time Lou Thesz was present for a Ric Flair NWA title victory. When Flair won his first world title (from Dusty Rhodes) in 1981 in Kansas City, Thesz was the special referee in the ring assigned by the NWA. 

Lance Russell, longtime legendary host of wrestling in Memphis, TN, had just recently begun work for Ted Turner's new WCW. He was backstage host for the Wrestle War PPV, and would go on to host or co-host NWA Main Event, World Wide Wrestling, and NWA Pro Wrestling, working with Bob Caudle, Paul E. Dangerously, Michael Hayes, and others.

Also published on the Mid-Atlantic Gateway.

Friday, June 28, 2019

Giant Baba (1979)

Giant Baba in the locker room after his victory over Harley Race for the NWA World Championship in Nagoya, Japan, 1979.

Monday, June 10, 2019

Baba's Champagne Celebration (1974)

Giant Baba celebrated in the locker room after his NWA World title victory 
over Jack Brisco in December of 1974.

Wednesday, May 8, 2019

Ric Flair: "And then it was my turn."

by Dick Bourne
Mid-Atlantic Gateway

On Monday night May 8, 2000, Ric Flair appeared on WCW Monday Nitro on TNT and brought with him the old NWA World Heavyweight championship belt that he wore beginning in 1981 when he defeated Dusty Rhodes until February of 1986 when the belt was replaced by the famous "Big Gold" version of the NWA title.

It was a big surprise and a very nostalgic moment for fans from the 1970s and 1980s who so connected with the "ten pounds of gold", which was the top title and top belt in all of professional wrestling during the territory years.

Nitro was in St. Louis, MO, that night, historically the most important city on the National Wrestling Alliance map. Flair spoke generally about how important it was to work there for Sam Muchnick if you wanted to become NWA champion one day. He also spoke eloquently about seeing that belt for the first time.

That had to be a very cool moment for old-school fans of St. Louis wrestling.

Here is a transcript of Flair's remarks as they pertained to the "ten pounds of gold."

"In the year nineteen hundred and seventy eight, Terry Funk told me if I wanted to be a star in this business I had to get to St. Louis on Friday night. You know what I'm talkin' about. I had to be at the Kiel or The Arena, I had to be live at the Chase, I had to be in St. Louis if I wanted to be a star.

And then I saw this for the first time. It was around the waist of the legendary Jack Brisco. And I said, "Jack, do you think I could ever be World champion?" He said, "Kid, keep workin'. Work at it every day and every night and maybe by the grace of God you might get it some day.

And then there was Terry Funk, and then it was Harley Race, and then it was Dusty Rhodes.

And then it was my turn.

And this is what we all desired to have and be, the World Heavyweight championship. We gave up everything. We gave up life, we gave up our families, we worked every day, we partied all night. We were the champions of the World. The best this sport had to offer."

That episode of WCW Monday Nitro is available on demand on the WWE Network. The interview with Flair is at approximately 25:20 into the program.

A very bright moment during a really sad time in WCW.