Tuesday, July 31, 2012

New Zealand: Setting the Record Straight

It is said that confessions are good for the soul. If so, I plan to nourish my soul a bit right now.

There are two content errors that I have identified in the "Ten Pounds of Gold" book. One is a minor careless error that got past me in proofreading the book that is really of no consequence (more on that another time.) The second is a major error that I greatly regret.

The major error regards the date I have listed for the controversial title switch between Ric Flair and Harley Race in New Zealand in March of 1984. The worst part of this error is that I knew better! 

The ad for the Wellington Match
8 PM Tues. 20th MARCH"
Back in April of 2010, a little less than a year after the first edition of the "Ten Pounds of Gold" book had been published, I had a nice email exchange with wrestling historian Libnan Ayoub who provided me with more detailed information about the New Zealand/Singapore tour promoted by Steve Rickard in late February and early March of 1984. It was on this tour that Race, Flair, and promoter Rickard went into business for themselves and did a short term "title switch" to aid Rickard's promotional business there. Libnan sent me an image of the newspaper clipping from New Zealand that identified the correct date of the Wellington match where Race pinned Flair, and sent tour results that indicated the correct dates of the other matches between Flair and Race in Singapore.

The date of the Wellington change is listed in a chapter in the new expanded 2nd edition of the book called "Spanning the Globe", which includes a title history of all the domed-globe title changes. Most of that chapter was written at the time the rest of the book was first written in 2009, but was not included in the first edition of the book. When I decided to publish a more affordable 2nd edition of the book, I included this chapter but failed to go back and make the correction that Libnan sent me in 2010, and it just didn't dawn on me during the review phase of publishing the book.

The correct date for the match in Wellington, NZ, where Harley Race defeated Ric Flair is Tuesday, March 20, 1984 (incorrectly listed as Wednesday, March 21 in early printings of the book.)

As you will learn reading the "Spanning the Globe" chapter, there was much controversy about this switch from Flair to Race and back to Flair, and the details on how Flair got the title back are still surrounded in controversy to this day. On that, I'm not sure the record will ever be set completely straight, but I wanted to set the record straight on the correct date of the Wellington match, and thank Libnan Ayoub for his help in clarifying that date a couple years back. I also want to apologize to all of you who bought the book, and Lib in particular, for making this error. The date was wrong, but the substance of the story is correct. The date will be corrected in a future update to the content of the book.

Updated 8/21/12:

In addition to a failure to publish those correct dates, I also failed to acknowledge Libnan's contribution to the book in general. I recently posted this to the Mid-Atlantic Gateway and the Ten Pounds of Gold website:

"In the second edition of the Ten Pounds of Gold book, I failed to acknowledge the contributions of Libnan Ayoub to the title history portion of the book, a careless and thoughtless act I deeply regret. Libnan, a respected wrestling historian in Australia, provided information to me via email regarding the controversial short-term title changes between Ric Flair and Harley Race in New Zealand and Singapore in 1984. I included some of this information in several paragraphs on pages 127-128 in the book. (The information relates to the dates and circumstances under which the title was returned to Ric Flair in Singapore.)
The failure to mention Libnan in my acknowledgements was mine alone and not the fault of any editor or other contributor to the book. I offer my apology to him and thank him here publicly for the information he provided. Future printings of the book will include a proper acknowledgement.
I generally go out of my way to credit those who contribute to these projects, be it here on the Mid-Atlantic Gateway or in published printed material. I regret not having done so in this case."

Questions or comments? I'd love to hear from you. Write us midatlanticgateway @ gmail dot com.

Sunday, July 29, 2012

My Favorite Refrigerator Magnet

My favorite refrigerator magnet. Could be yours, too!

It's holding up receipts from two of my favorite food joints: (1) Arthur Bryant's BBQ in Kansas City, MO, and (2) Price's Chicken Coop in Charlotte, NC.

Saturday, July 28, 2012

Domed Globe Covers

A collection of programs and magazines that featured the NWA champs wearing the domed-globe belt. (This collage is from from "Ten Pounds of Gold", found full page on p. 108 of the book.)

Race vs. Flair: A Kansas City Classic!

Ric Flair defends the NWA World Championship against Harley Race at Memorial Hall in Kansas City, KS. The match aired on "All Star Wrestling." (circa 1984)

This is my favorite Harley Race vs. Ric Flair match ever. No other even close! Great angle, great heat, great call by Kevin Wall, very old school in every way and every thing I loved about wrestling back in the day.

The angle and match are in 3 parts on YouTube; all three are included below. 

Part 1 of 3

Part 2 of 3

Part 3 of 3

Thursday, July 26, 2012

Program Cover: Baba & Brisco

Jack Brisco and the Giant Baba traded the NWA title in 1974.

Texas Stadium 1984: Kerry Von Erich defeats Ric Flair

Kerry Von Erich upsets Ric Flair to win the NWA world championship on 5/6/84 in front of 30,000+ at Texas Stadium in Irving, TX. The bout took place as part of the annual "Parade of Champions" event, that year a tribute to Kerry's brother  David Von Erich.

"You tell your brothers, you tell your old man, Ric Flair will be back."

What's New in the Second Edition?

The new "Second Edition" of the Ten Pounds of Gold adds two new chapters and a slew of additional photos and memorabilia. Nearly 70 additional pages in all.

One of the new chapters ("Spanning the Globe") is a detailed title history for this version of the NWA title (1973-1986) which includes information from behind the scenes including some details on the NWA board members voting, and the story lines surrounding the event. The other new chapter is actually a greatly expanded chapter on the night the belt first was presented in Houston, including the back story on when it was actually first supposed to happen - but didn't.

Plus a whole new section of newspaper articles and clippings called the "Houston Scrapbook", info on the venue, details on the retirement of the belt, magazine covers, and a few new champion photos as well. Additionally, there are a dozen or so new photos from the Race vs. Brisco match where the belt was first defended. Some were taken by promoter Paul Boesch. These were provided to us by Harley Race himself. Lastly, we added some new details on the jeweler who made the belt, how the belt made its way to Houston, and more of that history.

Plus all the material from the original 2009 first edition hard cover book including all the beautifully detailed photos of the belt from our 2008 photo shoot that sparked the idea for the book in the first place.

Why release a new Second Edition?

One of the primary reasons a second edition of the book was released was Dave and I wanted to have the book available in the years going forward in a much more affordable format. The original book, which was primarily designed as a photo-book to showcase the photographs we took of the belt in 2008, was primarily sold as a 10 x 8" full color, glossy, hardcover edition. All of those factors made it really expensive, around $35 when it first was released, and that version (still available) now costs around $45.

So we chose to make a smaller, soft cover version, printed on more traditional non-gloss white paper that would be less expensive. All of the original photos are still there in color, but the move to a smaller 6 x 9" book, even with the 70 additional pages, results in color version retailing for as little as $24.95 depending on how and where it is purchased. And for a much more affordable option, there is a black & white version of the book for around $12.00. (As you can see, it's the color printing that makes any book more expensive.) The black & white book looks terrific, and contains identical content as the color version, but all in gorgeous high-contrast black and white and at a great price.

The secondary reason was to add the additional material, some of it intended for the original book but was left out to keep the page count to a certain limit and avoid a higher price for that book. Some other material has been learned in ongoing research after the first book was published and we wanted to update it here.

Take a look at the table of contents:

The Table of Contents page for the Second Edition of the Ten Pounds of Gold

If you already have the original book (we thank you!), the relatively inexpensive black and white version of the 2nd edition is the perfect companion piece. Don't let the black and white scare you; we've already had comments from folks who absolutely love the black and white version.

For more information, visit TenPoundsofGold.com or email at the mail link found on that page.

Thanks for your interest and your support of the Ten Pounds of Gold.    - Dick Bourne

Japan 1984: Ric Flair regains the title from Kerry Von Erich

Kerry Von Erich hands the Ten Pounds of Gold to the All Japan Pro Wrestling referee before his title defense against Ric Flair. About 30 minutes later, Flair would have the belt back around his waist. In a two-out-of-three falls classic, Ric Flair regains the NWA world championship from Kerry Von Erich on 5/24/84 in Yokosuka, Japan.

Belt and Trophy: Kerry Von Erich

Veteran photographer George Napolitano took this photograph of Kerry Von Erich during his short three week reign as NWA Champion. Not sure where it was taken, but the trophy makes me think it was taken in Japan. Kerry defended the title against Tommy "Jumbo" Tsuruta in Japan before losing the title to Ric Flair there.

A Peak Inside the Book

Sample page spreads from the Ten Pounds of Gold, on sale now at TenPoundsOfGold.com.

Wednesday, July 25, 2012

Miami Beach 1975: Terry Funk defeats Jack Brisco

New NWA Champion Terry Funk with Gordon Solie on the set of Championship Wrestling from Florida
It was originally supposed to be Jack Brisco defending against arch rival (and former champion) Dory Funk Jr. in Miami Beach that fateful night in December 1975. But with Dory half way around the world in Japan, Terry Funk challenged Brisco instead and upset Brisco to win the coveted Ten Pounds of Gold.

All the behind the scenes details on this and every title change of the domed globe belt can be found in "Ten Pounds of Gold: A Close Look at the NWA World Championship Belt" available now at www.TenPoundsOfGold.com. Only $29.95 for the color edition. A special Black & White edition is now available for $12.95 as well.

[ Video Subsequently Removed ]

Three Great Champions

Three great NWA champions together at the National Wrestling Alliance convention in 1985. Shohei "Giant" Baba (3 time NWA champion), "Nature Boy" Ric Flair (depends on how you count them, 8 NWA world championships, as many as 21 world titles all together), and "The American Dream" Dusty Rhodes (3 time NWA champ).

This is a page from a 1985 wrestling magazine in Japan. I got a kick out of seeing Ric and Dusty together here; talk about breaking Kayfabe (especially in 1985!)

A wonderful photo of all three true wrestling legends.

Toronto 1977: Harley Race defeats Terry Funk

Harley Race defeats Terry Funk for the NWA World Championship on February 6, 1977 in Toronto's Maple Leaf Gardens. 
Commentary is by former NWA World Champion "Whipper" Billy Watson and former NWA President Sam Muchnick. 
The ring announcer at the end making the dramatic call is Norm Kimber. 

Tuesday, July 24, 2012

Kansas City 1973: Harley Race defeats Dory Funk, Jr.

Harley Race defeats Dory Funk, Jr. for the NWA world heavyweight championship at Memorial Hall in Kansas City, KS, on May 24, 1973. Race would be the last man to hold the "Thesz" version of the belt that you see presented to Race at the conclusion. Less than two months later, Race would be presented the new "domed globe" version of the NWA belt before his title defense against Jack Brisco in Houston TX on July 20, 1973. Brisco won the title that night.

Saturday, July 21, 2012

The Cover

To order your copy of the Ten Pounds of Gold (Revised & Expanded Second Edition), visit the Ten Pounds of Gold official website.

Sunday, July 1, 2012

Flair signs the Book

Back in 2009, Ric Flair signs a copy of the "Ten Pounds of Gold" (hardcover first edition) at a Coca-Cola sponsored appearance.
(Photo by Wayne Culler / copyright Slamfest Photography.)


Photographer Wayne Culler (aka Slamfest Bob) is seen here in a photo from his facebook page. He is holding the "Ten Pounds of Gold" book open to the pages that feature two of his photographs he contributed to the book. One is of a victorious Ric Flair at Starrcade '83, the other of Flair in the ring before his match at Starrcade '84.

On the wall behind him you can see a poster of the Starrcade 83 photograph signed to him from Flair, and also a photo of Wayne with Flair holding that very same signed poster! Very cool. (Click the photo to see a larger image.)

(The photograph is copyright Wayne C. Culler / Slamfest Photography.)