Recently I received a DVD in the mail of the 3/20/82 episode of Georgia Championship Wrestling that aired on WTBS. The episode was one that I attended as a teenager & I never seen it on TV. Tallahassee, Florida is a five hour trip each way from Atlanta, Georgia in which the wrestling program was taped in Techwood, Studios. I would take a few wrestling trips as a teenager to watch the taping at 9:30 Am & not be back in time for the 6:05 PM airing.
The part that made me pop was when Gordon Solie would mention the names of the out of town fans that attended the show & my name was “a lassie from Tallahassee in Melissa Hiatt”. I would have never thought in five years I would be working in the same Techwood Sudio and doing interviews on the NWA World Championship Wrestling television program when I attended the taping that day. I would have never thought that I would be working alongside some of the same people that worked the TV taping. I guess dreams do come true & I try to never forget it.
Arn Anderson who is a plethora of some of the wittiest quotes once said something to the effect that “you have to be a mark at some point or you would never last in this business”. That quote is so true when any wrestler justifies small pay days, injuries, & long rides in order to get the euphoric feeling that you get in performing in wrestling.
The show was hosted by Gordon Solie. Gordon was an announcing god in my childhood in working for Georgia & Championship Wrestling Florida. I only worked with Gordon for a minute in Alabama when he finished up as the announcer on the first TV taping when Eddie Gilbert started booking for CWF. We used to have an old saying “it’s good to be Gordon”. He came across with so much credibility & professionalism. Gordon didn’t need much preparation most of the time. He was usually armed with a glass of scotch in one hand and you got the recipe for one of the greatest announcers in the business. Gordon was flawless as an announcer & the only announcer that is superior to him would be Jim Ross & possibly Lance Russell.
His co host was Roddy Piper. I’m a big Piper mark. In fact I’m planning to buy a vintage style Hot Rod T shirt. Yes I am still a wrestling geek & I even occasionally buy a wrestling shirt every couple of years to actually wear [I own a Terry Funk shirt]. Who would had thought that WWF in 1987 was out of their minds in trying to cast me to replace Piper’s Pit, but then again these are the same people that just blew $50,000,000 in an attempt to win a senate seat. I only met Piper one time in 2007 at a comic book convention. I even took a pic with him.
The opening match had Tommy Rich who was ungodly over in 1982 as a heart throb baby face. Who would have thought that a bad bleach job, a pot belly, & a southern accent would make Tommy Rich the Kerry Von Erich of the South. NWA would try to recreate the magic by bringing Tommy Rich back in 1989 with the same hair cut & a bigger belly to be the replacement for Ricky Steamboat who just left to be Lex Luger’s next foe.
A match taped from Dallas, Texas would air showing Kerry Von Erich. I still say that very few baby faces were as over as Kerry from 1982-1986. He was in as much demand for outside bookings as the NWA champion. I worked in the same territory with Kerry towards the tail end of his peak as a worker & draw in 1985-1986.
The best description of Kerry was he had the looks of a rock star, had the teenage following of a boy band, & could be carried by the right opponent to belong in the top echelon. I wish people would focus on what a drawing card that Kerry was at one time over the tragedies that he endured later on in his life. Kerry was such a nice person when super stardom could have made it very easy for him to alienate everybody that was around him from co workers & fans.
Ron Bass would squash a geek. I only recall running in to Ron Bass on an indy show in Florida in 2006.
The house show line up that this TV taping was pushing was pretty impressive when you think about how many hall of famers worked on it. Unfortunately I have no clue on the results or the gate for the 4/2/82 Omni show
Terry Funk & Dusty Rhodes VS. Ole Anderson & Stan Hansen:
Terry is my all time favorite worker. I still mark out when I see him in person. Dusty saved my career by using me after I bombed in WWF. Plus Dusty always took care of me as talent. Ole is just a asshole on every level. I now marvel at his promos even more, since he is such a believable asshole based on it being his actual persona. Stan Hansen was always cool with me & I had a blast working with him in 1991 in WCW.
Great Kabuki with Gary Hart VS. Bob Armstrong:
Roddy Piper VS. Dick Slater
Tommy Rich VS. Ron Bass
Buzz Sawyer, Super D, & Big John Studd VS. Leroy Brown, Mr. Wrestling 2, & Michael Hayes: sad that 4 out of the 6 wrestlers in this match had died
Kevin Sullivan VS. Tom Pritchard
Rick Harris VS. Brad Armstrong
Wahoo McDaniel would beat Rick Harris, who would later become Black Bart. Wahoo was such an amazing worker. His chops were so stiff that you had to cringe at the wrestler that was taking them. His heel tandem with Tully Blanchard in Mid Atlantic was amazing. In 1985, there weren’t too many Native American heels & Wahoo did a great job in the role. I would later work with Wahoo when he was a road agent for WCW. Wahoo was one of those universally respected wrestlers.
They would air a clip from the previous week in which Terry Funk, Stan Hansen & Ole Anderson teamed up against a bunch of wimpies. Terry Funk would accidently hit Ole in which an enraged Ole would pummel Terry. This would lead to Terry teaming up with his hated adversary in Dusty to oppose Hansen & Ole in the Omni. Hard to believe that booking a big show was this simple.
A Mid Atlantic match of Sgt Slaughter was used to build up a potential match up with Wahoo McDaniel that could be played out for Mid Atlantic & Georgia. I recently started watching some old Mid Atlantic TV from WWE 24/7. I never really watched Sgt Slaughter until the tail end of his career. In his prime, he was such a great heel promo & an awesome bully type heel. He knew how to guzzle his opponent & when to bump his ass off to make a baby face shine. I miss the era in which bully type heels like Slaughter, Ole, Stan Hansen, etc would make you clamor to see a baby face finally build a come back & finally put them in their place. I guess the closest thing for modern days fans would be Sheamus or Wade Barrett.
Dick Slater during this time period was building a program against Roddy Piper. It sounds stupid, but Slater would use the name Rodney Piper to annoy Piper to build up a confrontation with the heel actually backing down. This gave Slater the kick ass aura as a baby face & you know Piper was going to eventually give Slater an eventual beat down to build up their match. I always found Slater to be an underrated hand in the ring. He copied Terry Funk in his mannerisms, bumps, & interview style. If you are going to emulate a wrestler, you might as well imitate one of the greatest in Terry Funk.
A taped interview with Gino Hernandez would air. I think Gino was a very strong heel character in the way he talked & portrayed himself by airing videos with limos, private jets, & sports cars. The reason Gino was such a great heel was due to his character not being too far off in how he was in real life. I enjoy Alberto Del Rio in being a fresh heel character on Smackdown. I think if Alberto copied a little bit of Gino that he could become even more of a potential money maker for WWE.
A previously taped Kabuki match would air. I was never the biggest fan of Kabuki by himself. When you add Gary Hart as his manager & allowing him to do color on Kabuki’s matches, they would both get over as dastardly heels. Plus the manor in which the announcers would build up the dreaded green mist would be a successful formula in blinding popular baby faces for potential programs. Damn, I miss the loss art of a manager that knew hot to get their wrestler over. Gary Hart is so underrated, since he was not funny or witty in comparison to a Jim Cornette or a Paul E Dangerously. Instead he projected an evil aura that is greatly missing in wrestling.
I guess there weren’t enough workers to fill out the TV taping, since Dick Slater, Ron Bass, & Ricky Hariss would do double duty on one episode.
Buzz Sawyer would win a squash. Buzz was an amazing worker when his head was in to it.
I enjoyed how multiple localized interviews would air with Ole & Stan Hansen promoting their upcoming matches against Dusty Rhodes & Terry Funk. I miss localized interviews inserted in to a TV show that made the house shows seem important rather then the current method of WWE or TNA is coming to town.
Super Destroyer & John Studd would win a squash.
I’m just a big fan of watching old school TV, since most of it could be gauged on it being effective if it properly built up the house show matches or if it made it clear on what are the personal issues. Ask yourself how many times we all seen a modern day TV show & are clueless if the TV properly drilled in to our heads on what the line up or date is for the upcoming PPV event.
Don’t forget to stop by @ www.missyhyatt.net. I have tons of reality videos from my wacky wrestling trips, behind the scenes footage, and my life. The reality videos are uncensored, no retakes, and always crazy. I have tons of new pictures of myself and my models added constantly. I have my exclusive no holds barred articles about wrestling. I have weekly chats for web members where we discuss about WWE, TNA, & more. I also have autographed DVD’s, trading cards, books, & more that can be purchased @ www.missyhyatt.net
I’m off to Germany for the weekend. I got a mix of old school wrestling and Kayfabe Commentaries DVD’s to keep me entertained for my flight. I will be working for Deutsche Wrestling Alliance on Saturday night. Kevin Thorne, Cannoball Grizzley [PN News for old school fans], Crazy Johnny Tiger, Emil Soticci, myself, & others will be on the show. The show is being promoted in conjunction with Harley Davidson Motorcycles. I will be representing the U.S. with my Sons Of Anarchy: New York t-shirt. I’m really looking forward to this trip since Germany had been one of my dream wrestling trips that I had never done in my career. I’m also looking forward to watching the local German wrestlers, since I only seen bits & pieces of various German wrestling promotions on the internet. You can get more info @ www.myspace.com/deutschewrestlingallianz
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