By Mike Mooneyham
Nov. 13, 2005
If you’re a longtime Mid-Atlantic wrestling fan, then a road trip might be just what the doctor ordered.
A couple of major legends shows will be held this weekend at the historic Spindale House in Spindale, N.C., on Friday night, followed by a Tribute to Starrcade extravaganza the following evening at the Memorial Auditorium in Spartanburg. Both cards are filled with nostalgia that should take fans on a fun-filled journey down memory lane.
The Spindale House, which was built in the early 1900s, was an occasional stop for Jim Crockett Promotions during the ’60s and ’70s. Although a small venue in comparison to other Mid-Atlantic mainstays of that time such as Greenville Memorial Auditorium, Charlotte’s Park Center and the Richmond Coliseum, it was nonetheless a staple of the wrestling-rich territory.
The storied building came back to life with a pair of successful shows last year put on by New Generation Wrestling promoter Matt Holder, and this weekend Holder is presenting his most ambitious event to date with a card headlined by Rick Steiner and Lex Luger against The Midnight Express (Bobby Eaton and Dennis Condrey) with Tully Blanchard as special ref. Also on the bill: “Mr. USA” Tony Atlas vs. “Russian Bear” Ivan Koloff in a chain match with “Boogie Woogie Man” Jimmy Valiant as special ref; The Masked Superstar (Bill Eadie) vs. Dr. Tom Prichard; The Barbarian vs. Maestro; Little Bruiser vs. Biker Bob in a midgets match; Krissy Vaine vs. Venus; George South and Don Bass (with Jim Casey) vs. The Big Islanders. Also scheduled to appear are Harley Race, Les Thatcher, J.J. Dillon and Tracy Smothers. For more information, call (828) 286-3716 or visit www.epwt.com.
The staff of Elite Pro Wrestling Training also will return with a three-day training camp Friday, Saturday and Sunday in Spindale. Blanchard will join EPWT veterans Race, Thatcher and Prichard for the camp. For more information on the camp, go to www.epwt.com, e-mail [email protected] or call (864) 637-8699.
Tony Hunter, who promoted a series of successful Mid-Atlantic cards last year in the Lenoir, N.C., area, has put together one of the biggest legends shows ever with his Tribute to Starrcade on Saturday night in Spartanburg. The Carolina Championship Wrestling event will be headlined by a bunkhouse match between Dusty Rhodes and Tully Blanchard, with the winner being crowned the CCW heavyweight champion. To add even more nostalgia to the mix, Magnum T.A. will second Rhodes to the ring, while J.J. Dillon will manage former Four Horsemen charge Blanchard.
The lineup also includes: Terry Funk vs. Dustin Rhodes with Mick Foley as special ref; The Rock ‘N Roll Express 2005 (Ricky Morton, Brad Armstrong and Jerry “The King” Lawler) vs. The Midnight Express and Jim Cornette; Lisa “Ivory” Moretti and Bambi vs. Team Blondage (Krissy Vaine and Amber O’Neal) managed by Lollipop; The Superstar vs. The Barbarian; David Flair (son of Ric) vs. Brad Anderson (son of Gene); Greg Valentine vs. Jay Eagle in a dog collar match; Tony Atlas vs. Tracy Smothers; George South vs. Rocky King; and Tater Kirby vs. Thunderfoot No. 2.
Tickets can be purchased through Ticketmaster, the Spartanburg Memorial Auditorium box office (phone 864-582-8107) or by visiting the Web site at www.crowdpleaser.com, or e-mail Tony Hunter at [email protected] for mail order.
One star scheduled for the event who’s not likely to be there is Ricky Morton.
The former Rock ‘N Roll Express star was arrested last month on charges relating to missing a court appearance regarding child support.
Morton, a resident of Bristol, Tenn., was taken into custody on Oct. 14 after a warrant was issued for his arrest. According to a report, Morton had failed to pay child support to his former wife, Constance Lynn Morton, as part of a September 1991 divorce settlement. The suit lists the couple having three children at the time of the divorce hearing. The children are ages 23, 20 and 17.
Morton, who is raising a 4-year-old son, reportedly owes his first wife nearly $73,000 in back payments for child support. The amount of support was determined by the salary Morton was making at the time of his divorce while he was making a six-figure salary in WCW. It’s been years, though, since Morton has made anywhere close to that amount while working on the independent circuit.
Morton remains jailed in Murfreesboro, Tenn., under bail stipulation terms handed down by a judge that he pay the child support payments in full, although recent reports indicate he could be released if he raises $1,500. He is scheduled to appear in court on Dec. 28.
Fans have started a Web site campaign in an attempt to raise bail for the 49-year-old Morton. A number of wrestlers, including Stan Lane, Dennis Condrey and Ivan Koloff, have donated items to be auctioned to help in the cause.
– “The Professional Wrestlers’ Workout & Instructional Guide” (Sports Publishing, $24.95) is a great primer for any aspiring wrestler or fan interested in learning how matches are put together.
The authors just happen to be three of the most knowledgeable veterans in the business – Harley Race, Ricky Steamboat and Les Thatcher – who share the ins and outs of the trade, describe the execution of key moves, and discuss the physical conditioning needed to perform them.
Race is an eight-time NWA world champion. Steamboat is a former NWA world champ whose matches with Ric Flair are regarded among the greatest in the business. Thatcher has worn many hats in the wrestling industry including wrestler, television commentator, producer, writer, editor and trainer.
The three share their considerable knowledge of the business as they prepare novices for a journey into pro wrestling.
The 129-page manual, chock full of photographs, is written with the help of South Florida Sun Sentinel sportswriter Alex Marvez and contains a foreword by Jim Ross.
– Jay “Christian” Reso will be the “major acquisition” landed by TNA last week and is expected to make his company debut tonight at the Genesis pay-per-view.
Overlooked for far too long, Reso gave notice to WWE last weekend after refusing to sign a new contract that was unacceptable to the Canadian star. Reso should be able to keep his “Christian” moniker without threats of lawsuit by WWE, since he started out on the independent circuits under the name Christian Cage.
Reso recently trademarked the names “Christian Cage” and “Captain Charisma” for future use.
– WWE champ Batista suffered a tear of his latissimus dorsi, a muscle on the upper back that connects under each arm, at last week’s Smackdown taping.
Batista was scheduled to make a decision this weekend whether to undergo surgery. Reattaching the muscle through surgery would sideline Batista for at least three months.