Where does the time go?
The BIGGEST night of MID-ATLANTIC CHAMPIONSHIP WRESTLING in my home town of SALISBURY, NORTH CAROLINA, had to have occurred JUNE 10, 1986 when JCP brought their top mat stars to town for a double TV taping at CATAWBA COLLEGE's GOODMAN GYMNASIUM.
The event was sponsored by the SALISBURY JAYCEES.
The line-up was stellar !
Appearing were RIC FLAIR, ARN ANDERSON, DUSTY RHODES, THE ROCK & ROLL EXPRESS, ABDULLAH THE BUTCHER, IVAN and NIKITA KOLOFF, 'CHIEF' WAHOO McDANIEL, THE MIDNIGHT EXPRESS with JIM CORNETTE, MAGNUM T.A., TULLY BLANCHARD, RONNIE GARVIN, JIMMY 'BOOGIE WOOGIE MAN' VALIANT, GORGEOUS JIMMY GARVIN with PRECIOUS, MANNY 'RAGIN BULL' FERNANDEZ and enough 'jobbers' to fill out the two hours of television matches.
JOHNNY WEAVER was there as commentator, working with BOB CAUDLE.
SANDY SCOTT was there as the road agent.
Through 'connections' with some friends in the JAYCEES, I was able to work 'backstage'. Having a choice, I picked the 'heel' side.
I remember being totally intimidated by NIKITA KOLOFF (nothing he did to me -- he just looked like he wanted to be left alone. I complied.)
JIM CORNETTE was the nicest guy. We talked for a while. He was 'on' even when he was 'off'. BOBBY EATON was also very cordial.
As ARN ANDERSON was walking through the door into the gymnasium, he handed me his eyeglasses and said, "Will you hold onto these for me, please?" After his match (which was the TV main event -- he and RIC FLAIR against RICKY MORTON and ROBERT GIBSON), when he arrived back at the door, I was impressed that he thanked the SALISBURY policemen who had escorted him to and from the ring. I handed him back his glasses, and he said "Thanks so much. I appreciate it. I can't see a damn thing without them."
The unadvertised 'dark match' after the taping sessions were over was, incredibly, a TAPED FIST match between DUSTY RHODES and ABDULLAH THE BUTCHER!
I have to say it that on the 'bloodometer', it was the reddest match I had seen in years
The CATAWBA COLLEGE gymnasium was PACKED. The SALISBURY POST estimated the crowd as a minimum of 3000 people.
The four hundred ringside seats were SOLD OUT three weeks before the event.
The terms of the event with JCP were as follows: JCP received 90% of the box office, with the SALISBURY JAYCEES getting the remaining 10% and all concessions.
My JAYCEE friend who was in charge of the event and had gotten me in as 'STAFF', recently told me that he and SANDY SCOTT counted the box office receipts (several times). SANDY then did some paper work, then gave the JAYCEES their 10%.
The SALISBURY JAYCEES made a ton of money that night. Their cut of the ticket sales was substantial, and lots of hot dogs, popcorn, pizza and soft drinks were consumed by the crowd.
The event worked out so well with the local organization that my friend won the JAYCEES PROJECT OF THE YEAR award.
Below is an article written by STEVE PHILLIPS which appeared in the following day's SALISBURY POST: