NWA: Southeastern Championship Wrestling: Fall 1980 (Vol. 1)
NWA: Southeastern Championship Wrestling
WTVY-4 TV Studio
Earlier in the year, we saw some footage from the East Tennessee area (or the Northern Division) of Southeastern Championship Wrestling, but now we will be looking at some footage from the Gulf Coast area which consisted of major towns such as Pensacola in the panhandle of Florida and cities in Alabama such as Mobile, Montgomery, and Birmingham. From what I understand, the Northern Division area (Knoxville and the Tri-Cities of East Tennessee) were sold to Georgia Championship Wrestling as early as June meaning SECW was no longer running regular shows in that area. However, by the fall of 1980 Knoxville saw Jim Crockett Promotions running shows there due to a co-ownership between Ric Flair and Blackjack Mulligan. Anyways, let’s get to some Southeastern Championship Wrestling.
Here is the first episode on my compilation tape. (VIDEO INCLUDED)
Your host is Charlie Platt.
- Bob Armstrong vs. The Superstar
The Superstar seems to be just a job guy under a mask. Armstrong controls a ton with a headlock. They run the ropes with Armstrong drilling him with shoulderblocks. Armstrong slams Superstar a few times and finishes him off with a Bionic Elbow in 3:30 shown.
They air a personality piece on Tony Charles listing his accomplishments and what sort of activities he enjoys. This is all set to some pretty funky music. He’s even showing off swinging some Persian clubs! I can’t really make out what he’s saying, but he’s shown fishing and practicing his archery. The voiceover guy says Tony Charles is looking to regain the NWA U.S. Jr. Heavyweight title. Charlie Platt tells us Tony Charles will be coming to the area very soon, but he’s gone to Memphis in the fall of 1980. He spoke as though Tony Charles wasn’t in the area when he wrestled in SECW for most of 1980. Hmm.
Bob Armstrong stops by to discuss an upcoming tournament over the NWA Alabama Heavyweight title. My references say that title tournament was completed on November 13 of 1980.
- “Continental Lover” Eddie Mansfield vs. Reggie Simpson
Lots of cheapshots and shortcuts by Mansfield. He cuts off a comeback with the Swinging Neckbreaker and gets the win at 3:25.
Gorgeous George Jr. introduces us to the NWA Southeastern Heavyweight champ the Mongolian Stomper. They show us some footage of him destroying job guys in Knoxville – with STOMPS~! Imagine that.
Bob Armstrong is the first guest for a segment called Personality Profile hosted by Charlie Platt himself. More talk about the Alabama Heavyweight title tournament. Platt runs down Armstrong’s list of achievements. Armstrong remains humble and mentions the promoter Don Curtis pays 35% more to the winner over the loser. Some stagehand gets in the frame for some reason. Hilarious.
- The Big C’s vs. Charlie Cook & Ricky Gibson
The Big C’s are the SECW tag champs. They are Jerry Brown and Don Carson under hoods. Once they lose the belts, the Big C’s drop the gimmick leaving Dennis Condrey to team with Randy Rose to form the earliest version of the MIDNIGHT EXPRESS. Carson is old as the hills at this point. Nevertheless, Gibson takes a ton of punishment from the Big C’s. Hot tag to Cook, he’s a house of fire and the match breaks down. While Gibson holds Condrey in a front headlock, Cook jackknife rolls up Carson for the upset win at 6:53.
Charlie Platt talks with Charlie Cook on the program. Let’s just call this segment Charlie 2 Charlie. He’s a former pro football player with the Pittsburgh Steelers. Cook wants to get involved in that Alabama title tournament.
We hear from “Tennessee Stud” Ron Fuller. Not only is he too cool to wrestle on TV, but he emptied the studio just to conduct this interview! HA! The ladies love them some Tennessee Stud. Unlike Armstrong, Fuller reminds us of all his accolades. Today is a red letter day because the Stud has arrived. He plans on becoming the Alabama champ. Awesome promo from Fuller. He talks so long, they have to delay showing footage of Harley Race NWA world title change from Toronto.
Interview time with Eddie Mansfield. He puts over Ron Fuller and calls the Alabama people ugly and tired. He spends most of his time loving the ladies wherever he’s at. Mansfield also thinks Alabama will be the hottest hotbed of wrestling very soon. Before he goes, Mansfield threatens Bob Armstrong.
When we return from commercials, Charlie Platt wraps up the show.
For the next episode on the comp, it looks like we have gone back into the 1970s because the “Gulf Coast Wrestling” banner is shown behind our hosts Charlie Platt and Les Thatcher.
- NWA U.S. Jr. Heavyweight Championship: Jerry Stubbs (c) vs. Ricky Gibson
We go to what appears to be a local spot show for this match. Les Thatcher does commentary for the match at ringside. Stubbs has the brightest yellow tights and boots you’ll see. He also looks much thinner than he does in just a few years when he works as Mr. Olympia over in Mid-South. Stubbs nails Gibson with the belt before the bell sounds and seems to just be toiling with him. Gibson gets some very well-timed rollups for nearfalls, but Stubbs always finds a way to kick out. Stubbs misses a flying elbow, but avoids a standing dropkick from Gibson. As they run the ropes, both Gibson and the ref hit the deck as Stubbs runs past them. Unfortunately, the ref still gets bumped during the chaos. While the ref is dazed and confused, Stubbs throws Gibson over the top rope. Because he’s such an upstanding guy, Stubbs helps the ref up and wants him to count out Gibson. However, Gibson makes it back in the ring. Stubbs goes over and body scissors Gibson before turning it over into a pin attempt. By holding onto the ropes, he’s able to get the three-count as the crowd gets MAD. (5:46) I loved this. This was just some good old ‘rasslin. **½
Back in the studio, now we see the Southeastern Championship Wrestling logo, so I am totally confused. Nevertheless, Les Thatcher interviews Ron Fuller about the one-night tournament that will take place on November 13 in Birmingham over the NWA Alabama heavyweight title. Fuller doesn’t care about showing up in Huntsville or Florence – he only cares about being in Birmingham for this big tournament. Bob Armstrong, Jos LeDuc, the Mongolian Stomper, and many others will be there. Fuller says he is “absolute class” when he steps through the ropes and will show everybody what wrestling is all about. He considers the other titles he’s won like the Florida and Georgia titles as “rinky-dink”, but this Alabama title is going to be MONEY.
We hear from the new NWA Southeastern tag champs Robert Fuller and Jos LeDuc. LeDuc is just so mild-mannered and quiet here. The “Gulf Coast Wrestling” sign is there.
- Mike Masters vs. Charles Odem
Mike Masters has a Paul Ellering look to him. He’s said to have worked in the New York area and that is true. He worked as a JTTS during the latter years of the Vince Sr. era. Masters shows off his power to start forcing Odem back into corners, but Odem uses the leverage of Masters against him with armdrags. Masters escapes a headlock into a headscissors. The lanky and taller Odem is giving Masters fits. Masters resorts to forearm smashes and slams Odem around. Odem does manage a backdrop and a dropkick, but doesn’t get the whole thing. He tries a second one and Masters holds onto the ropes causing him to crash and burn. Having had enough of this Odem character, Masters hoists the guy up on his shoulders for the Canadian backbreaker hold to get the submission at 4:03.
Time for another interview conducted by Les Thatcher with the great “Tennessee Stud” Ron Fuller. Unfortunately, the audio is pretty weak and I can hardly make out everything he is saying. I’m sure he’s putting himself over as the best and hypes the one-night NWA Alabama title tournament in Birmingham. There’s another chair for Robert Fuller who doesn’t seem to get along with his cocky brother. He announces he will be wrestling in the tournament as well. Ron says if his brother Robert is wrestling here in SECW, he won’t be. As Ron walks off, Robert is left explaining that all his life he’s had to sit around listening to Ron talk about great he is. Robert says Ron is going to have to wrestle in Alabama and look at his little brother.
- The Mongolian Stomper (w/the Big C #1) vs. Charlie Cook
This is called a “main event anywhere in the world” by Charlie Platt. The Big C causes some distraction early so that the Stomper can attack, but Cook fights back with shoulder blocks and sends Stomper out to the floor to regroup. Back in, Cook works the left leg. Stomper kicks back and smashes Cook’s head off the turnbuckle, but of course that doesn’t bother Cook very much. He trips up Stomper and applies an Indian deathlock. Stomper complains that the crowd is being too loud. The Big C bugs the ref and allows Stomper to claw Cook’s face to escape the hold. This happens a few more times so that Stomper can thumb him in the throat and pull hair. Cook headbutts Stomper in the gut and knee lifts the southeastern champ. During a mid-ring collision, Cook gets knocked out to the floor in front of the Big C. He puts his hands on Cook, but gets punched away. Stomper knocks Cook off the apron and joins the Big C in stomping the crap out of Cook until both Cook and Stomper are counted out at 6:13. *½
After the break, Les Thatcher talks with Jerry Stubbs. He plans on being in the one-night tournament in Birmingham as well.
- The Big C’s (w/Mongolian Stomper) vs. Jos LeDuc & Stan Frazier
The Big C’s sell and bump around for the much larger Plowboy Frazier to start. LeDuc plays a very limited role here. Once the Big C’s are able to jab Frazier in the throat, they take over with their cheating ways. They wear Frazier out, but there’s not a whole bunch you can do with him. LeDuc gets the hot tag and dropkicks out Big C #2 so he can go after Big C #1’s mask. The Big C’s try and double-team Frazier as LeDuc gets thrown over the top rope. (4:00 or so) LeDuc and Frazier win via DQ.
They tie Frazier up in the ropes, but LeDuc comes back inside the ring and manages to unmask the Big C #1 as DON CARSON. The Big C #2 grabs LeDuc so that Carson can punch him with that evil black glove of his to bust him open. As Frazier gets untied, Robert Fuller comes out and helps Jos LeDuc get away from the team formerly known as the Big C’s. Match was what it was, but an awesome ending though. ¾*
Les Thatcher talks with Robert Fuller and Jos LeDuc as the southeastern tag team champs, but who will be involved in the one-night tournament in Birmingham on November 13. It’s so strange to me seeing LeDuc as a babyface.
After the break, Les Thatcher mentions there will be three world champions on the program in the coming weeks. Those champions are the NWA world champ Harley Race, the NWA women’s champ the Fabulous Moolah, and the NWA Jr. heavyweight champ Les Thornton. Some guy with the sexual charisma of Gary Juster comes over to tell Platt and Thatcher that Ron Bass is planning on coming back to SECW. He was injured six weeks ago with a separated shoulder after a lumberjack match with Jos LeDuc. Thatcher and Platt then wrap up the show for another week.
There’s an abbreviated version of an episode of SECW left on the compilation tape. Ron Bass is shown to be back in town.
- Ron Bass & Super Pro (w/Don Carson) vs. Roy Lee Welch & Ray Harris
OK – let’s start with the heel team. Of course we know who Ron Bass is, but Super Pro is Randy Rose (and Thatcher even mentions that they know it, too) under a mask because he lost a “loser leaves town” match to Bob Armstrong. Roy Lee Welch is a cousin to Ron and Robert Fuller with their grandfather being Roy Welch. Charisma seems to run in that family. I have nothing on Ray Harris. He’s probably just here to take the fall for his team. Brad Armstrong has joined us for commentary. Bass and Super Pro really work over Roy Lee’s arm here. Harris eventually gets the tag, but he shows he’s no “super pro” and gets destroyed. In what’s a pretty cool finish, Bass delivers a high vertical suplex while Super Pro comes flying in with a Swandive Headbutt for the win. (5:10 shown) Afterwards, Super Pro goes over and yells at Brad looking his father Bob. Well, Bob won’t stand for this sort of nonsense and comes over to knock Super Pro’s block off. Oh boy. Ron Bass helps out and grabs Bullet Bob while Super Pro loads up his mask for a headbutt to bust him open. Since Brad appears to just be a young rookie without any guts, Jos LeDuc has to come out and save the day. *½
- The Mongolian Stomper (w/Don Carson) vs. Charlie Cook
Plowboy Frazier joins us for extra special commentary. He adds some comments on the Mongolian Stomper and puts him over as the strongest man he’s ever faced. While he’s saying this, Cook has the Stomper down in headlocks and chinlocks. Once Stomper finally connects with some blows, he puts Cook down with thumb shots to the throat. He whips Cook from corner to corner until Cook reverses one on him. They collide in the ring again as Cook goes to the floor. Meanwhile, Gorgeous George slides something down in the Stomper’s boot. As Cook wanders back into the ring, Stomper kicks him in the head and that wallops him for the three-count at 6:30. *
Alright, that’s that for another week.
- Ron Bass & Super Pro (w/Don Carson) vs. Charlie Cook & Charles Odem
Bass and Super Pro are the NWA southeastern tag champs. That would make this the middle of November 1980. Once again, Platt and Thatcher explain that they know Super Pro is Randy Rose despite having had lost a “loser leaves town” match to Bob Armstrong. Bass having a full beard threw me off there for a second. This goes a lot like TV tag matches you see in Memphis where there’s a star and a JTTS teaming up that allows the star to shine while the JTTS gets mauled. In this case, Cook looks great against Bass and Super Pro while Odem takes all the knocks. Once the match breaks down, the ref takes care of getting Cook out of the ring while Bass and Super Pro jump Odem. Bass hits the RUNNING POWERSLAM on Odem to get the win in 7:34.
Les Thatcher and Charlie Platt hype a card at the Boutwell Auditorium in Birmingham scheduled for Monday, November 24.
- NWA Alabama Heavyweight Title: Bob Armstrong (c) vs. Killer Khan
- NWA Southeastern Heavyweight Title: The Stomper (c) vs. Mr. Wrestling II
- NWA Southeastern Tag Titles: Ron Bass & Super Pro (c) vs. Jos LeDuc & Robert Fuller
- NWA U.S. Jr. Heavyweight Title: Jerry Stubbs (c) vs. Norvell Austin
- Charlie Cook vs. Dennis Condrey
- Brad Armstrong vs. Don Carson
Don Carson puts over his tag team champs Ron Bass and Super Pro. He refers to Robert Fuller and Jos LeDuc as boys in a man’s world who have no chance. Back at the desk, Fuller and LeDuc (with a blood stained forehead) look forward to a fight on November 24.
And that’s all for disc one! When we hit up disc #2, we’ll see some early Midnight Express matches, Bob & Brad Armstrong, Jerry Stubbs, and much more!
Posted on June 18, 2017, in NWA and tagged Bob Armstrong, Brad Armstrong, Charlie Cook, Don Carson, Eddie Mansfield, Gorgeous George Jr., Jerry Stubbs, Jos LeDuc, Les Thatcher, Mike Masters, Mongolian Stomper, Randy Rose, Ricky Gibson, Robert Fuller, Ron Bass, Ron Fuller, Roy Lee Welch, Uncle Elmer. Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.