Before naming Richmondís Number One card of all-time during the Mid-Atlantic era (late 1973--early 1985 for purposes of this list), here are the 10 best cards in Richmond that didnít make the first cut:
Catch Up on the Countdown: Richmond's Top 15 #'s 2-15 HERE.
# 16---September 6, 1974: This card was one of the most intriguing nights in Richmond wrestling history. On top was a NWA World Heavyweight Title bout between the titleholder Jack Brisco and the masked Super Destroyer. Many fans believed that there would be a title change or an unmasking, as the Super Destroyer vowed not only to unmask if he lost by pinfall or submission, but also if he won the World Title. Alas, neither happened. The semifinal produced another classic championship battle between Wahoo McDaniel and Mid-Atlantic Champion Johnny Valentine. Third from the top was a bout between Paul Jones and the youngster Ric Flair. This was the first top flight singles opponent that Flair had wrestled in Richmond. A lot of fans, me included at the time, didnít believe Flair could hang with the areaís "big boys" in singles competition. Ric used this match to start winning the naysayers over.
#17---July 22, 1983: For me, this card will always be remembered for how amazingly popular Jimmy Valiant was during this time frame. To the point that his match with the One Man Gang was billed as the main event over a NWA World Heavyweight Title match between Harley Race and Ric Flair with Sandy Scott as a special referee! Valiant defeated the Gang in a cage, with the stipulation that the Gang and his manager Sir Oliver Humperdink had to leave town because of the defeat. And yes, it was a Hair vs. Hair match, so the barber was busy after the match as well! And by the way, in the SEMIFINAL event, Harley Race retained the NWA World Title when he was disqualified, giving Ric Flair the victory but not the belt.
#18---March 7, 1975: The end of a major feud between masked men took pace on this card, as the Super Destroyer and the Avenger battled in a No Disqualification, No Time Limit and There Must Be A Winner bout. The Super Destroyer prevailed, forcing the Avenger to unmask. These two never wrestled in Richmond after this match, and while the Avenger put his mask back on and continued wrestling after this defeat, he never achieved the same level of success thereafter in the Mid-Atlantic area. This card also featured a top flight tag team bout, where Sonny King and Wahoo McDaniel defeated Ole Anderson and his cousin, Ric Flair. Also, newcomer Blackjack Mulligan made his first Richmond appearance on this night.
#19---April 27, 1984: This blockbuster card featured a spectacular one hour time limit draw, with Ric Flair successfully defending his NWA World Heavyweight Title against Ricky Steamboat. Also, in the semifinal, the "Boogie Woogie Man" Jimmy Valiant defeated his arch-rival Paul Jones in a Cage Match. Fans that attended this card also got to see the last Richmond appearance ever of Jack and Jerry Brisco, as the Briscoís battled the tandem of Wahoo McDaniel and Mark Youngblood over the NWA World Tag Team Titles. And to show how strong this card was, the match that was slotted fourth from the top was a United States Title bout where Dick Slater successfully defended his crown against young Angelo Mosca, Jr.
#20---August 8, 1975: This card holds the distinction for being the only card in "Richmondís Top 15" or the "Best of the Rest" that did not take place at the Richmond Coliseum. Rather, this card took place at the Richmond Arena, a venue that had more than its fair share of memorable moments during its heyday as Richmondís "B" venue from 1974-77. And despite all of the great matches at the Richmond Arena, this card featured the only title change there during the Mid-Atlantic era. It featured a battle between Ric Flair and Paul Jones over Flairís Mid-Atlantic Television Title, which Ric had held continuously for the prior six months. In this bout, the stipulations were that the Title could change hands on a Count-out or a Disqualification, and that Jones would have his head shaved if he didnít win the Title! Luckily for Paul, he left the Richmond Arena with the Mid-Atlantic TV Title AND his hair!
#21---July 4, 1975: This Fourth of July holiday spectacular was just like a red-hot firecracker! The main event was the first in a series of five Richmond Coliseum Title bouts during the summer and early fall of 1975 between Gene and Ole Anderson and Paul Jones and Wahoo McDaniel over the Andersonís NWA World Tag Team Titles. This match went to a sixty minute time limit draw, which had the fans clamoring for more. Fortunately for the fans, Jim Crockett Promotions would deliver on giving the fans much more action between these two teams. The semifinal bout saw the masked Super Destroyer drop a disqualification decision to the larger-than-life Andre the Giant. This bout would prove to be the last major Richmond match for the Super Destroyer, who had terrorized the territory for the previous two years.
#22---May 6, 1977: There was a tremendous amount of anticipation for the main event on this card. Gene and Ole Anderson had come back to the area, with the sole purpose of their return being to capture the NWA World Tag Team Titles from the current champs, Ric Flair and Greg Valentine! Just this "Battle of the Bullies" match itself would have been a big deal, but there was more. The special referee assigned to this bout was none other than "Chief" Wahoo McDaniel! Over the years, Wahoo had his issues with all four of the wrestlers in this match, so everybody was curious how Wahoo would conduct himself in this matchup. Many thought a title change would happen this night, but the bout between these bitter adversaries went to an ultra-exciting one hour draw. The actual title change would occur a mere two days later.
#23---December 28, 1973: The main event on this huge holiday spectacular had fans looking forward to 1974 at the time and then looking back as time went on. Of course, it was the last card in Richmond during the year of 1973. Earlier in 1973, a massive masked man named the "Destroyer" came on the scene, pretty much destroying everything in his wake. To try and stop his onslaught, the biggest fan favorite of them all, Johnny Weaver, positioned himself as the Destroyerís roadblock. This would turn out to be Johnnyís last major program as a main event star, and even Weaver would be unable to derail the Destroyerís express train and take his mask. However, on this night, Johnny would thrill the Richmond fans and get the win by disqualification when big Swede Hanson interfered on the Destroyerís behalf. Within several months into early 1974, Weaver would move down the cards into mid-card status, while Swede and the Destroyer (then calling himself the Super Destroyer) would be feuding bitterly against each other.
#24---March 8, 1985: Richmond was host to one of the earliest battles in what would become a long-running war in Jim Crockett Promotions, that being the feud between Tully Blanchard and the "American Dream," Dusty Rhodes. By this point in time, Blanchard had held the NWA Television Championship continuously for about a full year. The NWA TV Title was at stake for a stipulated number of minutes in every match, but Blanchard had added a $10,000 prize early in 1984 if anyone could defeat him for the TV Title. Then late in 1984, Blanchard announced a contest to find a "Perfect 10" valet to accompany him to the ring. The Perfect 10, Baby Doll, accompanied Blanchard to the ring this night in Richmond, and through a lot of chicanery Blanchard was able to coax Dusty into getting disqualified, thus insuring Tully left Richmond with his NWA TV Title and $10,000. This card also saw two of the most charismatic performers in the history of professional wrestling tangle, when Jimmy Valiant bested Superstar Billy Graham, who was managed by Valiantís bitter rival, Paul Jones. Graham was back in the Mid-Atlantic area after an absence of almost a decade.
#25---November 26, 1976: A near-capacity Thanksgiving weekend crowd saw a triple main event lineup that was truly star-studded! In the main event, "Number One" Paul Jones successfully retained his United States Championship against an ultra-aggressive Blackjack Mulligan. Paul would soon lose the U.S. belt for good, but on this night the fans left the Richmond Coliseum happy! In the semifinal "Grudge Match," Wahoo McDaniel brutalized Ric Flair to gain a measure of revenge for Ric injuring Wahooís back about a month prior. And in the match third from the top, the "Eighth Wonder of the World" Andre the Giant dominated the Masked Superstar, with Andre winning by disqualification. Having just arrived in the Mid-Atlantic area recently, the Superstar was looking for competition, even going to the lengths of putting his mask and $5,000 on the line if anyone could beat him by pinfall or submission in a singles match. This night, Andre certainly provided the Superstar the stiffest competition he had faced to that point!
Up Next: Richmondís NUMBER ONE Mid-Atlantic Championship Wrestling card!