16 June 2006

Mid-South Wrestling Lives On . . . In Monroe

Imagine its 4:30pm on a Saturday afternoon in New Orleans in the early 1980's. Tune your television to Channel 26, WGNO. This isn't the ABC Monday Night Football Channel 26 of today. Instead, its the independent, the no nightly local news, the playing the really bad 1960's monster movies to be watched with the 3D glasses distributed by Time Saver, and the round-the-clock Seafood City commercial-playing WGNO. The program you'd see on this channel at 4:30pm on a given Saturday afternoon in 1982?? Mid-South Wrestling . . . .

I was 12 in 1982 and TBNO contributor Hollis P. Wood was 13 in 1982. Together we would watch the regionally syndicated Mid-South Wrestling not because we thought it was real, but because we knew it was so amateurish and fake. I remember laughing practically to tears watching it back then. My memory is that most of the televised matches always seemed to be taped in Shreveport, but I remember seeing advertisements for non-televised matches held at the New Orleans Municipal Auditorium and even recall some for "mega" matches held in the Louisiana Superdome. The tour had a regional circuit in places like Baton Rouge, Lafayette, Houma, Morgan City, Lake Charles, and towns in Mississippi and Arkansas. I think the St. Bernard Cultural Center in Chalmette was also a regular circuit stop. When it came through my town, I always wanted to go see it in person but my parents refused to allow me. About two or three weeks ago, the topic of Mid-South Wrestling came up between Hollis P. Wood and I and we both agreed we'd love to see some of that vintage footage.

While in Northern Louisiana this past week for my job, I learned dreams can indeed come true. Monday after a full day of working "in the field," I made it back to my hotel room in Monroe and turned on the television. As I flipped around the channels, I stopped on the Monroe UPN affiliate because to my complete disbelief and amazement, Mid-South Wrestling--from July 1982--was there to fulfill my recently stated desire. Keep in mind this is in the 6:30pm-7:00pm weekday timeslot, for god's sake. Does not that seem like a high profile time to be showing 20+ year old wrestling matches? Perhaps, but not in Monroe. Wow.

All expectations were met: the footage was about as cheesy and as dated as possible and it featured a good portion of the "talent" with notable exception to JYD (Junk Yard Dog) and Kumala, Ugandan Warrior. Here are some screen shots to savor:

This flashback brought to you in 2006, just as in 1982, by SEAFOOD CITY (1826 North Broad) and UNIVERSAL FURNITURE (home of The Chairman and The Chairwoman--who happens to be Becky Allen).

TAGS: Katrina, New Orleans, NOLA, Mid-South Wrestling, WGNO, Louisiana


At June 16, 2006 10:47 PM, Blogger Mr. Clio said...

Yeah, bra!

I was a junior in high school in 1982-83. My friend and I, with newly acquired driving abilities, went from the West Bank to Da Parish and to Municipal Auditorium to watch Mid South Wrestling live.

Hacksaw Duggan, Hacksaw Reed, JYD, Mr. Wrestling II. Hilarious.

At June 16, 2006 11:52 PM, Blogger bayoustjohndavid said...

You sure that's from 1982? I didn't remember Buck Robley being around that long, I thought Watts ditched him soon after the Freebirds took the belts (in 1979?) and he dissappeared soon after. If that's what the program said, it's probably more accurate than my memory.

At June 17, 2006 12:07 AM, Blogger Seymour D. Fair said...


Col. Buck looked bad.

Periodically "July 1982 Shreveport, Louisiana" appeared on the bottom of the screen . . .

That guy doesn't stand out in my memory.

At June 17, 2006 11:18 AM, Blogger Mr. Clio said...

Also, your posting is just in time for the release of "Nacho Libre." Saw it last night. A strange little movie. I was in the mood to laugh hard, so I tolerated its flaws. A fun ride.

At October 05, 2007 8:51 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Man, this brings back some great childhood memories. I hardly ever missed a Mid-South show on TV and my brother and I would attend the Municipal Auditorium shows on a regulary basis. Bill Watts, Killer Karl Cox, the Assassins, JYD, the Masked Medics, etc. Great stuff!


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