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MID-ATLANTIC CHAMPIONSHIP WRESTLING 09.12.1981 Recap + Review – Sgt. Slaughter Debuts, New TV Champ in Tag Team Action

Peacock finally put up episodes of Mid-Atlantic Championship Wrestling so I’m going to watch and recap them until I don’t. This episode features the new NWA TV Champ Ron Bass in tag team action, a look at the bloody feud between Roddy Piper and Wahoo McDaniel, and the territory debut of one Sgt. Slaughter. No ratings for the matches as they’re all squashes for the most part.


  • Rick Steamboat & Jake Roberts vs. Jim Nelson & Mike Miller
  • Ivan Koloff vs. Terry Lathan
  • The Grappler & The Super Destroyer vs. Scott McGhee & Don Kernodle
  • Sgt. Slaughter vs. Mike Davis
  • Abdullah The Butcher vs. Ron Ritchie
  • Ron Bass & Jay Youngblood vs. Ricky Harris & Ali Bey


Bob Caudle and David Crockett welcome the home audience and announce that “Outlaw” Ron Bass is the new NWA Television Champion. They switch gears to the feud between Roddy Piper and Wahoo McDaniel, the tensions so high that they are being kept off of television for the time being. Later in the show they will air an EDITED version of what happened between Piper & McDaniel. Ron Bass joins the duo, telling the fans that he hopes he’ll be a champion they want to see. Tonight’s show will feature the debut of some dork named Sgt. Slaughter apparently. Maybe he’ll be good, who knows.

Rick Steamboat & Jake “The Snake” Roberts vs. Jim Nelson & Mike Miller

Steamboat and Miller open the match with a test of strength, Steamboat turns it into a top wristlock and brings Miller to the canvas. Nelson quickly tags in and grabs a side headlock, Steamboat escapes and connects with a dropkick followed by a deep armdrag into an armbar. Roberts tags in and connects with a scoop slam followed by a kneelift. Nelson kicks out of a pinfall attempt and tags back out to Miller, Roberts trips him up and tags into Steamboat who connects with a slingshot stomp to the left leg. Roberts tags back in and continues working the leg over as Caudle & Crockett continue hyping the debut of Slaughter as well as the Piper/McDaniel feud. Miller ends up in the wrong corner, Steamboat sends him into the buckle, Roberts takes him to the canvas with a side headlock, Miller counters into a headscissors, Roberts quickly kicks out and makes the tag back to Steamboat. Miller clubs Steamboat down in the corner and tags in Nelson who slows it down with a chinlock. Steamboat tries to break out with a front chancery but Miller gets the tag and hits him from behind. Steamboat ducks a back elbow and lights Miller up with a series of shots. Roberts tags in and lays into Miller with a series of left jabs followed by a scoop slam and a snapmare into a fist drop. Steamboat tags in, Roberts lifts him up into a dropkick to Miller, Nelson tags in and gets dropped with a shoulderblock, Roberts tags in and hits a kneelift followed by a back suplex for the 1…2…3. 

Rick Steamboat & Jake Roberts defeated Jim Nelson & Mike Miller via pinfall (5:47)

  • JON’S THOUGHTS: Good showcase for Steamboat & Roberts. Roberts has some shades of what people remember him for the most, but looks almost completely different at this point besides the mustache. Dude was good even back then though, his kneelift is devastating-looking.

“The Russian Bear” Ivan Koloff vs. Terry Lathan

Koloff is the current Mid-Atlantic Heavyweight Champion. I did not catch the name of his opponent but according to a Bing search it’s Terry Lathan. Yeah why not I’ll go with that. Koloff overpowers Lathan, Lathan tries to cartwheel out of a test of strength but gets thrown to the canvas by the hair. THAT’S WHAT YOU GET FOR BEING CUTE. Koloff dominates, throwing Lathan around the ring and refusing to pin him after hitting a flying kneedrop. This allows Lathan to get a brief bout of babyface offense but he gets dropped in short order with a kneelift. Koloff drops Lathan across the top rope and connects with a backbreaker followed by a kneedrop to the midsection. Koloff grabs Lathan in a bearhug and rams him into the corner, then rides him down with a knee to the back of the head for the 1…2…3.

Ivan Koloff defeated Terry Lathan via pinfall (4:45)

  • JON’S THOUGHTS: Koloff is the top champ in the territory so I didn’t expect anything other than a squash. I did like that they gave Lathan some offense after Koloff refused to pin him, a teeny tiny hope spot sandwiched in. Lathan shouldn’t be ashamed to lose, that’s the same move that beat Sammartino in MSG.

-Caudle & Crockett take it to Wahoo McDaniel vs. Sgt. Jacques Goulet from a previous episode, match in progress. Roddy Piper comes out and distracts McDaniel, Abdullah The Butcher attacks Wahoo from behind and busts him open with a giant spike. Mid-Atlantic edits the video so you don’t get to see the blood. BOOOO. Ref tries to break it up, Piper yanks him back, finally out come some randos from the back to also get jabbed with the spike. Nice try? Abdullah goes back to work, carving Wahoo up even more. 

The Grappler & The Super Destroyer vs. Scott McGhee & Don Kernodle

Grappler & Destroyer are two masked chubby dudes who have probably been wrestling for much longer than I’ve been alive at this point. Kernodle surprises The Grappler with some offense and even almost sneaks a win off a lateral press. Destroyer tags in, Kernodle brings him to the canvas with a wristlock and a kneedrop to the arm. McGhee tags in and continues working the arm, twisting it. Destroyer escapes and sends McGhee to the canvas with a knee to the midsection followed by a headbutt. Grappler tags in, McGhee trips him up and tries to make the tag but Grappler pulls him back in and lays into him with a series of concealed firsts. Grappler drops an elbow, Destroyer tags in, McGhee dodges a dropkick but misses one of his own anyway so it ultimately doesn’t matter. Grappler tags in and connects with a back elbow off an Irish whip. McGhee catches Grappler with a kick and Kernodle gets the tag, connecting with a backdrop on Grappler for the 1…2…Grappler kicks out and dodges a follow-up elbowdrop to regain offensive control. Destroyer headbutts Kernodle and drops a series of elbows to the back of the neck. Grappler tags back in and connects with a vertical suplex for the 1…2…KERNODLE KICKS OUT and crawls under Grappler’s legs to get the tag to McGhee. McGhee comes in hot but gets too distracted in attacking Destroyer, allowing Grappler to attack from behind. Destroyer tags in and connects with a SUPERplex for the 1…2…3. Kernodle tried to break it up but didn’t make it in time.

The Grappler & The Super Destroyer defeated Scott McGhee & Don Kernodle via pinfall (5:35)

  • JON’S THOUGHTS: Kernodle & McGhee got way more offense than I was expecting, which kept this competitive. The Grappler is a GREAT wrestling name. 

-Caudle is standing by with Rick Steamboat & Jake Roberts. Steamboat is happy to be back in the area after touring Japan for eight months, calling the Mid-Atlantic a home away from home. Roberts looks forward to teaming with Steamboat again and vows to right some wrongs going on in the territory. Steamboat & Roberts exit, Jay Youngblood & Ron Bass enter. Bass & Youngblood are down to wrestle anybody at any time, they just need to sign the dotted line. Youngblood is confident that Bass will remain NWA Television Champion for a long time.

Sgt. Slaughter vs. Mike Davis

This is Slaughter’s debut match in the Mid-Atlantic territory and he starts punishing Davis right at the bell with a whole lot of knee strikes and drops. Caudle mentions that Slaughter is all muscle without an ounce of fat, which is the BIGGEST lie but whatever do your thing Bob. Slaughter bends Davis in half with a backbreaker as Ole Anderson comes out for some reason. Anderson puts Slaughter over at the commentary table, impressed at the size and strength of the man, Slaughter finishes Davis off with a Cobra Clutch.

Sgt. Slaughter defeated Mike Davis via submission (2:09)

  • JON’S THOUGHTS: Dominant debut from Sgt. Slaughter. Ole Anderson coming out midway through to talk about how awesome Slaughter is was a nice touch as well; I assume he’s a big deal in the territory and having someone higher up the card immediately praise a debuting star is great. A little bit of the rub. 

Abdullah The Butcher [w/ Roddy Piper] vs. Ron Ritchie

Abdullah immediately attacks Ritchie, throwing him out to the floor and into the commentary podium, briefly knocking out the headsets. Ritchie tries to get back in, Abdullah attacks him again then re-enters, biting the top rope as he waits for his opponent to get back up. Ritchie gets to the apron, Abdullah pulls him and connects with a thrust to the throat. Piper yells at Abdullah to finish him and finish him he does with a running elbowdrop for the 1…2…ABDULLAH PICKS HIM UP JUST KIDDING. Abdullah measures Ritchie and hits a SECOND elbowdrop, this time covering for the full three-count.

Abdullah The Butcher defeated Ron Ritchie via pinfall (1:50)

  • JON’S THOUGHTS: Abdullah The Butcher is hit or miss for a lot of people. I like him in small doses, and here was a perfect example; entered the ring, was a tornado of chaos, then got out of there. He’s perfectly cast as a psychopath under someone else’s employ. HOWEVER I thought they said Piper was being kept off of television at the start of the show?

“Outlaw” Ron Bass & Jay Youngblood vs. Ricky Harris & Ali Bey

Bass wrenches in a side headlock on Harris, Harris tries to fight out so Bass makes him pay with elbows to the back of the neck. Bey tags in and gets sent through the air with a monkey flip. Bey gets the better of Bass and tags out to Harris who works the arm of Bass over. Youngblood easily gets the tag and SNAPS OFF an open-hand slap to the chest. DAMN. Harris powers through and sends Youngblood flying with a backdrop but can’t even get a one-count. Youngblood picks Harris up by the beard, Bass tags in and drops him with a right hand. Youngblood tags in and rolls Harris up for a two-count, then settles into a side headlock. Harris escapes and drops down, Youngblood stuns him with an elbowdrop to the back of the head and tags out to Bass who wrenches in a front facelock. Harris gets to his feet and tags out to Bey, who traps Bass in a bearhug. Bass fights out but Bey powers him up into the corner for a double-team. Harris tags in and trades rights with Bass, but Bass easily wins that shootout and tags out to Youngblood who hits a dropkick followed by a vertical suplex into a running elbowdrop for the 1…2…Harris powers out. Quick tags by the babyfaces, Youngblood war dances and connects with a chop, Bass finishes him off with a running slam for the 1…2…3.

Ron Bass & Jay Youngblood defeated Ricky Harris & Ali Bey via pinfall (6:10)

  • JON’S THOUGHTS: Harris is the future Black Bart, a man who would find himself feuding with Ron Bass later in the 80s. I knew that dude looked familiar. As with the others it was an entertaining showcase match.

-Caudle interviews Heavyweight Champ “The Russian Bear” Ivan Koloff. Koloff is impressed with Abdullah The Butcher & Sgt. Slaughter, and is looking forward to tagging with former partner Ole Anderson again. Koloff welcomes any challenge to his Heavyweight Title. Out he goes and in comes Austin Idol to speed talk about how sexy he is or some sh*t. He leaves and is replaced by Sgt. Slaughter who says he’s here to find some talent to wrestle and demands everyone to stand at attention whenever he enters the ring as he demands RESPECT. Slaughter tells Caudle to shine his shoes and cut his hair for next time. Caudle signs off and that’s the episode.



Breezy watch full of showcase matches and lots of people getting promo time, plus a major debut in Sgt. Slaughter. I dug it. Mid-Atlantic hasn’t aged as poorly as some other wrestling from the 80s…though I’m sure gimmick-wise that’ll be a different story.

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