GCW #14 Page #2
The roster of talent that had been working for ABC prior to the split included the Assassins, Dick Steinborn, Ted and Jerry Oates, Ox Baker, Rock Hunter, Argentina Apollo, the Gladiator, the Super Gladiator, Oki Shikina, Jesse James, Skandor Akbar, Tommy Siegler, El Mongol, the Hollywood Blonds (Jerry Brown and Buddy Roberts), Wayne Cowan, Joe Turner, Bill Bowman, Roberto Soto, the Avenger (Francisco Flores), Krusher Karlson, Bob Armstrong, Bill Dromo, and Darrell Cochran.
All-South bore no affiliation with the NWA, still most of the wrestlers working under her with ABC, including television announcer Ed Capral, decided to follow her across town, thus leaving a void in the NWA portion of Atlanta. The only wrestlers to stay behind and show loyalty to Jones and Welch were Darrell Cochran, Bill Dromo, and Bob Armstrong.
The private meeting was held on a Wednesday, following the Monday in which the Fullers attempted to make a deal with her to sell her shares to them outright. As it turned out, Armstrong and Hunter were the only ones absent at that meeting. Thus, the only people present to not follow were Dromo and Cochran.
Even Ward had hinted privately to Ann beforehand that he would promote her shows in his towns rather than continue with Jones and Welch. However, when Ann called him that Wednesday to tell him of the agreed split, he informed her that he had changed his mind.
Ward had a show scheduled in Columbus that evening, and the only two wrestlers to arrive for work were Armstrong and Hunter. Hunter apparently had no idea that no one would show for the card because he had missed the meeting that morning. The Auditorium was filled, and he only had two men to put into the ring, so he had them wrestle each other and refunded everyone their money back in full.
Up until 1971, live Atlanta Wrestling had appeared each Saturday night on Atlanta's NBC affiliate, WQXI channel 11. The station never kept them scheduled at a consistent time slot, and this caused a problem because they shot the program live, and it would sometimes be as late as 10 or 10:30 pm before they could go on the air. This posed a problem with fans showing for the matches because it could not always be communicated when they would be working.
In 1971, Ted Turner, owner of an independent channel known then as WTCG, which appeared on a VHF station 17, bought out the rights to the television program. ABC eventually got a permanent time slot of Saturdays at 6:00 pm, and was done live under the same name for awhile, before they eventually began taping the shows in the mornings.
I will talk about what happened to allow Georgia Championship Wrestling to pull ahead in the race.
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