Where Wrestling's Regional History Lives!
- Gary Lynch
In October of 1977, Georgia Championship Wrestling was on fire. Georgia Champion Dick Slater and Dusty Rhodes were feuding with Ole and Gene Anderson for The World Tag Team Championship. Meanwhile Mr. Wrestling 2 was feuding with Pak Song, who had put Mr. Wrestling 2 in the hospital a few months earlier. These two feuds headlined a big wrestling card at The Omni on October 14th. On that event, a man by the name of Stan Hansen made his debut at The Omni against Preston Nicholson. I would have hated to be Preston Nicholson on that night.
Stan Hansen took Georgia by storm.
He quickly formed an alliance with Ole and Gene Anderson to
become one of the most hated wrestlers in Georgia.
In December, Hansen defeated Dick Slater for the Georgia
Championship. Hansen had many contenders including Thunderbolt Patterson,
Tony Atlas, Bob Armstrong, Mr. Wrestling 2 and Tommy Rich. His top two contenders were Dusty Rhodes and Dick Slater.
He would feud with Slater and Rhodes in single matches and tag
team matches with Ole Anderson as his partner.
In January, he lost the title to Mr. Wrestling 2 but quickly
regained it in February.
Stan was keeping a tight hold on the title, turning
back all challengers. Rock
Hunter, manager of Abdullah the Butcher, started dropping hints on
television that Abdullah deserved a title shot.
This happen for several weeks until it finally erupted on
television. Stan was doing
an interview with Gordon Solie, when Hunter came out and interrupted
him. Hansen told Hunter he
would talk to him in a few minutes.
Hunter grabbed Hansen's cowboy hat that was sitting on the
podium. Hansen grabbed it
back. Hunter grabbed it
again and threw it on the ground. Hansen decked Hunter and Abdullah
attacked Hansen. All the
heels came out and broke it up.
That Friday night at The City Auditorium in
Atlanta, Abdullah was schedule to wrestle Rocky Johnson and Stan was
defending the Georgia Championship against Dusty Rhodes.
It was announce that Johnson was running late, so Rhodes and
Hansen went on first. During the match, Hunter and Abdullah attacked both men,
throwing Rhodes out of the ring. Hansen
was beaten into a bloody mess. Several
babyfaces including an arriving Rocky Johnson came out to make the save.
Later that night, Rocky took on Abdullah.
Hunter interfered and Hansen charge the ring to make the save.
Hansen was an instant babyface and in a few weeks, he ran
Abdullah out of town.