GCW #8 Page #2
They would hold the belts until July when Dean Ho and Ken Mantel defeated them. Ho and Mantel would only hold the titles for a few weeks before losing the belts to newcomers Jimmy and Johnny Valiant.
Around April or May, Rock Hunter arrived in Georgia with Pak Song to feud with Dusty Rhodes. Hunter also would use the service of Abdullah the Butcher from time to time. In August, Dick Slater defeated The Spoiler to become the new Georgia Champion in a rare heel vs. heel matchup. His top contenders were Dusty Rhodes, Mr. Wrestling 2 and Thunderbolt Patterson. By the end of summer, The Spoiler, Gary Hart, Mark Lewin, Gorman and Goliath, Stan Stasiak, Moondog Mayne and Ken Mantel were all gone.
In September, Porkchop Cash and Tom Jones arrived in Georgia and defeated Jimmy and John Valiant for the Georgia Tag Team Championship. The Valiants would soon leave Georgia. New faces in Georgia included Killer Brooks, Tony Parisi, Gino Hernandez and Tully Blanchard. Pak Song would leave Georgia to be replaced by The Stomper managed by JJ Dillion. Mighty Igor also came in.
The Andersons soon came in. The Andersons were no strangers to Georgia fans. Ole and Gene held the Georgia Tag titles several times in the early seventies and had a major feud with Mr. Wrestling 1&2. The Andersons arrived in October and immediately won the Georgia Tag Team belts from Jones and Cash. Also in October Mr. Wrestling 2 defeated Dick Slater for the Georgia title. Mr. Wrestling 2 then pulled a major upset as he pinned NWA World Champion Terry Funk in a non-title match on Television. Funk actually went to several NWA territories and would lose non-title matches to the top babyface to set up a big gate when Funk returned to defend the world title against that babyface. Slater regained the Georgia Title in November. By this time Mr. Wrestling had return to Georgia and with Mr. wrestling 2 reunited their feud with The Anderson brothers. Other feuds during this time period saw Thunderbolt Patterson feuding with Dick Slater for the Georgia title and the early beginnings of a feud between Igor and The Stomper, though the two didn't start wrestling each other until January 1977.
Here is a list of other wrestlers that appeared in Georgia in 1976. Johnny Ringo, Bill Dromo, Jim Lancaster, Charlie Fulton, Bill Howard, Skip Young, Ervin Smith and Jan Nelson. Rookie Rick Martel would go on to become AWA World Champion and a star in the WWF. Ron Bass became a star in Florida, also in the Crockett Promotion and WWF. Jerry Stubbs would become a star as Mr. Olympia in Mid South and Continental. Randy Alls would change his name to Randy Rose and make a name for himself in Tennessee and Alabama. Wayne Cowan would become Dutch Mantel. Roberto Soto wrestled in Puerto Rico as one of the Invaders. Big name wrestlers coming in for shows at The Omni included Ox Baker, Bill Watts, Dory Funk Jr, The Sheik and Jack Brisco.
I will look at the first wrestling card I saw at The Omni on January 1st, 1977 and take a look back at the year 1977.
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