October 18, 1980 Southeastern Championship Wrestling Television Show Review

By: Karl Stern (@dragonkingkarl, @wiwcool, karl@whenitwascool.com)

I grew up on NWA Southeastern Championship Wrestling as promoted by Ron Fuller based out of Pensacola, Florida and presenting shows from the Florida panhandle throughout Alabama up to the Smoky Mountains of East Tennessee.  This is the debut program for Southeastern Championship Wrestling.  Ron Fuller had bought Gulf Coast Wrestling from the Field's brothers a couple years earlier but in October 1980 Ron Fuller repackaged it with a new, different television show called Southeastern Championship Wrestling.

Don't confuse this with the Southeastern Championship Wrestling program that had been operating for years out of Knoxville, TN.  While both were owned by Fuller, they had a totally different TV show and completely different champions and storylines.  This website is focusing solely on the southern end of the promotion and the television show which was taped in a studio in Dothan, AL.

Charlie Platt welcomes us to the show.  He tells us that Southeastern wrestling has purchased the promotional rights for the entire state of Alabama.  Previously it had been slit up among the Fields family in Mobile, Nick Gulas in the far north, and Billy Golden in the Mobile area.

Charlie Platt tells us this first episode is to familiarize us with the talent in the area for those sections of the state that had not been getting Gulf Coast Wrestling.  Also, Charlie will be joined next week by co-host Les Thatcher and the set will remain the Gulf Coast Wrestling set until a new one can be built.

We go to the ring for our first match:  The Superstar verses Bob Armstrong.  The Superstar is a generic jobber gimmick used in the area.  I think it is Tony Zane at this point but I also think it changed at times.  Bob Armstrong is starting off as the top babyface in the area.  Bob Armstrong wins with a elbow smash.

We get a Tony Charles music video next.

Charlie Platt is back to talk to Bob Armstrong.  They are billing Don Curtis as the figurehead authority figure of Southeastern Wrestling.  Bob talks about some of his experiences at various places in the state.  There is an upcoming tournament for the Alabama heavyweight championship.

To the ring for our next match:  Eddie Mansfield verses Reggie Simpson.  "Continental Lover" Eddie Mansfield wasn't in the area very long but he was on the first show.  Mansfield became infamous later on for outing pro wrestling on CBS 20/20 program along with Jim Wilson but their thunder was stolen by David Schultz slapping John Stossel in the ear.  Eddie Mansfield wins with a neck breaker.

Now Charlie plays a video featuring the Southeastern heavyweight champion - the Mongolian Stomper.  It's a great completely kayfabe video about being discovered in Mongolia and then traveling to Europe where Gorgeous George, Jr. discovered him and began managing him.  In this video we get to see George darn near kill poor Archie Goldie with a sledgehammer and cinder block.

The first edition of personality profile is with Bob Armstrong.  Southeastern would do these segments for years but there is virtually nothing special about them.  It's a fancy name for a promo.  Bob is really selling the upcoming NWA Alabama heavyweight title tournament.  He also puts over holding a championship like I wish they still would today.  "Bullet" Bob does a great job making you want to see more Southeastern Championship Wrestling.

Next match in the ring: Big C I & II (Don Carson & Dennis Condrey) (NWA Southeastern tag team champions) verses Charlie Cook & Ricky Gibson.  Ricky Gibson is the older brother of future Rock & Roll Express member Robert Gibson.  Both Gibson brothers were regulars in the area.  I don't know why Dennis Condrey & Don Carson are under masks here now but obviously it stems from an angle hold over from Gulf Coast Wrestling.  I've never thought Don Carson was a particularly good wrestler. He just has these weird mechanical movements.  Dennis Condrey, on the other hand, is as excellent a brawler as there is.  Charlie Cook & Ricky Gibson win in a non-title match.

Charlie Platt interviews Charlie Cook.  Cook played football for the Pittsburgh Steelers and has roots from the around the Tuscaloosa, Alabama area, or so he says.  I can't find any record of Charlie Cook in the NFL but he might have done a camp or something.  He certainly didn't play 9 seasons with them like the promo said I don't think.

Next up we are supposed to see video of Harley Race winning the NWA World heavyweight title from Terry Funk but we are treated instead to one of my favorite promos of all time.  It's basically just several minutes of Ron Fuller telling you how great he is and how he isn't too fond of this low rent territory he's found himself in.  Also, he's not wrestling on television, you have to pay to see him wrestle.  Of course, Ron actually owns the promotion.  Ron's going to be the champion of your rinky-dink town.

We get an Eddie Mansfield promo now.  Not as good as Ron Fuller's but fine enough for 1980.

Charlie then runs down the first program results to end the show.

October 18, 1980 (Television Show): Host Charlie Platt... Bob Armstrong defeated The Superstar (Tony Zane)... Tony Charles music video... Interview with Bob Armstrong... Eddie Mansfield defeated Reggie Simpson... Mongolian Stomper hype video... Bob Armstrong promo... Charlie Cook & Ricky Gibson defeated Big C I & II (Don Carson & Dennis Condrey) (NWA Southeastern tag team champions) in a non-title match... Charlie Cook promo... Ron Fuller promo... Eddie Mansfield promo...  (Referee: Bill Sorenson)

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