Though nowadays it seems like every arena either gets renovated or torn down because of the fact that the arena is outdated by today’s standards. A couple of week’s age, we looked back at the Pontiac Silverdome in Pontiac, MI. Now we move south to Memphis, TN as we look at the Mid-South Coliseum. Before I start all I have to say is please enjoy this trip down memory lane of the arena once called "The Entertainment Capital of the South"
Mid-South Coliseum Past & Present:
The Mid-South Coliseum was built in 1963 in Memphis, TN and the Coliseum closed it's doors in 2006 due to the fact that it wasn't up to code in certain aspects of the arena and would cost to much money to bring up to code. Now city is looking at possibly tearing down this arena because it has been unused since 2006 and they are looking at expanding the Fairgrounds. Certain members of the local area disagree with the idea of tearing it down and are trying to make a case for the Coliseum to avoid being demolished. I personally side with the people who don't want the Coliseum torn down, because in my opinion the arena isn't doing any harm staying up and it would allow families to bring their kids to the arena and share in the memories. Though I don't live anywhere near nor have I ever been to the Mid-South Coliseum, but I do know that keeping it around would also do wonders for keeping certain memories alive for those who were lucky enough to witness a concert, wrestling event, or any other event at the Legendary building.
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Mid-South Coliseum Has Been Home To:
The Mid-South Coliseum has since its fair share of legendary inhabitants from The Beatles & Evils Presley in the music business to Jerry Lawler vs Andy Kaufman in the Wrestling business. The Coliseum was one of the few stops for The Beatles on their final American Tour, the group played two concerts there on August 19th 1966. The Beatles weren't the only legendary figures to entertain at the Coliseum as the likes of Whitney Houston, The Jackson 5, Judas Priest, Eric Clapton & His Band, and many other big names of the music industry. I almost forgot that the "King of Rock N Roll" also played multiple concerts at the Coliseum. Elvis had his first concert in the Memphis on March 16, 1974 at the Mid-South Coliseum and then he another concert four days later at the arena again on March 20th. Elvis would have his last concert at the Coliseum on July 6, 1976. However, the Mid-South Coliseum hasn't just played host to some of the biggest names in the business, but they have been home to some of the biggest names in wrestling.
The Mid-South Coliseum was actually an arena that frequently hosted events from USWA/Memphis wrestling. Within the arenas hallowed halls the first Empty Arena Match took place between Terry Funk and Jerry "The King" Lawler. This match was a great brawl which, considering the type of match and those who are a part of it I wouldn't expect anything less. Roughly 6 months to a year after the Empty Arena match the Mid-South Coliseum saw another memorable moment. On April, 7 1982 wrestler Jerry Lawler finally collided with comedian Andy Kaufman; the match was that long and ended in disqualification after Lawler piledrove Kaufman twice. Kaufman was taken away in an ambulance.
I have absolutely no emotional attachment to the Mid-South Coliseum, but I do have an attachment to history. Also it would be hard to believe that a good amount of people in the Memphis area don't have an attachment of some sort to the building. In my honest opinion, if you don't conserve history, then history is forgotten!!! If you're going to knock it down, then do something to keep the memory alive because once again history is forgotten if not conserved.
Photos by: Mike Brown
For more Pictures visit: http://www.commercialappeal.com/news/local-news/mid-south-coliseum
Earlier this month I put up something about Black History Month looking back at one of the men who paved the way for African American wrestlers in the world of wrestling...... The Junkyard Dog. Now we continue with using this month to look back at the past and now I will take this opportunity to look back at one of the more underrated teams of the past named Doom!!!
Beginning their stay as Doom 1 & Doom 2 upon their arrivals in the NWA they were managed by ex-ref turned manager Theodore Long and Woman. Starting in 1989 both Rom Simmons & Butch Reed were both in JCP and not having much success with the company before they were both repackaged as Women's Masked Tag Team when they re-debuted under masks as Doom. To this point neither Butch Reed or Ron Simmons had much success on a National scale but that changed with the success they had as a team. However, Doom really didn't star having much success as a team until they lost a Mask vs Title match against The Steiner's which reveled their identities and gave them the freedom to stop hiding who they were and now they were allowed to use their full move set.
Over the course 2 years or so that they were a team Doom held the NWA/WCW Tag Team title on only one occasion. However, they do have the distinction of winning the titles while the company was under the NWA banner and losing the titles when the company was under the WCW banner. Following the break up of the team Butch Reed didn't stick around much longer, but Ron Simmons would go on to win the WCW World Title in 1992 from Vader to become the First African American World Champion.
Best Skills: Poor microphone skills, Average in-ring skills
Ahmed was suppose to be the next big thing in the WWF during the 90's he was going to be their next household name cause he fit the mold of what a star was back then in Vince's eyes. It was all going great he was IC Champion they were mapped out when he would be ready to win the World title. But then the injuries started to happen like when he was attacked during a tag team and got hurt as it was revealed he had kidney problems. This caused him to not only lose the IC title, but also loss a chance to challenge HBK for the WWE title the night after SummerSlam.
After he got fired by WWE it took around a year for WCW to finally sign him to a contract. He became basically Stevie Ray's new partner so they can add a twist to his feud with Booker. Who he recently broke up with at the time as a tag team. Johnson didn't stay very long as he was let go by mid April because of ongoing weight issues. Then in 2003 he officially retired from Pro-Wrestling only competing recently for the Huffman Training Academy. This is one of the things that sometimes happen in this business people maybe destined for something but are sometimes injury prone to accomplish it. Sometimes I wonder what the Attitude Era would be like if Ahmed actually did make it to the top would the people who did make have made or would WWE have not made it. All those questions with NO answer only theories of what might have been.
Over the last few years I have become a big supporter of Tag Team wrestling getting the recognition that it so richly deserves it the sport of pro-wrestling in the Modern-Era. Tag Team wrestling in many ways seemed like it was slowly being phased out in the major companies because of the lack of concern for poor Tag Team divisions. Back in the 1980's it was the Golden Age for not only wrestling but for Tag Team wrestling as well, with numerous companies having killer Tag Team divisions and even some territories being known as territories known for tag wrestling. Well, I chose to start this what I am hoping to make a blog series looking back at some of the best Tag Teams from days and even years gone by both underrated and overrated. In the first post I will be looking back at one of the teams many call one of the greatest Tag Teams Ever in the History of Pro-Wrestling: "Loverboy" Dennis Condrey & "Beautiful" Bobby Eaton with James E Cornette (The Midnight Express)
The Midnight Express were one of the greatest Tag Team in wrestling history, they sold out arenas all over the South and East Coast. Their feuds with The Road Warriors, The Fantastics, & Rock N Roll Express, are Legendary feuds. I feel like even though very few people during this time were better then Jim Cornette on the microphone and Midnight Express became household names and box office draws everywhere they went during the 1980's. Now it might be true most people may be more aware of the pairing off the Midnight Express of "Sweet" Stan Lane and "Beautiful" Bobby Eaton or even Dennis Condrey, Randy Rose, & Norvell Austin. However, I am not honoring one specific pairing of this Legendary Tag Team; I am honoring the name of the team and it's should be legendary status.
Below are two matches involving different variations of the Midnight Express:
Welcome back to another installment of the Flashback Report. For those who may have missed the first Flashback Report let me just take a second and explain what this post series is all about. Fact of the matter is when it comes to the history of pro-wrestling I feel like it isn’t talked about enough so in this series I look back those from past to give them spotlight one more time.
Best Qualities: Great on microphone, Good in ring
During his career Rude was one of the most hated wrestlers in some territories because of his cocky & arrogant attitude which made the fans hate him. Like many great stars of the 80's the Ravishing One soon found his way to WWF as a part of the McMahon westward expansion i guess you could call it. Before going to WWE Rick was with WCCW and was the WCWC World Champion & the top heel of the company & first world champion to top it off. He then is off to NWA were in his tenure he wins the tag titles with Manny Fernandez then is off to WWF. He won the Intercontinental title around year half during his tenure with help from Bobby Heenan his manager at the time. He also had two major feuds, one with Jake Roberts and another with the Ultimate Warrior before leaving. Destined to return to WCW, Rick took a different approach as instead of just coming back as Rick Rude he did something different. Rick’s first WCW event was Halloween Havoc, but he didn’t show up as Rick Rude he appeared under a mask as the Halloween Phantom; and when Paul E. Dangerously came out to revel who was under the mask Rick Rude shocked the wrestling world when his identity was reveled. During his time in WCW he won the International title, US and had his last feud with Sting.
Because during a match in Japan vs Sting, Rude was on the outside when Sting did a plancha to the floor, but they were on elevated mats and rude was too close to the end of it and hit the end of it messing up his back. That was the last time he steps into the ring. For the next 2 years, Rick Rude managed, & announced in all the big 3 promotions in the US which are WCW, WWF, & ECW. He announced for a short time in ECW for a short time before returning to WWF to manage DX. Around this time Rude started to appear again for WCW as a member of the NWO managing Curt Hennig. On November 17 Rick appeared on both Raw & Nitro in the same night furthering the already known fact WWF was taped which at the time it was. By Mid 1998 Rick Rude was off tv healing some injuries and unfortuately he never came back to TV, he died April 20 1999 from Heart Failure. A couple of months prior to his death their were rumors going around that he was trying to get in shape to return to the ring. If he did even for a short time booked right could have made WCW some money but then again not much was booked right by WCW during that period.
The Ravishing One, in my opinion is a very underrated superstar and deserved to be booked higher then he was in both companies, I am almost positive that if he never got injured he would have been a World Champion at least once in his career. Though every year thus far he has been passed over to be inducted into the WWE I think sooner or later Rick will finally get his due and place he deserves in the Hall of Fame.
December 7 1958- April 20 1999
RIP Richard Erwin Rood
Though your are gone you are not forgotten as who could forget a guy who was........ Simply Ravishing!
I have said it very often since I started this site that if history isn't talked about it is forgotten because people aren't aware of it. That's why this part of the site exists it is my attempt to preserve the history of wrestling. As everyone knows and if you don't then you will learn that one thing WWE does very well is video packages. They aired on Raw for the Junkyard Dog and that gave me an idea..... over the course of February I will be following WWE and looking back at some of the great African Americans of the past.
In my opinion there are few people better to start with then JYD though he wasn't the first African American wrestler I would say that JYD did break down more barriers on a National scale then those who came before him. JYD with his unmatched charisma and athletic ability became one of the most popular stars of the 1980's second maybe only to Hulk Hogan. Junkyard Dog changed the business for the better and that is why he earned the right to be remember by all wrestling fans.
Before you get to reading the post, let me explain what this post is about and what exactly the “Flashback Report” is. I feel like the past isn’t spoken of enough with the wrestling fans these days, so I took it upon myself to bring some of the past back to the present. By doing that, maybe people like the named wrestler below will gain another fan and his name will live on because history doesn’t die, but in wrestling it seems like it does:
Best Qualities: Good in the ring, Good on the microphone.
Terry didn’t start getting noticed until he joined the NWA with his brother Dory in 1968 and Terry first big success came in 1975 when he won the NWA World Title from Jack Briscoe. During this era Terry became a big star in many North American territories from New York to Memphis to Amarillo to Florida to many others. One of Terry’s greatest rivals during the 1980’s was Jerry the King Lawler who he fought in a bloody feud during his time in Memphis. Also worth noting Terry never won another NWA World title. But he did have one of the best I-Quit matches ever while a part of WCW against Ric Flair.
Terry has been everywhere a wrestler could go from North America to Japan it’s fair to say Terry has done it all. Even being a Hall of Famer in which he was inducted into the Cauliflower Alley Club Hall of Fame in 2005 and the Pro-Wrestling Hall of Fame in 2004. Who could also forget Terry’s induction in 2009 into the WWE Hall of Fame. Also in many ways Funk is a founding father of not only Hardcore Wrestling but ECW as his reputation helped ECW get on the map. Terry is known for retiring the un-retiring, but now it seems Terry is done working in the ring after competing in a tag match with Tommy Dreamer at a House of Hardcore show last year. Terry is a perfect example of how hard it is to stop doing something that you have a passion for and have done for almost 50 years.
Below some accomplishments from Terry’s career:
NWA World Champion
ECW World Champion
3 time WCW Hardcore Champion
ECW TV Champion
2 time WCW US Champion
WWE Tag Team Champion
Instead of me doing a post series on the history of wrestling from start to current day I will let a video do the talking for me, now this in many respects is the reason why I learned so much about the history of the business as I have seen the video on more than one occasion.
Instead of me continuing to talk I will let the video talk for me so grab some popcorn, a pair of headphone and enjoy a trip back in time as you learn about the history of this great business.
Around this time of year fans and dirt sheet writers begin buzz about rumored Wrestlemania matches that we could see at the big event. Another thing people also get talking about is who they would like to see go into the WWE Hall of Fame. A popular name over the last couple of days in and among WWE talents as a favorite to get inducted next year at Wrestlemania 32 is the Fabulous Freebirds. That's right!! Michael "PS" Hayes, Terry "Bam Bam" Gordy, and Buddy Roberts seem to be a favorite to get inducted next year into the Hall of Fame.
This is a great time to do the induction not only because many people believe it is way overdue, but because they are holding Wrestlemania 32 in Dallas, Texas @ Cowboys Stadium to be exact. Like many fans of years gone by will tell you one of the greatest feuds of that era was The Von Erich's vs. The Fabulous Freebirds. During the territory era if you were to make a list of the top stars from each territory the Fabulous Freebirds would definitely be near the top of list of the Dallas Territory.
One little thing remember from watching the old legends of the round table on WWE Classics with Mene Gene. Any time Michael Hayes was a guest on the show Gene would say, "The Future Hall of Famer" Michael Hayes. OK maybe not every time, but he said it enough where I can remember him saying that after a little over a year of not watching the discussion show anymore.
Very few people other than The Freebirds deserve the induction to be centered on the city, but after all they did with their careers in that city it would be hard to make a case for them to be inducted anywhere else. Unless they held Wrestlemania on Badstreet!!
I almost forgot: I most certainly think that The Freebirds are Hall of Fame worthy especailly if they get inducted in Dallas, as there would be no better place.
Most people have heard of the Pontiac Silverdome weather because of the fact that they were a fan of NFL as this was the how of the Detriot Lions football team or maybe a Led Zeppelin concert. However, if you’re a wrestling fan you probably have heard of this arena because this was site of Wrestlemania 3. Sadly today the arena has become a shell of its former shelf it is no longer the arena that held 93,173 people in 1987 for Wrestlemania. The Silverdome is now an abandoned landmark in the city of Detriot as Lions left in 2002 and the building hasn't held an event since 2011.
Sadly a 2012 snowstorm made the roof of the arena cave in exposing the inside of the arena to the elements. For 20 year the Pontiac Silverdome held many great sporting events and now sadly it looks more like a giant eye sore. Mother Nature is a powerful and dangerous, it can take great things away in an instant but the one thing Mother Nature take away is the memories. Below are picture of The Silverdome:
For more info about and picture of The Silverdome visit http://detroiturbex.com/content/parksandrec/silverdome/index.html
I love looking back wrestling's past. I view my job as bring new life to the part of wrestling some people thought was gone.