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Abandoned: The History of the WCW Television Championship, Pt. 1

Kyle SchadlerChief Writer IJanuary 8, 2012

Abandoned: The History of the WCW Television Championship, Pt. 1

1 of 55

    Throughout history, professional wrestling has seen many championships.

    In WWE, there are six major titles. Not many know that the company has had a total of at least 19 different titles, 13 of which have been abandoned for one reason or another.

    The other two major companies owned by WWE are WCW and ECW, which have at least 15 abandoned and forgotten titles between them.

    For as long as it takes, I will be concentrating on those forgotten titles.

    Each slide will feature the champion, who they defeated, where and when they won it, the length of their title reign, any special circumstances that happened during their reign and a bit of commentary.

    Belts with a lengthy history will get their own articles and may be broken up into two depending on the length.

    For this edition of Abandoned I present part one of the WCW World Television Championship.

    The title was established in 1974 as the NWA Mid-Atlantic Television Championship under Georgia Championship Wrestling, an affiliate of the National Wrestling Alliance.

    The title also appeared in GCW’s fellow Mid-Atlantic territory Jim Crocket Promotions.

    After GCW was bought and shut down by Vince McMahon and the WWF, the title stayed with JCP.

    When JCP became WCW, the title was renamed as such.

    After 26 years of history, the WCW Television Championship would be abandoned in 2000 when WCW was “rebooted.”

    Throughout its history the title has seen 107 champions, 53 of which will be featured in this Part 1.

    So let’s get started!

Danny Miller

2 of 55

    Defeated: Ole Anderson

    Where: Raleigh, NC

    When: Feb. 27, 1974

    Title Reign: 72 days

    Danny Miller defeated Ole Anderson in a tournament final to become the first NWA Mid-Atlantic Television champion.

    Danny Miller has held titles throughout the NWA being a mainstay in the tag-team division with Bill Miller as well as many other partners.

    He is also a former WWWF United States tag-team champion along with Bill.

    Dan Miller was last seen in Australia as a manager. 

Ivan Koloff

3 of 55

    Defeated: Danny Miller

    Where: Richmond, VA

    When: May 10, 1974

    Title Reign: 59 days

    Ivan Koloff got his start in the early 1960s in Canada as Red McNutly.

    It wasn’t until 1967 when he became known as the “Russian Bear” Ivan Koloff and soon made his way to the WWWF three years later.

Paul Jones

4 of 55

    Defeated: Ivan Koloff

    Where: Charlotte, NC

    When: July 8, 1974

    Title Reign: 108 days

    Paul Jones got his start in the Mid-Atlantic territories of the NWA under the name Al Fredericks.

    It wasn’t long before he changed his name to Paul Jones and became a star in Jim Crockett Promotions.

Ivan Koloff

5 of 55

    Defeated: Paul Jones

    Where: Anderson, SC

    When: Oct. 24, 1974

    Title Reign: 63 days

    In 1971 Koloff ended Bruno Sammartino’s almost-eight-year reign as WWWF world champion.

    He became what is known as a “transitional champion” as the company wanted Pedro Morales to be champion but a face vs. face match was pretty much unheard of back then.

    After less than a month as champion, Koloff lost the title to Morales.

Paul Jones

6 of 55

    Defeated: Ivan Koloff

    Where: Greensboro, NC

    When: Dec. 26, 1974

    Title Reign: 44 days

    When he joined JCP, Jones became a huge star.

    While as a wrestler, Jones would capture this title five times as well as the NWA United States Championship and the Tag Team Championship with Ricky Steamboat, the Masked Superstar, Baron Von Raschke and Wahoo McDaniel.


Ric Flair

7 of 55

    Defeated: Paul Jones

    Where: Winston-Salem, NC

    When: Feb. 8, 1975

    Title Reign: 181 days

    Ric Flair has been in the business for 40 years and is one of the biggest stars in the history of professional wrestling.

    He has wrestled for the three major companies accumulating 16 World Championships, an all-time record that still stands to this day. 

Paul Jones

8 of 55

    Defeated: Ric Flair

    Where: Richmond, VA

    When: Aug. 8, 1975

    Title Reign: 117 days

    The title was declared vacant on December 3, 1975 with Paul Jones won the NWA Mid-Atlantic United States Championship.

    Jones became a manager in the 1980s creating a stable called the Paul Jones Army which included such superstars as Rick Rude, Abdullah the Butcher, Billy Graham, Ivan Koloff and the Powers of Pain.

Angelo Mosca

9 of 55

    Defeated: Mr. Wrestling

    Where: Raleigh, NC

    When: April 14, 1976

    Title Reign: 77 days

    Angelo Mosca defeated Mr. Wrestling in a tournament final to win the title.

    Mosca is mostly known as a football player in the Canadian Football League, though he did briefly play for the Philadelphia Eagles in the NFL.

    Upon leaving football he became a professional wrestler joining the NWA and winning titles throughout the territories.

    He was briefly seen as a commentator in the WWF after retiring but left to manage his son.

    Mosca now lives out his retirement in Canada.

Paul Jones

10 of 55

    Defeated: Angelo Mosca

    Where: Raleigh, NC

    When: June 30, 1976

    Title Reign: 108 days

    Jones left JCP when Ted Turner bought the company and turned it into WCW.

    He continued to wrestle for the Mid-Atlantic territories up until his retirement in 1991.

Mr. Wrestling

11 of 55

    Defeated: Paul Jones

    Where: Greensboro, NC

    When: Oct. 16, 1976

    Title Reign: 23 days

    Mr. Wrestling, or Tim Woods, was a mainstay in the Mid-Atlantic territories wrestling for WWWF as well as JCP.

    He has won many titles throughout his career before retiring in 1984.

    According to Ric Flair, Mr. Wrestling is the “man who saved wrestling” in the late 1970s.

    Any fan would know about the plane crash that Flair was in but not many know that Mr. Wrestling and others were in the crash as well.

    At the time Woods was a face and the other wrestlers on the plane were heels. This was a time when kayfabe was never broken no matter the reason.

    At the hospital Woods gave his real name so that fans didn’t know their hero was hanging out with his enemies.

    When fans became suspicious, Woods put the mask back on and wrestled despite not being cleared to do so.

    Kayfabe was intact and Woods “saved wrestling” as Flair would say.

    Mr. Wrestling Tim Woods would pass away on November 30, 2002.

Greg Valentine

12 of 55

    Defeated: Mr. Wrestling

    Where: Fayetteville, SC

    When: Nov. 8, 1976

    Title Reign: 22 days

    Valentine got his big start in JCP teaming with Ric Flair and winning the NWA Tag Team Championship.

    He would also win this title four times during his time in the future WCW.

Rufus R. Jones

13 of 55

    Defeated: Greg Valentine

    Where: Charleston, SC

    When: Nov. 30, 1976

    Title Reign: 50 days

    Jones was a mainstay in the Mid-Atlantic and Central States territories of the NWA winning many titles throughout his career.

    After 18 years in the business, he would retire in 1987.

Greg Valentine

14 of 55

    Defeated: Rufus R. Jones

    Where: Raleigh, NC

    When: Jan. 19, 1977

    Title Reign: 27 days

    Valentine started working for WWWF in 1978 where he had a legendary WWWF World Championship match with Bob Backlund a year later that ended in a one hour time limit draw.

    He would win the title, sort of, in 1981 now that the company was WWF.

    Despite being pinned by Backlund, a dazed referee awarded the title to Valentine.

    The belt was quickly held-up and Backlund won the rematch.

Rufus R. Jones

15 of 55

    Defeated: Greg Valentine

    Where: Raleigh, NC

    When: Feb. 15, 1977

    Title Reign: 48 days

    Jones would stay away from wrestling during his retirement though his adopted son would make it to the WWF as Slick.

    Rufus R. Jones would pass away on November 13, 1993.

Ric Flair

16 of 55

    Defeated: Rufus R. Jones

    Where: Greensville, SC

    When: April 4, 1977

    Title Reign: 72 days

    Along with his 16 World Championships, Flair has also won many titles in the three major companies including the United States and Tag Team Championship in NWA/WCW and tag-team and Intercontinental gold in WWE.

    After being inducted into the WWE Hall of Fame in 2008, he would retire after losing a match to Shawn Michaels at WrestleMania XXIV.

    You can now see Ric Flair in TNA Wrestling managing Gunner and wrestling on occasion.


Ricky Steamboat

17 of 55

    Defeated: Ric Flair

    Where: Raleigh, NC

    When: June 15, 1977

    Title Reign: 119 days

    Steamboat made a name for himself in the Mid-Atlantic territories as well as JCP winning quite a few titles and having many classic matches with the likes of Ric Flair.

    After leaving JCP, he made his way to the WWF.

Baron Von Raschke

18 of 55

    Defeated: Ricky Steamboat

    Where: Raleigh, NC

    When: Oct. 12, 1977

    Title Reign: 144 days

    Von Raschke was a successful amateur wrestler before moving on to professional wrestling.

    He got his start in the AWA where he won tag-team gold.

    He became known for his finishing move the Brainclaw, which would be censored in the WWWF because it would draw blood.

Johnny Weaver

19 of 55

    Defeated: Baron Von Raschke

    Where: Charlotte, NC

    When: March 5, 1978

    Title Reign: 21 days

    Weaver spent most of his career in the NWA and the Mid-Atlantic and Florida territories where he became notorious for his sleeper hold finishing move.

    He has won many titles in his career before retiring in the late 1980s.

    He was last seen as a deputy sheriff in North Carolina before passing away on February 15, 2008.

Baron Von Raschke

20 of 55

    Defeated: Johnny Weaver

    Where: Greensboro, NC

    When: March 26, 1978

    Title Reign: 73 days

    Von Raschke would spend time in the NWA, WWF as well as WCW before retiring in 1995.

    He was last seen in 2007 in a play based around his own life and experiences in the AWA.

Paul Jones

21 of 55

    Defeated: Baron Von Raschke

    Where: Raleigh, NC

    When: June 7, 1978

    Title Reign: 3 days

    Now retired from professional wrestling, Paul Jones owns a body shop in North Carolina.

Ricky Steamboat

22 of 55

    Defeated: Paul Jones

    Where: Ashville, NC

    When: June 10, 1978

    Title Reign: ~two years

    The title was declared vacant in 1980 due to unknown reasons.

    Once in WWF, he was given the nickname “The Dragon” and had some classic battles with Don Muraco and Jake Roberts.

    It wasn’t until WrestleMania III that Steamboat became a major player.

    He and Randy Savage stole the show in their Intercontinental Championship match which resulted in Steamboat winning the title.

    His reign didn’t last long, though, as he had to leave to be with his pregnant wife and lost the title to the Honky Tonk Man.

The Masked Superstar

23 of 55

    Defeated: Blackjack Mulligan

    Where: Raleigh, NC

    When: April 1, 1980

    Title Reign: ~six months

    The Masked Superstar defeated Blackjack Mulligan in a tournament final to win the title.

    The title was then declared vacant six months later due to unknown reasons.

    The Masked Superstar is best known as Ax, one half of the Demolition tag-team.

    He won many titles as the Masked Superstar as well as the WWF Tag Team Championship as a member of Demolition.

    You can still see him on the independent circuit wrestling as Ax as well as under the mask of the Masked Superstar.

Roddy Piper

24 of 55

    Defeated: Paul Jones

    Where: Richmond, VA

    When: Nov. 1, 1980

    Title Reign: 87 days

    Roddy Piper defeated Paul Jones in a tournament final to become the new champion.

    Two months later on January 27, 1981 the title was declared vacant when Piper won the NWA Mid-Atlantic United States Championship.

    Rowdy Roddy Piper is one of the best to ever pick up a mic.

    He made a name for himself in the NWA but really became a star when he joined the WWF and exposed the fans to Piper’s Pit.

    When it was time for the Pit, you knew something big was going to happen.

    While Piper would never win the world title, he is one of the most popular wrestlers in WWE history.

Sweet Ebony Diamond

25 of 55

    Defeated: Greg Valentine

    Where: Raleigh, NC

    When: April 29, 1981

    Title Reign: N/A

    Sweet Ebony Diamond defeated Greg Valentine in a tournament final to become the new champion.

    Diamond is best known as Rocky Johnson, the father of The Rock.

    He was a top wrestler in the NWA challenging world champions Terry Funk and Harley Race on multiple occasions before making his way to the WWF.

Greg Valentine

26 of 55

    Defeated: Sweet Ebony Diamond

    Where: N/A

    When: 1981

    Title Reign: N/A

    After a series of classic dog collar matches with Roddy Piper in the NWA, Valentine went back to the WWF.

    While there he won the Intercontinental Championship as well as the Tag Team Championship with Brutus Beefcake as the Dream Team.

Sweet Ebony Diamond

27 of 55

    Defeated: Greg Valentine

    Where: Charlotte, NC

    When: May 30, 1981

    Title Reign: N/A

    While with WWF, he and Tony Atlas made history when they became the first African American team to win the Tag Team Championship.

    He would retire in 1991 and train his son, who would become of the biggest names in the history of the business.

    He would be inducted into the WWE Hall of Fame in 2008 and had one final match earlier that year before retiring for good.

Greg Valentine

28 of 55

    Defeated: Sweet Ebony Diamond

    Where: N/A

    When: 1981

    Title Reign: N/A

    After having brief stints in WCW and back with WWF, Valentine began wrestling on the independent circuit.

    After being inducted into the WWE Hall of Fame in 2004, Valentine has made some appearances for WWE but mainly stays in the independents.

    He can also be seen at various legends conventions.

Ron Bass

29 of 55

    Defeated: Greg Valentine

    Where: Ashville, NC

    When: Sept. 6, 1981

    Title Reign: 58 days

    Ron Bass got his start in the NWA winning many titles but didn’t hit it big until he joined the WWF in 1987.

    He worked primarily as a mid-carder and would never win a single title while with the company.

    He left the WWF in 1989 and wrestled in the independents before retiring in 1991.

    He will come out of retirement once in a while, though, to wrestle a match.

Ivan Koloff

30 of 55

    Defeated: Ron Bass

    Where: Charlotte, NC

    When: Nov. 3, 1981

    Title Reign: 60 days

    Despite being a transitional champion, Koloff continued to be a contender for the WWWF World Championship but would eventually leave the company in 1971.

    He soon found his way into the NWA winning many titles throughout the regional territories.

Jimmy Valiant

31 of 55

    Defeated: Ivan Koloff

    Where: Hampton, VA

    When: Jan. 2, 1982

    Title Reign: N/A

    Valiant got his big start in the 1970s as a tag-team with Johnny Valiant in the WWWF.

    While there, the Valiant’s would become a dominate tag-team and won the Tag Team Championship once.

Ivan Koloff

32 of 55

    Defeated: Jimmy Valiant

    Where: N/A

    When: 1982

    Title Reign: N/A 

    Koloff ended up in Jim Crockett Promotions full-time but left JCP in 1989.

    He was last seen on a national scale in 1992 in ECW when it was still an affiliate of the NWA.

Jimmy Valiant

33 of 55

    Defeated: Ivan Koloff

    Where: Toronto, Ontario, Canada

    When: June 6, 1982

    Title Reign: N/A

    Valiant would soon find himself in JCP as a face with the nickname “The Boogie Woogie Man.”

    After winning this title multiple times, Valiant would leave JCP when it became WCW.

Ivan Koloff

34 of 55

    Defeated: Jimmy Valiant

    Where: N/A

    When: 1982

    Title Reign: N/A

    Koloff would retire in 1994.

    He is now a born again Christian as well as an ordained minister.

Jimmy Valiant

35 of 55

    Defeated: Ivan Koloff

    Where: Toronto, Ontario, Canada

    When: Oct. 17, 1982

    Title Reign: N/A

    After leaving JCP he wrestled in Memphis and the independents until his retirement in 2005.

Jos LeDuc

36 of 55

    Defeated: Jimmy Valiant

    Where: Charlotte, NC

    When: 1982

    Title Reign: N/A

    LeDuc was stripped of the tile later that year when he cheated to retain the title in a match against Johnny Weaver.

    The title was declared vacant as a result.

    LeDuc got his start in Canada before heading to the southern territories of the NWA winning many titles around Florida.

    He also spent some time in the Mid-Atlantic territories where he won this title twice.

Leroy Brown

37 of 55

    Defeated: Battle Royal

    Where: Greensboro, NC

    When: Nov. 27, 1982

    Title Reign: 28 days

    Leroy Brown one a 20-man battle royal to win the title.

    Brown wrestled primarily for the NWA in the southern territories as well as JCP.

    He had more success down south as his only title in JCP would be this belt.

    Leroy Brown would pass away on September 6, 1988.

Mike Rotunda

38 of 55

    Defeated: Leroy Brown

    Where: Charlotte, NC

    When: Dec. 25, 1982

    Title Reign: 59 days

    Rotunda, sometimes spelt Rotundo, got his big start in the WWF as the US Express tag-team with Barry Windham winning the Tag Team Championship twice.

    After leaving WWF in 1986, he wrestled briefly for the AWA before returning to WWF as a jobber with Dan Spivey as a new version of the US Express.

Dick Slater

39 of 55

    Defeated: Mike Rotunda

    Where: Columbia, SC

    When: Feb. 22, 1983

    Title Reign: 33 days

    Dick Slater was an accomplished wrestler throughout the United States winning many titles.

    He spent most of his career in the NWA though he would appear briefly for the WWF in 1986.

Roddy Piper

40 of 55

    Defeated: Dick Slater

    Where: Ashville, NC

    When: March 27, 1983

    Title Reign: seven days

    The Hot Rod has also spent time in WCW as well as TNA before returning to WWE on a part-time basis in 2005.

    He was inducted into the WWE Hall of Fame in 2005 and won the Tag Team Championship with Ric Flair in 2006.

    Piper still appears for WWE on occasion to host Piper’s Pit and will still appear at independent events and conventions.

    I had the honor of meeting Piper at a convention in Massachusetts and he is one of the nicest people I’ve ever met.

    He is really appreciative of his fans!

Dick Slater

41 of 55

    Defeated: Roddy Piper

    Where: Greensboro, NC

    When: April 3, 1983

    Title Reign: 27 days

    Slater was last seen in professional wrestling in WCW from 1987 to 1996 where his career ended when he injured his back.

    He retired shortly after that.

Jos LeDuc

42 of 55

    Defeated: Dick Slater

    Where: Richmond, VA

    When: April 30, 1983

    Title Reign: 23 days

    LeDuc wrestled for less than a year in the WWF, using three different ring names in his short stint there.

    After wrestling in Japan, LeDuc would retire from the ring in 1995.

    On May 1, 1999 Joe LeDuc would pass away.

The Great Kabuki

43 of 55

    Defeated: Jos LeDuc

    Where: Greensville, SC

    When: May 23, 1983

    Title Reign: 185 days

    The Great Kabuki got his start in Japan before heading to the United States.

    While here he spent his career wrestling for the NWA as the unpredictable Kabuki character winning many titles and also spent some time in WCCW.

    He appeared for WWF once in 1994 when he competed in the Royal Rumble.

    He retired in 1998 after a series of retirement matches in Japan.

Charlie Brown

44 of 55

    Defeated: The Great Kabuki

    Where: Greensboro, NC

    When: Nov. 24, 1983

    Title Reign: ~two months

    The title was declared vacant in January 1984 when Jimmy Valiant stopped wrestling under the name “Charlie Brown,” a persona he used when Jimmy Valiant was “banned” from wrestling a match.

    Since retiring, Valiant now trains wrestlers at his Boogie’s Wrestling Camp in Virginia.

Mark Youngblood

45 of 55

    Defeated: Dick Slater

    Where: Spartanburg, SC

    When: March 7, 1984

    Title Reign: 21 days

    Mark Youngblood defeated Dick Slater in a tournament final to become the new champion.

    Youngblood spent his career in JCP but would also gain some success in Puerto Rico’s WWC promotion.

    He would retire in 1999 after winning many titles.

    He has come out of retirement on occasion, though, to wrestle matches in Texas.

Tully Blanchard

46 of 55

    Defeated: Mark Youngblood

    Where: Spartanburg, SC

    When: March 28, 1984

    Title Reign: 353 days

    Blanchard was one of the founding members of the legendary Four Horsemen along with Ric Flair, Arn and Ole Anderson, and their manager James J. Dillon.

    He spent most of his career in the NWA as a member of the Horsemen before leaving with Arn Anderson to the WWF after a disagreement with head booker Dusty Rhodes.

Dusty Rhodes

47 of 55

    Defeated: Tully Blanchard

    Where: Greensboro, NC

    When: March 16, 1985

    Title Reign: 43 days

    When “Mid-Atlantic” was dropped from the titles name and it was renamed the NWA World Television Championship, Dusty Rhodes remained as champion.

    Rhodes is one of the most accomplished and popular wrestlers in the business.

    He has won so many titles that it would make you head spin.

    Among them is the NWA World Heavyweight Championship which he won four times, once under the mask of the Midnight Rider.


Tully Blanchard

48 of 55

    Defeated: Dusty Rhodes

    Where: Charlotte, NC

    When: April 28, 1985

    Title Reign: 69 days

    While in WWF, him and Arn Anderson became known as the Brain Busters and would win the Tag Team Championship once.

    They only spent a year or so with the company as Blanchard failed a drug test and was released. 

Dusty Rhodes

49 of 55

    Defeated: Tully Blanchard

    Where: Charlotte, NC

    When: July 6, 1985

    Title Reign: 105 days

    During Rhodes’ reign, the title became exclusive to JCP when Vince McMahon and the WWF bought and shut down GCW.

    The title was declared vacant on October 19, 1985 after the Four Horsemen broke Dusty Rhodes’ leg.

    Rhodes would spend time in WWF, WCW, ECW as well as TNA during his career.

    He would be inducted into the WWE Hall of Fame in 2007 and has been working for them in a backstage role ever since.

Arn Anderson

50 of 55

    Defeated: Wahoo McDaniel

    Where: Greensboro, NC

    When: Jan. 4, 1986

    Title Reign: 248 days

    Arn Anderson defeated Wahoo McDaniel in a tournament final to become the new champion.

    Anderson would be a founding member of the Four Horsemen during his time with the NWA.

    He really made a name for himself being the enforcer of the group and winning many titles a member.

    Upon learning that his partner Tully Blanchard was heading to the WWF, he followed him to the wrestling giant.

Dusty Rhodes

51 of 55

    Defeated: Arm Anderson

    Where: Columbia, SC

    When: Sept, 9, 1986

    Title Reign: 79 days

    Rhodes will now make the occasional appearance for WWE, but mostly during anniversary shows or for comedy segments.

Tully Blanchard

52 of 55

    Defeated: Dusty Rhodes

    Where: Greensboro, NC

    When: Nov. 27, 1986

    Title Reign: 263 days

    Blanchard became a born-again Christian due to his problems with drugs and also continued to wrestle for WCW as well as the independents before retiring in 2005.

    Tully Blanchard is now head booker of an NWA affiliate in North Carolina.

Nikita Koloff

53 of 55

    Defeated: Tully Blanchard

    Where: Fayetteville, NC

    When: Aug. 17, 1987

    Title Reign: 162 days

    Nikita Koloff would spend most of his career in the NWA/JCP/WCW winning seven titles under the JCP banner.

    He would retire in 1992 but will still make appearances here and there.

    He was last seen on a semi-national scale in 2003 playing Mr. Wrestling IV in TNA before unmasking. 

Mike Rotunda

54 of 55

    Defeated: Nikita Koloff

    Where: Raleigh, NC

    When: Jan. 26, 1988

    Title Reign: 335 days

    Rotunda would leave WWF again and spent four years in the NWA, mainly with JCP.

    While with JCP he would hold this title three times and the Tag Team Championship once with Steve Williams.

    He would soon return to WWF in 1991 as Irwin R. Schyster.

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