News and Notes:
The AWA suffers a pair of setbacks as longtime promoter and backstage agent Stanley Blackburn retires in early June and Verne Gagne's right hand man Wally Karbo, the AWA's on-screen commissioner, would retire later in the month...65 year old "Classy" Freddie Blassie walks away from wrestling siting age and health concerns...Blassie was one of the most hated heels as a wrestler in the 1960's and had been a manager in the WWF since his in-ring retirement in 1974...AJPW ends it's current tour, releasing several wrestlers including former 6-time NWA World champion Harley Race who returns to NWA Central States Wrestling in St. Louis...former AWA World champion Rick Martel turns down Verne Gagne's offer to return to the AWA and feud with Hulk Hogan over the belt, instead opting to sign an exclusive deal with New Japan Pro Wrestling...
Former AWA champion Rick Martel battles former NWA champ Ric Flair in Yokohama Japan
...despite successfully defending the AWA World title against Greg Gagne on AWA TV, Hulk Hogan loses non-title matches in June to both Gagne and a semi-retired Paul Jones, underscoring Verne Gagne's lack of faith in the blond-haired champion...in Memphis, Jack Brisco defeats Moondog Spot for the AWA Southern Heavyweight title and Randy Savage wins several main event matches...Barry Windham, son of the great Blackjack Windham, wins the top title in Championship Wrestling from Florida...Wahoo McDaniel goes to a no-contest against Dusty Rhodes in a MOTY Candidate (99) held by SWCW...in Texas, Kevin Sullivan and Dr. Death Steve Williams team up as The Varsity Club...the Freebirds win the WCCW 6-man Tag Team titles from the Von Erichs
The Wild Samoans win their third WWF Tag Team titles, ending the 8-month reign of Jules & Jay Strongbow...Stan Hansen makes a series of appearances with the WWF...Tommy Rich has a pair of high profile World title defenses, defeating Tully Blanchard by DQ on syndicated TV and pinning Roddy Piper cleanly at the Philadelphia Spectrum to main event a card shown live on closed-circuit TV
'Rowdy' Roddy Piper debuts at Madison Square Garden and challenges new WWF World champion Tommy Rich...Piper would fail to win the title but instantly becomes a top draw for Vince McMahon
Austin Idol turns down Buzz Sawyer's offer to replace Tommy Rich as his partner, instead Sawyer turns babyface and teams with Tito Santana but loses a series of main event matches to the East-West Connection, Jesse Ventura and Adrian Adonis...Patera and Duncum shockingly lose the NWA National Tag Team titles to the lower card team of George Wells and Pez Whatley
The flamboyant Jesse Ventura becomes one of the top heels in Georgia
While still a member of the roster, top star Ric Flair spends most of his time in Japan and rarely appears on Crockett TV...despite solid matches from Tony Atlas and Wahoo McDaniel, JCP continues to struggle in June...once one of the hottest wrestling shows in the country, JCP's weekly Mid-Atlantic Championship wrestling now averages less than 100,000 viewers per week...JCP signs rookie "Ravishing" Rick Rude to a non-exclusive contract...Rude would get his first professional win teaming with Robert Fuller to beat the team of Koko Ware and Mark Youngblood
New NWA World champion Hercules Ayala proves to be a fighting champion, defending the title in CMLL, WWC and NJPW...Ayala scores an upset by cleanly defeating top Japanese star Riki Choshu
RCW holds it's third ever event, Battlegrounds '83, in front of 22 fans...George South debuts as George Southern and teams up with fellow rookie Donnie Texas to defeat Doug Vines and JD Greene in the main event...earlier in the night, an unknown scruffy, bearded man who was reportedly seen panhandling outside the VFW before the show ran in from the crowd and chased off heel wrestler Speed Manson who was cutting a nasty promo on the fans...the homeless man was identified only as "Mick" and was escorted from the show by security
Homeless Mick causes a stir in RCW
Up Next: Mid-year report for 1983...ranking the top promotions and a run-down of major champions!