South Atlantic Pro Wrestling

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South Atlantic Pro Wrestling
HeadquartersCharlotte, North Carolina
Founder(s)George Scott
John Ringley
Mike Lamberth
Owner(s)Paul Jones
Frank Dusek
FormerlyNorth American Wrestling Association

South Atlantic Pro Wrestling (SAPW, formerly known as the North American Wrestling Association) was a professional wrestling promotion founded by George Scott, John Ringley and Mike Lamberth in Charlotte, North Carolina in 1990, and later taken over by Paul Jones and Frank Dusek. It was the last effort to revive the NWA's Mid-Atlantic wrestling territory.

History and overview




The North American Wrestling Association was founded by George Scott, John Ringley and Mike Lamberth in January 1990.[1] The first event and TV taping was held in Sumter, South Carolina on February 8, 1990. Matches from these shows were first shown in March and April 1990.[2]

The first North American Heavyweight Champion, Robert Fuller, won the championship in an 18-man tournament by defeating Ricky Steamboat in the finals on June 30, 1990, in Winston-Salem, North Carolina. The first North American Tag Team Champions were crowned in a tournament final that same month, also in Winston-Salem, when The Nasty Boys defeated Danny Allen and Bob Emery.[3]

Scott and Ringley, as former Jim Crockett Promotions employees, recognized the importance of television exposure. The group purchased all the old JCP market stations in the Carolinas along with the original timeslots. In July 1990, Paul Jones and Frank Dusek took over the promotion and negotiated a deal with the America One Network to air "South Atlantic Pro Wrestling" on Friday nights later that year.[1]

Territorial reach


George Scott and his partners hoped to revive the National Wrestling Alliance's old Mid-Atlantic wrestling territory which traditionally covered Virginia, North Carolina and South Carolina. After securing key television markets in the Carolinas, the promotion signed contracts with all the old Jim Crockett Promotions arenas to hold pro wrestling shows on a regular basis. Within the first year of operation, house shows and TV tapings were held at the Columbia Township Auditorium, Grady Cole Center, Greenwood Civic Center, Limestone College Gym, and the Winston-Salem Memorial Coliseum.[2] SAPW tours also included high school gyms, rec centers, and fairs in cities throughout Georgia, Mississippi, Virginia, and the Carolinas. In August 1991, SAPW held a benefit show in Wentworth, North Carolina for Operation Family Shield, a support group established by then Governor Jim Martin, that provided financial assistance to military families of North Carolina National Guardsmen and U.S. Army reservists stationed in the Persian Gulf.[4]

Notable talent


SAPW featured many Mid-Atlantic veterans such as Big John Studd, Bob Orton Jr., Ivan Koloff, Junkyard Dog, Manny Fernandez, Matt Bourne, Paul Jones, Randy Colley, Ricky Steamboat,[5] Robert Fuller, Ron Garvin, Tommy Rich, Wahoo McDaniel,[6] and The Fantastics.[4] Other legends such as Lou Thesz, Johnny Weaver, and Tim Woods appeared alongside SAPW announcer Ted Webb as special guest commentators for "South Atlantic Pro Wrestling". Bob Caudle also joined the promotion in late 1991. Henry Marcus, another longtime JCP associate, promoted his final house show for the group.[7]

The promotion also showcased younger talent, including Baron Samdi, Curtis Thompson, Dean Malenko, Nelson Frazier,[8] The Patriot, P. N. News, Ric Savage,[9] Rob Van Dam,[10][11] Vince Torelli,[12][13][14] The American Pit Bulldogs and The Nasty Boys.[15] Chris Chavis, who had trained under Larry Sharpe at the Monster Factory prior to his SAPW debut, was its first breakout star.[16] During his first year in SAPW, he was voted 3rd runner up for Rookie of the Year in Pro Wrestling Illustrated. Chavis was also awarded the SAPW Heavyweight Championship before being signed to the World Wrestling Federation.[17] Chavis attributed his early success to Ricky Steamboat and Wahoo McDaniel who mentored him during his time in SAPW.[18]

Style and controversy


SAPW catered to traditional Southern wrestling fans that had grown up during the Mid-Atlantic territory's "glory years" of previous decades. The promoters promised a back-to-basics approach to pro wrestling that provided an alternative to "sports entertainment" marketed by the World Wrestling Federation. They were also critical of the independent promotions beginning to emerge with the weakening of the NWA.[19] Its "family friendly" environment was not without controversy, however, as a real-life fight between Ken Shamrock and The Nasty Boys left the future UFC fighter hospitalized.[20] The drunken brawl had reportedly woken up other wrestlers staying in the motel. Frank Dusek claimed that it was only the intervention of Robert Fuller and the American Pit Bulldogs (Rex and Spike) that prevented Knobbs and Saggs from throwing the unconscious wrestler over the third floor balcony of their motel room.[21] Shamrock suffered a broken sternum and a caved in eye socket as a result of the two-on-one attack.[22]

World Wrestling Council


The promotion had a brief association with the World Wrestling Council after Manny Fernandez became SAPW's booker in August 1991.[8][9] In November of that year, Fernandez was "suspended" from the promotion when he took the SAPW Heavyweight Championship to Puerto Rico. This led to a cross promotional effort with the WWC which saw Fernandez defend the belt as the "WWC North America Champion".[23]



In spite of a strong start, the promotion operated at a loss during its first six months in business. George Scott lost an estimated $600,000[24] before deciding to cut his losses and retire to Florida.[25] There was a noticeable drop in quality after the original investors pulled out and many of the promotion's top stars left the area. "South Atlantic Pro Wrestling" remained in the Friday night death slot throughout its two-year run. Jones and Dusek eventually sold SAPW to North Carolina promoter Greg Price who ran the promotion during its final year. Its last official show was held in Cerro Gordo, North Carolina on August 1, 1992.[26]



Male wrestlers

Birth name: Ring name(s): Tenure: Notes
Bradley Anderson Brad Anderson
The Viper
Scott Antol Scott Studd 1992
Roger Barnes Ronnie Garvin 1991
Tom Barrett Tommy Angel 1991–1992
Richard Blood Ricky Steamboat 1990
Carl Brantley Vladimir Koloff 1991–1992
Jerry Bragg Jay Eagle 1990
Neil Caricofe Neil Superior 1992
Chris Chavis Chris Chavis 1990–1991
Bryan Clark The Nightstalker 1992
Randy Colley Randy Colley 1990
Bill Crouch Butch Malone
The White Knight
Anthony Durante American Bulldog Spike
Pitbulldog Spike
Emanuel Fernandez Manny Fernandez 1991WWC
Chad J. Floyd Chaz Rocco 1992
Nelson Frazier Jr. Death Squad #1 1992
Paul Frederik Paul Jones 1990–1991
Tim Frye The Storm Trooper 1991
Carlos González Carlos Colón 1991WWC
Chris Hamrick The Black Scorpion 1992
George Hines Jackie Fulton 1990–1991
James Hines Bobby Fulton 1990–1991
Robert Horne Death Squad #2 1992
Mike Howell Mike Maverick 1990–1992
Koji Ishinriki Sumo Riki 1991
Cary Jackson Colt Steele 1990
Kenneth Kilpatrick Vince Torelli 1990–1991
Dennis Knight Tex Sallinger 1990
Brian Yandrisovitz Brian Knobbs 1990
Wallace Lane Stan Lane 1991
Gene Ligon Gene Ligon
Edward McDaniel Wahoo McDaniel 1991–1992
John Minton Big John Studd 1990
Mike Morgan Rip Morgan 1990
Ricky Nelson Rikki Nelson 1991
Paul Neu P. N. News 1992
Jack Noles Jack Lord 1990
Bob Orton, Jr. Bob Orton, Jr. 1990
Matt Osborne Matt Borne
The Maniac
Jim Painter Smasher Sloan 1991
Oreal Perras Ivan Koloff 1990–1992
Thomas Richardson Tommy Rich 1992
Ken Rinehurst Jack Victory 1990
Sylvester Ritter Junkyard Dog 1991–1992
Robert Lee Ross, Jr. Ranger Ross 1990–1991
Gary Rowell Gary Royal 1991
Jerome Saganowich Jerry Sags 1990
Frank L. Santen Frank Dusek 1990
Dean Simon Dean Malenko 1990
Michael Smith Sam Houston 1990–1991
Robert Szatkowski Rob Van Dam
Rob Zakowski
Papaliitele Taogaga Siva Afi 1991
Johnnie Thomas III J.T. Thomas 1990
Curtis Thompson Curtis Thompson 1990–1991
Robert Welch Robert Fuller 1990–1991
Pezavan Whatley Shaska Whatley 1991–1992
Del Wilkes The Patriot 1991 GWF
Richard Williams Rick Wilson
Ricky Wilson
Gary Wolfe American Bulldog Rex
Pitbulldog Rex
Charles Wright Baron Samedi 1990
Unknown Allen Kensey
Alan Kinsey
Richie Scruggs American GI 1991
Unknown The Assassin 1992
Unknown Beau Ragin
Bo Ragin
Bob Ragin
Unknown Bob Emory 1990
Unknown Brian Johnson 1990
Unknown Bubba Kirk 1990
Unknown Buddy Blonz 1992
Unknown Chuck Coates 1990
Unknown Chuck Roberts 1990
Unknown Clarence Sowell 1990
Unknown Colin Orsack
The Texas Battleship
Unknown Cruel Connection I 1990
Unknown Cruel Connection II 1991
Unknown The Crusader 1991
Unknown Dan Grundy 1990
Unknown Darrell Woodworth 1990
Unknown Darrin Stevens 1992
Unknown David Isley 1990
Unknown David Sledge 1990
Unknown David Studemire 1990
Unknown David Taylor 1991–1992
Unknown Dennis Fowler 1990
Unknown Denny Brown
The Red Raider
Unknown Derrick Dukes 1990
Unknown Dr. X 1990
Unknown Ebony Austin 1992
Unknown The Enforcer 1990
Unknown Eric Cooper 1990
Unknown Gary Booth 1990
Unknown Gary Simone 1990
Unknown The Gladiator 1990
Unknown Gordon Lambert 1992
Unknown The Grappler 1990–1992
Unknown Greg Bobchick 1991–1992
Unknown Greg Brown 1990
Unknown The Heartthrob 1991
Unknown Helmut Hessler 1991–1992
Unknown Hunter Thompson 1990
Unknown The Iron Man 1990
Unknown Jeff Collette 1991
Unknown Jeff Husker 1991–1992
Unknown Jerry Price 1990
Unknown Jerry Rose 1990
Unknown Jim Elliot 1990
Unknown Jimmy Johnson 1991
Unknown Johnny Blitz 1992
Unknown Johnny B. Goode 1991
Unknown Johnny Del Rio 1991–1992
Unknown Johnny Kidd 1992
Unknown Johnny Z
Johnny Ziegler
Unknown Kokla Khan 1990
Unknown Lee Ramsey 1990
Unknown Luther D 1990
Unknown Lynn Wagner 1990
Unknown Mac Mason 1990
Unknown Mad Bull 1992
Unknown Madd Maxx 1992
Unknown The Maneater 1990–1991
Unknown Mark Fleming 1990
Unknown The Masked Bammer 1992
Unknown Matt Burns
Mat Burns
Unknown Matt Dozer 1992
Unknown The Mighty Atar 1991–1992
Unknown Mike Cavanar 1990
Unknown Mike Crockett 1990
Unknown Mike Curevich 1990
Unknown Mike Rexx 1990
Unknown Mike Somani 1990
Unknown Mike Starr 1991–1992
Unknown Mike Wallace 1990
Unknown Nicky Hawks 1991–1992
Unknown The Ninja 1992
Unknown Richard Beck 1992
Unknown Rick Slagle
Ringlord Rick
Unknown Rick Starr 1990
Unknown Robert Booth 1990
Unknown Robert Campbell 1990–1991
Unknown Roughhouse Graham 1991–1992
Unknown The Russian Assassin 1991
Unknown Rusty Riddle 1992
Unknown Rusty Stevens 1990
Unknown Sammy Martin
Sammy Morton
Unknown Scotty Piper 1991
Unknown Speedy Gonzales
Ringlord Speedy
Unknown The Starman 1991
Unknown Stone Cold 1992
Unknown Thomas St. John 1990
Tommy Pound The Convict 1991-92
Unknown TJ Roberts 1992
Unknown Tom Atlas 1990
Unknown Tom Lively 1990
Unknown Tommy Gunn 1991–1992
Unknown Tommy Landell 1990–1991
Unknown Tommy Seabolt 1990–1992
Unknown Trent Knight 1990–1991
Unknown Trooper Max 1992
Unknown Tyrone Knox 1991–1992
Unknown William Ford 1990
Unknown William Winfield 1992
Unknown Willie Clay 1992

Female wrestlers

Birth name: Ring name(s): Tenure: Notes
Peggy Lee Lady X
Peggy Lee Leather
Selina Majors Bambi 1991–1992
Velvet Mykietowich Velvet McIntyre 1992
Patty Seymour Leilani Kai 1991
Unknown Betty Blonz 1992
Unknown Stacy Lee Austin 1992
Unknown Susie Krueger 1992

Stables and tag teams

Tag team/Stable(s) Members Tenure(s)
The American Bulldogs / The Pit Bulldogs Rex and Spike 1990–1991
The Death Squad Death Squad #1 and Death Squad #2 1992
The German Stormtroopers / The Stormtroopers Helmut Hessler and Hans Schmidt 1991
The Nasty Boys Brian Knobs and Jerry Sags 1990
The New Fantastics Bobby Fulton and Jackie Fulton 1990–1991
Paul Jones' Rangers Paul Jones, Ranger Ross, Bo Ragin, Vince Torelli and Chris Chavis 1990
The Royal Family Jack Victory and Rip Morgan 1990
The Russians Ivan Koloff and Vladimir Koloff 1992
The Ringlords Ringlord Rick and Ringlord Speedy 1990–1992
The Stud Stable Robert Fuller, Matt Borne, Tex Salenger, Curtis Thompson, The Maneater, Luther D, The Nasty Boys, and The Pitbulldogs 1990
The TNT Express Tommy Seabolt and Tommy Angel 1991–1992

Managers and valets

Birth name: Ring name(s): Tenure: Notes
Kevin Casey Kevin "The Truth" Casey 1991
Paul Frederik Paul Jones 1990–1991
Robert Welch Robert Fuller 1990–1991

Commentators and interviewers

Birth name: Ring name(s): Tenure: Notes
Richard Blood Ricky Steamboat 1990 Guest color commentator
Paul Frederik Paul Jones 1990–1991 Color commentator
Kenneth Kilpatrick Vince Torelli 1990 Color commentator
Gene Ligon Gene Ligon 1990 Color commentator
John Minton Big John Studd 1990 Guest color commentator
Frank L. Santen Frank Dusek 1990–1991 Play-by-play commentator
George Scott George Scott 1990 Guest color commentator
George Scott, Jr. George Scott, Jr. 1990 Color commentator
Lajos Tiza Lou Thesz 1990 Guest color commentator
Kenneth Weaver Johnny Weaver 1990 Guest color commentator
Ted Webb Ted Webb 1990 Play-by-play commentator
Robert Welch Robert Fuller 1990 Color commentator
George Woodin Mr. Wrestling 1990 Guest color commentator


Birth name: Ring name(s): Tenure: Notes
Unknown Leroy Ramsey 1990–1991
Unknown Byron Richards 1990–1991

Other personnel

Birth name: Ring name(s): Tenure: Notes
Paul Frederik Paul Jones 1990–1991 Owner
Mike Lamberth Mike Lamberth 1990 Owner
Greg Price Greg Price 1991–1992 Owner
John Ringley John Ringley 1990 Owner
Frank L. Santen Frank Dusek 1990–1991 Owner
George Scott George Scott 1990 Owner
Company name to Year
Company name: Years:
North American Wrestling Association 1990
South Atlantic Pro Wrestling 1990–1992
^ Indicates they are deceased.
^ Indicates they died while they were employed with SAPW.
GWF ^ Indicates they were part of a talent exchange with the Global Wrestling Federation.
WWC ^ Indicates they were part of a talent exchange with the World Wrestling Council.



SAPW Heavyweight Championship

# Wrestlers Reign Date Days held Location Event Notes Ref
1 Robert Fuller 1 June 30, 1990 91 Winston-Salem, North Carolina Live event Fuller defeated Ricky Steamboat in a tournament final to become the first NAWA Heavyweight Champion. In September 1990, the title was renamed the SAPW Heavyweight Championship when the promotion became South Atlantic Pro Wrestling. [27]
2 Paul Jones 1 September 2, 1990 27 Kings Mountain, North Carolina Live event
3 Robert Fuller 2 September 29, 1990 35 Kings Mountain, North Carolina Live event
Vacated November 3, 1990 Morgantown, North Carolina Live event The championship is vacated following a controversial title defense between Fuller and Jones.
4 Vince Torelli 1 February 7, 1991 159 Nassau, Bahamas Live event Torelli defeated Chris Chavis in a tournament final to win the vacant title.
5 Chris Chavis 1 July 16, 1991 46 Philadelphia, Pennsylvania Live event Title Awarded.
6 Manny Fernandez 2 August 31, 1991 63 Pembroke, North Carolina Live event
Vacated November 2, 1991 N/A N/A N/A The championship is vacated when Fernandez leaves the promotion with the title. He is subsequently suspended, however, Fernandez continues to defend the belt in the World Wrestling Council where he is billed as the "WWC North American Champion".
7 Helmut Hessler 1 January 11, 1992 92 Roseboro, North Carolina Live event Hessler defeated Wahoo McDaniel in a tournament final to win the vacant title.
8 Neil Superior 1 April 12, 1992 119 Hagerstown, Maryland Live event
Deactivated August 9, 1992 N/A N/A When SAPW closed.

SAPW Junior Heavyweight Championship

# Wrestlers Reign Date Days held Location Event Notes Ref
1 Rikki Nelson 1 July 8, 1991 42 N/A N/A [28]
2 Denny Brown 1 August 19, 1991 356 Charlotte, North Carolina Live event
Deactivated August 9, 1992 N/A N/A When SAPW closed.

SAPW United States Heavyweight Championship

# Wrestlers Reign Date Days held Location Event Notes Ref
1 Buddy Blonz 1 March 6, 1992 156 Greensboro, North Carolina Live event Blonz defeated The Assassin to become the first SAPW U.S. Heavyweight Champion. [29]
Deactivated August 9, 1992 N/A N/A When SAPW closed.

SAPW Women's Championship

# Wrestlers Reign Date Days held Location Event Notes Ref
1 Bambi 1 September 2, 1992 61 Kings Mountain, North Carolina N/A
Deactivated November 2, 1992 N/A N/A When SAPW closed. [30]

SAPW Tag Team Championship

# Wrestlers Reign Date Days held Location Event Notes Ref
1 The Nasty Boys
(Brian Knobbs and Jerry Sags)
1 July 28, 1990 45 Winston-Salem, North Carolina Live event The Nasty Boys defeated Danny Allen and Bob Emery in a tournament final to become the first NAWA Tag Team Champions. In September 1990, the title was renamed the SAPW Tag Team Championship when the promotion became South Atlantic Pro Wrestling. [31]
2 The American Pitbulldogs
(Rex and Spike)
1 September 11, 1990 109 Columbia, South Carolina Live event
3 The Fantastics
(Bobby Fulton and Jackie Fulton)
1 December 29, 1990 5 Greenville, South Carolina Live event
4 The Pitbulldogs 2 January 3, 1991 50 N/A N/A The titles are returned to The Pitbulldogs when they fail to receive a rematch within a 15-day time period. The Fantastics tour All Japan Pro Wrestling during this period.
5 The Fantastics 2 February 22, 1991 190 Belford, South Carolina Live event
6 The German Stormtroopers
(Helmut Hessler and Hans Schmidt)
1 August 31, 1991 43 Pembroke, North Carolina Live event Awarded via forfeit.
7 TNT Express
(Tommy Angel and Tommy Seabolt)
1 October 13, 1991 167 Lincolnton, North Carolina Live event
Vacated 1 March 28, 1992 N/A N/A N/A
8 Chaz Rocco and Tommy Gunn 1 April 17, 1992 1 Rocky Mount, North Carolina Live event Rocco and Gunn defeated The Ringlords to win the vacant title.
9 The Ringlords
(Speedy Gonzales and Rick Slagle)
1 April 18, 1992 96 Darlington, South Carolina Live event
10 Chaz Rocco (2) and Rob Van Dam 1 July 23, 1992 1 Lake City, South Carolina Live event
11 The Ringlords 2 July 24, 1992 16 Bennettsville, South Carolina Live event
Deactivated August 9, 1992 N/A N/A When SAPW closed.


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