That New Year’s Eve is still two weeks away did not stop rasslin’ fans in Summerville from partying like it was 1989 last weekend. Eighties and ’90s pro wrestling legends “The American Dream” Dusty Rhodes, “The Russian Nightmare” Nikita Koloff, the Rock ‘n’ Roll Express, and Buff “The Stuff” Bagwell were all a part of Mid-Atlantic Championship Wrestling’s Summerville Slamboree, a benefit for the Summerville Police Department’s Cadets Program. About 600 fans packed into the Summerville High School gym to meet their favorite legends, yell at the wrestlers, and enjoy some body-slamming action. “You suck ref!” was unquestionably the most popular insult from the crowd that night.
The 64-year-old Rhodes and 50-year-old Koloff did not see ring action, but signed autographs and took pictures with fans, and it must be said that the Russian Nightmare’s once well-established enthusiasm for Communist ideology seems to have dampened with age, likely due to that whole collapse of the Soviet Union thingy. The son-of-a-plumber Rhodes is still over 300 pounds and looked as American Dreamy as ever.
Highlights included the Rock ‘n’ Roll Express’ Ricky Morton, still sporting his trademark spiky blond mullet, defeating Bagwell in the main event, and independent wrestler, Greenville’s own “The Feature Presentation” Jeff Lewis, having words with an angry guy in a cowboy hat in the front row, whose favorite pastimes seemed to include eating hot dogs and yelling at wrestlers.
Controversy erupted when Richie Steamboat, son of wrestling legend Ricky “The Dragon” Steamboat, failed to win the Mid-Atlantic Junior Heavyweight Championship from the current title holder Rikki Nelson. Nelson cheated to win and his obvious rule-breaking was seen by everyone except the referee. The crowd was livid, Steamboat was devastated, and as it turned out, the ref did indeed suck.