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 - Sean Rowland

When Bill Watts started running Mid-South Wrestling in 1979, a tournament was held to crown the first Mid-South Tag-Team Champions. Up till this time, the regional tag titles were the old United States Tag-Team Titles. The U.S. belts were defended frequently, and held by such stellar teams as The Hollywood Blondes, The Continental Warriors, Danny Hodge & Jay Clayton, Dick Murdoch & Killer Karl Kox, Bill Watts & Greg Valentine, and a young team of Stan Hansen & Frank Goodish. Goodish went on to greater fame as Bruiser Brody. But, when Watts and McGuirk split, Watts decided to rename the belts the Mid-South Tag-Team Titles. McGuirk actually kept the U.S. Titles alive for a while in Oklahoma, but that ended with his promotion.

In September of 1979, a tournament was held to crown the fist Mid-South Tag-Team Champions. The tourney was held under battle royal rules and if one member of a team was eliminated, then his team was out. The teams of Mike George & Bob Sweetan and Bill Watts & Buck Robley were the final two teams. Before the finals could begin, Bob Sweetan announced that he didn't want to wrestle his good friend Buck Robley. Sweetan and Robley had been tag champs in Missouri shortly before this. It was decided that Buck Robley would wrestle Mike George, and the winner's team would be the Champs. So the match got underway. Everything appeared fine at first, then King Kong Mosca came down to ringside. He spoke to Bob Sweetan, and Sweetan handed Mosca an envelope. Mosca then started to brawl with Bill Watts. While this distracted the referee, Sweetan and George double-teamed Buck Robley, and when the dust settled, Mike George & Bob Sweetan were the first Mid-South Tag-Team Champions.

Two months later, in November of 1979, Bill Watts & Buck Robley managed to unseat George & Sweetan, but their reign was to be short lived. Two weeks after Watts & Robley won the belts; Bob Sweetan appeared on Mid-South TV. Sweetan said that the referees in the Mid-South area were biased against him and Mike George. He said that was what had cost them the Tag-Team Titles. Sweetan said he had obtained a referee's license, and he was going to referee all of Mike George's North American Title defenses, to make sure that George got a fair shake in his matches. And, he did referee Mike George's match that evening. But, the controversy arose later that night during Watts & Robely's Tag Title match. Watts & Robley were defending against a newly arrived team of wild-eyed southern boys by the names of Michael Hayes & Terry Gordy, The Fabulous Freebirds.  More...

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