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Leader of the Tribe
Three decades of Wahoo McDaniel
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June 28, 1966 – McDaniel teams with Jose Lothario to capture the “NWA” World tag team championship in Jacksonville, FL (Championship Wrestling from Florida).

July 1966 – McDaniel & Lothario are forced to vacate the “NWA” World tag belts when Wahoo is ordered by his primary employer, the NFL’s Miami Dolphins, to stop competing in wrestling matches (Championship Wrestling from Florida).  

"As far as I'm concerned, Wahoo was what wrestling should be all about. A legitimately tough guy with a ring persona and image that was true to what he really was. And a great athlete who was proud to be a professional wrestler... and a damn good one at that."

James Beard
Referee/Announcer/Promoter
 

May 1, 1967 – Wahoo beats Louie Tillet in Orlando to capture the “NWA” Florida title (Championship Wrestling from Florida).

May 9, 1967 – McDaniel and Lothario reunite and recapture the “NWA” World tag team championship, beating Rocket & Sputnik Monroe (Championship Wrestling from Florida).

May 25, 1967 – Wahoo & Jose lose the “NWA” World tag belts back to the Monroes in Jacksonville, FL (Championship Wrestling from Florida).

May 16, 1967 – McDaniel loses the “NWA” Florida title to Boris Malenko in Tampa (Championship Wrestling from Florida).

December 10, 1968 – Wahoo teams with Jose Lothario once again to enter a one-night tournament in Tampa to crown the first-ever “NWA” Florida tag team champions. They make it to the finals but lose to the infamous masked team known as The Medics (Jim Starr & Billy Garrett), managed by Ken Ramey (Championship Wrestling from Florida).

“I worked with him in the Amarillo territory some years ago. I believe he had just left the NY Jets at that time to return to wrestling full time. He was fast and furious ... in great shape.”

Dick Steinborn
Wrestler/Booker/Promote
r

June 27, 1969 – The Chief teams with Thunderbolt Patterson in Houston, TX to win a tournament to crown new “NWA” American tag team champions, beating Baron Von Raschke & Buster Lloyd (later Rufus R. Jones) in the finals (Gulf Athletic Club).

Summer 1969 – McDaniel & Patterson lose the “NWA” American tag belts to Dusty Rhodes & Baron Von Raschke in Fort Worth, TX (Southwest Sports).

August 1969 – McDaniel & Patterson regain the American tag belts from Rhodes & Von Raschke (Southwest Sports).

October 1969 – Wahoo beats the man who would be become perhaps his greatest foe, Johnny Valentine, in Corpus Cristi, TX to capture the “NWA” Texas title (Southwest Sports).

“Then, an Indian war chant started in the arena. By the time Valentine's opponent, Wahoo McDaniel, stepped out of the dressing room, the roof blew off the dump, cameras flashed all around and the sight of a man wearing an Indian headdress and beads, marching into battle with a cocky, robe wearing sociopath sealed my fate for a lifetime. If someone who hates wrestling doesn't understand it's appeal, then the best thing I can do is describe that moment and the emotions it inspired. Watching two artists turn a crappy little recreation hall in the middle of nowhere into a canvas for a surreal, violent, psychotic painting. How could you not love it?”

Richard Sullivan
This Week In Wrestling

October 29, 1969 – McDaniel loses the “NWA” Texas title back to Valentine in Austin, TX (Southwest Sports).

January 26, 1970 – The Chief beats Valentine to regain the “NWA” Texas title in Fort Worth, TX for the final time of his career (Southwest Sports).

March 5, 1971 – McDaniel beats Professor Toru Tanaka to win the “NWA” American heavyweight title in Houston, TX (Gulf Athletic Club).

1971 – In a stunning move, McDaniel teams with old foe Johnny Valentine to beat Chris Markoff & Bronco Lubich, managed by George “Two Ton” Harris III, for the “NWA” American tag belts. They later drop the belts back, but then regain them again (Southwest Sports).

July 19, 1971 – McDaniel & Valentine lose the “NWA” American tag belts to Professor Toru Tanaka & Thunderbolt Patterson in Fort Worth, TX (Southwest Sports).

December 11, 1971 – Wahoo loses the “NWA” American title to The Spoiler (Don Jardine) in San Antonio, TX (Southwest Championship Wrestling).

1973 – McDaniel teams with British great Billy Robinson in a series of matches to challenge Ray Stevens & Nick Bockwinkel for the AWA World tag team championship (Minneapolis Boxing & Wrestling Club).

“In 1973, I went to the AWA and hyped myself as the arm wrestling champion of the world. Gagne wanted to shoot an angle and Wahoo was the man. We did the arm wrestling angle, which set up the grudge matches. The blowoff came when Wahoo demanded an Indian Strap match. These matches set attendance records in the AWA for that era. Wahoo was the perfect opponent for me. He was a great bleeder! Our success was the catalyst that propelled my career and led to Vince Sr. giving me the call to come to New York. Thanks to the Chief's hard work in the ring, he helped make my career! Thanks, Wahoo. A great guy!”

Superstar Billy Graham
WWF World heavyweight champion

November 9, 1973 – McDaniel beats Strong Kobayashi to capture the IWA World heavyweight championship in Wakayama, Japan (International Wrestling Enterprises).

November 30, 1973 – Wahoo loses the IWA World title back to Kobayashi in Tokyo (International Wrestling Enterprises).

By 1974, McDaniel has become the top draw for Jim Crockett Promotions, and uses his stroke with JCP booker George Scott to bring in a rookie he met in the AWA ... a man by the name of Ric Flair. Within a year, it would prove to be one of the best decisions the braintrust of any wrestling company ever made.

1975 – The Chief comes eye-to-psychotic-eye with an old enemy, as he beats Johnny Valentine to capture the “NWA” Mid-Atlantic heavyweight championship (Jim Crockett Promotions).

September 20, 1975 – McDaniel loses the “NWA” Mid-Atlantic title to Ric Flair at the Hampton (VA) Coliseum (Jim Crockett Promotions).

October 1975 – In a recreation of a legendary Eddie Graham angle first done in Florida, McDaniel knocks the false teeth of Boris Malenko out of his mouth and stomps them. This sets up a feud with Malenko and his team, the feared Mongols (Jim Crockett Promotions).

In early 1976, McDaniel is granted a series of title shots with a familiar face, newly-crowned NWA World champion Terry Funk. Well acquainted from their early days in the Amarillo territory, the two had battled in JCP for the U.S. title just a few weeks prior to Funk winning the “ten pounds of gold.”

January 31, 1976 – Ric Flair returns to action following a broken back suffered in the plane crash that ended Johnny Valentine’s career, beating Wahoo McDaniel via countout at the Greensboro Coliseum (Jim Crockett Promotions).

March 19, 1976 – Wahoo wins a tournament at the Richmond (VA) Coliseum to win a brand new Cadillac (Jim Crockett Promotions).

Due to the loss of top draw Johnny Valentine, the war between McDaniel and Ric Flair is turned up a notch in 1976. After Flair makes his return to TV (tearing up get-well cards sent by fans during an interview with Ed Caperal), he seconds Angelo Mosca in his series of matches with Wahoo, and helped the former Canadian footballer prevail over his arch enemy. In classic angles, Flair tears up McDaniel’s Native American headress on television and nearly blinds the Chief. This sets up a several-month long feud that breaks attendance records throughout the JCP circuit and literally causes crowds to riot.

March 1976 – The Chief teams with Rufus R. “Freight Train” Jones to defeat “The Minnesota Wrecking Crew” Ole & Gene Anderson for the “NWA” World tag team championship (Jim Crockett Promotions).

March 1976 – McDaniel & Jones lose the “NWA” World tag belts back to the Andersons (Jim Crockett Promotions).

May 3, 1976 – McDaniel regains the “NWA” Mid-Atlantic title from Ric Flair at the old Charlotte Coliseum (Jim Crockett Promotions).

May 24, 1976 – McDaniel loses the “NWA” Mid-Atlantic title to Ric Flair at the Charlotte Coliseum (Jim Crockett Promotions).

September 11, 1976 – Wahoo regains the “NWA” Mid-Atlantic title from Ric Flair at the Greenville (SC) Memorial Auditorium (Jim Crockett Promotions).

November 16, 1976 – The Chief loses the “NWA” Mid-Atlantic title to Ric Flair at the Greensboro Coliseum (Jim Crockett Promotions).

December 27, 1976 – McDaniel regains the “NWA” Mid-Atlantic title from Ric Flair at the Richmond (VA) Coliseum (Jim Crockett Promotions).

In early 1977, McDaniel is pushed in a feud with NWA World champion Harley Race after pinning the champ in a televised non-title bout at WRAL studios in Raleigh, NC. Wahoo takes on the persona of uncrowned “People’s Champion,” as he continuously battles the champ but comes up short.

May 8, 1977 – Wahoo serves as the special guest referee for a steel cage match at the old Charlotte Coliseum pitting Ole & Gene Anderson against Ric Flair & Greg Valentine for the “NWA” World tag title. After McDaniel tolls the three count, allowing the Andersons to regain the belts, Flair and Valentine attack him. McDaniel’s old partner Paul Jones, who had been out of the territory for several months, makes a dramatic return for the save (Jim Crockett Promotions).

June 11, 1977 – McDaniel loses the “NWA” Mid-Atlantic title to Greg Valentine at a taping of the syndicated Mid-Atlantic Championship Wrestling at Raleigh’s WRAL studios. The ref stops the match when Valentine applies a stepover grapevine and “breaks McDaniel’s leg” (Jim Crockett Promotions).”

Like he had done three years earlier with Flair, McDaniel pushes for another newcomer, Ricky Steamboat, to be brought into the mix in 1977. A trainee of Verne Gagne, Steamboat (real name: Richard Blood) is billed as the “son” of longtime JCP favorite Sam Steamboat and becomes Wahoo’s pet project. McDaniel puts him over on interviews as his protege and helps set up a feud with Flair, thus launching a rivalry that would last some two decades and change the way wrestling matches would be worked forever.

April 2, 1978 – McDaniel regains the “NWA” Mid-Atlantic title for the last time of his career, beating Greg Valentine at the Greensboro Coliseum (Jim Crockett Promotions).

April 9, 1978 – Wahoo loses the “NWA” Mid-Atlantic belt to Ken Patera at the old Charlotte Coliseum (Jim Crockett Promotions).

1978 – The Chief beats The Spoiler (Don Jardine) for the “NWA” Southern heavyweight championship (Championship Wrestling from Florida).

November 12, 1978 – McDaniel loses the “NWA” Southern title to the unpredictable Dick Slater (Championship Wrestling from Florida).

December 25, 1978 – McDaniel makes his New Orleans Superdome debut, teaming with Jim Shields in a tournament to crown new “NWA” U.S. tag team champions. They beat The Assassins in the first round, but lose to Bobby Jaggers & Jerry Brown in the semi-finals. The eventual winners of the tourny are Dusty Rhodes & Andre the Giant (Leroy McGuirk Championship Wrestling).

May 13, 1979 – Wahoo beats The Spoiler (Don Jardine) in Houston, TX to win the “NWA” American heavyweight championship (Gulf Athletic Club).

May 14, 1979 – The Chief beats the Masked Superstar (Bill Eadie), managed by Bobby “The Brain” Heenan, in Augusta, GA to capture the “NWA” Georgia title (Georgia Championship Wrestling).

May 18, 1979 – McDaniel teams with Tommy “Wildfire” Rich in Atlanta’s Omni to beat Ole Anderson & Ivan Koloff for the “NWA” Georgia tag straps (Georgia Championship Wrestling).

June 2, 1979 – The Spoiler (Don Jardine) is awarded the “NWA” American title in Houston due to an injury suffered by McDaniel (Gulf Athletic Club).

June 8, 1979 – McDaniel & Rich drop the “NWA” Georgia tag belts back to Anderson & Koloff at the Omni (Georgia Championship Wrestling).

September 1, 1979 – Wahoo battles to a double disqualification in the first round of a tournament to crown a new “NWA” U.S. champion at the old Charlotte Coliseum (Jim Crockett Promotions).

July 25, 1980 – McDaniel loses to Ken Mantell in the finals of a tournament to crown a new Louisiana heavyweight champion in Shreveport, LA (Mid-South Sports).

July 30, 1979 – McDaniel loses the “NWA” Georgia title back to the Masked Superstar in Augusta, GA (Georgia Championship Wrestling).

August 2, 1980 – The Chief loses to The Grappler (Len Denton) before 26,000 fans at the New Orleans Superdome (Mid-South Sports).

August 23, 1980 – McDaniel beats Tully Blanchard in San Antonio, TX to capture the “NWA” Southwest heavyweight championship (Southwest Championship Wrestling).

November 27, 1980 – McDaniel teams with Ray Candy to down The Turk & The Mexican Angel at the New Orleans Superdome (Mid-South Sports).

February 27, 1981 – Wahoo wrestles NWA World champion Harley Race to 60 minute draw in Houston, TX (Gulf Athletic Club).

February 28, 1981 – McDaniel challenges Race for the NWA World title once again, this time in San Antonio, TX (Southwest Championship Wrestling).

1981 – McDaniel beats “The Continental Lover” Eddy Mansfield to win the Florida TV title (Championship Wrestling from Florida).

March 28, 1981 – McDaniel’s hunt for the “ten pounds of gold” continues, this time in St. Petersburg, FL, as he battles Race at the Bayfront Center (Championship Wrestling from Florida).

1981 – The Chief teams with Terry Funk to down “The Dynamic Duo” (Tully Blanchard & Gino Hernandez) for the Southwest tag straps. They later drop the belts back to the same team (Southwest Championship Wrestling).

1981 – McDaniel beats former NWA World champion Terry Funk to regain the Southwest heavyweight championship (Southwest Championship Wrestling).

May 1981 – McDaniel teams with “Polish Power” Ivan Putski to beat Dory Funk Jr. & Larry Lane (subbing for an injured Terry Funk) to capture the World tag team championship in San Antonio, TX (Southwest Championship Wrestling).

July 1981 – McDaniel & Putski drop the World tag belts to Tully Blanchard & Gino Hernandez (Southwest Championship Wrestling).

August 8, 1981 – Wahoo captures the “NWA” U.S. heavyweight championship for the first time of his career, downing Rowdy Roddy Piper at the Greensboro Coliseum (Jim Crockett Promotions).

September 1981 – During a taping of Mid-Atlantic Championship Wrestling, McDaniel is attacked by Piper’s bounty hunter Abdullah the Butcher, who uses a foreign object to render Wahoo so bloody, several TV stations carrying the show receive complaints from viewers. Due to the injury angle, McDaniel is stripped of the U.S. title. A tournament is held on October 4, 1981 in Charlotte, with Sgt. Slaughter pinning Ricky Steamboat in the finals to win the belt (Jim Crockett Promotions).

December 26, 1981 – McDaniel wrestles NWA World champion Ric Flair to a 60 minute draw at the Bayfront Center in St. Petersburg, FL (Championship Wrestling from Florida).

February 18, 1982 – McDaniel loses to NWA World champion Ric Flair in Tampa (Championship Wrestling from Florida).

May 12, 1982 – Wahoo comes back to Tampa for another shot at Flair (Championship Wrestling from Florida).

May 21, 1982 – The Chief regains the “NWA” U.S. title for the second time, beating Sgt. Slaughter at the Richmond (VA) Coliseum (Jim Crockett Promotions).

May 29, 1982 – McDaniel challenges Ric Flair once again for the NWA World title at the Bayfront Center in St. Petersburg, FL (Championship Wrestling from Florida).

June 7, 1982 – McDaniel loses the “NWA” U.S. title to Sgt. Slaughter at the Greenville (SC) Memorial Auditorium (Jim Crockett Promotions).

August 22, 1982 – Wahoo regains the “NWA” U.S. title from Sgt. Slaughter at the Charlotte Coliseum in a Canadian lumberjack match with wrestlers surrounding the ring with leather straps (Jim Crockett Promotions).

November 4, 1982 – McDaniel loses the “NWA” U.S. title to Greg “The Hammer” Valentine, managed by Sir Oliver Humperdink, at The Scope in Norfolk, VA. Valentine pins Wahoo after nailing him with a foreign object (Jim Crockett Promotions).

April 24, 1983 – McDaniel beats Eddie Boulder (later Brutus “The Barber” Beefcake) before 20,000 fans at the St. Paul (MN) Civic Center, and another 10,000 watching on closed-circuit TV (Minneapolis Boxing & Wrestling Club).

May 26, 1983 – Wahoo competes at the Houston Summit in a tournament endorsed by former NWA champs Lou Thesz and Terry Funk to crown a new World heavyweight champion (as recognized by Joe Blanchard’s promotion, which is seen at this time nationwide on the USA network). McDaniel beats Bobby Jaggers in the first round, but loses to Adrian Adonis (the eventual winner) in the semi-finals (Southwest Championship Wrestling).

July 10, 1983 – McDaniel battles to a double-countout with “NWA” U.S. champ Greg Valentine before 20,000 fans at Exhibition Stadium in Toronto (Queensbury Athletic Club).

August 27, 1983 – McDaniel loses to Mr. Wrestling II in the first round of a Cadillac tournament in Atlanta’s Omni. Wrestling II was the eventual winner of the event (Georgia Championship Wrestling).

November 24, 1983 – Wahoo teams with Mark Youngblood to lose to Dick Slater & Cowboy Bob Orton Jr. at Starrcade ’83, broadcast live from the Greensboro Coliseum (Jim Crockett Promotions).

March 4, 1984 – McDaniel teams with Mark Youngblood to down Cowboy Bob Orton Jr. & Don Kernodle, managed by Playboy Gary Hart, at the old Charlotte Coliseum, to capture the “NWA” World tag title (Jim Crockett Promotions).

March 29, 1984 – McDaniel teams with Butch Reed in Kansas City to enter a one-night tournament to crown new “NWA” Central States tag team champions. They beat Hacksaw Jim Duggan & Earthquake Ferris in the opening round, but lost to the eventual winners, The Grapplers (Len Denton & Tony Anthony) in the semi-finals (Heart of America Sports Attractions).

April 4, 1984 – McDaniel & Youngblood drop the “NWA” World tag belts to Jack & Jerry Brisco at a TV taping for the syndicated Mid-Atlantic Championship Wrestling at the Spartanburg (SC) Memorial Auditorium (Jim Crockett Promotions).

June 30, 1984 – The Chief teams with Junkyard Dog and Jimmy Valiant to beat Angelo “King Kong” Mosca, Outlaw Ron Bass, and Black Bart before 20,000 fans at Lord of the Rings in Miami’s Orange Bowl (Championship Wrestling from Florida).

June 22, 1984 – McDaniel loses to NWA World champion Ric Flair at the Kiel Auditorium (St. Louis Wrestling Club).

June 24, 1984 – McDaniel beats fellow babyface Ricky Steamboat to regain the “NWA” U.S. title at the Greensboro Coliseum after Tully Blanchard interferes. Blanchard attempts to hit Wahoo with a chair, but McDaniel ducks and Blanchard nails Steamboat instead. McDaniel then shocks the crowd by pinning Steamboat, furthering his heel turn (Jim Crockett Promotions).

July 1984 – The NWA strips McDaniel of the U.S. title due to the controversy surrounding the Steamboat match and orders a tournament to determine a new champion (Jim Crockett Promotions).

August 1984 – Wahoo beats Keith Larson in the first round of a Cadillac tourny in Atlanta’s Omni, but loses to Black Bart in the second round (Georgia Championship Wrestling).

September 15, 1984 – The Chief teams with Jay & Mark Youngblood to beat the The Super Medics before 29,000 fans at Roberto Clemente Stadium in San Juan, Puerto Rico (Capital Sports).

October 7, 1984 – McDaniel beats “The Raging Bull” Manny Fernandez in the finals of the tourny at the old Charlotte Coliseum to capture the “NWA” U.S. title for the fifth and final time of his career (Jim Crockett Promotions).

November 22, 1984 – McDaniel pins former WWF World champion Superstar Billy Graham to retain the “NWA” U.S. title in one of the featured bouts at Starrcade ’84, broadcast live from the Greensboro Coliseum (Jim Crockett Promotions).

March 23, 1985 – The Chief loses the “NWA” U.S. title to Magnum T.A. in an intense steel cage match at the old Charlotte Coliseum. Televised on the syndicated World Wide Wrestling (Jim Crockett Promotions).

July 9, 1985 – McDaniel teams with Billy Jack Haynes to best Ravishing Rick Rude & Jesse Barr in Tampa for the “NWA” U.S. tag belts (Championship Wrestling from Florida).

July 23, 1985 – Wahoo goes to a time-limit draw with The Grappler (Len Denton) in the opening round of a tournament to crown a new “NWA” Florida heavyweight champion in Tampa. The eventual winner of the tourny that night was Barry Horowitz.

“I’ve known Wahoo since 1983. First working for Jim Crockett Promotions, then for Florida, where he was the booker. He was always nice and fair to me. I really liked him a lot. Always a lot of respect. I remember one time, we were flying from Florida to Atlanta on a small twin-engine plane. It was me, Billy Jack, Wahoo, and Rick Rude. Well, to make a long story short, one of the engines goes out or a fuel tank runs out or whatever ... and Wahoo goes nuts. He’s got that fast way of talking when he expresses himself, and all the sudden, he just cuts this promo on the pilot that was hilarious. I usually panic in situations like that myself, but the way Wahoo went crazy on the pilot, made me not even think of crashing.”

Barry Horowitz
Former WWF and WCW wrestler

September 2, 1985 – McDaniel loses to NWA World champion Ric Flair in a two-out-of-three falls match at the Sundome in Tampa. This is the main event of the syndicated live TV special, Battle of the Belts (Championship Wrestling from Florida).

October 2, 1985 – McDaniel beats Ravishing Rick Rude, managed by Percy Pringle (later Paul Bearer) in Tampa to win the “NWA” Southern title for the second time (Championship Wrestling from Florida).

November 19, 1985 – McDaniel loses the “NWA” Southern title in Tampa to “The Total Package” Lex Luger, managed by Hiro Matsuda (Championship Wrestling from Florida).

November 28, 1985 – Wahoo teams with Billy Jack Haynes to unsuccessfully challenge “The Minnesota Wrecking Crew” Ole & Arn Anderson for the “NWA” National tag team championship at Starrcade ’85 from Atlanta’s Omni (Jim Crockett Promotions).

January 26, 1986 – McDaniel competes in the first-ever Texas Cup tournament in San Antonio, TX. Beats The Mighty Zulu in the first round and Angel Blanco Jr. in the second, but loses in the quarter-finals to the eventual winner, Gentleman Chris Adams (Texas All-Star Wrestling).

February 14, 1986 – McDaniel battles to a double countout with Bruiser Brody in one of the featured bouts from the syndicated Battle of the Belts II broadcast live from the Eddie Graham Sports Arena in Orlando (Championship Wrestling from Florida).

April 26, 1986 – McDaniel loses to Colonel DeBeers via disqualification at AWA Wrestle Rock before 22,000 at the Hubert H. Humphrey Metrodome in Minneapolis, MN (Minneapolis Boxing & Wrestling Club).

July 5, 1986 – Wahoo beats Gorgeous Jimmy Garvin in an Indian strap match before 20,000 at Memorial Stadium in Charlotte during the Great American Bash (Jim Crockett Promotions).

July 18, 1986 – McDaniel challenges Ric Flair once again for the NWA World heavyweight championship (Jim Crockett Promotions).

August 28, 1986 – McDaniel beats Tully Blanchard at the Forum in Los Angeles to capture the “NWA” National heavyweight championship (Jim Crockett Promotions).

September 28, 1986 – The Chief loses the “NWA” National title to “NWA” U.S. champion Nikita Koloff in a unification match at Atlanta’s Omni (Jim Crockett Promotions).

November 27, 1986 – McDaniel beats Ravishing Rick Rude in an Indian strap match at Starrcade ’86 from Atlanta’s Omni (Jim Crockett Promotions).

April 16, 1988 – McDaniel beats AWA World champion Curt Hennig in a non-title cage match at AWA Rage in the Cage II from The Showboat Sports Pavillion in Las Vegas, NV (Minneaplois Boxing & Wrestling Club).

September 18, 1988 – Wahoo beats Dan Spivey before 23,000 fans at Juan Lobriel Stadium in Bayamon, Puerto Rico (Capital Sports).

December 13, 1988 – McDaniel beats “The Raging Bull” Manny Fernandez in a bloody Indian strap match in one of the headline matches at the AWA Super Clash 3 pay-per-view from the UIC Pavillion in Chicago (Minneapolis Boxing & Wrestling Club).

"Wahoo McDaniel is one of the greatest legends to ever step into a wrestling ring. I am honored to have competed with and to know such a man."

The Maestro
Former WCW Wrestler

October 2, 1991 – Wahoo teams with Jay Eagle to beat the Hollywood Blondes for the National tag team championship in Inman, SC (National Championship Wrestling).

January 11, 1992 – McDaniel loses to Helmut Hessler in the televised finals of a tournament in Roseboro, NC to crown a new South Atlantic heavyweight champion (South Atlantic Pro Wrestling).

October 23, 1992 – McDaniel teams with Jay Eagle to down Ivan & Vladimir Koloff in North Wilkesboro, NC for the National tag team championship (National Championship Wrestling).

May 23, 1993 – The Chief teams with Blackjack Mulligan and Jumping Jim Brunzell to battle “Superfly” Jimmy Snuka, Don Muraco, and Dick Murdoch to a no-contest at the WCW Slamboree pay-per-view from Atlanta’s Omni (World Championship Wrestling).

July 1993 – McDaniel beats Buddy Shane to win the NAWA heavyweight championship in Chester, SC (North American Wrestling Alliance).

April 4, 1995 – McDaniel loses the AWF title to The Barbarian in High Point, NC (American Wrestling Federation).

May 21, 1995 – Wahoo pins Dick Murdoch at the WCW Slamboree PPV broadcast live from St. Petersburg, FL. Later that night, McDaniel is inducted into the WCW Hall of Fame.

The organization that would eventually become known as World Championship Wrestling (WCW), now a subsidiary of the World Wrestling Federation, evolved from a Charlotte, NC-based office called Jim Crockett Promotions.

It was a company that McDaniel and regular opponent Johnny Valentine helped revitalize in the early-to-mid 70’s while working under the direction of acclaimed booker George Scott.

Maintaining a brutal and psychologically correct style, McDaniel and Valentine essentially reinvented an entire subgenre of the wrestling arts and impacted the business in ways that are still being felt today.

In addition to his artistic contributions, McDaniel’s behind-the-scenes influence as a booker, trainer, and talent scout has helped shape the course that the wrestling industry has taken in the past three decades. He is a legend. He is a champion. 

He is the Leader of the Tribe.

Richard Sullivan is a well-respected wrestling historian. His work appears regularly in This Week In Wrestling.

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© 2002 Wrestling Classics, Inc.: Mark Nulty
© 2002 Design: Jan Herod
Created: October 1998