It’s time for Round Two of The Greatest U.S. Champion of All Time Tournament, presented here at Canadian Bulldog’s World. In case you’re just tuning in, this tournament includes the 21 greats who held Jim Crockett Promotions’ United States Heavyweight Championship, one of the most prestigious titles in the National Wrestling Alliance. The belt served as a steppingstone to the NWA World Heavyweight Championship and became the focus of many top programs in JCP. The 21 different men who held the belt were either famous veterans or rising stars who eventually became legends.
Round One featured 18 grappling greats battling to advance to round two while three other competitors (Ric Flair, Blackjack Mulligan, and Chief Wahoo McDaniel) received byes for having held the U.S. title the most times. Keep in mind that the wrestlers working the matches are in the same physical condition they were when they held the U.S. Championship which means nearly every competitor is in their wrestling prime.
The second-round matches are being held at the iconic Greenville Memorial Auditorium, located of course in Greenville, South Carolina. The 7,500 seat multi-purpose arena was built in 1958 and lasted until September 20, 1997 when it was imploded to make room for the Bi-Lo Center (now known as the Bon Secours Wellness Arena). Bob Caudle and David Crockett will be calling the action for round two’s matches. Every match in the second round is one fall with a 45-minute time limit.
In our last match, Blackjack Mulligan got the duke after pinning Ricky Steamboat, thus advancing to round three. As noted previously, this tournament takes liberties with the time-space continuum, pulling wrestlers from specific moments in their careers. Here, Greg Valentine is working his second reign as U.S. Champion (working heel as he did for most of his career). Wahoo McDaniel has just won his first U.S. Championship and the popular babyface hasn’t lost a step.