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.
The fans are still reeling from the events of round two’s fourth match as arch-rivals Greg “The Hammer” Valentine and Wahoo McDaniel’s match never started. Instead, the two beat each other senseless with Ric Flair running in to aid Valentine and Ricky Steamboat making the save. As a result, Mid-Atlantic official Sandy Scott ruled the match will take place after the fifth scheduled match—Sgt. Slaughter vs. Nikita Koloff.
Round Two (Match Five)
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Nikita Koloff vs. Sgt. Slaughter
Rich Landrum is backstage with Sgt. Slaughter and asks Sarge about tonight’s match against Nikita Koloff. Slaughter is flanked by his trainees, Private Jim Nelson and Private Don Kernodle. Both men stand at attention as Slaughter cuts a scathing promo on Koloff. “Nikita Koloff and his uncle Ivan make me sick. I see them in the dressing room every night with the Soviet flag and I think of all the great men who died for our freedom. Every time I see them, I want to punch their lights out. I’ve thought about it for some time now, but tonight I finally get my chance. Well tonight I get that chance in the ring and it’s going to be even sweeter when I crush that Moscow maggot in the ring and advance to round three of the tournament. Don’t think that because I’m out to crush those Commie pukes that I’ve gone soft. I still hate those spineless pukes like Steamboat and Wahoo. I just hate the Koloffs even more!”
Ivan Koloff leads nephew Nikita Koloff to the ring, with Uncle Ivan holding a Russian flag while Nikita has his heavy chains wrapped around his mammoth shoulders. Sgt. Slaughter makes his way to the ring and commentator Bob Caudle notes Slaughter does not look happy. He sees Ivan waving the Russian flag while Nikita prepares for the match.
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Slaughter slides into the ring and knees Ivan in the back, knocking him into Nikita. Slaughter takes the flag pole and breaks it over Ivan’s back, then throws Ivan through the ropes outside the ring. Slaughter has the Soviet flag and he’s definitely not about to salute it. Nikita from behind with a big forearm smash to the back of the head. Referee Sonny “Roughhouse” Fargo signals for the match to start as the bell rings.
Slaughter is down on his knees as Nikita stomps away at him. Slaughter falls to the mat. Bob Caudle speculates that Slaughter may have been a bit too gung-ho going after Ivan. David Crockett replies, “Can you blame him? He’s a Marine! Who wants to see the USSR’s flag being paraded around on American soil?”
Wrestling’s Russian Nightmare goes to pick Slaughter up for another slam but somehow the Sarge manages to position him into a small package. Koloff easily kicks out but Bob Caudle says the look on Nikita’s face says he’s frustrated by the wily veteran. Koloff dishes out more punishment to Slaughter, punching him into the corner. Koloff whips Slaughter into the other corner and he’s moving like a railroad locomotive. Looks like it’s time for the Russian Sickle but there’s nobody home.
In the ring, Nikita continues stomping at Slaughter’s back. Nikita picks up the Sarge and whips him into the ropes, catching him with a knee to the gut. Chinlock on Slaughter as Koloff uses that incredible strength he’s quickly become feared for. Slaughter isn’t without his own strength and he fights to escape the hold, leading to Koloff dropping a forearm smash across the big Marine’s back, knocking the wind out of him.
Nikita goes to work on Slaughter, picking the big man up with apparent ease before slamming him down to the mat. Nikita stomps Slaughter in the back then whips him into the ropes, kneeing his opponent in the gut. The Sarge falls to the mat as announcer Bob Caudle says Slaughter needs to do something quick because things are only going to get worse. David Crockett adds that Nikita is as relentless an opponent as his uncle.