• Michael W. Rickard II

Special Feature: The Greatest United States Heavyweight Champion of All Time Tournament: Round Two M

Copyright 2019 Michael W. Rickard II

Originally presented at Canadian Bulldog's World.

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.

"Number One" Paul Jones vs. "Nature Boy" Ric Flair

The first match of round two saw Harley Race battle “Rowdy” Roddy Piper in a 45-minute barnburner that ended in a draw. Now, “Nature Boy” Ric Flair battles “Number One” Paul Jones in our second match of round two. This tournament takes liberties with the time-space continuum, pulling wrestlers from specific moments in their careers. In “Slick” Ric’s case, it’s his second reign as U.S. Champion, when he worked as a heel and long before he formed the Four Horsemen with his cousins Ole Anderson and Arn Anderson, along with Tully Blanchard. Paul Jones was a babyface when he won his U.S. Championship.

Tony Schiavone interviews Paul Jones, who is wearing a neck brace. Although Jones defeated Barry Windham in round one, Windham, manager James J. Dillon, and fellow Four Horsemen Arn Anderson delivered a brutal post-match beating. Schiavone asks Jones if he’s even capable of wrestling tonight. Jones explains Windham and Anderson did a number on him, but he didn’t get the job done. His neck may be a bit tender, but he’s had a week to rest and he’s in this to win it. His doctor told him to take another two weeks off but this tournament is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity and he’s not missing it. Jones tells Schiavone that Ric Flair’s a cagey opponent but he’s ready for any of Flair’s tricks.

Click here for the full article.

Click here for the tournament introduction

Click here for match one of round one

Click here for match two of round one.

Click here for match three of round one.

Click here for match four of round one.

Click here for match five of round one.

Click here for match six of round one.

Click here for match seven of round one.

Click here for match eight of round one.

Click here for match nine of round one.

Click here for match one of round two.

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