It's been a long time since the Nature Boy and the Boogie Woogie Man shared a billing in the Lowcountry.
Three decades to be exact.
But on May 31 at the Charleston Area Convention Center, legendary wrestling figures Ric Flair and Jimmy Valiant will make special appearances at a Big Time Wrestling event.
The Hardy Boyz, one of the top teams in the business over the past two decades, also will reunite and compete in a tag-team bout on the show.
Big Time Wrestling owner Steve Perkins says he's excited about bringing such a lineup to one of the top towns on the old Mid-Atlantic circuit.
"We are exploring all the old Mid-Atlantic towns and areas," he says. "We'll be in Anderson, S.C., the evening before we get to Charleston, and we'll be in Hickory, N.C., the next day at the Crawdads' baseball stadium."
A sold-out crowd of more than 1,600 turned out for a BTW show at the old Spartanburg Memorial Auditorium in late February.
"That evening saw Ric share some special memories of the town (and the motor lodge down the road) to open the show. It also featured Rick Morton and Robert Gibson teaming with Jimmy Valiant one more time. The shows featured a great mix of nostalgia and action-packed wrestling," says Perkins.
The following night, he says, the promotion drew 1,700 for a similar event in Prince George, Va.
Flair, arguably the greatest performer in the modern era of pro wrestling, is looking forward to his trip to Charleston.
"I like an atmosphere of being able to hold conversations with old fans who tell me they tried everything over the years to find a way to meet me. Now they can," said Flair, who turned 65 in February and first appeared in Charleston in 1974.
The show also will feature The Barbarian, The Patriot (Tom Brandi), BTW heavyweight champion Flex Armstrong and BTW divas Reby Sky (Mrs. Matt Hardy) and Sojo Bolt.
Bell time is 7 p.m.
Flair and The Hardy Boyz will headline a special meet-and-greet before the show beginning at 5 p.m. Fans will have the opportunity to meet the stars up close and personal, get autographs and pictures with all of the stars of the evening's event.
Admission to the meet and greet is included with all event tickets, although additional charges apply for autographs and/or photograph packages.
"I encourage fans to get their tickets early, some fans are driving from Florida to have the chance of seeing the Nature Boy and the Hardy Boyz," says Perkins. "Not only do the fans get to see a world-class wrestling show, the FanFest that happens earlier in the day gives the fans the opportunity to meet their heroes face to face."
Seven matches are on the bill. The 71-year-old Valiant, who runs a training school in Virginia, will be among those stepping into the ring.
"It's always entertaining" when Valiant's on the show, says Perkins.
Valiant, who made his ring debut in 1964, was one of the most popular performers to appear in the Mid-Atlantic area during the '80s.
Tickets for the event start at $15 (plus venue fees) and are available at the Convention Center box office, all Publix supermarkets, Ticketmaster.com and www.btwtickets.com.
For more information, call 877-649-3599.
PSCW and ZPW will hold a show April 27 at the B&H Banquet Hall, 1505 West North St., Summerville.
Doors open at 4 p.m. Bell time is at 5 p.m.
Ticket prices are $7 adults and $5 kids.
Main event is Big Game James vs. Kameron Kade. Others on the card include Smooth Excellence, Justin Walker, Zoink and Squeaks The Clown, and Velvet.
For more information, call 843-568-4979 or 843-513-9214.
Former WWE champ C.M. Punk (Phil Brooks) and former WWE divas champ A.J. Lee reportedly are engaged.
Punk, 35, has been romantically linked to several wrestling figures in the past, including Maria (Maria Kanellis), Lita (Amy Dumas), Beth Phoenix (Elizabeth Kocianski Carolan), Traci Brooks (Tracy Brookshaw), Becky Bayless (Rebecca Treston) and Daffney (Shannon Spruill).
Lee (April Jeanette Mendez), 27, dropped her divas title to Paige on April 7, ending her record reign at 295 days.
Popular WWE referee Charles Robinson nearly lost his thumb while setting up the ring for a show Friday in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia.
Robinson, who also works on the ring crew, sliced his thumb to the point where he was in danger of losing it, TMZ reported.
WWE doctor Chris Amann was at the event and quickly patched him up with six stitches.
No women allowed
Women, by the way, were not allowed to attend WWE's weekend shows in Saudi Arabia.
The country bans women from driving and attending most sporting events. The prohibition stems from the government's interpretation of Islam.
Reach Mike Mooneyham at 843-937-5517 or firstname.lastname@example.org, or follow him on Twitter @ByMike Mooneyham and on Facebook at Facebook.com/MikeMooneyham.
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