September 30, 2004
Blackjack's Bar-B-Que open for business
By GREG OLIVER - Producer, SLAM! Wrestling
Dick Bourne thought it was a joke. After toiling away on the Mid-Atlantic Gateway website, recounting the rich history of the promotion, he got an email from someone named B.J. Windham thanking him for bringing back so many great memories.
It turned out that it was indeed the great Blackjack Mulligan (Bobby Jack Windham) and a friendship was formed from that point on that recently culminated in the launch of Blackjack's Bar-B-Que (www.blackjackmulligan.net), an official web site for the 6-foot-9, 345-pound pride of Sweetwater, Texas.
"He was the first major star from the business that had contacted us directly after finding the Gateway website. It was a thrill to hear from him," recalled Bourne.
Bourne's partner in the Mid-Atlantic Gateway, David Chappell, did an extensive interview with Mulligan for the site, honing in on his time in the territory.
"I think after David Chappell's interview on the Mid-Atlantic Gateway, we established a level of trust with him," said Bourne. From there, it wasn't too hard to convince Blackjack that a co-produced website would be a lot of fun.
The web site itself features audio clips, programs, stories, photos and more. It took Bourne and Chappell a few months to put together, in between other projects.
It's definitely a work-in-progress and a labor of love. Personally, going back and writing about some of those big angles or memorable matches (like the "Hat & Robe" angle that is up right now), and being able to talk with him about them, and get him to share his memories about them....that's going to be fun," Bourne said.
Mulligan isn't the HTML guy, but helps out with his memories of past matches and famous angles. Plans are afoot for some of his memorabilia to be on the site, as well as mini-sites for his sons Barry and Kendall Windham and his son-in-law Mike Rotunda.
Bourne and Chappell feel fortunate to have made a new friend out of an old hero. "Without a doubt, no one has been more gracious and forthcoming with us than Bob Windham. Just a true gentleman," Bourne said. "And what you see is what you get; he's a lot like his character and listening to him tell stories is like listening to his promos from 30 years ago! He's simply amazing."
Visit Blackjack's Bar-B-Que at www.blackjackmulligan.net.
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Greg Oliver founded SLAM! Wrestling with John Powell way back in
1996, and has been writing about pro wrestling since 1985. He is the
author of the recently published book The Pro Wrestling Hall of Fame:
The Canadians from ECW Press. Order it from the SLAM!
Wrestling Store. He can be emailed at email@example.com.