Top 5 Ideas of Jim Crockett Jr that Changed Wrestling
On March 4, 2021 wrestling fans around the world lost a big name when Jim Crockett Jr. passed away at the age of 76. While he wasn’t a wrestler himself, he was known for being the son of promoter Jim Crockett Sr. When Crockett Sr. died in 1973, the business was passed onto his 4 children, of which Jim jr. took over the wrestling business. Jim Crockett Jr. led his family’s business from 1973 and created many different ideas which were the main opposition to Vince MacMahon’s WWF (now the WWE) until selling his family’s wrestling company to Ted Turner. Although based in the south and not being as widely available as the WWF was for a long time, Crockett led a team that came up with many ideas in the wrestling industry that many fans around the world still remember. Join us now as we look at the Top 5 ideas of Jim Crockett Jr. and remember the wrestling fan in all of us.
6:05 Time Slot
A big thing that people remember from Crockett wrestling is the 6:05 pm time slot on Saturday nights. This was born out of the wars that went on in Georgia in the early 1970s and Atlanta television station WTCG channel 17. Ted Turner was a big fan of Georgia professional wrestling and when he bought his first TV station, he made sure it had professional wrestling on there. When Crockett fell on hard times financially and went out of business in 1988, Ted Turner stepped in and bought the company from Jim Crockett and turned it into WCW and was the president of that until 2001.
Clash of the Champions
Clash of the Champions were a series of pro wrestling specials that aired 4 or 5 times a year starting in 1988. It was said the first special was aired on TBS to counter the WWF’s WrestleMania 4 that was shown on pay per view. Jim Crockett and several people with him concocted a special that aired at the same time on TBS featuring some of the best stars that they had to offer like world Champion Ric Flair against a young star at the time, Sting. The match went to a 45-minute time limit draw and lived in time forever in the minds of wrestling fans. Ric Flair and Sting wrestled again as the Final match WCW presented before they went out of business on WCW Monday Nitro in 2001.
Jim Crockett Sr. Memorial Tag Team Tournament
This was an event that was held first in 1986 and was put together featuring stars from around the world. Wrestlers primarily from Cockett’s own territory were joined by wrestlers from other places that worked with Crockett’s company like Bill Watt’s UWF, Giant Baba’s All Japan Pro Wrestling (in fact, Baba himself was in a few of the matches), and a few teams from Mexico and Japan. They came together to put on a 24 team tournament that took place over 2 separate shows from the Superdome in New Orleans. In following years as many of those that worked with him went out of business, Crockett’s company put on the tournaments themselves in 1987 in Baltimore and 1988 in North and South Carolina. The NWA wrestling group now puts on a revival of these tournaments for fans to watch and enjoy every year.
The Great American Bash
The Great American Bash was a summer tour that had shows around the southern US mostly. These shows were not just wrestling events but many of them brought in country music acts and they put on concerts to go along with the wrestling. They typically held these tours between June into August and lead up to a pay-per-view event that would be the highlight of that year’s tour. The first tour happened in 1985 and continued into the 90s. Although the company didn’t hold the tours as they did back in the 1980s, they still held the Great American Bash event until the year 2000 and the WWE took the event and started holding their own starting in 2004.
The biggest event of the year! This originally started as the Thanksgiving Night wrestling show that Crockett’s company would have every year with the storylines of the time wrapping up with a big match. Head matchmaker Dusty Rhodes wanted to take the event and televise it in 1983. In all Rhodes, under Crockett’s ownership created the pay-per-view wrestling events that we now are familiar with. Starcade was held every year until 2000 and the WWE held their own versions of the event starting in 2017. Their version of the event wasn’t nearly as big to fans as it had been when it was under Crockett’s management. But it was like many ideas from that time being used today. It was there for long time fans to remember the name but it was not the same.