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 - Jason Hess

Greetings fans, and welcome to another installment of Houston Wrestling at Kayfabe Memories!!!  Once again, we are taking a look at one of the most unique “territories within a territory” ever, as we examine wrestling life in Houston in the 1980’s.  In this edition we will examine what has now been known as “Black Saturday 2.” 


Before we get into what Black Saturday 2 was, a little history is needed to set up our look at one of the most disturbing times in Houston Wrestling history.  Such writers as Tim Dills for Memphis/CWA, and others have documented how Vince McMahon’s national expansion efforts hurt the territorial system, effectively killing it by 1993.  The first major shot that was fired specifically at a promotion that did not involve a talent raid was Vince McMahon’s buy out of Georgia promoter Jim Barnett in 1984.  (Jack and Jerry Brisco were involved as well)  With Barnett selling a majority interest in Georgia, including the prized Saturday night timeslot, McMahon soon debuted WWF programming in July 1984, a date that has come to be known as Black Saturday.  The reason?  There was literally no advance warning whatsoever.  The week before, stars of Georgia Championship Wrestling were on the screen.  The following week saw Freddy Miller, a mainstay of the old Georgia promotion, announce that the WWF was on the air.  Fans were shocked.  SuperStation WTBS operators fielded a huge volume of calls protesting the move.  The move was covered in a “Non-Mark” way in Pro Wrestling Illustrated, one of the few times the magazine broke kayfabe in the 1980’s.  Even though Georgia would once again have their timeslot by 1985, the message was clear:  Vince McMahon was on the warpath, and he was going to mow everyone down.   

Fast Forward:

Fast forward to January 1987.  The two main territories of Texas, Oklahoma, Arkansas, and Louisiana are fading.  The once powerful World Class Championship Wrestling had fallen on disastrous times since seceding from the NWA in February 1986.  A once sure sellout for WCCW was the traditional “Holiday Star Wars” cards at Reunion Arena on Thanksgiving and Christmas nights.  1986 was the first year in some time that the cards failed to sell out.  In fact, they barely drew half full crowds for the near 20,000 seat Reunion Arena.  Also, Kerry Von Erich was doubtful to wrestle again ( although he would later return) after the motorcycle accident he suffered in June 1986.   Talent had left and was leaving at an amazing pace.  Gino Hernandez was dead, Chris Adams defected to the UWF, and Rick Rude left for Jim Crockett Promotions.    More...

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