Where Wrestling's Regional History Lives!
- Max Levy
Professional wrestling used to be a pretty quiet
neighborhood. Each promoter had his territory and stayed out of his
neighbors’ yards. Just look at Texas for instance. Several promoters
operated within that single large state alone. Paul Boesch controlled
the Houston market. Fritz Von Erich promoted in Dallas-Fort Worth. Joe
Blanchard ran San Antonio. At one time the Funk family promoted out of
Amarillo as well. The promotions would even cooperate to an extent and
even do some talent exchanges. Across the country order was kept by the
National Wrestling Alliance. Member promotions or other firmly
established non-member promotions like the AWA and indeed Mid-South were
protected from competition. When a competitor or so-called outlaw
promotion sprung up that promotion was quickly run out of business by
any means necessary and wrestlers who dared to join that promotion were
often blacklisted to various degrees. From the inception of the NWA in
1948 the wrestling world was relatively peaceful. However, by the early
1980s the neighborhood started to get rowdy.
Georgia Championship Wrestling had been seen on
cable and satellite TV since the mid-1970s on WTCG, later known as WTBS,
from Atlanta. As cable penetration increased, more and more fans saw
this promotion and now local promoters were no longer the only game in
town. GCW eventually became World Championship Wrestling and used its
Saturday evening timeslot to eventually tour far beyond its usual
Georgia stomping grounds. Joe Blanchard’s Southwest Championship
Wrestling was on the USA Network. The WWF showed cards from MSG on USA
Network as well. In 1982 Dallas based World Class Championship Wrestling
was syndicated to TV stations across the country. Meanwhile the WWF
resigned from the NWA and with the retirement of longtime St. Louis
promoter and NWA President and power broker Sam Munchnick, the winds of
war began to blow. It was a matter of time before something big happened
and in late 1983 it did.
In late 1983 the WWF made its push to go national. It placed its TV show in non-WWF markets and stole talent away from other promotions.More...