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Georgia & the Carolinas

Pro-Wrestling in the Mid-Atlantic & Georgia


Numerous regions of the United States that have always been hot areas for professional wrestling. The Northeast has always been the money market with massive population centers in a relatively small area, securing the region almost always ensured success. However, only one other region was strong enough to sustain a nationally syndicated company. The region that included the states of Virginia, North Carolina, South Carolina and Georgia was the one that two excellent operations were built. One was based of Charlotte, North Carolina and the other was based out of Atlanta, Georgia. Both developed into significant markets under the guidance of Jim Crockett and Paul Jones respectively throughout the 1940s.

When the National Wrestling Alliance was formed, Atlanta quickly became a member. A couple years later Charlotte joined as well. This gave the NWA, primarily a cartel of midwest promoters, control of the Southeast, which was developing into a strong market. Atlanta developed close ties to Fred Kohler's Chicago office, which was on top of the pro-wrestling world at the time. When Kohler eventually split from the NWA, Jones followed suit and his ABC Booking office continued relatively unharmed and unchallenged for a few years. Eventually though, Atlanta came back to the NWA fold.

Although the 1960s were a period of rapid change in Atlanta and Charlotte as metropolitian areas. Their economic growth and roles in the Civil Rights movement did not hurt their ability to draw fans to the matches. Between 1972 and 1976, both offices experienced tremendous changes. Atlanta had become a fragmented office since Paul Jones had moved away from running day-to-day operations. Following the death of Ray Gunkel, the office fell into disarray when Gunkel's widow Ann tried to assume control. A mass departure led to the creation of All-South Wrestling Alliance, one of the most infamous "outlaw" groups and the remains of NWA's Atlanta office became Mid-South Sports and the "Battle of Atlanta" raged for two years between these companies. The following year, Jim Crockett retired a turned his operation over to his son. This change in leadership took Charlotte from a respectable territory into one of the best in the country as Mid-Atlantic Championship Wrestling. In 1974, the turning point of the "Battle of Atlanta" came when the influential Jim Barnett bought into the NWA's Atlanta office and Georgia Championship Wrestling was formed. They quickly buried Ann Gunkel's operation and concentrated on turning their territory into one of the nation's best. The following year conflict returned to the region when the International Wrestling Association made an attempt to go national and they were directly challenging the NWA monopoly. Although the Northeast was their ultimate goal, the Southeast was their initial target. They ran in the cities "owned" by the Mid-Atlantic and Georgia promotions, but the NWA members used their political power to hold the fort and the IWA never took on a large scale. By 1976, outsiders challenging the NWA affiliates in the region was over, but a new problem was on the horizon - cable television.

People cite many reasons for the demise of the territorial system - poor NWA leadership, selfish NWA members, the rise of non-NWA promotions, Vince McMahon and the WWF. Realistically, the advent of cable television made the death of this long-existing system inevitable and all of those aforementioned reasons were part of speeding up that process. Someone was going to secure a cable TV deal, gain a national audience and take their act into other company's markets. Television had lead to conflicts since it was created, but cable television was a different animal. In 1976, WTBS went to satellite and Georgia Championship Wrestling crossed over. Although the company did run everywhere it was seen, the product was exceptional and its stars became nationally recognized stars, but the company was loyal to the Alliance. Over the next eight years, the Atlanta promotion became arguably the hottest wrestling in the world and meanwhile Jim Crockett Jr. was becoming a major power broker in the business by serving as the NWA president throughout the 1980s.

Vince McMahon and the WWF were hoping to go national and they succeeded by securing television across the country. The Georgia Championship Wrestling TV show seemed like it could have been the biggest score, but it was not. In 1984, Jim Barnett had been edged out of power in Atlanta, so he went to McMahon and brokered a deal that saw the Briscos sell off their shares of the promotion and their TV timeslot off. Ole Anderson held out, but he still lost his company and TV and had to start a new group Championship Wrestling from Georgia. After McMahon's WWF did not take in the Saturday night timeslot, Jim Crockett Promotions bought it and later Championship Wrestling from Georgia and began a national push as the face of the NWA.

The run of Jim Crockett Promotions in the late 1980s was successful, but ultimately they hit a wall. Financially and creatively the company was struggling and unable to compete with the WWF in the long run. In 1988, Crockett sold out to Turner Broadcasting and World Championship Wrestling began its rollercoaster ride backed by one a media corporation. The company spent the next seven years trying to compete with WWF and generally failing in most respects. The leadership was in constant flux, the booking direction was similar and the company tried to copy the WWF style rather than innovating. The style of pro-wrestling that had existed in Georgia and the Carolinas for decades was often vilified and a void was created. George Scott's South Atlantic Pro-Wrestling was able to be moderately successful by targetting those old fans with that familiar style.

In 1995, a savvy Eric Bischoff took over and transformed World Championship Wrestling. Adding a Monday night show that went in opposition to the WWF, securing the WWF's established stars with guaranteed contracts, running the hottest angle of the time and bringing in the best international talent turned WCW around quickly. The WWF was in trouble and WCW became the top promotion in the United States. It did not last though and once the company began its downward turn, any changes seemed to speed up their fall rather than turn them around or even slow the decline. Bischoff was scrambling to buy the company when it was sold to Vince McMahon in 2001. Depsite plans of running a second brand, the WCW acquisition was reduced to an overbooked, unsuccessful "invasion" angle.





Atlanta has always been a premier pro-wrestling city. It has featured the sport since the 1880s along with local cities like Savannah and Augusta. Max Baumann and his brother Billy Sandow ran the region between 1916 and 1922 and featured some major stars. After their departure, John Contos who had experience in Memphis and St. Louis took over the region in 1926 and ran for a few years. During his stint, Paul Jones made his first appearance in the area, which was one of the best in the country outside of the Northeast. After a car accident ended Contos' time in Atlanta, Henry Weber took over, but after a few years new promoters began popping up and pushing smaller wrestlers. In 1936, Weber also met a sudden end when a heart attack took his life. One of his stars, Frank Speer, took over for a couple years, but he too unexpectedly died at the age of 32. He was replaced by L.C. Warren, who owned the arena in Atlanta, but he burnt out on promoting and this allowed Tom McCarty and then Bill Hartman to take over. While all these transitions were happening, Atlanta was being swamped with promoters like Frank Bettis, Cleve Roby and Nat Jones, who had a successful operation between them. By the 1940s, these men had largely left and a new succession of power took place with Abe Simon, Charles Rentrop, Sammy Friedman and finally Paul Jones. The latter had established himself in Houston and moved to Atlanta to take over operations there in January of 1944. He quickly became the unquestioned power broker in Georgia for the next thirty years, especially after he joined the NWA in 1949. Fred Ward had a long-lasting relationship with Jones that kept him and his town functioning somewhat autonomiously (although he would buy into the office) for many years.  


Freddie Blassie
Orville Brown
Jim Browning
Primo Carnera
Vic Christy
Charley Cutler
Dean Detton
Dusek Riot Squad
Ronnie Etchison
French Angel
Gino Garibaldi
Ed Don George
Gorgeous George
Abe Kashey
John Katan
Dan Koloff
Soldier Leavitt (Man Mountain Dean)
Sky Hi Lee
Ed "Strangler" Lewis
Jim Londos
Bill Longson
Bobby Managoff
Everett Marshall
Masked Marvel (Ray Steele)
Leroy McGuirk
Albert Mills
Larry Moquin
Taro Myaki
Leo Numa
Danno O’Mahoney
Tiny Roebuck
Dr. B.F. Roller
Karl Sarpolis
Pete Sauer (Ray Steele)
Frank Sexton
Dick Shikat
Gus Sonnenberg
Stanley Stasiak
Joe Stecher
Swedish Angel
Jack Taylor
Lou Thesz
Chief Thunderbird
Enrique Torres
Wright Brothers (Jim & Rube)
Babe Zaharias
George Zaharias
Stanislaus Zbyszko
Wladek Zbyszko



Charlotte located near the southern edge of North Carolina became the home base of promoter Jim Crockett in the 1930s. His "Southeastern Co." would slowly take over the region starting in 1935 through a relationship with Virginia's Bill Lewis and the New York City. Bringing in some big stars to supplement his local charges, Crockett built his company up quickly. He soon targetted Florida and along with Rudy Miller became a strong office in the south. While their native stars are not iconic figures, their hard work built the office that became the building block of World Championship Wrestling when it was formed over fifty years later. The region came to be dominated by Crockett, Lewis and the Murnicks and in 1951, the NWA gained that region when they joined.  


Jim Browning
Jim Londos
Wright Brothers (Jim & Rube)




National Wrestling Alliance - Atlanta (1949-1958)
Paul Jones' Atlanta territory was an early NWA affiliate. His right-hand man Don McIntyre bought into the promotion as did Fred Ward, who ran Macon, Columbus and Marietta, Georgia. The three men built the state into a successful one during the "Golden Age." One of the major factors was Jones' association with Chicago promoter Fred Kohler, who had the strongest TV hence the biggest national stars. The stars of this era meant even more than before and Jones was building Atlanta into one of the premier wrestling cities in the US. Then Kohler had a fallout with the NWA brass and left the Alliance, Jones left with him. He still maintained connections that brought in stars and he still controlled the region.  


George Becker
"Wild" Red Berry
Freddie Blassie
Edouard Carpentier
Primo Carnera
Bull Curry
Dick the Bruiser
Jackie Fargo
The French Angel
Verne Gagne
Gorgeous George
Eddie Gossett (Eddie Graham)
Jerry Graham
Great Goliath
The Great Malenko
The Great Togo
Gory Guerrero
Ray Gunkel
Hard Boiled Haggerty
Larry Hamilton
Rip Hawk
Hans Hermann
Paul Jones
Wladek "Killer" Kowalski
Guy LaRose (Hans Schmidt)
Sky Hi Lee
Baron Michele Leone
Mark Lewin
Reggie Lisowski (The Crusher)
Bill Longson
Billy Red Lyons
Man Mountain Dean
Roy McClarty
Don McIntyre
Danny McShain
Bill Melby
Larry Moquin
Mr. Moto
Sonny Myers
Art Nelson
Steve Novak
Leo Numa
Pat O’Connor
Eduardo Perez
Angelo Poffo
Tex Riley
Rowdy Red Roberts
Argentina Rocca
Buddy Rogers
Nelson Royal
Smith Brothers
Wilbur Snyder
The Swedish Angel
Lou Thesz
Johnny Valentine
Kurt Von Brauner
Lester Welch
Rube Wright
Yukon Eric
George Zaharias




National Wrestling Alliance - Charlotte (1951-1973)
In 1951, Jim Crockett joined the NWA after becoming a powerful promoter in the Southeast. His operation was based out of Charlotte, North Carolina, but that was only point in the territory. Other notable cities in that state that he ran were Charleston, Greensboro and Winston-Salem. He had also secured South Carolina and the cities of Raleigh, Columbia and Greenville were regular stops. To the north, Virginian cities Norfolk, Roanoke and Richmond all became NWA cities under the membership of Crockett. Over the next twenty years, Crockett built his tri-state operation into an impressive one. He focused on tag team wrestling when it was all the craze and the region became famous for that attraction. This allowed them to effectively use a wide range of talents and bring in the very best tag teams in the land.  


Gene Anderson
Lars Anderson
Ole Anderson
George Becker
Brute Bernard
Jack Brisco
Jerry Brisco
Luke Brown
Haystack Calhoun
Scott Casey
Dennis Condrey
Jim Dillon
Dusek Riot Squad
J.C. Dykes
Cowboy Bob Ellis
Pampero Firpo
Flying Scotts (George and Sandy)
Dory Funk Jr.
Dory Funk Sr.
Terry Funk
Gallagher Brothers (Mike & Doc)
Leo Garibaldi
Ronnie Garvin
Terry Garvin
Eddie Graham
Mike Graham
Gypsy Joe
Swede Hanson
"Playboy" Gary Hart
Rip Hawk
Lee Henning
The Infernos
Paul Jones
Rufus R. Jones
Krusher Karl Karlson (Stan Kowalski)
Duke Keomuka
Killer Karl Kox
Dale Lewis
Luther Lindsay
Hiro Matsuda
Dennis McCord (Austin Idol)
Wahoo McDaniel
Tiny Mills
Missouri Mauler
Mr. Moto
Skull Murphy
Thunderbolt Patterson
Steve Rickard
Tex Riley
Buck Robley
Bob Roop
Nelson Royal
Royal Kangaroos (Jonathan Boyd & Norman Frederick Charles III)
Bobby Shane
Kinji Shibuya
Smith Brothers (Al & John)
Dick Steinborn
John L. Sullivan (Johnny Valiant)
Sailor Art Thomas
Tosh Togo
Enrique Torres
Maurice Vachon
Paul Vachon
The Von Brauners (Kurt & Karl)
Fritz Von Erich
Waldo Von Erich
The Von Steigers (Kurt & Karl)
Johnny Weaver
Ed Wiskoski
Mr. Wrestling




A.B.C. [Atlanta] (1958-1962)
After pulling out of the NWA, Paul Jones had their own crop of talent and ties with other offices that saw some big stars come into Atlanta for stints. One of their biggest native stars was Ray Gunkel, who even bought majority stock in the Atlanta office. Atlanta was not fighting it out with other NWA members, but when Kohler aligned with other promoters, the office needed to find other allegiances for talent-sharing purposes. They returned to the bosom of the Alliance and quickly became a strong member.  


Mitsu Arakawa
The Assassins (Jody Hamilton & Tom Renesto)
Freddie Blassie
Bobo Brazil
Luke Brown
Haystacks Calhoun
Don Curtis
Dick the Bruiser
Bill Dromo
Emile Dupree
Bob Ellis
Ronnie Etchison
Don Fargo
Jackie Fargo
Verne Gagne
Leo Garibaldi
Pepper Gomez
Gorgeous George
Karl Gotch
Eddie Graham
Jerry Graham
Ray Gunkel
Gypsy Joe
John Paul Henning
Hans Hermann
Matt Jewell (Bearcat Brown)
Don Leo Jonathan
Paul Jones
Kozak Brothers (Nick & Jerry)
Billy Red Lyons
Don McIntyre
Albert Mills
Tiny Mills
Guy Mitchell
Mr. Moto
Skull Murphy
Taro Myaki
Art Nelson
Pat O’Connor
Angelo Poffo
Argentina Rocca
Buddy Rogers
Ron Reed (Buddy Colt)
Joe Scarpa (Jay Strongbow)
Hans Schmidt
Wilbur Snyder
Lou Thesz
Von Brauners (Kurt & Karl)
Johnny Walker (Mr. Wrestling II)
Johnny Weaver
Saul Weingeroff
Jim Wright
Tojo Yamamoto
Yukon Eric



National Wrestling Alliance - Atlanta (1962-1972)
After rejoining the Alliance, the Atlanta outfit experienced some big changes. Paul Jones, in his sixties, was a stockholder, not the main promoter. Instead, it was Don McIntyre, until he sold his stock to Buddy Fuller. Leslie Wolfe took over running the office for a stint, then the aging Jones stepped in again. Fuller was a top star along with majority stockholder Ray Gunkel, the two tagged up frequently as well. However, they did not see the business in the same way and frequently butted heads. Fuller traded his Georgia stock with his uncle Lester Welch for stock in Florida. The conflicts continued until Gunkel's sudden death. Most suspected his wife Ann would see his stock and the fighting would cease, but instead she stepped up and wanted to run the show. When the boys tried to keep her out, she left and took nearly all the talent with her. Jones and Welch were only saved by their familial and Alliance-based connections.  


Skandor Akbar
Gene Anderson
Lars Anderson
Bob Armstrong
The Assassins
Ox Baker
Brute Bernard
Black Gordman
Freddie Blassie
Nick Bockwinkel
Tony Borne
Bobo Brazil
Gino Brito
Bearcat Brown
Bozo Brown (Bob Brown)
Lonnie Brown (Dutch Savage)
Frankie Cain
Haystacks Calhoun
Don Carson
Buddy Colt
Corsica Brothers (Joe & Jean)
Wayne Cowan (Dutch Mantell)
Don Curtis
Jack Dalton (Don Fargo)
The Destroyer
Dick the Bruiser
Bill Dromo
Dusek Riot Squad
J.C. Dykes
Bob Ellis
Don Fargo
Bobby Fields
Lee Fields
Stan Frazier
Buddy Fuller
Robert Fuller
Ron Fuller
Dory Funk Jr.
Dory Funk Sr.
Terry Funk
Verne Gagne
Mario Galento
Gino Garibaldi
Leo Garibaldi
Ron Garvin
Terry Garvin
Mike George
Jimmy Golden
Pepper Gomez
Eddie Graham
Jerry Graham
Luke Graham
Ray Gunkel
Gypsy Joe
Swede Hanson
Rip Hawk
Heavenly Bodies (Al & Don Greene)
John Paul Henning
Danny Hodge
Hollywood Blonds (Jerry Brown & Buddy Roberts)
The Infernos (Frankie Cain & Rocky Smith)
Mr. Ito
Matt Jewell (Bearcat Brown)
Rocky Johnson
Krusher Karlson (Stan Kowalski)
The Kentuckians (Tiny Smith & Luke Brown)
Duke Keomuka
Gene Kiniski
Shinya Kojika
"Krusher" Stan Kowalski
Killer Karl Kox
Nick Kozak
Dale Lewis
Bill Longson
Salvadore "El Gran" Lothario (Jose Lothario)
Ken Lucas
Tex McKenzie
Bill Miller
Tiny Mills
Hiro Matsuda
Missouri Mauler (Larry Hamilton)
Guy Mitchell
Sputnik Monroe
Taro Myaki
The Mysterious Medics (Tony Gonzales & Donald Lortie)
The Medics (The Interns - Billy Garrett & Jim Starr)
Jerry Oates
Pat O’Connor
Motoshi Okuma
Pat Patterson
Eduardo Perez
Angelo Poffo
The Professional
Ken Ramey
Ron Reed (Buddy Colt)
Tex Riley
Victor Rivera
Red Roberts
Argentina Rocca
Buddy Rogers
Bob Roop
Pancho Rosario (Gypsy Joe)
Len Rossi
Seiji Sakaguchi
Bruno Sammartino
Dutch Savage
Joe Scarpa (Jay Strongbow)
Hans Schmidt
George Scott
Bobby Shane
The Sheik
Mitsu Sito
Sugi Sito
Wilbur Snyder
Roberto Soto
The Spoiler
Stan Stasiak
Dick Steinborn
Kevin Sullivan
Sandor Szabo
Lou Thesz
John Tolos
Enrique Torres
Rip Tyler
Tarzan Tyler
Butcher Vachon
Mad Dog Vachon
Johnny Valentine
Von Brauners (Kurt & Karl)
Fritz Von Erich
Waldo Von Erich
Johnny Weaver
Wildman Wehba (Skandor Akbar)
Saul Weingeroff
Lester Welch
Roy Lee Welch
"Mr. Wrestling" Tim Woods
Rube Wright
Yukon Eric

CLICK HERE for a full NWA Atlanta alumni list



All-South Wrestling Alliance (1972-1974)
Ann Gunkel left the established NWA Atlanta office and started her own group after the boys in the office tried to keep her out. She and her booker Tom Renesto (Assassin #2) had an impressive core of talent and no NWA affiliate to oppose them when they started up. They, like other "outlaw" groups, attracted a variety of "outlaw" wrestlers to supplement their established stars from the area and their immediate future seemed bright. It seemed even brighter when Gunkel brokered a deal with Turner Broadcasting and despite rumors of an affair between Ted Turner and Ann Gunkel, All-South was in an advantageous position. However, the NWA powers backed a new Atlanta operation and when Jim Barnett came onto the scene, All-South became the underdogs. The new Atlanta office, Georgia Championship Wrestling, was one their way to becoming the premier pro-wrestling company in the US and All-South could not compete. They soon closed shop and many joined GCW for the glorious years ahead.  


Skandor Akbar
The Assassins
Ox Baker
Ray Candy
Carlos Colon
Wayne Cowan (Dutch Mantell)
Kim Duk
Mr. Fuji
Crazy Luke Graham
Dr. Jerry Graham
Hollywood Blonds (Jerry Brown &
Buddy Roberts)
The Islanders (Afa & Sika)
Krusher Karlson (Stan Kowalski)
Ernie Ladd
Missouri Mauler
Bolo Mongol (Masked Superstar)
Oates Brothers (Ted & Jerry)
Thunderbolt Patterson
Angelo Poffo
Lanny Poffo
Royal Kangaroos
Roberto Soto



Mid-South Sports (1972-1974)
In the wake of Ann Gunkel taking all of the talent from the Atlanta office, Jones, Lester Welch and his brother Roy Welch out of Nashville came together to form a new company. Bill Watts, Jack Brisco, Jerry Jarrett and Eddie Graham all helped the group get off the ground by buying stock, helping book or supplying talent. The Atlanta-Nashville connection became vital to replenishing their depleted roster and they were able to compete with All-South Wrestling much more quickly as a result. However, they needed something else to win.  


Bob Armstrong
Norvell Austin
Jack Brisco
Buddy Colt
Don Curtis
Bill Dromo
Buddy Fuller
Robert Fuller
Ron Fuller
Dory Funk Jr.
Eddie Graham
Mike Graham
Danny Hodge
Jerry Jarrett
Duke Keomuka
Dale Lewis
Hiro Matsuda
Bepo Mongol (Nikolai Volkoff)
Sputnik Monroe
Jerry Oates
Bob Orton Jr.
Fritz Von Erich
Bill Watts
Roy Lee Welch
Bearcat Wright
Tojo Yamamoto


CLICK HERE for a full Atlanta alumni list




NWA - Mid-Atlantic Championship Wrestling (1973-1985)
In 1973, Jim Crockett passed away, leaving his promotion to his son, Jim Crockett Jr., and the rest of his family. At this time, the promotion took the name "Mid-Atlantic Championship Wrestling," which had been sporatically used over the years. They continued the tag team theme that the territory had been built on, but by the mid-70s it was time for a change. George Scott took over booking Mid-Atlantic and he is credited for much of the group's success as he began focusing on and providing a platform for individual stars like Johnny Valentine, Wahoo McDaniel, Ric Flair and many others. This new approach got over huge with the fans and the promotion was gaining more and more power going into the new decade. In 1980, Jim Crockett Jr. enjoyed his first tenure as NWA president and he was able to make his Mid-Atlantic promotion and its talent nationally recognized. The NWA was crumbling, but Mid-Atlantic and Jim Crockett were going to salvage the pieces and build a national empire.  


Gene Anderson
Ole Anderson
Jack Brisco
Ric Flair
Dory Funk Jr.
Paul Jones

Wahoo McDaniel
Blackjack Mulligan
Ken Patera
Roddy Piper
George Scott
Sgt. Slaughter
Ricky Steamboat
Big John Studd
Greg Valentine
Johnny Valentine
Johnny Weaver 

CLICK HERE for a full Mid-Atlantic alumni list




GCW - Georgia Championship Wrestling (1974-1984)
Jim Barnett left his promotion in Australia, bought out Lester and Roy Welch's stock in Mid-South Sports and voted to rename the company "Georgia Championship Wrestling." The "War for Georgia" was raging between the NWA affliated Atlanta office and Ann Gunkel All-South promotion with each group battling over Atlanta, Columbus, Savannah, Augusta, Macon and other cities in the state. Barnett brought in the best minds to help GCW as Bill Watts, Ole Anderson and Jerry Jarrett did some excellent booking that soundly reclaimed Georgia and reaped the benefits of All-South's fall. Barnett secured a Saturday night spot on WTBS and when it went to satellite in 1976, the company became the first NWA affiliate to gain national exposure. Over the next ten years, the organization became one of the best in the United States and their TV was considered some of the best. They began using the "World Championship Wrestling" name for programming that Barnett had previously used in Australia to minimize their regional feel. This corresponded with an unprecidented move by expanding their operations to Ohio, Michigan and West Virginia. Whlie they were not aggressively invading, they were making it obvious that a national move was going to be made by someone at some point. Then Barnett was voted out as chairman of the company and he left the NWA the following year. Barnett used the influence that had made GCW a national powerhouse to destroy it. He brokered a deal that saw the WWF acquire GCW through a stock buyout and their valuable TV timeslot. Although the WWF did not last on WTBS, the move effectively killed Georgia Championship Wrestling. Ole Anderson tried to salvage the remains, but to no avail.  

Gene Anderson
Ole Anderson
"Bullet" Bob Armstrong
The Assassin
Jim Barnett 
Ted DiBiase
Stan Hansen
Ivan Koloff
Masked Superstar
Harley Race
Dusty Rhodes
Tommy Rich
Road Warriors (Hawk & Animal)
Buzz Sawyer 
Dick Slater
Mr. Wrestling
Mr. Wrestling II


CLICK HERE for a full GCW alumni list



IWA - International Wrestling Association (1975-1976)
Promoter Pedro Martinez and TV Sports impresario Eddie Einhorn partnered up to form the first national pro-wrestling promotion in 1975. Hoping to capitalize on a weakened NWA and the “separate” WWWF, the IWA began signing talent to contracts. At first they ran in Georgia and the Carolinas and faced hard opposition by Jim Crockett, who kept them out of the best arenas. In New York City, they met the same problems and Einhorn pulled out after losing an estimated $500,000. Johnny Powers and core of the talent continued to try to run in the South, but folded up in 1976. The IWA is often cited as an example of the monopoly that existed in pro-wrestling at that time. It was not until 1983 that someone was able to achieve that goal.  


Ox Baker
Bolo Mongol (Bill Eadie)
Dino Bravo
Gino Brito
Bulldog Brower
Carlos Colon
"Cowboy" Bob Ellis
Rip Hawk
The Islanders (Afa & Sika)
Ivan Koloff
Ernie Ladd
Jerry Lawler
Mil Mascaras
Terry Mecca (Terry Gordy)
Thunderbolt Patterson
Johnny Powers
Nelson Royal
Lou Thesz
"Pistol" Pez Whatley




Championship Wrestling from Georgia (1984-1985)
After Georgia Championship Wrestling was bought by Vince McMahon, shareholder/booker/top star Ole Anderson was left with nearly nothing. McMahon acquire some of the talent, but enough was left that Anderson was able to have another go at it. A weak timeslot on WTBS and an unsupportative NWA structure around him prevented this new Atlanta-based company from succeeding. They created alliances with Jerry Jarrett's Memphis office and Jim Crockett Promotions, which did not last long enough to keep them going. The operation was soon bought up by Jim Crockett, which was making a national move of their own.  


Ole Anderson
Bob Armstrong
Brad Armstrong
Ox Baker
King Kong Bundy
Ted DiBiase
The Dirty White Boys (Tony Anthony & Len Denton)
Ronnie Garvin
Eddie Gilbert
Jimmy Hart
Rufus R. Jones
Wahoo McDaniel
The Nightmare (Ken Wayne & Danny Davis)
Jerry Oates
Thunderbolt Patterson
Harley Race
Tommy Rich
Bob Roop
Rick Rude
Jimmy Valiant




JCP/NWA - Jim Crockett Promotions (1985-1988)
In 1985, Jim Crockett Jr. took over the NWA presidency for a second time and within a year he had dramatically changed his operation. After the WWF had attempted to run Georgia's Saturday Night timeslot and failed, Crockett purchased it for $1 million and took to the national stage. During this time, Jim Crockett Promotions became a national face of the NWA and promotions would merge with them over the next two years. First was the struggling Atlanta office; next was St. Louis, the long-time capital of the Alliance; shortly after was Central States, which was the home promotion of Bob Geigel who traded NWA presidencies with Crockett; and finally the Florida territory and the UWF in 1987. During this four year run, JCP became the second largest pro-wrestling company in the US and was threatening the WWF in several markets. Crockett's booker Dusty Rhodes helped give the company the creative edge to make an impact on a large scale. They began doing pay-per-view supercards that began running in opposition to the WWF's. Crockett's operation had ballooned and while it was successful, its product was not able to defeat the family-friendly WWF. Throughout 1988, the company continued to struggle and finally they sealed a deal with Turner Broadcasting that saw a media company get behind the second largest pro-wrestling company in the US.  



Arn Anderson
Ole Anderson
Tully Blanchard
Jim Cornette
J.J. Dillon
Ric Flair
Ron Garvin
Nikita Koloff
Lex Luger
Magnum T.A.
Midnight Express (Bobby Eaton, Dennis Condrey, Stan Lane)
Dusty Rhodes
Road Warriors (Hawk & Animal)
Rock-N-Roll Express (Ricky Morton & Robert Gibson)
Jimmy Valiant
Barry Windham  

CLICK HERE for a full JCP/NWA alumni list




WCW - World Championship Wrestling (1988-2001)
In the late 1990s, World Championship Wrestling became the first company to not only challenge to World Wrestling Federation, but they were the only company to overtake it. They nearly crushed Vince McMahon's company, but he bounced back and WCW began to fall apart. The story of the company begins with the name, which promoter Jim Barnett used in Australia and brought it back and attached it to Georgia Championship Wrestling in the 1980s when they were expanding out of the South. The following year, McMahon bought out Georgia and took over their successful Saturday Night TV show on Turner Broadcasting Station (TBS). After some interesting turns, Jim Crockett Promotions bought that same timeslot and began using the name with their NWA-affiliated program and created "NWA World Championship Wrestling" out of various NWA companies he had bought out in the 1980s. When Jim Crockett's ship began to sink, Turner Broadcasting bought it up in 1988, hoping to saving the program that had been a popular staple for years. This company, "World Championship Wrestling," was the second largest in the United States and continued their working relationship with the NWA (with various problems) for a while longer. In their early years, WCW had few difference from the Jim Crockett Promotions product that predated it. Its main TV program was dubbed "WCW Saturday Night" and that tradition was the folcrum of the promotion for the next seven years. Leadership varied from Jim Herd, Kip Frye, Bill Watts and booking committees that were chaotic and often inept. In 1995, an ambitious executive named Eric Bischoff worked his way to the top and took WCW in a new direction. He looked at the successful companies in the world and picked what worked and turned the company into the top company in the world relatively quickly. However, his creations soon spun out of control and WCW began struggling. Turner Broadcasting tried to stop the hemorraging through different means, but they often made the problems worse. Soon the company was losing millions upon millions and WCW future looked dismal. Bischoff was trying to organize a group to take over the company, but instead Vince McMahon bought it for a fraction of the cost and effectively killed WCW in 2001.

"WCW Saturday Night Years" (1988-1995)
World Championship Wrestling's flagship show aired on Saturday Nights, a tradition dating back many years on WTBS. The product echoed the past as stars from Mid-Atlantic, GCW and Jim Crockett Promotions were regularly featured. Although that historic link and "old school" style kept many fans with WCW, management constantly tried to incorpotate ideas that seemed WWF-like. It led to an instability that prevented a company with enormous funding from truly challenging the WWF. Finally, a single person, Eric Bischoff, took over and put together the pieces to make WCW work.  

"Stunning" Steve Austin 
Paul E. Dangerously 
"Nature Boy" Ric Flair 
Hulk Hogan 
"Total Package" Lex Luger 
Flyin' Brian Pillman 
"The Natural" Dustin Rhodes 
Dusty Rhodes
"Ravishing" Rick Rude 
Ron Simmons 
Ricky "The Dragon" Steamboat 
"Macho Man" Randy Savage 
The Steiner Brothers (Rick & scott)
Sting 
Vader
 

CLICK HERE for a full WCW alumni list




SAPW - South Atlantic Professional Wrestling (199?-1994)
George Scott had been one of the most influential bookers in pro-wrestling history with runs in Mid-Atlantic and WWF when those companies took off. After a short stint with WCW, Scott opened up a respectable independent that utilized the old Mid-Atlantic territory. Using the same arenas, television time and some of the talent, Scott’s operation was successful at first. There was an older fan base, but “North American Pro-Wrestling” could not grow in the struggling American scene. Frank Dusek and Greg Price took over the operation, rechristened it “South Atlantic Pro-Wrestling” and kept it going for a while before closing up. 

 
Matt Borne
Manny Fernandez
Robert Fuller
Paul Jones
Junkyard Dog
Dean Malenko
Wahoo McDaniel
The Nasty Boys (Brian Knobs & Jerry Sags)
Bob Orton Jr.
George Scott
Ricky Steamboat
John Studd
Lou Thesz
Johnny Weaver
Tim "Mr. Wrestling" Woods





WCW - World Championship Wrestling (1988-2001)
"WCW Monday Nitro Years" (1995-2001)
In 1995, Eric Bischoff's fabricated background might have impressed some executives at Turner Broadcasting, but he needed to deliver the goods. His first creation was "WCW Monday Nitro," a one-hour show that would run opposite to "WWF Monday Night Raw." This was the first stone cast in the "Monday Night Wars." His second creation was the New World Order, a faux invasion copied from the UWFI's invasion of New Japan. This caused a stir as acknowledging the competition had long been taboo for both companies. His third success was in using his alliances with companies and wrestlers in Japan and Mexico to produce a "cruiserweight" division. WCW was now a three-headed monster the WWF could not compete with. WCW had a bigger and better show, they had the hottest angle that fands tuned in to watch and they had the action that kept the fans glued. WCW soon took over the ratings and a game of oneupsmanship changed the course of pro-wrestling as it grew larger and more profitable than it had ever been before. Then this monster grew out of control and its hideous existence became the scourage of the pro-wrestling world. Turner Broadcasting was now part of the "AOL Time Warner" conglomerate, who wanted no part of this low-brow, money-consuming organization and decided to cancelled WCW programming in 2001 as Eric Bischoff sought backers to buy the company's assets. That deal never came through as Vince McMahon entered and bought the company at a cheap price, signed some of the cheaper talent and produced a pathetic invasion angle of his own. The death of WCW in 2001 can be blamed on many people and circumstances, but hopefully the highlights of that time will not be forgotten and its legacy forever tarnished by its agonizing demise. 


"Nature Boy" Ric Flair 
"Crippler" Chris Benoit 
Eric Bischoff 
"Nature Boy" Ric Flair 
The Giant 
Goldberg 
Eddy Guerrero 
Scott Hall
Bret "Hitman" Hart 
"Hollywood" Hulk Hogan 
Jeff Jarrett 
"Total Package" Lex Luger 
Rey Mysterio Jr. 
"Big Sexy" Kevin Nash 
Diamond Dallas Page 
"Rowdy" Roddy Piper
"Macho Man" Randy Savage 
Sting 
Kevin Sullivan
 

CLICK HERE for a full WCW alumni list



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