The professional world received some sad news on Wednesday March 3rd, legendary wrestling promoter Jim Crockett Jr. passed away at the age of 76. He had been hospitalized in hospice care over the last few days. Crockett had been battling liver and kidney failure. He was born in Charlotte, North Carolina.
Crockett was a second-generation wrestling promoter who largely revolutionized and changed the sport forever. He learned from his father Jim Crockett Sr. Jimmy carried on that sacred legacy of Jim Crockett Promotions into new decades at a time people were witnessing wrestling television rapidly changing. Crockett was a very competitive rival to Vince McMahon and the WWF/WWE. The biggest stars in wrestling began their career competing in Mid-Atlantic which featured such icons as Ric Flair, Arn Anderson, Ole Anderson, Tully Blanchard, Barry Windham they became famous as “The Four Horsemen with J.J. Dillion Ricky Steamboat, Gerry and Jack Brisco, Wahoo McDaniel, Jay Youngblood, Magnum T.A., Harley Race, Greg Valentine, Dusty Rhodes, Roddy Piper, Rock N’ Roll Express, The Midnight Express with Jim Cornette, The Road Warriors, Ronnie Garvin, Sting and Lex Luger. Not to mention many more major names. Commentators Bob Caudle, his brother David Crockett, Tony Schiavone and Jim Ross including many others. They all became established thanks to their exposure on Crockett’s television.
Jimmy Crockett reinvented how viewers and fans alike watched and saw wrestling being presented, from studios to big arenas. His impact is still felt presently to lay such a foundation for what wrestling was to become in the future. Mr. Crockett had a vision and also saw the overall bigger picture by trying new ventures. He also expanded the territory to other parts of America and quickly became one of NWA’s most popular and dominating promotions ever. Crockett’s reach extended well past just the Carolinas and Virginia into other well known markets covering many states that reached new audiences to their product.
Jimmy fully took control of his father’s company in 1977. This man was responsible for in my opinion giving us some of the absolute best wrestling from great tag-teams to singles wrestlers. 1988 was an end of era when Crockett sold JCP to Ted Turner and it became WCW. Jimmy served as a NWA President for three-terms, a run that lasted until 1991.
Some of Crockett’s greatest accomplishments were buying the TBS Saturday night time slot from Vince McMahon in 1985 this infamous incident came to be known as “Black Saturday.”
It was in that same year He lead the way by organizing the first ever “Jim Crockett Sr. Memorial Cup” in New Orleans at the Louisiana Superdome. Crockett also would buy Championship Wrestling from Florida and the UWF. Also such major events such as Starrcade, The Great American Bash, and so many others who were created by Dusty Rhodes. Starrcade was regarded as their version of WrestleMania due to when this event aired beginning in 1987 the WWF/WWE aired Survivor Series on pay-per-view.
Wrestling fans will always remember Jimmy Crockett Jr. as representing and introducing what we in the southeastern U.S. and eventually all of America as the best territory which gained a reputation for having a lot of not just the greatest wrestlers but in-ring workers too. We will never forget how he affected our lives falling in love with pro-wrestling.
RIP Jimmy Crockett Jr. 1944-2021, Sir you are missed by so many. Thank you for providing everyone with great wrestling. I enjoy revisiting Jim Crockett Promotions Mid-Atlantic Championship Wrestling. We send both prayers and condolences to all of the Crockett family during this time of tremendous loss. God bless each of you.