What's In A Name?

DEFINING THE MID-ATLANTIC ERA AS 1973-1986

The Mid-Atlantic era by name did not have an official starting date, nor did it cease to exist on a certain official date. However, the time boundaries that mark the beginning and end of Mid-Atlantic Championship Wrestling (by name) line up nicely at 1973 and 1986 respectively, based on certain events that took place in those years.

The earliest official documented reference to "Mid-Atlantic" Wrestling was actually in March of 1972 when the designation started showing up in newspaper ads for shows in the Joe Murnick towns of Raleigh and Norfolk. (Learn more here.)

But in 1973, the branding became complete when the two TV shows taped in Raleigh ("Championship Wrestling" for the Raleigh market and "All-Star Wrestling" for all other markets) changed names to "Mid-Atlantic Championship Wrestling". During this same year the Charlotte and High Point TV studio tapings were discontinued and all TV for the territory was consolidated to Raleigh. 

In October of 1973, the Eastern Heavyweight Championship (the top singles title in the territory) was changed to the Mid-Atlantic Heavyweight Championship and a new belt presented to the reigning champion Jerry Brisco. In December, the Atlantic Coast tag team titles were changed to Mid-Atlantic tag team championships.

In the documentary "Jim Crockett Promotions: The Good Ol' Days", produced by Michael Elliot, David Crockett revealed that it was John Ringley (then Jim Sr.'s son-in-law) who actually came up with the name "Mid-Atlantic" Wrestling. On the "Crockett Sports Promotions" page on Facebook, a grandson of Jim Sr., who publishes the page, described it this way:

"Jim Sr. and John Ringley had been traveling the circuit for concerts and the Globetrotters. Every TV wrestling show called itself Championship Wrestling. They decided they needed to have their own identity to set apart from the rest. On their way to the WBTV station in Charlotte for a wrestling show, they were discussing graphics that were being shipped from the Mid-Atlantic. Sitting at the corner of Morehead and McDowell, John asked "Where is Mid-Atlantic?". Jim Sr. said "I don't know, and that is what we are going to call it".

By January of 1974, the promotion now led by Jim Crockett, Jr. had effectively switched all references to the promotion to the name "Mid-Atlantic Championship Wrestling." The promotional materials, including event posters and newspaper ads, all said Mid-Atlantic Championship Wrestling.

In December of 1986, the Mid-Atlantic Heavyweight Title was vacated for good, and the television show that was Mid-Atlantic Championship Wrestling had been renamed NWA Pro Wrestling. Crockett Promotions had begun expanding nationally and there was no longer a regional component or reference to the Mid-Atlantic area, thus the appropriate point to mark the end of the Mid-Atlantic era, the primary focus of our web site. 

- Dick Bourne & David Chappell          

 

See also:

Earliest Reference to the term "Mid-Atlantic Wrestling"

Origin of the Mid-Atlantic Heavyweight Championship

 


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Updated 8/21/14 - Added information from Crockett documentary and official Crockett Family Facebook page.