Monday, January 25, 2016

Main Event Memories: The Gathering On Tour

Township Auditorium
Columbia, South Carolina 
January 23, 1986

As my friend Jamie said when he sent us this clipping, sign me up for this. What a great card.

Actually, it was sort of a typical card for Jim Crockett Promotions at the time. Just an amazing locker room during the Dusty years.

Some interesting things about this card:

(1) I've never been aware that there was a "Gathering Tour." I don't think this was mentioned on the WTBS shows, but I could be wrong. I'd love to know more about it. It was most likely just an instrument in local promotional spots and newspaper ads to help promote some big shows following "Starrcade '85: The Gathering."

(2) Tully Blanchard and James J. Dillon had just hooked up weeks earlier, Blanchard having dumped Babydoll after the seeds of distrust had been planted by Dillon. Babydoll was now with Dusty Rhodes (as you will observe in the main event of this show.) J.J. had previously been the manager of "Nature Boy" Buddy Landel and had led him to the National heavyweight title, but Landel was fired in late December and J.J. was put with Tully Blanchard to form "Tully Blanchard Enterprises." The Four Horsemen hadn't quite yet taken off, although they had begun referring to themselves as that on TV.

The program with Jimmy Valiant only lasted a few weeks. J.J. Dillon targeted the Boogie Man to try and get close to Rhodes, as Jimmy Valiant was thought to be Dusty's right hand. Blanchard soon moved on to directly challenge Rhodes for the National title, eventually winning it two months later in a memorable televised match.

(3) Interesting to see Magnum T.A. defending the U.S. title against Nikita Koloff just before the big program between the two began where they didn't face each other for months while the Koloffs were demanding stipulation that were "approved by the Kremlin." I loved all that.

(4) Ricky & Robert defending the world tag team titles against the Russian combination that they won them from - Ivan Koloff and Krusher Kruschev.

Special Note: If anyone has clippings or information on other cities that were part of "The Gathering Tour", we'd love to start a list. Send us a message through the "Contact Us" page above.