Sunday, April 07, 2019

Debbie Ringley at the Crockett Foundation Talks About the 2019 Crockett Cup

by Dick Bourne
Mid-Atlantic Gateway
Late edit: The NWA has announced that the Rock & Roll Express (Ricky Morton and Robert Gibson) will be competing (!) in the 2019 Crockett Cup.  Also, they plan to announce the seeding for the tournament this Tuesday 4/9.) 

Later this month the National Wrestling Alliance will present the 2019 NWA Crockett Cup, bringing back the tournament that was originally presented by Jim Crockett Promotions in the mid-to-late 1980s. (Event is Saturday 4/27: More information.)

The tournament was originally named the Jim Crockett Sr. Memorial Cup in honor of the longtime promoter of pro-wrestling and other entertainment events in the Carolinas and Virginias going all the way back to 1935.

The tournament was discontinued after the Crockett family sold their business to media mogul Ted Turner in November of 1988. In 2017, The Crockett Foundation in Charlotte revived the idea of a tournament in the family name promoting the Crockett Foundation Cup in conjunction with Classic Pro Wrestling, an independent promotion in eastern Virginia. That tradition continued with Charlotte area PWX Wrestling at BB&T Ballpark in 2018.

Now the Crockett Cup returns as part of the modern day NWA, working with Ring of Honor Wrestling as well as the Crockett Foundation to present the tournament on a national stage once again.

I recently conducted a makeshift "email interview" with Debbie Ringley about how the tournament came together. Debbie is the granddaughter of Jim Crockett, Sr. (daughter of Frances Crockett and John Ringley) and president of the Crockett Foundation in Charlotte, a charitable organization helping veterans and service animals.

Mid-Atlantic Gateway: Your family has been out of the wrestling business now for over 30 years, as hard as that is to believe. You now have this opportunity to continue the Crockett tradition in pro wrestling with the renewal of the Crockett Cup. It’s very exciting for fans, especially those of us that go back in time a bit. How did all of this come together with the NWA and Ring of Honor Wrestling?

Debbie Ringley: David Lagana with the NWA came to the Crockett Cup that was held by PWX Wrestling at BB&T Ballpark last summer. He brought [NWA World Champion] Nick Aldis with him as part of the main event that night. The conversation pretty much started through follow up emails and conversations following that meeting.

Mid-Atlantic Gateway: Were you aware that the National Wrestling Alliance was in the middle of a renaissance? Or did this hit you out of nowhere?

Debbie Ringley: I did not know that it even still existed. I have found out that if wasn’t exactly being taken care of in the way it should have been, but I believe the new owner has the respect for the organization that it deserves.

Mid-Atlantic Gateway: The annual tournament that your family put on from 1986-1988 honored your grandfather, Jim Crockett, Sr.  Will the new tournament honor his legacy as well? Or will it be more to honor the family business broadly and their legacy in wrestling, and specifically in Charlotte?

Debbie Ringley: From what I understand, it will be a more broad look at my family’s legacy.

Mid-Atlantic Gateway: I see that they have announced that several stars from JCP in the 1980s will be making appearances at the Crockett Cup: Ricky Morton and Robert Gibson (the Rock & Roll Express), Magnum T.A., Nikita Koloff, as well as Jim Cornette and all three members of the Midnight Express: Bobby Eaton, Dennis Condrey and Stan Lane. Many of these same wrestling legends are also “tag team partners” with the Crockett Foundation. What other presence will the Crockett Foundation have at the event itself?

Debbie Ringley: We will be there with all of our swag and of course the books you were so kind to help us put together.

Mid-Atlantic Gateway: Will this show benefit the charitable work of Crockett Foundation in any way?

Debbie Ringley: Yes. The NWA has said they will be making a donation to the Crockett Foundation that night. I have heard through the grapevine that Billy Corgan (the new owner) is a big fan of veterans organizations.

Mid-Atlantic Gateway: Will any other members of the Crockett family (your mom or your uncles) be involved in any way?

Debbie Ringley: I hope so but nothing has been confirmed as of this date.

Mid-Atlantic Gateway: What have been some recent activities and events connected with the Crockett Foundation and what do you have upcoming in 2019?

Debbie Ringley: In July we will have our annual Crockett Foundation Night at BB&T Ballpark. We will also be attending TMPT Con 3 in Richmond, VA on May 18, 2019. There are about 3 other things that will be announced in the coming months.

Mid-Atlantic Gateway:  Thanks Debbie! David and I look forward to seeing you there that night. It's very exciting to see the Crockett Cup return, especially to the Charlotte area.

Debbie Ringley: Thank you, Dick. See you there!

* * * * *
The 2019 Crockett Cup presented by the NWA, ROH, and the Crockett Foundation, will take place Saturday night, April 27, at Cabarrus Arena in Concord, NC, just northeast of Charlotte. Tickets are on sale now. There will also be several other special events surrounding the tournament including a fanfest Saturday afternoon where you take pictures and get autographs of the NWA wrestling legends in attendance that day including Ricky Morton and Robert Gibson (the Rock & Roll Express), Magnum T.A., Nikita Koloff, as well as Jim Cornette and all three members of the Midnight Express: Bobby Eaton, Dennis Condrey and Stan Lane!

Nick Aldis will defend the NWA World Heavyweight Championship that night (as is tradition with the Crockett Cup tournaments of the 1980s). There is a special dinner to be held the night before (Friday April 26) with Aldis as well his opponent Marty Scurll, and NWA National Heavyweight Champion Willie Mack.

For links to Twitter and Facebook information about the Friday dinner, Saturday afternoon fanfest, and Crockett Cup event Saturday night, visit our Crockett Cup update page on the Mid-Atlantic Gateway or the specific links below.

Follow the NWA (@nwa), the NWA World Champion Nick Aldis (@RealNickAldsis), and Ring of Honor Wrestling (@ringofhonor) on Twitter.

Support the Crockett Foundation by visiting their online store, filled with lots of wrestling goodies. For more information on the Crockett Foundation, visit