Thursday, March 04, 2021

Jim Crockett, Jr. Passes Away

It is with great sadness that we learn of the passing of Jim Crockett, Jr. He died yesterday (March 3) at the age of 76. We wish to extend our sincere and heart felt condolences to his sister and brothers - - Frances, David, and Jackie Crockett, and to all members of the Crockett family.

Jim Crockett with Bob Caudle (1984)

David Chappell and I grew up loving Mid-Atlantic Wrestling from the mid-1970s, faithfully watching every Saturday on our local TV stations for the next 15 or so years. It was one of the highlights of each and every week. Much of what we saw and loved was the result of the tireless work of Jim Crockett, Jr., who headed up the Charlotte based promotional empire that his father started back in the 1930s. Alongside his siblings they ran one of the most successful companies in the history of the pro-wrestling business, growing it in the 1980s to become one of the two top promotional companies in the United States, and arguably producing the best in-ring product of any that survived that long when wrestling was consolidating from a regional business to a national business.

When we were kids, Jim Crockett was the man, the authority figure before it became fashionable. Quiet, straight-forward, methodical, he was always very low-key in his approach. But he was unmistakably the boss. And we knew as fans what Jim Crockett decreed was the law.  

We didn't understand anything about the actual wrestling business back then. We didn't know there were bookers and agents and producers involved in putting together the TV shows and the live arena events. We thought Jim Crockett did it all! When he brought guys into the territory that we didn't particularly care to see, we got mad at him. When he made those big main event matches pushing the guys we loved and wanted to see, he was a genius. He was our guy.

For many years after Ted Turner bought the family business, it appeared Jim Crockett had just disappeared. No one seemed to have information about where he was or what he was up to. We always wondered. It has been such a wonderful development for him to resurface for fans in recent years, first for the Crockett documentary produced by Michael Elliot for Highspots several years back, and most recently for his appearance at the huge Starrcast IV convention with his brother David in Baltimore, MD. And of course there is the current amazingly candid, hours-long conversation with Conrad Thompson as part of a series of streaming presentations on the Ad Free Shows / Patreon platform. It has been such a blessing on our life to be able to see and hear from him again after so many years. His family's company was important to us in so many ways, and the legacy of his work is still felt to this day. 

Thanks to George Pantas and Tony Schiavone for keeping us informed over the past days. Please joins us in sending prayers and condolences to the Crockett family. 

- Dick Bourne
Mid-Atlantic Gateway

Wrestling Observer  | PWInsider