Friday, April 02, 2021

New Tony Schiavone T-shirt Calls Back to a Classic Design from the Past

by Dick Bourne
Mid-Atlantic Gateway

Tony Schiavone has a new t-shirt on Pro Wrestling Tees. Well, I think it's new, it may have been around awhile, but I just came across it. But I marked out a little bit for this. It's a take-off on an old historic, but largely forgotten, classic Jim Crockett Promotions t-shirt sold at the Starrcade '84 event.

Whoever created this design nailed the homage to the original. Bravo.

The original design has a bit of a story to it, as it was the first (and only to my knowledge) "Mid-Atlantic Championship Wrestling" t-shirt produced by Jim Crockett Promotions.

Let's be honest, merchandising was never Jim Crockett Promotions' strong suit. The list of marketing and merchandising missed-opportunities makes for a pretty long list.

There had been wrestling programs (Mid-Atlantic Wrestling Magazine) and a few posters (Wahoo, Blackjack, Steamboat to name a few) in the 1970s, but those were only sold at the arenas and were never marketed on TV. 

In 1983, Crockett made a short-lived attempt to capitalize on the success of their first huge closed-circuit event Starrcade '83 by offering the Starrcade '83 photo album and a t-shirt through mail order.

In 1984 came the very first t-shirt sold at the arenas that bared the words of Mid-Atlantic Championship Wrestling. And it was the last as far as we know. It was a simple design bearing the name of their follow-up closed-circuit extravaganza, Starrcade '84, with the Mid-Atlantic Wrestling moniker stretched below.

The shirt is very rare, there weren't many made. George South has one in his collection, hanging in his museum. You can occasionaly come across one on Ebay, sometimes going for a high asking price, depending on what shape the t-shirt is in.

Following this 1984 shirt, JCP would introduce their first line of slogan/logo t-shirts featuring their top stars in 1985. The logos were also available on hats, jackets, and bandanas. "I Do It With Flair" is the best remembered of that series, and spurred on a similar t-shirt design for Ric Flair's daughter in the WWE in 2015.

In 1986, a second line of designs were released featuring artistic renderings of their top stars, a trend which continued until the sale of JCP to Ted Turner in 1988.

The Schiavone t-shirt is a very cool item indeed, and we hope to see more things like this that call back to the glory years of Mid-Atlantic Wrestling.  

You can get your own Schiavone Starrcade '84 t-shirt at

Late edit: Kudos to the artist who created this shirt, Ryan D (@highonryan), the creative genius who handles merchandise for Conrad Thompson's wildly popular Ad Free Shows (@adfreeshows) podcasts.