Ongoing coverage, reviews, and analysis of this weekend’s Starrcast 4 shows and events from Baltimore, MD.
NOVEMBER 8, 2019
LIVE FROM BALTIMORE, MD
Host: Bruce Mitchell
Pro wrestling history class was in session during the Crockett panel at Starrcast 4 that was hosted by PWTorch’s own, Bruce Mitchell. While not the most charismatic men to walk the stages of Starrcast throughout the years, Jim and David Crockett openly discussed the history of Jim Crockett Promotions with a fine tuned recollection of detail. Mitchell’s vast historical knowledge of the territory drove the show and walked both Jim and David through the bright heyday of the company and into the darkness that ensued during its demise.
The conversation began with Jim and David talking about other Crockett promotional ventures and their father. Regarding their father, they detailed that they learned the art of the handshake business deal and how to determine whether or not someone’s word was good or bad. They joked that there were some good guys and bad guys in the business when it came to that. From there, the focus moved solely into the pro wrestling universe. Jim and David discussed the birth of tag team wrestling before spending a large chuck of time on Johnny Valentine. The detail on Valentine was fascinating and covered a wide spectrum of topics including his love for pain, his psychological prowess in the ring, the ring being the only place he was truly at peace, working with Harley Race, and a story about Valentine listening to classical music on the road. Jim Crockett noted that if Valentine hadn’t been a victim of the plane crash with Ric Flair, David Crockett, and others, he’d have become the biggest babyface in their company’s history. For anyone not familiar with the work of Johnny Valentine, the detail that both Jim, David, and Bruce provided makes this portion of the show a must listen.
After, the conversation shifted toward other major Jim Crockett Promotions topics including Wahoo McDaniel, Ric Flair, and the plane crash. In regards to the crash, David Crockett said he doesn’t remember much of it at all. He then revealed that Jim Crockett was originally supposed to be riding on the plane instead of him and that it was discovered that his seat was the only seat that remained intact during the accident. David credits that fact as a reason why he made it through the ordeal.
As for Flair, both Crockett’s spoke highly of him and referred to him as a close confidant and friend. Jim told the audience how Flair adopted the Nature Boy gimmick thanks to George Scott and how Flair changed the business when he took the art of taking a bump to a different level unseen to that point in the business. In addition, Jim and David detailed what it was like getting Ric Flair ready to be the NWA Worlds Heavyweight Champion and how that move affected the day to day workings of their business. They said the goal was to make sure Flair was credible before becoming champion and that credibility would boost business around the country and their own territory even if they only had him for a limited amount of dates.
Other discussion points included competing with WrestleMania 4, Andre the Giant and outlining travel times based on the number of beers he could drink, managing talent in the company, promos, Ole Anderson getting stabbed in Greenville, the major Thanksgiving Day shows in Greensboro, working with Sam Muchnick, Dusty Rhodes and his ability to see the big picture for big shows, and road stories surrounding Ric Flair.
To conclude, Mitchell and Crockett’s detailed the fall of the company and what it was like to survive in a world with Vince McMahon and Ted Turner. Jim and David talked about their 605 show and outlined what caused the company to go under.
Throughout the entire interview, Jim and David Crockett reminisced fondly about the good times, while still appearing to be emotional about the bad times. They told the audience that for a long time they blamed each other for what happened and didn’t speak to one another for handful of time. In the end, Jim addressed the audience and said that he hadn’t thought about wrestling for over 30 years. He said that he appreciates the memories that the fans have and that those memories trigger other memories for him. That was the most candid point of the show and one that resonated straight to the heart while watching. Both Crockett men looked as if a slight weight was lifted off their shoulders and that they were excited to talk about wrestling again.
To start the show, Mitchell said his goal of the interview was to define and help highlight JCP’s place in history. When it all was said and done, Mitchell navigated them through a mine field of many topics – all of which had significant implications and impact on wrestlings past history and present day reality. Their marks are everywhere. Mission accomplished.
NOW CHECK OUT OTHER STARRCAST 4 COVERAGE: STARRCAST 4 SPOTLIGHT: Unhinged – The Jon Moxley Story