INDEX


 

 

We Gather Together

For decades, wrestling fans in and around Greensboro NC and Norfolk VA (as well as occasionally Charlotte NC and Charleston SC and few other spot towns) spent the better part of their Thanksgiving day in the same way most other folks did. They gathered with family and feasted on turkey and dressing and Mom's pecan pie. But after Thanksgiving dinner had settled, and the afternoon football games were over, that's when things began to change for wrestling fans.

The 4th Thursday in November meant a national day to give thanks for God's bounty, originally the celebration by the Pilgrims in the early 1600s of the harvest festival.

In Greensboro and Norfolk, it also meant wrestling.

In 1983, Jim Crockett Promotions began spreading this tradition to other towns in the territory by use of closed-circuit broadcasts from Greensboro, and later Atlanta. For the final four years of the company's existence, Thanksgiving meant Starrcade.

I am currently researching the history of the Thanksgiving day tradition of wrestling cards by Jim Crockett Promotions. My current focus is on the years 1967-1987, and once those years are complete, I will begin working back through the years as far as I can get. I am grateful for the help and resources of Mark Eastridge, one of the great wrestling researchers, whose tireless work makes this feature possible.

These pages will primarily document the Thanksgiving shows with newspaper clippings, but will also include where available event posters, photographs, ticket stubs, and other special memorabilia from those events.

The next phase in this project will be to add the years 1961-1966. Jim Crockett's first wrestling show at the Greensboro Coliseum was the Thanksgiving show in 1961. Lou Thesz brought the NWA world title here for Thanksgiving in 1963. And for a couple of years in the 1960s, fans in Charleston SC also got some extra turkey on Thanksgiving. Look for the next update here down the road.

So let's all now give thanks for our great harvest of good fortune, which includes the rich history of Mid-Atlantic Wrestling on Thanksgiving.

- Dick Bourne

October 2007


A Note from Mark Eastridge to the Gateway:

Thanksgiving in the seventies consisted of an early dinner at my grandmothers house, rooting for the Dallas Cowboys to lose, and heading to Greensboro that evening. The first Thanksgiving show I went to was in 1975 and the last was for Starrcade '83.

I get so wrapped up right now getting all of the clippings scanned to my computer that I forget to enjoy them. Then I get a couple of e-mails from you that bring back such good memories. I stop and reflect on how lucky I have been.

That's what the Gateway brings to my life, and that's why I'm so happy to be able to provide any material I can for others to enjoy on your website.

- Mark Eastridge, 10/29/07


The Mid-Atlantic Gateway

Research by Dick Bourne and Mark Eastridge.

Thanks also to Carroll Hall.

Clippings from the collection of Mark Eastridge unless otherwise noted.

1967

1968

1969

1970

1971

1972

1973

1974

1975

1976

1977

1978

1979

1980

1981

1982

1983

1984

1985

1986

1987


NWA Title Defenses for Jim Crockett Promotions on Thanksgiving



11/01/07 - Section Launch

11/01/07 - 1967 Ad Added

12/31/07 - 1985 Video Added

11/29/10 - 1986 ticket added

08/22/13 - Knoxville TN 1980

02/17/14 - Norfolk VA 1980
06/26/16 - Wilson, NC 1969