Legendary Promoter Jim Crockett Jr. Passes Away

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Jim Crockett Jr., the first man to take on Vince McMahon head-to-head in the 1980s, by building his own National Wrestling Alliance (NWA) army of territories, creating the foundation for World Championship Wrestling (WCW), passed away on Wednesday night from organ failure. He was 76 years old. Earlier this week, he was placed in hospice care.

Jim Crockett Jr. came from rich wrestling blood, as his father, James Crockett Sr., was an original wrestling promoter from the 1930s who built Jim Crockett Promotions (JCP), whose territory in the Carolinas became known as Mid-Atlantic Championship Wrestling. In 1952, JCP joined the National Wrestling Alliance (NWA). Crockett Sr. passed away in 1973, and it was then that Jim Crockett Jr. took over his father’s business. In 1974, he lured away a young star from American Wrestling Association (AWA) named Ric Flair, long before becoming pro wrestling’s most charismatic and decorated champion. NWA Mid-Atlantic became one of the NWA’s strongest East Coast promotions, alongside Georgia Championship Wrestling, but following WWF purchasing Georgia Championship Wrestling and Canada’s Maple Leaf Wrestling and Stampede Wrestling, it became apparent that the NWA’s “old boys club” mentality of not going national wasn’t going to cut it. Crockett Jr. and JCP began to acquire territories of their own to combat McMahon’s rising empire, absorbing Mid-South Wrestling, St. Louis Wrestling Club, Championship Wrestling From Florida, Championship Wrestling From Georgia, and NWA Central States into one massive territory. As McMahon took control of the Northern territories, Crockett Jr. conquered the South. Unfortunately, WWF became an international phenomenon before JCP, and McMahon’s bank accounts began to surpass Crockett’s. In 1988, he sold JCP to Ted Turner who rebranded it as WCW. In 1993, WCW departed from the NWA banner altogether. Crockett was also a three-term president of the NWA during his career.

Last Word on Pro Wrestling sends our condolences to the entire Crockett family, and to his friends and peers in the industry.

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