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Kayfabe! – Back to the Territories with Jim Cornette – Georgia Championship Wrestling

May 16, 2017 | Posted by Mike Campbell
Cornette Smoky Mountain Wrestling
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Kayfabe! – Back to the Territories with Jim Cornette – Georgia Championship Wrestling  

Back to the Territories with Jim Cornette – Georgia Championship Wrestling

The cold open, with Jim doing the voiceover that recaps the history of the territory continues to be one of the highlights of this series. Jim starts with the early days of wrestling in Georgia and moves forward, covering rise of Ray Gunkel as a wrestler and promoter for Georgia, and his death at the hands of Ox Baker’s heart punch, which led to his widow Ann splitting off from the NWA and forming her own company, All South Wrestling. Ann stole a good chunk of talent from the NWA’s promotion, and it took Jim Barnett returning from Australia to settle the war in the NWA’s favor. One of things that makes Bill Eadie such a good subject for this topic is that he worked for both companies. They actually ran in the same studio an hour apart, so they frequently crossed each other’s paths. There wasn’t any heat between them though, the boys always got along, the heat was between the promoters.

The only criticism that I can give here is that Bill has a tendency to repeat stories from his Guest Booker show (which I highly recommend). But, it’s a six year old release, so only the most hardcore of the KC consumers (like me) would probably pick up on it. They talk about the travel schedule in Georgia, and Bill laments how he was home almost every night to watch the eleven o’clock news. They also discuss the differences between wrestling in the south, compared to everywhere else, where the towns were all run weekly as opposed to monthly or longer. Jim asks about his transformation from Bolo Mongol to Masked Superstar, and Bill describes the differences between the characters, Bolo was a eyes, nose, and throat specialist, while Superstar was very technically sound. Which leads Bill to tell the story of Vince McMahon senior wanting to bring him to New York as a cowboy, and Bill politely turning him down, because he’s not a cowboy and wouldn’t be able to make it work. Bill also once again talks about his philosophy with promos and how he tried to not embellish too much, because if he promised he’d break every bone in Tommy Rich’s body, then the fans could says that he didn’t do it. So, he’d simply say that he was going to go to the Omni and hurt Tommy Rich.

Jim and Bill talk about the major angles, and go over some of the arena cards. Of course, they discuss Tommy Rich winning the NWA Title and the rumors surrounding why it happened, which they both dismiss. Jim actually sums it up rather well by saying “Those who haven’t need an excuse why the others did.” Jim mentions his first time in the Omni, which was the night Ole turned on Dusty in the cage with the Assassins. The next week was Dusty teaming with Andre the Giant against Gene and Ole, which Dusty lost and had to leave town. Dusty came back under a mask and beat Gene so he had to leave town. Mr. Wrestling II beat the Masked Superstar and made him leave town. Jim: Where was everybody going? Bill: To the Carolinas or Japan. Bill discusses how he became the Masked Superstar, which was because The Spoiler, Don Jardine, had left over a money issue, so they wanted another masked heel. Ole had told him that they had too many masked wrestlers, so he was going to beat them all and run them out of the territory, until it was down to him and Mr. Wrestling II, which wound up being a hot program.

And of course, they talk about WTCG in Atlanta transforming into WTBS and going nationwide. Areas like Michigan and Ohio had been dormant for wrestling since the Sheik’s group closed up shop, so when they started running up there, they were drawing huge houses. But, this caused the problem of the company not really taking good care of Georgia, and those houses falling significantly, leading to unrest with the partners of the territory not being happy with their shrinking checks. Ole Anderson finds out that Jim Barnett is apparently lining his own pockets and he gets booted out. Barnett goes to work for Vince McMahon junior, and he convinces everyone to sell their shares to Vince, who takes over the company and leads to “Black Saturday.” Fan outcry leads to Ole’s group getting a new timeslot on TBS, as well as Mid South getting a spot as well, and Mid South killed them all in the ratings. Vince sold Jim Crockett the 6:05 timeslot for $1 Million, which allowed Vince to finance WrestleMania, and Georgia merged with Crockett and eventually became WCW.

The final score: review Amazing
The 411
Another winner this time around, between the fascinating historical stuff, and the overall fun discussion between Jim and Bill.