Black Saturday

by Dick Bourne



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"Time slips away and leaves you with nothing but boring stories of glory days." 

     -Bruce Springsteen


July 14, 1984 - my 23rd birthday.

After a day with my family, I settled in to watch Gordon Solie and Ole Anderson host World Championship Wrestling out of Atlanta, what over the years had become a highly anticipated weekly ritual. Instead, on that fateful day, Vince McMahon strolled onto the WTBS set, took the microphone from long time Georgia sideman Freddie Miller, and the wrestling world as we knew it changed forever. Black Saturday.

Nine months later, in the spring of 1985, Tony Schiavone stepped out onto the same studio floor with long time Crockett Promotions television broadcaster David Crockett and welcomed us back to the major leagues of professional wrestling. A new day had dawned. NWA wrestling was back on the Superstation.

Years before, in the early-80s, I moved from North Carolina to live and work in the state of Alabama, hundreds of miles away from Mid-Atlantic Championship Wrestling and Jim Crockett Promotions that I loved so much. After Black Saturday, I had lost all connections to the brand of wrestling I had grown up with. Mid-Atlantic Wrestling on Saturday afternoons and Georgia Championship Wrestling on Saturday nights had been a special part of my weekends for as long as I could remember. So when Crockett Promotions acquired the wrestling slots on WTBS in Atlanta in 1985, it was like having them both back in one sweet moment. And this new product was getting ready to set the country on fire.

This also marked the return of Crockett wrestling to the cozy confines of a television studio, something also sentimental to me. From the late 1950s through the summer of 1983, Crockett Promotions had taped wrestling in various TV studios across the Mid-Atlantic area, primarily in the studios of WRAL-TV in Raleigh NC. In the summer of 1983, Crockett moved TV tapings out of the studio to small arenas. Crockett's return to the studio, this time in Atlanta, was a nostalgic turn.

In 2004, I began work on a website called "The Glory Days" dedicated to documenting that wonderful period from 1985-1988, the last four years of Jim Crockett Promotions. While my favorite period in wrestling will always be the mid-to-late 1970s, the Crockett/TBS era ranks a sentimental close 2nd. And there is no arguement that some of the TV that came out of that era was some of the very best TV wrestling ever.

The Four Horsemen and J.J. Dillon, The Midnight Express, Magnum TA, Buddy Landel, The Varsity Club, Barry Windham, The American Dream, the Russian Nightmare, Mulkiemania, the Great American Bash, the Crockett Cup, Starrcade, it's all going to be there on the Glory Days, week after week, month after month. The angles, the matches, the interviews, the memories.

Join me as we tell old stories of Glory Days. 

This article is a modified version of the introduction to the now defunct Glory Days website, published in February of 2004.