The move that changed wrestling history[edit source | editbeta]
Georgia Championship Wrestling was primarily owned in 1983 by a conglomerate of: Jack Brisco
and Jerry Brisco
(brothers who were also superstar amateur and professional wrestlers); Jim Barnett; and Paul Jones. The remaining ten-percent stake belonged to Al Rogowski, a match booker
, who also wrestled as "Ole Anderson
In 1984, the Briscos sold their stock in GCW to Vince McMahon
for $900,000 and guaranteed jobs with the WWF. Gerald (Jerry) Brisco, in fact, was still a road agent in today's WWE
before suffering three strokes in 2009. After working out a few prior commitments, Georgia Championship Wrestling ceased to exist.
According to Ric Flair
in his autobiography To Be the Man
, the Road Warriors
were offered $5,000 to injure the Briscos during a tag team
match by an unnamed, disgruntled source. Instead of injuring them, they promptly informed the Briscos and told them not to worry because, "We're not those kinds of business people."
The purchase of Georgia Championship Wrestling by the WWF is still considered the tipping point
in U.S. professional wrestling's evolution from local or regional sideshow to national phenomenon. The other primary event was the demise of WCW in 2001, which the WWF liquidated much the same as it had Georgia Championship Wrestling.
Black Saturday[edit source | editbeta]
Main article: Black Saturday (wrestling)
On July 14, 1984 (a.k.a. Black Saturday
within the U.S. professional wrestling industry), Georgia Championship Wrestling ceased to exist when Vince McMahon unexpectedly bought the promotion and its TV time slot for his then-nationally expanding WWF. Freddie Miller
, an announcer, was the only member of the original Georgia Championship Wrestling on-air cast who did not quit in protest or just get replaced by the new owner. McMahon had underestimated two major factors, however. The first was the differences in tastes between fanbases of different geographical regions. The WWF's style of wrestling sharply differed from that of GCW, with the WWF featuring cartoonish characters and storylines and squash
matches and GCW featuring more athletic competition. Secondly, Southerners
resented the symbolism of a "Yankee
" company coming down from The North
and "taking over" their
In addition, WWF World Championship Wrestling
was mainly used as a re-cap show, featuring matches which had previously aired on the WWF's main programming venues such as WWF Championship Wrestling
and WWF All-Star Wrestling
. This angered WTBS owner Ted Turner, who was hoping that the WWF would have original matches originating from the WTBS Studios at 1050 Techwood Drive. Eventually, the WWF would have in-studio squash matches
on the show on an infrequent basis. During this time, the show was co-hosted by Miller and Gorilla Monsoon
, with Monsoon serving as the play-by-play announcer and Miller serving as the ring announcer.
The WWF version of the show received much lower ratings
than its NWA-associated forerunner. As a result, in March 1985, McMahon sold the Saturday night time slot (but not the Georgia Championship Wrestling promotion) to Jim Crockett, Jr.
, a Charlotte, North Carolina-based promoter who ran NWA-branded shows in the Mid-Atlantic states; Jim Crockett Promotions
took over production of the TV show. In time, the show was renamed WCW Saturday Night
, reflecting an overhauled look and a new home studio-arena at the CNN Center. In 2001, McMahon would gain the rights to Crockett's library of Georgia Championship Wrestling/World Championship Wrestling/NWA matches and showsâ€”augmenting his own WWE Tape Library
- through his purchase of assets and trademarks belonging to the now-defunct WCW