...to five great wrestling stars who each sold plenty of tickets for JIMCROCKETTPROMOTIONS and always gave the fans their money's worth...
He wrestled as a 'babyface' or as a 'heel'. Either way, the fans LOVED him, and so did the other wrestlers. A second generation wrestler. They'll never be another like him.
A main eventer for JCP in the 1960s, then lower card as his career come to a close. Stayed with the company after active ring work and was head of the ring crew.
A gentle giant of a man whom everyone liked.
Rich Landrum dubbed him 'The Dean of Professional Wrestling'. He could do it all---wrestle, book, promote. Johnny was at the top of the heap for CROCKETT PROMOTIONS for at least ten years, both as a single and tag partner. To state it bluntly, JOHNNY was THE MAN before there was a Flair.)
(Robert Windham) Here's a man who did it all in the business, and regardless of what he did, he was over BIG TIME. The fans loved BJ---and loved to hate him when they were supposed to do so. Ask any wrestler who knows him, and I'm sure you will hear a great story about a guy who gave his all to the business.
DINO BRAVO (Adolfo Bresciano) (1949-1993) In JCP, held the WORLD TAG TEAM CHAMPIONSHIP with MR. WRESTLING (TIM WOODS). Top main eventer in whatever territory he worked. Was murdered in his Quebec home.
Not necessarily during the same time frame, but nevertheless, they put bodies in the arena seats and always gave us fans plenty of excitement!
'THE BIG CAT' ERNIE LADD
One of the first athletes in pro football (AFL) to wrestle during the off season, starting in 1961.
WILLIAM DEE (HAYSTACK or HAYSTACKS) CALHOUN
He worked for probably every major wrestling organization in the world and was a chief pioneer for the sport’s super-heavyweight attractions.
'THE HOT ROD' ROWDY RODDY PIPER
(RODERICK GEORGE TOOMBS)
Began wrestling as a pro at age 16 in 1970, highly successful on the West Coast, arriving in JCP in 1980. A top worker in every territory he performed and was inducted into the WWE HALL OF FAME in 2005 by his friend RIC FLAIR.
ABDULLAH THE BUTCHER
(LAWRENCE ROBERT SHREVE)
Known as one of the most brutal pro wrestlers of all-time. Not really from the Sudan area, but rather Canada. Many of his top matches were literal 'bloodbaths' by both himself and his opponent.
'COWBOY' BOB ORTON JR.
(ROBERT KEITH ORTON JR.)
Son of the 'BIG O' BOB ORTON, brother of wrestler BARRY ORTON (BARRY O) and father of current WWE superstar RANDY ORTON. Began wrestling in 1972. Best remembered in the MID-ATLANTIC territory as being one of the wrestlers (DICK SLATER the other) who collected a $25,000 bounty by then NWA World Champion HARLEY RACE to end the career of RIC FLAIR. This led to STARCADE '83's title match in which FLAIR defeated RACE.
Let's be honest...has ANYONE done more for the professional wrestling business than
He may have some close rivals in specific areas, but, overall, I can think of no one who can top him 'across the board'.
We all know of some big names in the business who may have been more marketable, but when it came time to go to work, their matches were usually horrible, unless an opponent of FLAIR's caliber 'carried' them through the match.
After all, 'posing' only goes so far.
The common theme throughout FLAIR's career is RESPECT. The man truly respects the business, the wrestlers who went before him, the people who helped him in the business and the current workers who now carry the torch who put the business first. He strongly believes that NO ONE IN THE BUSINESS should be BIGGER THAN THE BUSINESS ITSELF.
And in return, he expects respect for what he has done for wrestling.
That's not asking too much.
He certainly has mine.
STYLIN' and PROFILIN'
Slugging it out in the ring...
Battling WAHOO MCDANIEL.
The matches with the Chief put FLAIR on the JCP map.
I'd love to know who is on the other end of this call.
"SLICK RIC FLAIR IS NO. 1" says the shirt he wears early in his JCP career.