Thursday, August 1, 2013

Wrestling MarketWatch: Mid-Atlantic Treasures

If you're a fan of classic wrestling, chances are that this upcoming weekend your mind will be focused on Mid-Atlantic Championship Wrestling.  There's an even greater chance that you may be celebrating the great promotion, in person, with dozens of other fans.  August 1-4 is the Mid-Atlantic Memories Fanfest in Charlotte, NC.  A few weeks ago I had my annual pleasure of discussing everything that the weekend means to so many of us.  With the event finally here, it's a great time to take a look at some of the amazing memorabilia that helps carry on the tradition of MACW and Jim Crockett Promotions.

Wrestling MarketWatch is our regular feature where we take a look at a handful of items and their recent sale prices.  Since there are no accurate "price guides" in the Internet age, this is the closest thing to those great books of the past.  Remember, something is only worth what one individual person is willing to pay, and you should always collect for yourself as opposed to profit.  That being said, it's often a blast to know what people will pay for these great relics.

*Would you believe that some of the coolest Mid-Atlantic items actually come from Fanfest itself?  It's true.  In addition to shirts, lanyards, and DVDs, each years event is represented by a full-color program featuring all of the stars of the weekend.  In 2009 we were spoiled with a whopping set of four programs.  One program was dedicated to the annual Hall of Heroes ceremony, another commemorated the reunion of The Horsemen at the event, and the last two featured the other wrestling stars who would appear that weekend.  The individual program for Saturday recently sold at auction alone for $30.  The program was listed as having ten autographs inside, including the recently deceased "Fabulous" Jackie Fargo.

*When you're talking Mid-Atlantic programs, you have to mention the publication for Starrcade 1983.  The first edition of the legendary super show was highlighted by "A Flare For The Gold," Ric Flair challenging Harley Race for the NWA World Heavyweight Championship.  This publication is more of a photo album than a program and is labeled on the cover as such.  The photos show the stars of the event as well as a few who didn't quite make it onto the card, including Hulk Hogan.  With its classy artists renderings of Race, Flair, and the NWA "Big Gold" belt, the cover is the true star here.  Always high in demand, a copy recently sold for $130.

*Like the Fanfest program, not every Mid-Atlantic treasure is directly from the era.  The Anderson's were some of the biggest wrestling stars that the Carolina's ever saw.  The fans admiration for Ole Anderson at each Fanfest is concrete proof of this.  Several years ago, Anderson wrote a book titled "Inside Out."  Chronicling both his in-ring career as well as his many years booking and promoting, Anderson tells an incredible story in his usual "pull-no-punches" style.  Due to popular demand, the book was re-released a number of years ago with a two-tone color, but the original blue covered first printing remains highly coveted.  A copy from the first printing recently sold for $30. 

*Some of the best merchandise to come from Jim Crockett Promotions was the 1988 trading card set by Wonderama.  With over three hundred cards, many wrestlers have their rookie cards in this set, and many appeared in little to no other merchandise.  A limited test run of these cards is beginning to become noticed by collectors.  Printed in 1987, this limited test set only includes a few dozen cards as opposed to the 1988 run.  While the photos and card fronts are indistinguishable from the standard set, the test run card backs are on brown card stock as opposed to the white stock used in the regular run.  Few of these have surfaced, but an example of card #17, Sting, recently sold for $52.  The card is generally regarded as one of his rookies, and is the nicest Sting card to make it into the test run.

*Bright lights, big cities, fine women, and The Four Horsemen.  Fans of Jim Crockett Promotions later years have many memories of wrestling's original elite stable.  In the days that the group, along with manager J.J. Dillon, ran wild across the country, it was pretty difficult to obtain autographs.  After all, the guys were heels in every sense of the word.  Getting the four original members and Dillon on one photograph?  Impossible.  Thanks to modern day conventions, the task became a lot easier for many of us.  One of the most common photos autographed by the four is a great backstage shot from the time of the 1986 Great American Bash.  An 8x10 version of this photograph, authentically signed by Ric Flair, Arn Anderson, Tully Blanchard, Ole Anderson, and J.J. Dillon, recently sold for $50.  I've had higher offers for my own similar piece and can tell you that, in my opinion, fifty dollars for this treasure is an absolute bargain.

The Horsemen.  Dusty Rhodes.  Rip Hawk.  Johnny Weaver.  Magnum T.A.  Paul Jones.  Rick Steamboat.  These are just a few of the men who made Mid-Atlantic Championship Wrestling what it was.  It's the fans who carry on, and share, the legacy forever into the future.

1 comment:

Hobgoblin238 said...

Great stuff! Keep it coming!