Dick Bourne's newest in a line of books is titled "Jim Crockett Promotions' United States Championship." You may already have read some of Bourne's other titles including "Big Gold," "Ten Pounds Of Gold," and "Minnesota Wrecking Crew." Bourne is also one of the creative forces behind The Mid-Atlantic Gateway website. The Gateway is a site that I'm sometimes too scared to surf over to. The reason is that I know I'm about to lose an hour or two getting absorbed into the great content covering anything and everything that you ever would want to know about Jim Crockett Promotions and the rich Carolina wrestling history. Everything from wrestlers to venues to food (yes, food!) is covered there. The writing and photography pulls you in and actually almost transports you back to the era that's being described.
Bourne traces the Crockett version of the United States title all the way back to it's origins and brings it to present day. You'll see why this version of the championship (there were several around the country) is in fact the predecessor to today's WWE United States Championship. With so much focus on that particular title over the past year, a book like this could not have come at a better time.
Detailed descriptions and stories are given with each title change. Rare photos, newspaper clippings, and even newly created art and charts break down the fantastic title lineage. Can you believe that some wrestlers who held the title were never even photographed with it? And there wasn't just one physical belt. As the cover illustrates, there were actually five different versions of the belt while it was under the Jim Crockett Promotions banner. Before this book, I could have described three of them. I never before realized that two others existed, both of which look very much like other title designs. You'll see them all, as well as impressive replicas of some that are now missing in action.
If you're familiar with Bourne's books on the most recognizable versions of the NWA Championship, you remember the great "belt photography" that went into those. This volume is no different, with photos so clear and close that you might think Reggie Parks etched the belts right into the book. There are also plenty of shots of the various title holders wearing the championship, some of which have never before been published, as well as replicas and memorabilia.
If there's a classic wrestling fan on your list this holiday season, look no further. The legacy of Mid-Atlantic Championship Wrestling and one of its best draws is all right here. For more information and to order, check out the Mid-Atlantic Gateway. While you're there, stick around and check out some of the great content. Just grab a drink, make a sandwich, and reserve an hour or two. You'll be hanging out awhile!