Thursday, June 30, 2016
Wrestling MarketWatch: The Publications of Jim Crockett Promotions
In this edition of MarketWatch we'll look at some of the most treasured memorabilia featuring The Great American Bash and other Crockett-promoted events: the publications. JCP produced some very nice all-slick, sometimes even all-color, programs and magazines that showcased their stars in a way that the WWF would later become famous for. The rough, often bloody, action that took place in JCP rings came through the pages making them highly collectible today. If you're a longtime reader, you've seen some of these items before. This time we'll look at some recent selling prices for them. As always, the prices given are for un-autographed copies.
*Jim Crockett Promotions history of high-quality color spectacles in publishing goes back to the legendary Mid-Atlantic Wrestling Magazine. Nearly all of the big stars of the promotion made the cover at one point or another as the production carried on into the 1980's. Ric Flair, Dusty Rhodes, Rowdy Roddy Piper, Ricky Steamboat, Dino Bravo, Blackjack Mulligan, The Mighty Igor, and Greg Valentine are just a few of the names who found themselves on the front page, but none may have looked more menacing than Ole Anderson. The notoriously gruff grappler was featured on the cover several times, but the Volume 4 Number 6 issue has Anderson, by himself, in a full color photo. A copy of this issue recently sold for $30.
*Speaking of tours, The Rock & Roll Express even had their own offshoot, "The Summer Sizzler Tour." That tour produced its own publication, as did Ricky Morton and Robert Gibson themselves. Jim Crockett Promotions knew that many of the wrestlers had large female followings and produced what could almost be described as photo albums for some of the stars. The Express even had a fan club for a time with high-quality bulletins. One of the publications featuring Morton and Gibson was "The Rock & Roll Express: Solid Gold." This magazine, featuring photos of the boys in and out of the ring, recently sold for $20.50. It should be noted that the sold example had major cover wear. A copy as pictured here would likely fetch a bit more.
*Jim Crockett Promotions, and many fans, definitely looked at Starrcade as the biggest event of the year. It certainly came before WrestleMania as the industry's biggest supercard, but often had endings that weren't quite as final or conclusive. Some also point to Starrcade being moved out of its original home of the Carolinas as the beginning of the end for the promotion. While I find the latter to be a bit dramatic, something just seems right about Starrcade and Greensboro, NC. After the move to Chicago in 1987, Starrcade came to the more fitting Norfolk, VA in 1988. The program from that event, subtitled "True Gritt," recently sold for $175.50.
It wouldn't be a Fourth of July for me without celebrating Jim Crockett Promotions a bit. Maybe I'll pull up a classic show on WWE Network, schlepp out the programs and magazines, perhaps even the Wonderama trading cards. I'll wrap a Road Warriors or Four Horsemen bandana around my head and cue up "Rock & Roll Is King." It's a great time to revisit that era. It may gone forever, but that's what's great about the kind of memorabilia that we look at here each week. It lets us hop in that time machine for a quick spin without ever leaving our seats.