Being in Australia, we only got fed what the WWF gave us (FYI, I loved it too) but after watching quite a few docs, reading a shit tin of books and heaps of youtubing, I would have to say that wrestlers have lost the ability to talk people into buying a ticket. That was the job of a promo, and having to do dozens in a row to satisfy all the TV markets. Perhaps they dont do that now cause the WWE is such a machine and doesn't rely on Wrestler A saying to Wrestler B "At the Cow Palace, Sunday the 15th of November, I'm going to kick your ass".
Greenlawler, you seem to know your stuff. Agree? Disagree? What territory did u get to see back in the day?
Thank you for the kind words.
I do agree, excellent point and one I did not even think of. You are 100"% right. Guys lost the ability to work on promos. They had to talk people into the building every week back then. Very few companies had writers, just bookers who told them "go out there and sell your fued".
I guess I started really watching as a kid in about 1976. I remember watching a masked man "The Carpet Bagger" who was Randy Savage's dad Angelo Poffo. The mask really appealed to me since I was a comic book kid. The main territory in my area was the NWA Mid America but there was a split in that territory so I also watched the birth of the CWA (Memphis) territory. We had two weekly wrestling shows that both ran shows in Nashville for about a four year stretch. They were at "war" with each other so both companies really tried to outdo the other with huge national stars which made me passionate about the national scene. Of course the CWA won because they had the local icon Jerry Lawler. I started buying Apter mags and realizing there were multiple territoires around that time. I really loved reading about Mil Mascaras, Dusty Rhodes, Harley Race, and I remember skipping church one Sunday because Andre the Giant was going to be on television. I wanted to find out everything I could. I really miss those days of multiple programs each with their own roster of 15-30 wrestlers a piece.
For some reason about 1982 we started getting World Class syndicated in every week. This was just before the whole Von Erich/Freebird war so I got to see all of that. About 1982 cable television brought us the WWF and I was watching right when Slaughter turned face (thus my love for that gimmick), We got Georgia Championship wrestling about the same time, and a little later the AWA on ESPN. We also got Contenintal Wrestling from time to time, Deep South every week (although the territory did not last), and when Smokey Mountain began we got it as well. At one point in the 80's I could watch about 5 different wrestling shows.
Whenever we vacationed in Florida which was once a year, I got to watch that as well. From time to time we would visit Atlanta and they had a channel that simply ran local territory shows all night long. Now that was a treat.
So I guess the real answer is Memphis and World Class, but I had glimpses of many of the others.