Wrestling Forum banner

1 - 10 of 10 Posts

·
Likes wrestling....
Joined
·
8,725 Posts
Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
As someone who grew up watching and loving the territories. I thought a primer might be called for since most posters on the forum were not around in this important time of the sport. The classics section is dominated by the AE era, and I understand why. But here's an article about that period of time when the wrestling world was divided regionally.

Technically many territories existed before the NWA formation and formal mapping out. But it was 1948 when the template was set.

The term "Territory Era" could refer to anytime frame from 1928 (the demise of the Goldust trio) to 1984 (the rise of the WWF), but most would consider the Territory Era from 1955-1984.

One of the critical moments was the beginning of television and the Dumont Network (a long forgotten national network) For about 6 years, wrestling was thrust into it's original "Golden Age" with national exposure. Wrestling was one of the most watched shows in the original days of television.

After the decline of the Dumont network, promoters no longer had nationally advertised stars they could bring in to prop up their shows. They were forced to solidify their own local talent, and in many cases hold on to them long term.

The territories basically grew up around media markets, and thrived off low cost/ highly rated television that the local stations loved because they could sell ads. Some of the territory shows dominated their ratings.

I will simply list the Major American territories (there were other smaller territories) and years of existence, list their operating area, and list some of the top stars (of course I will miss some of these but this is a start, feel free to add significant ones I missed). I realize you could probably find all this via wikipedia or other sites but here it is in one place, as a good primer for those interested in this era.

Pacific Northwest (1925-1992): Oregon/Washington: Dutch Savage, Buddy Rose, Roddy Piper, Tony Borne, Moondog Mayne.

Big Time Wrestling (1968-1981): Northern California: Pat Patterson, Ray Stevens, John Tolos

WWA/ NWA Hollywood (1959-1982): Southern California: Freddie Blassie, Edouard Capentier, Gory Guerrero

Western States (Amarillo)(1969-1981): West Texas: The Funks, Ciclone Negro, Bob Backlund, Karl Von Steiger

World Class: North Texas (1966-1990): Gary Hart, The Von Erich's, Stan Stasiak, Freebirds, Chris Adams, Skandor Akbar

Southwest: Southern Texas (1978-1985): Tully Blanchard, Dale Valentine (Buddy Roberts), Manny Fernandez

Tri-State/Mid-South/UWF: (1950-1990) Louisiana, parts of Oklahoma, Mississippi, and Arkansas: Danny Hodge, Bill Watts, Junkyard Dog, Butch Reed, Ted DiBiase, Mr Wrestling II, Magnum TA

Central States (1948-1988): Parts of Missouri, all of Iowa and Kansas: Harley Race, Pat O'Connor, Bulldog Brown, Orville Brown, Bob Sweeten

NWA St. Louis (1959-1989): Parts of Missouri: Ted DiBiase, Lou Thesz, Ric Flair, Harly Race, Gene Kiniski

WWA Indiana: Indiana, Illinois (1964-1991): Dick the Brusier, Wilbur Snyder, Baron Von Rashcke, Greg Wojokowski

NWA Mid America (1957-1980): Parts of Tennessee, Kentucky, Arkansas, Alabama, and Missisippi, even a little in Missouri: Jackie Fargo, Sputnik Monroe, Len Rossi, Don Kent, Luke Graham, Jerry Jarrett, Tojo Yammamoto

CWA/USWA (Memphis)(1977-1997): Parts of Tennessee, Kentucky, Arkansas, Alabama, and Mississippi, even a little in Missouri: Jerry Lawler, Bill Dundee, Jimmy Hart, Dutch Mantell, The Fabulous Ones, Jimmy Valiant, Austin Idol

ICW(1978-1984): (Not truly a major territory, considered an outlaw promotion but very influential, and a good history read): Parts of Kentucky: Angelo and Lanny Poffo, Randy Savage, Ronnie Garvin, One Man Gang (then known as Crusher Bloomfield)

Continental (1954-1990) (which had a sub territory called Gulf Coast): East Tennessee, Alabama, The Florida Panhandle, Eastern Kentucky: Bob Armstrong and family, Jerry Stubbs, Ron and Robert Fuller

Championship Wrestling from Florida (1949-1987): Florida: Dusty Rhodes, Terry Funk, Kevin Sullivan, Bob Roop, Eddie and Mike Graham

Georgia Championship Wrestling (1944-merged into what became WCW): Georgia: Ray Gunkel, Mr Wrestling 1 and 2, Dusty Rhodes, Ole Anderson, The Spoiler, The Road Warriors.

NWA Mid Atlantic (1931-1988): The Carolinas, Virginia: Ric Flair, Blackjack Mulligan, Wahoo McDaniel, Masked Superstar, Jack and Jerry Brisco, Rip Hawk, Paul Jones, Johnny Weaver. Sgt Slaughter

Big Time Wrestling (1959-1980): Michigan, parts of Ohio: The Shiek, Bobo Brazil, Fritz Von Erich, Johnny Valentine, Eddie Cretchman, Crybaby Cannon, Mark Lewin

WWWF (1952-nationalized in 1980): The American Northeast: Bruno Sammartino, Pedro Morales, Spiros Arion, Killer Kowalski, Gorilla Monsoon, Antonio Rocca, Chief Jay Strongbow, Tony Garea

Some would call the AWA a territory, especially since it had only a couple of territories that recognized it's World Title. However most wrestling mags, and historians considered the AWA as a national company that split off the NWA in 1960, especially since the AWA booked shows all over the Western United States where they had television markets.

AWA (1960-1991): Minnestoa, Wisconsin, and individual cities like Chicago, Salt Lake City, Las Vegas etc...: Verne Gagne, Mad Dog and Butcher Vachon, Baron Von Rashcke, Nick Bockwinkle, The Crusher, Crusher Blackwell, Greg Gagne, Curt Henning
 

·
Read Only
Joined
·
147 Posts
One of the critical moments was the beginning of television and the Dumont Network (a long forgotten national network) For about 6 years, wrestling was thrust into it's original "Golden Age" with national exposure. Wrestling was one of the most watched shows in the original days of television.
Was it really? From what I know wrestling aired in the daytime or very early evening and was even paid programming (why stations were happy to have it) as the episodes were really ads to get people buying tickets.
 

·
Likes wrestling....
Joined
·
8,725 Posts
Discussion Starter #6 (Edited)
Was it really? From what I know wrestling aired in the daytime or very early evening and was even paid programming (why stations were happy to have it) as the episodes were really ads to get people buying tickets.
Yes. 9 pm Eastern time from the Marigold. I generally try not to post misinformation
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
4,936 Posts
I remember when on Saturday mornings on Channel 62 out of Kansas City we had 6 hours of wrestling on Saturday mornings. UWF, Central States, AWA, JCP, WWF, and World Class. Those were the days.
Was it really? From what I know wrestling aired in the daytime or very early evening and was even paid programming (why stations were happy to have it) as the episodes were really ads to get people buying tickets.
Wrestling fit in perfectly for television because of the stories and back then production costs were way down. It was an inexpensive program to put on.
 

·
Likes wrestling....
Joined
·
8,725 Posts
Discussion Starter #8
In Nashville,TN



We got All American, and TNT on USA.
We got NWA on the Superstation Saturday and Sunday
We got World Class on Saturday Morning
We got Jarrett (Memphis) wrestling on Saturday morning, and Saturday night

From time to time we also got IWA, Continental,and even Western States
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
3,340 Posts
An excellent write as usual!

One of the benefits of the system was it allowed wrestlers to move around a bit.

Most territories had guys that were their main stars that (usually) did not leave the territory for long. But, other guys would move around territories a bit. Some more than others.

But, the interwebs wasn't a thing back then. Like GL and Bruiser pointed out above, nobody got every territory on TV. The only way to find out about territories you couldn't get on TV was the Apter mags.

A wrestler could move around from territory to territory if they wanted. It kept them from getting stale from being stuck in one place for so long and gave the fans an influx of new or returning talent. It helped avoid the "UGH! I'm sick of seeing this guy against that guy AGAIN! " problem the WWE has from time to time.
 

·
Do they have Krusty's Partially Gelatinated, Non-D
Joined
·
2,672 Posts
I’m very interested and want to do some research into what territory television was available in my area in Manitoba.

off the top of my head, we were in the AWA territory, so they would bring shows to Winnipeg and Brandon and would also provide television as well.

I would assume that Stampede wresting was on tv in Manitoba, but I know they never ran any shows in Manitoba.

im not sure if TBS was in Manitoba in the 70’s and early 80’s, if so then they would have got GCW. TBS was for sure around for JCP, and they toured here as well.

im also uncertain if the WWF would have been on TV. I assume so. I know they took over Manitoba from the AWA in the mid 80’s and ran periodically before That. I would have to assume they were on tv as well.

when I have time, I am going to do some research and learn more about this topic. See what I can report back with.
 
1 - 10 of 10 Posts
Top