If you are a wrestling fan and you were lucky enough to grow up in the 70’s and 80’s you experienced a true boom in the sport. Sure we had the famous Attitude Era and the Monday Night Wars in the late 90’s and early 2000’s but the 80’s produced some of the best wrestling out there. We had WWF who brought wrestling to the forefront of mainstream popularity with there over the top gimmicks and characters. Hulkamania was running wild to say the least. You had the AWA, which if you’re a Midwesterner like myself you were no doubt a fan. That was old school wrestling. Lets not forget about the best produced wrestling television show out there, the UWF who had the toughest hard hitting in your face blood and guts athletes in the world. The Von Eric’s were putting the deadly Claw Hold on the state of TX in WCCW. And the you had without a doubt the greatest company ever. Jim Crocket Promotions. Think I’m lying? Ask any fan, and old school wrestling fan and they will back that statement up. They had the best story’s, the best in ring action, the best stipulations. They had RIc Flair, Dusty Rhodes, Magnum TA, The Road Warriors, they had them all. They were on level playing field with the WWF, then sadly it all came crashing down. Luckily for us fans, Elbow Productions, in association with Highspots has put together an amazing documentary on the subject. Jim Crockett: The Good Old Days. Available on a 3 disc DVD set, and currently streaming on the Highspots Wrestling Network
The first thing I will say regarding this documentary is that is made from a third party. Why would I mention that you ask? Because it’s the only way to get an unbiased look at things. The WWE Documentaries are fantastic, don’t get me wrong, but they tell only there side of the story. Many times things are changed in there favor. When your dealing with 3rd party companies making a documentary there is no bias, no ulterior motive, just something made out of love for the product involved. This is without a doubt the most detailed documentary I have ever seen. This goes all the way way back to the beginnings of the promotion, and features more interviews then I have ever seen complied into one sitting. The unique aspect is there is no narration, the interviews have been edited together in such a compelling way that they are actually telling the story to you. It was on such a large scale I emailed Michael Elliott from Elbow Productions and asked how long it took to gather and piece all this together in such a perfect linear fashion. He replied “It took close to a year to compile all the interviews that we shot for the Good Old Days documentary. We traveled to several different states including traveling to Texas to meet with Jim Crockett Jr. which was a huge get for the documentary and a really awesome experience.”
We start out with the basic origin story of how Big Jim Crockett would promote various shows in the Charlotte area, but he always had the most love for wrestling. Although the business was always called "Jim Crockett Promotions," it used a variety of pseudonyms as brand names for specific TV shows, newspaper and radio ads, and even on event tickets, themselves. Among those brand names were the generic standbys, "Championship Wrestling" and "All Star Wrestling"; as well as "East Coast Wrestling"; "Mid-Atlantic Championship Wrestling"; "Mid-Atlantic Championship Sports"; "Wide World Wrestling"; and, "World Wide Wrestling" When Big Jim passes away the company was taken over by his sons, Jim Crockett Jr, who ran everything behind the scenes, and David Crocket who would often appear on TV in a figure head type Role. In 1981 Jim was elected as president of the NWA, which was what I primarily knew the promotion by. Around this time Ted Turner had discovered the power of Cable Television, and as he had a soft spot for wrestling gave crocket the 6:05 time slot on Saturday evening. And guys, believe me when I say, every wrestling fan knew the 6:05 time slot.
As things progress we learn about the plane crash that Ric Flair was in, the origin of Starcade, and even the dreaded Black Saturday when Vince McMahon purchase the 6:05 time slot for his syndicated WWF show. Luckily that didn’t last long and TBS has Crockett back on the air and everything was exploding for them. Shows at the Greensborough Coliseum would shut traffic down on I95. Billboards would be over town promoting the big events. Ric Flair was the heavyweight champion of the world, and was also considered the best wrestler in the world. He had his legendary gang The Four Horsemen with him every step of the way. The Rock n Roll express had all the girls crying in the stands when Ricky Morton would be getting beaten up. Dusty Rhodes was always chasing a member of the horsemen, and booking behind the scenes as well. This Doc covers all that in great detail and more. Watching and reliving these story’s and angles and being able to hear about all the backstage goings on was incredible to watch.
We also go in-depth to the tragedy that befell Magnum TA. Magnum was the top baby face in the world right under Hulk Hogan, and he was set to win the heavyweight title from RIc Flair. That was the companies Plan A, B, and C, Magnum wins, and is pushed to the moon. But sadly on October 14, 1986 Magnum was in a horrible car accident, that ended his wrestling carrier. In fact it’s a miracle that he was ever able to walk again. This Documentary not only takes you further than anyone else regarding the emotions of the wrestlers at the time, but you hear from Magnum Himself. Its discussed in great detail, with newspaper clippings, and magazine photos. If you were a fan of Magnum TA this segment alone is a must have. Truthfully every segment makes this a must have, but Magnum’s will no doubt bring a tear to your eye.
We go through the list of various bookers that handled the territory, to their first PPV, to the inception of the Clash of the Champions specials, To being the 2nd company in the world right behind the WWF. In fact many people at that time considered, and rightfully so that JCP was the better promotion. But sadly the story does not end happily as lavish lifestyles and spending eventually led to the downfall of the promotion, and the eventual sale to Ted Turner who rebranded it WCW. Its nearly impossible for me to go into complete detail about all you will see as this covers the entire history and linage of the promotion.
This is without a doubt the best wrestling documentary on the planet. Never have so many people been interviewed for a single show. The line up is a whos who of wrestling. The Crockets, Dusty Rhodes, Magnum TA, Ole Anderson, Baby Doll, The Rock n Roll Express and too many more to even mention. By blending in high quality interview footage with old school gritty arena footage you get an experience that cant be described. You feel as though you are at the matches, as well as sitting in your living room watching these interviews. The documentary clicks in a little over 2 hours, and I still cant stress enough how amazing it is. I’ve read almost every wrestlers autobiography, and combined they do not even scratch the surface of all that is covered her. Elbow Productions should have gotten an Oscar nod for Best Documentary when it comes to this as the hard work put in delivered the best wrestling story ever told. Im just sad that it didn’t end on a happy note.
The documentary is streaming right now on the Highspots Network. Or you can purchase the 3 disc DVD set directly from Highspots Supersotre. The 2 extra DVD’s are all bonus footage. Below is the listing of the discs.
DISC 2 SPECIAL FEATURES and BOUNS MATERIAL
DISC 3 BONUS MATERIAL
INTERVIEW BONUS MATERIAL FROM:
Overall 5 out of 5 Stars! Amazing!
To subscribe to the Highspots Network and watch all the content they have uploaded click HERE