Monday, December 7, 2015

WWE Network Additions

The WWE Network has made some fantastic additions finally giving us some classic wrestling shows!

It all started with NWA World Championship Wrestling, then Smoky Mountain Wrestling and Mid-South Wrestling, later the American Wrestling Association.  The next day they added Stampede Wrestling and Global Force Wrestling.  I’m going to break down each show. 

 JCP: NWA World Championship Wrestling
Currently 95 Episodes from 11/2/1985 to 09/26/1987

World Championship Wrestling aired on WTBS from 1982 – 1992 with matches being supplied from Georgia Championship Wrestling (1982 – 1984), World Wrestling Federation (July 1984 – March 1985) Jim Crockett Promotions (March 1985 – November 1988), and finally Turner owned World Championship Wrestling from November 5, 1988 to March 1992.  On April 4, 1992 the show became WCW Saturday Night airing it’s final show on August 19, 2000.  Before that from December 25, 1971 to 1982 it was simply called Georgia Championship Wrestling.  Ted Turner wanted to change to name to World Championship Wrestling to give it a less regional sounding name.

Hosted by Tony Shiavone and David Crockett these episodes were taped at the Atlanta WTBS studios and featured promos about upcoming house shows and supercards like Starrcade and squash matches with top stars versus jobbers.

I’ve watched a few episodes with each one running about 77 – 85 minutes featuring, Ric Flair, Tully Blanchard, Arn Anderson, Ole Anderson, Terry Taylor, “Cowboy” Ron Bass, Manny Fernandez, Jimmy Valiant, The Rock n’ Roll Express, James E. Cornette and the Midnight Express, George South and more.

I cannot stress enough how much love these shows!
Smoky Mountain Wrestling 
Currently 10 Episodes from 02/14/1994 to 08/5/1994

Hosted by the legendary Bob Caudle and Dutch Mantell matches were taped around their territory but primarily Tennessee.  Smoky Mountain is known for being the starting point for Chris Candido, Tammy Sytch, Kane, The Road Dog, Al Snow, New Jack, Bob Holly, and for bringing Chris Jericho and Lance Storm to the States.  

Smoky Mountain’s TV show featured interview segments, enhancement matches and matches featuring top stars vs each other.  SMW ran from October 1991 to December 1995.  
Mid-South Wrestling
Currently 10 Episodes from 10/30/1982 to 07/21/1986

Mid-South Wrestling was founded by “Cowboy” Bill Watts in 1979 after purchasing the NWA Tri-State territory from Leroy McGuirk.  The promotion ran shows in Oklahoma, Louisiana, Mississippi, and Arkansas.  Mid-South Television ran in syndication and in 1985 began airing on WTBS.  Mid-South changed the name of their promotion to the Universal Wrestling Federation in March 1986 in an attempt to become a national promotion.  The venture failed and resulting in Watts selling UWF to Jim Crockett April 9, 1987. 

Top stars during this time frame include a who’s who of wrestling, Ted Dibiase, Junkyard Dog, “Dr. Death” Steve Williams, Sting, The Rock n’ Roll Express, the Midnight Express, and so many more. 
AWA: American Wrestling Association 
Currently 6 Episodes from 03/04/1986 to 04/10/1988

AWA was founded by Verne Gagne in 1960 based out of Minnesota and ran until 1991.  These episodes are pulled from three different AWA television shows;
AWA All Stars ran in syndication from 1960 – 1991
AWA Championship Wrestling was taped for ESPN from 1985 - 1990
AWA Superstars which I can’t find anything on but the episode I watched was hosted by Larry Nelson in a studio and featured matches of the top stars of the AWA against each other.  

Many of the legends of wrestling passed through the AWA; Nick Bockwinkel, Hulk Hogan, The Rockers, The Road Warriors, Vader, Scott Hall, Rick Martel, Curt Hennig, and the list goes on and on and on. If you haven’t watched the WWE documentary The Spectacular Legacy of the AWA you need to find it and give it a watch.  It’s one of their finest productions. 
GWF: Global Wrestling Federation / USWA: United States Wrestling Association
Currently 7 Episodes and 3 best of USWA Specials from 5/01/1990 to 6/28/1992

GWF was founded in Dallas, Texas in 1991 by Max Andrews and Joe Pedicino in an apparent attempt to pick up where World Class left off.  They even managed to get on ESPN after the AWA folded.  They featured young and up and coming talent like the 1-2-3 Kid, Marcus Bagwell, Cactus Jack, JBL, Jerry Lynn, Booker T and more.  They also featured Dallas mainstays in Kevin & Kerry Von Erich, Steve Austin, Chris Adams, Skandor Akbar and more. 

I actually recall watching their show when I was kid, the match that stuck out was Kevin Von Erich, I don’t recall against who.

I’m not sure how the USWA fits in to being part of GWF as the USWA was around longer that GWF.  I tried researching on the internet but wasn’t able to find anything. 
Stampede Wrestling
Currently 6 Episodes from 11/12/1978 to 07/27/1979
Stampede Wrestling was founded by Stu Hart of the famous Hart Family in 1948 in Calgary, Alberta, Canada.   Stampede Wrestling still exists today in name only.  The Stampede Wrestling that is part of the WWE library is from 1948 – 1989.  

The show is hosted by the voice of Stampede Wrestling Ed Whalen from 1957 to 1989 and was filmed at the Victorian Pavilion.  Stampede wrestling gave us The Dynamite Kid, Bret Hart, Owen Hart, Bad New Brown, Brian Pillman, Don Leo Jonathan, and so many more top competitors. 

Thanks for reading, please take a moment to leave a comment or like my pages Facebook page.  

Later Readers!!

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