Where Wrestling's Regional History Lives!
- Charles Laffere
"This is the end,
The Doors-"The End"
I've always felt that Jim Morrison would have made a terrific wrestling manager. He certainly could incite a crowd, had good if bizarre mic skills, and wasn't afraid of physical confrontations. Oh, well.
Does this relate to Kayfabe Memories? Absolutely not. I've been reading "Tangerine" by Ed Bloor for a class assignment (a terrific book, by the way) and it has a foreword featuring a quote from the Doors' "Soft Parade." Trying to figure out a snappy way to start a column isn't easy sometimes, and this happens to be one of those occasions.
The last time we met, I was counting off the reasons why Bill Watts eventually sold the UWF to Jim Crockett. I've been doing some research, so I would like to start off where I left off with
REASON # 3. IT WAS A BUSINESS DECISION FOR WATTS TO SELL TO JIM CROCKETT.
The common logic is that Jim Crockett bailed out Bill Watts in buying the UWF. At the time of the sale in 1987, Watts was facing bankruptcy and going through a divorce. His national move, like any other business expansion, was costly. Given his financial resources and the climate of the business at that time, Watts literally could not afford to take huge monetary hits.
In addition, Watts didn't have the money to compete with Vince McMahon and the WWF when it came to guys like the Junkyard Dog, Ted DiBiase, Jake Roberts, Jim Duggan, the One Man Gang, Kamala, et al. Much like the Atlanta Braves or New York Yankees raiding teams like the Kansas City Royals or the Pittsburgh Pirates for players, McMahon's big-market, New York City-based, USA/NBC network connected promotion was no match for Watts' loosely aligned regional area and his syndicated TV shows. The combined losses of DiBiase and Duggan in a two-month period in 1987 really devastated the UWF. These two were the unquestioned top "faces" in the promotion, and Watts' inability to re-sign them was a blow that the UWF never recovered from.
REASON # 4. WATTS COULD NOT ESTABLISH A NATIONAL FAN BASE
The UWF ran regularly throughout the established Mid-South region of Texas, Oklahoma, Arkansas, Louisiana, and Mississippi, and stretched elsewhere as Watts attempted to go national.More...