Monday, November 25, 2013

Starrcade 85

Back in the day Thanksgiving was Starrcade, Jim Crockett Promotions most important show of the year. Starrcade'85 was the first year the event was held in two locations, Greensboro and Atlanta, with closed circuit broadcasts between the arenas. This was also my first roadtrip where my fascination with the wrestling business all began.

It wasn't advertised in advance which town would get which matches, but my friend Allison had the inside track and we wound up choosing Greensboro. Mainly because the guy she was seeing knew his match was going to be in Greensboro. As it turned out my #1 was in Atlanta that night. Still, I went to Greensboro with Allison because she scored us free second row tickets. We we right on the aisle where the heels entered the ring.

My adventure began early Wednesday morning when I drove to Charlotte to meet Allison at her grandmother's house. This was my first visit to a town I would wind up living when I first graduated from college in 1990-1992 and again in 1994. We started off going to the SouthPark Bennigan's for lunch where we met her guy and got our tickets. Bennigan's was the wrestler's main hangout in Charlotte from probably the early 1980s to the 1990s when the SAPW gang used to do Sunday evening dinners there.

After her guy bought us lunch Allison gave me the wrestling tour of Charlotte, with the highlight being driving by Ric Flair's house. I also got to see the Coliseum on Independence, Plum Crazy's, the bar where all the boys partied, Big Mamma's florist on South Blvd, and our last stop was the JCP office on Briarbend Drive.

Allison was a few years older than me and my mentor in all things ring rat related. One of the first things she taught me was to make friends with someone in the office. A lesson that served me well over the years. We stopped by the office and met up with said friend and he hooked us up with t-shirts and programs and a pass to park in the back with the boys the next night in Greensboro.

Our next stop was SouthPark Mall where we bought our outfits for the big event. I bought a pink sweater dress with a scoop back that showed off a lace cami, black hose, and I wore a pair of Allison's black stilettos. Oh, and we ran into Robert Gibson when we were shopping and I didn't know which one of the Rock & Roll Express he was. For some reason, Allison found that quite amusing.

The next morning I did get a quick visit with my guy before he left for Atlanta and then Allison and I were off to Greensboro. We got a room at the Four Seasons Holiday Inn and her guy dropped by for a private prematch visit while I hung out in the lobby.

Then we got a dressed up in our ring ratting finest attire. The night before Allison cut Dusty off her t-shirt and replaced him with red lace. She wore that with a black leather mini skirt, fishnets, and suede boots. I wish I had photos, but this was way before camera phones and neither or us ever took a camera to the shows. I guess we were living in the now and not thinking about preserving memories for the future.

This would be my first of many events at the Greensboro Coliseum. It was totally cool to get to park in the fenced in area behind the coliseum and go in the back door. That kinda made up for my guy being way off in Atlanta. We had great seats and it was a really cool setup with the big screens hanging over the ring.

Atlanta got Flair vs. Dusty and one of the many infamous "Dusty finishes" where we left the building all sad that Ric had lost the belt. Of course on the next TV it would be revealed that Ric was still the champion and we found out about it later that night at the hotel.

Greensboro probably got the better end of the deal with the two awesome cage matches with The Rock & Roll Express vs. Ivan and Nikita Koloff. I still remember the sick bump Ricky Morton took from the top of the cage. Then there was the most famous Starrcade match ever, Magnum TA vs. Tully Blanchard. To this day, I was still argue that Tully NEVER said I quit.

Later that evening I met Buddy Landel for the first time, and unlike some of my many years later adventures with Buddy this encounter was totally innocent. He thought I was jailbait. LOL And Allison wanted him to keep thinking that. I actually was 18, but still very naive to the boys and post match shenanigans. I was also very much in love with my #1 and no one else stood any chance of getting anywhere near my panties other that him.

Allie and I had many many more adventures over the next few years before she took a job in Texas and moved to Dallas. She was like a big sister to me and in those few years taught me so much and what to do and not to do around the boy. Unfortunately, Allison died in a car crash in 1990, leaving behind a 3 year old daughter. I still miss her to this day.