• The Bear Of Texas

Wrestling Territories

By Alex Al-Kazzaz

There was a time where professional wrestling was territorial/regional. Territories were all scattered throughout the United States. In addition, there were two territories in Canada, one of which was Calgary Stampede Wrestling that was owned by Stu Hart!

The territories were at one point a part of the National Wrestling Alliance. The NWA during that time was the governing body of professional wrestling. Over time, promotions would withdraw from the NWA. The likes of Verne Gagne's American Wrestling Association and Fritz Von Erich's World Class Championship Wrestling were at one point part of the NWA. Furthermore, the WWE, which was known as the World Wide Wrestling Federation in the old days, was part of the NWA. When Vince McMahon took over, he withdrew from the NWA as part of his plan to expand his promotion to the worldwide global brand status!

Unfortunately for me, I am way too young to remember the days when wrestling was all territorial/regional. But that doesn't mean I can learn about it. It's very fascinating. No doubt, Mr. Jim Cornette would be one of the best pro wrestling historians to learn from when it comes to the days of the territories. Being from the Dallas/Fort Worth area, The Von Erichs is a very proud name. Had I been around during the days of the WCCW, I'd certainly have gone to many shows.

If had been a pro wrestling journalist during the old school days of wrestling, I'd travel all over the United States and Canada to cover shows all over. From the AWA in Minneapolis to Georgia Championship Wrestling in Atlanta to Stampede Wrestling in Calgary to All-Star Wrestling in Vancouver to Mid-Atlantic Championship Wrestling/Jim Crockett Promotions. Hell, if I had the chance to travel to Japan to cover a New Japan Pro Wrestling and/or an All-Japan Pro Wrestling shows, I'd do it. Surely, it'd have been great to cover a classic between Ric Flair and Harley Race!

Nowadays, there are literally thousands of independent pro wrestling promotions in the country. Sometimes, I feel like the indy circuit is almost reminiscent of the days of the territories. I am well connected with three very good independent wrestling promotions. Generation Championship Wrestling in Tampa, Florida, and Pale Pro Wrestling and VIP Wrestling both in the Dallas/Fort Worth area. Attending the shows really makes me feel as if I am in a certain wrestling territory.

I've spoken to many wrestling fans that were around during the days when pro wrestling was territorial. Most of them really do miss those days. Pro wrestling is much different today than it was in the old days. Every now and then, those fans remind me that today the NWA is its own promotion now. In my case, learning from old school fans about wrestling from the territorial days is a blessing. Especially from fans who are at the historian level as far as knowledge goes.

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