On October 4, 1975, wrestlers Johnny Valentine, Ric Flair, Bob Bruggers, Tim Woods and color commentator David Crockett all boarded a plane. Never in their wildest dreams did they ever imagine that trip would almost cost them their lives.
During their Starrcast interview last weekend, David tried to recall what happened on that gruesome day, but had trouble remembering much of the said incident.
"I don't remember how it affected me," David stated. "I do remember that the engine on the left side, they feathered it around Lumberton/Florence, South Carolina. To me, I still don't understand why we didn't land. Do I remember it or was I told it? That's the question.
"I sort of remember the other engine was starting to go. I was bending over. My son was two-weeks old, so I was trying to do the Lamaze and control my breathing, so I wouldn't get knocked out. Then, I saw a light go off and that's it. Come to find out my seat was the only seat in that plane that did not break loose, and that probably saved me."
Because of the accident, Flair's body transformation changed drastically after breaking his back and Valentine, their biggest star, never returned to the ring after a bone fragment became embedded in his spinal column, which paralyzed him until his passing in 2001.
David mentions that he asked Valentine what happened after the accident. Instead of giving him an answer, Valentine was glad he did not remember much about it.
"I asked John (Valentine) because we were the last two that they took out," David began. "He said 'Be glad you don't remember.' He said he thought his legs were caught. He said smelling the fuel and not knowing if it was going to go up in flames (worried him). He just restated to me 'Be glad you do not remember.'"
David patted his brother Jim on the back and mentioned that he was not on the plane with them that day because he was sick and couldn't make it.
"Guess who was supposed to be on the plane?" David joked. "He was sick during that time, so I went."
Since Valentine was the biggest draw in their promotion, Jim adds that his life serious injury hurt their business, greatly, because they were going to make him the biggest babyface in their promotion.
"The plane crash actually took away Valentine, who in my opinion, would've been the biggest babyface we ever had," Jim stated. "Just because, people respected him so much that if we had the right heel, it would have just been phenomenal."
If you use any of the quotes in this article, please credit Crockett Starrcast IV with a h/t to Wrestling Inc. for the transcription.