As proud second-generation owners of Jim Crockett Promotions / NWA, Jim Crockett Jr. and his brother David were early rivals to Vince McMahon Jr.’s WWF. During his time as the promoter and owner of the company, Jim Jr. thought, why not raise the stakes and start creating pay-per-view events to increase revenue and publicity.
When Jim came up with the idea to create the first ever Clash of the Champions event that would air for free on TBS at the same time and day as WrestleMania IV, he never thought his idea would land him in hot water. However, Crockett reveals that Ted Turner was not happy by the move and called him the day after the event.
During their interview at Starrcast this past weekend, Jim discussed the call with Turner, and how he realized he had to stop while he was ahead so he didn’t lose future opportunities with the television industry.
“We tried a couple of close circuits between Greensboro and Atlanta, and we didn’t have the success that I had hoped for,” Crockett began. “Pay-per-view was the way to go. So, of course, we did that. Then Vince does his first pay-per-view and I came up with the bright idea to hurt his pay-per-view, so I thought, let’s do that. We did a two-hour live special from Greensboro with no commercials during the matches.”
The event was a big success, garnering a 5.6 TV rating. WrestleMania IV did great business as well, drawing a 6.5 pay-per-view buy rate. However with the Clash being a free event, more people watched the NWA’s product that day.
“The next day, we did great. We had great ratings. The matches were great,” Crockett said. “Ted Turner calls and says ‘I want to see you.’ Well, his partners, or his business, were the cable companies. Cable companies make a lot of money off of pay-per-views, and we were told that we hurt their (Turner/Vince’s) pay-per-view badly. He said to us ‘You will never ever do that again.'”
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.
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