1983 Mid-Year Report
Ranking the top U.S. Promotions:
1- World Wrestling Federation:
As we enter the summer of 1983, the WWF is riding high as the top promotion in the United States. Vince McMahon's raid of the top talent in several NWA territories along with a nationwide syndicated deal for WWF All-Star Wrestling
has allowed them to gather the national spotlight. Popular veteran Pedro Morales is the WWF Intercontinental champion, The Wild Samoans just captured the tag titles, stars like Jake "The Snake" Roberts, Larry Zbyszko, Blackjack Mulligan, Tully Blanchard and Gino Hernandez are just entering the promotion; and of course they have the most popular champion in America, "Wildfire" Tommy Rich...oh and Andre the Giant, the most popular wrestler in the world, is about to return from injury.
Along with lunchboxes, action figures and underoos; Tommy Rich hats and t-shirts are flying off the shelves all across the US
2 - Georgia Championship Wrestling:
Despite the loss of Tommy Rich and Larry Zbyszko, GCW is still going strong. World Championship Wrestling
on Superstation TBS is the top rated wrestling show in the country, edging out WWF's All-Star Wrestling
. GCW is relying largely on Ted Dibiase, Jimmy "Superfly" Snuka, Buzz Sawyer, former WWF champion Billy Graham and the East-West Connection (Jesse Ventura and Adrian Adonis)
Ted Dibiase jumps from Mid-South to GCW and tries to replace Tommy Rich as the #1 fan favorite
3(Tie) - American Wrestling Association:
Once rivaling the WWF, GCW and JCP as one of the top promotions in the US, the AWA is in a downward spiral. Behind the scenes, Wally Karbo and Stanley Blackburn have retired. Popular young babyface Rick Martel won the AWA title from AWA mainstay Nick Bockwinkel only to get injured then bolt for Japan. Hulk Hogan won the vacant belt but has flopped in the eyes of the fans and promoter Verne Gagne.
3(Tie) - World Class Championship Wrestling:
While the AWA is still (slightly) more popular across the country, WCCW is on the way up while the AWA is on the way down. Promoter Fritz Von Erich relies on a small roster featuring his sons (Kevin, David and Kerry), the Freebirds (Michael Hayes, Buddy Roberts and Terry Gordy) along with Buzz Sawyer, Buddy Rose, Kevin Sullivan and "Dr. Death" Steve Williams. WCCW also recently got a national syndicated deal.
5 - Jim Crockett Promotions:
The argument could be made that entering 1983, JCP was the top promotion in the United States. Top star and former NWA world Champion Ric Flair rarely appears on TV, instead touring Japan with NJPW, and even popular mid-card talent like Ron Garvin and Paul Jones are spending more time in New York than in the Carolinas. JCP's weekly Mid-Atlantic Championship Wrestling
has sunk below 100,000 viewers and it looks less and less like Crockett will get his TV on nationally, either through syndication or on cable. Veterans Wahoo McDaniel and Tony Atlas are carrying the workload in JCP, although a couple of rookies in "Hotstuff" Eddie Gilbert and "Ravishing" Rick Rude are making an impression in JCP
Best of the rest:
6 - Southwest Championship Wrestling
7 - Championship Wrestling Association (Memphis)
8 - Mid-South Wrestling
9 - Championship Wrestling from Florida
10 - Central States Wrestling