Wrestling Loses A Fabulous Foursome

Wrestling Loses A Fabulous Foursome

We lost a multitude of legends in the last couple of weeks who all had CAC history.

Jim Crockett Jr, second-generation fantastic promoter of Mid-Atlantic Wrestling which promoted far beyond just North Carolina; attended our ancillary CAC 1995 event in Tampa along with his friends Dory Funk Jr, Danny Miller and Wahoo McDaniel. Jim inherited a primarily tag team territory from his famous father(Jim Crockett Sr)and with the help of bookers like Johnny Valentine starting around 1973 and the Scotts, turned Charlotte into a haven for the top young talent at the time like Ric Flair first teaming with veteran Rip Hawk, later Ricky Steamboat came in to create his magical battles with Flair for years to come, CAC honoree Sgt Slaughter(Bob Remus), Roddy Piper fresh from Portand and San Francisco, Killer Kowalski trainee Big John Studd, Don Kernodle, the Youngbloods and many others. Crockett's red hot territory also saw the historic passing of the "Nature Boy" torch from Buddy Rogers to Ric Flair, also battling over their Figure-Four's. The 70's and 80's were a mythical period thanks to the promoting genius and guts of Jim Crockett Jr. While it wasn't wrestling's first closed-circuit(pre-ppv)event; Crockett's incredible Starrcade card in 1983 kicked off what we know as Pay-Per-View(PPV)that still exists today. Crockett also "rebirthed" NWA wrestling for Ted Turner's WTBS Super Station in 1985, besides many other accomplishments.

Sports also lost a multi-women's wrestling champion great(and magazine cover star) in Ann Casey and my friend Annie attended two CACs in Vegas. The first was when she received our top female legends award and she spoke at length at the podium about how women's wrestling had changed over the decades. She wasn't really part of Lillian Ellison's traveling troupe(more an independent agent along the lines of Vivian Vachon, Betty Nicolli and Jean Antone) but those of us working in the Los Angeles Lebell territory recall her famous match with Moolah at the Olympic Auditorium in 1970.

Buddy Colt not only attended our Tampa, Florida reunion but also two Las Vegas CAC's in the early 2000's, transing in with his former long time Eddie Graham promotion stablemates in Jack Brisco(Jerry hadn't yet started attending), Paul Jones, Red/Sir Oliver Humperdink and Greg Valentine. It's long been rumored that Buddy and Bobby "the King" Shane were pitched as possible NWA World Champs by their promoter Eddie Graham, who was ready to place the bond before they were involved in that plane crash that took Bobby from us as well as Colt's wrestling career with all the injuries he suffered.

Finally, we lost the great longtime WWWF tag champion partner of CAC's Tony Garea in Dean "Ho" Higuchi. Ho and Garea are still remembered for fantastic title defenses versus the Valiant Brothers Jimmy and John as well as Blackjacks Mulligan and Lanza in the mid 1970's. Dean used his real name of Dean Higuchi most everywhere else he worked including up and down the Pacific Northwest in the 70's, Honolulu and one AJPW tour of Japan. He was our lead face in Roy Shire's San Francisco territory battling a heel Don Muraco(CAC 90's attendee), Mr Fuji, Alexis Smirnoff(another CAC honoree 3 years ago) besides teaming with Lonnie Mayne, Jimmy Snuka and CAC Honoree Pepper Gomez. All four contributed greatly to the business and their losses are irreplaceable. I'd called Dean to let him know whenever he missed seeing Garea at CAC and he said they had stayed brothers all these years.

I snapped photos of all of them at these great events for CAC and the magazines I've worked for and we send our prayers and condolences to their primary families although we all feel they were part of our overall wrestling one.