10 tournaments that stood out

Jim Crockett Sr. Memorial Cup Tag Team Tournament

From 1986 to 1988, one of the wrestling world’s most widely anticipated events was the annual Jim Crockett Sr. Memorial Cup Tag Team Tournament, a massive 24-team competition. Each year, determined duos from all the NWA-affiliated territories competed for the prize trophy and the $1 million purse that came with it — a kingly sum for one or two nights’ work. (The first cup was held in a single evening, whereas the ’87 and ’88 editions were spread over two days.)

The Crockett Cup was so prestigious that cities as diverse as Tokyo and Atlanta were said to have bid on hosting rights (New Orleans Superdome won out in ’86), and only the NWA tag team cream was granted entrée. The Road Warriors scored the big payday in 1986, the ultra-popular Nikita Koloff & Dusty Rhodes won in 1987, and in 1988, Sting & Lex Luger became the final Crockett Cup victors.