Thanksgiving: The biggest night in wrestling

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November 21, 2012

World Class Championship Wrestling offered Thanksgiving night cards at Dallas’ Reunion Arena with “Wrestling Star Wars.” One of the more memorable events happened on Thanksgiving night in 1983, when Kerry Von Erich had a final confrontation with Fabulous Freebird Michael “P.S.” Hayes. More than 19,000 fans jammed every nook and cranny of the Reunion Arena to watch the Loser Leaves Town Steel Cage Match.

Kerry’s brother, Kevin Von Erich, remembers that evening, and credits another family member for realizing Thanksgiving had the potential to be known as one of the biggest times to present live events.

(WATCH KEVIN TAKE ON TERRY GORDY ON THANKSGIVING NIGHT 1983)

“It was an amazing evening for all of us,” Kevin said. “You could not put another person in that arena. And I have to give credit for running on Thanksgiving to my dad (Fritz Von Erich). I remember him saying that on Thanksgiving, all people do is to gather together and eat, and then they don’t have anything to do that night. So he said, ‘We’ll give them something to do.’ And did we ever!”

Additionally, another hotbed for live Thanksgiving wrestling events was Atlanta. Through the years, the Atlanta City Auditorium and The Omni kept that holiday tradition alive and well in the Peach State until 1992.

The Mid-Atlantic territory also had its fair share of Thanksgiving action. Presented by Jim Crockett Promotions, cities from Charlotte, N.C., to Charleston, S.C., were treated to some outstanding cards from top to bottom on turkey night. Perhaps the most recognizable Thanksgiving evening event in the early 1980s was Starrcade, which primarily emanated from the Greensboro Coliseum. The very first edition, held on Nov. 24, 1983, saw “Nature Boy” Ric Flair dethrone Harley Race in a Steel Cage Match to become the NWA World Heavyweight Champion. (WATCH) Starrcade continued its Thanksgiving events through the next four years.

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