Gerald Briscoe and Brian Blair look back on pro wrestling holiday shows

Pro wrestling’s history of running holiday shows was recalled in a Tampa Tribune piece written by Paul Guzzo. “It was family fun and a family affair,” WWE Hall of Famer Gerald Brisco stated. “Holidays are a time when people sit around their houses a lot. Wrestling provided a way to blow off steam at night when their family event ended. I’d look out and fans would be passing the giblets, whether I wrestled in Florida, Greensboro, or New Orleans, on a holiday we set attendance records.”

Brian Blair said the tradition ended in Florida with the arrival of college football bowl games. “Wrestling and football share fans,” Blair said. “You add a new event and attendance at old ones get watered down. It’s the same with television. As the number of bowl games people could watch on TV increased, the number of people who would attend wrestling shows on a holiday decreased, especially on New Year’s Day, when I think a lot of people prefer to watch a big game at home on TV than go out.” Read the full piece at TBO.com.

Powell’s POV: In my area, the AWA had loaded Thanksgiving and Christmas shows at the St. Paul Civic Center before it folded. Likewise, the big angle that started the Freebirds vs. Von Erich feud started on Christmas night when Terry Gordy slammed the cage door on the head of Kerry Von Erich’s head during a show that reportedly drew 18,000 fans to Reunion Arena. Big events on holiday nights were common in the territory days and did big business.


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