Starrcade '83: A Flare For The Gold

While many observers and fans look at WrestleMania as the first televised "big event" and the innovator of the "supershow" that isn't really the case. Less than two years prior, the NWA, in particular, the Mid-Atlantic region launched their own major event. Thanksgiving night was a huge night for wrestling in the territory days and proved to be the perfect platform for Jim Crockett Promotions "the granddaddy of them all" Starrcade. Not just available to ticket buyers the event was shown on closed-circuit television throughout the region. The event was such a huge success, traffic was backed up for miles going to the Greensboro Coliseum. The main attraction of the show was a young Ric Flair challenging legendary 7-time World Champion Harley Race in a steel cage. While Flair had initially won the title in 1981 from Dusty Rhodes it didn't quite launch Flair as planned. This feud was set up and (and succeeded) in making a Flair a superstar and beginning his rise as one fo the true legends in the business. Leading up to the match, Race put on a $10,000 bounty on Flair with both Dick Slater and Bob Orton. Jr. turning on Flair and eventually working together to give a Flair a double piledriver in a famous angle. Flair would return the following month during a Slater/Orton tag team match, running off the duo with a baseball bat while wearing a neck brace. With a great story leading into the bout Flair took home the belt in front of a sold-out crowd of over 15,000 fans in one wrestling's all-time greatest "passing of the torch" moments.

Starrcade '83 Main Display

Starrcade '83 Main Display

Main display celebrating the main event of Starrcade '83. The display features all the main elements of the bout, a poster of Race as 7-time NWA champion, program from the event, the famous PWI magazine with Flair of the cover after regaining the belt, and a replica of the iconic "ten pounds of gold" title belt. To add a little something extra the display also features a plaque with an actual feather from Ric Flair's famous blue robe with a photo of Flair's ring entrance.

Harley Race PWI Poster January 1984

Harley Race PWI Poster January 1984

PWI poster from the January 1984 issue depicting Race with the NWA belt noting his status as "Seven Time NWA Champion". Beautifully signed/inscribed by Race "Best of Everything World Champion Harley Race".

Starrcade '83 Program

Starrcade '83 Program

Starrcade '83 "Photo Album which served as the program for the event. The program can be tough to come by and I was fortunate enough to have this signed by both Race & Flair.

PWI April 1984

PWI April 1984

Finishing the "timeline" aspect of the display is the famous April 1984 edition of Pro Wrestling Illustrated with the headline "Ric Flair whips Harley Race for the NWA Title: A Second Chance at Greatness". Beautifully signed & inscribed "16x Woooo!' by Flair.

NWA World Title Replica

NWA World Title Replica

Rounding out the bottom of the display is a replica of the iconic "Ten Pounds of Gold" NWA World Title. I liked this version as the 3 studs on each side were represented (if not exactly the same) which are absent from some earlier replicas.

Ric Flair Starrcade '83 Robe Feather

Ric Flair Starrcade '83 Robe Feather

Finishing off the display is something truly special: A plaque featuring an actual feather from the famous blue robe Flair wore that night. Includes a picture of Flair's entrance down the aisle.

Jakks Action Figure

Jakks Action Figure

Jakks Ric Flair classic superstars series 9. Features a replica of Ric's famous blue robe worn at Starrcade '83.

Jakks Action Figure (back)

Jakks Action Figure (back)

Jakks Ric Flair classic superstars series 9. Features a replica of Ric's famous blue robe worn at Starrcade '83.

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by Mike Parker