Tuesday, 21 January 2014 09:52
By Dave Meltzer
George Scott, a major player in pro wrestling for more than 40 years, passed away last night at his home in Indian Rocks Beach, FL, from lung cancer. He was 84.
Scott, part of the huge crew of wrestlers who started in the 40s and 50s out of Hamilton, Ontario, was half of one of pro wrestling's greatest babyface tag teams, The Flying Scott Brothers. The two made their names working for Stu Hart in Western Canada during the 1950s, but branched out worldwide, including runs in Australia where they were multi-time IWA tag team champions, and in the Carolinas.
But his biggest contributions were after retiring in 1973 due to a neck injury, and becoming booker for Jim Crockett Promotions.
Scott booked the territory from 1973 to 1981, taking a mid-level regional wrestling operation that ran in no top 50 markets, to being the hottest territory with the best talent in North America. He took unknown prelim wrestlers like Ric Flair and Ricky Steamboat, and gave them their first major pushes, and turned the Greensboro Coliseum into a wrestling hotbed, building the Thanksgiving wrestling tradition in Greensboro and the Christmas wrestling tradition in Charlotte.
The talent in the Carolinas during that era became so strong that if you headlined there, there would be no question that you could headline everywhere. Other wrestlers who had success elsewhere but really became national figures under Scott during that era included Roddy Piper, Greg Valentine, Jay Youngblood, The Iron Sheik, Paul Orndorff, Masked Superstar, Tony Atlas and Jimmy Snuka. Virtually every major name wrestler in the world came through Mid Atlantic Championship Wrestling in that era.
Scott booked in a number of other places, including World Class Championship Wrestling, Tri States Wrestling and Georgia Championship Wrestling, although never with the success he had in the Carolinas on the big run.
When Vince McMahon was preparing to go national in 1983, he hired Scott as booker. Scott worked directly with McMahon in putting together the angles and did the matchmaking for nearly 1,000 house shows per year until being fired after a falling out with Hulk Hogan.
Scott was heavily involved in the negotiations in 1984 to purchase Georgia Championship Wrestling and Stampede Wrestling, and form a partnership with Maple Leaf Wrestling, which gave the company key television time slots in the U.S. and Canada.
He later booked WCW for a few months in 1989, a period lauded for a great in-ring product, but it did not have strong financial success, built around the Flair vs. Steamboat program. He was fired in late March of that year.
Scott later booked South Atlantic Pro Wrestling, an attempt to revive the Carolinas with a regional promotion, but the business had changed and regionals could no longer survive.
He retired and had been living in Indian Rocks Beach, FL, with his wife, Jean.