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Joint Promotions

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Joint Promotions was a wrestling promotion in the United Kingdom that became the dominant force in British Wrestling from the 1950s to its decline in the 1980s. Joint Promotions was made up of six different promotions:

  1. "Best/Wytron Promotions"
  2. "Dale Martin Promotions"
  3. "Morrell/Beresford Promotions"
  4. "Paul Lincoln Management" (largest independent promotion in the UK in the 60s)
  5. "Relwyskow and Green Promotions"
  6. "Woodhouse/Jack Atherton Promotions"

History

In the 1960s, Joint Promotions was a confederation of separately owned and run regional promotions. They had an informal working relationship and union which allowed they to trade wrestlers and work in tandem with each other but to all intents and purposes they were independent of each other. However this changed in 1964 when the Hurst Syndicate bought Dale Martin Promotions. Dale Martin Promotions was run by the Abbey and Martin families, who had founded it, and once it was sold to the Hurst Syndicate they were permitted to continue running it for a few years.

Dale Martin Promotions was, at the time, the biggest member of Joint Promotions as it was. It had been the standard bearer for Joint Promotions for 20 years and was the dominant force in the South. While it was known for highly technical and highly professional programmes, it was somewhat regarded critically for being conservative and unadventurous. They had a local challenger in Paul Lincoln Management and while they publicly ridiculed this challenge, they did allow Paul Lincoln Management to train many of their young stars.

In the late 1960s, the Hurst Syndicate itself was bought up by the boxing entrepreneur Jarvis Astaire. Astaire added Best/Wyrton Promotions, Morrell/Beresford Promotions and Pual Lincoln Management to his list of acquisitions before selling to William Hill sometime in the 1970s.

Best/Wyrton Promotions was a North Eastern and Midlands of England Promotion. Bill Best focused his promotion only in Liverpool Stadium and the Blackpool Tower but occasionally worked with other promotions such as Morrell's and Beresford's promotions but primarily with Wyrton's promotions. Wyrton Promotions was started by Arthur Wright (whose first show was at Hyde during the War) and claimed to be the biggest in the world. Wyrton Promotions promoted all over the North of England and the Midlands and were known to be a bit more adventurous than Dale Martin Promotions, becoming known for having more out-of-the-ring action and blood than in any other promotion.

Morrell/Beresford Promotions were run by former Olympian and author of the Mountevans Rules Norman Morrell and retired top-card light-mid heavyweight wrestler Ted Beresford. Morrell/Beresford Promotions were based in Yorkshire and promoted all over the North, the Midlands and a few Scottish and Southern venues. They were known to promote highly technical bouts with a seemingly higher proportion of big names than Dale Martin Promotions to the South.

Paul Lincoln Management was founded by Australian Paul Lincoln who left a very successful career in Joint Promotions to found a rival to Dale Martin Promotions in 1959. Lincoln lead his company with energy, determination and skill that soon made the claims of Dale Martin Promotions of Lincoln's Company being little more than an irritant laughable. So great a threat did this company become that Astaire knew it had to be bought up to ensure that he had no competition, which he did.

The other two promotions were a special case. The Relwyskow and Green Promotions were never bought up but retained their place in the company while Woodhouse/Jack Atherton Promotions were never officially part of the company. Relwyskow and Green Promotions was known for producing very good shows but for being conservative. They managed to attract many stars of the era (like Les Kellet) and often their cards were some of the best around but there were unlikely to produce that much excitement. Woodhouse/Jack Atherton Promotions was known as a producer of young talent, with Atherton training many who came through his promotion, and was a kind of breeding ground for new stars.

From 1975 Max Crabtree, a retired wrestler and prominent promoter, was employed to manage Joint Promotions' companies in the North and after early success he took over Dale Martin Promotions after only a few years which he subsequently allowed to expand north. Under Crabtree's leadership Joint Promotions oversaw a resurgence in British Wrestling and a second boom in the business occurred. This boom lasted until the 1980s when Joint Promotions began to lose many of its stars to the independents, lost its exclusive rights to wrestlers contracts, lost its exclusive rights to televised wrestling and lost fans to larger American promotions the WWF, the AWA and Jim Crockett Promotions. In 1986 Crabtree bought the company but the slide in popularity of British wrestling was uncontrollable.

In 1992 Joint Promotions changed its name to Ring Wrestling Stars which was able to employ Davey Boy Smith only six months after he had headlined at Wembley Stadium but when he returtned to America with WCW, it spelled the end of the company.

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