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2014 MWR LIFETIME RECIPIENT – TONY CASTA

Posted by flairwhoooooo on January 4, 2015

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By Jimmy “Big Time” Harris Sr.

In the world of independent wrestling, the name Castaldi doesn’t ring too many bells. But in 1975, that young man, then known as the Hitman, began his career in the Midwest. Competing under a mask and learning the craft of professional wrestling, he evolved through his training and added several matches to his resume before re-inventing himself into Tony “Little Dynamite” Casta. He became a premier wrestler in the Mid Missouri Wrestling Alliance, which the fans in South St. Louis recognize as MMWA, based out of the South Broadway Athletic Club in the Soulard area.

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Casta worked with many of the greats, including King Kong Bruiser Brody, Tojo Yamamoto, Spike Huber, Ox Baker, Buddy Roberts, Iceman King Parsons, Crusher Blackwell, Chris Adams, Bob Orton, Scott Casey, Gypsy Joe, Toro Tinaka and the Kelly Twins. Casta also worked in the ring with several local legends and held titles with several of greats in Missouri. Among his many accomplishments was the opportunity to serve as referee for a match involving former NWA World Champion Lou Thesz.

Not confined to singles competition, Casta also competed as a tag team with the legendary Ed Smith, who had worked as a referee and wrestler in Sam Muchnick’s Wrestling at the Chase. The pair captured the MMWA Tag Team Championship on two separate occasions. Casta also held the MMWA Junior Heavyweight Title seven times, and, in 1981-1982, he was the Outlaw Champion. In the late 80s, Casta suffered an A/C separation injury that sidelined him for six months.

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Because of the injury, he changed course and became the promotor for MMWA and, at one time, teamed up with Herb Simmons, creating the joint promotion known as MMWA-SICW. The two had spent years in Missouri and Illinois, working with the legends of Wrestling at the Chase, as well as independent wresters such as the Giant Assassin, Big Daddy, Big Ron Powers, Gary “Night Train” Jackson, the Freedom Riders, the Masked Executioners, Ricky Robinson, John Blackheart, Buddy Stevens, Tom Sullivan, Dr. Blood, Keith Smith, Rock and Roll Kid and others.

Casta also became the president of the South Broadway Athletic Club and helped take wrestling in the area to new heights by having his promotion help raise money for local charities. He also tried to help promote local talent and kids as a way to keep them off the streets and to encourage them to better themselves and find other ways to use their time constructively. His guidance led to charity events like the spaghetti wrestling fundraiser, emceed by the legendary Smash, that raised money for local children’s homes and helped bring smiles to kids who would have had nothing for the holidays.

Through the years, Casta had no problem convincing wrestlers to share in his dream and give their time for the troops and to help with charity events. He wanted to show that, as wrestlers, they have a responsibility to the community to demonstrate to young fans in the area that there is more to life than gangs and crime, that young fans need role models and that the great wrestlers of the Midwest could easily fill those roles.

To this day, Casta continues to lead MMWA, which is filled with a locker room of hungry talents who want more but have to learn to walk first before they fly. The MMWA has seen everything from the likes of a young Randy Orton, working his way toward the WWE, to Ted DiBiase recording a taping of the history of Wrestling at the Chase in the promotion’s training building. Casta and Larry Matysik are also members of the St. Louis Wrestling Hall of fame committee that is showcased at the SBAC.

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From his days training in the backroom of the SBAC to helping hone and showcase the talent of outstanding local workers, Casta has cemented his legacy as a true hall of famer in the Midwest. He has shown his big heart for local youth and community organizations with special needs. Casta works hard to make a difference in the community, as well as in his own personal life. He has held strong for 38 years with the help of his lovely wife, Wanda; his nephew, Anthony, and some of the faithful talent he has brought up and given a chance to shine. But, most of all, he does it all for the fans and wants nothing but the best for each and every one of them.

 

One Response to “2014 MWR LIFETIME RECIPIENT – TONY CASTA”

  1. What a great choice for this 2014 award. There is no one other than Little Dynamite Tony Casta more deserving. I have the honor of knowing Tony and his lovely wife for many years, we traveled all over the Midwest spending many hours and putting many miles on my 1977 Lincoln. It was fun and I know he enjoyed it just as much as I did. He has always given it 100% when it comes to the SBAC. His legacy that he will leave will never be matched, there are those that may try, but what Tony did for SBAC will never be duplicated. Its great to see him being honored by the number one wrestling news out there, MWR, this is a great time for my friend Tony Casta. Congratulation for a job well done, and for the sake of the MMWA please stay around for many years to come.

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