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Posts Tagged ‘Bobby Heenan’

One on One with “The Voice of Minnesota Wrestling” Ring Announcer Mick Karch

Posted by flairwhoooooo on May 13, 2015

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It is a pleasure today to be joined with “The Voice of Minnesota wrestling” Mick Karch for this edition of Missouri Wrestling Revival’s One on One. MWR fans will have a special oppurtunity to get to meet Karch in East Carondelet, Illinois on May 16th during the SICW “Bruiser Brody Memorial” event that will also include the afternoon “Meet and Greet” with several Wrestling Legends including Brody’s lovely widow Barbara Goodish, former American Wrestling Association (AWA)Champion Stan Hansen, Wrestling at the Chase announcer Larry Matysik, Wrestling superstar “Cowboy” Bob Orton, the first ever WWE (Then known as the WWF) female ring announcer Mike McGuirk starting at 3:30pm that will conclude with a memorable night of action featuring the stars of SICW.

Please note: All photos courtesy of Mick Karch.

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With Terry Taylor and Missy Hyatt, my broadcast colleagues in the American Wrestling Federation Warriors of Wrestling.

Brian: Mick, thank you so much for taking the time to be with us at MWR today.

Mick: Brian, it’s my pleasure. You do a terrific job.

Brian: Today’s wrestling fans have many opportunities to discover wrestling through the WWE on the USA Network, TNA on Destination America, Ring of Honor on Sinclair as well as various outlets on the internet including Youtube and promotions own websites. Yet, as a man that started his career in the 70’s, I have to ask what was your first exposure to the sport as a fan and who was it that created that spark for the love of pro wrestling?

Mick: I did behind the scenes print publicity for the AWA from 1973-1986. In 1987, I was hired on as their ring announcer and occasional color guy for their ESPN tapings at the Showboat in Las Vegas. It is so ironic to have eventually worked for them, because my hero as a child was Verne Gagne. I was flipping through the TV channels at the age of nine, and I saw big Tiny Mills, a 6’3″, 275 pound lumberjack, pushing around the TV announcer, Marty O’Neill. Marty was all of about 5’6″. Tiny was ranting and raving about wanting a match with Verne Gagne.

I saw my first live event May 17, 1960, in Minneapolis, and Verne was in the main event, teaming with football and wrestling star Gene “Big Daddy” Lipscomb to face Mills and Stan “Krusher” Kowalski. I was hooked on wrestling for life.

Brian: You entered the business during a time that it was hard to break in due to the laws of Kayfabe being enforced. At what point did you realize that the matches were predetermined and how were the doors open for you to be included among the circle of people that were involved in the sport?

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Mick: Like any kid from that era, I refused to listen to my parents and siblings, who told me that wrestling wasn’t on the “up-and-up.” Of course, I refused to believe it—for a while. As time went on, I began to pick out certain things that didn’t seem quite right. When I ventured down to the Dyckman Hotel in downtown Minneapolis, which housed the Minneapolis Boxing & Wrestling Club (AWA) a few years later and saw Reggie Parks and Moose Cholak standing by the elevators, laughing and joking, the light bulb went off. Parks and Cholak were in the midst of a “feud” at the time. Now it all made sense.

You are so correct that this was the “kayfabe” era, and the wrestling business was protected to the hilt. No one was automatically allowed even remotely close to the inner circle. I literally hung around the TV tapings and the arena matches for years before I was semi-trusted. That is certainly a far cry from today’s scenario, when it seems just about anyone can finagle their way into a locker room or back stage.

Brian: Before we go any further with the AWA we have to mention the great Verne Gagne. Last month on April 27th , Gagne passed away at the age of 89, but his contribution to the sport of wrestling as a Champion, promoter and trainer defined an era of wrestling that continues to this day. What were your memories of Verne Gagne and out of those three different aspects of wrestling do you feel was his biggest accomplishment?

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Former AWA World Champ Verne Gagne by the Artist of Champions Rob Schamberger

Mick: As it relates to Verne Gagne, I don’t think his impact and imprint on the business can be overstated. His influence was monumental, going back to the mid-1950’s when he was really the first national “babyface” wrestler on the old Dumont Network. Televised pro wrestling was an absolute mainstay back then, and Verne was its original big star. As the years went on, his star shone brighter and brighter. He was the epitome of a champion: good looks, tremendous conditioning, smart, articulate, and always the ultimate professional. As a promoter, he had a keen eye for talent and he ruled with an iron fist. Verne was first and foremost a WRESTLER, and you damn well better know how to wrestle if you worked for him. The AWA had its share of off the wall characters, too, but nothing like the circus “sports entertainment” that the WWF/WWE foisted on the world.

As a trainer, there were none better than Verne. Look at the roster of guys he turned out: Ric Flair, Ricky Steamboat, Sgt. Slaughter, Greg Gagne, Jim Brunzell, Scott Irwin, Bob Backlund, Khosrow Vaziri, on and on. Amazing.

Brian: The AWA was filled with several larger than life characters throughout the years that thrilled fans with exciting action in the ring and memorable interviews that drew huge crowds night after night. Men such as a Nick Bockwinkel , Mad Dog Vachon, Bobby “The Brain” Heenan, Dick the Bruiser, Larry Hennig and Baron Von Raschke just to name a few. Who were your favorites to work with personally and can you share a story with the MWR fans of one of those stars?

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With Nick Bockwnkel, 1982.

Mick: My favorite wrestlers over the years tend to be the “heels.” My all time favorite, bar none, is Nick Bockwinkel. I honestly believe that he was the standard bearer for the wrestling business in the 1970’s and early 80’s. I was also a huge fan of the late Dr. Bill Miller, Dick (Dr.X/Destroyer) Beyer, Stan “Krusher” Kowalski, and Bobby Heenan. The stories about these guys could fill a book, but I’ll share one kind of bizarre and scary one.

Dr. Bill Miller wrestled in the AWA under a mask as “The Mysterious Mr. M.” He won the AWA title from Verne in January 1962. In August of that same year, Verne won the title back in Minneapolis. The end of the match saw Verne twist the mask so Miller couldn’t see, then he dropkicked and pinned him. The stipulation was if Miller lost, he would unmask, which he did right after the match. On his way back to the locker room, a crazed fan leaned over the railing of the balcony and viciously hit Miller over the head with a 2 x 6 board with a 1/8″ steel spike on the end. A nearly unconscious Miller was assisted back to the locker room.

Some 12 years later, Miller returned for a short stint in the AWA and I spoke with him at the TV tapings. We discussed the incident, which Miller said he remembered like it was yesterday. He explained that when he went back to the locker room and was regaining his senses, he could actually put his pinky finger into the top of his head a feel his brain! Miller was a veterinarian and he knew how serious it was. He showed me the scars which were still clearly visible. The perpetrator, by the way, was never caught.

“The World’s Most Scientific Wrestler” Wilbur Snyder teams with “The Man With The Cast Iron Stomach” Pepper Gomez, to go against the feared master of the heart punch Ox Baker and Dr. Big Bill Miller. This is the first of a two fall battle.

Editors note: SICW fans were fortunate enough to meet OX Baker in 2014 at the East Carondelet Community Center , before he passed away months later.

Brian: Here at Missouri Wrestling Revival, we work with many ring announcers throughout the MWR coverage area. What would be your advice to someone that is looking to become the best ring announcer that they can be?

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With AWA/WWF announcer Ken Resnick, 2015

Mick: To aspiring ring announcers, here’s a few tips. Take a deep breath and relax. The audience will pick up on it right away if you are nervous. Do your homework. Make sure you are clear on all the weights, hometowns, and match stipulations. Most importantly, don’t be too overbearing. Deliver your intro forcefully and clearly, but don’t try to be flamboyant and outshine the wrestlers. Remember, it’s about them, not you.

Brian: On December 29th, 1985 Stan Hansen defeated Rick Martel to become the AWA World Champion? Hansen was also a Mega Star in Japan with his good friend and partner Bruiser Brody who is set to be honored next week at SICW with the Bruiser Brody memorial event in East Carondelet Illinois. As a fan that Grew up in the 80’s, Hansen’s version of the clothesline, the Lariat was a feared move that every wrestling fan “knew” had broken WWWF Heavyweight Champion Bruno Sammartino’s neck in the 70’s. I don’t remember a match that involved Hansen that the commentator put over the fact that he could win the match with the lariat if he was able to land the move. Who and what were some of your favorite finishers to call during a match while you did color commentary?

Mick: My favorite finishing maneuvers to call play by play on? Wow, that’s a tough one. I would say Bruiser Brody’s boot to the face and flying knee drop, Greg Gagne’s sleeper hold, Jerry Blackwell’s big splash, and Mad Dog Vachon’s piledriver rank right up there. It’s sad how the business has changed and the finishers I’ve mentioned are just another move in the matches these days, and usually the opponents kick out at least once.

Brian: Fans of today can relive the AWA through the WWE DVD release WWE: The Spectacular Legacy of the American Wrestling Association. Was this a worthy look of the AWA, and what would you have liked to have seen showcased more or less on the DVD?

Mick: I thought the AWA DVD was pretty decent, especially when you consider it was a WWE release. Watching some of the old footage is particularly great to an old school fan like me. If there is anything I had a problem with it would be how much emphasis was placed on the erosion of the promotion. I guess that’s to be expected, but the AWA had 50 years of greatness before the wheels fell off the bus.

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At Cauliflower Alley Club with Sir Oliver Humperdink.

Brian: Recently you and I had the pleasure of spending time in Las Vegas at the 50th Anniversary of the Cauliflower Alley Club. The event was filled with memories and moments that will last a lifetime including what I felt was one of the most entertaining acceptance speech’s of All-time when one of my heroes, Harley Race presented Hennig  the “Iron” Mike Mazurki Award. The two, along with Hennigs’ wife Irene could easily take their show on the road as they delivered laughs and good times that exhibit what the CAC is all about. This is a multi-part question, how long have you been a member of the CAC, what have been your highlights of attending the reunion and why should a wrestling fan join a club that we feel so passionate about?

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Mick: I have been attending the CAC reunions since 2000. There is no way to describe the feeling you get rubbing elbows with the legends of the business. I have met so many amazing people. Since I started going there, I have seen the likes of Steve Austin, Roddy Piper, Ricky Steamboat, Antonio Inoki, Pat Patterson, the Vachons, Hard Boiled Haggerty, Tex McKenzie, Kurt Angle, Sputnik Monroe, Larry Hennig, Harley Race, Lou Thesz, Bobby Heenan, The Crusher, Jim Cornette, JJ Dillon, Nick Bockwinkel, Terry Funk, The Fabulous Moolah, Mae Young, Judy Grable, Stan Hansen, Tim Woods and Johnny Walker (“Mr. Wrestling” 1 & 2), Ox Baker, Superstar Graham, Jimmy Valiant, on and on and on. Hundreds of superstars. I would tell anyone who is truly passionate about the wrestling business, you NEED to attend at least once. You owe it to yourself. I would also say, don’t wait. Many of the people I just mentioned have passed away. You just never know.

Brian: As we prepare for an exciting weekend built around the memories of Bruiser Brody at the show of the year for SICW, what were your memories of Bruiser Brody?

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With Bruiser Brody, 1987

Mick: My memories of Bruiser Brody. God, so many. I was a fan of his long before I ever saw him wrestle in person. Watching him on various syndicated wrestling programs and reading about him in the magazines, I always looked forward to seeing him. When he first arrived in the AWA area, it was incredible. His aura, his mystique, his sheer presence. I don’t know if I have ever seen a feud to match the one he had with Jerry Blackwell. In 1986, I had the tremendous honor of doing two television interviews with him at a show in Winnipeg, Canada. Bruiser main evented against the guy I know many fans in this area are very familiar with, “Bulldog” Bob Brown. Their match was a war and spilled out into the crowd. Even though I had been announcing for a couple years at that point, Brody was my first “big time” interview, and needless to say I was initially scared to death. But he spoke with me beforehand, laid down a few guidelines, and the promos went perfectly. When he thanked me for a job well done, I felt as if I had truly arrived as an announcer in the wrestling business. I will never forget that.

Brian: Since AWA has closed doors you have stayed active in the world of pro wrestling. Please tell the fans what you have been up?

Mick: During the time frame that the AWA was shutting down, I left there and became host of a four-hour wrestling block in the Twin Cities called “Saturday Night at Ringside.” Joe Pedicino and Paul Heyman were instrumental in getting me the job. Besides carrying NWA Worldwide, World Class, Pro Wrestling This Week, and Windy City Wrestling, I incorporated localized tie-ins for independent wrestling shows, brought in both local and national wrestlers, created angles and storylines, did trivia contests, answered viewer questions, and had fans appear as a “Ringsider of the Week.” In fact, the famous lady wrestler “ODB” was a “Ringsider” on my program at the age of 8 !!

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On the set of “Saturday Night at Ringside,” with Stan Kowalski, Baron Von Raschke, Larry Hennig, Al DeRusha, Wally Karbo and Mad Dog Vachon (1990.)

I have worked for the American Wrestling Federation “Warriors of Wrestling” under the direction of Sgt. Slaughter and Tito Santana; I have done television for literally dozens of independent promotions in the United States, Canada, and Australia. For the past 17 years, I have been lead booker and TV host for Ed Hellier’s Steel Domain Wrestling, based out of Minnesota.

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Hosting Steel Domain’s “Championship Wrestling from the Twin Cities” program with promoter Ed Hellier, 2015.

In the early days, SDW had future world champions C.M. Punk, Adam Pearce, Colt Cabana, Ken Anderson, Shawn Daivari, and Austin Aries on the roster AT THE SAME TIME!!!

Brian: Mick, thank you so much for taking the time with Missouri Wrestling Revival and we look forward to seeing you at SICW’s Bruiser Brody memorial event that starts with the 3:30 Q and A. Do you have anything that you would like to mention as we end this interview and prepare for such an exciting weekend?

Mick: I would like to extend my most sincere thanks to you for the opportunity to share part of my story, and to Herb Simmons and Larry Matysik for inviting this old AWA guy to such a wonderful event!!

hss

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Bobby Heenan Introduces Jim Cornette at WWE…Meet Cornette This Saturday in East Carondelet, Illinois

Posted by flairwhoooooo on May 12, 2014

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SATURDAY, MAY 17 – 8 p.m.

East Carondelet Community Center
823 State St.
East Carondelet, Illinois

Southern Illinois Championship Wrestling (SICW) presents a spectacular evening to celebrate the
55th anniversary of the first Wrestling at the Chase in May 1959

The Night of Managers — and a whole lot more

Meet in person the famous Jim Cornette and (health-permitting) Bobby Heenan

Ron Powers vs. Ricky Cruz
First time ever – LOSER LEAVES TOWN
No DQ, anything goes, there must be a winner

Ironman Ken Kasa defends the Classic Championship against Gary Jackson
Kasa’s manager Travis Cook will be handcuffed to Big Daddy, controversial local manager coming out of retirement for just this event

A Giant Battle Royal

Other stars on the card and in the Royal:
Flash Flanagan
Shorty Biggs
410-pound Bull Bronson
Jake Dirden
Heath Hatton
and more

For tickets call 618-286-4848

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Ric Flair is presented the St Louis Wrestling Hall of Fame plaque

Posted by flairwhoooooo on April 29, 2010

Brian Kelley and Ric Flair

By Brian Kelley

 

 

At Total Nonstop Wrestling’s fan interaction at the Ameristar Casino in ST Charles Missouri on April 17th. During the festivities that included a meet and greet with some of the top pro wrestling stars in the world today. Nick Ridenour and I presented wrestling greats Ric Flair, Dory Funk JR, Bobby “The Brain Heenan” and Baron Von Raschke with their St. Louis Wrestling Hall of Fame Plaques.

The St Louis Wrestling Hall of Fame can be seen at the Historic South Broadway Athletic Club in St Louis Mo 7th & Shenndoa. Fan that would like to check out the next wrestling show will be on May 8th at 7 pm.

The ST Louis Wrestling Hall of fame was opened in 2007 by former owner and promoter of the St. Louis Wrestling Club Larry Matysik. He has been joined by directors promoters Tony Costas Herb Simmons, webmaster Mitch Martsey, sports journalist Keith Schildroth, and longtime fan Nick Ridenour. Although these directors oversee the selection process, the St. Louis Wrestling Hall of Fame is unique because it is the only wrestling hall of fame that allows fans to vote for potential inductees

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Terry Funk, Dick Murdoch and Cowboy Bob Ellis will join Bobby Heenan in the Class of 2010 St. Louis Wrestling Hall of Fame

Posted by flairwhoooooo on April 26, 2010

Terry Funk

Dick Murdoch

Cowboy Bob Ellis

Three more of the most influential wrestlers in ST Louis wrestling history will be honored in the ST Louis Wrestling Hall of Fame in 2010 along with Bobby “the Brain” Heenan who was inducted during the TNA Legends Main event on April 17th in St Charles.

Do not miss the opportunity to meet Terry Funk at the Wrestling legends on tour. The presentation is set for Saturday May 8 while the three day extravaganza will be held on Ma7 –May 9. For more information check out their website here.

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Missouri Wrestling Revival covers Total Nonstop Wrestling’s Lockdown weekend.

Posted by flairwhoooooo on April 25, 2010

Total Nonstop Wrestling returned to ST Louis with their PPV Lockdown on April 18th in ST Charles Family Arena with the highlight being the night before at the TNA Fan interaction.

I had attended the first St Louis’s TNA Lockdown and though I felt as if the fan interaction was worth it, the PPV had been a disappointment in my opinion. I must confess I enjoy attending independent wrestling over going too today’s “Big Two”.

The selling point for me was the fact that they were including a “Legends Main Event” in this Fan Interaction with three of the biggest stars to ever grace the sport Hulk Hogan, Sting and my personal favorite “The Nature Boy” Ric Flair at the end of the night with a bonus of having two of the most influential Managers in Pro Wrestling “The Mouth of the South” Jimmy Hart and Bobby “The Brain” Hennan along with one of the greatest wrestlers to grace the sport Dory Funk JR. and “The Clawmaster” Baron Von Raschke.

Some great times was to be had throughout the weekend as we caught up with some old friends and met some new ones. If the TNA wrestlers were on a grading system for their treatment of the fans I would have to give them an impressive A+. Some could complain that the lines took a lot of time to get through but one of the big reasons was the wrestlers were so friendly and took the time to meet the fans. Making the experience that much more enjoyable.

When the time was up for “The Band” Scott Hall and Kevin Nash, Ric Flair and Hulk Hogan and many of the fans had yet to get their autograph or picture they each let TNA know that they were not going to leave until everyone had received what they were promised.

Thanks to my friends at the St Louis Wrestling Hall of Fame I was asked to present Dory Funk Jr, Bobby Hennan and Baron Von Raschke along with my friend Nick Ridenour with their Hall of fame Plaques during the fan interaction. I was so pumped up about it I could barley calm down; in fact I am still hyped up about it four days later. Regardless it will be forever in my top ten moments of my life as latter I would also be a part giving my favorite wrestler of All-Time Ric Flair his plaque.

Words can’t give justice to my appreciation to Nick, Herb Simmons, Larry Matysik, Tony Costa webmaster Mitch Martsey, sports journalist Keith Schildroth, and  the rest of the crew at the ST Louis Hall of Fame for having me a part of this historic occasion.

Look for video of both the ST Louis Wrestling Hall of Fame and Pro Wrestling Illustrated in the near future at MWR.

If you would like to check out the ST Louis Hall of Fame your next chance will be on May 8th at the South Broadway Athletic Club. For more information on the ST Louis Hall of Fame check out their myspace here.

After we were done giving the ST Louis Hall of Fame plaques Jeff Ruoss from Pro Wrestling Illiustrated presented the Legends with plaques from everyone’s favorite wrestling publication.

The PPV Would be solid and most importantly a LOT of fun. During the evening Kurt Angle showed why he is in my mind the best wrestler since Ric Flair when he and Ken Anderson tore down the house. Team 3D was on fire and ST Louis fans proved that it is truly Flair country when he was asked to leave by the ref  prior to the AJ Styles – D’Angelo Dinero the fans chanted “We want Flair” chants. Jeff Hardy would show why he is one of the most fearless (or crazy) wrestlers to ever grace the sport during the main event giving Team Hogan a huge advantage over Team Flair.

My girlfriend Dubray had no clue who Rob Van Dam was on Friday evening but by Sunday she was into putting her hands behind her back as RVD’S Music was on chanting ROB-VAN-DAM proving just how over with the fans he is.

TNA would wisely give RVD the chance for the TNA Title the next night on Spike and he would go on to defeat AJ Styles for his first ever TNA World Championship. Some may argue that they gave away a PPV Match on free TV but my opinion is such that RVD can have a full year of PPV matches with just about anyone on the roster including a rematch with the very talented AJ Styles .This weekend and his win will hopefully be the direction that TNA is headed.

I would run into local wrestling talents Chris Havius, Shorty Biggs, Kiwi Jello and Dorian Victor . Local Promoters Herb Simmons and TNT Keny G was in the house while the legends made their appearance during the TNA Title match between Styles and Pope.

In this weekend blast you will see the pictures of the TNA After party hosted by Mike Gordon at Side Pockets in St Charles. Surprise guest were Ken Anderson, James Storm, Chris Sabin and Brian Kendrick. Anderson and Strom was their when I entered the building and was busy signing autographs and taking pictures with fans while being with their respective friends and family. Their patience and kindness with the fans made me fans of the two of them for life. Sabin and Kendrick came later and was just as polite. With a 12:00 closing time on Sunday and the TNA Stars less than 24 hours from having to be in Florida for TNA Impact that made their kindness that much more special.

Once again it was great hanging with old friends during the weekend like Drew and Gary, Chuck and Dave along with new friends Shawn and his girlfriend , Kyle and the Awesome Bomb Radio team just to name a few. A big thanks you to TNA’ and  Bob Ryder for his kindness as well.

I hope you enjoy this exclusive look at TNA Lockdown weekend at MWR.

Jeremy Borash and So Cal Val pump up the fans early in the morning.

Alex Shelly and Chris Sabin (The Motor City Machine Guns) enjoy a visit from a young fan.

TNA Founder Jeff Jarrett should be proud of the Fan Interaction.

Kelly and Jesse Neal

Former WWE Diva, Playboy model and current TNA darling Christy Hemme prepares to meet her fans.

“The Freak” Rob Terry is HUGE

TNA’S Secret weapon “The Beautiful People.”

Eric Bischoff was playing around here without Dubray knowing it. After she saw it she said isn’t that a bit creepy? Which I had to laugh. Bischoff was having fun just like all the TNA guys during the week

Chuck Maddox Black Hogan and Dave Krohn

The Pope D'Angelo Dinero loves the camera.

Scott Hall and TNA’S President Dixie Carter

The presentation for Bobby Hennan, Dory Funk Jr. and Baron Von Raschke for the St Louis Wrestling Hall of Fame plaques.

The great Dory Funk JR is honored with a PWI Lifetime achievement award from PWI’S Jeff Ruoss

Jimmy Hart is proud of the PWI Lifetime achievement award given to him from PWI’S Jeff Ruoss.

PWI’S Jeff Ruoss Gives The Clawmaster his lifetime achievement award.

Ric Flair was all smiles as he came to his station.

Two of the all time greats Sting and Ric Flair would be on the same side at Lockdown.

Go Team Hogan !!

Jimmy Hart with Hulk Hogan put in extra hours.

Kyle gets autographs from Jeff Hardy and Shannon Moore.

Pro Wrestling Royalty Lacey Von Erich

Kurt Angle and Dave Krohn

Rob Van Dam just one day away from become champion of the World.

ST Louis Promoter Herb Simmons with SoCal Val

 

Just one action photo that caught the energy of the night as one of my favorites Team 3D has the crowd in the palm of their hands.

Mini Keny enjoys TNA Wrestling LIVE!!

The adult radio wrestling show Awesome bomb Radio’s host gives Don West a hug.

My good friends Drew Gary Dubray and myself with the Awesome Bomb Radio crew.

TNA Afterparty at Side Pockets

Ken Anderson with one of his many fans after an awesome match with Kurt Angle.

Brandon with Beer Money’s James Storm at Side Pockets.

Pete with Ken Anderson

Patrick and Chris Sabin

I’m sad to say that Dixie Carter did not offer me a job at TNA but she was kind enough to take this picture with Dubray and I.

`

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MWR Fans you can speak to former NWA World Champion and WWE Hall of Famer Dory Funk JR this Saturday.

Posted by flairwhoooooo on March 29, 2010

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By Brian “Flair” Kelley

MWR Fans you will not want to miss the chance to listen in on the St Louis Nostalgia show this Saturday April 3rd at 11am at http://kzqz1430am.com/. Your host Herb Simmons and co-host Larry Matysik will interview wrestling great Dory Funk JR. Callers are welcomed to call in at the radio station at 1-888-394-1430.

Dory Funk JR is the son of Dory Funk SR and brother of Terry Funk. On February 11, 1969 in Tampa, Florida, Dory Funk JR would defeat Gene Kiniski and remained NWA World Champion for the next four and a half years, which is the second-longest uninterrupted reign of any NWA World Champion (Lou Thesz held the NWA world title from November 27, 1949, to March 15, 1956).

Dory’s ties to the Midwest are very tight as he would defend the NWA Championship against Black Jack Lanza with Bobby Heenan, Dick the Bruiser and Baron Von Raschke in classic match ups. Dory Funk Jr would lose his NWA World Championship in the Midwest against Harley Race in Kansas on City May 24, 1973. The match would earn Funk JR and Race the 1973 Pro Wrestling Illustrated Match of the year honors. Dory Funk JR would earn the 1974 PWI Match of the Year honors once again, this time against Jack Brisco In Tokyo Japan.

Dory is the innovator and master of the Texas cloverleaf submission hold and thrilled fans as he sold out arenas the world with great matches. At WrestleMania 2 Dory teamed with his brother Terry as they defeated the Junkyard Dog and Tito Santana.

No wrestling Hall of Fame is complete without Dory Funk 50 plus years of wrestling greatness. Last year Dory was inducted in the WWE Hall of fame by Dusty Rhodes. Dory Funk JR is also a member of the Cauliflower Alley Club (Class of 1998), NWA Hall of Fame (Class of 2006), Professional Wrestling Hall of Fame and Museum (Class of 2005), St Louis Hall of Fame (Class of 2008) and the  Wrestling Observer Newsletter Hall of Fame (Class of 1996).

Former NWA World champions Terry Funk, Jack Brisco, Harley Race and Dory Funk Jr. strike a pose at the 2005 NWA Wrestling Legends Fanfest in Charlotte.

Dory would continue to be an impact in the sport as he would go on to train WWE World Champions Edge, Lita and Mickie James and TNA World Champions Kurt Angle, Christian and Rhino.

Wrestling fans you will not want to miss the chance to speak to one of the most influential wrestlers to ever lace up the boots. Remember to listen this Saturday at 11 am on at http://kzqz1430am.com/to hear from the former World Champion Dory Funk JR speak with St Louis’s Herb Simmons and co-host Larry Matysik. To call in do not forget 1-888-394-1430.

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