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Posts Tagged ‘Jerry Brisco’

Draper Becomes the First NWL Champion

Posted by flairwhoooooo on April 26, 2017

By Brian Hoops
Photos Brian Kelley

In the National Wrasslin League, one man stands taller than the rest. At 6’5”, Dakota “Dak”
Draper is not only the tallest wrestler on the roster, he is the first ever NWL Kansas City
Heavyweight Champion.

Draper was crowned champion by defeating Blaine Meeks in the finals of a tournament held
over three months on April 1 at the Scottish Rites Temple in Kansas City, Missouri. The National
Wrestling League was formed in 2016 by  and started promoting in Kansas City
and St. Louis in January, 2017. Shows are run every other Saturday in Kansas City and every
other Sunday in St. Louis.

Draper, real name Sam Udell, was recruited to the NWL KC roster by NWL Director of
Operations Chris Gough. Gough was a former writer for WWE and had always wanted to book
Draper for his Metro Pro Wrestling promotion. “He was appealing to me because he had been to
the WWE like me. I knew he would appreciate this opportunity because of that.”

Draper, better known as “The Mile High Magnum” hails from Colorado. “I grew up a wrestling
fan and was huge fan of”, Draper told me in a phone interview. Draper ended up
wrestling collegiality at Chadron State University in Chadron, Nebraska, a Division 2 program. It
was at the NCAA finals that he caught the eye of WWE talent scout Jerry Brisco. “Late in the
summer of 2007 they brought me to FCW for a tryout. I was in FCW for a week. The only thing I
did well was my promo.”

Draper didn’t get signed but Brisco told him to work on his body and to move to Denver and find
a wrestling school. “I ended up meeting Pat Tanaka and trained with Pat for about nine months.
Gerry Brisco called me again and offered me another tryout. I did well in the ring and in the
promo again and after the promo, they pulled me aside and told me they were gonna sign me.”
Draper signed a two year developmental contract, the first year he spent in Tampa before the
current WWE Performance Center was built in Orlando. Draper worked in developmental as
Travis Tyler and worked mostly in an enhancement role. Draper was released from the
developmental contract in August of 2016 and moved back to Denver to work on the
independent scene.

“I gained a lot of confidence wrestling in the independents. That was the thing that held me back
in WWE, I was always trying to be a character instead of being myself. Now I can be Dak
Draper who thinks he is above everyone else.”

Draper refers to himself as the “Mile High Magnum” as a tribute to his home city and one of his
favorite wrestlers growing up, Magnum TA. Draper says being a heel is natural for him. “Dr.
Tom (Prichard) told us the first day of developmental that the best wrestling characters are
extensions of ourselves with the volume turned up. I didn’t really understand it at the time, but I
am starting to now.”

Draper is the complete athlete that can cause fits for his opponents on the ground and surprisingly in the air as well. Here he catches Blaine Meeks off guard in the finals for the NWL KC Championship.

Draper is one of the eight wrestlers who are employed by the National Wrasslin League. He is
signed through the end of 2018 and appreciates being involved in the promotion. “I really want
to make the NWL a successful company. Its really cool to be involved in the process of creating
wrestling instead of people telling you what to do.”

Draper is the first and only NWL Kansas City Champion. The NWL Kansas City Title will only be
defended in Kansas City and likewise the NWL St. Louis Title will only be defended in St. Louis.
Gough says by the end of the year a champion of the NWL will be crowned and the title will be
defended anywhere. At the end of the year in December, the NWL Kansas City Champion will
meet the NWL St. Louis Champion to determine the NWL Champion.

Gil Rogers put up a fight for the NWL KC title at the Scottish Rite Temple, but Dak Draper would show off his championship skills to retain the belt.

“The NWL championship match will take place in the city that has the best record in the series
between Kansas City and St. Louis at the time. We have a running total record of matches
between a guy from the Kansas City roster versus a guy from the St. Louis roster.” Gough
explained, “Tag Team Champions will be crowned down the road, but probably not this year.”
Gough, the primary recruiter of talent for the NWL is always looking for new talent and bringing in
fresh faces. Former Ring of Honor Champion Kyle O’Reilly has recently worked for the
promotion and “Hardcore” Bob Holly is signed for April 29 in Kansas City.

Fans of the promotion can watch NWL on its you tube channel. Fans in Kansas City can watch
NWL KC on broadcast television at 11 pm Saturday nights on channel 38, The Spot. Gough said
it is the first time professional wrestling has been on broadcast television in Kansas City since
the mid to late 1980’s when Central States was a TV staple.

I asked Draper if being on local television has brought him any recognition when he is out in
downtown Kansas City. “Actually, I was out in the Power & Light District and someone
recognized me. That didn’t happen, even in Orlando. I had some tickets to our next show with
me and gave the guy a couple of tickets to watch the Mile High Magnum

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Legends week- Travis Cook on Greg Valentine & Jerry Brisco

Posted by flairwhoooooo on May 5, 2013

 photo IMG_3990_zps02bdedfb.jpg

Travis Cook’s statement regarding the St. Louis Wrestling Legends Weekend on May 10 & 11 in Alton, IL

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WWE HOF Jerry Brisco and his son Wes comes to SICW May 19th as Ricky Cruz gets one last chance at Ron Powers.

Posted by flairwhoooooo on April 23, 2012

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Saturday, May 19 – 8 p.m.

East Carondelet Community Center

Ricky’s Last Chance

Classic Champion Ron Powers

Vs. Ricky Cruz

Jerry Brisco – Wes Brisco – and more

Call 286-3393

Missouri Wrestling Revival fans I hope that you join us as we make our way to East Carondelet, Illinois as SICW celebrates the 53rd anniversary for Wrestling at the Chase on May 19th.

Promoter Herb Simmons will be delivering a show worthy of such an occasion as he has brought in WWE Hall of Famer Jerry Brisco back to St. Louis. Jerry and his late brother Jack were stars in St. Louis throughout the 1970s. Jerry is now an executive with WWE.

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Wes Brisco- Photo Credit Scott Finkelstein

Jerry will be bringing his son Wes Brisco, one of the hottest new prospects in the Country.

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Sean Vincent has been one of the most underrated stars in the Midwest for some time. On May 19th he gets to have a huge match when he meets highly regarded Wes Brisco. (Photo Credit Brian Kelley)

Wes will have his hands full though as he will match up with “The Canadian Hero” Sean Vincent.

At the last show in East Carondelet the fans were shocked to see “The Manager of Champions” Travis Cook return to SICW. Cook will be leading his protégé “The Wrestling Machine” Dave Vaughn to hook up against Chris Hargas.

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The unstoppable Ron Powers!! (Photo Credit Amanda Blasé)

And ladies and gentleman it does not get any bigger than the main event on this evening. The Internatinal superstar Ricky Cruz will get ONE LAST chance at the dominating Champion Ron Powers!!!

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Ricky Cruz and Ron Powers one on one. (Photo Credit Amanda Blasé)

Ricky Cruz has come so close in the past to dethrone the CWC Kingpin on three different occasions with each of the matches ending in controversial fashion.

With the stakes so high for both men, and the matches prior being so fierce SICW has sanctioned Gary Jackson as the special referee for this barnburner!!

Be there for this thrilling event Saturday, May 19th at the East Carondelet Community Center.

For tickets, call 286-3393…that’s 286-3393!!!!!

Don’t Miss it.

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Dory Funk JR thrills fans young and old in St Louis in 2011 at MMWA-SICW

Posted by flairwhoooooo on May 24, 2011

By Brian Kelley
With great info from Larry Matysik’s book From the Golden Era-The St. Louis Wrestling Record Book 1959 to 1983

Dory Funk Jr’s connection with the city of St. Louis is etched in stone. During Funk Jr’s historical four year NWA World Championship reign he would defend the title many times in the great city .

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Dory Funk Jr- Photo Credit Amanada Blase

On February 11, 1969, in Tampa, Florida Funk captured the NWA World Championship with a victory over Gene Kiniski. Eleven days later on February 22, 1969 Funk would return to ST Louis to settle the score with rival Waldo Von Erich under “Texas Death Match Rules.”

Luck would have it for Waldo Von Erich that Sam Muchnick, Promoter in St. Louis and President of the National Wrestling Alliance changed the match from a Texas Death Match but to a World Title opportunity. The fans would be able to see Funk win a two out of three falls match when Funk won the first fall and Von Erich was not able to continue due to a shoulder injury.

Fans around the world know the name Bobby “The Brain” Heenan as the man who was instrumental in bring Pro Wrestling mainstream with his charismatic ability and quick wit while chasing mega star Hulk Hogan’s WWF (E) title during the Rock and Wrestling era.

Yet it was many years before that in St Louis that Hennan had protégé Black Jack Lanza in line to take the NWA World Championship. The two would sell out the Kiel Auditorium not once but twice, but even with the genius Hennan is Lanza’s corner Dory Funk Jr would not be dethroned.

For the next four years Dory Funk Jr. would defend the NWA World title around the world while bringing sell outs to St Louis with the very best challengers of that day. Fans would see classic matches between Funk Jr. and Dick the Bruiser, Jack and Jerry Brisco, Johnny Valentine, Rufus R. Jones, Baron Von Raschke and Harley Race before losing the title to Race in Kansas City on March 24th 1974.

In 1974 Dory Funk Jr would be the NWA Missouri Champion by defeating Harley Race on May 24th 1974 during a two out of three falls match at the Kiel.

Funk Jr. as the NWA Missouri Champion would get a victory of then NWA World Champion in St Louis on Nov ember 15 1974, Jack Brisco. St Louis announcer and historian Larry Matysik recalls in his book From the Golden Era-The St. Louis Wrestling Record Book 1959 to 1983 “*Dory Funk Jr. beat NWA Champion Jack Brisco, who did retain the title. Lou Thesz, special referee. 1-Brisco was DQ for throwing the bloody Funk over the top rope after 51:30. Neither man scored a fall in the remainder of the one-hour limit. As winner of the only fall, Funk was awarded the victory. But the challenger could not win the title by DQ, nor by winning only one fall of a best-of-three match, so Brisco kept the championship. This was the fifth consecutive battle between Brisco and Dory Jr. in almost four years that went the full one hour limit.

As the Missouri Champion Dory Funk Jr.defeated Killer Kowalski, in his last match in St Louis. Kowalski would go onto be inducted in the WWE Hall of Fame and train current WWE Star Hunter Hearst Helmsey, TNA Knockout Chyna among many others before he passed away on August of 2008.

The great Harley Race would regain the NWA Missouri Championship beating Dory Funk Jr. in a two out of three falls match on February. 21, 1975.

Dory would  return to action for years in St Louis with a notable match on Aug. 6, 1982 at the Kiel against NWA Champion Ric Flair losing a two out of three falls battle.

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The fans loved to see Canadian Sean Vincent get his due from the former World Champion Dory Funk JR *Photo Credit Brian Kelley*

In all as a World Champion Dory Funk Jr defended the NWA Championship 24 times while drawing over 256,871 total attendances which is an astounding average of 10,703.

This past Saturday in East Carondelet Illinois Dory Funk JR returned to action at the young age of 71 in a three way tag match with partner Chaz Wesson and Gary Jackson against Sean Vincent, Kevin X and CWC Champion Ron Powers.

In a true testament to Dory Funk Jr.’s charisma and talent, I witness fans young and old on their feet at the end of a very entertaining match.

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The fans in St Louis still love Dory Funk JR *Photo Credit Brian Kelley *

Dory Funk JR has been inducted in every Wrestling Hall of fame that is creditable including the St Louis Wrestling Hall of Fame. His legacy will always have strong ties to the city of St Louis and thanks to the fine people at MMWA-SICW we had a special moment in wrestling history. Forty one years after his first NWA World title defense in St Louis, Funk Jr. returned to say thanks to the fans of the Midwest.

MWR fans will be thrilled to hear that Dory Funk Jr sat down with Larry Matysik in a special interview that can be purchased in the near future. Look for details on how in the future at MWR.

Dory Funk Jr. did not come alone to St Louis as he brought with him is lovely wife Marti and the students n the Funking Conservatory, their professional wrestling school which is also the Official American Training Center for All Japan Pro Wrestling. Please click on this link to watch Dory Funk Jr’s match along with the students of the night.

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