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Posts Tagged ‘Ken Patera’

SICW Promoter Herb Simmons Still Having Fun After All These Years

Posted by flairwhoooooo on May 4, 2016

By Promoter Herb Simmons

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Is it WRESTLING or RASSLIN, that is the question that has been asked for many years, and it depends on who you are talking with. Years back they pronounced it RASSLIN, in the good old days of “Good Versus evil” as time went on it became Wrestling. Today after forty one years of that debate, I call it fun. Yes and this past April of 2016 that is just what we did at SICW All-star WRESTLING. I had the honor of being invited back to Las Vegas to the CAC where all the greats of the WRESTLING business attended, among the talented upcoming workers to the legends that are still with us. Legends like Paul Orndorff, Sgt Slaughter, Ricky Steamboat, JR Ross, Mean Gene Okerlund, Howard Fnkle, The Killer Bee’s, Ken Patera and a host of others. My main reason for returning this year was spend time with my friend, one of the greatest of all times, Terry Funk. Terry and I was in Vegas last year along with Stan the Lariat Hansen and Barbara Goodish the widow of the late Bruiser Brody.

I wanted to make sure this year that I met up with Terry because the following weekend he was coming to SICW All-Star WRESTLING in East Carondelet to make an appearance. The main attraction that weekend was the “Terry Funk Title Tournament”. It was to be several matches to see who became the number one contender for the SICW Classic Championship that was currently held by Flash Flanagan. I wanted to make sure Terry remembered he was going to be a big part of the double weekend shot, you see not only was he and another Legend, Cowboy Bob Orton appearing in East Carondelet Illinois, the next day they were traveling for SICW to Cape Girardeau Missouri for not only a WRESTLING show, but during the day a Comic Con.
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Well just as it was back in the days of RASSLIN, you always expect the worst and hope for the best. My lovely wife Mickey and I returned home on that Thursday and immediately began the final steps of preparing for the first ever SICW Friday Night Event. That’s right, in all the forty plus years I never remember doing a Friday night, yes it was scary. You may ask then why, well as I stated above, my friend Ken Murphy from the Cape had his annual Comic Con scheduled and he wanted Funk and Orton along with Ron Powers, Kahagas the Tokyo Monster, and Earl and Dave Hebner from the WWE referee era to participate.

So I arranged to move our monthly Saturday night event to a Friday to help accommodate the Cape show. And as you can figure we were all ready for the Friday night action, Terry Funk, Cowboy Bob Orton, Larry Matysik and all the SICW stars were ready, the capacity crowd was fired up, we were ready for some good old WRESTLING or RASSLIN.

Shortly before the sound of the first bell one of those wrenches got thrown in to the game plan, our Champion Flash Flanagan, who I knew was having shoulder issues informs us that it’s not only one should that needs repaired but both of them. Being the true professional that he is, he wanted to go out and compete to help give the fans the best show possible. After a long discussion with Larry Matysik, Terry Funk Bob Orton , it was determined that it wasn’t in the best interest for Flash to wrestle that night.
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So, as during the history of this crazy business we call WRESTLING or RASSLIN, we went to a plan B, yes Plan B that in a matter of a few minutes it was determined that instead of naming the winner of the “Terry Funk Title Tournament” the number one contender, the winner would become the SICW All-Star Champion. Simple right, you got it, the event went on and the action was great as always. The new champion was named, Ron Powers recaptured the gold and the celebration with him, Terry Funk and Cowboy Bob Orton took place in the ring.

 

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Look for a recap of the exciting night of wrestling soon at this very website

After being jet lagged from the trip from Vegas and making sure Terry got in town on time, the night was long and I must say my wife and I was a little tired. We ended taking Terry to the hotel. We dropped him off at midnight and told him we would pick him up at 7am, what another true professional, no complaints at all. We arrived home around 12:45 am. As always after a show I need to unwind, I laid down around 4am.

As the sun came up I knew it was going to be a long day. Even though I was looking forward to my two and half hour drive with Terry Funk, it was still stressful, new territory, hadn’t ran a show in Missouri for many years. We arrived shortly to find Terry Funk standing outside the hotel waiting on us. As the true veteran he is, he was bright eyed and bushy tailed. I must say there isn’t anything more rewarding than to spend a couple of hours in a car with such a legend as Terry Funk. We talked about everyone and everything pertaining to the WRESTLING or RASSSLIN business. The stories that man has could have kept me entertained for hours. I thought that with him flying in late, then being at the show all evening and getting in to the hotel late that he may fall asleep on the drive to Cape, boy did he fool me. The only smart one was my wife, she curled up in the back seat and took advantage of my driving.

Terry talked about how the business was back in the day, how guys he helped get into the business, like our late friend Bruiser Brody. He talked about how it was in Japan and how guys back then respected the business. I must admit, the guy has a memory, he talked about the show in the high school gym we did years ago when Greg Valentine, Orton, Spike Huber and Chris Adams who were are working with us. He talked about the first time Brody told him about our small independent promotion. He stated the name of Larry Matysik and Herb Simmons is known way beyond the St. Louis area, I must admit I wasn’t surprised about Larry, but me, big old Herb Simmons that had just been fortunate to be in the right place and the right time and have a friend like Larry to introduce me to Sam Munchnick, Brody, Murdoch, Valentine, Dory, Dibiase, Ox Baker, Jerry Blackwell, Dick The Bruiser, Bulldog Bob Brown, Harley Race and man the list could go on for a long time. It has been a real treat to be able to say I have done what only some other have dreamed of. I truly owe a lot to not only Larry, but to my wife who allowed me the time to live this dream.

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The Walking Dead Actor was excited to come see Terry Funk after meeting his fans at the Comic Con earlier that day.

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After spending the day in Cape Girardeau with Ken Murphy and standing for hours while Terry and Bob signed pictures, I must say the day seemed like it was never going to get over. There were hundred’s of fans that wanted to get a picture and talk with the WRESTLING or RASSLIN legends. They began signing a little after 9:30 and only for about an hour from 3-4pm when they did a Q&A, did they take a break from meeting and talking with the fans. Around 4:30 we went to lunch, Terry, Orton, Kahagas, Ron Powers, my wife and I. Again sitting with that crew was another experience, they had all worked together and they all had the stories. Around 5:30pm we headed to the AC Brase Arena, the building that was home to the ICW, operated by Angelo Poffo, Randy Savage and other legends from back in the day. It was a beautiful building and upon our arrival fans were already standing in line, see Terry and Orton and the boys were scheduled to do another Meet & Greet. So not only was I scheduling that, I had to get the card ready for the night. My right hand man, Dr. Drew, SICW ring announcer and Television Play by Play guy was a life saver. He jumped in and help get it lined up. Between him, Ron Powers and Gary Jackson the show went off great. The crowd was in to all the action and our friend Ken Murphy was pleased.

I lucked out that after we got the ring down my good friend Gary Jackson decided he would stay in town and take Terry Funk to the airport early in the morning. It was midnight when we left Cape, so it was good for me and the wife not to worry about getting back down there to get him to the airport. My wife repaid the favor for me driving down, she drove home. It was a great weekend both in East Carondelet where the best WRESTLING or RASSLIN fans are, and then to meet new fans in Cape was just as good. The talent worked hard both nights and without them and great fans there is no show.

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So I hope this painted the picture of two shows in April, back to back with two Legends, Funk and Orton, and all the other great SICW Stars, oh, and did I mention, the next morning we started on working on the third show for April that was scheduled for the last Saturday in April in Millstadt Illinois, my point is in this business its run run run, and fun fun fun. Until next time we meet at the matches take care and be sure to support independent wrestling and also Check out MRW (Missouri Wrestling Revival) for all the greatest information on WRESTLING or RASSLIN.

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Ken Patera and Joe Tangaro Inducted into the St. Louis Hall of Fame

Posted by flairwhoooooo on July 20, 2015

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Pictured in the photo are SICW Promoter Herb Simmons, MMWA Promoter Tony Casta, ring announcer Ben Simon, Hall of Fame committee member Nick Ridenour, 2015 Hall of Famer Ken Patera and MMWA’s Tim Miller.

By Brian Kelley

The St. Louis Wrestling Hall of Fame showcases talents that flourished during the days of (and prior to) the St. Louis Wrestling Club. The Hall features 33 legends including: Lou Thesz, Ric Flair, Harley Race, Bill Longson, Bruiser Brody, Penny Banner, and Sam Muchnick.

The 2015 inductees are: Ken Patera, Joe Tangaro, Eddie Smith, and Bill Apter. The first two, Patera and Tangaro, were honored at the historic South Broadway Athletic Club on July 11th.

Former NWA Missouri Champion and Olympic strongman Ken Patera was in attendance for his induction. On April 25th, 1980, Patera defeated Kevin Von Erich for the NWA Missouri Heavyweight Championship and lost the title to Ted DiBiase on November 21. He dethroned Jack Brisco to regain the belt on October 23, 1981. Patera would go on to wrestle for the AWA and the WWF in the 80’s.

Joe Tangaro was also honored July 11th at South Broadway. Tangaro was a wrestler, referee, and restaurant manager who won the hearts of fans in Saint Louis. He passed away in 1997 at age 70 after suffering from ALS. He was the president of the local chapter of ALS research and helped to raise thousands of dollars to battle the disease locally and nationally.

The Hall of Fame was founded in 2007 by legendary Saint Louis announcer Larry Matysik, promoter Herb Simmons, promoter Tony Casta, sports journalist Keith Schildroth, and longtime fan Nick Ridenour. All except Schildroth remain on the Board.

The inductions are split for two dates. Eddie Smith and Bill Apter are to be formally inducted at an SICW event in October.

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St. Louis Wrestling Hall of Fame Inducts Ken Patera, Joe Tangaro on Saturday

Posted by flairwhoooooo on July 6, 2015

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From the Office of the Commissioner Jimmy “Big Time” Harris;

It’s my pleasure to announce after a conversation with Herb Simmons of the SICW that the MMWA along with the SICW will have the co-honor of induction the 2015 honorees into the St. Louis Wrestling Hall of Fame.

Tony Casta and Herb Simmons will be at the MMWA July 11th to induct Mr. Ken Patera and the son of Joe Tangaro will be present to accept for him. Due to scheduling issues Bill Apter will accept his induction at a later date to be announced by Herb as will be the same time that the late Ed Smith Family will accept for him. I will be present at the SICW to help and applaud the other two recipients for a well deserve honor. So folks don’t miss out on these two shows and come out and support two professional wrestling groups with history of old school and wrestling at the chase heritage.

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SICW teams up with the Gateway Grizzles August 9-10th Jerry The King Lawler, Larry Matysik, Ken Patera, Rocky Johnson, Baron Von Raschke, Harley Race

Posted by flairwhoooooo on June 11, 2013

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SICW Promoter Herb Simmons has done it again, the Gateway Grizzles celebrates wrestling legends at the GCS Stadium in Sauget Illinois. August 9-10th.

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“The King” Jerry Lawler to throw out first pitch on the 9th, followed by meet and greet with him, Larry Matysik,

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fFormer Wrestling at the Chase and WWE Star Ken Patera

Ken Patera,
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Rocky Johnson,

Baron Von Raschke,  and Harley Race in a VIP Suite.

Saturday the 10th a super star card featuring CWC title match and other surprises.

Stay tune for more on this huge card presented by SICW and the Gateway Grizzles.

We will have information on tickets shortly here at Missouri Wrestling Revival as soon as we know…..

Wrestling is red hot at SICW.

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MWR Trading Card #69 Miss Natural

Posted by flairwhoooooo on April 10, 2012

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During the Holidays, Metro Pro Wrestling was treated to a special elves match between Miss Natural, Lucy Mendez and Stacey O’Brien. Miss Natural seemed to not be pleased to be put in such a “diva type” match and took her frustrations out on O’Brien. – Photo Bill Smith

This past weekend in Kansas City at Metro Pro Wrestling fans were excited to get their own autograph MWR Trading card of Santana G as she made her way to the Midwest for the first time in a long time.

During intermission I spoke to fans that were excited of the addition of the MWR trading card #67 that featured the Ring of Honor bad boys The Briscoe Brothers. As the conversation continued the fans asked about Outkast who was number 68, and the MPW fans had seen him take on Pete Madden in 2011, and I told them that he and his tag partner Shorty Biggs had become the first ever NWA Dynamo Tag Team Champions the night before.

The next question I was asked was who was next, to which one fan looked at me and said “There is only one wrestler that is so fine that she HAS to be number 69, and that is Miss Natural.”

It just so happens that the fan was correct as Miss Natural is indeed number 69. Miss Natural is not just a female wrestler who has wrestled for several years, there is many who feel that she is among the most talented women of her era in the Midwest. Trained under 8-time NWA World Champion Harley Race and Ken Patera she is the most decorated World League Wrestling ladies Champion in the history of that promotion as she is a 5 –time Champion. She has also been able to capture two AWA Championships in her career.

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Metro Pro Wrestling has been seeking a new commissioner ever since Matt Murphy lost that job at the end of the year. Fans were shocked to see that Steven J Girthy was able to convince Miss Natural to be his running mate. Should these two be able to win this election for the job, what could be in store for MPW Fans? - Photo Credit Brian Kelley

After a hiatus from the sport, Miss Natural has returned to action last year, and it would not take long for her to be back in Championship form. She has returned to WLW, made appearances at 3XW and been involved in some exciting matchups at Metro Pro Wrestling.

Though known for her beauty and hard hitting style, in 2012 she is about to use her brains as she surprisingly has joined up with Steven J Girthy to try to help him with the MPW commissioner position in the company.

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Miss Natural will be in action along with many legends of the sport.

Later this month Miss Natural returns to Minnesota allowing the fans a chance to see the Natural beauty, the Natural wrestling skills and a chance to own an autograph MWR Trading card of Miss Natural.

Missouri Wrestling Revival is proud to announce that Miss Natural is now a member of the MWR Trading Card series as 69 in the set.

#1 The Northstar Express Darin Corbin and Ryan Cruz – 2008 MWR Tag team of the Year

#2 Mark Sterling– 2009 MWR Wrestler of the Year

#3 The Hooligans Devin and Mason Cutter – 2009 MWR Tag Team of the Year

#4 MsChif – 2009 MWR Female Wrestler of the Year

#5 Mike Sydal – 2009 Pro Wrestling Illustrated Rookie of the Year —-SOLD OUT—

#6 Jeremy Wyatt – 2008 MWR Wrestler of the Year, 2008 & 2009 MWR Match of the Year (vs. Michael Strider, vs. Tyler Cook)

#7 Santana G – Midwest Sweetheart

#8 Kahagas – The Tokyo Monster

#9 Mephisto – Hardcore Favorite

#10 Tyler Black – Ring of Honor World Champion

#11 Sir Bradley Charles – Rising star trained by Lance Storm

#12 Brandon Espinosa – 2011 MWR Wrestler of the Year

#13 Dave Vaughn – The Wrestling Machine

#14 “The Future” Donovan Ruddick – The 6’9″ Monster

#15 Brandon Aarons – Current Triple Crown Champion in the Midwest

#16 Davey Richards – Arguably the best in the world today

#17 “Superstar” Steve Fender – First American wrestler to train in Pro Wrestling NOAH Dojo

#18 MR Late Nite – “Hollywood Super Agent”

#19 Eric Allen – The Pride of Peoria

#20 Eddie Edward – American Wolf

#21 Evan Money – The Pro Wrestling Kid

#22 Delirious – A Familiar Face from “The Edge of Insanity”

#23 Jason Jones – On the Path to Superstardom

#24 Tony Kozina – Rugged and Well-Traveled Veteran

#25 Jeromy Robb Senior Referee at 3XW and MECW

#26 Sean Vincent Canada’s Favorite wrestler

#27 Lucy Mendez – Midwest Latino Knockout

#28 Trevor Murdock – Former WWE Superstar

#29 Eric Davis –Senior referee at IHW and PWE

#30 Angel -ECW Original

#31 Jonathan Greshem– Electrifying young star

#32 Brett Young -#1

#33 Michael Crase Jr -Metro and NWA Dynamo Ref

#34 -U-Gene Dinsmore– Lovable fan favorite.

#35Billy McNeil– Innovating high flyer.

#36 Mia Martinez – Mysterious and fiery, Midwest diva

#37 Mike Sydal – 2010 MWR Wrestler of the Year

#38 Stacey O’Brien-2008 MWR Female Wrestler of the Year

#39Neil Diamond Cutter– Prince of Death

#40Bloody Harker Dirge– God of Thunder

# 41Brian Breaker– 2011 Pro Wrestling Noah tour

# 42 Brandon Schmitt -WLW and Metro Pro Ref

#43 The The Mississippi Madman– PWE Champion

#44 Dan Gier WLW Announcer

#45 B.G. James– 7 time World Tag Champion

#46 Rob Conway– 3 Time WWE Tag Champion.

#47 Larry Zbyszko- 2 time AWA World Champion

#48 Michael Barry – MR Saturday Night

#49 The Lumberjacks Abe and Gabe– Most decorated tag team in the Midwest

#50 Larry Matysik – Wrestling at the Chase announcer

#51 Jimmy Jacobs– ROH Superstar

#52 The Survivor Barry Ryte – Cancer Survivor

#53 Jessie Belle Smothers – Tracey Smothers daughter DING DING

#54 The Strong Style Devil’s – Bailey Mannix Eric Allen, Loveley Leon

#55 Ace Hawkins– Young High flyer

#56- Ryan Howe– WWE Tough Enough

#57- Misfitt MannersMizfitt Madness

#58- JB Payne-The Midwest Mauler

#59 Dave Hebner – Legendary Ref

#60 El Generico– The Generic Luchador

#61 Tony Atlas-MR USA

#62 MsChif– Raven Johnson Art card of the 2012 MWR Sexiest female of 2012

#63 Maddog McDowell– Fan favorite around the Midwest WOOF WOOF

#64 Michael Elgin– ROH Superstar

#65 KC Jackson– The Main Attraction

#66 Ron Powers – SICW Champion

#67 The Briscoe Brothers– The Baddest Tag team on the planet.

#68 OUTKAST– One half of the Bum Rush Brothers.

#69 Miss Natural- 5-time Harley Race’s WLW Ladies Champion.

For a complete list of Missouri Wrestling Revival trading cards as well as WWE , TNA and Japan sets check out the website Wrestling trading cards.com here.

To purchase MWR Trading cards:

1) Catch the star at a show to have them autograph the cards personally

2) Contact them via facebook or myspace

3) Send $1.50 in money order or check for each card at *

Brian Kelley

305 West 3rd Salisbury Missouri 65281

or Paypal at flairmwr@yahoo.com

*Checks will take longer to clear than money orders so expect time for that to happen. Make sure you list exactly what card you are wanting to have.

Please note that when purchasing MWR Trading cards from the wrestlers, that they decide the prices for their cards. We highly recommend that you get them from the stars themselves and let them know that you enjoy MWR.

These cards are limited and are not mass produced making them highly collectable.

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Pete Sakaris and Brandon Brown win the “Who’s the Superstar in the picture contest”

Posted by flairwhoooooo on July 7, 2010

We would like to congratulate MWR readers Pete Sakaris from Nebraska and Brandon Brown from Missouri for answering the “Who’s the Superstar in the picture contest”.

The First question was who in the picture is the son of a former WWE Hall of Famer?

That none other was the son of WWE Hall of Famer Ted Dibiase, Mike Dibiase. Mike’s Brother Ted  is currently a WWE Superstar.

Brandon will receive an autograph 8×10 of Mike’s dad Ted Dibiase.

Ted Dibiase

Before Ted became a household name he put himself up against some of the best in the world right here in the Midwest. Dibiase would capture the NWA Missouri Championship twice in ST Louis, Mo.

Dibiase defeated Dick Slater on August 12, 1977 and would earn his second reign on November 21, 1981 against Ken Patera.

Dibiase would go onto to be one of the most hated/loved wrestlers in this generation as the Million Dollar Man Ted Dibiase. Pro Wrestling Illustrated would name Ted Dibiase #32 in 2003 in the PWI Years.

The current NWA Missouri Champion is Davey Vega who defeated Dingo in Glen Carbon Illinois last year on October 16th.

The second question was who was the former NWA Central States Champion in this photo?

Pete answered correctly when he named Derek Stone who was on the top nailing Mike Dibiase with the ten punch. Derek Stone became the NWA Central States Champion by defeating Michael Barry, Griz and Gary Jackson in Coffeyville, KS on November 16. 2002

Fun fact: both Mike Dibiase SR and his son Ted would also rein as two time NWA Central States Champion. Mike Sr defeated the Spoiler and The Viking while the future Million Dollar Man pinned Bob Slaughter and “Bulldog “Bob Brown.

The current NWA Central States Champion is the 2009 Missouri Wrestling Revival Wrestler of the Year Mark Sterling. Sterling defeated Michael Strider to become the NWA Central States Champion in 2009.

Pete will be receiving the must have collectable the Mark Sterling MWR Trading Card , which is number two in the set that celebrates the hard working men and women in the Midwest wrestling today.

This picture was taken at CSW in Lawrence Kansas in a three way match between Derek Stone, Mike Dibiase and Mason Hunter. Special thanks goes out to my friend Retro Rick for having information up about this show so I could find some information about it.

I would like to thank everyone for partaking in this contest. Look for exciting information coming from Missouri Wrestling Revival. In the future we have several superstars that will be announced into the MWR Trading Card set, we have some exciting fun promotions in works with our friends at High Voltage Wrestling, Independent Hardcore Wrestling and one with MECW in December that I am thrilled about. Keep checking MWR for all these great announcements

We will also be having more contest, plus we hope to be at these shows to allow you to catch a shirt from a Midwest Superstar at these showsNew Midwest Wrestling on July 9th in Springfield Illinois, World League Wrestling on the17th in Park Hills Missouri, NWA Dynamo on July 24th in Glen Carbon Illinois, MECW in Woodriver Illinois on July 31st and High Voltage Wrestling on August 7TH IN Granite City Illinois.

If you are a promotion or wrestler that would like to include yourself in one of our contest by donating DVD’S, T-shirts, Autographs and other fan collectables please contact me at flairwhoooooo@yahoo.com to discuss how we can work together to give back to the fans while having a little fun.

Coming up in the next couple of days join us for a MWR Awards presentation from 3xwrestling with info for their exciting show coming up this Friday in Des Moines Iowa with the return of the Northstar Express and Arik Cannon  and a main event rematch between 3XW Champion Jeremy Wyatt and Rory Fox in a ladder match, a Dubi meets the fans from Pro Wrestling Epic and the announcement of the MWR Trading card #12.

Last but not least do not forget to join us in Springfield Illinois to catch a shirt from a NMW Superstar and join Dubray in the first ever Dubi meets the NMW Fans. Last night MWR received information on some new exciting matches added to this Saturdays show.

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MWR’s History of the NWA Missouri Heavyweight Championship

Posted by Admin on October 22, 2008

History of the NWA Missouri Heavyweight Championship

By Josh Ray
Owner-Editor
Inadvertent.nerd@gmail.com

This is the first in a series of features on championships in the MWR coverage area, where MWR looks at the history, importance, and the future of the wrestling belts that help shape the Midwest independent wrestling scene.

The National Wrestling Alliance (NWA) has been around since 1948, but the Missouri Heavyweight Championship has been around in some way, shape, or form since 1899. Records are spotty, but George Baptiste is in the books as the first Missouri Champion, winning in 1899. There are no details as to whom he defeated for the title or whom defeated him.

The next Missouri Champion doesn’t appear in the record books until 1921. Jake Reed defeated Lloyd Carter sometime that year, but again the records are so poor for that time period that no other information is known.

In 1933, some 12 years later, Fred Peterson entered the scene and began claiming that he was the Missouri Champion. He continued to make this claim until March of 1934, which happens to be around the same time that Billy Wolf is listed as champion. Records are unclear as to whom he defeated for the title, but Fred Peterson could be a good guess.

1937 brings more clarity to the title, as Lou Thesz defeated Warren Bockwinkel for the title on June 18th in Kansas City, MO. The clarity wouldn’t last long, however, as the title did a disappearing act until October 17, 1947 in St. Joseph, MO. Over ten years after Lou Thesz won the title, Ron Etchison defeated Sonny Myers for the title. There is no more information on how Thesz parted with the belt.

Less than a month later on November 7, 1947, Sonny Myers won a rematch with Etchison and became the Missouri State Champion. Before 1947 was over with, though, the title would be vacated and would remain that way until 1950.

As the National Wrestling Alliance began tying the smaller regional promotions together, the Missouri title was reestablished. Unfortunately, records are still in bad shape from 1950 to 1955. Tommy O’Toole defeated Sonny Myers in a tournament final on March 10, 1950, and from then until it was vacated in 1955 Bob Orton Sr. and Ron Etchison would win the title. Once again, there are no records as to whom either of them defeated.

The title stayed vacated from 1955 until 1972, when the title became a secondary singles championship for the NWA’s Central States Wrestling and St. Louis Wrestling Club. On September 16, 1972 in St. Louis, MO, the title gained legitimacy when Midwest wrestling legend Harley Race defeated Korean wrestling star Pak Song in a tournament final for the championship. In the years to come, Race would become the area’s most dominant champion and a true wrestling legend.

The title was held up after the ending of a Harley Race and Johnny Valentine match on December 16, 1972 in St. Louis, MO. A rematch was scheduled a month later, and on January 19, 1973, Valentine defeated Race for the title. The remainder of 1973 saw Terry Funk, Gene Kiniski, and Harley Race with the title.

St. Louis, MO continued to be the location for each and every Missouri Heavyweight Championship title change through February 1986 when Jim Crockett and Jim Crockett Promotions bought the St. Louis Wrestling Club. Later in the year Crockett also purchased Central States Wrestling as the NWA attempted to compete with Vince McMahon Jr. and his World Wrestling Federation (WWF).

Fittingly, the last Missouri Heavyweight Champion of that era was Harley Race. He won the title by defeating Jerry Blackwell on August 2, 1985. From Harley Race’s 1973 reign (his second) to his final reign in 1985, he would hold the title four other times. This left him with a total of seven reigns as Missouri Champ and made him the wrestler with the most reigns as champion. Others that held the title in this time period include Dory Funk Jr., Jack Brisco, Dick Slater, Ted DiBiase Sr., Dick Murdoch, Dick the Bruiser, Kevin Von Erich, Ken Patera, Kerry Von Erich, David Von Erich, and “Nature Boy” Ric Flair.

The list of Missouri Heavyweight Champions reads like a who’s who of NWA wrestlers of the era, but a new era began in 2002. Gary Jackson entered the record books as the first Missouri Heavyweight Champ of the new era by defeating Steve Stone in St. Robert, MO on July 27, 2002. The title’s tumultuous nature returned, but unlike the early 20th Century, records were kept in good standing.

Jackson was stripped of the title on June 3, 2003 due to his inability to frequently defend it, and Shane Somers stepped into the forefront as perennial Missouri Heavyweight Champion. He would win the title a total of three times in less than a year, winning it twice in one night (June 17, 2003) after Missouri State Athletic Commissioner Karl Lauer stripped him of the belt for using an illegal chokehold. He won the belt again later that night by pinning John Epperson in a tag match.

The Missouri Heavyweight Championship has changed hands in a state other than Missouri twice in its entire history, once in 2003 and once in 2005. On October 10, 2003, Ricky Murdock defeated Shane Somers in Parkersburg, WV at the NWA 55th Anniversary Show. The title was vacated a year later and then on December 7, 2005 in Lawrence, KS, Abyss defeated Tyler Cook for it.

A year later, the title was vacated once again. After a less than respectable run, the Missouri Heavyweight Championship gained a savior who goes by the name “Dingo”. Dingo won the title on January 19, 2007 in St. Joseph, MO by defeating Kraig Keesaman, Mark Sterling, and Jeremy Wyatt in a four-way scramble. As of this writing Dingo is still the champion, having held the title for over a year and a half. He’s defeated some of the top wrestlers in the Midwest, including Jeremy Wyatt, Mark Sterling, and Michael Strider. Under the NWA CSW: Missouri banner, Dingo is doing his part to bring the title back to the Harley Race standard of the 70s and 80s.

Only time will tell what the future holds for the NWA Missouri Heavyweight Championship. If the current champion and the promotion sanctioning the matches are any indication, the title will have a bright future. The title is only as strong as the promotion, champion, and his challengers, though, so here’s to a competitive future for the NWA Missouri Heavyweight Championship!

For a complete listing of NWA Missouri Heavyweight Champions, go to the Wikipedia Page at:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/NWA_Missouri_Heavyweight_Championship

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