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Posts Tagged ‘Mick Karch’

Ron Powers Wins The Brody Memorial Battle Royal by Patrick Brandmeyer

Posted by flairwhoooooo on June 14, 2015

All Photos by Brian Kelley

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Stan Hansen, Ron Powers, Herb Simmons and Barbara Goodish

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Tim and Jennifer meet Cowboy Bob Orton.

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The fans love the 2014 MWR Wrestler of the Year Ricky Cruz ( top middle) and the Prince of SICW, Keith Smith Jr. (top left)

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Cowboy Bob Orton was one of the top wrestlers of his day. Here he is seen watching one of his classic matches at the Wrestling at the Chase in between meeting the fans.

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Fans were thrilled to pick up some rare wrestling memorabilia from AWA Ring announcer Mick Karch.

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Brothers on Whatever host Nathan shows his love of Brody along with Big Daddy and Ron Powers.

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These young girls were all smiles at SICW.

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A great opportunity to meet the legends and get there autographs for the past few years has been SICW.

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Stan Hansen loved to meet his fans young and old.

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A great photo of a father and son along with Mick Karch… This young man wearing the the Andre shirt is so awesome.

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The 2013 MWR Wrestler of the Year Jake Dirden made sure to get there early to pick the brain of the legend Stan Hansen for over twenty minutes.

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Larry Matysik is one of the greatest wrestling minds today, unfortunately he was unable to be there, but behind every great man is a great women, for Larry it is his lovely wife Pat.

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Justin Berry rocks the Rob Schamberger Brody shirt while meeting his lovely wife Barbara Goodish.

A standing-room-only audience packed the East Carondelet Community Center for Southern Illinois Championship Wrestling’s biggest show of the year. Fans flooded the building to honor the memories of both the anniversary of “Wrestling At The Chase” and the late King Kong “Bruiser” Brody.

The special guests were out in force. Along with Director Of Affairs Cowboy Bob Orton, the visitors in the house included Brody’s widow Barbara Goodish, Brody’s former tag partner Stan “The Lariat” Hansen, Larry Matysik’s wife Pat, and former AWA announcer Mick Karch. Promoter Herb Simmons acknowledged his guests at the top of the show before ring announcer Drew Abbenhaus kicked off the action.

In the opener, “Dirdey” Jake Dirden joined forces with Bobby D and “Dead Sexy” Daniel Gunner to take on the trio of Brandon Espinosa, “Volatile” Curtis Wylde, and Bubba Troll.

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“Volatile” Curtis Wylde was in the house.

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As always, Wylde was accompanied by his “Number-One Ginja” Wyldefyre.
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It was a chaotic bout, as one would expect with so much humanity in one ring…as everyone brawled, Wyldefyre accidentally tripped her own man and that led to Bobby D finishing off Wylde with a Pedigree.

Two tough guys did battle as Big Jim Hoffarth locked horns with Ax. The two had crossed paths a few times in recent months without a decisive conclusion and were looking to settle the score on this meaningful night.
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Big Jim with the body slam on Ax.

The battle spilled to the floor in the early minutes and Hoffarth went for a clothesline, but struck the ringpost when Ax moved out of the way. Ax pounced on the injury and targeted the bad limb with no mercy…Big Jim attempted to fight back, but had trouble defending himself and the referee finally stopped the bout out of concern for Hoffarth’s physical well-being. Ax was the winner…but Hoffarth still wanted a piece of his rival.

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Chaz Wesson made quick work of Waco.

“The Old School Warrior” Chaz Wesson was out to make a statement and he did so at the expense of the masked man Waco.

Wesson unleashed a flurry of offense from the opening bell, pinning Waco in about a minute with a cross-bodyblock off the top rope…proving himself worthy of being in the thick of the Classic Wrestling Championship picture.

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The Great One Gary Jackso.

“Night Train” Gary Jackson(w/ Big Daddy) had a literally huge task ahead of him in the form of the 300-plus-pound Barackus.

Jackson was attempting to rebound from his April loss of the Classic Title to Flash Flanagan, but he had trouble dealing with the size disadvantage. Barackus crushed the veteran with a huge Samoan Drop, but experience was the deciding factor as Barackus took his time on the pin attempt.
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That allowed Gary to crucifix his shoulders to the mat for the pinfall, using the big man’s own size against him.

Herb Simmons interviewed Stan Hansen and Barbara Goodish about the night’s main event: The Bruiser Brody Memorial Battle Royal. As noted, the bout held special significance for them due to their respective connections to its namesake…many contenders would be in the ring to earn that trophy, but only one could walk away with it.

Midwest newcomer Paloma Starr went one-on-one with “The Queen Of Chaos” Lucy Mendez…the two had a wild fight in a mixed tag the previous month, but this time there would be no tag team partners to hold them back.

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Paloma Starr has the 2014 MWR Female Wrestler of the Year Lucy Mendez in deep trouble.

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Starr had the power advantage, but Lucy’s experience would play a pivotal role in this one. She managed to outmaneuver Paloma and deliver a hanging DDT for the victory, continuing her run of success in the St. Louis area.

Two men at career crossroads faced each other as Keith Smith Jr. collided with “Ironman” Ken Kasa (accompanied by Travis Cook). Kasa was hoping to get back on track toward the Classic Wrestling Championship while the upstart Smith had his sights set on his first one-on-one victory.

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Kasa established his early dominance with his signature shotgun dropkick right after the opening bell…he could have ended the match at that point, but chose to dish out more punishment. Chaz Wesson came out to root for his protege and that drew the ire of Travis Cook…however, the manager accidentally distracted his own charge and Keith Jr. was able to fire back with a football-style leg dive.
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With Kasa down on the mat, Smith hooked his father’s signature figure-four leglock and Kasa was forced to tap out!

After the match, things broke down between Kasa and Cook…Kasa was able to leave the ring without his manager, but caught him in the act of attempting a cheapshot with a chain around his fist. Kasa cornered Cook and prepared to lower the boom, but his stablemate Chris Hargas clipped his injured knee from behind. Hargas and Cook dished out a two-on-one beatdown on the wounded competitor, essentially downsizing Ken Kasa from the Travis Cook Organization.

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The end of an era as Travis Cook turns on the former SICW Champion Ken Kasa.

Travis Cook had a full evening as Hargas teamed with the Mongolian madman Attila Khan against the unlikely duo of Ricky Cruz and Ron Powers. The longtime rivals had common enemies and worked surprisingly well against Cook’s team, but underhanded tactics made the difference in this match.

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The match was chaotic and wild as SICW ring announcer Abbenhaus runs for his life as the action was everywhere.

As the referee’s attention was diverted, Khan stunned Cruz with a low blow before jabbing him in the throat with a foreign object passed into the ring by Travis Cook. After that, Khan scored the tainted pinfall on the former Classic Wrestling Champion.

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The Classic Wrestling Championship was at stake as two-time titleholder Flash Flanagan defended against “The Man Of Tomorrow” Daniel Eads. Eads had received MWR’s “Future Star Award” and hoped to carry that momentum into a big victory, but Flash’s years of experience were too much to overcome.
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Daniel Eads is one of the 2014 MWR Future Stars of the Year, but Flanagan is one of the baddest men in the country. Eads put up a fight but the wily veteran once again was a step ahead to keep the title.

A missed move caused Eads to land painfully on the second turnbuckle and Flanagan followed up with a double-stomp from the top rope as Eads was hung up on the ropes; that allowed the champion to retain his title.

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This young fan was rooting for Ricky Cruz or Ron Powers to win the battle Royal.

The ring filled with powerhouses at the end of the night, all competing for the honor of being the first holder of the Bruiser Brody Memorial Battle Royal trophy.

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In the midst of all the battles, Travis Cook pulled down the top rope and caused Ron Powers to tumble out of the ring. He seemed to be eliminated at that point, but Cowboy Bob Orton would allow him to re-enter the fray. The match came down to Hargas, Khan, Cruz, and Powers…Cruz eliminated Khan only to be pulled to the floor himself. Hargas charged at Powers, but Ron pulled down the top rope and Hargas fell out of the ring…leaving the former Brody protege as the winner of the battle royal!

After Barbara Goodish presented Powers with the trophy, Herb Simmons congratulated him on his win…but he had a bit of news regarding the June show. Travis Cook had been badgering him to settle the Red River Jack controversy and Herb finally had a solution: On June 20th, Ron Powers would face two members of the Travis Cook Organization…and Powers’ tag team partner would be Red River Jack. The news seemed to catch Powers off guard, but he promised that he and R.R.J. would come out on top.

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On a night set up to celebrate Wrestling At The Chase and Bruiser Brody, the action in the ring told its own story and set the stage for a tumultuous summer in Southern Illinois Championship Wrestling!

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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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SICW now taking Pre-orders for this Limited Collector’s Edition Bruiser Brody Memorial book

Posted by flairwhoooooo on March 26, 2015

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SICW- Now taking pre- orders for this Limited Collector’s Edition Bruiser Brody Memorial book. Get yours now and be ready to have is autographed on Saturday May 16th by Barbara Goodish, Stan the Lariat Hansen, Mick Karch and Larry Matysik as we celebrate the 56th years of memories of Wrestling at the Chase and the Bruiser Brody Memorial. Call now to place your order all Major Credit cards now accepted 618-286-4848

Plus April 18th Cowboy Bob Orton

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SICW– WWE legend and the New Director of Affairs for SICW “Cowboy” Bob Orton will be the Special Guest when SICW arrives in Millstadt Illinois at the St. James Parish Center on Saturday April 18th at 8pm. Orton joins all the other SICW stars such as “Red River Jack” and Big Daddy, also “The Canadian Hero Sean Vincent. Tickets are on at the Millstadt Village Hall.

April 25th. The 2014 MWR Female Wrestler of the Year, Lucy Mendez vs Paloma Starr plus the Midgets.

SICW- Saturday April 25th “The Midgets” return to the SICW ring in East Carondelet Illinois at the community center. Also the Ladies of Wrestling will be in action, see Lucy Mendez and Paloma Starr in action along with all the other SICW wrestlers. This one is filling up fast so order your tickets now. Credit cards now accepted call 618-286-4848

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