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Posts Tagged ‘Sam Muchnick’

Bob Backlund & Édouard Carpentier Inducted into the St. Louis Wrestling Hall of Fame

Posted by flairwhoooooo on September 11, 2017

By Brian Kelley

MWR was honored to be a special guest at the induction ceremony of Bob Backlund and Édouard Carpentier into the St. Louis Wrestling Hall of Fame this past Saturday.

 

The Hall of Fame is located inside the historic South Broadway Athletic Club in St. Louis, Missouri. Bob Backlund made his way for the historic moment and took time afterwards for a special Q and A with his fans as well as a meet and greet with his fans.

Bob Backlund spoke highly of his time in St. Louis including the contributions of promoter Sam Muchnick, Harley Race and Terry Funk impact to his success in the squared circle.

Ben Simon, Herb Simmons, Bob Backlund, Tony Casta and Nick Ridenour

 

Bob Backlund sat front and center for the matches at the Historic South Broadway Athletic Club including MWR Missouri Champions second title match of the night. The first one was at the house of Harley Race at WLW.

Later in the evening Bob Backlund sat front and center throughout the night to visit the fans and watch all the matches as well as giving his advice to the wrestlers that asked him.

Young CJ Shine is getting better with each match. Getting advice from a legend like Bob Backlund is a wise move for any wrestler, young or old.

MMWA Wrestling returns on October 10th at the historic South Broadway Athletic Club.

 

Bob Backlund’s nephew Tim inducted him into the Hall of Fame.

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Larry Matysik and Herb Simmons Q and A Live this Wednesday at 6:00 pm

Posted by flairwhoooooo on January 17, 2017

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Tune in this Wednesday at 6:00pm and hear some classic stories about St. Louis wrestling, all of the legendary wrestlers, Sam Muchnick and Wrestling at the Chase! Hosted by legendary WATC announcer Larry Matysik and SICW All Star wrestling Promoter Herb Simmons.

Larry and Herb will also be answering questions as well as talking about St Louis wrestling!

So tune in and relive the golden era of Pro Wrestling and ask these two icons of the sport a question!

Go to Herb Simmons FB page and join on the live broadcast!

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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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One on One with “The Belt Collector” Jeremy Wyatt

Posted by flairwhoooooo on March 24, 2015

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Today we are joined with Jeremy Wyatt. He is considered by many to be the best wrestler in the Midwest that has not been signed by ROH, TNA or WWE. Throughout his career he has earned the nickname “The Belt Collector”, as he has torn across the Midwest capturing singles and tag team titles while having exciting matches with an array of different opponents.

In 2015, he has shown no signs of slowing down as he is currently the enjoying his fifth reign as the 3XWrestling Championship and is also one half of the Pro Wrestling Phoenix Tag Team Champions with his teammate/rival, “The World’s Fittest Wrestler” Mark Sterling. Wyatt is the first ever MWR Wrestler of the Year and the only man to be included in every MWR Match of the Year before it was retired. So it is with great pleasure that we have in this edition of 10 Questions with Jeremy Wyatt.

MWR: Jeremy thanks you so much for taking the time to join us at Missouri Wrestling Revival.

Jeremy: No problem, thanks for having me.

MWR: Before we get into the serious world of pro wrestling, it is no secret to your fans that you are a hardcore fan of your hometown Kansas City Royals. Last year the boys in blue had an exciting year that saw them make it within one game of winning the Major League World Series. Were you able to make it to any of those postseason games, and if so what was that experience like? As the 2015 season is about to start, have the Royals improved themselves enough to make it back and why do you feel that way?

Jeremy: Yeah, I made it to Game 6 of the World Series. One of the funnest nights of my life. The whole season was a crazy ride. I’ve been going to 15-20 games a year since I graduated high school. I’ve watched a lot of bad baseball, as have a lot of Royals fans. To finally be repaid was so awesome. The whole city came together to support the team and the vibe of the city was amazing. I shed a tear or two when they clinched, won the wild card, then the ALDS, and ALCS. Definitely something I’d like to get used to.

As far as how they’ll do in 2015, it’s hard to say they’ll be better. The only way they’re better is if they win the World Series. I think they’re setup to compete for the Division and make some noise. Have a chance to get to postseason and see what happens. If they can get the lead through five or six innings, they’re gonna be tough to beat again.

MWR: Today, you are among the most respect wrestlers in the Midwest. Were you a wrestling fan growing up and how did you get your start?

Jeremy: Yeah, I’ve been a fan for as far back as I can remember. My dad occasionally will tell stories about how when I was three- or four-years-old, I’d try to wrestle everyone. Go bearhug their leg and try to pick them up, stuff like that. I started with a place called MEW, it wasn’t the best place but it got my foot in the door. Almost fourteen years later, here we are. That’s the much condensed version of the story.

MWR: Before you became known as “The Belt Collector”, you had the appropriate nickname “The Rebel” in Central States Wrestling. That promotion was known for their excellent matches that included appearances of wrestling stars AJ Styles , Samoa Joe, Christopher Daniels and the Monster Abyss mixed in with several of the top rising stars of the Midwest including Michael Strider, Derek Stone, Dingo, Brett Young, Tyler Cook, Steve Fender, Steven J Girthy, as well as yourself and Sterling. How did you come about “The Rebel” nickname and what were your most vivid memories of CSW.

Jeremy: The Rebel nickname came about because it’s my actual real middle name, and I wasn’t feeling very creative the day I was coming up with a “wrestling name”. Not much more to the story than that, haha. CSW was a really fun place. It was a place that all the guys in the area wanted to work at, much like Metro is now. CSW was the place that kind of started getting me noticed a little bit. I had a hard time getting bookings for quite a while my first couple of years due to some stigma of being associated with the place I started at. It sucked, I just wanted to wrestle and get better but most people wouldn’t give me the time of day because I was an “Estes” guy.

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Central States Wrestling

 

Anyways, after trying for a while, CSW, Joe McDonald and Michael Strider threw me a bone, I took advantage. Other places started booking me after that and I started gaining confidence and my work started improving dramatically.

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The first ever MWR Match of the Year was brutal, bloody and exciting as Michael Strider and Jeremy Wyatt went at in a Barb Wire Match… Next month, Strider hopes to end Wyatts Metro Pro Wrestling career.

 

MWR: CSW suddenly fades away even though the wrestling was top notch and Kansas City is pretty much a ghost town for pro wrestling. Unlike St. Louis, where there are several promotions within 30 minutes or so from each other, you had to drive hours to showcase your skills. You capture titles throughout the Midwest, including the Pro Wrestling Phoenix title in Council Bluffs, Iowa, the 3XW Championship in Des Moines, Iowa and the Lethal Wrestling Alliance in Missouri/Iowa (the current St. Louis Anarchy title) along the way. What stands out about either capturing the title or defending it during your triple reign that made you the only unanimous voted MWR Wrestler of the Year?

Jeremy: CSW going away definitely left a void, at the time. Guys in St Louis don’t realize how lucky they have it. There’s so many places to work in the area, plus you can drive four hours or so to Memphis or Chicago. The main thing about capturing those titles is simply this, multiple promotions believed in me and knew I’d deliver main event matches and angles. I believe the man makes the title, the title doesn’t make the man. Anybody can wear or carry a title around. It doesn’t really increase your value. But, with your work, you can definitely raise the value and prestige of a title. I don’t think any title I’ve won has been worse off or diminished while I had it. Over the years, it’s been a much bigger deal when I’ve lost titles than when I’ve won them–and a lot of my best matches have come in losses.

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Jeremy Wyatt and Mark Sterling would put on a wrestling clinic in not one, but two IRON MAN matches !!

MWR: One man that has been a constant for the past several years in your career is Mark Sterling. The two of you have been the centerpiece of a group known as the Kansas City Killers with the likes of Mike Sydal and Showtime Bradley Charles.

This is a multipart question as your relationship is a huge part of many moments in wrestling for this generation. Your relationship as friends and enemies continues to this day, including a match that is set for April 3rd Super Spring Showdown against Sterling in Special Stipulation to be announced that evening for your 3XW Championship. First, how did you meet, and where did the Kansas City Killer name come from? One of my personal memories of the two of you teaming were a matchup against the Hooligans at High Voltage Wrestling where the ring fell apart. The four of you did not miss a beat and continued on to have an exciting matchup. What were you thinking at that moment and what advice do you have for a young wrestler if that should happen?

Jeremy: Sterling and I met when I started working at CSW. We knew of each other previously, but that’s the first time we were really ever around each other. I guess around 2007 or 2008, we started traveling together, and have been ever since. We are very similar, but very different. I’m more laidback and quiet, he’s much more hyper and high-strung. We’re a good Yin to the others’ Yang, but when it comes to wrestling we think very similarly. I take to the air a little more, and he’s more power-based but we have pretty similar styles. We believe in the same principles, share the same beliefs as far as psychology goes, etcetera. I’m definitely a better worker because of him, we push each other to be better. I could talk about Mark all day, honestly.

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Pro Wrestling Phoenix Tag Team Champions!!!

 

As far as the name, Kansas City Killers was given to us by Keny G. He’s another person who has become a really good personal friend. He and Mark were both in my wedding. When the middle rope broke in the match against the Hooligans, I didn’t really think much beyond “that sucks, but we’ll figure it out”. Stuff like that happens from time to time. Can’t panic. They know what they’re doing, we know what we’re doing, we knew we all would figure it out, and we did. You don’t want things like to happen, but it’s a nice challenge when they do to see if you can get through it.

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Josh Ray and I worked hard with several of the top promotions to produce the MWR Best of the Midwest DVD. I must say that the talent on the dvd was awesome and we were thrilled to have Dynamo Pro Wrestling take part with the Wyatt and Davey Richards match. The cover has artwork done by none other than Dartallion Allen Jr.

MWR: You have fought against a lot of the top names in pro wrestling, including being featured in the MWR Best of the Midwest DVD at Dynamo Pro Wrestling against Davey Richards.

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Wyatt looking to submit the former ROH World Champion, Michael Elgin!!

Recently you  also defeated former ROH World Champion Michael Elgin this past year in Illinois at Dynamo Pro.

I had a friend/fan that asked me how the match was against you and Christopher Daniels at MPW, and I told them that it went an exciting 40 minutes plus as 500 fans were into the match from start to finish, where my friends replay was “I take it they didn’t mail it in?” My reply was “has he ever?” This was the second match with you and Daniels, with the first being several years prior. I know that you are your hardest critic, so I ask you what was your thoughts of the match compared to the first? Also, who were your favorite matches against name opponents and why.

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40 minutes of wrestling excellence as Jeremy Wyatt met Christopher Daniels during the last Metro Pro Wrestling show at the Turner Rec Center.

 

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Jeremy: This last match was almost 9 years after the first. I’ve obviously improved leaps and bounds since then. The first match was good but it was obvious that he carried me. I was blown up and just trying to keep up and get to the finish. This time around, while he’s much more accomplished, I felt like I was his equal. I felt like I belonged in the ring with one of the best workers in the world. My confidence is a thousand times more than what it was back then. This may make me sound cocky or arrogant but it is how I honestly feel. While I don’t have the list of accomplishments, or the “name value” of a lot of guys, there’s not a single one of them that I don’t think I can’t get in the ring with and have a good to great match with. My path in wrestling hasn’t taken me the way of being world renowned but I have full confidence I can go with anyone. Other matches against “names” that stand out are a 30-minute time limit draw vs Seth Rollins (Tyler Black) back in April 2010 for 3XW.
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We’ve all seen what he’s went on to become, he may be the best all-around performer going today, and will likely be a multi-time future world champ.

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Nose to nose Adam Pearce and Jeremy Wyatt would not back down from each other in a series of matches that had fans from Iowa to Kansas on their feet wanting more.

 

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Just when it looked as if Wyatt had become the NWA Worlds Heavyweight Champion after defeating Pearce, the match was decided to restart only to have Mark Sterling interfere and stop the celebration.

 

Another guy is Adam Pearce; we had five or six matches, all of them were fun, intense, and good. We just seemed to mesh well together.

I’ve been lucky, I’ve gotten to work my fair share of guys who’ve accomplished some very good to great things in this wacky business. Stevie Richards, Colt Cabana, Jerry Lynn, Road Dogg, Samoa Joe, Ace Steel, Eric Young, a multitude of ROH guys. It’s a long list and the experience has been really positive with pretty much all of them.

MWR: One last question of the past: MWR was covering you at one of your title hunts in Illinois for All American Pro Wrestling. I am not going to lie, we have covered over 300 events during the MWR years and it was one of the very few where there was a riot almost started as there was true heat and it was directed at you Sterling. after a match . I remember at the end of the night saying my goodbye to the promoter and some of the fans and the next thing I knew, a small mob was forming to come get you. It is obvious that you hit a nerve at one point from their fans, who were you wrestling and how did it get so heated that the fans were after you?

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The Mississippi Madman was in agony on the outside as Wyatt pulled out all the stops early on and throughout the match. With his tactics the AAPW fans were furious at the end of the night and was seeking revenge from the Kansas City Killers. Photo Credit Michael Van Hoogstraat

 

Jeremy: Heat machine, baby!! I used to always want to get people so pissed that it’d start a riot; I probably should’ve been born another twenty years earlier. I’ve turned it down some but I think people still pay money wanting to see me get my ass kicked. As far as that particular incident, I said something to a guy, he thought I said something else and got all worked up. So, once I knew he was heated, I just tried to get more and more people worked up. Don’t remember the exact details but Sterling may have been at ringside with me or he may have just interfered in the match later on. Pretty sure it was a match against Mississippi Madman.

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The Lethal Wrestling Alliance fans had to scatter as the Rebel took it to fan favorite Jordan Lacey on the outside as the chairs flew and referees fell among the chaos. – Photo Michael Van Hoogstraat

MWR: I am of the belief that there you are one of only a handful of wrestlers that a promotion in the Midwest can build around to carry a company. We have seen that in Metro Pro Wrestling, 3XWrestling, Pro Wrestling Phoenix and before in LWA, as you are able to be the hated bad guy or the man that they have grown to love.

I know that this may be the hardest question that I throw at you, but what do you feel you have done to have made the fans become so invested in you, as either a good or bad guy in the ring?

Jeremy: I think it mostly comes down to being believable in the ring. Nothing I do is overly intricate, or choreographed looking. I don’t think I do anything that looks fake. While we may be doing wrestling moves, it looks like a fight. Anybody can get people to pop for moves, not everybody can get people emotionally invested. If I can get the same reaction from a chop or punch that someone gets from a dive, for example, I don’t need to dive. I’ll just punch you in the face but when I do dive, the reaction is going to be even bigger.

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Wyatt locks in the crossface at Pro Wrestling Phoenix.

 

I also think people can see how hard I work to give them their money’s worth. The whole show could suck, hopefully it doesn’t, but if it does, I’m still going to do everything I can to make them feel like the $10 to $20 they spent was worth it. The main thing is if you can get people to believe in you and invest emotionally in you, the moves you do don’t really matter.

MWR: We had spoken about how Kansas City had become a ghost town for wrestling for quite some time. Thankfully, Chris Gough would spearhead Metro Pro Wrestling in 2010 and pro wrestling is alive and well in Kansas City.

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Life is not easy at Metro Pro Wrestling as Wyatt is challenged by many of the best in the world including the likes of Ace Steel and ROH Star Kyle O’Reilly.

 

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I like to call Chris Gough the Sam Muchnick of Kansas City as both men were/are of high integrity, and were/are respected in the mainstream sports world and brings that attribute to the squared circle. Like Muchnicks’ NWA, the best of the Midwest have pretty much made their way to the Turner Rec Center for MPW including a highly respected match in the Adam Pearce vs. Colt Cabana’s Seven Levels of Hate series, as well as wrestlers Stevie Richards, Kyle O’Reilly, Trevor Murdoch, Ace Steel and Christopher Daniels mixed in with the likes of Metro Pro Champion Derek Stone, ACH, Mike Sydal, SBC, The Commission, Pete Madden, The American Bulldogs, Miss Natural, Kobra Kai Dojo, Lucy Mendez,Dan Walsh, Ryan Drago (NXT’s Simon Gotch) and Tyler Cook just to name a few. What has surprised you the most of Chris Gough and what has been the recipe for success for MPW?

Jeremy: Chris is a good guy, first and foremost. He’s just a good person, in general. As a promoter, he takes care of people, you’ll never hear him say “sorry, the house was light”. With the booking, he has ideas, but if you have a better idea, or an idea to tweak his idea and improve on it, he’ll be more than willing to go that route. He gives people a lot of freedom, but he’s there to reel them in if need be. Some people, if it’s not their idea, they don’t want to do no matter how much more your way may make more sense. I think people perform better if they at least feel like they can contribute ideas to what they’re doing. They become more emotionally invested in the match or angle. He runs the show, the whole shebang, but he makes time for everyone and makes sure everyone is happy and excited to be involved in whatever they have going on that particular night, or for future shows. Chris gets a huge thumbs up from me.

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Michael Strider and Jeremy Wyatt received their MWR Match of the Year at an LWA event in House Springs, MO as Wyatt shows off his scar from the battle in the barb wire match in 2009. Time has pass, but the war and bad feelings continues. Pictured left to right Michael Strider, MWR Columnist Kari Williams, MWR Owner Brian Kelley, Jeremy “The Belt Collector” Wyatt

MWR: Last but not least, you are heading into the middle of 2015, better than ever, but the stack is against you wherever you go. You continue to lock down title belts around the Midwest and look for more. This coming week, you will take a break from challenging Sterling for who is the best in the Midwest, as the two of you travel to Illinois to enter the Proving Ground Pro 8-man tag team tournament to add to the PWP Tag team belts to the KCK résumé (Editors note: This interview was unable to be put up on the site in time for this match to happen) , then on the 28th the two of you will be defending your PWP Tag Team Champions in Council Bluffs, Iowa. On April 3rd in Des Moines, Iowa it’s the start of the double shot weekend as you defend your title against your Sterling at 3XW.

The next night you make your way to Metro Pro Wrestling as Commissioner Strider has ordered a special tag match, as you and SBC will meet Sterling and Mike Sydal. If you or SBC is pinned, you are fired from Metro Pro Wrestling. I personally would love to see you challenge for the World League Wrestling Championship this year for your first opportunity to capture Harley Race’s title. All in all though, you will have logged thousands of miles for the love of wrestling. How much fun are you having, and what are your goals as you are expected to once again be in the running for the MWR Wrestler of the Year?

Jeremy:
I’ve made it no secret that I’m a lot closer to the finish line than I am the beginning but I’m having a ton of fun. I only work at places that I enjoy, I’ve done it long enough that I can be more selective with my bookings. But I’m also managing to keep pretty busy. It’s funny, the shows you mentioned coming up, Mark and I are either teaming or fighting. Either way, it’s a good combo. I sometimes wonder how good of a team Mark and I could’ve been if we just focused on that. But we both enjoy beating each other up in singles matches too much to strictly be a team.

My goals are pretty simple, have as much fun as I possibly can, this isn’t going to last forever. I want to keep trying to get better. When my last match comes, I want to be the absolute best I’ve ever been. If you’re not getting better, you’re getting worse. I also really want to help guys get better, while I’m still around. I’ve been trying to be more active in giving advice and feedback. It sounds corny, but I want to help make this area better than it was when I started. I’m at least trying to do my part. Those are the main things. There’s guys I’ve never faced, like AJ Styles, who I’d like to get in there with, and test myself against but that’s out of my control. So, if it happens, great. If not, no sweat, I’ve gotten to work a lot of other guys up to this point. And since I’ve been robbed of the MWR Wrestler of the Year award the last six years in a row, I’ll throw winning it in 2015 on the list.

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3xwrestling All Stars Of The Midwest Episode 11 Rory Fox Vs Jeremy Waytt

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Is NWA World Champion Adam Pearce’s “Last Ride” tour about to come to a screeching halt due to “The Belt Collector” Jeremy Wyatt?

Posted by flairwhoooooo on January 16, 2012

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NWA World Champion Adam Pearce’s t-shirt as he makes his world tour.

By Brian Kelley

The prestigious NWA World title returns to where it all began as the NWA World Champion Adam Pearce comes to Des Moines, Iowa on January 27th in action at the 2-time MWR promotion of the Year 3XWrestling.

 Adam Pearce has been the NWA World Champion since July 31st when he won the NWA World Heavyweight Championship for the fourth time by defeating Chance Prophet, Jimmy Rave and Shaun Tempers in a four-way match to win the vacant title.

It’s a shame that Pearce, a veteran of the sport for over 16 years has never received the just do that the man of his talents deserves. While the NWA title and the organization thrived for years under the management of the likes of Sam Muchnick, times have changed and the NWA has seen dark days for the type of wrestling that made me a fan of the sport.

With his years of experience in the ring and a desire to bring back the glory of the NWA World Title Adam Pearce has embarked on what he calls his “Last Ride tour”. 

His last trip to the Midwest was memorable to say the least as he made his way to Kansas City for Metro Pro Wrestling. The Challenger was Michael Strider, the setting a packed house at the Turner Rec Center on November 5th, 2011. 

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Steven J Girthy and NWA Central States Champion Jeremy Wyatt make their claim for the NWA World title. (Photo Credit Brian Kelley)

Earlier in the night at Metro Pro Wrestling, Jeremy Wyatt and his manager Steven J Girthy would let the fans know that it was he who deserved a match against Adam Pearce. Bringing to the ring  Wyatt read the hype surrounding him in the year 2011 including the KC Star where they ranked him the #1 wrestler in Kansas City and copies of the MWR article “Does Steven J Girthy have Jeremy Wyatt poised to become the NWA Champion of the World on Nov 5th at Metro Pro Wrestling ?”

Yet, it would be a classic matchup in the main event as  Strider looked to have earned his boyhood dream to become the NWA World Champion when he pinned Pearce as referee  Michael Crase Jr. counted 1-2-3.

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The fans were ecstatic to see Michael Strider go for the NWA title in November at Metro Pro Wrestling. (Photo Credit Bill Smith)

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Strider look to land the big move that would give the former NWA Central States champion his dream to become the NWA World Champion. (Photo Credit Bill Smith)

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Strider the NWA World Champion??? (Photo Credit Bill Smith)

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Matt Murphy, then the MPW comish goaded Strider to continue the match due to Pearce’s feet to be supposedly under the ropes. (Photo Credit Bill Smith)

While Strider went to celebrate with his fans and father, out to the ring came MPW commissioner Matt Murphy. Murphy claimed that Pearce’s feet were on the bottom of the ropes as Crase Jr. made the final third count to the mat.

 Murphy on the mic taunted Strider stating that “You don’t want to win the title like that; you want to be a man and win it like a Champion.”

Strider unwisely would make the decision to not take the title that way and agreed to have the match continue. It would be minutes later that Pearce would benefit a little assistance from Murphy when he tripped Strider, allowing Pearce to strike and use a roll up with his feet on the ropes to retain the title.

The next day I would travel to Collinsville, Illinois to cover Ring of Honor where fans came up to me, asking if in fact Michael Strider had become the NWA Worlds Heavyweight Champion as they had seen on the NWA website, then was deleted as the NWA webmaster caught word of what had occurred.  Unfortunately, I had to deliver the bad news that Pearce along with Murphy had stolen the Worlds Championship from the former NWA Central States Champion Strider.

Little did we know how someone’s missed opportunities would allow Wyatt to get his wish at the NWA world title.

Fast forward to the final show of the year at 3Xrestling on December 30th.  3XWrestling Champion Jeremy Wyatt loses a close match against Mark Sterling after the “Iron Man” used the ringside bell to help Sterling began his first 3XWrestling title reign.

In the locker room, 3XWrestling camera’s captured Todd Countryman offering Sterling the contract. Let’s watch this once more to see how Wyatt and not Sterling received this dream match against the World Champion Adam Pearce.

So mark your calendars, ask for the day off, and make your way to Des Moines, Iowa at ALL PLAY as the Champion of the World Adam Pearce comes to defend his title against the 2-time 3XW Champion Wyatt. Wyatt is currently the NWA Central States Champion and only the 3rd man in the history of the NWA to hold both the NWA Central States and the NWA Missouri title (He did this last year, Harley Race and Bob Orton being the other two men) Jeremy Wyatt.

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Only the third man to hold the NWA Central States and Missouri Championship at the same time, Jeremy Wyatt(Photo Credit Brian Kelley)

Though Adam Pearce used some underhand tactics to defeat Strider at Metro Pro Wrestling, make no doubt about it that he can defeat Wyatt in many many ways. Pearce in the past has successfully defended the NWA World Heavyweight Championship against Bryan Danielson (WWE’S Daniel Bryan, the reigning World Heavyweight Champion) and Danielson is just one name on a list of victims.

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From the Apr '09 edition of Pro Wrestling Illustrated; Pearce bludgeons perhaps his greatest opponent, a bloody Brent Albright, in New York City.

Pearce brings the ring an old school high impact attack, standing 6’2, 245 pounds he will unleash a fury of moves including the Figure four leglock, Flying fist drop, and the Middle-rope elbow drop setting his opponents up for The Rack Bomb (Backbreaker rack dropped into a powerbomb) or the vicious Jumping piledriver to retain the title.

Quite honestly, after hours of studying tape of Pearce in action, you can see many of his opponents in fear of those finishers from the start of the match. 

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Pearce will have to beware of the crossface finisher from Wyatt. Many matches and titles have been won via this feared move in the Midwest for “The Belt Collector” Jeremy Wyatt(Photo Credit Brian Kelley)

One man who will not have fear in his eyes is the “The Belt Collector” Jeremy Wyatt.  Wyatt considered by many to be the best wrestler in the Midwest, has been dying for this opportunity to make a name for himself. He knows that opportunities likes these are very rare for wrestlers in the area. Quite possibly the most hated man in the Midwest, 3XWrestling fans have come to love him for his multiple matches of the year and giving a 110% during every match.

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Wyatt can strike from anywhere!!!(Photo Credit Brian Kelley)

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(Photo Credit Brian Kelley)

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Wyatt has many of the fans scattering for safety as he stalks Gage Octane. (Photo Credit Brian Kelley)

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Opponents have to be concerned about going to the mat as Wyatt is a student of the game and is scary to defend against. (Photo Credit Brian Kelley)

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(Photo Credit Brian Kelley)

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Devin Carter goes flying from a right hook from Wyatt….Where Wyatt lacks in size he makes up with the knowledge of when and where to deliver the blow.(Photo Credit Brian Kelley)

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Wyatt has successfully defended his NWA Central States championship against arch rival and NWA Kansas champ Tyler Cook. In less than two weeks he goes for the NWA WORLD TITLE!!!(Photo Credit Brian Kelley)

Wyatt most likely will be the first to tell you he is not doing this for the fans, yet he is the fans best chance to bring back the NWA Worlds title back home to the Midwest. 

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Adam Pearce has been the heart of the NWA since his first NWA World title reign September 1st, 2007 when he defeated Brent Albright in the finals of the vacated NWA tournament. Here Pearce is on set of NWA Wrestling Showcase talking 'rasslin' with David Marquez. (Photo credit Shane Kidder.)

Is Pearce making a mistake as he makes good on his promise to “GIVE BACK to a deserving industry that has given me 16+ years of experiences that I’ll cherish forever.”

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Onlu the kids are brave (naive)enough to talk back to the champ. (Photo Credit Brian Kelley)

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Pearce has been wise in the past to align himself with men who can assist him in keeping his beloved gold, here he celebrates with the then MPW Champion Derek Stone and Matt Murphy. (Photo Credit Brian Kelley)

Pearce, a fighting champion will be around the world in  Oberhausen, Germany defending the title a week prior to his return to the Midwest. Fans in Iowa can prepare for a double shot starting off with match against Wyatt at 3XW then heading to Council Bluffs, Iowa for Magnum Pro Wrestling to take on “ Babyface” Tony Cortez the very next night.

With one Lighting Spiral from Wyatt on January 27th at 3XWrestling, the NWA president Robert Trobich   and Magnum Pro may be scrambling late Friday night to come up with a plan to resign a rematch against the NEW NWA World Champion Jeremy Wyatt and Adam Pearce immediately. 

When it is all said and done, I want the NWA and Adam Pearce don’t say that Missouri Wrestling Revival didn’t try to warn you of “The Belt Collector”.

Great NWA world title moments in the Midwest.

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April 3, 1908-Frank Gotch defeats George Hackenschmidt to become the world champion in Chicago, Illinois.

April 19, 1917 Earl Caddock defeated Joe Stecher to become the world champion in Omaha, Nebraska.

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Earl Caddock was not only a world champion but also enlisted in the Army to serve our country. Fans be sure to pick up the new book from Mike Chapman called Caddock “Walnut’s Wrestling Wonder” on one of the best wrestlers to ever come from the Midwest. For more info on how to purchase the book click here.

 March 3,  1922  Ed “Strangler” Lewis defeated  Stanislaus Zbyszko to become the world champion in Wichita, Kansas.

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Here is a great photo of two of the most powerful, respected and important men in the history of wrestling, Sam Muchnick and Lou Thesz.

December 29, 1937 Lou Thesz defeats Everett Marshall in the first of his six NWA world titles in ST Louis, Missouri.

June 30, 1961 Buddy Rogers defeats Pat O’Connor to win his first NWA world title in Chicago Illinois.

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I love this photo of Harley Race. Arguably the greatest NWA World champion of all time.

May 24, 1973 Harley Race defeats Dory Funk Jr. to win first of 8 NWA world titles in Kansas City, Missouri.  Match named Pro Wrestling Illustrated match of the year.

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Ric Flair would capture his first NWA World title right here in the Midwest in what many called an upset at the time.

September 17, 1981 Ric Flair defeats Dusty Rhodes to win first of 9 NWA world titles in Kansas City, Missouri.

June 10, 1983 Harley Race defeats Ric Flair for the NWA world title to set up Starcade.  Match named Pro Wrestling Illustrated match of the year.

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February 20, 1989 Ricky Steamboat defeat Ric Flair to capture the NWA world title in Chicago, Illinois

January 27th 2012 Jeremy Wyatt ???? Adam Pearce Des Moines, Iowa

Information of the NWA world title courtesy of the 16th edition of the PWI Wrestling Almanac.

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Could Jeremy Wyatt be defending the NWA WORLD TITLE at these MWR Promotions after January 27th?

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MWR fans for a great source of the NWA check out the Alliance-Wrestling.com here.

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Bob Geigel- 2011 MWR Lifetime Achievement Award.

Posted by flairwhoooooo on January 7, 2012

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By Josh Ray

The 2011 MWR Lifetime Achievement Award goes to Bob Geigel. Geigel, born in Iowa and now 87 years of age, is most notable in the Midwest for his six NWA Central States Heavyweight title reigns, his four NWA Central States Tag Team title reigns, and his status as the promoter for the Kansas City territory during the heyday of the National Wrestling Alliance. He accomplished much more than this, however, earning the AWA World Tag Team Championship and the NWA National Heavyweight title among others in his great career wrestling in the Missouri, Arizona, Kansas, and Texas territories.

As promoter of NWA Central States in the Kansas territory from 1963 to 1986, Geigel served as President of the National Wrestling Alliance on three separate occasions. His tenures (1978-1980, 1982-1985, and 1986-1987) were considered great successes, as the NWA moved into a golden age during this time with the help of Harley Race and eventually Ric Flair. Race and Geigel formed a business relationship for the Kansas territory and eventually bought out Sam Muchnick portion of the St. Louis territory. Race spoke of Geigel’s exceptional business skills in his book King of the Ring: “After taking the sisters’ money for years to see Kansas City-area wrestling shows, Geigel—normally a shrewd businessman—stopped charging them.”

This award is not the first Lifetime Achievement Award Bob Geigel has received. In 2007, he awarded the Art Abrams Lifetime Achievement Award by the Cauliflower Alley Club. When asked about Geigel, JJ Dillon, another pro wrestling legend, said in an interview with SLAM! Wrestling “A man’s man, a guy that is physically a tough guy. That was Bob Geigel. That’s the type of person he was.”

Geigel is a key component to the Midwest’s proud professional wrestling history, and served as one of the most influential parts of the global and national wrestling scenes during a period of growth, as well. His status as a tough-as-nails competitor, champion, and exceptional businessman will not soon be forgotten by fans, and it is with great pride that Missouri Wrestling Revival awards the 2011 MWR Lifetime Achievement Award to Bob Geigel.

For more on Bob Geigel’s great career, pleased go to: http://slam.canoe.ca/Slam/Wrestling/2007/04/17/pf-4045576.html

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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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MWR presents Larry Matysik with the 2009 MWR Lifetime Achievement Award

Posted by flairwhoooooo on December 27, 2010

Mickey Garagiola and Larry Matysik

When you say the name Larry Matysik to a wrestling fan in St Louis, you get the same warm feeling that St Louis Cardinal fans get when you mention former ST Louis Cardinal announcer Jack Buck. Admiration and great memories quickly come to mind.

Both men were the fans best friend when it came to providing them with the much desired information about what was transpiring in the sport that they were into.

Buck was the man to hear the play by play of Cardinal greats such as Bob Gibson, Lou Brock, Ozzie Smith, Willie McGee and Bruce Sutter. Fans watched as Matysik called play by play in matches that saw “King Kong” Brody, Dick “the Bruiser, Lou Thesz, Gene Kiniski, Pat O’Connor, Harley Race, Buddy Rogers and many more in action.

St Louis promoter Sam Muchnick was wise enough to know that for wrestling to succeed in St Louis, a sports town that he would have to bring the same respectability that the Cardinals brought to the city.

Wrestling at the Chase

A main piece to the puzzle would be the Voice of Wrestling at the Chase. The television program which broadcast from 1959 to 1983 from the majestic Chase Hotel would be the face of wrestling in St Louis.

Larry interviewing David Von Erich after beating Harley Race

Matysik has been much more than a man calling the play by play of great matches in St Louis. At the young age of 16 in 1963, Muchnick hire Matysik and would be very supportive and helpful in the career that saw Matysik also man the publicist and office manager, as well as book the matches.

In 1984 he would begin working with Vince McMahon and then WWF (now WWE) till 1993.

Matysik has since gone on to write some of the must read books in the industry including

1) Wrestling at the Chase: The Inside Story of Sam Muchnick and the Legends of Professional Wrestling
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Wrestling at the Chase is a fond, informative, amusing, and even poignant look at the who’s who of professional wrestling and legendary St. Louis promoter Sam Muchnick.
St. Louis was the capital, and Muchnick the ruler of professional wrestling, before Vince McMahon’s World Wrestling Entertainment took over. What happened in St. Louis paved the way for today’s multi-billion-dollar sports entertainment industry. The centerpiece of this magical operation was “Wrestling at the Chase,” a television program which broadcast from 1959 to 1983 from the majestic Chase Hotel.

Larry Matysik was Muchnick’s protégé and longtime announcer for the television show. With an insider’s eye for detail and accuracy, he recalls funny and amazingly touching tales about the characters who created professional wrestling as we know it. Ric Flair, “King Kong” Brody, Dick “the Bruiser,” the Von Erichs, Lou Thesz, Gene Kiniski, Pat O’Connor, Johnny Valentine, Dick Murdoch, Harley Race, Buddy Rogers, Jack Brisco, and Andre the Giant are all prominently featured. So is Muchnick himself, the Damon Runyan of wrestling, a man who helped mould the bizarre business of circus and sport. The savage twists of the politics of wrestling are on display as well, particularly the changes that rocked the mat world during the early ’80s.

2) Drawing Heat the Hard Way
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Thrilling but flawed, entertaining despite the swerves and double-crosses, captivating even when repugnant… professional wrestling has enjoyed the attention and loyalty of untold millions for nearly a century. How and why is precisely what Larry Matysik examines in his third book, Drawing Heat the Hard Way: How Wrestling Really Works.

Wrestlers have their own private language, and in the unique world of wrestling “drawing heat” is a very good thing: the successful generation of crowd reaction and fan excitement. The Hard Way? That’s both exactly what it sounds like and something no one in the industry plans for: a legitimate and unintentional wound suffered because something’s gone awry. In Drawing Heat the Hard Way, Matysik explains what it takes to win the hearts and minds of wrestling fans, and how, at times, mistakes, controversy and unexpected turns of events have damaged the reputation or forever changed the business he loves.

If anyone understands wrestling, the problem-child offspring of whatever “real” sport is, it’s Matysik. Drawing Heat the Hard Way takes on the way wrestling is booked or planned; analyzes the roles of wrestlers and announcers, and explores steroids as an industry and fan issue. It also considers wrestling’s power-brokers, from those who influence the business by reporting on it, like Dave Meltzer, to those who make the final decisions on what gets broadcast every week, like the omnipresent Vince McMahon, and even to those who influence the sport with their pocketbooks — the fans themselves.

At times humorous, occasionally heartbreaking, always insightful, Drawing Heat the Hard Way is ultimately an objective take on what it means to be a wrestling fan, from someone who knows the business inside and out.

3) Brody: The Triumph and Tragedy of Wrestling’s Rebel

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The most unpredictable and charismatic grappler of all time? The brute that made brawling an art before the term “hardcore” was coined? The confrontational businessman who fought for every penny he felt he deserved?

“Bruiser” Brody had no peers when it came to blood and guts, controversy and independence. Most wrestling promoters portrayed their top talent as exactly that kind of free-spirited, take-no-guff personality. They didn’t mean it, though — which explains why so few would admit to respecting Brody even as they featured him time and again.
So why did they give him work? Simple. “Bruiser” Brody delivered the goods in the ring and at the box office.

In the 1970s and early 80s, Brody was one of the few performers, along with Hulk Hogan and Ric Flair, to be recognized as a national star. With his fiery personality, Brody also conquered the international market.

Nearly two decades after his murder in Puerto Rico, Brody: The Triumph and Tragedy of Wrestling’s Rebel delivers a complete portrait of Brody’s remarkable life. Co-authors Barbara Goodish, Brody’s widow, and Larry Matysik, a close friend, offer a first-time opportunity to truly understand one of the sport’s most complex and controversial human beings. Goodish’s account of her husband’s horrific murder and its aftermath is both heartbreaking and compelling, while Matysik’s insider knowledge of the business puts Brody’s place in wrestling history into perspective. With a foreword by WWE announcer Jim Ross, Brody offers readers the unvarnished truth about one of the greatest wrestling legends of all time.

4) An electronic book- From the Golden Era

This unique digital publication offers a complete record of every twist and turn, of every performer, of all the battles from television’s legendary Wrestling at the Chase, and every card presented at both the historic Kiel Auditorium and The Arena (Checkerdome) during the glory era of the St. Louis promotion.

Wrestling at the Chase announcer and St. Louis insider Larry Matysik adds background about the personalities, business, secrets, and politics to make this electronic book a revealing, in-depth account of three decades of wrestling’s golden era. Featuring everything from attendance figures, to booking strategies, to insights and NWA championship bouts, From the Golden Era: The St. Louis Wrestling Record Book is the once-in-a-lifetime document that every serious wrestling observer must have.

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Matysik has also been instrumental in keeping the history of one of the highest rated wrestling television programs Wrestling at the Chase alive with Classic St Louis Wrestling, hosted by Matysik himself. In 2007. Matysik headed a team to bring to St Louis the St Louis Wrestling Hall of Fame.

He was joined in this effort by promoter Herb Simmons, webmaster Mitch Martsey, sports journalist Keith Schildroth, and longtime fan Nick Ridenour. The Hall of Fame was created to honor the role St. Louis played in helping to establish professional wrestling in North America. Today the hall can be seen at the historic South Broadway Athletic club.

In 2011 fans in St Louis will once again be able to hear the Voice himself call wrestling matches when he returns to TV on Sunday February 6, 2011 at 11:30 am and then rebroadcast on Sunday evening at 10:30pm on Charter Cable channel 8. The matches will be taped in East Carondelet Community Center on Saturday January 22nd.



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Photo Credit Mike Van Hoogstraat

We were thrilled and excited when Matysik agreed to accept the 2009 MWR Lifetime Achievement Award. Earlier this month at MMWA-SICW, MWR’S Dubray Tallman had the honor to present the plaque to a true gentleman and ambassador of pro wrestling, Larry Matysik

Once again, thank you so much for your positive contribution to pro wrestling Larry Matysik.

Please join us at MWR on January 1st when we will announce the recipient for the 2010 MWR Lifetime Achievement Award.

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The MWR Families thoughts and prayers go out to Mickey Garagolia

Posted by flairwhoooooo on July 19, 2010

Back in the saddle one more time were ST Louis Hall of Fame members Larry Matysik and Mickey Garagolia last month at MMWA-SICW (Photo Credit Mike Van Hioogstraat)

Everyone here at Missouri Wrestling Revival would like to send out our thoughts and prayers to the pro wrestling ring announcer and commentator Mickey Garagolia and we all hope for a speedy recovery who at the time is in the hospital.

Mickey’s brother Joe was a beloved figure in the St Louis community for his time playing for the ST Louis Cardinals while becoming a World Series Champion in 1946 defeating the Boston Red Sox. When his career was through he became the first play by play announcer for Wrestling at the Chase along side Larry Matysik .

Mickey would join his brother to work with Sam Muchnick as a ring announcer and commentary while becoming an important piece in the puzzle of why St Louis was the standard of Pro Wrestling for so many years.

Throughout the years Wrestling at the Chase was the third most watched show in St louis trailing only local news and the ST Louis Cardinals Baseball games.

There is no doubt in my mind that the Garagolia name was  important to the success of wrestling at the time, due to the fact that so many people respected baseball that when Joe and Mickey were involved in wrestling it brought positive attention to sport from a town that will always be proud to be considered a baseball town .

In 2007 the St Louis Wrestling Hall of Fame inducted Mickey in the Hall of Fame along with greats such as Penny Banner, Lou Thesz, Harley Race, Larry Matysik, Gene Kiniski, King Kong Brody, Dick the Bruiser, Ric Flair, Bill Longson, Sam Muchnick, Pat O’ Conner, Joe Schoenberger, Johnny Valentine, and Fritz Von Erich.

Most recently Mickey was on hand at MMWA-SICW in East Carondelet to help celebrate 51 Years of Wrestling at the Chase with friends Herb Simmons and Larry Matysik.

Once again we wish one of Pro wrestling’s great supporters the best and hope to see him at a show real soon.

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Gene Kiniski- One of last links to the past is gone but not forgotten

Posted by flairwhoooooo on May 20, 2010

By Brian Kelley

There is no one today that compares to “Big Thunder” Gene Kiniski , stated legendary St Louis announcer Larry Matysik. At 6”4 272 pounds Eugene Nicholas “Gene” Kiniski quickly made an impact with his size and energy that would not stop.

Born outside of Edmonton, Alberta, Canada, Kiniski was a natural athlete earning him a scholarship to the University of Arizona . After collage he played with the Edmund Eskimos football team. An injury would force his football to come to an end.

Pro Footballs loss was Pro Wrestling’s game. Kiniski would train with Dory Funk JR and Tony Morelli. He quickly earned a chance at the NWA title held by the great Lou Thesz.at the Olympic Auditorium on November 3, 1954. The veteran Thesz would defeat Kiniski in two straight falls but this would not be the last time these two would meet. .

After earning a reputation in the states at one of the top bad guys, Kiniski would return home finding one of his main rivals in Whipper Billy Watson. The two were would enjoy television exposure on CBS where their exciting feud was often featured.

Kiniski’s rival Watson would end Thesz’s 6 year stranglehold on the NWA title on March 15, 1956 in Toronto . Kiniski was a true threat to the NWA championship for the remainder of the decade.

In the Midwest Kiniski was often involved in the hottest feuds in Sam Muchnick’s Wrestling at the Chase. Wild Bill Longson would wrestle his last match in a tag team war with partner Whipper Billy Watson after Kiniski slammed Watson on the outside allowing Rip Hawk to get the pinfall.

In front of a sellout crowd at the Kiel Auditorium Kiniski would get a huge win against arch rival Whipper Billy Watson in the very first Texas Death match in St Louis . A back and forth battle that saw Kiniski get the win after 6 falls…yes 6 falls when Watson could not continue after the devastating backbreakers of Kiniski. This win led to him getting two opportunities at the NWA World title then held by Pat O’ Connor in St Louis.

Kiniski would be unable to defeat O’ Conner but he would go on to win titles wherever he went, enraging fans with his sarcasm and referring to himself as “ Canada ’s greatest athlete”.

On July 11 1961 he would win his very first world title by defeating American Wrestling Association Champion Verne Gagne. His title would be short lived as Gagne would regain it 28 days later. Kiniski continued to Main event wherever he went because the promoters knew he could deliver. The remainder of the 60’s Kiniski traveled the world challenging the best wrestlers of his day.

In Japan he headlined with wrestling legend Shohei “Giant” Baba while trips to the then WWWF (WWE) had him going against Bruno Sammartino in the historic Madison Square Garden .

Back in St Louis a young Nick Bockwinkel was set to debut in St Louis against Kiniski but Fritz Von Erich attacked Kiniski with the deadly claw thus keeping him from taking on the future world champion. Bockwinkel would go on to meet Don Plechas and win his first match in 2 out 3 falls. On May 14th 1965 Kiniski would get his revenge from Von Erich in a Texas Death Match at the Keil Auditorium

St Louis would also be the place that Kiniski would get his biggest career win on January 7 1966 when he defeated NWA World Champion Lou Thesz in two out three falls. Matysik recalls it as such Thesz won the first fall, Kiniski was awarded the second fall by DQ when Thesz threw Kiniski over the top rope. The St Louis wrestling fans were very respected and educated just as the St Louis Cardinals fans are today. At first the crowd booed because Kiniski was so hated but it quickly became cheers because they knew how special a NWA Title change was. Lou Thesz would show respect by shaking the new Champions hand cementing the special occasion.


NWA World Championship (Atlanta, GA 4/14/67) NO SOUND

Kiniski would be a fighting champion traveling around the world from his home country in Canada to Japan and throughout the states taking on the best in Thesz, Dick the Bruiser, Terry and Dory Funk Jr and many more during his three years of greatness.

It would be Dory Funk JR. that would defeat Kiniski in Tampa Florida on February 11, 1969 to end his title reign. Kiniski would continue to headline around the world winning titles and drawing big houses.

After Kikiski’s days were long gone, Kiniski and Matysik was driving by the Kiel Auditorium, they spoke of the changes of wrestling throughout the years. Kiniski put it in perspective “I don’t begrudge anyone in the business making money but be sure to let the fans know there was matches in that building that will never be done again.

The loving father of two sons, Nick and Kelly who followed in their dads footsteps to become pro wrestlers. Kiniski referred the main event of the inaugural NWA Starrcade (Ric Flair vs. NWA World Champion Harley Race in a steel cage) in 1983.

Special referee Gene Kiniski (a former NWA World Champion himself) checks Ric Flair for foreign objects. Kiniski has been brought in to guarantee a fair match(Photo WWE)

Kiniski was inducted into the Tragos/Thesz Professional Wrestling Hall of Fame in Newton, Iowa in 2004 and a member of the St. Louis Wrestling Hall of Fame – Hall of Fame [2007].

On April 14, 2010 Kiniski at aged 81, passed away from cancer at his home in Blaine, Washington.

~~~~Special thanks to Larry Matysik for his words of wisdom and allowing me to use his wonderful book From the Golden Era- The St Louis Wrestling Record Book 1959 to 1963 .If you would like to buy this wonderful treasure back in time click here.

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