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Posts Tagged ‘ST Louis’

My Once-in-a-Lifetime Friendship with “TNT” Keny G (1967-2018)

Posted by flairwhoooooo on December 13, 2018

‘Cause I’m TNT! I’m dynamite
TNT! and I’ll win the fight
TNT! I’m a power load
TNT! watch me explode

I am taking this time to honor former wrestler, promoter and my good friend TNT Keny Garrett. I am still reeling from his loss at age 51 on December 10th. Though there is sadness in my heart that we will no longer be able to talk to each other, I would like to focus on our wild and crazy friendship.

I remember meeting TNT Keny G for the very first time in Granite City, Illinois at a High Voltage Wrestling event (his company). He had reached out on the St. Louis Wrestling message board, and asked Missouri Wrestling Revival to cover his show. He realized that if you were to have a show that it would only make sense to have as much attention on his product as possible. We walked in the building and noticed right away that it looked like the place to be.

His family and friends helped with the concession stand and were all decked out with branded tees, and the night’s action delivered shocking surprises with stars from around the Midwest and his home state of Florida. His special guest was former Wrestling at the Chase announcer Larry Matysik. Keny respected and loved wrestling so much that he knew that having Matysik in the house brought legitimacy to HVW. Keny himself was dressed to the nines, and thanked everyone for coming. I was impressed, to say the least.

One of my personal favorite photos of all time.

Wrestling started our friendship, but we eventually became like brothers. He invited my girlfriend Dubray and me over to talk wrestling, and so much more. His quick wit and sharp tongue made him a true character.

We didn’t always get along. There were times that I bothered the hell out of him and vice versa. Yet, I can swear on the Bible that Dubray and I loved Keny as much as anyone that we met at wrestling. There were so many good times with him. It saddens me more as I try to think of them all.

In fact, there is no way that I could remember them all but I would like to share a few of them on here:

Here’s 2 a better day even if only slightly better ill take it as progress here’s a snapshot from the story of my life old road dog of mine —- Keny posted these words for this photo on his Facebook

If you ever get a chance ask the former NWA World Champion Kahagas what he thought of this promo!

How Keny got the nickname “TNT,” I can’t honestly tell you, but if I was to have a gallon of gas for every time I heard it I would be driving for free to shows for life. Every time I hear it, I always think of him and I remember being on the road with Kahagas in Illinois and his ringtone on his phone played that AC/DC song. If someone told me on that three-day weekend that we heard it a thousand times, I would believe them. I can still hear Kahagas telling him to change his damn ringtone.

My friend Kari Williams (the best pro wrestling writer in this generation) stated in her post about Keny giving her advice of the who, what, where, and when over and over. Keny had these words of advice that he made his own, even though they had been around forever. He delivered them in a memorable way, just like his hero Dusty Rhodes.

He was creative and tried to give everyone a chance. He took a chance on my friend (and MWR founder) Josh Ray and me behind the scenes of HVW, making us “co-bookers.” I use that term loosely because I had no business being a booker of any wrestling company. Still, I have no regrets even though there were crazy arguments about what should be done but talk about some good times.

One argument was that I wanted to bring in the Mississippi Madman for an event. He knew I loved the Madman and thought that he was over like a million bucks and said that he didn’t want him on the show. I truly believed that he liked him as well from the get-go, but because I was such a huge fan of him, he razzed me about him not being worth a spot. I told him that if he would not book Madman, then I would pay his booking fee and show him that he would be one of the most over wrestlers on the card.

Keny quickly said that if I paid for Madman that he would let the Madman carry him to the ring like a baby. Why? I do not know why he thought that was funny. Maybe it was just to get me to pay Madman, but I held him to his promise when I did. The moment was priceless.

One of Keny’s closest friends was “Tokyo Monster” Kahagas. They ran up and down the roads long before I knew Keny. Kahagas was the premier talent of High Voltage Wrestling. There was no doubt that Kahagas was and is one of the best wrestlers in the country, but I believed that Jeremy Wyatt was the best. We would have these huge arguments about who was better night after night early on in our relationship. He would harp that I should “get my Jeremy Wyatt pajamas” on when I stayed at his house before we called it a night. It did not take TNT Keny G very long to come around to Wyatt and then I was kidding Keny G on his own pajamas.

Years later TNT Keny G became a proud owner of the Jeremy Wyatt pajamas.

Keny would be quick to tell me and anyone who would listen that it was he who made me a “wrestling journalist.” He told this story a million times about how we drove many miles to Illinois for a big wrestling show with plenty of legends. I wanted an interview with the Honky Tonk Man and Jake Roberts but I ran out of time. I was happy to get a promo from “Bloody” Harker Dirge (an underrated talker and wrestler in the Midwest).

Keny called me out that day (and years after) for giving up on Honky Tonk and Roberts, and and took me to the back.

He said, “You deserve to be back here. You work as hard as anyone to make these guys look good. You get this done.”

I conducted interviews with all the stars on this huge card.

Keny often said he was responsible for some of my success, and it’s true. He vouched for me, called me out when I did wrong, and gave advice when it was needed.

Every time Dubray and I came to St. Louis for a wrestling event, we stayed at his house. Dubray loves pugs, and Keny had a pug named Gracie. Gracie always slept with Dubray. One evening when we were to return back home for the two hour drive, Dubray told me that Keny had given her Gracie as a gift.

I thought that Dubi had begged to have the dog, and I said “No way.” That was Keny’s dog and we were not taking it from their home. Gracie had to stay there.

But then Keny explained that he was tired of the dog wanting food from the table and he was done with her. I just think he knew Dubi loved that dog and wanted to make her happy. Gracie ended up as a part of our family until she passed away on our anniversary: December 10th, 2015.

On the mic and in the spur of the moment, Keny was at his best. We did a wrestling feud with a big build with Donovan Ruddick and Mark Bland that, I swear if it had money behind it, would had packed huge houses. Bland had a popular UFC and pro wrestling radio show, Absolute Wrestling Radio, on the Fox Sports radio affiliate in St. Louis, Team 1380 AM. Josh Ray and I spoke to Keny about putting together an angle for a diabetes charity show. A little known secret is both Keny and Bland were both diagnosed with diabetes and the pair had always been active in fundraising.

The feud started when Bland, a former wrestler, bragged that he could take on any local wrestler week after week on the show. Who would answer the call? Wrestling promoter TNT Keny G and the 6’9″ Donovan Ruddick, a big star in Saint Louis.

Mark Bland has a conversation with Kenny G of HVW regarding his recent infiltration of Absolute Wrestling Radio. Contains EXPLICIT WORDS!

We went on a publicity tour to hype the match at Mark Bland’s radio station and the show even broadcasted live from Six Flags St. Louis. We taped a video at the Pro Wrestling Shirt Shop that featured an attack from Bland on Keny, forever one of my favorites. We did our best to bring attention to the wrestling scene in the area through Absolute Wrestling Radio, and had fun doing it.

It was common to dine with legends at the Garrett dinner table. I remember Larry Zbyszko and Mike Sydal sharing stories in Keny’s living room after a HVW event. I wish I would have gotten our photo with each other! Still, I experienced it, thanks to TNT Keny G.

After one visit at TNT Keny G’s Dubray made the mistake of leaving her sweatpants that had the words Flirt printed on the back of them. This would not be a big deal at most homes, but Keny saw this as a way to rib Dubray in a way only he could. One day I received a call from Dubray telling me that Keny was in Florida visiting his family and had tagged some photos to her. Awesome, he wanted to share with us what a good time he was having.

Nope, they were photos of Keny holding up her Flirt pants in different States. He was entertaining himself with joking with her, and it did not stop there. He somehow talked WWE Legend Larry Zbyszko to hold them up in a photo. He got his daughter Santana G and another female wrestler to pose with them for a photo. Keny was proud to say that he went on tour with those flirt pants.

This year I have lost a lot of love for pro wrestling. That does not mean that I will ever quit but I have slowed down making trips. This summer, I took a job as an assistant manager at a convenience store that had me working a ton of hours.

Keny told me that if I came to St. Louis and took him to the premiere of the movie “350 Days,” he would pay for it. I was not interested in the movie, but because Keny wanted to go, I said yes. I am glad, not because I enjoyed the movie, but because in the past few years it was hard to get him out of the house. On that night we did, just like old times.

Keny could be so funny. A natural storyteller that often would have you wonder if you were being told the truth. He could be overbearing and political incorrect even during the days of that not even being a thing. His friends referred that to “Keny just being Keny”.

 

Photo taken for the Stroke Aint No Joke Fundraiser with Fox 2 News TV.

TNT Keny G proudly teamed up with Dynamo Pro for a MS Fundraising effort.

 

 

 

Though in the crazy world of pro wrestling were everyone is a taker, Keny was a giver. Even after I covered his promotions High Voltage Wrestling, and sent him photos he was always there for us. We were so different in so many ways. I remember going to a St. Louis Cardinal game and he loved to leave shows early, the Cards game being no different. He knew that if I went somewhere then we were staying to the end. He razzed me about leaving but we did stay to the last pitch.

 

Dubray and I were never without a place to stay when we came to town or a bite to eat with Keny living in South County. He was a big part of our relationship and would have been one of my best mans if we would of gotten married in Vega during the CAC reunion this year. He often bragged about keeping us together (even though he stirred the pot sometimes lol) so in what seems like a rib (A practical joke played by or on a wrestler) Keny, like the pug (Gracie) that he gave us passed away on our anniversary. I would like to think that it was his way of making sure that we would never forget him. Like there was ever a chance that that could happen.

Thanks to Keny, I have made countless friendships and experiences over the past decade. I could write a book about them.

TNT Keny G loved his family.

Photo Thomas Rude

Most MWR fans know of his daughter, Santana G. She has become one of the top women wrestlers in the world. I was blessed to see her first match and watch her debut at Harley Race’s World League Wrestling. Her dad supported her at all times and was so proud to see her in Japan and on the WWE Network.

He was just as proud of his other children too, and I was able to see his boys Dusty, Sam, and lil’ Keny grow up. He loved them with all his heart, and as he grew sick they were there for him. Keny had a daughter Savannah and a granddaughter in Florida that he thought of often as well. He loved his wife Luanne who was just as quick-witted as he was.

TNT Keny G, we love you and we will always remember you.

Keny Garrett

1967-2018

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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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