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Posts Tagged ‘Steve Austin’

NWL STL Signs Texas Wrestling Talent to Multiyear Contract Plus NWL STL Tickets on Sale NOW

Posted by flairwhoooooo on December 8, 2016

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Kansas City, Mo. December 08, 2016

NWL STL has signed national wrestling star Moonshine Mantell, who will compete under the name Maverick as part of the terms of his multiyear deal with the League. Maverick will make his NWL STL debut at the promotion’s first live event at the on January 12.

“Maverick is very much a modern-day gunslinger who has established a national reputation as one of the toughest competitors in the business today,” says Travis Bowden, VP of marketing for the NWL, who oversaw the signing during a press conference at NWL  Headquarters in downtown KC. “The League commends NWL STL for continuing to look beyond the Midwest to bring some of the country’s top wrestlers into the League.”

The 6-foot, 240-pounder from Austin, Texas, says he has set his sights on becoming the League’s first St. Louis heavyweight wrestling champion.

“I signed with NWL STL for the opportunity to become a champion in what I feel is the fastest-growing wrestling promotion in the United States,” says Maverick, who has patterned his wrestling style after such fellow Lone Star State greats as Terry Funk and “Stone Cold” Steve Austin. “I’ll always be loyal to Texas, but I am looking forward to establishing myself in the great city of St. Louis and competing in what has traditionally been one of the best wrestling cities in the world.”

During the press conference, NWL STL also announced that tickets are now on sale for its inaugural event at the Casa Loma Ballroom, where the promotion will be running shows every other Thursday beginning January 12. Fans can reserve seats now at http://www.ticketfly.com/org/7326.

About NWL

The National Wrasslin’ League (NWL) is reviving the historical roots of the business. Fueled by intercity rivalries, the NWL prides itself on family-friendly, storyline-driven programming that delivers thrilling athletic action and entertaining characters

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Ricky “The Dragon” Steamboat Keeps Order at World League Wrestling

Posted by flairwhoooooo on May 27, 2016

By Patrick Brandmeyer
Photos Brian Kelley

Of course, the special guest at WLW was a factor in my decision: Ricky “The Dragon” Steamboat. I got started as a regular wrestling viewer after his most famous feuds with “Macho Man” Randy Savage and Ric Flair, but he was in the opener of the first pay-per-view that I saw via home video(SummerSlam 1991). I heard about the Savage and Flair feuds after the fact and got to see some of his classic bouts through home videos and WCW’s “All-Nighter” marathons. His career essentially ended in 1994 after being injured in his U.S. Title win over some nobody named Stunning Steve Austin, but he had a brief WWE comeback in a feud with Chris Jericho.

His son Richie briefly wrestled for WWE’s developmental system in Florida Championship Wrestling and then NXT, but injuries cut his wrestling career short. Steamboat was an eternal fan favorite for his entire career, despite a handful of temptations to stray to the Dark Side of The Force.

As set up at the April show, Steamboat had already been announced as the special guest but became the special guest referee for the night’s main event bout between Leland Race and Steve Fender. Also, WLW’s first Junior Heavyweight Champion was scheduled to be crowned on this night in a tournament final between Jon Webb and Jayden Fenix. The show had a strong turnout due to Steamboat’s presence…not competing with playoff hockey may have also been a factor. (Go Blues!) I looked after the Missouri Wrestling Revival merchandise table as Brian Kelley took photos at ringside…woo.

Your ring announcer was Brian Thompson; your referee was Richard White.

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Roy Lewis vs. Cody Jones: This was my first time seeing Jones in action; I had seen him at previous independent shows but not in the ring. My initial thought was speculation on who Lewis would be losing to, then I immediately noted that he could have been facing Air Raid or something. However, this one was honestly a pick-’em with a rookie fan favorite against a relatively unknown rulebreaker. Lewis is one-third of the Troy Athletic Club with “The Freestyle Phenom” Jay Howard and “The Natural” J.A. Fair, but he usually flies solo when competing in this area. It was a fine underdog effort for Lewis who survived a lot of heavy artillery from Jones; Jones went to the top rope but missed a frog splash. Lewis capitalized with a La Majistral cradle for the flash pin in 8:12…ROY WINS~! He celebrated his first WLW win in grand fashion with Brian Thompson acknowledging it.

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Justin D’Air vs. “The King Of Crossfit” Mark Sterling: D’Air has recently been sporting light-up wrestling boots, a la Naomi Night’s footwear in WWE; Sterling was emphatically unamused, so D’Air decided to poke fun at Sterling’s toe shoes. Hey, a feud over footwear would be far from the weirdest reason for an issue between professional wrestlers. At any rate, these guys had a solid competitive matchup; Sterling avoided a 450 Splash and D’Air rolled through for a relatively safe landing, but Sterling got the rollup pin with a handful of tights in 11:50(HEEL~!).

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Stacey O’Brien & Lucy Mendez vs. Women’s Champion “Miss Natural” Heather Patera & Paloma Starr: Hey, a women’s division! While the “Divas’ Revolution” has seemingly cooled off to some degree, it’s been good to see women’s wrestling get a higher profile on the national stage. Despite their recent issues, Stacey and Lucy worked well together as a tag team. On the other side, the newer duo of Miss Natural and Paloma Starr had a few glitches in their teamwork, leading to a few shifts in momentum. Stacey had defeated Miss Monica at the April show to re-establish herself as the top contender to Miss Natural’s title. Stacey went old-school with her ring attire, going back to the plaid skirt ensemble. Things broke down near the finish and I felt like more than one person lost track of who was legal, particularly the referee. I could have sworn that Lucy and Natural were legal, but Stacey hit the backcracker on Paloma and got the three-count in 12:16…all righty then. It was a fine match, at any rate.

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“Kickin'” Kyle Roberts vs. Karim Brigante(w/ Miss Monica Passeri): This stemmed from Karim physically abusing his valet at the April show, leading to Kyle making the save. In a pre-recorded video, Kyle told Karim that men don’t put their hands on women in America. The video promo prompted a sneak attack by Brigante in the locker room area, as well as a counter-promo. Brigante has struggled to pick up wins in the Midwest, though I think he won a battle royal at a WLW show elsewhere in Missouri. At any rate, Monica interfered on a few occasions and finally slipped a chain into the ring for her man to use; this brought out Stacey O’Brien for a brief Catfiiiiight(tm Joey Styles). The referee turned his attention to the action on the floor and missed Karim KOing Roberts with the chain, getting the tainted pinfall in 11:43. BUT WAIT~! The referee discovered the international object after the fact and ordered a restart to the match…Roberts immediately capitalized with an enzuigiri and rollup for the real victory in 0:12 of the restart (11:55 total).

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“The Hybrid Ace” Jon Webb vs. Jayden Fenix, Jr. Heavyweight Title Tournament Final: General Manager Matt Murphy brought out the title belt under a cover; his intention was to unveil the championship before presenting it to the winner. Fenix came out to the usual Black Hand Warriors theme, but loudly proclaimed that he was NO LONGER associated with that group; since the BHWs are fan favorites in WLW, that established him as the heel in this bout. Given the eternal series of bouts between High Level Enterprise(Webb & Jack Gamble) and the Black Hand Warriors, these two know each other very well and had one of my favorite matches of the night. Unfortunately, it was marred by an indecisive finish as Fenix brought a chair into the ring…when the referee tried to stop Fenix from using the weapon, Fenix shoved him to the mat. That triggered a disqualification in 18:23 and Fenix whacked Webb with the chair anyway. Fenix continued his dispute with the referee, so Webb got a hold of the chair and nailed Fenix with it. So Webb is the first WLW Jr. Heavyweight Champion, right?…

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…not so fast. Murphy voiced his disapproval of both men’s actions and said that the lineage of the new championship shouldn’t start that way. As a result, he declared that a no-DQ rematch would take place at the show on August 27th and the winner of THAT match would be the first Jr. Heavyweight Champion.

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“The Legacy” Leland Race vs. “Superstar” Steve Fender, special guest referee Ricky “The Dragon” Steamboat: In April, Heavyweight Champion Trevor Murdoch & Fender defeated Race and The Math Magician(one of these names is not like the others…) when Fender pinned Race; this match was set up to determine a top contender to Murdoch’s title. (Of note, neither Murdoch nor Tag Team Champions Michael Magnuson & Dave DeLorean were in the house on this night.) The match was good but the crowd response was a bit down; they were probably waiting until Steamboat had his “moment” before they got invested.

Several spots were obvious odes to Steamboat: Backflip out of an armwringer, armdrags, inside cradle counter to a bodyslam, etc. All it was missing was a cross-bodyblock off the top rope. Steamboat was bumped down and Fender hit the brainbuster(which was how he won the tag match in April), but Steamboat wasn’t available to make the count. When he did recover to count, Race kicked out at two-and-a-half…leading to the anticipated confrontation between Steamboat and Fender. Fender repeatedly shoved Steamboat until The Dragon finally retaliated with a shove of his own to assert his authority…at that point, the match continued and Fender’s loss of focus may have contributed to his downfall. The two traded near-falls until Race finally finished with the Go 2 Sleep in 19:36…woo-hoo.

I imagine Murdoch vs. Race will be the main event of the show in August…we’ll see how the rest of the card shapes up.

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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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World League Wrestling and the New Age Outlaws this Saturday in Richmond Missouri

Posted by flairwhoooooo on March 14, 2011

Former Degeneration X members the New Age Outlaws “Road Dogg” Jesse James and “Bad Ass” Billy Gunn will be making their way to Richmond Missouri for Harley Race’s World League Wrestling this Saturday March 19th for a fun filled evening that you will not forget.

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The New Age Outlaws was one of the most important tag teams in the history of wrestling as they helped spearhead the Attitude Era for Vince McMahon’s WWE along with the Rock and Stone Cold Steve Austin.

History will show that the New Age Outlaws formed in Kansas City, lets look back out how this happened on Smackdown.

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Golden Circle: Chemistry 101 By Greg Anthony

Posted by flairwhoooooo on June 25, 2010

Chemistry, to most people, is the science of matter. How molecules, atoms, etc react and interact with each other. In wrestling its pretty much the same thing except there is no science to it. In chemistry if you take part “A” and mix it with part “B” then it creates part “C”. In Wrestling if you take part “A” and mix it with part “B” sometimes you get part “C” but sometimes you get shit!

You never know, for sure, who is going to mesh well with who. Just because you have two great workers doesn’t mean you have a for sure 5 Star match(Rating system is a trademark of RRO News and Brian Tramel and may not be reproduced without the express written consent of RRO). Same goes for two not so great workers. I’ve seen two guys that really didn’t have much going for them but for some reason they gelled really well together. It’s a crap shoot; it’s the world letting us know that there are no guarantees in life.

Prime example, I saw Shawn Michaels vs. Mr.Perfect! How could that possibly be bad? They just didn’t get in a good groove and Shawn even mentions it in his book. Motley Cruz is a guy that I have a lot of respect for inside the ring. When I was TLCW champion we got a chance to work one another for the first time in a long time. We had high expectations but when we got to the match we both were waiting for the other to call the match or take the lead and it ended up being a very bland match.

Maybe wrestling isn’t as complex as advance chemistry but it isn’t kindergarten stuff either. There really isn’t a substitute for good chemistry in wrestling. Rock/Austin, Flair/Sting… the list goes on and on. Because it’s not the moves that we remember but the feeling we get from those who have immeasurable chemistry. So don’t watch for that forgettable high spot but rather that unforgettable feeling this business can produce on any given night.

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MWR Tribute: “Nature Boy” Ric Flair

Posted by Admin on April 5, 2008

Missouri Wrestling Revival Tribute:
“Nature Boy” Ric Flair

by Joshua Ray
MWR Owner-Editor

(Ric Flair as Missouri State Champion in 1983 [Credit: http://www.rfgolds.com/].)
A Tribute

(Ric Flair and the infamous Four Horsemen! [Internet photo database])

36 years of pro wrestling excellence has come to an end, as “Nature Boy” Ric Flair wrestled his last match at Wrestlemania 24 just a few short days ago on March 30, 2008. I am a huge “Naitch” fan, so I wanted to put together a fitting MWR Tribute to the man known as “The Man” to most of the professional wrestling world. I will be bringing Ric Flair to Missouri in this tribute, connecting him to the Show Me State in a way which I sincerely hope will be befitting of a true champion.
This might not be the definitive history of Ric Flair in Missouri. I admit that my research might not have uncovered every single detail about his connection with our great state. It will be a great tribute, though. In my mind, Ric Flair is the greatest World Heavyweight Champion of all time, and this is the least I can do for him. I have been researching every bit of known information about Flair for nearly two weeks.
I’ll leave out less significant events such as individual house show appearances. While I’ll include them in the match totals, the focus is to point out the noteworthy history of the “Nature Boy” as it pertains to Missouri. Feel free to comment on anything included in this tribute, as well as anything I might have left out or any personal reflections.


Ric Flair and Missouri at a Glance

Ric Flair is on record as wrestling 80 times in Missouri in his 36 year career. While the average breaks down to just over two matches per year in the Show Me State, 55 of his Missouri bouts occurred between his Missouri debut on August 6, 1977 and October 16, 1987. This period includes the time in which he set an amazing standard by which most other champions could not meet, as he wrestled 6 or 7 times each week. This averages to just over 5 wrestling matches each year in Missouri alone.

In the winning of his first and only NWA Missouri Heavyweight Championship, Flair wrestled four times in the same night in a tournament. He became the title’s 33rd holder. That wasn’t the only belt he won in Missouri, though. Flair also won two NWA World Heavyweight Titles by defeating Dusty Rhodes on both occasions. On the flip side, he lost 2 NWA World Heavyweight Titles to Harley Race, and his only Missouri Heavyweight Title was lost when he was defeated at the hands of David Von Erich.

Flair only wrestled two tag team matches in the state of Missouri. He teamed with Arn Anderson for one to defeat El Gigante and Sting on April 27, 1991 in St. Louis. For the other one, he teamed with Barry Windham in a losing effort to El Gigante and The yellow Dog (A Masked “Flyin” Brian Pillman). As another piece of trivia, Flair only guest refereed one match in the state of Missouri. The match was between “Stone Cold” Steve Austin and Undertaker on April 21, 2002!

“The Man” has wrestled in seven cities within the Missouri state border. Those cities are (matches in parentheses) St. Louis (51), Kansas City (20), Joplin (2), St. Joseph (2), Cape Girardeau (1), Springfield (3), and West Plains (1).

With all of these connections to the state of Missouri, Flair was inducted into the inaugural class of 2007 of the St. Louis Wrestling Hall of Fame on February 24, 2007.

(Bret Hart giving Flair a taste of his own medicine [Credit: www.wwesuperstars.org])

Personal Reflection

As a young kid (the entire 1980s), I was always partial to the National Wrestling Alliance. Yes, I enjoyed the World Wrestling Federation and all of the glitz and glamor that organization had to offer, but there was just something that resonated in my soul with how the NWA presented itself. It seemed more real, with the heroes more believable in my eyes. Hulk Hogan might have been my favorite wrestler at the time due to his looks and his cartoonish stand for all that was American and good, but Dusty Rhodes, The Rock N Roll Express, Magnum TA, Ricky Steamboat, Kerry Von Erich, Brad Armstrong and later Sting would round out my list.

Why did those simpler and less “larger than life” wrestlers capture my imagination and have me rooting for them just as hard as my favorite wrestler in the entire world at the time, Hulk Hogan?

“Nature Boy” Ric Flair.

He was as bad as a person could be. He had money. He had women. He loved to cheat. Worst of all, he always found a way to win! I hated him with a passion in my younger days. I can still remember getting so excited when somebody would defeat him for the NWA World Title, only for him two win it back so shortly later. I loved to hate him.

Later, i would learn to respect him. His Royal Rumble performance in 1992 was probably the point in my life (I was 11) where I started realizing he was more than just a bad guy. Sure, I still hated him… but he had just lasted an hour in one of the hardest matches to win! He had found a way, yet again, to win the gold. This time it was for the WWF!

Over the years, Flair might not have been center stage or in the main event, but it was obvious that I wasn’t the only fan to respect him and treat him like royalty. Most of the time he was getting the shaft and was nearly buried by terrible booking after his NWA glory years:

– Black Scorpion
– Feud with Robocop and Sting
– Nearly being forced to shave his head, wear an earring, and call himself “Spartacus”
– Late WCW (everybody was bad then, but let’s move on)
– His recent jobber status in WWE before his “retire” storyline

(Ric Flair versus Hulk Hogan in WCW [Internet photo database].)

The great thing about Flair was that he transcended all of that. He was great, and people knew that anything lame about Flair couldn’t possibly be his doing. The man has been a living legend for many years. He’s just finally getting that recognition on a more formal level.

So here’s to Ric Flair.

The greatest of all time! (An issue of Pro Wrestling Illustrated with Ric Flair on the cover. [Credit: www.prowrestlingillustrated.com])

Thoughts from Brian “Flair” Kelley:
If you know me then you know that Ric Flair is my favorite wrestler. Ric Flair is the last real wrestling champion, and I am grateful that I got to live with him wrestling since my youth. Before Vince told the world that it was predetermined, there was still a kind of magic that the fans believed in. The magic that every match meant something, whether it be when he broke Dusty Rhodes’ leg or when he was having the greatest scientific matches of all time with Ricky Steamboat. You knew you just had to see it.

Flair was the guy the boys wanted to be, the women loved and the men hated. Flair made you stay home on Saturday nights for just a little longer, just so you could see who he was going to wrestle and what would he say before and after.

Don’t lie, men. You know you have tried one of his pickup lines at least once on a girl.

When I think of Flair today, I still mark out for him. Truth be told, I always will. There has never been a wrestler who can keep my attention the way he did. I feel as if Flair never reached his potential as far as marketing goes, though I wished he would have been given that chance. This is by no means to slight anyone else, because thank goodness for Hogan, The Rock and Austin… three men who really boomed as far as merchandise sales go, but I wish Flair had been given that ball to run with. Maybe it was for the best, though. Flair now has longevity and respect, and when something of Flair’s comes out the people want it, as they showed with the Flair DVDs and book sales.

There is no doubt that I would have always liked wrestling, but “Nature Boy” Ric Flair made me love it.

References:
– Derkweiler.com [http://newsgroups.derkweiler.com/archive/rec/rec.sport.pro-wrestling/2006-05/msg11691.html]
– Slam Wrestling [http://slam.canoe.ca]
– WWE.com
– Wikipedia
 
 

 

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