Where Wrestling's Regional History Lives!
- Mark Wilson
Hello wrestling fans, and welcome
to another edition of All Star Wrestling.
My name is Mark Wilson, and I will be your host for the next 780+
words. I recently popped in some of my old wrestling tapes from the
mid-80’s and was surprised how clear they still were. So, after some contemplation, and honestly, since the Oakland
Raiders season was in the tank after the first game this year, I contacted
my close, personal friend Vince Fahey (actually, we’ve never met,
don’t know anything about one another, and quite possibly might not be
able to stand each other’s company, but that never stopped old school
wrestlers from kidding us about their personal relationships with other
wrestlers, did it? : )
Anyway, I am honored to be able to
provide some of my memories of the Central States area.
Throughout my youth, the Central States was often my only
connection to my favorite wrestling federation, the NWA.
Living in the country, I rarely got to see World Championship
Wrestling, which often featured my favorite wrestler, Ric Flair.
I can remember practically swallowing my tongue when I heard that
Kerry Von Erich had beaten Ric Flair for the title.
Even worse, the news came almost a month after the title changed
hands. Such was the state of
Central States wrestling.
The Central States shows were
taped two at a time at the Memorial Hall in Kansas City, Missouri.
Often, a wrestler who was promised over two shows was summarily
forgotten when a new round of shows were taped. However, I’ve come to appreciate the Central States over
time, because of its own uniqueness.
Now, onto the show.
The following show was aired
roughly in early April 1986. I
will be using the advertisements for local cards as time markers. Prior to this show, an advertisement for wrestling in the
Memorial Hall in Joplin, MO on Tuesday, April 29. The main event was to be Central States champion Bulldog Bob
Brown (managed by Slick, yes, that Slick) vs. seven time World Champion
Harley Race. The Midnight
Rockers, Shawn Michaels and Mary Janetty were to face the Central States
tag team champions, Brad and Bart Batten.
If I remember correctly, I attended that card.
I remember Race and Brown wrestling each other, as midway through
the match, Race positioned Bulldog for a piledriver, and proceeded to pull
the Bulldog’s trunks into a wedgie before the move, to the delight of
the crowd. Folks, you can’t
buy that kind of entertainment! Kevin
Wall rattles off the local shows, with the Batten Twins standing by. The Battens were identical twins, though if you saw them
enough, you would know who was whom.
After plugging the tag match with the Rockers, Race allegedly told
the Battens to come out there and tell Bob Brown that Harley was going to
take care of business. Sure
he did. See what I mean?
The visual images are from various matches, some of which
transpired in other places: Dusty Rhodes cross body blocking Harley Race
to win the NWA title, Ric Flair vs. Kerry Von Erich in Texas Stadium (in
which Von Erich won the title), Stan Hansen backdropping someone, then a
Central States match involving Hansen and Baron Von Raschke, Hansen
clotheslining someone else, Barry Windham vs. Roger Kirby, Von Erich
dropkicking Flair, some women’s wrestling, One Man Gang in a squash from
Florida, a tag match involving Crazy Luke Graham, some Japanese action,
and another killer clothesline from Hansen.
Pan to a large crowd in Memorial Hall in Kansas City.
Now we see the Grapplers working on Ron Ritchie in the corner (with
Bobby Whitlock refereeing, sometime announcer in Leroy McGuirk’s Tri
State promotion), Flair suplexing someone, and a rapid montage of stills
culminating with the backslide by Kerry Von Erich on Flair to capture the
Kevin Wall and Rick Stuart are our hosts. The backdrop is some artistic expression of the Central States NWA logo, made by a fan if I remember correctly. Not too bad, though it only lasted a few weeks. The first match will be TV champion Akio Sato vs. Tommy Wright, the last man eliminated in a tournament a couple of weeks prior by Sato. Kamala the Ugandan Giant will also be on the program. Bulldog Bob Brown will defend the Central States title against Crusher Jerry Blackwell. The tag team of Rufus R. Jones and Butch Reed will also see action against the Dream Team. Yes!!! I forgot about this match!!!More...