Where Wrestling's Regional History Lives!
- Jason Hess
Hello and welcome to
the latest installment of Houston Wrestling here at Kayfabe Memories.
With Wrestlemania 18 right around the corner, I am going to take
a detour from my original article (back next month with it) and talk
about two men who apparently will be facing each other at WrestleMania. Both have ties to Houston for very different reasons.
One of the featured matches for this year’s WrestleMania is Ric
Flair vs. The Undertaker. While
the Undertaker is actually from the Houston area, Ric Flair is the man
we are going to focus on extensively, as we take a look back at Flair in
Houston during his main run as NWA champion in the 1980’s.
As NWA champion, Ric
Flair would venture into many territories just like all of the NWA
champions would until the territorial NWA champion would become extinct
in 1987. Although never
officially affiliated with the NWA, Paul Boesch often booked each
“world” champion on his cards, having the likes of Nick Bockwinkel,
Stan Hansen, Flair, and Harley Race on cards in Houston.
Paul Boesch seemed to
have not liked Race much, stemming from two events that happened four
years apart. In 1977, legislature passed an amendment making wrestling
events presentable on Sundays. Boesch
quickly tackled the arrangement of having the first wrestling card ever
held on a Sunday in Texas history, and booked the larger Summit arena
(now known as the Compaq Center) for its first wrestling show ever. In fact, May 21 would be a night of firsts:
wrestling card held on a Sunday in the state of Texas.
wrestling card at the Summit.
wrestling card in Texas with all three major organizations represented
(AWA, NWA, WWWF.)
In the main event,
Harley Race was to have faced Terry Funk for the NWA title.
Race had defeated Funk earlier in the year at Toronto’s Maple
Leaf Gardens to win back the NWA belt in February.