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 - Jason Hess

Hello Kayfabe Memories readers, and welcome to yet another installment in the Houston Wrestling section of this historical website.  In this month’s edition, we are going to take a look back at one of the greatest wrestlers ever to appear in Houston Wrestling, the sadly late, and very great, “Chief” Wahoo McDaniel. 

For many longtime fans, the past 18 months have been very hard, not only because of the wrestling decline, but also because of the huge loss wrestling (and the families of these men) has suffered with so many legendary figures passing away.  Perhaps the biggest one-two punch was the recent passing of both Wahoo, and Lou Thesz.  Fans will naturally want to reminisce about their favorites, and for many here at Kayfabe, Wahoo was one of them.  And, there are few places that will provide the forum for such discussion, with Kayfabe Memories being one of them.  Fans, we are indeed lucky for this website!!! 

Although Wahoo has received much acclaim for his monumental feud with Johnny Valentine in the Mid-Atlantic area, he was no stranger to fans in Houston.  In fact, Wahoo McDaniel was one of the most popular wrestlers ever in the Bayou City.  Join us, as we take a look back at the Houston career of one of the greatest. 

The Funk Run:  In his autobiography, Paul Boesch mentions that during a one year period in the early 1970’s, Wahoo McDaniel wrestled and challenged Dory Funk Jr. for the NWA World Title an amazing eight times.  What was more amazing was that subsequent matches would top the previous one in intensity.  Also, the matches drew very well, with many of them selling out the Sam Houston Coliseum.  Even though Wahoo never captured the title from the wily Texan, their battles are still remembered by longtime fans for their violence and ferocity.  (I confess that at the age of 29, I was unable to see these wars, although I have talked with a few “ole-timers” who remember them fondly.) 

From Dallas, to Houston, to the Mid-Atlantic:  Although his never-ending war with Johnny Valentine was most noted in the Mid-Atlantic area, Wahoo McDaniel wrestled the grizzled great many times in the Bayou City.  In fact, Valentine’s battles with Fritz Von Erich were instrumental in the Dallas office having banner days in the early 1970’s.  When Wahoo was brought in to wrestle Valentine, the gates would remain super strong.  The two men carried their feud to Houston, where in between title shots against Funk, fans would come out in droves to see McDaniel and Valentine work their magic.....which would later be carried to the Carolinas and Virginia. 

The Professor:  For years, Boris Malenko was one of the hottest heels in the country.  Everywhere he went he incited fans to near riots.  One feud of his while in Texas particularly stands out, and of course, it was with Wahoo.  Wahoo was wildly popular in his battles with the Great Malenko, and the two engaged in many heated wars.  Two of their encounters bear special mentioning.  One was a hair vs. hair match that completely sold out the Sam Houston Coliseum, something that was old hat when McDaniel was the headliner.  In that encounter, McDaniel won, leaving the professor with a stylish new hairdo.....completely bald.  More...

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