St. Louis #12 Page #2
reading some of the history on the WWA board, I can see that was more of a
regular territory with multiple cities. St. Louis was only a little over a four
hour car ride from Indy, so it must have been pretty convenient for Bruiser and
crew to come to St. Louis. And, prior to cable, the net, and dirt sheets, none
of us knew that grapplers brawling in a big feud in St. Louis might be tagging
together in Hammond, Indiana on a WWA show.
David, Kevin, and Kerry Von Erich
their WCCW heyday (and actually a few years before that), the Von Erich boys
were over huge in St. Louis. Just as in Dallas, Fort Worth, and points around
the world, they were cheered and loved as huge faces. Again, the boys must have
had a full-time (or nearly full-time) schedule in their Dad’s territory. A few
days in St. Louis were enough to expose them to another region, gain them more
experience and fans, and give them a run with the Missouri Title. Given their
exposure and push in St. Louis, their must have been a very good working
relationship between Sam Muchnick and Fritz Von Erich. By the time WCCW was
becoming a syndicated TV phenomenon, the St. Louis office had closed – it’s
interesting to speculate how the relationship would have changed once Fritz Von
Erich pulled WCCW out of the NWA. David’s success in St. Louis helped him gain
the momentum that would have eventually led to a NWA Title reign, had he not
left us so soon.
States: Harley Race, Bulldog Bob Brown, Rufus R. Jones, Roger Kirby, Jerry
Brown, Mike George (and many more)
Central States region (Kansas City) provided a full pipeline of talent for St.
Louis house shows and TV tapings. The talent ranged from a multiple time NWA
and Missouri Champion (Harley Race) to strong midcarders (Bulldog Bob
Brown) to role players (Mike George, Jerry Brown). The minimal time requirements
allowed Bob Geigel’s troops to work their full time territory commitments in
Kansas City, St. Joseph, and other great towns in Missouri, Kansas, and Iowa.
As with the other territorial promoters, Sam Muchnick must have had a
good working relationship with Bob Geigel.
and Dory Funk, Jr. made many, many appearances in St. Louis over the years.
Again, some of these were related to NWA and Missouri Title defenses and some
were for regular house show and TV tapings. Like others in this article, they
could run their own territory, duck out for a few days, go to St. Louis and give
the appearance of working the St. Louis region full time.
Brisco appeared in St. Louis many, many times in the 1970’s and the early
1980’s. He defended the NWA belt many times during his title reign, but also
was a reigning Missouri State Champion. I think it was a coup for Sam Muchnick
to have such a renowned grappler to hold his regional belt. Once again, the
logistics made it acceptable for Jack to appear in St. Louis two to three days a
month – one Friday a month for a Kiel Auditorium show and then a Sunday to
tape three weeks of TV. The other 28 days, Jack would be free to appear in any
other regions, including his home base of Florida.
St. Louis was a very special territory due in part to the great talent featured regularly at house shows and TV tapings. This was possible for several reasons, including the fact that there was only one town in the “territory” and that during the regional kayfabe days promoters regularly worked with one another and shared talent. With no internet or dirt sheets the fans would be oblivious to the fact that the workers had already faced each other several times just a few hours away. I hope you enjoyed my observations today of St. Louis and the territories that shared talent with the St. Louis Wrestling Club .
Muchnick and the AWA and WWWF
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