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 - Ashley Parrish

As stated in previous articles, the Amarillo circuit stretched out over the southwest into several cities in west Texas. On Tuesday, the wrestlers made their way to Odessa for matches at the Ector County Coliseum. Odessa is roughly 180 miles southwest of Amarillo. It is in the heart of Texas oil country. The matches were promoted by Pat O'Dowdy. Almost all of the top stars from Amarillo appeared in Odessa which meant high-quality, exciting matches for the fans in the area. This week we'll look at some memorable matches that took place in Odessa.

Terry Funk vs. Pat O'Connor
January 13, 1976

Terry was a little over a month into his reign as NWA champion when this bout took place. The Funks, of course, were huge favorites in Odessa as they were throughout the territory. Pat O'Connor was well known to fans in the region as a former world champion. O'Connor regularly appeared in the territory and was a favorite of the fans as well. This match was Terry's first title defense in Odessa. No surprises here as Terry left the ring with title still around his waist after pinning O'Connor.

The Lawman vs. Swede Hanson
May 3, 1977

Don Slatton, aka The Lawman, not only wrestled in the territory, but promoted matches in Abilene, as well. His wrestling style mirrored his promoting style, i.e., he loved an out of control blood bath. The Lawman had a great feud with Rip Hawk and Swede Hanson which started in 1976. With various partners, The Lawman battled Hawk and Hanson all over the region. The feud started after the Lawman received a piledriver onto a steel chair courtesy of Rip Hawk during a TV match in Amarillo. The Lawman was left a bloody mess. This bout took place under Russian Chain match rules. The Lawman came out on top in this match after dragging Hanson to all four corners of the ring. Yes, it was a blood bath. No, it did not settle the feud.

Dick Murdoch vs. Harley Race
March 27, 1979

Sometime around the beginning of 1979, Dory, Jr. and Terry conveyed their interest in the Amarillo territory to Bob Windham and Dick Murdoch. After that time, the Funks still appeared occasionally in the area, but Murdock assumed the role of the top face in the promotion. Wrestling also changed in Odessa, as the matches began running every two weeks instead of every week. While much on the business end of the promotion was changing, the caliber of the matches remained high.  More...

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