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 - Ashley Parrish

I had originally planned to write this installment about the great anniversary shows which have taken place in Amarillo since 1971, the year Amarillo celebrated its 50th year of professional wrestling. After the tragedy of September 11, however, I have changed my mind. I could go through a list of the cards held and match results, but such trivia seems very insignificant to me right now. Believe me, as we all struggle to assume some degree of normalcy in our lives, my passion for relaying the minutia I have collected and can recall about the great Amarillo territory will return. But, this month, with your indulgence, I would rather write about what made the territory special to me.

Good triumphed in Amarillo. Karl Von Steiger might heart punch three "curtain jerkers" into next week, but Rickey Romero would make the save. Boris Malenko might tighten his Russian Sickle around the throat of Les Thornton even though the bell had long since rung, but the Funks were there to chase him off. Cyclone Negro might interfere in a World Title match between Terry Funk and Harley Race, piledriving Terry several times onto the concrete floor. But Terry would come back and defeat both Negro and Race; so what if he didn't win the title. Red Bastien might attack Dory Junior after losing a Texas Death Match at the Sports Arena, but Scott Casey would send him scurrying from the ring.

There was humor. The heels were strong and clever. They win would win a battle plenty of times. Some might even make you laugh. Ken Ramey, a karate expert with skills so devastating, one chop could sever the head of his opponent. I'll never forget that interview. Ben Justice and Jim Dillon, as a special treat, offering to show up early at the Lubbock Fair Park Coliseum to meet and shake hands with the fans. I was probably the only one who would have taken them up on their offer. Hank James, who spent the majority of many matches ducking between the ropes to prevent an offensive assault from his opponent only to launch a sneak attack after getting the ref's protection, once stood outside the dressing rooms of the Fair Park Coliseum. Some fans gathered and most were shocked to find that he was actually a nice guy. Finally, someone asked, " You seem so nice; why do you do so many bad things in the ring?". Hank said, "Oh I'm asleep when I do all that...hypnotized".

There was emotion. I cheered for the Funks and their allies every bit as much as I would the Dallas Cowboys.  More...

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