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 - Ashley Parrish

This month we'll look back at some great NWA title matches from Amarillo. As a stronghold in the old NWA territory, Amarillo regularly featured appearances by the NWA title holder. This was especially true when one of the Funks held the title. As with my last installment, I will try to provide a little background information on what led up to each match.

Nick Bockwinkle vs. Gene Kiniski
September 26, 1968

Most people associate Nick Bockwinkle with the AWA, and rightfully so. However, Bockwinkle had a nice run in Amarillo in the late 60's. On September 12, a four man tournament was held in Amarillo with winner receiving a title shot at Kiniski. The participants were Bockwinkle, Pat Patterson, Dory Funk, Sr., and Gypsy Joe. The opening matches saw Patterson go over Funk and Bockwinkle go over the Gypsy. In the finals, Bockwinkle downed Patterson in 26 seconds with an abdominal stretch to receive the title shot. Two weeks later at the Sports arena, Bockwinkle received his title shot. As was the custom in those days, the match was a two out of three fall encounter. Bockwinkle won the first fall with his finisher at that time, the abdominal stretch. Kiniski rallied to win the final two fall, with a knee drop and press respectively. Of course, Bockwinkle would go on to claim a world title, but not in the NWA.

Dory Funk, Jr. vs. Buddy Colt
April 17, 1969

This was Junior's first title defense in Amarillo after taking the title from Gene Kiniski in February. Colt had come to the area earlier in the year and captured the North American Title. He had successful defenses against the likes of Rickey Romero, Pat Patterson, Dory, Sr., And Terry Funk. He had also wrestled Dory, Jr. to a draw in January. On April 10, Colt took on former world champion Pat O'Connor with the winner getting a shot at Junior's crown. Colt defeated O'Connor in a disputed decision by grabbing his trunks for the pin in the third fall. With the world title at stake, Colt and Dory went after it. Dory took the first fall with his spinning toe hold. When the bell rang for the second fall, Colt couldn't continue. The match was awarded to Dory.  More...

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