St. Louis #10 Page #2

Lord Alfred Hayes

Take a talented wrestler, give him the gimmick of being royalty and a snob, and put him in front of beer-swilling midwesterners, and TA DA!! (again) – The next in the long line of ethnic heels. I clearly remember Larry Matysik interviewing his Lordship in the center of the ring during an episode of WATC and Lord Al screaming at the TV audience to “Shut up! Have you peasants no respect for your betters!!!” God, that was hilarious. Lord Al was obviously a skilled heel. He knew how to act the role, and, that ultimately the ticket-buying public wanted to see him get his behind kicked! Along the way, he would use his “Tower of London” hold to beat many of his foes. (That hold just “looked” painful!)

Dick Murdoch

While later, he was “Captain Redneck” and a huge fan favorite, in his early years (at least in St. Louis) he was a huge heel. Feuding with Ted DiBiase and a great feud with Dick The Bruiser over the Missouri Title. Bruiser and Murdoch traded the title back and forth several times over the course of the year. (See the past article on the Missouri State Title) I noticed during his WATC interview segments that he was missing more than a few teeth. He was great on the mic, blasting the locals and getting a ton of heat. Dick was also involved in a great feud with the assorted Von Erichs.  He is among the first I remember using the “Brainbuster” as a finisher, basically a suplex that dropped the opponent on his head, versus his back.

Ox Baker

Another St. Louis (and WWA and AWA) legend. The Ox was a great heel in St. Louis. While he used his heart punch to dominate jobbers in TV squashes, he did quite a few jobs on the Kiel house shows. My research of 1977-1979 Kiel match results shows that the Ox did more than a few jobs – many in tag team matches. Here is an example:

3/17/78 – Andre the Giant and Dick the Bruiser d. Ric Flair, Buddy Wolfe, and Ox Baker

That is kind of an odd match-up, a 3-on-2 handicap match, involving some of the biggest legends of the sport. Don’t know if Ox did the job in this one or not. (My guess would be Buddy Wolfe)

Clearly defined faces and heels made the St. Louis NWA product enjoyable to watch, and easy to understand. The grapplers mentioned today are among the biggest names of my youth that were consistent and talented heels. This list is not at all inclusive – in fact, I am positive I left some monster heels. (Apologies in advance!) Feel free to bring up any of the famous heels I left out on the KM St. Louis message board.


Downfall of the St. Louis NWA Promotion

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