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Talent from All Territories  

 - John Edwards

One of the greatest things about the St. Louis Wrestling Club NWA promotion during its glory years of the 1950’s through the mid 1980’s was the vast array of talent that regularly made its way onto the twice-monthly Kiel Auditorium shows and the weekly St. Louis television show “Wrestling at the Chase”.   

As mentioned in a previous article, logistically it was convenient for major stars from around the United States to make regular appearances in St. Louis. St. Louis was not a “territory” in the classic sense. There was only one city to appear in, rather than a series of towns “around the horn”. Two to three days a month would take care of the house shows and TV tapings for an entire month. Here are just a few examples of stars from other well-established territories making their way to St. Louis:  

AWA: Greg Gagne, Jim Brunzell, Crusher Blackwell, Ken Patera, Von Raschke

The above names are just a sampling of some of the AWA stars that regularly appeared at the Kiel Auditorium and Wrestling at the Chase on Channel 11. Like Fritz Von Erich and the Bruiser, Sam Muchnick must have had a solid working relationship with Verne Gagne. Apparently Sam was able to forgive and forget the AWA split from the NWA in the early 1960s. Verne regularly sent workers to St. Louis for house shows and TV tapings. Patera and Blackwell were both Missouri Title holders on several occasions. Gagne and Brunzell got somewhat of a push as the “High Flyers”, but the push was somewhat limited as St. Louis did not recognize a tag team title.   

WWA: Dick The Bruiser, Wilbur Snyder, Ox Baker, Spike Huber, Sailor Art Thomas

Here are just a few a few of the major names in Dick The Bruiser’s WWA promotion, based in Indianapolis, that regularly appeared in St. Louis.  These stars were great across the board: Snyder for his classic “scientific” style, Bruiser for being “Stone Cold” decades before Steve Austin, Ox Baker for being a classic old school heel (remember the stretcher that said “Ox Baker’s Carryout Service”?),  Art Thomas for being an exciting face (loved that thing he did with his pecs), and Spike Huber (aka Bruiser’s son-in-law) as a high flying “good guy”.   More...

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