St. Louis #17 Page #2
Of all the referees listed above, Joe Tangaro, Charles Venater, and Ed Warren stick out in my mind as the most memorable. What I liked about all the St. Louis officials was their air of credibility. Sam insisted on credibility in his product, from the wrestlers efforts, to his referees. This was reflected in insisting that wrestlers leave the referees alone. But, as always, less can be more. If you condition your audience to never expect a referee bump or a referee go down, when it does happen, the payoff could be huge. Now, for the special occasions, we had the...
Special Guest St. Louis
On rare special occasions (remember, less can be more), Sam Muchnick treated the St. Louis faithful to a special guest referee. Here is a partial listing of the St. Louis special referees that I witnessed over the years...
ü Lou Thesz - A former St. Louis resident, NWA legend, and friend of Sam's. Instant credibility as the third man in the ring.
ü Pat O'Connor - A former NWA champion, he could make sure the action stayed on the up and up.
ü Gene Kiniski - Same credentials as O'Connor.
ü Leo Nominelli - Another famous name from the past, from the NFL and from the NWA.
ü Dick The Bruiser - I remember his guest reffing at least once. His stint had the opposite of the intended effect! From what I remember, Dick's impartiality went out the window pretty quick. Very entertaining, though.
St. Louis was blessed over the years with a great promoter, a great TV show, great booking, and, most of all great talent! The referees played a huge role in the success of the St. Louis NWA promotion and I salute them.
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