Where Wrestling's Regional History Lives!
ST. LOUIS TV TAPING - PART II (CONCLUSION)
- John Edwards
we left off last month, five of us (16-17 year old wrestling fans) were
being ushered into the KPLR Channel 11 studios from the line that queued
up at the back door (studio entrance) around the building and down the
street. Once ushered into the studio, it was basically “general
admission”, first come, first served to the seats. Well, actually
“seats” is a generous term, more like bleachers. My friends and I
spotted the main camera and immediately headed for the middle of the
bleachers directly opposite it.
rest of the fans (approximately 200) filed in, we looked at the
studio/arena. It was really small. Just really enough room for a
full-sized wrestling ring (don’t know if it was the same one they used
for Kiel and Arena shows), 8-10 rows of bleachers opposite the main camera
and 5-6 rows on the other three sides.
Studio klieg lights across the ceiling. Off
in the one corner was the announcer’s table, with bell and
hammer, of course, and Larry Matysik’s microphone.
about a half hour or so, Mickey Garigiola (famous St. Louis ring
announcer, famous restaurant personality, and famous brother of major
league ballplayer and TV personality Joe Garigiola) made his way into the
ring and picked up the house microphone. He gave us a short speech about
booing the heels, cheering the faces, but behaving (this will be important
later). “Do not throw anything and absolutely do not
touch the wrestlers.”
And, when the show was about to start taping, he would count
down for us so that just as the show started, the crowd would be cheering
madly as Larry Matysik began his introduction of that week’s show.
we were good and ready, and on pins and needles, a massively fat jobber
approached the ring. We booed him just because he was really fat and we
could tell he was a jobber. (Even though we didn’t know what a jobber
was in 1980.) Next thing, who should come out from behind the curtain but
BULLDOG BOB BROWN!! What a start to my first TV taping!