Where Wrestling's Regional History Lives!
The St. Louis
- John Edwards
St. Louis NWA promotion - “The St. Louis Wrestling Club” was one of
the strongest and most popular territories in its day.
The territory was fueled by excellent wrestlers, great booking
(even though it would seem tame or even boring in today’s
environment), a highly-rated local TV show, and, most of all by the
genius of its longtime promoter, Sam Muchnick. For the record, I am a 36
year old wrestling fan who got started watching the NWA on Channel 11 in
St. Louis. I attended my first live card at the Kiel Auditorium in 1974
at the age of nine. I watch wrestling to this day, but miss the old
of the St. Louis NWA Promotion
discussion of the St. Louis NWA promotion would be incomplete without
some background of its founder, Sam Muchnick and how the St. Louis
Wrestling Club came into existence.
Muchnick passed away on December 30, 1998, in St. Louis, the city out of
which his wrestling empire grew. He was 93. Initially a postal clerk, he
left that position in 1926 to join the sports staff of the St. Louis
Times, earning $20 a week to cover the Cardinals. When the paper merged
with the St. Louis Star six years later, Muchnick was offered a position
there but declined it, reportedly because it would have meant a good
friend of his would have lost his job. After a stint in the Army from
1942 to 1945, Sam returned home to enter the pro wrestling business as a
There was no National Wrestling Alliance, but there was a National Wrestling Association. This group was much looser than the NWA, which would follow it and essentially restricted to the Midwest. The coalition had survived the wrestling drought of the 1930’s, becoming the only office to draw money at a time where the business, and the entire country for that matter, was starving. Tom Packs, one of the promoters in the Association who controlled its World title with Billy Sandow, was the guy running St. Louis. Starting out in the business in 1922, he made a killing both in promoting his hometown and in "selling" the World title, which was a common practice in those days.More...