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This Week In Wrestling

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WrestlingClassics.com comes to iN DEMAND PPV!

This Month:
The Golden Age of Wrestling 

WrestlingClassics.com has great Pay Pay Views on iN iN DEMAND in October, November, and December featuring some of the greatest stars in wrestling history in some of their greatest moments! 

This month it's the stars of television's infancy in the Golden Age of Wrestling. See one of the greatest matches of all time when Nature Boy Buddy Rogers takes on Pat O'Connor in the NWA World heavyweight championship match that set an attendance record that stood for decades. Lou Thesz defends the NWA World heavyweight championship against Argentina Rocca. Plus, some of the biggest stars of all time in action with Gorgeous George, Dick the Bruiser, and Fritz Von Erich.

Hosted by Mean Gene Okerlund.

Click here to find out about WrestlingClassics.com on iN DEMAND this month! 


HUGE Sale on Florida, Jack Brisco, Buddy Colt Collections

Major price savings and FREE U.S. shipping 

The best of Florida wrestling action from the 70s and 80s. 

  • All Florida Collection tapes (featuring stars such as Jack Brisco, Dory Funk Jr., Lou Thesz, Johnny Valentine, Dusty Rhodes, and more)

  • Jack Brisco vs. Dory Funk Jr.

  • Jack Brisco in Japan (featuring an NWA World title change, Giant Baba, Dory Funk Jr., and Bobo Brazil) 

  • Legend of Buddy Colt (featuring Buddy Colt, Cowboy Bill Watts, Johnny "Mr. Wrestling II" Walker, Bob Armstrong, and more)

  • Jack Brisco Shoot Interview 

  • tape combinations for even bigger savings!

Click here for the HUGE savings on Florida tapes 


The new edition of Pro Wrestling Title Histories is on sale now! 
Much of the information in This Week In Wrestling is researched from Wrestling Title Histories. The 2000 edition is available now. It is the most complete record of over 2,000 professional wrestling titles and titleholders ever published. If you want a complete guide of who the title holders were in your favorite territories, you must own this ultimate reference book. Contains information on titles from the WWF, WCW, ECW, NWA, Canada, Japan, Mexico, Britain, Australia, New Zealand, all the old territories -- Florida, Mid-Atlantic, San Francisco, Los Angeles, Detroit, Toronto, Dallas, Portland, Kansas City, St. Louis, Atlanta, Calgary, Memphis, Knoxville, Montreal, Puerto Rico, Mid-South, San Antonio and more -- as well as hundreds of independent promotions from across the U.S. (including now-defunct favorites like Smoky Mountain, the UWF, and the USWA). The new edition includes major title changes (WWF, WCW, ECW) right up to the end of 1999. 
Click here to see a sample page


Celebrate the milestones of professional wrestling!

Every week we remember the great stars, great matches and great moments that have defined professional wrestling.

Richard Sullivan provides special insight for this week's highlights. Special thanks to David Williamson for his contributions to the exhibits.

You can click the images to see a larger version of the photo. Click the hyperlink in the text to get more information about the memorabilia.

The WrestlingClassics.com Online Store features many of the matches and stars discussed.

This Two-Week Edition covers Oct. 19-Nov. 1


Special Edition!

Here is some extra coverage of some major events:

Texas Rules Death Match!

Wrestler vs. Brawler!

Texas Rules Death Match 
Dick Murdoch vs. Dale Lewis

Tag Team Match 
Jack Brisco & the Kentuckian vs. Dusty Rhodes & Tarzan Tyler

Jacksonville, Fla.
Civic Auditorium
Oct. 22, 1970

Because they were such great singles wrestlers, The Texas Outlaws are somewhat overlooked as one of the great tag teams of the 1970s. 

Dick Murdoch and Dusty Rhodes didn't try to be cool bad guys, they just tried to be hated. And succeeded. This program from Jacksonville highlights Dick Murdoch at his boisterous best. The cover article may not have been, ahem, direct quotes from Murdoch but it does capture his personality and why he was such a larger than life personality that drew money everywhere he wrestled. 

Here he feuds with a former amateur star from Oklahoma, Dale Lewis. Lewis was a former Olympian who main evented all over the country.

The other half of the Outlaws, Dusty Rhodes, was one of the most hated men in Florida. Here he teams with another blonde monster, the vastly underrated Tarzan Tyler. They face another great amateur from Oklahoma just making his mark in the Sunshine State, a young guy named Jack Brisco. Brisco teams with the Kentuckian, who would become better known as Grizzly Smith.

Check out all the talent on this card that would go on to become superstars elsewhere, including World champions. Dusty Rhodes, Jack Brisco, and Ronnie Garvin combined to win six NWA World heavyweight championships. Masa Saito is a former AWA World heavyweight champion and co-holder of the AWA and WWE World tag team championships. Dick Murdoch is famous for many championships including holding the WWE World tag title with Adrian Adonis. Tarzan Tyler was on the first recognized WWE World tag team champions with Luke Graham. Grizzly Smith would become a legend in the Mid-South territory both as a wrestler and a booker. The Great Mephisto, Danny Miller, and Dick Steinborn all starred in different territories around the country.

Star Wars at Reunion Arena

World Class Wrestling Tag Team Championship 
Kabuki & Chang Chung vs. Kevin Von Erich & Kerry Von Erich

Texas Heavyweight Championship 
Wild Bill Irwin vs.
Al Madril

Bunkhouse Brawl 
Killer Tim Brooks vs. David Von Erich

Dallas
Reunion Arena
Oct. 25, 1981

The Dallas-Ft. Worth promotion was unusual in the sense that it ran weekly cards within 30 miles of each other in both cities.

They would build to the semiannual Super Cards at Reunion Arena, called Star Wars.   

The Von Erich brothers were just starting to come into their prime a year before the World Class television show would get national syndication.

The feud between Gary Hart and his wrestlers against the Von Erichs had literally gone on for years. For the past year, the Great Kabuki has taken Texas by storm as he was developing into an international star. Hart teamed Kabuki with a Japanese masked wrestler called Chang Chung. Chung was actually veteran Sakurada. Kabuki and Chung had captured the World Class tag title from the Kevin Von Erich and David Von Erich. After holding off the eldest combination of in rematches, Kabuki and Chung would give a title shot to the combination of Kevin Von Erich and Kerry Von Erich.

In an interesting twist, Kevin Von Erich came to the ring in street clothes, unable to wrestle due to injury. The Von Erichs chose Terry Orndorff to replace Kevin. Orndorff's biggest claim to fame until this point was being Paul Orndorff's younger brother. Terry ended up winning the tag titles with Kerry when he pinned Chung with a body press of the top rope.

Hart blamed the title loss on "Big Daddy" Bundy, who was introduced to Texas as a fan coming out of the stands a few weeks earlier. The 400-pounder from Alaska had asked for an opportunity to wrestle. Hart had agreed to let Bundy to wrestle Chung at Reunion Arena for 10 minutes with Bundy getting $50 for every minute he could last with the experienced Chung. During the match, Bundy injured Chung's ribs, hampering Chung for the title match. "Big Daddy" Bundy would become King Kong Bundy about a year later and would go on to main event Wrestlemania II against Hulk Hogan.

Jack Brisco makes first defense against Dory Funk Jr.

NWA World Heavyweight Championship 
Jack Brisco vs. Dory Funk Jr.
Special Referee: Wahoo McDaniel

Texas Tag Team Championship 
Black Gordman & El Gran Goliat vs.
Jose Lothario & Ruben Juarez

Houston
Sam Houston Coliseum
Oct. 26, 1973

Jack Brisco and Dory Funk Jr. renewed their three-year running feud for the NWA World heavyweight championship with a twist. This time, it would be Brisco defending the title.

In fact, it was Brisco's first defense of the belt in the city he won it. 

Houston was also the city where Funk had some of his greatest defenses during his 4-and-a-half year reign as World champion.

Funk has lost the belt to Harley Race in his first match back following a traffic accident and most experts considered him the undisputed number one contender.

To add even more intrigue to the match, it was refereed by another leading contender for the title, Houston favorite Wahoo McDaniel.

Brisco's clean victory over Funk Jr. solidified his reign as NWA World heavyweight champion.

Hair Match!
Kevin Von Erich vs. Gorgeous Gino Hernandez

Hair Match 
Kevin Von Erich vs. Gorgeous Gino Hernandez
If Hernandez loses, manager Gary Hart will have his head shaved

Ft. Worth, Texas

Will Rogers Coliseum
Oct. 27, 1980

Kevin Von Erich and Gorgeous Gino Hernandez were involved in a brutal feud for the majority of 1980. 

Hernandez had been sensational since returning to the Texas rings that Spring, managed by Gary Hart.

Hernandez first won the Texas state heavyweight championship from Mark Lewin and in May upset Kevin Von Erich for the American heavyweight championship.  

Von Erich and Hernandez brutalized each other at every possibility but Von Erich was unable to regain the American title.

Hart came on television and said he wanted to humiliate Von Erich and challenged him to wrestle Hernandez in a Hair vs. Hair match, so Hart would have the opportunity to shave Von Erich bald if Hernandez won. Fritz Von Erich came out during the interview and asked Hart if he was so confident why didn't Hart risk his own hair? Hart reluctantly agreed and the match was set. 

Paul Boesch's 50th Anniversary Celebration
Three-Night Tournament

Three-Night Tournament 
$50,000 Prize and Trophy

Houston

Sam Houston Coliseum
Oct. 30, 1981

Paul Boesch celebrated his 50th year in professional wrestling in Texas-size style. 

The city of Houston hosted a three-night tournament to honor the venerable promoter. 

Stars from around the country showed up for the event including Verne Gagne (making a rare appearance outside the AWA), AWA World heavyweight champion Nick Bockwinkel, Terry Allen (the future Magnum TA), Wahoo McDaniel, Dick Slater, Gene Kiniski, the Sheik, Ken Patera, Tully Blanchard, Gorgeous Gino Hernandez, Hiro Matsuda, Ivan Putski, Ernie Ladd, Mike Graham, Manny Fernandez, and more.

I'm hesitant to say this because Paul Boesch is on the short list of great promoters of all time and he's a personal hero of mine. 

But this tournament was one of the goofiest things ever.

Instead of having eliminations, we had a "committee headed by Paul Boesch and AWA President Stanley Blackburn".

It was a tournament where results of the matches meant absolutely nothing. There was a series of matches Friday night and a series of matches Saturday night.  

The "committee" then decided who advanced to the finals on Sunday.

Gino Hernandez was pinned Friday and Saturday night. The 0-2 Hernandez advanced to Saturdays finals.

Tom Prichard won both of his matches by pinfall Friday and Saturday night. He didn't make it to Sunday's finals.

Not only did Friday and Saturday results mean nothing, it actually got more ridiculous.

Tito Santana didn't wrestle either Friday or Saturday night, but was still invited to Sunday's finals.

He won the tournament, beating Ken Patera.

And you thought figure skating had a weird judging system.

October 19-November 1

NWA World heavyweight title
Terry Funk vs. Rocky Johnson

Dallas
Oct. 19, 1976

NWA World heavyweight title
Harley Race vs. Bruiser Brody 

Mil Mascaras vs. Gino Hernandez

Dusty Rhodes vs. Mark Lewin

Houston
Oct. 19, 1979

Six-Man Tag Team Match
Kevin
Von Erich & David Von Erich & Bruiser Brody vs. Pak Song & Gino Hernandez & Gary Young

Dallas
Oct. 19, 1980

NWA World heavyweight title
Ric Flair vs. Al Madril

Ft. Worth
Oct. 19, 1981

Southern heavyweight title
Lex Luger vs. Ron Bass

Orlando
Oct. 19, 1986

Main Event
Chief
Peter Maivia vs. 
Mad Dog Vachon

Handicap Match
Rick Martel vs.
John Tolos & Hans Schroeder

Ft. Worth
Oct.20, 1975

Pre-Midnight Express Tag Match
Bobby Eaton & Dennis Condrey vs. Dutch Matell & Ken Lucas

Battle of the Titans!
George Gulas vs. Missing Link

Chattanooga, Tenn.
Oct. 20, 1979

Main Event
Kevin Von Erich & David Von Erich vs. Killer Brooks & Stan Stasiak

Ft. Worth
Oct. 20, 197
9

NWA World heavyweight title 
Jack Brisco vs. Jose Lothario

Chief Peter Maivia & Al Madril vs. John Tolos & Hans Schroeder

Dallas
Oct. 21, 197
5

Main Event
Mil Mascaras & El Halcon vs. Spoiler & Killer Brooks

Kerry Von Erich vs. Mark Lewin

Dallas
Oct. 21, 1979

Double Main Event
Kamala vs. Junkyard Dog

Kevin Von Erich vs. Terry Gordy 

Avenger (Chris Adams) vs. 
Jimmy Garvin

Dallas
Oct. 21, 1983

NWA World heavyweight title
Jack Brisco vs. Ivan Putski

Ft. Worth
Oct. 22, 1973

Battle of the Masked Men
Mil Mascaras vs. Spoiler

Bruiser Brody & Kerry Von Erich vs. Mark Lewin & Killer Brooks

Ft. Worth
Oct. 22, 19
79

Non-Title Match
Nick Bockwinkel vs. Tony Atlas

Southwest heavyweight title
Dick Slater vs. Gino Hernandez

Houston
Oct. 22, 1982

Tag Team Match
Jack Brisco & Blackjack Mulligan vs. Fritz Von Erich & Ivan Putski

Dallas
Oct. 23, 1973

Main Event
Fritz Von Erich vs. Bruiser Brody

Rocky Johnson vs. White Knight
(unmasked as Dick Steinborn)

Ft. Worth
Oct. 23, 1978

Double Main Event
Kevin Von Erich vs. Ox Baker

Jimmy Snuka vs. Big John Studd

Ft. Worth
Oct. 24, 1977

Texas heavyweight title
Siegfried Stanke vs. Mil Mascaras

Tag Team Grudge Match
Sheik & Moondog Mayne vs. 
Rocky Johnson & Charlie Cook

Ft. Worth
Oct. 25, 1976

Main Event
Fritz Von Erich vs. Ox Baker

Dallas
Oct. 25, 1977

Double Main Event
Sheik vs. Rocky Johnson

Mil Mascaras vs. Moondog Mayne

Dallas
Oct. 26, 1976

Six-Man Tag Team Match
Mil Mascaras & Jose Lothario & 
El Halcon vs. Gino Hernandez & 
El Gran Goliat & El Gran Markus 

Houston
Oct. 26, 1979

Eight-Man Elimination Tag Match
Fritz Von Erich & Kevin
Von Erich & David Von Erich & Bruiser Brody vs. Stan Stasiak & Pak Song & Gino Hernandez & Gary Young

Dallas
Oct. 26, 1980

American heavyweight title
Kabuki vs. Kerry Von Erich

Six-Man Tag Team Match
Al Madril & David Von Erich & Bruiser Brody vs. Wild Bill Irwin & Frank Dusek & Richard Blood

Ft. Worth
Oct. 26, 1981

No Disqualifications
Fabulous Ones 
(Steve Keirn & Stan Lane) vs. 
New York Dolls 
(Rick McGraw & Dream Machine)

Southern tag team title
Bobby Eaton & 
Sweet Brown Sugar (Koko Ware) vs Terry Taylor& Jacques Rougeau

Louisville
Oct. 26, 1981

Mid-South tag team title
Rock 'N' Roll Express vs. 
Guerrero Brothers 
(Chavo & Hector)

Houston
Oct. 26, 1984

10-Man Battle Royal
Andre the Giant, 
Crusher Blackwell
,  
Chief
Peter Maivia, Red Bastien

Ft. Worth
Oct. 27, 1975

Main Event
Andre the Giant vs. 
Hans Schroeder

Tag Team Match
Rick Martel & Chief Peter Maivia vs. John Tolos & Geoff Portz

Dallas
Oct. 28, 1975

American Heavyweight Title
Spoiler vs. El Halcon

Texas Brass Knux Title
Bruiser Brody
vs.
Mark Lewin

Dallas
Oct. 28, 1979

Main Event 
Kerry Von Erich vs. 
Freebird Michael Hayes

Dallas
Oct. 28, 19
83

Main Event
Fritz Von Erich & Sonny King vs. Blackjack Mulligan & 
Nikolai Volkoff

Ft. Worth
Oct. 29, 1973

Texas Heavyweight Championship
Mark Lewin vs. Kerry Von Erich

Ft. Worth
Oct. 29, 1979

Double Main Event
Bruiser Brody vs. Nikolai Volkoff

Terry Gordy vs. Spike Huber

St. Louis
Oct. 29, 1983

Tag Team Match
El Santo & Jose Lothario vs. 
Black Gordman & El Gran Goliat

Dallas
Oct. 30, 19
73

Father-Son vs. Father-Son
Tag Team Match

Len Rossi & Joey Rossi vs. 
Angelo Poffo & Lanny Poffo

Mid-America Tag Team Title
Tojo Yamamoto  & George Gulas vs. Gypsy Joe & Jim White

Chattanooga, Tenn.
Oct. 30, 1977

Texas Tag Team Championship
One-Night Tournament

Bruiser Brody & Bill White
Mark Lewin & White Knight
Al Madril & Reggie Parks
Rocky Johnson & Tiger Conway Jr.

Ft. Worth
Oct. 30, 1978

Main Event
Ox Baker vs. Al Madril

Kevin Von Erich & David Von Erich vs. Killer Brooks & Bull Ramos

Ft. Worth
Oct. 31, 1977

WWE World Heavyweight Title
Bob Backlund vs. Buddy Rose

Toronto
Oct. 31, 1982

UWF Heavyweight Title
Freebird Terry Gordy vs. 
Ted DiBiase

The Battle For Missy
Hot Stuff Eddie Gilbert vs. 
Hollywood John Tatum

Tag Team Grudge Match
Fantastics vs. Freebirds
Michael Hayes & Buddy Roberts

PWI Tournament Match
Nature Boy Buddy Landel vs. 
Terry Taylor

Houston
Oct. 31, 1986

10/22/79 - "Polish Power" Ivan Putski & Tito Santana down Luscious John & Gentleman Jerry Valiant, managed by Captain Lou Albano, in New York's Madison Square Garden to capture the WWF tag-team championship 

10/22/81 - Dewey Robertson beats Gene Lewis in Kansas City to win the "NWA" Central States television championship. Robertson would go on to gain fame as The Missing Link.

10/22/91 - In their first-ever meeting, former NWA and WCW World champ Ric Flair defeats Hulk Hogan in Dayton, Ohio. 

Flair is included in a gathering of the greatest matches in the history of wrestling’s most coveted prize in Wrestling Classics’  NWA World heavyweight championship matches, available now. 

10/22/94 - Toshiaki Kawada downs "Doctor Death" Steve Williams in Tokyo to capture the Triple Crown, consisting of the PWF, "NWA" United National, and "NWA" International heavyweight titles.

10/22/95 - After "beating" an injured Shawn Michaels via forfeit in Winnipeg, Shane Douglas immediately drops the WWF Intercontinental strap to Scott Hall. This gives Douglas the distinction of having the shortest-ever reign as both the WWF Intercontinental champ and NWA World champ. 

You can also see Shawn Michaels early in his career in Texas Tape 25

10/23/56 – Mike & Ben Sharpe capture the “NWA” World tag straps for an amazing 12th time, beating Dr. Bill & Ed Miller in San Francisco. The Sharpes would go on to hold those belts some 17 times in their career.

10/23/81 - Ken Patera beats Jack Brisco in St. Louis to garner the "NWA" Missouri State title.

10/23/89 - The Soul Taker (Charles Wright) downs Jerry Lawler in Memphis to capture the "Unified World title." Wright would go on to find fame as Papa Shango, Kama Mustafa, and The Godfather in the WWF

10/23/92 – Wahoo McDaniel & Jay Eagle down Ivan & Vladimir Koloff in North Wilkesboro, NC to capture the tag titles as recognized by National Championship Wrestling

Be sure to visit the official website of one of wrestling’s true legends, Ivan Koloff.  Also, note that Wahoo McDaniel is featured throughout the Texas Collection.

10/23/94 - With former partner Mr. T as special ref, WCW World champion Hulk Hogan downs Ric Flair in a retirement match in Detroit to close out the Halloween Havoc PPV.

10/23/95 - Alyndra Blaze (Debra "Madusa" Miceli) bests Bertha Faye (Rhonda Singh) in Brandon, Manitoba to regain the WWF women's championship. 

10/24/74 - Ray Stevens & Nick Bockwinkel, managed by Bobby "The Brain" Heenan, upend Billy Robinson & The Crusher in Winnipeg to take the AWA World tag team championship.

10/24/79 - Ricky Steamboat & Jay Youngblood defeat “Number One” Paul Jones & Baron Von Raschke at WRAL studios in Raleigh, NC (during a taping of “Mid-Atlantic Championship Wrestling”) to win the Jim Crockett Promotions version of the “NWA” World tag-team championship. The following week, Steamboat relinquishes his “NWA” TV belt.

Check out the great official website devoted to the legendary  “Number One Paul Jones.  and see why Steamboat & Youngblood are considered one of the great teams of all time in Mid-Atlantic Tape 3

10/24/84 – “Big Cat” Ernie Ladd beats Magnum T.A. in Shreveport to capture the North American heavyweight title as recognized by Mid-South Sports, Inc.

Don’t miss a moment of the classic action from Bill Watts’ legendary group in  Mid-South Tape 1

10/24/92 - Don Muraco beats “Superfly” Jimmy Snuka in Philadelphia to win the ECW heavyweight championship. 

10/24/93 – The Nasty Boys (Jerry Saggs & Brian Knobs) beat Marcus Alexander Bagwell & Too Cold Scorpio in New Orleans to regain the WCW World tag straps.

You can see the Nasty Boys early in their career in the South Atlantic Collection

10/25/64 – Kinji Shibuya is awarded the U.S. title as recognized in San Francisco.

10/25/82 – “Number One” Paul Jones, managed by Sir Oliver Humperdink, downs former NWA World champ Jack Brisco in Fayetteville, NC to regain the “NWA” Mid-Atlantic crown.

See legendary matches from Jim Crockett Promotions in Mid-Atlantic Tape 1.

10/25/92 – In one of the most universally-panned PPVs in wrestling history, Sting beats Jake “The Snake” Roberts in a “Spin the Wheel, Make the Deal”-induced coal miner’s glove match at Halloween Havoc.

10/26/1897 – Dan McLeod beats Farmer Burns in Indianapolis to win the American freestyle championship.

There isn’t any footage available on Dan McLeod or Martin Burns, but you can customize matches by hundreds of other superstars in the Wrestling Classics Video Store

10/26/76 - Mr. Wrestling II beats the unpredictable Dick Slater in Columbus, Georgia to take the “NWA” Georgia heavyweight title.

10/26/80 - Dusty Rhodes bests Hangman Bobby Jaggers in Fort Lauderdale to win the “NWA” Florida title.

Check out classic action from one of wrestling’s true hotbeds, the Sunshine State, in Florida Tape 1

10/26/82 – Jules & Jay Strongbow beat Lou Albano’s team of Mr. Fuji & Masa Saito at the “Championship Wrestling” tapings in Allentown, PA to capture the WWF tag belts.

10/26/83 - Junkyard Dog thumps Hacksaw Butch Reed in Shreveport to win the North American title.

10/27/58 – George Becker & Mike Clancy down Fritz & Waldo Von Erich at Park Center in Charlotte, NC to win the “NWA” Southern tag-team championship.

See great stars from the past in Golden Age Wrestling Tape 9.

10/27/87 – Strike Force (Rick Martel & Tito Santana) hit The Hart Foundation (Bret Hart & Jim Neidhart), managed by Jimmy Hart, and walk away with the WWF tag belts in Syracuse, NY. 

10/27/91 - Brian Pillman beats Ricky Morton in Chattanooga to become the first-ever WCW World light heavyweight champion.

10/28/89 – Special ref “Living Legend” Bruno Sammartino raises the hands of Ric Flair & Sting following their exciting Thundercage victory over Terry Funk & The Great Muta, managed by Gary Hart, in Philly). Between them, the participants in this match (including the ref) account for some 68 World titles, as sanctioned by organizations such as the NWA, WWF, WCW, ECW, WCWI, and IWGP.

See Ric Flair’s historic win over Harley Race for the original “Ten Pounds of Gold” in NWA World heavyweight championship matches, available now.

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Created: October 1998
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