Missouri Wrestling Revival

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Posts Tagged ‘Bob Geigel’

Bob Geigel- 2011 MWR Lifetime Achievement Award.

Posted by flairwhoooooo on January 7, 2012

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By Josh Ray

The 2011 MWR Lifetime Achievement Award goes to Bob Geigel. Geigel, born in Iowa and now 87 years of age, is most notable in the Midwest for his six NWA Central States Heavyweight title reigns, his four NWA Central States Tag Team title reigns, and his status as the promoter for the Kansas City territory during the heyday of the National Wrestling Alliance. He accomplished much more than this, however, earning the AWA World Tag Team Championship and the NWA National Heavyweight title among others in his great career wrestling in the Missouri, Arizona, Kansas, and Texas territories.

As promoter of NWA Central States in the Kansas territory from 1963 to 1986, Geigel served as President of the National Wrestling Alliance on three separate occasions. His tenures (1978-1980, 1982-1985, and 1986-1987) were considered great successes, as the NWA moved into a golden age during this time with the help of Harley Race and eventually Ric Flair. Race and Geigel formed a business relationship for the Kansas territory and eventually bought out Sam Muchnick portion of the St. Louis territory. Race spoke of Geigel’s exceptional business skills in his book King of the Ring: “After taking the sisters’ money for years to see Kansas City-area wrestling shows, Geigel—normally a shrewd businessman—stopped charging them.”

This award is not the first Lifetime Achievement Award Bob Geigel has received. In 2007, he awarded the Art Abrams Lifetime Achievement Award by the Cauliflower Alley Club. When asked about Geigel, JJ Dillon, another pro wrestling legend, said in an interview with SLAM! Wrestling “A man’s man, a guy that is physically a tough guy. That was Bob Geigel. That’s the type of person he was.”

Geigel is a key component to the Midwest’s proud professional wrestling history, and served as one of the most influential parts of the global and national wrestling scenes during a period of growth, as well. His status as a tough-as-nails competitor, champion, and exceptional businessman will not soon be forgotten by fans, and it is with great pride that Missouri Wrestling Revival awards the 2011 MWR Lifetime Achievement Award to Bob Geigel.

For more on Bob Geigel’s great career, pleased go to: http://slam.canoe.ca/Slam/Wrestling/2007/04/17/pf-4045576.html

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Missouri Sports Hall of Fame snubs pro wrestling

Posted by flairwhoooooo on February 9, 2010

By Matt Murphy

I won’t rant long about this. The Missouri Sports Hall of Fame has inducted exactly two professional wrestling legends in its 60-year history. Sam Muchnick was inducted in 1992 and Lou Thesz was inducted in 2002. This is a slap in the face to professional wrestling and to the many wrestling legends deserving of inclusion.

Wrestling fans, wrestlers, promoters, writers — let’s let the Missouri Sports Hall of Fame know exactly how we feel about it! Whether they like it or not, professional wrestling has been a major part of Missouri’s rich sports history. They owe it to the legends and to all of us as fans to recognize our sport.

Here’s their info:
Website: www.mosportshalloffame.com
Address:
Missouri Sports Hall of Fame
3861 E. Stan Musial Drive
Springfield, Missouri 65809
Phone: (417) 889-3100 or (800) 498-5678
Fax: (417) 889-2761
Hours: Monday – Saturday 10:00 a.m. – 4:00 p.m.

I’ve included an email exchange between me and Todd Yearack, who at the time worked for the Missouri Sports Hall of Fame. For the record, no wrestlers, wrestling promoters, or wrestling announcers have been inducted since these letters.

From: Matt Murphy
Sent: Thursday, March 03, 2005 10:21 PM
To: Todd Yearack
Subject: MO Hall of Fame

Dear sir:

I am writing to inquire why an organization whose catchphrase is “All the memories and all the thrills of sports” has neglected to recognize so many stars of professional wrestling.

Harley Race with the Missouri State Heavyweight Championship belt.

(A total of 17 wrestlers held the Missouri State heavyweight championship from 1972 through 1985. Eight would hold major versions of the World heavyweight championship.)

Lake Ozark resident Harley Race was one of the most respected athletes of his era. He was an eight-time NWA World Champion professional wrestler (he broke 2002 Missouri Sports Hall of Fame inductee Lou Thesz’s record of six World Title reigns). He was also inducted into the WCW Hall of Fame in 1994 and the WWE Hall of Fame in 2004. Race currently runs World League Wrestling, an Eldon, MO-based small independent wrestling organization which has raised hundreds of thousands of dollars for various charities in the state since 1999.

I certainly feel Mr. Race’s inclusion from the Hall of Fame is necessary. He is, after all, considered by many to be the greatest wrestler ever to lace up a pair of boots. Mr. Race is now sixty-one years old, and I think he should be inducted in the very near future.

Warrensburg native Bruce “Butch” Reed was a star football player for CMSU and one of the ground-breaking African-American athletes in professional wrestling. A former World Tag Team Champion and one of the top wrestlers of the 1980s, Bruce was among the first black professional wrestlers to achieve national superstardom.

Cowboy Bob Orton

St. Louis-area resident “Cowboy” Bob Orton is the father of current WWE superstar Randy Orton and a former WWE superstar himself. He is being inducted in the WWE Hall of Fame this year.

Bulldog Bob Brown

These are just a few notable pro wrestlers deserving of being recognized as the elite athletes in Missouri sports history. Others who deserve induction include wrestlers “Bulldog” Bob Brown, Rufus R. Jones, Mike George, and Bob Geigel, announcers Bill Kersten and Larry Matysik, and promoter Gus Karras.

While many don’t consider wrestling a sport, it is undoubtedly an important part of Missouri sports history. Just ask a bunch of Missourians about wrestling. “I remember watching Harley Race and Bulldog Bob Brown at Memorial Hall” and “I watched ‘Wrestling at the Chase’ every week with my family” will likely be responses you’ll hear often.

Please let me know what I can do or how many like-minded Missourians should contact you to accomplish my goal of seeing the elite of those who contributed to “All the memories and all the thrills of sports” in Missouri recognized properly.

Please let me extend my invitation for assistance. If you need anything, from doing research to writing bios to conducting interviews with any professional wrestler deserving of Missouri Sports Hall of Fame inclusion, please don’t hesitate to email or call me.

Thanks for your time, and I look forward to a response.
Matt Murphy
__________

Todd Yearack wrote:

Matt:

Thank you for your note about Mr. Race and a few of the other wrestling icons from Missouri. You are certainly on the right track with your suggestion that Mr. Race be inducted into the Hall of Fame.

He was given very strong consideration for our most recent induction ceremony (February 13th) and will be up for consideration again for 2006. If you wish, feel free to mail us a letter of recommendation/nomination on Mr. Race and I’ll be glad to include it in his nomination file.

Again, thank you for your interest in the Hall of Fame. I hope to hear back from you soon.

Received your letter, and thank you! If you wish, you are welcome to look into additional letters in support of Mr. Race. While the number of letters doesn’t have any true direct affect on the individual’s induction, it is nice to hear from a broad range of folks who support a given inductee. Anything that is sent to us will be put in Mr. Race’s file, which will be reviewed by the selection committee later this year.

Thanks,
Todd

__________

From: Matt Murphy
Sent: Friday, March 04, 2005 1:28 PM
To: Todd Yearack
Subject: RE: MO Hall of Fame

Dear Mr. Yearack:

Thank you for the speedy reply. I have attached a letter to the Missouri Sports Hall of Fame. If I need to send it through postal mail, please let me know to what address it needs to be sent and I will have a letter in the mail next week.

Please tell me if my letter will suffice. Would several dozen letters from other fans help the cause or would it just make a lot of unnecessary work for you and others involved with the Missouri Sports Hall of Fame? I’m willing to do as much work as it needed to witness Harley’s induction to the Missouri Sports Hall of Fame in 2006.

Matt Murphy

__________

Todd Yearack wrote:

Received your letter, and thank you! If you wish, you are welcome to look into additional letters in support of Mr. Race. While the number of letters doesn’t have any true direct affect on the individual’s induction, it is nice to hear from a broad range of folks who support a given inductee. Anything that is sent to us will be put in Mr. Race’s file, which will be reviewed by the selection committee later this year.

Thanks,
Todd

MWR Editors note:

Just recently MWR fans we pulled together to support the future of Midwest wrestling by having our voice heard in regards of Mike Sydal, a wrestler that we felt very strongly deserved to be the Pro Wrestling Illustrated Rookie of the Year.

Now it is time for us to pull together to remember the past wrestling stars that gave their body hearts and soul to entertain the Midwest before there was cable TV, internet and PPV, families came together too boo the bad guy and cheer their heroes. On a personal level my dad who is not a wrestling fan at all does not have a clue who Shemus or The Miz is, but he knows who Rufus R Jones and Harley Race are.

I was shocked to hear that “MR. Race” had to have a file to be inducted in the Hall of Fame, just as Cooperstown would not be right with out Babe Ruth inducted or Michael Jordan in the NBA shrine, I just could not imagine that Harley Race was not there. Hopefully, once we are able to get the ball rolling with Race in the Missouri Sports Hall of Fame the many other great men and women who entertained the very rich history of athletes in the sport of wrestling will be inducted as they should be.

No sport has a more passionate fan base that pro wrestling, lets show the support for Missouri’s greatest mat stars from the past by taking our friend Matt Murphy’s advice and send Missouri Sports Hall of Fame a letter requesting that Pro wrestling not to be over looked.

MWR Fans remember when sending the request to be professional and respectful in your letter to each and everyone at the Missouri Sports Hall of Fame.

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“World League Wrestling original Matt Murphy remembers 10 years of WLW”

Posted by flairwhoooooo on September 23, 2009

{Missouri Wrestling Revival would like to thank World League Wrestling original Matt Murphy for taking the time to reminisce on the early days of WLW to honor their 10 years of greatness. MWR is proud to announce that Matt Murphy will have his own feature article on the site every Monday starting next week. }

With World League Wrestling’s 10th anniversary event just a couple weeks away, I’m sure I’m not the only old-timer whose mind keeps wandering back to the beginning a decade ago.

In July 1999, the Harley Race Wrestling Academy began holding tryouts and classes at Lewis Boxing Gym. It was a small space crammed in along a line of old brick buildings in a bad neighborhood in Springfield, Mo. There was no air conditioning and it reeked of weed, the severity dependent upon which Lewis brother was in the office. The boxing ring was manufactured in the depths of hell and sent to Springfield to punish me for my future transgressions.

There were six of us then: I was the first full-time student; Trevor Rhodes (Murdoch) came a week later along with his brother, independent veteran Johnny D; and the trainers were Derek Stone, Griz, and referee Skippy Johnson. We lived together in a small two-bedroom house and trained between six and eight hours every day.

Meanwhile, Harley and Dave Marquez built World League Wrestling from the ashes of World Legion Wrestling, a promotion I watched on syndicated television that had featured Sid Vicious, Big Sky (Tyler Mane, who played Sabertooth in X-Men, Michael Myers in the new Halloween, and the oil driller who beat up the lead character and then caught fire in Joe Dirt), “Atomic Dogg” Steve Sharp, Luminous Warrior, and the champ, “Sheik” Derek Stone.

After Marquez and the trainers traveled to Lake of the Ozarks to meet with Harley, Derek announced that the school was moving to Eldon. “Where?” I asked, still half-asleep on the couch.

Eldon, for those who’ve never been there, is not much different from every other small town in Missouri: a little backward at times, a little boring at times, but really not a bad place to live. Its population is between 4,000 and 5,000 and rent is cheap enough.

We were local celebrities when we first moved to Eldon, making personal appearances and doing radio and newspaper interviews regularly. And we were all with Harley Race, so if a half-dozen gorillas walking into a restaurant didn’t get their attention then Harley’s presence did.

I’ll never forget the first World League Wrestling event, held during a middle-school assembly Sept. 24, 1999 in Caledonia, Mo. Griz and I squared off in the main event and, due to ring announcer Steve Murphy’s claim that I was a “19-year-old rookie sensation making his professional wrestling debut” (I was 20 and I’d had three matches for East Coast promotions prior to training with Harley, so it was just a small fib), the crowd loved me. The three-match afternoon event was held during school hours with hopes that the kids would go home and beg their parents to bring them back for the full evening show. It was a flop: we had a crowd of about 60 that night.

We had some solid guys back then. Derek Stone was one of the best workers who never had a contract with a national promotion. Griz and “Tiger” Treach Phillips, Jr. were two solid veterans and great assets to their young opponents like me and Trevor. We really didn’t have a weak link on the card. We had other veterans like Johnny Jett, the Drill Instructor, Nasty Bill, Blade Boudreaux, Lance Jade (that’s not a typo, and Jade also had a contract with WWE for a year or two), Malia Hosaka, Brandy Alexander, T.S. Aggressor, Mr. Destiny, Johnny D, and Luminous Warrior.

I always wanted to do two things with my life: become a professional wrestler and make a positive impact on others. Within seven months of our first show, we were wrestling every weekend, usually doing two or three fundraising events. I was living my dream as a professional wrestler and I was part of a group that helped countless non-profit organizations raise funds to make the world a better place. Maybe I shouldn’t have asked for more, but I did.

Like every wrestler, I dreamed of becoming a WWE Superstar. I didn’t make it because I made stupid choices and didn’t earn it. I spent too much time dreaming and not enough time working. But when Trevor Murdoch, who I grew up in the business beside, called me to tell me he signed with WWE, I felt the same inexplainable feeling of pride that I imagined when I used to sit around dreaming about getting a contract with WWE myself. When his first vignette aired on Monday Night Raw, I was thrilled. I sat on the edge of my seat during his debut match. While my dream, as I envisioned it, never came to fruition, I got to go along for the ride while one of the best friends I’ve ever known lived out our dream. That was all the satisfaction I needed.

Times have certainly changed in the past 10 years. WLW talent, other promotions, and crowds have come and gone. Trevor and I were two boys in a locker room full of men, both living our dreams. Now, we’re two old-timers, sitting on the porch talking marriage and fatherhood and barbecue grills. Still, the olden days seem to find their way into most of our conversations.

In the earlier years, there seemed to be more children in the crowd. Many of the kids who were my biggest fans a decade ago have become adults. Some of them still remember me and others seem to have forgotten me. Some still smile when they see me and others seem to resent me. I’d guess it’s because I was somebody they saw as larger-than-life—as a star—when they were kids and now they feel duped when they see me grocery-shopping with my family.

The last time we performed at the Eldon High School gymnasium was one of our greatest events. It was in late-April 2000, with WCW stars Meng and Disco Inferno as the special guests. Disco Inferno pinned me that night in a singles match and then my team beat his in an eight-man tag match later that night. In the main event, Meng lost the WLW Heavyweight Championship to Trevor (with an assist from me). It was our first great event and still one of the best WLW events ever. It’s appropriate that WLW will celebrate its 10th anniversary by returning to the gym. I wish I had the desire, if not physical ability, to get back into the ring one last time for the anniversary event, but I’m proud the worker I became and I wouldn’t dream of getting into the ring at a level below that.

Since my in-ring career ended, I’ve worked with WLW off-and-on in various roles. While I’ve had my ups and downs with WLW, they will always be family.

Congratulations, World League Wrestling, on ten years of bringing exciting, family-friendly entertainment to Small Town, Missouri for good causes. Thank you for giving dreamers a place to learn and practice their chosen trade as they pursue stardom.

Matt Murphy

—————————————————————————————————————–

You will not want to miss the opportunity to support 10 years anniversary on October 3rd. Along with the current Superstars of WLW, fans will be able to meet former greats Bret “The Hitman” Hart, Akio Saito, Bob Geigel, Betty Nicoli, Bill Kersten, Mike George, Roger Kirby and of course the greatest of them all Harley Race.

Show at
ELDON HIGH SCHOOL GYM
101 S PINE ST ELDON MO 65026

Ticket Outlets
WLW HEADQUARTERS
EAGER BEAVER
ELDON CITY HALL
SWEAT GYM

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The Dan Gable International Wrestling Institute and Museum team up with WLW for the Hall of Fame.

Posted by flairwhoooooo on July 6, 2009

By Brian Kelley

This week I am excited to take the trip to Waterloo Iowa for the annual George Tragos/Lou Thesz Professional Wrestling Hall of Fame. A wonderful weekend set aside for wrestling fans old and alike to pay respect to the sport that they love.

On Friday July 10, Harley Race’s World League Wrestling will excite the fans with a Night of the Legends pro card at Young Arena. This is one event every year that I mark on my calander and so should you.

Thanks to World League Wrestling I was able to catch up with rising star “The Vietnam Phenom” Bao Nguyen eariler this year.

Nguyen is scheduled to be at the Night of the Legends card along with WLW Stars “King of the 450” Steve Anthony, Brian Breaker, Curt Hennig’s daughter Amy, Ricky Steamboat Jr, Darin Waid, Jason Jones and WLW Champion “Superstar” Steve Fender.

The pro hall of fame is located inside the Dan Gable International Wrestling Institute and Museum. The museum was nearly destroyed by the historic flood of June 10, 2008, but re-opened this month.

The 11 th class is comprised of living wrestlers Nick Bockwinkel, longtime world heavyweight champion in the AWA; Ricky Steamboat, a superstar in the WWF, and Fritz Von Goering, who wrestled many of the top stars of the 1950s and ‘60s, and all five of the other inductees at one point in his long career.

Three deceased wrestlers are also being inducted: Bronko Nagurski, Luther Lindsay and Karl Gotch.

NICK

Bockwinkel was the son of former pro star Warren Bockwinkel and was a top college football prospect at Oklahoma University before injuries put him on the sidelines. He then turned his attention to pro wrestling full time, early in the 1950s. Over the next 30 years, he wrestled every major star in the business and held the AWA world heavyweight title for nearly seven years, as well as dozens of lesser belts. One of the most popular heels in wrestling history, he has been president of the Cauliflower Alley Club (CAC) for the past several years and resides in Las Vegas.
ricky-steamboat
A native of Hawaii, Steamboat was an amateur wrestler in Florida before entering the pro ranks in 1976, for Verne Gagne’s AWA. He entered the WWF in 1985 and became known as The Dragon and often struck karate poses in the ring, and electrified the crowds with his skills and antics. His title bouts with Ric Flair are among the best matches of the past two decades. Ricky captured the NWA world championship in 1989. He retired 1994 and lives today in Denver, N.C., working for the WWE.

FRITZ

Von Goering was a street-tough kid from Chicago when he turned pro in 1950. He learned the business the hard way, traveling around the country to take on the biggest names in the industry and learning all he could. He spent gym time with pure wrestlers like Dick Hutton, Lou Thesz and Luther Lindsay to learn the craft and today is one of the last from his generation. He won numerous regional titles in his 27-year career. He lives in Campbell, California.

From northern Minnesota, Bronko Nagurski is one of the greatest football players of all time, and is a member of both the College Football Hall of Fame and the Professional Football Hall of Fame. While starring with the Chicago Bears in the late 1930s, Nagurski approached Lou Thesz about wrestling in the off-season and used his great athletic skills to become a huge draw in wrestling, holding the world NWA title several times in the late 1930s and early 1940s. He died in 1990, at age 82.

Lou Thesz was one of many who considered Luther Lindsay the best African-American wrestler of all time. Big, powerful and fast, he played football at Hampton Institute in Norfolk, VA, and later in the Canadian football league. He then turned to pro wrestling and was trained by Stu Hart in the art of hooking. Well known for his skills and athletic abilities in the ring, he was popular outside the ring as well. He died from a heart attack during a match in 1972, at the age of 47.

Karl Gotch holds a near mythical spot in the history of wrestling. A native of Belgium, he made the 1948 Olympic team at age 18. He then moved to England, where he trained in the legendary Wigan “Snake Pit,” learning hooking and ripping techniques that made him one of the most feared wrestlers of all time. He was an absolute legend in Japan and all places were shooting ability is revered. He died in 2007 at age 82 in Florida.

The induction ceremony is the key part of the big weekend. It begins with a Celebrity Golf Tournament at noon Friday, July 10, and continues with a big pro card at Young Arena on Friday night, starting at 7. Harley Race and the WLW are putting the event together for the third straight year.

The official inductions will take place at noon on Saturday in the Gable museum. After the ceremony, fans will be able to meet with the inductees and former hall of famers in attendance.

The induction banquet takes place at 7 p.m. at the beautiful Five Sullivans Convention Center two blocks from the museum. Seating is limited and tickets are $60, and includes the souvenir program.

Dan Hodge, Class of 2000, and the only man to ever win national titles in both boxing and wrestling; he will be signing copies of his new book, “Oklahoma Shooter: Than Dan Hodge Story;
Harley Race, Class of 2005 and eight-time NWA world heavyweight champion;
Baron Von Raschke, Class of 2002, great star of the 1970s and ‘80s, who was third in the World as an amateur wrester;
Bob Geigel, Class of 2002, former wrestling star and legendary Kansas City promoter;
Mad Dog Vachon, Class of 2003; a former Canadian national amateur champion who wrestled in the 1948 Olympics before becoming a pro icon
Larry “The Axe” Hennig, Class of 2006 and father of the late Curt “Mr. Perfect” Hennig, Class of 2007.

FRIDAY, JULY 10
10 a.m. – Museum opens (until 5 p.m.)
Noon – Celebrity Golf Tournament at Irv Warren Golf Course.
7 p.m. – Night of the Legends pro card at Young Arena
WLW JULY

SATURDAY, JULY 11
10 a.m. – Museum Opens (until 5 p.m.)
Noon – Official inductions at museum, fan festival afterwards
7 p.m. – Banquet at Five Sullivan Brothers Center (advance tickets mandatory)
SUNDAY, JULY 12
9 a.m. – Museum opens (until noon

For more information, persons can contact Kent Sesker, marketing director, at 319-233-0745.

For more information on theThe Dan Gable International Wrestling Institute and Museum go here

To find out where you can check out more World League Wrestling. go to their website here.

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