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Posts Tagged ‘Cauliflower Alley Club’

One on One with “The Voice of Minnesota Wrestling” Ring Announcer Mick Karch

Posted by flairwhoooooo on May 13, 2015

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It is a pleasure today to be joined with “The Voice of Minnesota wrestling” Mick Karch for this edition of Missouri Wrestling Revival’s One on One. MWR fans will have a special oppurtunity to get to meet Karch in East Carondelet, Illinois on May 16th during the SICW “Bruiser Brody Memorial” event that will also include the afternoon “Meet and Greet” with several Wrestling Legends including Brody’s lovely widow Barbara Goodish, former American Wrestling Association (AWA)Champion Stan Hansen, Wrestling at the Chase announcer Larry Matysik, Wrestling superstar “Cowboy” Bob Orton, the first ever WWE (Then known as the WWF) female ring announcer Mike McGuirk starting at 3:30pm that will conclude with a memorable night of action featuring the stars of SICW.

Please note: All photos courtesy of Mick Karch.

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With Terry Taylor and Missy Hyatt, my broadcast colleagues in the American Wrestling Federation Warriors of Wrestling.

Brian: Mick, thank you so much for taking the time to be with us at MWR today.

Mick: Brian, it’s my pleasure. You do a terrific job.

Brian: Today’s wrestling fans have many opportunities to discover wrestling through the WWE on the USA Network, TNA on Destination America, Ring of Honor on Sinclair as well as various outlets on the internet including Youtube and promotions own websites. Yet, as a man that started his career in the 70’s, I have to ask what was your first exposure to the sport as a fan and who was it that created that spark for the love of pro wrestling?

Mick: I did behind the scenes print publicity for the AWA from 1973-1986. In 1987, I was hired on as their ring announcer and occasional color guy for their ESPN tapings at the Showboat in Las Vegas. It is so ironic to have eventually worked for them, because my hero as a child was Verne Gagne. I was flipping through the TV channels at the age of nine, and I saw big Tiny Mills, a 6’3″, 275 pound lumberjack, pushing around the TV announcer, Marty O’Neill. Marty was all of about 5’6″. Tiny was ranting and raving about wanting a match with Verne Gagne.

I saw my first live event May 17, 1960, in Minneapolis, and Verne was in the main event, teaming with football and wrestling star Gene “Big Daddy” Lipscomb to face Mills and Stan “Krusher” Kowalski. I was hooked on wrestling for life.

Brian: You entered the business during a time that it was hard to break in due to the laws of Kayfabe being enforced. At what point did you realize that the matches were predetermined and how were the doors open for you to be included among the circle of people that were involved in the sport?

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Mick: Like any kid from that era, I refused to listen to my parents and siblings, who told me that wrestling wasn’t on the “up-and-up.” Of course, I refused to believe it—for a while. As time went on, I began to pick out certain things that didn’t seem quite right. When I ventured down to the Dyckman Hotel in downtown Minneapolis, which housed the Minneapolis Boxing & Wrestling Club (AWA) a few years later and saw Reggie Parks and Moose Cholak standing by the elevators, laughing and joking, the light bulb went off. Parks and Cholak were in the midst of a “feud” at the time. Now it all made sense.

You are so correct that this was the “kayfabe” era, and the wrestling business was protected to the hilt. No one was automatically allowed even remotely close to the inner circle. I literally hung around the TV tapings and the arena matches for years before I was semi-trusted. That is certainly a far cry from today’s scenario, when it seems just about anyone can finagle their way into a locker room or back stage.

Brian: Before we go any further with the AWA we have to mention the great Verne Gagne. Last month on April 27th , Gagne passed away at the age of 89, but his contribution to the sport of wrestling as a Champion, promoter and trainer defined an era of wrestling that continues to this day. What were your memories of Verne Gagne and out of those three different aspects of wrestling do you feel was his biggest accomplishment?

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Former AWA World Champ Verne Gagne by the Artist of Champions Rob Schamberger

Mick: As it relates to Verne Gagne, I don’t think his impact and imprint on the business can be overstated. His influence was monumental, going back to the mid-1950’s when he was really the first national “babyface” wrestler on the old Dumont Network. Televised pro wrestling was an absolute mainstay back then, and Verne was its original big star. As the years went on, his star shone brighter and brighter. He was the epitome of a champion: good looks, tremendous conditioning, smart, articulate, and always the ultimate professional. As a promoter, he had a keen eye for talent and he ruled with an iron fist. Verne was first and foremost a WRESTLER, and you damn well better know how to wrestle if you worked for him. The AWA had its share of off the wall characters, too, but nothing like the circus “sports entertainment” that the WWF/WWE foisted on the world.

As a trainer, there were none better than Verne. Look at the roster of guys he turned out: Ric Flair, Ricky Steamboat, Sgt. Slaughter, Greg Gagne, Jim Brunzell, Scott Irwin, Bob Backlund, Khosrow Vaziri, on and on. Amazing.

Brian: The AWA was filled with several larger than life characters throughout the years that thrilled fans with exciting action in the ring and memorable interviews that drew huge crowds night after night. Men such as a Nick Bockwinkel , Mad Dog Vachon, Bobby “The Brain” Heenan, Dick the Bruiser, Larry Hennig and Baron Von Raschke just to name a few. Who were your favorites to work with personally and can you share a story with the MWR fans of one of those stars?

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With Nick Bockwnkel, 1982.

Mick: My favorite wrestlers over the years tend to be the “heels.” My all time favorite, bar none, is Nick Bockwinkel. I honestly believe that he was the standard bearer for the wrestling business in the 1970’s and early 80’s. I was also a huge fan of the late Dr. Bill Miller, Dick (Dr.X/Destroyer) Beyer, Stan “Krusher” Kowalski, and Bobby Heenan. The stories about these guys could fill a book, but I’ll share one kind of bizarre and scary one.

Dr. Bill Miller wrestled in the AWA under a mask as “The Mysterious Mr. M.” He won the AWA title from Verne in January 1962. In August of that same year, Verne won the title back in Minneapolis. The end of the match saw Verne twist the mask so Miller couldn’t see, then he dropkicked and pinned him. The stipulation was if Miller lost, he would unmask, which he did right after the match. On his way back to the locker room, a crazed fan leaned over the railing of the balcony and viciously hit Miller over the head with a 2 x 6 board with a 1/8″ steel spike on the end. A nearly unconscious Miller was assisted back to the locker room.

Some 12 years later, Miller returned for a short stint in the AWA and I spoke with him at the TV tapings. We discussed the incident, which Miller said he remembered like it was yesterday. He explained that when he went back to the locker room and was regaining his senses, he could actually put his pinky finger into the top of his head a feel his brain! Miller was a veterinarian and he knew how serious it was. He showed me the scars which were still clearly visible. The perpetrator, by the way, was never caught.

“The World’s Most Scientific Wrestler” Wilbur Snyder teams with “The Man With The Cast Iron Stomach” Pepper Gomez, to go against the feared master of the heart punch Ox Baker and Dr. Big Bill Miller. This is the first of a two fall battle.

Editors note: SICW fans were fortunate enough to meet OX Baker in 2014 at the East Carondelet Community Center , before he passed away months later.

Brian: Here at Missouri Wrestling Revival, we work with many ring announcers throughout the MWR coverage area. What would be your advice to someone that is looking to become the best ring announcer that they can be?

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With AWA/WWF announcer Ken Resnick, 2015

Mick: To aspiring ring announcers, here’s a few tips. Take a deep breath and relax. The audience will pick up on it right away if you are nervous. Do your homework. Make sure you are clear on all the weights, hometowns, and match stipulations. Most importantly, don’t be too overbearing. Deliver your intro forcefully and clearly, but don’t try to be flamboyant and outshine the wrestlers. Remember, it’s about them, not you.

Brian: On December 29th, 1985 Stan Hansen defeated Rick Martel to become the AWA World Champion? Hansen was also a Mega Star in Japan with his good friend and partner Bruiser Brody who is set to be honored next week at SICW with the Bruiser Brody memorial event in East Carondelet Illinois. As a fan that Grew up in the 80’s, Hansen’s version of the clothesline, the Lariat was a feared move that every wrestling fan “knew” had broken WWWF Heavyweight Champion Bruno Sammartino’s neck in the 70’s. I don’t remember a match that involved Hansen that the commentator put over the fact that he could win the match with the lariat if he was able to land the move. Who and what were some of your favorite finishers to call during a match while you did color commentary?

Mick: My favorite finishing maneuvers to call play by play on? Wow, that’s a tough one. I would say Bruiser Brody’s boot to the face and flying knee drop, Greg Gagne’s sleeper hold, Jerry Blackwell’s big splash, and Mad Dog Vachon’s piledriver rank right up there. It’s sad how the business has changed and the finishers I’ve mentioned are just another move in the matches these days, and usually the opponents kick out at least once.

Brian: Fans of today can relive the AWA through the WWE DVD release WWE: The Spectacular Legacy of the American Wrestling Association. Was this a worthy look of the AWA, and what would you have liked to have seen showcased more or less on the DVD?

Mick: I thought the AWA DVD was pretty decent, especially when you consider it was a WWE release. Watching some of the old footage is particularly great to an old school fan like me. If there is anything I had a problem with it would be how much emphasis was placed on the erosion of the promotion. I guess that’s to be expected, but the AWA had 50 years of greatness before the wheels fell off the bus.

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At Cauliflower Alley Club with Sir Oliver Humperdink.

Brian: Recently you and I had the pleasure of spending time in Las Vegas at the 50th Anniversary of the Cauliflower Alley Club. The event was filled with memories and moments that will last a lifetime including what I felt was one of the most entertaining acceptance speech’s of All-time when one of my heroes, Harley Race presented Hennig  the “Iron” Mike Mazurki Award. The two, along with Hennigs’ wife Irene could easily take their show on the road as they delivered laughs and good times that exhibit what the CAC is all about. This is a multi-part question, how long have you been a member of the CAC, what have been your highlights of attending the reunion and why should a wrestling fan join a club that we feel so passionate about?

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Mick: I have been attending the CAC reunions since 2000. There is no way to describe the feeling you get rubbing elbows with the legends of the business. I have met so many amazing people. Since I started going there, I have seen the likes of Steve Austin, Roddy Piper, Ricky Steamboat, Antonio Inoki, Pat Patterson, the Vachons, Hard Boiled Haggerty, Tex McKenzie, Kurt Angle, Sputnik Monroe, Larry Hennig, Harley Race, Lou Thesz, Bobby Heenan, The Crusher, Jim Cornette, JJ Dillon, Nick Bockwinkel, Terry Funk, The Fabulous Moolah, Mae Young, Judy Grable, Stan Hansen, Tim Woods and Johnny Walker (“Mr. Wrestling” 1 & 2), Ox Baker, Superstar Graham, Jimmy Valiant, on and on and on. Hundreds of superstars. I would tell anyone who is truly passionate about the wrestling business, you NEED to attend at least once. You owe it to yourself. I would also say, don’t wait. Many of the people I just mentioned have passed away. You just never know.

Brian: As we prepare for an exciting weekend built around the memories of Bruiser Brody at the show of the year for SICW, what were your memories of Bruiser Brody?

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With Bruiser Brody, 1987

Mick: My memories of Bruiser Brody. God, so many. I was a fan of his long before I ever saw him wrestle in person. Watching him on various syndicated wrestling programs and reading about him in the magazines, I always looked forward to seeing him. When he first arrived in the AWA area, it was incredible. His aura, his mystique, his sheer presence. I don’t know if I have ever seen a feud to match the one he had with Jerry Blackwell. In 1986, I had the tremendous honor of doing two television interviews with him at a show in Winnipeg, Canada. Bruiser main evented against the guy I know many fans in this area are very familiar with, “Bulldog” Bob Brown. Their match was a war and spilled out into the crowd. Even though I had been announcing for a couple years at that point, Brody was my first “big time” interview, and needless to say I was initially scared to death. But he spoke with me beforehand, laid down a few guidelines, and the promos went perfectly. When he thanked me for a job well done, I felt as if I had truly arrived as an announcer in the wrestling business. I will never forget that.

Brian: Since AWA has closed doors you have stayed active in the world of pro wrestling. Please tell the fans what you have been up?

Mick: During the time frame that the AWA was shutting down, I left there and became host of a four-hour wrestling block in the Twin Cities called “Saturday Night at Ringside.” Joe Pedicino and Paul Heyman were instrumental in getting me the job. Besides carrying NWA Worldwide, World Class, Pro Wrestling This Week, and Windy City Wrestling, I incorporated localized tie-ins for independent wrestling shows, brought in both local and national wrestlers, created angles and storylines, did trivia contests, answered viewer questions, and had fans appear as a “Ringsider of the Week.” In fact, the famous lady wrestler “ODB” was a “Ringsider” on my program at the age of 8 !!

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On the set of “Saturday Night at Ringside,” with Stan Kowalski, Baron Von Raschke, Larry Hennig, Al DeRusha, Wally Karbo and Mad Dog Vachon (1990.)

I have worked for the American Wrestling Federation “Warriors of Wrestling” under the direction of Sgt. Slaughter and Tito Santana; I have done television for literally dozens of independent promotions in the United States, Canada, and Australia. For the past 17 years, I have been lead booker and TV host for Ed Hellier’s Steel Domain Wrestling, based out of Minnesota.

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Hosting Steel Domain’s “Championship Wrestling from the Twin Cities” program with promoter Ed Hellier, 2015.

In the early days, SDW had future world champions C.M. Punk, Adam Pearce, Colt Cabana, Ken Anderson, Shawn Daivari, and Austin Aries on the roster AT THE SAME TIME!!!

Brian: Mick, thank you so much for taking the time with Missouri Wrestling Revival and we look forward to seeing you at SICW’s Bruiser Brody memorial event that starts with the 3:30 Q and A. Do you have anything that you would like to mention as we end this interview and prepare for such an exciting weekend?

Mick: I would like to extend my most sincere thanks to you for the opportunity to share part of my story, and to Herb Simmons and Larry Matysik for inviting this old AWA guy to such a wonderful event!!

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Missouri Wrestling Revival makes their way to the 50th Anniversary of the Cauliflower Alley Club in Las Vegas

Posted by flairwhoooooo on March 29, 2015

 

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For the past seven years Missouri Wrestling Revival has supported pro wrestling in the Midwest, while working with many of the top minds and talents in the sport. Throughout that time, MWR has sought out to gain recognition for the hard working men and women so that their hard work can be seen around the world. MWR has built relationships with many of the top websites, promotions, artist and media to meet those goals.

 

MWR’s owner Brian Kelley has been a lifetime member of the Cauliflower Alley Club for quite some time, and in the past MWR has sponsored the CAC through their annual reunion program with information on the MWR site including award members and the MWR Trading Card set.

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This month for the very first time MWR Owner Brian Kelley and MWR Fan relations Dubray Tallman is set to attend the biggest CAC reunion ever as a sold out CAC of over 700 will be attending a 3 day event that will also be attended by many of the greatest wrestlers of yesterday to the greatest of today. There will be 2 nights of wrestling action, meet and greet, Q and A’s, Award banquets and much more.

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Look for a recap of the event in the near future on this very site as well as the 2015 MWR Yearbook on the must attend event of the year in the world of pro wrestling. Several of the MWR Family and friends are scheduled to be in Vegas are two MWR lifetime Achievement award winners CAC’s very own Karl Lauer and SICW Promoter Herb Simmons. Our good friend Mickey Simmons, the wife of Herb, former MWR Wrestler of the Year Adam Pearce, MWR Fans Choice Referee of the Year for 2014, Jay King, Ring Announcer Ben Simon, The Artist of Champions Rob Schamberger, 2-time MWR Female Wrestler of the Year Stacey O’Brien and WLW Champion LeLand Race, “The Great one” Gary Jackson, Promoter TNT Keny G and his daughter and former CAC Future Legend, Santana G, former WLW Champion Steve Anthony, Pro Wrestler Matt Riviera, former wrestler and a big part of SICW, Keith Smith and his wife Michelle, Barbara Goodish will be there to honor her husband, the great Bruiser Brody,

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Darla Staggs,Former NWA World Champion Kahagas, AWA Ring Announcer Mick Karch, Ring Announcer Tom Seib, MWR friend Jack Tierney, High Risk Wrestling’s play by play man Steve Murphy are just a few that we believe will be in Vegas for his historic event.

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Santana Garrett (Brittany in TNA) Named as the Cauliflower Alley Club 2014 Future Legend

Posted by flairwhoooooo on June 4, 2014

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Karl Lauer Presented with the 2013 MWR Lifetime Achievement Award in Richland Missouri

Posted by flairwhoooooo on April 4, 2014

 2013 MWR Lifetime   Achievement recipient Karl Lauer

MWR Fan relations Dubray Tallman and the 2013 MWR Lifetime Achievement recipient Karl Lauer

Missouri Wrestling Revival was thrilled to be at NWA Central States Wrestling to honor the 2013 MWR Lifetime Achievement plaque with artwork by Raven Johnson prior to intermission on a night that saw a new NWA Missouri Champion crowned.

 

Lauer has done it all in the sport while being a friend to wrestling fans for many years. Lauer is a family man prior to adding his talents to the wrestling world. Throughout his banner career he has been a successful promoter, a World Champion wrestler, excelled as a stuntman and actor in Hollywood for classic such as the Six Million Dollar Man, Remington Steel, Atomic Blue and Personal Vendetta. Lauer’s dedication and expertise as the CEO has helped the Cauliflower Alley Club since 1989 and the non-profit organization is preparing for their annual convention in Las Vegas in June this year.

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Lauer a current resident of Missouri was a co-founder of World Legion Wrestling, which was the beginning of what we now know as Harley Race’s World League Wrestling. Today Lauer is the Senior Inspector for the Missouri State Athletic Commission.

During the presentation we were thrilled to see the NWA Central States Wrestling fans give Karl Lauer a well-deserved standing ovation. Once again we would like to congratulate  Lauer for his many positive accomplishments in the world of Pro Wrestling. At the young age of 75, Lauer shows no signs of slowing down.

Past Honorees

2012 MWR Lifetime Achievement Award: Herb Simmons
2011 MWR Lifetime Achievement Award: Bob Geigel
2010 MWR Lifetime Achievement Award: Mike Chapman
2009 MWR Lifetime Achievement Award: Larry Matysik
2008 MWR Lifetime Achievement Award: : Harley Race

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WLW/WWE/Pro Wrestling Noah presented a magical week for wrestlers and fans in the Midwest in October.

Posted by flairwhoooooo on October 25, 2011

By Brian Kelley

For the past 10 plus years the must attend wrestling weekend in the Midwest has been held in Eldon Missouri at Harley Race’s World League Wrestling Academy. Race is considered by many to be the very best wrestler in the history of the sport. During his time as the 8-time NWA World Champion he would travel across the globe defending the title including the very best in Japan. When his career was done those trips and relationships would help build a relationship with Pro Wrestling Noah, one of the top wrestling companies not only in Japan but around the world.

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-Wrestling NOAH Ken Hirayama and Ryu Nakata with Harley Race. (Photo Credit Brian Kelley )

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Trevor Murdock has been a star around the world but there is nothing like being home with the ones he loves. Here he is joined with his daughter and Wife before meeting his fans. (Photo Credit Brian Kelley )

WLW and NOAH would team up to trade talent to allow the best to compete against each other in matches that would prepare one Trevor Murdock to not only be ready to make a run in WWE but flourish with tag team partner Lance Cade to become a 3-time WWE Tag Team Champions.

The WLW school would introduce fans to stars like Matt “the Missile” Murphy, Griz, Derek Stone, Trevor Murdock, Wade Chism, the Drill Instructor, Warcloud and Johnny Jett as they mixed it up with many of the top names in the sport like Meng, Butch Reed, Bobby Eaton, The Harris Brothers, Rick Stiener and Japan’s Takeshi Morishima, Takao Ōmori and Go Shiozaki as they toured towns for fundraisers around the Midwest.

While the school runs year round to season the young talent, the annual WLW/NOAH camp works with WWE as past trainers have been John Laurinaitis, Ricky Steamboat, Tom Pritchard, Takashi Suguira, Go Shiozaki, Takeshi Morishima, KENTA, Naomichi Marufuji, Kenta Kobashi, Ty Bailey, and many more.

This year’s camp featured Ricky “The Dragon” Steamboat, William Regal, Kevin Von Erich, and Harley Race along with representatives from Pro-Wrestling NOAH Ken Hirayama and Ryu Nakata as students around the country came to hone their wrestling skills in the ring.

I was honored to be a guest to sit in during the weeks camp as the 40 plus students took part in the camp. During the days that I was there I was impressed with the patience and dedication that each of the trainers gave each of the students.

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Superstar Steve and Pro Wrestling Noah teaches to the students. (Photo Credit Brian Kelley )

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Jason Jones and Noah show young Joe Reiling some pointers (Photo Credit Brian Kelley)

Due to the size of the groups there were two locations for the students, one for the beginners and one for the more seasoned wrestlers. While each group would be able to get great hints on how to work a match, logic, moves and where to be in the ring with hands on from the trainers.

As the camp went on during the week, the Pro Wrestling Noah and WWE representatives wanted to see the wrestlers come up with a match, then perform it in the ring. After the match was done advise was given to each of the wrestlers on what they did right, what they could have done different and how to improve it for the fans.

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Dustin Bozworth (Photo Credit Brian Kelley )

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Dillon Divine (Photo Credit Brian Kelley )

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Jonas Albert Robinson (Photo Credit Brian Kelley )

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(Photo Credit Brian Kelley )

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SBC (Photo Credit Brian Kelley )

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(Photo Credit Brian Kelley )

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(Photo Credit Brian Kelley )

During the Saturday wrestling show I sat down with a few of the students to get their take on the weeklong camp and what they got out of it. One Jonas Albert Robinson from Oregon had already been to Lance Storms camp and been wrestling since 2008 stated honestly “What I learned this week was that I don’t know anything about wrestling. When I walked through the door I thought I knew about 60% of how to have a great match but in reality it was more close to 5%. The trainers at the camp really opened my eyes on how to improve my game and give the fans their money’s worth when I get in the ring. Then I was amazed at the positivity and information that Kevin (Von Erich) provided. In the end he was such an added bonus with Steamboat and Regal.

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The Freebird -Von Erich feud did not get started again at the camp but Freebird Buddy Roberts son Buddy Roberts JR poses with his dads arch enemies sons Marshal and Ross Von Erich. All three took part in the camp. (Photo Credit Brian Kelley )(Photo Credit Brian Kelley )

While Jonas have been able to be in the ring prior to the week, Joe Reiling has yet to have a match but knew the importance of getting the proper training and the luxury of having Race’s camp so close to his home in Warrensburg Missouri. Reiling stepped up the plate when Regal asked for two young men to get in the ring to work the arms. Though his experience was limited he gave a 100 percent and tried to soak in all the information that his trainers were given him. During my conversations with his fellow peers in the camp they relayed to me that he had earned their respect that week and had improved a ton from day one to the final day. Reiling stated to me that he did not know when his first match would come but the camp added to the fire to learn more to live his dream to be a pro wrestler.

I watched another Oregon native Dillon Divine as he worked under the watchful eyes of Steamboat and Regal. I was impressed with his facial expressions and Divine said it best to be when said “You get what you put out of it. So go for it.

While many of the Harley students took part in the camp one young wrestler fans at MWR are aware of is the 2010 MWR Future Star recipient Sir Bradley Charles.

The award is given not only to the wrestler MWR feels has the talent but the dedication and work ethic to become better, to be the best that they can be. SBC had been to Lance Storms camp, wrestled outside the country and is a rising star at Metro Pro Wrestling, 3xwRESTLING , NWA Dynamo and SICW but he once again proved that he is deserving of the award by seeking out more training to be the best that he can be.

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Ryan Drago looks to slow down Lee Walker. (Photo Credit Brian Kelley )

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SBC receives a punishing blow from Dustin Bozworth. (Photo Credit Brian Kelley )

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OUCH (Photo Credit Brian Kelley )

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Jeff Strong stretches SBC. (Photo Credit Brian Kelley )

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Jeff Strong, Ryan Drago and Dustin Bozoworth with the win. (Photo Credit Brian Kelley )

At the end of the week SBC debuted for WLW as he teamed up on the Saturday show with Lee Walker. & Ethan H.D in a tough loss against the team of Ryan Drago, Jeff Strong, & Dustin Bozworth. Even though SBC did not get the “W” the skills that he learned this week will give him that much more a chance to become a star around the world.

In what was one of the most surprising moments for me during the week the students were all smiles as they told me that Regal had invited them to his hotel room on the final night to discuss wrestling in a special Q and A on the week’s events, his opinions and stories from one of the most traveled wrestlers from the past twenty years. What an invitation from a man who could of easily of stayed to himself during a time that he was not required to but instead respects the sport so much that he wanted to give back to the students who took the opportunity to take part in the camp. To say that with that bit of information from the students didn’t move Regal up on my favorites of all time would be a lie.

The week would not be complete as WLW would bring the action and love to the fans. A great night of wrestling as always added with a request from Regal to actually wrestle on the card. His opponent former WLW wrestler who has worked at WWE and ROH as well as a two time WLW Tag team champion with Matt Murphy and Superstar Steve Fender respectably.

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Steve Fender meets the fans. (Photo Credit Brian Kelley )

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Ms Natural and her fans. (Photo Credit Brian Kelley )

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This lovely grandmother brought her granddaughter to the matches. They were so adorable that a picture had to be taken. (Photo Credit Brian Kelley )

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MWR Dubray Tallman poses with friends from ST Louis Kyle Valle and Joe Bates. (Photo Credit Brian Kelley )

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(Photo Credit Brian Kelley )

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Everyone wants to talk to the WLW Champ Brian Breaker. (Photo Credit Brian Kelley )

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For 5 hours Kevin Von Erich signed autograph after autograph then took photo after photo. One of the nicest guys MWR has ever met.

The night started off with the fans having a chance to meet the stars of WLW as well as Ricky Steamboat and Kevin Von Erich.

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Is Kevin Von Erich Teaching the WLW Women's champ Lucy Mendez how to do the claw? (Photo Credit Brian Kelley )

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Ricky Steamboat was in high demand. Bringing smiles to fans young and old alike. (Photo Credit Brian Kelley )

I had the honor of meeting a true Superstar on the night when I spoke to the Cauliflower Alley Club’s Karl Lauer.

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Master Sgt Ira Scott, 87 yrs young and served in WW11, Korea and VietNam total over 30 yrs

He introduced me his “hero” Master Sgt Ira Scott, 87 yrs young and served in WW11, Korea and VietNam total over 30 yrs. was in the US Air Force and done everything from crew chief on fighters, to copters to bombers to medical attention in emergency and sewed up guys so would not bleed before the medics go to um. A very remarkable man and what a real hero is really all about. 5″6″ about 145 lbs and sharp as a teen ager. Later in the night WLW announcer Dan Gier would introduce him to the fans. Out of respect everyone in attendance gave the man a well-deserved standing ovation.

As fans took the time to get their autographs and pictures taken with the stars, The personal highlight of the night for me was to have a few fans come up to introduce themselves stating that they visited the site and enjoyed it.

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Here I pose with a fan of MWR, a great guy who we hope to see in the matches soon.

I have many friends that I know visit the site but it truly makes it worth it when I meet new friends that check MWR out so that they may know when WLW will be back in action or an interview with an up and comer.

One of my very childhood best friends Billy Howser came up for the show on the night with his friend Steve. Billy showed great taste in women once again when the love bug hit him for the “Catholic Schoolgirl” Stacey O’Brien.

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Every schoolboys dream is now every wrestling fans as Stacey O has the boys hearts in the palm of her hands. (Photo Credit Brian Kelley )

Billy bought him an 8×10 of her and wanted to know when I thought she would be at in the future as I stated that she is a star as well for Metro Pro Wrestling.

As we gear up for the first ever MWR Yearbook, I have called on friends to help me add some special features for the book. One of them is famed artist ICON who work includes the world renowned painting The Gods of Thunder painting, as seen at WWE Magazine January 2011.

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Kevin Von Erich with my friend Icon. (Photo Credit Brian Kelley )

When he told me of his newest project called “Fantasy Warfare” where he will be drawing two wrestlers from different eras going to war. The first one he did was former WWE Champion the Ultimate Warrior taking on current WWE Star and former WWE Champ Sheamus. I quickly asked to have a special one drawn for the 2011 yearbook and when he asked me who I would like to see go to battle I chose two of my very favorites of all-time, Harley Race vs. Kurt Angle. A match that I think could have won multiple awards throughout the years. Fans be sure to look for this great feature in the book to see who got the edge in this exclusive feature from ICON.

We had posted the importance of Kevin Von Erich coming to the Midwest prior to the show at MWR but little did we know how friendly the man was. All night long he posed for photos giving the fans the famed Von Erich Claw and signing autographs.

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Young Jalen Ray will never forget having the claw put on him by a true master of the move Kevin Von Erich. (Photo Credit Brian Kelley )

One friend came up to me and was impressed on how respectful his sons Marshall and Ross were to them when they asked for a photo. Their comment, Kevin raised them kid’s right. Marshall and Ross by the way took part in the camp as they look to make a name for themselves. Their dad Kevin, proudly told me how talented they were in their high school sports during a special interview with MWR.

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Corey Dunken leans on Jason Jones. (Photo Credit Brian Kelley )

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The Prince Jason Jones wins once again in 2011. (Photo Credit Brian Kelley )

An exciting night of action started off with one of the hottest wrestlers in the country as “The Prince” Jason Jones continued his momentum with a win against young Corey Dunken. Jones would have been a real threat for the NWA JR title if he would have been able to get in the tournament for the vacated title left by former champion Craig Classic.

The WLW women’s title has not been as red hot since Malia Hosaka and Brandi Alexander went to war for the championship.

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Ms Natural delivers a punishing move on O'Brien. (Photo Credit Brian Kelley )

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Payback from Stacey. (Photo Credit Brian Kelley )

With Ms Natural, the most decorated champion in the company’s history back in the game the fans got to see a classic as Champion Lucy Mendez showed her heart to win a match that also featured former MWR Female of the year Stacey O’Brien.

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Lucy keeps the WLW title much to the delight of the fans in Eldon. (Photo Credit Brian Kelley )

In a WLW Classic match it would be ALL THAT Matt Murphy teaming up with Steve Fender to meet Trevor Murdock and Bull Schmitt in tag action. Each of these men have been able to take the skills taught to them by Race to make multiple trips to Japan and WWE in years past and their battles have always had a special place in the WLW faithful’s hearts.

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Welcome back to wrestling Matt Murphy says Trevor Murdock. (Photo Credit Brian Kelley )

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(Photo Credit Brian Kelley )

During the match Murphy looked to have a leg injury and would not be able to continue. It looked so bad that Ricky Steamboat who was watching in the bleachers with Ms. Natural came to ringside to assist Murphy.

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Steamboat shows some heart to help the "injured" Murphy. (Photo Credit Brian Kelley )

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Murphy was proud of himself as he taunts the former NWA World Champion Steamboat. (Photo Credit Brian Kelley )

When out of the blue, Murphy showed his true colors and attacked Murdock and Schmitt to the shock of Steamboat and the fans.

Murdock and Schmitt would be able to recover to get the win in what many fans said was one of the most special moments in WLW History. Out of respect each men hugged one another to end the match.

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RESPECT. (Photo Credit Brian Kelley )

This past spring WLW Stars Trevor Murdock and Brian Breaker toured Japan for Pro Wrestling Noah. While the two stars were on the plane tragedy struck when Hurricane Katrina exploded on Japan. The country was left in shambles and many lost loved ones during one of the saddest moments of 2011. During intermission Harley thanked his friends at Pro Wrestling Noah for their support throughout the years. In response Pro-Wrestling NOAH Ken Hirayama and Ryu Nakata spoke to the fans. They spoke about the promises of many countries to stay and help the country during the aftermath but when it came time for action many was no where to be seen, while Switzerland and the USA were front and center with support for Japan. They then thanked the fans and the country while starting a USA Chant out of respect for the men and women of the USA for their help.

Back to action the man who is the current WLW Champion Brian Breaker would defend his title against fan favorite Jack Gamble. In what I thought was the match of the night, Gamble took a beating but refused to lay down to the champion Breaker. It looked as if the speed of Gamble may pay off but Breaker was just to good as his moves of crushing power was too much for Gamble.

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Jack Gamble took a beating throughout the match but never once backed down. (Photo Credit Brian Kelley )

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Jack Gamble can exploded at any time during a match. (Photo Credit Brian Kelley )

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DROP!! (Photo Credit Brian Kelley )

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WWE'S William Regal.

In the main event it would be a wrestling clinic as Steven Regal and Ace Steel would go old school as they traded moves and punishing blows that could have been a headlined anywhere in the country.

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Sit back and watch a classic wrestling match in front of your eyes as Regal goes against Ace Steel. (Photo Credit Brian Kelley )

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(Photo Credit Brian Kelley )

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(Photo Credit Brian Kelley )

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(Photo Credit Brian Kelley )

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(Photo Credit Brian Kelley )

Regal would be able to capture a hard earned win on Ace Steel to finish the nights.

Once again World League Wrestling proved that they provide the fans with moments that will be cherished for a lifetime. For the aspiring wrestler , they gave them a chance to become better and be seen by WWE and Pro Wrestling Noah Scouts and for the fans a chance to meet their favorites and watch wrestling the way it was meant to be.

If you missed this years event be sure to keep an eye out at MWR for info on all WLW shows and as soon as we know more about the 2012 WLW/WWE/NOAH camp we will post it here.

Editor’s Note: We would like to thank Harley Race, Pro Wrestling Noah for their hospitably to bring allow us to bring you the fans this awesome look at one of the most important weeks of the year. WLW for over the past 10 years have been dedicated to giving back to communities through fundraisers of their exciting family friendly wrestling shows.

Thank you to the wrestlers of WLW and the students that attended the camp for working with MWR for photos and comments for this story.

Last and most importantly thank you to the fans for their support of MWR and your local wrestling promotion.

Hope you enjoyed this feature and we hope to see you at the matches real soon.

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MWR is a proud sponsor for the 2011 Cauliflower Alley Club Reunion Program in Las Vegas with Honorees SGT. SLAUGHTER, MICK FOLEY, RICK MARTEL, DAN KROFFAT, THE HONKY TONK MAN, AWESOME KONG, TOMMY, DOUG and Eddie Gilbert plus many more.

Posted by flairwhoooooo on March 13, 2011

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The 2011 CAC reunion will be at the Gold Coast Hotel the week of April 18 – 20, 2011 and we hope that you take the opportunity to make the trip for one of the must see events of the year.

While you are there be sure to pick up a 2011 CAC Reunion Program.

Look inside the front cover and you will see your favorite website that covers wrestling in the Midwest front and center.

Click here and check out our friends at the CAC with all the info on the weekends events

If you are not a member of the CAC I highly encourage you to become one in 2011 by clicking here to start the process.

We would also like to thank High Voltage Wrestling for offering to help support our goal of putting an advertisement of MWR in this prestigious program.

Please note that we are very proud of the ad that is below though the checklist for the MWR Trading Cards have changed a bit with card number of Mike Sydal being #37 with  hopes that our good friend Dan Gier coming later in the set.

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2010 MWR Lifetime Achievement Award recipient Mike Chapman

Posted by flairwhoooooo on January 1, 2011

History should
be studied
because it
is essential to
individuals and
to society, and
because it
harbors beauty.

Pro Wrestling fans are passionate about their love of the drama and action inside the squared circle. In a sport where the desire for us, the fans to know more about our heroes and villains more than ever, we are very fortunate to have websites, shoot interviews, movies and documentaries to fall back on.

Growing up I dreamed of a Hall of Fame for the stars that I saw in publications such as Pro Wrestling Illustrated. Wrestling needed a Hall of Fame just as baseball has Cooperstown New York and the NFL Canton Ohio. Sure, many magazines had a Hall of Fame on paper but I wanted more. I wanted to see the championship belts, photos and posters from past shows.

To be honest, coming from a boom time for pro wrestling in the 80’s with “Rock and Wrestling”, I still lived in a small town in the Midwest where there were still many that did not understand my love for wrestling. I thought that if a Hall of Fame was to exist I would have to make my way to New York or California to see such a wonderful museum.

Thankfully, we have one of the leading authorities on wrestling history in Mike Chapman living right here in the Midwest. Mike took his passion for amateur and pro wrestling and parlayed his talent to provide wrestling fans around the world a chance to gather to celebrate the accomplishments of our heroes.

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Mike and Bev pose for a photo in the ring in the Pro Wing of the Museum. (Photo Courtesy of Mike Chapman’s website)

Now fans young and old can come together to look back and remember the stars of yesterday at the The Dan Gable International Wrestling Institute and Museum in Waterloo Iowa. Mike Chapman founded the museum in 1998. With several years of hard work he retired from the museum on October 31, 2009 to devote full time to his new magazine, Iowa History Journal, and to write books.

Mike has represented the Midwest and the wrestling world with class and honor by promoting the sport as a public speaker, an author of 21 books (14 about wrestling) and his work has appeared in dozens of national and regional magazines.

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In his books wrestling fans are able to take a trip back into time to look back at the incredible careers of Frank Gotch in “Frank Gotch: His Life and Legacy” and one of my personal favorite wrestlers and human beings Dan Hodge in “Oklahoma Shooter: The Dan Hodge Story”.
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Fans of today are well aware of the talents that the collegiate wrestling world has as many in wrestling such as Bill Miller, Jack Brisco, Bob Geigel Brock Lesnar, Ken Shamrock, Steve Williams, Bobby Lashley, LeRoy McGuirk and of course Kurt Angle . Each of these men have all become important wrestlers in the pro ring at one time or another.

If some of these names are people that you may not know, I urge you to check out the museum or look them up, each a champion in their own right.

Let’s look at just a small part of his resume.

Mike is the founder of W.I.N. Magazine, considered by many the nation’s top amateur wrestling publication; the WIN Memorabilia Show, which draws 8,000 fans each year to the NCAA Championships.  Mike has been important in the jumpstarting the “Dan Hodge Trophy,” which goes each year to the top college wrestler in the United States. It has been called “the Heisman Trophy of wrestling.”

Mike has earned the respect of many in the sport by being named in six Hall of Fames the AAU National Wrestling Hall of Fame. In 2002 he  received the Lifetime Achievement Award from the Cauliflower Alley Club (CAC), an organization of boxers, wrestlers and movie actors. In 2007 he received the Order of Merit for lifetime achievement from the National Wrestling Hall of Fame in Stillwater, Oklahoma, and the President’s Award from the Iowa Wrestling Coaches and Officials Association.

As a reporter, he has attended 38 NCAA wrestling tournaments, two Olympics and two World Championships. He has won numerous awards for journalism and writing. He has been named National Wrestling Writer of the Year five times, by four different amateur wrestling organizations.

He has met and interviewed such people as Ronald Reagan, Muhammad Ali, Robert Redford, Lou Ferrigno (The Incredible Hulk from TV fame), Denny Miller (Tarzan actor and star of “Wagon Train”) and many other famous stars of movies and sports.

Mike has appeared on numerous TV shows –including the networks ESPN, A&E, Fox Sports, Iowa Public Television and Fox and Friends. He has been the guest on over 200 radio talk shows. He has produced three wrestling videos and has two screenplays in Hollywood, including “GOTCH: An American Hero.” The movie rights are owned by Empire Film Group and it is currently in pre-production.

As an athlete, he competed in wrestling, judo, sombo and bench press contests. He once bench pressed 440 pounds at a bodyweight of 205.

I first had the pleasure of meeting Mike Chapman in Newton Iowa, the original home of the Dan Gable International Wrestling Institute and Museum several years ago during an annual Hall of Fame. Several of my heroes from years past where in attendance in 2005 along with theInduction of Harley Race to the HOF.

Terry Funk, Verne Gagne and Larry Hennig were just a few that where there to sign autographs for the each and every one of the fans in attendance. Still one of the fondest memories that I had of that trip to Newton Iowa was how nice this guy that worked for the museum was towards Dubray and I. He spoke to us just like he had known us all of his life, telling stories of the displays and the posters on the wall.

We left that day in Newton with the perception that he just worked there and enjoyed what he done. I would later find out that that worker was none other than Mike Chapman, the founder of the museum, a man who had rubbed elbows former World Champions in Boxing and wrestling, Presidents of the United States, and some of the top Hollywood stars.

At Mike’s website this quote was stated

The mission of the Dan Gable International Wrestling Institute and Museum (DGIWIM) is to preserve, maintain and promote the long and illustrious heritage of mankind’s oldest sport in a manner which will benefit the sport, educate and entertain the public, and to inspire youth to dream big and work hard.

Mission accomplished Mike, this Lifetime Achievement Award is a thank you from the fans of the Midwest and around the world.

Editors Note: Please come back to MWR in the future for updates on the progress Mike latest project as he has been working with a committee in Humboldt, Iowa – the hometown of Frank Gtoch – to build an eight-foot statue of the world heavyweight champion (1908-1915) in the center of town.

If all goes as plan we hope to cover this historic occasion at Missouri Wrestling Revival
Please take the time to check out more information of Mike Chapman at his website here.

Fans of wrestling should check out the Dan Gable International Wrestling Institute and Museum website here and make plans to see it live in 2011.

Brian Kelley
Missouri Wrestling Revival

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Cauliflower Alley Club 46th Anniversary Reunion

Posted by flairwhoooooo on December 31, 2010

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Missouri Wrestling Revival is a proud sponsor of the 2010 Cauliflower Alley Club Reunion in Las Vegas Nevada

Posted by flairwhoooooo on April 1, 2010

Art Abrams award
Jim Ross

Lou Thesz award
Dan Severn

Iron Mike award
Ted DiBiase

Womens Wrestling award
Joyce Grable

Mens Wrestling award
Dean Ho Higuchi
Rip Hawk
Roger Kirby

REEL award
Magic Schwarz

International award
Pat Barrett

Red Bastien Friendship award
Vince Fahey

Posthumous award
Lee Fields
George “Scrap Iron” Gadaski

James C. Melby award
Vance Nevada

Future Legend award
To be announced at the Banquet

Plus, as always, many surpises!!!!

Master of Ceremony
J.J. Dillon

For more information click here to go to  the Cauliflower Alley Club for more information.
Terry Funk

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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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