Thursday, November 10, 2011

R.I.P. KIller Karl Kox

I just read that Killer Karl Kox passed away this morning. Karl, born Herb Gerwig, suffered a heart attack on October 22 and a stroke a few days later. He had been in failing health for some time.

A former Marine, Karl served in the Korean War before becoming a professional wrestler. He headlined all over the U.S. and also in Japan and Australia. One of the toughest ever, he was a hated heel for most of his career, but my fondest memories are of his last run in Mid-South and his feud with the Grappler.

My condolences and my prayers go out to Herb's family and friends. R.I.P., Killer Karl Kox. Thanks for all the memories. You will be greatly missed.

Thursday, October 27, 2011

Prayers Needed For Killer Karl Kox

I learned yesterday that Karl Kox has suffered a heart attack and is not in good health. This great star was a mainstay in Tri-State and early Mid-South rings, holding the North American title, the Brass Knucks championship, and the U.S. Tag title. My last memories of him in the area are of his feud with the Grappler. KTBS Channel 3, the flagship station for Mid-South, even featured Karl in a news story once.

Enjoy a few pictures of this unforgettable star, and please remember Karl and his family in your prayers. Get well soon, Killer!

Sunday, October 9, 2011

The Greatest Tag Team in Tri-States/Mid-South/UWF History Was...

This area was always known for its great tag teams. Some names that come to mind are the Kentuckians, the Hollywood Blondes, JYD and whoever, Ted DiBiase and Steve Williams, and the Freebirds. My pick for the greatest all time would have to be DiBiase and Doc.

I am wondering everyone else's opinion on this. How about voting for your favorite by commenting on this post.

Saturday, September 10, 2011

R.I.P. Little Tokyo

I just read that one of the greatest midget wrestlers of all time, Little Tokyo passed away as the result of a heart attack on September 6. Tokyo, whose real name was Shigeri Akabane, was 71 years old. Tokyo toured the world and was the Midget World Champion. He even worked a mixed match at Wrestlemania III, teaming with Lord Littlebrook and King Kong Bundy against the Haiti Kid, Little Beaver, and Hillbilly Jim.

While most people saw midget wrestlers as an oddity and an attraction for kids, the simple truth is that many of them were just as much respected athletes in the locker room as their larger-sized peers. Leroy McGuirk often gave midget matches high billing on cards, sometimes in the semi-main event. Tokyo and the others mentioned above, along with Farmer Pete, Sky Low Low, and Little Bruiser to name a few, provided solid wrestling and great entertainment during a simpler era. Enjoy these clippings of Little Tokyo. R.I.P. Shigeri Akabane.

Thursday, August 18, 2011

Remembering the General...

In the last few years, I've had the pleasure to meet several of the men who made professional wrestling one of my passions - Ted DiBiase, Dr. Death Steve Williams, Mick Foley, and several others come to mind. The one who stands out, though, is the legendary Scandor Akbar. Tomorrow, August 19, marks the one year anniversary of his passing. I had the privilege to sit and talk with the General at an independent show that I helped to promote in May of 2010, just a few short months before his death. I will never forget the time that we spent talking wrestling. He was one of the most sincere, humble people I have ever met, and a true gentleman. Enjoy a few pictures of this great wrestling personality. Rest in peace, Jim, and thanks for all the great memories.

Tuesday, July 5, 2011

"Hacksaw" Jim Duggan

Before he became the lovable buffoon in McMahonland, "Hacksaw" Jim Duggan was one of the toughest competitors ever in Mid-South rings. As a heel, he was a member of the Rat Pack with Ted DiBiase and Matt Borne. Duggan was involved with one of the biggest angles in Mid-South history when dressed in a gorilla suit for a tv taping during the Louisiana State Fair, he helped DiBiase defeat Junkyard Dog in a Loser Leaves Town match, which led to the famous Stagger Lee angle. Duggan would soon become a fan favorite, however, and his long-running feud with Skandor Akbar and Devastation, Inc. would make him an All-American hero. Many may not remember, however, that Duggan came into the area as a bounty hunter for Akbar. Enjoy these photos and clippings of "Hacksaw" Jim Duggan, "a man's man" as Bill Watts would so often say.

Monday, June 20, 2011

Mr. Olympia Jerry Stubbs

One of my all-time favorites in Mid-South rings was the masked Mr. Olympia. Whether as the fan favorite partner of Junkyard Dog, or as the hated villain that feuded with JYD and Mr. Wrestling II, Jerry Stubbs was one of the best in-ring workers ever. Enjoy a few pictures of this great star. Also, you might want to check out for a great interview done by Gene Jackson.

Sunday, May 29, 2011

Ted DiBiase - Uncrowned World Champion?

One of the greatest stars to ever compete in the Tri-States/Mid-South/UWF area was Ted DiBiase. He held the North American Heavyweight title many times and was tag champion during all three eras. Although he would leave the area many times over the years, each time he returned he would be back on top in a short period of time. Whether he was fan favorite or a heel, DiBiase always gave the fans his all. Enjoy a few pictures of this great star who many feel was the greatest wrestler never to be World Champion.

Saturday, May 14, 2011

April 16, 1973 - Spoiler Hits Referee Jim Ross With a Chair

Check out these old clippings from 1973. Many don't know that Jim Ross actually refereed before becoming one of the greatest announcers in wrestling history. Looks like he had his hands full on this card from Shreveport, La.

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

U.S. Tag Champs - Killer Karl Kox & Bob Sweetan

In May of 1976, the unlikely team of Killer Karl Kox and Bruiser Bob Sweetan not only won the United States Tag Team title, but they also collected a bounty put on Dick Murdoch by World Champion Terry Funk. The following article discusses this angle.

A bounty angle seems silly by today's standards, but they were commonly used during the territory days, and often a wrestler would come into a region as a "bounty hunter".

Sunday, May 1, 2011

Me and JYD

One of the greatest stars ever in this area was Sylvester Ritter, better known as the Junkyard Dog, or JYD for short. In the early 1980's he was the most popular wrestler in not only the Mid-South territory, but possibly in all of professional wrestling. JYD went on to wrestle in the then WWF and WCW while it was still part of the NWA.

I had the chance to meet JYD at an independent card he promoted in Winnfield, LA in early 1998. Sadly, he would pass away a few weeks later in a one-car accident near his home in Forest, Mississippi.

Monday, April 11, 2011

Waldo von Erich and "The Post"

Back in 2003, I was able to get in contact with the great Waldo von Erich. As a child, I was scared to death of this big "German" heel, but I found out he was one of the most humble gentlemen you could ever meet. We corresponded a few times, and Waldo sent me a letter along with a brochure for a training device called "The Post" he was looking to have patented and marketed in the United States. As far as I know, he never did achieve this goal, and Waldo von Erich passed away on July 5, 2009 at the age of 76 from injuries received in a fall. While working in this territory, he held the U.S. Tag Titles with Karl von Brauner, and the North American Heavyweight title as the masked Great Zimm. I just wanted to share his letter and brochure.

Saturday, April 2, 2011

Natchitoches, LA Spot Show - 1984

Wanted to share a few pics from a show held at Natchitoches-Central High School in the fall of 1984. Matches included Brickhouse Brown vs. Art Crews, Adrian Street vs. Rick McCord, Terry Taylor vs. Dr. Death Steve Williams, and the main event was Hacksaw Duggan and the Fantastics vs. Hercules Hernandez and the Midnight Express. During this time, Jim Cornette was wearing a mask because his head had been shaved by Duggan. Enjoy these pics taken by a friend at the show.

Sunday, March 20, 2011

Hot Stuff & Hyatt International

One of the most hated groups (and one of the most entertaining) to work in Mid-South/UWF rings was Hot Stuff & Hyatt International. Originally two seperate factions - Hot Stuff, Inc., which was led by "Hot Stuff" Eddie Gilbert and featured a very young Sting and Rick Steiner, and Hyatt International, which included "Hollywood" John Tatum and Jack Victory and valet Missy Hyatt - this group fought among themselves as much as they fought others. I wanted to share a few pictures of the group, a publicity shot from an old program, as well as a couple of snapshots taken at a live show by a friend who was in the business at the time. Enjoy!

Sunday, March 6, 2011

Shreveport, 2-3-83 - Andre the Giant, Dusty Rhodes, JYD!

Here are a couple of clippings from a great card held in Shreveport that featured Andre the Giant vs. Kamala, a Lights-Out match, and a tag match with JYD and Dusty Rhodes vs. the Rat Pack. Note that it was the largest dollar crowd ever at Municipal Auditorium for Mid-South Wrestling. With 3,200 in attendance, the place was packed to the rafters.

Monday, February 28, 2011

History of the Louisiana Heavyweight Championship

The Louisiana Heavyweight Title has a history that dates back to the early 1960's when a version of the title was promoted by the NWA through its Gulf Coast booking office. After this office stopped promoting in Louisiana, the Tri-State booking office of Leroy McGuirk started a version of the title in 1972.

When "Cowboy" Bill Watts took over the promotion in 1979 and renamed it Mid-South Wrestling, he withdrew from the NWA and renamed the titles of the promotion. Although not a member of the National Wrestling Alliance, Watts kept close ties with it and used NWA talent from time to time, including the World Heavyweight Champion.

On April 27, 1978, a one night tournament was held in Baton Rouge, LA to crown a Louisiana Heavyweight Champion, as the title had been defunct for several years. This tournament was won by the masked Assassin (Joe Hamilton). The title was recognized and defended in Mid-South Wrestling until it was retired in 1983 when Mid-South became the Universal Wrestling Federation. The last champion was "Hacksaw" Jim Duggan.

Enjoy this story from the Wrestling Revue/Wrestling News that discusses the history of the title beginning with the 1978 tournament.

Sunday, February 20, 2011

World Junior Heavyweight Title

For many years, Leroy McGuirk and his territory controlled and promoted the NWA World Junior Heavyweight Championship. Leroy himself held this title for many years and retired as the champion when he lost his eyesight due to an accident.

The greatest Junior Heavyweight champion, however, was the great Danny Hodge. Hodge held the title on six occasions and also retired as champion in 1976 when he suffered a broken neck in a car accident.

During the 1960's and 1970's, the championship received top billing on cards throughout the territory and was as important as the North American Heavyweight Championship in the promotion. Enjoy this clipping that discusses Danny Hodge's fifth title win.

Monday, February 14, 2011

Mid-South:The Best Buy In Wrestling

Unlike many believe, the sale of wrestling T-shirts didn't start with Hulkamania. I remember seeing ads in programs at least as far back as the early 1970's for Dr. X shirts and masks.

Check out this ad from a mid 1980's program for JYD and Hacksaw Duggan T-shirts and caps. I remember the souvenir stand having these, as well as Hacksaw Butch Reed, Rock-N-Roll Express, Jake Roberts (anybody remember the shirt that said "DDT - Cruel But Fair?), and several others.

Friday, February 4, 2011

Who Is Stagger Lee?

One of the hottest angles in Mid-South history was the appearance of Stagger Lee. After his initial run against Ted DiBiase, he made a return appearance to help out "Cowboy" Bill Watts in his feud against Jim Cornette. This culminated in a match at the Superdome with the two facing the Midnight Express with the control of Mid-South Sports at stake.

Many believed that Stagger Lee was really Junkyard Dog in disguise, but neither DiBiase nor Cornette were ever able to prove this. Enjoy this story from an old program from the Superdome.

Saturday, January 29, 2011

History of Wrestling In The Superdome

In the summer of 1976, LeRoy McGuirk began holding big cards in the Louisiana Superdome. These were huge cards that featured not only the biggest stars of the territory, but also stars from other regions as well. One of the biggest cards was held on Christmas night, 1978. This was a one night tournament for the vacant United States Tag Title, which was won by none other than Andre the Giant and Dusty Rhodes.

All of the Superdome cards were great shows, featuring blow-off matches for many of the feuds taking place in the territory. Here are 2 clippings from the Wrestling News that discuss the entire history of these cards up until August, 1980. Enjoy!

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Paul Orndorff - One of the All-Time Greats!

I heard a few days ago that Paul Orndorff has been diagnosed with cancer. My thoughts and prayers go out to Paul and his family. If anyone can beat this terrible disease, Mr. Wonderful can!

Before Paul headlined Wrestlemania, he was a mainstay in the Tri-State/Mid-South rings, holding the North American title 3 times. He had many classic matches against such greats as Ted DiBiase, Junkyard Dog, and Ernie Ladd, just to name a few.

I wanted to share a few pictures. Enjoy!

Monday, January 17, 2011

Terry Taylor and the "Monster Belt"

Here's an even better pic of the "monster belt" from when Terry Taylor was North American champion. "Cowboy" Bill Watts told me that the belt weighed around 27 pounds and had a lot of silver and a good bit of gold in it. This was one beautiful belt.

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