Amarillo 1966 - Part 2

In the second quarter of 1966, the top wrestlers in Amarillo included Dory Funk Jr, Wahoo McDaniel, Dan Miller, Iron Mike DiBiase, Dutch Savage and Fritz Von Erich.

The below chart lists the wrestlers who were regulars in Amarillo at some point between April 1st and June 30th, 1966. They are ranked by their SPOT (Statistical Position Over Time, a number between .000 and 1.000 representing their average spot on the cards they were booked on; a 1.000 would mean they were always in the main event)

Babyfaces are highlighted in blue, heels in orange. The spacing between wrestlers is meant to approximate the differences in their SPOT.


Comings and Goings

Newcomers (or returnees) to the territory in this time period:

Alex Perez - Perez had been in Memphis the first few months of the year. He was here for just under 2 months, leaving in mid-May to go to Central States. Perez made his pro debut in the Amarillo territory back in 1951 and had been a regular here on and off his entire career. Sometimes billed as "The Texican", Perez would return to the territory later in the year.

Art Nelson - Nelson had been wrestling in Australia through April 1966 and came here at the end of May. He had multiple runs in the territory over the years, dating back to 1952. Art wrestled virtually everywhere but may be best known for his time in Mid-Atlantic from the late 60s through the mid 70s.

Dan Miller - Dan came here for his third stint in the territory at the beginning of April. Prior to that he had been wrestling in Florida. Miller was the younger brother of Dr. Bill Miller, and the two teamed up in numerous territories.

Fritz Von Erich - Fritz was a regular here during this time period but not a full-timer. Between late April and early June he worked multiple shots here most weeks, but still wrestled regularly in East Texas. Fritz had done this back-and-forth part-time routine in Amarillo dating back to 1962, but had not been here since September 1965. In the second half of the year he continued to make occasional appearances here but not enough to be considered a regular.

Jack Brisco - Brisco was the first Native American to win an NCAA Wrestling championship, winning in the 191 pound weight class in March 1965. One of his opponents in that tournament was the University of Northern Colorado's Larry Lane, who I am almost certain was the pro wrestler of the same name who wrestled in Amarillo, Stampede and a few other places in the 70s and early 80s. Less than 2 months after the tournament, Brisco made his pro debut for Leroy McGuirk's Tri-State promotion. He may have made one prior appearance here in December 1965 advertised as Tiger Brisco, but came here in the spring of 1966 after spending a few months wrestling in Tennessee. He stayed through May 8th, at which point he went back to Tri-State.

Jose Moto - I have little to no information on this wrestler, but this was not the wrestler known as Mr. Moto, as that Moto was in Southern California at this time. Jose started here at the beginning of June, and there are no mentions of a wrestler using that name prior.

Kurt Steiger - This was Steiger's first stint in the territory, starting here on March 31st coming from Tri-State. He had just started using the Steiger name in 1965 after wrestling as Al Torres and Al/Arnold Pastrick for several years. He is better known as Kurt Von Steiger; while he may have used that name prior to this date he didn't fully embrace the "Von" until 1967, when he teamed with Karl Von Steiger (formerly known as Lorne Corlett and Paul Caruso).

Wrestlers who left the territory in this time period:

Don Jardine - Jardine left in mid May and went to the Pacific Northwest. He did wrestle a handful of times in Amarillo after this run but only for the occasional one-shot.

Dutch Savage - Dutch left at the same time as Jardine (their last booking appears to have been a Texas Death tag team match vs Terry & Dory Jr on May 12th in Amarillo). From here he went to Vancouver.

Jack Donovan - Donovan left in early June and went to Central States. Some online sources list him as having matches prior to that date in Central States, but that was actually Dandy Jack (Crawford), who was there managing the Butcher (Paul Vachon).

Wahoo McDaniel - Wahoo went to Florida in early May, where he stayed until the 1966 AFL season began (playing for the Miami Dolphins after being drafted from the Jets in the expansion draft). He would return here for a couple of weeks when the season ended in December.


Jack Cain continued to manage DiBiase.

National stars passing through during the time period: Bob Geigel, Ernie Ladd, Gene Kiniski (his first time here since winning the NWA World Heavyweight championship from Lou Thesz in January) and Haystack Calhoun.

Other wrestlers with bookings here during the time period include the Black Raider, "Bulldog" Bob Brown, Bunk Harris (who may have been George "Two Ton" Harris), Gory Guerrero (who would become a regular in July), Krusher Kowalski (Stan Kowalski, not Killer Kowalski), Magnificent Maurice, Nick Roberts and Ray Gordon.

Women wrestlers with more than one booking during the time period were Betty Niccoli, Jean Antone, Kay Noble and Verne Bottoms.

Female midget wrestlers Darling Dagmar and Diamond Lil were booked here for a week in May-June.


Featured Card

Best known as career rivals, with over 120 singles matches against one another between 1966 and 1983, Dory Funk, Jr. and Jack Brisco teamed up on at least three occasions. The first time was on April 18th, 1966 in Abilene, where they teamed to face Dutch Savage & Alex Perez. Brisco also wrestled Perez in a singles match to open the card. The main event saw Don Jardine face Wahoo McDaniel. The angle: since Jardine was using the "deadly" claw hold, Wahoo would be able to wear his New York Jets football helmet to guard against it.

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