Tri-State Wrestling 1967 - Ranking the Towns

We previously ranked all the regular towns for 1966, now let's do the same for 1967 and see if there are any changes (spoiler alert: there are)

To recap, I came up with a way to rank the different towns so that we can see at a glance which were the "A" towns, "B" towns, etc. What I found for 1966 was that there were three groupings of towns, which I called A plus, A minus and B.

A plus towns: Oklahoma City, Tulsa, Little Rock
A minus towns: Springfield, Wichita Falls, Joplin
B towns: Shreveport, Fort Smith, Monroe, Longview

I came up with these groupings by looking at the participants in every main event in each town. For each week's main event, I calculated the average SPOT rating (for the calendar year) of all the participants. Then I took the average of those for the full year. At the bottom of this post, I do offer up some thoughts on the methodology, but it's pretty nerdy and math-y so feel free to skip it unless that interests you.

When I looked at the town ratings for 1967, one town in particular had a significant change. Shreveport most definitely had stronger main events over the course of the year as compared to 1966. Here are the towns run most often during the year, listed in descending order of the "strength of main events" calculation

.903 Oklahoma City, OK
.897 Tulsa, OK
.892 Little Rock, AR
.892 Wichita Falls, TX
.891 Shreveport, LA
.889 Springfield, MO
.861 Joplin, MO
.853 Monroe, LA
.851 Fort Smith, AR
.789 Longview, TX
.782 Hot Springs, AR

While I used A plus, A minus and B to define the groupings for 1966, looking at these results I'd probably group them thusly for 1967:
A towns: Oklahoma City, Tulsa, Little Rock, Wichita Falls, Shreveport, Springfield
B towns: Joplin, Monroe, Fort Smith
C towns: Longview, Hot Springs

Other towns run more than once during the year were Duncan, OK (run four times on either Saturday or Sunday) and Greenville, MS (run four times in the summer on Thursdays). Duncan would fit in the B town category and Greenville had even weaker main events than the C towns.

Another way of looking at this is to arrange the towns by the day of the week they were normally run:

.897 Tulsa
.891 Shreveport

.892 Little Rock
.853 Monroe
.782 Hot Springs

.889 Springfield
.851 Fort Smith

.892 Wichita Falls
.789 Longview

.903 Oklahoma City

.861 Joplin


Going back to Shreveport, let's dig a little deeper. Anytime I see a significant change in the output, I want to make sure it passes the sniff test. Especially since the improvement in Shreveport's score did not affect Tulsa, which was usually run on the same night. You would think if one town all of a sudden got better main events, another town run on the same night might start having weaker main events, but that's not the case here.

One of the major factors that helped Shreveport in 1967 was that it was occasionally run on Sundays instead of its regular night of Monday. This happened six times during the year. Doing this allowed them to send some the top main eventers to Shreveport on a Sunday and still have them work Tulsa on Monday.

In 1966, the crew that worked Shreveport on Monday almost always worked in Monroe on Tuesday. Likewise, the crew in Tulsa on Monday almost always worked Little Rock on Tuesday. That changed in 1967, with a little more variation to the cards.

The best way to show this is to take a look at the main eventers that were in the territory the most for both 1966 and 1967: Danny Hodge and The Assassins.

In 1966, Danny Hodge was in the main event of a Tulsa show 26 times and Shreveport 11 times.
In 1967, he was in the main event in Tulsa 19 times and Shreveport 18 times.
In 1966, the Assassins (either one or both) were in the main event in Tulsa 26 times and Shreveport 6 times.
In 1967, they were in the main event in Tulsa 22 times and Shreveport 22 times.

So right away, you can see that the top draws were booked in Shreveport more often in 1967 than they were in 1966. And there was a much more even split between them working in Tulsa and working in Shreveport.

Let's compare this to the Tuesday night towns of Little Rock and Monroe.

In 1966, Danny Hodge was in the main event in Little Rock 26 times and Monroe 16 times.
In 1967, he was in the main event in Little Rock 17 times and Monroe 14 times.
In 1966, the Assassins were in the main event in Little Rock 27 times and Monroe just once.
In 1967, they were in the main event in Little Rock 24 times and Monroe 12 times.

Hodge & the Assassins were still booked in Little Rock more often than in Monroe (though they were booked in Monroe more often than the year before).

It's clear looking at this that Shreveport did become a more important town in 1967. They ran it on Sundays several times during the year so they could give it stronger main events. Even on the regular Monday night shows the top main eventers were there more often, even if that meant longer travel (the distance from Shreveport to Little Rock was twice as far as to Monroe).


Here are my thoughts on the methodology as it stands right now:

This method is the quickest/easiest way to come up with some kind of a number for each town. I'm not necessarily concerned with the number itself so much as comparing it to the numbers for the other towns (to find groupings) and to look at significant changes in those groupings from year-to-year. The output when I did it for 1966 passed the sniff test, and at this point I am going to continue using it going forward until a point when it no longer gives logical usable output. Let's be clear: the SPOT rating is a statistic I completely made up, all by myself. As of now, it's nothing but an interesting piece of data to look at. Using it as the base to make other calculations of towns and feuds probably isn't the best way to go, but it is much easier than inventing even more new statistics from scratch.

A more thorough way of calculating a rating for each town would involve two major changes and one minor change:

1) it would use a shorter time period when calculating the SPOT rating of the individual participants. If Jack Brisco is in the main event of a town in a given week, knowing his SPOT rating over a several week period for the entire territory is more useful than his SPOT rating for the full calendar year.

2) when calculating SPOT ratings for a main event participant, I would exclude his bookings in that town for the duration of the time period. Using Jack Brisco again, if he's in the main event of a show in Springfield, calculating his SPOT rating _only_ for the other towns on the loop in whatever time period I'm using is a better way of capturing what I'm trying to capture.

3) I'd include all the wrestlers booked on the card, not just the main eventers. As the territory expands to three shows a week (which we'll first see in 1968), there could be situations where two towns both get decent main events from week to week, but one of them would have a much stronger undercard with a lot of the upper mid-card and mid-card wrestlers, while one could have mostly lower-card wrestlers in the supporting bouts.

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