Tri-State Wrestling: Week of 11/10-11/16 1975

Our coverage of 1975 continues with a look at the week ending November 16th: Jack Brisco comes to town, Hiro Matsuda suffers a surprising loss but a technicality allows him to keep the Junior Heavyweight title, Murdoch heads to Japan, a match between two future legends in Fort Smith & more!

Here's a look at the talent roster along with their SPOT ratings for the week.

Columns: TW=This week's SPOT rating; LW=Last week's SPOT rating. Babyfaces are in blue on the left-hand side, heels in orange on the right. They are listed in descending order; wrestlers at the top were mostly in main events while wrestlers at the bottom were mostly in preliminary matches.

I have data for the following house shows this week:
Monday - Fort Smith, AR & Tulsa, OK
Tuesday - Alexandria, LA & Shreveport, LA
Wednesday - Baton Rouge, LA & Jackson, MS
Thursday - Chalmette, LA & Greenville, MS
Friday - Lafayette, LA & Monroe, LA
Saturday - Greenwood, MS & Loranger, LA

Notes/Analysis: NWA World Heavyweight champion Jack Brisco came in for the week, sandwiched between stints in Florida and Mid-Atlantic. He faced Killer Karl Kox in Shreveport, Jackson and Chalmette, Danny Hodge in Fort Smith, and Hiro Matsuda in Monroe. In Shreveport, Brisco won after interference from Buck Robley was countered by interference from Bill Watts. Matsuda was still the NWA World's Junior Heavyweight champion; the match in Monroe was only for Brisco's title, and a newspaper article says it was the first time Brisco defended the title in the town. Since Brisco is only in for the week, he is not listed in the SPOT chart; his rating would have been a 1.00 as he was in the main event on every show he was booked on this week.

Matsuda was also booked for defenses of his Junior Heavyweight title against Jay Clayton in Jackson and Tulsa and Danny Hodge in Alexandria. He faced Greg Valentine in a no-disqualification match in Greenwood which may not have been a title bout. In Alexandria, Jay Clayton subbed for Hodge (no reason was given in the newspaper recap) and actually defeated Matsuda, winning the second and third falls to apparently win the title. However, Matsuda's manager Buck Robley claimed the title could not change hands since Clayton's "name wasn't on the contract". This led to a rematch the following week with the title on the line.

Dick Murdoch left the territory. In storyline, Killer Karl Kox won the North American title from Murdoch two weeks ago in Shreveport, and I believe they ran an injury angle on TV (and possibly on house shows as well) to explain his absence. In reality, Murdoch went to All Japan for a tour. He would return here at the beginning of 1976. Also leaving was Mark Starr (aka Joe Kono; real-life brother of Ricki Starr). This appears to be the end of Starr's 20-year career as a full-time wrestler; his name shows up on a couple of shows in Florida in early 1976 and that's it as far as I know.

Sonny King continued to get a a push, with his SPOT rating increasing from .64 to .70 this week. In Tulsa, he teamed with Greg Valentine to face Killer Karl Kox & Crazy (Killer) Brooks. In Shreveport, King & Valentine faced Buck Robley & Brooks. In Baton Rouge, he took on Bob Sweetan, winning by disqualification when The Alaskan interfered. He also faced Sweetan in Lafayette.

Other notable bouts this week involved Grizzly Smith, Danny Hodge, Bob Sweetan and Buck Robley. Grizzly faced Bob Sweetan in Alexandria, Killer Karl Kox in Lafayette, and teamed with Pork Chop Cash against Sweetan & The Alaskan in Greenville. Hodge took on Robley in a cage match in Monroe, and teamed with Bob Griffin against Sweetan & The Alaskan in Loranger. Robley & Brooks faced Bill Watts & Greg Valentine in Jackson.

The semi main event in Fort Smith featured two future legends, as Ted DiBiase faced Bob (Sergeant) Slaughter. DiBiase was 21 years old at the time while Slaughter was 27. The two had several singles bouts against one another over the course of their careers, in this territory between November 1975 and February 1976, in Central States in the spring of 1977, and in the WWF in December of 1991.

Frequent matches:
Danny Hodge vs Hiro Matsuda
Hiro Matsuda vs Jay Clayton
Bob Sweetan vs Sonny King
Bob Sweetan vs Grizzly Smith
Buck Robley vs Sonny King

Frequent tag team combinations:
Buddy Roberts & Jerry Brown
Bob Griffin & Mike Pappas
Buck Robley & Killer Karl Kox
Jay Clayton & Ted DiBiase
Alaskan & Bob Sweetan
Buck Robley & Crazy Brooks
Greg Valentine & Sonny King

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