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Showing posts from 2021

The McGuirk/Watts Wrestling Almanac - Chapter 22 (Q1 1965)

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Welcome to Chapter 22 of The McGuirk/Watts Wrestling Almanac, an in-depth data-driven look at the wrestling territory run by Leroy McGuirk (and later, Bill Watts). The territory is most commonly known as Tri-State Wrestling and/or Mid-South Wrestling, though neither of those names were actually used until September 1979 when Watts split from McGuirk.

A Wrestling History Mystery: The Curious Case of Mr. Szabo

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The latest episode of my Wrestling History Mysteries podcast is part 1 of a multi-part series discussing my quest to identify a masked wrestler named Mr. Szabo that wrestled for Leroy McGuirk in early 1963, getting a huge push as a heel, and then disappearing after suffering an injury in a match with Lou Thesz.

McGuirk Wrestling Territory: Q3 1973

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In the 3rd quarter of 1973, Mantell and Sweetan put the boots to one another, Perez & Tapia win gold, early matches in the careers of Pistol Pez and Rotten Ron & more!

The McGuirk/Watts Wrestling Almanac - Chapter 21 (Q4 1964)

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Welcome to Chapter 21 of The McGuirk/Watts Wrestling Almanac, an in-depth data-driven look at the wrestling territory run by Leroy McGuirk (and later, Bill Watts). The territory is most commonly known as Tri-State Wrestling and/or Mid-South Wrestling, though neither of those names were actually used until September 1979 when Watts split from McGuirk.

McGuirk Wrestling Territory: Q3 1977

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In the 3rd quarter of 1977, Murdoch breaks bad, the debut of not one but two future husbands of the boss’ daughter, the babyface roster includes a healthy diet of pork chops & candy & ‘oates’, and more! ----- Here is the roster for the quarter. Wrestlers are listed in descending order by their average SPOT Rating during the quarter. Directly below their week-by-week SPOT Ratings is a list of that wrestler's Frequent Partners and Frequent Opponents (if applicable): NEW TO THE TERRITORY THIS QUARTER (wrestlers either making their first-ever appearance as a regular in this territory or appearing in a significantly different role/gimmick than when they were here previously) BRIAN BLAIR – Blair turned pro earlier in the year, wrestling in Florida for a few months after being trained by Hiro Matsuda. He would later marry Mike McGuirk, daughter of Leroy. Blair later served as County Commissioner in Hillsborough County (Florida) and currently serves as the President & CEO of th

Charting the Territories Podcast Companion Piece - Episode 14

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Every month, Jon Boucher and I create a podcast that discusses a wide range of topics related to what is covered on this blog. I thought it would be helpful to create a 'companion piece' that goes along with each episode. We often reference web sites, books, YouTube videos, etc., on the podcast, and this companion piece will provide links to many of those materials so that you can see what Jon & I are discussing.

Looking at Paul Orndorff's three main-event runs in the McGuirk/Watts and Mid-South territories

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One of the biggest pro wrestling stars of the 1980s, "Mr. Wonderful" Paul Orndorff, passed away in July 2021. Before his big run with the WWF, he, like many other wrestlers, competed for various territories over a several year period. He had three separate stints in the territory I have been heavily researching for the last few years, first coming in late 1977 when it was still owned by Leroy McGuirk and returning for two later stints after Bill Watts took over and named it Mid-South Wrestling. Using the statistics I have developed for Charting the Territories, I decided to take a snapshot look his three stints here. There are three charts below, each providing what is basically the equivalent of a "stat line" for Orndorff in each of his three separate stints in the territory. These concepts may be new to readers, so here's a brief explanation: The SPOT Rating is a statistic that measures a wrestler's average position (or spot) on the cards. The advertised m

The McGuirk/Watts Wrestling Almanac - Chapter 20 (Q3 1964)

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 Welcome to Chapter 20 of The McGuirk/Watts Wrestling Almanac, an in-depth data-driven look at the wrestling territory run by Leroy McGuirk (and later, Bill Watts). The territory is most commonly known as Tri-State Wrestling and/or Mid-South Wrestling, though neither of those names were actually used until September 1979 when Watts split from McGuirk.

Mid-South Wrestling: Q3 1981

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In the 3rd quarter of 1981, Orndorff faces challenges from three J’s (Jim, Jake, and JYD), DiBiase returns, Bob Roop and Bob Orton Jr. debut and both “break bad”, and more!

Frequent Opponents & Partners - a new chart from Charting the Territories

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In many ways, I view Charting the Territories as an ongoing beta test of the statistics I have created. I look at it as hey, I invented these stats...now follow along with me as we see if they *work* . With the SPOT Rating, I've actually been quite surprised at how well it measures what it is supposed to measure (a wrestler's average position on the cards expressed as a number) across different territories and different time periods. I first debuted the FEUD Score in November of 2019. It's an attempt to measure how "big" a feud was based on how many times it occurred on house shows, and how clustered those matches are over time (if they're wrestling against one another once a week for five weeks, that's different than if they wrestled each other five times in one week). The idea being that if a particular feud between two wrestlers or teams is received well by the fans (i.e., it draws money), the booker/promoter will continue to run it around the horn, wit

Charting the Territories Podcast Companion Piece - Episode 13

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Every month, Jon Boucher and I create a podcast that discusses a wide range of topics related to what is covered on this blog. I thought it would be helpful to create a 'companion piece' that goes along with each episode. We often reference web sites, books, YouTube videos, etc., on the podcast, and this companion piece will provide links to many of those materials so that you can see what Jon & I are discussing.

The McGuirk/Watts Wrestling Almanac - Chapter 19 (Q2 1964)

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Welcome to Chapter 19 of The McGuirk/Watts Wrestling Almanac, an in-depth data-driven look at the wrestling territory run by Leroy McGuirk (and later, Bill Watts). The territory is most commonly known as Tri-State Wrestling and/or Mid-South Wrestling, though neither of those names were actually used until September 1979 when Watts split from McGuirk.

McGuirk Wrestling Territory: Q2 1973

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In the 2nd quarter of 1973, Dory Funk Jr.’s last successful World title defenses, Grizzly Smith steps up to fill Watts’ boots, newcomers include a Tarzan, a Butcher, a Gypsy, a Lumberjack, and the future SHEIKY BABY!

Charting the Territories Podcast Companion Piece - Episode 12

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Every month, Jon Boucher and I create a podcast that discusses a wide range of topics related to what is covered on this blog. I thought it would be helpful to create a 'companion piece' that goes along with each episode. We often reference web sites, books, YouTube videos, etc., on the podcast, and this companion piece will provide links to many of those materials so that you can see what Jon & I are discussing.

A Dog and a King: Looking at The Junkyard Dog's experiences in the wake of desegregation and assassination

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A heretofore seemingly forgotten story in the early life of Sylvester Ritter (The Junkyard Dog) may offer some insight into the personality of the man who later transcended race to become the first Black wrestler indisputably pushed as the top babyface of a major pro wrestling territory in the South. The story has nothing to do with wrestling, though if you view professional wrestling in the territorial era as a sort of morality play based on real-life struggles & issues and you look at the role Junkyard Dog played as an extension of that, then it has everything to do with it.

The McGuirk/Watts Wrestling Almanac - Chapter 18 (Q1 1964)

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Welcome to Chapter 18 of The McGuirk/Watts Wrestling Almanac, an in-depth data-driven look at the wrestling territory run by Leroy McGuirk (and later, Bill Watts). The territory is most commonly known as Tri-State Wrestling and/or Mid-South Wrestling, though neither of those names were actually used until September 1979 when Watts split from McGuirk.

Mid-Atlantic Championship Wrestling: Q2 1973

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Here’s a look at the 2nd quarter of 1973 in Mid-Atlantic Championship Wrestling. We look at the talent roster, title histories, the big feuds in the territory, and a schedule of all known house shows. I’d like to thank Dick Bourne and Mark Eastridge of the Mid-Atlantic Gateway for providing the bulk of the house show records I used to compile this data. The Gateway, which is updated regularly by David Chappell, is an invaluable resource. I strongly encourage you to visit (and bookmark!) it: http://www.midatlanticgateway.com

McGuirk Wrestling Territory: Q2 1977

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In the 2nd quarter of 1977, Murdoch “no-shows” a title match, Kox turns face, the brainbuster is banned, the junior heavies return, the debut of a junkyard pup, and more!

Q: When is a title change NOT a title change? A: When it's a title change. (Unless it isn't) PART 2

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One of the more frustrating aspects for those attempting to document professional wrestling history is the idea of “title histories”. A number of people have spent a great deal of time compiling a list of title changes over the years. It’s important to understand that in many cases, these title histories are not linear. As we all know, sometimes titles are created out of thin air (Pat Patterson winning the Intercontinental title in a tournament in Rio de Janeiro). Sometimes, title changes are repeated in various cities, with someone “losing” the title on Monday night in one town, then the next night in another town they’re billed as champions again only to “lose” the title once more. With many territories airing their television in different markets at different times, there are also occasions where someone loses the title at a television taping but continues to defend that title in some towns until the title change actually airs on local television, which may be several weeks after it