Central States 1966 - Part 4

In the fourth quarter of 1966, the top wrestlers in Central States included Bearcat Wright, Pat O'Connor, Joe (Jody) Hamilton, Iron Mike DiBiase, Bob Geigel & Bob Brown.

The below chart lists the wrestlers who were regulars in Central States at some point between October 1st and December 31st, 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.

At this point in time, the Viking appears to have been what we would call a "tweener" today. He had been teaming with Jack Donovan and feuding with fellow heels Bob Geigel & Bob Brown , but starting in October he had numerous singles matches against heels (including Donovan), but would still wrestle against babyfaces on occasion. This looks to have continued through the spring of 1967, at which point he is firmly back as a heel.

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Comings and Goings

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

Bearcat Wright - Wright made a few appearances here in 1955 but this was his first (and last) regular stint in the territory. He left Australia in September and spent the rest of the year going back and forth between here and East Texas. His most frequent opponents over the course of his career were Kinji Shibuya and Johnny Valentine.

Cowboy Bob Ellis - Like Bearcat, Ellis was going back and forth between here and East Texas in the fall. He left here in mid-December and went to Phoenix.

Dick Marshall - Known as Gorgeous George Jr. pretty much everywhere, but worked as "The Fighting Marine" Dick Marshall here for about a month in October and November. He came here from Arizona, and may have lost a hair vs. hair match on his way out of Arizona (which could explain the "Fighting Marine" gimmick). After leaving here he went to Tri-State. He was trained by Iron Mike DiBiase.

Dick Murdock - His last name was usually spelled "Murdock" here, but on occasion it was spelled "Murdoch". Sources list him as debuting in 1965 under the name Ron Carson (as the brother of Don Carson), but I haven't found any record of him using that name until 1967. Gary Hart has said that when he was in Amarillo in the summer of 1966, Murdoch would sit at the timekeeper's table and oftentimes help the wrestlers fight their way back to the dressing room. He started here in late September and also wrestled some shots for All-Star in Nebraska and the AWA in what are the first matches of his I've been able to find. After mid December he wrestled solely for All-Star for a month before going to Georgia for a few weeks.

Iron Mike DiBiase - DiBiase had wrestled here on several occasions dating back to 1950; his most recent stint here had ended in January 1965. He came here in September from Amarillo. He went back to Amarillo for a week right after Thanksgiving, but returned here afterwards and stayed through March 1967. Mike competed in the 1947 NCAA Wrestling championships in the heavyweight division; also in that tourney were future pro wrestlers Dick Hutton, Ray Gunkel, Bob Geigel and Verne Gagne.

Jim Grabmire - Jim had been wrestling in Pittsburgh, but came here for a few weeks in October before going back to Pittsburgh in early November. He had a couple of runs here previously but this was his last stint in Central States. Jim got his start for Al Haft in the mid 1950s.

Joe Hamilton - Jody Hamilton, better known as the Assassin, wrestled here as Joe Hamilton dating back to 1957 when he was a rookie. He came here in mid-October from Arizona. He stayed a little less than a month and then went to Tri-State. Jody was born in St. Joseph, MO, and some of his earliest recorded matches were in that town against "Johnny Ace", who was better known later as Johnny Weaver.

Lee Henning - Henning returned here in October following a few months with no known activity.

Luke Graham - Luke came here in late September from Tennessee for his first stint in the territory. He stayed through the end of November and then went to the WWWF. He wouldn't return here until 1984, which was the final year of his in-ring career. He was a huge fan of Dr. Jerry Graham before getting into wrestling and, on the recommendation of Frankie Cain, began teaming with Jerry as his storyline "brother" in 1964 after wrestling as Billy (or Pretty Boy) Calhoun for two years.

The Ox - The future Ox Baker had been here at the end of 1965, and returned in November after a stint in East Texas. In addition to having memorable roles in great movies like Escape From New York, I Like to Hurt People and Santo Gold's Blood Circus, he was a contestant on The Price Is Right in January 1981.

Ricky Hunter - Hunter came here in November from Northern California for his first and only stint in Central States. Wrestled both as Ricky Hunter and as the Gladiator for most of his career. In 1973, he sued Jack Brisco for slander and harrassment. This was during the Georgia wrestling wars; Ricky was working for Ann Gunkel's All-South opposition group and Brisco was with the established promotion (technically named Mid-South Sports at this time, but what we refer to as Georgia Championship Wrestling).

Ron Reed - Reed returned here at the end of September from All-Star in Nebraska. 

Tor Kamata - Kamata returned here from Tri-State in October.

Wrestlers who left the territory in this time period:

Carlos Kalon - Carlos left here in November, and his whereabouts are unknown until the spring of 1968 when he shows up in the WWWF. It is possible he was wrestling in Canada, perhaps around Montreal, during that time.

Tim Geohagen - Geohagen left in November and went to East Texas.

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Nationally known stars passing through the territory during the time period: Gene Kiniski, Larry Hamilton (Missouri Mauler) and Dick the Bruiser.

Other wrestlers with bookings here during the time period include the Alaskan, Bob Orton (Sr.), Billy Goelz, Bulldog Plechas, Jimmy Meriott and Johnny Kace.

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

Women midget wrestlers Darling Dagmar and Diamond Lil were here for a little over a week in mid November.

Male midget wrestlers Cowboy Bradley, Fuzzy Cupid, Little Beaver and Sky Low Low were here for a week in early November.

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Featured Card

On October 14th in St. Joseph, MO, Joe Hamilton & brother Larry Hamilton were advertised in the main event against Bob Geigel & Bob Brown. Larry came in for a couple of shots in the middle of a run in Mid-Atlantic. I should note that one online source lists Larry wrestling in Charleston, SC on this night. However, Charleston was typically run on Thursdays and this was a Friday, so it is possible that source is listing the wrong date.



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