Tri-State Wrestling 1966 - How Complete is the Data Set?

As mentioned previously, I have the lineups for 456 cards for the territory in 1966 (actually, I found one more since posting that so we're at 457 now). One of the questions I would like to try and answer is: how complete is the data? Can we "prove" how many cards we're missing; more importantly, can we prove the existence of a weekly town(s) that we don't have any data on.

The first thing we can do is look at the data we have, focusing on the weekly towns (which make up the majority of the cards we have). Here is the weekly loop that we know about:
Mondays - Tulsa OK and Shreveport LA
Tuesdays - Little Rock AR and Monroe LA
Wednesdays - Fort Smith AR and Springfield MO
Thursdays - Wichita Falls TX and Longview TX
Fridays - Oklahoma City OK
Saturdays - Joplin MO (run in winter, spring and fall)

Longview started up in mid-November. Prior to that, we only have Wichita Falls. When New Orleans was run a few times in August and September, three of those shows occurred on a Thursday. Joplin shut down for the summer; previous research I've done on the Central States territory showed a couple of other venues in Missouri that shut down during the summer as well. My theory is that the climate in that part of the country was such that the expense of air conditioning the venues was not justifiable.

We can focus on the nights of the week where we have two cards. By looking at the wrestlers booked on those cards, as well as the wrestlers who are NOT booked on those cards (but are booked in other towns that week), we can see how many wrestlers are "open". If enough wrestlers are available, then it is very possible that a third town was run. With that being said, I have noticed that there are times when an advertised wrestler does not appear, and a suitable replacement fills in for them. When I say suitable, I mean it's not just someone else on the card working twice, and it's not a part-timer or local guy filling in, it's an established member of the crew of similar stature. So there may be guys booked in towns not to wrestle, but to be on "standby", perhaps also helping set up or running things in the back, but they can fill-in if someone doesn't appear.

If we look at the average number of wrestlers booked in each city, we get a feel for what nights may have enough wrestlers left over to fill another card. Generally speaking, the bare minimum # of wrestlers needed for a show is 6, though many spot shows have 4 and it's possible a weekly show in a small town could have a 4-person crew. So we're looking for nights of the week where there are at least 4-6 wrestlers not booked in any of the towns we have lineups for.

On Mondays, Tulsa had an average of 10.26 wrestlers per card and Shreveport had 6.63, for a total of 16.9
On Tuesdays, Little Rock had 8.00 and Monroe had 6.11 for a total of 14.1
On Wednesdays, Fort Smith had 6.15 and Springfield had 7.05 for a total of 13.2
On Thursdays, Wichita Falls had 7.24 and Longview had 6.09 for a total of 13.3

One thing worth noting is that Shreveport and Monroe generally had the same crew booked, and the crew that worked Tulsa generally worked Little Rock as well with the exception of two lower-card wrestlers.

At a quick glance, it would appear that Wednesdays and Thursdays are the most likely candidates for a third show with Tuesday being a possibility as well.

I took a closer look at a six-week period at the end of the year and charted exactly which wrestlers were booked on these shows and which ones were available. I also accounted for wrestlers who may have left the territory mid-week or were booked in other territories for a several day stretch. With the wrestlers that were "available", I also noted if any of them were not working a full-time schedule (Red McKim, Al Galento) or were finishing up their run here or just coming in.

Both Wednesdays and Thursdays seem to have enough available wrestlers to field a full card, perhaps in a smaller town with a 4-person crew at times, but still enough. If there was a third town on Tuesdays, it would have to have a 4-person crew most weeks, so it's still an outside possibility.

Moving to Fridays, Oklahoma City had an average of 10.8 wrestlers booked per card (the highest of all the towns I have data for). This leaves enough for one show and perhaps even two small crews. I can't say for sure that these would have been weekly towns, as the weekends are when territories usually ran spot shows in smaller towns.

Looking at Saturdays, Joplin had an average of 7.39 wrestlers booked per card. There was definitely enough for one other show, and quite possibly two others. Again, these may have been spot shows as opposed to a weekly town. And of course during the period that Joplin shut down, there could have been 2 or 3 shows run.

There are very few shows on Sunday that I have information on. There are a couple of spot towns, and a few instances where Monroe and Shreveport were run on Sunday instead of their regular night. It's possible the promotion ran numerous spot towns on Sundays using as much of the crew as possible. I also wonder if maybe they ran just enough shows on the weekends to give most of the guys one night on and one night off. It's nothing but pure speculation on my part. Despite what we have been told about guys working every single night, the more research I do the more I'm inclined to think that guys got at least one night off per week.

There are also several instances where a weekly town is not run during a given week; often because the regular venue is booked for another event in town (basketball, boxing, dog shows, graduations, etc). When this happens, the promotion often runs a spot town in its place, sometimes it's close enough to the weekly town that it's advertised in that paper.

Putting all this information together, here are my thoughts on what we have and what we may be missing:
Mondays - Tulsa and Shreveport seem to be the only towns run consistently on Mondays
Tuesdays - Little Rock and Monroe; given that Little Rock has a slightly smaller crew than Tulsa, there might be just enough wrestlers left over for a small show
Wednesdays - Fort Smith and Springfield; there probably was a third show most weeks
Thursdays - Wichita Falls and Longview; there probably was a third show most weeks. Also, since Longview didn't start running until November, we are missing a second show for most of the year.
Fridays - Oklahoma City; there was probably one more show run most Fridays, with an outside possibility of two being run some weeks
Saturdays - Joplin; there was probably one or two additional shows run most weeks, and during the summer we are missing two or possibly three.
Sundays - they may have run spot shows every week, and it could have been anywhere between one and three shows, depending on whether or not the office gave wrestlers one day per weekend off.

Throwing all that together, I'd estimate we have somewhere between 60 and 65 percent of all shows run. Of the remaining 35-40 percent, probably around one-third of those were weekly towns with the rest being spot shows.

So now that we've established that there _could_ be some weekly towns missing, can we do anything to figure out what towns they might be? That will be the subject of next week's post, and spoiler alert: it ends with me taking a trip to Arkansas on nothing but educated guesses.

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