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Tri-State Wrestling 1967 - Special Attractions

Two former NWA World Heavyweight champions made appearances in the McGuirk territory in 1967, as well as several touring attractions (women & midgets). Here are the details...

Lou Thesz had 3 stints in the territory during the year. He first came in for two weeks in March, wrestling against Jack Brisco twice, Danny Hodge three times, and teamed with Hodge against the Assassins four times. The Brisco matches were the first singles matches between the two, and it appears they wouldn't face each other again until July 1973 in Florida (though they teamed up once in Florida in 1969). Thesz returned for a week in July, teaming with Hodge five times (two matches against the Assassins and three against Chati Yokouchi & Togo Shikuma) and wrestling against Hodge once in Longview. Thesz returned for another week in October, primarily teaming with Hodge against either the Assassins or Yokouchi & Shikuma, though he teamed with Tiny Smith once against the Assassins and had one singles match against Tarzan Baxter in Longview, TX (which appears to be the only time they faced one another in a singles bout).

Pat O'Connor wrestled three times in the territory during the month of February, on three consecutive Wednesdays in Springfield, MO. The first week he teamed with Jack Donovan & Krusher Karlsson to defeat Gorgeous George Jr., Jack Brisco and Jerry Kozak. The following week he defended the U.S. Heavyweight title (Central States version) against Danny Hodge, with the match going to a draw. The third week saw a rematch against Hodge, with the time limit being extended to ninety minutes. O'Connor won that match.

It's interesting to note that Gene Kiniski did not make any appearances here during the course of his three-year reign as World Heavyweight champion.

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Numerous women wrestlers passed through the territory over the course of 1967. In addition to the touring wrestlers who would come in for about a week at a time, Betty Niccoli and Jean Antone made several appearances over the course of the year.

Betty Bouche, Donna Christantello, Princess Little Cloud and Toni Rose came in for a couple of weeks in February (note that Bouche was usually billed as Betty Boucher in other territories and Christantello as Donna Christianello).

The same four women came back for a ten-day stint beginning in late May. Jessica Rogers and Kay Noble were also in the territory at that time, coming in about a week earlier.

Rogers and Noble returned for a week in July and again for a couple of weeks starting in late August.

Bouche and Joyce Grable were in for a couple of weeks starting at the end of October.

Christantello and Patti Neilson came in for a couple of weeks in November.

Also having bookings were Belle Starr, Diana Lynn and Mrs. Jack Donovan (Vern Bottoms).

Two African-American wrestlers, Black Venus and Mary Green, were advertised for the June 23rd card in Oklahoma City. The results in the next day's paper, however, have no listing of the match so it's unknown if it actually took place. The two women were at one point advertised for the June 22nd card in Longview as well, but the article the day of the show does not mention the match and results for the card are not available. Earlier in June Venus had made appearances in Mid-Atlantic and for Gulas, wrestling against Emma Scott and Marva Wright in different towns.

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Female midget wrestlers Darling Dagmar and Diamond Lil were booked on at least 19 shows over a five week period beginning on October 30th. It looks like they did two weeks here, then a week in East Texas, then back here for two more weeks.

Male midget wrestlers Little Boy Blue and Pee Wee Lee were booked on nine shows spread out over the first three month of the year. Lord Littlebrook and Frenchy Lamont came in for a week in April.

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