Tri-State Wrestling: Week of 7/1-7/7 1968

Here is our first look at Tri-State Wresting in 1968, covering the week beginning Monday, July 1st and ending Sunday, July 7th. If you're new to the blog, reading this post and this post will help you understand the SPOT rating and what it means.

In early 1968, Leroy McGuirk expanded into central and southern Louisiana for the first time in several years. He had been running Shreveport and Monroe, but both of those towns were in the northern part of the state and closer to the rest of the territory. The remainder of Louisiana operated with its' own crew. Well, kind of. It was a small crew, generally between 6-10 wrestlers per show. Some of the wrestlers would only wrestle in the lower Louisiana towns, and some wrestlers would come from the "main" end of the territory and stay for a couple of weeks. The crew was generally a step down from the crew that worked the main end of the territory, so it wouldn't be right to compare SPOT ratings from what are essentially two different circuits (a comparison to the current Raw/Smackdown brand split isn't entirely out of place). So for now, we will treat them as two separate entities.

Here's a look at the talent roster for the week along with their SPOT ratings. Babyfaces are in blue on the left-hand side, heels in orange on the right. They are listed in descending order and grouped into loose categories, so you can easily see who were the main eventers, mid-carders, preliminary wrestlers, etc.

Known shows for the week:
Monday - Shreveport, LA & Tulsa, OK
Tuesday - Little Rock, AR
Wednesday - Fort Smith, AR & Springfield, MO
Thursday - Longview, TX & Wichita Falls, TX
Friday - Oklahoma City, OK

Lower Louisiana:
Tuesday - Baton Rouge
Wednesday - Alexandria
Thursday - Loranger (they ran two shows on this day; one in the afternoon and one in the evening, due to it being the 4th of July)
Friday - Lafayette

Tag teams were featured prominently in the territory during this time. Frequent teams are listed below, but no less than 7 teams would be considered "regular" teams, and that's with a total crew of just 19 wrestlers on the main circuit.

Danny Hodge has a perfect SPOT rating of 1.00. As a reminder, that means that for this week, the two weeks prior and the two weeks after, he was in the main event of every card he was booked on. It's far from the only time we'll see a perfect score from him; in fact, he had a perfect 1.00 exactly seven years prior, which you can see in our coverage of 1961.

Who's who: Ronnie Reed was better known as Buddy Colt, Tarzan (aka Leon) Baxter also wrestled as The Wrestling Pro, the identities of El Diablo #1 & El Diablo #2 are not known (although Treach Phillips may have been #2 at some point in their run here), the Mummy was Benny Ramirez, Antonio Rocca was Tony Rocco. In the lower Louisiana circuit, Jack Dalton was Don Fargo and the Hatchet was Kenny Mack.

Mrs. Jack Donovan managed Donovan (her real-life husband) and Reed. Mrs. Donovan had previously been known as Vern Bottoms.

Billy Managoff moved from the lower Louisiana circuit to the main circuit. Frank Marconi moved from the main circuit to the lower Louisiana circuit. The Hatchet started as a regular on the lower Louisiana circuit this week, though he made some appearances there as Kenny Mack prior. Tom Bradley left the lower Louisiana circuit the previous week and shows up the following week as a part-timer on the main circuit.

Frequent tag teams were:
Jack Donovan & Ronnie Reed
El Diablo #1 & El Diablo #2 (Los Diablos)
Juan Sebastian & Tarzan Baxter (The Gauchos)
Danny Hodge & Lorenzo Parente
Jerry Miller & the Mummy
Chati Yokouchi & Chuck Karbo
Karl Von Stroheim & Mr. Ito

Frequent matches were:
Danny Hodge & Lorenzo Parente vs Jack Donovan & Ronnie Reed
Danny Hodge vs Mr Ito
Chuck Karbo vs Karl Von Stroheim

For the lower Louisiana circuit, the frequent teams were Danny Little Bear & Kit Fox and Frank Dalton & Jack Dalton, while the frequent matches were Little Bear & Fox vs the Daltons and Little Bear vs Jack Dalton.

In future weeks when I list the SPOT ratings, I will also list the ratings for each wrestler the previous week (and maybe even the previous two weeks) so we can track any significant movement up or down the cards for certain wrestlers.

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