Tri-State Wrestling: Week of 9/1-9/7 1975

Our coverage of 1975 continues with a look at the week ending September 7th: Dick Murdoch turns babyface, a newcomer with ties to a famous neurosurgeon / accused murderer / inventor of the mandible claw & more!

For new readers, this post and this post will help you understand the SPOT rating and what it means.

Here's a look at the talent roster along with their SPOT ratings for the week.

The first number to the right of each wrestler's name is their SPOT rating for this week and the second number is their rating for the previous week. Babyfaces are in blue on the left-hand side, heels in orange on the right. They are listed in descending order; wrestlers at the top were mostly in main events while wrestlers at the bottom were mostly in preliminary matches.

I have data for the following house shows this week:
Monday - Monroe, LA & Tulsa, OK
Tuesday - Alexandria, LA & Shreveport, LA
Wednesday - Baton Rouge, LA & Fort Smith, AR & Jackson, MS
Thursday - Chalmette, LA & Greenville, MS
Saturday - Greenwood, MS & Loranger, LA
Sunday - Lake Charles, LA

Notes/Analysis: The Dick Murdoch babyface turn took effect this week in many of the towns. He faced Buck Robley in loser-leaves-town matches in Tulsa and Shreveport. Murdoch won in both towns, which would lead to Robley placing a bounty on Murdoch in future weeks. In Jackson, Murdoch faced Terry Funk in a title vs title match with Murdoch's North American title against Funk's International Heavyweight title, which was a title recognized in Amarillo. In Chalmette, Murdoch was advertised to team with Killer Karl Kox against Bill Watts & Danny Hodge; however, Robley actually teamed with Kox. Murdoch was actually wrestling in Amarillo that night (facing Bobby Jaggers), so I assume that Murdoch "no-showing" Chalmette became part of the storyline leading to Murdoch's face turn in Chalmette and the surrounding areas (which included New Orleans).

In other major matches involving the heavyweights, Bill Dromo & Bob Sweetan beat Grizzly Smith & Vic Muehler in Monroe, Muehler faced Dromo in a lumberjack match in Alexandria, Watts & Grizzly beat Dromo & Randy Tyler in Baton Rouge, Ken Mantell took on Sweetan in a match for the Brass Knucks trophy in Fort Smith, Grizzly beat Dromo in a Texas rules (aka Texas death) match in Chalmette, Grizzly & Roberto Soto vs The Angel (Frank Morrell) & Randy Tyler in Loranger and Grizzly & Tom Jones faced Dromo & Sweetan in Lake Charles. Lake Charles also had Mantell vs Robley in a Texas death match.

Hiro Matsuda defended the NWA World's Junior Heavyweight title against Danny Hodge in Tulsa, Shreveport and Baton Rouge, and against Pork Chop Cash in Greenville. In Baton Rouge, Hodge won by DQ. The match in Shreveport seems to have been a time limit draw, though the newspaper report doesn't exactly make that clear.

Two newcomers this week were John Foley and George Strickland. The British-born Foley is probably best known for his run as a manager in Stampede (as both John Foley and later as J.R. Foley), but in the mid-70s wrestled for several territories in the U.S. He had been in Florida prior to coming here. Strickland was nearing the end of his career at this time; he had started wrestling back in 1942 for Al Haft. He might be best known for getting Dr. Sam Sheppard into the wrestling business. Sheppard is the real-life person that the TV show (and later Harrison Ford movie) The Fugitive was based on. Sheppard wrestling was basically a publicity stunt based on his infamy at the time. Sheppard also married Strickland's daughter. The most important aspect of Sheppard's wrestling career may have been his creation of a unique submission hold called the mandible claw, which was of course later used by Mick Foley.

Rip Tyler was not booked on any cards this week, so I removed him from the SPOT ratings. He worked at least one show for Gulf Coast this week, so he may have just gone down there for a week or so. He returns here next week.

Frequent matches:
Danny Hodge vs Hiro Matsuda
Bill Dromo vs Grizzly Smith
Buck Robley vs Dick Murdoch
Alaskan & Buck Robley vs Jack Curtis Jr & Pork Chop Cash

Frequent tag team combinations:
Bill Dromo & Bob Sweetan
Dick Murdoch & Killer Karl Kox
Alaskan & Buck Robley
Grizzly Smith & Vic Muehler
Jack Curtis Jr & Pork Chop Cash

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