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Tri-State Wrestling: Week of 9/16-9/22 1968

Our coverage of 1968 continues with a look at the week ending September 22nd: judo jacket matches, disputed tag team title matches, an East Texas title match, a newcomer in Louisiana is Big and may also be Bad & more!

Year-by-year coverage:
1982               1979               1975               1968               1961

Here's a look at the talent roster along with their SPOT ratings for the week. The crew that worked central and southern Louisiana is covered separately towards the bottom of this post.

Columns: TW=This week's SPOT rating; LW=Last week's SPOT rating; ME%=Percentage of main events. 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.

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

I have data for the following house shows this week:
Monday - Shreveport, LA & Tulsa, OK
Tuesday - Little Rock, AR & Monroe, LA
Wednesday - Springfield, MO
Thursday - Longview, TX & Wichita Falls, TX
Friday - Oklahoma City, OK
Saturday - Joplin, MO

Notes/Analysis: I've added a new column to the weekly charts that shows how often a wrestler was booked in main events. It's based on all known house shows for a five-week period centered around the given week (so it includes this week, the two weeks prior and the two weeks following). It is calculated by taking the number of times a wrestler was booked in a main event and dividing it by the total number of shows that wrestler was booked on. Note that main events often featured tag team (or six-man, eight-man, etc) matches and that wrestlers were occasionally given days off or were booked outside of the territory. In addition, there were time periods when the territory ran multiple shows per night with different crews.

One of the matches making its' way around the territory this week was a judo jacket match with Chati Yokouchi facing one of the top babyfaces. The rules for this match were as follows: the first fall is competed under judo rules with both men wearing gi, the second fall is competed under traditional wrestling rules and if a third fall is needed the man who won their fall in the shortest amount of time gets to choose the rules. Yokouchi's opponent in Tulsa and Little Rock was Danny Hodge. In both cases, Hodge won the match by disqualification. Jerry Kozak was Yokouchi's opponent in Springfield; he, too, won the match by dq.

Jack Donovan & Ronnie Reed took on Kozak & Gorgeous George Jr. in Shreveport to try and settle the dispute over which team was the rightful US tag champs. After going to a 60 minute draw in Shreveport last week, this bout had a 90 minute time limit. Kozak & George won by dq, so the issue wasn't settled. In Monroe and Wichita Falls, Kozak & George faced Los Diablos. In these bouts, Kozak & George were treated similarly to the "interim" champions you see in the UFC, with their claim to the titles being on the line.

In Longview, the East Texas championship was on the line as champion Karl Von Stroheim defended against Lorenzo Parente. This title seems to have been a creation solely for the Longview shows and wasn't defended very often. While I don't have results for this show, title histories list Parente as having won the title here.

Women wrestlers Evelyn Stevens and Jessica Rogers faced one another in Joplin, with Stevens winning. Evelyn would stay through the following week to face Mrs. Jack Donovan in singles matches and mixed tags.

Last week I mentioned that I was going to track the whereabouts of Frank Martinez, Al Greene and Joe Tamayo in an effort to figure out which combination of the three were working here as The Blue Demons. All three don't have any known matches in other territories this week; so for now, it could still be any combo of the three.

As mentioned above, Jack Donovan & Ronnie Reed worked Shreveport, but they spent the rest of the week in the lower Louisiana circuit. Because they did work once here and come back full-time next week, I put them back in the SPOT ratings. Bob Griffin and Mark Starr also returned here this week from lower Louisiana. Replacing Griffin & Starr down south were Jerry London & The Mummy (Benny Ramirez). In the case of London, he too worked Shreveport this week thus is listed in the SPOT ratings above as well as the ones below for lower Louisiana.

Frequent matches:
Haystack Muldoon vs Karl Von Stroheim
Gorgeous George Jr & Jerry Kozak vs Jack Donovan & Ronnie Reed
Chati Yokouchi vs Danny Hodge
El Diablo #1 & El Diablo #2 vs Gorgeous George Jr & Jerry Kozak

Frequent tag team combinations:
Blue Demon #1 & Blue Demon #2
Gorgeous George Jr & Jerry Kozak
Chati Yokouchi & Mr Ito
El Diablo #1 & El Diablo #2
Jack Donovan & Ronnie Reed
Danny Hodge & Lorenzo Parente

For central and southern Louisiana, here are the SPOT ratings for this week.

I have data for the following house shows this week:
Monday - Loranger
Tuesday - Baton Rouge
Wednesday - Alexandria
Thursday - Chalmette
Friday - Lafayette

Notes/Analysis: As mentioned above, Jack Donovan & Ronnie Reed (with manager Mrs. Jack Donovan), Jerry London & The Mummy worked here this week "on loan" from the main circuit. Another newcomer was Big John. I should note that for the first couple of weeks, he was billed as Big Bad John but it was then changed to Big John. This may very well have been William Goodman, who wrestled as Big Bad John in a number of territories in the 60s & 70s. There is a gap in Goodman's records on wrestlingdata.com for the last seven months of 1968 and most of 1969, so while I can't "positively ID" him, it definitely would fit into the timetable of his career.

The cards this week were generally headlined by Danny Little Bear & Kit Fox taking on Donovan & Reed. In Baton Rouge, their match was billed as title vs title (Little Bear & Fox were the Louisiana tag champs) and Donovan & Reed won by disqualification. In Alexandria, the match was "winner take all" with two referees, one of whom was Bill(y) Golden.

Frequent matches:
Danny Little Bear & Kit Fox vs Jack Donovan & Ronnie Reed
Big John vs Pepe Perez

Frequent tag team combinations:
Danny Little Bear & Kit Fox
Jack Donovan & Ronnie Reed
Jerry London & Pepe Perez
Big John & Mummy

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