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Tri-State Wrestling: Week of 9/18-9/24 1961

Our coverage of 1961 continues with a look at the week ending September 24th: Donnie Fargo competes in several loser leaves town matches, McGuirk runs Jackson MS for the first time, a couple of Hillbillies leave and are replaced by a 6'10" 300+ pounder named "Tiny" & 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.

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 - Baton Rouge, LA & Fort Smith, AR & Springfield, MO
Thursday - New Orleans, LA & Wichita Falls, TX
Friday - Jackson, MS & Oklahoma City, OK

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.

The major storyline this week was Donnie Fargo (and by association, his "brother" Ronnie) in loser leaves town matches in several cities on the loop. In both Tulsa and Wichita Falls, he took on Danny Hodge in such a match. These bouts were also for Hodge's NWA Worlds Junior Heavyweight title, with Ronnie handcuffed at ringside. While results for these shows are not available, it's safe to say Donnie came up on the short end of the stick. In Little Rock and Oklahoma City, Donnie's opponent for the loser leave town matches was The Great Bolo. No results for OKC, but in Little Rock Bolo won the match. In Springfield, Donnie teamed with Ronnie to face Hodge & Torbellino Blanco, with the Fargos vowing that if they lost, they would leave town. They did, and they did.

Shreveport this week was headlined by a Russian roulette-style battle royal. The last two in were Great Bolo and Mike Clancy, so they came back for the main event which was won by Bolo. Attendance for the card was "a reported 900 fans". In New Orleans, Great & Mighty Bolo teamed up to beat Clancy & The Great Antonio.

The promotion ran Jackson, MS for what looks to be the first time this week. The town had been run by Nick Gulas at one point, with his last card there having been in February 1961. McGuirk would run it weekly for a couple of months. At this time, many of the arenas in the south were still segregated. I believe that was the case in Jackson, as the ticket prices include a separate tier for "colored" fans.

The Scufflin' Hillbillies (Chuck Conley & Rip Collins) finished up their short run here last week, as did Joe McCarthy. McCarthy went to work for Gulas, and would return here in January 1962. The Hillbillies start for the Doyle/Barnett AWA circuit in November, with Conley spending October in Gulf Coast teaming with Cousin Alfred and Collins working at least one shot for Central States.

Newcomers this week were Jerry London and Tiny Smith. Returning to the SPOT ratings were Red McKim and Tony Neopolitan, with both being advertised regularly enough to be considered "regulars". London came in from Amarillo for what would be his first stint in the territory. Tiny (aka Grizzly Smith, father of Jake Roberts) had been here for a few months earlier in the year and returned after a stint working for the Doyle/Barnett AWA circuit.

Frequent matches:
Mike Clancy vs Sputnik Monroe
Danny Hodge vs Donnie Fargo
Donnie Fargo vs Great Bolo

Frequent tag team combinations:
Great Bolo & Mighty Bolo
Donnie Fargo & Ronnie Fargo


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