Tri-State Wrestling: March 1980

Here's a look at Leroy McGuirk's Tri-State Wrestling territory in March 1980: Killer Karl Krupp, Mr Pogo and Jerry Brown come to town, trying to pin down exact dates of a couple of title changes & more!

Here are the week-by-week SPOT Ratings charts for the month.






COMINGS AND GOINGS

Newcomers this month:

Babyfaces Gary Black and Tommy Sharpe
Sharpe came in from Central States but only stayed for about a month. While he had brief stints in Amarillo and Florida in addition to coming here, he primarily wrestled in Central States over the course of his brief career. I don't have any additional information on Gary Black and can't find any records of him wrestling in any other territories around this time.

Heels Jerry Brown, Killer Karl Krupp and Mr. Pogo
Brown worked for McGuirk several times over the years, most notably as one-half of The Hollywood Blondes with Buddy Roberts. Brown came here from East Texas. Krupp had been in Japan for IWE in January. Pogo (Tetsuo Sekigawa) began 1980 in Stampede, then went to Amarillo for a couple of weeks before coming here.

Leaving the territory this month:

Babyfaces David Von Erich, Herb Calvert and Ken Wayne
Von Erich stopped being booked here 1-2 times a week, and continued to wrestle full time in East Texas. This appears to have been the last place Herb Calvert worked regularly in wrestling. Wayne went to Memphis.

Heels Gene Lewis, Ron Starr, Scorpion and Siegfried Stanke
Lewis went to Mid-Atlantic. Starr went to Southern California. I'm not sure who this Scorpion was so I don't have any info on his further whereabouts. Stanke went to Southwest. In addition, Scandor Akbar seems to have gone back solely to a managerial role after several weeks of both wrestling and managing.

Other wrestlers not listed in the SPOT Ratings:

Eddie Gilbert, Joe Stark, Kenny Misap, Kevin Von Erich and Super Destroyer. Eddie teamed with father Tommy Gilbert to defeat Siegfried Stanke & Steve Lawler on March 3rd in Tulsa in what was billed as a US Tag Team title bout. This was Stanke's last match in the territory. While the results in the newspaper don't explicitly state that the Gilberts won the belts, most title history sources list this as a title change, which seems logical. Eddie returned three weeks later for a title defense against Jerry Brown & Steve Lawler. Results are not available, but the tag team titles don't seem to be mentioned at all through the month of April, even though Lawler & Brown team up regularly. Title history sources list the next champs as Ron McFarlane & Doug Somers with no actual title change listed. I don't know who this version of the Super Destroyer was, but it probably wasn't Scott Irwin, who was in Florida at the time.

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Here are the week-by-week Rankings for the month.






WHO'S HOT AND WHO'S NOT

Hot: Babyface Tommy Gilbert and heel Mr. Pogo. Gilbert moved up to Main Eventer status during the month. His SPOT Rating was a .56 back in mid-February and increased to a .86 by the end of March. He also moved up the Rankings and ended the month ranked 3rd. After debuting in the mid-cards, Pogo moved up the cards and by the end of the month was ranked 5th.

Not: Heel Don Bass. Bass' SPOT Rating was a .40 the week ending March 2nd but fell to a .28 by the end of the month.

CH-CHANGES

Role Changes: Steve Lawler found himself a new tag team partner during the month. After Siegfried Stanke left the territory early in March, Lawler hooked up with Jerry Brown and they became a regular team.

Title Changes: As mentioned above, it is believed that Eddie & Tommy Gilbert won the US Tag Team titles from Steve Lawler & Siegfried Stanke on March 3rd in Tulsa. Les Thornton won the NWA World Junior Heavyweight title, though not by defeating the previous champ (Ron Starr). Thornton and Starr went to a time limit draw on March 3rd in Tulsa and were booked for a rematch with a 90 minute time limit on the 10th. Starr did not appear and was replaced by the Super Destroyer. Another Starr-Thornton match was advertised for Oklahoma City on the 14th but results are not available. On March 31st, Starr is again advertised to defend the title against Thornton in Tulsa. Once again, Starr did not appear and Thornton instead faced and defeated Tommy Gilbert. If I had to guess, I'd say that Thornton was given the belt here after defeating Gilbert. I would also guess the promotion knew Starr wasn't going to be there, as the newspaper ad indicated that there would be a "sub standing by" in case Starr didn't appear.

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Here are the week-by-week FEUD Scores for the month.






We don't see a lot of matches with high FEUD Scores in this territory. This is due to a few different reasons. The biggest factor, however, is that we only have data on a few cards each week. I don't know how many nights a week the territory ran shows, but in all likelihood we're missing a good portion, perhaps as much as half, of all the house shows the territory ran. If we had that additional data we may be able to better measure and identify significant feuds.

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HOUSE SHOW LINEUPS
(unless stated otherwise, these lineups are from my own personal research)

3/3/80 Tulsa, OK
-NWA World Junior Heavyweight title: Les Thornton vs Ron Starr
-US Tag Team titles: Eddie Gilbert & Tommy Gilbert vs Siegfried Stanke & Steve Lawler
-Brian Blair vs Don Bass
-Bruce Reed vs Gene Lewis
-Ken Wayne vs Mr Pogo

3/4/80 Fort Smith, AR
-Brian Blair & Tommy Gilbert vs Ron Starr & Scandor Akbar
-Herb Calvert vs Steve Lawler
-Ken Wayne vs Mr Pogo
-Don Bass vs Scorpion

3/5/80 Springfield, MO
-Bruce Reed & Tommy Gilbert vs Ron Starr & Steve Lawler
-Brian Blair vs Don Bass
-Ken Wayne vs Mr Pogo
-Herb Calvert vs Scorpion

3/7/80 Oklahoma City, OK (source: oklafan.com)
-Brian Blair & Les Thornton vs Ron Starr & Steve Lawler
-Scandor Akbar vs Tommy Gilbert
-Brian Blair vs Gene Lewis
-Gary Black vs Mr Pogo
-Bill Ash vs Scorpion

3/8/80 Hector, AR (source: wrestlingdata.com)
-Brian Blair vs Ron Starr
-Steve Lawler vs Tommy Gilbert
-Bill Ash vs Gene Lewis
-Don Bass vs Joe Stark

3/10/80 Tulsa, OK
-NWA World Junior Heavyweight title: Les Thornton vs Ron Starr
-Bruce Reed & Tommy Gilbert vs Scandor Akbar & Steve Lawler
-Brian Blair vs Jerry Brown
-Don Bass vs Herb Calvert
-Gary Black vs Gene Lewis

3/11/80 Fort Smith, AR
-Ron Starr vs Tommy Gilbert
-Brian Blair & Bruce Reed vs Jerry Brown & Steve Lawler
-Don Bass vs Herb Calvert
-Bill Ash vs Gene Lewis

3/12/80 Springfield, MO
-Ron Starr vs Tommy Gilbert
-Brian Blair & Bruce Reed vs Jerry Brown & Steve Lawler
-Don Bass vs Herb Calvert
-Gary Black vs Gene Lewis

3/14/80 Oklahoma City, OK (source: wrestlingdata.com)
-Les Thornton vs Ron Starr
-Bruce Reed & Tommy Gilbert vs Jerry Brown & Steve Lawler
-Bill Ash vs Brian Blair
-Don Bass vs Herb Calvert
-Gary Black vs Gene Lewis

3/17/80 Tulsa, OK
-No disqualification: Les Thornton vs Super Destroyer
-Elimination match: Brian Blair & Bruce Reed & Tommy Gilbert vs Jerry Brown & Scandor Akbar & Steve Lawler
-Mr Pogo vs Tommy Sharpe
-Don Bass vs Gene Lewis

3/18/80 Fort Smith, AR
-Les Thornton vs Tommy Gilbert
-Bill Ash & Brian Blair & Bruce Reed vs Jerry Brown & Scandor Akbar & Steve Lawler
-Mr Pogo vs Tommy Sharpe
-plus one other bout, likely a singles match involving participants from the six-man

3/19/80 Springfield, MO
-Elimination match: Brian Blair & Bruce Reed & Tommy Gilbert vs Jerry Brown & Scandor Akbar & Steve Lawler
-Captain's match: Scandor Akbar vs Tommy Gilbert
-Bill Ash vs Mr Pogo
-Don Bass vs Tommy Sharpe

3/22/80 Joplin, MO
-Bruce Reed & Tommy Gilbert vs Jerry Brown & Steve Lawler
-Brian Blair vs Killer Karl Krupp
-Bill Ash vs Mr Pogo
-Kenny Milsap vs Tommy Sharpe

3/24/80 Tulsa, OK
-Kevin Von Erich vs Killer Karl Krupp
-US Tag Team titles: Eddie Gilbert & Tommy Gilbert vs Jerry Brown & Steve Lawler
-Bruce Reed vs Mr Pogo
-Don Bass vs Tommy Sharpe
-Bill Ash vs Gary Black

3/25/80 Fort Smith, AR
-Mr Pogo vs Tommy Gilbert
-Bruce Reed vs Killer Karl Krupp
-Brian Blair vs Jerry Brown
-Steve Lawler vs Tommy Sharpe
-Bill Ash vs Don Bass

3/26/80 Springfield, MO
-Bruce Reed vs Mr Pogo
-Killer Karl Krupp vs Tommy Gilbert
-Brian Blair vs Steve Lawler
-Jerry Brown vs Tommy Sharpe
-Bill Ash vs Don Bass

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