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Tri-State Wrestling: April 1980

Here's a look at Tri-State Wrestling in April 1980: Tommy Gilbert and Killer Karl Krupp feud in the main event spot, King Parsons debuts, Don Bass gets a little bit of a push & more!

Here are the SPOT Ratings for the month. Instead of showing each week separately, I am now showing one chart for the month which contains all of the weekly numbers.

COMINGS AND GOINGS

Newcomers to the territory this month are babyface King Parsons and heel El Mongol.

"Iceman" King Parsons, who began his career in 1979, had been wrestling in Portland. He went to East Texas in late March for a week or so and then came here. El Mongol was Phil Mercado (source: wrestlingdata.com); he came in from Central States.

Leaving the territory during the month were babyfaces Les Thornton, Bruce Reed, Tommy Sharpe and Gary Black.

Thornton had been working both here and in East Texas, but after winning the NWA World Junior Heavyweight title on March 31st in Tulsa he stopped coming here. He continued to work in East Texas and also spent a couple of weeks working for Gulas in late April. I don't have any information on Reed's whereabouts after leaving here until he comes back in November. Sharpe went to Central States.

Other wrestlers not listed in the SPOT Ratings: David Von Erich, Don Sky, Joe Stark, Ron Starr, Ted Heath and Terry Garvin.

As mentioned in last month's blog post covering Tri-State in March 1980, Starr appears to have been advertised for the March 31st Tulsa show with full knowledge that he wouldn't be appearing. He had been the NWA World Junior Heavyweight champ and the ad for his 3/31 title defense against Les Thornton explicitly mentioned that there would be a "sub standing by" in case Starr did not appear. Heath came in for a week; he had been wrestling regularly in East Texas and Amarillo. Terry Garvin was Terrence Joyal, the "brother" (at various times) of Ronnie and Jimmy Garvin; it wasn't Terry Simms, who would have been 17 years old in April 1980 and didn't debut until much later in the '80s.

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Here are the "Apter-mag style" Rankings for the month.

WHO'S HOT AND WHO'S NOT

Hot: Babyface Tommy Gilbert and heels Killer Karl Krupp and Don Bass.

Both Gilbert and Krupp benefitted from the departure of East Texas based wrestlers David Von Erich, The Spoiler and Les Thornton, who had been occupying the main event spots in the towns they were booked on. Bass moved up the cards significantly in April, with his SPOT Rating jumping from a .24 at the beginning of the month to a .58 by the end.

Not: Heel Mr Pogo.

Pogo had been feuding with Bruce Reed in March, but with Reed leaving the territory Pogo was left without a dance partner. He was moved down the cards, with his SPOT Rating decreasing from a .73 to a .47 by the end of April.

CH-CH-CHANGES

Title Changes: After spending months holding a tournament to crown a Junior Heavyweight champion, that title ended up becoming the NWA World Junior Heavyweight title. As mentioned above, Les Thornton won it on March 31st and then left the area. The status of the Tag Team titles is unclear; the last known champions were Tommy Gilbert and his son Eddie, but Eddie was only here for a couple of matches. They may have dropped the belts to Jerry Brown & Steve Lawler, but I can't confirm that and none of Brown & Lawler's matches this month are billed as title bouts.

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Here are the FEUD Scores for the month. As with the SPOT Ratings, I am now showing just one chart for the entire month which contains all the weekly scores.

ANATOMY OF A FEUD

This month we'll dissect the feud between Killer Karl Krupp and Tommy Gilbert, looking at all of the known matches between them with results and stipulations noted where available.

Keep in mind that some newspapers didn't list details, so just because a match isn't specified as a title match we don't necessarily know for a fact that it was non-title and the same can apply for stipulation bouts. Also, "Wrestler A defeated Wrestler B" doesn't necessarily mean it was by pinfall or submission.

April 1 Fort Smith AR: Killer Karl Krupp vs Tommy Gilbert
April 5 Russellville AR: Tommy Gilbert beat Killer Karl Krupp by disqualification
April 8 Fort Smith AR: Killer Karl Krupp vs Tommy Gilbert
April 15 Fort Smith AR: Killer Karl Krupp vs Tommy Gilbert
April 17 Fayetteville AR: Killer Karl Krupp vs Tommy Gilbert
April 21 Tulsa OK: Killer Karl Krupp fought Tommy Gilbert to a no-contest
April 23 Springfield MO: Killer Karl Krupp vs Tommy Gilbert
April 26 Joplin MO: Killer Karl Krupp vs Tommy Gilbert

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Here is the calendar of known house shows:

HOUSE SHOW LINEUPS
(unless stated otherwise, these lineups are from my own personal research)
Stipulations listed when known; keep in mind that some matches not specified as title matches may have actually been title bouts and the same can apply for stipulation matches.

3/31/80 Tulsa, OK
-David Von Erich vs Killer Karl Krupp
-NWA World Junior Heavyweight title: Les Thornton vs Ron Starr
-Bruce Reed vs Mr Pogo
-Jerry Brown vs Tommy Gilbert
-Brian Blair vs Steve Lawler
-Don Bass vs Tommy Sharpe

4/1/80 Fort Smith, AR
-Bruce Reed vs Mr Pogo
-Killer Karl Krupp vs Tommy Gilbert
-Brian Blair vs Steve Lawler
-Bill Ash vs Jerry Brown
-Don Bass vs Tommy Sharpe

4/2/80 Springfield, MO
-Bruce Reed vs Mr Pogo
-Brian Blair vs Killer Karl Krupp
-Jerry Brown vs Tommy Gilbert
-Bill Ash vs Steve Lawler
-Don Bass vs Tommy Sharpe

4/5/80 Russellville, AR (source: wrestlingdata.com)
-Killer Karl Krupp vs Tommy Gilbert
-Brian Blair & Joe Stark vs Jerry Brown & Steve Lawler
-Don Sky vs El Mongol
-Bill Ash vs Don Bass

4/7/80 Tulsa, OK
-Bruce Reed vs Killer Karl Krupp
-No disqualification: Brian Blair & Tommy Gilbert vs Jerry Brown & Steve Lawler
-Bill Ash vs El Mongol
-Don Bass vs Gary Black
-Steve Lawler vs Tommy Gilbert

4/8/80 Fort Smith, AR
-Killer Karl Krupp vs Tommy Gilbert
-Bruce Reed & Tommy Sharpe vs Jerry Brown & Steve Lawler
-Brian Blair vs Mr Pogo
-Don Bass vs Gary Black

4/14/80 Tulsa, OK
-No disqualification, no countout: Killer Karl Krupp vs King Parsons
-Mr Pogo vs Tommy Gilbert
-Bill Ash & Brian Blair vs Jerry Brown & Steve Lawler
-Don Bass vs El Mongol
-Bill Ash vs Steve Lawler

4/15/80 Fort Smith, AR
-Killer Karl Krupp vs Tommy Gilbert
-Bill Ash & Brian Blair vs Jerry Brown & Steve Lawler
-El Mongol vs King Parsons
-Don Bass vs Mr Pogo

4/17/80 Fayetteville, AR
-Killer Karl Krupp vs Tommy Gilbert
-Bill Ash & Brian Blair vs Jerry Brown & Steve Lawler
-El Mongol vs King Parsons
-Bill Ash vs Steve Lawler

4/21/80 Tulsa, OK
-Killer Karl Krupp vs Tommy Gilbert
-Brian Blair & Ted Heath vs Jerry Brown & Steve Lawler
-Bill Ash & King Parsons vs El Mongol & Mr Pogo
-Brian Blair vs Jerry Brown

4/22/80 Fort Smith, AR
-Ten man battle royal
-Killer Karl Krupp vs King Parsons
-Mr Pogo vs Tommy Gilbert
-Brian Blair vs El Mongol
-plus two other bouts (also advertised for the battle royal were Jerry Brown, Steve Lawler, Bill Ash and Ted Heath)

4/23/80 Springfield, MO
-Killer Karl Krupp vs Tommy Gilbert
-Brian Blair & King Parsons vs Jerry Brown & Steve Lawler
-Bill Ash vs El Mongol
-Mr Pogo vs Ted Heath

4/26/80 Joplin, MO
-Killer Karl Krupp vs Tommy Gilbert
-Brian Blair & King Parsons vs Jerry Brown & Steve Lawler
-El Mongol vs Terry Garvin
-Bill Ash vs Ted Heath

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