Posted May 18th, 2017 by Bill Apter

Wrestling at the Chase RETURNS for its 58th Anniversary
By Ryan K. Boman

The “Wrestling at the Chase 58th Anniversary”, hosted by Southern Illinois Championship Wrestling, will welcome home legends and re-live memories on Saturday night in East Carondelet, IL.

The event will pay tribute to the legendary ‘rasslin program, that aired locally on the Gateway City’s KPLR-11 from 1959-1983. The show was the brainchild of former NWA President Sam Muchnick.

Appearing on the card will be WWE Hall of Famer, Abdullah the Butcher, as well as legendary WATC announcer, Larry Matysik. The card will also feature the Bruiser Brody Memorial Battle Royal.

Brody was a St. Louis mainstay and close friend of Matysik’s. The former penned a biography of the murdered grappler, Brody: The Triumph and Tragedy of Wrestling’s Rebel, with Brody’s widow, Barbara Goodish.

Throughout the years, “Wrestling at the Chase” featured a mix of legendary NWA World Champions and local favorites. Names like Rufus R. Jones and ‘Bulldog’ Bob Brown became as well-known in their heyday as worldwide stars, thanks to the show’s popularity and Muchnick’s steady influence.

The show itself was shot in a very unique location: The Khorassan Room of The Chase Park Plaza hotel. Regular attendees were often nattily dressed in suits and skirts, as the matches were considered not only sport, but a St. Louis social event.

During the golden age, both the show and the city were also considered the capital of the wrestling industry, due to Muchnick’s influence. The NWA World title changed hands more often in St. Louis at that time than in anywhere else in America, most notably at the larger, monthly events at the Checkerdome.

“We continue this reunion every year, because even though it’s not still on television, it’s popular, even today,” says SICW promoter Herb Simmons, who has been at the forefront of pro wrestling in the St. Louis area for years, and is a protege of Muchnick.

“People always talk about their memories of the show and the wrestlers. I had the honor of knowing Sam and sit and talk with him about the business. I was very fortunate in that way.”

“We try to make it family-oriented, and welcome everyone and want to make them feel like they’re part of the show,” Simmons says. “We do a lot of things the old way, but still keep it exciting and try to keep our fans guessing.”
Fans who are interested in learning more about the event are encouraged to call 618-286-4848 or visit www.sicw.org for more details.

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