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Wrestling at the Chase: The Inside Story of…

Wrestling at the Chase: The Inside Story of Sam Muchnick and the Legends…

by Larry Matysik

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I can't stomach modern "professional" wrestling. But back in 1969, when my family moved to the St. Louis area, I discovered a weekly TV show called "Wrestling at the Chase". This was the era of "scientific" wrestling, and even though I vaguely suspected that what I saw was choreographed, I thrilled to the skills involved, and some of the colorful personalities. Larry Matysik was a young announcer at the time for the show, and an assistant to Sam Muchnik, the undisputed kingpin of St. Louis pro wrestling, and one of the most respected men in the industry (can't quite call it a sport). Matysik has written an affectionately nostalgic and clearheaded account of those days, and the events that came together to change the nature of wrestling. I was nostalgically heartened to read the accounts of wrestling greats like Dory Funk Jr., Pat O'Connor, Dick the Bruiser, Jack Brisco and a host of others. It amazed me to learn that the behemoth King Kong Brody was actually a highly intelligent and educated sort, who was Matysik's friend until his murder. I can't ever let Dad read this book; I remember our arguments when he would scornfully snort with contempt at the fakery involved, and I would staunchly defend my favorite show (all the while knowing the truth inside). Matysik unabashedly talks about the decisions of Muchnik and others who would win each contest and how, leaving it up to the wrestlers to work out the choreography. I'd love to find out if DVD's of this show exist. My only real quibble is the scarcity and low quality of most of the photographs. ( )
  burnit99 | Apr 22, 2007 |
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Legendary St. Louis promoter Sam Muchnick and the magical television wrestling show broadcast from the opulent Chase Hotel from 1959 to 1983 are captured in this informative, amusing, and sometimes poignant story of one of wrestling's greatest eras. The high-class establishment of the Chase Hotel and the rough-and-tumble world of professional wrestling made strange bedfellows, but they worked together to produce an addicting spectacle under the direction of Muchnick. Ric Flair, King Kong Brody, and Andre the Giant are just some of the many characters who are featured in the engrossing, funny, and touching tales. Any fan of pro wrestling will delight in the history, humor, and uniqueness of Sam Muchnick and the Chase.… (more)

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