St. Louis was the capital, and Muchnick the ruler of professional wrestling, before Vince McMahon’s World Wrestling Entertainment took over. What happened in St. Louis paved the way for today’s multi-billion-dollar sports entertainment industry. The centrepiece of this magical operation was “Wrestling at the Chase,” a television program which broadcast from 1959 to 1983 from the majestic Chase Hotel.
Larry Matysik was Muchnick’s protégé and longtime announcer for the television show. With an insider’s eye for detail and accuracy, he recalls funny and amazingly touching tales about the characters who created professional wrestling as we know it. Ric Flair, “King Kong” Brody, Dick “the Bruiser,” the Von Erichs, Lou Thesz, Gene Kiniski, Pat O’Connor, Johnny Valentine, Dick Murdoch, Harley Race, Buddy Rogers, Jack Brisco, and Andre the Giant are all prominently featured. So is Muchnick himself, the Damon Runyan of wrestling, a man who helped mould the bizarre business of circus and sport. The savage twists of the politics of wrestling are on display as well, particularly the changes that rocked the mat world during the early ’80s.
Larry Matysik was only 16 when he started working for Muchnick in 1963. He was both the St. Louis promotion’s publicist and office manager. Later in his career he booked matches, and produced and called play-by-play for television. He also worked for Vince McMahon and the World Wrestling Federation from 1984 to 1993, and has since been involved in independent wrestling promotions.
Published: July 2005
Dimensions: 6.75 x 9.75 in.