Funk's Corner - NWA World Championship in St. Louis

Dory Funk Jr. vs Waldo Von Erich (NWA World Championship
 
Information credit Larry Matysik - From the Golden Era, St. Louis Wrestling Record Book
 
January 24th 1969 I faced Waldo Von Erich in St. Louis in a match that ended with Von Erich being disqualified.
 
February 22nd, 1969 a return match between Waldo and Myself was scheduled to take place in St. Louis under "Texas Death Match Rules."
 
However, February 11, 1969, in Tampa, Florida I became NWA World Champion with a victory over Gene Kiniski.
 
As a result of My winning the NWA World Championship, Sam Muchnick, Promoter in St. Louis and President of the National Wrestling Alliance changed the card.
 
The match between Waldo and I would not be a Texas Death Match but would be changed to an NWA World Championship Match.
 
With tickets already released for sale at regular prices, the wrestling fans would get a bargain, an NWA World Championship Match at regular prices.
 
The wrestling fans would get "More than their money's worth, resulting in a capacity crowd at Kiel Auditorium for my first appearance in St. Louis as NWA World Champion.
 
(Best 2 our to 3 falls) While losing the first fall to Funk, Waldo Von Erich injured his shoulder and could not continue.)
 
My next NWA Title defense in St. Louis - April 11, 1969, Best 2 out of 3 falls vs Black Jack Lanza
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Dory Funk Jr. vs Black Jack Lanza with Bobby Heenan.
 
Information credit Larry Matysik - >From the Golden Era, St. Louis Wrestling Record Book
 
My second NWA World Title defense in St. Louis came Friday April 11, 1969. My opponent was Black Jack Lanza managed by Bobby Heenan.
 
On March 7th in Kiel Auditorium, Black Jack Lanza was disqualified in a handicap match against Terry Funk and Whipper Billy Watson when Lanza's manager, Bobby Heenan interfered in the match.
 
St. Louis had never had an active manager and Heenan's interference generated incredible heat. Black Jack Lanza, and Bobby Henan were "Hot" in St. Louis.
 
April 25, 1969 Black Jack Lanza with Bobby Heenan in his corner beat Pat O'Connor setting up the next match for the NWA World Championship.
 
April 11, 1969, Dory Funk Jr. vs Black Jack Lanza with Pat O'Connor as special referee for the NWA World Championship best 2/3 falls, 1 hour time limit. Attendance 10,850 (Sell-Out)
 
Lanza was arguing with O' Connor when Funk scored  with a drop kick and cradle for the pin in the third fall. Lanza and Heenan blamed O'Connor and jumped him after the match generating tons of heat on Heenan and Lanza.
 
Next NWA World Title Match in St. Louis Saturday June 14, 1969 Return Match Dory Funk Jr. vs Black Jack Lanza with Bobby Heenan.
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Dory Funk Jr. - Coach of the Funking Conservatory Wrestling School and Trainer of WWE, TNA, NXT and Japanese Wrestling Talent.
 
For training schedules at the Funking Conservatory Wrestling School and tickets to the next !BANG! TV Taping, Call 352-895-4658.
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Funk's Corner - NWA World Championship in St. Louis
Dory Funk Jr. vs Black Jack Lanza with Bobby Heenan.
 
Information credit Larry Matysik - >From the Golden Era, St. Louis Wrestling Record Book

With victories over Pat O'Connor (Arpil 25) and Edouard Carpentier, (May 16) Black Jack Lanza with Bobby Heenan were ready for a second try at the NWA World Championship.

Saturday June 14, 1969, at Kiel Auditorium, (att. 10,850 sellout) NWA World Champion, Dory Funk Jr. won from Black Jack Lanza with Bobby Heenan. Funk won the first fall with a spinning toehold after Lanza missed a knee drop from the ropes. Lanza was injured and the referee stopped the match giving the decision to Funk.
 
Sam ran a tight ship in St. Louis. No abuse of the officials was allowed, there was a medical examination before participating, no foreign objects in the ring, no two men on the floor at the same time, wrestlers were instructed to keep it a contest and work for the pin fall, and to top that off the ring in St. Louis was one of the hardest in the business. Everyone received a lecture on what was expected of them prior to the show from either Bobby Bruns or Pat O'Connor.

Next NWA World Championship Match in St. Louis - October 17 Dory Funk Jr. vs Gene Kiniski


Funk's Corner - NWA World Championship in St. Louis
Dory Funk Jr. vs Gene Kiniski
 
Information credit Larry Matysik - From the Golden Era, St. Louis Wrestling Record Book.
 
October 11, 1969, The Arena in St. Louis, for the NWA World Championship Dory Funk Jr. vs Gene Kiniski (att. 15,099)
 
One week before the St. Louis Arena show on television at Wrestling from the Chase, an interview with Gene Kiniski and Dory Funk Sr. ended with Kiniski attacking Funk Sr. and battering him. Dory Jr. came to help, but Kiniski pounded him too and threw Dory Junior out of the ring.
 
Arena St. Louis - NWA Champion, Dory Funk Jr. beat Gene Kiniski 2/3 falls. Lou Thesz special referee. Kiniski won the first fall and Funk won the second. Thesz stopped the bout and awarded the decision to Funk when Kiniski could not continue after hurting his knee and being caught in the spinning toehold to end the second fall.
 
Gene Kiniski was a football player and amateur wrestler from University of Arizona. Kiniski was trained by Dory Funk Sr.
 
Gene Kiniski saved my career in professional wrestling in 1963 in Vancouver BC when I severely injured my knee. I was scheduled for surgery but Kiniski intervened, telling me to show up for the show with athletic tape, tough skin and long tights. Over the next month, Gene taped my leg every night before I put on the long tights and entered the ring.
 
Throughout my wrestling career, I have never since had surgery or trouble with my knees.
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Next NWA World Championship Match in St. Louis - January 7, 1970  -  Dory Funk Jr. vs Dick The Bruiser.

 Funk's Corner - NWA World Championship in St. Louis Dory Funk Jr. vs Dick The Bruiser
 
Information credit Larry Matysik - From the Golden Era, St. Louis Wrestling Record Book.
 
On December 5th 1969, Dick The Bruiser was a huge babyface as He won a Texas Death Match over Black Jack Lanza with Bobby Heenan in Lanza's corner.
 
January 9, 1970 Kiel Auditorium, (att. 11,434 Sellout) Dory Funk Jr, NWA World Champion won over Dick The Bruiser. Bruiser took the first fall and appeared to have a three count on Funk for a second straight fall before referee Joe Schoenberger saw Bruiser using the ropes. The referee reversed the decision and disqualified Bruiser for the second fall. Bruiser went berserk, punched Shoengerger, hit Funk with a chair and was then disqualified for the third fall and the match. Afterward, Athletic Commissioner Eddie Davidson suspended Bruiser indefinitely.
 
(Larry Matysik's thoughts - Fans in 2007 and 2008 talk about the mixed reaction to John Cena, but this one was completely unique. Dory Funk Jr. was a favorite, and The Bruiser definitely was the "People's Choice," especially after his fued against Lanza and Heenan. The crowd was totally split, in a constant uproar, and completely beside themselves when Dick's outburst led to his disqualification).
 
Next NWA World Championship Match in St. Louis, Dory Funk Jr. vs Baron Von Raschke.
Funk's Corner - NWA World Championship in St. Louis / Dory Funk Jr. vs Baron Von Raschke
 
Information credit Larry Matysik - From the Golden Era, St. Louis Wrestling Record Book.
 
Baron Von Raschke worked the "Sly Foreigner" part claiming to be from Germany, wearing the Iron Cross, doing the Goose Step and using the Brain Claw for a finish. The real Jim Raschke may have been even more imposing. Jim Raschke was a two time All American Amateur Wrestler from University of Nebraska.
 
Baron Von Raschke began his charge for the NWA World Title Match with a victory over Dory Funk Jr. in a six man elimination tag team match on KPLR's Wrestling from the Chase on January 30th, 1970. Dory Funk Jr., Jack Brisco and Tommy Martin vs Baron Von Raschke, Crimson Knight and Roger Kirby. Brisco beat Kirby, Knight beat Martin and Raschke beat Funk. The 20 minute time limit expired leaving Brisco against Raschke and Knight.
 
February 20th, 1970, Kiel Auditorium (att. 11,077 Sellout) NWA World Champion, Dory Funk Jr. beat Baron Von Raschke 2/3 falls. Whipper Billy Watson was the Special Referee.
 
Outside the ring I remember in the mid 80's, Marti and I sipping champagne with Dick Murdoch and Jim Raschke. Raschke kept making a toast to Marti and I, finishing off his champagne and slamming his glass to the table each time breaking off the slender pedestal off his Champagne glass then ordering another in a new glass. And another in a new glass And another in a new glass etc. etc.

Next NWA World Championship Match in St. Louis - April 3, 1970  -  Dory Funk Jr. vs Pat O'Connor
Funk's Corner - NWA World Championship in St. Louis / Dory Funk Jr. vs Pat O'Connor (Stories archived at http://www.dory-funk.com)
 
Information credit Larry Matysik - From the Golden Era, St. Louis Wrestling Record Book.

April 3rd, 1970 Attendance 11,581 (Sell Out) Dory Funk Jr. beat Pat O'Connor, Funk winning the only fall at 54:20 and the match continuing to the one hour time limit.
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June 12, 1970 Kiel Auditorium Attendance 10,344 Dory Funk Jr. beat Gene Kiniski best 2 / 3 falls, Whipper Watson Special Guest Referee.
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October 2nd, 1970, Attendance 12,071, Dory Funk Jr. beat Dick the Bruiser 2 / 3 falls with Pat O'Connor Special Referee. Dick The Bruiser submitted the third fall to the Spinning Toe Hold.
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November 20th, 1970, Attendance 12,515, Dory Funk Jr. beat The Crimson Knight who turned out to be Dr. Bill Miller. (In St. Louis no masked man could wrestle for the NWA World Championship without first identifying himself and removing his mask before the match.
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January 1st, 1971 Attendance 11,587, Dory Funk wrestled Jack Brisco to a 1 hour draw with each man winning a fall during the one hour time limit draw.
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February 19, 1971 - Kiel (Att. 8317) Dory Funk Jr. won 2/3 falls from Baron Von Raschke.
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April 2, 1971 - The Arena (att. 11,033) NWA Champion, Dory Funk Jr. won 2/3 falls from Black Jack Lanza. The ring was surrounded by a 7-foot high chain-link fence to keep Bobby Heenan, who was allowed back at ringside, from interfering. Pat O'Connor, special referee.
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June 18, 1971 - Kiel (att. 11,259) NWA Champion, Dory Funk Jr. won 2/3 falls from Johnny Valentine.
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NWA Champion, Dory Funk Jr. won 2/3 falls from Harley Race. Lou Thesz was the special referee.
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November 29, 1971- The Arena (att 12,614) NWA Champion, Dory Funk Jr. won from Jack Brisco. Funk tooke the only fall achieved within the one hour limit at 19:15.
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Saturday, Jan. 1, 1972 - Kiel (att. 11,305) NWA Champion, Dory Funk Jr. beat Rufus R. Jones 2/3 falls
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April 7, 1972 - Kiel (att. 9,301) NWA Champion Dory Funk Jr. beat Jerry Brisco two straight falls when Brisco could not continue after losing the first fall to Funk's spinning toehold.
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June 2, 1972 - Kiel (att. 9,331) NWA Champion Dory Funk Jr. beat Johnny Valentine 2/3 falls. Each man won a fall but Valentine could not continue in the third fall after losing the second to Funk's spinning toe hold
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October 13, 1972 - Kiel (att. 10,881) NWA Champion Dory Funk Jr. won 2/3 falls from Gene Kiniski.
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Dec. 1, 1972 - Kiel (att 9,702) NWA Champion Dory Funk Jr. draw with Rufus R. Jones as each man won one fall within the one your limit.
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January 5, 1973 Kiel (att. 11,116) NWA Champion, Dory Funk Jr. beat Harley Race 2/3 falls as Race was counted out outside the ring for the fall.
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February 3, 1973 Kiel (att 10,544) NWA Champion Dory Funk Jr. beat Johnny Valentine 2/3 falls.