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1970s Outlaw Feds  Rate Topic 
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 Posted: Wed Jul 22nd, 2009 03:23 pm
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beejmi
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I've heard the term applied to Einhorn's IWA before. I know there are others I just can't think of any (feel free to throw them out there though)

Okay -- so what made them "outlaw feds" exactly? I assume it's because they weren't linked to the WWWF, AWA or NWA.

And the guys that "worked" in these. Was anyone ever really honestly "blackballed" because they worked in one?

I am thinking that's all bluster and if a guy was good that they were "forgiven".

I know Bruno and Zbyszko took their feud (sort of ~ David vs Zbyszko) to a "outlaw fed" in Pittsburgh after their WWWF thing rang it's course. Was this the NWF (was that an "outlaw"?) or another league?

I also remember seeing on video an "IWF TV show" running the Omni in Atlanta. T-bolt, Jim Wilson ~ I assume this was an "outlaw" fed.

What other ones were out there?

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 Posted: Wed Jul 22nd, 2009 03:38 pm
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Count Grog
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Ann Gunkles Georgia promotion All Star South or something like that

Dean Silverstone in the Pacfic Northwest had one

Really The NWF in Buffalo and Cleveland broke off from the NWA and many would consider them one even though they were alligned with the NWA Detroit office

 

 



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 Posted: Wed Jul 22nd, 2009 03:57 pm
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srossi
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Angelo Poffo's ICW is probably the best example of an outlaw promotion where things got very contentious.  Even that got turned into an angle after a few years, so yes, lots of bluster.



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 Posted: Wed Jul 22nd, 2009 05:37 pm
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freebirdsforever2001
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srossi wrote: Angelo Poffo's ICW is probably the best example of an outlaw promotion where things got very contentious.  Even that got turned into an angle after a few years, so yes, lots of bluster.
Wasn't there a incident where Randy Savage pulled a gun on Bill Dundee in a parking lot ?



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 Posted: Wed Jul 22nd, 2009 06:01 pm
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tamalie
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I've heard the term applied to Einhorn's IWA before. I know there are others I just can't think of any (feel free to throw them out there though)

Okay -- so what made them "outlaw feds" exactly? I assume it's because they weren't linked to the WWWF, AWA or NWA.



An outlaw was more than just a group that was outisde the NWA, AWA, and WWWF. Outlaw promotions generally ran against established promotions in towns that those established groups claimed as their own and theoretically had exclusive rights to under the established pro wrestling order. In those disputed towns the outlaws tended to have the weaker TV station (the UHF you could only pick up in the right weather) and a secondary arena (running a roller rink, school gym or auction barn instead of the local Civic Coliseum).

I don't consider the NWF to have been an outlaw. They had connections with the big offices and used lots of guys who worked elsewhere before, during, and after their association with the NWF without any political ramifications. It was the only game in town in its markets, at least on a major league level, and ran the big arenas. It was a different deal than the ICW group owned by Angelo Poffo in Kentucky which was a true outlaw.

ICW ran turf in Kentucky and Illinois that was claimed by the Memphis and Indianapolis promotions. It made grandstand challenges designed to embarrass wrestlers from its better established rivals, usually guys like Lawler and Dundee, used wrestlers who were less in demand elsewhere (blacklisting is going a bit far, for the most part, since someone capable of drawing or who had the right connections could get work in other promotions) and generally ran secondary venues in the disputed markets.

And the guys that "worked" in these. Was anyone ever really honestly "blackballed" because they worked in one?

I am thinking that's all bluster and if a guy was good that they were "forgiven".


My take is the blacklisting thing is a bit overblown. If you could work and had the right connections, someone would hire you. I'd buy though that certain guys were kept out of specific promotions for reasons other than business. However there was generally always someplace else to go. Most of the guys who claimed they were blackballed out the business entirely tended to be marginal wrestlers who made political enemies.

I know Bruno and Zbyszko took their feud (sort of ~ David vs Zbyszko) to a "outlaw fed" in Pittsburgh after their WWWF thing rang it's course. Was this the NWF (was that an "outlaw"?) or another league?

I also remember seeing on video an "IWF TV show" running the Omni in Atlanta. T-bolt, Jim Wilson ~ I assume this was an "outlaw" fed.

What other ones were out there?

 Some outlaw groups from the old days:

- Universal Wrestling. This outfit ran against The Sheik's Detroit based territory around 1975 and 1976 and mainly consisted of guys who walked out on Farhat due to disputes over pay and bookings.

- IWA. This promotion had two phases. In 1975 and early 1976 it attempted to be a national promotion and got TV in most of the major markets. When that failed and Eddie Einhorn and TVS withdrew, what was left of the group based itself in Winston-Salem, NC and ran as a local outlaw against JCP until closing in 1977.

- Phil Golden ran a group in Kentucky around 1971-72 in opposition to Nick Gulas' Nashville office.

- Greater St. Louis Wrestling. Larry Matysik opened up a group against the NWA office which had passed to Bob Geigel and Verne Gagne after Sam Muchnick retired. This group closed up when the WWF entered St. Louis and changed the game in late 1983.

- Sunbelt Wrestling. This was a Jacksonville based effort to run against the Florida office in 1981.

- Southwest (sort of). Southwest had some bad blood with the Dallas office and was not an NWA member, but booked talent into Houston for Paul Boesch for a while and had some mainstream talent. After Boesch split with this office to go with Watts, Southwest tried to run Houston in opposition although even afterwards it had little trouble getting recognizable talent.

- Big Bear. For years Dave McKigney's Ontario group was an outlaw, bucking the system against the Toronto office.

- Superstar Championship Wrestling. Was this truly an outlaw? I've gotten the impression they butted heads with Portland and Vancouver over Seattle, but it seemed like a mainstream group.

- San Francisco (Shire). When Roy Shire opened up in San Francisco, he was an outlaw, which is why this group didn't join the NWA until the late 1960s. Joe Malcewicz was the NWA's San Francisco promoter, but he didn't have or want TV while Shire used it well. This battle lasted about a year, but was over long before then. After killing off the established promotion, Shire's company was effectively part of the establishment.

- UWA. Lou Thesz had fallen out with Nick Gulas and opened up this opposition promotion in response during 1976. He used a lot of guys who had worked for Nick in the past or who became better known wrestlers later.

- All Star Wrestling. Bob Roop, Bob Orton Jr., Ron Garvin, Boris Malenko, and Ron Wright broke off from Ron Fuller's Southeastern group in mid 1979 after accusing Ron of skimming gate money. They opened this group to compete with him in Knoxville and the surrounding towns. The war got so bitter that it killed the town. Fuller sold out to the Georgia office and left. The outlaws had to merge with ICW and then abandon Knoxville in favor of working Poffo's main circuit.

- All South. This promotion launched in November of 1972 and closed about two years later in 1974. It was born out of a dispute between the owners of the NWA affiliated office in Georgia and Ann Gunkel, the widow of Ray Gunkel who had been their managing partner. Most of the wrestlers went with Deep South, but Columbus/Macon promoter Fred Ward's decision to stick with the NWA promotion tipped the scales against the rebel group early on in the battle.

- Atlanta was pretty fertile ground for outlaws. As was mentioned, Jim Wilson and Thunderbolt Patterson tried starting opposition to Georgia Championship Wrestling in the mid 1970s. This flickered out in a hurry after a show at The Omni tanked (this is the one Wilson claimed that GCW sabotaged). Lars Anderson ran a group in the early 1980s. There was also the UWA which used mainly black wrestlers and aimed itself at black fans.

- Wrestling Show Classics. Bobby Davis ran this promotion in Ohio, centered around Cincinnati and also running Dayton, Columbus, and some other towns. This group competed with The Sheik's Detroit office which booked those Ohio towns. Davis' friend Buddy Rogers, Mark Lewin, Killer Karl Kox, and some other names of note worked here in 1969 and 1970. This group also ran the first ever wrestling card at The Spectrum in Philadelphia in the fall of 1969. Whether this was the start of a run against the WWWF, which ran the older Philadelphia Arena, or just a one shot deal is unknown since the attendance was awful and the promotion didn't return. The WWWF didn't open up at The Spectrum until 1974.

- Baron Leone attempted to run against the Los Angeles office. There is not a lot of information, but he may have made multiple attempts based on the timeline which stretches from the 1960s into the 1980s.

Last edited on Wed Jul 22nd, 2009 06:07 pm by tamalie

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 Posted: Wed Jul 22nd, 2009 06:04 pm
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HarryG
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beejmi wrote: I've heard the term applied to Einhorn's IWA before. I know there are others I just can't think of any (feel free to throw them out there though)

Okay -- so what made them "outlaw feds" exactly? I assume it's because they weren't linked to the WWWF, AWA or NWA.

And the guys that "worked" in these. Was anyone ever really honestly "blackballed" because they worked in one?

I am thinking that's all bluster and if a guy was good that they were "forgiven".

I know Bruno and Zbyszko took their feud (sort of ~ David vs Zbyszko) to a "outlaw fed" in Pittsburgh after their WWWF thing rang it's course. Was this the NWF (was that an "outlaw"?) or another league?

I also remember seeing on video an "IWF TV show" running the Omni in Atlanta. T-bolt, Jim Wilson ~ I assume this was an "outlaw" fed.

What other ones were out there?

Outlaw feds (technically were companies that did not align themselves with the NWA nor pay dues, book or recognize the NWA World Champion, etc.  So by that definition, the WWWF, AWA and later on WWA (California and Indiana) NWF and Mid-South were all "outlaws".

Thing was-all of those companies were on amicable terms. Vincent J. McMahon sat on the NWA Governing board even as his company was not (for several years) a part of the NWA. Verne Gagne held points in St. Louis (the heart of the NWA) and Kansas City.  The NWF and Mid South had no problem getting their guys booked in NWA towns.....  Many consider these "competitors" to be actually supported by the NWA-stemming back to the Federal Antitrust/Monopoly suit that was drawn against the NWA.  Having friendly "rivals" allowed the NWA to claim that they indeed were NOT a monopoly.

True outlaw groups were groups that promoted in NWA-held territories in opposition to the established promotion.  Some of the "made" groups did that once in awhile (Gagne tried to take over San Francisco and Los Angeles from Roy Shires and Mike LaBell-and failed; Bruiser tried on two occasions to take Detroit from the Sheik.)  The outlaws that existed rarely lasted a long time.  Shires himself was originally an outlaw (opposing Joe Malcewicz).

Poffo's ICW was an outlaw. There were several outlaw groups that came and went in Texas and Florida (Eddie Mansfield was running an IWA in Florida in the 1980s).  Einhorn's IWA.  The original NAWA (later WWWA) in Los Angeles.  Ann Gunkel's was the best example given.  Boris Malenko ran an opposition group in the Pensacola area against Eddie Graham after a falling out.  Dave "Bearman" McKigney ran opposition against Frank Tunney in Ontario province...but then worked with him at times as well.

Then you had the tiny groups. Savodi's ICW, Kowalski and DeNucci's IWF (the one that hosted the LarryZ-Bruno , Jr. feud). Eddie Sharkey had his PWA operating right in the heart of AWA territory. These groups existed under the nose of the "big boys" because they worked markets where the NWA, or WWWF didn't go.  So, essentially they were not competition.

Rule of thumb:  If the established promotion tried to wipe out the "invader" then they were an outlaw. If not, then it was just another company.



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 Posted: Wed Jul 22nd, 2009 06:06 pm
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HarryG
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OOps-Tamalie got here before I did-LOL.  :D

Was Universal Wrestling in Detroit the group that Killer Tim Brooks alluded to in his interview with Gary Cubeta?



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 Posted: Wed Jul 22nd, 2009 06:14 pm
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tamalie
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That was the group. It didn't last long, but Universal took a bite out of the Detroit territory that is overlooked a bit in history when people look at that promotion's downfall. Besides Brooks, Tony Marino, Luis Martinez, Ben Justice, and Karl Von Schotz were there, plus Terry Sullivan as the announcer. Jim Lancaster said at KM that there were issues over payoffs and that all the guys were burned out in the area and no one wanted to see them in the new promotion.

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 Posted: Wed Jul 22nd, 2009 07:06 pm
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Tamalie, thanks for that post.  It puts some footage that surfaced recently (The various Knoxville footage from '79-'80 in x138's 1st Goldmine set) into to better context.  How long was All-Star (Knoxville) around and how long did GCW own Knoxville before Fuller bought back in?

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 Posted: Wed Jul 22nd, 2009 07:08 pm
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The Ultimate Sin
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Great info guys.



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 Posted: Wed Jul 22nd, 2009 10:11 pm
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tamalie
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Bix wrote: Tamalie, thanks for that post.  It puts some footage that surfaced recently (The various Knoxville footage from '79-'80 in x138's 1st Goldmine set) into to better context.  How long was All-Star (Knoxville) around and how long did GCW own Knoxville before Fuller bought back in?

Here is a Knoxville timeline. A lot of this has been pieced together from different sources, so any corrections or additional info is welcome.


- Ron Fuller pulled out of Knoxville in December of 1979. All Star Wrestling died as a separate entity around this time too, maybe in early 1980. It did run some shows with ICW later I think. All Star's problem was having a really bad TV station.

- From then until probably around May of 1980 is when Fuller's former promotion featured all that stuff with Troy T. Tyler, The Matador, The Manchurians, and other stuff on that video tape that has made the rounds. The Georgia territory owned the office and sent in some guys too.

- By June of 1980 the Georgia office was running Knoxville itself. From Rich Tate's results, the GCW cards in Knoxville stop at the end of the summer, but they may have run some shows afterwards.

- In 1981, the JCP-Flair-Mulligan attempt at running Knoxville was made. I'm not sure if they bought the town from Georgia or if Georgia abandoned it and then they went in. My take on this venture was that since it was customary for top stars to get cut in on a territory that JCP decided to set up Flair and Mulligan in Knoxville instead of giving them pieces of the main promotion. This effort bombed. I don't think it made it even a year. JCP did run the town with its main crew for at least a little while.

- In the summer of 1983 the GCW Superstars effort in Chattanooga (the Jarrett-Ole collaboration that was going to run the Georgia towns and Eastern Tennessee so that the main stars could do Atlanta, Baltimore, Michigan, Ohio, etc...) ran some shows in Knoxville before the plug was pulled after about 3 months.

- Ron Fuller and Southeastern went back in during 1984, I believe.

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 Posted: Wed Jul 22nd, 2009 11:23 pm
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I don't think anyone was blackballed, not even Johnny Powers, who ran the IWA after Eddie Einhorn bailed out, or Ox Baker, who wrestled in several outlaw promotions, as did Ernie Ladd, Bob Ellis, Thunderbolt Patterson, Lou Thesaz, and a few others. Even Joe Turco, who wrestled in the ASWA & IWA, wasn't blackballed. Just because every promoter wasn't interested in every wrestler, didn't mean they were blackballed.

Also, Phil Golden's promotion definitely ran in West Virginia, I also thought it ran from 1972-1973.

I'm not sure if Leroy McGuirk's Tri-State promotion which ran from 1979 to 1982, in opposition to Bill Watts Mid-South promotion would be considered an outlaw promotion.

Last edited on Thu Jul 23rd, 2009 01:14 am by NJRob65

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 Posted: Thu Jul 23rd, 2009 12:13 am
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There was a group in the Pittsburgh-West Virginia panhandle run by Zolton the Great (Ken Jugan) that featured B.B. Coleman, Jugan and other WWWF prelim guys. Ring Magazine used to run results in their issues.

Also, I'm glad to be on here. It looks like a great board.

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 Posted: Thu Jul 23rd, 2009 12:32 am
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For what it's worth, Knoxville still had its own TV for awhile during the GCW period in 1980.  Different studio and an announcer that I don't recognize.

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 Posted: Thu Jul 23rd, 2009 12:46 am
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Jugans promotion was Three Rivers Wrestling



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