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Tribute to Sam Muchnick

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Special Note: A special thanks to three people for their help making this tribute possible.

Scott Teal of Whatever Happened To...? did the definitve biography on Sam Muchnick and his meaning to the National Wrestling Alliance. It ran in Whatever Happened To... ? Issue 16 and is available at his website. Scott was gracious enough to donate the biography to this tribute.

Mitch Hartsey, webmater of the NWA Midwest website, donated some great photos for this tribute. We are hoping to add more material to this tribute as it becomes available.

Joe Blanchard, for his comments about what it was like to wrestle for Sam Muchnick and what values he brought from Sam Muchnick to his promotion.

Sam Muchnick was to professional wrestling what Pete Rozelle was to the National Football League. Rozelle was considered a forward thinker that always looked ahead to the NFL's best possible future.

Likewise, Muchnick managed to organize professional wrestling promoters around the world and developed the National Wrestling Alliance into the most powerful body in the history of the sport. From 1950 through 1977, Muchnick managed to build the NWA while still making his own city, St. Louis, a Mecca of professional wrestling.

The foundation for the success enjoyed today by World Championship Wrestling and the World Wrestling Federation can be attibuted to Sam Muchnick's leadership of the sport through three decades.

It was a leadership built on integrity, honest and credibility.

Sam Muchnick passed away Dec. 30, 1998 in St. Louis at the age of 93.

Sam Muchnick's legacy will live forever.

The Life and Times of
Sam Muchnick

By Scott Teal
Whatever Happened To...?

He never participated as a wrestler, and only refereed a few matches, but he brought a lot of respect to wrestling in St. Louis. And through his efforts with the National Wrestling Alliance, he helped establish a firm foundation for professional wrestling around the world for many years.

A Championship Promoter

By Mark Nulty

Nobody understood how to promote a champion and spot a future World champion better than Sam Muchnick. Here's a look at his contribution to the NWA World heavyweight championship and an analysis of the Missouri State heavyweight championship.
RaceNWABelt1.jpg (29808 bytes) As NWA President, Sam often traveled to other cities prior to important NWA World heavyweight championship matches. Sam was in Houston July 20, 1973 to present NWA World heavyweight champion Harley Race with a new championship belt during an in-ring ceremony prior to Race's defense against Jack Brisco.
RaceNWABelt2.jpg (20252 bytes) Harley Race poses with his new NWA World heavyweight championship belt and Sam Muchnick immediately after the above ceremony. Ironically, Race wouldn't leave the ring with the belt as Jack Brisco won the title from Race that night.
SamNFlair.jpg (32015 bytes) Another future World heavyweight champion comes through St. Louis. Sam Muchnick watches Nature Boy Ric Flair prepare to enter the ring for a Wrestling at the Chase television match.
SamNCrockett.jpg (42052 bytes) Two of the greatest promoters of all-time. Sam Muchnick, left, poses with Jim Crockett Sr. Crockett Sr. was the promoter for wrestling in the Carolinas for decades.
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Joe Blanchard remembers
Sam Muchnick

In a Real Audio interview, Joe Blanchard talks about his memories of Muchnick, what made Muchnick special as a promoter and what he learned from Muchnick in creating his own promotion. Blanchard starred on Muchnick's cards in St. Louis. Blanchard would later start his own successful promotion in south Texas, Southwest Championship Wrestling.

NWAMidwest.gif (23847 bytes) Special thanks to Mitch Hartsey of NWA Midwest Wrestling for his contributions of photos and history.


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1998 Wrestling Classics: Frank Dusek, Mark Nulty
1998 Design: Jan Herod
Created: October 1998