NWA Member: Sam Menacker
Admitted to Organization: November 15, 1951
El Paso Office: 203 Gillespie Building
Phone Number: 2-6509, 2-6500
The behind-the-scenes wrangling in El Paso was almost as good as the action in the ring. Mike
London bought out longtime area promoter John McIntosh around the Spring of 1950 and put
Andy Tremaine as the front because London was still actively wrestling. Tremaine was the
figure-head of the new promotional effort and the name of record in the newspaper.
In his 1955 interview with the Department of Justice, Benny Ginsberg said that Tremaine
reportedly double-crossed London, so London brought in Sam Menacker to fight off Tremaine.
Menacker joined London on a 50-50 basis in August 1950 in a head-to-head war with Tremaine,
who was then affiliated with London's Albuquerque rival, Dory Detton. Menacker staged his
shows on Monday, while Tremaine ran on Tuesdays.
According to the Thursday, September 14, 1950 edition of the El Paso Herald Post, the wrestling
war ended "today" when Tremaine sold all of his interests to Menacker for an "undisclosed
amount." The article stated that Tremaine was giving up his promotional operation and
Menacker "will assume all of Tremaine's outstanding contracts with wrestlers." At this point,
Tremaine was a claimant to the light heavyweight championship.
Menacker told Stanley Disney in a June 1955 interview that he paid $5,700 to buy Tremaine out
of the promotion.
London-Menacker Enterprises was established, and the two became "joint members of the NWA."
On November 15, 1951, Menacker wrote to Sam Muchnick telling him that he was getting along
with Detton in Amarillo, and planned to share talent in the near future. Thesz was in town
recently, Menacker noted, and drew a $2,000 net, which had been lower than his previous
appearance, but "we did not have a Mexican for him to wrestle." London and Menacker planned
to have a "Parade of Champions" show in the near future, and wanted Thesz to wrestle "Torres."
They wanted to use Thesz for a "whole week."
A report said that that "London left El Paso entirely to Menacker." Eventually, Menacker decided
he "couldn't work with London," and made a deal to work with Amarillo's agent Detton instead.
London, however, wanted to settle things with Menacker in 1952.
At the 1953 NWA convention, Menacker admitted that he owed London money for El Paso and
"offered to make a settlement." The NWA appointed a committee made up of Sam Muchnick,
Fred Kohler, Johnny Doyle, and Hugh Nichols to oversee the issues, and the latter group
decided that Menacker owed London $10,000 for El Paso's gate receipts in 1953. Menacker
then began sending installment payments to London, which he claimed he completed and had
the cancelled checks to show for it.
However, London, in the midst of another fight with Detton over the status of Roswell, New
Mexico, claimed that Menacker still owed him $1,500. This information went out in an NWA
bulletin, which infuriated Menacker, and sent copies of the cancelled checks to the chairman of
the NWA's Grievance Committee. The issue was then dropped.
In 1954, wrestler Tony Morelli was seriously injured in a car accident in El Paso and missed
On July 19, 1955, NWA President Sam Muchnick notified the membership in a bulletin that Sam
Menacker had sent a complaint to the grievance committee regarding Alliance member Dory
Detton of Amarillo. Reportedly, Detton had invaded his territory, and was running opposition to
*According to his 1955 interview with the Department of Justice, Benny Ginsberg said
"Menacker and London then fell out." The NWA appointed Sam Avey and Hugh Nichols to
referee the dispute. London also had to pay off Dory Detton "in some way," but Ginsberg was
not sure how.
On October 15, 1955, in a bulletin to the National Wrestling Alliance membership, Sam Muchnick
announced that Menacker was dropped from the organization for failing to pay his dues and
assessments for 1955-'56.
On Thursday, August 25, 1977, the El Paso Herald Post reported that wrestling was returning to
El Paso after a "long absense" next Tuesday at the Coliseum under the auspices of Sal Romo.
Romo was called a "young El Pasoan," and was succeeding Gory Guerrero as the local
promoter. The article stated that Romo was going to refuse to work with any particular wrestling
syndicate, but would import grapplers from Mexico and across the U.S. on a "free lance basis."
While Guerrero was promoting, El Paso received wrestlers from the Amarillo booking office.
Romo planned to run weekly on Tuesdays.
Research by Tim Hornbaker
|El Paso Booking Office