NWA Member: Al Karasick
Admitted to Organization: November 26, 1949
Honolulu Office: Civic Auditorium, 1314 South King Street, Honolulu 14, Hawaii
Phone Number: 5-5002 (1955)
Karasick was the manager of the Civic Auditorium, which was dubbed: "The Largest
Covered Arena in the Pacific."
Around late 1952 and into early 1953, Karasick had some health problems and took a
back seat in the booking office, leaving a majority of the work to Bobby Bruns. His
daughter Bette dealt with more of the promotional aspects. In a letter (11/5/52) to Sam
Muchnick in St. Louis, Bruns talked about an upcoming booking for Lou Thesz in
Honolulu. He wrote: "Al and I both agree that he [Thesz] will wrestle Mike Sharpe, who
will be a terrific opponent, for that particular match, since he is already much hated by
the fans here in Honolulu." Bruns also stated: "For reasons we are all familiar with, I will
referee the match if agreeable to Lou and yourself."
In that same letter, Bruns hit upon a subject that seemed to definte the Hawaiian
wrestling "territory" for many wrestlers. Bruns wrote: "The Shapre Brothers came over
for 6 weeks and apparently like it so much here that they will stay for about 3 months.
The same thing happens to all of the boys who come here." The lure of the beautiful
Hawaiian weather and landscape was enough to keep many workers a lot longer than
originally planned. However, in the case of Verne Gagne, it was just the opposite.
Please keep reading.
Bruns notified Muchnick in a letter dated January 15, 1953 that Karasick was getting
back on his feet. Bruns and Muchnick were also in correspondence about the debut of
Verne Gagne in Hawaii. Bruns said that Karasick wanted him to work with Gagne, who
was "coming in for 4 shows." Bruns continued by saying Karasick "would like me to work
a championship match (Hawaii title and belt) match with Vern (sic) and he feels it will sell
out after Vern gets over in his first matches."
According to the Verne Gagne Record Book compiled by Jim Melby, Gagne only worked
one date in Honolulu, which was January 25, 1953. He wrestled Bruns as explained
above and the two went to a draw. Why Gagne didn't stay in Honolulu longer is a
Karasick wrote a letter to Muchnick dated March 3, 1954, telling him that "I have opened
Japan with American wrestlers with a big success. I have the Sharpe Brothers over there
and they drew $68,000 in three shows. It looks like wrestling is there to stay." Karasick
continued by explaining that "Japan is my territory because I have spent many years and
lots of money getting it started." He wanted Muchnick to put that information out in an
official NWA bulletin, and if any promoters wanted their wrestlers featured in Japan, they
had to arrange it through Karasick's Honolulu office.
Karasick retired from wrestling in May 1961, selling off his interest in the office to Ed
Research by Tim Hornbaker
December 18, 2010
|Honolulu Booking Office