NWA Member: Orville Brown*
Admitted to Organization: July 18, 1948 (a founder)
Kansas City (MO) Office: Commonwealth Hotel
Kansas City (MO) Office: 3908 Baltimore Ave.
Phone Number: Jefferson 1-7031 (1955)
*Although Orville Brown was a member of the National Wrestling Alliance beginning in July
1948, it remained a secret because he was also the NWA World Heavyweight Champion. His
brother-in-law Pearl Christy was the "front" of the NWA office in Kansas City until 1952.
NWA Member: Bob Geigel
Admitted to Organization
Kansas City (MO) Office:
*In 1953, the Central States Wrestling Association was the governing body for professional
wrestling in five states.
There were lots of rumblings in the wrestling business in the 1954-'55 time-frame, particularly
with Fred Kohler of Chicago branching out further when many promoters and bookers were
recoiling from the dismal numbers at the box office. Kohler and his right hand man, Jim
Barnett, had preliminary discussions with Brown in Kansas City in December 1954 for a
possible partnership in the territory, but nothing was firm.
Sam Muchnick, on December 15, 1954, sent a letter to Brown, explaining that he talked with
Kohler the day before, and that Kohler asked about Brown's "setup" with longtime area
promoter George Simpson. Muchnick wasn't quite such, but he said that Brown owned 25%
of the Kansas City, Kansas promotion and 25% of the Kansas City, Missouri promotion. He
also received 10% booking fees for each town, and then gave 2 1/2% back to Simpson.
Muchnick stated that Brown got a 10% booking fee for St. Joseph, and that he owned Wichita
On September 20, 1956 at the Memorial Hall, George Simpson was starting his 28th season
as a matchmaker for the Wyandotte American Legion Post. He was reportedly doing all the
booking at this time, having broke from Orville Brown, and featuring "new" heavyweights like
Roy Shire, Roger Mackay, Chief Kit Fox, and Sonny Myers. The Shire-Fox-Mackay group
were known independents during this time-frame, being booked by Johnny Doyle in Los
Angeles, Denver, and Salt Lake City. Advertising specifically noted that "new heavyweight
talent" was in the territory for Simpson.
On January 19, 1957, wrestler Larry Hamilton was spotted by an Atchison (KS) Police Officer
taking down posters advertising a grappling program at the Memorial Hall for February 1.
The show was going to be staged by the Disabled American Veterans, Atchison Chapter.
Hamilton told police that he was doing so because the show had been postponed, but DAV
representatives said that the wrestling program hadn't been postponed, but that Hamilton
was doing it to "sabotage the Atchison show." Miller explained that "this act was probably
inspired by the backers of a similar wrestling card to be held in St. Joe." This was reported in
the January 20, 1957 edition of the Atchison Daily Globe.
NWA Founder Pinkie George was thinking about moving toward legal options in his feud
against the St. Joseph-Kansas City combine in the late 1950s and into the early '60s. An
option opened to give Pinkie Kansas City, Missouri, possibly to keep him quiet for the time
being, and avoid a damaging court battle. Interestingly, his longtime adversary Sam
Muchnick and Jim Barnett bankrolled Pinkie's new promotion, which debut on April 30, 1963
at the Municipal Auditorium. In August, Pinkie attended the NWA convention, and things
seemed to be progressing forward, in a positive direction. However, things went south very
On August 29, 1963, George wrote to Jack Pfefer, telling him that "as you know, Sam put me
into Kansas City, Mo. some time back and he still wants me to promote there -- But
Karras-O'Connor offered Barnett a deal for half of the club and to keep me out - so it looks
like I am out there too. They offered Barnett half of Kansas City, Kansas for half of K.C.,
Missouri -- if I am thrown out. Great business, huh, Jack?"
That led to Pinkie going before the Missouri State Athletic Commission on September 18,
1963, and telling officials that there was a local monopoly controlling professional wrestling.
He named Gust Karras, George Simpson, Pat O'Connor, Bob Geigel, and others as being
part of the syndicate. George explained that these men were the "cosa nostra of wrestling."
A few weeks later, on October 16, 1963, he launched a $200,000 damage suit against
Karras, Simpson, Geigel and O'Connor, claiming that there was a monopoly. All four men
filed counterclaims adding up to $900,000 for "reason of injury to [their] reputation, good
name and character."
The NWA-affiliated group got signed affidavits from a number of wrestlers, stating that they
never refused to wrestle for George and several bookers signed affidavits claiming that they
never refused to book wrestlers for George. The original case, and the counterclaims, were
dismissed on February 15, 1965 "without prejudice."
Bob Geigel retired from professional wrestling around 1976 and went behind-the-scenes to
promote the business full-time. By the early 1980s, he was staging as many as 32 shows a
month in Kansas, Missouri, Illinois, Iowa, Nebraska, and Wisconsin.
Heart of America Sports Attractions Corporate Documents
Research by Tim Hornbaker
|Kansas City Booking Office