Frank Brown and Dorothy Livengood were married. They ran the Wrestlethon on Thursdays.
Fed up with television featuring their matches without the proper compensation, Red Berry
and Danny McShain, on Wednesday, December 10, 1952, went into the San Antonio office
of Dorothy Brown, and refused to wrestle before cameras. Berry and McShain represented
another 30-plus wrestlers who were also going to go on strike unless a deal could be struck
giving them talent fees for appearances on TV. Instead, WOAI-TV in San Antonio broadcast
a film that night, allowing Berry and McShain to wrestle live at the Wrestlethon without the
The brewing television situation was going to instigate an all-out war between Dallas
promoter Ed McLemore, a main proponent of wrestling on TV, and the major wrestling talent
group based out of Houston.
Former wrestler and promoter, Ralph W. Hammonds was injured in a car accident in
September 1954, suffering a broken pelvin, arm, and six broken ribs. Hammonds had been
traveling to San Antonio from Houston when the accident occurred five miles east of Seguin
on U.S. 90. The Associated Press (9/11/54, Dallas Morning News) reported that Hammonds
had been recently indicted on three felony charges of perjury "growing out of the operation
of his insurance business." It was said that he'd remain in the hospital for some time.
Morris Sigel, the NWA member from Houston who supplied talent to San Antonio, began to
have problems with the Brown-Livengood franchise, claiming that the latter wanted organize
their own syndicate and muscle Sigel out. Brown claimed it was all a misunderstanding.
Paul "Pinkie" George, the founder of the National Wrestling Alliance and longtime resident of
Des Moines, shifted his operations to San Antonio in 1959-'60 for three reasons. One being
his health, he was suffering from a serious sinus condition, and the other was because of the
problems he was having in the Central States against a formidable outfit run by Gust Karras
and George Simpson with ties to wrestlers Bob Geigel, Sonny Myers, and Pat O'Connor.
The latter group was trying to take over the region. The third reason is also very important:
Wrestling in Iowa was just not as popular as it had been in years before. The decline was
blamed on the abundance of television and shoddy booking.
George was looking for new terrain as a wrestling promoter, and came into San Antonio as
the matchmaker for Sigel's brother-in-law Norman Clark. The Clark-George group was going
to run opposition to the established promotion of Brown and Livengood, and stage shows at
the expensive Municipal Auditorium.
According to the press reports, Sigel was forced to continue sending wrestlers to
Brown-Livengood because of antitrust laws, and was really booking talent to both sides of
the conflict. That being said, Brown was going to face difficulties getting regular stars on his
programs, and diminishing attendance was going to hurt his wallet. He was also considering
obtaining talent from a different booking agency to guarantee better quality wrestlers.
By February 1960, George ended his promotion at the Auditorium, calling off further
Research by Tim Hornbaker
February 22, 2011
|San Antonio Wrestling Territory