NWA Member:  Tony Stecher

Admitted to Organization:  July 18, 1948 (a founder)
Minneapolis Office:  Dyckman Hotel, Suite 605
Phone Number:
Corporation Name:  Tony Stecher Sports Attractions
Corporation Name:  Minneapolis Boxing & Wrestling Club, Inc.

NWA Member:  Dennis Stecher

Admitted to Organization:  December 1954
Minneapolis Office:  605 Dyckman Hotel, Suite 605
Phone Number:  Bridgeport 4350, Lincoln 0158 (1955)
Corporation Name:  Minneapolis Boxing & Wrestling Club, Inc.

Stecher wrote a letter to
Ted Thye in Portland dated December 13, 1948, inquiring whether or
not Thye was angry at him because he sent wrestlers to Seattle.  Stecher explained that he
didn't remember sending workers to Seattle, and wanted to know if Thye was going to have his
brother Ed place wrestling "under the commission" in Minnesota.  Stecher apparently also heard
that Ted was going to "help Lou Thesz to get into St. Paul to buck me." Thesz, at this time, was
an adversary to Stecher, Sam Muchnick, and the new
National Wrestling Alliance.  Stecher
wrote that he didn't believe the rumors and wished Thye a Merry Christmas.

Leonard Schwartz of Chicago, an NWA member as of early 1951, complained that Fred Kohler
invaded his "territory" by running Hammond, Indiana in a letter to
Sam Muchnick.  In return,
Muchnick stated that
Jim Londos was appearing in Minneapolis "on a TV program for a
promoter not on a working agreement" with Stecher.  Muchnick reminded Schwartz that Londos
was his partner in Chicago and was "doing things that he shouldn't be doing." Muchnick stated:  
"Tony Stecher is one of the finest men we have in the wrestling business and Jim certainly
should have consulted him before going into one of his towns." Schwartz responded (letter
dated 3/20/51) by saying that he talked with Londos and told him that the rules applied to him
as well and that he "did not care to be embarrassed by his actions in the future."

On February 24, 1953, Wally Karbo sent a letter to Muchnick talking about a rival operation
being run by Tom George and a live bear were working St. Paul on February 27.  He also
mentioned the possibility of getting Lou Thesz and Paul Baillargeon matched up in a return
bout.  It "would draw some money," he explained.  The Thesz-Baillargeon bout did occur in April
1953 at the Auditorium in St. Paul, and 7,172 fans paid $14,149.20 to see the bout.  It was said
to be the largest wrestling gate in Auditorium history.

Karbo wrote to Muchnick on October 15, 1953 and explained that he sent a missive to Johnny
Doyle in Los Angeles "about the TV on the night of wrestling from St. Paul.  The sponsors put in
a big advertisement and it looks like its from the live show." He said the films were still coming
from California and some stations were "cutting out the sounds and dubbing in a disc jockey."

Even amongst longtime friends, there were territorial disputes in the NWA.  
Pinkie George had
history with the Stecher Family and Wally Karbo going back to the 1940s, but in 1955, there was
major discontent over Minneapolis providing wrestlers in Pinkie's territory at Sibley, Iowa.  On
April 19, 1955, Karbo mailed a letter to Sam Muchnick, and explained that Pinkie had called that
morning and hung up on Dennis Stecher in anger.  Karbo and Dennis had both gone into the
matter carefully, telling the promoter Hal Garvin that they needed to clear the matter first, but it
was a no win situation because feelings were already being hurt.  To Pinkie, Iowa was his
territory, and everything had to go through him - much like all the Alliance members in other

In that letter to Muchnick, Karbo wrote that the Minneapolis office, at one point, controlled South
Dakota before Max Clayton of Omaha went in and took over.  Karbo wrote:  "We even had
Aberdeen all set to go with the girls, then the organization postponed it because Max was going
in with Joe Louis.  All that territory belonged to this office." Clayton reportedly told them that they
weren't promoting there enough.  "This was such a small thing that we figured we'd let it go until
we talked to you," Karbo explained.  "I can't understand this guy, Pinkie, as all we wanted to
know was what was to be done."  Sibley, the town in question, was only 15 miles from
Worthington, Minnesota.

Things continued to deteriorate.  Pinkie was said to have mailed Karbo and scathing letter and
Karbo responded on April 22, 1955, writing:  "Received a copy of your letter and surprised at
what you wrote." He went on to say that they've been contacted numerous times in the past from
promoters in Iowa wondering "why they have to do business with a man like you." But
regardless, Karbo and Dennis always pointed them in Pinkie's direction.  He told Pinkie that he
didn't want to hurt his feelings in this matter, and noted that "life is too short." This situation may
have severely damaged the relationship between the Minneapolis and Des Moines offices.

Maurice Smith in the Winnipeg Free Press noted that Bill Kuusisto died on Tuesday, May 29,
1973.  He had worked as an assistant matchmaker of the Minneapolis Boxing and Wrestling
Club, which he had worked for about 25 years.  His wrestling career ended after suffering a
severe head injury while in Australia.  Smith said that he was "likeable and quiet-spoken."

Research by Tim Hornbaker
Minneapolis Booking Office
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