NWA Member: Dave Reynolds
Admitted to Organization: June 7, 1950
Springville Office: P.O. Box 103 (1950)
Orem Office: P.O. Box 345 (Utah) (1954)
Orem Office: 26 West 4th North (1954)
Business Office: Congress Hotel, Salt Lake City, Utah
Phone Number: Academy 5-2849 (1955)
Corporation Name: Salt Lake Wrestling Club
Associate: Hal Welch
Advertisement Manager: Joe Goodman
Territory Included: Salt Lake City, Ogden, Provo, Logan, Pocatello
Unlike many of his counterparts in the National Wrestling Alliance, Reynolds refrained
from using profanity, didn't drink or smoke, and was a family man. He wasn't loud and
boisterous or the center of the party. In the midst of his peers at an NWA convention, it
could be imagined that Reynolds faded into the background and did a lot of listening as
wild stories were shared. Being a former wrestler, he wasn't a schoolboy by any means,
and could hold his own. But when it came to respect, he commanded it, and received by
those who appreciated his style.
How could a wrestling outfit based out of Orem (south of Salt Lake City) be successful?
The Utah wrestling territory consisted of a few medium-to-large sized cities, and while it
was usually lumped into the "Rocky Mountain" scene with Colorado, in terms of the NWA,
Utah and Colorado were two different "territories." Colorado was operated by Mike London
Reynolds was primed to make the Utah wrestling territory as stable as any in the nation.
He was a local product, having attended Granite and Bear River High Schools, and
learned the wrestling business from his cousin, World Welterweight Champion Jack
Reynolds of Iowa. Reynolds' guidance gave Dave the courage to turn professional at 18
The Utah territory was in poor shape before Reynolds settled in and began to revive it.
Dave Reynolds was married to Ina Bird of Springville, and had three daughters, Ann,
Jane, and Nancy.
The press announced on December 24, 1952 that Reynolds was going to assume the
promotional leadership of the Salt Lake City wrestling organization from Phil Olofsson.
The latter was going to stage his final program at the Fairgrounds Coliseum on December
26, 1952, and Reynolds was going to launch his operations on January 15, 1953. At this
time, Reynolds was the booker for Salt Lake City in addition to being the promoter.
In addition to cities in Utah, Reynolds booked Grand Junction, Colorado for a period of
time, which was acceptable to Mike London and Fred Kohler, who operated along the
"front range" from Wyoming southward to Albuquerque. Wanting to promote some spot
shows, Reynolds contacted NWA officials first to prevent any animosity from London and
Kohler, but noted that many of these locations were "geographically impossible" to get to
during the winter other than from Utah.
As many as 6,000 fans turned out for the July 9, 1953 show at the Salt Lake Coliseum,
with 3,000 being turned away, to see NWA World Heavyweight Champion Lou Thesz
successfully defend his championship against Wilbur Snyder in three falls. Warren
Bockwinkel, Sugy Hayamaka, Gypsy Joe, and Buzz Jones were on the undercard.
In a February 20, 1954 letter to Sam Muchnick, Reynolds explained that they had a
"disappointing house in Salt Lake" the Thursday before. "I suppose you have talked with
Lou [Thesz] by now and know about it, however, I would like to emphasize how TV film
killed us. Lou's opponent has been a very good card in Salt Lake and when the tickets
went on sale last Sat., the sale was very brisk Sat. and Monday. Monday night TV film
comes out with Lou's opponent getting beat; Tues, Wed. and Thurs. there was no
advance sale and reservations were cancelled."
Reynolds wrote to Muchnick on April 10, 1955 with regards to a recent conversation with
Tex Hager, who'd been suspended from the NWA for not paying his dues. Reynolds
explained that they spoke about "my taking over the booking of the light heavyweight
champion. Tex has no objection to me taking over the booking, but felt in view of the fact
that he had paid Pinky George over $900 for the privilege, in addition $200 for the belt,
he should not lose the right to this championship."
Research by Tim Hornbaker, Becky Taylor
January 14, 2011
|Orem (UT) Booking Office