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Wrestling at the Chase: The Inside Story of Sam Muchnick and the Legends of Professional Wrestling Paperback – June 6, 2005

4.8 out of 5 stars 32 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

Review

"Simulates the sensation of sitting around a table...listening to your uncles tell stories of their youths."  —Sauce Magazine 


"A fond look backwards at the glory days of wrestling."  —Shelf Life


"Details St. Louis' rich wrestling tradition as one of the country's top venues throughout the 1960s and 1970s."  —Belleville News-Democrat


"With objectivity and candor...Larry Matysik brings to life an honest, hard-hitting, and emotional account."  —Left Bank Books


"Consider Matysik's book an essential read."  —St. Louis Post-Dispatch

About the Author

Larry Matysik started working for Sam Muchnick in 1963. He also worked for Vince McMahon and the World Wrestling Federation from 1984 to 1993, and has since been involved in independent wrestling promotions. He lives in Belleville, Illinois.
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 232 pages
  • Publisher: ECW Press (June 6, 2005)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1550226843
  • ISBN-13: 978-1550226843
  • Product Dimensions: 6.8 x 0.6 x 9.8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 12.6 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (32 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #815,882 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By W. DeWald on January 23, 2006
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
This book brought back many memories of the great wrestlers I saw on TV and read about in the old wrestling magazines in an era when it was a whole lot easier to suspend disbelief.

***But note that this is NOT a 300 page book, no matter what the product description says. It is a 232 page book. An entertaining 232 pages to be sure, but still it is more than 20% shorter than the listed length. Buy it anyway, it's still worth it.***
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Larry Matysik's book offers great insight into the St. Louis wrestling scene in a well written, organized book (which is not always the case with pro wrestling books). Larry was a sports reporter, and it shines through in his writing. Having grown up with the Mid-Atlantic territory in Virginia, I had never witnessed Wrestling at the Chase, nor was I aware of its importance in the NWA. Reading Larry's book and seeing his DVD's changed all that. There were a lot of familiar faces (Flair, Brody, Von Raschke), and some new (Crusher Blackwell, a young Ted Dibiase before he moved on to the UWF and WWF, Bulldog Bob Brown). It's a real treat to read his anecdotes then watch them on video. If you're a fan of the old NWA, this book is well worth your while to pick up. ECW Press has churned out some great wrestling books in the last year or two, including The Greatest Tag-Teams, Terry Funk's autobiography, and Harley Race's autobiography. This one is near the top of the heap. Highly recommended for fans of late 70's and 80's NWA wrestling, as well as those curious about wrestling history.

Larry Matysik is now at work on a King Kong (Bruiser) Brody biography which should be out this year.
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
Larry Matysik had a ringside seat to the best promotion in wrestling! St. Louis was the hub of the NWA, when the NWA was the big time of professional wrestling. Learning at the knee of the master promoter. Sam Muchnick, and gives the reader an insight to how it was that St. Louis became the capitol of Pro Wrestling through from the 40's through the 80's. Wrestling as a business and as a form of entertainment if the territory style of circuit still existed!
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Excellent book! Aside from a few episodes of "Wrestling at the Chase" that aired on ESPN Classic years ago, I really didn't know anything about wrestling in St. Louis. I'd heard the likes of Dave Meltzer and Paul Heyman throw around Sam Muchnick's name, but never got a sense of how important he really was to the sport. Larry Matysik, who was really the only person who could have written this book given his unique position, tells the story of St. Louis wrestling with an enthusiasm that can be felt through the page. As with many great books, my only complaint is that it isn't longer.

In the modern wrestling scene, the only promotions that seem to bring the same sense of respectibility to the screen are in Japan (New Japan/NOAH/All Japan).
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By E. Snow on October 13, 2005
Format: Paperback
Another excellent wrestling book (along with Ric Flair's, The Death of WCW and the Tag-Teams). It's always interesting to find out about a promotion I knew little about, since I was a NY east coast fan with basically the WWWF as my wrestling promotion of choice. Great backstage stories as well as great stories about booking and match philosophies. My one peeve would be Matysik's need to skewer Vince McMahon and the present day wrestling product. Sure, about 90% of what he says is true and accurate, but taking shots at WWE is both easy and common now and comes off as unoriginal and tiring. Suggested reading for any wrestling fan.
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Format: Paperback
Wrestling at the Chase: The Inside Story of Sam Muchnick and the Legends of Professional Wrestling.

By Larry Matysik.

Published by ECW Press.

Released June 6, 2005.

232 Pages, paperback.

Who better to write the story of Sam Muchnick's brain child that was known as Wrestling at the Chase, than a man who was his friend and proteg for many years, grew up watching the program, became a commentator for the promotion who would finally go on to run his own promotion; Larry Matysik. The show itself is widely considered one of the most prosperous wrestling programs from the territory based days, with consistently high ratings in the St. Louis area behind only the local news and the St. Louis Cardinals.

Larry Matysik allows the reader to see in to the world that was the very heart of the National Wrestling Alliance which Sam Muchnick was also the chairman of. This however is first and foremost a book about the St. Louis Wrestling Club and it's flagship program started in 1959 and would run for close to 30 years. Glimpses are given in to the workings of the NWA, insight behind decisions made by Sam that could only be provided by his close confident. As you would expect though, the writing focuses on the key parts that made Wrestling at the Chase a truly historically acclaimed wrestling program. Taking you behind the scenes into his own personal discussions with Muchnick, taking the reader inside Sam's mind explaining the way he booked matches, programs, storylines and why he, Larry feels he was the very best promoter in the business. Matysik goes on to look at Sam's overall philosophy of the business, the NWA world heavyweight championship, how it should be presented, and his view on what the audience needs.
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