NWL STL Wrestling @ Casa Loma Ballroom, St. Louis, MO

Words and photos by Duane Clawson
"First of all, I was a wrestling fan when I was young.  Even when I figured out what wrestling was, I was still a fan." ~ John Carpenter

My first introduction to Pro Wrestling happened many, many years ago in Ohio, via the man I affectionally called Uncle Marvin.  A Sunday afternoon at Uncle Marvin’s consisted of sitting on his couch and watching something called, Big Time Wrestling.  Big Time Wrestling had the likes of characters with names like Killer Brooks, The Sheik, and BoBo Brazil.  These men beat the hell out of each other with foreign objects, chairs, and steel-plated elbow pads!  Fast forward many years later, it’s time to introduce my own children to wrestling and guess what?  My two daughters loved it, just as much as the old man!

So, as you can tell, I’ve been a fan of Pro Wrestling for many years.  Thanks Uncle Marvin!

Much like me, St. Louis has had a long-standing love affair with Professional Wrestling.  From 1959 to 1983, St. Louis hosted the popular, Wrestling at the Chase, broadcast locally from the Chase Park Plaza Hotel with original play by play commentator, Joe Garagiola.  After Wrestling at the Chase, the WWE has managed to fill the void for wrestling throughout the years with bi-annual events in St. Louis until now………………

Enter the NWL.  The NWL: National Wrasslin League.  The NWL is the brainchild of Major Baisden, an entrepreneur from Kansas City.  After acquiring Metro Pro Wrestling, Baisden began securing the talent needed to make his venture a success.  Seeing the need for Pro Wrestling in St. Louis, Baisden expanded to his operation to the Arch City in January of 2017 with NWL STL.

A Thursday night finds me and my camera ringside in the Casa Loma Ballroom, up close and personal with the sport I’ve been in love with for years.  Man, what a rush!  The wrestlers had new names but the childhood excitement was still very real, 40-plus years later!  Bigger than life characters like Dez Wellston, Maverick, Cal Stark, and Cornell Douglass, make you believe the impossible is possible.  The newly formed NWL STL pits St. Louis wrestlers against each other and against wrestlers in NWL KC, a good old-fashioned cross state rivalry if you will.

These men take bumps for two hours, inside and outside the ring.  Steel barricades, chairs, and tables are all fair game as grown men flip, jump, and leap from the top ropes on their way to victory.  Wrestling gives hope to the underdogs in life, such as Jay Lutz, a wrestler that enters the ring with a Shock Top beer in hand, sending cheers out to those in attendance, before losing his match.  For a brief second, I became part of the action as Mathew Grundy, one half of the Blood Brothers, was thrown into the steel barricade by Cal Stark.  I was lucky enough to catch Grundy’s boot in my chest, before he wound up in a crumpled heap on the wooden ballroom floor.  A visual survey of those in attendance reveals that the long-standing tradition of passing on the love of wrestling was in full effect, spotting many fathers with sons at their side, taking in these villains and heroes.

If you would like to see what you’ve been missing, you can see it all in person on Thursday nights in St. Louis at the Casa Loma Ballroom, located at 3354 Iowa Ave, St. Louis, MO or visit their website at casalomaballroom.com for a schedule of upcoming NWL STL events.  Thanks to NWL STL for allowing MTC MAG all access to a great night of wrestling and to the Casa Loma Ballroom for hosting a great night of entertainment!  Photos of the matches are below:

Dez Wellston vs. Adam Ryan
Cal Stark vs. Matthew Grundy
Maverick vs. Anti-Social Network
Blaine Meeks vs. Jay Lutz
Todd Letterman & Dak Draper vs. The Party Crashers
Skyler Beckett vs. Christian Adonis
Coco Rumble vs. Billion Dollar Brother
Cornell Douglass vs. Davey Gibson
Contributed by Duane Clawson
NWL STL Wrestling @ Casa Loma Ballroom, St. Louis, MO NWL STL Wrestling @ Casa Loma Ballroom, St. Louis, MO Reviewed by Scott Rowe, Editor on 12:30:00 PM Rating: 5

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