August 22nd marks 112 years since the birth of legendary promoter and former NWA President Sam Muchnick.
Born Jeshua Muchnick in the Ukraine, his family moved to St. Louis at age 6; Muchnick would join the St. Louis Times in 1926. He covered the Cardinals and professional wrestling.
After working for a time with promoter Tom Packs, Muchnick teamed with Pinky George and Tony Stetcher, and formulated the plan of a collaboration of all regional promotions. The three promoters (with two others) and Orville Brown would then form the National Wrestling Alliance in Waterloo, Iowa, with Brown as its first champion.
Muchnick was elected NWA President in 1950; he would hold that office for 22 of the next 25 years.
He formed the St. Louis Wrestling Club, produced Wrestling at the Chase for KPLR-TV (which garnered huge local ratings from 1959-1983), and signed agreements with territories in Mexico, Japan, Europe, and the Caribbean. During his tenure, St. Louis became a proving ground for many future legends, and hosted more NWA World title changes than any other city.
Muchnick retired on January 1, 1982. After his retirement, the NWA’s power base fell apart, and within two years, Vince McMahon left the group and began his world wide expansion. Muchnick’s departure from the sport had signaled a changing of the guard, and of eras.
Muchnick died of internal bleeding in December 1998. He was 93.
- Wrestling Observer Newsletter Hall of Fame (1996)
- Pro Wrestling Hall of Fame (2003)
- NWA Hall of Fame (2005)
- St. Louis Wrestling Hall of Fame (2007)