Halls of Fame (In Exile)

The two Halls of Fame listed on this page have been converted to a traveling wall of plaques. Hall co-founder and owner of the plaques Nick Ridenour has removed the display from the South Broadway Athletic Club, due to a dispute with MMWA management. This is puzzling, because the MMWA does not run the SBAC, and the SBAC also hosts Glory Pro Wrestling as a tenant. The HOFs were treasured by wrestling fans, and are gone (at least for now) due to pettiness. Should the plaques have a new public home, this page will be happily restored.

It’s simple: if you can’t visit a Hall of Fame, it’s not a real Hall of Fame.

Last accurate page follows:

Joyce Grable is the lone inductee for 2022. The induction ceremony date is TBA.

St. Louis Wrestling Hall of Fame

The St. Louis Wrestling Hall of Fame is located at the South Broadway Athletic Club.  It was originally housed in the Pro Wrestling Shirt Shop in the South County mall.  Current board members are: Herb Simmons and Nick Ridenour.  The Hall is still open for inductions.  The late Larry Matysik explained the need for our Hall of Fame:

The role of St. Louis and the early success of “Wrestling at the Chase” in wrestling, becoming a hugely popular endeavor… is ignored by a company that wants to rewrite history.  Had St. Louis not accepted wrestling on television as it did, the sport might never have developed as it has over the decades. Any legitimate Hall of Fame needs to recognize that fact.

-Larry Matysik

Class of 2007

  • Lou Thesz – World Heavyweight Champion: 1937-38, 1939, 1947, 1948-56, 1956-57, 1963-66
  • Ric Flair – World Heavyweight Champion: 1981-83, 1983-84, 1984-86, 1986-87, 1987-89, 1989-90, 1991, 1993-94, 1995-96, 1996, 1999, 2000, 2000
  • Harley Race – World Heavyweight Champion: 1973, 1977-79, 1979, 1979-80, 1980-81, 1981, 1983
  • Bill Longson – World Heavyweight Champion: 1942, 1943-47, 1947-48
  • Gene Kiniski – World Heavyweight Champion: 1966-69
  • Pat O’Connor – World Heavyweight Champion: 1959-61
  • Johnny Valentine – World Tag Team Champion: 1960, 1960, 1962, 1966
  • Dick the Bruiser – AWA Heavyweight Champion: 1966
  • Fritz Von Erich – AWA Heavyweight Champion: 1963
  • Penny Banner – AWA Women’s Champion: 1961-63
  • King Kong Brody – NWA Central States Heavyweight Champion: 1980
  • Mickey Garagiola – Television Announcer
  • Larry Matysik – Commentator
  • Sam Muchnick – Promoter
  • Joe Schoenberger – Referee

Class of 2008

  • Dory Funk, Jr. – World Heavyweight Champion: 1969-73
  • Jack Brisco – World Heavyweight Champion: 1973-74, 1974-75
  • Buddy Rogers – World Heavyweight Champion: 1961-63
  • Rocky Johnson – World Tag Team Champion: 1983-84
  • Joe Garagiola – Commentator
  • Lee Warren – Referee

Class of 2009

Class of 2010

  • Terry Funk – World Heavyweight Champion: 1975-77
  • Dick Murdoch – World Tag Team Champion: 1984-85
  • “Cowboy” Bob Ellis – World Tag Team Champion: 1962
  • Bobby Heenan – Manager

Class of 2014

  • Ted DiBiase – World Tag Team Champion: 1992, 1992, 1993
  • Wilbur Snyder – AWA Tag Team Champion: 1961, 1967
  • Rip Hawk – NWA Texas Heavyweight Champion: 1963

Class of 2015

  • Ken Patera – WWE Intercontinental Champion: 1980
  • Joe Tangaro – Wrestler
  • Eddie Smith – Wrestler, Referee
  • Bill Apter – Journalist

Class of 2016

  • Kerry Von Erich – World Heavyweight Champion: 1984
  • David Von Erich – Missouri Heavyweight Champion: 1983-84
  • Kevin Von Erich – Missouri Heavyweight Champion: 1979-80
  • Dr. Bill Miller – AWA Heavyweight Champion: 1962
  • John Paul Henning – Wrestler
  • Charlie Venator – Referee

Class of 2017

  • Bob Backlund – WWE Champion: 1978-83, 1994
  • Édouard Carpentier – WWA Heavyweight Champion (Los Angeles): 1957-61, 1963-64

Class of 2018

  • Whipper Billy Watson – World Heavyweight Champion: 1947, 1956

Class of 2019

  • Bob Orton Sr. – Missouri Heavyweight Champion: 1954
  • Debbie Combs – NWA Women’s Champion: 1986-87, 1987-94, 1996

Class of 2022

  • Joyce Grable – World Women’s Tag Team Champion: 1973-75, 1977-78, 1978, 1980-82, 1982-83, 1983

Herb Simmons & Tony Casta Hall of Fame

ISLWHOF Class of 2019

Independent St. Louis Wrestling Hall of Fame

The Independent St. Louis Wrestling Hall of Fame was founded by Nick Ridenour and Herb Simmons to surprise promoter Tony Casta as the inaugural inductee on April 14, 2018.  Simmons was then surprised with a plaque as well.  Like its counterpart HOF, the ISLWHF is located at the South Broadway Athletic Club.

The HOF will cover all promotions in Greater St. Louis.

Class of 2018

  • Tony Casta – MMWA Promoter: 1985-Present
  • Herb Simmons – SICW Promoter: 1974-Present

Class of 2019

  • Danny Boy Hawkins
  • The Giant Assassin
  • Big Daddy
  • Rob Phillips
  • Keith Smith
  • Cora Combs

Class of 2020

  • Ron Powers
  • John Blackheart
  • Lumberjack Abe
  • Lumberjack Gabe
  • Tara the Irish Terror
  • Butch “Joe” Salviccio
  • Terry Riley
  • Dave Hebner
The St. Louis Wrestling Halls of Fame are not associated with the Professional Wrestling Hall of Fame and Museum, the WWE Hall of Fame, or any other entity linked on this page.

17 Replies to “Halls of Fame (In Exile)”

    1. As you have noticed, only the legends who saw truly mainstream stardom during the St. Louis Wrestling Club days are recognized in the HOF. In the end, it’s all up to the panel mentioned above. What about Gary Jackson or Big Daddy? Someday, perhaps.

  1. What about Mildred Burke, Ladies wrestling Champion?

    Angelo Poffo, father of Randy “Macho Man Savage” wrestled a lot in St. Louis at the Chase?

    1. I believe your question, a fabulous question at that, was unduly kicked aside attributed to the lack of respect given to the Greatest Tag Team to ever grace the Armpit known as the South Broadway Athletic Club. Its undeniable, but will continue to be overlooked by the management a true insight into the jealousy herein.

  2. Nothing even comes close to the experience of Wrestling at the Chase are seeing the live shows at the Kiel Center .
    Race vs Flair , Dick ” the Bruiser ” vs Race or Flair . So many great wrestlers came to Stl.

  3. I respectfully nominate Former NWA Missouri title champion Jerry Crusher Blackwell should be inducted to the HOF. His St. Louis matches were top of the card against the biggest names and bodies. Title match against Flair, won The Strap from Kerry Von Erich, and epic big man tag matches with/against Andre, Brody, John Studd, Harley, Patera, etc.

  4. What about referee Chuck Riley who at one time was Commisioner of Wresteling in St. Louis and a well known character in St. Charles (and a former wrestler himself?

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