“Photo Joe” Henley: 1956-2020

Longtime pro wrestling and concert photographer Joe Henley has passed after a battle with cancer.

Known to the scene as “Photo Joe,” Henley was a hobbyist at the wrestling events. With his ringside access, his captures were invaluable to the promotion of big cards on this web site and others.

Joe was a true unsung hero. Some promoters don’t make posters, or really any good advertising material for their cards. Joe’s photos always pulled through in the clutch.

Besides his photography, Photo Joe will most be remembered for his infectiously positive attitude and his smile. He always remembered your name.

The funeral is Friday, July 31 at Eddie Randle & Sons Funeral Home on Natural Bridge Ave. Visitation at 5. Service at 7.

Canceled: Glory Pro, Aug. 1

Glory Pro Wrestling has canceled its event that was to be held on Saturday, August 1.

Refund details will be made available on Glory Pro’s social media channels.

Wrestling is Back!

The reports of Saint Louis wrestling’s death are greatly exaggerated.

Professional wrestling in Greater Saint Louis returns on Saturday, July 11 at World League Wrestling’s event at the Race Wrestling Arena in Troy, Mo.

Bell at 7. Masks are available at the door but are not required.

The last card to run in the metro area was March 14.

Tony Casta: 1939-2020

Tony Casta poses in front of the St. Louis Wrestling Hall of Fame in 2018. Photo: Zia Nizami

John Castaldi, better known as “Little Dynamite” Tony Casta, died today following a battle with cancer. He was 80 years old.

Casta was the promoter of wrestling at the South Broadway Athletic Club, officially the Executive Director of MMWA Professional Wrestling since 1985.

“Little Dynamite” debuted as a wrestler in 1975. After competing at the SBAC since around 1980, Tony propositioned the venue to replace house wrestling promoter Timmy Kearns with Casta himself.

“I thought the wrestling that (Tim) was putting on wasn’t very good, and I told them I could do it better,” Tony said years later.

“King Kong” Bruiser Brody (top) hangs out with Tony Casta in an undated photo.

In an era of big men, Tony Casta topped out at 185 lbs. That may have been why the Mid-Missouri Wrestling Association (as it was then known) activated a Junior Heavyweight title. Casta was the first champion.

He retired from the ring in 1992, before returning for a one-off tag team match in 2009.

Tony was honored in 2018 as an inductee into both the Independent St. Louis and Midwest Independent Wrestling Halls of Fame.

Tony’s longtime co-promoter Herb Simmons shared a tribute video.

Wrestlers and personnel spanning generations will miss “Little Dynamite” Tony Casta.

Visitation is from 4-8 on May 7 at Heiligtag-Lang-Fendler Funeral Home in Arnold.

Travis Bowden: 1971-2020

Travis Scott Bowden has died at the age of 48. A Memphis native, Bowden was also vital to an impactful (yet brief) part of Saint Louis wrestling history: the National Wrasslin’ League.

The NWL’s VP of Marketing, Bowden fanned the flames on social media to ignite the rivalry between NWL KC and our own NWL STL.

Bowden also came up with the idea of the “Fight Club,” a season pass to boost attendance at NWL events here and in Kansas City.

If you only ever got a chance to chat with Travis at the Casa Loma Ballroom on that first Thursday card, you would know his passion for wrestling.

However, Travis lived in Los Angeles with his family, and the constant travel to Missouri was rough. Shortly after the NWL began running live events, Bowden was released from his contract.

Travis Bowden (left) announces the NWL STL signing of Mike Outlaw in 2016.

Travis Bowden brought his Memphis roots and style to the NWL dance. He was anything but a corporate “suit.”

Known as Scott Bowden, Travis was a hated manager in the United States Wrestling Association (also known as “Memphis”) from 1991-96.

Bowden has always been a custodian of Memphis wrestling history. He ran a web site and hosted the “Kentucky Fried Rasslin'” podcast.

We will miss you, Travis. Thank you.

Thank you, wrestling fans!

Ryan Ash wrestles Gary Jackson at the South Broadway Athletic Club, March 14, 2020. Photo: Ben Simon

Amid current circumstances, it appears that as we approach each upcoming event, the promoter will need to cancel. It isn’t sustainable to hold events with a strict attendance cap.

The best estimates say this will last two months. The worst estimates say this will last 18 months. Unfortunately, the latter is prevailing.

This is the end for some of the companies here. When wrestling returns, the landscape will be different.

I don’t believe in “Coming Soon.” The word of the day is “Canceled.”

This site will stay up for years of inactivity. If wrestling returns, updates will return. The events calendar will continue to be updated. Title listings will be updated if championships are vacated or awarded.

I’ve enjoyed running this site for ten years, and it was a pleasure ring announcing the final wrestling event in Saint Louis, (a potentially ill-advised) return to the South Broadway Athletic Club for MMWA on March 14.

We had a lot of fun, didn’t we?

-Ben Simon

PWE: First African-American women’s main event ever in Saint Louis, March 7

Pro Wrestling Epic presents “Declaration of War” at Franklin Lodge No. 25 AF&AM in Alton on Saturday, March 7.

The main event pits two-time World Women’s Champion and former WWE star Jazz against local masked sensation “The Little Blue Dragon” Seishin. The bout is set to make Saint Louis wrestling history as the first-ever main event featuring two African-American women wrestlers in the metro area.

The wild PWE heavyweight champion Alex Herzog takes on his violent rival Neil Cutter in a tables match. Plus, the main with the “hair flips” Brandon Aarons wrestles Chicago’s favorite son Paco.

This family-friendly pro wrestling event features a full card, with favorites like high-flying Billy McNeil, hard-hitting Johnny Blade, and Italian champion Karim Brigante.

Doors at 6:30. Bell at 7. Tickets start at $12, $6 for kids 12 and under. For tickets, (618) 806-4656.

Dynamo Pro Wrestling returns to Concordia Turners with “Mardi Gras Mayhem,” Feb. 22

Dynamo Pro Wrestling is proud to announce an all-ages professional wrestling event, “Mardi Gras Mayhem”, on Saturday, February 22nd, 2020. This professional wrestling event, sponsored by Slackers, Aries Screen Printing, and MARS Collectibles, will be held at the Concordia Turners Gymnasium, located at 6432 Gravois Avenue in St. Louis, Missouri. Doors open at 7:00 P.M. with a bell time of 8:00 P.M. Adult tickets are $10 each in advance and $15 each the day of the event. Tickets for children from five to twelve years old are $5 each. Tickets for children under five years old are free. Advance tickets can be purchased at www.dynamoprowrestling.com.

In addition to defenses of the Dynamo Pro Wrestling Women’s and D-1 championships, several marquee matchups have already been signed for this great night of professional wrestling.

The Dynamo Pro Wrestling tag team championship is in a state of turmoil. At “New Year’s Brawl”, the Arch City Mercenaries lost the Dynamo Pro Wrestling tag team championships in a fatal four-way match to The Unlikely Heroes. As Ricky Rodriguez celebrated regaining the Dynamo Pro Wrestling tag team championships, he was attacked and left in a heap in the middle of the ring…by his own partner Jackal. Since “New Year’s Brawl”, both men have taken to social media to vent their views. In response to this banter, Dynamo Pro Wrestling has signed a match between the former members of The Unlikely Heroes. The winner of this match-up will leave the Concordia Turners Gymnasium in possession of both championship belts.

    For nearly one year, “Lights Out” Adrian Surge has proudly held the Dynamo Pro Wrestling heavyweight championship. He has taken on all challengers in defense of his championship. At “Mardi Gras Mayhem”, “Lights Out” Adrian Surge will face one of his biggest challenges to date in the form of “The Roman Dynasty” Karim Brigante. A former Missouri Wrestling Revival Missouri State Champion, the man known by many as “K.B. Violence” has spent the past several months capturing numerous championships in Europe. Brigante has stated that his return to the United States will begin by winning the Dynamo Pro Wrestling heavyweight championship at “Mardi Gras Mayhem”. Last weekend, as a part of the “Jams and Slams” event, “Lights Out” Adrian Surge suffered a defeat at the hands of Dynamo Pro Wrestling D-1 champion Camaro Jackson in a non-title “Braggin’ Rights” match. Will “The Roman Dynasty” add the Dynamo Pro Wrestling heavyweight championship to his long list of championships? Will “Lights Out” Adrian Surge return to his winning ways? The only way to find out is to attend Dynamo Pro Wrestling’s “Mardi Gras Mayhem”.

    At “Jams and Slams”, the Arch City Mercenaries went on record to say that they are looking to show why they are one of the greatest tag teams in the history of Dynamo Pro Wrestling. With a year-long reign as Dynamo Pro Wrestling tag team champions, many members of the media have begun to agree with the team of Tony Esteem and Jimmi LaFleur. At “Mardi Gras Mayhem”, the Arch City Mercenaries have issued an open challenge to any two wrestlers that believe that they have what it takes to face them inside the Dynamo Pro Wrestling ring. Who will answer the challenge? We will find out at “Mardi Gras Mayhem”.

    And, in a match several months in the making, Sadie Blaze makes his return to the ring to take on “The Wind of Destruction” Makaze. In April 2019, Sadie Blaze revealed himself after losing a no-disqualification career match against “Lights Out” Adrian Surge. Weeks later, when taking time to thank the fans that followed his career, Blaze was attacked….by Makaze! Since that time, Makaze has been hiding in the shadows, waiting for opportunities for Sadie Blaze to let his guard down and attacking Blaze when he least expects it. At “New Year’s Brawl”, both men agreed to face each other one on one at “Mardi Gras Mayhem”. At the conclusion of the confrontation, both men once again had to be separated by the majority of the Dynamo Pro Wrestling locker room. Sadie Blaze was willing to accept his retirement. The mysterious man under the mask of Makaze has risen from the ashes to forge a new legacy. Blaze wants to find out who is trying to tarnish the legacy of “The Wind of Destruction”. One thing is for certain…this feud will explode at “Mardi Gras Mayhem”.

    Since 2007, Dynamo Pro Wrestling has strived to bring professional wrestling fans of all ages with hard hitting, fast paced, edge of your seat professional wrestling action. For additional information on Dynamo Pro Wrestling, you can check out our website at www.dynamoprowrestling.com, follow us on Facebook at www.facebook.com/dynamopro, and on Twitter at www.twitter.com/DynamoPro. For Concordia Turners Gymnasium venue information, you can check out their website at www.concordiaturners.org or follow them on Facebook at www.facebook.com/concordiaturners.

    For additional information regarding this event, please contact:

Jim Yount, Promoter
Dynamo Pro Wrestling
(314) 452-8868

Rob Mangrum, Media Relations Director
Dynamo Pro Wrestling
(618) 420-0049

Arch Rival Roller Derby & Dynamo Pro Wrestling team up for inaugural “Jams & Slams,” Feb. 1

(ST. LOUIS, MO) In an homage to 1970s Saturday night television content, a pair of St. Louis-based professional sports franchises are teaming up for a live, inaugural event that features both flat-track and hard mat action!

“JAMS & SLAMS” – an all-ages attraction featuring women’s roller derby and professional wrestling – will be presented on Saturday, February 1, 2020 at Midwest Sport Hockey located inside of Queeny Park at 570 Weidman Road in Ballwin, Missouri.

WHAT: ”JAMS & SLAMS”: A St. Louis roller derby and pro wrestling event
WHEN: Saturday, February 1, 2020 – 6:30 pm
WHERE: Midwest Sport Hockey – Queeny Park (570 Weidman Rd. Ballwin, MO)

Leading off the night is a full-length game by Arch Rival Roller Derby, currently ranked fifth internationally by the Women’s Flat Track Derby Association (WFTDA), as the current defending League champions, the Smashinistas, tangle with five-time local kingpins, the Stunt Devils.

Then, in the second half of the event, a four match card from Dynamo Pro Wrestling (DPW) will be presented. The main event features DPW Women’s Champion “The Empress of Evil” Rahne Victoria defending her championship against #1 contender “The Barbie Killer” Hayley Shadows. A long-standing Dynamo Pro Wrestling rivalry continues at “Jams & Slams” as C.J. Shine takes on The Snitch. In addition, a special “Bragging Rights” non-title match will take place at “Jams & Slams” as Dynamo Pro Wrestling heavyweight champion “Lights Out” Adrian Surge will face the Dynamo Pro Wrestling D-1 champion Camaro Jackson!

Historically, this is the first time in St. Louis that a roller derby event and a professional wrestling event have been jointly held at the same venue on the same night! Both the respective ARCH and DPW franchises each have over a decade of promotion in the local sports scene and the combination marks a breakthrough in sports production.

$15 each – General Admission at the Door
$12 each – Individual Advance Admission Online
$9 each – Groups of six and Above – Advance Admission Online
$8 each – Student (w/ID)
Free – Children 10 & Under


Doors Open at 6:00 PM

Smashinistas vs. Stunt Devils full-length game

DPW Women’s Championship Match
“The Empress of Evil” Rahne Victoria © vs. “The Barbie Killer” Hayley Shadows

“Bragging Rights” Match (Non-Title)
Dynamo Pro Wrestling heavyweight champion “Lights Out” Adrian Surge vs. Dynamo Pro Wrestling D-1 champion Camaro Jackson

C.J. Shine vs. The Snitch

PLUS one additional match (Participants to be named shortly).

Founded in 2005, Arch Rival Roller Derby consists of over 80 eight-wheeled warriors that compete in a high-energy, seven-event, local season that mixes athleticism and attitude. The League’s local season at Midwest Sport Hockey takes place monthly from December to April. The league is currently ranked fifth internationally by the Women’s Flat Track Derby Association (WFTDA) out of 367 global leagues and finished fourth at last November’s WFTDA International Championships. For more information, visit archrivalrollerderby.com.

Founded in 2007, Dynamo Pro Wrestling has promoted top-flight professional wrestling events in Missouri, Illinois and Kansas in front of enthusiastic crowds. Considered the echelon of area wrestling promotions, they currently feature monthly events at St. Louis’ Concordia Turners and have presented multiple events at the Cinco De Mayo celebration in the Cherokee neighborhood and have held full-length matches at highly-attended festivals. For more information, visit dynamoprowrestling.com.

Skaters/wrestlers are available for interviews, appearances and phoners. Please contact Brian Ledford at theo50@aol.com to schedule one-on-one interviews. For digital media content providers, we can supply hi-resolution images to supplement your story.

Rocky Johnson: 1944-2020

Rocky Johnson, a 2008 inductee to the St. Louis Wrestling and WWE Halls of Fame, died Wednesday, January 15. He was 75.

Johnson competed in Saint Louis from 1975 until 1986, and competed for the world heavyweight championship against Jack Brisco and Harley Race.

Along with Tony Atlas as the “Soul Patrol,” Rocky was part of the first black tag team to win the WWF straps.

Rocky was recently famous as the father of Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson.

Johnson’s induction video for the WWE Hall of Fame in 2008.