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April 21, 2003 Observer Newsletter: Vince McMahon and the dismantling of territorial wrestling


From December 27, 1983, it was evident that pro wrestling was going to be changing greatly, and fast.

Hulk Hogan was the biggest star of the AWA, in the middle of a main event program with David Shults. Gene Okerlund was the company’s cult favorite TV announcer given the name “Mean Gene” by Jesse Ventura. Roddy Piper was the No. 2 singles babyface for Jim Crockett Promotions (behind traveling world champion Ric Flair). They were all in St. Louis, at the famed Chase Hotel, for a TV taping for KPLR-TV for “Wrestling at the Chase,” the longtime flagship show of the NWA. A few days earlier, nobody would have batted an eye about it. But it was not an NWA taping. The promoter of the event was Vince McMahon Jr., who had recently purchased the World Wrestling Federation from his father.

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