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Former Wrestling at the Chase host Larry Matysik hospitalized

Larry Matysik, 71, the host of Wrestling at the Chase and former booker and right-hand man of Sam Muchnick was hospitalized tonight.

Details are unavailable past a Facebook post from his good friend, Southern Illinois Championship Wrestling promoter Herb Simmons, who wrote: "Not the way I wanted to start off 2018. Please keep our friend Larry Matysik in you prayers. He has been admitted to the hospital this evening. I will keep everyone updated on his condition."

Matysik was considered along with Lance Russell and Gordon Solie as one of the three best announcers of the 1970s and early 1980s. He worked with Muchnick starting in the 60s doing jobs like calling in the results to the local newspapers, and started as television announcer in 1970.

After Muchnick retired at the end of 1981, Matysik was General Manager of the St. Louis promotion working for Bob Geigel, Harley Race, Pat O'Connor, and Verne Gagne, who were the owners. He left the promotion in 1983 after booking the Ric Flair vs, Bruiser Brody match that set the city's all-time gate record at the time. Matysik was tight with Brody and felt that Brody and Flair should have both been paid $1,300 more based on the usual percentages, but Geigel refused to authorize paying them more than $6,000.

Matysik quit the promotion, and Brody went with him and they formed a rival group that drew very well. Later in 1983, after a meeting with Ted Kopplar, who ran KPLR-TV, with Matysik and Vince McMahon, about getting the Wrestling at the Chase time slot that Kopplar had decided to pull from Geigel due to poor ratings and complaints, he pushed that the two should work together and the two agreed to be partners.

The partnership was changed after the deal, but Matysik did work for McMahon through 1991 helping promote shows in St. Louis.

In recent years, Matysik has written several books about pro wrestling, but due to spinal issues and horrible back problems, he had been forced into assisted living. He was still booking and doing television announcing for SICW as late as last year.

Matysik was one of the most popular guests of the various shows we've done dating back to the Eyada days.