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Houston


Houston was to become the first major pro-wrestling city in Texas thanks to a pair of brothers from the Lower East Side in New York City. Morris and Julius Sigel had relocated to Houston when they were young. Julius took to boxing and worked his way into promoting small local fights. In the 1920s, the local wrestling promoter passed away and the brothers joined up to promote boxing and wrestling in Houston. During the 1930s, Julius moved out to Shreveport and Nacogdoches and Morris slowly developed an excellent system with promoters throughout the region. Other Texas promotions, El Paso, Amarillo, Lubbock, Galveston, Beaumont, Abilene, San Antonio and even Dallas were always second to Houston. Even Shreveport and New Orleans could not challenge Houston in drawing power. Houston was far enough away from the Northeast and California to avoid competition and he was often able to bring in their talents and further develop the city's strength. During the war years, Houston really emerged and Sigel developed an excellent reputation as a straight promoter. In the years following the war, Houston as a city saw a significant boom in population and subsequent wealth. Sigel brought fellow New Yorker Paul Boesch on board as his health began to decline to help run things. Sigel was a talented promoter with a major market, but Boesch was even better. Astute and inventive, Boesch employed his years of touring the world into transforming Houston into one of the strongest pro-wrestling markets of the day. After Sigel suffered a heart attack in the early 1950s, Boesch's role grew stronger and he continued Sigel's legacy of bringing in the best talent, establishing great local stars and always paying well due to the big houses. Boesch is also credited with innovating some of the premier gimmicks in pro-wrestling, including tag team wrestling (although that is still debated), "mud wrestling" and unique stipulated punishments for the loser in a blowoff match.

Mike DiBiase
Pepper Gomez
Gorgeous George
Ray Gunkel
Duke Keomuka
Luis Martinez
Danny McShain
Bronko Nagurski
Danno O'Mahoney
Buddy Rogers
Ray Steele
Lou Thesz
Tosh Togo
Johnny Valentine



Gulf Athletic Club (1967-1987)
In 1966, Morris Sigel died and his long-time right-hand man Paul Boesch took over the promotion completely the following year. Although Boesch had long been the true power behind the Houston office, it was not until Sigel's death that he was officially granted that role. As a result, business largely remained the same as before. Over the next twenty years, Boesch built a reputation as one of the best promoters in the world. Pro-wrestling in most markets was struggling in the late 1960s and Houston was no different. Boesch's first accomplishment in charge was building it back up with Johnny Valentine as his main man. He also began working with Fritz Von Erich's Dallas office and used some of the same talent to rejuventate the city. Boesch also began capitalizing on the local Latin market by pushing Mexican-American wrestlers and eventually bringing in some of the top luchadors, which led to them branching out into other Texas offices. Boesch was getting older and brought in his nephew Peter Birkholtz to help him run the Houston office. As time passed, his alliances continually shifted. He worked with Joe Blanchard's San Antonio outfit for a time, he left the NWA for a stint after NWA Champion Harley Race repeatedly no-showed, AWA star Nick Bockwinkel bought into the promotion and the office eventually settled on a working relationship with Bill Watts' Mid-South promotion. It was a great match and mutually benefitial for the next few years. Then in 1987, events were put into motion that would ultimately end "Houston Wrestling" as a local brand. It began when Jim Duggan jumped to the WWF unannounced. He was the top babyface for both promotions and it created discention that built to a Boesch-Watts split. after Boesch aligned with the WWF, while Watts was forced to sell out to the Crocketts. Boesch would turn to the Crocketts himself the following year for a time before his death in 1989. 


Abdullah The Butcher
Adrian Adonis
Andre the Giant
Afa & Sika Anoia
Tony Atlas
Ox Baker
Red Bastien
Brute Bernard
Black Gordman
Jerry Blackwell
The Big O (Ron Bass)
Brian Blair
Tully Blanchard
Nick Bockwinkel
Matt Borne
Lord Johnathan Boyd
Bobo Brazil
Jack Brisco
Bruiser Brody
"Killer" Tim Brooks
Bulldog Brower
Bearcat Brown
Leroy Brown
King Kong Bundy
Haystack Calhoun
Captain USA (John Studd)
Scott Casey
Ciclon Negro
Cien Caras
Tony Charles
Randy Colley (Moondog Spot)
Colosso Colosetti
Tiger Conway Sr.
Tiger Conway Jr.
Len Denton
Ted DiBiase
J.J. Dillon
Dory Dixon
Dos Caras
Hacksaw Duggan
Bobby Duncum
Frank Dusek
"Cowboy" Bob Ellis
Eric The Red
Don Fargo
Johnny Fargo
Muhammad Farouk (Iron Shiek)
Mr. Fuji
Dory Funk Jr.
Terry Funk
Pepper Gomez
Gordman & Golitah
El Gran Markus
The Grapplers
Great Goliath
Great Mephisto
"Superstar" Billy Graham
Chavo Guerrero
Gypsy Joe
El Halcon
Stan Hansen
Sugar Bear Harris
Gary Hart
Rip Hawk
Lord Alfred Hayes
Bobby Heenan
Gino Hernandez
Mr. Hito
Tim Horner
Austin Idol
Bobby Jaggers
Rocky Johnson
Ruben Juarez
Junkyard Dog
Kabuki
Kamala
Tor Kamata
Duke Keomuka
Kim Duk
Gene Kiniski
Stan Kowalski
Killer Karl Kox
Nick Kozak
Killer Karl Krupp
Ernie Ladd
Buddy Landell
Blackjack Lanza
Jos Leduc
Stagger Lee (Junkyard Dog)
Mark Lewin
Jose Lothario
Marty Lunde (Arn Anderson)
Billy Red Lyons
Al Madril
Peter Maivia
Dutch Mantell
Rick Martel
Luis Martinez
Boris Malenko
Ken Mantell
Hiro Matsuda
Wahoo McDaniel
Bugsy McGraw
Tex McKenzie
Danny McShain
Mil Mascaras
Missouri Mauler
Moondog Mayne
Mongolian Stomper
Pedro Morales
Angelo Mosca
Blackjack Mulligan
Don Muraco
Dick Murdoch
Jerry Oates
Rip Oliver
Bob Orton Jr.
Ken Patera
Thunderbolt Patterson
Alex Perez
Paul Perschmann (Buddy Rose)
Roddy Piper
Tom Prichard
Ivan Putski
Harley Race
Bull Ramos
Dusty Rhodes
Victor Rivera
Ricky Romero
Bob Roop
Nelson Royal
Mr. Sakurada (Kendo Nagasaki)
El Santo
George Scott
The Sheik
Gama Singh
Dick Slater
Grizzly Smith
Jimmy Snuka
Pak Song
The Spoiler
Stan Stasiak
Ray Stevens
Jerry Stubbs
Big John Studd
John L. Sullivan
Sweet Brown Sugar
"Bruiser" Bob Sweetan
Prof. Tanaka
The Texan (Blackjack Mulligan)
Lou Thesz
Les Thornton
John Tolos
Twin Devils
Mad Dog Vachon
Dale Valentine (Buddy Roberts)
Johnny Valentine
Greg Valentine
Khosrow Vaziri
Nikolai Volkoff
David Von Erich
Fritz Von Erich
Kerry Von Erich
Kevin Von Erich
Waldo Von Erich
Kurt Von Hess
Baron Von Krupp
Baron Von Raschke
Luke Williams
Steve Williams
Mr. Wrestling II
Bearcat Wright
Gary Young
Jay Youngblood

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