July 2018 — Richard Grady Jr. was going through the basement of his father, longtime Western States wrestling promoter Richard Grady who had recently passed. There he found hundreds of tapes in boxes stacked up neatly. Thanks to eBay, he was able to purchase the VTR machine to see what was on these tapes that were very neatly dated and what he found were the lost archives of the wrestling show Top Notch Wrestling featuring the wrestling action based out of the Western States territory. After shopping around, the OWA Network purchased the collection and is set to convert and digitally archive each episode. Beginning on October 6, 2018, the OWA Network will add the episode of Top Notch Wrestling that aired on October 6, 1979, which was the first tape in the collection. Each week, they will add the next week’s episode.
So, the idea of this fed is that it is a period fed based on 1970s territories. We would ask that everyone select PBs that would reflect that era. We also ask that everyone remember that the moveset in the 70s were very basic, so the application will be a little different than most. In the 70s, there were very few tweener type characters, so when joining, pick babyface or heel. The only non-traditional thing that will be allowed is the addition of female wrestlers. I want the fed to be open to all types of characters, including female characters. While I don’t mind the use of Twitter, understand there were no Twitter in the 70s, so any interaction on Twitter will basically be ignored in storyline.
Top Notch Wrestling
Everything revolves around this show. It will be a traditional show with jobbers and a couple main events. IC time, the show will run an hour (90 minutes air time minus commercials). There will be a single play by play announcer who will also act as the interviewer during promos. The angles on the show will be used to build the live shows that happen during the week. The show is live every Saturday morning at 10am. The house show circuit will begin on Thursday and run to Monday, giving wrestlers Tuesday and Wednesday off. The show is held inside a television studio in Reno, which is the home city for Top Notch Wrestling.
There will be five — what we call house shows now — live events. The circuit will be posted prior to the show and promos should be used to hype the upcoming shows with the intent to fill the shows with fans. Wrestlers in the 70s were not paid a guarantee and their pay is based on the house. The better the promotion on television, the better the house. Results for live events are posted as a newpaper clipping. Wrestler A defeated Wrestler B by submission. If any particular angles occur, then they will be displayed as well. There will probably be 4 live events beginning on Tuesday with the last one being on Friday. If a championship changes hands during a live event, clips will be shown on the Top Notch Wrestling the following Saturday.
Some consistent markets for the territory: We will run every Friday night in Las Vegas, Saturday night in Reno and every Sunday in Salt Lake City. The other nights will be alternating throughout the territory. We run shows in Arizona and New Mexico.
The singles belt will be the Western States Championship, and the tag team championship will be the Western States Tag Team Championship. Depending on how signups go, we may just start with the single and then add the tag later on. If there happen to be enough folks, then we may add a lower tier title to the single ranks. The Western States territory belongs to the International Alliance of Wrestling Promotions along with several other territories. And there is a IAW World Champion who will come through the territory a couple times a year. This champion will be NPC for the time being. The Western States territory will include Nevada, Utah, Arizona and New Mexico.
The premise of territory wrestling is to allow for territories to not become stale with the same talent all year long, so we will implement a rotating schedule. We will find a cap and then move folks in and out of the territory to keep things from getting too stale. This allows for those who might need vacation time or a break can take those breaks and we can bring in new talent. We might elect to ask someone to sit out for a while in order to bring in fresh talent for a bit, but the nice thing about territories is that popular returning talent always brings a nice pop from the crowd.
Participation will be key for being pushed. I don’t need anything super written out. The results will be abbreviated for the most part, but will include all angled segments. There’s no RP requirement. What I will be looking for is once the card is posted, send me your angle ideas. Send me information on what you want your character to do during the card. This will be key, especially for those who don’t end up with a match on TV. I would want you involved in some way whether it’s angle segments or interviews. The key to the interviews will be putting over your appearances throughout the week. I’m trying to make this fun, not necessarily a chore for anyone involved.
I’m going to tinker with the possibility of doing quarterly Supercards. These are arena type cards where they put on the best of the best and perhaps have outside talent come in. The IAW Champion would definitely come defend his title on this card. But, it’s still a consideration.
In the 1970s, there were a few common rules that were consistent throughout the territories and will be utilized in Top Notch Wrestling.
- Throwing someone over the top rope and to the floor = Automatic disqualification.
- Any move performed off the top turnbuckle = Automatic disqualification.
- Most title matches will be best two of three falls.
- Punches are illegal. Striking with the open palm or hand is legal.
- Kicking with the toe of the boot is illegal. Kicking with the flat of the boot, legal.
- Punching and toe kicking are illegal, but not typically grounds for disqualification unless used in excess.
- Count-outs occur at the 20 count instead of 10 count.
- Most TV matches will have a 10 minute time limit. Each show runs 90 minutes to include commercials.
In the territory days, it was not uncommon to have other promoters working in cities throughout the territory responsible for booking in their city or cities. I am considering this option as a fun add-in to the fed. If anyone would like to be responsible for booking in a particular city, please let me know. All you would be responsible for it booking the matches in your city and providing very brief results. You’re welcome to run angles and whatnot as well to build return matches. The only thing that can’t be done is changing of championships without talking to myself first. My plan will be that most championships will change hands at house shows and using TV to build up these matches.
I’m gauging interest. If I get enough interest, then we make this a go. If not, then it was an idea that failed. The big part is making sure everything is kept period. 70s. There are no RP judging here. I look for those actively participating to decide who to push and who makes things interesting. If you’re coming here to be competitive, might not be for you. If you’re looking for a cooperative environment where we can create fun wrestling storylines, then this is probably the place for you. I am very easy to work with and I look for others that are the same.
If you’re interested, hit me up at @owa_network on Twitter and let me know. I’ll start a roster and hopefully have enough we can make a go of it beginning October 6.
Roster as of September 31, 1979
|Mike Musket||“Mad Dog” Mark Wright|
|“Above Average” Kevin Hughes|