by: Bob Magee

Back from the NWA 50th Anniversary events....

I got to see the event from the role of helper, working as a greeter for the Fan/Vendor Convention that ran much of October 24th at the Cherry Hill Hilton. Some thoughts from that viewpoint:

First, congratulations to former PWBTS writer and NWA staffperson Kathy Fitzpatrick, who had the key role in running the NWA 50th Anniversary Convention. I can tell you from knowing Kathy that she put hundreds of hours into this Convention, working as hard as she usually does to organize this event. Her good work was particularly pointed out to me by local photographer Craig Prendergast and vendor Michael Bochicchio of High Spots in Charlotte, NC, who asked that her hard work be acknowledged.

More than happy to oblige, guys. But as Dave Scherer said on said regarding Kathy and the Convention, “If you know Kathy, that shouldn’t surprise you”. Amen to that, Dave, and congratulations again, Kathy. We’re all really proud of you.

I enjoyed the informal parts of the Weekend, meeting Gordon Solie (and being reminded by him that I look something like old Southern wrestler Buck Robley), Lou Thesz, and Danny Hodge for the first time. For readers who aren’t aware of Danny Hodge from anything other than Jim Ross commentaries, or seeing him as a referee during the WWF “Brawl for All” experiment; Hodge was quite simply the greatest amateur wrestler in United States history with a 46-0 record at Oklahoma State University. He was also a Golden Gloves champion, with an 8-1 record as a professional. Hodge then entered professional wrestling beginning a 17 year career.

The NWA 50th show gave an example of some of the independent talent that’s out there. It’s a good reminder of why wrestling fans should support their local NWA affiliate or other independent promotion.

Then there was the one negative of the Weekend: Tod Gordon. Readers know my feelings on the man. If you don’t, I spoke about certain personal failings that Mr. Gordon still has to account for in my August 1st AS I SEE IT. Read it at your leisure.

But from a business standpoint, Tod Gordon took the real prize on October 24th. Gordon walked out on the “Rage in the Cage” main event match at the NWA 50th Anniversary show, because he didn’t like the finish from Jim Cornette and others involved in booking the show. Along with Jim Fullington, he walked out on the event, resulting on the main event having to be re-booked on the fly.

There are those friendly with Tod Gordon who have written their viewpoints (and Tod Gordon’s) online and in print. They are entitled to their opinions. But there is no question whatsoever in my mind that such an act was unprofessional beyond words, regardless of the circumstances involved. It showed a lack of regard for the business, an act especially notable on a weekend with such legends of the wrestling industry as those I’ve mentioned earlier. I think my August 1st AS I SEE IT said it well:

“You see, I haven’t forgotten the line between fantasy and reality. You have. I wasn’t the one who forgot friends and people who loved him. You did. I’m not the person who makes himself out to be something he isn’t. You are....

Dutch Mantel said it very well when he said ‘I liked it (the business) better when the marks were on the other side of the rail’...” Unfortunately, they aren’t always on the other side of the rail anymore. This incident was proof.

Overall, however, the Weekend was enjoyable. Thanks to all of those in the National Wrestling Alliance who were involved in the planning and the hard work that made this 50th Anniversary Weekend a reality. PWBTS was more than happy to give its help in publicizing this notable wrestling event.

Until next time.....

If you have comments or questions, I can be reached by e-mail at