Crowbar Press

The Strap
The Strap

Paperback: 222 pages

Dimensions: 8-1/2 x 11

Publisher: Crowbar Press

Photos: 150 b&w

Cover: Color

ISBN: 978-0-9844090-8-2

Item #: cbp16-rd

Price: $22.95



Pay by credit card

For orders of
more than 3 books
please contact us at

E-mail address
The Strap by Roger Deem, edited by Scott Teal

Synopsis  |  Excerpts  |  Chapter Titles  |  Reviews  |  Media Appearances  |  Crowbar Press

"The STRAP: A Complete History of Sam Muchnick's Missouri State Championship" is available exclusively from Crowbar Press.
All books will be shipped via Media Mail (U.S.), Priority Mail, or International Priority Mail (Canada/overseas).

  The definition of a biography is "the account of someone's life written by someone else." This book isn't about "someone's" life, but author Roger Deem does bring life to the story of the Missouri championship belt, the "crème de la crème" of professional wrestling's title belts, second only to the world heavyweight title. Deem covers everything about the title, from the creation of the belt in 1972 to its demise with the death of the St. Louis Wrestling Club in 1987.

  Held by legendary superstars like Harley Race, Terry Funk, Ric Flair, Jack Brisco, Ted DiBiase, Bob Backlund, Dick Murdoch, Kerry Von Erich, David Von Erich, and many others, the Missouri title was what every wrestler who appeared in St. Louis hoped to win, and each titleholder has been given a section of their own.

  But this book isn't only about the title. It's a look at the history of the St. Louis wrestling promotion itself during the time the title was in use; the genius of promoter Sam Muchnick; the behind-the-scenes manipulations that determined who would be given the opportunity to hold the title, or have it taken away; and the problems that beset the promotion both from within and without.

  Several of the wrestlers who held or wrestled for the title — Kevin Von Erich, Ted DiBiase, Jerry Brisco, Bob Backlund, Ric Flair, Dory Funk Jr., Terry Funk, Harley Race, and Ken Patera — as well as others close to the promotion, weigh in on the subject by sharing their memories of the times, and, in many respects, the most important contribution to the story come from Larry Matysik, someone who never wrestled, but was a key figure in the offices of the St. Louis Wrestling Club.

  Also included are: listings and descriptions of every match wrestled when the Missouri title was at stake, the television matches in which the champion wrestled on the famous "Wrestling at the Chase" television program, reprints of the "Wrestling" arena program covers, and over 150 photos and images of the wrestlers and the events that took place during that time.

  Deem attacks the subject from the viewpoint of a fan who was on the outside of the wrestling business looking in and a photographer on the fringe who made friends with many of the personalities who graced the wrestling ring in both Kiel Auditorium and the St. Louis Arena.

  Relive the memories of the days when St. Louis was the wrestling capital of the world and the Missouri heavyweight title was the goal of every wrestler.

COMMENTS by the people who were there!
•  Bob Backlund
•  Bob Geigel
•  Bruiser Brody
•  Dick Murdoch
•  Dory Funk, Jr.
•  Gordon Solie
•  Harley Race
•  Jack Brisco
•  Jerry Brisco
•  Ken Patera
•  Kevin Von Erich
•  Larry Matysik
•  Ric Flair
•  Rip Hawk
•  Ted DiBiase
•  Terry Funk
•  Lou Thesz
•  Butch Fletcher
•  Chris Charboneau
•  Craig Buchman
•  Darla Staggs
•  Diane Devine
•  George Schire
•  Harry White
•  Jim Fossell
•  Libnan Ayoub
•  Mark Nulty
•  Mitch Hartsey
•  Roger Deem
•  Steve Munari
•  Tim Hornbaker
•  Victor Failoni
•  More than 150 b&w photographs
•  FOREWORD written by LARRY MATYSIK, wrestling promoter and key figure in the old St. Louis Wrestling Club
•  Classic photos of each of the champions wearing or holding the title belt
•  The origins of the Missouri championship from the days of the Central States title
•  A complete listing of all title defenses
•   A complete listing of every match the champions had during their reign as champion
•  Listings of NWA world title changes and the effect they had on the Missouri title
•  Cover images of key issues of the "Wrestling" program sold in the St. Louis arenas
•  Comments from many of the champions and those who were in St. Louis during the time


Chapter titles and contents
•  Author's Note
•  Preface
•  Contributors
•  Foreword by Larry Matysik
•  The Wrestling Capital of the World: Sam Muchnick’s St. Louis
•  Before the Beginning
•  The Central States Championship: Harley Race
•  A Straight Line in No Direction: The Tournament
•  The First Missouri State Champion: Harley Race
•  Clash of the Titans: Johnny Valentine
•  A Serious Dose of Hell: Terry Funk
•  A Revised History Revised: Gene Kiniski
•  Back in the Saddle Again: Harley Race
•  Sweet Revenge: Dory Funk, Jr.
•  Back to the Future: Harley Race
•  A New Generation Ascends: Bob Backlund
•  On the Comeback Trail: Jack Brisco
•  A Dark and Stormy Night: Dick Slater
•  Bumping a Future Star: Ted DiBiase
•  Catch a Rising Star: Dick Murdock
•  Man of the People: Dick the Bruiser
•  By Hook or By Crook: Dick Murdock
•  No Escape: Dick the Bruiser
•  A Right to Reign: Dick Murdock
•  The Young Gun: Kevin Von Erich
•  The Power and the Glory: Ken Patera
•  The Second Coming: Ted DiBiase
•  Return of the King: Jack Brisco
•  Coming Full Circle: Ken Patera
•  One Final Victory Lap: Dick the Bruiser
•  The Best Man Always Wins: Harley Race
•  Dark Days: Kerry Von Erich
•  One Small Step, One Leaping Giant: Crusher Blackwell
•  Ascent!: Harley Race
•  A New World King & Vacant State Title: Missouri State Title Tournament
•  Out of Many, One: Ric Flair
•  Heir to the Throne: David Von Erich
•  The Persistent Titleholder: Harley Race
•  By Any Means Necessary: Crusher Blackwell
•  The First Shall Be Last: Harley Race
•  End of the Road: Missouri Championship Retired
•  Afterword
•  About the Author
•  Acknowledgements
•  Index



  This afternoon I received my copy of "The Strap" and was thrilled to get it.  I had a copy of the book previously that was sent to me by Roger Deem.  It was signed by Roger, Terry Funk and Harley Race.  I was devastated to lose that and a lot of memorabilia in a storage locker while in the process of moving.
  I had some quotes and photos in "The Strap" and am proud to be a small part of an excellent book.  I also appreciate the "extras" that were included, the photo of Bruiser with the AWA tag belt.  I've been a "belt mark" since my youth, and that was my all-time favorite belt until the Missouri belt was made.  I'm a big fan of Reggie Parks' work.
  Thanks for your efforts to preserve wrestling's heritage.  I'll be back for more great publications from Crowbar Press.

Butch Fletcher

Media Appearances

Schedule media appearances

BRISCO by Jack Brisco & Bill Murdock