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Western States Sports (also known as the Amarillo Territory) was a professional wrestling promotion headquartered in Amarillo, Texas in the United States. [44] Founded by Dory Detton in 1946, the promotion enjoyed its greatest success in the 1960s and 1970s under the management of Dory Funk and, later, his sons Dory Funk Jr. and Terry Funk, with its top performers including the Funks themselves and Ricky Romero. [46] [47] Western States Sports promoted professional wrestling events in multiple cities across West Texas including Amarillo, Abilene, El Paso, Lubbock, Odessa, and San Angelo, along with Albuquerque in New Mexico, Colorado Springs and Pueblo in Colorado, and the Oklahoma Panhandle. [1] [2] Sold by the Funks in 1980, [3] [4] the promotion closed in 1981. [44]

History


Western States Sports was founded by Dory Detton in 1946.

In 1955, retired wrestler Karl "Doc" Sarpolis purchased Western States Sports from Detton for $75,000 USD. [6] He offered local wrestler Dory Funk the opportunity to buy-in to the promotion, which he accepted. [7] In addition to booking the promotion, Funk was its biggest star. Sarpolis was elected president of the NWA in 1962. [6]

Funk's sons, Dory Funk Jr. and Terry Funk, began wrestling for the promotion in the mid-1960s. After Sarpolis died in 1967, Funk purchased his shares from his widow, giving him full ownership of Western States Sports. [8] [47] Dory Funk died in 1973, leaving the Funk brothers as owners of the territory. [9]

In the early-1970s, the Funks developed a working relationship with Giant Baba, owner of the All Japan Pro Wrestling promotion. A talent exchange between the two promotions saw Japanese wrestlers such as Genichiro Tenryu and Jumbo Tsuruta wrestle for Western States Sports. [10] [11]

By 1980, ticket sales were beginning to decline and the World Wrestling Federation was beginning a national expansion. The Funk brothers sold the territory to wrestlers Blackjack Mulligan and Dick Murdoch for $20,000 USD. [3] [4] [12] With business continuing to slump, the promotion closed in 1981. [44]

Television programming


Western States Sports aired an hour-long television program on KVII-TV (Channel 7) each Saturday afternoon. [6] [1] [13] The program aired in West Texas along with New Mexico and Colorado. It was hosted by Steve Stack. [14] The program featured a combination of matches recorded in the KVII studios in Amarillo, matches recorded at house shows, interviews, and clips of matches from other territories. [15]

Championships


Alumni


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