Historical Summary of Wrestling in Dayton


As of the beginning of 1950, John Collins' Quality Athletic Club was the main promotion in Dayton. The promotion used wrestlers from Al Haft's Columbus booking office with Haft having an ownership stake in the company. From the fall through spring, weekly shows were held at Memorial Hall which seated 2,800 for wrestling. During the summer, weekly shows were held at Collins Acre an outdoor arena at Ludlow and Barayard (now Auto Club Drive). The rest of the year, shows were held at Memorial Hall.

Weekly shows from the Eagles Club were aired on Thursday nights on WHIO-TV Channel 13 (now Channel 7). The show was hosted by Don Wayne who would go on to become a Dayton televsion news legend. The cards also featured amateur boxing matches. Newspapers ads never gave names of the wrestlers or and indication as to who the promoter was. A couple of months after Haft's studio show debuted, these shows stopped airing and it appears that only a few more non-televised were run.

On February 4, 1950 the first ever regularly scheduled studio wrestling show premiered. While there had been prior one-off shows in other cities, this was the first to be aired on a weekly basis as a vehicle to promote local shows. The show aired live on Saturday nights from the WLW-D studios in Moraine and was usually 90 minutes airing sometime between 10pm and 1am. From its inception it also aired live in Cincinnati and Columbus. In May 1951, the show began airing live in Huntington, WV. A 60-minute edited version aired on at least 17 other stations around the nation. The show ran until October 29, 1955.

Based on the success of the WLW-D show, a similar show was begun at the WLW-T studio in Cincinnati and aired in Dayton and Columbus. The show was broadcast live on Monday nights and aired from July 3, 1950 through September 5, 1950. After a two week break, the show would begin again on Saturday afternoons. In January 1951, the Saturday afternoon show moved to the studio in suburban Dayton. That afternoon show moved to the WLW-C studio in Columbus in October 1951.

The Friday night live show from Cincinnati's Music Hall and parkway Arena began airing on WHIO Channel 13 on March 3, 1950. At the end of September, the show moved to WLW-D with the result being that all locally produced wrestling televsion shows being on WLW stations. The show lasted until January 1951 when it was discontinued due to falling live arena attendance.

Jack Pfeffer's crew, based in Toledo, were featured on shows at Troy's Hobart Arena starting in september 1950. The local promoter was Pat Thurkettle who was the manager of the arena. The shows ran most Wednesday nights through the beginning of 1951. Later that year, cards featuring Haft's wrestlers began at Hobart.