NWA Member: Jerry Meeker
Admitted to Organization: November 26, 1949
Great Falls Office: (Montana)
As early as 1947, Meeker was expanding the range of his Great Falls booking to include
Tacoma, Seattle, and Spokane, taking the three latter cities out from under the Western
Athletic Club of Portland, which was run by Ted Thye and Virgil Hamlin. Seattle, run by
Bob Murray, and Spokane, by "Hat" Freeman, indicated they wanted a better class of
talent, and broke their deals with Thye to go with Meeker. This left Thye with very few
interests in Washington State.
Shortly before joining the NWA, Meeker was caught in an interesting position involving
Alliance member and Chicago promoter Fred Kohler. Wrestler Andy Rockne reportedly
ran out on some dates in the "Windy City," and owed Kohler $75. Kohler immediately
notified the NWA, and there were some tightly worded letters to members saying to not
use Rockne until he cleared up the problem. However, Rockne went to Great Falls to
work for Meeker. Since Meeker wasn't a member, there was nothing the NWA could do
about it, but it was recommended that Orville Brown contact Meeker to see if the matter
could be worked out.
Sam Muchnick invited Thye to the NWA convention in 1949 but Thye chose not to attend.
Meeker did attend and joined the organization.
In December 1949, in a bulletin to NWA members, Sam Muchnick mentioned a "Ted
Thye-Jerry Meeker mix-up," but didn't elaborate. "Mix-up" was a polite way of saying feud
or conflict. However, the situation regarded the cities in Washington in which Meeker
now operated in, and Thye explained in his June 9, 1955 interview with the Department of
Justice that he refused to work with Meeker because he didn't "want anyone running his
business." Muchnick also told Thye by letter that if a date opened for Thesz or anyone
else for that matter, Meeker would get the wrestler before Thye because Meeker was a
member of the NWA.
The membership was expected at the 1950 annual convention in Dallas, but Meeker
didn't attend. Instead, he was represented at the gathering by Orville Brown of Kansas
City. A short time later, Sam Muchnick notified NWA members that Meeker had
"apparently moved from Montana as his mail is being returned here. He has not notified
this office about his status. He should do so at once."
Muchnick followed up on October 2, 1950, in a bulletin to members, by saying that "no
word has been received by this office" from Meeker in Montana. "His name will be striken
from the membership roll," Muchnick stated, "if nothing is heard from him by Nov. 1,
According to Al Billings, Meeker "had apparently been squeezed out [of the NWA] by
During his interview with the Department of Justice on June 9, 1955, Ted Thye stated
that the Western Athletic Club, the booking office he owned, "turned Canada over to
[Jerry] Meeker voluntarily, since it was easier for him to book the Canadian towns working
up through Montana, than it was to book them from Portland."
Research by Tim Hornbaker
December 20, 2010
|Great Falls Booking Office