Wednesday, October 5, 2011

Kurt Von Steiger

In the early 1960s a rather mediocre wrestler known as Arnold Pastick came through Arizona. He feuded briefly with Tito Montez. He did his job and collected his paycheck for his labor,  but that was the scope of it.

In the early 1970s, a bald-headed "Nazi" named Kurt Von Steiger came into Arizona, with his "brother" Karl, really caused a stir. He likewise feuded with Tito Montez.

The odd part was no one seemed to realize among those old enough to recall, that the villainous Von Steiger was none other than Arnold Pastick.

Karl did not like the Arizona heat in the summers and eventually left, but Kurt stayed behind to become a promoter in the area, utilizing a load of help from the Amarillo office.

Opening a territory of several big cities, Von Steiger brought in a number of top names. He also had lengthy feuds with Johnny Kostas, Ricky Thompson and the Kozak brothers.  He and Montez were forever going at ti as well, including a number of bloody cage matches where Tito finally gained victory.

Then the incredible happened. The hated "Nazi" became a fan favorite after being double crossed by Jody Arnold and Bobby Mayne in a six man tag team. A hero was born.

 Von Steiger ended up teaming with Montez and later Eddie Lopez, with whom he held a version fot he Western States Tag Team title. Arnold was sent packing, but there were new villains to face.

The Comancheros were next in line, with Ron Dupree using the fireball in Von Steiger's face to sideline him. Once back in action, the blood flowed freely. The "ex-Nazi" not only pounded Dupree mercilessly, but won the Arizona title from partner Chris Colt..

As a promoter Von Steiger brought in several past Arizona favorites and top names, both from Amarillo and other locations. Chief Big Heart, Afa & Sika, Ricky Romero, Pak Song, Henry Pulusso, Ali Bey, Spike Jones, Buck Robley, Chuck Karbo and Flama Roja, the maximum star from Juarez at the time were all contracted under his reign. These were good times.

One might only assume after a lengthy Arizona run, Von Steiger decided to look for greener pastures. He sold his promotion to one of his students, Paul Harvey/Harvey Kramer, and moved onward.

He would not be back in Arizona as an active participant again.

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