Legendary wrestling promoter and announcer Larry Matysik has passed away at the age of 72.
The famed personality who was closely associated with St. Louis wrestling over the decades recently entered hospice care, as reported on Saturday by the Wrestling Observer. He had been suffering from pneumonia with his condition reportedly “deteriorating quickly.” Matysik had also suffered several strokes in recent years.
Longtime friend Herb Simmons broke the news Sunday morning on his Facebook page.
It’s with heavy heart this morning that I come to each of you and give you the news that my good friend Larry Matysik has lost the battle. As many know his health has been declining over the past several year. I ask that you keep his wife Pat and Daughter Kelly in your thoughts and prayers as the next few days will be hard for them. I will continue to update you on the arrangements when they are available.
Matysik cut his teeth in the wrestling business by working with Sam Muchnick, the longtime National Wrestling Alliance president and St. Louis promoter. Matysik ended up being his top assistant behind the scenes as he became known around the country as one of the top wrestling broadcasters of the era. Matysik became the voice of St. Louis’ “Wrestling at the Chase,” which was one of the top rated wrestling programs on television. He later wrote a successful book by the same name.
While many fans in the 1970s and 1980s knew Matysik as the famed announcer, his great work behind the scenes as a promoter and booker was just as important. He was instrumental in booking the St. Louis territory, reporting directly to Muchnick and working alongside co-booker Pat O’Connor during one of the most successful periods the territory saw.
When Muchnik exited the wrestling business in the early 1980s, Matysik’s role in St. Louis fluctuated. He had issues with his new boss, Bob Geigel, and was off and on with the promotion. The highlight of his time during this period was crafting a storyline between Ric Flair and Bruiser Brody that saw a 1983 match in St. Louis set the city’s all time record gate. Following that match, Matysik quit the promotion again over a dispute stemming from the payoffs Flair and Brody received for the show. Matysik felt that Geigel had underpaid the two men and was really the culmination of all the working hostility between he and Geigel.
He stayed active in and around the St. Louis wrestling circuit following the split with Geigel. In later years, Matysik was still closely connected to the wrestling business, helping friends associated with Southern Illinois Championship Wrestling and appearing at wrestling conventions when his health would allow.