Fred Rubenstein

(Photo courtesy of Jimmy Hunt Photography)

Fred Rubenstein (aka Fred Richards, Senior Official of the NWA) has credentials in the pro wrestling business that most people wish they had.  Starting as a beat writer covering pro wrestling show results LONG before there was an internet, Fred worked as a referee for many years, before becoming part of the group that has now taken over the National Wrestling Alliance, a once prestigious organization that has lost some of its lustre, particularly over the past 10-12 years.

John House & Phil Varlese share this interview with Fred, not to talk about his accomplishments in wrestling, but to get to the issues that face the National Wrestling Alliance today, as they attempt to gain respect in the ranks of current indy pro wrestling.  We asked many questions that were sent to us, not only by fans, but by critics as well.

On the heels of last week’s show, where The Wrestling  Guys discussed what they saw right & wrong with the NWA, as usual, they get right to the heart of the matter by bringing one of the top three men from the new Board of Governors.

Enjoy the show!

The NWA Episode (Vol. 1) 11/8/12

On the heels of the longest running promotion in the US crowning a brand new World Heavyweight Champion, Phil & John discuss the National Wrestling Alliance, their interaction with them from when they first went on the air in 1996, the changes that have taken place since the 50th Anniversary of the NWA in 1998, and where they think the NWA resides right now in terms of its place in pro wrestling.

This is part 1 of a multi part series.  Part 2 will air next week, and will include an interview with NWA Board of Governors member Fred Richards (Rubenstein), who has promised to answer any questions that the fans may remain unanswered with regard to the NEW NWA, and what their plans are for the future.

If anyone has questions for Fred, you can send them to us at TheWrestlingguys@yahoo.com.  The deadline for any questions will be Monday morning (11/12) at 8 am.  Listen to this podcast, then get your questions ready!!!  In the meantime, enjoy the show……….

NEW NWA World Heavyweight Champion Tokyo Monster Kahagas

Karl Von Hess!

In the Golden Years of pro wrestling in the 1950′s, the name Karl Von Hess sparked an incredible amount of hatred.  Coming to the ring in full Nazi gear (keep in mind this was right after World War II), Von Hess would turn to the crowd and give the German “Seig Heil” salute to the audience.  His mere presence at pro wrestling shows was enough to incite the crowd to near riot.

His real name was Frank Faketty, and while he used the Nazi gimmick to enhance his character, he was actually a great patriot, having served aboard the USS Montpelier in World War II, where he was a part of the Underwater Demolition Corps, the forerunner of the Navy SEALs.

After the war, he tried his hand at pro wrestling, and after trying a few different characters that just didn’t get him over as a villain, Faketty came up with the Karl Von Hess persona, and the rest is history.  Karl became an immediate sensation as an out-and-out Nazi, and was a key player in the talent movement between the Carolinas and Vincent J. McMahon’s Washington office on the East Coast.

The Karl Von Hess that The Wrestling Guys interviewed was completely different than the character that most fans of the 50′s were familiar with.  He was a family man, a gentle man who could flip the switch and get tough if need be, but a man who LOVED his wife Lenore, who was at Karl’s side until her death in 2005 (they were married for 53 years.)

Von Hess, and his wife Lenore.

We were fortunate to get this interview, which we believe was the only one he granted, as he’d become increasingly wary of the business in his later years.  Von Hess went into seclusion after the death of his wife, ultimately moving in with his son and daughter in law, and passed on in 2009 due to complications from Alzheimer’s Disease.

This is a must listen, for anyone who wants to understand or learn about the legacy of pro wrestling, but more important, a study of the character of a great man.  The Wrestling Guys proudly present to you, Karl Von Hess, who was in our studio along with former WWF star Wolfgang Von Heller and the great Les Morgan.

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