In the mid-late 1980's, Joel Goodhart and Carmela Panfil (along with
their silent partner, Paul Panfil), hosted Rasslin' Radio in the
Philadelphia AM radio market. Rasslin' Radio was unique in that it
talked about behind the scenes of wrestling, but more importantly talked
about other, non-World Wrestling Entertainment (WWE) (then WWF)
promotions. At the same time, Jim Crockett's National Wrestling
(NWA) arrived in the Philadelphia market, and fans had two
choices every month with WWF live events at the Philadelphia Spectrum
and NWA at the Philadelphia Civic Center
. It was a great time to be a
fan and a glory period for area wrestling fans.
Goodhart and Panfil always favored the NWA and non-WWF products, and
even had the Squared Circle Fan Club which catered to die-hard fans.
Other than the NWA, Memphis Wrestling
was a favorite of theirs, so much
that they had Jerry Lawler
do a Philly appearance and signing (a
practice that would become popular in the area during the late 90's
Monday Night Wars
boom period) and later sponsors trips for fan club
to Memphis, Tennessee to attend TV Tapings
and house shows. The
fan club also hosted bus trips to NWA shows in Baltimore and other local
independents, like the National Wrestling Federation
(NWF) which hosted
the Larry Winters-DC Drake feud that would later be rekindled in the
Tri-State Wrestling Alliance (TWA
Later, Goodhart and the Panfils parted ways, and Goodhart remained as
the lone host of Rasslin' Radio.
By 1989, Goodhart promoted some live shows and evolved into the
Tri-State Wrestling Alliance (TWA). The TWA produced live events for
several years in the Philadelphia
, New Jersey, and Delaware tri-state
area. In addition to smaller shows and the BAR WARS events at 8th and
Market in Center City
Philadelphia, the TWA ran large venues like TEMPLE
University and the Pennsylvania Hall
at the Philadelphia Civic Center.
At the same time Good hart opened the Ringmasters Wrestling School in
with Larry Winters as the head trainer.
The TWA combined some big name talent such as Cactus Jack
, Terry Funk
, Jerry Lawler, Abdullah the Butcher
Fernandez, Buddy Landel
, and the Original Sheik with local talent like
, Larry Winters, Johnny Hot Body, JT Smith, Mr. Sandman, CN
Redd, Glen Osbourne
, Michael Bruno, Jimmy Jannetty, Rockin' Rebel
Drake, Crybaby Waldo, and Don E Allen. The TWA also saw Mick Foley
Cactus Jack really hit a stride in his career in his matches with Eddie
Gilbert and Sabu
had some of his early matches there as well.
The TWA bought an alternative style of professional wrestling
Philadelphia area, which the fans welcomed with open arms and support.
The TWA ended in January 1992, and the big show that month at
Pennsylvania Hall (where a battle of Nature Boys was scheduled, as Buddy
Rogers was coming of retirement for one match to challenge Buddy Landel
for the TWA title) was cancelled live by Goodhart on Rasslin' Radio.
After the TWA discontinued operations, it led to the formation of
Eastern Championship Wrestling (ECW) and later Extreme Championship
(ECW). It was the TWA style with such memorable feuds as
Cactus Jack-Eddie Gilbert, Abdullah-Sheik, Tony Stetson-Johnny Hot Body,
and Larry Winters-D.C. Drake that laid the groundwork for a new genesis
in pro wrestling. TWA is truly the "Granddaddy of Philly Wrestling."
17 years later, the TWA name has been resurrected and many of the
original TWA wrestlers will be competing at the TWA REUNION SHOW on
October 24, 2009 at the FLYERS SKATE ZONE in Voorhees, New Jersey.
Since not all of the original TWA talents will not be available for the
date, we will be having other talent on the show that have not competed
in the TWA in the past (such as Al Snow and Steve Corino
stayed tuned to the Live Events Page at www.twaprowrestling.com