Wednesday, November 26, 2014

SUPERMOUTH DAVE DRASON TO MC PWHF XIV

Long before he gained notoriety in the wrestling business as the evil manager of champions under the moniker Supermouth Dave Drason, Dave Burzynski started watching professional wrestling in 1959. His upstairs neighbor at his parents two story home, just happened to be the most famous wrestler in Detroit at the time, Leaping Larry Chene. Influenced by his celebrity, Dave would watch him on the weekly TV tapings which led to his lifelong obsession with the sport of wrestling.
 
It wasn't until 1965 when he attended his first live show at the famed Cobo Arena in Detroit, seeing firsthand all the icons of the heyday of wrestling, that he became seriously hooked. So much so, he began to collect every wrestling magazine available to him, started trading pictures with other local fans, started writing to other wrestling pen pals around the world, to the point where professional wrestling consumed his young life.
 
He began traveling to other cities in the territory to watch the Big Time Wrestling events, and then, unbeknownst to his parents, began traveling to cities such as St. Louis, Atlanta, Boston, LA and parts unknown, meeting and staying with fans who shared his same passion, documenting his trips with photographs along the way. It was then he began submitting those photo's to all the national magazines of the day such as Wrestling Revue, Wrestling World, Ring Wrestling, Wrestling Monthly and the various Apter mag's. It was hard to pick up a copy each month and not see his name in print with either photo's or a feature story in each issue.
Along with many other historians such as Don Wilson, Tom Burke, Diane Devine and a host of others from around the country, he played a big part on the Board of Directors of the WFIA (Wrestling Fans International Association). The organization would hold yearly conventions, bringing together fans from across the world, to a different city each year, happily hosted by the local promoter. Over the years, Dave served as MC for many of these annual gatherings.
 
Very popular in its day were fan clubs, a fans way to let other wrestling addicts know about their favorite wrestler or the happenings in their local promotion. Dave was no different, as he was the president of the Michigan Scene Fan Club which was honored in 1971 as the WFIA Fan Club of the Year.
 
With the help of then NWA President Sam Muchnick, who allowed Dave to photograph ringside whenever he came to St. Louis, he was instrumental in helping him become the full time photographer for The Sheik's Detroit promotion in his own hometown. It was there he used his writing and picture taking skills to take over the reigns of the Body Press program, to this day, highly regarded as the premier wrestling publication sold at any arena across the country.
 
After years of working for Big Time Wrestling, it was then at the urging of many of the wrestlers he grew to know and travel with, that he was given the opportunity to fulfill his dream of becoming a wrestling manager. Beginning in 1974, under the tutelage of Abdullah Farouk, Bobby Heenan and George Cannon, he embarked on causing havok ringside and riling fans to a boiling point alongside such legends as Killer Brooks, Ben Justice, The Fabulous Kangaroo's, Eric the Red, Hartford Love, Al Snow, Mickey Doyle and most notably, his childhood hero, The Sheik. Only a few years into his managing career, he was regarded as one of the best in the business when he took Manager of the Year honors in 1976.
 
In 1993, with the territory days long gone and the independent scene waning, he ended his managing career to pursue his next phase in his life of wrestling: giving back.
 
Since then, he has become a huge supporter of the PWHF, the CAC, the Titans in Toronto (where he was the MC for the PWHF fundraising event in 2008) and the Alicia's House Charity in Chicago, run by former wrestler Juan Hernandez. He continues to lend his historian expertise to many worldwide radio programs, legends TV stints, and also appearing in numerous wrestling documentaries.
 
After a 55 year obsession, where he worked and experienced nearly every phase of the wrestling business possible, Dave Burzynski returns to the 2015 PWHF Induction ceremonies not only as MC, but as a lifelong fan of the sport he continues to love and support.

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