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'Wrestling at the Chase' announcer Larry Matysik dies at 72

'Wrestling at the Chase' announcer Larry Matysik dies at 72

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Larry Matysik — for years the ringside voice and face of the popular "Wrestling at the Chase" — died Sunday at the age of 72.

According to pro wrestling publication "Wrestle Zone," Mr. Matysik had pneumonia and was in hospice care. Funeral arrangements are pending.

A Belleville native, Mr. Matysik got an early start in the wrestling business. In 1963, at 16 years old, he went to work for legendary pro wrestling promoter Sam Muchnick and served as the office manager, publicist and booking agent for Muchnick's St. Louis Wrestling Club.

After a decade behind the scenes, Mr. Matysik stepped out front in 1972 when he took over as ring announcer for the wrestling club's popular television show on KPLR (Channel 11).

The show, which made St. Louis one of the biggest pro wrestling cities in the U.S., aired from 1959 until 1983 and was filmed in its early years at the Khorassan Room at the Chase Park Plaza Hotel.

Succeeding pioneer STL broadcaster George Abel, Mr. Matysik was the ringside announcer until the show went off the air in 1983.

Mr. Matysik then worked for Vince McMahon and the World Wrestling Federation until 1993. After parting ways with McMahon's group, he promoted independent wrestling cards in the area and wrote four wrestling-related books.

In 2007, Mr. Matysik was inducted into the St. Louis Pro Wrestling Hall of Fame. He was inducted into the National Wrestling Hall of Fame in 2014.

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