Remembering Original ECW Booker, The Legendary Larry Winters

Northeast wrestling legend was  born in Pittsburg on as John Charyszyn on April 14,1956 .  Winters made his wrestling debut in 1982 for Ohio Championship wrestling on a card that featured Bobo Brazil. During that same year Winters started appearing regularly on Bruno Sammartino and Dominic DeNucci`s IWF, where Winters put more experienced wrestlers over.

Soon after Winters got his first push in DC Drakes Continental wrestling alliance along with future stars such as Jack Victory and Ray Apollo and established wrestler Rocky Jones.  During this time Winters wrestled a young Joe Savoldi on A northeast independent show, before Savoldi joined Bill Watts Mid-South wrestling.  Around this time Winters would drive to New York to perform on TV tapings for Spanish TV.  In 1983 Winters was defeated by Bulldog Bob Bower. During these tapings Winters also drive Tom Brandi to the tapings, for Brand`s first ever wrestling matches.

In 1984 Winter made an appearance for the WWF losing to Ron Shaw.  In 1985 Winters joined fellow northeast independent  stars Mike Kahulah, Lou Fabiano and Mark Pole in the AWA. The four were regulars on AWA TV putting over the company`s biggest stars. Even though Winters did not receive a push in the AWA he had a very memorable moment against superstar Larry Zbysko, when the ring collapsed during their match.

In 1986 Winters got A push with Mario Savoldi`s ICW as lightheavyweight, where he feuded with  fellow lightheavweight Brian Walsh. During that year also put over stars on TV for WWC Puerto Rico and in Montreal. That year Winters really broke out when DC Drake`s CWA was sold and became the NWF.  Winters got a push in with Eddie Miranda as the Beach Boys, before his staring his violent feud with DC Drake which became A forerunner to hardcore wrestling.

During Winters major push in NWF, Winters also wrestled semi-regularly for the NWA on their Baltimore shows. Winters got A small push for the NWA in Baltimore beating Ron Shaw in an opener, and moving up the card in losses to Arn Anderson and Ivan Koloff. 

Drake and Winters continued their feud For Joel Goodheart`s Tri-State wrestling. Drake and Winters and other local Philadelphia wrestlers would often steal the show on these cards that featured big name superstars throughout the world. Winters not only was one of Tri-States top stars, Winters was also the companies booker, and Winters along with Shaw opened up A school to train young and local talent to perform on Tri-state wrestling shows.  Through this school Winters and Shaw trained many future stars such as Stevie Richards, Sandman and Glenn Osbourne. 

During this time Winters also received a push on sports channel for Rob Russen`s IWA. It was for the IWA where Winters competed in an extremely competitive division along with Johhny Hotbody, Tony Stenson, Chris Evans, Ray Oddessey, Lou Perez, Denny Brown and David Isle. 

In 1992 Winters made history when he became the first Booker for ECW, then known as Eastern Championship wrestling. Winters was not only the company`s original booker, he was also one of their top stars along with many of the Philadelphia wrestlers who made up the core for Tri-State wrestling. In the early days of ECW Winters won the tag tittles with Hitman Tony Stentson.

It was in 1993 when Eddie Gilbert replaced Larry winters as ECW Booker and phased him out as A performer. Winters briefly returned to ECW in the fall of 1993 when Paul E Dangerously took over as the booker, although during that time Winters was jobbed out as the masked MR.X. After leaving ECW Winters continued wrestling some independent shows, but he never returned to mainstream wrestling.

In the aftermath of the Winters era ECW became Extreme Championship Wrestling, during that period Dangerously brought in local northeast legends such as DC Drake, Damien Kane, Tony Stentson and Johnny Hotbody all showed up for brief runs.  For whatever reason Winters never did return to ECW during the Extreme period.

In 2009 Tri-State wrestling had a reunion where Winters, Joel Goodheart and many of the Tri-State stars from the early 90`s made appearances for the reunion shows, on the first reunion show Winters wrestled his student and fellow ECW and Tri-state alumn Jimmy Jannetty. 

Unfortunately the world lost Larry Winters on January 27, Winters was 58 years old. Winters never became a household name but he had a huge impact on professional wrestling, and there may not have been  the late 1990`s wrestling boom that saw Extreme Championship Wrestling, The WCW`s NWO and the WWF`s attitude Era, if not for the imagination for Larry Winters.

I would like to close by supporting Bay Ragni`s(Chubby Dudley)campaign for having A banner with the names Joel Goodheart, Larry Winters, DC Drake, Tony Stentson and Johnny Hotbody`s names hanging over ECW arena.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *