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  #1  
Old 07-19-2016, 06:40 AM
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Default 1979 Rax Roast Beef Wrestling Mystery Solved....

I started collecting wrestling cards in August of 2009 by chance after browsing EBAY and looking to see if Brock Lesnar had any football cards prior to him joining the UFC. Within in weeks I was hooked and began to buy every set I could find from the 70's on up. This particularly trading card set has eluded me the entire time.

There was little information known about the set and only one EBAY lot in at least ten years of some loose beat up cards. I did know of one person who owned a card and it was Dr. David Shultz himself. A wrestling aficionado from NY is very close friends with him and he disclosed that to me and I asked him to offer him $200 for the card. Shultz just laughed and said this guy doesn't know who he is dealing with.

I continued to hunt for information and found the name of Scott Teal on the back. I had purchased a few wrestling books from him and contacted him to see if he had any information. In December of 2014 I contacted him and he did reply and said he had a complete set that was sealed. It turns out he created them.

I informed him that it was the most rare set of wrestling cards and that they could be worth $1,000 sealed. He was shocked that they had value and especially potentially that much. A little over a week ago a loose lot of cards was listed on EBAY and the titling caused many to miss the auctions. I only have two saved searches and one is Rax Roast Beef but it didn't get listed that way and I missed them. I emailed some of the results to Scott and he was stunned.

Friday he posted the sealed pack to a Facebook group that focuses on Memphis Wrestling History and I was losing my mind when I saw them. I immediately contacted him and he said he was keeping them. I put a very serious offer on the table later in the day and eventually he caved.

Here are the scans of the set. This is the first time Prince Tonga has ever been seen. I plan to work with PSA to try and get these graded. A collector Steve has a checklist site that is often used and he has updated it.

I am absolutely thrilled to add this set to my collection.














































Last edited by Dpeck100; 07-19-2016 at 06:58 AM.
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  #2  
Old 07-19-2016, 06:41 AM
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  #3  
Old 07-19-2016, 06:43 AM
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It was long thought that the cards were handed out at Rax Roast Beef restaurants. It turns out they were only offered one night and handed out at this show.



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  #4  
Old 07-19-2016, 06:46 AM
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This is the poster for the show. In further research I have found that Graham didn't end up working the date. I plan to look for further information on the reported attendance that night. The promotion shut down a little over a year later so it makes me think attendance was starting to dwindle. No telling how many survived.

In a conversation with Bob from NY last night he said Shultz put out want adds for the cards in Tenn. with no luck in the past year. I am excited to learn that he did win the Shultz card that was auctioned off as he too desperately wanted one.


Last edited by Dpeck100; 07-19-2016 at 07:00 AM.
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  #5  
Old 07-19-2016, 06:48 AM
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http://x-titles.com/wc/years/1970-1979/index.html


1979 - Gulas N.W.A. Mid America Championship Wrestling - Cover card (Coupon for free fries)
1979 - Gulas N.W.A. Mid America Championship Wrestling - * Nick Gulas (promoter)
1979 - Gulas N.W.A. Mid America Championship Wrestling - Dennis Condry
1979 - Gulas N.W.A. Mid America Championship Wrestling - * Mike St. John
1979 - Gulas N.W.A. Mid America Championship Wrestling - * Tommy Sloan (referree)
1979 - Gulas N.W.A. Mid America Championship Wrestling - George Gulas
1979 - Gulas N.W.A. Mid America Championship Wrestling - * Len Rossi
1979 - Gulas N.W.A. Mid America Championship Wrestling - Hans Shroeder
1979 - Gulas N.W.A. Mid America Championship Wrestling - Robert Gibson
1979 - Gulas N.W.A. Mid America Championship Wrestling - * Donna Bower
1979 - Gulas N.W.A. Mid America Championship Wrestling - Tojo Yamamoto
1979 - Gulas N.W.A. Mid America Championship Wrestling - Pat Smith
1979 - Gulas N.W.A. Mid America Championship Wrestling - Bobby Eaton
1979 - Gulas N.W.A. Mid America Championship Wrestling - * Tommy Kerkeles
1979 - Gulas N.W.A. Mid America Championship Wrestling - The Red Terror
1979 - Gulas N.W.A. Mid America Championship Wrestling - Tommy Resesto, Jr.
1979 - Gulas N.W.A. Mid America Championship Wrestling - Cheif Thundercloud
1979 - Gulas N.W.A. Mid America Championship Wrestling - Ken Lucas
1979 - Gulas N.W.A. Mid America Championship Wrestling - * Tommy Resesto, Sr.
1979 - Gulas N.W.A. Mid America Championship Wrestling - David Shultz
1979 - Gulas N.W.A. Mid America Championship Wrestling - Ricky Gibson
1979 - Gulas N.W.A. Mid America Championship Wrestling - Jerry Barber
1979 - Gulas N.W.A. Mid America Championship Wrestling - Prince Tonga
Note: Sealed sets were distributed to the first 1200 attendees at the Sport Arena at the Tenness State Fairgrounds on November 21, 1979.
Note: Non-wrestlers designated above with "*"
Note: Cards are unnumbered.
Note: Cards were sponsored by Rax Roast Beef Restuarants and Pabst Blue Ribbon
Note: Order the cards above shown in order from an opened sealed pack.
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  #6  
Old 07-19-2016, 07:06 AM
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Here is the famous clip of Dr. David Shultz slapping John Stossel. I had to have his best card!



https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zrX9Ca7LSyQ
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  #7  
Old 07-19-2016, 08:32 AM
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"Open hand slap"
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  #8  
Old 07-19-2016, 07:49 PM
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Thanks for the information and scans, Mr. Peck. Congratulations on the pickup. What a great thread. I was not at all familiar with this set until opening this thread. On one of the wrestling boards I read, a couple posters from the Memphis territory have a cult following of George Gulas because of how bad he was. I never would have guessed that George Gulas actually has a card.

As a kid, I remember seeing the Dr. D slap of John Stossel when it aired on 20/20 and thinking it was just about the coolest thing ever. LOL

Last edited by Bored5000; 07-19-2016 at 07:57 PM.
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  #9  
Old 07-19-2016, 07:57 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bored5000 View Post
Thanks for the information and scans, Mr. Peck. What a great thread. I was not at all familiar with this set until opening this thread. On one of the wrestling boards I read, a couple posters from the Memphis territory have a cult following of George Gulas because of how bad he was. I never would have guessed that George Gulas actually has a card.

As a kid, I remember seeing the Dr. D slap of John Stossel when it aired on 20/20 and thinking it was just about the coolest thing ever. LOL

Thanks for this comment. From what I have read it turns out that many blame the downfall of the territory on the fact that Nick wanted to push George so hard.

In a discussion last night with Bob from NY I mentioned this to him and he said this is what Dr. D says. Nick wanted him to do a job for George and he said hell no I am not letting that kid pin me.

I am getting this book 1977 The War For Memphis and hopefully they make some reference to this.


http://www.memphiswrestlinghistory.com/mwh1977.html
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  #10  
Old 07-19-2016, 08:10 PM
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I have been giving this some thought. I really think the title of the set should probably be how you have it Steve. Although most including myself always attributed the name Rax Roast Beef to the cards, there are two sponsors and they were given out at an event.

Since they weren't the lone sponsor and weren't given out at the restaurants it just wouldn't make since to call them this.

The only reason to use the name Rax Roast Beef in the title would be because the header card says it and one would have associated the set with that name.

I haven't spoken to PSA's research department yet but this could be a stumbling block.

What do you call them?

I would love to hear others thoughts. Personally I would rather the name Rax be associated with them as I have been dying to own the Rax cards but the purest in me thinks this is wrong.

Please share some thoughts fellow collectors.


Edit: Post from another board. Title would be 1979 - Gulas N.W.A. Mid America Championship Wrestling

Last edited by Dpeck100; 07-19-2016 at 08:12 PM.
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  #11  
Old 07-19-2016, 08:19 PM
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I was familiar with that Mark James book on Memphis. It has received great reviews on Amazon and from fans of the Memphis territory that post on a couple of the boards I read. Even though I faithfully read the "Apter mags" as a kid, I never really knew much about Memphis (other than Jerry Lawler winning and losing the title a million times) until I got the Internet in the late 1990s.

I have about a dozen books sitting on my nightstand that I still have not gotten into yet. I have still not read Bob Backlund's book, which is supposed to be fabulous as well.

Unless opening this thread, I didn't even realize that there were obscure, hard to find 1970s sets like the Rax Roast Beef cards other than some of the stuff from Japan
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  #12  
Old 07-19-2016, 11:18 PM
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David,
I have absolutely no interest in wrestling, or in cards this recent for that matter, but I thoroughly enjoyed this thread. This is what collecting is all about IMHO. Thanks for sharing.
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  #13  
Old 07-20-2016, 06:00 AM
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Here is a back scan.


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  #14  
Old 07-20-2016, 06:02 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by spec View Post
David,
I have absolutely no interest in wrestling, or in cards this recent for that matter, but I thoroughly enjoyed this thread. This is what collecting is all about IMHO. Thanks for sharing.
Thanks for the checking out the thread.
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  #15  
Old 07-20-2016, 06:07 AM
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https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tennes...d_Sports_Arena



http://cdn2-b.examiner.com/sites/def...?itok=6aI0IXig



Here is a picture of the venue and the historical information. In the wiki link it says there was a sellout in 2011 of 1,700 fans so the 1,200 packs offered were probably intended to be given to each fan in 1979. When looking at the Google images one link calls the venue "Tennessee State Fairgrounds Sports Arena. The worst dump imaginable and the best Wrestling venue imaginable."

Last edited by Dpeck100; 07-20-2016 at 06:12 AM.
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  #16  
Old 07-20-2016, 06:16 AM
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George Gulas


https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AfeK3SaJAmk


I had some fun looking for videos last night that feature him. Here is one. The guy definitely wasn't world champion material. I read he went to a draw with Harley Race! No wonder there was a war to win Memphis. You will also see a the crowd and how packed in they are and lively. I just can't imagine one of these crowds taking any care of the free gift they received that night. If they had I think we would have seen some signed cards surface from the sets from autograph seekers.

Last edited by Dpeck100; 07-20-2016 at 06:22 AM.
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  #17  
Old 07-20-2016, 07:25 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dpeck100 View Post
I am getting this book 1977 The War For Memphis and hopefully they make some reference to this.

http://www.memphiswrestlinghistory.com/mwh1977.html
The book is great. A friend of mine bought the books for 1977, 78 and 1982 and let me read them. 1977 was when Gulas lost Memphis to Jerry Jarrett. It is a sadly common story about old school promoter vs. new school promoter. Bill Watts' and Gary Hart's books tell similar tales. Across all of them, though, the common theme is that the old school promoters did everything they could to sabotage their own territories (whether intentionally or obliviously), which basically made McMahon's conquest of the business a foregone conclusion, rather than some kind of nefarious scheme.

Given what Mark James writes about Gulas in the 1977-78 books, I would be shocked that the 1979 show in Nashville drew anywhere near 1000 fans. In the newspaper clippings for show results, they had a tendency not to report attendance numbers below 1000. For what it's worth, the same building at the Fairgrounds is where NWA TNA started out. And, yes, it is a dump. TNA could only draw 1000+ by giving out 900+ free passes.

Awesome find in the set. I wonder if someone like Jim Cornette would have a set.

Last edited by DaClyde; 07-20-2016 at 07:28 AM.
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  #18  
Old 07-20-2016, 07:38 AM
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When the loose cards sold recently I tweeted Jim pics of the Midnight Express and he was blown away. He had never seen them.


I made a trade yesterday with Mark of high resolution scans front and back for the book. His idea but sounded good to me. He had never seen the cards either.
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Old 07-20-2016, 08:21 AM
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I also don't partake but I love breaking down obscure issues in my boxing research so I 1000% get this thread. If you do well with PSA let us know because I have a ton of boxing issues I would love to submit.
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Old 07-20-2016, 01:10 PM
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Don't know why you can't call them "Rax Roast Beef" Cards.

It's plastered all over the cards, and is further supported as a place to redeem for food according to the header card, which is a step further then the Pabst Blue Ribbon sponsorship.

I just hope I haven't fallen for a cool fantasy set story like our friend Mr. Mouschi likes to provide from time to time.
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Old 07-20-2016, 01:44 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by D. Bergin View Post
Don't know why you can't call them "Rax Roast Beef" Cards.

It's plastered all over the cards, and is further supported as a place to redeem for food according to the header card, which is a step further then the Pabst Blue Ribbon sponsorship.

I just hope I haven't fallen for a cool fantasy set story like our friend Mr. Mouschi likes to provide from time to time.

Haha

I am working with PSA's research department currently and generally they like to see a published checklist. The one I posted above has them as 1979 - Gulas N.W.A. Mid America Championship Wrestling. Personally it seems more fitting to me as you can see on the back scan that name, but if they would slab them as Rax Roast Beef that would be fine too.

I just want to see them in red flips.

On the CU board someone said they should grade them and then label them The Dpeck Find. I wasn't sure if they were being serious or joking but rest assured this isn't a fantasy set story like Mr. Moushci spends a great amount of time crafting.
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Old 07-20-2016, 04:11 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dpeck100 View Post
Haha

I am working with PSA's research department currently and generally they like to see a published checklist.
Declare a set name, and I can have the checklist posted to the SportsCardForum Inventory Manager and to TradingCardDB.com in minutes....
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  #23  
Old 08-01-2016, 08:26 PM
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It was so crazy. I literally checked my email on my phone thinking I had a response coming. There was one!!!

So this is great news. PSA is going to grade all 23 cards from the pack including the header card.

The official name is 1979 Gulas/Rax Roast Beef Championship Wrestling. I sent my thoughts and also said I thought having Rax Roast Beef in the title would be the best as collectors have chased the elusive Rax cards for quite sometime and I am thrilled with the title.

I will be sending these in very shortly to get the entire set graded. I am pumped!
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Old 08-21-2016, 11:07 PM
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Thoroughly enjoyed this thread. Congrats on the find!
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Old 08-23-2016, 02:32 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by wvu_class_of_2001 View Post
Thoroughly enjoyed this thread. Congrats on the find!
Thank you very much.
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  #26  
Old 08-23-2016, 02:32 PM
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I purchased another 15 card voucher so that I could send the entire set in at the same time and just have them separated into two orders. I used the online submission for the first time and it was amazing. I have really sloppy hand writing so it I am sure made it easier for whomever was processing my order. They are logged and I am awaiting the grades.

On a different note I had the opportunity to have dinner last night with Haku or known in this set as Prince Tonga. He lives in Central Florida and a fellow wrestling card collector organized the dinner as he was up from Miami for a conference. We had a great time! He is such a nice guy and we chatted it up for three and a half hours and closed down the restaurant. Greg is a vendor at many of the wrestling conventions and was trying to secure him for next year when Wrestlemania comes to Orlando and the huge Wrestlecon event takes place.

We talked about a ton of topics and it was really cool to see two of the waiters "mark out" for him. We let them engage in the conversation and here the stories he was telling. I showed him the Rax set from my phone and he did confirm he had never seen the card.

His personal story is amazing and he left the island of Tonga at 14 to pursue rugby and then was selected to join a sumo wrestling organization. Greg was able to get a few of his very rare cards from Japan signed and a Market Scene card that I brought for him. I gave two copies to him to take home and he was very pleased.

We knocked back a number of drinks and it was so much fun to get to talk to him for so long. We talked about some of his infamous altercations outside of the ring and some of his more memorable moments in the ring. From Andre to Brody to Abdullah to Goldberg it was great. It sounded like Greg got him to agree to be able to represent him next year so all parties left very happy.


We took a few pics and here they are.














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  #27  
Old 08-27-2016, 07:01 PM
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Great pictures, Mr. Peck. On the classic wrestling boards I read, Haku is always listed at or near the top of any list whenever the topic of "legit tough guys" or guys not to be messed with comes up.

I don't know if this is still the case, but I kind of remember it being mentioned online within the past few years that Haku was now selling cars for a living, or at least working at a dealership. I don't know if that is accurate or not.
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Old 08-28-2016, 08:07 AM
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We had a great discussion and it definitely involved some of his legendary moments.

Tonga is what most call him and he is definitely just skirting by financially. The legendary incident where he bit a man's nose off is not only true but cost him 1.6 million. Apparently he had a few other incidents that cost him dearly too.

The guy Gregg in the pics is an attorney and I think in some ways it made him uneasy and after losing millions in lawsuits I can see why.

Tonga works in the car business and it is my understanding he runs the car wash. There has been a lot of consolidation in that industry and the dealership he worked at in Sanford was sold a few years ago and now he works in New Port Richey and drives four hours a day to and from work.

He has a few sons in the business now and hopefully they find success and can assist him and his wife of 36 years.

One of my favorite parts of the discussion was talking about the bloody finish at the recent Summer Slam with Brock Lesnar and Randy Orton. A fellow former professional wrestler Ricky Santana works at the dealership too and fills him in on the happenings and his thoughts on the booking. He agreed with me that is great for the business to have a headline grabbing finish like that. Brock is by far my favorite and booking him as a mercenary who is legit is a good thing.

Since the dinner I have had a chance to look around on Youtube and there are some great videos of him. This is one of my favorites.


https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7OkdrvojMYc
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Old 08-28-2016, 11:13 AM
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Thank you for the great information, Mr. Peck. I was familiar was nose-biting incident, but never realized it cost him $1.6 million. It was also interesting to read what he is doing for a living now. Like I said, I did kind of remember reading about him working in the car business a few years ago.

Last edited by Bored5000; 08-28-2016 at 11:15 AM.
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  #30  
Old 08-31-2016, 05:48 PM
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Looking good so far! The other sub of 15 should be popping soon.

1 1 26164942 NEAR MINT-MINT 8 1979 Gulas/Rax Roast Beef Championship Wrestling Tom Renesto, Jr. Card
2 1 26164943 MINT 9 1979 Gulas/Rax Roast Beef Championship Wrestling Chief Thundercloud Card
3 1 26164944 MINT 9 1979 Gulas/Rax Roast Beef Championship Wrestling Ken Lucas Card
4 1 26164945 NEAR MINT-MINT 8 1979 Gulas/Rax Roast Beef Championship Wrestling Tom Renesto, Sr. Card
5 1 26164946 NEAR MINT-MINT 8 1979 Gulas/Rax Roast Beef Championship Wrestling David Shultz Card
6 1 26164947 NEAR MINT-MINT+ 8.5 1979 Gulas/Rax Roast Beef Championship Wrestling Ricky Gibson Card
7 1 26164948 NEAR MINT-MINT 8 1979 Gulas/Rax Roast Beef Championship Wrestling Jerry Barber Card
8 1 26164949 EXCELLENT-MINT 6 1979 Gulas/Rax Roast Beef Championship Wrestling Prince Tonga Card
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  #31  
Old 08-31-2016, 07:25 PM
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Line # Item # Cert # Grade Description Type
1 1 26164927 NEAR MINT-MINT 8 1979 Gulas/Rax Roast Beef Championship Wrestling Cover Card Card
2 1 26164928 NEAR MINT-MINT 8 1979 Gulas/Rax Roast Beef Championship Wrestling Nick Gulas Card
3 1 26164929 NEAR MINT-MINT+ 8.5 1979 Gulas/Rax Roast Beef Championship Wrestling Dennis Condry Card
4 1 26164930 NEAR MINT-MINT+ 8.5 1979 Gulas/Rax Roast Beef Championship Wrestling Mike ST. John Ticket
5 1 26164931 GEM MINT 10 1979 Gulas/Rax Roast Beef Championship Wrestling Tommy Sloan Card
6 1 26164932 MINT 9 1979 Gulas/Rax Roast Beef Championship Wrestling George Gulas Card
7 1 26164933 NEAR MINT 7 1979 Gulas/Rax Roast Beef Championship Wrestling Len Rossi Card
8 1 26164934 NEAR MINT-MINT 8 1979 Gulas/Rax Roast Beef Championship Wrestling Hans Shroeder Card
9 1 26164935 NEAR MINT-MINT 8 1979 Gulas/Rax Roast Beef Championship Wrestling Robert Gibson Card
10 1 26164936 MINT 9 1979 Gulas/Rax Roast Beef Championship Wrestling Donna Bower Card
11 1 26164937 GEM MINT 10 1979 Gulas/Rax Roast Beef Championship Wrestling Tojo Yamamoto Card
12 1 26164938 GEM MINT 10 1979 Gulas/Rax Roast Beef Championship Wrestling Pat Smith Card
13 1 26164939 GEM MINT 10 1979 Gulas/Rax Roast Beef Championship Wrestling Bobby Eaton Card
14 1 26164940 NEAR MINT-MINT 8 1979 Gulas/Rax Roast Beef Championship Wrestling Tommy Kerkeles Card
15 1 26164941 NEAR MINT-MINT 8 1979 Gulas/Rax Roast Beef Championship Wrestling the Red Terror Card
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  #32  
Old 08-31-2016, 09:22 PM
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Awesome David, way to go!
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  #33  
Old 09-01-2016, 12:48 PM
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Quote:
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Awesome David, way to go!
Thank you!

It has been a fun journey!

I sent in a set request to add this to the PSA Set Registry and will also make a digital album of the cards for all to see once it is available.
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  #34  
Old 09-04-2016, 09:26 AM
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These look great in the holder. I got my first batch back yesterday and the second one is coming Tuesday. Here is a pic I took of the original Midnight Express.

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  #35  
Old 09-04-2016, 10:08 AM
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Awesome thread. Thanks for sharing.


Joshua Van Pelt
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  #36  
Old 09-06-2016, 06:45 PM
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I have got them all in hand!

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Old 09-07-2016, 08:39 PM
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I haven't made a video in a while but wanted to cover the set.

Last night after getting my second batch of cards in the mail from PSA I filmed this and uploaded it.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZKj-sSu_AB8
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  #38  
Old 09-10-2016, 09:59 AM
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I had a chance to get the scans done Thursday night.

Here they are.




































































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  #39  
Old 09-10-2016, 09:59 AM
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Old 09-10-2016, 10:00 AM
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Old 09-10-2016, 10:00 AM
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Old 10-22-2016, 09:35 AM
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We are live!


http://www.psacard.com/PSASetRegistr...x?setid=223348
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  #43  
Old 06-08-2017, 03:02 PM
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http://www.ebay.com/itm/1979-NWA-Gul...8AAOSwanRXhBMx


Greg finally got his Rax Roast Beef Ricky Gibson sold for $100. It is very low grade but obviously not easy to locate.

http://slam.canoe.com/Slam/Wrestling...0/1867678.html


He had a very promising career but it was cut short from a very serious auto accident.
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  #44  
Old 08-31-2017, 09:25 AM
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I just randomly clicked on my registry set and I saw it had been updated.

Someone graded an entire set and had some nice hits.


https://www.psacard.com/pop/boxing-w...estling/137224
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  #45  
Old 08-31-2017, 10:26 AM
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I'm hoping to work with Scott on a book about wrestling in Alabama in the 1930s. I wish I could talk him into doing a new Conlon-style set of wrestling cards, but it would just be a serious money-losing proposition. He's got no shortage of original photos to use, though.
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  #46  
Old 09-02-2017, 09:58 AM
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Sounds like a very cool project. He has some great books out and is very active on Facebook under Crowbar Press.
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  #47  
Old 04-30-2018, 12:58 PM
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It is nice to see my set is in the running for the best digital album this year. The odds of winning look extremely slim with some amazing sets in the mix.

Here are the links to my set.

https://www.psacard.com/psasetregist...timeset/223348


https://www.psacard.com/psasetregist...g/album/223348
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  #48  
Old 04-30-2018, 06:39 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dpeck100 View Post
It is nice to see my set is in the running for the best digital album this year. The odds of winning look extremely slim with some amazing sets in the mix.

Here are the links to my set.

https://www.psacard.com/psasetregist...timeset/223348


https://www.psacard.com/psasetregist...g/album/223348

Do you have the cover/coupon card?

I think that should be part of the album/set.
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  #49  
Old 04-30-2018, 06:44 PM
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Yes I do and I agree!
Attached Images
File Type: jpg 4BA0E655-C40C-47E4-B300-80A543E9F9B6.jpg (12.3 KB, 63 views)
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  #50  
Old 04-30-2018, 07:35 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dpeck100 View Post
I just randomly clicked on my registry set and I saw it had been updated.

Someone graded an entire set and had some nice hits.


https://www.psacard.com/pop/boxing-w...estling/137224
Who has the 2nd set?
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