REMATCH existed in various forms from 1971 to 1976, a life span that approximated that of George magazine, but with considerably less influence. It was representative of the wrestling bulletins that populated the landscape in the 1970s and served as a way for fans to learn about promotions outside of their home areas.
Like many of its contemporaries, REMATCH focused on what was readily available – primarily television and arena results from Buffalo, Cleveland, and Toronto. The newsletter’s base of Jamestown, NY received broadcasts from those areas – and, eventually, Vancouver, B.C. and Pittsburgh – so the bulletin was a sort of clearinghouse for those unlucky enough to live beyond the reach of the Jamestown cable system.
Each issue featured a lead story – usually a report on the hottest angle in one of the local markets – and a smattering of results sent in by pen pals and correspondents. The results varied greatly from issue to issue, depending on the motivation of similar high-school aged contributors around the world. Feature stories were written in an early Lou Sahadi style, as REMATCH’s writers attempted to mimic the back-in leads and verisimilitude that defined the penmanship of the editor of Wrestling World.
Perhaps REMATCH’s shining moment came in January 1974, when it was the first U.S. publication to report on the Antonio Inoki-Johnny Powers NWF title change in Japan. As it happened, one of the correspondents was from Japan and sent clippings, photos, and a story that made it into print within two weeks of the belt swap, which held some significance in Japan for many years. (Financial considerations that accompanied the title exchange were, of course, poorly understood at the time.)
REMATCH was published on a shoestring, and a frayed one, at that; far from the neat offset printing of, say, Arnie Katz and Bill Kunkel’s Main Event (which was priced at a beefy $1, compared to REMATCH’s meager 20-cent cover price). The REMATCH cover consisted of photos taken at arenas or clipped from programs, along with some hand lettering, since a rubber stamp set employed for headlines in early issues proved to be too time-consuming to use.
The cover was copied on an inexpensive thermal copier from Sears. The inside pages were produced using the assistance of a stack of carbon paper – usually 10 pages thick. If an issue sold 30 copies, it required the complete retyping of the publication three times. (Try explaining that level of editorial patience to a teenager who moans if the computer screen takes more than two seconds to refresh.)
The good copies usually went to the best customers, while the barely legible ninth or tenth carbons ended up in the hands of the youngest (and hence least-likely-to-complain) subscribers, as judged by their handwriting.
In the coming months, we’ll be adding copies of REMATCH to this section for your perusal. The covers are shown exactly as they were, which is to say there is nothing wrong with your screen. The stories and results have been scanned. In some cases where the original was too poor to scan, we’ve retyped the issue completely. That brings back memories … in those cases, some photos have been added to break up the text-heavy appearance. This, then, was wrestling before the Internet.