James Raschke was a successful amateur wrestler who had a distinguished career that included a Nebraska State High School Championship, two NCAA All-American distinctions, a Big Eight Conference Championship, a World Games title and was an Olympic contender among other accolades.
After a run in the military Raschke became "The Baron" a German tough guy who would soon own the professional wrestling world. Using the "brain claw" and Goose-Stepping in arenas across the country The Baron would be a staple in the AWA as well as working in the WWWF and Mid-Atlantic area where he would be the first recognized NWA World Television Champion.
Raschke has had a colorful life and a a Hall of Fame career and son Karl along with award winning director Phillip Harder are producing a documentary on the life of The Baron. A KickStarter campaign has been launched to help fund the project which is an undertaking considering how much there is to cover. So far $8,200 of a needed $20,000 has been raised and Raschke and Harder are hoping fans will contribute to the project.
Von Raschke was the consummate heel in most every territory he worked including a run in the Indianapolis based WWA ran by Dick the Bruiser. The Baron could anger a crowd just walking down the aisle and people would throw their drinks, popcorn and other objects toward him before, during and after the match especially if he were to win.
With a number of documentaries being produced "The Claw: A Documentary on Baron Von Raschke" is one that needs to be done. Being a German wrestler post World War II was a easy way to get heat but The Baron evolved past just being a "bad guy" into being one of the greatest wrestlers and heels pro wrestling has ever seen.
Karl Raschke will be a guest on "Worm's Eye View" radio on Monday, March 18, 2013 to talk about The Baron, his career and the documentary.
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