Tuesday, April 28, 2015

Saturday Morning Ringside: AWA All Star Wrestling (1960)

The American Wrestling Association (AWA) seceded from the National Wrestling Alliance (NWA) many moons ago, and its founding father, Verne Gagne, was also its top star for the better part of three decades. In all, Gagne was a 10-time AWA World champion, best remembered for his legendary feud with Nick Bockwinkel, at the time managed by Bobby Heenan.

It wasn't until the 80's that the promotion's syndicated weekly show, AWA All-Star Wrestling, expanded into national syndication, in answer to the expansion of the then-World Wrestling Federation under Vincent K. McMahon. In New York, the AWA's programming aired on WPIX, which was also home to the ill-fated Pro Wrestling USA, and later hosted WCW programming, if you can believe it.

In memory of Gagne, who passed away on Monday, here's a 1976 match between Gagne and George "Scrap Iron" Gadaski. Note the referee. That is Khosrow Vaziri, better known today by his most famous ring persona, the Iron Sheik.

Wow. The Sheik with hair. If only he had never turned heel........

Having seen a few AWA shows on WPIX, we'll give this a B.

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