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» WrestlingClassics.com Message Board » Professional Wrestling & General Discussion 2010 - Current » In the 70's-80's AWA, who were top single stars after Gagne and Bockwinkel?

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Author Topic: In the 70's-80's AWA, who were top single stars after Gagne and Bockwinkel?
von erich mark
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Who were the biggest threats to the AWA Title?
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obsmoke1
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Not in any particular order, but I remember Hulk Hogan, Stan Hanson, Rick Martel, King Kong Brody (they always called him King Kong in the AWA), Billy Robinson, Otto Wansz (please forgive the spelling - not sure what's right), and, later on, Curt Hennig. I'm sure I'm forgetting some guys, so please chime in with your memories.....

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Stephen Gennarelli
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In the 70's, Crusher, Billy Robinson and Larry Hennig were the among the top challengers.
Crusher was probably their top star as far as popularity.

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pitbullsfan
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When Bockwinkel was champ, they presented two types of challengers- those that were built up and those that had been around.
Built up challengers were young wrestlers that finally earned a shot- Greg Gagne, Jim Brunzell, Brad Rheingans,or new to the area- Peter Maivia, Rufus R. Jones, Pedro Morales, Dino Bravo, Sheik Adnan, Tito Santana
Wrestlers around for some time who seemed "naturals" for a title shot- Larry Hennig, Ray Stevens, Billy Robinson, Crusher, and after they turned, Baron Von Rasche ,Mad Dog Vachon.
Of course all of these are overshadowed by the "One That Got Away"- Hulk Hogan

[ 03-14-2018, 09:29 AM: Message edited by: pitbullsfan ]

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Liz Hunter's Boyfriend
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quote:
Originally posted by pitbullsfan:
When Bockwinkel was champ, they presented two types of challengers- those that were built up and those that had been around.
Built up challengers were young wrestlers that finally earned a shot- Greg Gagne, Jim Brunzell, Brad Rheingans,or new to the area- Peter Maivia, Rufus R. Jones, Pedro Morales, Dino Bravo, Sheik Adnan, Tito Santana
Wrestlers around for some time who seemed "naturals" for a title shot- Larry Hennig, Ray Stevens, Billy Robinson, Crusher, and after they turned, Baron Von Rasche ,Mad Dog Vachon.
Of course all of these are overshadowed by the "One That Got Away"- Hulk Hogan

Greg Gagne, Jim Brunzell, Brad Rheingans seem to fit your been around category because they were all from here, and weren't going anywhere. Brunzell had cups of coffee in Mid-Atlantic and Central States, but Greg and Rheingans were home skillet through and through.
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Gil Wilcox
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The Crusher.
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von erich mark
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Who did Gagne and Bockwinkel actually lose the AWA Championship too since they had several reigns respectively?
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von erich mark
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Did Baron Van Raschke get a serious run and push for the AWA title as a monster heel challenger?
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Travlr
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Early 70s would have been Billy Robinson and Bockwinkel for Verne, with Larry Hennig and maybe The Crusher as the next step (Crusher was, I think, a bigger deal in the mid 60s, where he held the title on 3 different occasions.

After Nick got the title, Crusher got more of the limelight again, with Greg and Robinson catching the rest of the attention for the longer periods.

In the 80s, new ballgame, with Tito Santana, Hogan, Lawler, Martel and later Curt Hennig and Zbyszko.

But the biggest threats to the title were not always the biggest singles stars. Guys like Wahoo, Bravo, Snuka, Bruiser, Stevens, Carpentier, SSBG and Uncle Ivan all had big followings and feuds during those 20 years.

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The Traveller
a fan since '68....

"Reputation is what others think about you. Honor is what you know about yourself. The friction tends to arise when the two are not the same.... Guard your honor; let your reputation fall where it may."

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von erich mark
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Was Wahoo not considered because he was a gimmick wrestler to the AWA???
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chgowolvs44
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Wahoo moved around. Nick homesteaded, and was one of the top 4 or 5 guys in the world. Some things are not that complicated.

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REO Speeddealer
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quote:
Originally posted by von erich mark:
Did Baron Van Raschke get a serious run and push for the AWA title as a monster heel challenger?

He probably had more title shots as a babyface vs. Bockwinkel in the '80s than he did as a heel vs. Verne in the '70s.
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chgowolvs44
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Von Raschke was not a cliche "monster" heel. He was more evil, dangerous, murderous even, than he was a danger based on his size or strength.

He did get a shot at Verne in Chicago, while he and Heenan were actually part of Bruiser's WWA. It got a huge buildup, did a great house and Verne, perhaps astonishingly, did the job on a clean pin in the center of the ring...in the first fall of a 2 out of 3 falls match.

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"A spokesman for the NYPD said the police were exercising their right to defend themselves from charging protesters who...were armed with dangerous ideas" Keith Olbermann RE:NYPD over reaction to OWS protests

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tamalie from MN
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The AWA World Title did not move around much. Verne had it from 1968 to 1975. Bockwinkel had it from 1975 to 1984 when he dropped it to Jumbo Tsuruta with the exception of Verne having a 9 month pre-retirement tour with the belt from the summer of 1980 to the spring of 1981 and Otto Wanz's curious title reign for a month and half in 1982. Interestingly from 1960 to 1968 it moved around quite a bit. I've always wondered what prompted that significant booking change.
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von erich mark
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Any reasons why the AWA World Title moved around so little?

Did the audience ever bore with Gagne as Champion?

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Daddy Dewdrop
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Just the way it was back then. Long title reigns certainly gave the impression that the title was much tougher to win and thus a change was more noteworthy. When Bockwinkel did beat Gagne, it was a big deal and vice-versa. So, when Wanz was given the title, it made it even worse for me, because those title changes were so rare.

The tag titles changed hands more often, so those that wanted to see more title changes got them. Also helped that the AWA always had a pretty solid tag team division.

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