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Remembering Verne Gagne (1926-2015)


The long and storied history of professional wrestling cannot be told without mentioning Verne Gagne.

In the 1950s, Gagne took his athletic prowess from the gridiron to the squared circle, and began one of the most legendary careers in the business. Gagne's career was defined by his great battleground: the American Wrestling Association.

Gagne was one of the most decorated professional wrestlers of his era. He held the AWA World Heavyweight Championship 10 times, in a golden reign that lasted over 20 years. The 14-year championship rivalry between Gagne and Nick Bockwinkel set a template for many storyline rivalries to follow.

Verne Gagne was also a promoter - the sole owner of the AWA - had a hand in shaping and training some of the greatest legends that would set the course of pro wrestling for years to come: Jesse Ventura, the Legion of Doom, Shawn Michaels, Pat Patterson, Scott Hall, Curt Hennig, and so on. Gagne’s influence on pro wrestling was so strong that the AWA became one of the most formidable examples of “old school” wrestling in the Expansion Era: a legacy that includes, not the least of which, the seeds that grew into Hulkamania.

For four decades, Verne Gagne was an imposing figure in American pro wrestling. In his passing, his legacy lives on in the legendary careers of the many professional wrestlers that have trained under him, or faced him across the ring.

Photo from Wrestlezone

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