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"From coast to coast and around the globe, the greatest wrestlers in the world bring you the greatest wrestling in the world... that's the AWA!"
Tagline of "AWA Championship Wrestling" on ESPN

The American Wrestling Association (AWA) was an American professional wrestling promotion based in Minneapolis, Minnesota that ran from 1960 to 1991.


Provides examples of:

  • All-American Face: Verne Gagne was a decorated amateur wrestler before founding the AWA with multiple Big Ten and AAU championships as well as a spot on the 1948 U.S. Olympic team to his credit.
  • Affably Evil: Nick Bockwinkle all the way. So much so that he could be considered a...
  • Anti-Villain: Nick Bockwinkle. Sure he cheated and called fans "cretinous humanoids," but he was just so eloquent and well spoken that you could always see where he was coming from.
    • Sgt. Slaughter as well.
  • Ax Crazy: With names like "Butcher" and "Mad Dog," how could the Vachons not qualify?
    • Larry Hennig was known as "The Ax" for a reason.
  • Badass Grandpa: Da Crusher had become a real life example of this by the time he retired in 1989 at the age of 63.
  • Bald of Awesome: "Superstar" Billy Graham and Jesse "The Body" Ventura amongst others.
  • Boring Invincible Hero: Verne Gagne could be said to be this right before he retired.
  • Cool Mask: Dr. X
  • Cool Old Guy: Nick Bockwinkle during his final World Title run at age 52.
    • Not to mention that Bockwinkle was able to rap better than everyone else, including the younger talent, in the Wrestle Rock Rumble video.
  • Curb Stomp Battle: Pretty much every match on All-Star Wrestling was this.
  • Mr. Fanservice: The Midnight Rockers (Shawn Michaels & Marty Janetty)
  • Foreign Wrestling Heel: Baron Von Raschke
  • Gorgeous George: "Superstar" Billy Graham and later, Jesse "The Body" Ventura.
  • Highly-Visible Ninja - Larry Zybysko's training partner Mr Go.
  • Power Stable: The Heenan Family, The Diamond Exchange
  • Ring Oldies: The combination of the AWA style resulting in less wear and tear on the wrestlers bodies and the WWF signing away their younger talent made the AWA especially prone to this in the 80s. Nick Bockwinkle, Verne Gagne, Da Crusher and Baron Von Raschke all had World Heavyweight or Tag Team title runs past the age of 50.
  • Rule of Cool: Da Crusher's signature move, the bolo punch, ran on this.
  • One Steve Limit: Averted with Jerry "The Crusher" Blackwell and Reggie "Da Crusher" Lisowski. Naturally, they feuded over this.
  • Sesquipedalian Loquaciousness: Nick Bockwinkle.
  • Stout Strength: Jerry Blackwell.
  • Unrelated Cousins: Da Crusher and Dick The Brusier.
  • What Could Have Been: Hulk Hogan appeared to have won the World Heavyweight Championship twice in 1983 only to be stripped of the title after each match... the second time nearly causing the fans to riot. Hogan would soon leave the company and go on to become the face of the industry while making the WWF synonymous with pro wrestling in the mainstream. For fairly obvious reasons, this is also considered to be the point where the AWA started to go downhill.
    • Hogan was actually slated to win the title, but issues about his Japanese deal (He was one of the big foreign stars in NJPW, while Gagne had a cross-promotion arrangement with their main competitor, All Japan Pro Wrestling; these two groups hated each other to the point where Hogan wasn't allowed to job to All Japan stars such as Terry Funk anywhere word might get back to Japan, and vice versa) killed it.
    • There's a story about Paul Heyman questioning Verne Gagne's booking in the late 80s to which Verne allegedly threw the booking sheets at Heyman and said "Let's See You Do Better." Heyman, of course, went on to gain a reputation as one of the most innovative bookers in wrestling history with ECW.
  • World's Strongest Man: Ken Patera was billed as this.
  • Wrestling Family: The Gagnes (Verne & Greg), the Vachons (Butcher & Mad Dog) and the Hennigs (Larry & Curt).
    • Larry Zybysko was part of the Gagne family by marriage, but this was never mentioned on camera.
  • You Look Familiar: Averted with "Big" Scott Hall who sported an afro, Porn Stache and extremely muscular physique during his AWA run. Around the early 90s in WCW circa-1992, Hall went for his new famed slicked back hair, shaved his stache and slimmed down, now known as the Diamond Studd. By the time he became Razor Ramon in the WWF, he kept the look as well as effecting mannerisms similar to Tony Montana (whom his "Razor" character was based on). Between his keeping the Razor look and persona ever since he reverted back to his birth name in WCW and the fact that both "Scott" and "Hall" are rather common names, a lot of people end up having to do a bit of research to confirm that the Scott Hall who worked for AWA is indeed the same person they're familiar with.
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