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Verne Gagne RIP…?

Mean Gene seems pretty sure of it, but no one else is reporting it yet.  Verne was pretty far gone into dementia a long time ago anyway, but still sad news if true. 

Comments

  1. Can't say anything about reports, but lots of wrestlers have commented.

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  2. R.I.P., Verne Gagne.

    The argument can be made that Verne first gave rise to Hulk Hogan before Vince Jr. snatched him away to begin professional wrestling's first boom period.

    Without Verne's initial involvement in recognizing Hulk as a top babyface, where would professional wrestling be today?

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  3. Dementia is a pretty slow and depressing disease to watch happen to someone :/

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  4. I'd rather he still be alive, even if he had dementia

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  5. Bill Apter tweeted that he received confirmation of Verne's passing.

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  6. The Observer website is reporting this.

    As an old school AWA mark, I'm sorry to hear this. Verne may have been stuck in the 1970s but he's a legend with few equals. RIP

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  7. F4W reporting it too.

    Very sad, I always liked him a lot. I don't know if he was the easiest person in the world to work for once the 1970s turned in the 1980s, but he was a really personable guy to the fans and a funny guy. The AWA was a really fun promotion in its heyday, I can remember watching it with my older brother in the early 1980s before I was really a fan of wrestling in general.

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  8. Before the sad last few years of the AWA, Verne was a man with almost 40 years of being a true titan of the business, both as a wrestler and promoter. RIP.

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  9. A little short-sighted, but a credit to the wrestling business we love to hate.


    RIP Verne.

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  10. Outside of highlights here and there, I've never actually seen Verne wrestle, but I'm just saddened that he had dementia towards the end of his life, no-one deserves that.

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  11. That's my fear in life. Must be awful to get old and lose your mind.

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  12. Honestly, it's a relief to hear he's finally passed. As someone mentioned below, dementia is one of those things that's NOT something one should have to suffer through long-term. Rest In Peace is the best result once the mind is that far gone.

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  13. Every bad move Verne made towards the end did not even come close to tarnishing his highs as a wrestler, a trainer and a booker. He was one of the greatest of all time in all three categories.

    I feel very sorry for Greg. Those two were clearly incredibly close, even for a father and son.

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  14. Sad news. The AWA was on its last legs by the time I seriously started watching wrestling, but looking over Vernes career his influence on pro wrestling was enormous. God rest his soul.

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  15. You do that. Save a bullet for me though in case I need to be taken out back in 30-40 years.

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  16. My generation and those younger only know the "empty room matches on ESPN" era of AWA, and it's easy to forget what a successful territory he ran and how much high caliber talent was developed and blossomed under his booking.

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  17. Sad news. I always loved the AWA. I was born in Minnesota and watching the AWA in the early 80s are some of my first wrestling memories. RIP Verne

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  18. Virgil's Gimmick TableApril 27, 2015 at 10:23 PM

    You should watch his match with Thesz. The man was a technical master.

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  19. I'm glad they made that AWA DVD when they did. Still the best documentary they've put out IMO.

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  20. Yeah, he "died" a while ago.

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  21. I loved that documentary. I still watch it from time to time.

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  22. Virgil's Gimmick TableApril 27, 2015 at 10:26 PM

    I once heard a story of a guy that had some form of regressive dementia/Alzheimer's like the one the chick in 50 first dates had kind of. He was a World War 2 vet and his memories regressed back that far. He would wake up every day and go to pieces realizing that he was no longer a strapping young soldier in the prime of his life. I can't imagine a worse hell then dementia.

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  23. He was one of the first people to do a "No Gimmick Needed" thing, right?

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  24. I'm afraid of it happening to my mom (she's perfectly normal, but y'know...the future), but as for myself...well I figure I won't be cognizant enough to realize my situation, so it's probably not a fear worth having.

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  25. Seriously, the man trained or had a hand in training Ric Flair, Ricky Steamboat, Curt Hennig, Bob Backlund, Iron Sheik, Sgt. Slaughter and the Undertaker and those are just the World Champions on his list.

    The only trainer with a better track record than Gagne is Stu Hart and that says something.

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  26. RIP to a true legend

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  27. Hopefully Verne got to watch Greg win a World Series with the Twins

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  28. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yvv1wvegguA



    (This is to the official Chicago Film Archives Youtube page, so it should be OK.)


    Verne was still a good worker as late as 1981.

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  29. Which one of wrestling's all-time greats died today? Attention Hotline fans, I have all the details on the WCW Hotline. Call 1-900-909-9900 for the full story.

    $2.00 for the first minute, .45 each additional minute. Children under 18 must get parental permission.

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  30. RIP to one of the sharpest eyes for talent ever. He's for sure on the promoter's Rushmore.

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  31. I mostly remember the AWA as a dying promotion where I'd seen a few guys that I liked before they got to the WWF. But it was one of the big ones in the old days and Verne churned out a lot of talent. RIP to a major figure in the wrestling game.

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  32. Got a notification from the WWE app. RIP.

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  33. Stu vs Verne...holy shit that'd be something

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  34. Ten long bells for that great man.

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  35. We will never know how many potential greats his draconian training helped turn away from wrestling.

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  36. The supreme irony of Verne Gagne: he himself could not change with the times, but he could forge warriors and icons that would sustain themselves for upwards of two or three future generations as the elite of the industry.

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  37. Fat, Ugly Inner-City SweathogApril 28, 2015 at 12:11 AM

    Did they ever do Steiners vs. Benoit/Arn?

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  38. Fat, Ugly Inner-City SweathogApril 28, 2015 at 12:12 AM

    Was Macho vs. Flair ever not good?

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  39. Fat, Ugly Inner-City SweathogApril 28, 2015 at 12:12 AM

    Glacier.....smh.

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  40. Stranger in the AlpsApril 28, 2015 at 12:34 AM

    I hate to spoil all the fun here, but Joe Gomez? More like, Joe Blow-mez. Ha ha. AMIRITE???

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  41. Verne was incredibly ahead of his time - he understood the NWA was not sustainable, he understood the great opportunity that television presented, he was arguably the greatest trainer of talent there has ever been. He of course would lose his way, but even visionaries lose their way.


    He was a legendary wrestler, promoter, Olympic alternate and collegiate superstar, but more importantly he was a teacher, father and role model. Truly a titan; rest in power.

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  42. "Was that it for Bischoff as the announcer on this show?"


    Oh no, you've got about six months left.

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  43. Disco Inferno's hair truly was his greatest strength and greatest weakness.

    Do we ever get a Joe Gomez vs Kevin Nash match? Can you imagine the ad-rates WCW could have got from Pantene for that one?

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  44. The NWO was great for the business and all, but that Flair/Savage/Horsemen angle had soooo much more mileage in it. Hogan would come back and shunt everyone back down the card at any rate I suppose, but it's a fun 'what-if' scenario.

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  45. They had a couple of so-so matches (not to mention the infamous one in the WWF that Vince made them go out and redo) but they seemed to be as automatic a *** to **** match as Sting/Flair.

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  46. I thought their lifeguard match was kinda eh.

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  47. While my favorite memory of him is probably him rapping in the Wrestlerock Rumble video, he was a technical wizard, and responsible for training Flair, Steamboat, and Iron Sheik, among many others. RIP Verne.

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  48. Many today don't quite realize just how big a deal Vern Gagne was to the wrestling industry and not just as the AWA promoter or champion. He could be considered the top wrestling star of the 1950's, as the star of the "Wrestling from Marigold" show on the Dumont Network out of Chicago, which was a popular program with national exposure from 1949-1955. He was featured as the U.S. Champion, which was the main championship defended on the show, thus rivaling Lou Thesz, (the NWA World Champion at the time) in popularity.

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  49. Vern Gagne actually has the most combined days as world champion of all time... If you recognize the AWA World Heavyweight Title as a world championship
    (which most do), then Gagne clocks in at a combined 4,677 days as
    champion.

    This puts him ahead of Lou Thesz (around 4,594 w/pre-1948 world
    titles included), Jim Londos (4,477), Bruno Sammartino (4,040), Flair
    (3,785 w/confusing 1991 & 1993 NWA stuff included), Hogan (3,368), Ed Lewis (anywhere from 1,745 to 3,380 depending on various claimed
    title reigns), and ahead of Bockwinkle, Backlund, Joe Stecher, Frank Gotch and Harley Race (all with impressive totals, but still all under 3000 days as champion). Go Vern! RIP to a legend.

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  50. Sad. The worst part of Verne's decline is he actually killed someone in his retirement home a few years ago. Dementia is just awful.

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  51. Battle Kat LitterApril 28, 2015 at 4:27 AM

    I'm enjoying following the storylines of the time through these rants. I'm really hoping Hulk Hogan comes back soon and unleashes Hulkamania on these Outsiders

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  52. He became a top baby face as a result of Rocky III, that is what launched Hulk to the stratosphere and give Vince the idea he could build a promotion around him

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  53. The nWo destroying the Horsemen did get to be a little bit much but I remember watching those early beatdowns as a 15 year old and thinking the nWo was the coolest shit ever. Heel Hogan had every right to get a big run with the belt. I hope they do the same for Cena one day.

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  54. Weird to see Rey job TWICE in his first week. You'd think the natural step to debuting ANY new act would be to throw him up against jobbers and have him wreck guys for weeks. Psychosis was virtually BUILT for that role- being Rey's personal Job Boy. Dude could fly like a mofo too, but was like Rey Lite, so was ideal for showing Rey's best stuff off.

    But I guess they didn't have that many Luchadores around at this time- he really was the first in WCW, from the looks of these shows.
    But still... debuting a guy in Title matches immediately is weird. Sorta like how WWE is booking Neville now, actually.

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  55. Yeah, Heel Hogan absolutely should have been World Champion as soon as possible, much like Steph's Husband Triple-H and Evil Corporate Rock- sometimes you just have the hottest heel act in YEARS and you need to pull the trigger. It's just kind of weird how they got there.

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  56. There's no denying that he has left a huge legacy behind. Promoter, trainer, Olympic and college athlete....in a lot of ways there wouldn't BE a WWF because half the talent came from AWA. R.I.P. Vern

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  57. Tearable news. I was just watching his match with Nikolai Volkoff from 8/29/77 last night! Rest In Piece, Verne.

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  58. The Hog Wild 1996 promo poster even featured red-and-yellow Hogan:
    https://wcwrules4lyf.files.wordpress.com/2009/09/1996-08-hogwild.jpg

    I know those things are made months in advance, but I'm sure we can assume Giant vs. Hogan was going to happen regardless of what side of the face-heel fence Hogan was going to be on.

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  59. The World Class documentary was really good, too.

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  60. Yeah i bought the VHS release years ago and it had the same picture of Hogan in red and yellow on a bike.

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  61. Most wrestlers did that back then. Someone like Gorgeous George was an exception, not the rule.

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  62. I do like that they're slow-burning his offense a little at a time, so when he gets to the really crazy stuff(like the springboard somersault rana), the crowd's going to pop huge. Unlike the WWE, who had him pick six moves and do them for eight years.

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  63. The plan was to have Hogan fight Savage at Halloween Havoc anyway so if he never went heel, maybe Savage would have.

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  64. AverageJoeEverymanApril 28, 2015 at 7:36 AM

    "thus beginning many long years of Debra never shutting up."
    Austin knew how to make her stop.

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  65. Definitely a pioneer of wrestling - which made it all the sadder when it passed him by.

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  66. Its hard to trust the validity of Mean Gene's Tweet when over the years we have come to know he has over 2,000 plus "long time close personal friends"...

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  67. Wasn't the semi-main of BATB '96 Joe Gomez versus Mongo? IT'LL MAKE MILLIONS!

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  68. Have to call the hotline to find out, if its true

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  69. If you got to beat your woman to make her stop -- then you are not a man. I was reading Exodus and there is no love for abusing a woman.

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  70. Exodus is the second book of Moses in the Bible

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