JR Blog: Tribute to Verne Gagne

on the passing of Verne Gagne
Verne was my mentor, Cowboy Bill Watts, mentor and therefore Verne always considering himself my “Grandfather” in the wrestling biz. At an Independent TV convention in Vegas one year, Verne who had just attended cocktail hour when told me that he taught Cowboy all that Bill knew about the business which made Bill my “father in wrestling” which in turn made Verne my ‘Grandfather” in the biz. Then Verne quickly snatched me in a very snug headlock just to prove he was still the alpha male that he had always been and to leave me something to remember him by. After relinquishing the headlock to the shock of many TV executive bystanders, Verne gave me a big hug and with a healthy laugh told me he loved my work and to “not let Watts ruin me” again a joke directed to Bill who Verne was very proud of with Cowboy’s promotion doing so well based in Oklahoma.

Verne Gagne was a man’s man who was a legit, two sport star at the University of Minnesota, football and wrestling, and will always be considered one of the most significant and influential men in the history of pro wrestling. He also trained many amazing stars and loved to utilize legit athletes with which to mold into pro mat stars much like Bill Watts, Eddie Graham and even myself did back in the day in WWE.

Check out the full blog at JR’s BBQ

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