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AWA - AMERICAN WRESTLING ASSOCIATION

AWA WORLD HEAVYWEIGHT TITLEHISTORY

May of 1960--Present

FromWrestling Title Histories
by Royal Duncan & Gary Will
with additional information from Matt Benaka, Paul Haney and Earl Oliver

1.Pat O'Connor
01/09/59-St. Louis, MO Recognized as the first AWA World Heavyweight champion in May,'60, but given 90 days to defend the title against Verne Gagne or be stripped.

2.Verne Gagne
08/16/60-Awarded
Gagne was awarded the title after O'Connor failed to defend the title against Gagne.

3.Gene Kiniski
07/11/61-Minneapolis, MN

4.Verne Gagne (2)
08/08/61-Minneapolis, MN

5.Mister M {Bill Miller}
01/09/62-Minneapolis, MN

6.Verne Gagne (3)
08/21/62-Minneapolis, MN

7.Crusher Lisowski
07/09/63-Minneapolis, MN
Crusher Lisowski had won The Omaha World Title from Fritz Von Erich on 02/15/63 in Omaha, NE.

8.Verne Gagne (4)
07/20/63-Minneapolis, MN
Gagne won both the Omaha and AWA Titles.

9.Fritz Von Erich
07/27/63-Omaha, NE
Fritz Von Erich won both the Omaha and AWA Titles.

10.Verne Gagne (5)
08/08/63-Amarillo, TX
Gagne won The AWA World Title; defeated Von Erich on 09/07/63 in Omaha, NE to unify Omaha World Title.

11.Crusher Lisowski (2)
11/28/63-St. Paul, MN

12.Verne Gagne (6)
12/14/63-Minneapolis, MN

13.Maurice "Mad Dog" Vachon
05/02/64-Omaha, NE

14.Verne Gagne (7)
05/16/64-Omaha, NE

15.Maurice "Mad Dog" Vachon (2)
10/20/64-Minneapolis, MN

16.Mighty Igor Vodic
05/15/65-Omaha, NE

17.Maurice "Mad Dog" Vachon (3)
05/22/65-Omaha, NE

18.Crusher Lisowski (3)
08/21/65-St. Paul, MN

19.Maurice "Mad Dog" Vachon (4)
11/12/65-Denver, CO

20.Dick the Bruiser
11/12/66-Omaha, NE

21.Maurice "Mad Dog" Vachon (5)
11/19/66-Omaha, NE

22.Verne Gagne (8)
02/26/67-St. Paul, MN

23.Dr. X {Dick Beyer}
08/17/68-Bloomington, MN

24.Verne Gagne (9)
08/31/68-Minneapolis, MN

25.Nick Bockwinkel
11/08/75-St. Paul, MN
Managed by Bobby Heenan
Nick Bockwinkel wrestled to a double count-out against World Wrestling Federation (WWF) World Heavyweight Champion Bob Backlund {Robert Backlund} on 03/25/79 in Toronto, ON.

26.Verne Gagne (10)
07/18/80-Chicago, IL

27.Nick Bockwinkel (2)
05/19/81-Awarded
Bockwinkel was awarded the title when Gagne retired.
Managed by Bobby Heenan

28.Otto Wanz
08/29/82-St. Paul, MN

29.Nick Bockwinkel (3)
10/09/82-Chicago, IL
Managed by Bobby Heenan

30.Jumbo Tsuruta
02/22/84-Tokyo, JAPAN

31.Rick Martel {Richard Vignault}
05/13/84-St. Paul, MN
Wrestles to a double count-out against National Wrestling Alliance (NWA) World Heavyweight Champion Ric Flair {Richard Morgan Fliehr} on 10/02/85 in Tokyo, JAPAN.

32.Stan Hansen
12/29/85-East Rutherford, NJ

33.Nick Bockwinkel (4)
06/28/86-Denver, CO
Bockwinkel was awarded the title when Hansen left the promotion after not appearing for the match on 06/28/86 in Denver, CO, but Hansen takes the belt and defends it on All Japan cards in July, '86.

34.Curt Henning
05/02/87-San Francisco, CA

35.Jerry "The King" Lawler
05/09/88-Memphis, TN (Mid-South Coliseum)
24:27
Special Referee: Jackie Fargo
Jerry Lawler unified The World Class Championship Wrestling (WCCW) World Heavyweight Title by defeating Kerry Von Erich {Kerry Adkisson} on 12/13/88 in Chicago, IL to become USWA Unified World Heavyweight Champion, but stripped of AWA title on 01/20/89 after WCCW splits with AWA.

36.Larry Zbyszko {Larry Whistler}
02/07/89-St. Paul, MN
Larry Zybsko won the title in a battle royal, eliminating Tom Zenk.


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37.Mr. Saito {Masa Saito}
02/10/90-Tokyo, JAPAN (Egg Dome)
Superfight card
00:11:29

38.Larry Zbyszko (2)
04/08/90-St. Paul, MN Zybsko was stripped of the title on 12/12/90 after leaving the inactive AWA for World Championship Wrestling (WCW); AWA closes in 1991.

AWA revived 1996
The rights to the AWA name are purchased by Dale Gagne (Gagner); the promotion reopens as the AWA Superstars of Wrestling.

39."The Illustrious" Jonnie Stewart
06/06/96-Rochester, MN (Mayo Stadium)
defeated "The Serbian Express" Larry Gligorovich

40.King Kong Bundy
03/31/99-Oshkosh, WI (Kolf Arena)
Wednesday Night Warriors card

Title Vacant
King Kong Bundy stripped for not defending the title

41. Dale Gagne
07/29/2000-Pine Bluff, Arkansas
Promoter Gagne names himself the champion

42.The Patriot (Danny Dominion)
07/29/2000-Pine Bluff, Arkansas
Summer Jam card
Defeated Gagne the same night

43.Larry Gligorovich
07/29/2000-Pine Bluff, Arkansas
Summer Jam card
Defeated the Patriot the same night

44.Eric Priest
06/03/2001-Hillside, IL

45.Evan Karagias
03/22/2002-Casa Grande, AZ

46.Danny Dominion [2]
05/02/2002-Cottonwood, AZ

47.Evan Karagias [2]
05/04/2002-Lemoore, CA (The Palace Indian Gaming Center)

48.Matt Wiese
10/19/2002-Mercedes, TX

TITLE VACANT
2003
Horshu (Matt Wiese) signed a developmental deal with WWE was unavailable to drop the title.

49.Evan Karagias [3]
07/06/2003-Lemoore, CA (The Indian Palace Casino)
Defeats Eric Priest to win vacant title.

TITLE VACANT

50.Takao Omori
01/23/2005-Tokyo, JAPAN (Tokyo Korakuen Hall)
Defeated Steve Corino in a tournament final to win vacant title.
24:53
Zero-One Max card

51.Steve Corino
06/11/2005-Bay City, MI

52.Shinjiro Otani
01/22/2006-Tokyo (Tokyo Korakuen Hall)
20:26
ZERO-ONE-MAX card

53.Takao Ohmori [2]
04/01/2006-Tokyo (Yasukuni Shrine Sumo Field)
21:25

54.Ric Converse
06/14/2006-Indianapolis, IN
18:10

55.Steve Corino [2]
01/07/2007-Pottstown ,PA
TNT (Greg Bownds) defeated Corino on 07/03/23 in Cardiff, AUSTRALIA, but the title is returned to Corino when the AWA board claims that "international paperwork for this title match can not be located, and therefore the title change can not be validated."

56.Takao Ohmori [3]
04/0/2007-Yokohama, JAPAN

57.Masato Tanaka
10/26/2007-Tokyo

Title Vacant
12/07/2007
Masato Tanaka was stripped of the title when ZERO1-Max withdrew from its affiliation with AWA.

58.Larry Zbyszko [3]
02/05/2008
Awarded for claiming that he has never lost the original AWA World Heavyweight Title after the AWA closes in 1991.

59.Brian Logan
04/18/2008-Fayetteville, WV
Defeated Zbyszko and Ricky Landell in a 3-way match.
American Wrestling Affiliates, a splinter group of AWA promoters, split off from the AWA Superstars of Wrestling and continued to recognize Logan as their champion.

60.Larry Zbyszko [4]
05/02/2008
AWA Superstars of Wrestling reinstated Zbyszko


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