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 - Rich Tito

1967

Starting the year off with a great card:

January 6, 1967

A sellout crowd was on hand for a great double main event at the Amphitheatre. The double main event was Crusher and Bruiser defending their AWA tag titles against Larry Hennig and Harley Race. The other main event saw Killer Kowalski taking on Verne Gagne with the winner getting a title shot at AWA champion Mad Dog Vachon on the following card. The opening bout was a time limit draw between The Assassin (Joe Tomasso) and Santiago Acosta. The next match saw Chris Markoff defeat Doug Gilbert.

Markoff won the match to continue the mini-push that he was receiving at the time. The third match was Cowboy Jack Lanza defeating The Big K, Stan Kowalski. Reggie Parks then beat The Alaskan, Jay York.

The first of the main events came on next following a short intermission. This was truly a battle of two of wrestling's all time greats, Verne Gagne against Killer Kowalski. The two of them went at it with each knowing that a victory meant a title match against Vachon. Kowalski was much taller than Gagne but Verne was able to take Kowalski down numerous times with dropkicks and leg sweeps. Kowalski was using the illegal holds more than Gagne and when Gagne had finally had enough, he fought fire with fire. After several warning from the referee, Gagne was disqualified and Kowalski was declared the winner.

Hennig and Race came out first to thunderous jeers from the crowd. As was their custom, Crusher and Bruiser waited for about five minutes before they came out of the dressing room. The crowd erupted and flashbulbs were popping everywhere when the AWA champions, Crusher and Bruiser came out. When they entered the ring a melee ensued and that's the way the match was throughout. The huge crowd started their famous "We Want Blood" chant and they were not disappointed. All four of the boys were bleeding as they split the first two falls. In the third fall, the action was hot and heavy as Hennig and Race pulled off the upset victory to capture the AWA belts!   More...

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