Saturday, October 22, 2011

Vern Gagne

Vern Gagne first appeared in Arizona in 1971 when he was brought in to defend his World Jr.Heavyweight title against a variety of opponents including Monte Ladue, who was being pushed heavily in the Phoenix/Tucson area.

Ladue and the other challengers did not win.

In the years to come, Gagne would break with the NWA and start his own AWA promotion centered in Minnesota, but entertaining fans in a number of states.

In the 1970s, Gagne tried to bring the AWA to Tucson using himself, Crusher, Larry Hennig, Lord Alfred Hayes, Herb Gallant, Reggie Parks and others, but did not last ling. The overhead was too great for him

Not being one to learn his lesson, he was back in Arizona in the early 1980s and again bent on crushing the Independents with his big it time show. While he had far bigger names on his cards and a televised program , he again overshot his budget and lasted only a few months.

Gagne himself would be crushed later on by the WWF who invaded his territory and took most of his talent, including Hulk Hogan.

During his final AWA run in Arizona, Vern did not wrestle himself but operated only as a promoter. David Shultz, Steve O.The Blackjacks, Bobby Heenan, Jerry Blackwell, Ken Patera, Baron Von Raschke, Steve Regal, Bobby Heenan, Chris Markoff , Crusher and others were on the cards.

Gagne met a sad end. He is still alive as of now, but his latter years proved tragic.

Apparently out of his head with Alzheimer, he made the news one final time a while ago when he got involved in an altercation with another patient at the rest home where he was confined. Not even realizing what he was doing he killed this patience with a wrestling hold.

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