AWA Legend And WWE Hall Of Famer Verne Gagne Passes Away

We are sad to report that legendary promoter and Hall of Famer Verne Gagne passed away today at the age of 89. Gagne was best known for promoting and operating the American Wrestling Association out of Minnesota for several decades. The company was a major force in wrestling for decades before ultimately shutting down in 1991.

Gagne was a ten time AWA World Heavyweight Champion, and was later inducted into both the WWE and WCW Hall of Fame in addition to the Professional Wrestling Hall of Fame. Gagne was also an accomplished amateur wrestler.

Known for his intense training camps, Gagne had a hand in training the likes of Ric Flair, Bob Backlund, Curt Hennig, Ricky Steamboat, The Nasty Boys, Iron Sheik, and countless others. His son Greg was also a longtime competitor for the AWA.

Gagne also starred and produced the 1974 film The Wrestler. It would feature dozens of wrestlers as themselves, except Gagne and Billy Robinson, who portrayed Mike Bullard and Billy Taylor, respectively.

Gagne was diagnosed with Alzheimer's disease and had been forced to live at a health care facility. After a 2009 incident, Gagne would be cared for by his daughter Beth and son in law, Will. We express our condolences to friends, family and fans of Verne Gagne.