Thursday, April 5, 2018

Nick Bockwinkel 1982

In Toronto we were fortunate that Frank Tunney was not only a member of the NWA but also had long time affiliations with the WWWF/WWF-and the AWA during the later days of the Toronto promotion. 

After the departure of The Sheik in summer 1977 Tunney made arrangements with Verne Gagne to supply some of the top tier AWA stars to appear in Toronto. That included the AWA World champ Nick Bockwinkel alongside the other top stars. 

Bockwinkel would defend the AWA Title here 16 times between 1977-1982 and appear twice more, once with manager Bobby Heenan against AWA tag champs Greg Gagne & Jim Brunzell and again teamed with John Studd against Angelo Mosca and Jake Roberts. 

Mosca in the tradition of past champs Dino Bravo and Dewey Robertson would get a shot at Bockwinkel's title in Apr 1982 when these pics were taken. 

Mosca's rival John Studd would interfere getting Bockwinkel disqualified and setting up a tag bout for the next card. Mosca was set to pair with Blackjack Mulligan Jr but ended up with Jake Roberts after Jr didn't appear. Roberts was originally due to face U.S.champ Sgt. Slaughter who also didn't make it. 

The Mosca-Bockwinkel bout was the 16th and final time Bockwinkel defended here. He would appear for Tunney the next day in Ottawa, ON with a split squad (others were in Buffalo, NY) to defend against Jay Youngblood. 

In the last pic with the AWA belt propped up against the W in NWA, you can see ring announcer Norm Kimber  minding the ring bell. The ref for the bout is a young Bill Alfonso.