Eddie Graham

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to: navigation, search
Eddie Graham
Eddie Graham.jpg
Birth name Edward F. Gossett
Ring name(s) Eddie Gossett[1]
Rip Rogers
Billed height 5 ft 11 in (1.80 m)[1]
Billed weight 215 lb (98 kg)[1]
Born (1930-01-15)January 15, 1930[1]
Chattanooga, Tennessee, U.S.
Died January 21, 1985(1985-01-21) (aged 55)
Trained by Cowboy Luttrell[1]
Debut 1947
Retired 1980

Edward F. Gossett[1] (January 15, 1930 – January 21, 1985),[1] better known as Eddie Graham, was an American professional wrestler. He was also the promoter and booker for Championship Wrestling from Florida and President of the NWA in the 1970s. His son, Mike Graham, was also a professional wrestler. Eddie Graham was born in Chattanooga, Tennessee.[1]

Career[edit]

Gossett started wrestling in 1947[1][2] in Texas at the age of 17 after being trained by Clarence "Cowboy" Luttrall. He was sometimes billed as the brother of "Nature Boy" Buddy Rogers under the name of Rip Rogers.[1] He lost a loser-leaves-town match to Pepper Gomez in May 1958.[where?]

In June 1958, he changed his ring name to Eddie Graham and was billed as the brother of Dr. Jerry Graham and "Crazy" Luke Graham. Jerry and Eddie were a very successful heel tag team on the east coast of the United States.[2] They had popular feuds with teams such as the Fabulous Kangaroos, the Bastien Brothers, Mark Lewin and Don Curtis, and Antonino Rocca and Miguel Pérez.[2] They held the NWA United States Tag Team Championship (Northeast version) together in Capitol Wrestling (the forerunner of World Wrestling Entertainment) four times, winning the belts three times in victories over Miguel Perez and Don Curtis, and once against Red and Lou Bastien.[3]

In the spring of 1960, Eddie left the team and went to the National Wrestling Alliance's territory in Florida to wrestle. While there, in 1966, he had a famous feud with Professor Boris Malenko.[4]

In 1968, Graham was lacing his boots in the locker room and a 75-lb steel window fell on his head, detaching both of his retinas and causing him an injury that required three hundred stitches.[4] The Florida Legislature awarded him $23,000 for the incident. According to Jim Wilson in his book Chokehold, Graham's eyesight was poor because of blade jobs, and because he needed surgery to correct the problem and could not afford the money, he had some wrestlers tamper with the window in order to pass it off as though it was the responsibility of the building. This allegation is disputed by eyewitnesses. Also, "blading" does not cause eye damage according to noted optometrist Dr. Robert W. McCullough and other eye doctors. Due to the injury, Graham was unable to wrestle for fifteen months.[4]

Eddie took over booking and promoting for Championship Wrestling from Florida in 1971. He wrestled with his son, Mike Graham, until 1977, when he retired from the ring due to health problems. He made a one-shot return to the ring for one final match in 1979 when he defeated Killer Khan by pinfall after the referee was knocked out and subsequent interference by Mr. Hito and Kazuo Sakurada on Khan's behalf was fought off by Mike Graham and Ray Stevens.[5] He was the President of the NWA from 1976 to 1978, thanks in part to Gordon Solie and Dusty Rhodes. Graham was absent as NWA President in 1977 and 1978 due to serious health problems he suffered from, and was forced to step down as a result.[6]

Death[edit]

Eddie remained as the promoter in Florida until January 21, 1985, when he committed suicide by gunshot after a lifelong battle with alcoholism.[1][4]

He was inducted into the WWE Hall of Fame on March 29, 2008. He was inducted posthumously by Dusty Rhodes, while his son, Mike Graham, accepted the honor on behalf of his father.

Championships and accomplishments[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k "Eddie Graham Profile". Online World Of Wrestling. Retrieved 2008-03-23. 
  2. ^ a b c John Molinaro, The Top 100 Pro Wrestlers of All Time, (Winding Stair Press: 2002), page 200.
  3. ^ NWA United States Tag Team Championship (Capitol version) at Wrestling-Titles.com
  4. ^ a b c d Molinaro, page 200.
  5. ^ Eddie Graham vs. Killer Khan on YouTube
  6. ^ Kansas City Wrestling program, August 17, 1978 at the Wayback Machine (archived September 27, 2007)
  7. ^ United States Tag Team Title (Capitol/WWWF) At wrestling-titles.com
  8. ^ NWA Florida Brass Knuckles Title history At wrestling-titles.com
  9. ^ Florida Heavyweight Title history At wrestling-titles.com
  10. ^ Florida Tag Team Title history At wrestling-titles.com
  11. ^ NWA Southern Heavyweight Title (Florida) history At wrestling-titles.com
  12. ^ NWA Southern Tag Team Title (Florida version) history At wrestling-titles.com
  13. ^ NWA United States Tag Team Title (Florida version) history At wrestling-titles.com
  14. ^ NWA World Tag Team Title (Florida version) history At wrestling-titles.com
  15. ^ All Asia Tag Team Title history At wrestling-titles.com
  16. ^ NWA Southern Tag Team Title (Mid-Atlantic version) history At wrestling-titles.com
  17. ^ WCW Hall of Fame Inductees At wrestling-titles.com
  18. ^ NWA Georgia Tag Team Title history At wrestling-titles.com
  19. ^ World Heavyweight Title (Georgia) history At wrestling-titles.com
  20. ^ MWA World Junior Heavyweight Title history At wrestling-titles.com
  21. ^ NWA Hall of Fame Inductees At wrestling-titles.com
  22. ^ NWA Mid-America/AWA Southern Tag Team Title history At wrestling-titles.com
  23. ^ NWA World Tag Team Title (Mid-America) history At wrestling-titles.com
  24. ^ Texas Tag Team Title history At wrestling-titles.com
  25. ^ NWA Southwest Tag Team Title history At wrestling-titles.com

External links[edit]

Preceded by
Jack Adkisson
President of the National Wrestling Alliance
1976–1978
Succeeded by
Bob Geigel