Skandor Akbar

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Skandor Akbar
Skandor Akbar.jpg
Birth nameJimmy Saied Wehba
Born(1934-09-29)September 29, 1934
Vernon, Texas, United States
DiedAugust 19, 2010(2010-08-19) (aged 75)[1]
Garland, Texas, United States[1]
Professional wrestling career
Ring name(s)Jimmy Wehba
Skandor Akbar
Wildman Wehba
Billed height6 ft 2 in (1.88 m)
Billed weight232 lb (105 kg)
Trained byJimmy Young
Debut1963
Retired1983

Jimmy Saied Wehba[2] (September 29, 1934 – August 19, 2010)[1] was an American professional wrestler and manager better known by his ring name Skandor Akbar, which translates as "Alexander the Great". Akbar led the villainous stable Devastation, Inc. in Bill Watts's Universal Wrestling Federation during the promotion's heyday in the 1980s, as well as other regional territories, including World Class Championship Wrestling and the Global Wrestling Federation.

Early life[edit]

Wehba was born on September 29, 1934, in Wichita Falls, Texas, and grew up in Vernon, Texas. His father was from Lebanon, and his mother, Mary, had Arab roots, though she too was born in Texas. With two older sisters, Jimmy was the baby of the family. As a preteen, he started weightlifting (at one point he reportedly bench pressed 500 pounds) as his cousin had a gym. He also worked as a bouncer.[3]

Professional wrestling career[edit]

Singles wrestler[edit]

Akbar started out as a professional wrestler in 1963 as Jimmy Wehba. He changed his name to Skandor Akbar at the suggestion of Fritz Von Erich in 1966 in order to sound more Arabic. Akbar teamed with Danny Hodge and eventually turned on him, starting a feud. Akbar joined the World Wide Wrestling Federation (WWWF) for a brief run in the late 1970s and was managed by Freddie Blassie. Akbar also worked as a face in the Australian World Championship Wrestling territory for a season in the mid 1970s feuding mainly with The Great Mephisto.

Manager[edit]

Akbar retired from active wrestling in 1977 and became a villainous manager in the Texas area territory. He called his stables "Akbars Army" in Mid-South Wrestling for Bill Watts before it became UWF and "Devastation, Inc." in World Class Championship Wrestling for Fritz Von Erich and in 1991 appeared in the World Wrestling Council in Puerto Rico. Akbar smoked cigars at ringside, harassed the fans during his protégés' matches, and occasionally threw fireballs at unsuspecting opponents. In 1994, Akbar briefly managed Kevin Von Erich as a fan favorite in the Global Wrestling Federation. Eventually, though, he turned on Von Erich only weeks before Von Erich decided to retire for good. Akbar also managed Toni Adams for a short time in the GWF.

Retirement[edit]

After his semi-retirement, Akbar still made frequent appearances on the independent circuit, while also training wrestlers. He appeared on both the Heroes of World Class and Triumph and Tragedies of World Class retrospective documentaries, released in 2005 and 2007, respectively. From 2008 to 2010, he appeared as a manager in the Dallas-based Wrecking Ball Wrestling promotion. He also operated a countertop business.[4]

Personal life[edit]

Often billed from Lebanon, Syria or Saudi Arabia, his father actually was from Lebanon, and his mother, Mary, had Arab roots as well, though she too was born in Texas. With two older sisters, he was the youngest of the family.[5]

Death[edit]

Wehba died August 19, 2010 in Texas, reportedly due to complications from a fall[1] or after a long battle with prostate cancer.[6]

Championships and accomplishments[edit]

Notes[edit]

  1. ^ a b c d Simnacher, Joe (26 November 2010). "Jimmy Saied Wehba, wrestler who ruled the ring as 'Skandor Akbar,' dies at 75". Dallas Morning News. Archived from the original on 4 March 2016. Retrieved 18 May 2015.
  2. ^ Dave Meltzer, Wrestling Observer Newsletter, August 30, 2010
  3. ^ "The celebrated career of the late Skandor Akbar".{{cite web}}: CS1 maint: url-status (link)
  4. ^ Ojst, Javier (7 December 2021). "50 Greatest Fans Meeting Wrestlers Stories". Pro Wrestling Stories. Retrieved December 11, 2021.{{cite web}}: CS1 maint: url-status (link)
  5. ^ "CANOE -- SLAM! Sports - Wrestling - The celebrated career of the late Skandor Akbar". slam.canoe.ca. Retrieved 2014-01-26.
  6. ^ Pringle, Percy (20 August 2010). "God only takes the best..."
  7. ^ "Pro Wrestling Hall of Fame Class of 2021 Announced". 15 January 2021.
  8. ^ "Year End Awards". Wrecking Ball Wrestling. Archived from the original on 2013-09-28. Retrieved 2013-09-26.

References[edit]

External links[edit]