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AWA World Heavyweight Championship/Champion history

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< AWA World Heavyweight Championship

Title history

†Title changes not officially recognized by the American Wrestling Association.

# Wrestler Reigns Date Days held: Location Event Notes
1


Pat O'Connor
1


01960-05-18May 18, 1960


90 St. Louis, MO Live event Held NWA World Heavyweight Championship, won on January 9, 1959 in St. Louis, Missouri; recognized as the first AWA World Champion in May 1960, but was given 90 days to defend the title against Verne Gagne or be stripped of the title.
2


Verne Gagne
1


01960-08-16August 16, 1960


329 N/A N/A Awarded after O'Connor failed to defend the title.
3


Gene Kiniski
1


01961-07-11July 11, 1961


28 Minneapolis, MN Live event
4


Verne Gagne
2


01961-08-08August 8, 1961


154 Minneapolis, MN Live event
5


Mr. M
1


01962-01-09January 9, 1962


224 Minneapolis, MN Live event
6


Verne Gagne
3


01962-08-21August 21, 1962


322 Minneapolis, MN Live event
7


The Crusher
1


01963-07-09July 9, 1963


11 Minneapolis, MN Live event Also won Omaha version of World Heavyweight Championship from Verne Gagne on February 15, 1963 in Omaha, Nebraska.
8


Verne Gagne
4


01963-07-20July 20, 1963


7 Minneapolis, MN Live event Wins both the AWA title and the Omaha title.
9


Fritz Von Erich
1


01963-07-27July 27, 1963


12 Omaha, NE Live event Wins both the AWA title and the Omaha title.
10


Verne Gagne
5


01963-08-08August 8, 1963


100 Amarillo, TX Live event Wins AWA title only; also wins Omaha title from Fritz Von Erich on September 7, 1963 in Omaha, NE to unify the titles.
11


The Crusher
2


01963-11-16November 16, 1963


28 St. Paul, MN Live event
12


Verne Gagne
6


01963-12-14December 14, 1963


140 Minneapolis, MN Live event
13


Mad Dog Vachon
1


01964-05-02May 2, 1964


14 Omaha, NE Live event
14


Verne Gagne
7


01964-05-16May 16, 1964


157 Omaha, NE Live event
15


Mad Dog Vachon
2


01964-10-20October 20, 1964


207 Minneapolis, MN Live event
16


Mighty Igor Vodic
1


01965-05-15May 15, 1965


7 Omaha, NE Live event
17


Mad Dog Vachon
3


01965-05-22May 22, 1965


91 Omaha, NE Live event
18


The Crusher
3


01965-08-21August 21, 1965


83 St. Paul, MN Live event
19


Mad Dog Vachon
4


01965-11-12November 12, 1965


365 Denver, CO Live event
-


Tim Woods
1


01966-01-08January 8, 1966


6 Omaha, NE Live event AWA president Stanley Blackburn reviews the match from January 8, 1966 and declares it "no contenst" on January 14, 1966 since Woods' legs are on the rope while pinning Vachon during the final fall.
-


Mad Dog Vachon
4 (5)


01966-01-14January 14, 1966


302 Omaha, NE Live event Vachon defeats Woods in a rematch on January 14, 1966.
20


Dick The Bruiser
1


01966-11-12November 12, 1966


7 Omaha, NE Live event
21


Mad Dog Vachon
5 (6)


01966-11-19November 19, 1966


99 Omaha, NE Live event
22


Verne Gagne
8


01967-02-26February 26, 1967


538 St. Paul, MN Live event
23


Dr. X
1


01968-08-17August 17, 1968


14 Bloomington, MN Live event
24


Verne Gagne
9


01968-08-31August 31, 1968


2625 Minneapolis, MN Live event
25


Nick Bockwinkel
1


01975-11-08November 8, 1975


1714 St. Paul, MN Live event Wrestled WWF Heavyweight Champion Bob Backlund to a double count-out on March 25, 1979 in Toronto, ON.
26


Verne Gagne
10


01980-07-18July 18, 1980


305 Chicago, IL Live event Gagne retired from active wrestling while still the champion.
27


Nick Bockwinkel
2


01981-05-19May 19, 1981


467 N/A N/A Awarded the title when Gagne retired.
-


Hulk Hogan
1


01982-04-18April 18, 1982


6 St. Paul, MN Live event Hogan's victory was overturned by AWA President Stanley Blackburn on April 24, 1982 as a result of the use of a foreign object by Hogan on Bockwinkel in the course of the bout, with Hogan's reign being unrecognized.
-


Nick Bockwinkel
2 (3)


01982-04-24April 24, 1982


127 N/A N/A Returned to Bockwinkel by AWA president Stanley Blackburn due to the involvement of a foreign object in the match. Since Hogan was never recognized as a champion, Bockwinkel was only recognized as a two-time champion.
28


Otto Wanz
1


01982-08-29August 29, 1982


41 St. Paul, MN Live event
29


Nick Bockwinkel
3 (4)


01982-10-09October 9, 1982


501 Chicago, IL Live event
-


Jerry Lawler
1


01982-12-27December 27, 1982


14 Memphis, TN Live event Title held up after the match.
-


Nick Bockwinkel
3 (5)


01983-01-10January 10, 1983


408 Memphis, TN Live event Defeats Lawler in a rematch.
-


Hulk Hogan
2


01983-04-24April 24, 1983


0 Minneapolis, MN Live event Hogan's victory was overturned by Stanley Blackburn immediately following the bout, with Hogan's reign unrecognised.
-


Nick Bockwinkel
3 (6)


01983-04-24April 24, 1983


304 Minneapolis, MN Live event After the match Blackburn came down to the ring and tried to have Hogan disqualified for having thrown Bockwinkel over the top rope, but since this was a no disqualification match, Blackburn simply stripped Hogan of the belt and again returned it to Bockwinkel. Understandably upset at the way he had been treated, Hogan left the AWA shortly thereafter. Neither of the Hogan's wins were officially recognized by the AWA.
30


Jumbo Tsuruta
1


01984-02-22February 22, 1984


81 Tokyo, Japan Live event
31


Rick Martel
1


01984-05-13May 13, 1984


595 St. Paul, MN Live event Wrestled NWA World Heavyweight Champion Ric Flair to a double count-out on October 2, 1985 in Tokyo, Japan.
32


Stan Hansen
1


01985-12-29December 29, 1985


181 East Rutherford, NJ Live event
33


Nick Bockwinkel
4 (7)


01986-06-28June 28, 1986


308 Denver, CO Live event Awarded when Hansen left the AWA.
34


Curt Hennig
1


01987-05-02May 2, 1987


373 San Francisco, CA SuperClash 2 Title held up immediately after the match due to controversy over interference by Larry Zbyszko on Hennig's behalf, but the title is returned to Hennig days later after the AWA Championship Committee (perhaps learning from their mistakes with Hogan) rules that there was no evidence of interference.
35


Jerry Lawler
1 (2)


01988-05-09May 9, 1988


256 Memphis, TN Live event Lawler defeated Kerry Von Erich on December 13, 1988 in Chicago to win the WCWA World Heavyweight Championship, and become the first USWA Unified World Heavyweight Championship.
-


Vacated
-


01989-01-20January 20, 1989


0 N/A N/A Lawler was stripped of the title after the Continental Wrestling Association split from the AWA.
36


Larry Zbyszko
1


01989-02-07February 7, 1989


368 St. Paul, MN Live event Zbyszko won a battle royal, last eliminating Tom Zenk.
37


Mr. Saito
1


01990-02-10February 10, 1990


57 Tokyo, Japan Live event
38


Larry Zbyszko
2


01990-04-08April 8, 1990


248 St. Paul, MN SuperClash 4
-


Title retired
-


01990-12-12December 12, 1990


0 N/A N/A Title stripped when Zbyszko left the inactive AWA for WCW. The AWA closed in 1991.

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