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Professional wrestling career
A former wrestler born in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma Barnett traveled in 1964 to Sydney with Johnny Doyle to inspect the Australian wrestling scene. They returned under the banner of World Championship Wrestling, presenting their first card on 23 October 1964, at the Sydney Stadium, and continued until 1974 when Barnett sold the promotion to Tony Kolonie and returned to the United States to become owner of Georgia Championship Wrestling.
Jim Barnett, indeed one of the most successful and controversial wrestling promoters in the history of the mat game, died on September 18, 2004 at the age of 80. He had been suffering from the effects of cancer as well as pneumonia.