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Professional wrestling career
Allen started wrestling in 1977 and joined the National Wrestling Alliance, where he began competing for the Championship Wrestling from Florida and the Pacific Northwest Wrestling territories. While in the CWF, Allen would win the Global Tag Team Championship on five different occasions before then moving to Mid-South Wrestling. Upon debuting in Mid-South, Allen renamed himself to Magnum T.A. and adopted a character known as the "American Heart Throb", based on Allen's slight resemblance to actor Tom Selleck's television character Magnum, P.I.. Allen adopted the ring name after André the Giant suggested that he combine the Magnum name with the initials of his real name. After competing in Mid-South, he won the North American Heavyweight Championship, his first major title, after defeating Mr. Wrestling II on May 13, 1984. Magnum would hold the title for five months before he lost it to "The Cat" Ernie Ladd on October 16. On November 22, Magnum lost to Ladd via disqualification in a title rematch and thus, did not win the title.
Jim Crockett Promotions
In 1984, the National Wrestling Alliance's Jim Crockett Promotions signed Allen. After debuting, Magnum began feuding with Wahoo McDaniel and defeated him for the United States Heavyweight Championship on March 23, 1985. At The Great American Bash, he made his first successful title defense by defeating Kamala. He then began feuding with the Four Horsemen before feuding solely with Horsemen member Tully Blanchard and his valet Baby Doll. On September 28, Magnum lost to the Horsemen's leader Ric Flair in a near-30 minute title match for Flair's World Heavyweight Championship. Magnum would later lose his U.S. Title to Blanchard until Magnum regained the title in an infamous "I Quit" match at Starrcade on November 28.
In April 1986, Magnum began feuding with Ivan Koloff, who had started proclaiming that his nephew, Nikita, would become the United States Heavyweight Champion. Jim Crockett, Jr. set up a contract signing for Magnum to defend his title against Nikita in May. At the signing, Magnum brought his mother, Marion, to the signing while Nikita brought Ivan. However, Nikita insulted Magnum's mother during the signing, instigating a fight. Then-president of the NWA, Bob Geigel, issued a public reprimand against Magnum for "conduct unbecoming a champion." Magnum replied, "Reprimand this!" while clotheslining Geigel. As a result, Magnum was stripped of his title and it was put up in a best of seven series between Magnum and Nikita. After losing the first three matches in the series in a row to Nikita, and Magnum began a comeback and won three matches to keep the series going. In the tie-breaking match on August 17, 1986 in Charlotte, North Carolina, Nikita defeated Magnum to win the title with help from Ivan and Krusher Khruschev.
Car accident and retirement
On October 14, 1986, Allen was driving in his Porsche in the rain and lost control, wrapping the car around a telephone pole.The accident happened on Sardis Road in Charlotte, N.C., only a couple of miles from Allen's home. Initially, investigators believed he was speeding, but forensic reports showed he was driving the speed limit and he was left in his car for two hours before a witness called 911. The accident caused his C-4 and C-5 vertebrae to explode, and it was doubted that he would ever walk again. Doctors at Carolinas Medical Center said that Allen's physical conditioning saved his life. The right side of his body was paralyzed for months, ending his in-ring career. Losing Allen as a wrestler prompted NWA booker Dusty Rhodes to turn Nikita Koloff, Allen's last rival prior to his accident, into a fan favorite. According to the storyline, Koloff gained respect for Magnum from their feud and wanted to take his place. This was memorialized in the spring edition of the Wrestling '87 magazine, with a large photograph of Koloff with the words "I cry for Magnum T.A." beside him. Prior to his accident, Magnum was to win the U.S. Title for the third time before being groomed to become the NWA World Heavyweight Champion. Magnum's first on-screen appearance following the accident was at the Crockett Cup in 1987, where, with the aid of a cane, and two referees, Magnum walked to ringside to embrace Dusty and Nikita, who would go on to defeat Tully Blanchard and Lex Luger for the tournament championship.
Magnum later worked as a commentator for the NWA and World Championship Wrestling, and also served as a manager for Rhodes, who was suspended before returning as The Midnight Rider, and Koloff. In his last angle in WCW, Magnum was attacked by his former rival Tully Blanchard, which prompted Dusty Rhodes to come to the aid of his friend. After Rhodes signed with Championship Wrestling from Florida and later the World Wrestling Federation, and Koloff signed with the American Wrestling Association, Magnum left JCP as well, although he would make sporadic reappearances with the promotion until 1993 at Slamboree.
On January 14, 2005, Allen made his first wrestling appearance in years as a guest at the Exodus Wrestling Alliance. He would later appear for the Carolina Wrestling Association in the corner of Jason Jones during Jones' loss to George South, Jr. on May 21. At the event Tribute To Starrcade on November 19, Magnum stood in Rhodes' corner as he lost to Tully Blanchard. On June 24, 2007, Allen, as Magnum T.A., made his first appearance for World Wrestling Entertainment at their Vengeance: Night of Champions pay-per-view, where he was noted as a former United States Champion.
Allen attended high school at Norfolk Collegiate School in Norfolk, Virginia. He was a member of the collegiate wrestling team and won the state championship in the 167 pound division. After graduation, he attended Norfolk's Old Dominion University but did not graduate.
Allen, a born again Christian, runs a small commodity hedge fund and a communication towers business. He still has family residing in Chesapeake, Virginia, where they own a radio tower in the town of Great Bridge. They named the tower after their son's ring name, "Magnum T.A.". In February, 2008, Magnum's father had died, leaving his son to take over the family business.
Allen first married a woman named Tamara. The couple divorced with Allen later marrying Broadway dancer/actress Courtney Shattuck-Blanchard, the former wife of Tully Blanchard. He and Courtney were wed in March 2005. They currently reside in Charlotte, North Carolina with Courtney's children from her previous marriage: Taylor, Tanner, Tessa and Tally as well as their children together, twins Lucy and Tucker (born October 2007). Allen also has a third biological child, a son, from a previous relationship who lives nearby. Allen is also the godfather of WWE wrestler Cody Rhodes, son of his long-time friend Dusty Rhodes.
- Finishing moves
- "America's Heart Throb"
- "The Boss"
- Wrestler trained
Championships and accomplishments
- Championship Wrestling from Florida
- Mid-South Wrestling
- Pro Wrestling Illustrated
- PWI ranked him #73 of the 500 best singles wrestlers of the "PWI Years" in 2003