Billy Graham (wrestler)

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"Superstar" Billy Graham

"Superstar" Billy Graham at a 2CW event in May 2008
Ring name(s) Wayne Coleman
Billy Graham
Billed height 6 ft 2 in (1.88 m)
Billed weight 275 lb (125 kg)
Born June 7, 1943 (1943-06-07) (age 70)
Phoenix, Arizona, Arizona
Resides Phoenix, Arizona
Billed from Paradise Valley, Arizona
Trained by Stu Hart
Debut 1969
Retired 1987

Eldridge Wayne Coleman (born June 7, 1943 in Phoenix, Arizona) is a retired American professional wrestler of part Arkansas Cherokee descent who is best known for his highly dramatic and charismatic style of wrestling which he perfected with The World Wide/World Wrestling Federation under the ring name, "Superstar" Billy Graham. He is also an amateur fine artist. Graham is widely acknowledged as the individual who revolutionized modern American pro wrestling by combining it with bodybuilding, so that today professional wrestlers without bodybuilders' physiques have become a rarity.

During the steroid allegations involving WWE owner Vince McMahon Jr. in 1992, Graham went on The Phil Donahue Show, admitting that he was avid user of steroids and blamed the WWF for his addiction although these drugs were not yet illegal in the 1970s. The incident caused a rift between Graham and McMahon which lasted for over ten years.

WWE Hall of Fame[change | edit source]

He was inducted into the WWE Hall of Fame in 2004 by Triple H. He later announced that he wanted his name removed from the WWE Hall of Fame because of his general dissatisfaction with the way professional wrestling had developed.[1]

Championships[change | edit source]

Graham held many championships during his professional wrestling career:

  • Championship Wrestling from Florida
    • NWA Florida Heavyweight Championship (two times)
    • NWA Florida Tag Team Championship (one time) (with Ox Baker)
    • NWA Southern Heavyweight Championship (Florida version) (one time)
  • Continental Wrestling Association
    • CWA World Heavyweight Championship (one time)
  • International Pro Wrestling
    • IWA World Heavyweight Championship (one time)
  • NWA Big Time Wrestling
    • NWA Brass Knuckles Championship (Texas version) (three times)
  • NWA Mid-Pacific Promotions
    • NWA Hawaii Heavyweight Championship (one time)
  • NWA San Francisco
    • NWA World Tag Team Championship (San Francisco version) (two times) (with Pat Patterson)
  • Pro Wrestling Illustrated
    • PWI Most Hated Wrestler of the Year (1973)
    • PWI Match of the Year (1977) (vs. Bruno Sammartino on April 30)
    • PWI Match of the Year (1978) (vs. Bob Backlund on February 20)
    • PWI ranked him #277 of the best 500 singles wrestlers of the "PWI Years" in 2003.
  • Professional Wrestling Hall of Fame and Museum
    • Class of 2009
  • Wrestling Observer Newsletter awards
    • Best Pro Wrestling Book (2006) (with Keith Greenberg)
    • Wrestling Observer Newsletter Hall of Fame (Class of 1996)

References[change | edit source]

Other websites[change | edit source]