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Looking back on the legacy of wrestling champions of the past

World Wrestling Entertainment is the biggest professional wrestling entertainment around the globe. It was originally founded in 1952, and it was first named as the Capitol Wrestling Corporation(CWF). Then, it became the World Wide Wrestling Federation (WWWF), World Wrestling Federation, and today, it’s officially known as WWE.

It’s been many years of entertainment to millions of wrestling fans out there. Many people were able to establish their names in the wrestling world and be part of the prestigious wrestling history. However, today’s generation’s famous wrestlers might have outshined the most popular wrestlers in the past decades.

Over the years, you might have forgotten the names of the wrestling champions who reached their pinnacle a few decades ago.  Here’s a list of the past wrestling champions that you might remember who left a mark in the history of a wrestling ring.

Mark Lewin

Mark Lewin was born on March 16, 1937, in Buffalo, New York. He reigned as a professional wrestler from the 1950’s to the 1990’s. He won in the Georgia Championship Wrestling, Championship Wrestling from Florida, and even succeeded in different territories of the National Wrestling Alliance.

Some people in the wrestling industry often help one another for the greater good. Mark Lewin and Don Curtis were colleagues, and they were both native residents of Buffalo, New York. Their tandem worked out, and they enjoyed the success of their career as they won different competitions together.

Mark Lewin and Don Curtis joined many promotions, and they even won the WWF United States Tag Team Championship twice. The two eventually gained popularity from the wrestling enthusiasts. The successful tandem of these two professional wrestlers lasted for five years, started in 1958, and ended in 1963.

Antonio Rocca

Based on the information he provided when he filled out the Social Security application in 1953, Antonio Rocca was born on April 13, 1921, in Treviso, Italy. Some people may assert different information about Rocca’s date of birth. However, he processed the application with this information signed as factual and accurate.

His real name was Antonio Biasetton and was legally changed to Antonio Rocca. People call him Argentine, Argentina, or The Television Kid. Also, Antonio was born with a twin sister. When he was still a teenager, he was physically active in sports like rugby, soccer, and swimming.

Antonio’s wrestling career gained more success when Fred Kohler, a wrestling promoter in Chicago, introduced him to America. His match with Gene Stanlee broke the record because it was the event that had the largest number of attendees in twenty years. Antonio became an instant star and was considered a legend in the northeast part of the United States of America.

Antonio matched with different well-known wrestlers and won various competitions during his successful wrestling career for many years. The time came when he got sick and suffered from a urinary infection. He didn’t make it and died in 1977 at the age of 53.

Don Curtis

Don Curtis has the birth name of Donald Beitelman and was born on May 22, 1927 in Buffalo, New York. In the year 1951, Curtis finally decided to enter the world of professional wrestling. He then explored the inception of his career in Australia, New Zealand, and Canada.

Curtis was a member of a famous tag team and won the NWA United States Tag Team Championship twice in 1958 with his colleague Mark Lewin. In 1962, he went to Florida and won the Florida version of the NWA World Tag Team Championship with his new partner Joe Scarpa. Then, the rest of his winnings was history.

In the year 1980, he joined the U.B. Athletic Hall of Fame in wrestling and football. In the same year, he also started to manage the Jacksonville Coliseum. These were the events of his life after his career in the wrestling ring. He then became part of the Professional Wrestling Hall of Fame and Museum under the tag team’s category with Lewin.

When he retired from his wrestling career, he worked for a real estate company. He continued his life outside the ring and enjoyed whatever he was doing. Until one day, he got a massive stroke and damaged the left part of his brain in 2008. He fought his life for a couple of days in the Mayo Clinic Hospice facility. However, he still lost his life on March 6 of 2008, at the age of 80 years old.

Bobo Brazil

Bobo Brazil was born in Michigan on July 10, 1924. He is one of the African-American wrestlers who changed the perception of people towards skin color. His birth name is Houston Harris, and people called him The South American Giant.

Brazil traveled to many countries to showcase the skills of his chosen craft, providing entertainment to his millions of wrestling enthusiasts and supporters. Before he became a professional wrestler, he was once an amazing baseball player. He also loved to sit in a crowd while watching wrestling matches for leisure.

The life of Brazil changed when he met Joe Savoldi, a wrestling coach who spent so much time training him to become a professional wrestler. After the training, he competed with many championships and won. Many people today who love visiting betmaster and other betting sites think of betting Brazil and other golden era champions to for a sure win.

He spent years of exposure and gained many winnings in different wrestling matches. Then, he became an inspiration and a door opener to many wrestlers who experience racial prejudices due to skin color.

The wrestling career of Brazil didn’t just change his entire life after he achieved his dreams. He also left a remarkable record in the whole history of wrestling. He was able to influence everyone to be outspoken and courageous to fight for their right against social prejudices. Brazil’s legacy in wrestling will never be forgotten even after he died in 1998.

Charles J. Kalani Jr.

Charles Kalani Jr. is famous under the name of Professor Toru Tanaka. He was born in Hawaii on January 6, 1930. He met his wife, Doris, in 1952 at the University of Utah. They got married in the following year and had three children. Unfortunately, they got divorced in 1987.

In 1955, Kalani joined the US Army until 1966. One year after his army service, he became a professional wrestler. Then, people started calling him Professor Toru Tanaka as his stage name. He won a lot of tag team championships in many years, teaming up with other wrestlers.

Aside from being one of the prominent wrestlers, Kalani became a film actor. He has many movies that significantly left a mark in the film industry as a Professor Toru Tanaka. It includes the Perfect Weapon, Running Man and Last Action Hero, The A-Team, and other films Tanaka made in his time.

His legacy as a wrestler and an actor will never be forgotten to his millions of diehard fans. As Kalani aged over the years, he acquired heart illness and died in 2000 in California.


World Wrestling Entertainment continues to be successful in the entertainment industry. The number of people who take part in success continues to rise in this era. Hence, you tend to hardly remember the famous wrestlers from the previous decades who were the pioneers of wrestling entertainment.

As you support the new set of wrestling champions of this generation, try to look back and remember the legacy contributed by the wrestlers in the past.

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