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Top 20 Wrestlers Trained by Verne Gagne

There are icons of the professional wrestling business and then there are individuals such as Verne Gagne. Gagne was a legend of the industry, a world heavyweight champion on at least 16 occasions and third on the list for the longest recognized single world championship reigns. A talented overall athlete, Gagne first pursued a career in the National Football League at a time when pro football did not pay as did the world of pro wrestling, and thus Gagne chose to pursue the path that made him one of the more famous figures that the North American wrestling industry has ever known.

Gagne was more than just a talented in-ring performer who held multiple championships during what was a legendary career that landed him in multiple halls of fame. Gagne also spent a significant amount of time as a booker and a promoter while with the American Wrestling Association, the wrestling company that he founded after he parted ways with the National Wrestling Alliance. It was during his time with that organization that Gagne served as a trainer for up-and-coming performers, who would learn the ropes of what it meant to put matches on inside of the ring while working with Gagne at a farm.

The list of wrestlers who were trained by Gagne in the early days of their careers could serve as its own hall of fame. It includes numerous performers who held world heavyweight championships, not to mention men who are widely seen as some of the greatest workers in the history of the business. The first name that likely jumps off of the list for even casual fans of the business is the man who was known as the “Dirtiest Player in the Game,” a now semi-retired worker who still causes fans to leave their feet out of respect and in anticipation whenever he makes his way to a wrestling ring.

20 Brad Rheingans

via profightdb.com

19 Greg Gagne

via youtube.com

18 Blackjack Lanza

via accelerator3359.com

17 Jim Brunzell

via twitter.com

16 Bill Irwin

via cagesideseats.com

15 Sgt. Slaughter

via wrestling123.org

14 Larry Hennig

via profightdb.com

13 Buddy Rose

via thepwashow.com

12 Baron von Raschke

via postandcourier.com

11 Jimmy Valiant

via speakerpedia.com

10 Ken Patera

via obsessedwithwrestling.com

9 Scott Norton

via prowrestling.wikia.com

8 Blackjack Mulligan

via catch-arena.com

7 Curt Hennig

via onlineworldofwrestling.com

6 Bob Backlund

via WWE.com

5 Dick the Bruiser

via notinhalloffame.com

4 Ole Anderson

via obsessedwithwrestling.com

3 Ricky Steamboat

via allwrestlingsuperstars.com

2 The Iron Sheik

via WWE.com

1 Ric Flair

via pinterest.com

“The Nature Boy” learned his craft as a student under Verne Gagne, and it would not be a stretch to suggest that those training sessions went well. Ric Flair is synonymous with the pro wrestling industry, having worked all around the world for several decades. The amount of world championships won by Flair varies per source, but that number could be as high as 21. Perceived by many to be the greatest overall performer in the history of the pro wrestling business, the former mainstay of WCW, NWA and the WWE now makes occasional appearances on WWE programming. Every time Flair does so makes for must-see television. Woooooo!

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Top 20 Wrestlers Trained by Verne Gagne