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Otto Wanz passes away at 74 years old
Posted by Trent Van Drisse
on 9/14/2017, 5:51 pm
I know people laugh and thumb their noses at Otto Wanz' AWA title run in 1982, but I was there live in Green Bay for most of the shows when he was champion, and the guy was super over, bordering on being wildly over. He totally fit in in Wisconsin, with the Bavarian attire and huge gut, and he was a charismatic performer. Him doing stuff like tearing phone books in half like they were tissue paper only made him that much more over. Had I not been from that area and seen it with my own eyes I would say it was a joke too, but I did see it with my own eyes. Wanz was a carney guy though, obviously. He bought a title reign from Verne Gagne, and made him self champ of his CWA promotion in Austria and Germany for umpteen years, beating several of the top American stars on his home turf along the way. Not saying he was scrupulous in an unscrupulous business, only that he was super over in the AWA from what I witnessed.