[ Billy Graham GALLERY] Title History
NWA (San Francisco) world tag team titles w/Pat Patterson defeating Peter Maivia & Ray Stevens (January 1971);
NWA Hawaii heavyweight title defeating Ed Francis (January 9, 1974);
IWA (Japan) world heavyweight title defeating Billy Robinson (August 16, 1974);
NWA Texas Brass Knuckles title defeating Mad Dog Vachon (August 5, 1975);
NWA Florida heavyweight title defeating Dusty Rhodes (November 22, 1976);
NWA (Florida) Southern heavyweight title defeating Dusty Rhodes (1977);
NWA Florida tag team titles w/Ox Baker defeating Jack & Jerry Brisco (1977);
WWWF heavyweight title defeating Bruno Sammartino (April 30, 1977);
NWA Texas Brass Knuckles title defeating Mark Lewin (1978);
CWA (Memphis) world heavyweight title defeating Pat McGinnis (October 8, 1979);
NWA Texas Brass Knuckles title defeating Mark Lewin (January 18, 1980);
NWA Florida heavyweight title defeating Billy Jack Haynes (June 10, 1984);
In The Beginning:
Wayne Coleman became a devoted Christian as a teenager.
Wayne Coleman won numerous bodybuilding titles as a teenager.
Wayne Coleman would use his feats of strength as a tool to draw people into his evangelistic meetings.
Wayne Coleman played pro football for nearly three years with the Houston Oilers & Oakland Raiders before starting wrestling.
Wayne Coleman appeared as a guest on the Truth Or Consequences program hosted by Bob Barker in the late 1960s.
Getting Into The Business:
Wayne Coleman was recruited by Stu Hart into
Stampede Wrestling when he was being scouted by the CFL’s Calgary Stampeders. Wayne Coleman move onto the
San Fansisco territory, and became “Billy Graham” in dedication to the world renowned evangelist.
Championship Wrestling from Florida:
Billy Graham ended up in Florida as the youngest “brother” in the famous
Graham wrestling “family”(with Eddie, Jerry & Luke).
American Wrestling Association:
Billy Graham made a huge impact on the sport when he gave AWA World Heavyweight Champion Verne Gagne a serious run for his money.
1974: Billy Graham won the NWA Hawaiian Heavyweight title.
Mid-Atlantic Championship Wrestling:
October 1975: Billy Graham competed in the Mid-Atlantic territory of the NWA for several months.
~~~While in MACW, Graham feuded with Wahoo McDaniel and briefly teamed with
Championship Wrestling from Florida:
1976: Billy Graham defeated Dusty Rhodes to win the NWA Florida Heavyweight title.
Billy Graham won the NWA Florida Tag Team titles with
Ox Baker. 1977: Billy Graham defeated Dusty Rhodes to win the Southern Heavyweight Championship.
World Wide Wrestling Federation:
Billy Graham went to the WWWF where he was managed by
The Grand Wizard. March 30, 1977: Billy Graham defeated Bruno Sammartino to capture the World Wide Wrestling Federation title!
~~~Billy Graham faced every worthy challenger in the WWWF during his reign as champion.
~~~Defeated Sammartino, Rhodes, Putski, Strongbow, Monsoon, Zbyszko, Garea, Mascaras & Backlund and many others.
1977: Billy Graham battled Harley Race in the first ever NWA vs WWWF World Title Unification match.
~~~The two World champions for rival promotions wrestled to a bloody one-hour time limit draw.
February 2, 1978: Bob Backlund defeated Billy Graham to win the WWWF World Heavyweight title.
WORTHLESS TRIVIA: Billy Graham the only WWF champion to both win and lose the title with his feet on the ropes.
Billy Graham teamed briefly with his “half-brother”
Crazy Luke Graham, and also Ivan Koloff, having great success with both. Billy Graham continued his legendary feud with Dusty Rhodes in the WWWF.
Billy Graham defeated Dusty Rhodes in a classic Texas Bullrope Match.
Billy Graham left the WWWF shortly after.
1980: Billy Graham appeared on CBS’s “The World’s Strongest Man” competition.
Billy Graham made a few scattered appearances in Memphis to face Jerry Lawler in matches.
Rumors began to spread that Billy Graham had died — which obviously turned out to be FALSE.
Billy Graham worked a series of matches on the Phoenix indy circuit gearing up for his WWF return.
~~~In his final match, as a going away present, he put their top man, Jody Arnold, over in two straight falls.
Back in the World Wrestling Federation:
1983: “Superstar” Billy Graham (with a new bald look) reappeared on WWF television and confronted Bob Backlund.
~~~Graham then proceeded to take the leather and gold WWF title belt and literally tear it in half!
~~~Graham left the WWF again soon after.
The AWA & Floria Return:
Billy Graham wrestled briefly in Verne Gagne’s American Wrestling Association.
Billy Graham would eventually resurface back in Florida territory.
June 10, 1984: Superstar Billy Graham defeated Billy Jack for the Florida State Heavyweight title.
November 22, 1984 – Starrcade: Wahoo McDaniel defeated Billy Graham to retain the United States title.
July 6, 1985 – Great American Bash: Manny Fernandez & Sam Houston & Buzz Tyler beat Billy Graham & Barbarian & Abdulah.
November 28, 1985 – Starrcade: Billy Graham defeated the Barbarian in an Arm Wrestling match.
Last Run in the WWF:
Summer 1987: Billy Graham once again jumped to the World Wrestling Federation for one last run.
Billy Graham won his first match back (WWF “Superstars”) in a squash against
Bob Bradley. Billy Graham was immediately challenged by “The Natural” Butch Reed, who claimed that he had the better physique.
~~~This led to a posedown on WWF TV that resulted in both Reed and his manager Slick attacking Graham!
1987: The years of steroid use had finally taken their toll on Billy Graham’s body.
~~~Some of Graham’s skeletal structure was eaten away and died, most affected area was his hip.
~~~Graham actually wrestled with a severely damaged hip during this last WWF stint.
~~~Graham was told by doctors that he required hip-replacement surgery.
Fall 1997: Graham vs Butch Reed ended when Slick & One Man Gang interfered and they demolished Graham.
~~~Luckily, Don “The Rock” Muraco came to Billy Graham’s rescue.
Billy Graham underwent his hip-replacement surgery knowing it would end his wrestling career.
Billy Graham the Manager:
Billy Graham became the manager for
Don “The Rock” Muraco. Summerslam 1988: Billy Graham’s last big WWF appearance where he provided colour commentary from ringside.
Billy Graham left the World Wrestling Federation for the last time (until 2004 when he was inducted into the Hall of Fame).
Legacy of the Superstar:
Graham influenced many wrestlers including
Austin Idol, Steve Strong, Jesse Ventura, Hulk Hogan, Scott Steiner & Flesh Gordon. Billy Graham now speaks out against drug and alcohol abuse.
Billy Graham also helps point people to the benefits of a personal relationship with God.
1996: Billy Graham’s Christian play, “The Empty Ring”, debuted at Tommy Barnett’s church in the suburbs of Phoenix.
Famous Quote: “I’m the man of the hour, the man with the power, too sweet to be sour!”
Billy Graham’s Battle:
January 2, 2002 – Billy Graham has made a remarkable recovery after suffering four burst veins stemming from advanced liver disease.
~~~This sort of occurance could have been fatal.
~~~Graham underwent several blood transfusions during the day as he had lost so much blood.
~~~Due to a lack of circulation, he was in danger of losing his extremities.
~~~Graham’s internal bleeding has stopped and they are hopeful he will be able to get out of intensive care unit.
~~~Graham was hospitalized with internal bleeding for ten days about one month ago.
~~~Graham first learned that he would be needing a liver transplant a month ago.
~~~However, he didn’t learn until the last few days of the severity of the liver damage.
October 2002 – Billy Graham’s liver was checked out yesterday and he does not have the feared liver cancer.
~~~Graham is also in line for a liver donation that would potentially save his life.
October 18, 2002: Billy Graham underwent a successful liver replacement operation at the Mayo Clinic in Phoenix.
~~~Graham was called in earlier that day with word that they had found a liver from a woman who had died in an accident.
~~~Doctors have said his recovery after surgery considering all his health problems has been amazing.
Billy Graham has reached a deal with Vince McMahon to publish his autobiography with Simon & Schuster.
March 12, 2004: Billy Graham was hospitalized in New York with the same intestinal ailment that had him hospitalized a month back.
~~~Billy Graham’s intestine began poking out of his stomach, in an “Alien” type fashion.
March 13, 2004 – WWE: Billy “Superstar” Graham is inducted into the
WWE Hall of Fame during a ceremony in New York City!
March 14, 2004 – WrestleMania XX: Billy “Superstar” Graham is honored with all the other Hall of Fame inductees during the PPV.
December 28, 2004 – WWE Live Event: “Superstar” Billy Graham appears for a live interview and knocks the Coach out cold! February 25, 2005–Live Event @ MSG: The Coach interviews Superstar Billy Graham, who knocks the Coach on his ass!
February 28, 2005 – RAW: Superstar Billy Graham encourages Randy Orton to step up and do something to set himself apart.
October 3, 2005 – WWE Homecoming: Billy Graham participated in a Legends Ceremony which included roughly 24 Legends.
January 23, 2006 – RAW: Superstar Billy Graham made a brief appearance to promote his book AND dvd. May 28, 2006: Billy Graham was hospitalized for several days due to a bowel obstruction that stems from a prior operation.
Superstar Graham announced that he has less than one year left to live after his transplanted liver started to show signs of failure.