Gorgeous George

Gorgeous George

Article: The Forgotten Minority

Title History

  • Pacific Coast Middleweight title defeating Buck Lipscomb (1938);
  • Pacific Coast Light Heavyweight title defeating Pat O` Dowdy (May 19, 1939);
  • Pacific Cost Junior Heavyweight title defeating Billy McEuin (September 1941);
  • Pacific Coast Light Heavyweight title defeating Jack Kiser (September 4, 1941);
  • California State Light Heavyweight title defeating Wild Red Berry (May 8, 1942);
  • Pacific Coast Light Heavyweight title defeating Jack Lipscomb (May 10, 1943);
  • Pacific Coast Light Heavyweight title defeating Tony Ross (November 1, 1943);
  • (Los Angeles) World Heavyweight title defeating Enrique Torres (March 26, 1947);
  • (Illinois) World Heavyweight title defeating Walter Palmer (March 4, 1949);
  • AWA (Boston) World Heavyweight title defeating Don Eagle (May 26, 1950);
  • NWA (Georgia) Southern Heavyweight title defeating Don McIntyre (March 7, 1953);
  • NWA Gulf Coast Heavyweight title defeating Billy Wicks (November 12, 1958);

Career Highlights

  • George Wagner was born in Seward, Nebraska .
  • George Wagner began his Professional Wrestling career when he was around the age of 14.
  • George Wagner competed for over a decade under his real name “George Wagner”, with very little success.
  • ~~~Ten years after debuting, George Wagner created the “Gorgeous George” persona.
  • ~~~He grew his hair out so it was long, could be curled and pinned back with gold-plated bobby pins.
  • ~~~He dyed his hair platinum blond and wore elegant robes, dubbing himself “The Human Orchid”.
  • Gorgeous George would enter the Ring escorted by one of his Ring butlers, Thomas Ross or Geoffrey.
  • ~~~The butler would spray the ring and/or opponents with disinfectant or perfume.
  • Gorgeous George’s entrance music was “Pomp and Circumstance”, years before Randy Savage would use the theme.
  • Gorgeous George appeared in a movie called “Alias the Champ”.
  • May 26, 1950: Gorgeous George defeated Don Eagle for the American Wrestling Association World title.
  • ~~~Gorgeous George later lost the World Title to another wrestling legend, Lou Thesz.
  • Gorgeous George made regular stopovers in Phoenix when travelling from Los Angeles to Texas by car.
  • ~~~Gorgeous George appeared several times at the old Phoenix Madison Square Garden.
  • ~~~There is a story on how he stopped to buy beer at a bar outside Phoenix and was taunted for his hair by a group of cowboys.
  • ~~~They did not know who he was. George beat the hell out of the lot of them, took his six pack and left.
  • Gorgeous George wrestled for another ten years before being defeated in one of his last matches by a young Bruno Sammartino.
  • December 26, 1963: Gorgeous George Wagner passed away.
  • ~~~Gorgeous George was truly the original showman of professional wrestling.
  • ~~~Many credit George Wagner with revolutionizing wrestling by helping bring the action into homes all over the country.
  • ~~~George Wagner’s character qualities and showmanship were years ahead of their time.
  • ~~~The Gorgeous One’s influences have been felt by atheletes from Buddy Rogers to Adrian Street.
  • ~~~~~”Superstar” Billy Graham to Ric Flair, “Adorable” Adrian Adonis to Goldust..even Mohammed Ali, Little Richard, Liberace.
  • 1971: Playboy Magazine did a big satire article on the life of Gorgeous George Wagner.
  • George Wagner’s wife is prominently featured in the tell-all book, Whatever Happened To Gorgeous George, by Joseph Jares.
  • George Wagner’s widow sued Gorgeous George Jr. to keep him from using that name in the Los Angeles area.