1940s and 1950s

by Mark Long

1940s-1950s

1945
24 Aug, 1945

Vincent Kennedy McMahon Born

Vince McMahon, Jr. - historyofwrestling.com

The most successful promoter in the history of professional wrestling, World Wrestling Entertainment C.E.O. Vincent Kennedy McMahon, was born in Pinehurst, North Carolina on this day in 1945. The son of renowned Northeastern promoter Vincent..Read More

1948
18 Jul, 1948

The National Wrestling Alliance Is Formed

Pinkie George - historyofwrestling.com

The National Wrestling Alliance, which for decades was the largest and most powerful governing body in the professional wrestling industry, is officially formed after founder Paul “Pinkie” George assembles a collection of Midwestern promoters in..Read More

27 Nov, 1948

Lou Thesz Is Awarded the National Wrestling Alliance Title

Orville Brown - historyofwrestling.com

Following a career-ending auto accident involving inaugural NWA World Heavyweight champion Orville Brown, reigning National Wrestling Association champion Lou Thesz is awarded the National Wrestling Alliance title, thus unifying the two World championships just weeks..Read More

1949
26 Mar, 1949

Verne Gagne Defeats Dick Hutton in NCAA Tournament

Verne Gagne - historyofwrestling.com

In a legendary battle between two amateurs who would soon rule the world of professional wrestling, future NWA World Heavyweight champion Dick Hutton loses in overtime to future AWA World Heavyweight champion Verne Gagne. The..Read More

03 May, 1949

Verne Gagne Makes His Professional Wrestling Debut

Verne Gagne - historyofwrestling.com

Renowned NCAA and Olympic wrestler Verne Gagne makes his professional wrestling debut in Minneapolis, Minnesota. Gagne, who was also a highly accomplished football player, was among the most famous amateur grapplers of the day and..Read More

17 Sep, 1949

The Dumont Network Airs Wrestling From Marigold

Wrestling at the Marigold - historyofwrestling.com

The Dumont Network, which was the first television network to establish national broadcasts in America, airs the debut episode of, arguably, the most important TV program in professional wrestling history, “Wrestling from Marigold.” The catalyst..Read More

1952
18 Dec, 1952

Lou Thesz Defeats Baron Michelle Leone In Title Unification

Lou Thesz - Baron Leone - historyofwrestling.com

In a much-anticipated battle of World champions, Lou Thesz defeats Baron Michelle Leone, unifying his NWA title with Leone’s Los Angeles version of the World championship. Interest was so great in the match that local..Read More

1953
18 Dec, 1953

Chicago Promoter Fred Kohler Awards Verne Gagne The NWA United States Championship

Verne Gagne - historyofwrestling.com

Chicago promoter Fred Kohler defiantly awards his top star, Verne Gagne, the newly-created NWA United States championship. Gagne was seen coast-to-coast on Kohler’s powerful Dumont Network television program, “Wrestling from Marigold,” and was, arguably, the..Read More

1957
30 Mar, 1957

Antonino Rocca and Miguel Perez Defeat Jackie and Don Fargo at MSG

Antonino Rocca - Miguel Perez - historyofwrestling.com

The team of Antonino Rocca & Miguel Perez, the biggest box office attraction in the northeast at the time, defeat Jackie & Don Fargo at Madison Square Garden in New York City to capture that..Read More

01 Apr, 1957

Danny Hodge Featured on the Cover of Sports Illustrated Magazine

Danny Hodge - historyofwrestling.com

Legendary NCAA and Golden Gloves champion, and future NWA World Junior Heavyweight titleholder, Danny Hodge becomes the first wrestler in history to be featured on the cover of Sports Illustrated magazine. Still an amateur at..Read More

1959
09 Jan, 1959

New Zealander Pat O’Connor Defeats Dick Hutton For the NWA Title

Pat O'Connor - historyofwrestling.com

New Zealander Pat O’Connor defeats Dick Hutton for the National Wrestling Alliance World Heavyweight title in St. Louis, Missouri. One of the sport’s more popular babyfaces of the era, O’Connor would go on to hold..Read More

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