BREAKING: “No. 1” Paul Jones Dead, Aged 75

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Just hours after the wrestling world was stunned with the announcement of Bruno Sammartino‘s passing, it was announced tonight that one of the NWA’s most reliable heels from the 1970s and most untrustworthy managers of the 1980s, also passed away. Paul Frederik, better known as “No. 1” Paul Jones, died today, at the age of 75. No details of his passing have been released.

A former Golden Gloves and Texas Heavyweight Champion boxer, Paul Jones made his pro wrestling debut in 1961, a protege of Houston Wrestling‘s Paul Boesch. Throughout the 1960’s, he was a regular not only with Boesch, but Fritz Von Erich‘s Big Time Wrestling (precursor to WCCW), NWA Mid America (Memphis territory prior to Jerry Lawler & Jerry Jarrett’s CWA) and Championship Wrestling From Florida. In 1968, he joined Jim Crockett in NWA Mid-Atlantic Championship Wrestling, before departing in 1971 back to Florida. He returned to Mid-Atlantic for good in 1974, this time working for Jim Crockett Jr., and never looked back.

A 6x NWA World Tag Team Champion (two each with The Masked Superstar and Baron Von Raschke), a multi-time tag team champion with Ricky Steamboat (1x NWA World Tag Team, 3x NWA Mid-Atlantic Tag Team), and a 3x NWA Mid-Atlantic Heavyweight Champion as a singles wrestler, Jones was one of Mid-Atlantic’s top stars during the height of the 1970s territorial days. As his wrestling career wound down in the early 1980s, he became a top manager in the company, forming Paul Jones’ Army in 1982 (which featured such wrestlers as Rick Rude, “Superstar” Billy Graham, Manny Fernandez, and The Powers of Pain), continuing through the sale to Ted Turner and the rebranding to WCW, before retiring in 1989.

 

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