Former NWA and WWC Star Dick Steinborn Passes Away at 86

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Another veteran of pro wrestling has passed away, as the Cauliflower Alley Club announced on Saturday that Dick Steinborn passed away at the age of 86.

Dick Steinborn was a second-generation wrestler, son of Heinrich “Milo” Steinborn, a grappler from the 1920s through the 1950s who battled the likes of Jim Londos. Dick Steinborn would make his own debut in 1951, and would slowly begin working in the various territories of the National Wrestling Alliance (NWA), as well as trips to Europe.

He would get his first taste of championship gold in 1957, winning the NWA Mid Atlantic Southern Tag Team titles alongside George Becker (the duo would win them again a year later), and would capture his first singles title in Texas with Southwest Sports (which would become World Class Championship Wrestling in the 1980s), winning the NWA Texas Heavyweight Championship in 1958. He would begin wrestling in Georgia Championship Wrestling, as Dick Gunkel, becoming a 3x NWA Georgia Southern Heavyweight Champion.

He would head to Florida in the early 1960s, teaming up with Eddie Graham to become 2x NWA Florida United States Tag Team Champions with Championship Wrestling From Florida. He would briefly wrestle for NWA Capitol Wrestling in 1961 – the promotion owned by Vince McMahon Sr. that would become the World Wide Wrestling Federation (WWWF) shortly after – where he would wrestle NWA World’s Heavyweight Champion Buddy Rogers. In 1962, he headed to Minnesota to join Verne Gagne‘s American Wrestling Association (AWA), capturing the AWA World Tag Team titles with Doug Gilbert (not the son of Tommy Gilbert). He also continued to work between Mid-Atlantic, Georgia Championship Wrestling, and Championship Wrestling From Florida into the 1970s.

By the end of the 1970s, his run with the NWA was coming to a close, working with Ron Fuller‘s Southeastern Championship Wrestling out of Tennessee, winning the NWA United States Junior Heavyweight Championship, but by the early 1980s, he would leave the United States wrestling scene. He began working in Puerto Rico with Carlos Colon‘s World Wrestling Council (WWC) and in Canada with Stu Hart‘s Stampede Wrestling, finding hugely successful singles runs in these two new countries. In Calgary, he would become a 2x Stampede World Mid-Heavyweight Champion and Stampede British Commonwealth Mid-Heavyweight Champion, but in Puerto Rico, he became a superstar. He was arguably one of WWC’s biggest heels in the 1980s, becoming a 4x WWC Caribbean Heavyweight Champion and 3x WWC Junior Heavyweight Champion in battles with the likes of Carlos Colon and El Gran Apolo. He retired from the ring in 1984.

LWOPW sends its sincerest condolences to the entire Steinborn family as well as Dick Steinborn’s friends, peers, and colleagues. Stay tuned to the Last Word on Pro Wrestling for more on this and other stories from around the world of wrestling, as they develop. You can always count on LWOPW to be on top of the major news in the wrestling world, as well as to provide you with analysis, previews, videos, interviews, and editorials on the wrestling world.

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