The 1960s were a topsy turvy time in Tampa. In 1961, Eddie Graham had bought into the promotion and was finding great success as both a star preformer and a booker. Throughout the decade others bought into Florida, including trainer Hiro Matsuda, renowned Japanese heel Duke Keomuka, Lester Welch of the powerful and influential Welch family and a several others. The biggest change for the promotion occured in 1963, they joined into the National Wrestling Alliance and became a regular stop for the NWA World Heavyweight and Junior Heavyweight Champions. This began a steady incline for the CWF, which began expanding throughout the decade. The Caribbean, namely Puerto Rico and the Bahamas, became good irregular stops for "L&G Promotions" in the 1960s. In 1968, Eddie Graham's career path changed in an instant when a 75-pound steel window fell on him and ended his full-time wrestling career. After that the success of Florida became his full-time focus and he began making aggressive moves to gain power. In 1971, "Cowboy" Luttrell was "forced out" by Graham, who assumed majority control. Second, he closed "L&G Promotions" and stopped trying to compete with the new promotions in Puerto Rico. Third, Graham began aggressively recruiting talent and trying build up his company as the crown jewel of the NWA. The NWA soon found themselves at war in Georgia in the early 1970s. Buddy Fuller (Edward Welch) had grown tired of dealing with Ray Gunkel and traded his shares of company with Lester Welch. Buddy headed to Tampa and Les headed to Atlanta and the problems escalated, then Gunkel died and they took another dramatic turn when his widow opened a rival non-NWA company. Graham was frequently sending talent up to support the NWA and even sent in Bill Watts, his protege booker, for a spell. As that battle raged, the NWA was weakened when long-time president Sam Muchnick stepped down. From that point forward, the presidency of the NWA became the ultimate prize and after a brief stint by Fritz Von Erich, Eddie Graham took the office in the 1976 and held it until 1978. During this time, Championship Wrestling from Florida was perhaps the hottest company in the world. The roster was busting with main event stars and they were frequently cycling in established stars from elsewhere, building up new stars and utilizing the NWA Championship's drawing power. While Bill Watts had left, Dusty Rhodes had stayed and soaked up much of Graham's booking genius. Rhodes had also become the company's biggest star and was one of the hottest acts of the 1970s and even worked his way into the NWA title scene as the decade came to a close. In the early 1980s, pro-wrestling began changing radically. Vince McMahon and his World Wrestling Federation were taking over the United States, but he had great competition. Unfortunately, those companies could never cooperate enough to win the war and they began falling. Jim Crockett Promotions out of the Carolinas began expanding and trying to beat McMahon at his own game. This one company essentially assumed control of the fragmented NWA and presidency bounced between Jim Crockett Jr. and Bob Geigel (who wielded influence, but did not have a big money promotion). The power was shifting again and Dusty Rhodes left Florida to work for the Crocketts as their booker and one of their top stars. This was a deathblow to Championship Wrestling from Florida, which could not compete with the expanding companies in the United States. They held on for a few years, but financial problems were creating personal problems for Eddie Graham. The pro-wrestling world was shocked when Eddie Graham, one of the greatest minds in the sport's history, commited suicide on January 20, 1985. The company was inherited by Hiro Matsuda and Duke Keomuka. Dusty Rhodes still owned a piece of the company as did Buddy Colt and Eddie's son Mike and brother Skip rounded out the remaining owners. They kept it open for a couple years and tried to align with the Crocketts, but the magic was gone. Championship Wrestling from Florida became part of Jim Crockett Promotions in 1987.


Bad News Allen
Terry Allen (Magnum T.A.)
Brad Armstrong
Ole Anderson
The Assassins
Bob Backlund
Ox Baker
Ron Bass
Red Bastien
Brian Blair
Nick Bockwinkel
Jack Brisco
Jerry Brisco
Bruiser Brody
Ray Candy
Tony Charles
Ciclon Negro
Buddy Colt
Don Curtis
J.J. Dillon
Bobby Duncum
Eric Emory (Eric Embry)
Fabulous Kangaroos
Manny Fernandez
Ric Flair
Robert Fuller
Dory Funk Jr.
Terry Funk
Jimmy Garvin
Ron Garvin
Jimmy Golden
"Superstar" Billy Graham
Eddie Graham
Mike Graham
Don Greene
Chavo Guerrero
Scott Hall
"Playboy" Gart Hart
Billy Jack Haynes
Larry "The Axe" Hennig
Hercules Hernandez
Oliver Humperdink
King Curtis Iaukea
Hangman Bobby Jaggers
Rocky Johnson
Paul Jones
Steve Keirn
Ivan Koloff
Killer Karl Kox
Ernie Ladd
Jos LeDuc
Mark Lewin
Lex Luger
The Magnificent Morocco (Don Muraco)
Boris Malenko
The Masked Superstar
Hiro Matsuda
Bugsy McGraw
Wahoo McDaniel
Missouri Mauler (Larry Hamilton)
The Mongolian Stomper
Pedro Morales
Blackjack Mulligan
Don Muraco
Dick Murdoch
Great Muta
Kendo Nagasaki
Nasty Boys (Brian Knobbs & Jerry Sags)
Bob Orton Jr.
Pat Patterson
Al Perez
Tommy Peters (Tommy Rogers)
Percy Pringle
Purple Haze (Mark Lewin)
Harley Race
Butch Reed
Dusty Rhodes
Jake Roberts
Billy Robinson
Bob Roop
Mike Rotundo
Rick Rude
Mr. Saito
Buzz Sawyer
Bobby Shane
The Sheepherders (Luke Williams & Butch Miller)
Dick Slater
Tracy Smothers
Pak Song
The Spoiler
Spoiler II (Bobby Duncum)
Ron Starr
Dick Steinborn
Ray Stevens
Adrian Street
Big John Studd
Kevin Sullivan
Super Destroyer (Hulk Hogan)
Super Masked Destroyer (Killer Kowalski)
Sweet Brown Sugar
Lou Thesz
Johnny Valentine
Nikolai Volkoff
David Von Erich
Kerry Von Erich
Bill Watts
Johnny Weaver
Pez Whatley
Barry Windham
Tim Woods
Mr. Wrestling II
Bearcat Wright
Jay Youngblood


I'd like to thank Juan Blanco, Jason Tepper, Mike Siegel, Barry Rose, Erik Kamber, Wes Daniel from kayfabememories.com for their articles on "Championship Wrestling from Florida" as well as well as Tim Dills, Mike Norris, Mike Calloway, Steve Webber, Mitch Lucas, Jeff Luce, Eric Westlund and David Williamson for their various contributions on kayfabememories.com. And, of course Royal Duncun and Gary Will's contributions to wrestling-titles.com