Pacfic Northwest Wrestling (1947-1992)
Don Owen built a reputation as one of the classiest pro-wrestling promoters around and while his territory was never the biggest or the best paying, it was the longest running in the pro-wrestling world (after Mexico's EMLL). He and his brother Elton learned the business under their father Herb. Don took over the promotion in 1942 and Elton became his right-hand man. Their territory was built up and when the NWA formed in 1947, Owen's Portland office became the affiliate in that region. When the television boom changed pro-wrestling, Owen quickly got himself on TV and the territory grew further. Things steadily grew and Portland hit its peak in the 1970s with an amazing cast of characters that remained loyal to Owen and many of whom became spot show promoters. Although the population base was spread out over the two states, PNW mainly stuck to the Pacfic seaboard in cities like Medford and Salem in Oregon and Tacoma in Washington. While Portland, Oregon was their base, but they also had Seattle, Washington as a sizable city that they ran regularly. In Washington, they would travel to Yakima in the center part, but other than spot shows, the main focus was along the coast. As the 1970s came to a close, the old guard was leaving, but a new crop was coming in that rejuvenated the market. Portland became known as a proving ground with a regular fan base that thoroughly knew the product. The style in the Pacific Northwest was special too. The emphasis was on being a good worker and a good talker and the better a wrestler was at both, the better they did in Portland. This bred some of the best talent of the 1980s. In the first half of the decade, Portland was riding high off the reputation it had built during the 1970s. However, the growth of cable and the national expansion of the WWF began to threaten the regional company. Elton retired in 1982 and Don's son Barry took over Elton's spot and they ran one of the greatest territorial shows ever in 1985 - the Owen Family 60th Anniversary show. Despite the success, no one could save the company from its inevitable downturn. The problems started with the formation of a single state commission that made running pro-wrestling shows increasingly difficult. Next, the exodus of talent began to deplete the once great roster. Although the WWF had advantages, Portland had a connection locally that could not be topped, unless someone like local hero Billy Jack [Haynes] ran in opposition. Although that was short-lived and Billy Jack even returned to PNW, he did damage the company's reputation. As the remaining NWA members scrambled to stay alive, Owen separated himself from their war with Vince McMahon's WWF. Portland's TV show was eventually cancelled though in 1991 and Don and Barry Owen see the writing on the wall. Rather than going broke trying to keep the company afloat, they stick around for a while, but eventually sell the company to Sandy Barr in 1992. 


Abdullah the Butcher
Chris Adams
Adrian Adonis
Skandor Akbar
Andre the Giant
Johnny Barend
Art Barr
Sam Oliver Bass (Ron Bass)
Red Bastien
The Beast
Tully Blanchard
Nick Bockwinkel
Matt Borne
Tony Borne
Jonathan Boyd
Wayne Bridges
Jack Brisco
Tim Brooks
Bulldog Bob Brown
Haystacks Calhoun
Ripper Collins
Dennis Condrey
Jack Dalton (Don Fargo)
Colonel DeBeers
The Destroyer
Dominic DeNucci
Mike DiBiase
J.J. Dillon
Dynamite Kid
Eric Embry
Pampero Firpo
Ric Flair
Keith Franks (Adrian Adonis)
Mr. Fuji
Tatsumi Fujinami
Dory Funk Jr.
Terry Funk
Mike George
Terry Gibbs
Pepper Gomez
Gorgeous George Jr.
Rene Goulet
Luke Graham
The Grappler
Great Goliath
Hard Boiled Haggerty
Billy Jack Haynes
Roy Heffernan
Curt Hennig
Gino Hernandez
Dean Ho (Dean Higuchi)
Danny Hodge
King Curtis Iaukea
Austin Idol
Iron Shiek
Bobby Jaggers
Don Jardine (The Spoiler)
Rocky Johnson
Don Leo Jonathan
Paul Jones
Tor Kamata
Gene Kiniski
Ivan Koloff
Nikita Koloff
Nick & Jerry Kozak
Killer Karl Krupp
Prince Kuhio (King Curtis)
Frankie Laine
Tiger Chung Lee (Kim Duk)
Mark Lewin
Dale Lewis
Luther Lindsay
Roy McClarty
Tex McKenzie
Al Madril
Boris Malenko
Rick Martel
Lonnie Mayne
Mega Maharishi (Ed Wiskoski)
Mighty Ursus (Jesse Ortega)
Guy Mitchell
Mitsu Momoto
Gorilla Monsoon
Pedro Morales
Angelo Mosca
Don Muraco
Kendo Nagasaki
Leo Nomellini
Jerry Oates
Rip Oliver
King Parsons
Pat Patterson
Roddy Piper
Lanny Poffo
Tom Prichard
John Quinn
Harley Race
Bull Ramos
Bob Remus (Sgt. Slaughter)
Dusty Rhodes
Rip Rogers
Tommy Rogers
Buddy Rose
Gary Royal
Nelson Royal
Royal Kangaroos (Johnny Boyd & Norman Charles III)
Mr. Saito
Harold Sakata
Dutch Savage
Bob Schoen (Bobby Shane)
David Schultz
Baron Scicluna
Bobby Shane
The Sheepherders (Luke Williams & Brute Miller)
Kinji Shibuya
Sgt. Slaughter
Alexis Smirnoff
Jimmy Snuka
The Spoiler (Don Jardine)
Stan Stasiak
Ray Stevens
Lou Thesz
Les Thornton
Tosh Togo
John Tolos
Tonga (Meng/Haku)
Enrique Torres
Jumbo Tsuruta
Butcher Vachon
Maddog Vachon
Greg Valentine
Jesse Ventura
Rocky Venturo (Phil LaFon)
Kurt Von Hess
Kurt & Karl Von Steiger
The Road Warriors (Hawk & Animal)
Bill Watts
Sailor White
Billy White Wolf (Adnan Al-Kaissie)
Wild Samoans (Afa & Sika)
Ed Wiskoski
Bearcat Wright
Skip Young
Jay Youngblood
Larry Zbyszko
Tom Zenk