Sunday, April 9, 2017

The Many Champions of "Captain" Lou Albano

It has been debated for years as to who is the greatest wrestling manger of all time.  Both Jim Cornette and Paul Heyman, both outstanding managers themselves, have said that Bobby "The Brain" Heenan is.  And while I don't disagree with that sentiment however, an argument could be made that "Captain" Lou Albano is the greatest of all time.

Dubbed "The Guilding Light" Albano mentored thirteen different tag teams to a combined 15 WWWF/WWF Tag Team Championships.  He also was the man who brought Ivan Koloff in to challenge and defeat Bruno Sammartino for his WWWF World Championship ending Sammartino's near 8 year reign as champion.  Also he seconded both Magnificent Muraco and Greg "The Hammer" Valentine when they captured the WWF Intercontinental Championship.

Albano himself is a former WWWF United States Tag Team Champion winning the title on July 10, 1967 with partner Tony Altimore as The Sicilians.  It has been credited to Bruno Sammartino and Vince McMahon Sr for pushing Albano toward becoming a manager.  They both felt that his in ring work was lacking whereas his gift of gab made him stand out among his peers.

Let's breakdown who is chargers were and when they won the championship:

WWWF World Heavyweight Championship

Ivan Koloff
January 18, 1971 Madison Square Garden defeated Bruno Sammartino

WWF Intercontinental Championship

Magnificent Muraco
January 22, 1983 Madison Square Garden defeated Pedro Morales

Greg "The Hammer" Valentine
September 24, 1984 London, Ontario defeated Tito Santana

WWWF/WWF World Tag Team Championships

"Crazy" Luke Graham & Tarzan Tyler
June 3, 1971 New Orleans, LA defeated Dick The Bruiser & The Sheik in a tournament final to become the first ever champions

Baron Mike Scicluna & King Curtis Iaukea
February 1, 1972 Philadelpha, PA defeated Karl Gotch & Rene Goulet

The Valiant Brothers: Jimmy & Johnny
May 8, 1974 Hamburg, PA defeated Tony Garea & Dean Ho

The BlackJacks: BlackJack Lanza & BlackJack Mulligan
August 26, 1975 Philadelphia, PA defeated Dominic DeNucci & Pat Barrett

The Executioners: 1 & 2
May 11, 1976 Philadelphia, PA defeated Louis Cerdan & Tony Parisi

The Yukon Lumberjacks: Yukon Eric & Yukon Pierre
June 26, 1978 New York, NY defeated Dino Bravo & Dominic DeNucci

The Valiant Brothers: Jerry & Johnny
March 6, 1979 Allentown, PA defeatead Tony Garea & Larry Zbyszko

The Wild Samoans: Afa & Sika
April 12, 1980 Philadelphia, PA defeated Ivan Putski & Tito Santans
September 9, 1980 Philadelphia, PA defeated Tony Garea & Rene Goulet in tournament final

The Moondogs: King, Rex, & Spot
March 17, 1981 Allentown, PA defeated Tony Garea & Rick Martel
Rex & King won the titles 45 days into the reign Spot replaced King on the team as champion

Mr. Fuji & Mr. Saito
October 13, 1981 Allentown, PA defeated Tony Garea & Rick Martel

The Wild Samoans: Afa & Sika
March 8, 1983 Allentown, PA defeated Chief Jay & Jules Strongbow

The U.S. Express: Mike Rotundo & Barry Windham
January 21, 1985 Hartford, CT defeated The North-South Connection: Adrian Adonis & Dick Murdoch

The British Bulldogs: Dynamite Kid & Davey Boy Smith
April 7, 1986 WrestleMania 2 Rosemont, IL defeated The Dream Team: Brutus Beefcake & Greg "The Hammer" Valentine

The Headshrinkers: Samu & Fatu
April 26, 1994 Burlington, VT defeated The Quebecers: Pierre & Jacques

WWWF/WWF International Tag Team Championships

The Mongols: Bepo & Geeto
June 15, 1970 New York, NY defeated Bruno Sammartino & The Battman
Albano bought The Mongols contract from Tony Angelo after they had won the titles

Albano's resume of champions is extremely impressive and I believe that no other manger has managed so many different champions as the Captain.  Whether this qualifies him as the greatest of all time or not, I'm not sure, but you cannot overlook what an outstanding accomplishment this is.

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Later Readers!


  1. Thank you for the kinds words. That's really what I shoot for with my blog is being unique and original.

    When I started this post I had no recollection of his managing Valentine and Muraco.

  2. It's interesting to me as a wrestling fan that when Tyler & Graham "won" the WWWF World Tag Team championship, they supposedly beat The Bruiser and The Sheik, which is strange because at that time (1971) Bruiser & Sheik both ran their own promotions and wouldn't have been likely to enter a tourney to put over two wrestlers who wouldn't have even worked for them. Logically then, this would indicate that the tournament never actually occurred and was likely created as fictional backstory for putting the belts on Tyler & Graham.

  3. The Ex executioners were never defeated for the title. They were script. And now the best gimmick in the world would be for the WWE to come up with a pair dressed exactly the same in black as the return of the executioners for vengeance for a title that they were stripped of and never lost.