Edward F. Gossett (January 15, 1930 - January 21, 1985), better known as Eddie Graham, was an American professional wrestler. He was also the promoter and booker for Championship Wrestling from Florida and President of the NWA in the 1970s. His son, Mike Graham, was also a professional wrestler. Eddie Graham was born in Chattanooga, Tennessee.
2 Championships and accomplishments,
4 External links,
Gossett started wrestling in 1947 in Texas at the age of 17 after being trained by Clarence "Cowboy" Luttrall. He was sometimes billed as the brother of "Nature Boy" Buddy Rogers under the name of Rip Rogers. He lost a loser-leaves-town match to Pepper Gomez in May 1958.
In June 1958, he changed his ring name to Eddie Graham and was billed as the brother of Dr. Jerry Graham and "Crazy" Luke Graham. Jerry and Eddie were a very successful heel tag team on the east coast of the United States. They had popular feuds with teams such as the Fabulous Kangaroos, the Bastien Brothers, Mark Lewin and Don Curtis, and Antonino Rocca and Miguel Pérez. They held the NWA United States Tag Team Championship (Northeast version) together in Capitol Wrestling (the forerunner of World Wrestling Entertainment) four times, winning the belts three times in victories over Miguel Perez and Don Curtis, and once against Red and Lou Bastien.
In the spring of 1960, Eddie left the team and went to the National Wrestling Alliance's territory in Florida to wrestle. While there, in 1966, he had a famous feud with Professor Boris Malenko.
In 1968, Graham was lacing his boots in the locker room and a 75-lb steel window fell on his head, detaching both of his retinas and causing him an injury that required three hundred stitches. The Florida Legislature awarded him $23,000 for the incident. According to Jim Wilson in his book Chokehold, Graham's eyesight was poor because of blade jobs, and because he needed surgery to correct the problem and could not afford the money, he had some wrestlers tamper with the window in order to pass it off as though it was the responsibility of the building. This allegation is disputed by eyewitnesses. Also, "blading" does not cause eye damage according to noted optometrist Dr. Robert W. McCullough and other eye doctors. Due to the injury, Graham was unable to wrestle for fifteen months.
Eddie took over booking and promoting for Championship Wrestling from Florida in 1971. He wrestled with his son, Mike Graham, until 1977, when he retired from the ring due to health problems. He made a one-shot return to the ring for one final match in 1979 when he defeated Killer Khan by pinfall after the referee was knocked out and subsequent interference by Mr. Hito and Kazuo Sakurada on Khan's behalf was fought off by Mike Graham and Ray Stevens. He was the President of the NWA from 1976 to 1978, thanks in part to Gordon Solie and Dusty Rhodes. Graham was absent as NWA President in 1977 and 1978 due to serious health problems he suffered from, and was forced to step down as a result. Eddie remained as the promoter in Florida until January 21, 1985, when he committed suicide by gunshot after a lifelong battle with alcoholism.
He was inducted into the WWE Hall of Fame on March 29, 2008. He was inducted posthumously by Dusty Rhodes, while his son, Mike Graham, accepted the honor on behalf of his father.
Championships and accomplishments:
Capitol Wrestling Corporation / World Wrestling Entertainment
NWA United States Tag Team Championship (Northeast version) (4 times) - with Jerry Graham,
Hall of Fame (Class of 2008),
Championship Wrestling from Florida
NWA Brass Knuckles Championship (Florida version) (2 times),
NWA Florida Heavyweight Championship (1 time),
NWA Florida Tag Team Championship (1 time) - with Mike Graham,
NWA Southern Heavyweight Championship (Florida version) (3 times),
NWA Southern Tag Team Championship (Florida version) (2 times) - with Don Curtis (1) and Lester Welch (1),
NWA United States Tag Team Championship (Florida version) (2 times) - with Dick Steinborn,
NWA World Tag Team Championship (Florida version) (7 times) - with Ike Eakins (1), Sam Steamboat (3), Bob Orton (2), and Jose Lothario (1),
Japan Wrestling Association
JWA All Asia Tag Team Championship (1 time) - with Killer Karl Kox,
Mid-Atlantic Championship Wrestling / World Championship Wrestling
NWA Southern Tag Team Championship (Mid-Atlantic version) (1 time) - with Sam Steamboat,
WCW Hall of Fame (Class of 1993),
NWA Georgia Tag Team Championship (1 time) - with Mike Graham,
World Heavyweight Championship (Georgia version) (1 time),
Midwest Wrestling Association
MWA World Junior Heavyweight Championship (1 time),
National Wrestling Alliance
NWA Hall of Fame (Class of 2006),
NWA Southern Tag Team Championship (Mid-America version) (2 times) - with Roy Welch,
NWA World Tag Team Championship (Mid-America version) (1 time) - with Sam Steamboat,
Southwest Sports, Inc.
NWA Texas Tag Team Championship (1 time) - with Johnny Valentine,
NWA Western States Sports
NWA Southwest Tag Team Championship (3 times) - with Art Nelson,
Wrestling Observer Newsletter
Wrestling Observer Newsletter Hall of Fame (Class of 1996),