If the old Yankee Stadium is the house that Ruth built than the Cow Palace in San Francisco might be called the house that Ray Stevens built. Seriously, he was that big in that region’s wrestling world.
With a long and illustrious career that spanned the inaugural 50’s television wrestling period to the wrestling boom in the 80’s, Ray Stevens became quickly known as one of the most accomplished wrestlers in the country. He was so good, that even when fans in San Francisco were conditioned to boo him, he was still among the most popular performers in the area. Stevens was a great ring teacher and was a great tag team wrestler whose tag teams with Pat Patterson & Nick Bockwinkel (and many others) were stuff of legend. For a wrestler to be on top for that long and to be considered among the best for that same time period sounds like a Hall of Fame career to us.
The Bullet Points:
Carl Stevens (Real Name)
“The Crippler” Ray Stevens
“Bombs Away” Ray Stevens
U.S.A. (San Francisco, CA)
Key Championships Held:
AWA United States Heavyweight (7)
AWA World Tag Team (4) (3w/Nick Bockwinkel, 1w/Pat Patterson)
IWA World Heavyweight (2)
IWA World Tag Team w/Art Nelson
NWA Florida Tag Team (2) (1w/Nick Bockwinkel, 1w/Mike Graham
NWA Florida Television (2)
NWA Mid Atlantic Heavyweight
NWA Mid Atlantic Tag Team (3) (1w/Jimmy Snuka, 1w/Ivan Koloff & 1w/Greg Valentine)
NWA United States Heavyweight (Hawaii)
NWA United States Heavyweight (San Francisco) (2)
NWA World Tag Team (San Francisco) (3) (1w/Pepper Gomez, 1w/Peter Maivia, 1w/Moondog Mayne
Why He Will Get In:
He was among the best and is recognized by many as such.
Why He Won’t Get In:
His best time period was outside of the WWE.
Five Greatest Matches/Moments: (In Chronological Order)
1. Beat Bobo Brazil for his first of numerous United States
2. Beat WWF Champion Bruno Sammartino in San Francisco by count
3. With Nick Bockwinkel won his first of many AWA World Tag Titles
4. Kayfabe broke the leg of Doctor X to earn the name of “The Crippler”
5. Won the Mid Atlantic Heavyweight Title starting a great run there