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When we last left you, Nick Bockwinkel and Ray Stevens had lost the AWA tag team titles to Billy Robinson and Verne Gagne on December 30th, 1972 only to regain the belts from Gagne and Robinson one week later on January 6th, 1973. Billy Robinson remained a thorn in the side of Bockwinkel and Stevens and recruited the young Hawaiian star Don Muraco to be his partner. Robinson and Muraco were given a television victory over the AWA's number two heel team, the Texas Outlaws Dusty Rhodes and Dirty Dick Murdoch. Billy and Don became embattled in a feud with Rhodes and Murdoch and also earned title shots against Bockwinkel and Stevens.

During the first four months of 1973, Robinson and Muraco had several opportunities to beat Bockwinkel and Stevens for the AWA belts but were unsuccessful in accomplishing their goal.

The Texas Outlaws, Dusty Rhodes and Dick Murdoch, were an exciting tag team. Murdoch was a terrific brawler who could also trade holds with anyone. Rhodes was very charismatic and could really get the crowd going. Rhodes and Murdoch were despised by the fans and were known as policemen for Nick Bockwinkel and Ray Stevens. AWA tag teams had to prove themselves against the Texas Outlaws before getting a shot against Bockwinkel and Stevens. The AWA decided to book non-title matches with Rhodes and Murdoch against Bockwinkel and Stevens in several AWA cities during May of 1973. These non title bouts pitting Bockwinkel and Stevens against Rhodes and Murdoch always ended in a double disqualification.

The AWA promoters then gave Rhodes and Murdoch title shots against Bockwinkel and Stevens where Nick and Ray emerged victorious. Nick Bockwinkel and Ray Stevens often defended the AWA tag team titles in Chicago. The Chicago promotion used wrestlers from both Verne Gagne's Minneapolis based AWA and Dick the Bruiser's Indianapolis based WWA. Theoretically, Nick and Ray might have to wrestle a team of two AWA stars, a team of two WWA stars or a team of an AWA star and a WWA star when competing in Chicago at the at the International Amphitheatre. One such pairing of a WWA star with an AWA star was the team of Dick the Bruiser and Wahoo McDaniel. Bruiser and Wahoo defeated Superstar Graham and Ernie Ladd on May 25th, 1973 to earn a shot against Bockwinkel and Stevens.  More...

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