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 - Jim Zordani

In a bizarre turn of events during December of 1979, Lord Alfred Hayes had a disagreement with Bobby Heenan which resulted in Hayes quitting as manager of the Super Destroyers and befriending his arch enemy The Crusher. The exact particulars of this angle escape me but results from the time period show Hayes seconding the Crusher in several title bouts against AWA champion Nick Bockwinkel and teaming with Crusher in tag team matches against Bockwinkel and Bobby Heenan. Crusher soon unmasked Super Destroyer Mark III revealing Neil Guay. Super Destroyer Mark II sided with Bockwinkel and Heenan by promptly turning on Super Destroyer Mark III. Super Destroyer Mark III quickly joined up with the Crusher, Hayes and their compatriot Mad Dog Vachon. This feud would occupy the Crusher for the first four months of 1980.

Jerry Blackwell made his AWA debut in December of 1979 and was initially billed as Farmer Blackwell upon his arrival. Jerry was an awesome physical specimen standing 5 foot 9 and weighing 468 pounds. Blackwell had tremendous agility for a man his size and could throw a dropkick from a standing position into the midsection of his opponent. Jerry massive girth made his power moves such as the flying elbow smash, powerslam and Samoan drop look incredibly devastating and very believable at the same time. Blackwell was an extraordinary bumptaker using this skill among others to make his opponents look good.

During his first six months in the AWA, Jerry Blackwell mowed through the competition moving his way up the card. On his televised interviews, Jerry resented being called Farmer Blackwell and insisted he should be known as Crusher Blackwell. This controversy led to a feud between Blackwell and the Crusher to determine which man was the real Crusher. 

Jerry Blackwell and the Crusher had several matches battling over the nickname Crusher with no conclusive winner. Big John Studd was imported to the AWA as Blackwell's tag team partner. Crusher countered by teaming with Mad Dog Vachon. When Mad Dog was injured by Blackwell and Studd in early 1982, Baron Von Raschke returned to the AWA as the Crusher's tag team partner to get revenge for Vachon against Blackwell and Studd.

During 1980 and 1981, the Crusher found time to wage war against the East West Connection of Golden Boy Adrian Adonis and Jesse the Body Ventura who were the reigning AWA tag team champions. Crusher opposed Adonis and Ventura with a plethora of partners such as Greg Gagne, Mad Dog Vachon, Dick the Bruiser, Buck Zumhofe and Baron Von Raschke. The Crusher and Jesse Ventura also engaged in a series of pose down matches where the fans would vote which one had the better body.  More...

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