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Nick Bockwinkel and Ray Stevens frequently defended their AWA tag team titles in Chicago. The Chicago cards were different than cards held in other AWA cities because Verne Gagne's Minneapolis based AWA and Dick the Bruiser's Indianapolis based WWA combined for shows every three or four weeks at the International Amphitheatre. When competing in Chicago, Nick and Ray might have to wrestle a team comprised of two AWA stars, a team comprised of two WWA grapplers or a team comprised of an AWA performer and a WWA performer. One such pairing of an AWA wrestler and a WWA wrestler was the duo of Wahoo McDaniel and Dick the Bruiser. 

The partnership of Wahoo and Bruiser came about in the following fashion. McDaniel's partner Cowboy Bill Watts had been injured in a match against Superstar Billy Graham and Ernie Ladd on May 5th, 1973 at the Amphitheatre. Wahoo recruited Dick the Bruiser to gain revenge on Graham and Ladd. McDaniel and Bruiser defeated Superstar Graham and Ernie Ladd on May 25th, 1973 to earn a shot against AWA tag team champions Nick Bockwinkel and Ray Stevens. On the June 9th, 1973 card at the Amphitheatre, Bockwinkel and Stevens managed to retain their AWA tag team titles against Wahoo McDaniel and Dick the Bruiser.

Dick the Bruiser was incensed that he and Wahoo McDaniel were unable to capture the AWA tag team titles from Nick Bockwinkel and Ray Stevens. When Bruiser needed help in a feud, he always called in his longtime partner The Crusher. Chicago promoter Bob Luce wasted no time in acquiescing to Bruiser's wishes and signed a bout featuring Bruiser and Crusher against Bockwinkel and Stevens to be held on June 30th, 1973.

Nick and Ray scored a victory over Bruiser and Crusher on that card by using brass knuckles. Bruiser and Crusher demanded and received a cage match versus Nick Bockwinkel and Ray Stevens on July 14th, 1973. The cage did not arrive at the International Amphitheatre so Bob Luce had to improvise and came up with the idea of renaming a lumberjack match a human cage match. Bruiser and Crusher won this extremely violent human cage match over Bockwinkel and Stevens but did not capture the AWA tag tem titles because this was a non title bout. After three straight appearances at the International Amphitheatre, Nick Bockwinkel and Ray Stevens did not return to Chicago as a tag team until October 31st,1973. 

While Billy Robinson continued to challenge Bockwinkel and Stevens with a variety of teammates including Red Bastien, The Crusher and Wahoo McDaniel, the British star was constantly looking for a partner to get the job done. Billy thought he found his man when fellow Brit Geoff Portz came to the AWA in 1973. Robinson and Portz were granted a title shot on the October 6th, 1973 television taping of All Star Wrestling in Minneapolis, Minnesota. At the beginning of the All Star Wrestling TV show, the AWA announced Portz had been injured by Nick Bockwinkel and Ray Stevens and would not be able to appear as Robinson's partner in the scheduled tag team title match. Nick and Ray insisted Billy Robinson sould have to wrestle them by himself since his signed partner for the match was nowhere to be found. Red Bastien volunteered to be Billy's partner. AWA matchmaker Wally Karbo entered the fray asking Bockwinkel and Stevens if they'd wrestle Robinson and Bastien on television. Nick and Ray agreed to the match which saw Billy and Red emerge victorious. 

Since Geoff Portz was originally scheduled to be Robinson's partner, the AWA tag team titles did not change hands because Red Bastien had substituted for Portz. A rematch of Bockwinkel and Stevens against Robinson and Bastien was signed for October 20th, 1973 in Minneapolis, Minnesota. Red Bastien was injured by Nick and Ray in a televised match and was unable to compete on the night of October 20th, 1973. Geoff Portz substituted that night for Bastien and teamed with Billy Robinson to defeat Nick Bockwinkel and Ray Stevens for the AWA tag team titles.  More...

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