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 - Jim Zordani

After losing the AWA heavyweight championship back to Mad Dog Vachon on November 11th, 1965, the Crusher recruited Cowboy Bob Ellis to be his tag team partner. On November 27th, 1965 at the Armory in St Paul, Minnesota, Crusher and Bob Ellis came extremely close to defeating Handsome Harley Race and Pretty Boy Larry Hennig for the AWA tag team titles. Only the interference by wrestler/manager Professor Steve Druk prevented the Crusher and Cowboy Bob Ellis from becoming AWA tag team champions. Crusher then embarked on a brief feud with Professor Steve Druk and Steve's protege Chris Markoff. The Crusher defeated Professor Druk in a "Turkey Neck Main Event" at the Minneapolis Convention Hall on December 11th, 1965 and beat the duo of Druk and Markoff in a handicap match on January 20th, 1966 in St Paul, Minnesota. The "Turkey Neck Main Event" against Professor Steve Druk did have some historical significance as the Garage rock band The Novas had recorded a song in 1964 called The Crusher which featured the immortal line "Do the Hammerlock You Turkeynecks, everybody's doing it." The song The Crusher was dedicated to Reggie "The Crusher" Lisowski as Crusher would often use terms like turkeynecks during his television interviews. 

Another wrestler Crusher had many battles with in 1966 was Hamilton, Ontario native Chris Tolos. Tolos called himself the Golden Greek and was known to many fans as part of the Canadian Wrecking Crew tag team with his brother John. Chris eliminated Crusher to win a 12 man battle royal on January 29th, 1966 in St Paul, Minnesota. Crusher vowed revenge on Tolos and the two men feuded throughout the AWA for the next few months. The Crusher emerged victorious in the feud by beating Chris Tolos at the Milwaukee Auditorium on April 23rd, 1966 and by winning a cage match over Tolos on April 30th, 1966 in St Paul, Minnesota. 

In addition to being partners with Cowboy Bob Ellis, the Crusher also teamed with Danny Hodge, Mighty Igor Vodik and Reggie Parks in unsuccessful attempts to capture the AWA Tag Team Titles from Larry Hennig and Harley Race. Frustrated at not being able to defeat Hennig and Race, Crusher once again called on his "cousin" Dick The Bruiser to return to the AWA as his regular tag team partner.   More...

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