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 - Jim Zordani

As 1960 drew to a close, Nick Bockwinkel had established himself as one of the top babyfaces in southern California. Bockwinkel was a pretty boy. He had a nice physique and a short flat top haircut. Promoters played off the fact he was a second generation wrestler, had graduated from college and had recently spent two years in the armed service.  Bockwinkel was the blueprint for a babyface. 

With Nick so well liked by the fans in Southern California, he was often teamed with other top fan favorites like Lord James Blears, Ricky Romero and Edouard Carpentier. Bockwinkel and Blears enjoyed some success as a tag team winning the International Television Tag Team Titles from Stan Holek and the Preacher (Clyde Steeves) on December 23rd, 1960 in Long Beach, California. Holek and the Preacher soon regained the tag straps from Bockwinkel and Blears. The exact date of Holek and the Preacher regaining the International Television Tag Team Titles is not known.

However Nick bounced back by teaming with Edouard Carpentier to defeat Holek and the Preacher for the belts on January 4th, 1961 in Los Angeles, California. Bockwinkel and Carpentier enjoyed a four month reigns as champions before losing the belts to Mike Sharpe and the Zebra Kid (George Bollas) on May 12th, 1961 in Long Beach, California.

Shortly after dropping the tag titles in Long Beach, Nick headed to Texas. Bockwinkel received a sizeable push as an All American babyface in the Lone Star state and faced such villains as Iron Mike DiBiase, Waldo Von Erich, Angelo Poffo, Duke Keomuka, Ricky Cortez, Billy Varga, Thor Hagen, Gene Murphy, Corsica Joe and Corsica Jean. Nick also teamed with fellow fan favorites Lou Thesz, Dory Dixon and Rito Romero. Nick's biggest bout during his stay in Texas was a title shot against NWA champion Nature Boy Buddy Rogers which saw Rogers emerge victorious on July 25th, 1961 in Dallas, Texas.

Once he completed his stint in Texas, Nick Bockwinkel returned to California teaming with Wilbur Snyder and Johnny "Rubberman" Walker (Mr Wrestling II) a few times before going to Hawaii during early 1962. 

Wrestling Title Histories published by Royal Duncan and Gary Will shows Nick holding the Hawaiian version of the United States title in 1962. It isn't clear when or where Nick won the title but he is listed as the champion. Curtis Iaukea (King Curtis) defeated Nick Bockwinkel on June 6th, 1962 in Honolulu Hawaii to capture to the United States title. Nick would tour Hawaii many more times in his illustrious career.

In the early 60s, Nick Bockwinkel was often compared to Wilbur Snyder.  Snyder and Bockwinkel looked alike in that they both wore short flat top hair cuts, were good looking gentleman in tip top shape and were both generally the All American babyface type. Their wrestling styles were alike as well which wasn't surprise because Wilbur had a hand in training Nick to become a pro wrestler. In September of 1962, Bockwinkel and Snyder began teaming regularly in San Francisco for promoter Roy Shire. Nick and Wilbur were given a big push as the territory's top babyface tag team. On November 10th, 1962 at the Cow Palace in San Francisco, California, Nick Bockwinkel and Wilbur Snyder defeated Mitsu Arakawa and Kinji Shibuya to win the NWA World tag team titles.  More...

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