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Brisco sets the standard for excellence at the Hall of Fame
By BRIAN HOOPS - For SLAM! Wrestling


Jim Ross and Gerald Brisco at the 2011 George Tragos/Lou Thesz Professional Wrestling Hall of Fame weekend. Photo by Joyce Paustien

WATERLOO, Iowa -- Half of one of the greatest brother tag teams in professional wrestling history returns to the George Tragos/Lou Thesz Professional Wrestling Hall of Fame in Waterloo, Iowa, for its annual induction weekend July 12-13.

Wrestling legend Gerald Brisco, together with his older brother Jack, formed one of the most formidable tag teams in professional wrestling history. Brisco, himself a 2005 inductee into the George Tragos/Lou Thesz Hall of Fame, is excited to return to Waterloo.

"Waterloo has such a wrestling history. I couldn't ask for any better people to work with as the staff at the Hall of Fame. It's a thrill for me to go to the Hall of Fame every year," explains Brisco.

Brisco, 66, was a standout amateur wrestler at Oklahoma State University. Brisco's older brother, Jack, who is nine years older and passed away in 2010, was already wrestling professionally in 1968 and helped break his brother in the business that year.

Brisco went on to have a tremendous singles career, winning the Southern Heavyweight and Florida titles as well as several other NWA regional titles. In 1981, Brisco won the NWA World Junior Heavyweight Championship by defeating Les Thorton. As a tag team, the Brisco Brothers were a dominant force, winning the NWA World Tag Team Championship three times as well as numerous regional tag team championships.


In 1984, contemplating retirement and recognizing the national expansion plans of the WWF and Vince McMahon Jr., the Briscos sold their majority interest in Georgia Championship Wrestling and the Saturday afternoon timeslot on WTBS to McMahon. The sale effectively put Georgia Championship Wrestling out of business and gave the WWF its first national exposure.

Brisco began working in the front office of the WWF as well as booker and a road agent before retiring in 2009. In 2010, Brisco returned to the WWF as a talent scout. Now his time is mostly spent looking for the best amateur competitors to make the transition to professional wrestling.

"Jim Ross handles the football side of scouting and I handle the wrestling side. I go to all the major events and three of the last four years, the national wrestling tournament has been held in the state of Iowa, so I spent quite a bit of time in the winter in the state of Iowa," Brisco explains.

"I attend all these events and see who I think would qualify to be a WWE superstar and invite them to attend a tryout camp."

Brisco, along with fellow inductee Jim Ross, will be conducting a professional wrestling try out seminar in conjunction with Troy Peterson from Impact Pro Wrestling at noon on Friday, July 12.

"The WWE puts on two camps per year, but this camp, with Troy and the Hall of Fame, is one of the best camps. There has been one wrestler from each of the last two years who has come to a WWE tryout camp. Unfortunately, no one has been signed to a WWE contract, but this year may be the year, you never know."

"It's a fun weekend, an enjoyable weekend. The emotion comes out from everybody at the banquet during their acceptance speech, it will be a great night for everyone," Brisco said.

Tickets to the Impact Professional Wrestling Show on Friday, July 12 are $20 for ringside and $15 for general admission.

Tickets to the George Tragos/Lou Thesz Professional Wrestling Hall of Fame banquet at Five Sullivan Brothers Convention Center at $50.

All-access passes have sold out.

Tickets to either event may be ordered by calling (319) 233-0745 for e-mailing dgmstaff@nwhof.org.

Schedule of events
Friday, July 12
Noon – Professional wrestling tryout with Gerald Brisco and Jim Ross at Five Sullivan Brothers Convention Center.
5:30 p.m. – Doors open to the public for Impact Pro Wrestling show at Five Sullivan Brothers Convention Center. Autograph signing begins.
7 p.m. – Impact Pro Wrestling show featuring Colt Cabana.
Saturday, July 13
9 a.m. – Special live broadcast of Takedown Wrestling Radio with Scott Casber and Steve Foster at the Dan Gable Museum.
11 a.m. – History of WWE presentation with "NY Times” Bestselling Author & WWE Biographer, Brian Shields.
Noon—Mixed Martial Arts seminar with Matt Hughes in the Dan Gable Teaching Center inside the National Wrestling Hall of Fame.
1 p.m.—Fan Fest at the National Wrestling Hall of Fame Dan Gable Museum. Fan Fest includes a tribute to the American Wrestling Association, historic wrestling matches playing in the theater, and Q & A with Mick Karch, and an AWA reunion.
2:30—Autograph signing with professional wrestling legends at the Hall of Fame.
5 p.m.—Hall of Fame reception at Five Sullivan Brothers Convention Center.
6 p.m.—Induction banquet at Five Sullivan Brothers Convention Center.
7 p.m.—Induction ceremony at Five Sullivan Brothers Convention Center with Arda Ocal as the master of ceremonies.


RELATED LINKS
  • Jack and Jerry Brisco story archive
  • George Tragos/Lou Thesz Professional Wrestling Hall of Fame website
  • Previous SLAM! Wrestling George Tragos/Lou Thesz Professional Wrestling Hall of Fame coverage

    Brian Hoops is a freelance writer, covering professional wrestling and MMA. His email address is brian.hoops44@gmail.com and you can follow Brian on twitter at Twitter: @awafan.