Biography: Baron Von Raschke Sept 7, 2012 9:27:24 GMT -5
Post by JoshiQ on Sept 7, 2012 9:27:24 GMT -5
Baron Von Raschke
GCW Feud of the Year x 1 - 1973 (Lou Albano)
GCW Most Popular x 1 - 1974
GCW Newcomer of the Year x 1 - 1971
PWI Singles Ranking: #14 (1980)
Key Feuds: Tony Garea, Bobby Heenan, Capt. Lou Albano, Ivan Koloff, Baron Mikel Scicluna, Blackjack Lanza, Harley Race
Baron Von Raschke made his GCW debut on May 30, 1971. Tony Garea had earned the right to face Capt. Lou Albano in a cage match due to a six-man tag victory with Gorilla Monsoon and Haystacks Calhoun against Dick the Bruiser, The Crusher, and Baron Mikel Scicluna. Garea had his way with Albano inside the steel cage, but after the match was over, Raschke came to the ring where he tore the cage door right off of its hinges. Raschke laid Garea out with the Claw, and Albano promised that anyone who messed with him would get the same treatment. Baron Von Raschke defeated Tony Garea in his in-ring debut, and followed that up with a victory over Dominic DeNucci that didn't even go two minutes. He defeated a young Billy Graham next, but Luke Graham was there to save his brother from an extended assault with the Claw after the match. Raschke would defeat Luke Graham on August 20, 1971 by submission in the biggest victory of his career at the time.
Capt. Lou Albano paired the undefeated Baron Von Raschke up with Baron Mikel Scicluna to continue the feud with the Graham Brothers. Raschke and Scicluna defeated Luke and Eddie Graham in their first attempt at teaming together. A rematch was held, but the Barons were successful once again. Luke Graham would hand Baron Von Raschke his first singles defeat on November 8, 1971 with the Thumb to the Throat after he weakened the hand of Raschke to avoid the Claw. Albano decided to stick with Raschke and Scicluna as a team where they defeated the likes of Chief Jay Strongbow and Billy White Wolf and the High Flyers. Albano cut ties with Dick the Bruiser and The Crusher on March 3, 1972, slapping them in the process, which led to Albano almost being torn to bits. Raschke and Scicluna made the save for their manager. The Barons won this brief feud with Crusher and the Bruiser when Raschke forced Crusher to submit to the Claw. Raschke and Scicluna would remain undefeated as a team by destroying Dominic DeNucci and Johnny Weaver in tag team action. Raschke went a bit too far when he applied the Claw on Weaver and left it on for five minutes. Weaver had to be stretchered out of the arena.
DeNucci joined up with Albano's old nemesis, Tony Garea, and the two men handed Raschke and Scicluna their first loss as a tag team by countout on June 1, 1972. Raschke and Scicluna got a bit of revenge by costing Garea and DeNucci their shot at the World Tag Team Titles against Mr. Fuji and Toru Tanaka. In the process, Albano received a handful of salt to the eyes by the champions. The Barons received their first shot at the Tag Team Titles on July 19, 1972 against Fuji and Tanaka, but the match would end with a disqualification victory for the Barons when Garea and DeNucci became involved. A match with Garea and DeNucci on September 11, 1972 to determine who would go on to face the champions later on in the night did not go in their favor when Garea surprised Scicluna with a small package. Garea and DeNucci went went on to win the World Tag Team Titles later on in the night against Fuji and Tanaka.
Albano and the Barons attempted to work their way back up to title contention with several victories over the High Flyers. They also defeated former rivals Tony Garea and Dominic DeNucci, who had just lost the Tag Team Titles to the Cripplers. With that victory they earned a shot at the straps. The title match would not go as planned when Bobby Heenan, manager of the Cripplers, spit on Baron Von Raschke to distract him from applying the Claw on Nick Bockwinkel. Raschke chased Heenan from the ring but was counted out in the process. Raschke would get a chance at revenge when he faced Bobby Heenan in a match on February 14, 1973, but it would end in a disqualification when Jimmy Snuka made the save for his manager. Later on in the evening, Capt. Lou Albano announced he would team with Baron Mikel Scicluna to try and take the Tag Team Titles from the Cripplers. They would be unsuccessful when Raschke came to ringside and chased Heenan aroudn the ring only to be nailed with a wooden chair by Jimmy Snuka. Raschke was busted wide open, and Albano was pinned by Ray Stevens during the ruckus.
Raschke would turn his focus back to singles action when he faced Snuka where if he won, he'd get Heenan in a steel cage match. Raschke would defeat Snuka after Heenan's interference backfired and would be given the chance to face Heenan in the cage on May 2, 1973. Heenan and Snuka split after the match when Heenan berated Snuka for the loss, and Snuka headbutted the Brain. Before the match could take place, Capt. Lou Albano announced he had come to a business agreement with Heenan, and Raschke was to take a dive for Heenan. Raschke refused and broke ties with the Captain. Raschke destroyed Heenan inside the cage, but Albano had a backup plan as he brought Ivan Koloff to the ring. Koloff nailed Raschke with a chain assisted Russian Sickle leading to Heenan picking up the victory over the Baron.
Baron Von Raschke had a hard fought battle with Ivan Koloff in which Koloff emerged victorious. Raschke continued his feud with Albano, feuding with his former tag team partner, Baron Mikel Scicluna. Raschke dominated most of the matches with Scicluna, but was unable to get his hands on Albano. Baron Von Raschke was granted his first shot at the World Title against Albano's top man, Pedro Morales, on September 14, 1973. Raschke came extremely close to winning the title when he had Morales locked in the Claw, but Albano nailed him with his cane to cause a disqualification. Raschke offered a match to Albano where if Albano could defeat him he would leave GCW. On October 3, 1973 Raschke would defeat Capt. Lou Albano after interference from Baron Mikel Scicluna backfired. His celebration would be short lived, however, as he was attacked after the match by Blackjack Lanza led by manager Bobby Heenan.
Lanza's explanation for his attack was that Raschke had stolen his move, the Claw. Raschke's feud with Heenan was reignited. Raschke would defeat Lanza, handing Lanza his first loss in GCW, in a match that required the use of the Claw to end it. Lanza at one point had Raschke in the Claw for a minute, but Raschke fought back, threw Lanza into an exposed steel turnbuckle, and applied his own Claw for the submission victory. Baron Von Raschke referred to himself as the “Claw Master” after his victory, but he would lose the rematch to Lanza after Heenan interfered. The feud with Lanza continued on March 2, 1974 when Raschke no-showed the event due to the tires of his car being mysteriously slashed. He was scheduled to team with Ernie Ladd to do battle with the Cripplers. Jimmy Snuka took his place. Raschke would taking the deciding pinfall in a six-man tag with Snuka/Ladd as partners against Heenan's Cripplers and Lanza when Lanza used a pair of brass knuckles and Bockwinkel hit him with the Piledriver. Lanza had taken to using the brass knuckles several times against Raschke, and so they met in a Brass Knuckles on a Pole Match on April 19, 1974. Neither man was quite able to make it up the pole to retrieve the brass knux, so Heenan shimmied up the pole to grab them. Raschke was there to nail Heenan, grab the knux, and nail Lanza in the jaw with them. Raschke locked on his Claw to get the submission victory over Lanza.
Heenan had an emergency plan in place, however, as another one of his charges, Bobby Duncum blasted Raschke with his cowboy boot after the match. Duncum took his time in carving up Raschke with a spur on his boot before Ivan Koloff, who had broken off from Albano, made the save. Koloff had a World Title defense against Duncum later on in the evening. Raschke and Koloff would team together to face Blackjack Lanza and Bobby Duncum with Koloff taking his first pinfall loss when Albano debuted Nikolai Volkoff, who cost Koloff the match. Raschke would let Koloff handle the feud with Albano as he went back to face Heenan and Duncum. On July 3, 1974 Raschke defeated Duncum in a Chicago Streefight when he got revenge for an earlier attack by carving Duncum up with the spur of a boot, locking in the Claw, and getting the submission victory.
Baron Von Raschke would have some peace for a couple of months before facing Toru Tanak on August 26, 1974. Raschke lost the match via disqualification due to some referee manipulation, and to top it off, Fuji blew mist in Raschke's eyes. During his feud with Fuji/Tanaka, he defeated Pedro Morales, a man who had just lost the World Title a few months earlier, on September 15, 1974 in just over a minute with the Claw. Raschke would also defeat Morales in a rematch after Tanaka and Fuji interfered. Gorilla Monsoon and Dino Bravo would make the save. Monsoon, Bravo, and Raschke defeated Tanaka, Fuji, and Morales on November 11, 1974 when Raschke avoided the mist by Fuji, and forced Fuji to pass out from the Claw.
Raschke's life would forever change when he defeated Ray Stevens in singles action on December 30, 1974. This was Stevens' first foray back into singles wrestling after Nick Bockwinkel had just left GCW leaving the Cripplers disbanded. Stevens wanted revenge for his loss, and he got it on December 30, 1974 when he cost Raschke a match against Ox Baker, and then with Baker's help, came off the top rope with the Bombs Away Kneedrop to break the Baron's leg. On January 13, 1975 Jack Brisco returned after a five year absence to defeat Ray Stevens to get some sort of revenge for Raschke.
Baron Von Raschke would leave wrestling until July 7, 1979 when he wrestled on the debut show of the NWF. Raschke had gone back to his rule breaking ways, teaming up with a new manager, Percy Pringle. Raschke destroyed his first couple of competitors, but ran into a roadblock in ring veteran Chief Jay Strongbow. Raschke would get Strongbow locked in the Claw, but the Chief made it to the ropes. Raschke refused to release the hold and was disqualified, but he left Strongbow lying. Raschke defeated Jim Brunzell on September 15, 1979, but Strongbow was there to make the save before Raschke could do any further damage. Raschke would suffer his first pinfall loss since returning to wrestling on October 13, 1979 when Chief Jay Strongbow paired up with Harley Race to defeat him and Billy Graham. Strongbow pinned Raschke after a Tomahawk Chop. Raschke would settle the feud once and for all when he defeated Strongbow in a First Blood Match thanks to interference from his manager, Percy Pringle.
He continued to defeat lower mid-card talent, but on January 12, 1980 he took a huge step forward when Pringle challenged World Champion Harley Race to a match with Raschke. Raschke would ambush Race on the next show, locking him in the Claw for a moment to show he was capable of putting it on Race whenever he wanted. Raschke would lose his second shot at a World Title on March 8, 1980 when Race pinned him with a double underhook suplex. This was Raschke's first pinfall loss in the NWF in singles action. Race and Raschke would continue to feud for most of the summer of 1980, Raschke even pinning Race in tag team action on April 19, 1980. Raschke would take another loss against Race on May 3, 1980 when he locked in the Claw, but Race brought him down with a small package for the three count. Raschke refused to release his Claw after the match, and several wrestlers had to make the save.
On July 5, 1980 Baron Von Raschke fought Harley Race for the World Title in the first ever Iron Man Match. Race would win the match three falls to two despite Raschke going up 2-0 in the early goings of the bout. Raschke would stick around the mid-card until September 20, 1980 when he lost a top contender's match for the US Title by submission to Tony Atlas. Raschke split a couple of matches with Ole Anderson in the latter stages of 1980 leading up to a match where Percy Pringle would be banned from ringside. Ole won the rubber match leaving Raschke to try to get back on track.
In trying to get back to his monster ways, Raschke teamed with Mr. Fuji to face the Von Erich Brothers on January 3, 1981. Fuji was looking for a partner after Toru Tanaka left the NWF. A disagreement between Percy Pringle and Fuji's manager, Skandor Akbar, led to Pringle demanding Raschke leave the match. Raschke would briefly feud with Akbar's stable, Devastation Inc., mostly revolved around Pringle's claims that he was a better manager than Akbar. It all came to a head in a match between Raschke and Crusher Blackwell on March 7, 1981 where Blackwell would defeat Raschke after hitting him with a chair. Pringle berated Raschked after the match, but the Baron retaliated by locking in the Claw on his own manager.
Raschke attempted to continue his career without Pringle, but after losing by submission to Chief Jay Strongbow on April 4, 1981 he announced he was leaving America. It wouldn't last long as Raschke returned back home to GCW on October 3, 1981. He returned to be part of Paul Jones' Army, costing Bill Eadie a Boot Camp Match against Sgt. Slaughter in the process. A match between Raschke and Eadie ended in disqualification due to Slaughter's interference. A tag match was signed between Raschke and Slaughter to go up against Ricky Steamboat and Bill Eadie, but Jones announced before the match that he had fired Raschke for not getting behind his message. The return to GCW was short-lived. It was later revealed that Raschke was unhappy with his placement on the card, thinking his return to GCW would lead to him being higher up on the card. Raschke joined the AWA whom he thought would better appreciate his talent.