When Bobby Heenan broke Greg Gagne’s nose in Duluth

Retired professional wrestler Greg Gagne mentions a match in Duluth on the new Vice cable television series Tales from the Territories. The anecdote occurs after the 19-minute mark in episode 3, titled “AWA: Bodyslams in the Heartland.” (The embedded video above appears to be some sort of scrambled pirated version, but it gets the story across.)

According to Gagne, he and Jim Brunzell were in a tag-team match in an unnamed city, wrestling Nick Bockwinkel and Ray Stevens, managed by Bobby Heenan. “People kind of went a little crazy that night, they threw a chair in.” Gagne said. “Bobby Heenan, he ducked, and it hit me right on the nose.” Gagne went to a doctor to get his broken nose taken care of, and then …

“The next night I have to wrestle up in Duluth, and I’m wrestling Bobby, and he threw his head straight back and hit me right in the nose. Busted the fricken thing again.”

Based on the details of the story, the card in question was likely at the Duluth Arena in the summer of 1980.

The docuseries Tales from the Territories highlights stories from the early days of pro wrestling, when it was divided into territory-based promotions. Each episode features a group of wrestling luminaries sitting around a table, recounting memorable moments. The AWA episode aired on Oct. 18.

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