The National Wrestling Hall of Fame Dan Gable Museum announced on Friday that Adnan Bin Abdulkareem a.k.a. Adnan Alkaissy will be inducted into the George Tragos/Lou Thesz Pro Wrestling Hall of Fame during induction weekend on July 23-25.
Born and raised in Iraq, Alkaissy was an amateur wrestler and childhood classmate of Saddham Hussein. He came to the United States to play football at the University of Houston before transferring to Oklahoma State in 1957. He was a two-time All-American wrestler for the Cowboys, finishing fourth each year, and helped OSU win back-to-back NCAA team championships in 1958 and 1959.
Alkaissy was a professional wrestling manager and also a competitor, who competed as Sheik Adnan Al-Kaissy, Chief Billy White Wolf and General Adnan.
He returned to Iraq in 1969 and was asked by Hussein to introduce professional wrestling to the country in an effort to make Hussein more attractive to Iraqi citizens. Alkaissy became a superstar and one of the most popular celebrities in Iraq. In 1971 at Al-Shaab Stadium in Baghdad, he defeated Andre the Giant with Hussein in attendance. Fearing that his popularity would be perceived as threatening to Hussein, Alkaissy fled Iraq and returned to America where he continued his professional wrestling career.
Alkaissy competed in the World Wide Wrestling Federation, teaming with Jay Strongbow to defeat the Executioners on December 7, 1976 and win the World Tag Team Championship. In 1981 he joined the American Wrestling Association, facing AWA champion Nick Bockwinkel and defeating Baron Von Raschke, who was inducted into the Tragos/Thesz Pro Hall of Fame in 2002. He later teamed with Jerry Blackwell against Vern Gagne, who was inducted into the Tragos/Thesz Pro Hall of Fame in the Charter Class of 1999, and Mad Dog Vachon, who was inducted into the Tragos/Thesz Pro Hall of Fame in 2003, and with Boris Zhukov to battle the “Midnight Rockers” Shawn Michaels and Marty Jannetty. Following a neck injury in a match against Ken Patera, Sheik Adnan was forced to retire.
In 1990, Alkaissy joined the World Wrestling Federation as General Adnan and managed Sgt. Slaughter, who was inducted into the Tragos/Thesz Pro Hall of Fame in 2019. He competed in the 1991 SummerSlam with Slaughter and Colonel Mustafa in a handicap match, featuring Sid Justice as special guest referee, against Hulk Hogan and The Ultimate Warrior. He later joined American Wrestling Federation and managed “The Rat Pack” comprised of Bob Orton Jr, Mr. Hughes and Manny Fernandez. He also managed The Iron Sheik, who was inducted into the Tragos/Thesz Pro Hall of Fame in 2016. Alkaissy currently owns and operates the World All-Star Wrestling Alliance with Patera.
All-Access passes for induction weekend are available for $115 until May 31. All-Access Passes provide admission to all events, including a ticket to the Hall of Fame Banquet, a ringside seat at the Impact Pro Wrestling show, if available, and preferred access at the autograph signing. Some events are only open to All-Access Pass holders and distinguished guests.
Inductees and luminaries of the sport scheduled to attend induction weekend include:
Gerry Brisco: WWE® Hall of Famer, NWA World Junior Heavyweight Champion, NWA World Tag Team Champion, longtime WWE® talent scout and a member of the George Tragos/Lou Thesz Professional Wrestling Hall of Fame
JJ Dillon: leader of the legendary Four Horsemen and 2016 recipient of the Lou Thesz World Heavyweight Championship Award
Thunderbolt Patterson: WWA Tag Team Champion, NWA Brass Knuckles Champion, ordained minister and 2019 recipient of the Lou Thesz World Heavyweight Championship Award
Bob Roop: NWA United States Champion, won numerous regional titles, authored several books and 2006 inductee into the George Tragos/Lou Thesz Professional Wrestling Hall of Fame
Ken Shamrock: UFC Hall of Fame, NWA World Heavyweight Champion, WWF Tag Team Champion
Kevin Nash: Multiple world champion and founding member of the NWO
Wes Brisco: Former TNA Impact superstar and son of WWE® Hall of Famer Gerry Brisco
Tommy Rich: AWF Tag Team Champion, NWA Hall of Fame, WCW World Six-Man Tag Team Champion
Tony Garea: Five-time WWF World Tag Team Champion
Colt Cabana: NWA World Champion, independent wrestling superstar and host of “The Art of Wrestling” podcast
Ken Anderson: ACW Heavyweight Champion, TNA World Heavyweight Champion, WWE® United States Champion
Gary Jay: PWW Tag Team Champion, SLA Heavyweight Champion and PWF Heavyweight Champion
Curt Stallion: ACW Unified Champion, OSW Light Heavyweight Champion and PGP Cutting Edge Champion
PACO: AAW Heritage Champion and PGP Tag Team Champion
Dominic Garrini: Brazilian Jiu Jitsu gold medalist, PWF Tag Team Champion, SUP Bonestorm Champion and SUP Tag Team Champion
Madman Fulton: ASWA Heavyweight Champion, AWE/ARW Tag Team Champion and Mid-Ohio Tag Team Champion
Tony Atlas: WWE Tag Team Champion with the late Rocky Johnson and known as Mr. USA for his incredible physique and power