|Birth name||George Emile Stipich|
|Born||April 13, 1937|
Arvida, Quebec, Canada
|Died||June 19, 1997 (aged 60)|
Portland, Oregon, United States
|Cause of death||Heart failure|
(m. 1955; died 1984)
|Family||Shawn Stasiak (son)|
|Professional wrestling career|
|Ring name(s)||Stan Stasiak|
|Billed height||6 ft 4 in (1.93 m)|
|Billed weight||270 lb (120 kg)|
|Billed from||Buzzard Creek, Oregon|
George Emile Stipich (April 13, 1937 – June 19, 1997) was a Canadian professional wrestler, better known by his ring name Stan Stasiak. He is best known for his appearances with the World Wide Wrestling Federation (WWWF) in the 1970s, where he won the WWWF Heavyweight Championship in 1973. In 2018, he was inducted into the WWE Hall of Fame in the Legacy wing.
Professional wrestling career
Under his birth name, George Stipich, he made his wrestling debut in Quebec, Canada. He used the nickname "Crusher" early in his career, and a bear hug for a finisher. Later, he was nicknamed "The Man", with a heart punch as his finishing move. He adopted his ring name from another wrestler named Stanley Stasiak (real name Ignacy Josef Stasiak) who had died in 1931 from sepsis stemming from a match with Ed Don George in Toronto.
World Wide Wrestling Federation (1971–1979)
During his stay with World Wide Wrestling Federation from 1971-1979, Stasiak would get one of the biggest opportunities of his career, as he won the WWWF Heavyweight Championship on December 1, 1973, defeating Pedro Morales, who held the championship for nearly three years. Unlike wrestlers today, Stasiak was given little notice about winning the title before it took place. According to him, he was sitting in the dressing room in Philadelphia and the road agent came to discuss the match. Stasiak considered this a formality as he had been having the same discussion, nearly verbatim, in every major city on the Eastern seaboard for the last two months. However, this time it was different, as the agent told Stasiak that Morales was to give him a belly-to-back suplex and as the ref makes the count, Stasiak raises his shoulder up after two, while Morales' shoulder stays down, thus Stasiak would win the championship. According to friend and fellow wrestler Frank Dusek, the company wanted to make Bruno Sammartino its champion again, but did not want Sammartino to defeat then champion Morales in the process, so they needed a heel wrestler to win it. Stasiak was used as a transitional champion, defeating Morales for the championship belt and holding it for just nine days before dropping it to Sammartino on December 10, 1973.
Stasiak also had a WWWF Heavyweight Championship title shot against Superstar Billy Graham in 1977.
In 1974 to 1975, Stasiak fought Johnny Valentine in NWA Mid Atlantic and Toronto. He received an AWA World Heavyweight Championship title shot against Nick Bockwinkel in 1978 in Toronto. From there he went to Pacific Northwest where he teamed with Roddy Piper. In the early 1980s, he did commentary there and also worked as a photographer.
For several years he was the tag team partner of The Gladiator and wrestled primarily out of the Cow Palace in the San Francisco area. Stasiak and The Gladiator maintained a fairly long term rivalry with the team of Ray Stevens and Peter Maivia. Stasiak left the WWWF in 1979.
Stipich died of heart failure on June 19, 1997.
Stipich had two children: a daughter, Brittany, and a son, Shawn, who also wrestled professionally as Shawn Stasiak. He was survived by his widow Kimberly Stasiak.
Championships and accomplishments
- Cauliflower Alley Club
- Other honoree (1996)
- Georgia Championship Wrestling
- NWA Macon Heavyweight Championship (1 time)
- Maple Leaf Wrestling
- NWA All-Star Wrestling
- NWA Big Time Wrestling
- NWA Western States Sports
- National Wrestling Federation
- Pacific Northwest Wrestling
- Ring Around The Northwest Newsletter
- Wrestler of the Year (1965)
- Stampede Wrestling
- World Championship Wrestling (Australia)
- World Wide Wrestling Federation/WWE
- Shields, Brian; Sullivan, Kevin (2009). WWE Encyclopedia. Dorling Kindersley. p. 284. ISBN 978-0-7566-4190-0.
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- "Stampede Wrestling Hall of Fame (1948-1990)". Puroresu Dojo. 2003.
- "WWWF/WWF/WWE World Heavyweight Title". Wrestling-Titles.com. Retrieved August 24, 2012.
- "2018 WWE HALL OF FAME LEGACY WING INDUCTEES ARE.... | PWInsider.com". www.pwinsider.com. Retrieved 2018-04-06.