Remembering Adrian Adonis
Adrian Adonis joined the American Wrestling Association in the late 1970s, where he teamed with Jesse "The Body" Ventura to win the tag team titles.
Both he and Ventura joined the WWE in 1981, and Adonis was soon feuding with world heavyweight champion Bob Backlund and Intercontinental title holder Pedro Morales.
He also won the tag team title with Dick Murdoch, defeating Tony Atlas and Rocky Johnson, the father of Hollywood star Dwayne "The Rock" Johnson. They held the belts nine months before losing and splitting up. Adrian excelled in the tag team ranks and was known for his technical skills and promo abilities.
The bulk of Adrian’s career was spent as a leather clad bike but this isn’t how he is remembered. Like others before him and after, he was given the gimmick of a playing a very femnine character. Nobody before or since had played as over the top as Adonis did. He hosted the flower shop while wearing granny dresses and makeup. He enjoyed the gimmick and made it work. awhile playing the perceived stereotype, he actually inspired some of his fans to come out of the closet. His weight ballooned to the mid 300’s, yet his skill never changed. After his Wrestlemania III match with Roddy Piper he left the company. Vince McMahon had reneged on a 10,000 bonus he promised Adrian. He had gotten into better shape and was planning a NJPW run before died in a car accident a. Regardless of what his gimmick was, Adrian Adonis should be best remembered as one of the all time greats.
Other Aliases: Keith Franke (Real Name) The Golden Boy, “Adorable” Adrian Adonis
Billed From: U.S.A. (New York City, NY)
Key Championships Held: AWA World Tag Team (w/Jesse Ventura) NWA Americas Heavyweight NWA Americas Tag Team (2) (1w/Black Gordman, 1w/Roddy Piper) NWA Pacific North West Tag Team w/Ron Starr WWF World Tag Team (w/Dick Murdoch)
Five Greatest Matches/Moments: 1. Won AWA Tag Title w/Jesse Ventura (7/20/80) 2. Won WWF World Tag Title w/Dick Murdoch (4/17/84) 3. Beat Hulk Hogan by DQ in a World Title Shot (6/26/86) 4. Teamed with Randy Savage in Steel Cage loss to Bruno Sammartino & Tito Santana at MSG (7/12/86) 5. Lost the Hair VS Hair match to Roddy Piper which to some was the most important event of the historic card (3/29/87)