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Superstar Billy Graham

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Billygraham

As WWWF Champion in '77

Superstar Billy Graham -- (born June 7, 1943, as Eldridge Wayne Coleman, in Paradise Valley, AZ) is a legendary wrestler, best known for laying the groundwork for Hulk Hogan, Jesse "The Body" Ventura, Scott Steiner, and countless other WWE Superstars. He beat Bruno Sammartino in April 1977 for the WWWF World heavyweight championship and reigned through the remainder of the year, selling out WWWF's home venue Madison Square Garden for 19 out of his 20 title defenses before losing the title Bob Backlund in February 1978. According to Graham himself, that 95% is the highest percentage of any champion in WWF history.

Superstar Billy Graham was the storyline brother of Dr. Jerry Graham (one of Vince McMahon's all-time favorite wrestlers), so Vince brought Superstar back to the WWF in the mid-1980s but years of anabolic steroid abuse left his body unable to handle the physical activity, as painfully evident in his steel cage match with Butch "The Natural" Reed. He was put on color commentary for SummerSlam '88 but for unknown reasons, he was fired from the WWF shortly thereafter.

Unfortunately, Ventura made an "enemy for life" (as Gorilla Monsoon would say) out of the WWF by appearing on the talk show circuit to speak ill of Vince and the WWF during Sex, Steroids, & Scandals of 1992. Upon receiving a life-saving liver transplant from Katie Gilroy, Superstar Billy Graham reevaluated his life and wrote an apology letter to the McMahon family in 2003. They accepted his apology (sorry Gorilla!) and invited him to SummerSlam 2003 in his hometown of Phoenix, Arizona, and a few months later, they inducted him into the WWE Hall of Fame in 2004.

Unfortunately, Superstar Billy Graham has since sold his Hall of Fame ring after another dispute with WWE, specifically for inducting Abdullah The Butcher (the irony is that numerous people were against Graham's induction).

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