The Magnificent Muraco
Muraco at the WWE Hall Of Fame
Magnificent Muraco is well remembered by anyone
who followed WWE during the 1980s as one of the
truly elite Superstars, as well as one of the
most hated competitors the game has ever seen.
His arrogant demeanor and total disregard for
the rules drew him the instant disdain of fans
far and wide, who greeted him with chants of “Beach
Bum” as he did battle with their favorite
heroes. Whether under the management of the late
Grand Wizard, Capt. Lou Albano (both WWE Hall
of Famers) or Mr. Fuji, Muraco was a force to
be reckoned with. He was a two-time Intercontinental
Champion, holding the title longer than nearly
any other competitor, and his wars for that title
with Pedro Morales are the stuff of legend. His
60-minute classics with WWE Champion Bob Backlund
are among WWE’s most revered matchups, as
is his famous 1983 steel-cage bout with Jimmy
“Superfly” Snuka at MSG.
in his WWE career, Muraco finally won over the
hearts of the masses, taking on Superstar Billy
Graham as his manager and hearing the cheers of
the crowd for the first time. The first WWE Superstar
to be called “The Rock,” he took part
in the WWE Championship tournament held at WrestleMania
IV. In 1996, Muraco inducted his longtime rival
Snuka into the WWE Hall of Fame.
Muraco, also known as The Magnificent Muraco was a
Hawaiian professional wrestler in the 1970s, 1980s,
Born Don Morrow on September 10, 1949, Muraco wrestled
in the old American Wrestling Association (AWA), and
several National Wrestling Alliance territories (including
Vancouver-based NWA All-Star Wrestling, Georgia Championship
Wrestling and Jim Crockett Promotions). His greatest
success was in the early 80's in the World Wrestling
Entertainment (WWE) where he held the Intercontinental
Championship twice for a combined period of almost
18 months. The hugely muscular and genuinely intimidating
Don Muraco had bloody feuds with Pedro Morales, Bob
Backlund, Rocky Johnson and Jimmy
Snuka. Muraco's character was based on being an
incredibly arrogant heel, and in one of his more famous
moments, he brought a sandwich to the ring and ate
it during the match as a show of disrespect to his
opponent. During his tenure in the WWE, Muraco had
several colorful managers (The Grand Wizard, Captain
Lou Albano, Mr. Fuji, and Superstar Billy Graham).
Fuji and Muraco famously debuted Fuji Vice, a soap
opera starring them (and parodying Miami Vice) on
Tuesday Night Titans in 1985 (Fuji General Hospital,
a parody of the ABC soap General Hospital, followed
soon after). It is rumored that Muraco was fired from
the WWF in late 1988 after supposedly "disrespecting"
booker Nick Bockwinkel; after that, Muraco split his
time between Stampede Wrestling (where he defeated
Makhan Singh to win the North American Heavyweight
title), the AWA and Herb Abrams' UWF, where he feuded
with a young Cactus Jack.
the early 90's Muraco was one of the first to hold
the ECW World Heavyweight Championship,
before it became Extreme Championship Wrestling. Ironically,
the first was his old rival Snuka.
Muraco wrestled mostly as a heel, his intensity, charisma
and cockiness won him many fans, especially in New
York and Philadelphia. Along with Ric
Flair, Jake Roberts, Roddy
Piper, and Randy Savage,
Muraco was a precursor to the 90's attitude era when
lines were blurred between heels and babyface. He
was the first wrestler to be known as "the Rock",
originally simply as a play on his name, and his finishing
maneuvre, which The Undertaker would later call the
"tombstone", was the infamous reverse piledriver.
retiring from the ring, Muraco returned to Hawaii.
In 2003 he founded Hawaii Championship Wrestling,
and is the current commissioner and Director of Operations.
In 2004, he was inducted into the WWE Hall of Fame
by Mick Foley, who, like other such as Tommy Dreamer
and Brother Ray Deadly, credits a famous Intercontinental
title match between Muraco and Snuka he attended at
Madison Square Garden as his inspiration for breaking
into professional wrestling.
Finishing and signature moves
Top Turnbuckle Splash
Falling Headbutt to the abdomen
Face First Piledriver (ECW)
"Superstar" Billy Graham
Captain Lou Albano
The Grand Wizard
Sir Oliver Humperdink
Championships and accomplishments
World Wrestling Federation
2-Time WWF Intercontinental Champion
1985 King of the Ring (non PPV)
Member of WWE Hall of Fame (inducted 2004)
National Wrestling Alliance
1-Time NWA United States Heavyweight Champion (San
1-Time NWA World Tag Team Champion (San Francisco
version) (with The Invader)
1-Time NWA America's Heavyweight Champion
1-Time NWA Pacific International Heavyweight Champion
1-Time NWA Hawaii Tag Team Champion (with Rick Martel)
Eastern/Extreme Championship Wrestling
2-Time ECW World Heavyweight Champion
Florida Championship Wrestling
1-Time Florida Heavyweight Champion
1-Time Florida Television Champion
1-Time Florida United States Tag Team Champion (with
1-Time New Zealand British Commonwealth Champion
1-Time Polynesian Pacific Wrestling Heavyweight Champion
1-Time ACCW Heavyweight Champion
1-Time Stampede Wrestling North American Heavyweight
Pro Wrestling Illustrated
Pro Wrestling Illustrated (PWI) ranked him # 50 of
the 500 best singles wrestlers of the "PWI Years"
Wrestling Observer Newsletter
1981 Best Heel
Muraco won the first King of the Ring tournament in
1985--eight years before it became an annual Pay-Per-View.
The Grand Wizard is the godfather of Muraco's daughter.
The Magnificent One defeated an opponent once while
eating a sandwich!
Known as one of the few wrestling legends with a move
set that was constantly in flux. Continued adding
new moves to his repertoire even into the 1990s.
WWE Hall Of Fame Profile
Hawai'i Championship Wrestling - Muraco's home promotion