Sheik Adnan Al-Kaissy / General Adnan dies at 84

Sheik Adnan Al-Kaissy, one of several names the wrestler performed under, has died at the age of 84.

The news of Al-Kaissy’s death circulated on Wednesday afternoon of the colorful personality, who had major stints in Texas, Oregon, Hawaii, WWWF, and the AWA. He was involved in the controversial angle in the WWF in 1991 during the Gulf War as General Adnan.

He was born Abdul Kareem Ahmed Alkaissy El Farthie on March 1, 1939, in Baghdad, Iraq.

He left Iraq and ended up playing football at the University of House before transferring to Oklahoma State where he became a two-time All-American in amateur wrestling before getting involved in pro wrestling in the state. Given where he was attending school, the bridge to pro wrestling went through Leroy McGuirk, who helped break him into the business in 1959 as Billy White Wolf and portrayed a Native American.

Al-Kaissie was stationed in Texas during his early career wrestling throughout the state and winning the Houston version of the tag titles in February 1960 with Hogan Wharton by beating Man Mountain Managoff & Joe Christie.

His career took him to Oregon where he teamed and won titles with Johnny War Eagle, Bearcat Wright, Pepper Martin, and Shag Thomas and held the territory’s Northwest Heavyweight title twice in 1962 & 1963.

That was followed by Hawaii for Ed Francis in the early ‘60s and would be a constant throughout those territories while also making returns to Texas throughout the decade.

Hawaii was a major territory throughout his career where he won versions of its tag titles with Sam Steamboat, Jim Hady, and Peter Maivia, and singles gold with the Hawaii U.S. Heavyweight Championship.

Jim Barnett brought him to Australia for his World Championship Wrestling promotion in 1967 where he immediately won the vacant Australian Heavyweight title in a tournament for a short run as champion. He wrestled top names in the country including Dory Funk Jr., Nick Bockwinkel, Yvon Cormier, Killer Kowalski, and Don “The Spoiler” Jardine. His major match in the country occurred on August 20, 1973, when he lost to NWA Heavyweight Champion Jack Brisco in Auckland, New Zealand.

In 1974, he was booked for New Japan Pro Wrestling during its infancy and teamed with Nikolai Volkoff against Antonio Inoki & Seiji Sakaguchi on his first night at Korakuen Hall and lost to the company stalwarts during the Toukon Series Tag Tournament. Al-Kaissy & Volkoff beat Inoki & Sakaguchi four days later in a rematch while Inoki & Sakaguchi won the third match on September 10. Al-Kaissy had multiple singles matches with Inoki throughout the tour.

He was involved in major wrestling spectacles back in Iraq with stories of enormous crowds that have never been verified. In 2006, Al-Kaissy released his book that was full of tales and it became difficult to parse truth from fiction throughout his career when using the book as the basis for his career story.

After a stint in Championship Wrestling from Florida, he debuted in the WWWF in 1976 and won the tag titles with Chief Jay Strongbow on December 7 from Nikolai Volkoff & Tor Kamata on a DQ in Philadelphia. The duo never lost the titles after they vacated the belts in August 1977, and he left the territory. By the time the titles were declared vacant. Al-Kaissy’s last match during his run in New York saw him challenge Superstar Billy Graham for the WWWF title on August 4, 1977, in Rockland, Maine, and within two weeks had challenged Nick Bockwinkel for the AWA title and Graham for the WWWF title.

His most sustained run was in the AWA from 1981 until 1990 where he was among the top heel personalities in the territory and would manage the likes of Jerry Blackwell, Bruiser Brody, Ken Patera, and the Iron Sheik (the two would work together in WWF shortly after). As he was winding down his in-ring career, his presence as a manager took center stage with the various wrestlers he was paired with and against.

In 1990, he was brought into the WWF for a top program as General Adnan, the second for Sgt. Slaughter after Slaughter became an Iraqi sympathizer. This was for a run with the WWF Championship and working against Hulk Hogan at WrestleMania 7 in March of the following year. This coincided with the Gulf War and drew plenty of criticism for the poor taste of the angle. The company had to scale back from the L.A. Memorial Coliseum and move WrestleMania to the smaller L.A. Sports Arena as it was not selling well for that size of a venue.

Iron Sheik was added to the group and given the new moniker Col. Mustafa.

They continued with the angle after the Iraq war with Slaughter dropping the title at WrestleMania and losing a subsequent “Match Made in Hell” at that year’s SummerSlam with Hogan & Ultimate Warrior beating Slaughter, Mustafa & Adnan at Madison Square Garden.

The last ounce of momentum for the program was turning Slaughter babyface and wrestling Adnan & Mustafa around the country before Adnan left in early 1992.

He continued with a handful of matches and tried his hand at promoting before having his last match in January 1998.

SLAM Wrestling reported he had been in poor health prior to his passing.

Several notes courtesy: 
SLAM Wrestling 

About John Pollock 5623 Articles
Born on a Friday, John Pollock is a reporter, editor & podcaster at POST Wrestling. He runs and owns POST Wrestling alongside Wai Ting.