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Oklahoma State mat alum Kaisy to be welcomed into pro wrestling hall

A former professional wrestler who competed for the storied Oklahoma State wrestling program in the late 1950s will be welcomed into a leading pro wrestling hall of fame this summer.

The National Wrestling Hall of Fame Dan Gable Museum of Waterloo, Iowa announced that Adnan Bin Abdulkareem -- also known as Adnan Alkaissy in his pro wrestling career -- will be inducted into the George Tragos/Lou Thesz Pro Wrestling Hall of Fame during induction weekend on July 23-25, 2020.

A native of Iraq, Alkaissy wrestled for the Oklahoma State Cowboys as Adnan Kaisy from February 1958 through March 1959, according to WrestlingStats.com.

Adnan Kaisy
Kaisy made history as the first foreign-born athlete to wrestle for head coach Myron Roderick, a few years before Yojiro Uetake of Japan won three NCAA championships for Roderick and his Cowboys in the mid-1960s. (Ninety years ago, Canadian-born Earl McCready claimed three NCAA heavyweight titles under legendary coach Ed Gallagher at Oklahoma State in 1928-30).

In his two seasons at Oklahoma State wrestling at heavyweight and at 191 pounds, Kaisy compiled an overall record of 13-6-0. He was a two-time NCAA All-American, placing fourth at 191 at the 1958 and 1959 national championships, and placed third at the 1958 Big Eight conference championships in the "unlimited" weight class. (Until the mid-1980s, there was no top weight limit in what was -- and still is -- generically referred to as the "heavyweight" weight class that now has a limit of 285 pounds.)

In addition to his individual accomplishments, Kaisy was a key member of the Oklahoma State wrestling team that won NCAA team titles in 1958 and 1959.

While with the Cowboys, Adnan Kaisy wrestled some of the nation's best big men. Among his college mat opponents: University of Oklahoma's Gordon Roesler, 1956 NCAA heavyweight champ, as well as two-time NCAA heavyweight champ Dale Lewis of the Oklahoma Sooners (1960-61) ... University of Nebraska's Dan Brand, bronze medalist in freestyle at the 1964 Tokyo Olympics ... Iowa's Jim Craig, 1959 NCAA champ at 177 pounds ... and Tim Woodin of Michigan State, two-time NCAA runner-up (1958 at 177 pounds; 1959 at 191).

Kaisy isn't the only collegiate mat star of the late 1950s to go pro. College rivals Tim Woodin and Dale Lewis also became professional wrestlers.

After graduating from Oklahoma State, Kaisy launched his professional wrestling career, where he was known at various times of his career as Sheik Adnan Al-Kaissy, Chief Billy White Wolf and General Adnan. He also worked as a professional wrestling manager. The 80-year-old Alkaissy currently owns and operates the World All-Star Wrestling Alliance with former pro wrestler Ken Patera. (A more detailed presentation of the former Cowboy's pro wrestling career is incorporated into the Tragos/Thesz Pro Hall of Fame announcement .)

Prior to coming to the U.S., Kaisy wrestled freestyle in his native Iraq.

The George Tragos-Lou Thesz Professional Wrestling Hall of Fame is dedicated to successful professional wrestlers who have a background in amateur wrestling. According to the Pistols Firing blog covering Oklahoma State sports, Kaisy will join six other fellow former Cowboy wrestlers who have already been inducted into that Hall of Fame, including Jack Brisco (2001), Leroy McGuirk (2004), Jerry Brisco and Earl McCready (2005), Randy Couture (George Tragos Award, 2014) and Daniel Cormier (George Tragos Award, 2019).

All-Access passes for induction weekend are available for $115 until May 31. All-Access Passes provide admission to all events, including a ticket to the Hall of Fame Banquet, a ringside seat at the Impact Pro Wrestling show, if available, and preferred access at the autograph signing. Some events are only open to All-Access Pass holders and distinguished guests. Passes may be ordered by emailing dgmstaff@nwhof.org or calling (319) 233-0745.

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