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Former NWF promoter Johnny Powers passes away at 79 years old

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Johnny Powers, a professional wrestler who later became a promoter for the National Wrestling Federation, has passed away at the age of 79.

Slam Wrestling reported that Powers passed away on December 30 at his home in Smithville, Ontario, Canada.

Powers made his debut in pro wrestling back in 1960, working for the Detroit territory. He also competed in the World Wide Wrestling Federation, where he challenged Bruno Sammartino for the WWWF Championship. He also had title matches with Lou Thesz for the NWA World Heavyweight Championship.

As a promoter, Powers and Pedro Martinez took what was then the Buffalo territory and founded the National Wrestling Federation. The promotion ran worldwide, distributing their television show, Championship Wrestling with Johnny Powers, both in the United States and internationally. Powers sold the promotion to New Japan Pro Wrestling in 1973, where the NWF Championship was used as the company’s major championship through 1981.

Powers retired from pro wrestling in 1982 and largely left the business. At one time, he ran a wrestling school with Sweet Daddy Siki before Ron Hutchinson became a trainer, with Siki and Hutchinson later training wrestlers such as Edge, Gail Kim, and Trish Stratus.