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MORE ON THE CAREER AND PASSING OF SKANDAR AKBAR

By Mike Johnson on 2010-08-20 09:05:13
I am very sad to report the passing of longtime Texas wrestling legend General Skandar Akbar, real name James Wehbna at the age of 75.  Akbar was found yesterday in his Garland, Texas home.

Akbar, who was active on the independent wrestling scene until his passing, actually broke into the business as a wrestler in the early 1960s and often credited the late Lou Thesz with teaching him a lot about the business, although his official trainer was Jimmy Young.  Akbar initially wrestled under his real name but at the suggestion of Fritz Von Erich, later adopted the Akbar moniker to play off of his legitimate Lebanese background to garner heel heat as a foreigner.

During his in-ring career, Akbar worked for WCW in Australia, the WWWF and a number of NWA based territories in Texas, Oklahoma and Georgia, among others.

As his in-ring career slowed down, Akbar, who had a great gift for gab, became a manager, the role he is most remembered for today.  As the turban wearing leader of Devastation, Inc. Akbar led many a heel into battle in both Mid-South and World Class Championship Wrestling, feuding with the likes of The Von Erichs and Eric Embry, among others as the evil Arabic Sheik bankrolled by the Middle Eastern oil companies trying to defeat the babyface forces. In the Southwest, where Oil was a major industry, Akbar's heat was off the charts. 

When World Class morphed into USWA and later left Texas (Jerry Jarrett owned the promotion by this point), Akbar worked for Global Wrestling and countless others Texas based promotions. He ended up becoming one of the senior voices and locker room leaders for multiple generations of performers.

In recent years, Akbar had appeared in many of the different documentaries made about the glory days of the World Class promotion and had recorded a number of shoot interviews.  Akbar had just appeared at the NWA Legends Fanfest several weeks back, where he had the chance to reunite with former tag team partner and good friend Danny Hodge as well as his former WCCW charge Kamala.

On behalf of everyone at PWInsider.com, I wish to express our deepest condolences to Akbar's family and friends, and to everyone in the Texas wrestling scene where he was an institution.

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