HALL OF FAMER
|Mighty Igor debuted in the AWA in November of 1964, doing the fan out of the stands gimmick. He was a regular from then until April of 1966. For whatever reasons, he made some late 1966 and early 1967 appearance in Denver without making it to the rest of the AWA. He returned as a regular in August of 1967, staying into the late spring of 1968 with a few sporadic appearances that summer and fall. Igor made some guest appearances on and off from 1970 to 1973.
Here is where it gets interesting. Ivan Putski arrived in the spring of 1974, staying through late August of 1975, later making a pair of late 1976 special appearances. He worked with Mighty Igor's gimmick, playing with toys, dancing to polka music, and having a similar beard and hairstyle, not to mention the singlet over frayed sweats. I'd always assumed the AWA brought in Putski in 1975 when Igor was on IWA TV in AWA markets. However, he was there before the IWA started. The AWA often went to painstaking lengths to not have conflicting gimmicks and names, hence the Dick The Bruiser/King Kong Brody/Boom Boom Bundy scenario. So what happened for the promotion to bring in an ersatz Igor?
Then after all of this, Mighty Igor himself returned in June of 1978, staying into January of 1979 with one more special appearance that April. Considering the AWA's tendency to use older wrestlers who'd drawn in the past as well the fact that by the 1980s Mighty Igor wasn't in any demand, it's odd that he never even came back for a special appearance past 1979. For that matter, Ivan Putski never came back either after his mid 1970s run. Apart from the childlike strongman gimmick having broad appeal, AWA mainstay markets like the Twin Cities, Milwaukee, and Chicago all had significant Polish-American populations as did the smaller towns in Minnesota, Wisconsin, and Illinois. Perhaps by the 1980s the need to appeal directly to specific ethnic groups had faded.