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WWF president Jack Tunney

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Jack Tunney

Frank Tunney's nephew who took over the Toronto promotion after Frank's death in 1983. At the time, the Toronto office was in partnership with Mid-Atlantic promoter Jim Crockett, but when the promotional wars heated up, Crockett felt he could no longer spare the top name wrestlers, and had a distrust of Tunney, who had a long history of working with Crockett's main rival, Vince McMahon, and McMahon's booker George Scott, who was a partner in the Toronto promotion.

The Toronto cards got progressively weaker through 1983-84, dwindling down to audiences of 3,000 for some shows. Leo Burke and his brothers became the lead heels, along with Don Kernodle when the top Crockett stars were no longer available.

Jack Tunney transferred control of the Toronto office to Vince McMahon in July 1984, making Toronto a WWF city. Tunney and his cousin Eddie Tunney (Frank's son) retained a one-third stake in the Maple Leaf Wrestling promotion, with George Scott holding one-sixth (until 1987). Jim Crockett ended up suing Tunney for money owed. Jack was announced as the president of the WWF in September 1984, and held the position -- purely a figurehead used in TV angles -- until splitting with McMahon in 1995. Tunney was legitimately the president of Titan Sports Canada after McMahon began operating under that entity in late 1989.

There were several sellouts of 18,000 at the Gardens with the WWF crew, but the city's (and, at the time, world's) attendance record was shattered by a stunning 74,000 (or 65,000, depending on who you want to believe) people who turned up for a WWF show at CNE Stadium in 1986, with a gate of over $1 million. Initial projections were for a crowd of 25,000-30,000.

"Frank had shifted places and there was Jack the nephew, a full head taller than Frank and towering over me. I addressed the buttons on his shirt. Where's Frank? I said. Jack is known to be unfriendly to the fans." (From DRAWING HEAT by Jim Freedman, 1988)

"Phone local wrestling headquarters and you're told Jack Tunney isn't around any more. And it won't be a Tunney promotion when the current crop of World Wrestling Federation thespians performs at Maple Leaf Gardens in September - the first time since 1939 this storied name will be absent." (Jim Proudfoot, TORONTO STAR, July 27, 1995)

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