Pro Wrestling
Pro Wrestling

James "Jim" Brunzell (August 13, 1949) is a retired professional wrestler better known by his ring name "Jumping" Jim Brunzell. Known for his successful tag teams, Brunzell performed for various wrestling promotions over the course of approximately two decades.


American Wrestling Association

Jim Brunzell wrestled for American Wrestling Association (AWA) throughout the 1970s, primarily as a mid-card talent. In 1973, he made a cameo appearance sparring with Billy Robinson in the film, The Wrestler. On July 7, 1977, Greg Gagne and Brunzell defeated 'Black Jack' Lanza and 'Big Bad' Bobby Duncum, managed by Bobby Heenan, to win their first AWA World Tag Team Championship. They held the titles until September 1978, when they were stripped of the belts due to an injury that Brunzell incurred while playing in a charity softball game. The titles were awarded to Pat Patterson and Ray Stevens.

National Wrestling Alliance

During the later half of the 1970s, he signed to wrestle for the Mid-Atlantic region and won the NWA Mid-Atlantic Heavyweight Championship twice, a significant singles title at the time.

Return to AWA

Upon returning to AWA, Brunzell reformed his tag team with Greg Gagne, known as the "High Flyers", and was elevated to main event status. The tandem of Brunzell and Gagne held the AWA World Tag Team Championship on two separate occasions, feuding with teams like Jesse Ventura and Adrian Adonis and Jerry Blackwell and Ken Patera. Brunzell remained with the AWA in both tag team and singles competition until 1985.

World Wrestling Federation

Brunzell then signed to wrestle with World Wrestling Federation (WWF) as they continued their national expansion. Here, he formed the popular tag team, The Killer Bees, with another WWF newcomer, Brian Blair. Apparently, Verne and Greg Gagne felt somewhat betrayed by the move. Gagne even expressed his displeasure during an AWA broadcast, making subtle references to Brunzell's departure and his new gimmick.

Brunzell and Blair experienced moderate success while with the WWF. The two feuded with the likes of The Hart Foundation as well as the Funks, Jimmy Jack Funk and Hoss Funk, who they faced in front of over 74,000 fans at The Big Event. Their stay was also highlighted by a match against Nikolai Volkoff and the Iron Sheik as part of WrestleMania III and a win at the inaugural Survivor Series on Thanksgiving Day 1987. The Killer Bees teamed together until Blair left the promotion in 1988. Brunzell continued in singles competition for a time, being used to put over newer talent like Curt Hennig and Damien Demento as late as a Raw episode in April 1993.

Independent circuit

He left WWF in 1991 and competed on the independent circuit, primarily in the Chicago area. Brunzell also wrestled for Herb Abrams' Universal Wrestling Federation (UWF) in 1991. While there, he reunited with B. Brian Blair under the name Masked Confusion, winning the tag team title twice. After the UWF closed, Brunzell returned to the independent circuit and continued to wrestle until late 1999, when Brunzell faced fellow wrestler, The Hater.

On May 23, 1993, Brunzell wrestled at World Championship Wrestling's inaugural Slamboree pay-per-view. He wrestled in a six-man tag match alongside fellow "legends" Wahoo McDaniel and Blackjack Mulligan against Dick Murdoch, Don Muraco, and "Superfly" Jimmy Snuka.

In 1994, he was named the commissioner of the American Wrestling Federation, and he made an appearance as a guest referee in a bout for the AWF Heavyweight Championship, in which Tito Santana beat Bob Orton, Jr., to win the title.

In 2006, Brunzell became involved in a highly publicized "interview feud" after his former tag team partner, Brian Blair, was insulted by the Iron Sheik in a series of shoot interviews that received heavy circulation on the internet. Brunzell received high praise from the Sheik for his athletic and high-jumping prowess.

Currently, Brunzell works as a financial planner for Focus Financial in the Minneapolis area, he is also active in his church and does charity work for children with diabetes.

In wrestling

Championships and accomplishments

  • NWA World Tag Team Championship (Central States version) (2 times) - with Mike George
  • Pro Wrestling Illustrated
    • PWI ranked him # 180 of the 500 best singles wrestlers during the "PWI Years" in 2003.
    • PWI ranked him # 49 of the 100 best tag teams during the "PWI Years" with Greg Gagne.
    • PWI Tag Team of the Year award with Greg Gagne in 1982.
  • UWF (Herb Abrams) Tag Team Championship (1 time) - with Brian Blair
  • WFWA Canadian Heavyweight Championship (1 time)

External links

1991 PWI Top 500 Wrestlers
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