the World's largest wrestling database, that Mike Pappas,
"The Flying Greek" holds a 3-0 record with one draw over
the legendary, Randy "Macho Man" Savage?

FYI - Randy Savage won 29 Titles in his 32 year wrestling career, including the 
WWF World Heavyweight Championship twice and the WCW World Heavyweight 
Championship four times. A one-time WWF Intercontinental Heavyweight Champion, 
Savage was named by WWE as the greatest Intercontinental Champion of all-time
and has been credited with bringing "a higher level of credibility to the title through 
his amazing in ring performance."              


In 2018 Mike Pappas was recognized by the USA Martial Arts Hall of Fame with the Wrestling Living Legend Award!

On September 9, 1970, Mike Pappas won the WWA Light-Heavyweight Title with a win over Steve Clements at the Convention Hall in Gadsden Alabama. 

TOP 40 - Mike Pappas fought in 104 WWF matches (3 years, 1971 to 1974) that's more matches for the WWF during that time period than; Shane McMahon (103), Alexis Smirnoff (103), Tom Zenk (102), Dory Funk, Jr. (96), the Ultimo Dragon (94), Stacy Kiebler (92), Baron Von Raschke (85) and many others.  His 104 matches from 1970-74 ranks him at #33 in appearances for the WWF during that time frame.

ELO RANKING - Mike Pappas ranked at #38 in 1971 and was again a top 40 ranked wrestler in 1973 at #33.


The Flying Greek, Mike Pappas has passed away

Veteran Wrestler Mike Pappas has passed away
Manoli Savvenas
a.k.a, Mike Pappas, "the Flying Greek"

The premiere of the Flying Greek Documentary coming to the Fox Theater in Springfield Missouri, Friday December 10, 2021

Former European & WWA World Light Heavyweight Wrestling Champion
USA Martial Arts Hall of Fame - Wrestling Living Legend Award
Pappas held multiple Mexican titles and was an international top box office draw!
Mike Pappas
(Manoli Savvenas)

1968 - 1978

Height - 5'7"  (172 cm)
Weight - 170 lbs  (77 kg)


  •  Technical
  •  High Flyer

Signature Moves

  • Drop Kick
  • Flying Headscissors

Ring Nicknames

  • "the Flying Greek"
  • "Mighty Mite"
  • "Dynamite"


  • AWA
  • CSW
  • CWF
  • GPW
  • GWE
  • IW
  • IWA  Mid-South
  • NWA
  • Tri-State Wrestling
  • SLWC
  • UWF
  • WWE
  • WWWF

Notable Feuds

  •  Phil Hickerson
  •  Dennis Condrey
  •  Kenny Dillinger
  •  Duke Miller
  •  Mike Hendrick
  •  The Scorpion (Tenn 70s)

Famous Opponents

  • Alexis Smirnoff
  • Austin Idol
  • Bobby Heenan
  • Bruiser Brody
  • Dick Slater
  • Dr. X
  • Freddie Blassie
  • the Hollywood Blondes
  • Jerry Jarrett
  • Jerry "the King" Lawler
  • Jesse "the Body" Ventura
  • Jimmy Valient
  • Luke Graham
  • Mr. Fuji
  • Nikolai Volkoff
  • Randy Savage
  • Ric Flair
  • The Russians
  • the Spoiler
  • Tarzan Tyler
  • Tommy Gilbert
  • and many more...

Famous Tag Team Partners

  • Andre "the Giant"
  • Bearcat Brown
  • "Superstar" Bill Dundee
  • Bob Backlund
  • Gigi the Greek
  • Igor Putski
  • Johnny Ringo
  • Larry Zbysko
  • Pistol Pez Whatley
  • Rene Goulet
  • Ricky Steamboat
  • S.D. Jones
  • Sweet Daddy Watts
  • Ted Diabiase
  • Tojo Yamamoto
  • and many more...

​Obituary Emmanouel Savenas

Emmanouel (Manoli) Savvenas passed away in his home the evening of December 31st, 2022 in Springfield, MO.

Manoli was born to *Paraskevas Savvenas and *Konstantina Kyriakouli Savvena on May 17th, 1941 on the island of Rhodes, Greece, joining his siblings *Giorgos, *Phillipi, *Panagioti, *Maria, Athena, and after his birth Tsambika.

Manoli was born in the village of Agios Isidoros, moving with his family to the Old Town as a child, sprightly running through his surroundings, jumping out of school windows and generally indulging in mischief despite the poverty of an occupied island of WWII. When he left primary school, he apprenticed with a goldsmith and earned himself a trade in the field of jewelry beginning at age 11.

With wanderlust, he ventured from Greece to Australia where he resumed boxing and picked up wrestling. He traveled to the United States in 1967 adamant to become a professional wrestler. While it didn’t happen right away, he began his wrestling career in Mexico. He entered the Tennessee territory shortly after, under the name of Mike Pappas, known to his fans as “The Flying Greek” for his trailblazing aerial moves. He was on the first Madison Square Garden ticket of over $100,000 in sales, the second to enter the ring but you’d never know it based on the cheers of the crowd. He was a wrestling champion.

He met his wife, Valerie, in Kentucky. They married in August, 1973, and lived in Australia, Canada, Fiji, and other beautiful locales for Manoli’s wrestling career before settling in Missouri for its slow pace of life. He retired from wrestling in 1978 in Kansas City, and moved with the family to Springfield, opening a wholesale jewelry business which evolved into a storefront of his namesake.

Manoli and Valerie had three children, Paraskevas, Maria, and Konstantinos. Manoli has a daughter, Constandina, and *Konstantina that passed shortly after birth, before he met Valerie.

Manoli and Valerie were part of a group of founders of an Orthodox church in the Ozarks, St. Thomas in Springfield.

Manoli will be missed by his wife, Valerie, children Constandina, Paraskevas (Amy), Maria (Michael), Konstantinos, his grandchildren Savannah (Tyler), Makaiah, Emmanouella, Izabella, Isidora, and Emmanuel, his great-grandchildren Jaxon and Mason, his sisters Athena and Tsambika, along with many nieces, nephews, family members, and friends who found him to be one-of-a-kind.

Mike Pappas will be missed by legions of fans who remember his signature moves and by fans that only knew him by his legacy.

A documentary about Mike Pappas, The Flying Greek, will soon be available online and on DVD.

Manoli will lie in state from 7:00PM, Wednesday, January 4, 2023, until 10:00AM, Thursday, January 5, 2023, at Theotokos Unexpected Joy Orthodox Church, Ash Grove, MO. Funeral services will begin at 10:00AM, Thursday, January 5, 2023, at the church, with burial to follow at Holy Resurrection Cemetery, Ash Grove. 

In lieu of flowers memorial donations may be made to Theotokos Unexpected Joy Orthodox Church and mailed to the funeral home, Wilson-Griffin Funeral Home, PO Box 217, Ash Grove, MO 65604. 

 here to add text.


Copyright / Classic Wrestling Association / MIKEPAPPAS.NET  2017

  Tennessee Wrestling Legends Reunion Crowbar Award Winner!

Mike Pappas, the former NWA Mid-America Light Heavyweight Champion was recently the recepient of the "Crowbar Award", at the Tennessee Wrestling Legends reunion, in Gallentin, Tennessee, in September. The "Crowbar Award" was given to the former champion in recognition of his integrity, exceptional skills,aggressive wrestling style and contributions to professional wrestling. Pappas is one of the true success stories both in and out of the ring.

COMING SOON - "The Flying Greek", a film by Jason Brasier