Hulk Hogan appeared to have won the AWA World Heavyweight Championship twice in 1982 and 1983, only to be stripped of the title after each match, the first time because he and champion Nick Bockwinkel used foreign objects, and the second time... just because, nearly causing the fans to riot. Hogan would soon leave the company and go on to become the face of the industry while making the WWF synonymous with pro wrestling in the mainstream. For fairly obvious reasons, this is also considered to be the point where the AWA started to go downhill.
There's a story about Paul Heyman questioning Verne Gagne's booking in the late 80s to which Verne allegedly threw the booking sheets at Heyman and said "Let's See YOU Do Better!." Heyman, of course, went on to gain a reputation as one of the most innovative bookers in wrestling history with ECW.
You Look Familiar: Averted with "Big" Scott Hall who sported an afro, Porn Stache and extremely muscular physique during his AWA run but looked much different by the time he showed up in the WWF as Razor Ramon.