Saturday, August 11, 2007
Like A Camat From 'Da Sky!
From 1982-89 I was hugely into Pro Wrestling. In the Spring of 1982, Danny (yes, the same born-against Christian, Danny) told me about Georgia Championship Wrestling on WTBS. Over the next few weeks heschooled me on the "who's who" with names like Buzz Sawyer, Stan "The Lariat" Hansen and the Don "Magnificent" Muraco. Interestingly, Georgia Championship Wrestling was the highest rated show on WTBS in 1982. I left it behind the for awhile likely due to my BMX & growing metal obsessions. In 1984 & early 1985 I watched the World Wrestling Federation. Danny, Danny's dad & I went to see a WWF show at the Oakland Coliseum Arena. While we had nosebleed seats we could still make out some of the action between Sgt. Slaughter vs. the Iron Shiek. We also saw the high flying Jimmy "Superfly" Snuka and the "inbred-freak" looking Moondogs. While I thought the WWF was good, I only watched it maybe every other week.
The Moondogs circa: 2003 with valet April
Sgt. Slaughter with ex-NWA/WCW jobber George South who now jobs for Jesus.
The clincher was in the Summer of '85. My friend Steve & I took a one day construction job in San Jose. We were responsible for cleaning out debris from a bunch of apartments. During lunch Steve told me about the wrestling show on WTBS. It was now called "World Championship Wrestling". He told me about guys like Ric Flair, Dusty Rhodes and The Midnight Express. He gave me the scoop on all the story lines and who was the bad guy and who was the good guy. The next Saturday afternoon came around I watched and I was hooked. If Steve had to work or if I had guitar lessons that day we'd fill each other in on what happened. It wasn't long that were were even arguing who was cooler or tougher - Ric Flair or Dusty Rhodes
I became more of a casual fan in the early 90-mid 90's. I watched wrestling probably once a month. I was in the midst of college and work. I also discovered an amazing concept called "relations with girls". Besides, looking back the characters and story lines in this time mostly sucked. I went back to watching the WWF & WCW around 1997 until about 2002. In this era there were a few things that stuck out like "Stone Cold" Steve Austin whose "Texas badass" character was really cool for awhile. That is until his catch phrase became "What?". Literally the word "what". Who writes this shit? The Rock was also fun to watch. While his mic skills were always ace, but his moves like "The People's Elbow" were pretty lame.
Although, the best was watching the hour-long, no bullshit, Extreme Championship Wrestling on TNN. My roommate Michael & I watched it every Friday night. Shows ya what lives we had.
Getting back to the 1980's, one wrestler whose image I was obsessed with, Kevin "Prince of Darkness" Sullivan. Sullivan for many years was a mystery. I only knew about him from the proto-black metal looking photos and random Florida territory reports published in the magazines like Wrestling All-Stars and Pro Wrestling Illustrated. Sullivan's ex-wife Nancy appears in the first clip below as the young girl. In the mid-90's they split up and she married Chris Benoit. In recent months you've probably read about the tragic end of that relationship.
Kevin Sullivan's "awesome factor" was his combination of bizarre imagery and original, crazy mic skills. While his character was supposed to be a satanist he never mentioned satan or wore any satanic symbols. Was it because some born-again Florida nut job might want to kill him? Instead of the devil or hell he spoke about the "betel nut" and an obscure prophet named "Abbabuddahdeen". Pro Wrestling Illustrated listed him hailing from Singapore. While not as strange as "Parts Unknown", Singapore was likely thought of as a satanic paradise that was run by rotund guys with strong Boston accents.
True Floridian Black Metal Wrestling - None Shall Defy!
After working the Florida territory Sullivan showed up on the "World Championship Wrestling" show. One week he wore a Nasty Savage shirt. When I told Steve that it he said the previous week (that I missed) Sullivan wore a Mercyful Fate shirt. Soooo METAAAAL! Steve was in Nasty Savage's fan club. The band's frontman Nasty Ronnie was obsessed with wrestling AND he was in a killer metal band. So maybe we weren't dorks after all? Ronnie would later go into wrestling in the late 80s with a local Florida based organization. (IWF?)
This one went on my wall in '85
Here are 3 classic moments from the Prince of Darkness involving his feud with "Superstar" Billy Graham.
Part 1 shows Sullivan with his manager Sir Oliver Humperdink fighting Kendall Windham and Nancy Sullivan (aka: "Cindy Lou") and then turning on his tag team partner "Superstar" Billy Graham. Graham's biblical counterpoint is straight out of an Ed Wood movie. Classic!
Part 2 "I Yam In Ya Soul And Yam In Yah Haht"
Sullivan and Graham go "weirdo a weirdo" yet again.
Finally, look below for the 3rd part of this unholy trinity. Sullivan & King Curtis (along with horde o' evil) speak of a far travelling guru. Whereas, their opponents Blackjack Mulligan and Superstar Graham claim Sullivan is talking "backwards" and call out the "chairman of the board". (Sinatra?) Listen for Superstar's AMAZING "Armageddon Freestyle".
Unfortunately chapter 3 is a wash in "this no longer available". However, here's Sullivan's pre-Sunn O)) ritual. voice over by the late, great Sir Oliver Humperdink. Someone needs to mix in Beherit or Blasphemy of this.