ICW (Poffo) #10 Page #2
Sword was a powerful looking man with tree trunk thighs, whose finishing move was the bear hug. Vines combined his technical style with stints of brawling to balance out the versatile team . They debuted against George Weingeroff and Jim Pride on TV amongst loud praise from their new leader. In a good 15 minute battle, the Duo scored a clean pinfall over Weingeroff (at that time one half the US tag champs) with a move Izzy dubbed the "Devil's Drop". This move culminated in a hapless foe being propelled (dropped) onto one of the Duo's knees. Picture a baseball catcher kneeling on one knee and then the person being bodyslammed stomach first onto the knee. It certainly looked painful every time I saw it executed.
One other point of recollection about Sword and the Duo: Sword had started out as a good guy and for some reason turned heel about mid 1980. In one of his first heel shows, he volunteered to hold The Misers feet as the masked man attempted to do sit ups for an entire one hour ICW studio show. The Miser, however ,was upstaged by Ronnie Garvin, who attacked Sword and The Miser near the end of the show. This event was used to solidify Sword as turning on his old friends, Pez Whatley and Bob Roop .
Finally a title match was signed between the champs, Lanny and George against the Devil's Duo. The match was a furious battle in the first ICW card in over 4 months in its home base of Lexington Ky. On the April 25 1980 card two significant events occurred which allowed the challengers to upend the reigning kings: one a fireball thrown by Slapowitz from ringside and also the use of a loaded elbow pad by Doug Vines. Shortly after the elbow smash, using the loaded pad, to George's head, the team got their only ICW gold via the Devil's Drop to Weingeroff. Slapowitz denied the fireball and the elbowpad in interviews after the victory, but photographic evidence did not give the belts back to the team of Lanny and George.
Bob Orton Jr. was a busy man in ICW rings during the late 1980 and early 81 sessions. He defeated his old partner, Bob Roop, to claim the ICW TV belt in October of 80. He had a piledriver challenge, saying no man could avoid pinfall immediately after receiving a piledriver from him in the ICW rings. Somehow, Pez Whatley managed to kick out of a pinfall after receiving the move from Orton in a match about late 1980. A challenge match was the main event of the next TV event, with Orton to face Pistol Pez and the piledriver challenge to be in effect.
The match went back and forth for a long time until Randy Savage, commenting from ringside, distracted the referee .Seizing the opportunity, Orton grabbed a chair from ringside and knock Whatley out cold with a blow to the top of the head. Orton then piledrove Whatley, to prove that it must have been a fluke previously when Whatley kicked out after the maneuver.
There wasn't really a lot of turnover in the ICW roster in early 81 and late 80. Most of the original group remained and fans were treated to some great matches between the main eventers of the promotion. One person who enter in mid 81 to much fanfare was Thunderbolt Patterson. He was promoted as a "former CWA champion" to add to his legend as a lot of the fans in the area may not have been familiar with the man. He wrestled Orton for the TV title at the Lexington KY. supercard on JUNE 18,1981. If I remember correctly, Orton held onto the title via himself being disqualified. Thunderbolt's act was just as most fans witnessed later in Georgia, a lot of shucking and jivin combined with some ugly leisure suit wear. He did usually get the fans excited with his lively interviews.
Another independent circuit veteran also wrestled for infrequent times during the approximate era. He was Apache Luis Martinez, the wiley Indian wrestler who had wrestled with the Poffo's previously in the NWA Detroit region during their stay there in 1974 and 75. I cant recall any major feuds he had in the ICW. Savage bested him quite frequently, and I witnessed one defeat at the KY state fair in mid 81.This was an interesting card, as it was held in a grassy field outdoors at the fair.I also recall Martinez wrestling the Miser on occasion, but don't recall a clear cut victor in the matches.
Midgets were used for special attraction matches and to supplement TV angles for the ICW promotion about this time frame also. Wee Willie and the Mighty Cupid were some of the talent showcased by the promotion. Willie was highly visible on TV for about a four month period, utilized by Garvin to poke fun of Machos' manager Steve Cooper. Garvin dressed Willie up exactly like Cooper in a tux and a cane to further enrage the world champ. Willie also was an accessory when Garvin stole back his southeastern title belt from the Macho Man. Cupid-the supposed heel midget-was used by Orton and Slapowitz in a skit where the Bests' outfit turned up in someone's gym bag: Roop claimed the bag was Ortons. Slapowitz and Orton had the midget (in a prepared statement) say it was his bag and was worth $500 and was given to Cupid by his dead mother. They wanted repayment for the bag, as Roop had destroyed it in his anger at Orton and The Best.
Several wresters leave the fold and a team of blondes wreck havoc in the tag team wars at ICW.
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