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 - Eric Westlund

ICW wrestling had survived its rookie and sophomore year turmoil and had secured a solid TV spot and audience in the central Kentucky area. With its' show also being broadcast in several adjoining states, live cards helped to build the brand name and fan base for the relatively new wrestling group. The interesting booking ,done by committee according to Izzy Slapowitz, had incorporated angles which kept the viewers constantly guessing as to what would occur next. Bob Roop had scored a clean pinfall over the long reigning world champ, Macho Man Randy Savage, in the finals of the television tournament to establish himself as one of the top faces for the promotion. 

Roop as a face was a solid interview in my opinion, although I have read others claims that this skill (or lack there of) kept him from being a larger star throughout his journeys in the wrestling world. Roop acknowledged that he was proud of his tournament victory, as the TV title was "for the TV fans" who could not always go to live events. He defended the title often after winning it, one defense I can recall was against Hustler Rip Rogers just 2 weeks after his final round win. However ,on the next TV show, the masked man the Best, almost always Bob Orton Jr. arrived early in the show to view the almost 4 foot high beautiful trophy Roop had been presented as the victor of the tournament. As most wrestling fans can guess, the trophy ended up getting smashed on the concrete TVv studio floor due to The Best's disdain for Roop and his accomplishments. The Best stayed on the scene not too much longer after he committed this act. When he committed this action, I'm almost sure he was on suspension for attacking an already injured leaping Lanny. 

Prior to the trophy shattering, I attended a live show at the Lexington Ky. national guard armory. The main event was Orton and The Best versus Roop and Pez Whatley. One stipulation was a $1000 appearance bond on the Best. As it turned out ,the Best showed up and Bob Orton just happened to have car trouble that night. Conveniently, Rip Rogers tagged as The Best's partner to fill out the main event match up. This was just another incident of the heels winning in the ICW battles. 

About the same time after the TV tournament concluded, the Slapowitz syndicate introduced its newest tag team, The Devils Duo. Earlier in his career, ICW promoter Angelo Poffo ,had wrestled in a successful tag team under the same name. If I'm not mistaken his partner was Chris Markoff and this was in the mid to late 60's. The eighties version of this namesake seemed just as potentially deadly. Slapowitz combined two up and comers, Jeff Sword and Doug Vines. More...

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