ICW (Poffo) #12 Page #2
Crusher entered a program with Tio for matches all throughout the ICW geographical coverage. While Crusher proved he was a talented opponent, he was not able to strip the belt from the old Samoan. Frequently Pez would interfere in their TV championship matches causing his friend Tio to be disqualified.
Just what the circumstances were that caused Pez Whatley to become a heel, I don’t remember. I just remember Pez’s moniker changing to Bad Pistol Pez Whatley and him teaming with Tio and Savage on a frequent basis.
Another new face showed on ICW TV in October of 1981. Ernie Ladd, the former professional football player, was supposedly brought to the area to help Pez teach Crusher a lesson. Pez at this time also went on a rampage about the amount of prejudice in the ICW and how his race had held him down in his quest to move up the ladder. Also appearing with Pez and Ernie was Willy Monroe a rather large black man. He also was integrated into the prejudice angle.
One valuable team member I neglected to mention in last months column (which detailed a mass exodus from the promotion) was the television studio announcer John Beck. I much enjoyed this man’s delivery of the television program although he was not proficient in knowledge of all wrestling holds and moves. He was a great moderator, and never was afraid to tell the heels about their current problems with the fans favorites.
In an ICW television show about July of 1981 Mr. Beck was awarded the announcer of the year by the ICW promotion. Bob Roop presented a framed plaque early in the show as the promotions symbol of his achievement. Later in the show Mr. Beck was interviewing Savage and Crusher and Randy took exception to the questioning from the announcer. I believe the questioning involved the bounty Randy Savage had on Ronnie Garvin at the time, and that Savage was using this as a smoke screen to not give Garvin a title shot. Beck even asked if Savage were afraid of Garvin, which infuriated the Macho Man. Savage promptly went berserk and in his tirade broke the plaque’s glass over his forehead. This opened a small cut on Savage’s forehead and Beck’s demeanor quickly changed to a scared participant. The segment quickly ended with Savage threatening physical violence on the shaken announcer.
The show came back from a commercial break with Bob Roop at the announcer’s desk he explained what happened in the incident and apologized to the fans for Savage’s behavior. He explained he would have to announce the rest of the show as Beck had gathered up his composure and left for good. The next televised show had a new announcer at the helm for the promotion, Tim Tyler, who was a sportscaster at channel 36 in Lexington Kentucky where the televised shows were recorded. Tyler had previously voiced the town listings of where the promotion was scheduled to appear for the last couple of years but had not appeared on camera.
More on the events of late 1981 and early 1982 for the International Championship Wrestling promotion.
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