ICW (Poffo) #3 Page #2

He also held the television title. He donned a hood to play the role of The Enforcer, a bounty hunter hired by Randy Savage to get rid of Ronnie Garvin. It turned out to be a trick to get Savage in a cage with both Garvin and Roop. This was the match that spawned all the "get outta my house!" vignettes, in which Savage and his henchmen were filmed at his house because he refused to appear on TV. Roop left the promotion around the same time as Orton, and appeared in most of the southern territories. Although he was a solid worker, most believe he never had the personality to reach the top.

The Great Tio and Chief Tapu: appeared in several southern territories as the Maoris and the Samoans. They didnít come to ICW as a team. Tio was billed as being from Samoa, and won the television title from Bob Roop (I think). He wasnít very tall, but was built like a fireplug (think Peter Maivia without the tattoos). He used the cobra as his finishing move, which I thought was strange since most of the people he applied the hold on were much taller than he was. I remember thinking that someone like Crusher Broomfield could have just stood up and backed into the turnbuckles. It just wasnít believable, and plausibility was more important in those days than it is now. Chief Tapu was billed as being from Hawaii. He was basically a jobber, although he won occasionally and always put up a good fight He came to ICW as a face, while Tio was always a heel. He used the big splash as his finisher, which also seemed implausible because he wasnít that big. He eventually turned heel, and it was revealed that Tio and Tapu were father and son. At this point they were again billed as the Samoans. Tio lost the television title to The Miser, and soon afterward both Samoans left the promotion. I think they later appeared in Central States, but I never saw either of them again.

Tony Peters: Tony will be remembered by many fans of Southeastern as a tall, rotund, bald jobber to the stars. In the early days of ICW, however, he actually held a couple of belts. He defeated Bob Roop for the Southeastern title, which he later lost to Ronnie Garvin. He also was a tag team champion, teaming with (I think) Bob Orton Jr. After ICW expanded he returned to his old jobber status, although he wasnít squashed like he was in Southeastern. I remember him being competitive in a match with Crusher Broomfield; I believe Crusher even juiced. Since I never saw ICW when he was being pushed, I never heard him talk on television. He continued to appear on local shows in Tennessee after ICW, but I never saw him on TV again. I do remember him dressing as Daddy Warbucks and appearing in a local newspaper with the winner of a Little Orphan Annie look-alike contest.

Hoot Gibson: Local wrestler (from Lebanon, VA) who was never a star but wrestled at the bottom of the card and usually won. I remember him best for a 30-minute all-over-the-building brawl with Tony Peters. He would occasionally team with main event wrestlers such as Ronnie Garvin, but that may have been only at our end of the territory. I saw him at several house shows in Johnson City, but I donít remember him being on television all that much. He was a decent worker who sold well, especially when heart punched by Ox Baker or carved up by Ratamyus. His appearances were often punctuated by a chant of "hoot, hoot, hoot".

The Devilís Duo (Doug Vines and Jeff Sword), w/Izzy Slapowitz: These two came to the area as singles, but began teaming after Sword turned on Pez Whatley. They were accompanied to the ring by Izzy Slapowitz, who served as their mouthpiece and threw a little fire when needed. They worked a nice program with Leaping Lanny and George Weingeroff for the tag team titles. Promoter Angelo Poffo had been a member of the original Devilís Duo in the sixties, so itís apparent where the name came from. There was a whiff of the occult from this trio, but nothing like Sullivanís bunch in Florida. Since most fans in the territory had probably never met anyone Jewish and there was a very small Jewish population there, Slapowitzís character didnít really come off as being anti-semetic. I donít even remember it even being mentioned that he was supposed to be Jewish. Still, I wince now thinking about how his character was portrayed, much as I wince about how many African-American characters were portrayed.

NEXT MONTH:

Weíll have a bit of a hodgepodge, covering the appearances of "guest stars" like Ernie Ladd, the Sheik, and Ox Baker, as well as a few of the jobbers and characters who didnít seem to catch on. If I dredge up more memories of people who really belonged in previous installments, Iíll write about them too. Remember that Iím writing this almost completely from memory, with no tapes or clippings. Iím sure my wife wonders how I can remember all this and forget something she told me earlier that day.

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