ICW (Poffo) #4 Page #2

The next week Garvin pinned him after he missed a big splash. After that the scene was repeated, only this time he was pinned by jobber Ron Strunk. Why this guy ever stepped into the ring I'll never know.

I never saw him again anywhere else.

Rick McCord: Received minor push as ICW Rookie of the Year. He would beat other jobbers, but came up short against everyone else. Later had minor success in Memphis and (I think) Central States.

Bill Martin: Another ICW Rookie of the year; I don't remember him winning as often as McCord. When Ernie Ladd was scheduled to wrestle him, Ladd came out in street clothes and claimed that Martin wasn't worthy to wrestle him, and let himself be counted out. He went to the ring to shake Martin's hand and congratulate him on his win. I think everyone can guess what happened next.

Tony Falk: He was getting a push as Rookie of the Year when ICW left our area. He was green at this point and hadn't developed any mic skills yet. He managed a few wins over fellow jobbers, and was an early victim of Ratamyus. He moved on to Memphis and other southern territories, playing such characters as Boy Tony.

John (Jackie) Ruffin: He was getting a push as Rookie of the Year around the same time as Falk, although I believe he'd been around a few years at this point. He was killed in a bar fight outside Cincinnati in the early eighties.

Ron Strunk: I never saw him win a match except for his win over the legendary giant Willie Monroe. I don't know how to describe the guy since he was pretty nondescript. Think former Crockett jobber Larry Santo.

Plowboy Pete: A smaller version of Plowboy Frazier. I don't mean he ever approached Frazier's level of success, but he played the oversized country boy character. Unlike Frazier, he never won a match that I can remember.

A note on ICW jobbers: Remember that ICW covered several states, and that I only saw house shows in a small part of the territory. I doubt that local east Tennessee guys like Plowboy Pete appeared in, say, Illinois or Indiana. That would have been a long trip on some bad roads for a small payday. There were probably other jobbers at house shows in other parts of the territory.

I know the names of several wrestlers who came through the territory after Poffo stopped promoting in my neck of the woods. Ratamyus finally showed up after weeks of promos by Ox Baker. The promos would actually air late at night when wrestling wasn't even on. Ox would say "Ratamyus is coming," and we'd see a picture of some kind of demon. He was billed as the only man to ever defeat the Sheik in a cage match. I remember knowing even then that it was Mid-Atlantic jobber Bill Howard with face paint and a green tongue. With skinny arms and legs and a pot belly, I doubt he would scare anyone walking down the street without the makeup. I only saw him in squash matches, but I have heard about some bloody matches with Randy Savage. This made me wish that ICW had promoted in our area longer. There are several others who I know appeared in ICW after late 1982 but I never saw. These include the Batten Twins (I saw them later but not with ICW), Mr. Wrestling (Johnny Wilhoit), and The Great Kabuki.

With the possible exception of Izzy Slapowitz, none of the ICW managers impressed me much. Izzy managed the Devil's Duo (Vines and Sword), and annoyed fans with his ever-present whistle. He was also known to throw a fireball from time to time. He disappeared when Vines and Sword left, and I didn't see him again until he appeared in Bill Needham's Knoxville promotion around 1990.

Steve Cooper managed Randy Savage for a while, but didn't seem to have much of a personality. He eventually got sick of Savage and turned face, and wrestled occasionally after the turn. He wrestled at the bottom of the card, and soon disappeared. I do remember him losing his hair in a match, but I don't remember who he lost to. Some of you old timers may remember an article on his sister Alice in Wrestling News around 1979/80.

Gary Royal was part of the Convertible Blondes team with Rip Rogers and Pez Whatley. He usually acted as manager, but sometimes he wrestled. He moved on to Central States, where he managed Hercules Hernandez. He also wrestled extensively for Crockett/WCW.

Fazil Dean came to ICW right before it left our area. He occasionally got in the ring and lost, but he mostly managed. I don't even remember who he managed (maybe a heel Big Boy Williams?), which shows how memorable he was. He looked sort of like a smaller and less hirsute Dutch Mantell. I assume "Fazil" was an alias, since I can't imagine any mother giving her child a name like that.


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