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 - Eric Westlund

Here are my recollections/opinions on the Angelo Poffo promoted International Championship Wrestling which ran in several states from 1979 through late 1984.The group merged with its main rival (the Memphis based Jarrett promotion) in early 84, with cards still being shown under the ICW banner.

The groups initial years were clouded in the controversy of battling other existing promotions, with a focus on direct challenges to the stars featured for their rivals. Jerry Lawler, Bill Dundee, and Robert Fuller were all issued outlandish challenges to show up at the promotions shows, for confrontations with the ICW stars.

One specific incident which stands out in my memory was the night the ICW wrestlers ventured to Rupp Arena in Lexington on the night of a Jarrett card in that town. Footage was shown on the program on the next show of the wrestlers at the venue trying to start something. Basically nothing occurred, with the exception of manager Steve Cooper getting arrested for disorderly conduct. If I remember correctly, a judge issued a warning to the ICW promotion that any personnel from the organization who show up on the night of NWA/AWA events in Lexington would be subject to arrest and one year jail time (please don't ask the specific charge, any of you lawyers out there).

Other challenges between the groups involved large sums of money to get the public's attention. In one such challenge Macho Man put up $100,000 to wrestle against 3 of the other groups stars at once. Of course, the opponents did not venture to meet the challenge that evening.

For background purposes, my experience with ICW involves the fact that I lived in Lexington, Kentucky during the entire span of ICW history. I attended matches at several locations: Rupp Arena, Henry Clay High School, the Lexington National Guard Armory and four sessions of TV studio tapings in the Lexington area. The TV studio events were my most enjoyable memories, as I witnessed some great action and classic angles. If  anyone has seen video of an ICW TV event in Lexington, there wasn't a bad seat in the house. Some great pranks, incredible speeches, and bone crushing wrestling was in order any Thursday the gang got together for a studio taping.  More...

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