Part I - Osamu Nishimura vs Kurt Angle vs Yeok Bal San
Part II - Osamu Nishimura vs Kurt Angle vs Yeok Bal San
Now on !BANG! TV Nishimura vs Angle vs Yeok Bal San
Dory Funk Jr. and Hulk Hogan
He Was My "Bad Guy" First
"I'll take that "Mighty Ignoramus" and stuff his air head up his muscled rear end and smother him to death." Those were the words of Hulk Hogan as he spoke on interviews at the Sportatorium in Tampa Florida in 1981. It was Hulk's first excursion into the wrestling world as a heel.
I had brought "The Mighty Igor" to Florida Championship wrestling. Something of interest had to come quickly as the "Big Show," Last Tango in Tampa with Dusty Rhodes vs Harley Race for the NWA world championship was over. Fans needed excitement now, or they would go elsewhere.
Might Igor could draw money quickly. I put him on television sitting in the audience with the wrestling fans. He cheered for the good guys and booed at the bad guys and loved waving at the camera. Igor wore his cut off long handles and a black beret. He smoked a cigar and chewed on a huge piece of polish sausage that he shared with the fans. Everyone loved Mighty Igor from the start.
On the third week, I let The Mighty Igor perform his feats of strength. With great fanfare, he bent a steel bar between his teeth, (I believe it was made out of lead) charged a trash can with six wrestlers bracing against it, (Naturally, they all fell on their rear-ends) and stood steadfast in the ring while three men on each side pulled on a rope wrapped around his neck. While pulling with all their might (sic) The Mighty Igor reached out and grabbed the rope and gave it a, "Mighty," pull and all crashed into each other. Now, the need was there for someone strong to face the, "Mighty Igor."
I talked with Hulk Hogan, (Terry Bollea) who lived in Tampa at the time. Even though he was already an international star in the world of Pro wrestling, he wanted to have a successful run in the territory where he grew up as an athlete and musician, Championship Wrestling from Florida. He shook my hand and said, "Brother, I will work my tail off for you. All I want is the opportunity to work in my home territory and be free to show what I can do."
What more could a new booker ask for? Hulk and Mighty Igor popped the territory drawing huge crowds and giving us time to establish other wrestlers who could take over later.
Now Hulk Hogan is the biggest name in wrestling and ranks as the all time top box office attraction among all sports entrainers. Hulk is once again on the side of the most colorful of wrestling characters, "The Bad Guy." I am proud to have been a part of his historic climb to the top and will always remember he was once "My Bad Guy.".
On behalf of myself, Tommy Gilbert, Jack and Jerry Brisco, Ric Flair, Haru Sonoda, Kendo Nagasaki, David von Erich, Sweet Brown Sugar, Hacksaw Butch Reed, J.J. Dillon, Kevin Sullivan, The Assissins, Brian Blair, Dusty Rhodes, Eddie Graham, Mike Graham, Steve Kiern, Big John Studd, Bruiser Brody, Terry Funk, Jerry Lawler, Don Morroco, Sir Oliver Humperdink, Super Star Billy Graham, Tonga Fifita, and many more who worked Florida at the time,
"Thank you Terry Bollea"
Even though your stay was short, you set the stage for others to have a successful run with Championship Wrestling from Florida.
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