Chappell: Pretty soon
though, you hooked up with Bad Bad
Humperdink: Oh yes!
Chappell: Tell us about the
‘Bad Man’ from Chicago.
Humperdink: He was a great
Chappell: For real?
Humperdink: Oh yeah,
definitely. I managed him in
Chappell: So you all had a
Humperdink: We sure did.
Chappell: Leroy was a
babyface for Crockett when he
first came in, but he and Ricky
Steamboat had a falling out if I
recall. And, of course, you
managed him as a heel.
Humperdink: I think Lee
left, and then he came back as a
heel…and I was there when he
returned. So, it was a natural
Bless his heart, Lee was a great
guy. Ron Daniels was his real
OLIVER HUMPERDINK WITH NWA TV
BAD LEROY BROWN (PHOTO BY EDDIE
Chappell: He was just a
mountain of a man. I mean, he was
SO big and athletic for his size,
it was hard to envision anyone
matching up well with him.
Humperdink: Yeah…he was a
great guy. We had a lot of fun
Chappell: And he looked to
be a fine athlete.
Humperdink: He was. He
played football…he was pretty
agile for his size.
Chappell: And he was one
you could share some laughs with?
Humperdink: Oh yeah, boy,
he had a great sense of humor. He
had blond hair and a blond beard
for a while, so you know he had to
have a great sense of humor!
In your early months with the
House of Humperdink, you were part
of that great feud with Ivan
Koloff against Jimmy ‘The Boogie
Woogie Man’ Valiant. What were
your impressions of Valiant?
Humperdink: I loved the guy
to death. We had such great times
Chappell: Actually, a
number of different members of the
House of Humperdink tangled with
Humperdink: Yeah, they just
changed the players. Bring in the
But as we were saying, Ivan Koloff
was the House’s most fierce
opposition to Jimmy Valiant. What
are your memories of Ivan?
Humperdink: Ivan…I can’t
begin to tell you how great a guy
Chappell: Was he that way
when you were managing him in Jim
Crockett Promotions? By Ivan’s own
admission, he was having some
problems during that stage of his
Humperdink: I was with Ivan
before I came to the Mid-Atlantic
area. We were together in Florida.
Ivan and I were friends for a long
Plus, Ivan was responsible for
getting Buddy Roberts into
Chappell: How did that
Humperdink: Right after
Ivan first started, he was in
Vancouver. And a young Buddy
Roberts met Ivan at a gym. And
Ivan talked him into coming down
and trying it.
Ivan was using the name Red
McNulty back then.
interesting, I didn’t know there
was any connection between Ivan
and Buddy Roberts.
Humperdink: A big
Chappell: What set Ivan
apart from the rest?
Humperdink: Ivan was a
workhorse, brother. He could go,
he could go, he could go. He was
always in shape, and he was tough
The whole gimmick, the whole
persona he had, was so far above
Chappell: He definitely
played the role of a ‘Russian
Bear’ very adeptly!
Humperdink: You didn’t have
to know anything about wrestling
or what nationality, when you saw
Ivan you knew he was a Russian and
a real tough customer. Long beard,
the voice, the scars on the
head…you knew you didn’t want to
mess with him!
Chappell: You had mentioned
Gene Anderson earlier, and you two
had some tie-ins early on. Was
Gene working in the office also at
Humperdink: Yes he was.
Chappell: Gene seemed to be
well liked by many…
Humperdink: He definitely
was. I had a long history with
Gene, too. I knew Gene before I
came to Charlotte.
Chappell: A Minnesota
Humperdink: Yes, he was
working for Verne when he first
started…then he left [Minnesota]
and went down to the Carolinas and
became Gene Anderson.
He was an enhancement guy for
Chappell: And it’s funny,
in the year or two before you
entered the Mid-Atlantic area…Gene
was a manager!
Chappell: Gene went from
never uttering a sound in the 70s,
to being a manager in 1980-81.
Humperdink: (laughs) I just
can’t picture Gene as a manager!
Chappell: He didn’t do a
bad job with it, but his forte
really wasn’t on the mic.
Humperdink: You know, his
knowledge of the business was
second to none.
question…and Gene could generate
I remember when you and Gene were
together briefly, and he would tag
with other members of the ‘House,’
you would always say he knew more
about tag team wrestling than
Humperdink: Exactly…and he
Chappell: What about some
of the opponents that you and the
House of Humperdink faced during
your early months in the
territory? Let’s start with a
favorite of many Mid-Atlantic
fans, ‘Chief’ Wahoo McDaniel.
Humperdink: Wow…what can I
I stood in the corner, and watched
Greg Valentine and Wahoo just beat
the living crap out of each other.
I mean, it was unbelievable! It
went so far beyond just a
Chappell: Did you have any
dealings with Wahoo before you
came into the Mid-Atlantic area?
Humperdink: I had met Wahoo
before I came to Charlotte, but
had never worked with him.
Wahoo had been a big star here in
Chappell: Yes he was, he
had some good years in the AWA.
By the time you worked with him
for Crockett, he was on the down
hill side…but he was still as
tough as ever I’m sure.
Humperdink: He was tougher
than a two dollar steak!
Chappell: (laughing hard)
Humperdink: As tough as
Chappell: (laughs) You had
a lot of great lines, but one that
I remember that still makes me
laugh was when Greg or somebody
had taken Wahoo’s feathers, and
you said that Wahoo without his
feathers was ‘cleaner than a
But he was a great guy. Tough son
of a gun.
Chappell: You crossed paths
with a couple of other Indians
during your stint in the
Mid-Atlantic area…Jack and Jerry
Brisco. I’m sure you knew the
Brisco’s well from Florida.
Humperdink: Yes, I knew
Jack and Jerry very well from
Chappell: When you were in
the Mid-Atlantic area, Jack and
Jerry had just come back to the
territory after about a ten year
Humperdink: That’s right,
Charlotte was one of Jerry’s first
Those guys were terrific…just
great. In fact, I was there when
they turned heel!
about a shock! And I want to get
into their turn just a little
Another guy that turned heel, and
you had a lot to do with it, was
Paul Jones. As you mentioned
earlier, you had some dealings
with Paul in Florida as well.
Humperdink: Paul is another
one who ended up managing! But
Paul was a legendary figure in
Florida, before I even met
him…before he came in as Mr.
Florida. I had always heard
stories about the thing he did
with Brisco…the belt thrown over
the bridge. That was legendary.
People were still talking about
that when I came into Florida…and
that happened two or three years
before I got there!
Chappell: It was neat that
you managed Paul against Jack
Humperdink: Over the
Chappell: That’s right. And
that was Paul’s last program as a
wrestler, before he started
managing in early 1983.
Were you privy as to why Paul
decided to hang ‘em up, and go
Humperdink: I’m not sure,
exactly. By that time, Paul was
getting up in age…
Humperdink: And it’s so
hard to go out every night, and do
what you have to do…particularly
when you get a little age on you.
I’m sure his body was talking to
He was a legendary figure, and he
drew so much money I’m sure Jimmy
Crockett wanted to keep him
around. It was probably a
combination of him wanting to get
on the outside, and Jimmy wanting
to keep him there for his name
Chappell: Much like the
scenario when Gene Anderson was
getting up there in years, and
Gene’s becoming a manager.
both were assets and it was just a
question as to how you could best
use them at that point in their
Chappell: Another guy that
you had dealings with in the
Mid-Atlantic area was Roddy Piper.
He was a heel, and I remember you
offering him a slot in the House
of Humperdink and he turned you
down…and then he became a
But didn’t something happen with
Piper about that time, outside of
in the ring wrestling, that may
have influenced the babyface turn?
Humperdink: You know,
David, I believe that’s right.
Didn’t he get stabbed?
Chappell: I was thinking he
came to the aid of somebody in
Humperdink: Yeah, and it
made all the papers. Hard to hate
a guy like that!
Chappell: I remember soon
after that ‘real life’ story hits
the wires, you’re asking him to
join the ‘House,’ and Piper
refused. So, that was the
storyline that turned him
Humperdink: And then we had
the whole thing with ‘Piper’s
Palace’ against the House of
Chappell: Boy, they were
some awesome battles!
Do you remember when Ric Flair
came back to the area in 1982 more
regularly, and the promotion was
trying so hard to make him a
heel…but the people still loved
Humperdink: Well, you can
be over so strong as a heel…that
the people like you anyway. That’s
the way it was when I was a
babyface in Florida…they hated me
with such a passion. And with that
same passion, it can turn around
the other way.
Chappell: One of Ric’s
running mates when he became a
heel again, was Greg Valentine.
You managed Greg to the United
States Heavyweight Title in
November of 1982.
We’ve touched on this a little
already, but that was some program
between Greg and Wahoo.
Humperdink: Brutality. It
didn’t matter if you were on the
front row, or on the 99th
row or in the balcony…you heard
those blows. You saw them, and you
And I was standing right there in
front of them!
Oliver Humperdink managed Greg
the US title in 1982.
Chappell: It couldn’t have
been any stiffer, and I’m sure
there were times you probably
couldn’t believe what you were
seeing in front of you.
Humperdink: Every night I
wondered how much more could they
possibly beat each other up.
Greg would always wave to him, and
the Chief would always wave to
Greg…and the only way Greg could
stop the guy was to hit him in the
kidneys as hard as he could.
Sometimes that worked, but
sometimes it didn’t!
Chappell: I’ve heard it got
so bad with Wahoo, that Greg
actually had to jump out of the
ring on occasion. And that’s
saying something, as tough as Greg
Humperdink: (laughs) The
Chief had his moments, that’s for
Chappell: You had a big
part in one of the biggest matches
in that feud, the match where Greg
beat Wahoo for the U.S. belt in
November of 1982.
Humperdink: In the Norfolk
Chappell: That’s right, at
Valentine ended up out of the
ring, and I gave him a pair of
Chappell: Ah ha…the truth
finally comes out!
Valentine got back on the apron,
and Wahoo grabbed him, I think,
in a headlock and picked him up
to bring him back into the ring,
and while he was doing that
Valentine tattooed him in the head
with the knucks.
Chappell: When I talked
with Greg last year for the
Gateway, he also had a very vivid
memory of that match.
Humperdink: That got a lot
Chappell: No doubt, even
though as Greg said, Wahoo wasn’t
as good physically in 1982 as he
was when they had their first feud
Humperdink: But, David,
even at that point he was five
times tougher than anybody I’d
Chappell: Point well taken,
Sir Oliver! I think what Greg was
trying to say, comparing their
feuds in 1977 and then in 1982, is
that it’s always hard for the
sequel to top the original.
Humperdink: Yep, that’s
Chappell: Another guy in
your stable that I really enjoyed
your interaction with, was Jos
Humperdink: Oh yeah! He was
a great guy, too.
Chappell: How was LeDuc
outside of the ring? Because
inside the ring, he looked
completely out of control!
Humperdink: (laughs) Jos
always used to say, ‘I am a
citizen of the world.’
Magazine photo of Humperdink, new
US champion Greg Valentine,
Chappell: (laughs) I
Humperdink: We had a lot of
fun times together. Jos was a
fabulous, fabulous guy. Very sweet
Humperdink: Oh yes…nothing
like what you saw in the ring. He
was totally different outside the
ring, you know?
Chappell: Well, inside the
ring, he seemed like the perfect
fit for the House of Humperdink!
Humperdink: (laughs) Oh
yeah, he was great, when he got
those eyes bulging!
Humperdink: Oh my God, when
he got those eyes bulging, he was
Chappell: That was the
first time, to my knowledge, that
he had ever been in Crockett
Promotions. He was definitely a
sight for sore eyes!
Humperdink: The back of his
neck he had surgery for back pain,
on the front he had that big
scar…it looked like a pound of
Chappell: (laughs) And he
had that great accent…which I know
Humperdink: Oh yes. I tell
you, he looked scary…but he was a
Chappell: I wanted to ask
you about your actually getting
into the ring as a wrestler. You
certainly didn’t shy away from
those specialty matches. I
remember a handicap match at the
Richmond Coliseum where Steamboat
and Piper wrestled you, Leroy
Brown and the Ninja.
This wasn’t one of those deals
where if your guy lost, the
babyface got five minutes in the
ring with you. Of course, you did
that stipulation often as well!
Humperdink: I don’t
remember the circumstances that
led up to that mach with me, Lee
Chappell: I don’t either,
and don’t think in the grand
scheme of things it was an overly
significant match. It just showed
that you weren’t shy about getting
Humperdink: Often times,
that would be good for business. I
certainly had no formal training
as a wrestler. But I would be part
of six man tags, and if your guy
beat my guy…he got five minutes
with me. I did that kind of thing
my whole career.
Chappell: Absolutely, Sir
Oliver, but you seemed to get
formally involved in more in-ring
matches than most managers.
Was that something you relished,
or would you have preferred to
remain on the outside of the ring?
Humperdink: I did it, and
did it with no trepidation. I
enjoyed it. It was another facet
of the business that came up.
Chappell: You were the one
a lot of the time that had built
up much of the heat, and getting
you in [the ring] just increased
Chappell: I’m sure you were
willing to play that up for all it
Humperdink: Everything like
that you have to blow off…you have
to give back. You keep screwing
the fans and screwing the fans and
making them madder and madder…you
gotta have that point where
finally justice prevails.
Chappell: (laughing) Yeah,
I remember a number of occasions
where you had a lot of justice
served on you!
But you’re right, and it speaks
well of your abilities, because if
you didn’t take the fans on that
ride…they couldn’t care less about
you getting your comeuppance in
Humperdink: Then it would
start back up again, and you’d
have another blow off. Then you’d
be back in all those same places
that you were before.
Chappell: You certainly
accomplished that a couple of
times in the Mid-Atlantic
area…with different members of the
House and different opponents. And
that’s no small feat!
And Jimmy Valiant was that
constant nemesis that you had to
deal with through several
different members of the House of
Humperdink: It was great
seeing Jimmy at [Fanfest], and
Jimmy always comes out to Vegas
for Cauliflower Alley as well.
He’s such a great guy…