Chappell: Moving towards
the end of your run in the
Mid-Atlantic area, you all kept
the thing going with Jimmy Valiant
by cutting his hair, which you
mentioned a few minutes ago. Bugsy
McGraw had come into the territory
at that point.
Humperdink: That’s right,
we sure did…
Chappell: You all broke his
music box, and then cut his
Humperdink: (laughs) What
else could we do to the guy?
Humperdink: Well, we could
have taken out a gun and started
Chappell: (still laughing)
No, I think with Jimmy, what you
all did to him was worse than
Exactly, they were pretty much on
a par with each other!
Chappell: The time we’re
talking about now, the spring of
1983…you said earlier that you
remembered Jack and Jerry Brisco
turning heel. That was pretty
Humperdink: I do remember
that well…very much so. That’s
always something they wanted to
Chappell: Sir Oliver, I’ve
heard that in recent years.
Humperdink: You know,
David, they were so good as
babyfaces…I kinda had my doubts as
to whether it would work.
Chappell: Oh, me too,
without question. But boy, did
they ever pull it off!
Humperdink: They did. And
it’s quite something, because they
were so over as babyfaces, and
they had that amateur style which
is tough to transfer over…
Chappell: I’ve heard them
called ‘scientific heels.’
Humperdink: They did a
wonderful job with it.
Chappell: It looked to me
that Jack particularly loved
playing the heel…that smug smirk
of his after the turn was
Humperdink: They both had a
great time with it. You know, they
had never done that before.
Chappell: I didn’t think
they had either. To me, that makes
how effective they were in those
roles all the more amazing.
Humperdink: Yes. And like I
said, I honestly didn’t know at
first whether they were going to
be able to pull it off.
But you know, it gets back to the
position that if you know what
you’re doing and you know the
business, and you’re a good
worker…you can go over from being
a good babyface to the heel side
Chappell: And who knew the
business better than Jack and
Humperdink: Without a
doubt…they were fabulous. I’m so
glad they had a chance to do that.
Chappell: That’s right,
because they really were close to
the end of their in-ring careers
at that point in time.
Humperdink: I tell you, as
heels, their interviews were
great. They were so smug!
Chappell: (laughs) ‘Smug’
is the perfect word! Jerry did
most of the talking on the
interviews, but Jack standing
there with that smug expression on
his face was the perfect
Of course, they were primarily
against Steamboat and Youngblood,
and that program approached the
heights of the
Slaughter/Kernodle program. Talk
about a tough act to follow…and
they actually did it!
Humperdink: All four of
them did a great job.
Chappell: Around the same
time that the Brisco’s turned
heel, you managed the team of
Kelly Kiniski and the One Man Gang
to the Mid-Atlantic Tag Team
HUMPERDINK MANAGED THE ONE MAN
GANG AND KELLY KINISKI
THE MID-ATLANTIC TAG TEAM
CHAMPIONSHIP (PHOTO BY EDDIE
Humperdink: Kelly Kiniski…a
second generation wrestler…
Chappell: That’s right, son
of ‘Big Thunder’ Gene
Kiniski…former NWA World’s
Tell us a little about Kelly.
Humperdink: He was a really
good kid, you know? But I don’t
know if his heart was really in
Chappell: Certainly he
wasn’t one of the second
generation wrestlers that really
For whatever reason, a number of
them seemed to fare better than
Humperdink: You’re right.
Chappell: In your last
couple of months in the
Mid-Atlantic area, I remember
where you kept the Gang’s Bodyslam
Challenge fresh by cutting a
little bit of the hair of any
contestant who couldn’t slam the
Gang. I think you all took the
scissors to Bugsy McGraw on one
Humperdink: (laughs) I
remember that! Yeah, we continued
to switch it up a little bit. We
were still ridin’ the same horse,
we just changed saddles from time
Well, your swan song in the
Mid-Atlantic area occurred in July
of 1983 when Jimmy Valiant said he
was going to rid the territory of
all the managers, starting with
The blow off matches were handicap
Cage Matches, Loser Leave Town,
with you and the One Man Gang
against Jimmy Valiant. What do you
remember about those?
Humperdink: Yeah, I
remember that. I think we did that
pretty much all around the
territory. We pretty much had to
give the people back something…we
had been terrorizing Boogie for a
Humperdink: I think the
Gangster went to Dallas after
Chappell: To show you how
big your feud with Valiant had
become, I’ll always remember that
in the blow off match in Richmond,
your Handicap Cage Match with
Valiant was billed on top over a
NWA World Heavyweight Title Match
between Ric Flair and Harley Race,
with a special referee!
Humperdink: Wow! You know
David, I’d like to take credit for
that, but a lot of times they did
that if a Cage Match was on the
card. You know, it took awhile to
physically set up the cage, so
that match was almost always last
on the show.
Chappell: I think you’re
too modest, Sir Oliver! I remember
in the TV promos for your last
match in Richmond, which went over
several weeks, you and the Gang
were billed as the top match on
that card. Even in the newspaper
promo for that card, you and the
Gang were listed on top.
Humperdink: I hear what
you’re saying David, but I would
never want to take anything from
Flair and Race.
Chappell: Oh, absolutely, I
know you wouldn’t want to do that.
Nor would I!
But if you had to have a send off
from the Mid-Atlantic area, it was
appropriate that it was played up
as a big deal…which in my opinion
it should have been!
Humperdink: I would be very
happy to be a semi Main Event to
Flair and Race!
Humperdink: And a lot of
times back then, you could have a
Double Main Event, with the Cage
Match going on last because of
having to take an intermission to
erect the cage. And they could
tear [the cage] down after the
show was over.
Chappell: That’s very true.
Putting that cage up and taking it
down, took quite an effort back
Well, Sir Oliver, we’ve gotten you
out of the Mid-Atlantic area now!
Can you tell us who your favorite
wrestler was to manage while you
were in the Mid-Atlantic
Humperdink: (pauses) Well,
it’s really hard to pick a
favorite guy…because I’ve always
had fun with the guys I’ve
The list is probably 150 or more
of the guys I’ve really enjoyed.
And I can count on one hand the
guys I really didn’t enjoy, none
of which were there in the
David, that’s kinda like asking
who your favorite kid is!
Chappell: (laughs) Okay,
Humperdink: (laughs) So,
I’ll preface this by saying I had
a great time with all of them.
I enjoyed myself with Ivan
immensely. Leroy and I had a good
time. Valentine and I had a good
Chappell: You had a number
of great guys in the Mid-Atlantic
area, without a doubt.
Humperdink: I did, I was
very fortunate, I had the best.
And that made my job all the more
easy. It clicked…it worked.
But it’s hard to say I preferred
somebody over somebody else.
Chappell: I completely
Humperdink: I had a great
time with them all. They all
brought something different to the
Chappell: Just generally,
do you have a Mid-Atlantic memory
that stands out to you?
Probably the big shows around
Thanksgiving and Christmas.
Chappell: Those holiday
shows were always particularly
special, I thought. Also, during
the holidays of 1982, the House of
Humperdink was clearly at its
pinnacle. Then, you were managing
just about every big name heel!
Humperdink: I was managing
a lot of guys at that point. They
kind of gave me the ball then, and
I ran with it and I guess I did
all right. If the card was five
matches, I had at least two or
three guys on it.
I’d have a lot of promos to do!
Big Bill Ward and I would do a lot
of those interviews.
Chappell: That’s right,
Bill came back into the promotion
during the time you were in. I
always thought Bill Ward had the
You have already told us a good
story about throwing the money off
the catwalk in Fayetteville…any
other stories about fans in the
Mid-Atlantic area that sticks with
Humperdink: Oh geez, I
don’t know! Every night was an
Chappell: (laughs) I’m
Humperdink: You had to
always look out to keep from
getting cut. Up in Lynchburg,
Virginia, all those guys up there
carried pocket knives…and stuff
like that. It was a lot different
then, than it is today.
Chappell: I don’t know how
you could ever get used to that
kind of thing.
Humperdink: You never
really do, but you have to kinda
accept it as part of the deal.
Chappell: In some ways,
it’s almost a compliment to your
abilities that you could get
people that stirred up, that your
safety became an issue.
Humperdink: Exactly. Back
to your original question, I don’t
think there’s really one incident
that comes to mind before all
others. Every night, there was
something new. You know, you could
never figure what was going to
happen…how the reactions would be.
You just had to be aware of
everything going on around you.
Chappell: Any places or
towns in the territory that you
Humperdink: I used to
always love working Conway High
School, down by Myrtle Beach. We
used to draw terrifically there.
Chappell: Interesting! They
actually just had a pretty big
Independent show down in Conway.
Humperdink: I used to love
working in Richmond.
Chappell: We loved you as
well, although we may have had a
funny way of expressing it
Humperdink: (laughing) You
all had a great little Chinese
restaurant that was open real
Chappell: The Lotus, right?
Humperdink: (laughs) The
Lotus was it!
Chappell: Tommy Young told
me you all would hit the Lotus.
Humperdink: Yeah, that was
a great little place up there we’d
always go to.
I enjoyed Richmond, like I said. I
enjoyed Myrtle Beach. I always
used to enjoy working Henry
Chappell: The Township
Auditorium…a great Mid-Atlantic
Humperdink: Yes, it was.
And Sumter, South Carolina…I
enjoyed Sumter, too.
Henry Marcus was a real class act.
One of the last of the old-time
gentleman promoters. He was very,
very good to the guys.
Chappell: I’ve always heard
good things about Mr. Marcus.
Humperdink: I used to
always enjoy the Murnick’s, and
Chappell: They were good to
Virginia, that’s for sure.
Humperdink: Like I said at
the beginning, it was a big
territory…with lots of towns!
Chappell: We hit on this
briefly earlier, but how was the
Humperdink: It was
difficult. We’d be out on the
road, maybe four nights a week.
We’d be back in Charlotte for TV,
and maybe a house show at the
But most of the time, we were out
on the road. And we had double
shots on Sunday.
Chappell: It sounds like a
Humperdink: But I don’t
have anything but fond memories
about the Mid-Atlantic territory.
Chappell: And certainly the
feeling is mutual from the fans to
Humperdink: The fans were
great there. I was fortunate…very,
very fortunate. I always thought
Mid-Atlantic was a great area.
Chappell: I think we were
very lucky to be living in a
territory that was so hot, and
that had so many great stars pass
Humperdink: We were talking
about Richmond, David, and you
know you just did that interview
with Dick Slater?
Chappell: Yes…it was great
having Slater visit the Gateway.
Humperdink: (laughs) Funny
story…we were in Richmond one
night, and we were driving
Dickie’s Porsche, he had a little
944. And somehow the car broke
down. And the next night we were
supposed to be at a spot show
somewhere north of Richmond.
We ended up having to rent a
limousine, to make the town,
because Dickie’s car broke down!
Chappell: (laughs) I bet
you all drew some attention when
you drove up to a little high
school gym in a stretch!
Chappell: I’m glad you
brought up Slater. You all were in
the area some of the same time
period, but Dickie was never part
of the House of Humperdink.
Though, you all collaborated on a
couple of things, if I’m
Humperdink: Yeah, I think I
may have been his ‘advisor’ for a
Chappell: So you and Slater
traveled a good bit together?
Humperdink: Yeah, quite a
bit. I had known Dickie for years
Chappell: Slater was
certainly a big name, and he came
into the Mid-Atlantic area
running…and you were already here
doing your thing. In fact, I think
he came in just after you had
brought the One Man Gang in…the
first month or so into 1983.
Humperdink: He was a
terrifically talented guy.
Chappell: Without question.
I think Slater may have been
involved when you all cut
Valiant’s hair…one of those quick
evil alliances of convenience!
Humperdink: Dickie is a
terrific guy. Great interview, by
Chappell: Thank you Sir
Oliver; Slater was great to talk
with. Just like you. Just let you
all talk, and it’s going to be a
Humperdink: (laughs) You’re
probably saying, ‘Won’t these guys
ever shut up!’
Chappell: (laughs) Nothing
could be further from the truth! I
just hope you all aren’t saying
that about me! I could talk with
you all non stop!
But, to not keep you all night, I
did want to start to wind down!
After you left the Mid-Atlantic
area, did you head back down to
Humperdink: I believe I
Chappell: Didn’t you end up
with Kevin Sullivan for a while
down there? The ‘Dark Side’ stuff?
Humperdink: I did.
Chappell: Wasn’t Blackjack
Mulligan down there with you at
Chappell: I think Blackjack
thought some of Kevin’s stuff was
way over the top. What did you
Humperdink: It was
interesting! It was certainly over
the top…nobody had ever done
anything like that before.
I think Blackjack, as big and
nasty as he was, was a little
scared of that!
Chappell: (laughing) I
don’t think there’s any doubt
about it! And from the little I’ve
seen of Kevin’s stuff, I can’t say
I blame him!
Humperdink: But the whole
time we did the gimmick, never
once did we mention the devil or
Satan or anything like that.
People could think what they
wanted, but we didn’t say anything
Chappell: People could read
into it what they wanted to.
Humperdink: The picture you
paint mentally is sometimes better
than the physical.
Chappell: As you said, it
was different, that’s for sure!
Humperdink: During that
time, we could see the end of [the
Florida territory] coming.
Chappell: That’s right, and
that must have been tough, because
you’d invested so much quality
time in Florida.
Humperdink: More so for
Eddie Graham, and all the guys
that had come before.
Chappell: I’m sure that’s
Of course, Vince McMahon had a lot
to do with the regional
territories folding up, and you
actually had a stint in the WWF a
little later on?
Humperdink: I did.
Chappell: Weren’t you at a
WrestleMania, managing Bam Bam
WrestleMania IV…in 1988 I believe.
Chappell: Didn’t you manage
against the One Man Gang at that
WrestleMania? That must have been
interesting managing against your
old Mid-Atlantic charge!
Humperdink: Yes…it was me
and Bigelow against Slick and the
Chappell: You and Bigelow
were the babyfaces in that matchup.
That was a switch!
Humperdink: They were
trying to reinvent everybody up
Chappell: Yeah…they made
Dick Slater into ‘The Rebel.’ That
Humperdink: I’m not sure
[Vince McMahon] did those things
as an accident, you know? That’s
just my thought.
Chappell: No…me either.
Humperdink: I mean, you
just have to look at me…I wasn’t
the babyface type.
Chappell: (laughs) I think
that’s a fair statement!