Graphics design and interview presentation by Dick Bourne.


Chappell: Pretty soon though, you hooked up with Bad Bad Leroy Brown…


Humperdink: Oh yes!


Chappell: Tell us about the ‘Bad Man’ from Chicago.


Humperdink: He was a great guy.


Chappell: For real?


Humperdink: Oh yeah, definitely. I managed him in Florida…


Chappell: So you all had a history?


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 alliance.


Bless his heart, Lee was a great guy. Ron Daniels was his real name.





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 together.


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!


Chappell: (laughing)


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 together.


Chappell: Actually, a number of different members of the House of Humperdink tangled with Valiant.


Humperdink: Yeah, they just changed the players. Bring in the next one!


Chappell: (laughs)


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 he is.


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 life.


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 time.


Plus, Ivan was responsible for getting Buddy Roberts into wrestling.


Chappell: How did that happen?


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.


Chappell: That’s interesting, I didn’t know there was any connection between Ivan and Buddy Roberts.


Humperdink: A big connection!


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 as nails.


The whole gimmick, the whole persona he had, was so far above anything else.


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 that time?


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 connection?


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 Verne.


Chappell: And it’s funny, in the year or two before you entered the Mid-Atlantic area…Gene was a manager!


Humperdink: Right!


Chappell: Gene went from never uttering a sound in the 70s, to being a manager in 1980-81. Pretty amazing!


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.


Chappell: Without question…and Gene could generate heat.


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 anybody!


Humperdink: Exactly…and he did!


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 say!


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 wrestling match.


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 Minneapolis…


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 they come.


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 Safeway chicken.’


Humperdink: (laughing)


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 Florida.


Chappell: When you were in the Mid-Atlantic area, Jack and Jerry had just come back to the territory after about a ten year absence.


Humperdink: That’s right, Charlotte was one of Jerry’s first territories.


Those guys were terrific…just great. In fact, I was there when they turned heel!


Chappell: Absolutely…talk about a shock! And I want to get into their turn just a little later.


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 Brisco…


Humperdink: Over the Mid-Atlantic belt.


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 into managing?


Humperdink: I’m not sure, exactly. By that time, Paul was getting up in age…


Chappell: Yes…


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 him.


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 value.


Chappell: Much like the scenario when Gene Anderson was getting up there in years, and Gene’s becoming a manager.


Humperdink: Exactly…they both were assets and it was just a question as to how you could best use them at that point in their careers.


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 babyface.


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 distress…


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 babyface.


Humperdink: And then we had the whole thing with ‘Piper’s Palace’ against the House of Humperdink!


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 him!


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 felt them.


And I was standing right there in front of them!


Sir Oliver Humperdink managed Greg Valentine

to 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 was.


Humperdink: (laughs) The Chief had his moments, that’s for sure.


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 Arena…


Chappell: That’s right, at the Scope.


Humperdink: Somehow Valentine ended up out of the ring, and I gave him a pair of knucks…


Chappell: Ah ha…the truth finally comes out!


Humperdink: (laughing) 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 of heat!


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 in 1977.


Humperdink: But, David, even at that point he was five times tougher than anybody I’d ever seen!


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 very true.


Chappell: Another guy in your stable that I really enjoyed your interaction with, was Jos LeDuc.


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,

and Jos LeDuc.


Chappell: (laughs) I remember that.


Humperdink: We had a lot of fun times together. Jos was a fabulous, fabulous guy. Very sweet guy…


Chappell: Really?


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!


Chappell: (laughing)


Humperdink: Oh my God, when he got those eyes bulging, he was fearsome looking!


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 hamburger.


Chappell: (laughs) And he had that great accent…which I know was legitimate.


Humperdink: Oh yes. I tell you, he looked scary…but he was a sweet man.


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 and Ninja…


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 in there!


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 the heat.


Humperdink: Sure…


Chappell: I’m sure you were willing to play that up for all it was worth.


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 the end.


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…


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…