Chappell: (laughs) Since
you obviously think so highly of
Jimmy Valiant, what in the world
possessed you, Leroy Brown and Jos
LeDuc to destroy the Boogie Woogie
Man’s music box and just
My God, you all tried to end the
music!! The day the music died,
and you were right there as the
Humperdink: (long pause)
David, you know why we did it…I
hated that music!
Chappell: (laughing hard)
You got a little tired of hearing
‘The Boy From New York City?’
Humperdink: (laughs) Yeah…I
hated it! I was so sick of hearing
Chappell: (still laughing)
I remember on one of your
interviews after you all destroyed
the boom box, you said in no
uncertain terms you were sick of
that song…and never wanted to hear
Humperdink: I remember when
we got Valiant’s music box…that
building was rocking.
Chappell: I have to say, as
much as I appreciated Valiant’s
gimmick to a degree, I got sick of
hearing that song too!
Humperdink: Man, I’d hear
that thing in my sleep!
Chappell: And Valiant’s
expression after you all had
busted up that thing…priceless.
His world had clearly been turned
Humperdink: (laughs) He was
pretty attached to that box,
wouldn’t you say?
Chappell: (laughs) I think
that’s a pretty fair statement,
And that incident was used for
many, many months afterwards by
Valiant, actually up to the series
of blow off matches that sent you
out of the territory….‘Humperdink
broke my music box.’
Humperdink: Yeah…you don’t
mess with the Boogie Man’s music!
Chappell: No, definitely
not! But you’ve owned up to your
misdeeds today---so we’ll let you
pass! Hey, it’s been 23 years ago…
Humperdink: (laughs) I tell
you what, it’s still phenomenal to
me the reaction that got.
Chappell: I don’t mean this
to be a slight to Jimmy Valiant,
because he is truly a great guy,
but do you have an explanation as
to why the ‘Boogie Woogie’ gimmick
got over to the magnitude that it
did? To this day, that still
Humperdink: (pauses) I
think because people could
identify with it. He was a guy on
the street, a plain guy, doing the
right thing. And then you have me,
a total jerk…doing just the
opposite. He was good, and we were
But the whole thing was
Chappell: And he kept it
going after you left, really for
years and years. Particularly with
Paul Jones. Valiant seemed to have
something against managers!
Humperdink: Boogie would
never sell to any extent, he would
just dance slower and slower…
Chappell: (laughs) Yeah,
that was about it!
Humperdink: You’d start
working on him, and he’d go down
on that one knee…and he’d do that
little shaking thing. You know,
he’d never really sell…
Chappell: Not in the
traditional sense, certainly.
Humperdink: Then when it
was time for him to come back,
he’d do that crazy stuff…and the
people would be going absolutely
Chappell: Go figure!
Chappell: About the same
time you all destroyed the music
box, a newcomer named Mike Rotundo
came into the area. You tried to
recruit him into the House, but he
Tell us about Mike, who of course
was very young at this juncture.
Humperdink: I had known
Mike from Florida…
Chappell: I thought that
might have been the case.
I remember when you came out to
recruit Mike into the House of
Humperdink, you said you could
have become his ‘driving force’
and his ‘guiding light.’
(laughs) But Mike wanted no part
Humperdink: (laughs) He was
young, but he was no fool!
Chappell: (laughing) Smart
beyond his years, huh?
Humperdink: Seriously, he
was a very talented guy. He had
all the credentials…he was a legit
amateur Champion. He was broken in
by Dick Beyer.
Chappell: It was neat to
see Mike at that early stage of
his career, then watch him
progress over the years.
Humperdink: Didn’t Mike get
me in the airplane spin one time
on Mid-Atlantic TV?
Chappell: That sounds
awfully familiar…I’m almost
positive that happened.
I remember Mike getting hooked up
with Leroy Brown pretty quickly,
and I think Leroy injured him with
the piledriver…and Mike wore the
big ol’ horse collar for a while.
Humperdink: I remember that
David, did you remember a very
young Joe Laurinaitis, Road
Warrior Animal, when he first
started there in the Carolinas?
Chappell: Not until much
later, when I went back and looked
at some video tapes. I have one
match, right around Christmastime
of 1982 on Crockett TV, where
Animal wrestled Jimmy Valiant.
They called him ‘Joe Laurin’ then.
Pretty amazing to look back and
see him then!
Humperdink: Yep, and a very
young Rick Rude.
Chappell: Yes! Same thing
there…I saw a tape of Rude
wrestling Paul Jones, I believe. I
think he was called ‘Ricky Rood’
Humperdink: In fact, I
think Rude got hurt one night
working against LeDuc.
Humperdink: I think he blew
out something, or pulled a groin
or something like that.
With Animal, I think that was his
first or second territory…and then
Ole Anderson brought him into
Atlanta. Teamed with Mike
Chappell: And the rest as
they say, is history!
Chappell: While you weren’t
involved in this yourself, I’d
still like to get your thoughts on
the program with Sergeant
Slaughter and Don Kernodle against
Ricky Steamboat and Jay
You were in the territory during
that whole amazing program with
Humperdink: I’ve always
thought a lot of Bob Slaughter …he
started in Minneapolis.
Chappell: That’s right.
Humperdink: I’ve known Bob
for a long time. Bob and I were
together in Tri-States, which was
one of his early territories.
Verne broke him in, and I think he
went down there pretty soon after
Verne broke him in.
He’s a terrific guy, and is
terrifically talented…and he’s
still a good friend.
Chappell: What about
Slaughter’s partner, Don Kernodle?
Humperdink: Don Kernodle is
a great guy, too. And a great
amateur wrestler in his day. It
was good seeing him again back in
November [at Fanfest] in
Chappell: Thoughts on the
team that Slaughter and Kernodle
went round and round with?
Humperdink: What can you
say about Steamboat and
Youngblood? They were ‘It.’ And
the girls would just cry when they
Chappell: I remember
Steamboat had a short program with
Leroy Brown, which of course you
were involved in, before he really
went full-time into the tag team
program with Jay.
The Slaughter/Kernodle and
Steamboat/Youngblood thing was one
of those programs that really took
off and the fans got into…it just
Humperdink: Yep, it was
magic. Probably something that
could never be recreated.
Was I there in Greensboro when
they blew that thing off? I was
thinking I was there.
Chappell: Well, they had
several blow off matches around
the territory around the end of
April of 1983. I know you were on
the show in Richmond, with the One
Man Gang, when they had the Cage
Match with Slaughter/Kernodle and
Steamboat/Youngblood, where the
losing team could never wrestle as
a team again in Virginia.
Humperdink: Right, when
Slaughter was going to New York.
And I remember about a month
earlier, when the traffic was so
backed up trying to get into the
Coliseum. That was the card in
Greensboro I was thinking of.
Chappell: Exactly, that was
the Cage Match where Steamboat and
Youngblood won the World Tag Team
Titles from Slaughter and
Kernodle…and it set up all those
great returns over the next six
There were so many people trying
to get to the Greensboro Coliseum,
they had to turn tons of people
away. A lot of people say that
helped lead to the concept of
Starrcade, that they did later in
In fact, Sir Oliver, the cards
around the territory changed right
during that time period. Every
card was a mega card…pretty much
every match was a Main Event type
Humperdink: Business was
Chappell: I remember there
was a huge increase in ticket
prices then…from like $8.00 to
Backing up a little bit, back to
the end of 1982, Bob Orton., Jr.
came into the territory. He was a
member of Piper’s Palace against
the House of Humperdink. Orton was
very polished and smooth in the
Humperdink: Bob was a
terrific man. I knew both him and
his Dad. Like you say, when Bob
came into Charlotte, he was a
He’s a terrific guy. Another guy
with a great amateur background,
and he had all the credentials. He
was a terrific worker. I had a lot
of respect for Bobby, and still
do. I saw him recently.
Chappell: How is he doing?
Humperdink: Doing great,
doing well…he’s over in St. Louis.
Chappell: Bob was part of
Piper’s Palace; please tell us a
little bit about the battles
between Piper’s Palace and the
House of Humperdink. I remember
them well, and I guess they were
at the height of your run in the
HUMPERDINK AND RODDY PIPER EACH
DISPLAY THEIR MEMBERSHIP CARDS TO
THE "HOUSE OF HUMPERDINK" AND
"PIPER'S PALACE" RESPECTIVELY.
To start, what was the deal with
you and Abdullah the Butcher?
Humperdink: I brought
Abdullah in, and I think he was
working with Jimmy Valiant. Abby,
of course, never stayed around
anywhere too long.
Chappell: Didn’t you
supposedly give Abby a bad
check…and he joined Piper’s Palace
ABDULLAH THE BUTCHER WITH SIR
(PHOTO BY EDDIE CHESLOCK)
Humperdink: Yes, Piper
brought him back on the opposing
side, and around the holidays in
1982 we had to face the team of
Piper, Boogie, and Abby all around
Chappell: They were
something, and I think Bob Orton,
Jr. was involved in some of those
six man tags also.
Humperdink: Yeah, I think
we did swap up some with different
Chappell: About that same
time, the holidays in 1982, do you
remember where Ric Flair and Greg
Valentine dragged Roddy Piper’s
face on the floor? A repeat of a
similar angle in 1978 with Flair
Humperdink: Oh yes! Roddy
looked really, really bad!
Chappell: He did…I remember
they circulated a photo of Piper
with his face all messed up. Greg
and Piper went round and round for
about a year straight after that.
Humperdink: You remember
the ear thing?
Chappell: That was
unbelievable, when Greg mutilated
Piper’s ear! That made 1983, as
Greg would say, ‘The Year of The
And then they had the ‘Dog Collar’
matches later in ‘83, several
months after you left the
Humperdink: But I heard
Chappell: Something that is
still talked about today, is
Bruiser Brody’s very brief run
with the House of Humperdink at
the very end of 1982 and the very
beginning of 1983. Tell us about
Brody’s brief stint with the
Humperdink: I think we
might have brought him in for
Boogie, but I’m not sure. He was
only on TV a time or two.
Chappell: Brody never had a
match in Richmond.
Humperdink: He didn’t stay
long at all. Not that it was going
to be a long term deal to begin
with. It was for the Christmas
holiday area, if I recall.
He was generally brought in to
Chappell: (laughing) It’s a
pity he didn’t stay longer. He was
a perfect fit for the House of
Humperdink: Oh absolutely,
he was a monster!
Frank (Goodish) was always moving
around, and was very active in
Japan. I think he may have been in
Texas before he came here. He
would go off on occasion…
Chappell: Was there any
incident here in Mid-Atlantic that
contributed to his stay here being
Humperdink: No, nothing
like that…there was no heat or
But anyway, Frank, Stan Hansen and
I were all together in Oklahoma in
Leroy McGuirk’s territory, so I
had been around Frank for quite
awhile before he came to
Chappell: Another huge guy
you brought in during the first
weeks of 1983 was the One Man
Gang. For a few TV matches, he was
referred to as George Gray, which
was his real name I believe?
Humperdink: Yes sir. And
for a while he did a little thing
in Kentucky and Tennessee, and he
used the name Crusher Broomfield.
He was from Spartanburg, South
interesting…I didn’t realize he
was from Mid-Atlantic country!
Humperdink: Yep, born and
raised in Spartanburg.
Chappell: For the rest of
your Mid-Atlantic stint in 1983,
the Gang was really the primary
guy that you managed.
One Man Gang with Manager Sir
He could really move for a guy his
Humperdink: Very agile.
Chappell: I believe that at
the time, you said he was six feet
nine, 420 pounds?
Humperdink: Pretty close!
Chappell: I sure wouldn’t
question him on it!
Humperdink: (laughs) When
you’re that big, you don’t have to
lie about your stats!
Chappell: (laughs) What
kind of relationship did you and
the Gang have?
Humperdink: We had a great
relationship, David. I love him to
death…he was a great kid. Great
kid. And a moneymaker, too.
I had managed him in Florida prior
to coming to Charlotte…
Chappell: Yet another
Humperdink: Just an awesome
Chappell: ‘Awesome’ is a
great description for the Gang!
Humperdink: Of course, you
gotta remember back then, guys his
size weren’t the norm at all.
Chappell: You’re right,
guys his size back then REALLY
stood out from the rest.
Chappell: You did some
really neat things with the Gang.
You had the Bodyslam Contest,
which really went on for many
months. I remember you had to
raise the prize from $5,000 to
$7,500 to get wrestlers to attempt
Yeah, that’s right!
I tell you, I got a lot of heat in
Fayetteville, North Carolina one
night with that.
Chappell: How so?
Humperdink: I used to bring
the bag of money to the ring. I
don’t know if you’ve ever been to
the Cumberland County Arena?
Chappell: No, not the one
you’re referring to back then.
I’ve been to the Crown Coliseum
down there in the last couple of
Humperdink: The heels
dressing room was upstairs there,
a place where you could look out
over the Arena. After a match
there one night, we got back to
the dressing room and I went out
and I started throwing out the
money from the catwalk!
Humperdink: Crockett went
Chappell: (laughing) I
Humperdink: He went nuts!
It was just ones and fives…it
wasn’t hundred dollar bills or
Chappell: All the same, I’m
not surprised that you got some
major heat from Crockett!
Humperdink: He should have
been more concerned about the
fans…they were jumping around like
piranhas trying to get the money!
Chappell: (laughing) That
must have been some scene!
In addition to the Bodyslam
Challenge, you also had the ‘Tug
of War’ with the Gang, too. That
Humperdink: Right, right!
Chappell: I remember Bugsy
McGraw was part of one of those,
and Jimmy Valiant also. That was
another good way to keep your feud
with Valiant going strong.
Humperdink: The hair cut
thing, too…it went on and on with
Chappell: I wanted to ask
you about managing towards the end
of your Mid-Atlantic run in 1983.
This was really a territory that
didn’t have a lot of managers…
Humperdink: Well, you had
George Harris, Homer O’Dell…
Chappell: Right, but that
went way back to the 60s and early
70s. We even had Gary Hart back
then, when he was called ‘Playboy’
But then there was a gap of a good
ten years or so when the managers
weren’t really featured in Jim
You were the big name that really
got that going again. But in early
‘83 Paul Jones becomes a manager,
and about that same time Gary Hart
comes in. All of a sudden there
were THREE managers on the heel
Humperdink: You’re right.
Chappell: Did you feel at
that point the two new managers
sort of watered down the House of
Humperdink? Because after that,
you for the most part just managed
the One Man Gang.
Humperdink: Yeah, that’s
true…but at that point I was sorta
on the way out. I kinda knew that…
Chappell: I see…
Humperdink: But no, I
wasn’t unhappy in any way that
[the other managers] came in. I
knew there would always be another
place that I could go!
Chappell: One of the real
pluses during the territorial
wasn’t worried about getting work.
You know, I had a pretty good
Chappell: That’s for sure!
Humperdink: Gary (Hart) and
I were always close anyway.
Chappell: I thought so…you
two were always together when I
saw you in Charlotte at the
Fanfest at Thanksgiving.
Humperdink: We were like
Humperdink: We were always
very close. We worked in Florida
together. So Gary and I were
really good friends back then.
Chappell: I’d like to get
some thoughts from you on Gary. As
we’ve said, he had a history with
Crockett Promotions that went back
to the early 70s.
Humperdink: Oh, he’s a
terrific guy. When I first went
into Florida, Gary was there
already with Pak Song. And I
thought, ‘How is Gary, being an
internationally known guy who was
in the business a lot longer than
me, gonna feel about an upstart
horning in on his territory?’
I knew right away when I first met
Gary, that things were going to be
just great. He wasn’t the type of
guy to be jealous, or anything
like that. Gary had his thing, and
I had my thing. Gary was at one
end of the spectrum, and I was at
the other. I didn’t do what Gary
did, and Gary didn’t do what I
Chappell: I can certainly
see now, that when the roles were
sort of reversed in 1983, that you
wouldn’t have had any issues with
him coming into the Mid-Atlantic
problem at all. From the very
first time I ever met him, we were
fast friends…and have remained
that way. Matter of fact, I talked
to him last night!
Gary is a good friend to this very
day. I admire him a lot. He took
the time to help me when I was
Chappell: I’m sure that
means a lot.
Humperdink: It means a lot.
You know, it could have been the
Chappell: Yeah, he could
have viewed you as a threat coming
Humperdink: Exactly, Gary
could have said, ‘What is he
trying to do?’ And when I came to
him for advice, he could have
blown me off. But he didn’t.