George Gray (wrestler): Wikis

  
  

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George Gray

One Man Gang in a wrestling match in 2009
Ring name(s) Crusher Broomfield[1]
One Man Gang
Panama Gang[1]
U.E.I. Gang
Akeem
Billed height 6 ft 9 in (206 cm)
Billed weight 450 - 495 lbs (205 - 225 kg )
Born February 12, 1960 (1960-02-12) (age 49)
Spartanburg, South Carolina
Resides Baton Rouge, Louisiana
Billed from Halsted Street, Chicago (as One Man Gang)
Deepest, Darkest Africa (as Akeem)
Debut 1977

George Gray (born February 12, 1960) is an American former professional wrestler best known as One Man Gang and Akeem "the African Dream".

Contents

Professional wrestling career

Early years

Gray started his career at the age of 17 in the Kentucky/Tennessee independent promotions (including International Championship Wrestling, a Lexington, Kentucky-based promotion run by Angelo Poffo) under the name Crusher Broomfield. One of Broomfield's major angles was that his contract was owned by ICW Champion "Macho Man" Randy Savage and Savage's arch-nemesis (coincidentally at this time nicknamed "One Man Gang") Ron Garvin defeated Savage in a match to set Broomfield free. He later worked for the National Wrestling Alliance and World Championship Wrestling as One Man Gang, billed as being from Chicago's Halsted Street on the South Side. He was managed by Kevin Sullivan and Theodore Long, Gentleman Jim Holiday, and Sir Oliver Humperdink. He was a member of Sullivan's Dungeon of Doom in World Championship Wrestling and had a brief run as United States Champion in 1995.

In the regional territories, he was a member of Skandor Akbar's "Devastation Inc." as well as working with Gary Hart in World Class Championship Wrestling. It was as a protégé of Akbar's in the Mid-South territory where Gray would get the name that would stick with him the rest of his career. Making his debut in the territory by interfering in matches and assaulting the fan favorite, Mid-South announcer Jim Ross would say about the then-unnamed assailant "He's a one-man gang!". The Gang worked on-and-off in Mid-South in between tours of Florida, Japan, and Texas. He worked in Texas All Star wrestling where he feuded with Big Bubba. It was on his last tour for Mid-South when the promotion renamed itself the Universal Wrestling Federation, with Gang one of its top villains, feuding at the main-event level with UWF top fan favorite Hacksaw Jim Duggan. In late 1986, Gang won the UWF Heavyweight Championship in an angle where the champion Terry Gordy was injured earlier in the evening by a revenge-minded "Dr. Death" Steve Williams. Gang, scheduled to face Gordy later on the card, was awarded the belt via forfeit. He held that title for six months, mostly facing Duggan, Williams, and Ted DiBiase.

In May 1987, Gang began receiving inquiries from the World Wrestling Federation about coming up to wrestle for them. He promptly agreed to terms, but returned to the UWF in order to drop the title to Big Bubba Rogers, who was there from his normal place in the NWA due to the recent sale of the UWF to Jim Crockett.

World Wrestling Federation

Debut

Gray made his debut in the WWF on May 12, 1987, being managed by Slick, in a match against Jesse Cortez. He spent much of his early WWF run defeating enhancement talent ("jobbers") in extremely short matches in order to build him up, most notably in a match where he Gourdbustered his opponent after the bell and then did the same to the referee, thus being (kayfabe) fined $10,000 for his actions. While the Gang often defeated jobbers and other lower card wrestlers with ease, he was often on the end of defeat when main eventing against bigger stars such as Hulk Hogan and Randy Savage, although Gang was a major part of the angle regarding "Superstar" Billy Graham being forced into retirement. One Man Gang participated in the first ever Survivor Series pay-per-view as a member of André the Giant's team, fighting a team led by Hulk Hogan. In 1988, Gang entered the first Royal Rumble at number 19 out of 20 participants and was one of the last two men left in the ring, before being eliminated by Jim Duggan. One Man Gang participated in the World Title Tournament at WrestleMania IV, defeating Bam Bam Bigelow by count-out in the opening round. He drew a bye in the quarterfinals before being disqualified in the semifinals against eventual-tournament-winner "Macho Man" Randy Savage after Gang attempted to hit Savage with his manager's cane. Following his loss at WrestleMania, Gang was placed lower "on the card," feuding with Bam Bam Bigelow, Koko B. Ware, and Don Muraco.

Akeem; Twin Towers

George Gray as The One Man Gang poses with a fan in 2008.

In September 1988, One Man Gang's manager, Slick, announced that Gang was actually African and planned to re-embrace his roots. An episode of WWF Superstars, which aired on September 24, 1988, featured a vignette with Gene Okerlund on-location in an American ghetto that is dubbed "The Deepest Darkest Parts Of Africa". This promo also featured "Mean" Gene and tribal African dancers dancing and chanting around a fire. Slick announced from that point on, Gang would be referred to by his new name, Akeem, the African Dream. This vignette received some criticism, as the Caucasian "Akeem" delivered a promo in which he spoke with an extremely stereotypical black accent and mockingly danced while an African ritual took place in the background. This vignette was featured by WWE's website in February 2008 during its Black History Month celebration.

Akeem and the Big Boss Man captained a team that featured Ted DiBiase, the Red Rooster, and Haku to battle the Mega Powers' team at Survivor Series in 1988. During the match Akeem along with teammate Big Boss Man handcuffed Hulk Hogan to the ring post and were later disqualified. The two formed a team called the Twin Towers. Though the Twin Towers never held the WWF Tag Team Championship, they were strongly involved in the storyline which would eventually cause Randy Savage to become a villain and challenge Hulk Hogan at WrestleMania V. In the Royal Rumble, Randy Savage was accidentally eliminated by teammate Hogan, allowing both Akeem and Bossman to double team Hogan and eliminate him. The Main Event show broadcast live on NBC on February 3, 1989 featured Hulk Hogan and Randy Savage vs. The Twin Towers. During the match, Savage's manager Elizabeth was injured after Savage was thrown through the ropes and knocked her to the ground, which led Hulk Hogan to abandon his partner and carry Elizabeth back to the locker room for medical help. Although Hogan later returned to the match to help Savage defeat Akeem and Bossman, Hogan's actions with Elizabeth caused Savage to attack him backstage, setting up the headline match for WrestleMania. The Twin Towers went on to face The Rockers at WrestleMania V and defeated them when Akeem pinned Shawn Michaels with a diving Air Africa after a powerbomb from the Big Boss Man.

In early 1990, Big Bossman became upset with Slick always trying to take the credit for him (as well as refusing to be part of a payoff from Ted DiBiase) and turned on both his manager and his partner Akeem. He defeated Akeem at WrestleMania VI. Although Akeem remained in the WWF until October 1990, his loss to The Bossman at WrestleMania was his last high profile match in the company. Gray left the World Wrestling Federation due to his fading role in the company at the time.

World Championship Wrestling

In early 1991, Gray resumed the One Man Gang gimmick in World Championship Wrestling and feuded with El Gigante (Jorge Gonzales). In a strange ritual, Kevin Sullivan sent the spirit of Akeem back to the underworld, while bringing back a now insane One Man Gang. He and manager Kevin Sullivan shaved Gigante's head in a post-match sneak attack. He lost a Loser Leaves WCW match to Gigante and left WCW afterwards, but returned in 1995. He became a member of Sullivan's "Dungeon of Doom" and lasted only a few months, but did hold the WCW United States Heavyweight Championship one time. He defeated Kensuke Sasaki for the title and dropped it to Konnan on his way out. During his time in WCW in 1992, Gray appeared in the movie Stay Tuned.

Post-World Championship Wrestling

One Man Gang wrestled in a dark match against Flash Flanagan prior to the February 3, 1998 Raw is War taping but was not hired. Also in 1998, One Man Gang briefly joined Extreme Championship Wrestling, including appearing at their flagship event, November to Remember. Gray made another appearance in the WWF in 2001 for the gimmick battle royal at WrestleMania X-Seven as One Man Gang.[2]

In later years, the Gang lost a lot of weight following a heart attack in 2000.[1] He works as a prison guard at the Louisiana State Penitentiary.[1] Although Grey is no longer performing on a regular basis, he occasionally makes appearances on the independent wrestling circuit, including an appearance at Chikara's King Of Trios 2008, teaming with Demolition, where they lost to the Fabulous Three of Larry Sweeney, Mitch Ryder, and Shayne Hawke.

On March 28, 2009, Gray returned after a lengthy absence from the ring at an International Wrestling Cartel event. He was defeated by "Hacksaw" Jim Duggan in the main event.[3]

In wrestling

Championships and accomplishments

References

  1. ^ a b c d e "Wrestler Profiles: One Man Gang". Online World of Wrestling. http://www.onlineworldofwrestling.com/profiles/o/one-man-gang.html. Retrieved 2007-10-14.  
  2. ^ "WWE PPV Wrestling Results: WrestleMania X-Seven". Online World of Wrestling. http://www.onlineworldofwrestling.com/results/wweppv/wrestlemaniax-7.html. Retrieved 2007-10-14.  
  3. ^ "International Wrestling Cartel Results". Online World of Wrestling. http://www.onlineworldofwrestling.com/results/iwc/. Retrieved 2009-08-02.  
  4. ^ Leidy, Josh. "Managers, Valets, Bodyguards, & Sidekicks". Wrestling Information Archive. http://www.100megsfree4.com/wiawrestling/pages/other/managers.htm. Retrieved 2007-10-14.  
  5. ^ Baer, Randy; R.D. Reynolds. Wrestlecrap: The Very Worst of Pro Wrestling. p. 37. ISBN 1550225847.  
  6. ^ Sugar, Bert Randolph; George Napolitano. The Pictorial History of Wrestling: The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly. p. 63. ISBN 0-8317-3912-6.  
  7. ^ a b c Sugar, Bert Randolph; George Napolitano. The Pictorial History of Wrestling: The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly. p. 62. ISBN 0-8317-3912-6.  
  8. ^ Matt Mackinder (January 17, 2008). "Sir Oliver Humperdink recalls career of yesteryear". SLAM! Wrestling. http://slam.canoe.ca/Slam/Wrestling/2007/05/12/4175841.html. Retrieved 2008-04-04.  
  9. ^ "House of Humperdink". Online World of Wrestling. http://www.onlineworldofwrestling.com/profiles/h/house-of-humperdink.html. Retrieved 2009-09-08.  

External links








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