Sunday, March 20, 2011

Remembering "Hump"

Courtesy: WWE
By Kevin Hunsperger

Sad news this morning.  Online reports, including a tweet from WWE ring announcer Howard Finkel, indicate that "Sir" Oliver Humperdink has died.

Younger fans will likely not remember "Hump."  But I have plenty of fond memories of him.  I remember reading about him first in the "Apter magazines" when Humperdink worked in the Florida territory.  It wasn't until 1987 when he came to the World Wrestling Federation that I'd actually seen him on TV.

Humperdink was Bam Bam Bigelow's "surprise" manager, after all the heels had been vying for his contract.  Bigelow and Humperdink were the only face manager-wrestler faction in the WWF at the time.  Paul Orndorff soon joined the group after he left the Heenan family again.

I believe that Humperdink was brought in as a face to replace Capt. Lou Albano who had recently left the company.  The two were very similar looking.  While Humperdink didn't really get over with the WWF fans, I always enjoyed his flashy wardrobe.  There's something about the managers of the 80's, the always had that sense of flare.

Hump's time in the WWF wasn't long, and he headed to the NWA to once again manage the "Beast from the East."  He also managed the Wild Samons, and then changed his look and persona as "Big Daddy Dink", a biker like gimmick when he managed the Freebirds.

He left the business in 1992, and made appearances from time in time.  In recent years, Humperdink's health declined and he had been battling cancer.  Oliver Humperdink was 62.  May he rest in peace.

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