Tuesday, October 8, 2013

Boo: The Gang's All Here

The One Man Gang
Photo courtesy: WWE
By Kevin Hunsperger
@kevinhunsperger & @my123cents

When I was young and watching World Class Championship Wrestling, I remember very vividly a mountain of a man hailing from Halsted Street in Chicago.  He had a mohawk with skull tattoos on either side of his head.  He wore black ring attire with skulls on the shoulders, a denim vest, and a long chain.  He was the One Man Gang.

Gang was a member of Skandar Akbar's Devastation Incorporated as well as Gary Hart's dynasty.  At more than 400 pounds, he squashed many of his competitors.  But it wasn't always a walk in the park for him.  I remember his struggles against my favorites, like Kerry Von Erich (who slammed the big man and pinned him in order to shave Gary Hart's head) and King Kong Bruiser Brody.  As you might imagine, a huge brawl ensued between the two beasts.

Gang eventually moved on to the UWF and picked up that company's heavyweight title.  He had classic matches with the likes of Terry Gordy and "Dr. Death" Steve Williams.  Once he prepared to jump ship and head north to the WWF, Gang dropped the title to Big Bubba Rogers (his future tag team partner in the Twin Towers).

The Gang in the WWF
Photo Courtesy: WWE
Gang fit in immediately in the WWF.  He was a mammoth among men.  It didn't take long for him to get a shot at Hulk Hogan's WWF title.  Although he came up short, I was impressed that someone from little ol' WCCW was hanging with the best the WWF had to offer.  He squashed "Superstar" Billy Graham, forcing him to retire.  Gang also feuded with Don Muraco and earned a spot in the WWF Title Tournament at Wrestlemania IV.  He was disqualified in his match against the eventual winner "Macho Man" Randy Savage.

With Slick by his side, One Man Gang seemed nearly unstoppable.  But in the fall of 1988, he underwent an awkward transformation and became known as Akeem the African Dream.  I'll share about my thoughts on that in a future post.

Gang & Sullivan 1991
Photo courtesy: WWE
Today, I wanted to focus on the beast known as the OMG, who eventually resurfaced again after his WWF tenure ended.  In WCW he and Kevin Sullivan ran rough shot over the competition.  This was a throwback to the Gang of old, the joke of Akeem was long in the past.  Even though that tenure didn't last long, OMG did return again in 1995 and won the U.S. Title.  He held it for a short time before dropping it to Konnan.

Gang has made sporadic appearances since then, including a mark out moment for me when he teamed with Demolition at Chikara's King of Trios tournament in 2008.  Even though they didn't make it out of the first round, it was great to see some blasts from the past join forces in the wacky world of Chikara.


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