Colonel DeBeers

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Colonel DeBeers
Birth name Edward Wiskoski
Born (1945-01-10) January 10, 1945 (age 69)[1]
St. Joseph, Missouri[1]
Resides Oregon[1]
Professional wrestling career
Ring name(s) Colonel DeBeers[1]
Dereck Draper[1]
Mega Maharishi Imed[1]
The Polish Prince[1]
Billed height 6 ft 4 in (1.93 m)[2]
Billed weight 275 lb (125 kg)[2]
Billed from Johannesburg, South Africa[1]
Debut 1973[1]
Retired 2003

Edward Wiskoski (born January 10, 1945) is a retired American professional wrestler best known for his appearances in the American Wrestling Association under the ring name Colonel DeBeers.[1] He also wrestled as Derek "The Mongoose" Draper (Florida) and Mega Maharishi (Portland). His nicknames included Easy Ed and The Polish Prince.

Before wrestling[edit]

In an interview, Wiskoski said that he was the first in his Polish family to attend and graduate from college (Northwest Missouri State University). He also played briefly for the Cincinnati Bengals in the National Football League before training to become a wrestler, but added that his time in the league lasted about as long as "a fart in a windstorm." He says that he chose not to mention his NFL experience when wrestling, because of the negative connotations that go with being an "ex-" anything.

Career[edit]

After being trained by Harley Race and Lord Littlebrook, Wiskoski debuted in 1973. Wiskoski primarily wrestled in the Portland, Oregon area during his career. His team with "Playboy" Buddy Rose was famous across the West Coast, holding the Pacific Northwest Tag Team titles on multiple occasions, and the NWA World Tag Team titles (San Francisco version).[1] Wiskoski was also the United States Heavyweight champion and Pacific Northwest Heavyweight champion.[1]

He held the Central States Heavyweight title in 1975[1] and wrestled throughout Europe in the 1980s. He worked as a heel for Leroy McGuirk in the Tulsa, Oklahoma area in the early 1980s. He was known as "Easy" Ed Wiskoski[1] and was managed by Skandor Akbar. They feuded with Tommy Gilbert and his son, Eddie Gilbert. He also wrestled a few matches in the WWF as the Polish Prince in 1983, managed by Fred Blassie.

During one of his many tours of the Pacific Northwest territory (where he eventually retired), Wiskoski took up the gimmick of Mega Maharishi Imed (the last name being pronounced 'Ahmed', the joke being that it is 'I'm Ed').[1] This character played upon potentially the hottest topic in the state of Oregon in the early to mid-80s, that of Bhagwan Shree Rajneesh and his group of followers essentially raising their own city in Eastern Oregon, outside the town of Antelope, and ending with a bioterrorist attack on the small Oregon town of The Dalles, causing the sickening of about 750 people from salmonella poisoning, though no deaths. Wiskoski played the role to the hilt, growing out his facial hair, donning red robes and a stocking cap, much like the Bhagwan himself. During this time he managed Kendo Nagasaki.

He was best known as Col. DeBeers in the American Wrestling Association (AWA) from 1985 until the organization stopped promoting in late 1990. His interviews and persona were based on a pro-Apartheid mentality and he played on the fragile race relations and political climate of South Africa at the time. He was billed as being from Cape Town, South Africa, though he bore no accent whatsoever. It was never directly mentioned, but his name was meant to link his status and wealth to the South Africa-based diamond mining and trading corporation, the DeBeers Group. DeBeers also wrestled in Herb Abrams' Universal Wrestling Federation and various promotions across the West Coast.

During his stint in the AWA he feuded with "Big" Scott Hall[1] and "Superfly" Jimmy Snuka[1] in 1986, Sgt. Slaughter in 1988, briefly with Derrick Dukes in 1989, and jobber Jake Milliman throughout 1990. DeBeers feud with Snuka was notorious in that, even in an industry known for characters based on racial stereotypes, DeBeers's overt racism was still shocking. DeBeers essentially refused to wrestle Snuka because he was not white. After a series of standoffs between the two, the feud was magnified after an injury angle where DeBeers interfered in a match with Snuka, throwing him off the top rope to the floor and delivering several piledrivers on the floor, resulting in a bloody and battered Snuka being wheeled off on a stretcher. This led to a series of high-profile matches with Snuka.

DeBeers and Milliman competed in, quite possibly, one of the most infamous matches in the history of wrestling while in the AWA. In the company's dying months, the AWA created the Team Challenge Series (TCS) to try to attract more viewers. One of the matches in the TCS pitted DeBeers and Milliman in the Great American Turkey Hunt, a match where the object was to be the first to pull an uncooked turkey off of a pole tied to one corner of the ring. DeBeers was the first to grab the turkey, although the referee had been knocked out. Milliman pulled a fast one and stole the turkey from DeBeers just before the referee got back up, and was awarded the victory. Also in the AWA in 1988, DeBeers was briefly managed by Diamond Dallas Page,[3] the leader of the Diamond Exchange stable, and his Diamond Dolls.[2] During that short time, he would try to force his opponent to leave on a stretcher.

While in the Herb Abrams' UWF, DeBeers became involved in another feud based on race. After a match with Louie Spicolli, DeBeers attempted to attack the referee who was an African-American. Iceman Parsons came to the save and became involved in a short feud with Col. DeBeers.

Retirement[edit]

Wiskoski and Rose ran a wrestling school in Portland, Oregon[1] from 2001 until 2006. One of their students received a tryout from WWE in May 2006, Caden Mathews, who wrestled Dave Finlay on an edition of SmackDown! that took place in Portland in May 2006. As of February 2009, Wiskoski was happily living in retirement in Goodyear, Arizona

In wrestling[edit]

  • Nicknames
    • "Easy" Ed Wiskoski[1]
    • Derek "The Mongoose" Draper
    • Wolf Wiskoski
    • "The Mercenary" – bestowed upon him by DDP

Championships and accomplishments[edit]

  • Southern Championship Wrestling
    • SCW Brass Knuckles Championship (2 times)
    • SCW Heavyweight Championship (1 time)
    • SCW North Carolina Heavyweight Championship (2 times)

1This is an Australian-based promotion that was in operation from October 1964 to December 1993. It has no connection to World Championship Wrestling, the promotion once owned by Ted Turner and sold to World Wrestling Entertainment in 2001.

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l m n o p q r s t u v w x y z aa ab ac ad "Colonel DeBeers profile". OWOW. Retrieved 2009-10-21. 
  2. ^ a b c d e f g American Wrestling Assiciation (1988-08-27). "DDP introduce Col DeBeers in his stable; Todd Becker Vs Col DeBeers /w DDP & Tonya". AWA.
  3. ^ a b "DDP's profile". Online World of Wrestling. Retrieved 2009-07-31. 
  4. ^ a b c d "AWA report; Col DeBeers /w DDP Vs Ken Raper". 411mania. Retrieved 2009-08-31. 
  5. ^ a b c d e f American Wrestling Association (1986-03-25). "Col DeBeers Vs Billy Anderson". AWA.
  6. ^ a b c d e f g American Wrestling Assiciation (1988-09-04). "Bryan Costello Vs Col DeBeers /w DDP & Tonya". AWA.
  7. ^ a b c d e f American Wrestling Assiciation (1988-10-26). "Col DeBeers /w DDP, Jennifer & Torri Vs Alan Reynolds". AWA.
  8. ^ a b c d e f American Wrestling Association (1986-05-13). "Col DeBeers Vs Nick Bockwinkel". AWA.

External links[edit]