Kevin Sullivan (wrestler)

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Kevin Sullivan
Born (1949-10-26) October 26, 1949 (age 65)
Cambridge, Massachusetts
Spouse(s) Nancy Toffoloni (m. 1992; div. 1997)
Professional wrestling career
Ring name(s) The Boston Battler
The Gamesmaster
Johnny West
Kevin Caldwell
Kevin Sullivan
Masked Lucifer
The Great Wizard
The Taskmaster
Billed height 5 ft 9 in (1.75 m)[1]
Billed weight 252 lb (114 kg; 18.0 st)[1]
Billed from Singapore (1987–1989)
Boston,Massachusetts
Daytona Beach, Florida (1994)
Conch Republic (1994–1995),
Eleuthera (The Bahamas)
"The Iron Gates of Fate"[2] (as "The Taskmaster" Kevin Sullivan as the leader of the Dungeon of Doom)
Debut October 1970

Kevin Francis Sullivan (born October 26, 1949) is an American professional wrestler and booker, perhaps best known for his role in World Championship Wrestling (WCW) as "The Taskmaster" and his leading of the "Dungeon of Doom".

Professional wrestling career[edit]

Early career[edit]

Sullivan wrestled as "Johnny West" in the NWA (Gulf Coast) in the early '70's, capturing the NWA Gulf Coast Tag Team championship (along with Ken Lucas), defeating Jack Morrell & Eddie Sullivan on March 11, 1971. Next, he went to NWA Florida Championship Wrestling in 1972 and captured the tag team championship with Mike Graham. He took three years off from the NWA to join the WWWF as a mid-card face (from 1974 to 1977). He had a (rare for the time) face versus face battle with Pete Sanchez on an MSG undercard. Sullivan also wrestled as a face for Roy Shire for the National Wrestling Alliance in their San Francisco territory. Sullivan then worked in NWA Georgia Championship Wrestling and Championship Wrestling From Florida as a face until the early 1980s. His first heel run was in Memphis where alongside Wayne Ferris (The Honky Tonk Man) and manager Jimmy Hart he battled the local faces including Jerry Lawler. He left Memphis for Georgia but once again turned heel while in the Georgia territory before he moved on to Florida to work for Eddie Graham.

Championship Wrestling From Florida[edit]

Known as the heel "Boston Battler", Sullivan's "devil worshiping" gimmick started during this time. In CWF he became associated with "Maniac" Mark Lewin (Purple Haze), Bob Roop, The Lock and Luna Vachon amongst others as the Army of Darkness. Sullivan split his time with International Championship Wrestling and brought the devil-worshiping gimmick there, along with Lewin and Roop. He had the Fallen Angel as his valet, who later became known as Woman. Sullivan was the top heel in ICW when the company first went national and had noted feuds with Austin Idol, Superstar Billy Graham, Bruiser Brody, Joe Savoldi and Blackjack Mulligan.

Jim Crockett Promotions/World Championship Wrestling (1987–1992)[edit]

Sullivan formed The Varsity Club upon arrival in the NWA with Mike Rotunda and Rick Steiner. They immediately started feuding with Jimmy Garvin because Sullivan wanted Garvin's wife Precious for himself. This feud lasted a while with Sullivan kayfabe breaking Garvin's leg at one point. Steiner left the group and was replaced by "Dr. Death" Steve Williams and Dan Spivey. They feuded with Dusty Rhodes, the Road Warriors, Rick Steiner and Eddie Gilbert. Sullivan even attacked Gilbert's wife Missy Hyatt. By late 1989, the Varsity Club was gone, and Sullivan formed Slaughterhouse with Cactus Jack and Buzz Sawyer to feud with Rotunda.[3] Sullivan took time off in late 1990 and returned in early 1991 as the manager of One Man Gang, Black Blood, and the Angel of Death. They cut El Gigante's hair and had a brief feud. Sullivan also was the masked Great Wizard briefly to manage Oz. After his contract with WCW expired in August 1991, he came to Japan, and participated in FMW. And, he fought against Atsushi Onita with Ed Farhat. He would later move to W*ING.

Smoky Mountain Wrestling (1992–1994)[edit]

Sullivan was in a feud with "Primetime" Brian Lee where after Lee's matches there would be a miniature tombstone brought to ringside. During this feud he was known as The Master and enlisted the help of The Nightstalker and the Mongolian Mauler to soften up Lee. After Lee defeated Nightstalker, he finally came face to face with The Master who was revealed to be Sullivan after he delivered a fireball to the face of Lee and was joined by Nightstalker in busting open Lee on live television. Lee would return and finally get the upper hand on Sullivan in a Singapore Spike match with Sullivan which Lee won after Nightstalker accidentally hit Sullivan with the spike. Sullivan left SMW shortly after losing a match to Ronnie Garvin by DQ in March 1994.

Extreme Championship Wrestling (1993–1994)[edit]

In early 1993, Sullivan and Nancy, went to Extreme Championship Wrestling, where he teamed with The Tazmaniac. The two won the Tag Team Title and feuded with The Public Enemy. Sullivan also had a bloody feud with Abdullah the Butcher. Sullivan left Woman behind and headed to World Championship Wrestling in spring 1994.

World Championship Wrestling (1994–2001)[edit]

Main article: The Dungeon of Doom

He formed a tag team with his kayfabe brother Dave Sullivan, a dyslexic character who was being picked on by The Nasty Boys (Jerry Sags and Brian Knobs). He enlisted Cactus Jack's help and beat them for the Tag Team Title.[4] Dave was injured and out of action for a while and Sullivan split with Cactus after losing the titles. Sullivan defeated Cactus in a Loser Leaves WCW match at Fall Brawl.[5]

Dave came back and dressed like his idol, Hulk Hogan. This infuriated Kevin, who hated Hogan, and they started feuding. Kevin brought in Hogan's best friend, Ed Leslie, as The Butcher, to help him with his feud against Hogan. He also brought in Avalanche and called the trio the 3 Faces of Fear. They feuded with Hogan, Randy Savage and Sting. In early 1995, after not being able to end Hogan's career, Avalanche left the group and Sullivan turned on The Butcher.

Later in 1995 Sullivan began hearing the voice of someone calling for him to come find him. Over the course of several weeks, vignettes were shot with Sullivan searching for the man, who eventually became known as The Master. Once Sullivan found The Master he was rechristened with a new gimmick, The Taskmaster. The two men immediately started putting together a new group that eventually became known as the Dungeon of Doom. In time, the group grew to include Kamala, The Barbarian, Meng, The Yeti, Hugh Morrus, Loch Ness, One Man Gang, Big Bubba Rogers, and The Giant. Sullivan also brought in his former 3 Faces of Fear stablemates, with Avalanche wrestling as The Shark and The Butcher wrestling as The Zodiac. For a very short time, Big Van Vader also was a member. Managed by Sullivan, four Dungeon of Doom members lost to The Hulkamaniacs in a WarGames match at September's Fall Brawl. As a result of Hogan's win over Zodiac, he got to spend five minutes alone with Sullivan. The feud with Hogan continued for much of the remainder of the year and saw the group add Jimmy Hart as its manager, after he turned on Hogan in October 1995 and cost him the WCW World Heavyweight Championship in a match with the Giant.

The Dungeon then feuded with the Four Horsemen, and Sullivan acquired a certain disliking for Brian Pillman. Once Sullivan sent Pillman packing, the Dungeon and the Horsemen joined forces again to get rid of Hulk Hogan and his friends and formed the unsuccessful Alliance To End Hulkamania.

Afterwards, Sullivan and Horseman Chris Benoit began a feud much like Sullivan had with Pillman. This feud lasted for over a year however, with Benoit "stealing" Woman from Sullivan. Sullivan brought in Jacquelyn to help him and also added Konnan to the Dungeon. Sullivan lost a retirement match to Benoit at Bash at the Beach on July 13, 1997.

This loss gave him more to time to concentrate on his job as booker. Sullivan stayed on as the booker or a member of the WCW booking committee and made a brief on-screen appearance with the reformed Varsity Club of Rotunda and Rick Steiner with their cheerleader, Leia Meow. After a couple of months, he was back off television.

In 2000, after the demotion of Ed Ferrara and Vince Russo (and subsequent departure of the latter), the resulting chaos led to Sullivan's promotion to head booker. This move infuriated a number of WCW wrestlers, given Sullivan's history of professional rivalries with Benoit (Benoit had an affair with Nancy Sullivan and later married). Benoit, Dean Malenko, Eddie Guerrero and Perry Saturn would quit the night after, immediately signing with the WWF. Sullivan was fired before WCW's sale in 2001.

Recent years[edit]

In 2003, Sullivan made one surprise appearance in Total Nonstop Action Wrestling, as the officiator in the first Clockwork Orange House of Fun match.

In late 2003/2004, he worked for the All World Wrestling League/Big Time Wrestling.

In 2012 he started wrestling in the Pacific Northwest with his nephew Dash Venture and Ron Von Hess ("half-brother" to Dash and storyline "son" of Kurt Von Hess). Together they won the AIWF World Six-Man Championship.

On April 28, 2012 Sullivan made a surprise appearance, initially under a mask, during the Shane Douglas vs. 2 Cold Scorpio match at Extreme Reunion in Philadelphia, PA.

On March 8, 2013 Sullivan appeared in Nitro, WV where he reunited with Dash Venture Sullivan in his corner as he faced Ron Mathis.

On July 7, 2013 Sullivan appears at Supercon in Miami as himself to sign autographs.

He appears as himself in the opening wrestling sequence of the 2013 film "Pro Wrestlers vs Zombies" during APWA Wrestling Pile Driving Drugs II. He wrestled in a tag match teaming with Barbarian and was managed by Don West. They would defeat Beastman and Jock Samson.[6]

In May 2014 Kevin Sullivan began working for promoter Don West with the American Pro Wrestling Alliance and is the current booker for the promotion. Kevin put Don over passing him the torch saying he would be darker than he ever was. Kevin alongside Don is mentoring him as the manager for the First Family in the APWA with Barbarian, Ricky Reyes, and the Turkana Warrior.[7]

On June 26, 2014 Sullivan teamed with Ace Perry and Christian Skyfire to defeat John Wayne Murdoch, Reed Bentley and Tripp Cassidy in the main event of an Evolution Pro Wrestling event.[8]

Personal life[edit]

In an example of kayfabe (the storylines in wrestling) becoming real, Sullivan's wife Nancy left him in favor of his rival, Chris Benoit. In the late 90s Sullivan conceived an angle where Nancy, who under the ring name Woman was his manager, would leave him for Chris Benoit. Sullivan insisted that the two should travel together, share hotel rooms and hold hands in public to preserve kayfabe for the general public and to make the affair look real.[9] Nancy ultimately married Benoit in 2000. Because of the real life imitating kayfabe, Sullivan and Benoit had a contentious backstage relationship at best, and Benoit defeated Sullivan in a Retirement match at Bash at the Beach. Benoit did, however, admit to having a certain amount of respect for Sullivan, saying on the DVD Hard Knocks: The Chris Benoit Story that Sullivan never took undue liberties in the ring during their feud, even though he blamed Benoit for breaking up his marriage. Sullivan later publicly paid tribute to Chris and Nancy after their tragic deaths in June 2007.

In wrestling[edit]

Championships and accomplishments[edit]

  • CWA Heavyweight Championship (1 time)[17]
  • Wrestling Observer Newsletter awards

1Although Sullivan and The Tazmaniac won the title twice, only their first reign is recognized officially by WWE. The reign also occurred prior to ECW's withdrawal from the NWA and prior to ECW declaring their tag title a "World" title.

Notes[edit]

  1. ^ a b Shields, Brian; Sullivan, Kevin (2009). WWE Encyclopedia. Dorling Kindersley. p. 171. ISBN 978-0-7566-4190-0. 
  2. ^ Randazzo V, Matthew (2008). Ring of Hell: The Story of Chris Benoit & the Fall of the Pro Wrestling Industry. Phoenix Books. p. 210. ISBN 978-1-59777-622-6. 
  3. ^ Foley, Mick. Have A Nice Day: A Tale of Blood and Sweatsocks (p.167)
  4. ^ Foley, Mick. Have A Nice Day: A Tale of Blood and Sweatsocks (p. 272)
  5. ^ Foley, Mick. Have A Nice Day: A Tale of Blood and Sweatsocks (p. 281)
  6. ^ http://www.imdb.com/title/tt2240046/
  7. ^ https://www.facebook.com/apwawrestling
  8. ^ http://www.cagematch.net/?id=1&nr=112991 Retrieved June 27
  9. ^ Chris Benoit, 1967-2007 | MetaFilter
  10. ^ a b c "Kevin Sullivan profile". OWOW. Retrieved 2009-08-14. 
  11. ^ "Cagematch profile". 
  12. ^ World Championship Wrestling (1994-11-16). "3 Faces of Fear vs Hogan, Sting and Dave Sullivan". WCW Clash of the Champions.
  13. ^ Matt Mackinder (January 17, 2008). "Sir Oliver Humperdink recalls career of yesteryear". SLAM! Wrestling. Retrieved 2008-04-04. 
  14. ^ "House of Humperdink". Online World of Wrestling. Retrieved 2009-09-08. 
  15. ^ "Jimmy Hart profile". Online World of Wrestling. Retrieved 2009-09-04. 
  16. ^ NWA World Tag Team Title (Central States) history At wrestling-titles.com
  17. ^ CWA Heavyweight Title history At wrestling-titles.com
  18. ^ Florida Heavyweight Title history At wrestling-titles.com
  19. ^ Florida Tag Team Title history At wrestling-titles.com
  20. ^ NWA Southern Heavyweight Title (Florida) history At wrestling-titles.com
  21. ^ ECW World Tag Team Title history At wrestling-titles.com
  22. ^ NWA Georgia Junior Heavyweight Title history At wrestling-titles.com
  23. ^ NWA Georgia Tag Team Title history At wrestling-titles.com
  24. ^ NWA National Television Title history At wrestling-titles.com
  25. ^ NWA Southeast Continental Heavyweight Title history At wrestling-titles.com
  26. ^ NWA United States Junior Heavyweight Title (Southeastern/Continental) history At wrestling-titles.com
  27. ^ NWA United States Tag Team Title (Gulf Coast) history At wrestling-titles.com
  28. ^ NWA/WCW United States Tag Team Title history At wrestling-titles.com
  29. ^ WCW World Tag Team Title history At wrestling-titles.com
  30. ^ http://nepwhof.weebly.com/hall-of-famers.html
  31. ^ NWA Mid-America Television Title history At wrestling-titles.com
  32. ^ NWA Mid-America/AWA Southern Tag Team Title history At wrestling-titles.com
  33. ^ NWA World Tag Team Title (Mid-America) history At wrestling-titles.com
  34. ^ "PWI 500 1994". The Turnbuckle Post. Retrieved 2012-08-26. 
  35. ^ "PWI 500 of the PWI Years". Willy Wrestlefest. Retrieved 2012-08-26. 
  36. ^ NWA Southern Heavyweight Title (Tennessee) history At wrestling-titles.com
  37. ^ SWCW Southwest Heavyweight Title history At wrestling-titles.com

References[edit]

  • Mick Foley (2000). Have A Nice Day: A Tale of Blood and Sweatsocks. HarperCollins. ISBN 0-06-103101-1. 

External links[edit]