Kevin Sullivan (wrestler)
|Ring name(s)||The Boston Battler
Merlin the Wizard
|Billed height||5 ft 9 in (1.75 m)|
|Billed weight||252 lb (114 kg; 18.0 st)|
October 26, 1949 |
|Billed from||Singapore (1987–1989)
Daytona Beach, Florida (1994)
Conch Republic (1994–1995), "The Iron Gates of Fate" (as "The Taskmaster" Kevin Sullivan as the leader of the Dungeon of Doom)
Kevin Francis Sullivan (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
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 1974–1977). 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 Florida Championship Wrestling 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
Known as the heel "Boston Battler", Sullivan's "devil worshiping" gimmick started during this time. In CWFL 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 the ICW 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)
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 "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. 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 Merlin the Wizard briefly to manage Oz. He came to Japan in 1992, and participated in FMW. And, he fought against Atsushi Onita with Ed Farhat.
Smoky Mountain Wrestling (1992–1994)
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)
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)
He formed a tag team with his "brother" Dave Sullivan, a dyslexic character who referred to himself as "Evad" 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. 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.
Dave came back and dressed like his idol, Hulk Hogan. This infuriated Sullivan, who hated Hogan, and they started feuding. Sullivan brought in Hogan's best friend, Ed Leslie, as The Butcher, to feud with him. 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 rejoined forces to get rid of Hulk Hogan and his friends and formed the unsuccessful Alliance To End Hulkamania.
Afterwards, Sullivan and Horseman Chris Benoit picked up where Pillman left off and started a brutal feud, which lasted for over a year, 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.
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. He currently competes in the Pacific Northwest with his nephews.( D.V. AND R.R) they won the Allied Independent Wrestling Federations World Six Man Championships March 24, 2012 in Poulsbo, Washington.
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
In an example of kayfabe (the storylines in wrestling) becoming real, Sullivan's wife Nancy Daus, left him in favor of his rival, Chris Benoit. In the late 90's Sullivan conceived an angle where Woman (Nancy Daus Sullivan, Sullivan's wife both on-screen and off), would leave his character for Chris Benoit's. Sullivan insisted that the two should travel together to preserve kayfabe for the general public and to make the affair look real, (hold hands in public, share hotel rooms, etc.). 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 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.
- Signature moves
- Wrestlers managed
- Entrance themes
Championships and accomplishments
- NWA World Tag Team Championship (Central States version) (1 time) – with Ken Lucas
- CWA Heavyweight Championship (1 time)
- NWA Southeast Continental Heavyweight Championship (2 times)
- NWA Southeastern Tag Team Championship (2 times) – with Ken Lucas
- NWA Southeastern United States Junior Heavyweight Championship (2 times)
- NWA United States Tag Team Championship (Gulf Coast version) (1 time) – with Ken Lucas
- NWA Mid-America / Continental Wrestling Association
- NWA Mid-America Television Championship (1 time)
- NWA Southern Tag Team Championship (Mid-America version) (1 time) – with Len Rossi
- NWA World Tag Team Championship (Mid-America version) (2 times) – with Robert Fuller (1), and Mike Graham (1)
- 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.
- Shields, Brian; Sullivan, Kevin (2009). WWE Encyclopedia. Dorling Kindersley. p. 171. ISBN 978-0-7566-4190-0.
- Foley, Mick. Have A Nice Day: A Tale of Blood and Sweatsocks (p.167)
- Foley, Mick. Have A Nice Day: A Tale of Blood and Sweatsocks (p.272)
- Foley, Mick. Have A Nice Day: A Tale of Blood and Sweatsocks (p.281)
- Chris Benoit, 1967-2007 | MetaFilter
- "Kevin Sullivan profile". OWOW. Retrieved 2009-08-14.
- "Cagematch profile".
- World Championship Wrestling (1994-11-16). "3 Faces of Fear vs Hogan, Sting and Dave Sullivan". WCW Clash of the Champions.
- Matt Mackinder (January 17, 2008). "Sir Oliver Humperdink recalls career of yesteryear". SLAM! Wrestling. Retrieved 2008-04-04.
- "House of Humperdink". Online World of Wrestling. Retrieved 2009-09-08.
- "Jimmy Hart profile". Online World of Wrestling. Retrieved 2009-09-04.
- NWA World Tag Team Title (Central States) history At wrestling-titles.com
- CWA Heavyweight Title history At wrestling-titles.com
- Florida Heavyweight Title history At wrestling-titles.com
- Florida Tag Team Title history At wrestling-titles.com
- NWA Southern Heavyweight Title (Florida) history At wrestling-titles.com
- ECW World Tag Team Title history At wrestling-titles.com
- NWA Georgia Junior Heavyweight Title history At wrestling-titles.com
- NWA Georgia Tag Team Title history At wrestling-titles.com
- NWA National Television Title history At wrestling-titles.com
- NWA Southeast Continental Heavyweight Title history At wrestling-titles.com
- NWA United States Junior Heavyweight Title (Southeastern/Continental) history At wrestling-titles.com
- NWA United States Tag Team Title (Gulf Coast) history At wrestling-titles.com
- NWA/WCW United States Tag Team Title history At wrestling-titles.com
- WCW World Tag Team Title history At wrestling-titles.com
- NWA Mid-America Television Title history At wrestling-titles.com
- NWA Mid-America/AWA Southern Tag Team Title history At wrestling-titles.com
- NWA World Tag Team Title (Mid-America) history At wrestling-titles.com
- "PWI 500 1994". The Turnbuckle Post. Retrieved 08-26-2012.
- "PWI 500 of the PWI Years". Willy Wrestlefest. Retrieved 2012-08-26.
- NWA Southern Heavyweight Title (Tennessee) history At wrestling-titles.com
- SWCW Southwest Heavyweight Title history At wrestling-titles.com
- Mick Foley (2000). Have A Nice Day: A Tale of Blood and Sweatsocks. HarperCollins. ISBN 0-06-103101-1.
- Kevin Sullivan at WWE.com
- The Accelerator's Wrestling Rollercoaster - Kevin Sullivan