King Curtis Iaukea
|King Curtis Iaukea|
|Birth name||Curtis Piehau Iaukea III|
September 15, 1937|
|Died||December 4, 2010
|Professional wrestling career|
|Ring name(s)||King Curtis Iaukea
Prince Curtis Iaukea
|Billed height||6 ft 3 in (1.91 m)|
|Billed weight||290 lb (130 kg)|
Curtis Piehau Iaukea III (September 15, 1937 – December 4, 2010) was a professional wrestler better known as King Curtis Iaukea. Iaukea won championships in several of the major regional U.S. promotions, both as a single and in various tag team combinations, during the 1960s. He then competed in the World Wrestling Federation (WWF) where he won the WWF Tag Team Championship with Baron Scicluna. He was also later The Master of the Dungeon of Doom in World Championship Wrestling (WCW). Under the name "Iau Kea" he appeared in the film The Three Stooges Go Around the World in a Daze with Moe Howard declaring "That's not a man! That's a committee!".
He was the great grandson of Colonel Curtis Iaukea, a vice chamberlain and diplomat to the court of King Kalākaua and Queen Liliuokalani and son of Honolulu Police Department Inspector Curtis Iaukea II. He attended Punahou School and the University of California Berkeley as an economics major where he lettered as a lineman until he dropped out. He played as a tackle for the BC Lions from 1958-1959 and the Montreal Alouettes in 1959. He was also in camp with the Oakland Raiders in 1960 before being cut.
In the early mid sixties, 1963–1964, post football and before his pro wrestling debut with 50th State Wrestling, Curtis "the Bull" Iaukea briefly worked as a disc jockey for KUMU Radio station in Kaimuki under then station owner/manager John Wiser. Playing a "Classical Music" format, he provided the first OJT job internship cueing records and tapes as a station gopher/programing assistant for a young upcoming south-shore surfer Steve Gilbert, whom he paid out of his own pocket. As a result of necessitated chair replacement, KUMU DJ's benefitted for years getting to use the extremely solid yet comfortable steel swivel DJ chair with lumbar support, a legacy of "Da Bull's" near 300 lb girth which simply demolished several prior replacement bar stool type chairs becoming a major expense of legendary proportion.
Professional wrestling career
Iaukea came to Don Owen's Pacific Northwest territory, commonly known as Portland Wrestling in 1961, wrestling under the moniker Prince Kuhio. Teaming with Haru Sasaki, the two men would capture the NWA Pacific Northwest Tag Titles on Jan. 19th, 1962, holding them for two months. A year later, while traveling between Oregon and the Hawaiian Islands, King Curtis would capture the NWA Pacific Northwest Heavyweight Title on Sept. 5th, 1963, In Australia, King Curtis was a part of the face tag team known as the People's Army with Mark Lewin and Spiros Arion.
His first sojourns to Australia were in the 1964–1965 season, where he was a Heel. He was teamed with Skull Murphy. King Curtis initially wrestled as Curtis Iaukea in his first run in Australia. The King Curtis tag was the one that stuck as he feuded against Mark Lewin. After becoming a fan favorite in the seventies, King Curtis feuded against Tiger Jeet Singh and various Japanese "brothers." King Curtis was also a member of an alliance known as "The People's Army."
After retiring in the mid-1980s, he turned to managing. In ICW, known as King Curtis, he managed Kevin Sullivan and Mark Lewin, taking on the gimmick of a crazed cult leader. His faction feuded with Joe Savoldi and Austin Idol. Curtis Iaukea re-appeared briefly in the WWF promotion as the Wizard, a manager and mouthpiece for Kamala and Sika. He also appeared briefly in WCW as 'The Master' of the Dungeon of Doom stable in the mid-90s.
Championships and accomplishments
- American Wrestling Alliance
- Shields, Brian; Sullivan, Kevin (2009). WWE Encyclopedia. Dorling Kindersley. p. 173. ISBN 978-0-7566-4190-0.
- Solomon, Jon (2002). The Complete Three Stooges: The Official Filmography and Three Stooges Companion. Comedy III Productions, Inc. pp. 538–541. ISBN 0-9711868-0-4.
- p.176 Oliver, Greg & Johnson, Steven The Pro Wrestling Hall of Fame: The Heels ECW Press, 2007
- Ackles, Bob & Mulgrew, Ian The Water Boy: From the Sidelines to the Owner's Box: Inside the CFL, the XFL, and the NFL 2009 John Wiley and Sons
- "Iaukea Reminisces About 50th-State Wrestling".
- "Giant who conquered Aussie hearts". The Sydney Morning Herald.
- Meltzer, Dave (2011-10-20). "Thurs. update: Brisco, GSP updates, Hall feature, WWE drops announcer, TV show looks to be canceled". Wrestling Observer Newsletter. Retrieved 2011-10-21.