Inspired by the Mad Max movies, Lord Humongous became a Southeastern Wrestling personality in the mid-80's
Growing up, my Uncle Ronald didn't greet me with a handshake or hug but with a wrestling move called the, "iron claw". I still remember that huge hand coming down on my skull like a giant thunderclap and shaking me down to the ground. Such was the popularity of wrestling in Mobile that it permeated all aspects of my young life.
By the time I was eight, I had as many hours of wrestling under my belt as I did bike riding or baseball. Sure, Saturday mornings were for cartoons, but Saturday afternoons were for watching Southeastern Championship wrestling on WKRG.
Southeastern Championship Wrestling featured a stable of colorful wrestlers from Alabama, Florida, Georgia, and Tennessee. Wrestlers like "The Assassin", Austin Idol, Bob Armstrong, Mr. Olympia, Rick Flair, and Ron Fuller were household names in Mobile.
Not only did these wrestlers appear every Saturday on TV 5, but they also appeared locally at Expo Hall, (Municipal Auditorium for Austin Idol matches) on a regular basis. And these were no ordinary affairs. Expo Hall hosted "Loser Leave Town" matches, "Lumber Jack Tag-Team" matches, "Steel Cage" matches, and even the "Superbowl of Wrestling" matches.
Wrestling Ad for Mobile Expo Hall on April 3, 1983
Mobile Press Register
I attended a match in October 1985 with my friend, Matt, and had the pleasure of greeting Bob Armstrong as he entered the hall. The man stood as large as a mountain with dark recessed eyes that pierced me to my soul--and he was a good guy!
In my neighborhood, we studied the wrestlers and adopted their best moves for own match ups. Ty the "Super-Fly" brought the elbow drop, the "Great Matt Houdini" could deliver a vicious body slam, and Jason "Cotton Balls" was basically unmovable. As for me, my Dad taught me the secret to an unbreakable headlock, which made me more competitive than my small size gave me the right to be.
The height of our fascination with pro wrestling coincided with the pay-per-view phenomenon, WWF's WrestleMania I, featuring Hulk Hogan and the ever present 80's celebrity, Mr. T. That night the guys all gathered at Jason Cotton Balls for Dino's Pizza (a poor substitute for Godfather's) and to watch the event of the century.
Promotional Poster for WrestleMania I. The record breaking, pay-per-view event occurred on March 31, 1985
Leading up to the festivities, we played on Jason's Intellivision (the only one in the neighborhood) and conducted our own WrestleMania. The winner received the neighborhood championship belt, fashioned from Jason's father back brace, and bragging rights forever.
While I didn't win the belt, I did go down in neighborhood history for delivering my unbreakable headlock on Jason's dad. Yes, I put a grown man, recovering from back surgery, into an unwanted headlock. What a heel!
By the time WrestleMania occurred, the waning Southeastern Wrestling reorganized as the more national sounding, Continental Championship Wrestling. Unfortunately, the organization could not compete with the WWF and when TV rights expired, folded in 1989.
Today, Southeastern Wrestling is remembered fondly by fans for it's cast of characters and inventive gimmicks. Fan events, featuring Southeastern wrestling legends like Austin Idol, still draw old and young alike. While never released officially, Southeastern Wrestling matches can be found online.
Fan Events like Southern Legends remain popular draws
Rick Flair vs The Bullet (Bob Armstrong) in a late Continental Wrestling Match
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