Friday, February 2, 2007

WCW - One Man Gang

George Gray was an American professional wrestler best known as One Man Gang and Akeem.

Ring name(s) Crusher Broomfield,One Man Gang,Akeem
Billed height 6 ft 9 in (206 cm)
Billed weight 457 lb (207 kg)
Born February 12, 1960
Spartanburg, SC
Resides Baton Rouge, LA
Billed from Halsted Street, Chicago
Debut 1977

WCW - One Man Gang

Gray started his career at the age of 19 in the Kentucky/Tennessee independent promotions (most notably International Championship Wrestling, a Louisville, Kentucky-based promotion run by Angelo Poffo) under the name Crusher Broomfield. One of Broomfield's major angles was that his contract was owned by ICW Champion "Macho Man" Randy Savage, and Savage's arch-nemesis (coincidentally at this time nicknamed "One Man Gang") Ron Garvin defeated Savage in a match to set Broomfield free. He later worked for the National Wrestling Alliance and World Championship Wrestling as One Man Gang, billed as being from Chicago's Halsted Street on the South Side. He was managed by Kevin Sullivan and Theodore Long, and Sir Oliver Humperdink. He was a member of Sullivan's Dungeon of Doom in World Championship Wrestling and had a brief run as United States Champion in 1995.

In the regional territories, he was a member of Skandor Akbar's "Devastation Inc." as well as working with Gary Hart in World Class Championship Wrestling. It was as a protégé of Akbar's in the Mid-South territory where Gray would get the name that would stick with him the rest of his career. Making his debut in the territory by interfering in matches and assaulting the babyface, Mid-South announcer Jim Ross would say about the then-unnamed assailant "He's a one-man gang!". The Gang would work on-and-off in Mid-South in between tours of Florida, Japan and Texas.

It was on his last tour for Mid-South when the promotion renamed itself the Universal Wrestling Federation, with Gang one of its top heels, most notably feuding at the main-event level with UWF top babyface Hacksaw Jim Duggan. In late 1986, Gang won the UWF Heavyweight Championship in an angle where the champion Terry Gordy was injured earlier in the evening by a revenge-minded "Dr. Death" Steve Williams. Gang, scheduled to face Gordy later on the card, was awarded the belt via forfeit. He would hold that title for 6 months, mostly facing Duggan, Williams, and Ted Dibiase.

In May of 1987, Gang began receiving inquiries from the World Wrestling Federation about coming up to wrestle for them. He promptly agreed to terms, but returned to the UWF in order to drop the title to Big Bubba Rogers, who was there from his normal place in the NWA due to the recent sale of the UWF to Jim Crockett.

Gray made his debut in the WWF on May 12, 1987, being managed by Slick, in a match against Jesse Cortez. He spent much of his early WWF run defeating enhancement talent ("jobbers") in extremely short matches in order to build him up, most notably in a match where he Gourdbustered his opponent after the bell and than did the same to the referee. While the Gang often defeated jobbers and other lower card wrestlers with ease, he would often be on the end of defeat when main eventing against bigger stars such as Hulk Hogan and Randy Savage. One Man Gang participated in the first ever Survivor Series pay per view as a member of Andre the Giant's team, fighting a team led by Hulk Hogan. In 1988, Gang entered the first Royal Rumble at number 19 out of 20 participants, and was one of the last two men left in the ring, before being eliminated by Jim Duggan. One Man Gang participated in the World Title Tournament at WrestleMania IV, defeating Bam Bam Bigelow by countout in the opening round, drew a bye in the quarterfinals before being disqualified in the semifinals against Randy Savage after Gang hit Savage with his manager's cane.

Following his loss at WrestleMania, Gang was placed lower "on the card," feuding with Bam Bam Bigelow, Koko B. Ware, and Don Muraco. In September 1988, One Man Gang's manager, Slick, announced that Gang was actually African, and planned to re-embrace his roots. An episode of WWF Superstars, which aired on September 24, 1988, featured a vignette with Gene Okerlund on-location in "deepest darkest part of Africa", where he found One Man Gang transforming himself into his new persona. Slick announced from that point on, Gang would be referred to by his new name, Akeem, the African Dream. Ted DiBiase chose Akeem to join his team to fight Hulk Hogan and Randy Savage's team at the upcoming Survivor Series. The match featured Akeem along with teammate Big Bossman handcuffing Hulk Hogan to the ring post while they dominated the Macho Man, although Hogan eventually overcame the odds and defeated the two men. Shortly afterward, Bossman and Akeem teamed up to form the Twin Towers.

Though the Twin Towers never held the WWF Tag Team Titles, they were strongly involved in the storyline which would eventually cause Randy Savage to turn heel and challenge Hulk Hogan at WrestleMania V. In the 1989 Royal Rumble, Randy Savage was accidentally eliminated by teammate Hulk Hogan, allowing both Akeem and Bossman to double team Hogan and eliminate him. The Main Event show broadcast live on NBC on February 3, 1989 featured Hulk Hogan and Randy Savage vs. The Twin Towers. During the match, Savage's valet Elizabeth was injured after Savage was thrown through the ropes and knocked her to the ground. This led Hulk Hogan to abandon his partner and bring Elizabeth to the back for medical help. Although Hogan later returned to the match to help Savage defeat Akeem and Bossman, Hogan's actions with Elizabeth caused Savage to attack him backstage, setting up the headline match for WrestleMania. The Twin Towers went on to face The Rockers at WrestleMania V and defeated them when Akeem pinned Shawn Michaels with a 747 Splash after a powerbomb from the Big Bossman.

In early 1990, Big Bossman became upset with Slick always trying to take the credit for him, and turned on both his manager and his partner Akeem. He defeated Akeem at WrestleMania VI. Although Akeem remained in the WWF until October of 1990, his loss to The Bossman at WrestleMania was his last high profile match in the company.

In early 1991, Gray resumed the One Man Gang gimmick in World Championship Wrestling and feuded with El Gigante (Jorge Gonzales). He and manager Kevin Sullivan shaved Gigante's head in a post-match sneak attack. He lost a Loser Leaves WCW match to Gigante and left WCW afterwards, but returned in 1995. He became a member of Sullivan's "Dungeon of Doom" and lasted only a few months, but did hold the WCW United States Championship one time. He defeated Kensuke Sasaki for the title and dropped it to Konnan on his way out.

During his time in WCW in 1992, Gray appeared in the movie Stay Tuned.

One Man Gang wrestled in a dark match against Flash Flanagan prior to the February 3, 1998 RAW Is WAR taping, however, he was not hired. Gray made another appearance in a WWF ring in 2001 for the gimmick battle royal at WrestleMania X-Seven.

Gray now works as a death row prison guard at Louisiana State Prison.

As part of the WWE Survivor Series 2006 DVD, one added extra was the main event from the first-ever Survivor Series (in 1987) which featured George Gray as the One Man Gang. During the newly revised commentary, which was performed by the SmackDown! commentary team of Michael Cole and JBL, Cole referred to the George Gray as "the late, great One Man Gang". However, George Gray (as of 2007) is alive and well.

WCW - One Man Gang

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