Curtis Iaukea

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Title History

  • NWA Hawaii Heavyweight title defeating Neff Maivia (August 16, 1961);
  • NWA Pacific Northwest Tag Team titles w/Haru Sasaki defeating Seymour & Herb Freeman (January 19, 1962);
  • NWA (Hawaii) United States Heavyweight title defeating Nick Bockwinkel (June 6, 1962);
  • NWA Hawaii Tag Team titles w/Tosh Togo defeating Neff Maivia & James Blears (September 12, 1962);
  • NWA (Hawaii) United States Heavyweight title defeating Billy White Wolf (December 12, 1962);
  • NWA Hawaii Tag Team titles w/Cowboy Cassidy defeating Neff Maivia & James Blears (August 1, 1963);
  • NWA Pacific Northwest Heavyweight title defeating Tony Borne (September 5, 1963);
  • NWA (Hawaii) United States Heavyweight title defeating Dick the Bruiser (November 6, 1963);
  • NWA (Hawaii) United States Heavyweight title defeating Luther Lindsey (July 1964);
  • NWA Hawaii Heavyweight title defeating Nick Bockwinkel (December 18, 1964);
  • NWA Hawaii Tag Team titles w/Mr. Fujiwara defeating Neff Maivia & James Blears (January 7, 1965);
  • NWA (Hawaii) United States Heavyweight title defeating Hardboiled Haggerty (September 15, 1965);
  • MWCW (Ohio/Indiana) Tag Team titles w/Krusher Kowalski defeating Boris & Nicoli Volkoff (1967);
  • NWA (Hawaii) United States Heavyweight title defeating Johnny Barend (March 1, 1967);
  • NWA Hawaii Tag Team titles w/Ripper Collins defeating Hans Mortier & Johnny Barend (May 3, 1967);
  • IWA (Australia) World Heavyweight title defeating Mario Milano (September 30, 1967);
  • NWA Hawaii Heavyweight title defeating Jim Hady (February 28, 1968);
  • NWA Hawaii Tag Team titles w/Ripper Collins defeating Missing Link & Jim Hady (March 15, 1968);
  • NWA Hawaii Tag Team titles w/Ripper Collins defeating Peter Maivia & Jim Hady (June 4, 1968);
  • AWA United States Heavyweight title defeating Bearcat Wright (July 4, 1968);
  • NWA (San Francisco) United States Heavyweight title defeating Ray Stevens (May 10, 1969);
  • NWA (Hawaii) North American Heavyweight title defeating Pedro Morales (September 24, 1969);
  • NWA Hawaii Tag Team titles w/Ripper Collins defeating Karl & Kurt Von Steiger (October 22, 1969);
  • IWA (Australia) World Heavyweight title defeating Billy Robinson (December 19, 1969);
  • IWA (Australia) World Tag Team titles w/Buddy Austin defeating Spiros Arion & Mario Milano (December 26, 1969);
  • NWA Hawaii Heavyweight title (December 29, 1969);
  • IWA (Australia) World Heavyweight title defeating Dominic DeNucci (April 1970);
  • IWA (Australia) World Heavyweight title defeating Stan Stasiak (December 1970);
  • NWA (Hawaii) North American Heavyweight title defeating Billy Robinson (January 9, 1971);
  • IWA (Australia) World Tag Team titles w/Mark Lewin defeating Bob Brown & Killer Kowalski (April 1971);
  • IWA (Australia) World Tag Team titles w/Mark Lewin defeating Mr. Fuji & Tiger Jeet Singh (June 1971);
  • WWWF Tag Team titles w/Baron Mikel Scicluna defeating Rene Goulet & Karl Gotch (February 1, 1972);
  • NWA Western States Heavyweight title defeating Ricky Romero (1973);
  • Stampede North American Heavyweight title defeating Larry Lane (February 1975);
  • NWA Florida Heavyweight title won a tournament (December 1975);
  • NWA (New Zealand) British Empire/Commonwealth Heavyweight title defeating Don Muraco (1977);
  • NWA Florida Heavyweight title defeating Jimmy Garvin (May 1979);
  • NWA (Florida) Southern Heavyweight title defeating Jimmy Garvin (May 28, 1979);

Career Highlights

In The Beginning:

  • Curtis Iaukea was a football star at the University of California..
  • Late 1967: Chico Garcia (Curtis) & Krusher Kowalski defeated Nicoli & Boris Volkoff to win the MWCW Tag Team titles..
  • Summer 1968: Chico Garcia engaged in a bloody war with The Big “O” which resulted in Garcia’s departure from the area.

World Wide Wrestling Federation:

  • Curtis Iaukea was teamed with Baron Scicluna to win the WWWF Tag Team titles with Lou Albano as their manager!
  • February 1, 1972: King Curtis Iaukea & Baron Scicluna w/Lou Albano defeated Karl Gotch & Rene Goulet for the Tag Team titles..
  • Curtis Iaukea returned a few years later with the Grand Wizardas his manager to challenge WWWF Champion Pedro Morales.

Australia:

  • King Curtis Iaukea was a huge star in Australia during the early 70’s.

Florida:

  • October 12, 1975: King Curtis defeated Dusty Rhodes for the Florida Heavyweight title in Tampa..
  • April 5, 1979: King Curtis defeated Jim Garvin to win the Florida State title in St Petersburg.

World Wrestling Federation:

  • 1986-1987: King Curtis (as The Wizard) managed Kamala and Sika before leaving the WWF and Mr. Fuji took over his clients.

Retirement:

  • 1995: Curtis Iaukea was the figurehead-leader of the Dungeon of Doom in WCW as “The Wizard”..
  • October 2003: Curtis Iaukea might possibly be working in Hawaii on Waikiki Beach renting out surf gear..
  • 2005: King Curtis made a rare public appearance in a big charity event in Honolulu for the National Alzheimers Awareness Society..
  • December 5, 2010: King Curtis Iaukea (73) passed away at his home in Honolulu with his wife and two daughters.

    Robert Louis Howell wrote: In 1971, King Curtis debuted in the WWWF throwing Richards out of the ring slamming him on the announcers table knocking over the monitor hitting him with a double set of folding chairs and finishing him with a thumb thrust to the throat and a flying elbow smash.,

 


Den (Australia) wrote: Thought l’d share a special time for me; while in Sydney 1972 l came across King Curtis eating an ice cream with a little girl whom l presumed to be his daughter, l quickly dashed into a tourist shop and bought a pen and postcard. Both my sister and l were great fans. As it was my sister’s birthday later that month l asked him for his autograph unsure of the response l would receive. He smiled and said sure what’s your sister’s name. l told him and he personalised the autograph. After many years my sister gave me the autograph as l had started my own collection – His is my pride and joy…. – Kind regards Den (Australia)


Dr. Mike Lano wrote (The King Has Passed – RIP King Curtis Iaukea)): The incredibly amazing Curtis Iaukea, known first in our industry as Prince and later as King(not sure how he made that jump quicker than England’s Prince Charles who’s still waiting to become a “king”) was a total, well-known Hawaiin sports legend. He was first a name high school football and wrestling athlete and later revolutionized the way 5 star promos were done. He sadly died this past Saturday, Dec. 04 after a long illness at age 73. “He died peacefully, with family around him,” his former wrestling son, Rocky, told the Honolulu Star-Advertiser. “At his home in Papakolea.” Iaukea starred in amateur sports at Punahou, and then at the University of California, where he received an award for football excellance on offense and defense. He went on to a year in the NFL with the Oakland Raiders and several seasons in the CFL. But his biggest fame as a pro athlete came in wrestling, where he was known as “Prince and then King Curtis Iaukea,” and “Da Bull.” For those who only remember him as walking slowly to the ring as a heel manager with a shaved head(WWF as The Wiz in tribute to Ernie) or as Sully’s Diety in FL and WCW; you missed the once-speedy and agile Prince/King in his 60’s and early 70’s heyday. Watch him, even in ’72 WWWF and you’ll be blown away. Or his many AJPW matches on youtube, etc. After he left wrestling full-time, he also had a successful concession stand in Waikiki renting out surboards, kontiki like boats and snorkle gear. “He was a pioneer of the modern-day beach stand. He was a visionary in many ways,” said his son. “His accomplishments went beyond football and wrestling.” Don Muraco, Curtis’ longtime friend had worked with and for Curtis there and said he’ll miss Iaukea terribly. “He was one of a kind and a great inspiration,” Muraco said. Rocky said his father had not been well for a while. “My dad had been sick for quite a while. He was originally crippled from wrestling in 1979,” Rocky said. “Over the last year things accelerated, but his health problems started a long time ago.” Rocky had a brief career in the Islands and for AJPW. He was no where near the size of his mammoth pop. Nick Bockwinkel and so many others who made dedicated tours and trips working in Honolulu for promoters Ed Francis and Lord James “TallyHo!” Blears in the 60’s and 70’s(it was the ultimate stopoff point for a payday while going/coming to work in Japan for gaijins) said they were blown away by his state of the art promos. When he came to work for Vince Sr in the WWWF(becoming one of the earliest WWWF tag champs with Baron Mickel Scicluna) his interviews overshadowed even those of the loquitious manager Vince Sr paired him with in Louis(pre captain) Albano. “Bull would often do a serious interview with only his back initially facing the camera and then slowly, slowly turn around to hit the dramatic mark of whatever it was he was trying to say. I’d never seen anything like him and he was just incredible,” Bockwinkel said on my radio show in 2004. “Just mind-blowing.” Iaukea also worked in Florida for Eddie Graham and briefly in Atlanta for the Paul Jones(not the worker) NWA promotion in the early 70’s, with a big feud soon after Dusty Rhodes had turned face against Pak Song Nam. He was more a brawler, but had the mat and chain basics at least. He also worked a Cobo main with the Sheik that many still talk about plus feuded with his longtime pal in Mark Lewin which got the attention of Jim Barnett who regularly booked him in Australia during the great Lewin/Abby/Spyros Arion early 70’s days. Soon after Baba really got AJPW off the ground, as with Blassie and Sheik, King Curtis did regular tours there circa ’73 and ’74. He was amazing there and still talked about because of his tremendous aura there. Then of course was Kevin Sullivan’s idolation of him, involving Curtis whenever possible later on in the 80’s Florida and later on in the mid 90’s earliest Bischoff/Hogan era of WCW in ’94 before WCW blew up in ’96. And let’s not forget his work in his second home of SF for Roy Shire against Ray Stevens, Pepper Gomez, Bob Ellis, Kinji Shibuya, and even Fred Blassie. One look at any of his promos in the 60’s and 70’s with that amazing billowing Hawaiin volcano of a voice will cinch his legendary status. Once visiting him at his home, he admitted that’s what he patterned his mike style after–that of “a volcano slowly brewing and finally spewing.” I’ll dig up my taped Vic Christy/John Tolos ’92 interviews where Vic talked about all the gentle ribs he played on Curtis when he first came to work for Jules Strongbow in L.A. in contrast to the “meaner stuff Johnny Valentine played on him,” Vic said. “What we did to Curtis, put the Mabel to shame.”