Bill Eadie










Mid-Atlantic Wrestling Gateway lobby

M-A Gateway: You had almost a year long program with Igor in 1977. People still remember the angle where Malenko’s cigar was stuck into Igor’s eye.


Superstar: That angle was Boris Malenko’s idea. Boris actually hated cigarettes, and he couldn’t smoke…he was a health fanatic. But Boris wanted to do something to set us apart from the other guys.


You know, Jim my Hart and all these other managers…they always wanted to get involved. Boris never got involved. When Boris stood up, something big was going to happen and the people knew that. That was his psychology. He knew that if you were jumping around all the time, you were taking away from the action in the ring.


So, Boris came up with the thing where every time I would have a victory, he would stand up on the apron and light this big cigar…my victory cigar. And it caught on.


As soon as I put the cobra on, Boris would get up and light that cigar. We programmed that and programmed that. And of course, we expanded that to where we used the cigar on Igor.


The Mighty Igor wearing the patch after getting

his eye burned by Malenko and the Superstar


M-A Gateway: You certainly got a lot of mileage out of that cigar angle with Igor.


Superstar: [Antonio] Inoki heard about it in Japan. I used to go back and forth to Japan all the time, so I did the same angle with Inoki in Japan. It was so hot over there, you wouldn’t believe it.


I did it to him during the first week of an eight-week tour over there. I was supposed to finish the tour in the Tokyo Dome, but I had to go home because of death threats. It was unreal.


That one angle gave me thirteen years of work! (everyone laughs) It was so good, that when I did it Dino Bravo was on the tour with me, and Dino remembered it. About ten years later, Dino had his own territory in Montreal…so what do you think we do? I spent two more years with Dino off of that same angle. So that one cigar, that investment of that $1.50 cigar, was real, real good to me.


M-A Gateway: Looking back on the cigar angle over here, and your dealings with Igor generally, do you think it’s fair to say that Igor had a strange character, particularly for that time period? His character seemed totally different from everybody else’s.


Superstar: I’ll put it this way…Igor lived his gimmick. He was a real nice guy, but he was a businessman. And he was a very, very wealthy man. I remember him buying eighteen acres of property in the area of North Hollywood…every time he got a paycheck he would send money out there.


But he was really a nice guy. He was  ‘Mr. Michigan’ a couple of times…a strong, strong guy.


M-A Gateway: After the long feud with Igor, you transitioned into a feud with Paul Jones in October of 1977. Of course, that was set up when you cut Paul’s hair in a match in Greensboro.


Superstar: I was supposed to work with Steamboat then.


M-A Gateway: Really?


Superstar: The angle with Igor was really hot…it just went on and on and stayed hot. Then George Scott asked me who I wanted to work with, and I told him Steamboat. So it was supposed to be with Ricky. But George had a real close relationship with Paul, and he suggested that I work with Paul. I told him that I really didn’t care…it didn’t really matter to me who I worked with.


But the thing that upset me about Paul was that after I cut his hair on Saturday in Greensboro, he comes in the following Monday with a crew cut. I mean, we had laid the whole thing out to Paul, talked it over…and the whole gimmick revolved around Paul being a pretty boy and having the aura of being a well-dressed man. When he got that crew cut, he did away with all the damn gouging I did to his hair…it just killed the angle. We got some mileage out of the angle, but that killed it from going very far.


The Superstar battles Paul Jones

Contrast that to Igor in the cigar angle. And at the time I started with Paul I admit I was used to working with Igor. But Igor throughout the cigar angle would use sandpaper on his face, so the people would see how raw and infected looking the area around his eye actually looked. No one could say that injury was phony, looking at him. And that’s what carried that gimmick over. And I think had we done the haircutting angle with Steamboat, there would have been a huge sympathy factor with Ricky.


Paul just didn’t want to live out the angle. He thought going around with that gouged out hair would affect his persona. Actually, what it probably did was affect both of our pocketbooks.


M-A Gateway: After the program with Jones, you finished up your first stint with Crockett in 1978 going after the $10,000.00 bounty on Blackjack Mulligan. What do you remember about the feud with Mulligan?


Superstar: They were good matches. Believe me, they were stiff matches. Boy, they were stiff. And long matches.


We started with 60 minute matches in a cage….that had never been done before. I remember sitting down with George Scott, and we went over the first night that was in Raleigh…it must have been 115 degrees. I asked George what we were doing, and he said we were going 60 minutes and walked out.


Tommy Young was the referee, you know Tommy is a nervous wreck, and he asked me what we were doing and I told him to go ask George. I could hear Mulligan over on the other side cussing. Tommy comes back in wide-eyed, saying the finish was 60 minutes in a cage! Tommy couldn’t believe it.


M-A Gateway: Weren’t there 90 minute cage matches in that program too?


Superstar: We did 15 hour broadways in a cage. And, yes, we came back and did fifteen 90 minute matches in a cage…no blood for the first hour. Then we came back with no time limit cage matches with George Scott as the special referee.


Remember, all these matches took place in the summertime in 1978. All the buildings felt like they were 100 degrees. I was right at 300 pounds when we started that program, and by the end of the summer I was down to 250….my outfit was just hanging off me. And Mulligan lost as much or more weight than I did….it was brutal.


M-A Gateway: Guess there’s no need to ask you why you left Jim Crockett Promotions after that program! (everyone laughs)


Superstar: Here’s the deal, I came down here to Georgia…Ole Anderson was the promoter. I was only supposed to be here for several months, but I stayed down here a good deal longer than that.


George [Scott] kept calling me telling me he needed me to come back. I told him I was doing less than 1,000 miles a week and you guys were doing 3,000 miles. I also told him I wasn’t making as much money down here, but I wasn’t getting my ass beat as much either! (everyone laughs) But I finally did go back up to the Mid-Atlantic area.