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King Curtis Iaukea (1938 - 2010)

        

Real Name - Curtis Piehau Iaukea III
Lifespan - 11/15/37 - 12/4/2010
6'3” 290 lbs. - Honolulu, HI

Athletic Background - Football [University of California]

Teacher(s) - Joe Blanchard, Lord James Blears

Professional Background - California(`56-), Hawaii(`61-`65), San Francisco[NWA](`61), Portland(`63), WCW[Australia](`64-`6), WWWF(`66), San Francisco[AWA](`67-`68), Hawaii(`67-`69), San Francisco[NWA](`68-`69), NWA-Australia(`69-`78), Hawaii(`71), WWWF(`72), Amarillo(`73-`74), Stampede(`75), Florida(`75-`76), Florida(`79), WWF(`85), WCW(`95)

AliasesPrince Iaukea, Prince Curtis Iaukea, Chico Garcia, King Curtis, The Wizard, The Master

Groups - The People's Army, Sonny King's Army, Army of Darkness, Dungeon of Doom

Peak Years - `64-`75


Finisher(s) - 
- “Hawaiian” Splash from Second Turnbuckle
- Hawaiian (Big) Splash

Favorites -
- Thumb to the Throat
- Chokehold
- Turnbuckle Smash
- Eye Gouge
- Chop


Ringwork Rating - 

 Move Set
 Science
 Aerial
 Power
 Strikes


Intangibles Rating - 

 Entertainment10 
 Selling
 Bumping
 Carrying
 Heat
 Legacy


Place in History - King Curtis Iaukea was one of the great characters in pro-wrestling's colorful history, yet he was largely forgotten until his death.  His grandfather was an iconic figure in Hawaiian history as the chief diplomat to the royal family and later the sheriff in Honolulu. Iaukea was a burly football player who played in California for a time and for a time in the CFL. AT UC Berkeley, Curtis Iaukea developed some of the habits and rebelliousness that served him with mixed results throughout his career. “The Bull” started wrestling on the side as a junior and once he burnt out on football, he jumped in with both feet. Big, athletic and distinct looking, Curtis Iaukea was destined to catch on somewhere. There were several places that his star shined most brightly – his native Hawaii, his adopted home of San Francisco and Australia. In Hawaii, he made friends with local star James Blears and was made a regular when that territory was at its peak. Their TV product was unique in that it gave unusually large amounts of time to promos, which created some great talkers. Iaukea was one of the best. He had a quiet intensity that built into a relentless and booming promo that got him over everywhere he went. Iaukea's presence was what mattered most, in fact, he is remembered for perhaps the only no-word promo in history. Australia became one of the hottest promotions on the planet and Iaukea was a top heel. A big man with long ponytailed hair and Van Dyke beard, Iaukea looked imposing. His promos were excellent. However, his in-ring style is what took him over the top. Blading had been a practice for some time in pro-wrestling, but Curtis Iaukea took it to extreme levels before Abdullah the Butcher, Dusty Rhodes and other notorious bloodletters. He worked like a maniac and it got him over as a huge heel and later as a babyface. This peaked with a blood feud with Mark Lewin that they took from Australia to other places, although it is often blamed for killing that territory and harming others. Despite that argument, the feud was undoubtedly influential to some up-and-comers. Iaukea made the trip to New York for a run with Bruno Sammartino that helped him get into that area's heel rotation. He had a tag team run with Baron Scicluna and a challenged Pedro Morales when he was champion as well. By the mid-70s however, Iaukea was showing wear from his many years of heavy touring, heavy partying and heavy weight. An illness he contracted in Asia reduced his strength and he retired from the ring after a final run in Florida. Iaukea did some occasional managing, but simply did not want to be on the road anymore. He retired to Hawaii, where he and his wife owned and operated several businesses.  Perhaps the most famous Iaukea story was his blading while being removed by police for not moving his unsanctioned surf stand, the incident got enough attention that state Senator stepped in and gave him lifetime rights to the beach as a local icon.  King Curtis Iaukea's career was storied to say the least. Those who knew him and worked alongside him usually speak highly of his many strengths, but are candid about his weaknesses. Many believe he could have achieved much more, but considering he worked on top in several innovative territories, he certainly achieved a legendary status.
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