Sid Vicious in the Squared Circle: The monstrous Lord Humongous in “Midgets and Monsters”

By on July 18, 2017

For too long we’ve neglected to mention our Wrestling category, which you’ll find over on Night Flight Plus, so we’re going to correct that today by pointing you towards one of the streaming selections that we have for you to check out which just happens to feature both “Midgets & Monsters.”

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In the latter grouping there was probably none greater than the monstrous Lord Humongous, one of the most menacing characters in wrestling, a Goliath-sized galoot wearing a white Friday the 13th-style hockey mask to hide his identity (not to mention S&M leather garb).

He was such a great character, and the mask gimmick proved so successful, that he wasn’t allowed to die or fade away.

Several different wrestlers portrayed Humongous, and for part of the 1980s, the man behind the mask was none other than Sid Vicious!

Okay, we’re having a bit of fun with you here, because you obviously already know we don’t mean the dead Sid Vicious, the bass player of the Sex Pistols.

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No, the great Lord Humongous was portrayed by West Memphis wrestler Sid Eudy, who mainly used the rotating surnames of “Vicious” and “Justice,” and the occasional prefix of “Sycho,” depending on the current heel/face status of his career at the time.

First, let’s point out what you might already know, and that’s the fact that the name Lord Humongous (among its various spellings to be found) was the name of one of the great ’80s movie villains, the leader of a gang of motorcycle-riding vandals and gasoline raiders in the 1981 futuristic post-apocalyptic Australian-made action flick Mad Max 2 (a.k.a. The Road Warrior), directed by George Miller.

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Mad Max 2: The Road Warrior was released in the U.S. in 1982, making a star of Mel Gibson in the process, and inspiring not just the creation of wrestling’s Lord Humongous as a wrestler, but other pro wrestlers would find inspiration from this particular movie too.

Lord Humongous in The Road Warrior was mostly silent and brooding, but he was also down-right vicious too.

He had many nicknames as well, including Warrior of the Wasteland, and the Ayatollah of Rock ‘n’ Rolla (he was likely ex-military, and had fought in WWIII, which had taken place in Iran, we seem to recall from the movie’s plot).

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In the movie, Lord Humongous wore a hockey mask-styled, patina’d silver mask (possibly to cover up a burned-up face), and he also wore a kind of crazy S&M-looking outfit: a black leather collar and harness get-up, and what appeared to be black leather hot pants, with a triangle-shaped codpiece, covered with studs.

He also had studded leather forearm bracelets.

Humongous was pretty much ready to do battle with all who would dare to oppose him, which made him perfect as a villain for the square ring too, and it also allowed promoters to replace the man under the mask without having to publicly acknowledge that it was someone new playing the part.

Read more about Lord Humongous below.

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In 1984, wrestler Humongous (no “Lord” just yet) made his first appearance — always entering the ring to the blaring of KISS’s “War Machine,” a track from their 1982 album Creatures of the Night — when he was first portrayed by Mike Stark in Memphis, a former NWA Alabama Heavyweight Champion and NWA Southeast Continental Heavyweight Champion.

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The hockey mask was a great touch, but originally the first wrestler using the name was escorted to the ring wearing a hood, which apparently had some kind of calming effect. However, once it was removed, Humongous would go berserk until the hood was once again draped over his head.

This was actually a spin on an old gag in wrestling, that being when wrestlers who wore masks would lose, they’d have to remove their mask to reveal who they were, but once Humongous began wearing the hockey mask, he usually never removed it.

It was also an innovative way to take advantage of a wrestler’s massive size while hiding his limitations and lack of experience in the ring, which was perfect for the “heel” role of Humongous (heel being the name for the bad guy-villain who is booked, or scripted, by the promoter to be the antagonist in the ring).

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As a rule, Humongous didn’t speak very often, but when he did, it was pretty clear he had no “indoor voice,” his rage-a-holic tone booming out like it was mic’d through a P.A. Mostly, though, he said nothing.

Mike Stark battled as Humongous in the Memphis-area Continental Wrestling Association (CWA), and was first introduced by manager Jimmy Hart as his latest “Monster heel.”

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Humongous’s original main opponent was Jerry “the King” Lawler, whose name you might recognize from the notorious 1982 feud that he had with comedian Andy Kaufman.

Kaufman — who had declared himself “Intergender Heavyweight Champion” because he’d beaten every woman he ever wrestled (including Debbie Harry!) — was sent to the hospital after Lawler delivered two piledrivers in their April 5, 1982 grudge match.

Kaufman, wearing a neck brace, later appeared on an episode of David Letterman’s “Late Night” with Lawler, throwing coffee in the so-called King’s face (it was all revealed to have been a kayfabe, or a staged stunt, as they were actually good friends!).

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It was actually Lawler — an admitted pop-culture geek who loved sci-fi and horror films — who had come up with the idea for Humongous in an effort to capitalize on the growing WTBS-fueled reputation of the Road Warriors tag-team (their names were Hawk and Animal).

Lawler coaxed former wrestler and former Memphis State University football player Mike Stark out of retirement in order to have a scary new enemy to tangle with in the squared ring.

Lawler and the first (Lord) Humongous battled quite a few times in 1984, with Humongous defeating him to win the AWA Southern heavyweight title, and then Lawler winning it back (Lawler also wore a hockey mask to the ring during this last bout).

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Stark only played Lord Humongous for the first couple of months of 1984 before he retired again.

The role of the hockey masked opponent was then given to a second wrestler, Jeff Van Kamp, who happened to also be a sheriff’s deputy with the Escambia County Sheriff’s Department in Pensacola, Florida.

Van Kamp played Humongous in the CWA (1984-’85) and Mid-South, and also wrestled in Alabama, where promoter Ron Fuller was the main man.

His final match as Humongous (and as a wrestler too, apparently) was when he was defeated by The Flame in a “Loser Leaves Town” match on August 3, 1985.

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At some point, there may have been a couple of different Humongous’s wrestling in different areas of the South (it was easy enough to pull off this stunt since he wore a hockey mask disguise), or there simply may have been a few switcheroos pulled by promoters who wanted a Humongous of their own.

Then, in the spring months of 1987, the role of Humongous was taken over in the CWA by Arkansas-born wrestler Sid Eudy, who would later compete and win championships in World Championship Wrestling and World Wrestling Entertainment matches under his better-known aliases, as Sid Vicious, Sid Justice, Sid Steele, and even “Psycho” Sid (although he was so fucking psycho he spelled it “Sycho Sid”).

Eudy — born at the end of the year 1960 in West Memphis, Arkansas — was a huge redneck athlete who got into wrestling in his mid-twenties after an encounter with wrestler Randy Savage and his brother Lanny Poffo in a gym, who both encouraged him to join the world of professional wrestling.

Eudy, or Vicious (we’ll just stick to that one of his many nicknames for now) was a 6-foot 9-inch 317-pound behemoth, although another monstrous wrestler, André the Giant — who was 7-foot 4-inches, and 529 lbs., an absolute Gigantor-sized human — pretty much dwarfed him.

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In fact, as a sidenote, André the Giant became so popular that he was one of the first wrestlers to gain a following on television — which is why we’re featuring this post in our Television section on the blog — when nationally-broadcast cable TV stations began airing wrestling programming in 1979 on Ted Turner’s TBS network (by 1981, wrestling shows were among the most watched shows on cable TV).

Sid Vicious did his first battles in the southern territories of the National Wrestling Alliance (NWA), originally in part of a tag-team (with Austin Idol as his fellow heel partner), battling against Jerry “the King” Lawler and former AWA World champion Nick Bockwinkle at the main event on February 23, 1987.

It was Lawler — who was acting as a booker too — who thought Sid would make a fine Humongous, and since there had been a break in the mid-80s action and wrestling needed a new Humongous, Sid Vicious got the job.

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He wrestled under that name in both the CWF and CWA, competing in the Continental circuit in Alabama, Tennessee and Georgia, before adopting the Sid Vicious name.

He was likely the first in what ended up being a long line of Humongous wrestlers to use the Lord appellation (the Lord Humongous character became a recurring gimmick on the CWA, but was also used in other promotions after the CWA closed).

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Vicious would end up having a long career, but his championship battles as Sid Vicious didn’t begin until after stopped being Lord Humongous in 1988.

Sometime in 1989, Sid also used the name “the Vicious Warrior,” in New Japan Pro Wrestling, but was unable to win a title, and then he joined Ted Turner’s World Championship Wrestling (WCW) and began to have his biggest success.

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There are lots of places online where you can find more details about the rest of his three-decades long career, but we can tell you this much:

Sid Vicious became a six-time world champion, winning the WWF Championship twice, the WCW World Heavyweight Championship twice, and the USWA Unified World Heavyweight Championship twice.

Not too shabby, Sid!

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In the 1990s, the part of Lord Humongous would continue to thrive, being played by a rookie wrestler named Barry Buchanan, and he was also played by John Gavin, who wrestled in the Southwest (or Alabama?), playing the role off and on after 1984 and through the rest of the Eighties.

John Bass also played the part from 1999 to 2010, as did Jake Roberts (Mid-South) and a wrestler named Gary Nation are also listed as having played Lord Humongous somewhere along the way.

As recently as 2009, Sid Vicious’s son, Gunnar Eudy, another rookie with an impressive monstrous physique, played the same part his father did twenty-two years earlier when he competed as Lord Humongous.

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Outside of wrestling, Eudy/Vicious has appeared in the films Ready to Rumble (2000) and River of Darkness (2011).

Today he makes his home in Marion (Crittenden County), Arkansas, where he’s probably learned how to use his “indoor” voice.

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Wrestling Classics Volume Six: “Midgets & Monsters” – which also features a few more monsters (Monika, André the Giant, Bruiser Brody & Abdullah The Butcher) and a whole bunch of midget wrestlers too (male and female both!) — is streaming over on Night Flight Plus!

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About Bryan Thomas

Bryan Thomas has been a freelancing writer/critic for All Music Guide, assistant editor for the When You Awake blog, and a contributor to Launch, Music Connection, Big Takeover and numerous other publications and entertainment websites, blogs and zines, most of them long gone. He's written more than sixty sets of liner notes. He’s also worked for over twenty years at mostly reissue record labels -- prior to that he worked in bookstores and record stores, going all the way back to the original vinyl daze. He lives in the Miracle Mile neighborhood of Los Angeles, CA.