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Edward Wiskoski

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Edward Wiskoski (January 10, 1945) is a former American professional wrestler best known as Colonel DeBeers in the AWA (American Wrestling Association). He also wrestled as Derek "The Mongoose" Draper (Florida) and Mega Maharishi (Portland). His nicknames included Easy Ed and The Polish Prince.

Before wrestling

In an interview, Wiskoski said that he was the first in his Polish family to attend and graduate from college (Northwest Missouri State University). He also played briefly for the Cincinnati Bengals in the National Football League before training to become a wrestler, but added that his time in the league lasted about as long as "a fart in a hurricane." He says that he chose not to mention his NFL experience when wrestling, because of the negative connotations that go with being an "ex-" anything.

Career

After being trained by Harley Race and Lord Littlebrook, Wiskoski debuted in 1972. Wiskoski primarily wrestled in the Portland, Oregon area during his career. His team with "Playboy" Buddy Rose was famous across the West Coast, holding the Pacific Northwest Tag Team titles on multiple occasions, and the NWA World Tag Team titles (San Francisco version). Wiskoski was also the United States Heavyweight champion and Pacific Northwest Heavyweight champion.

He held the Central States Heavyweight title in 1975 and wrestled throughout Europe in the 1980s. He worked as a heel for Leroy McGuirk in the Tulsa, Oklahoma area in the early 1980s. He was known as "Easy" Ed Wiskoski[1] and was managed by Skandor Akbar. They feuded with Tommy Gilbert and his son, Eddie Gilbert. He also wrestled a few matches in the WWF in the early 1980s, managed by Fred Blassie.

During one of his many tours of the Pacific Northwest territory (where he eventually retired), Wiskoski took up the gimmick of Mega Maharishi Amed (I'm Ed).[1] This character played upon potentially the hottest topic in the state of Oregon in the early to mid-80s, that of Bhagwan Shree Rajneesh and his group of followers essentially raising their own city in Eastern Oregon, outside the town of Antelope, and ending with a bioterrorist attack on the small Oregon town of The Dalles, causing the sickening of about 750 people from salmonella poisoning, though no deaths. Wiskoski played the role to the hilt, growing out his facial hair, donning red robes and a stocking cap, much like the Bhagwan himself. During this time he managed Kendo Nagasaki.

He was best known as Col. DeBeers in the American Wrestling Association (AWA) from 1985 until the organization stopped promoting in late 1990. His interviews and persona were based on a pro-Apartheid mentality and he played on the fragile race relations and political climate of South Africa at the time. He was billed as being from Cape Town, South Africa, though he bore no accent whatsoever. It was never directly mentioned, but his name was meant to link his status and wealth to the South Africa-based diamond mining and trading corporation, the DeBeers Group. DeBeers also wrestled in Herb Abrams' Universal Wrestling Federation and various promotions across the West Coast.

During his stint in the AWA he feuded with Scott Hall and "Superfly" Jimmy Snuka in 1986, Sgt. Slaughter in 1988, briefly with Derrick Dukes in 1989, and jobber Jake Milliman throughout 1990. DeBeers feud with Snuka was notorious in that, even in an industry known for characters based on racial stereotypes, DeBeers' overt racism was still shocking. DeBeers essentially refused to wrestle Snuka because he was not white. After a series of standoffs between the two, the feud was magnified after an injury angle where DeBeers interfered in a match with Snuka, throwing him off the top rope to the floor and delivering several piledrivers on the floor, resulting in a bloody and battered Snuka being wheeled off on a stretcher. This led to a series of high-profile matches with Snuka.

DeBeers showed he wasn't exactly fond of certain white guys either. On an episode of AWA All-Star Wrestling, later seen on ESPN, DeBeers called out "Big" Scott Hall over "his use of anabolic steroids". Hall, who indeed was much bigger then than his later incarnation of "Razor Ramon", soon went back to Florida.

DeBeers and Milliman competed in, quite possibly, one of the most infamous matches in the history of wrestling while in the AWA. In the company's dying months, the AWA created the Team Challenge Series (TCS) to try and attract more viewers. One of the matches in the TCS pitted DeBeers and Milliman in the Great American Turkey Hunt, a match where the object was to be the first to pull an uncooked turkey off of a pole tied to one corner of the ring. DeBeers was the first to grab the turkey, although the referee had been knocked out. Milliman pulled a fast one and stole the turkey from DeBeers just before the referee got back up, and was awarded the victory. Also in the AWA in 1988, DeBeers was briefly managed by Diamond Dallas Page, the leader of the "Diamond Exchange" stable, and his Diamond Dolls. During that short time, he would try to force his opponent to leave on a stretcher.

While in the Herb Abrams' UWF, DeBeers became involved in another feud based on race. After a match with Louie Spicolli, DeBeers attempted to attack the referee who was an African-American. Iceman Parsons came to the save and became involved in a short feud with Col. DeBeers.

Retirement

Wiskoski and Rose ran a wrestling school in Portland, Oregon from 2001 until 2006. One of their students received a tryout from WWE in May 2006, Caden Mathews, who wrestled Dave Finlay on an edition of SmackDown! that took place in Portland in May 2006.

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