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Oliver Humperdink

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John Jay Sutton (January 16, 1949 - March 20, 2011), better known by his ring name Oliver Humperdink, was a professional wrestling manager who worked for Jim Crockett Promotions, Florida Championship Wrestling and the World Wrestling Federation.


In the early and mid 1960s, John Sutton began to get to know several wrestlers while working as an usher in Minneapolis, Minnesota. He eventually landed a job as a security guard for the American Wrestling Association (AWA) In 1973, he met Paul Vachon when he went to work at Grand Prix Wrestling (GPW) in Montreal. At GPW, Sutton worked as a manager and an occasional wrestler. He also refereed for a time. Sutton began managing the Hollywood Blonds after they split with their manager, Johnny Rougeau. Both Don Jardine and Dale Hey are credited with coming up with the name "Sir Oliver Humperdink". Jardine claims to have come up with the name, believing it would draw heat from francophone fans in Quebec who hated anything English.

In 1974, Humperdink went to Florida Championship Wrestling and was put into an angle with Mike Graham and Kevin Sullivan. Two years later, he began working with the Hollywood Blondes once again. In 1980 Humperdink became Dusty Rhodes' servant for thirty days after his protege Ivan Koloff lost a match to Rhodes with that stipulation. During the thirty days, Lord Alfred Hayes began managing Humperdink's proteges such as Bobby Jaggers and Nikolai Volkoff. When "Rooster" Humperdink (as Rhodes had nicknamed him), who had become a figure of sympathy during his thirty days servitude, returned to management and attempted to claim back Jaggers, Hayes and Volkoff brutally beat on him, thus starting a feud with Hayes.

He worked for the National Wrestling Alliance (NWA)'s Jim Crockett Promotions in the 1980s where he managed Greg Valentine, Paul Jones and The One Man Gang. He left the company in 1983 but returned five years later before the company folded. While still in the NWA, he formed a stable known as the "House of Humperdink". As a singles wrestler, he held the NWA Florida Heavyweight Championship and NWA Central States Television Championship.

In 1987, the World Wrestling Federation (WWF) approached Humperdink and offered him a job. As a part of the WWF, he managed Bam Bam Bigelow. That same year, he also began managing Paul Orndorff during his feud with Rick Rude. His gimmick was that of a face, but Sutton did not like the gimmick off-screen. He managed the duo during the first ever Survivor Series in a match that they lost when Bigelow was pinned by André the Giant. Humperdink also managed Bigelow during WrestleMania IV when he lost in the first round of a WWF Championship tournament.

When he returned to the NWA in 1988, he managed The New Wild Samoans (Fatu, Samu, and The Samoan Savage). He also returned to the side of Bigelow in his feud with Barry Windham in a match at Starrcade.

He worked for World Championship Wrestling (WCW) in the early 1990s as "Big Daddy Dink", a biker-type gimmick. In WCW, he managed The Fabulous Freebirds (Michael Hayes and Jimmy Garvin). Off-screen, Sutton hated his new gimmick and WCW's office politics. He retired in 1993. In 1995 he returned to manage Bob Orton Jr and The Hangmen in the American Wrestling Federation.

Personal life

In the 1960s, Sutton was in a car crash and nearly died when he hit a snow bank. After recovering from the incident, his health deteriorated. In 2001, he went through surgery to replace his aortic valve in Key West. He was equipped with a pace maker and made a full recovery. The Cauliflower Alley Club helped pay for some of his medical expenses. Sutton returned to the hospital in 2008 after heart troubles complicated a case of pneumonia. In early 2011, it was announced that Sutton was diagnosed with cancer of the bladder. He entered a hospice having refused chemotherapy and radiotherapy.

He went to the annual Cauliflower Alley Club conventions every year.

Sutton never married or had children. Sutton died early on the morning of March 20, 2011, of complications from pneumonia and cancer at the age of 62.

In wrestling

  • Tag teams managed

Championships and accomplishments

  • Other honoree (2005)

External links

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