Edward Wiskoski (born January 10, 1945) is an American retired professional wrestler. He is best known for his appearances in the American Wrestling Association under the ring name Colonel DeBeers from 1985 to 1990.
Wiskoski was the first member of his family to graduate from college, attending Northwest Missouri State University.
Professional wrestling career
Early career (1972–1985)
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 teaming 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 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 as the Polish Prince in 1983, 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 Imed (the last name being pronounced ‘Ahmed’, the joke being that it is ‘I’m Ed’). 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.
American Wrestling Association (1985–1991)
Wiskoski was best known as Colonel 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 “Big” 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’s 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 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 to 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.
Later career (1991–2005)
While in Herb Abrams’ UWF, DeBeers became involved in more controversy based on race, this time involving referee Larry Sampson, an African-American. After a match with Louie Spicolli, DeBeers attempted to attack Sampson before Iceman Parsons came to the save and became involved in a short feud with DeBeers. He also demanded that Sampson be replaced before his match with Billy Jack Haynes stating “I will not have a black man refereeing my matches”. Despite Haynes’ attempts to have Sampson reinstated DeBeers’ request was granted and he was replaced by Jesse Hernandez. After a separate match with Haynes, DeBeers attacked Sampson from behind and hit him with a DDT. DeBeers was to be suspended for 180 days for his actions but Sampson refused to sign the contract initiating it and instead wanted to sign a contract that allowed him to referee a match involving DeBeers. During the 1990s, DeBeers promoted the Aryan Nations and Richard Butler’s Church of Jesus Christ-Christian during his performances.
On January 29, 2005, DeBeers wrestled his last match at WrestleReunion teaming with his former tag partner Buddy Rose and Bob Orton Jr. as they lost to Roddy Piper, Jimmy Snuka and Jimmy Valiant in Tampa Bay, Florida.
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. Another alumni of the school Brian Zane runs the successful YouTube channel “Wrestling with Wregret”. As of February 2009, Wiskoski was happily living in retirement in Goodyear, Arizona.
Championships and accomplishments