Awesome Kong Death – Heart Attack
1958-2012 (Age 54)
The name Kong instantly evokes images of the famed film creature, King Kong, so it’s no surprise several wrestlers have used the giant ape’s name to bolster their wrestling personas. Whether it was “King Kong” Bundy, “King Kong” Brody (aka Bruiser Brody), or Awesome Kong (aka Dwayne McCullough), the nickname let the fans know they were about to see a rumble in the jungle known as the squared circle.
Dwayne McCullough was born in Houston, Texas on January 5, 1958. The big man seemed like a natural for professional wrestling, playing the character Awesome Kong (a name later used by female wrestler Kia Stevens). McCullough teamed with Krusher Kong (aka Scott Thompson) as the Colossal Kongs.
Double the Trouble
McCullough began his team with Thompson in Global Championship Wrestling in 1991. McCullough also worked in Memphis against Jerry “The King” Lawler, winning his only known championship. According to Wrestling Inc.’s Daniel Pena
McCullough holds a victory over WWE Hall of Famer Jerry “The King” Lawler; he defeated him on July 29, 1991 to capture the USWA Unified World Heavyweight Championship. He lost the belt to him two weeks later.
In WCW, McCullough and Thompson received national exposure as the Colossal Kongs. In 1993, Harley Race brought them in as the latest member of his heel stable, but despite their size and fearsome look, they didn’t fare well except against enhancement talent.
Despite the team’s lack of wins, McCullough projected enough menace that he could be counted on to present himself as a formidable opponent. This led to spots on at least two WCW pay-per-views, including 1993’s BattleBowl and Starrcade. After WCW, the big man worked in Puerto Rico.
Legal Problems and the Death of Awesome Kong
According to the November 26, 2012 edition of the Wrestling Observer Newsletter, McCullough served time in prison for a steroid charge and suffered health problems. After his 2007 release from prison, McCullough’s health problems continued. Dwayne McCullough died on November 17, 2012, after suffering a massive heart attack. He was 54.
Other pro wrestlers who died in 2012 include Brad Armstrong, Buddy Roberts, Chief Jay Strongbow, Doug Furnas, Mike Graham, and Richard Trogdon.
What are your favorite memories of Awesome Kong? Let us know in the comments below.