Welcome to "The Thump!" — an irregular column spotlighting the best Black elements of professional wrestling. Named after the signature move of groundbreaking Black wrestler The Junkyard Dog, "The Thump!" showcases the history and impact of Black athletes in the squared circle.
They are the record holding 10-time WCW Tag Team Champions! AKA…The Ebony Experience! AKA…Kane and Kole! AKA…The Huffman Brothers! They are Harlem Heat!
Booker T (Booker Tio) and Stevie Ray (Lane) Huffman made their debut in "Polish Power" Ivan Putski's WWA, the Western Wrestling Alliance. Booker T and Stevie Ray, after the collapse of WWA worked the Texas indy wrestling scene, and joined up with Skandar Akbar's, GWF, Global Wrestling Federation. They were renamed the Ebony Experience and captured the GWF Tag Team titles on three separate occasion.
A 1992 GWF tag title win saw The Ebony Experience feuding with the legendary Blackbirds, Action Jackson and 'Iceman' King Parsons. They also feuded over of the GWF tag titles with the Bad Breed, ECW alumni Ian and Axl Rotten. The Ebony Experience, shortly after a tag title loss to the Sicilian Stallions, left GWF for higher ground in World Championship Wrestling.
The Huffman Brothers were repackaged in WCW as Kane and Kole, the Harlem Heat in August of 1993. After a name change, thanks to Sister Sherri, Booker-T and Stevie Ray went on to hold the WCW Tag Team Championship a record ten times. They defeated the likes of The Steiner Brothers, The Nasty Boyz, Sting & Lex Luger, Public Enemy and even the New World Order (nWo). Harlem Heat disbanded for a while when Stevie Ray took time off to heal from an ankle injury. During Stevie Ray's absence, Booker T created a successful solo career captuing the US Heavyweight and TV titles. Upon his return, Stevie Ray joined the nWo, but reformed Harlem Heat with Booker T just in time to capture the tag titles for a record tenth time.
In August 1993, they debuted as the tag team Harlem Heat, with Booker renamed Kole and Lane renamed Kane. They were then billed from Harlem. Originally, they were supposed to be a pair of wrestling prisoners won in a card game by manager Col. Rob Parker, but was changed due to racial sensitivity based on their look, coming out to the ring in wrist and foot shackles. They became heels and teamed with Vader and Sid Vicious in the War Games at Fall Brawl on September 19, 1993, against Sting, Davey Boy Smith, Dustin Rhodes, and The Shockmaster. They lost the match but were over as heels because of the caliber of faces they wrestled. Sister Sherri began managing the team in 1994 and changed their names back to Booker T and Stevie Ray, at their request. By the end of 1994, they were already Tag Team Champions, having defeated Stars 'n' Stripes (The Patriot and Marcus Alexander Bagwell) in December, en route to a five-month title reign. This would be their first of ten WCW World Tag Team Championship reigns together.
- Harlem Heat was originally manged by Sister Sherri (Sherri Martel) who was later replaced by Miss Jacqueline, another Texas native.
- During the GWF days, Booker-T worked a gimmick as GI Bro, who also had short-lived run in WCW.
- Stevie Ray turned on Booker T, forming Harlem Heat 2000 with Big T (Ahmed Johnson), Kash (Teddy Reade) and J Biggs (Clarance Mason).
- Booker T went on to hold heavyweight champion titles in WCW (5x), WWE, TNA and PWA. At one time, he assumed the highly successful gimmick of King Booker, after winning WWE's King of the Ring.
- C'mon Son: In his younger days, Booker Huffman was arrested for aiding in the robbery a Wendy's where he was employed. This was much before he dropped the N-bomb on Hulk Hogan.
[Source: Pro Wrestling Wiki]