Arman Hussein Passes Away
Word has reached Oklafan that Arman Hussein passed away on either January 1 or 2, 2008. Services were held on Friday, January 4, 2008 in Dallas. No information about cause of death or his age are currently available.
Hussein (whose name is sometimes spelled Armand Hussain in reports), real name Mike Barber, was born in Houston, Texas and began his career sometime in the mid-1960s. Although information about his early days is sketchy, the first documented title he held was the Pacific Northwest Tag Team title with Shag Thomas, defeating Stan Stasiak & the Mad Russian on August 27, 1965. Approximately 2 months later, Hussein would be replaced as Thomas' tag team partner by Bearcat Wright. While no reason was given for this change, it is known that Hussein formed a partnership with Abdullah the Butcher during his time in the Portland territory, so this may be the cause. That partnership would extend for at least 3 years, as the next title Hussein racked up was the NWA Canadian Tag Team Title with Abdullah the Butcher, defeating Don Leo Johnathon & Haystacks Calhoun in 1968. During this time, Hussein adopted the name "Hussein the Butcher". They would lose the titles before the end of the year to Johnathon & Paddy Barret.
Hussein returned the United States after this and settled in Arizona, a place he had frequently wrestled in during the 2nd half of the 1960s. While some biographies state that he held tag team titles in Arizona, specifically with Tito Montez, no documentation is available about the title histories in Arizona verifying this.
By 1972, Hussein had relocated to Mississippi and feuded with the Spoiler over the Mississippi Title. He would defeat the Spoiler twice for that title, once on July 18, 1972, then again on October 23, 1972. While the length of his 1st title reign is unknown as he was stripped for non-defence, his second title reign was quite brief, ending on November 16, 1972 to the Mysterious Medic. One last title reign occurred when he defeated The Wrestling Pro for the title on April 16, 1973 and held it almost 2 months, losing it to Rocket Monroe on June 14, 1973.
Hussein then ventured back up to the Northwest, arriving in a territory called Superstar Championship Wrestling, where he defeated Eddie Sullivan to become the initial SCW Western States Champion on October 22, 1973. He would hold that belt about 6 months before dropping it to Bull Johnson on December 4, 1973.
1974 saw Hussein arrive in Oklahoma and the TSW territory and after some months of pursuit, he defeated Bull Ramos for the TSW North American Title on July 29, 1974. He enjoyed a long title reign before losing the belt to Skandar Akbar sometime in December, 1974.
Hussein's whereabouts from 1975-1978 are unknown, although it can be assumed that he went back to Arizona. In July 1978, he had gone down to Puerto Rico (probably at the behest of his friend Abdullah the Butcher) and defeated Invader 1 on July 1, 1978 for the WWC Carribbean Title. A little over a month later on August 10, he lost that title, the last singles title of his career, to Jose Rivera.
By 1981, Hussein had made his way back to Texas, where he would begin the last major run of his career. He teamed with Tim Brooks to defeat Brian Blair & Al Madril for the WCCW American Tag Team Title, just as WCCW was beginning to experiment with national expansion, several years before WWF ever thought of doing so. This title reign would be the last of Hussein's career, but his time in wrestling wasn't over yet.
In 1982, Hussein formed a partnership with Gary Hart known as "H & H Limited". This was the largest stable in WCCW in the early 1980s as Hart & Hussein together managed such diverse talents as The Great Kabuki, Magic Dragon, Bill Irwin, Busgy McGraw, Frank Dusek , The Superfly & Checkmate. Even Hussein's old nemesis The Spoiler was a part of the group. Problems arose early when King Kong Bundy defected from their group to join Devastation, Inc., leading to Hussein bringing in Tola Yatsu to defeat Bundy in a Loser Leaves Town match. In August, 1982, Bugsy McGraw had had enough as well and defeated Hussein & Hart in a Handicap Match before leaving the group. By late 1982, Hart had disappeared from active duty and Hussein pretty much managed the group on his own, but things quickly went downhill. The last strike was hit on Jun 17, 1983, when Kamala defeated Hussein, Yatsu & Mike Bond in a Loser Leaves Town match, forcing Hussein out of the company and effectively into retirement.
Hussein has only 1 documented Oklahoma appearance at a WCCW show in Norman on April 7, 1982 where he defeated Richard Blood.
Oklafan extends its sympathies to the entire family of Arman Hussein.