The Assassins were a masked professional wrestling tag team from the 1960s to the 1980s. Jody Hamilton, the original Assassin, was a member throughout the various incarnations of the team, teaming with Tom Renesto, Roger Smith, Randy Colley and Hercules Hernandez while donning the masks.


The Original Assassins: Hamilton and Renesto

The team had its origins in 1961 in the Georgia territory, when Hamilton, a five-year veteran, first began competing in Atlanta, Georgia as the Assassin. Shortly afterward, Tom Renesto arrived in the area and began teaming with Hamilton to form the original Assassins team.

Hamilton and Renesto became a well-traveled heel tandem through the 1960s, competing in the Mid-Atlantic territory, Georgia, Florida, California, Arizona, the Pacific Northwest, Canada, Japan and Australia among other areas, and winning championship gold along the way. They returned to Georgia in 1968 and competed in that state primarily until 1974; they spent most of their time competing in Georgia Championship Wrestling during that period, but they also went to work for an independent group called the All-South Wrestling Alliance, with Hamiilton going solo in the beginning while Renesto worked behind the scenes, then facing off in opposite corners from each other, then reuniting as babyfaces before All-South closed in late-1974. This version of the team held 35+ championships including the Georgia tag team title 10 times and 8 versions of the world tag team title.

Version II: Hamilton and Smith

The second version of the team wrestled for Nick Gulas in Nashville and Leroy McGuirk in the NWA Tri-State. This version captured the Louisiana tag team title and the Mid-America version of the NWA World tag team title. They moved on to Georgia Championship Wrestling but Roger Smith eventually passed the mask on to Randy Colley aka (Moondog Rex and Demolition Smash Version I).

Version III: Hamilton and Colley

The third version of the team feuded with Dusty Rhodes, Mr. Wrestling and Mr. Wrestling II frim 1978 through 1980. They captured the Georgia tag team titles, twice. Colley eventually lost his mask at The Omni in Atlanta in 1980. They later retunited briefly in Deep South Wrestling where they became champions again by upending another masked tag team, The Nightmares.

Version IV: Hamilton and Hernandez

Hercules Hernandez joined the team and feuded with Jimmy Valiant on the Boogie Jam Tour. This version of the team lasted until Hernandez was unmasked after losing to Valiant in a mask vs. hair match at a JCP/Maple Leaf Wrestling show in Toronto, Ontario on April 15, 1984.

Version V: Hamilton and Barry O

This version last three months before Barry O (Assassin 3) quit the territory.

Assassins Post Script

Assassin I (Hamilton) turned on Jones breaking his ties and feuding with his former manager, which climaxed with Hamilton teaming with Buzz Tyler to beat Jones' Zambuie Express (Elijah Akeem and Kareem Muhammed) at Starrcade 1984 in Greensboro, North Carolina.

Mitchell and Tomasso

This short lived version was led by Bobby Heenan. Guy Mitchell and Joe Tomasso won the World Wrestling Association (Indianapolis) tag team titles.

Post-wrestling career

Jody Hamilton wound down his in-ring career in the Alabama territory competing under a different identity as The Flame before starting up his own promotion in Georgia, Deep South Wrestling, in 1986, which he ran for about two years.

He then opened up the Power Plant as a training facility for World Championship Wrestling and was last seen reprising his Assassin role as the manager of Pretty Wonderful (Paul Orndorff and Paul Roma) in WCW in 1994. Hamilton reopened Deep South Wrestling in 2005 to serve as a developmental territory for World Wrestling Entertainment, but WWE severed its developmental deal with DSW on April 18, 2007, and Hamilton has continued running the promotion on his own as an independent.

Randy Colley went on to form The Moondogs tag team (as Moondog Rex), which competed in the then-WWF and in the Memphis area, and he was also the original Demolition Smash in the WWF. He then moved on to Continental Championship Wrestling as "Detroit Demolition" and eventually retired. Colley passed away on December 14, 2019.

Roger Smith had a brief run in the WWE before going on to fame in Memphis in the mid-1980s under the masks teaming with Don Bass as Fire and Flame. They eventually lost their masks and Smith began using the ring name Dirty Rhodes (for his resemblance to Dusty Rhodes in both appearance and mannerisms). He would eventually split with Don Bass and become a fan favorite. He moved on to the Central States before going into semi-retirement.

Hercules Hernandez went on to fame under that name in World Class Championship Wrestling, Florida, WWF, New Japan Pro Wrestling and as the Super Invader in WCW. He died of sleep apnea March 6, 2004 at age 47.

Barry O would become a regular on WWE television and would move on to Stampede Wrestling as a wrestler/manager.

Championships and accomplishments

Hamilton and Renesto

Hamilton and Colley

Hamilton and Smith

Smith and Bass

Mitchell and Tomasso

Lucha de Apuesta record

Wager Winner Loser Location Date Notes
Mask Mr. Wrestling I & II Assassin II Atlanta 1980
Mask Jimmy Valiant Assassin II Montreal 1984

External links

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