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      James Ware

      • 62
      • 1957-06-20 in Union City, TN

      better known by his ring name Koko B. Ware, is a semi-retired American professional wrestler who made his professional wrestling debut in 1978. He gained most of his popularity in the World Wrestling Federation when he was known as the Birdman. Ware came to the ring with a blue-and-yellow macaw parrot named Frankie, and would flap his arms like a bird while dancing before and after his matches. Before joining the WWF, Ware worked as a part of several tag teams, first with Bobby Eaton in Memphis and then later on with Norvell Austin as one half of the The P.Y.T. Express in several promotions. It was not until late in 1980 that Koko’s fortune changed when he participated in a battle royal to crown the first ever Mid-American Television Champion. The crowd favorite was Jimmy Valiant, who Koko accidentally knocked into Danny Davis and eliminated Valiant. Moments later, Koko dumped Davis to the floor and won his first title. After the match, Jimmy Valiant returned to the ring and beat Koko down. Koko’s feud with Jimmy Valiant was quickly expanded to include the heel Tojo Yamamoto and Koko ally Tommy Rich. When Dutch Mantel returned to the CWA in early 1981 he quickly defeated Koko for the TV title making Koko’s first run with the gold a short one. Koko floundered until September 1981 when he was chosen to referee a Southern Heavyweight Championship title match between Jerry Lawler and “The Dream Machine". Ware unfairly counted Lawler out to give the Dream Machine the victory, a decision that did not sit well with Lawler nor the fans in Memphis. Koko quickly aligned himself with manager Jimmy Hart and his First Family and changed his name to Sweet Brown Sugar. Sugar never got the best of Lawler but did taste tag-team success alongside Steve Keirn and then with Bobby Eaton. Eaton & Sugar won the AWA Southern Tag Team Championship. On June 8, 2008, Koko made a special appearance at TNA's Slammiversary as a groomsman in the wedding for "Black Machismo" Jay Lethal and So Cal Val, along with George "The Animal" Steele, Kamala the Ugandan Giant, and Jake "The Snake" Roberts. On April 4, 2009, Koko was inducted into the WWE Hall of Fame by The Honky Tonk Man. On September 5, 2009 Ware's wife died after a battle with cancer. On February 15, 2011 Koko made an appearance on Tosh.0.

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