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Sputnik Monroe

[Interview with Georgia Wrestling History]

[(SLAM!) Wrestling Loses a Character]

Title History

 

  • NWA Tennessee Heavyweight title defeating Billy Wicks (August 3, 1959);
  • NWA Tennessee Heavyweight title defeating Billy Wicks (March ??, 1960);
  • NWA Texas Tag Team titles w/Danny McShain defeating Torbellino Blanco & Cyclone Negro (December ??, 1960);
  • NWA Texas Tag Team titles w/Rocket Monroe defeating Duke Keomuka & Maurice Vachon (January 1, 1961);
  • NWA Texas Heavyweight title defeating Dory Dixon (October 27, 1961);
  • NWA Western States Tag Team titles w/Baby Blimp defeating ???????? (March 27, 1962);
  • NWA Georgia Heavyweight title defeating Dick the Bruiser (August 9, 1964);
  • NWA Georgia Heavyweight title defeating Don Fargo (October 16, 1964);
  • NWA (Amarillo) North American Tag Team titles w/Ken Lucas defeating Red Raider & Art Neilson (January 21, 1965);
  • NWA (Gulf Coast) Louisiana Heavyweight title defeating Bobby Fields (July 13, 1965);
  • NWA (Florida) Southern Tag Team titles w/Rocket Monroe defeating Don Curtis & Jose Lothario (April 3, 1967);
  • NWA (Florida) World Tag Team titles w/Rocket Monroe defeating Infernos (April 4, 1967);
  • NWA (Florida) World Tag Team titles w/Rocket Monroe defeating Wahoo McDaniel & Jose Lothario (May 25, 1967);
  • NWA World Junior Heavyweight title defeating Danny Hodge (July 13, 1970);
  • NWA (Tennessee) Southern Junior Heavyweight title defeating Len Rossi (July 1, 1971);
  • NWA (Mid America) Southern Tag Team titles w/Norvell Austin defeating Jerry Jarrett & Jackie Fargo (May ??, 1972);
  • NWA Tennessee Tag Team titles w/Tommy Gilbert defeating Don & Ron Wright (July 1, 1972);
  • NWA Tennessee Tag Team titles w/Tommy Gilbert defeating Don & Ron Wright (July 22, 1972);
  • NWA Florida Tag Team titles w/Norvell Austin defeating Ron Fuller & Jimmy Golden (October 10, 1972);

 

Career Highlights

 

  • 1945: Rock Monroe started wrestling at age 17, at Travelling Carnivals in Kansas taking on all comers..
  • 1949: Rocky Monroe was already one of the top stars on the wrestling circuit..
  • Rocky Monroe was one of the first white men in the 1950s to wrestle against black wrestlers in the ring..
  • Rocky Monroe was also one of the first white wrestlers to take on a black tag team partner, Norvell Austin..
  • 1957: Rocky Monroe was given the name “Sputnik” at a TV taping at WKRG Channel 5 in Mobile, Alabama..
  • ~~~A female fan that had been heckling him compared him to a communist and said that he was just a “damned sputnik”..
  • Early 1960s: Sputnik Monroe began teaming with a fellow named Bill Fletcher who closely resembled Monroe..
  • ~~~They bleached a blonde streak in Fletcher’s hair and he became the first “Rocket Monroe”..
  • ~~~They were managed by Sputnik’s real life brother Gary who was known as “Jet” Monroe..
  • 1970: Sputnik Monroe defeated Danny Hodge for the Junior Heavyweight title of the World..
  • Sputnik Monroe made a name for himself in Houston as well feuding with future promoter Paul Beoschand the Kozak Brothers..Dave Meltzer (from WrestlingObserver.com) wrote: During a period where all public events were segregated, he, as the biggest draw at the time, refused to perform unless Blacks were allowed to sit in any seat at the Ellis Auditorium. At the time, at wrestling matches, as well as any public events, Blacks were being limited to sit in what was at the time known as the “colored” section.
  • “It’s hard to be humble when you’re 235 pounds of twisted steel and sex appeal, with the body women want and men fear”
  • Like many old time wrestlers, Sputnik is not impressed with the direction that professional wrestling has gone..
  • July 1, 2005–Memphis Legends: Sputnik Monroe had a confrontation with Billy Wicks about their legendary feud of 1961..
  • November 3, 2006: Sputnik Monroe passed away…

    Dory Funk Jr. wrote: Sputnik Monroe – “He Was a Diamond Ring and Cadillac Man” — I am saddened to hear of the passing of Sputnik Monroe. He was one of our family’s best friends. I learned much about the wrestling business by knowing and working with Sputnik Monroe. He was brought to the Amarillo Territory from Tennessee by my father, Dory Funk Sr. Sputnik’s mic skills, work in the ring and personality propelled him to top heel in the territory quickly. Sputnik Monroe wrestled my brother, Terry Funk in Terry’s debut match. Sputnik was our Western States Champion winning the belt from my father, Dory Funk Sr. — The measure of a wrestler’s ability is his box office appeal. Sputnik drew huge crowds working with Myself, Terry, Ricky Romero, Dory Funk Sr., Tokyo Tom, Iron Mike Dibiase, The Sheik, Nelson Royal and Fritz Von Erich in the Amarillo Territory. Sputnik Monroe will be remembered as one of the top heels in the Amarillo Territory during the late 60′s and early 70′s.