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Buddy Rogers' Cageside Evaluation

What you loved:

  1. First Nature Boy - "To a nicer guy, it couldn’t happen" was one of his classic catchphrases. The man literally created the "charismatic heel" that we see so often today. Innovator of the Figure-Four, and inspiration/mentor to someone you may know, Ric Flair.
  2. First Champion - For 22 days, he held the WWWF Championship Title (now the WWE World Heavyweight Championship) eventually losing to Bruno Sammartino.
  3. Charisma - Stood out in an era where looking good and talking the talk wasn't common.
  4. Physique - Stayed in great shape, and was more manicured than nearly all pro wrestlers in Buddy's era.
  5. Pioneer - One of pro wrestling's first TV stars, he along with Lou Thesz and Gorgeous George helped developed much of what we see today.

Best comment comes via Mr.P.Teacher:

"My dad was 7 or 8 and my grandad took him to his first show. At one point, the "Nature Boy" Buddy Rogers offered $1000 of his own money if anyone in the audience could escape/survive the figure four leglock for a full minute. Of course, several tried and ended up screaming in agony. Marks in the audience over 50 years ago. That’s heeling 101."


What you loathed:

  1. Time - "Professional wrestling... has no history, only a past." This phrase is very appropriate for whenever we do these old-school guys. Unfortunately, we only have so much footage still around to see how good Buddy was at his craft.
  2. Past Prime - He retired in 1963, then made a comeback in 1978.Trying to make a comeback fifteen years later in his 50's was a tough uphill battle. He did put over a young Ric Flair during this time period.
  3. In-Ring - Mixed bag here, he wasn't the technician that was expected from legends, but he tried different things off the mat to help make up for that.

Best comment comes via KJ Gould:

"Not really a wrestler, refusal to work with some actual wrestlers because of an irrational fear they’d shoot on him instead of play ball with the promoter and do what’s best for business. Most famously his refusal to work with Karl Gotch, and the blown out of proportions claim Gotch beat him up backstage."

On to the poll! With 83 votes, Buddy Rogers' average score is 4.4.

Thanks, Cagesiders! Tomorrow's pick has legit claim to best ever.

Until then!

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