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Bobby Shane (1945-1975)

  

Real NameRobert Lee “Bob” Schoenberger

Lifespan - 8/25/1945-2/20/75

5’9” 224 lbs. - St. Louis, MO


Athletic BackgroundWrestling

Teacher(s)Bill Longson, Bobby Bruns, Rip Hawk, Dick the Bruiser

Professional BackgroundPortland(`63-`64), Kansas City(`65-`66), Tri-State(`65), Georgia(`66), Omaha(`67), Detroit(`67), St. Louis(`68), Portland(`68), Vancouver(`68), Hawaii(`69), Georgia(`70), Gulf Coast(`71), Florida(`71-`73), Dallas(`71), Gulf Coast(`73), Georgia(`73), Australia(`74), Los Angeles(`75), Florida(`75)

AliasesBobby Schoen, The Challenger

Peak Years`71-`75



Place in HistoryWhen Bobby Shane died in a plane crash in 1975, he was arguably entering into the height of his abilities, so many wonder what might have been on the horizon for such a brilliant and gifted performer.  Growing up in St. Louis, he was exposed to the best talent in the world and some of that talent even mentored him as a youngster.  Promoter Sam Muchnick sent him to the Pacific Northwest, where he was an undercard babyface.  He was small, but athletic, which helped him catch some breaks in smaller territories.  As “Boy Wonder,” he was a fine supporting face, but he envisioned greater things.  In 1971, he came into the Gulf Coast as the self-professed “King of Wrestling.”  He went from a clean-cut good guy to an arrogant heel with shaggy bleached blond hair, a handlebar mustache, a crown and cape and the cigar that would become a trademark of his.  Shane with his real-life wife Cherie as his valet turned the promotion upside down.  Eventually, Lee Fields came out of retirement for a pair of big matches that were perhaps the pinnacle of Shane’s career.  The run proved his abilities and Bobby Shane was booked into Florida, Georgia and Australia.  He even did some booking himself, which could have been his future.  While some felt Shane was too small and too flamboyant to be a top talent, he was not much smaller than Ric Flair and was a few years his senior.  While he was a fine talent and built a sustaining legacy before the age of thirty, Bobby Shane is always remembered through a speculative lens.  How bright might his star have shown?  Would he have been a top performer or a key booker?  Where would he have ended up in the 1980s?

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