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Dick the Bruiser (1929-1991)


Real NameWilliam Richard Afflis
Lifespan6/27/29 - 11/10/91 
6' 245 lbs. - Indianaplois, IN 

Athletic BackgroundFootball (NFL)

Teacher(s) - n/a

Professional BackgroundSan Francisco[AWA](`61-`63), Nashville(`74-`75), GCCW(`76), Memphis(`78) 

AliasesDick Afflis, The Bruiser

Peak Years1950s-1960s

Place in HistoryOne of the most well-known brawlers from the Golden Age of wrestling after World War II. After a rough n' tumble background as a legendary tough guy football player and legit powerhouse, Dick the Bruiser was on top from the start. He was headlining and winning titles for the rest of his (far too) long career. Bruiser was able to get over because of his look first, his approach second and his persona last. Being such a fierce-looking physical specimen in the pre-steroid days the fans had no choice but to respond to Bruiser. Furthermore, he was the first big name beer-swilling, cigar-chomping barroom brawler and the so-called "Most Dangerous Man in Wrestling," which they definitely took to. Afflis's stock rose quickly with only Buddy Rogers in his league as a heel in the late 50s and early 60s. Competeing mainly in the Midwest, Bruiser was a terror as both a singles wrestler and in teams with Wilber Synder, but more notably The Crusher. Bruiser and Crusher met and beat every good team there was at that time and became fan favorites as time went on. Bruiser's fame allowed him to start promoting out of Indianapolis (WWA) and he was the perpetual champion. As the 60s came to a close, Bruiser's best days were behind him, but he still trucked along. Throughout the 70s and into the 80s, Dick the Bruiser remained a force of sorts due to his star power. Time weared on him though and he was largely just a character that everybody knew and little more. His promotion died, his stock dropped and in a few years later he was dead. Dick the Bruiser spent over half of his life in the wrestling world doing just about everything at one time or another. He was the embodiment of the antihero, a roughneck brawler turned blue-collar idol. Dick the Bruiser is certainly one of the great characters in pro wrestling history.