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"Cowboy" Bob Ellis

      

Real NameRobert Ellis
Birthdate - 3/15/29
6'3" 240 lbs. - San Angelo, TX

Athletic BackgroundFootball [Army Team]; Basketball, Track [High School]

Teacher(s) - Sandor Szabo

Professional Background - n/a

AliasesBob Elliot, Masked Grappler

Peak Years`60-`69

Place in HistoryIt was the era of Gunsmoke and Bonanza, the era of the Rawhide Kid and John Wayne, the era of Merle Haggard and Spaghetti Westerns and it was into this era that a man named “Cowboy” Bob Ellis arose on the pro-wrestling scene.  The long-time fascination with the American West had been capitalized on by pro-wrestling promoters for many years and would be for many years after, but perhaps no one mastered the character quite like “Cowboy” Bob Ellis.  He was the total package for a babyface - tall and handsome, well-built and able to work with any heel.  After a tour of Korea and a stint in the NFL, Bob Ellis was opening California-style gyms around Texas before jumping into the pro-wrestling game.  He trained under the legendary Sandor Szabo and caught his first big break in Albuquerque under the cowboy hat.   Over the next twenty-five years he worked territories big and small all over the world and became the most famous wrestling cowboy.  Ellis was quickly catapulted into main events and was a frequent challenger to NWA World Champion Buddy Rogers.  “Cowboy” Bob Ellis also became known for his willingness to bleed and his wars with men like Dick the Bruiser, Fritz Von Erich, Ray Stevens and Killer Karl Kox regular turned into bloodbaths.  Ellis was mainly a brawling type of face with a popular finisher, the bulldog headlock, who would sell strongly, bleed heavily and work gimmick matches whether they were Texas Death matches or involved spurs, saddles and things related to his cowboy persona.  By the 1970s, Ellis was still a good hand, but his physique was not it once was and he was having to take pretty drastic measures to cover up his balding.  He settled into the Bruiser’s WWA promotion and continued to do some international tours.  It was on one such trip to Nigeria in 1982 that Ellis decided to call it quits.  “Cowboy” Bob Ellis had become increasingly involved in horse racing, although that career was ended following some illegal activity.  Ironically, the man who had always played the straight-laced cowboy in a white hat came up on the wrong side of the law.  In spite of that the legacy of “Cowboy” Bob Ellis is that of an exceptional character-wrestler, a honest babyface in cattle-print tights and cowboy boots who might look hooky by today’s standards but caught on big everywhere he travelled in a bygone era.

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