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Roger Kirby

Real NameWillis Kirby

Birthdate -12/14/39

5’10” 242 lbs. - Kansas City, KS

Athletic BackgroundBoxing (Golden Gloves)

Teacher(s) - n/a

Professional BackgroundGCCW(`67), Nashville(`67), Kansas City(`68), Portland(`69-`70), Kansas City(`70-`74), Georgia(`74-`75), Florida(`75-`76), Nashville(`76), Amarillo(`76,`78), Indianapolis(`78-`80), WWC(`79-`80), Memphis(`80), All Japan(`80), Kansas City(`80-`83), South Africa, WWF(`86)

AliasesCowboy Bob Baker, Rip Kirby, Masked Cruiser

Peak Years`71-`80

Place in HistoryRoger Kirby is remembered by most a cocky, blond heel who was a fixture in the Midwest throughout the 1970s.  Kirby became enamoured with pro-wrestling and had an easy in through his cousin’s husband Dennis Hall.  The two, joined by Les Thatcher, became known as the “Wrestling Cousins” and had some success around the South.  Eventually Roger Kirby found his true calling as a heel.  He tried his hand as a Buddy Rogers copycat and often used the “Nature Boy” handle.  In Portland, Kirby really blossomed as a heel performer who could draw heat selflessly.  Fairly small in stature at the time, Kirby developed an incredible physique and even had questionable claims to the world record in the leg press.  In addition to his musculature, Roger Kirby wore a signature handlebar mustache, which combined with his blonde locks really enhanced his presence.  In the ring, Kirby specialized in selling a beating, yet still squeaking past opponents.  His peers thought highly of him as a result.  In 1971, when Danny Hodge needed to drop his NWA Junior Heavyweight title before a Japanese tour, Kirby was the man chosen to carry the belt.  Throughout the 1970s,  Kirby traveled all over the pro-wrestling world and became a well-regarded hand.  He had some chances in bigger promotions, but found his greatest success in second-tier territories like Amarillo, Indianapolis and Kansas City.  In the latter, Kirby saw his greatest success and eventually he homesteaded as a top heel.  As the area declined and opportunities waned, Kirby decided to bow out of the sport.