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Sputnik Monroe (1928-2006)

Real Name - Roscoe Monroe Brumbaugh

Lifespan -12/18/1928 - 11/3/2006

6’ 235 lbs. - Dodge City, KS

Athletic Background - Wrestling [US Navy]

Teacher(s) - Jack Nazworthy

Professional Background - Gulf Coast(`58), Tennessee(`59), Texas(`60-`61), Georgia(`64), Gulf Coast(`65), JWA(`67), Georgia(`67), Florida(`72), Nashville(`72-`75), Gulf Coast(`73), Amarillo(`75), Memphis(`79-`80), Nashville(`80), Memphis(`88)

Aliases - Pretty Boy LaRoque, Pretty Boy Rocky, Elvis Rock Monroe

Peak Years - `57-`64

Place in History - Sputnik Monroe has become something of a folk hero in recent years.  He became known for his connection to blacks in Southern towns, where he hung out in the black sections of town in beer joints and jazz clubs and it made him a controversial heel.  He came up the hard way though, wrestling in the Navy and the Midwestern carnivals before finally going pro.  Monroe worked all over, trying a host of colorful gimmicks and eventually working as a heel.  By the late 1950s, he had his trademark white streak in his hair, he had adopted the name “Sputnik” and he was excellent at inciting the ire of the fans.  Sputnik’s greatest days were probably working for the Nashville office, where he and Billy Wicks had a storied feud with "the Diamond Ring & Cadillac Man" taking on the All-American boy.  He established himself so strongly in Tennessee that he would come back to the area up into the 1980s.   Sputnik began bringing in “brothers”, adding a white streak to their hair and working tags.  There was Rocket, Jet, another Rocket, Flash, all of them serving their purpose.  He also formed what is billed as the first interracial heel tag team with Norvell Austin, who added a white streak to his afro.  Although most associate Sputnik with Memphis, he was a huge star in Georgia as well in the 1960s.  The “Sweet Man” was pushed as a top heel and he was pivotal in establishing Mr. Wrestling II in the early 1970s as the top babyface.  By that time, Sputnik Monroe was past his physical peak and relied more on partners and posturing.  He played less of a tough guy and more of a chickenshit heel who did a lot of comedic spots whether it was tripping over the ropes, bickering with the referee or over-the-top selljobs.  Sputnik Monroe continued to float around, most notably doing shots for Jerry Jarrett, for many more years.  Sputnik Monroe is undeniably one of pro-wrestling most fascinating characters and the sort of person who could only thrive in crazy world like professional wrestling.  He had an outrageous name, look and approach to life that made him a heel to many, yet a hero to others.  His relationship with the black fans, his push for equality and his willingness to serve time and pay fines certainly demonstrate his character as a human.  There was only one Sputnik Monroe.