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Nelson Royal (1931-2002)


Real NameNelson Royal (born “Nelson Combs”)

Lifespan - 7/21/1931 - 2/3/2002

5'8" 230 lbs. - Mooresville, NC


Athletic Background - n/a

Teacher(s)Don Eagle

Professional BackgroundColumbus, Portland(`56-`58), Mid-Atlantic(`57), Texas(`62), Los Angeles(`68-`69), Mid-Atlantic(`70-`74), Knoxville(`74), Tennesee(`75), IWA(`75-`76), Tri-State(`76-`79), Nashville(`77), Memphis(`78), Stampede(`78-`79), IWE(`79), JCP/NWA(`87-`88), Southeast Indies(`88-`91)

AliasesSir Nelson Royal

Peak Years - `68-`75


Place in HistoryNelson Royal will forever be remembered as one of the greatest stars of Mid-Atlantic.  He was a stocky cowboy whose technical skill and quiet demeanor got him over with the fans in a lasting way.  Nelson had cut his teeth in Al Haft’s Columbus territory before heading West and working as a heel.  He took on a regal persona and partnered with The Viking in a classic odd couple unit, but when they parted ways after reaching Mid-Atlantic, Nelson Royal transformed.  He had fallen in love with cowboy lifestyle and spent the rest of his days raising and selling horses, running a Western wear store and being an authentic cowboy on his ranch in North Carolina.  Although Royal formed numerous successful tag teams in Mid-Atlantic, the two most well-remembered are those with Tex McKenzie and Paul Jones.  Tex was a cowboy himself and the two were a great contrast in styles and appearance; Royal was a 5-foot-8 technician and McKenzie was a 6-foot-9 brawler with an animated style.  The team with Jones was a that of a veteran and a young upstart, both were smallish but with a fast-paced and exciting style.  It is no surprise that either team clicked when battling serious, brooding heels like the Rip Hawk & Swede Hanson, Bronko Lubich & Aldo Bogni and the Andersons.  Royal was probably the most established Mid-Atlantic talent to jump to the IWA promotion.  While many of the stars were able to find work after that ill-fated group fell, Royal was kept out of the Mid-Atlantic scene.  He worked Tennessee and eventually was picked to carry the NWA Junior Heavyweight title a couple times in the years after Danny Hodge’s retirement.  He was aging and past his best years, but Nelson Royal continued to work right into the 1990s.  In the latter stages of his career, he focused more on training wrestlers with Gene Anderson and promoting in the Carolinas.

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