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Buddy Rogers (1921-1992)


Real NameBuddy Rogers (changed from "Herman Rhode") 
Lifespan?/?/21 - 6/26/92 
6' 235 lbs. - Camden, NJ

Athletic Background - n/a

Teacher(s) - n/a

Professional Background - n/a
Aliases - Dutch Rogers  

Peak Years1950s-1960s

Place in HistoryBuddy Rogers was one of the greatest wrestlers ever, he was "Georgeous" George times two. Rogers was the typical pretty boy: bleach-blonde hair, suntanned skin, chiseled physique, and the necessary arrogant attitude. The storied career of Buddy Rogers began before the so-called "Golden Age of Wrestling" when he entered the sport. He soon changed his name and dyed his hair to become the "Nature Boy" Buddy Rogers. The look even more so than his style made him a widely known heel in the wrestling world. In the ring, Rogers was a slick competitor using every trick in the book to get numerous big wins, including several World title berthes. Despite playing a heel role, Rogers was smart, tough, and talented. His figure-four leglock, though it is disputed whether he invented it or not, became renowned. In 1961, in Chicago's Comisky Park in front 34,000, the largest audience at that point, Rogers won the NWA World Heavyweight title from Pat O'Connor. During his two year reign, he met and beat everyone from Johnny Valentine to Giant Baba, until a controversial loss to Lou Thesz in Toronto. This match, an unusual single-fall title match, was disputed when Thesz only won a single fall and the WWWF title was born from this controversy. Rogers, the first WWWF champion, reigned for six months before suffering a stroke, enter Bruno Sammartino and exit Buddy Rogers. He took to managering for a brief period helping heels like Jimmy Snuka, John Studd, and Gene Anderson get over even more. The wrestling bug returned though in 1979, when Buddy Rogers decided to meet the new "Nature Boy" - Ric Flair. Nearly 60, Rogers put over Flair and he nearly did it again at 70 with "Nature Boy" Buddy Landell. Sadly, the bout never took place as the company folded and Rogers died suddenly of a heart attack in 1992. The "Nature Boy" was widely respected and emulated for years to come and many superstars owe a debt of gratitude to Buddy Rogers.