Name: Dick Murdoch
Year Inducted: 2013

Dick Murdoch

“Captain Redneck” Dick Murdoch’s peers rave about him. “One of the greatest performers ever in our industry,” said Dusty Rhodes. Moose Morowski concurred: “He could work with a 120-pound guy or he could work with a 300-pounder. He had so much talent, natural talent.”

Murdoch joked, fought, loved, argued, and caroused his way through 49 years—felled by a heart attack in June 1996—leaving behind mayhem and memories.

“He was one of a kind, no doubt about that,” said veteran Dusty Wolfe. “When he was a heel, everybody would look at him and say, ‘That’s the son of a bitch that lives next door. I wish he’d put up a privacy fence. When he comes home at night, I wish he’d quit running over my trash cans.’ When he was a babyface, he was the guy everybody looked at and said, ‘Well, when I walk in the bar, he slaps me on the back and says hello. I know I don’t have to worry about watching my back.’ ”

As the son of ex-grappler Frankie Murdoch, he grew up around the business, even toting wrestling bears around the streets. While he wrestled a little as a teen, his big break came in 1965 in the Gulf Coast. Murdoch’s tag team with Dusty Rhodes as the Outlaws was one of the outstanding teams of the late 1960s and early 1970s. After the Outlaws, Murdoch was all over the world as a singles star, probably more often as a bad guy than a good guy. He held the Central States championship, the Missouri championship, and various belts in Japan, Puerto Rico, and Australia. Despite carting around 270 pounds, a good portion of it in his midsection, Murdoch could do just anything promoters demanded. “He knew when to move like a cat; he knew when to slow down. He knew when to work with big, medium, and small guys. I think if anybody was ever overlooked, it was Dick Murdoch. I think because of his character, because of his personality, Dick Murdoch was never taken as serious as he should have been,” said Jerry Brisco.

“You didn’t know what he was going to do from one minute to the next, in life and in the ring,” said Dick Slater. “When you went with Dickie, you were out every night going somewhere having a few beers here and there. He was a classic card.”  Examples include sneaking a goat into a hotel and stealing ribs and leaving the bones strewn across a friend’s room. The list could go on.

His biggest national runs came in the WWF, teaming with Adrian Adonis as the North-South Connection in 1984 for tag gold and in Jim Crockett Promotions. Murdoch wrestled as late as the 1990s, headlining cards in Puerto Rico in 1992 as Universal and TV champ. His last appearance on the big stage was at the 1995 Royal Rumble, and, appropriately, he later did promotional work for Coors.

 

- Steven Johnson and Greg Oliver



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