Name: Dick Murdoch
Year Inducted: 2013
“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
“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