Sputnik Monroe (wrestler)

Infobox Wrestler
name=Rocco Monroe DiGrazio Brumbaugh

names= Elvis Rock Monroe
Rock Monroe
Pretty Boy Roque
Sputnik Monroe

weight= 235 lbs.
birth_date =birth date|1928|12|18|mf=y
death_date = death date and age|2006|11|3|1928|12|18|mf=y
birth_place =Dodge City, Kansas
buried= Pineville, Louisiana
billed= Sputnik Monroe
trainer= Jack Nazworthy
debut= 1945
retired= 1998|

Sputnik Monroe (December 18, 1928November 3, 2006) was a professional wrestler from the mid 1940s through the early 1970s. Monroe was a headliner in many territories, and was best known in Memphis, where he and Billy Wicks set an attendance record that lasted until the Monday Night Wars boom period.cite news | first = Hicks | last = Brady | title = 2006: The year in wrestling | work = PWI Presents: 2007 Wrestling Almanak and book of facts | publisher = Kappa Publications | id = 2007 Edition | page = 27 | accessdate = 2007-07-11 | language = English ]


Sputnik was born Rosco Monroe Merrick in Dodge City, Kansas. His father had been killed in an airplane crash a month before his birth and his formative years were spent living with his grandparents. His mother remarried, and his stepfather, whose last name was Brumbaugh, adopted him at age 17. Monroe's legal name became Roscoe Monroe Brumbaugh.

Debuting as "Rock Monroe" in 1945, Monroe began his career by wrestling in traveling carnivals. He changed his name to "Rocky Monroe" in 1949, and adopted the nickname of "Sputnik" in 1957.

Monroe was a noteworthy figure in Memphis cultural history. During a period where segregation was the norm at public events, he, as the biggest wrestling draw at the time, refused to perform unless black patrons were allowed to sit in any seat at the Ellis Auditorium. At the time, at wrestling matches, as well as any public events, African-Americans were being limited to sit in what was at the time known as the "colored" section. [ [http://www.washtimes.com/sports/20061202-121718-9427r.htm Sputnik wrestled against prejudice By Thom Loverro] ] [ [http://cantstopthebleeding.com/?p=8089 Sputnk Monroe, RIP] ]

Monroe worked mostly as a heel, and was known for being flamboyant and for possessing a quick wit.

He died in his sleep on November 3, 2006 in Florida. On May 4, 2007, HBO announced they would make a movie based on Monroe's life. [ [http://www.comingsoon.net/news/movienews.php?id=20211 "Nitzberg Penning Sputnik Biopic"] ]

On September 6, 2007 Julien Nitzberg confirmed the first draft of the Sputnik movie had been completed [ [http://www.marksfiles.com/interview1.html "Interview with Julien Nitzberg about Sputnik Monroe movie] ] "

A Los Angeles-based rock band is named after him.

Championships and accomplishments

*Championship Wrestling from Florida:*NWA Florida Southern Tag Team Championship (1 time) - with Rocket Monroe:*NWA Florida Tag Team Championship (1 time) - with Norvell Austin:*NWA World Tag Team Championship "(Florida version)" (2 times) - with Rocket Monroe

*Georgia Championship Wrestling:*NWA Georgia Heavyweight Championship (2 times) (First)

*Gulf Coast Championship Wrestling:*NWA Gulf Coast Louisiana Championship (1 time)

*NWA Mid-America:*NWA Southern Junior Heavyweight Championship (1 time):*NWA Southern Tag Team Championship "(Mid-America version)" (1 time) - with Norvell Austin:*NWA Tennessee Heavyweight Championship (2 times):*NWA Tennessee Tag Team Championship (2 times) - with Tommy Gilbert

*NWA Tri-State:*NWA World Junior Heavyweight Championship (1 time)

*NWA Western States Sports:*NWA North American Tag Team Championship "(Amarillo version)" (1 time) - with Ken Lucas:*NWA Western States Tag Team Championship (1 time) - with Baby Blimp

*Southwest Sports, Inc.:*NWA Texas Heavyweight Championship (1 time):*NWA Texas Tag Team Championship (2 times) - with Danny McShain (1) and Rocket Monroe (1)

*United States Wrestling Association:*Memphis Hall of Fame (Class of 1994)


External links

* [http://www.npr.org/programs/morning/features/2001/feb/010222.sputnik.html Article with interview clips from NPR]
* [http://www.georgiawrestlinghistory.com/host/monroes/sputnik.html Monroe site at Georgia Wrestling History]
* [http://www.commercialappeal.com/mca/lifestyle/article/0,1426,MCA_521_5134867,00.html Commercial Appeal article on Monroe and civil rights issues]
* [http://www.mikemooneyham.com/pages/viewfull.cfm?ObjectID=012AF3FC-3048-826A-C420B4184D0EB886 Sputnik Monroe: One of A Kind]
* [http://www.memphiswrestlinghistory.com/ Memphis Wrestling History]

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